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Sample records for enhances synaptic communication

  1. Nicotine uses neuron-glia communication to enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and long-term memory.

    PubMed

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions.

  2. Nicotine Uses Neuron-Glia Communication to Enhance Hippocampal Synaptic Transmission and Long-term Memory

    PubMed Central

    López-Hidalgo, Mónica; Salgado-Puga, Karla; Alvarado-Martínez, Reynaldo; Medina, Andrea Cristina; Prado-Alcalá, Roberto A.; García-Colunga, Jesús

    2012-01-01

    Nicotine enhances synaptic transmission and facilitates long-term memory. Now it is known that bi-directional glia-neuron interactions play important roles in the physiology of the brain. However, the involvement of glial cells in the effects of nicotine has not been considered until now. In particular, the gliotransmitter D-serine, an endogenous co-agonist of NMDA receptors, enables different types of synaptic plasticity and memory in the hippocampus. Here, we report that hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity induced by nicotine was annulled by an enzyme that degrades endogenous D-serine, or by an NMDA receptor antagonist that acts at the D-serine binding site. Accordingly, both effects of nicotine: the enhancement of synaptic transmission and facilitation of long-term memory were eliminated by impairing glial cells with fluoroacetate, and were restored with exogenous D-serine. Together, these results show that glial D-serine is essential for the long-term effects of nicotine on synaptic plasticity and memory, and they highlight the roles of glial cells as key participants in brain functions. PMID:23185511

  3. Network response synchronization enhanced by synaptic plasticity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lobov, S.; Simonov, A.; Kastalskiy, I.; Kazantsev, V.

    2016-02-01

    Synchronization of neural network response on spatially localized periodic stimulation was studied. The network consisted of synaptically coupled spiking neurons with spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP). Network connectivity was defined by time evolving matrix of synaptic weights. We found that the steady-state spatial pattern of the weights could be rearranged due to locally applied external periodic stimulation. A method for visualization of synaptic weights as vector field was introduced to monitor the evolving connectivity matrix. We demonstrated that changes in the vector field and associated weight rearrangements underlay an enhancement of synchronization range.

  4. [Neuronal communication and synaptic metabolism in childhood epilepsy].

    PubMed

    García-Cazorla, Àngels; Cortès-Saladelafont, Elisenda; Duarte, Sofia

    2015-03-01

    Basic neuroscience and neurometabolism are providing a rapidly increasing amount of knowledge on paediatric epilepsy and, more specifically, on the mechanisms involved in synaptic communication. There is, however, a mismatch between these advances and a vision that integrates them in a global way, in clinical and therapeutic practice. To offer an integrative view of the different molecular and metabolic mechanisms that are known and postulated in paediatric epilepsy, and to suggest concepts such as 'synaptic metabolism' and 'synaptic phenotypes' as useful tools for developing this approach. We also review the most notable studies that attempt to explain the essential characteristics of synaptic communication in the developing brain by means of different molecules, essentially synaptic proteins, ion channels (chlorine, sodium and potassium co-transporters), and pre- and post-synaptic compartmentalisation, as well as the main players in metabolism (neurotransmitters, energy metabolism, growth factors and lipids). This combination of biological mechanisms has led to examples of 'synaptic phenotypes' being suggested in two specific cases of genetic (SCN1A) and metabolic epilepsy (epilepsy with response to pyridoxine). A holistic perspective, which takes into account the diversity of elements that are related and which take place at certain times in neurodevelopment, can help to define phenotypes, channels for synaptic metabolism and brain connectivity, which facilitate not only the understanding of the pathophysiology, but also new therapeutic approaches in paediatric epilepsy.

  5. Attention enhances synaptic efficacy and the signal-to-noise ratio in neural circuits.

    PubMed

    Briggs, Farran; Mangun, George R; Usrey, W Martin

    2013-07-25

    Attention is a critical component of perception. However, the mechanisms by which attention modulates neuronal communication to guide behaviour are poorly understood. To elucidate the synaptic mechanisms of attention, we developed a sensitive assay of attentional modulation of neuronal communication. In alert monkeys performing a visual spatial attention task, we probed thalamocortical communication by electrically stimulating neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus while simultaneously recording shock-evoked responses from monosynaptically connected neurons in primary visual cortex. We found that attention enhances neuronal communication by increasing the efficacy of presynaptic input in driving postsynaptic responses, by increasing synchronous responses among ensembles of postsynaptic neurons receiving independent input, and by decreasing redundant signals between postsynaptic neurons receiving common input. The results demonstrate that attention finely tunes neuronal communication at the synaptic level by selectively altering synaptic weights, enabling enhanced detection of salient events in the noisy sensory environment.

  6. Differential Conditioning of Associative Synaptic Enhancement in Hippocampal Brain Slices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kelso, Stephen R.; Brown, Thomas H.

    1986-04-01

    An electrophysiological stimulation paradigm similar to one that produces Pavlovian conditioning was applied to synaptic inputs to pyramidal neurons of hippocampal brain slices. Persistent synaptic enhancement was induced in one of two weak synaptic inputs by pairing high-frequency electrical stimulation of the weak input with stimulation of a third, stronger input to the same region. Forward (temporally overlapping) but not backward (temporally separate) pairings caused this enhancement. Thus hippocampal synapses in vitro can undergo the conditional and selective type of associative modification that could provide the substrate for some of the mnemonic functions in which the hippocampus is thought to participate.

  7. CDK5 downregulation enhances synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Posada-Duque, Rafael Andrés; Ramirez, Omar; Härtel, Steffen; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C; Bodaleo, Felipe; González-Billault, Christian; Kirkwood, Alfredo; Cardona-Gómez, Gloria Patricia

    2017-01-01

    CDK5 is a serine/threonine kinase that is involved in the normal function of the adult brain and plays a role in neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity. However, its over-regulation has been associated with Tau hyperphosphorylation and cognitive deficits. Our previous studies have demonstrated that CDK5 targeting using shRNA-miR provides neuroprotection and prevents cognitive deficits. Dendritic spine morphogenesis and forms of long-term synaptic plasticity-such as long-term potentiation (LTP)-have been proposed as essential processes of neuroplasticity. However, whether CDK5 participates in these processes remains controversial and depends on the experimental model. Using wild-type mice that received injections of CDK5 shRNA-miR in CA1 showed an increased LTP and recovered the PPF in deficient LTP of APPswe/PS1Δ9 transgenic mice. On mature hippocampal neurons CDK5, shRNA-miR for 12 days induced increased dendritic protrusion morphogenesis, which was dependent on Rac activity. In addition, silencing of CDK5 increased BDNF expression, temporarily increased phosphorylation of CaMKII, ERK, and CREB; and facilitated calcium signaling in neurites. Together, our data suggest that CDK5 downregulation induces synaptic plasticity in mature neurons involving Ca(2+) signaling and BDNF/CREB activation.

  8. Synaptic amplification by dendritic spines enhances input cooperativity.

    PubMed

    Harnett, Mark T; Makara, Judit K; Spruston, Nelson; Kath, William L; Magee, Jeffrey C

    2012-11-22

    Dendritic spines are the nearly ubiquitous site of excitatory synaptic input onto neurons and as such are critically positioned to influence diverse aspects of neuronal signalling. Decades of theoretical studies have proposed that spines may function as highly effective and modifiable chemical and electrical compartments that regulate synaptic efficacy, integration and plasticity. Experimental studies have confirmed activity-dependent structural dynamics and biochemical compartmentalization by spines. However, there is a longstanding debate over the influence of spines on the electrical aspects of synaptic transmission and dendritic operation. Here we measure the amplitude ratio of spine head to parent dendrite voltage across a range of dendritic compartments and calculate the associated spine neck resistance (R(neck)) for spines at apical trunk dendrites in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. We find that R(neck) is large enough (~500 MΩ) to amplify substantially the spine head depolarization associated with a unitary synaptic input by ~1.5- to ~45-fold, depending on parent dendritic impedance. A morphologically realistic compartmental model capable of reproducing the observed spatial profile of the amplitude ratio indicates that spines provide a consistently high-impedance input structure throughout the dendritic arborization. Finally, we demonstrate that the amplification produced by spines encourages electrical interaction among coactive inputs through an R(neck)-dependent increase in spine head voltage-gated conductance activation. We conclude that the electrical properties of spines promote nonlinear dendritic processing and associated forms of plasticity and storage, thus fundamentally enhancing the computational capabilities of neurons.

  9. Synaptic amplification by dendritic spines enhances input cooperativity

    PubMed Central

    Harnett, Mark T.; Makara, Judit K.; Spruston, Nelson; Kath, William L.; Magee, Jeffrey C.

    2012-01-01

    Dendritic spines are the nearly ubiquitous site of excitatory synaptic input onto neurons1–2 and as such are critically positioned to influence diverse aspects of neuronal signaling. Decades of theoretical studies have proposed that spines may function as highly effective and modifiable chemical and electrical compartments that regulate synaptic efficacy, integration, and plasticity3–8. Experimental studies have confirmed activity-dependent structural dynamics and biochemical compartmentalization by spines9–12. However, a longstanding debate remains over the influence of spines on the electrical aspects of synaptic transmission and dendritic operation3–8,13–18. Here, we measured the amplitude ratio (AR) of spine head to parent dendrite voltage across a range of dendritic compartments and calculated the associated Rneck for spines at apical trunk dendrites in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. We found that Rneck is large enough (~500 MΩ) to substantially amplify the spine head depolarization associated with a unitary synaptic input by ~1.5- to ~45-fold depending on parent dendritic impedance. A morphologically realistic compartmental model capable of reproducing the observed spatial profile of AR indicates that spines provide a consistently high impedance input structure throughout the dendritic arbor. Finally, we demonstrate that the amplification produced by spines encourages electrical interaction among coactive inputs through an Rneck-dependent increase in spine head voltage- dependent conductance activation. We conclude that the electrical properties of spines promote nonlinear dendritic processing and associated forms of plasticity and storage, thus fundamentally enhancing the computational capabilities of neurons19–21. PMID:23103868

  10. Synaptic Plasticity in Rat Hippocampal Slice Cultures: Local "Hebbian" Conjunction of Pre- and Postsynaptic Stimulation Leads to Distributed Synaptic Enhancement

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Staiger, Volker; Aertsen, Ad

    1989-10-01

    A central theme in neurobiology is the search for the mechanisms underlying learning and memory. Since the seminal work, first of Cajal and later of Hebb, the synapse is thought to be the basic "storing unit." Hebb proposed that information is stored by correlation: synapses between neurons, which are often coactive, are enhanced. Several recent findings suggest that such a mechanism is indeed operative in the central nervous system. Pairing of activity on presynaptic fibers with strong postsynaptic depolarization results in synaptic enhancement. While there is substantial evidence in favor of a postsynaptic locus for detection of the synchronous pre- and postsynaptic event and subsequent initiation of synaptic enhancement, the locus of this enhancement and its ensuing persistence is still disputed: both pre- and postsynaptic contributions have been suggested. In all previous studies, the enhancement was presumed to be specific to the synapses where synchronous pre- and postsynaptic stimulation was applied. We report here that two recording techniques--optical recording, using voltage-sensitive dyes, and double intracellular recordings--reveal that synaptic enhancement is not restricted to the stimulated cell. Although we paired single afferent volleys with intracellular stimulation confined to one postsynaptic cell, we found that strengthening also occurred on synapses between the stimulated presynaptic fibers and neighboring cells. This suggests that synaptic enhancement by the "paired-stimulation paradigm" is not local on the presynaptic axons and that, in fact, the synapses of many neighboring postsynaptic cells are enhanced.

  11. Vitamin D prevents cognitive decline and enhances hippocampal synaptic function in aging rats

    PubMed Central

    Latimer, Caitlin S.; Brewer, Lawrence D.; Searcy, James L.; Chen, Kuey-Chu; Popović, Jelena; Kraner, Susan D.; Thibault, Olivier; Blalock, Eric M.; Landfield, Philip W.; Porter, Nada M.

    2014-01-01

    Vitamin D is an important calcium-regulating hormone with diverse functions in numerous tissues, including the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that vitamin D may play a role in maintaining cognitive function and that vitamin D deficiency may accelerate age-related cognitive decline. Using aging rodents, we attempted to model the range of human serum vitamin D levels, from deficient to sufficient, to test whether vitamin D could preserve or improve cognitive function with aging. For 5–6 mo, middle-aged F344 rats were fed diets containing low, medium (typical amount), or high (100, 1,000, or 10,000 international units/kg diet, respectively) vitamin D3, and hippocampal-dependent learning and memory were then tested in the Morris water maze. Rats on high vitamin D achieved the highest blood levels (in the sufficient range) and significantly outperformed low and medium groups on maze reversal, a particularly challenging task that detects more subtle changes in memory. In addition to calcium-related processes, hippocampal gene expression microarrays identified pathways pertaining to synaptic transmission, cell communication, and G protein function as being up-regulated with high vitamin D. Basal synaptic transmission also was enhanced, corroborating observed effects on gene expression and learning and memory. Our studies demonstrate a causal relationship between vitamin D status and cognitive function, and they suggest that vitamin D-mediated changes in hippocampal gene expression may improve the likelihood of successful brain aging. PMID:25267625

  12. Excitability and synaptic communication within the oligodendrocyte lineage.

    PubMed

    De Biase, Lindsay M; Nishiyama, Akiko; Bergles, Dwight E

    2010-03-10

    The mammalian CNS contains an abundant, widely distributed population of glial cells that serve as oligodendrocyte progenitors. It has been reported that these NG2-immunoreactive cells (NG2(+) cells) form synapses and generate action potentials, suggesting that neural-evoked excitation of these progenitors may regulate oligodendrogenesis. However, recent studies also suggest that NG2(+) cells are comprised of functionally distinct groups that differ in their ability to respond to neuronal activity, undergo differentiation, and experience injury following ischemia. To better define the physiological properties of NG2(+) cells, we used transgenic mice that allowed an unbiased sampling of this population and unambiguous identification of cells in discrete states of differentiation. Using acute brain slices prepared from developing and mature mice, we found that NG2(+) cells in diverse brain regions share a core set of physiological properties, including expression of voltage-gated Na(+) (NaV) channels and ionotropic glutamate receptors, and formation of synapses with glutamatergic neurons. Although small amplitude Na(+) spikes could be elicited in some NG2(+) cells during the first postnatal week, they were not capable of generating action potentials. Transition of these progenitors to the premyelinating stage was accompanied by the rapid removal of synaptic input, as well as downregulation of AMPA and NMDA receptors and NaV channels. Thus, prior reports of physiological heterogeneity among NG2(+) cells may reflect analysis of cells in later stages of maturation. These results suggest that NG2(+) cells are uniquely positioned within the oligodendrocyte lineage to monitor the firing patterns of surrounding neurons.

  13. Enhancement of Synaptic Potentials in Rabbit CA1 Pyramidal Neurons Following Classical Conditioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loturco, Joseph J.; Coulter, Douglas A.; Alkon, Daniel L.

    1988-03-01

    A synaptic potential elicited by high-frequency stimulation of the Schaffer collaterals was enhanced in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells from rabbits that were classically conditioned relative to cells from control rabbits. In addition, confirming previous reports, the after-hyperpolarization was reduced in cells from conditioned animals. We suggest that reduced after-hyperpolarization and enhanced synaptic responsiveness in cells from conditioned animals work in concert to contribute to the functioning of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells during classical conditioning.

  14. Communication Enhancement: Principles and Practices.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shane, Howard

    1988-01-01

    A physician discusses the work of the Communications Enhancement Clinic at Children's Hospital-Boston in providing assistance to children with severe speech problems. He describes the process of evaluating and matching a child's strengths and weaknesses to available technology, including educational software, speech or print output devices, and…

  15. Reelin supplementation enhances cognitive ability, synaptic plasticity, and dendritic spine density

    PubMed Central

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive function; however, the in vivo effect of enhanced Reelin signaling on cognitive function and synaptic plasticity in wild-type mice is unknown. The present studies test the hypothesis that in vivo enhancement of Reelin signaling can alter synaptic plasticity and ultimately influence processes of learning and memory. Purified recombinant Reelin was injected bilaterally into the ventricles of wild-type mice. We demonstrate that a single in vivo injection of Reelin increased activation of adaptor protein Disabled-1 and cAMP-response element binding protein after 15 min. These changes correlated with increased dendritic spine density, increased hippocampal CA1 long-term potentiation (LTP), and enhanced performance in associative and spatial learning and memory. The present study suggests that an acute elevation of in vivo Reelin can have long-term effects on synaptic function and cognitive ability in wild-type mice. PMID:21852430

  16. Mismatch novelty exploration training enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity: a tool for cognitive stimulation?

    PubMed

    Aidil-Carvalho, M F; Carmo, A J S; Ribeiro, J A; Cunha-Reis, D

    2017-09-08

    Memory formation relies on experience-dependent changes in synaptic strength such as long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD) of synaptic activity, that in turn depend on previous learning experiences through metaplasticity. Novelty detection is a particularly important cognitive stimulus in this respect, and mismatch novelty has been associated with the activation of the hippocampal CA1 area in human studies. A single exposure a new location of known objects in a familiar environment, a behavioural mismatch novelty paradigm, is known to favour the expression of LTD in hippocampal CA3 to CA1 synaptic transmission in vivo, through short-term metaplasticity. Aiming to shape hippocampal responsiveness to synaptic plasticity phenomena we developed a training program based on exploration of a known environment containing familiar objects everyday presented in a new location. Repeated exposure to this new location of objects for two weeks caused a mild long-lasting decrease in synaptic efficacy. Furthermore, it enhanced both LTP evoked by theta-burst stimulation and depotentiation evoked by low-frequency stimulation of CA3 to CA1 hippocampal synaptic transmission in juvenile rats. This suggests that training programs using these behavioural tasks involving mismatch novelty can be used to reshape brain circuits and promote cognitive recovery in pathologies where LTP/LTD imbalance occurs, such as epilepsy, aging or Dowńs syndrome, an approach that requires further investigation at the behavioural level. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  17. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline

    PubMed Central

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D.; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E.; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R.

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa++ amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5–10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement. PMID:24575037

  18. Enhanced synaptic transmission at the squid giant synapse by artificial seawater based on physically modified saline.

    PubMed

    Choi, Soonwook; Yu, Eunah; Rabello, Guilherme; Merlo, Suelen; Zemmar, Ajmal; Walton, Kerry D; Moreno, Herman; Moreira, Jorge E; Sugimori, Mutsuyuki; Llinás, Rodolfo R

    2014-01-01

    Superfusion of the squid giant synapse with artificial seawater (ASW) based on isotonic saline containing oxygen nanobubbles (RNS60 ASW) generates an enhancement of synaptic transmission. This was determined by examining the postsynaptic response to single and repetitive presynaptic spike activation, spontaneous transmitter release, and presynaptic voltage clamp studies. In the presence of RNS60 ASW single presynaptic stimulation elicited larger postsynaptic potentials (PSP) and more robust recovery from high frequency stimulation than in control ASW. Analysis of postsynaptic noise revealed an increase in spontaneous transmitter release with modified noise kinetics in RNS60 ASW. Presynaptic voltage clamp demonstrated an increased EPSP, without an increase in presynaptic ICa(++) amplitude during RNS60 ASW superfusion. Synaptic release enhancement reached stable maxima within 5-10 min of RNS60 ASW superfusion and was maintained for the entire recording time, up to 1 h. Electronmicroscopic morphometry indicated a decrease in synaptic vesicle density and the number at active zones with an increase in the number of clathrin-coated vesicles (CCV) and large endosome-like vesicles near junctional sites. Block of mitochondrial ATP synthesis by presynaptic injection of oligomycin reduced spontaneous release and prevented the synaptic noise increase seen in RNS60 ASW. After ATP block the number of vesicles at the active zone and CCV was reduced, with an increase in large vesicles. The possibility that RNS60 ASW acts by increasing mitochondrial ATP synthesis was tested by direct determination of ATP levels in both presynaptic and postsynaptic structures. This was implemented using luciferin/luciferase photon emission, which demonstrated a marked increase in ATP synthesis following RNS60 administration. It is concluded that RNS60 positively modulates synaptic transmission by up-regulating ATP synthesis, thus leading to synaptic transmission enhancement.

  19. A robust and scalable neuromorphic communication system by combining synaptic time multiplexing and MIMO-OFDM.

    PubMed

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Zhang, Deying; Grigorian, Beayna

    2014-03-01

    This paper describes a novel architecture for enabling robust and efficient neuromorphic communication. The architecture combines two concepts: 1) synaptic time multiplexing (STM) that trades space for speed of processing to create an intragroup communication approach that is firing rate independent and offers more flexibility in connectivity than cross-bar architectures and 2) a wired multiple input multiple output (MIMO) communication with orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) techniques to enable a robust and efficient intergroup communication for neuromorphic systems. The MIMO-OFDM concept for the proposed architecture was analyzed by simulating large-scale spiking neural network architecture. Analysis shows that the neuromorphic system with MIMO-OFDM exhibits robust and efficient communication while operating in real time with a high bit rate. Through combining STM with MIMO-OFDM techniques, the resulting system offers a flexible and scalable connectivity as well as a power and area efficient solution for the implementation of very large-scale spiking neural architectures in hardware.

  20. BDNF mobilizes synaptic vesicles and enhances synapse formation by disrupting cadherin-beta-catenin interactions.

    PubMed

    Bamji, Shernaz X; Rico, Beatriz; Kimes, Nikole; Reichardt, Louis F

    2006-07-17

    Neurons of the vertebrate central nervous system have the capacity to modify synapse number, morphology, and efficacy in response to activity. Some of these functions can be attributed to activity-induced synthesis and secretion of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF); however, the molecular mechanisms by which BDNF mediates these events are still not well understood. Using time-lapse confocal analysis, we show that BDNF mobilizes synaptic vesicles at existing synapses, resulting in small clusters of synaptic vesicles "splitting" away from synaptic sites. We demonstrate that BDNF's ability to mobilize synaptic vesicle clusters depends on the dissociation of cadherin-beta-catenin adhesion complexes that occurs after tyrosine phosphorylation of beta-catenin. Artificially maintaining cadherin-beta-catenin complexes in the presence of BDNF abolishes the BDNF-mediated enhancement of synaptic vesicle mobility, as well as the longer-term BDNF-mediated increase in synapse number. Together, this data demonstrates that the disruption of cadherin-beta-catenin complexes is an important molecular event through which BDNF increases synapse density in cultured hippocampal neurons.

  1. TARP γ-7 selectively enhances synaptic expression of calcium-permeable AMPARs.

    PubMed

    Studniarczyk, Dorota; Coombs, Ian; Cull-Candy, Stuart G; Farrant, Mark

    2013-09-01

    Regulation of calcium-permeable AMPA receptors (CP-AMPARs) is crucial in normal synaptic function and neurological disease states. Although transmembrane AMPAR regulatory proteins (TARPs) such as stargazin (γ-2) modulate the properties of calcium-impermeable AMPARs (CI-AMPARs) and promote their synaptic targeting, the TARP-specific rules governing CP-AMPAR synaptic trafficking remain unclear. We used RNA interference to manipulate AMPAR-subunit and TARP expression in γ-2-lacking stargazer cerebellar granule cells--the classic model of TARP deficiency. We found that TARP γ-7 selectively enhanced the synaptic expression of CP-AMPARs and suppressed CI-AMPARs, identifying a pivotal role of γ-7 in regulating the prevalence of CP-AMPARs. In the absence of associated TARPs, both CP-AMPARs and CI-AMPARs were able to localize to synapses and mediate transmission, although their properties were altered. Our results also establish that TARPed synaptic receptors in granule cells require both γ-2 and γ-7 and reveal an unexpected basis for the loss of AMPAR-mediated transmission in stargazer mice.

  2. Dopamine and Norepinephrine Receptors Participate in Methylphenidate Enhancement of In Vivo Hippocampal Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jenson, Daniel; Yang, Kechun; Acevedo-Rodriguez, Alexandra; Levine, Amber; Broussard, John I.; Tang, Jianrong; Dani, John A.

    2014-01-01

    Attention-deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly studied and diagnosed psychiatric disorder in children. Methylphenidate (MPH, e.g., Ritalin) has been used to treat ADHD for over 50 years. It is the most commonly prescribed treatment for ADHD, and in the past decade it was the drug most commonly prescribed to teenagers. In addition, MPH has become one of the most widely abused drugs on college campuses. In this study, we examined the effects of MPH on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which serves as a measurable quantification of memory mechanisms. Field potentials were recorded with permanently implanted electrodes in freely-moving mice to quantify MPH modulation of perforant path synaptic transmission onto granule cells of the dentate gyrus. Our hypothesis was that MPH affects hippocampal synaptic plasticity underlying learning because MPH boosts catecholamine signaling by blocking the dopamine and norepinephrine transporters (DAT and NET respectively). In vitro hippocampal slice experiments indicated MPH enhances perforant path plasticity, and this MPH enhancement arose from action via D1-type dopamine receptors and β-type adrenergic receptors. Similarly, MPH boosted in vivo initiation of long-term potentiation (LTP). While there was an effect via both dopamine and adrenergic receptors in vivo, LTP induction was more dependent on the MPH-induced action via D1-type dopamine receptors. Under biologically reasonable experimental conditions, MPH enhances hippocampal synaptic plasticity via catecholamine receptors. PMID:25445492

  3. Bacopa monnieri extract enhances learning-dependent hippocampal long-term synaptic potentiation.

    PubMed

    Promsuban, Charkriya; Limsuvan, Suveerawan; Akarasereenont, Pravit; Tilokskulchai, Kanokwan; Tapechum, Sompol; Pakaprot, Narawut

    2017-11-08

    Bacopa monnieri has been used in Ayurvedic medicine as a memory enhancer for a long time; however, its direct effect on synaptic plasticity has not been investigated. To the best of our knowledge, this study is the first to report the effect of B. monnieri on long-term synaptic potentiation in acute hippocampal slices. Adult male Wistar rats were orally administered either sterile water or the ethanolic extract of B. monnieri for 60 days. The extracellular recording was performed to measure the field excitatory postsynaptic potential in the acute hippocampal slices of these rats. Our results showed that B. monnieri extract significantly increased long-term potentiation magnitude compared with the control group, whereas there was no change in basal synaptic transmission. The data support the beneficial mnemonic effect of B. monnieri, and suggest that this effect might be because of the increase of learning-associated synaptic machinery, resulting in the long-term potentiation enhancement and strengthening of hippocampal synapses, which plays a critical role in learning and memory formation.

  4. Anemoside A3 Enhances Cognition through the Regulation of Synaptic Function and Neuroprotection

    PubMed Central

    Ip, Fanny CF; Fu, Wing-Yu; Cheng, Elaine YL; Tong, Estella PS; Lok, Ka-Chun; Liang, Yan; Ye, Wen-Cai; Ip, Nancy Y

    2015-01-01

    Compounds that have the ability to both strengthen synaptic function and facilitate neuroprotection are valuable cognitive enhancers that may improve health and quality of life, as well as retard age-related cognitive deterioration. Medicinal plants are an abundant source of potential cognitive enhancers. Here we report that anemoside A3 (AA3) isolated from Pulsatilla chinensis modulates synaptic connectivity in circuits central to memory enhancement. AA3 specifically modulates the function of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) by increasing serine phosphorylation within the GluA1 subunit, which is a modification required for the trafficking of GluA1-containing AMPARs to synapses. Furthermore, AA3 administration activates several synaptic signaling molecules and increases protein expressions of the neurotrophin brain-derived neurotrophic factor and monoamine neurotransmitters in the mouse hippocampus. In addition to acting through AMPARs, AA3 also acts as a non-competitive NMDA receptor (NMDAR) modulator with a neuroprotective capacity against ischemic brain injury and overexcitation in rats. These findings collectively suggest that AA3 possesses a unique ability to modulate the functions of both AMPARs and NMDARs. Concordantly, behavioral studies indicate that AA3 not only facilitates hippocampal long-term potentiation but also enhances spatial reference memory formation in mice. These multifaceted roles suggest that AA3 is an attractive candidate for further development as a cognitive enhancer capable of alleviating memory dysfunctions associated with aging and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:25649278

  5. Nootropic dipeptide noopept enhances inhibitory synaptic transmission in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Povarov, I S; Kondratenko, R V; Derevyagin, V I; Ostrovskaya, R U; Skrebitskii, V G

    2015-01-01

    Application of nootropic agent Noopept on hippocampal slices from Wistar rats enhanced the inhibitory component of total current induced by stimulation of Shaffer collaterals in CA1 pyramidal neurons, but did not affect the excitatory component. A direct correlation between the increase in the amplitude of inhibitory current and agent concentration was found. The substance did not affect the release of inhibitory transmitters from terminals in the pyramidal neurons, which indicated changes in GABAergic interneurons.

  6. Memory-enhancing corticosterone treatment increases amygdala norepinephrine and Arc protein expression in hippocampal synaptic fractions.

    PubMed

    McReynolds, Jayme R; Donowho, Kyle; Abdi, Amin; McGaugh, James L; Roozendaal, Benno; McIntyre, Christa K

    2010-03-01

    Considerable evidence indicates that glucocorticoid hormones enhance the consolidation of memory for emotionally arousing events through interactions with the noradrenergic system of the basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA). We previously reported that intra-BLA administration of a beta-adrenoceptor agonist immediately after inhibitory avoidance training enhanced memory consolidation and increased hippocampal expression of the protein product of the immediate early gene activity-regulated cytoskeletal-associated protein (Arc). In the present experiments corticosterone (3 mg/kg, i.p.) was administered to male Sprague-Dawley rats immediately after inhibitory avoidance training to examine effects on long-term memory, amygdala norepinephrine levels, and hippocampal Arc expression. Corticosterone increased amygdala norepinephrine levels 15 min after inhibitory avoidance training, as assessed by in vivo microdialysis, and enhanced memory tested at 48 h. Corticosterone treatment also increased expression of Arc protein in hippocampal synaptic tissue. The elevation in BLA norepinephrine appears to participate in corticosterone-influenced modulation of hippocampal Arc expression as intra-BLA blockade of beta-adrenoceptors with propranolol (0.5 microg/0.2 microL) attenuated the corticosterone-induced synaptic Arc expression in the hippocampus. These findings indicate that noradrenergic activity at BLA beta-adrenoceptors is involved in corticosterone-induced enhancement of memory consolidation and expression of the synaptic-plasticity-related protein Arc in the hippocampus.

  7. Short-term environmental enrichment enhances synaptic plasticity in hippocampal slices from aged rats.

    PubMed

    Stein, Liana R; O'Dell, Kazuko A; Funatsu, Michiyo; Zorumski, Charles F; Izumi, Yukitoshi

    2016-08-04

    Age-associated changes in cognition are mirrored by impairments in cellular models of memory and learning, such as long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD). In young rodents, environmental enrichment (EE) can enhance memory, alter LTP and LTD, as well as reverse cognitive deficits induced by aging. Whether short-term EE can benefit cognition and synaptic plasticity in aged rodents is unclear. Here, we tested if short-term EE could overcome age-associated impairments in induction of LTP and LTD. LTP and LTD could not be induced in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices in control, aged rats using standard stimuli that are highly effective in young rats. However, exposure of aged littermates to EE for three weeks enabled successful induction of LTP and LTD. EE-facilitated LTP was dependent upon N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs). These alterations in synaptic plasticity occurred with elevated levels of phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein and vascular endothelial growth factor, but in the absence of changes in several other synaptic and cellular markers. Importantly, our study suggests that even a relatively short period of EE is sufficient to alter synaptic plasticity and molecular markers linked to cognitive function in aged animals. Copyright © 2016 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-01-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine. PMID:25122043

  9. Vortioxetine disinhibits pyramidal cell function and enhances synaptic plasticity in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Dale, Elena; Zhang, Hong; Leiser, Steven C; Xiao, Yixin; Lu, Dunguo; Yang, Charles R; Plath, Niels; Sanchez, Connie

    2014-10-01

    Vortioxetine, a novel antidepressant with multimodal action, is a serotonin (5-HT)3, 5-HT7 and 5-HT1D receptor antagonist, a 5-HT1B receptor partial agonist, a 5-HT1A receptor agonist and a 5-HT transporter (SERT) inhibitor. Vortioxetine has been shown to improve cognitive performance in several preclinical rat models and in patients with major depressive disorder. Here we investigated the mechanistic basis for these effects by studying the effect of vortioxetine on synaptic transmission, long-term potentiation (LTP), a cellular correlate of learning and memory, and theta oscillations in the rat hippocampus and frontal cortex. Vortioxetine was found to prevent the 5-HT-induced increase in inhibitory post-synaptic potentials recorded from CA1 pyramidal cells, most likely by 5-HT3 receptor antagonism. Vortioxetine also enhanced LTP in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Finally, vortioxetine increased fronto-cortical theta power during active wake in whole animal electroencephalographic recordings. In comparison, the selective SERT inhibitor escitalopram showed no effect on any of these measures. Taken together, our results indicate that vortioxetine can increase pyramidal cell output, which leads to enhanced synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus. Given the central role of the hippocampus in cognition, these findings may provide a cellular correlate to the observed preclinical and clinical cognition-enhancing effects of vortioxetine. © The Author(s) 2014.

  10. Calmodulin enhances ribbon replenishment and shapes filtering of synaptic transmission by cone photoreceptors

    PubMed Central

    Parmelee, Caitlyn M.; Chen, Minghui; Cork, Karlene M.; Curto, Carina; Thoreson, Wallace B.

    2014-01-01

    At the first synapse in the vertebrate visual pathway, light-evoked changes in photoreceptor membrane potential alter the rate of glutamate release onto second-order retinal neurons. This process depends on the synaptic ribbon, a specialized structure found at various sensory synapses, to provide a supply of primed vesicles for release. Calcium (Ca2+) accelerates the replenishment of vesicles at cone ribbon synapses, but the mechanisms underlying this acceleration and its functional implications for vision are unknown. We studied vesicle replenishment using paired whole-cell recordings of cones and postsynaptic neurons in tiger salamander retinas and found that it involves two kinetic mechanisms, the faster of which was diminished by calmodulin (CaM) inhibitors. We developed an analytical model that can be applied to both conventional and ribbon synapses and showed that vesicle resupply is limited by a simple time constant, τ = 1/(Dρδs), where D is the vesicle diffusion coefficient, δ is the vesicle diameter, ρ is the vesicle density, and s is the probability of vesicle attachment. The combination of electrophysiological measurements, modeling, and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy of single synaptic vesicles suggested that CaM speeds replenishment by enhancing vesicle attachment to the ribbon. Using electroretinogram and whole-cell recordings of light responses, we found that enhanced replenishment improves the ability of cone synapses to signal darkness after brief flashes of light and enhances the amplitude of responses to higher-frequency stimuli. By accelerating the resupply of vesicles to the ribbon, CaM extends the temporal range of synaptic transmission, allowing cones to transmit higher-frequency visual information to downstream neurons. Thus, the ability of the visual system to encode time-varying stimuli is shaped by the dynamics of vesicle replenishment at photoreceptor synaptic ribbons. PMID:25311636

  11. Calmodulin enhances ribbon replenishment and shapes filtering of synaptic transmission by cone photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Van Hook, Matthew J; Parmelee, Caitlyn M; Chen, Minghui; Cork, Karlene M; Curto, Carina; Thoreson, Wallace B

    2014-11-01

    At the first synapse in the vertebrate visual pathway, light-evoked changes in photoreceptor membrane potential alter the rate of glutamate release onto second-order retinal neurons. This process depends on the synaptic ribbon, a specialized structure found at various sensory synapses, to provide a supply of primed vesicles for release. Calcium (Ca(2+)) accelerates the replenishment of vesicles at cone ribbon synapses, but the mechanisms underlying this acceleration and its functional implications for vision are unknown. We studied vesicle replenishment using paired whole-cell recordings of cones and postsynaptic neurons in tiger salamander retinas and found that it involves two kinetic mechanisms, the faster of which was diminished by calmodulin (CaM) inhibitors. We developed an analytical model that can be applied to both conventional and ribbon synapses and showed that vesicle resupply is limited by a simple time constant, τ = 1/(Dρδs), where D is the vesicle diffusion coefficient, δ is the vesicle diameter, ρ is the vesicle density, and s is the probability of vesicle attachment. The combination of electrophysiological measurements, modeling, and total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy of single synaptic vesicles suggested that CaM speeds replenishment by enhancing vesicle attachment to the ribbon. Using electroretinogram and whole-cell recordings of light responses, we found that enhanced replenishment improves the ability of cone synapses to signal darkness after brief flashes of light and enhances the amplitude of responses to higher-frequency stimuli. By accelerating the resupply of vesicles to the ribbon, CaM extends the temporal range of synaptic transmission, allowing cones to transmit higher-frequency visual information to downstream neurons. Thus, the ability of the visual system to encode time-varying stimuli is shaped by the dynamics of vesicle replenishment at photoreceptor synaptic ribbons.

  12. Docosahexaenoic acid dietary supplementation enhances the effects of exercise on synaptic plasticity and cognition.

    PubMed

    Wu, A; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2008-08-26

    Omega-3 fatty acids (i.e. docosahexaenoic acid; DHA), similar to exercise, improve cognitive function, promote neuroplasticity, and protect against neurological lesion. In this study, we investigated a possible synergistic action between DHA dietary supplementation and voluntary exercise on modulating synaptic plasticity and cognition. Rats received DHA dietary supplementation (1.25% DHA) with or without voluntary exercise for 12 days. We found that the DHA-enriched diet significantly increased spatial learning ability, and these effects were enhanced by exercise. The DHA-enriched diet increased levels of pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and mature BDNF, whereas the additional application of exercise boosted the levels of both. Furthermore, the levels of the activated forms of CREB and synapsin I were incremented by the DHA-enriched diet with greater elevation by the concurrent application of exercise. While the DHA diet reduced hippocampal oxidized protein levels, a combination of a DHA diet and exercise resulted in a greater reduction rate. The levels of activated forms of hippocampal Akt and CaMKII were increased by the DHA-enriched diet, and with even greater elevation by a combination of diet and exercise. Akt and CaMKII signaling are crucial step by which BDNF exerts its action on synaptic plasticity and learning and memory. These results indicate that the DHA diet enhanced the effects of exercise on cognition and BDNF-related synaptic plasticity, a capacity that may be used to promote mental health and reduce risk of neurological disorders.

  13. Taurine-Induced Long-Lasting Enhancement of Synaptic Transmission in Mice: Role of Transporters

    PubMed Central

    Sergeeva, O A; Chepkova, A N; Doreulee, N; Eriksson, K S; Poelchen, W; Mönnighoff, I; Heller-Stilb, B; Warskulat, U; Häussinger, D; Haas, H L

    2003-01-01

    Taurine, a major osmolyte in the brain evokes a long-lasting enhancement (LLETAU) of synaptic transmission in hippocampal and cortico-striatal slices. Hippocampal LLETAU was abolished by the GABA uptake blocker nipecotic acid (NPA) but not by the taurine-uptake inhibitor guanidinoethyl sulphonate (GES). Striatal LLETAU was sensitive to GES but not to NPA. Semiquantitative PCR analysis and immunohistochemistry revealed that taurine transporter expression is significantly higher in the striatum than in the hippocampus. Taurine transporter-deficient mice displayed very low taurine levels in both structures and a low ability to develop LLETAU in the striatum, but not in the hippocampus. The different mechanisms of taurine-induced synaptic plasticity may reflect the different vulnerabilities of these brain regions under pathological conditions that are accompanied by osmotic changes such as hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:12824447

  14. Autonomous CaMKII requires further stimulation by Ca2+/calmodulin for enhancing synaptic strength.

    PubMed

    Barcomb, Kelsey; Buard, Isabelle; Coultrap, Steven J; Kulbe, Jacqueline R; O'Leary, Heather; Benke, Timothy A; Bayer, K Ulrich

    2014-08-01

    A hallmark feature of Ca(2+)/calmodulin (CaM)-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) is generation of autonomous (Ca(2+)-independent) activity by T286 autophosphorylation. Biochemical studies have shown that "autonomous" CaMKII is ∼5-fold further stimulated by Ca(2+)/CaM, but demonstration of a physiological function for such regulation within cells has remained elusive. In this study, CaMKII-induced enhancement of synaptic strength in rat hippocampal neurons required both autonomous activity and further stimulation. Synaptic strength was decreased by CaMKIIα knockdown and rescued by reexpression, but not by mutants impaired for autonomy (T286A) or binding to NMDA-type glutamate receptor subunit 2B (GluN2B; formerly NR2B; I205K). Full rescue was seen with constitutively autonomous mutants (T286D), but only if they could be further stimulated (additional T305/306A mutation), and not with two other mutations that additionally impair Ca(2+)/CaM binding. Compared to rescue with wild-type CaMKII, the CaM-binding-impaired mutants even had reduced synaptic strength. One of these mutants (T305/306D) mimicked an inhibitory autophosphorylation of CaMKII, whereas the other one (Δstim) abolished CaM binding without introducing charged residues. Inhibitory T305/306 autophosphorylation also reduced GluN2B binding, but this effect was independent of reduced Ca(2+)/CaM binding and was not mimicked by T305/306D mutation. Thus, even autonomous CaMKII activity must be further stimulated by Ca(2+)/CaM for enhancement of synaptic strength.

  15. Synaptic enhancement induced by gintonin via lysophosphatidic acid receptor activation in central synapses.

    PubMed

    Park, Hoyong; Kim, Sungmin; Rhee, Jeehae; Kim, Hyeon-Joong; Han, Jung-Soo; Nah, Seung-Yeol; Chung, ChiHye

    2015-03-01

    Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) is one of the well-characterized, ubiquitous phospholipid molecules. LPA exerts its effect by activating G protein-coupled receptors known as LPA receptors (LPARs). So far, LPAR signaling has been critically implicated during early development stages, including the regulation of synapse formation and the morphology of cortical and hippocampal neurons. In adult brains, LPARs seem to participate in cognitive as well as emotional learning and memory. Recent studies using LPAR1-deficient mice reported impaired performances in a number of behavioral tasks, including the hippocampus-dependent spatial memory and fear conditioning tests. Nevertheless, the effect of LPAR activation in the synaptic transmission of central synapses after the completion of embryonic development has not been investigated. In this study, we took advantage of a novel extracellular agonist for LPARs called gintonin to activate LPARs in adult brain systems. Gintonin, a recently identified active ingredient in ginseng, has been shown to activate LPARs and mobilize Ca(2+) in an artificial cell system. We found that the activation of LPARs by application of gintonin acutely enhanced both excitatory and inhibitory transmission in central synapses, albeit through tentatively distinct mechanisms. Gintonin-mediated LPAR activation primarily resulted in synaptic enhancement and an increase in neuronal excitability in a phospholipase C-dependent manner. Our findings suggest that LPARs are able to directly potentiate synaptic transmission in central synapses when stimulated exogenously. Therefore, LPARs could serve as a useful target to modulate synaptic activity under pathological conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases. Copyright © 2015 the American Physiological Society.

  16. Enhanced excitatory synaptic network activity following transient group I metabotropic glutamate activation.

    PubMed

    Pan, Y-Z; Rutecki, P A

    2014-09-05

    Prolonged activation of group I metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs) using the agonist (S)-3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) produces long-lasting changes in the CA3 region of the hippocampal slice. Changes in CA3 pyramidal neuron excitability that follow DHPG exposure result in abnormal network activity manifest by epileptiform activity that consists of interictal and longer lasting ictal epileptiform discharges. In this study we evaluated changes in synaptic activity of CA3 neurons in rat hippocampal slices that occurred after exposure to DHPG. Whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings were made from visually identified CA3 neurons in control artificial cerebrospinal fluid at times greater than 1h after DHPG exposure. Compared to control slices, neurons from slices exposed to DHPG showed enhanced amplitude and frequency of spontaneously occurring excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) without a concurrent change in inhibitory postsynaptic current (IPSC) amplitude or frequency. Miniature EPSCs were not affected by DHPG exposure but mIPSCs occurred less frequently and were of reduced amplitude. IPSCs recorded in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor blockade occurred less frequently in neurons that had been exposed to DHPG. Monosynaptic-evoked IPSPs were also reduced in amplitude in neurons that had been exposed to DHPG. Taken together, these findings demonstrated an enhanced network excitability of the CA3 region and failure of compensatory synaptic inhibition. We propose that prolonged activation of group I mGluR that may occur under conditions of pathological glutamate release results in long-lasting changes in CA3 synaptic network activity and epileptiform activity driven by excessive synaptic excitation.

  17. Persistent CaMKII activation mediates learning-induced long-lasting enhancement of synaptic inhibition.

    PubMed

    Ghosh, Sourav; Reuveni, Iris; Lamprecht, Raphael; Barkai, Edi

    2015-01-07

    Training rats in a particularly difficult olfactory-discrimination task results in acquisition of high skill to perform the task superbly, termed "rule learning" or "learning set." Such complex learning results in enhanced intrinsic neuronal excitability of piriform cortex pyramidal neurons, and in their excitatory synaptic interconnections. These changes, while subserving memory maintenance, must be counterbalanced by modifications that prevent overspreading of activity and uncontrolled synaptic strengthening. Indeed, we have previously shown that the average amplitude of GABAA-mediated miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) in these neurons is enhanced for several days after learning, an enhancement mediated via a postsynaptic mechanism. To unravel the molecular mechanism of this long-term inhibition enhancement, we tested the role of key second-messenger systems in maintaining such long-lasting modulation. The calcium/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) blocker, KN93, significantly reduced the average mIPSC amplitude in neurons from trained rats only to the average pretraining level. A similar effect was obtained by the CaMKII peptide inhibitor, tatCN21. Such reduction resulted from decreased single-channel conductance and not in the number of activated channels. The PKC inhibitor, GF109203X, reduced the average mIPSC amplitude in neurons from naive, pseudo-trained, and trained animals, and the difference between the trained and control groups remained. Such reduction resulted from a decrease in the number of activated channels. The PKA inhibitor H89 dihydrochloride did not affect the average mIPSC amplitude in neurons from any of the three groups. We conclude that learning-induced enhancement of GABAA-mediated synaptic inhibition is maintained by persistent CaMKII activation.

  18. Action potential broadening induced by lithium may cause a presynaptic enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in neonatal rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Colino, A; García-Seoane, J J; Valentín, A

    1998-07-01

    Lithium enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in CA1 pyramidal cells, but the mechanisms remain unclear. The present study demonstrates that lithium enhances the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-isoxazole propionic acid (AMPA) receptor-mediated components of the excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC). Lithium decreased the magnitude of paired-pulse facilitation and presented an inverse correlation between the lithium-induced enhancement of synaptic transmission and initial paired-pulse facilitation, which is consistent with a presynaptic mode of action. The enhancement of synaptic strength is likely to act, at least in part, by increasing the amplitude of the presynaptic Ca2+ transient. One mechanism which could account for this change of the presynaptic Ca2+ transient is an increase in the duration of the action potential. We investigated action potential in hippocampal pyramidal neurons and found that lithium (0.5-6 mM) increased the half-amplitude duration and reduced the rate of repolarization, whereas the rate of depolarization remained similar. To find out whether the lithium synaptic effects might be explained by spike broadening, we investigated the field recording of the excitatory postsynaptic potential (EPSP) in hippocampal slices and found three lines of evidence. First, the prolongation of the presynaptic action potential with 4-aminopyridine and tetraethylammonium blocked or reduced the synaptic effects of lithium. Second, the lithium-induced synaptic enhancement was modulated when presynaptic Ca2+ influx was varied by changing the external Ca2+ concentration. Finally, both effects, the synaptic transmission increment and the action potential broadening, were independent of inositol depletion. These results suggest that lithium enhances synaptic transmission in the hippocampus via a presynaptic site of action: the mechanism underlying the potentiating effect may be attributable to an increased Ca2+ influx consequent

  19. Enhanced astroglial Ca2+ signaling increases excitatory synaptic strength in the epileptic brain.

    PubMed

    Álvarez-Ferradas, Carla; Morales, Juan Carlos; Wellmann, Mario; Nualart, Francisco; Roncagliolo, Manuel; Fuenzalida, Marco; Bonansco, Christian

    2015-09-01

    The fine-tuning of synaptic transmission by astrocyte signaling is crucial to CNS physiology. However, how exactly astroglial excitability and gliotransmission are affected in several neuropathologies, including epilepsy, remains unclear. Here, using a chronic model of temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) in rats, we found that astrocytes from astrogliotic hippocampal slices displayed an augmented incidence of TTX-insensitive spontaneous slow Ca(2+) transients (STs), suggesting a hyperexcitable pattern of astroglial activity. As a consequence, elevated glutamate-mediated gliotransmission, observed as increased slow inward current (SICs) frequency, up-regulates the probability of neurotransmitter release in CA3-CA1 synapses. Selective blockade of spontaneous astroglial Ca(2+) elevations as well as the inhibition of purinergic P2Y1 or mGluR5 receptors relieves the abnormal enhancement of synaptic strength. Moreover, mGluR5 blockade eliminates any synaptic effects induced by P2Y1R inhibition alone, suggesting that the Pr modulation via mGluR occurs downstream of P2Y1R-mediated Ca(2+)-dependent glutamate release from astrocyte. Our findings show that elevated Ca(2+)-dependent glutamate gliotransmission from hyperexcitable astrocytes up-regulates excitatory neurotransmission in epileptic hippocampus, suggesting that gliotransmission should be considered as a novel functional key in a broad spectrum of neuropathological conditions. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  20. Enhancement of synaptic transmission induced by BDNF in cultured cortical neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, Jun; Gong, Hui; Zeng, Shaoqun; Li, Yanling; Luo, Qingming

    2005-03-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), like other neurotrophins, has long-term effects on neuronal survival and differentiation; furthermore, BDNF has been reported to exert an acute potentiation of synaptic activity and are critically involved in long-term potentiation (LTP). We found that BDNF rapidly induced potentiation of synaptic activity and an increase in the intracellular Ca2+ concentration in cultured cortical neurons. Within minutes of BDNF application to cultured cortical neurons, spontaneous firing rate was dramatically increased as were the frequency and amplitude of excitatory spontaneous postsynaptic currents (EPSCs). Fura-2 recordings showed that BDNF acutely elicited an increase in intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca2+]c). This effect was partially dependent on [Ca2+]o; The BDNF-induced increase in [Ca2+]c can not be completely blocked by Ca2+-free solution. It was completely blocked by K252a and partially blocked by Cd2+ and TTX. The results demonstrate that BDNF can enhances synaptic transmission and that this effect is accompanied by a rise in [Ca2+]c that requires two route: the release of Ca2+ from intracellular calcium stores and influx of extracellular Ca2+ through voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels in cultured cortical neurons.

  1. Histone deacetylase 2 cell autonomously suppresses excitatory and enhances inhibitory synaptic function in CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jesse E; Deng, Lunbin; Hackos, David H; Lo, Shih-Ching; Lauffer, Benjamin E; Steiner, Pascal; Zhou, Qiang

    2013-04-03

    Histone deacetylase 2 (HDAC2) negatively regulates excitatory synapse number and memory performance. However, whether HDAC2 regulation of excitatory synapses occurs in a cell-autonomous manner and whether HDAC2 regulates inhibitory synaptic functions are not well understood. To examine these aspects of HDAC2 function, we used sparse transfection of rat hippocampal slice cultures and whole-cell recordings in pyramidal neurons. HDAC2 knockdown (KD) in single postsynaptic pyramidal neurons enhanced, whereas HDAC2 overexpression (OE) reduced, excitatory synaptic transmission. Postsynaptic KD of HDAC2 also facilitated expression of long-term potentiation induced by subthreshold induction stimuli, without altering long-term depression. In contrast, HDAC2 KD reduced, whereas HDAC2 OE enhanced, inhibitory synaptic transmission. Alterations of postsynaptic GABA(A) receptors (GABA(A)Rs) likely underlie the impact of HDAC2 on inhibitory transmission. Consistent with this, we observed reduced transcript and protein levels of the GABA(A)R γ2 subunit and reduced surface expression of the α2 subunit after HDAC2 KD. Furthermore, we observed a reduction in synaptic but not tonic GABA(A)R currents by HDAC2 KD, suggesting that HDAC2 selectively affects synaptic abundance of functional GABA(A)Rs. Immunostaining for postsynaptic GABA(A)Rs confirmed that HDAC2 KD and OE can regulate the synaptic abundance of these receptors. Together, these results highlight a role for HDAC2 in suppressing synaptic excitation and enhancing synaptic inhibition of hippocampal neurons. Therefore, a shift in the balance of synaptic excitation versus inhibition favoring excitation could contribute to the beneficial effects of reducing HDAC2 function in wild-type mice or of inhibiting HDACs in models of cognitive impairment.

  2. Mossy fiber synaptic transmission: communication from the dentate gyrus to area CA3.

    PubMed

    Jaffe, David B; Gutiérrez, Rafael

    2007-01-01

    Communication between the dentate gyrus (DG) and area CA3 of the hippocampus proper is transmitted via axons of granule cells--the mossy fiber (MF) pathway. In this review we discuss and compare the properties of transmitter release from the MFs onto pyramidal neurons and interneurons. An examination of the anatomical connectivity from DG to CA3 reveals a surprising interplay between excitation and inhibition for this circuit. In this respect it is particularly relevant that the major targets of the MFs are interneurons and that the consequence of MF input into CA3 may be inhibitory or excitatory, conditionally dependent on the frequency of input and modulatory regulation. This is further complicated by the properties of transmitter release from the MFs where a large number of co-localized transmitters, including GABAergic inhibitory transmitter release, and the effects of presynaptic modulation finely tune transmitter release. A picture emerges that extends beyond the hypothesis that the MFs are simply "detonators" of CA3 pyramidal neurons; the properties of synaptic information flow from the DG have more subtle and complex influences on the CA3 network.

  3. Transient Enhancement of Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampal CA1 Pyramidal Neurons after Cerebral Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Rui; Pang, Zhi-Ping; Deng, Ping; Xu, Zao C.

    2009-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in hippocampal CA1 regions are highly sensitive to cerebral ischemia. Alterations of excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission may contribute to the ischemia-induced neuronal degeneration. However, little is known about the changes of GABAergic synaptic transmission in the hippocampus following reperfusion. We examined the GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in CA1 pyramidal neurons 12 hours and 24 hours after transient forebrain ischemia. The amplitudes of evoked IPSCs (eIPSCs) were increased significantly 12 hours after ischemia and returned to control levels 24 hours following reperfusion. The potentiation of eIPSCs was accompanied by an increase of miniature IPSCs (mIPSCs) amplitude, and an enhanced response to exogenous application of GABA, indicating the involvement of postsynaptic mechanisms. Furthermore, there was no obvious change of the paired-pulse ratio (PPR) of eIPSCs and the frequency of mIPSCs, suggesting that the potentiation of eIPSCs might not be due to the increased presynaptic release. Blockade of adenosine A1 receptors led to a decrease of eIPSCs amplitude in post-ischemic neurons but not in control neurons, without affecting the frequency of mIPSCs and the PPR of eIPSCs. Thus, tonic activation of adenosine A1 receptors might, at least in part, contribute to the enhancement of inhibitory synaptic transmission in CA1 neurons after forebrain ischemia. The transient enhancement of inhibitory neurotransmission might temporarily protect CA1 pyramidal neurons, and delay the process of neuronal death after cerebral ischemia. PMID:19258028

  4. Can Communicative Principles Enhance Classical Language Acquisition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overland, Paul; Fields, Lee; Noonan, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    Is it feasible for nonfluent instructors to teach Biblical Hebrew by communicative principles? If it is feasible, will communicative instruction enhance postsecondary learning of a classical language? To begin answering these questions, two consultants representing second language acquisition (SLA) and technology-assisted language learning led 8…

  5. Can Communicative Principles Enhance Classical Language Acquisition?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Overland, Paul; Fields, Lee; Noonan, Jennifer

    2011-01-01

    Is it feasible for nonfluent instructors to teach Biblical Hebrew by communicative principles? If it is feasible, will communicative instruction enhance postsecondary learning of a classical language? To begin answering these questions, two consultants representing second language acquisition (SLA) and technology-assisted language learning led 8…

  6. Creative Methodologies to Enhance Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Lucille; Brewer, Gayle

    2016-01-01

    The experiences and opinions of people with learning disabilities are often ignored or devalued. Oral and life history projects allow individuals to communicate their own opinions and experiences. This process can lead to more meaningful interactions between those with learning disabilities and support workers. Whilst the interview techniques…

  7. Creative Methodologies to Enhance Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kennedy, Lucille; Brewer, Gayle

    2016-01-01

    The experiences and opinions of people with learning disabilities are often ignored or devalued. Oral and life history projects allow individuals to communicate their own opinions and experiences. This process can lead to more meaningful interactions between those with learning disabilities and support workers. Whilst the interview techniques…

  8. Regulation of AMPA receptor surface trafficking and synaptic plasticity by a cognitive enhancer and antidepressant molecule.

    PubMed

    Zhang, H; Etherington, L-A; Hafner, A-S; Belelli, D; Coussen, F; Delagrange, P; Chaouloff, F; Spedding, M; Lambert, J J; Choquet, D; Groc, L

    2013-04-01

    The plasticity of excitatory synapses is an essential brain process involved in cognitive functions, and dysfunctions of such adaptations have been linked to psychiatric disorders such as depression. Although the intracellular cascades that are altered in models of depression and stress-related disorders have been under considerable scrutiny, the molecular interplay between antidepressants and glutamatergic signaling remains elusive. Using a combination of electrophysiological and single nanoparticle tracking approaches, we here report that the cognitive enhancer and antidepressant tianeptine (S 1574, [3-chloro-6-methyl-5,5-dioxo-6,11-dihydro-(c,f)-dibenzo-(1,2-thiazepine)-11-yl) amino]-7 heptanoic acid, sodium salt) favors synaptic plasticity in hippocampal neurons both under basal conditions and after acute stress. Strikingly, tianeptine rapidly reduces the surface diffusion of AMPA receptor (AMPAR) through a Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII)-dependent mechanism that enhances the binding of AMPAR auxiliary subunit stargazin with PSD-95. This prevents corticosterone-induced AMPAR surface dispersal and restores long-term potentiation of acutely stressed mice. Collectively, these data provide the first evidence that a therapeutically used drug targets the surface diffusion of AMPAR through a CaMKII-stargazin-PSD-95 pathway, to promote long-term synaptic plasticity.

  9. Enhanced synaptic responses in the piriform cortex associated with sexual stimulation in the male rat.

    PubMed

    Pfaus, J G; Tse, T L M; Werk, C M; Chanda, M L; Leblonde, A; Harbour, V L; Chapman, C A

    2009-12-29

    Male rats that copulate to ejaculation with female rats bearing an odor show a learned preference to ejaculate selectively with females that bear the odor. This conditioned ejaculatory preference reflects an association between the odor and the reward state induced by ejaculation. Although little is known about the neuronal mechanisms that mediate this form of learning, convergence of genitosensory and olfactory inputs occurs in both hypothalamic and cortical regions, notably within primary olfactory (piriform) cortex, which may be involved in the encoding or storage of the association. The present study contrasted the ability of genital investigations, mounts, intromissions, ejaculations, and a sexually conditioned olfactory stimulus, to enhance evoked synaptic field potentials in the piriform cortex. Rats in the Paired group underwent conditioning trials in which they copulated with sexually receptive females bearing an almond odor. Rats in the Unpaired control group copulated with receptive females bearing no odor. Responses in the piriform cortex evoked by electrical stimulation of the olfactory bulb were recorded in male rats as they engaged in different aspects of sexual behavior, and were also recorded after conditioning, during exposure to cotton swabs bearing the almond odor. The monosynaptic component of responses was increased during intromission and ejaculation, and the late component of responses was increased during anogenital sniffing and mounting (with or without intromission). However, no differences in the amplitudes of evoked responses were found between the Paired and Unpaired groups, and no differences in synaptic responses were found during presentation of the odor after conditioning. These data indicate that short-term alterations in synaptic responsiveness occur in piriform cortex as a function of sexual stimulation in the male rat, but that responses are not significantly altered by a conditioned odor.

  10. Toluene decreases Purkinje cell output by enhancing inhibitory synaptic transmission in the cerebellar cortex.

    PubMed

    Gmaz, Jimmie M; McKay, Bruce E

    2014-02-07

    Toluene belongs to a class of psychoactive drugs known as inhalants. Found in common household products such as adhesives, paint products, and aerosols, toluene is inhaled for its intoxicating and euphoric properties. Additionally, exposure to toluene disrupts motor behaviors in a manner consistent with impairments to cerebellar function. Previous work has suggested a role of GABA in mediating toluene's neurobehavioral effects, but how this manifests in the cerebellar cortex is not yet understood. In the present study, we examined the effects of toluene on cerebellar Purkinje cell action potential output and inhibitory synaptic transmission onto Purkinje cells using patch clamp electrophysiology in acute rat cerebellar slices. Toluene (1mM) reduced the frequency of Purkinje cell action potential output without affecting input resistance. Furthermore, toluene dose-dependently enhanced inhibitory synaptic transmission onto Purkinje cells, increasing the amplitude and frequency of inhibitory postsynaptic currents; no change in the frequency of action potentials from molecular layer interneurons was noted. The observed decreases in Purkinje cell action potential output could contribute to toluene-evoked impairments in cerebellar and motor functions. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Enhanced synaptic connectivity and epilepsy in C1q knockout mice.

    PubMed

    Chu, Yunxiang; Jin, Xiaoming; Parada, Isabel; Pesic, Alexei; Stevens, Beth; Barres, Ben; Prince, David A

    2010-04-27

    Excessive CNS synapses are eliminated during development to establish mature patterns of neuronal connectivity. A complement cascade protein, C1q, is involved in this process. Mice deficient in C1q fail to refine retinogeniculate connections resulting in excessive retinal innervation of lateral geniculate neurons. We hypothesized that C1q knockout (KO) mice would exhibit defects in neocortical synapse elimination resulting in enhanced excitatory synaptic connectivity and epileptiform activity. We recorded spontaneous and evoked field potential activity in neocortical slices and obtained video-EEG recordings from implanted C1q KO and wild-type (WT) mice. We also used laser scanning photostimulation of caged glutamate and whole cell recordings to map excitatory and inhibitory synaptic connectivity. Spontaneous and evoked epileptiform field potentials occurred at multiple sites in neocortical slices from C1q KO, but not WT mice. Laser mapping experiments in C1q KO slices showed that the proportion of glutamate uncaging sites from which excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) could be evoked ("hotspot ratio") increased significantly in layer IV and layer V, although EPSC amplitudes were unaltered. Density of axonal boutons was significantly increased in layer V pyramidal neurons of C1q KO mice. Implanted KO mice had frequent behavioral seizures consisting of behavioral arrest associated with bihemispheric spikes and slow wave activity lasting from 5 to 30 s. Results indicate that epileptogenesis in C1q KO mice is related to a genetically determined failure to prune excessive excitatory synapses during development.

  12. The Enhanced Rise and Delayed Fall of Memory in a Model of Synaptic Integration: Extension to Discrete State Synapses.

    PubMed

    Elliott, Terry

    2016-09-01

    Integrate-and-express models of synaptic plasticity propose that synapses may act as low-pass filters, integrating synaptic plasticity induction signals in order to discern trends before expressing synaptic plasticity. We have previously shown that synaptic filtering strongly controls destabilizing fluctuations in developmental models. When applied to palimpsest memory systems that learn new memories by forgetting old ones, we have also shown that with binary-strength synapses, integrative synapses lead to an initial memory signal rise before its fall back to equilibrium. Such an initial rise is in dramatic contrast to nonintegrative synapses, in which the memory signal falls monotonically. We now extend our earlier analysis of palimpsest memories with synaptic filters to consider the more general case of discrete state, multilevel synapses. We derive exact results for the memory signal dynamics and then consider various simplifying approximations. We show that multilevel synapses enhance the initial rise in the memory signal and then delay its subsequent fall by inducing a plateau-like region in the memory signal. Such dynamics significantly increase memory lifetimes, defined by a signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). We derive expressions for optimal choices of synaptic parameters (filter size, number of strength states, number of synapses) that maximize SNR memory lifetimes. However, we find that with memory lifetimes defined via mean-first-passage times, such optimality conditions do not exist, suggesting that optimality may be an artifact of SNRs.

  13. Enhancing Disease Surveillance Event Communication Among Jurisdictions.

    PubMed

    Tabernero, Nathaniel R; Loschen, Wayne A; Jorgensen, Joel; Suereth, Joshua; Coberly, Jacqueline S; Holtry, Rekha S; Sikes, Marvin L; Babin, Steven M; Lewis, Sheryl L Happel

    2009-01-01

    Automated disease surveillance systems are becoming widely used by the public health community. However, communication among non-collocated and widely dispersed users still needs improvement. A web-based software tool for enhancing user communications was completely integrated into an existing automated disease surveillance system and was tested during two simulated exercises and operational use involving multiple jurisdictions. Evaluation of this tool was conducted by user meetings, anonymous surveys, and web logs. Public health officials found this tool to be useful, and the tool has been modified further to incorporate features suggested by user responses. Features of the automated disease surveillance system, such as alerts and time series plots, can be specifically referenced by user comments. The user may also indicate the alert response being considered by adding a color indicator to their comment. The web-based event communication tool described in this article provides a common ground for collaboration and communication among public health officials at different locations.

  14. Disrupted Dentate Granule Cell Chloride Regulation Enhances Synaptic Excitability during Development of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Pathak, Hemal R.; Weissinger, Florian; Terunuma, Miho; Carlson, Gregory C.; Hsu, Fu-Chun; Moss, Stephen J.; Coulter, Douglas A.

    2008-01-01

    GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition depends on the maintenance of intracellular Cl− concentration ([Cl−]in ) at low levels. In neurons in the developing CNS, [Cl−]in is elevated, EGABA is depolarizing, and GABA consequently is excitatory. Depolarizing GABAergic synaptic responses may be recapitulated in various neuropathological conditions, including epilepsy. In the present study, rat hippocampal dentate granule cells were recorded using gramicidin perforated patch techniques at varying times (1–60 d) after an epileptogenic injury, pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus (STEP). In normal, non-epileptic animals, these strongly inhibited dentate granule cells act as a gate, regulating hippocampal excitation, controlling seizure initiation and/or propagation. For 2 weeks after STEP, we found that EGABA was positively shifted in granule cells. This shift in EGABA altered synaptic integration, increased granule cell excitability, and resulted in compromised “gate” function of the dentate gyrus. EGABA recovered to control values at longer latencies post-STEP (2–8 weeks), when animals had developed epilepsy. During this period of shifted EGABA, expression of the Cl− extruding K+/Cl− cotransporter, KCC2 was decreased. Application of the KCC2 blocker, furosemide, to control neurons mimicked EGABA shifts evident in granule cells post-STEP. Furthermore, post-STEP and furosemide effects interacted occlusively, both on EGABA in granule cells, and on gatekeeper function of the dentate gyrus. This suggests a shared mechanism, reduced KCC2 function. These findings demonstrate that decreased expression of KCC2 persists for weeks after an epileptogenic injury, reducing inhibitory efficacy and enhancing dentate granule cell excitability. This pathophysiological process may constitute a significant mechanism linking injury to the subsequent development of epilepsy. PMID:18094240

  15. SAHA enhances synaptic function and plasticity in vitro but has limited brain availability in vivo and does not impact cognition.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jesse E; La, Hank; Plise, Emile; Chen, Yung-Hsiang; Ding, Xiao; Hanania, Taleen; Sabath, Emily V; Alexandrov, Vadim; Brunner, Dani; Leahy, Emer; Steiner, Pascal; Liu, Lichuan; Scearce-Levie, Kimberly; Zhou, Qiang

    2013-01-01

    Suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA) is an inhibitor of histone deacetylases (HDACs) used for the treatment of cutaneous T cell lymphoma (CTCL) and under consideration for other indications. In vivo studies suggest reducing HDAC function can enhance synaptic function and memory, raising the possibility that SAHA treatment could have neurological benefits. We first examined the impacts of SAHA on synaptic function in vitro using rat organotypic hippocampal brain slices. Following several days of SAHA treatment, basal excitatory but not inhibitory synaptic function was enhanced. Presynaptic release probability and intrinsic neuronal excitability were unaffected suggesting SAHA treatment selectively enhanced postsynaptic excitatory function. In addition, long-term potentiation (LTP) of excitatory synapses was augmented, while long-term depression (LTD) was impaired in SAHA treated slices. Despite the in vitro synaptic enhancements, in vivo SAHA treatment did not rescue memory deficits in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Along with the lack of behavioral impact, pharmacokinetic analysis indicated poor brain availability of SAHA. Broader assessment of in vivo SAHA treatment using high-content phenotypic characterization of C57Bl6 mice failed to demonstrate significant behavioral effects of up to 150 mg/kg SAHA following either acute or chronic injections. Potentially explaining the low brain exposure and lack of behavioral impacts, SAHA was found to be a substrate of the blood brain barrier (BBB) efflux transporters Pgp and Bcrp1. Thus while our in vitro data show that HDAC inhibition can enhance excitatory synaptic strength and potentiation, our in vivo data suggests limited brain availability may contribute to the lack of behavioral impact of SAHA following peripheral delivery. These results do not predict CNS effects of SAHA during clinical use and also emphasize the importance of analyzing brain drug levels when interpreting preclinical

  16. Enhanced sensing and communication via quantum networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, James F.

    2017-05-01

    A network based on quantum information has been developed to improve sensing and communications capabilities. Quantum teleportation offers features for communicating information not found in classical procedures. It is fundamental to the quantum network approach. A version of quantum teleportation based on hyper-entanglement is used to bring about these improvements. Recently invented methods of improving sensing and communication via quantum information based on hyper-entanglement are discussed. These techniques offer huge improvements in the SNR, signal to interference ratio, and time-on-target of various sensors including RADAR and LADAR. Hyper-entanglement refers to quantum entanglement in more than one degree of freedom, e.g. polarization, energy-time, orbital angular momentum (OAM), etc. The quantum network makes use of quantum memory located in each node of the network, thus the network forms a quantum repeater. The quantum repeater facilitates the use of quantum teleportation, and superdense coding. Superdense coding refers to the ability to incorporate more than one classical bit into each transmitted qubit. The network of sensors and/or communication devices has an enhanced resistance to interference sources. The repeater has the potential for greatly reducing loss in communications and sensor systems related to the effect of the atmosphere on fragile quantum states. Measures of effectiveness (MOEs) are discussed that show the utility of the network for improving sensing and communications in the presence of loss and noise. The quantum repeater will reduce overall size, weight, power and cost (SWAPC) of fielded components of systems.

  17. Enhanced quantum communication via optical refocusing

    SciTech Connect

    Lupo, Cosmo; Giovannetti, Vittorio; Pirandola, Stefano; Mancini, Stefano; Lloyd, Seth

    2011-07-15

    We consider the problem of quantum communication mediated by a passive optical refocusing system. The model captures the basic features of all those situations in which a signal is either refocused by a repeater for long-distance communication, or it is focused on a detector prior to the information decoding process. Introducing a general method for linear passive optical systems, we determine the conditions under which optical refocusing implies information transmission gain. Although the finite aperture of the repeater may cause loss of information, we show that the presence of the refocusing system can substantially enhance the rate of reliable communication with respect to the free-space propagation. We explicitly address the transferring of classical messages over the quantum channel, but the results can be easily extended to include the case of transferring quantum messages as well.

  18. Enhanced quantum communication via optical refocusing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lupo, Cosmo; Giovannetti, Vittorio; Pirandola, Stefano; Mancini, Stefano; Lloyd, Seth

    2011-07-01

    We consider the problem of quantum communication mediated by a passive optical refocusing system. The model captures the basic features of all those situations in which a signal is either refocused by a repeater for long-distance communication, or it is focused on a detector prior to the information decoding process. Introducing a general method for linear passive optical systems, we determine the conditions under which optical refocusing implies information transmission gain. Although the finite aperture of the repeater may cause loss of information, we show that the presence of the refocusing system can substantially enhance the rate of reliable communication with respect to the free-space propagation. We explicitly address the transferring of classical messages over the quantum channel, but the results can be easily extended to include the case of transferring quantum messages as well.

  19. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  20. Reelin Supplementation Enhances Cognitive Ability, Synaptic Plasticity, and Dendritic Spine Density

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rogers, Justin T.; Rusiana, Ian; Trotter, Justin; Zhao, Lisa; Donaldson, Erika; Pak, Daniel T.S.; Babus, Lenard W.; Peters, Melinda; Banko, Jessica L.; Chavis, Pascale; Rebeck, G. William; Hoe, Hyang-Sook; Weeber, Edwin J.

    2011-01-01

    Apolipoprotein receptors belong to an evolutionarily conserved surface receptor family that has intimate roles in the modulation of synaptic plasticity and is necessary for proper hippocampal-dependent memory formation. The known lipoprotein receptor ligand Reelin is important for normal synaptic plasticity, dendritic morphology, and cognitive…

  1. Chronic fluoxetine administration enhances synaptic plasticity and increases functional dynamics in hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses.

    PubMed

    Dina, Popova; Castren, Eero; Taira, Tomi

    2017-09-05

    Recent studies demonstrate that chronic administration of the widely used antidepressant fluoxetine (FLX) promotes neurogenesis, synaptogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the adult hippocampus, cortex and amygdala. However, the mechanisms underlying these effects and how are they related to the clinical antidepressant efficacy are still poorly understood. We show here that chronic FLX administration decreases hippocampus-associated neophobia in naïve mice. In parallel, electrophysiological recordings in hippocampal CA3-CA1 circuitry revealed that the FLX treatment resulted in increased short- and long-term plasticity likely attributed to changes in presynaptic function. These changes were accompanied by enhancement in the expression of proteins related to vesicular trafficking and release, namely synaptophysin, synaptotagmin 1, MUNC 18 and syntaxin 1. Thus, chronic FLX administration is associated with enhanced synaptic dynamics atypical of mature CA1 synapses, elevated hippocampal plasticity, improved hippocampus-dependent behavior as well as altered expression of synaptic proteins regulating neurotransmitter trafficking and release. The results support the idea that antidepressants can promote neuronal plasticity and show that they can increase the functional dynamic range and information processing in synaptic circuitries. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Enhancement of synaptic transmission and nociceptive behaviour in HPC-1/syntaxin 1A knockout mice following peripheral nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Takasusuki, T; Fujiwara, T; Yamaguchi, S; Fukushima, T; Akagawa, K; Hori, Y

    2007-10-01

    Our previous analysis of HPC-1/syntaxin 1A knockout (KO) mice indicated that HPC-1/syntaxin 1A plays an important role in the synaptic plasticity of the hippocampus in vitro and learning behaviour in vivo. In order to gain further insights into the physiological functions of HPC-1/syntaxin 1A, we studied the changes in the plasticity of synaptic transmission in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord following a peripheral nerve injury in HPC-1/syntaxin 1A KO and wild-type (WT) mice. The von Frey filament test revealed that partial ligation of the sciatic nerve caused neuropathic pain in both WT and KO mice. However, KO mice showed significant enhancement of mechanical allodynia as compared with WT mice. Tight-seal whole-cell recordings were obtained from neurons in the superficial dorsal horn of the spinal cord slices. Electrical stimulus-evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs), asynchronous EPSCs (aEPSCs) in the presence of strontium, and spontaneously occurring miniature EPSCs (mEPSCs) were analysed. Prior to peripheral nerve ligation, no significant differences were observed in the properties of evoked EPSCs, aEPSCs and mEPSCs in KO and WT mice. Seven-14 days after partial ligation, the amplitude of evoked EPSCs and the frequency of aEPSCs and mEPSCs in KO mice were significantly greater than those in WT mice; however, the amplitude of aEPSCs and mEPSCs remained unchanged in both groups. Enhanced allodynia behaviour and significant enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission following peripheral nerve ligation in KO mice suggest that HPC-1/syntaxin 1A might play a role in synaptic plasticity in the nociceptive pathway.

  3. Enhancing the Communication of Climate Change Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Somerville, R. C.; Hassol, S. J.

    2011-12-01

    Climate scientists have an important role to play in the critical task of informing the public, media and policymakers. Scientists can help in publicizing and illuminating climate science. However, this task requires combining climate science expertise with advanced communication skills. For example, it is entirely possible to convey scientific information accurately without using jargon or technical concepts unfamiliar to non-scientists. However, making this translation into everyday language is a job that few scientists have been trained to do. In this talk, we give examples from our recent experience working with scientists to enhance their ability to communicate well. Our work includes providing training, technical assistance, and communications tools to climate scientists and universities, government agencies, and research centers. Our experience ranges from preparing Congressional testimony to writing major climate science reports to appearing on television. We have also aided journalists in gathering reliable scientific information and identifying trustworthy experts. Additionally, we are involved in developing resources freely available online at climatecommunication.org. These include a feature on the links between climate change and extreme weather, a climate science primer, and graphics and video explaining key developments in climate change science.

  4. SEA - Enhancing communication for better environmental decisions

    SciTech Connect

    Vicente, Gustavo . E-mail: gv@fct.unl.pt; Partidario, Maria R. . E-mail: mrp@civil.ist.utl.pt

    2006-11-15

    Over the years SEA has been subjected to several interpretations, often resulting from different views on democratic processes and social considerations in decision-making. More than strictly a technical tool, as in its original form, SEA has the potential to act as a mediating instrument, bridging problem perceptions with technical solutions, steering the assessment to facilitate the integration of environmental values into decision-making processes, influencing decision-makers' capacity of acceptance. This paper explores the potential of SEA to enhance communication between different stakeholders, enabling discussion and agreement independently of different beliefs, convictions, social roles, values, accumulated experiences, individual needs, or any other factors, that express different world visions and determine the context within which decisions are taken. To face up to this challenge the authors suggest the establishment of communication strategies that enhance the role of SEA in the construction of social expectations and platforms of discussion, in the multiple negotiation processes that take place between stakeholders and decision-makers.

  5. Enhancing Technology-Mediated Communication: Tools, Analyses, and Predictive Models

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-09-01

    Enhancing Technology -Mediated Communication : Tools, Analyses, and Predictive Models patterns of sharing different types of context information with... Communication : Tools, Analyses, and Predictive Models application information regardless of the time interval they describe (e.g., group all Keyboard...University of Chicago Press Center for the Study of Language & Information . 186 Enhancing Technology -Mediated Communication : Tools, Analyses, and Predictive

  6. A2A Adenosine Receptor Antagonism Enhances Synaptic and Motor Effects of Cocaine via CB1 Cannabinoid Receptor Activation

    PubMed Central

    Tozzi, Alessandro; de Iure, Antonio; Marsili, Valentina; Romano, Rosaria; Tantucci, Michela; Di Filippo, Massimiliano; Costa, Cinzia; Napolitano, Francesco; Mercuri, Nicola Biagio; Borsini, Franco; Giampà, Carmen; Fusco, Francesca Romana; Picconi, Barbara; Usiello, Alessandro; Calabresi, Paolo

    2012-01-01

    Background Cocaine increases the level of endogenous dopamine (DA) in the striatum by blocking the DA transporter. Endogenous DA modulates glutamatergic inputs to striatal neurons and this modulation influences motor activity. Since D2 DA and A2A-adenosine receptors (A2A-Rs) have antagonistic effects on striatal neurons, drugs targeting adenosine receptors such as caffeine-like compounds, could enhance psychomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. In this study, we analyzed the electrophysiological effects of cocaine and A2A-Rs antagonists in striatal slices and the motor effects produced by this pharmacological modulation in rodents. Principal Findings Concomitant administration of cocaine and A2A-Rs antagonists reduced glutamatergic synaptic transmission in striatal spiny neurons while these drugs failed to produce this effect when given in isolation. This inhibitory effect was dependent on the activation of D2-like receptors and the release of endocannabinoids since it was prevented by L-sulpiride and reduced by a CB1 receptor antagonist. Combined application of cocaine and A2A-R antagonists also reduced the firing frequency of striatal cholinergic interneurons suggesting that changes in cholinergic tone might contribute to this synaptic modulation. Finally, A2A-Rs antagonists, in the presence of a sub-threshold dose of cocaine, enhanced locomotion and, in line with the electrophysiological experiments, this enhanced activity required activation of D2-like and CB1 receptors. Conclusions The present study provides a possible synaptic mechanism explaining how caffeine-like compounds could enhance psychomotor stimulant effects of cocaine. PMID:22715379

  7. Long-Term Exercise Is Needed to Enhance Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patten, Anna R.; Sickmann, Helle; Hryciw, Brett N.; Kucharsky, Tessa; Parton, Roberta; Kernick, Aimee; Christie, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    Exercise can have many benefits for the body, but it also benefits the brain by increasing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and performance on learning and memory tasks. The period of exercise needed to realize the structural and functional benefits for the brain have not been well delineated, and previous studies have used periods of exercise…

  8. Long-Term Exercise Is Needed to Enhance Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patten, Anna R.; Sickmann, Helle; Hryciw, Brett N.; Kucharsky, Tessa; Parton, Roberta; Kernick, Aimee; Christie, Brian R.

    2013-01-01

    Exercise can have many benefits for the body, but it also benefits the brain by increasing neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity, and performance on learning and memory tasks. The period of exercise needed to realize the structural and functional benefits for the brain have not been well delineated, and previous studies have used periods of exercise…

  9. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.G. ); Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D. )

    1992-01-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  10. Enhancing GRASS data communication with videographic technology

    SciTech Connect

    Sullivan, R.G.; Gerdes, D.; Youngs, D.

    1992-07-01

    Research at Argonne National Laboratory and the US Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory has shown that computer videographic technology can be used to assist visualization and communication of GIS-generated geographic information. Videographic tools can be used to make results of GRASS analyses clear to decision-makers and to public interest groups, as well as to help GRASS users visualize geographic data more easily. Useful videographic visualization tools include graphic overlay of GRASS layers onto panchromatic images, allowing landscape features to be associated with GIS classifications; draping of GIS layers onto terrain models to create shaded relief maps; and incorporation of photographic imagery into GIS graphics. Useful videographic communications capabilities include convenient, direct interface to video formats, allowing incorporation of live video into GRASS graphics and output of GRASS graphics to video; convenient output of high-quality slides and prints; and enhanced labeling and editing of GRASS images. Conversion of GRASS imagery to standard videographic file formats also facilitates incorporation of GRASS images into other software programs, such as database and work-processing packages.

  11. Domestication of the dog from the wolf was promoted by enhanced excitatory synaptic plasticity: a hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Li, Yan; Wang, Guo-Dong; Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-11-05

    Dogs shared a much closer relationship with humans than any other domesticated animals, probably due to their unique social cognitive capabilities, which were hypothesized to be a by-product of selection for tameness toward humans. Here, we demonstrate that genes involved in glutamate metabolism, which account partially for fear response, indeed show the greatest population differentiation by whole-genome comparison of dogs and wolves. However, the changing direction of their expression supports a role in increasing excitatory synaptic plasticity in dogs rather than reducing fear response. Because synaptic plasticity are widely believed to be cellular correlates of learning and memory, this change may alter the learning and memory abilities of ancient scavenging wolves, weaken the fear reaction toward humans, and prompt the initial interspecific contact. © The Author(s) 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution.

  12. Domestication of the Dog from the Wolf Was Promoted by Enhanced Excitatory Synaptic Plasticity: A Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Ming-Shan; Irwin, David M.; Wu, Dong-Dong; Zhang, Ya-Ping

    2014-01-01

    Dogs shared a much closer relationship with humans than any other domesticated animals, probably due to their unique social cognitive capabilities, which were hypothesized to be a by-product of selection for tameness toward humans. Here, we demonstrate that genes involved in glutamate metabolism, which account partially for fear response, indeed show the greatest population differentiation by whole-genome comparison of dogs and wolves. However, the changing direction of their expression supports a role in increasing excitatory synaptic plasticity in dogs rather than reducing fear response. Because synaptic plasticity are widely believed to be cellular correlates of learning and memory, this change may alter the learning and memory abilities of ancient scavenging wolves, weaken the fear reaction toward humans, and prompt the initial interspecific contact. PMID:25377939

  13. Enhanced Store-Operated Calcium Entry Leads to Striatal Synaptic Loss in a Huntington's Disease Mouse Model

    PubMed Central

    Wu, Jun; Ryskamp, Daniel A.; Liang, Xia; Egorova, Polina; Zakharova, Olga; Hung, Gene

    2016-01-01

    prepared from YAC128 HD mice feature age-dependent MSN spine loss, mirroring YAC128 MSN spine loss in vivo. This finding establishes a system for mechanistic studies of synaptic instability in HD. We use it to demonstrate that sensitization of type 1 inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate receptors by mHtt, which depletes endoplasmic reticulum calcium, contributes to synaptotoxic enhancement of STIM2-dependent store-operated calcium (SOC) entry. Treatment with EVP4593, a neuroprotective inhibitor of neuronal SOC channels, rescues YAC128 MSN spine loss both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that enhanced neuronal SOC causes synaptic loss in HD-afflicted MSNs. PMID:26740655

  14. Enhanced Store-Operated Calcium Entry Leads to Striatal Synaptic Loss in a Huntington's Disease Mouse Model.

    PubMed

    Wu, Jun; Ryskamp, Daniel A; Liang, Xia; Egorova, Polina; Zakharova, Olga; Hung, Gene; Bezprozvanny, Ilya

    2016-01-06

    YAC128 HD mice feature age-dependent MSN spine loss, mirroring YAC128 MSN spine loss in vivo. This finding establishes a system for mechanistic studies of synaptic instability in HD. We use it to demonstrate that sensitization of type 1 inositol (1,4,5)-trisphosphate receptors by mHtt, which depletes endoplasmic reticulum calcium, contributes to synaptotoxic enhancement of STIM2-dependent store-operated calcium (SOC) entry. Treatment with EVP4593, a neuroprotective inhibitor of neuronal SOC channels, rescues YAC128 MSN spine loss both in vitro and in vivo. These results suggest that enhanced neuronal SOC causes synaptic loss in HD-afflicted MSNs. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/360125-17$15.00/0.

  15. Long-term enhancement of synaptic transmission between antennal lobe and mushroom body in cultured Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Kohei; Naganos, Shintaro; Hirano, Yukinori; Horiuchi, Junjiro; Saitoe, Minoru

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is a critical brain structure for olfactory associative learning. During aversive conditioning, the MBs are thought to associate odour signals, conveyed by projection neurons (PNs) from the antennal lobe (AL), with shock signals conveyed through ascending fibres of the ventral nerve cord (AFV). Although synaptic transmission between AL and MB might play a crucial role for olfactory associative learning, its physiological properties have not been examined directly. Using a cultured Drosophila brain expressing a Ca(2+) indicator in the MBs, we investigated synaptic transmission and plasticity at the AL-MB synapse. Following stimulation with a glass micro-electrode, AL-induced Ca(2+) responses in the MBs were mediated through Drosophila nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (dnAChRs), while AFV-induced Ca(2+) responses were mediated through Drosophila NMDA receptors (dNRs). AL-MB synaptic transmission was enhanced more than 2 h after the simultaneous 'associative-stimulation' of AL and AFV, and such long-term enhancement (LTE) was specifically formed at the AL-MB synapses but not at the AFV-MB synapses. AL-MB LTE was not induced by intense stimulation of the AL alone, and the LTE decays within 60 min after subsequent repetitive AL stimulation. These phenotypes of associativity, input specificity and persistence of AL-MB LTE are highly reminiscent of olfactory memory. Furthermore, similar to olfactory aversive memory, AL-MB LTE formation required activation of the Drosophila D1 dopamine receptor, DopR, along with dnAChR and dNR during associative stimulations. These physiological and genetic analogies indicate that AL-MB LTE might be a relevant cellular model for olfactory memory.

  16. Long-term enhancement of synaptic transmission between antennal lobe and mushroom body in cultured Drosophila brain

    PubMed Central

    Ueno, Kohei; Naganos, Shintaro; Hirano, Yukinori; Horiuchi, Junjiro; Saitoe, Minoru

    2013-01-01

    In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) is a critical brain structure for olfactory associative learning. During aversive conditioning, the MBs are thought to associate odour signals, conveyed by projection neurons (PNs) from the antennal lobe (AL), with shock signals conveyed through ascending fibres of the ventral nerve cord (AFV). Although synaptic transmission between AL and MB might play a crucial role for olfactory associative learning, its physiological properties have not been examined directly. Using a cultured Drosophila brain expressing a Ca2+ indicator in the MBs, we investigated synaptic transmission and plasticity at the AL–MB synapse. Following stimulation with a glass micro-electrode, AL-induced Ca2+ responses in the MBs were mediated through Drosophila nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (dnAChRs), while AFV-induced Ca2+ responses were mediated through Drosophila NMDA receptors (dNRs). AL–MB synaptic transmission was enhanced more than 2 h after the simultaneous ‘associative-stimulation’ of AL and AFV, and such long-term enhancement (LTE) was specifically formed at the AL–MB synapses but not at the AFV–MB synapses. AL–MB LTE was not induced by intense stimulation of the AL alone, and the LTE decays within 60 min after subsequent repetitive AL stimulation. These phenotypes of associativity, input specificity and persistence of AL–MB LTE are highly reminiscent of olfactory memory. Furthermore, similar to olfactory aversive memory, AL–MB LTE formation required activation of the Drosophila D1 dopamine receptor, DopR, along with dnAChR and dNR during associative stimulations. These physiological and genetic analogies indicate that AL–MB LTE might be a relevant cellular model for olfactory memory. PMID:23027817

  17. Communication to Enhance Silence: The Trappist Experience

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jaksa, James A.; Stech, Ernest L.

    1978-01-01

    Investigates perceptions of the amount of interpersonal communication and attitudes towards communication frequency after the Trappist monk's rule of enforced silence and solitude was lifted in 1969. Concludes that increased interpersonal communication resulted in increased self-awareness and therefore more meaningful and effective silence. (MH)

  18. Acupuncture Enhances the Synaptic Dopamine Availability to Improve Motor Function in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Seung-Nam; Doo, Ah-Reum; Park, Ji-Yeun; Bae, Hyungjin; Chae, Younbyoung; Shim, Insop; Lee, Hyangsook; Moon, Woongjoon; Lee, Hyejung; Park, Hi-Joon

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and the depletion of striatal dopamine (DA). Acupuncture, as an alternative therapy for PD, has beneficial effects in both PD patients and PD animal models, although the underlying mechanisms therein remain uncertain. The present study investigated whether acupuncture treatment affected dopamine neurotransmission in a PD mouse model using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We found that acupuncture treatment at acupoint GB34 improved motor function with accompanying dopaminergic neuron protection against MPTP but did not restore striatal dopamine depletion. Instead, acupuncture treatment increased dopamine release that in turn, may lead to the enhancement of dopamine availability in the synaptic cleft. Moreover, acupuncture treatment mitigated MPTP-induced abnormal postsynaptic changes, suggesting that acupuncture treatment may increase postsynaptic dopamine neurotransmission and facilitate the normalization of basal ganglia activity. These results suggest that the acupuncture-induced enhancement of synaptic dopamine availability may play a critical role in motor function improvement against MPTP. PMID:22132113

  19. Acupuncture enhances the synaptic dopamine availability to improve motor function in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Kim, Seung-Nam; Doo, Ah-Reum; Park, Ji-Yeun; Bae, Hyungjin; Chae, Younbyoung; Shim, Insop; Lee, Hyangsook; Moon, Woongjoon; Lee, Hyejung; Park, Hi-Joon

    2011-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is caused by the selective loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) and the depletion of striatal dopamine (DA). Acupuncture, as an alternative therapy for PD, has beneficial effects in both PD patients and PD animal models, although the underlying mechanisms therein remain uncertain. The present study investigated whether acupuncture treatment affected dopamine neurotransmission in a PD mouse model using 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). We found that acupuncture treatment at acupoint GB34 improved motor function with accompanying dopaminergic neuron protection against MPTP but did not restore striatal dopamine depletion. Instead, acupuncture treatment increased dopamine release that in turn, may lead to the enhancement of dopamine availability in the synaptic cleft. Moreover, acupuncture treatment mitigated MPTP-induced abnormal postsynaptic changes, suggesting that acupuncture treatment may increase postsynaptic dopamine neurotransmission and facilitate the normalization of basal ganglia activity. These results suggest that the acupuncture-induced enhancement of synaptic dopamine availability may play a critical role in motor function improvement against MPTP.

  20. Activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors persistently enhances hippocampal synaptic transmission and prevents Aß-mediated inhibition of LTP in the rat hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Ondrejcak, Tomas; Wang, Qinwen; Kew, James N C; Virley, David J; Upton, Neil; Anwyl, Roger; Rowan, Michael J

    2012-02-29

    Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors mediate fast cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic transmission and synaptic plasticity. Here we investigated the effects of subtype selective activation of the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors on hippocampal transmission and the inhibition of synaptic long-term potentiation by the Alzheimer's disease associated amyloid ß-protein (Aß). The α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonist "compound A" ((R)-N-(1-azabicyclo[2.2.2]oct-3-yl)(5-(2-pyridyl))thiophene-2-carboxamide) induced a rapid-onset persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the dentate gyrus in vitro. Consistent with a requirement for activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, the type II α7-selective positive allosteric modulator PheTQS ((3aR, 4S, 9bS)-4-(4-methylphenyl)-3a,4,5,9b-tetrahydro-3H-cyclopenta[c]quinoline-8-sulfonamide) potentiated, and the antagonist methyllycaconitine (MLA) prevented the persistent enhancement. Systemic injection of the agonist also induced a similar MLA-sensitive persistent enhancement of synaptic transmission in the CA1 area in vivo. Remarkably, although compound A did not affect control long-term potentiation (LTP) in vitro, it prevented the inhibition of LTP by Aß1-42 and this effect was inhibited by MLA. These findings strongly indicate that activation of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors is sufficient to persistently enhance hippocampal synaptic transmission and to overcome the inhibition of LTP by Aß.

  1. PURE conversations: enhancing communication and teamwork.

    PubMed

    Veltman, Larry; Larison, Kristine

    2007-01-01

    Communications failures have been identified as a significant cause of adverse outcomes in obstetrics. Following the lead of some high reliability organizations, healthcare has introduced structured communication such as SBAR as a way to make sure communications between professionals are direct, complete and effective. The authors have observed, however, that structured communication in healthcare often requires a cultural change in the way that professionals relate to each other; PURE conversations (Purposeful/prepared/productive, Unambiguous, Respectful and Effective) can facilitate this cultural shift. PURE conversations stress the mental processes necessary to conduct and monitor structured communications in real time by taking into account the context and relationships that exist among professionals. This article describes the elements of a multidisciplinary workshop based on clinical scenarios incorporating the PURE concept to improve the effectiveness and adoption of structured communication by the perinatal team.

  2. Synaptic facilitation by reflected action potentials: Enhancement of transmission when nerve impulses reverse direction at axon branch points

    PubMed Central

    Baccus, Stephen A.

    1998-01-01

    A rapid, reversible enhancement of synaptic transmission from a sensory neuron is reported and explained by impulses that reverse direction, or reflect, at axon branch points. In leech mechanosensory neurons, where one can detect reflection because it is possible simultaneously to study electrical activity in separate branches, action potentials reflected from branch points within the central nervous system under physiological conditions. Synapses adjacent to these branch points were activated twice in rapid succession, first by an impulse arriving from the periphery and then by its reflection. This fast double-firing facilitated synaptic transmission, increasing it to more than twice its normal level. Reflection occurred within a range of resting membrane potentials, and electrical activity produced by mechanical stimulation changed membrane potential so as to produce and cease reflection. A compartmental model was used to investigate how branch-point morphology and electrical activity contribute to produce reflection. The model shows that mechanisms that hyperpolarize the membrane so as to impair action potential propagation can increase the range of structures that can produce reflection. This suggests that reflection is more likely to occur in other structures where impulses fail, such as in axons and dendrites in the mammalian brain. In leech sensory neurons, reflection increased transmission from central synapses only in those axon branches that innervate the edges of the receptive field in the skin, thereby sharpening spatial contrast. Reflection thus allows a neuron to amplify synaptic transmission from a selected group of its branches in a way that can be regulated by electrical activity. PMID:9653189

  3. Enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons and potent modulation by oxycodone in a bone cancer pain model

    PubMed Central

    Takasu, Keiko; Ogawa, Koichi; Nakamura, Atsushi; Kanbara, Tomoe; Ono, Hiroko; Tomii, Takako; Morioka, Yasuhide; Hasegawa, Minoru; Shibasaki, Masahiro; Mori, Tomohisa; Suzuki, Tsutomu; Sakaguchi, Gaku

    2015-01-01

    Background and Purpose We demonstrated previously that oxycodone has potent antinociceptive effects at supraspinal sites. In this study, we investigated changes in neuronal function and antinociceptive mechanisms of oxycodone at ventrolateral periaqueductal gray (VLPAG) neurons, which are a major site of opioid action, in a femur bone cancer (FBC) model with bone cancer-related pain. Experimental Approach We characterized the supraspinal antinociceptive profiles of oxycodone and morphine on mechanical hypersensitivity in the FBC model. Based on the disinhibition mechanism underlying supraspinal opioid antinociception, the effects of oxycodone and morphine on GABAA receptor-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) in VLPAG neurons were evaluated in slices from the FBC model. Key Results The supraspinal antinociceptive effects of oxycodone, but not morphine, were abolished by blocking G protein-gated inwardly rectifying potassium1 (Kir3.1) channels. In slices from the FBC model, GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons was enhanced, as indicated by a leftward shift of the input–output relationship curve of evoked IPSCs, the increased paired-pulse facilitation and the enhancement of miniature IPSC frequency. Following treatment with oxycodone and morphine, IPSCs were reduced in the FBC model, and the inhibition of presynaptic GABA release by oxycodone, but not morphine was enhanced and dependent on Kir3.1 channels. Conclusion and Implications Our results demonstrate that Kir3.1 channels are important for supraspinal antinociception and presynaptic GABA release inhibition by oxycodone in the FBC model. Enhanced GABAergic synaptic transmission at VLPAG neurons in the FBC model is an important site of supraspinal antinociception by oxycodone via Kir3.1 channel activation. PMID:25521524

  4. Physical Exercise Enhances Cognitive Flexibility as Well as Astrocytic and Synaptic Markers in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Brockett, Adam T.; LaMarca, Elizabeth A.; Gould, Elizabeth

    2015-01-01

    Physical exercise enhances a wide range of cognitive functions in humans. Running-induced cognitive enhancement has also been demonstrated in rodents but with a strong emphasis on tasks that require the hippocampus. Additionally, studies designed to identify mechanisms that underlie cognitive enhancement with physical exercise have focused on running-induced changes in neurons with little attention paid to such changes in astrocytes. To further our understanding of how the brain changes with physical exercise, we investigated whether running alters performance on cognitive tasks that require the prefrontal cortex and whether any such changes are associated with astrocytic, as well as neuronal, plasticity. We found that running enhances performance on cognitive tasks known to rely on the prefrontal cortex. By contrast, we found no such improvement on a cognitive task known to rely on the perirhinal cortex. Moreover, we found that running enhances synaptic, dendritic and astrocytic measures in several brain regions involved in cognition but that changes in the latter measures were more specific to brain regions associated with cognitive improvements. These findings suggest that physical exercise induces widespread plasticity in both neuronal and nonneuronal elements and that both types of changes may be involved in running-induced cognitive enhancement. PMID:25938418

  5. Synaptic Ultrastructure of Drosophila Johnston’s Organ Axon Terminals as Revealed by an Enhancer Trap

    PubMed Central

    SIVAN-LOUKIANOVA, ELENA; EBERL, DANIEL F.

    2007-01-01

    The role of auditory circuitry is to decipher relevant information from acoustic signals. Acoustic parameters used by different insect species vary widely. All these auditory systems, however, share a common transducer: tympanal organs as well as the Drosophila flagellar ears use chordotonal organs as the auditory mechanoreceptors. We here describe the central neural projections of the Drosophila Johnston’s organ (JO). These neurons, which represent the antennal auditory organ, terminate in the antennomechanosensory center. To ensure correct identification of these terminals we made use of a β-galactosidase-expressing trans-gene that labels JO neurons specifically. Analysis of these projection pathways shows that parallel JO fibers display extensive contacts, including putative gap junctions. We find that the synaptic boutons show both chemical synaptic structures as well as putative gap junctions, indicating mixed synapses, and belong largely to the divergent type, with multiple small postsynaptic processes. The ultrastructure of JO fibers and synapses may indicate an ability to process temporally discretized acoustic information. PMID:16127697

  6. Human enhancement and communication: on meaning and shared understanding.

    PubMed

    Cabrera, Laura; Weckert, John

    2013-09-01

    Our technologies have enabled us to change both the world and our perceptions of the world, as well as to change ourselves and to find new ways to fulfil the human desire for improvement and for having new capacities. The debate around using technology for human enhancement has already raised many ethical concerns, however little research has been done in how human enhancement can affect human communication. The purpose of this paper is to explore whether some human enhancements could change our shared lifeworld so radically that human communication as we know it would not be possible any longer. After exploring the kinds of communication problems we are concerned with as well as mentioning some possible enhancement interventions that could bring about such problems, we will address some of the ethical implications that follow from these potential communication problems. We argue that because of the role that communication plays in human society, this issue deserves attention.

  7. Satellite-enhanced personal communications experiments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pinck, Deborah S.; Tong, Loretta H.; McAuley, Anthony J.; Kramer, Michael

    1995-01-01

    As an initial step in exploring the opportunities afforded by the merging of satellite and terrestrial networks, Bellcore and JPL conducted several experiments utilizing Bellcore's experimental Personal Communications System, NASA's Advanced Communications Technology Satellite (ACTS) and JPL's ACTS Mobile Terminal. These experiments provided valuable information on the applications, interfaces, and protocols needed for seamless integration of satellite and terrestrial networks.

  8. Enhancing Everyday Communication for Children with Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sigafoos, Jeff; Arthur-Kelly, Michael; Butterfield, Nancy

    2006-01-01

    Practical and concise, this introductory guide is filled with real-world tips and strategies for anyone working to improve the communication of children with moderate, severe, and multiple disabilities. Emphasizing the link between behavior and communication, three respected researchers transform up-to-date research and proven best practices into…

  9. Neonatal Propofol and Etomidate Exposure Enhance Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission in Hippocampal Cornus Ammonis 1 Pyramidal Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jia-Qiang; Xu, Wan-Ying; Xu, Chang-Qing

    2016-01-01

    Background: Propofol and etomidate are the most important intravenous general anesthetics in the current clinical use and that mediate gamma-aminobutyric acid's (GABAergic) synaptic transmission. However, their long-term effects on GABAergic synaptic transmission induced by neonatal propofol or etomidate exposure remain unclear. We investigated the long-term GABAergic neurotransmission alterations, following neonatal propofol and etomidate administration. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rat pups at postnatal days 4–6 were underwent 6-h-long propofol-induced or 5-h-long etomidate-induced anesthesia. We performed whole-cell patch-clamp recording from pyramidal cells in the cornus ammonis 1 area of acute hippocampal slices of postnatal 80–90 days. Spontaneous and miniature inhibitory GABAergic currents (spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents [sIPSCs] and miniature inhibitory postsynaptic currents [mIPSCs]) and their kinetic characters were measured. The glutamatergic tonic effect on inhibitory transmission and the effect of bumetanide on neonatal propofol exposure were also examined. Results: Neonatal propofol exposure significantly increased the frequency of mIPSCs (from 1.87 ± 0.35 Hz to 3.43 ± 0.51 Hz, P < 0.05) and did not affect the amplitude of mIPSCs and sIPSCs. Both propofol and etomidate slowed the decay time of mIPSCs kinetics (168.39 ± 27.91 ms and 267.02 ± 100.08 ms vs. 68.18 ± 12.43 ms; P < 0.05). Bumetanide significantly blocked the frequency increase and reversed the kinetic alteration of mIPSCs induced by neonatal propofol exposure (3.01 ± 0.45 Hz and 94.30 ± 32.56 ms). Conclusions: Neonatal propofol and etomidate exposure has long-term effects on inhibitory GABAergic transmission. Propofol might act at pre- and post-synaptic GABA receptor A (GABAA) receptors within GABAergic synapses and impairs the glutamatergic tonic input to GABAergic synapses; etomidate might act at the postsynaptic site. PMID:27824005

  10. Novel nootropic drug sunifiram enhances hippocampal synaptic efficacy via glycine-binding site of N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Shigeki; Tanaka, Tomoya; Narahashi, Toshio; Fukunaga, Kohji

    2013-10-01

    Sunifiram is a novel pyrrolidone nootropic drug structurally related to piracetam, which was developed for neurodegenerative disorder like Alzheimer's disease. Sunifiram is known to enhance cognitive function in some behavioral experiments such as Morris water maze task. To address question whether sunifiram affects N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR)-dependent synaptic function in the hippocampal CA1 region, we assessed the effects of sunifiram on NMDAR-dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) by electrophysiology and on phosphorylation of synaptic proteins by immunoblotting analysis. In mouse hippocampal slices, sunifiram at 10-100 nM significantly enhanced LTP in a bell-shaped dose-response relationship which peaked at 10 nM. The enhancement of LTP by sunifiram treatment was inhibited by 7-chloro-kynurenic acid (7-ClKN), an antagonist for glycine-binding site of NMDAR, but not by ifenprodil, an inhibitor for polyamine site of NMDAR. The enhancement of LTP by sunifilam was associated with an increase in phosphorylation of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisozazole-4-propionate receptor (AMPAR) through activation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII) and an increase in phosphorylation of NMDAR through activation of protein kinase Cα (PKCα). Sunifiram treatments at 1-1000 nM increased the slope of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in a dose-dependent manner. The enhancement was associated with an increase in phosphorylation of AMPAR receptor through activation of CaMKII. Interestingly, under the basal condition, sunifiram treatments increased PKCα (Ser-657) and Src family (Tyr-416) activities with the same bell-shaped dose-response curve as that of LTP peaking at 10 nM. The increase in phosphorylation of PKCα (Ser-657) and Src (Tyr-416) induced by sunifiram was inhibited by 7-ClKN treatment. The LTP enhancement by sunifiram was significantly inhibited by PP2, a Src family inhibitor. Finally, when pretreated with a high

  11. Effective Perioperative Communication to Enhance Patient Care.

    PubMed

    Garrett, J Hudson

    2016-08-01

    Breakdowns in health care communication are a significant cause of sentinel events and associated patient morbidity and mortality. Effective communication is a necessary component of a patient safety program, which enables all members of the interdisciplinary health care team to effectively manage their individual roles and responsibilities in the perioperative setting; set expectations for safe, high-reliability care; and measure and assess outcomes. To sustain a culture of safety, effective communication should be standardized, complete, clear, brief, and timely. Executive leadership and support helps remove institutional barriers and address challenges to support the engagement of patients in health care communication, which has been shown to improve outcomes, reduce costs, and improve the patient experience.

  12. Enhancing Mathematical Communication: "Bag of Tricks" Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patahuddin, Sitti Maesuri; Ramful, Ajay; Greenlees, Jane

    2015-01-01

    An engaging activity which prompts students to listen, talk, reason and write about geometrical properties. The "Bag of Tricks" encourages students to clarify their thoughts and communicate precisely using accurate mathematical language.

  13. Enhancing Mathematical Communication: "Bag of Tricks" Game

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Patahuddin, Sitti Maesuri; Ramful, Ajay; Greenlees, Jane

    2015-01-01

    An engaging activity which prompts students to listen, talk, reason and write about geometrical properties. The "Bag of Tricks" encourages students to clarify their thoughts and communicate precisely using accurate mathematical language.

  14. Combination BMSC and Niaspan Treatment of Stroke Enhances White Matter Remodeling and Synaptic Protein Expression in Diabetic Rats

    PubMed Central

    Ye, Xinchun; Yan, Tao; Chopp, Michael; Zacharek, Alex; Ning, Ruizhuo; Venkat, Poornima; Roberts, Cynthia; Chen, Jieli

    2013-01-01

    Objective White matter remodeling plays an important role in neurological recovery after stroke. Bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) and Niaspan, an agent which increases high density lipoprotein (HDL), each induces neurorestorative effects and promotes white matter remodeling after stroke in non-diabetic rats. In this study, we test whether combination of BMSCs with Niaspan induces an enhanced white matter remodeling in the ischemic brain of diabetic rats. Research design and methods Type-1 diabetes (T1DM) rats were subjected to transient middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) and treated with or without BMSCs; Niaspan; and the combination of BMSCs + Niaspan daily for 14 days after MCAo. Immunostaining for white matter remodeling and synaptic protein expression including NG2; CNPase; BS (Bielschowsky silver); LFB (luxol fast blue); Synaptophysin and SMI-31 immunostaining were performed. Results BMSC monotherapy did not regulate NG2 and CNPase expression compared to T1DM control rats. Both, combination of BMSCs + Niaspan treatment, and Niaspan monotherapy significantly increase NG2 and CNPase expression compared to T1DM control. While combination BMSC+Niaspan, BMSC monotherapy and Niaspan monotherapy groups all increase BS, LFB, synaptophysin, and SMI-31 expression in the ischemic brain compared to T1DM-MCAo control. In addition, the combination treatment significantly enhances LFB, SMI-31, and Synaptophysin expression compared to BMSC monotherapy. Conclusions Combination treatment of stroke with BMSCs and Niaspan in T1DM rats increases white matter remodeling and additively increases BMSC monotherapy induced myelination and synaptic plasticity after stroke in T1DM rats. PMID:24284395

  15. Voluntary running-enhanced synaptic plasticity, learning and memory are mediated by Notch1 signal pathway in C57BL mice.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xiaochen; Yang, Chunxiao; Gao, Jing; Yin, Hongqiang; Zhang, Hui; Zhang, Tao; Yang, Zhuo

    2017-09-20

    It is well known that voluntary running can enhance synaptic plasticity and improve learning and memory abilities. The Notch1 receptor is also reported to be associated with these processes, but its role in running-induced alterations is unclear. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether the Notch1 signalling pathway was involved in voluntary running-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. Notch1 heterozygous deficient (Notch1(+/-)) mice and wildtype (WT) C57BL littermates were randomly divided into runner group and non-runner group. Mice were given free access to running wheels for 14 days in both the Notch1(+/-) runner group and the WT runner group. Our results demonstrate that Notch1 knockdown impairs the performance in the novel object recognition (NOR) test and Morris water maze test and decreases the synaptic plasticity. Voluntary running improves spatial learning and memory abilities, promotes synaptic plasticity and increases expressions of postsynaptic proteins in WT mice but not in Notch1(+/-) mice. Our results suggest that Notch1 plays a vital role in spatial learning and memory, synaptic plasticity under normal physiological conditions and voluntary running conditions. These findings will set the groundwork and fill in some gaps for understanding the role of Notch1 signalling in voluntary running-induced phenomena.

  16. Enhancing flood resilience through improved risk communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Sullivan, J. J.; Bradford, R. A.; Bonaiuto, M.; De Dominicis, S.; Rotko, P.; Aaltonen, J.; Waylen, K.; Langan, S. J.

    2012-07-01

    A framework of guiding recommendations for effective pre-flood and flood warning communications derived from the URFlood project (2nd ERA-Net CRUE Research Funding Initiative) from extensive quantitative and qualitative research in Finland, Ireland, Italy and Scotland is presented. Eleven case studies in fluvial, pluvial, coastal, residual and "new" flood risk locations were undertaken. The recommendations were developed from questionnaire surveys by exploring statistical correlations of actions and understandings of individuals in flood risk situations to low, moderate and high resilience groupings. Groupings were based on a conceptual relationship of self-assessed levels of awareness, preparedness and worry. Focus groups and structured interviews were used to discuss barriers in flood communications, explore implementation of the recommendations and to rank the recommendations in order of perceived importance. Results indicate that the information deficit model for flood communications that relies on the provision of more and better information to mitigate risk in flood-prone areas is insufficient, and that the communications process is very much multi-dimensional. The recommendations are aimed at addressing this complexity and their careful implementation is likely to improve the penetration of flood communications. The recommendations are applicable to other risks and are transferrable to jurisdictions beyond the project countries.

  17. Exposure to Multiple Languages Enhances Communication Skills in Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liberman, Zoe; Woodward, Amanda L.; Keysar, Boaz; Kinzler, Katherine D.

    2017-01-01

    Early exposure to multiple languages can enhance children's communication skills, even when children are effectively monolingual (Fan, Liberman, Keysar & Kinzler, 2015). Here we report evidence that the social benefits of multilingual exposure emerge in infancy. Sixteen-month-old infants participated in a communication task that required…

  18. Exposure to Multiple Languages Enhances Communication Skills in Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liberman, Zoe; Woodward, Amanda L.; Keysar, Boaz; Kinzler, Katherine D.

    2017-01-01

    Early exposure to multiple languages can enhance children's communication skills, even when children are effectively monolingual (Fan, Liberman, Keysar & Kinzler, 2015). Here we report evidence that the social benefits of multilingual exposure emerge in infancy. Sixteen-month-old infants participated in a communication task that required…

  19. Performance Assessment of Communication Enhancement Devices TEA HI Threat Headset

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-08-01

    AFRL-RH-WP-TR-2015-0076 Performance Assessment of Communication Enhancement Devices: TEA HI Threat Headset Hilary L. Gallagher...of Communication Enhancement Devices: TEA HI Threat Headset 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER FA8650-14-D-6501 5b. GRANT NUMBER 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER...technology in military applications. Objective performance data provided an assessment of the performance of these devices. The TEA HI Threat headset

  20. A leadership initiative to improve communication and enhance safety.

    PubMed

    Donahue, Moreen; Miller, Matthew; Smith, Lisa; Dykes, Patricia; Fitzpatrick, Joyce J

    2011-01-01

    The EMPOWER project was a collaborative effort to promote a culture of patient safety at Danbury Hospital through an interdisciplinary leadership-driven communication program. The "EMPOWER" component includes Educating and Mentoring Paraprofessionals On Ways to Enhance Reporting of changes in patient status. Specifically, the EMPOWER program was designed to prepare paraprofessional staff (PPS) to communicate changes in patient status using SBAR (situation, background, assessment, recommendations) structured communication. The specific project goals included (a) translation of SBAR structured communication methods for use with PPS, (b) reduction of cultural and educational barriers to interdisciplinary communication, and (c) examination of the effect of the EMPOWER intervention on the PPS communication practices and perceptions of the patient safety culture. Results of the project indicate a change in the use of SBAR throughout the institution, with particular improvement in communication from PPS to professional staff.

  1. Neuropeptides as synaptic transmitters.

    PubMed

    Salio, Chiara; Lossi, Laura; Ferrini, Francesco; Merighi, Adalberto

    2006-11-01

    Neuropeptides are small protein molecules (composed of 3-100 amino-acid residues) that have been localized to discrete cell populations of central and peripheral neurons. In most instances, they coexist with low-molecular-weight neurotransmitters within the same neurons. At the subcellular level, neuropeptides are selectively stored, singularly or more frequently in combinations, within large granular vesicles. Release occurs through mechanisms different from classical calcium-dependent exocytosis at the synaptic cleft, and thus they account for slow synaptic and/or non-synaptic communication in neurons. Neuropeptide co-storage and coexistence can be observed throughout the central nervous system and are responsible for a series of functional interactions that occur at both pre- and post-synaptic levels. Thus, the subcellular site(s) of storage and sorting mechanisms into different neuronal compartments are crucial to the mode of release and the function of neuropeptides as neuronal messengers.

  2. TH-9 (a theophylline derivative) induces long-lasting enhancement in excitatory synaptic transmission in the rat hippocampus that is occluded by frequency-dependent plasticity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Nashawi, H; Bartl, T; Bartl, P; Novotny, L; Oriowo, M A; Kombian, S B

    2012-09-18

    Dementia, especially Alzheimer's disease, is a rapidly increasing medical condition that presents with enormous challenge for treatment. It is characterized by impairment in memory and cognitive function often accompanied by changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity in relevant brain regions such as the hippocampus. We recently synthesized TH-9, a conjugate racetam-methylxanthine compound and tested if it had potential for enhancing synaptic function and possibly, plasticity, by examining its effect on hippocampal fast excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) were recorded in the CA1 hippocampal area of naïve juvenile male Sprague-Dawley rats using conventional electrophysiological recording techniques. TH-9 caused a concentration-dependent, long-lasting enhancement in fEPSPs. This effect was blocked by adenosine A1, acetylcholine (muscarinic and nicotinic) and glutamate (N-methyl-d-aspartate) receptor antagonists but not by a γ-aminobutyric acid receptor type B (GABA(B)) receptor antagonist. The TH-9 effect was also blocked by enhancing intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate and inhibiting protein kinase A. Pretreatment with TH-9 did not prevent the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) or long-term depression (LTD). Conversely, induction of LTP or LTD completely occluded the ability of TH-9 to enhance fEPSPs. Thus, TH-9 utilizes cholinergic and adenosinergic mechanisms to cause long-lasting enhancement in fEPSPs which were occluded by LTP and LTD. TH-9 may therefore employ similar or convergent mechanisms with frequency-dependent synaptic plasticities to produce the observed long-lasting enhancement in synaptic transmission and may thus, have potential for use in improving memory.

  3. Superior Long-Term Synaptic Memory Induced by Combining Dual Pharmacological Activation of PKA and ERK with an Enhanced Training Protocol

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Rong-Yu; Neveu, Curtis; Smolen, Paul; Cleary, Leonard J.; Byrne, John H.

    2017-01-01

    Developing treatment strategies to enhance memory is an important goal of neuroscience research. Activation of multiple biochemical signaling cascades, such as the protein kinase A (PKA) and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathways, is necessary to induce long-term synaptic facilitation (LTF), a correlate of long-term memory (LTM).…

  4. Mice Overexpressing Type 1 Adenylyl Cyclase Show Enhanced Spatial Memory Flexibility in the Absence of Intact Synaptic Long-Term Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Ming; Wang, Hongbing

    2013-01-01

    There is significant interest in understanding the contribution of intracellular signaling and synaptic substrates to memory flexibility, which involves new learning and suppression of obsolete memory. Here, we report that enhancement of Ca[superscript 2+]-stimulated cAMP signaling by overexpressing type 1 adenylyl cyclase (AC1) facilitated…

  5. Mice Overexpressing Type 1 Adenylyl Cyclase Show Enhanced Spatial Memory Flexibility in the Absence of Intact Synaptic Long-Term Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Zhang, Ming; Wang, Hongbing

    2013-01-01

    There is significant interest in understanding the contribution of intracellular signaling and synaptic substrates to memory flexibility, which involves new learning and suppression of obsolete memory. Here, we report that enhancement of Ca[superscript 2+]-stimulated cAMP signaling by overexpressing type 1 adenylyl cyclase (AC1) facilitated…

  6. Orofacial Neuropathic Pain Leads to a Hyporesponsive Barrel Cortex with Enhanced Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Thibault, Karine; Rivière, Sébastien; Lenkei, Zsolt

    2016-01-01

    Chronic pain is a long-lasting debilitating condition that is particularly difficult to treat due to the lack of identified underlying mechanisms. Although several key contributing processes have been described at the level of the spinal cord, very few studies have investigated the supraspinal mechanisms underlying chronic pain. Using a combination of approaches (cortical intrinsic imaging, immunohistochemical and behavioural analysis), our study aimed to decipher the nature of functional and structural changes in a mouse model of orofacial neuropathic pain, focusing on cortical areas involved in various pain components. Our results show that chronic neuropathic orofacial pain is associated with decreased haemodynamic responsiveness to whisker stimulation in the barrel field cortex. This reduced functional activation is likely due to the increased basal neuronal activity (measured indirectly using cFos and phospho-ERK immunoreactivity) observed in several cortical areas, including the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. In the same animals, immunohistochemical analysis of markers for active pre- or postsynaptic elements (Piccolo and phospho-Cofilin, respectively) revealed an increased immunofluorescence in deep cortical layers of the contralateral barrel field, motor and cingulate cortices. These results suggest that long-lasting orofacial neuropathic pain is associated with exacerbated neuronal activity and synaptic plasticity at the cortical level. PMID:27548330

  7. LTP varies across the estrous cycle: enhanced synaptic plasticity in proestrus rats.

    PubMed

    Warren, S G; Humphreys, A G; Juraska, J M; Greenough, W T

    1995-12-12

    Previous studies have shown that the number of dendritic spines and synapses in hippocampal CA1 stratum radiatum decreases more than 30% between the proestrus (high estrogen) and estrus (low estrogen) phases of the rat estrous cycle [10,27]. In the present study, we investigated whether hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as measured by long-term potentiation (LTP), might also vary across the estrous cycle of the female rat. Male rats, and female rats at each phase of the estrous cycle were tested in either the morning or afternoon. There were no significant group differences in the pre-LTP I/O curves. However, females examined during the afternoon of proestrus, the phase during which prior studies indicate synapse number to be highest, demonstrated the greatest degree of potentiation. Diestrus, proestrus and estrus females tested in the morning demonstrated similar amounts of potentiation. There were also significant differences in post-LTP I/O curves between the afternoon proestrus females and males tested in the afternoon. These results suggest that gonadal hormones, interacting with the time of day, may regulate neural processes underlying learning and memory.

  8. (28)Silicon radiation-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus of naïve and cognitively tested mice.

    PubMed

    Raber, Jacob; Rudobeck, Emil; Campbell-Beachler, Mary; Allen, Antiño R; Allen, Barrett; Rosi, Susanna; Nelson, Gregory A; Ramachandran, Shaila; Turner, Jennifer; Fike, John R; Vlkolinsky, Roman

    2014-04-01

    The space radiation environment consists of multiple species of high-energy charge particles (HZE), including (56)Fe and (28)Si nuclei, that may impact neuronal cells, but their damaging effects on the central nervous system (CNS) have been poorly defined. Hippocampus-dependent memory functions have been shown to be highly sensitive to (56)Fe HZE particles, which poses a significant risk to the cognitive performance of astronauts during space missions. While low doses of (56)Fe radiation do not induce cell death of mature neurons, they affect synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region, the principal neuronal output of the hippocampal formation involved in memory formation. The effects of (28)Si on the CNS have not been defined. Compared to behaviorally naïve mice, cognitive testing might affect synaptic plasticity and the effects of (28)Si radiation on synaptic plasticity might be modulated by prior cognitive testing. Therefore, in the current study, we quantified the effects of whole-body (28)Si radiation (600 MeV/n, 0.25 and 1 Gy) on hippocampus-dependent contextual freezing and synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of animals not exposed (behaviorally naïve mice) and animals exposed to the contextual freezing test (cognitively tested mice). In behaviorally naïve mice exposed to 0.25 and 1 Gy of (28)Si radiation, the magnitude of long-term potentiation (LTP) was enhanced. However, in mice irradiated with 0.25 Gy contextual fear conditioning was enhanced and was associated with a further enhancement of the LTP magnitude. Such increase in synaptic plasticity was not seen in cognitively tested mice irradiated with 1 Gy. Thus, low dose (28)Si radiation has effects on synaptic plasticity in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and these effects are modulated by cognitive testing in a contextual fear-conditioning test.

  9. Iowa Communications Network Enhancing Education in Iowa.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ivanovic, Greta

    1995-01-01

    Describes the Iowa Communications Network, a statewide fiber optic network capable of transporting interactive, two-way audio, video, voice, and data signals. Topics include statewide cooperation among educational and state organizations; classroom design, including interactive classrooms; access to the Internet; and use by noneducational…

  10. Enhancing Communication through Gesture and Naming Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caute, Anna; Pring, Tim; Cocks, Naomi; Cruice, Madeline; Best, Wendy; Marshall, Jane

    2013-01-01

    Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated whether gesture, naming, and strategic treatment improved the communication skills of 14 people with severe aphasia. Method: All participants received 15 hr of gesture and naming treatment (reported in a companion article [Marshall et al., 2012]). Half the group received a further 15 hr of strategic…

  11. Enhancing Student Learning through Electronic Communication Technologies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buzzard, Janet; MacLeod, Laura; DeWitt, Calvin W.

    This paper discusses several applications of technology to facilitate better synchronous and asynchronous communication between faculty members and students and among students at Eastern New Mexico University's College of Business. Topics discussed include: (1) World Wide Web pages, including programming languages, browsers, and hyperlinks; (2)…

  12. Enhanced corticosteroid signaling alters synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus in mice lacking the fragile X mental retardation protein.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, M; Hryciw, B N; Brocardo, P S; Bostrom, C A; Gil-Mohapel, J; Christie, B R

    2015-05-01

    The fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) is an important regulator of protein translation, and a lack of FMRP expression leads to a cognitive disorder known as fragile X syndrome (FXS). Clinical symptoms characterizing FXS include learning impairments and heightened anxiety in response to stressful situations. Here, we report that, in response to acute stress, mice lacking FMRP show a faster elevation of corticosterone and a more immediate impairment in N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) dependent long-term potentiation (LTP) in the dentate gyrus (DG). These stress-induced LTP impairments were rescued by administering the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist RU38486. Administration of RU38486 also enhanced LTP in Fmr1(-/y) mice in the absence of acute stress to wild-type levels, and this enhancement was blocked by application of the NMDAR antagonist 2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid. These results suggest that a loss of FMPR results in enhanced GR signaling that may adversely affect NMDAR dependent synaptic plasticity in the DG.

  13. Enhancing public health law communication linkages.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Ross D

    2008-01-01

    Although interest in the field of public health law has dramatically increased over the past two decades, there remain significant challenges in communicating and sharing public health law-related knowledge. Access to quality information, which may assist in a public health department's efforts to protect the public's health, welfare, and safety, varies widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and interjurisdictional communication remains at best a patchwork quilt with many holes. What follows is an analysis of several approaches the Public Health Law Association or other public health law-related organizations might undertake to serve as a conduit for the identification, gathering, and dissemination of extant public health law information, as well as the development of new public health law-related content, with a particular focus on the use of electronic means for such efforts.

  14. Activation of α₁-adrenoceptors enhances excitatory synaptic transmission via a pre- and postsynaptic protein kinase C-dependent mechanism in the medial prefrontal cortex of rats.

    PubMed

    Luo, Fei; Tang, Hua; Li, Bao-ming; Li, Si-hai

    2014-04-01

    The physiological effects of α₁-adrenoceptors (α₁-ARs) have been examined in many brain regions. However, little is known about the mechanism of modulation on synaptic transmission by α₁-ARs in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The present study investigated how α₁-AR activation regulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission in layer V/VI pyramidal cells of the rat mPFC. We found that the α₁-AR agonist phenylephrine (Phe) induced a significant enhancement of the amplitude and frequency of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs). The facilitation effect of Phe on the frequency of mEPSCs involved a presynaptic protein kinase C-dependent pathway. Phe produced a significant enhancement on the amplitude of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid receptor (AMPA-R)- and N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDA-R)-mediated evoked excitatory postsynaptic currents (eEPSCs). Phe enhanced inward currents evoked by puff application of glutamate or NMDA. The Phe-induced facilitation of AMPA-R- and NMDA-R-mediated eEPSCs required, in part, postsynaptic Gq , phospholipase C and PKC. These findings suggest that α₁-AR activation facilitates excitatory synaptic transmission in mPFC pyramidal cells via both pre- and post-synaptic PKC-dependent mechanisms.

  15. 9-Methyl-β-carboline-induced cognitive enhancement is associated with elevated hippocampal dopamine levels and dendritic and synaptic proliferation.

    PubMed

    Gruss, Michael; Appenroth, Dorothea; Flubacher, Armin; Enzensperger, Christoph; Bock, Jörg; Fleck, Christian; Gille, Gabriele; Braun, Katharina

    2012-06-01

    β-Carbolines (BCs) belong to the heterogenous family of carbolines, which have been found exogenously, that is, in various fruits, meats, tobacco smoke, alcohol and coffee, but also endogenously, that is, blood, brain and CSF. These exogenous and endogenous BCs and some of their metabolites can exert neurotoxic effects, however, an unexpected stimulatory effect of 9-methyl-β-carboline (9-me-BC) on dopaminergic neurons in primary mesencephalic cultures was recently discovered. The aim of the present study was to extend our knowledge on the stimulatory effects of 9-me-BC and to test the hypothesis that 9-me-BC may act as a cognitive enhancer. We found that 10 days (but not 5 days) of pharmacological treatment with 9-me-BC (i) improves spatial learning in the radial maze, (ii) elevates dopamine levels in the hippocampal formation, and (iii) results after 10 days of treatment in elongated, more complex dendritic trees and higher spine numbers on granule neurons in the dentate gyrus of 9-me-BC-treated rats. Our results demonstrate that beyond its neuroprotective/neurorestorative and anti-inflammatory effects, 9-me-BC acts as a cognitive enhancer in a hippocampus-dependent task, and that the behavioral effects may be associated with a stimulatory impact on hippocampal dopamine levels and dendritic and synaptic proliferation.

  16. Interventions to enhance communication among patients, providers, and families.

    PubMed

    Tulsky, James A

    2005-01-01

    Whether patient suffering is caused by physical symptoms, unwanted medical intervention, or spiritual crisis, the common pathway to relief is through a provider who is able to elicit these concerns and is equipped to help the patient and family address them. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge in communication at the end of life, organized according to a framework of information gathering, information giving, and relationship building; and then focuses on interventions to enhance communication among patients, providers, and families. Several observations emerge from the existing literature. Patients have highly individualized desires for information and we cannot predict patient preferences. Communication coding methodology has advanced significantly yet the current systems remain poorly understood and largely inaccessible. Physicians and other health care providers do not discuss sufficiently treatment options, quality of life or respond to emotional cues from patients, and there is plenty of room for improvement. On the positive side, we have also learned that physicians and other health care providers can be taught to communicate better through intensive communication courses, and that communication interventions can improve some patient outcomes. Finally, huge gaps remain in our current knowledge, particularly with regard to understanding the relationship between communication style and outcomes. These findings suggest several recommendations. We should create larger and more diverse datasets; improve upon the analysis of recorded communication data; increase our knowledge about patient preferences for information; establish a stronger link between specific communication behaviors and outcomes; and identify more efficient ways to teach providers communication skills.

  17. Enhancing early communication through infant sign training.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Rachel H; Cotnoir-Bichelman, Nicole M; McKerchar, Paige M; Tate, Trista L; Dancho, Kelly A

    2007-01-01

    Existing research suggests that there may be benefits to teaching signing to hearing infants who have not yet developed vocal communication. In the current study, each of 4 infants ranging in age from 6 to 10 months was taught a simple sign using delayed prompting and reinforcement. In addition, Experiment 1 showed that 2 children independently signed in a variety of novel stimulus conditions (e.g., in a classroom, with father) after participating in sign training under controlled experimental conditions. In Experiment 2, crying and whining were replaced with signing when sign training was implemented in combination with extinction.

  18. Forebrain engraftment by human glial progenitor cells enhances synaptic plasticity and learning in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Han, Xiaoning; Chen, Michael; Wang, Fushun; Windrem, Martha; Wang, Su; Shanz, Steven; Xu, Qiwu; Oberheim, Nancy Ann; Bekar, Lane; Betstadt, Sarah; Silva, Alcino J; Takano, Takahiro; Goldman, Steven A; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2013-03-07

    Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of infraprimate mammals, suggesting that their role in neural processing has expanded with evolution. To assess the cell-autonomous and species-selective properties of human glia, we engrafted human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient mice. Upon maturation, the recipient brains exhibited large numbers and high proportions of both human glial progenitors and astrocytes. The engrafted human glia were gap-junction-coupled to host astroglia, yet retained the size and pleomorphism of hominid astroglia, and propagated Ca2+ signals 3-fold faster than their hosts. Long-term potentiation (LTP) was sharply enhanced in the human glial chimeric mice, as was their learning, as assessed by Barnes maze navigation, object-location memory, and both contextual and tone fear conditioning. Mice allografted with murine GPCs showed no enhancement of either LTP or learning. These findings indicate that human glia differentially enhance both activity-dependent plasticity and learning in mice.

  19. Efficacy Enhancing Communication within the Online Courseroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasitz, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    Online learning is becoming more prevalent in high schools especially with at-risk students who may need to recover credits to meet graduation requirements. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an online courseroom design that delivers performance-based efficacy enhancing feedback at regular intervals, rather than relying on the…

  20. Mobile Seamless Technology Enhanced CSL Oral Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lan, Yu-Ju; Lin, Yen-Ting

    2016-01-01

    The current study aimed at investigating how mobile seamless technology can be used to enhance the pragmatic competence of learners of Chinese as a second language (CSL). 34 overseas CSL learners participated in this study. They were randomly assigned into two groups: the classroom group, executing language tasks in fake contexts in a traditional…

  1. Mobile Seamless Technology Enhanced CSL Oral Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lan, Yu-Ju; Lin, Yen-Ting

    2016-01-01

    The current study aimed at investigating how mobile seamless technology can be used to enhance the pragmatic competence of learners of Chinese as a second language (CSL). 34 overseas CSL learners participated in this study. They were randomly assigned into two groups: the classroom group, executing language tasks in fake contexts in a traditional…

  2. Efficacy Enhancing Communication within the Online Courseroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kasitz, Christine M.

    2013-01-01

    Online learning is becoming more prevalent in high schools especially with at-risk students who may need to recover credits to meet graduation requirements. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an online courseroom design that delivers performance-based efficacy enhancing feedback at regular intervals, rather than relying on the…

  3. Repeated social defeat stress enhances glutamatergic synaptic plasticity in the VTA and cocaine place conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Stelly, Claire E; Pomrenze, Matthew B; Cook, Jason B; Morikawa, Hitoshi

    2016-01-01

    Enduring memories of sensory cues associated with drug intake drive addiction. It is well known that stressful experiences increase addiction vulnerability. However, it is not clear how repeated stress promotes learning of cue-drug associations, as repeated stress generally impairs learning and memory processes unrelated to stressful experiences. Here, we show that repeated social defeat stress in rats causes persistent enhancement of long-term potentiation (LTP) of NMDA receptor-mediated glutamatergic transmission in the ventral tegmental area (VTA). Protein kinase A-dependent increase in the potency of inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate-induced Ca2+ signaling underlies LTP facilitation. Notably, defeated rats display enhanced learning of contextual cues paired with cocaine experience assessed using a conditioned place preference (CPP) paradigm. Enhancement of LTP in the VTA and cocaine CPP in behaving rats both require glucocorticoid receptor activation during defeat episodes. These findings suggest that enhanced glutamatergic plasticity in the VTA may contribute, at least partially, to increased addiction vulnerability following repeated stressful experiences. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15448.001 PMID:27374604

  4. Enhancing family communication about genetics: ethical and professional dilemmas.

    PubMed

    Hodgson, Jan; Gaff, Clara

    2013-02-01

    When a new genetic condition is diagnosed within a family, genetic counselors often describe a sense of responsibility towards other at risk family members to be appropriately informed about their status. Successful communication of genetic information in families is contingent on many factors. While a small number of probands directly state their intention not to inform their relatives, many who do intend to communicate this information appear to be unsuccessful for a wide range of reasons and may benefit from follow up support from a genetic counselor. Drawing on the reciprocal-engagement model (REM) of genetic counseling practice we explore how enhancing family communication about genetics raises a number of ethical and professional challenges for counselors-and describe how we resolved these. A subsequent manuscript will describe the counseling framework we have developed to enhance family communication about genetics.

  5. Entanglement enhances security in quantum communication

    SciTech Connect

    Demkowicz-Dobrzanski, Rafal; Sen, Aditi; Sen, Ujjwal; Lewenstein, Maciej

    2009-07-15

    Secret sharing is a protocol in which a 'boss' wants to send a classical message secretly to two 'subordinates', such that none of the subordinates is able to know the message alone, while they can find it if they cooperate. Quantum mechanics is known to allow for such a possibility. We analyze tolerable quantum bit error rates in such secret sharing protocols in the physically relevant case when the eavesdropping is local with respect to the two channels of information transfer from the boss to the two subordinates. We find that using entangled encoding states is advantageous to legitimate users of the protocol. We therefore find that entanglement is useful for secure quantum communication. We also find that bound entangled states with positive partial transpose are not useful as a local eavesdropping resource. Moreover, we provide a criterion for security in secret sharing--a parallel of the Csiszar-Koerner criterion in single-receiver classical cryptography.

  6. Carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine, but not eslicarbazepine, enhance excitatory synaptic transmission onto hippocampal CA1 pyramidal cells through an antagonist action at adenosine A1 receptors.

    PubMed

    Booker, Sam A; Pires, Nuno; Cobb, Stuart; Soares-da-Silva, Patrício; Vida, Imre

    2015-06-01

    This study assessed the anticonvulsant and seizure generation effects of carbamazepine (CBZ), oxcarbazepine (OXC) and eslicarbazepine (S-Lic) in wild-type mice. Electrophysiological recordings were made to discriminate potential cellular and synaptic mechanisms underlying anti- and pro-epileptic actions. The anticonvulsant and pro-convulsant effects were evaluated in the MES, the 6-Hz and the Irwin tests. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were used to investigate the effects on fast excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in hippocampal area CA1. The safety window for CBZ, OXC and eslicarbazepine (ED50 value against the MES test and the dose that produces grade 5 convulsions in all mice), was 6.3, 6.0 and 12.5, respectively. At high concentrations the three drugs reduced synaptic transmission. CBZ and OXC enhanced excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) at low, therapeutically-relevant concentrations. These effects were associated with no change in inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs) resulting in altered balance between excitation and inhibition. S-Lic had no effect on EPSC or IPSC amplitudes over the same concentration range. The CBZ mediated enhancement of EPSCs was blocked by DPCPX, a selective antagonist, and occluded by CCPA, a selective agonist of the adenosine A1 receptor. Furthermore, reduction of endogenous adenosine by application of the enzyme adenosine deaminase also abolished the CBZ- and OXC-induced increase of EPSCs, indicating that the two drugs act as antagonists at native adenosine receptors. In conclusion, CBZ and OXC possess pro-epileptic actions at clinically-relevant concentrations through the enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission. S-Lic by comparison has no such effect on synaptic transmission, explaining its lack of seizure exacerbation.

  7. Forebrain engraftment by human glial progenitor cells enhances synaptic plasticity and learning in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Han, Xiaoning; Chen, Michael; Wang, Fushun; Windrem, Martha; Wang, Su; Shanz, Steven; Xu, Qiwu; Oberheim, Nancy Ann; Bekar, Lane; Betstadt, Sarah; Silva, Alcino J.; Takano, Takahiro; Goldman, Steven A.; Nedergaard, Maiken

    2013-01-01

    Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of infraprimate mammals, suggesting that their role in neural processing has expanded with evolution. To assess the cell-autonomous and species-selective properties of human glia, we engrafted human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient mice. Upon maturation, the recipient brains exhibited large numbers and high proportions of both human glial progenitors and astrocytes. The engrafted human glia were gap junction-coupled to host astroglia, yet retained the size and pleomorphism of hominid astroglia, and propagated Ca2+ signals 3-fold faster than their hosts. Long term potentiation (LTP) was sharply enhanced in the human glial chimeric mice, as was their learning, as assessed by Barnes maze navigation, object-location memory, and both contextual and tone fear conditioning. Mice allografted with murine GPCs showed no enhancement of either LTP or learning. These findings indicate that human glia differentially enhance both activity-dependent plasticity and learning in mice. PMID:23472873

  8. Enhancing Mediated Interpersonal Communication through Affective Haptics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tsetserukou, Dzmitry; Neviarouskaya, Alena; Prendinger, Helmut; Kawakami, Naoki; Ishizuka, Mitsuru; Tachi, Susumu

    Driven by the motivation to enhance emotionally immersive experience of real-time messaging in 3D virtual world Second Life, we are proposing a conceptually novel approach to reinforcing (intensifying) own feelings and reproducing (simulating) the emotions felt by the partner through specially designed system, iFeel_IM!. In the paper we are describing the development of novel haptic devices (HaptiHeart, HaptiHug, HaptiTickler, HaptiCooler, and HaptiWarmer) integrated into iFeel_IM! system, which architecture is presented in detail.

  9. Increased expression of the PI3K enhancer PIKE mediates deficits in synaptic plasticity and behavior in fragile X syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gross, Christina; Chang, Chia-Wei; Kelly, Seth M; Bhattacharya, Aditi; McBride, Sean M J; Danielson, Scott W; Jiang, Michael Q; Chan, Chi Bun; Ye, Keqiang; Gibson, Jay R; Klann, Eric; Jongens, Thomas A; Moberg, Kenneth H; Huber, Kimberly M; Bassell, Gary J

    2015-05-05

    The PI3K enhancer PIKE links PI3K catalytic subunits to group 1 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1/5) and activates PI3K signaling. The roles of PIKE in synaptic plasticity and the etiology of mental disorders are unknown. Here, we show that increased PIKE expression is a key mediator of impaired mGlu1/5-dependent neuronal plasticity in mouse and fly models of the inherited intellectual disability fragile X syndrome (FXS). Normalizing elevated PIKE protein levels in FXS mice reversed deficits in molecular and cellular plasticity and improved behavior. Notably, PIKE reduction rescued PI3K-dependent and -independent neuronal defects in FXS. We further show that PI3K signaling is increased in a fly model of FXS and that genetic reduction of the Drosophila ortholog of PIKE, CenG1A rescued excessive PI3K signaling, mushroom body defects, and impaired short-term memory in these flies. Our results demonstrate a crucial role of increased PIKE expression in exaggerated mGlu1/5 signaling causing neuronal defects in FXS.

  10. Privacy enhanced group communication in clinical environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Mingyan; Narayanan, Sreeram; Poovendran, Radha

    2005-04-01

    Privacy protection of medical records has always been an important issue and is mandated by the recent Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) standards. In this paper, we propose security architectures for a tele-referring system that allows electronic group communication among professionals for better quality treatments, while protecting patient privacy against unauthorized access. Although DICOM defines the much-needed guidelines for confidentiality of medical data during transmission, there is no provision in the existing medical security systems to guarantee patient privacy once the data has been received. In our design, we address this issue by enabling tracing back to the recipient whose received data is disclosed to outsiders, using watermarking technique. We present security architecture design of a tele-referring system using a distributed approach and a centralized web-based approach. The resulting tele-referring system (i) provides confidentiality during the transmission and ensures integrity and authenticity of the received data, (ii) allows tracing of the recipient who has either distributed the data to outsiders or whose system has been compromised, (iii) provides proof of receipt or origin, and (iv) can be easy to use and low-cost to employ in clinical environment.

  11. Novel technology for enhanced security and trust in communication networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Milovanov, Alexander; Bukshpun, Leonid; Pradhan, Ranjit; Jannson, Tomasz

    2011-06-01

    A novel technology that significantly enhances security and trust in wireless and wired communication networks has been developed. It is based on integration of a novel encryption mechanism and novel data packet structure with enhanced security tools. This novel data packet structure results in an unprecedented level of security and trust, while at the same time reducing power consumption and computing/communication overhead in networks. As a result, networks are provided with protection against intrusion, exploitation, and cyber attacks and posses self-building, self-awareness, self-configuring, self-healing, and self-protecting intelligence.

  12. Rats given linseed oil in microemulsion forms enriches the brain synaptic membrane with docosahexaenoic acid and enhances the neurotransmitter levels in the brain.

    PubMed

    Sugasini, Dhavamani; Lokesh, Belur R

    2015-02-01

    Long chain n-3 fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are essential for the normal functioning of the brain. The vegetarian sections of the population get only alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) through their diet as a source of n-3 fatty acids. Hence, in this group of the population, the ALAs need to be converted to DHA through the action of the desaturase and the elongase enzymes. However, the conversion of the ALA to the DHA is very minimal (<2%) in mammals. Our recent studies have shown that the conversion of the ALA to the DHA can be enhanced significantly when given in the microemulsion forms. This work was undertaken to study the feasibility of enriching the synaptic membranes of rat brain with the DHA by providing the microemulsions of linseed oil (LSO) containing ALA. The rats were fed LSO as microemulsions in whey protein or in lipoid for 60 days through gavage. The rats given LSO microemulsions in lipoid showed higher levels of the DHA in the brain synaptic membrane when compared to rats given LSO without emulsion formation. This decreased the n-6/n-3 fatty acid ratio of the brain synaptic membrane. This also increased the membrane fluidity, Na⁺-K⁺ ATPase activity, and acetylcholine esterase activity in the synaptic membranes. Furthermore, Ca²⁺-Mg²⁺ ATPase activity, monoamine oxidase A and monoamine oxidase B activity was lowered in the rats given LSO in the microemulsion form. The dopamine and the serotonin levels in the brain were increased in the rats given LSO in the microemulsion form with lipoid as compared to those given LSO without the preemulsion formation. This study indicates that the LSO microemulsions in the lipoid can enhance the synaptic membrane DHA levels and influence the functions associated with the brain in a beneficial manner.

  13. Enhanced synaptic integration of adult-born neurons in the olfactory bulb of lactating mothers.

    PubMed

    Kopel, Hagit; Schechtman, Eitan; Groysman, Maya; Mizrahi, Adi

    2012-05-30

    One of the most dramatic events during the life of adult mammals is the transition into motherhood. This transition is accompanied by specific maternal behaviors, displayed by the mother, that ensure the survival and the well-being of her offspring. The execution of these behaviors is most likely accompanied by plastic changes in specific neuronal circuits, but these are still poorly defined. In this work, we studied the mammalian olfactory bulb (OB), which has been shown to be an essential brain region for maternal behaviors in mice. In the OB, we focused on adult-born neurons, which are continuously incorporated into the circuit during adulthood, thus providing a potential substrate for heightened plasticity after parturition. We analyzed the dynamics and morphological characteristics of adult-born granule cells (abGCs), innervating the OB of primiparous lactating mothers, shortly after parturition as well as in naive females. In vivo time-lapse imaging of abGCs revealed that dendritic spines were significantly more stable in lactating mothers compared with naive virgins. In contrast, spine stability of resident GCs remained unchanged after parturition. In addition, while spine size distribution of abGCs was approximately similar between mothers and naive virgins, the spine density of abGCs was lower in lactating mothers and the density of their presynaptic components was higher. These structural features are indicative of enhanced integration of adult-born neurons into the bulbar circuitry of lactating mothers. This enhanced integration may serve as a cellular mechanism, supporting changes in olfactory coding of new mothers during their first days following parturition.

  14. Isoflurane enhances both fast and slow synaptic inhibition in the hippocampus at amnestic concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Dai, Shuiping; Perouansky, Misha; Pearce, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Inhibition mediated by γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors has long been considered an important target for a variety of general anesthetics. In the hippocampus, two types of phasic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition coexist: GABAA,fast, which is expressed primarily at peri-somatic sites, and GABAA,slow, which is expressed primarily in the dendrites. Their spatial segregation suggests distinct functions: GABAA,slow may control plasticity of dendritic synapses, while GABAA,fast controls action potential initiation at the soma. We examined modulation of GABAA,fast and GABAA,slow inhibition by isoflurane at amnesic concentrations, and compared it to modulation by behaviorally equivalent doses of the GABAA receptor-selective drug etomidate. Methods Whole-cell recordings were conducted at near-physiological temperature from pyramidal cells in organotypic hippocampal cultures obtained from C57BL/6 x 129/SvJ F1 hybrid mice. GABAA receptor-mediated currents were isolated using glutamate receptor antagonists. GABAA,slow currents were evoked by electrical stimulation in the stratum lacunosum-moleculare. Miniature GABAA,fast currents were recorded in the presence of tetrodotoxin. Results 100 µM isoflurane (approximately EC50,amnesia) slowed fast and slow inhibitory postsynaptic current decay by approximately 25%. Higher concentrations, up to 400 µM, produced proportionally greater effects without altering current amplitudes. The effects on GABAA,slow were approximately one-half those produced by equi-amnesic concentrations of etomidate. Conclusions Isoflurane enhances both types of phasic GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition to similar degrees at amnesic concentrations. This pattern differs from etomidate, which at low concentrations selectively enhances slow inhibition. These effects of isoflurane are sufficiently large that they may contribute substantially to its suppression of hippocampal learning and memory. PMID:22343472

  15. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills through Treffinger Teaching Model

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Alhaddad, Idrus; Kusumah, Yaya S.; Sabandar, Jozua; Dahlan, Jarnawi A.

    2015-01-01

    This research aims to investigate, compare, and describe the achievement and enhancement of students' mathematical communication skills (MCS). It based on the prior mathematical knowledge (PMK) category (high, medium and low) by using Treffinger models (TM) and conventional learning (CL). This research is an experimental study with the population…

  16. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills through Problem Posing and Presentation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sugito; E. S., Sri Mulyani; Hartono; Supartono

    2017-01-01

    This study was to explore how enhance communication skill through problem posing and presentation method. The subjects of this research were the seven grade students Junior High School, including 20 male and 14 female. This research was conducted in two cycles and each cycle consisted of four steps, they were: planning, action, observation, and…

  17. Scribliotherapy: Enhancing Communication among Students, Parents, and Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fine, Joyce C.

    Researchers have long noted the psychologically-liberating effects of expressive language. This paper explores how a writing technique, scribliotherapy, enhances communication among students, parents, and teachers. Scribliography is the technique of matching children with books on the topics of their emotional concerns and writing their response…

  18. The Team Boat Exercise: Enhancing Team Communication Midsemester

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Pamela L.; Friedman, Barry A.

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the Team Boat Exercise, which was developed to provide students with a mechanism for addressing team problems and enhancing team communication midsemester. The inspiration for the exercise came from a video by Prentice Hall, Inc. (2001). Part III of the video, entitled "Corporate Coaching," shows senior staff members from the…

  19. Enhancing the Business Communication Course through WebCT.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hutchins, Holly M.

    2001-01-01

    Provides an overview of WebCT, a collection of web-based educational tools that also facilitate course instruction and administration. Discusses instructor benefits and how WebCT enhances student skills in communication technologies. Offers new directions for teaching and learning core topics. (SR)

  20. Hybrid Learning in Enhancing Communicative Skill in English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Singaravelu, G.

    2010-01-01

    The present study highlights the effectiveness of Hybrid-Learning in enhancing communicative skill in English among the Trainees of Bachelor of education of School of Distance Education, Bharathiar University,Coimbatore. Hybrid learning refers to mixing of different learning methods or mixing two more methods for teaching learning process. It…

  1. The Team Boat Exercise: Enhancing Team Communication Midsemester

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cox, Pamela L.; Friedman, Barry A.

    2009-01-01

    This paper discusses the Team Boat Exercise, which was developed to provide students with a mechanism for addressing team problems and enhancing team communication midsemester. The inspiration for the exercise came from a video by Prentice Hall, Inc. (2001). Part III of the video, entitled "Corporate Coaching," shows senior staff members from the…

  2. Enhancing international medical graduates' communication: the contribution of applied linguistics.

    PubMed

    Dahm, Maria R; Yates, Lynda; Ogden, Kathryn; Rooney, Kim; Sheldon, Brooke

    2015-08-01

    International medical graduates (IMGs) make up one-third of the Australian medical workforce. Those from non-English-language backgrounds can face cultural and communication barriers, yet linguistic support is variable and medical educators are often required to provide feedback on both medical and communication issues. However, some communication difficulties may be very specific to the experiences of IMGs as second language users. This interdisciplinary study combines perspectives from applied linguistics experts and clinical educators to address IMGs' difficulties from multiple dimensions and to enhance feedback quality. Five video-recorded patient encounters with five IMGs were collected at Launceston General Hospital. Three clinical educators gave quantitative and qualitative feedback using the Rating Instrument for Clinical Consulting Skills, and two applied linguistics experts analysed the data for language, pragmatic and communication difficulties. The comparison of the educators' language-related feedback with linguistic analyses of the same interactions facilitated the exploration of differences in the difficulties identified by the two expert groups. Although the clinical educators were able to use their tacit intuitive understanding of communication issues to identify IMG difficulties, they less frequently addressed the underlying issues or suggested specific remedies in their feedback. This pilot study illustrates the effectiveness of interdisciplinary collaboration in highlighting the specific discourse features contributing to IMG communication difficulties and thus assists educators in deconstructing their intuitive knowledge. The authors suggest that linguistic insights can therefore improve communications training by assisting educators to provide more targeted feedback. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  3. Cerebellin 4, a synaptic protein, enhances inhibitory activity and resistance of neurons to amyloid-β toxicity.

    PubMed

    Chacón, Pedro J; del Marco, Ángel; Arévalo, Ángeles; Domínguez-Giménez, Paloma; García-Segura, Luis Miguel; Rodríguez-Tébar, Alfredo

    2015-02-01

    Imbalances between excitatory and inhibitory transmissions in the brain anticipate the neuronal damage and death that occur in the neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's disease (AD). We previously showed that amyloid-β (Aß), a natural peptide involved in the onset and development of AD, counteracts the neurotrophic activity of the nerve growth factor (NGF) by dampening the γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic connectivity of cultured hippocampal neurons. Neuronal plasticity is partly controlled by the NGF-promoted expression of the homologue of enhancer-of-split 1 (Hes1), a transcription factor that regulates the formation of GABAergic synapses. We now show that Hes1 controls the expression of cerebellin 4 (Cbln4), a member of a small family of secreted synaptic proteins, and we present the evidence that Cbln4 plays an essential role in the formation and maintenance of inhibitory GABAergic connections. Cbln4 immunoreactivity was found in the hippocampus, mostly in the dendrites and somata of pyramidal neurons. In the CA1, the hippocampal region where the first neurons degenerate in AD, Cbln4 immunoreactivity was associated with GABAergic synapses (detected by vesicular inhibitory amino acid transporter [VGAT] immunostaining), which appear to surround and embrace the somata of CA1 pyramidal neurons (basket cells). Moreover, significant decreases of Hes1, Cbln4, and VGAT immunoreactivities and messenger RNA expression were found in the hippocampus of a mouse model of AD. We also found that either the overexpression of Cbln4 in cultured hippocampal neurons or the application of recombinant Cbln4 to the cultures increased the number of GABAergic varicosities, rescuing neurons from Aß-induced death. In contrast, knockdown of Cbln4 gene in cultured neurons was followed by a large reduction of GABAergic connections. Such an effect was reverted by exogenously added Cbln4. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential for Cbln4 in the treatment of AD. Copyright

  4. Willed-movement training reduces brain damage and enhances synaptic plasticity related proteins synthesis after focal ischemia.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu; Tang, Qingping; Shen, Qin; Li, Simin

    2016-01-01

    It has been wildly accepted that willed movement(WM) training promotes neurological rehabilitation in patients with stroke. However, it was not clear whether the effect of WM is better than other forms of exercise. The purpose of this study is to assess different effects of WM and other forms of exercise on rats with focal ischemia. The subjects are all had right middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) surgery and randomly allocated to three groups of training and one control group with no training. Infarct volume by 2,3,5-triphenyltetrazolium chloride (TTC) dye, expression of PICK1 and synaptophysin in cerebral cortex and striatum of injured side by western blotting and immunofluorescence performed are analyzed. Exercise has done respectively on rats in each group for 15 days and 30 days. Compared with the control group, the brain damage is reduced in other groups after 15 days exercise. The protein expressions levels of synaptophysin and PICK1 are upregulated after exercise. Concentration of PICK1 protein in WM is greater than other exercise groups, and the expression of synaptophysin in WM and SM groups are higher than EM groups. The number of PICK1 positive cells, synaptophysin and PICK1 co-positive cells are increased by exercise. Synaptophysin is widely distributed in cortex surrounding the injury area in WM and EM. It is indicated in our result that willed-movement training is the most effective intervention in enhancing the PICK1-mediated synaptic plasticity in the area adjacent to the damage region of ischemic rats.

  5. A role for protein kinase A and protein kinase M zeta in muscarinic acetylcholine receptor-initiated persistent synaptic enhancement in rat hippocampus in vivo.

    PubMed

    Hayes, J; Li, S; Anwyl, R; Rowan, M J

    2008-01-24

    Antagonists at presynaptic muscarinic autoreceptors increase endogenous acetylcholine (ACh) release and enhance cognition but little is known regarding their actions on plasticity at glutamatergic synapses. Here the mechanisms of the persistent enhancement of hippocampal excitatory transmission induced by the M2/M4 muscarinic ACh receptor antagonist methoctramine were investigated in vivo. The persistent facilitatory effect of i.c.v. methoctramine in the CA1 region of urethane-anesthetized rats was mimicked by gallamine, an M2 receptor antagonist, supporting a role for this receptor subtype. Neither the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor antagonists D-(-)-2-amino phosphonopentanoic acid (d-AP5) and memantine, nor the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 1a antagonist (S)-(+)-alpha-amino-4-carboxy-2-methylbenzeneacetic acid (LY367385) significantly affected the methoctramine-induced persistent synaptic enhancement, indicating a lack of requirement for these glutamate receptors. The selective kinase inhibitors Rp-adenosine-3', 5'-cyclic monophosphorothioate (Rp-cAMPS) and the myrostylated pseudosubstrate peptide, Myr-Ser-Ile-Tyr-Arg-Arg-Gly-Ala-Arg-Arg-Trp-Arg-Lys-Leu-OH (ZIP), were used to investigate the roles of protein kinase A (PKA) and the atypical protein kinase C, protein kinase Mzeta (PKM zeta), respectively. Remarkably, pretreatment with either agent prevented the induction of the persistent synaptic enhancement by methoctramine and post-methoctramine treatment with Rp-cAMPS transiently reversed the enhancement. These findings are strong evidence that antagonism of M2 muscarinic ACh receptors in vivo induces an NMDA receptor-independent persistent synaptic enhancement that requires activation of both PKA and PKM zeta.

  6. Treadmill exercise enhances synaptic plasticity, but does not alter β-amyloid deposition in hippocampi of aged APP/PS1 transgenic mice.

    PubMed

    Zhao, G; Liu, H L; Zhang, H; Tong, X J

    2015-07-09

    Several studies reveal that the beneficial effects of exercise interventions are dependent on the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). We have previously shown that long-term treadmill exercise begun before the onset of β-amyloid (Aβ) pathology prevents the deficits of cognition and long-term potentiation (LTP) in amyloid precursor protein (APP)/presenilin 1 (PS1) transgenic mice (8 months of age) paralleled by the reduction of soluble Aβ levels and Aβ deposition in the hippocampus. In the present study, treadmill exercise was initiated at a developed Aβ deposition stage in order to further investigate whether or not treadmill exercise in this phase can delay the progression of AD in aged APP/PS1 mice (17 months of age). Our results show that 5-month treadmill exercise ameliorates the impairment of spatial learning and memory with age paralleled by synaptic plasticity enhancement in aged APP/PS1 mice. In addition, exercise-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity was accompanied by a significant reduction of soluble Aβ levels rather than Aβ plaque deposition. Therefore, the investigation demonstrates that long-term treadmill exercise has beneficial effects on cognition and synaptic plasticity even when the brain has developed Aβ deposition, and changes in soluble Aβ levels rather than Aβ plaque deposition may contribute to exercise-induced benefits.

  7. Developmental enhancement of alpha2-adrenoceptor-mediated suppression of inhibitory synaptic transmission onto mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells.

    PubMed

    Hirono, M; Matsunaga, W; Chimura, T; Obata, K

    2008-09-22

    Noradrenaline (NA) modulates glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission in various areas of the brain. It is reported that some alpha2-adrenoceptor subtypes are expressed in the cerebellar cortex and alpha2-adrenoceptors may play a role in motor coordination. Our previous study demonstrated that the selective alpha2-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine partially depresses spontaneous inhibitory postsynaptic currents (sIPSCs) in mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells (PCs). Here we found that the inhibitory effect of clonidine on sIPSCs was enhanced during postnatal development. The activation of alpha2-adrenoceptors by clonidine did not affect sIPSCs in PCs at postnatal days (P) 8-10, when PCs showed a few sIPSCs and interneurons in the molecular layer (MLIs) did not cause action potential (AP). In the second postnatal week, the frequency of sIPSCs increased temporarily and reached a plateau at P14. By contrast, MLIs began to fire at P11 with the firing rate gradually increasing thereafter and reaching a plateau at P21. In parallel with this rise in the rate of firing, the magnitude of the clonidine-mediated inhibition of sIPSCs increased during postnatal development. Furthermore, the magnitude of the clonidine-mediated firing suppression in MLIs, which seemed to be mediated by a reduction in amplitude of the hyperpolarization-activated nonselective cation current, I(h), was constant across development. Both alpha2A- and alpha2B-, but not alpha2C-, adrenoceptors were strongly expressed in MLIs at P13, and P31. Therefore, the developmental enhancement of the clonidine-mediated inhibition of sIPSCs is attributed to an age-dependent increase in AP-derived sIPSCs, which can be blocked by clonidine. Thus, presynaptic activation of alpha2-adrenoceptors inhibits cerebellar inhibitory synaptic transmission after the second postnatal week, leading to a restriction of NA signaling, which is mainly mediated by alpha1- and beta2-adrenoceptors in the adult cerebellar neuronal circuit.

  8. VIP enhances both pre- and postsynaptic GABAergic transmission to hippocampal interneurones leading to increased excitatory synaptic transmission to CA1 pyramidal cells.

    PubMed

    Cunha-Reis, Diana; Sebastião, Ana M; Wirkner, Kerstin; Illes, Peter; Ribeiro, Joaquim Alexandre

    2004-11-01

    Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is present in the hippocampus in three subtypes of GABAergic interneurones, two of which innervate preferentially other interneurones, responsible for pyramidal cell inhibition. We investigated how pre- and postsynaptic modulation of GABAergic transmission (to both pyramidal cells and interneurones) by VIP could influence excitatory synaptic transmission in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. VIP (0.1-100 nM) increased [(3)H]GABA release from hippocampal synaptosomes (maximum effect at 1 nM VIP; 63.8 +/- 4.0%) but did not change [(3)H]glutamate release. VIP (0.3-30 nM) enhanced synaptic transmission in hippocampal slices (maximum effect at 1 nM VIP; field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (epsp) slope: 23.7 +/- 1.1%; population spike amplitude: 20.3 +/- 1.7%). The action on field epsp slope was fully dependent on GABAergic transmission since it was absent in the presence of picrotoxin (50 microM) plus CGP55845 (1 microM). VIP (1 nM) did not change paired-pulse facilitation but increased paired-pulse inhibition in CA1 pyramidal cells (16.0 +/- 0.9%), reinforcing the involvement of GABAergic transmission in the action of VIP. VIP (1 nM) increased muscimol-evoked inhibitory currents by 36.4 +/- 8.7% in eight out of ten CA1 interneurones in the stratum radiatum. This suggests that VIP promotes increased inhibition of interneurones that control pyramidal cells, leading to disinhibition of synaptic transmission to pyramidal cell dendrites. In conclusion, concerted pre- and postsynaptic actions of VIP lead to disinhibition of pyramidal cell dendrites causing an enhancement of synaptic transmission.

  9. Enhanced automated platform for 2D characterization of RFID communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vuza, Dan Tudor; Vlǎdescu, Marian

    2016-12-01

    The characterization of the quality of communication between an RFID reader and a transponder at all expected positions of the latter on the reader antenna is of primal importance for the evaluation of performance of an RFID system. Continuing the line of instruments developed for this purpose by the authors, the present work proposes an enhanced version of a previously introduced automated platform for 2D evaluation. By featuring higher performance in terms of mechanical speed, the new version allows to obtain 2D maps of communication with a higher resolution that would have been prohibitive in terms of test duration with the previous version. The list of measurement procedures that can be executed with the platform is now enlarged with additional ones, such as the determination of the variation of the magnetic coupling between transponder and antenna across the antenna surface and the utilization of transponder simulators for evaluation of the quality of communication.

  10. Noise-enhanced classical and quantum capacities in communication networks.

    PubMed

    Caruso, Filippo; Huelga, Susana F; Plenio, Martin B

    2010-11-05

    The unavoidable presence of noise is thought to be one of the major problems to solve in order to pave the way for implementing quantum information technologies in realistic physical platforms. However, here we show a clear example in which noise, in terms of dephasing, may enhance the capability of transmitting not only classical but also quantum information, encoded in quantum systems, through communication networks. In particular, we find analytically and numerically the quantum and classical capacities for a large family of quantum channels and show that these information transmission rates can be strongly enhanced by introducing dephasing noise in the complex network dynamics.

  11. Activation of Exchange Protein Activated by Cyclic-AMP Enhances Long-Lasting Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelinas, Jennifer N.; Banko, Jessica L.; Peters, Melinda M.; Klann, Eric; Weeber, Edwin J.; Nguyen, Peter V.

    2008-01-01

    cAMP is a critical second messenger implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory in the mammalian brain. Substantial evidence links increases in intracellular cAMP to activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and subsequent phosphorylation of downstream effectors (transcription factors, receptors, protein kinases) necessary for long-term…

  12. Neutralization of Nogo-A Enhances Synaptic Plasticity in the Rodent Motor Cortex and Improves Motor Learning in Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Weinmann, Oliver; Kellner, Yves; Yu, Xinzhu; Vicente, Raul; Gullo, Miriam; Kasper, Hansjörg; Lussi, Karin; Ristic, Zorica; Luft, Andreas R.; Rioult-Pedotti, Mengia; Zuo, Yi; Zagrebelsky, Marta; Schwab, Martin E.

    2014-01-01

    The membrane protein Nogo-A is known as an inhibitor of axonal outgrowth and regeneration in the CNS. However, its physiological functions in the normal adult CNS remain incompletely understood. Here, we investigated the role of Nogo-A in cortical synaptic plasticity and motor learning in the uninjured adult rodent motor cortex. Nogo-A and its receptor NgR1 are present at cortical synapses. Acute treatment of slices with function-blocking antibodies (Abs) against Nogo-A or against NgR1 increased long-term potentiation (LTP) induced by stimulation of layer 2/3 horizontal fibers. Furthermore, anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment increased LTP saturation levels, whereas long-term depression remained unchanged, thus leading to an enlarged synaptic modification range. In vivo, intrathecal application of Nogo-A-blocking Abs resulted in a higher dendritic spine density at cortical pyramidal neurons due to an increase in spine formation as revealed by in vivo two-photon microscopy. To investigate whether these changes in synaptic plasticity correlate with motor learning, we trained rats to learn a skilled forelimb-reaching task while receiving anti-Nogo-A Abs. Learning of this cortically controlled precision movement was improved upon anti-Nogo-A Ab treatment. Our results identify Nogo-A as an influential molecular modulator of synaptic plasticity and as a regulator for learning of skilled movements in the motor cortex. PMID:24966370

  13. Activation of Exchange Protein Activated by Cyclic-AMP Enhances Long-Lasting Synaptic Potentiation in the Hippocampus

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gelinas, Jennifer N.; Banko, Jessica L.; Peters, Melinda M.; Klann, Eric; Weeber, Edwin J.; Nguyen, Peter V.

    2008-01-01

    cAMP is a critical second messenger implicated in synaptic plasticity and memory in the mammalian brain. Substantial evidence links increases in intracellular cAMP to activation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) and subsequent phosphorylation of downstream effectors (transcription factors, receptors, protein kinases) necessary for long-term…

  14. Inducible enhancement of memory storage and synaptic plasticity in transgenic mice expressing an inhibitor of ATF4 (CREB-2) and C/EBP proteins.

    PubMed

    Chen, Amy; Muzzio, Isabel A; Malleret, Gaël; Bartsch, Dusan; Verbitsky, Miguel; Pavlidis, Paul; Yonan, Amanda L; Vronskaya, Svetlana; Grody, Michael B; Cepeda, Ivan; Gilliam, T Conrad; Kandel, Eric R

    2003-08-14

    To examine the role of C/EBP-related transcription factors in long-term synaptic plasticity and memory storage, we have used the tetracycline-regulated system and expressed in the forebrain of mice a broad dominant-negative inhibitor of C/EBP (EGFP-AZIP), which preferentially interacts with several inhibiting isoforms of C/EBP. EGFP-AZIP also reduces the expression of ATF4, a distant member of the C/EBP family of transcription factors that is homologous to the Aplysia memory suppressor gene ApCREB-2. Consistent with the removal of inhibitory constraints on transcription, we find an increase in the pattern of gene transcripts in the hippocampus of EGFP-AZIP transgenic mice and both a reversibly enhanced hippocampal-based spatial memory and LTP. These results suggest that several proteins within the C/EBP family including ATF4 (CREB-2) act to constrain long-term synaptic changes and memory formation. Relief of this inhibition lowers the threshold for hippocampal-dependent long-term synaptic potentiation and memory storage in mice.

  15. Intervention to enhance communication about newly prescribed medications.

    PubMed

    Tarn, Derjung M; Paterniti, Debora A; Orosz, Deborah K; Tseng, Chi-Hong; Wenger, Neil S

    2013-01-01

    Physicians prescribing new medications often do not convey important medication-related information. This study tests an intervention to improve physician-patient communication about newly prescribed medications. We conducted a controlled clinical trial of patients in 3 primary care practices, combining data from patient surveys with audio-recorded physician-patient interactions. The intervention consisted of a 1-hour physician-targeted interactive educational session encouraging communication about 5 basic elements regarding a new prescription and a patient information handout listing the 5 basic elements. Main outcome measures were the Medication Communication Index (MCI), a 5-point index assessed by qualitative analysis of audio-recorded interactions (giving points for discussion of medication name, purpose, directions for use, duration of use, and side effects), and patient ratings of physician communication about new prescriptions. Twenty-seven physicians prescribed 113 new medications to 82 of 256 patients. The mean MCI for medications prescribed by physicians in the intervention group was 3.95 (SD = 1.02), significantly higher than that for medications prescribed by control group physicians (2.86, SD = 1.23, P <.001). This effect held regardless of medication type (chronic vs nonchronic medication). Counseling about 3 of the 5 MCI components was significantly higher for medications prescribed by physicians in the intervention group, as were patients' ratings of new medication information transfer (P = .02). Independent of intervention or control groups, higher MCI scores were associated with better patient ratings about information about new prescriptions (P = .003). A physician-targeted educational session improved the content of and enhanced patient ratings of physician communication about new medication prescriptions. Further work is required to assess whether improved communication stimulated by the intervention translates into better clinical outcomes.

  16. Enhancing clinical communication in dermatologists: a personalized educational intervention.

    PubMed

    Tsimtsiou, Zoi; Stavropoulou, Charitini; Papastefanou, Noni; Lionis, Christos

    2017-04-06

    Effective communication is a vital component of patient-centered consultations with favorable treatment outcomes. This study aimed in testing the effectiveness of a personalized, communication training program for dermatologists in their practices. Fifteen dermatologists were offered the educational intervention NO.TE.S. (Non-Technical Skills). Depending on the dermatologists' needs, seven to nine sessions with a 60-min duration were performed, focusing on: patient-centered care, principles of Neurolinguistic Programming, a guide to the medical interview, principles of motivational interviewing and self-care. After the program's completion, participants completed anonymously an 18-item evaluation questionnaire. All 14 participants would suggest NO.TE.S to a colleague. According to the main themes identified, their participation led to (i) re-consideration of the physician-patient relationship, (ii) more conscious application of the patient-centered model, (iii) improvement in communication skills, (iv) awareness of medical interview guides, (v) increase in self-confidence, and (vi) techniques of self-care. Eleven physicians (78.6%) declared improvement in patients' satisfaction, 14 (100%) in their own satisfaction, seven (50%) in adherence to therapeutic plan and seven (50%) in treatment outcomes. The one-to-one coaching is a convenient and well-received personalized means of enhancing clinical communication in dermatologists, leading to more patient-centered medical encounters with better treatment outcomes.

  17. Chronic intermittent ethanol exposure enhances NMDA-receptor-mediated synaptic responses and NMDA receptor expression in hippocampal CA1 region.

    PubMed

    Nelson, T E; Ur, C L; Gruol, D L

    2005-06-28

    In previous studies, we found that chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) treatment-a model of ethanol consumption in which animals are exposed to and withdrawn from intoxicating levels of ethanol on a daily basis-produces neuroadaptive changes in hippocampal area CA1 excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity. Synaptic responses mediated by N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are known to be sensitive to ethanol and could play an important role in the neuroadaptive changes induced by CIE treatment. To address this issue, we compared electrophysiological recordings of pharmacologically isolated NMDA-receptor-mediated field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices prepared from control rats and rats exposed to 2 weeks of CIE treatment administered by vapor inhalation. We found that fEPSPs induced by NMDA receptor activation were unaltered in slices prepared shortly after cessation of CIE treatment (i.e., < or = 1 day of withdrawal from CIE). However, following 7 days of withdrawal from CIE treatment, NMDA-receptor-mediated fEPSPs were augmented relative to age-matched controls. Western blot analysis of NMDA receptor subunit expression showed that, at 7 days of withdrawal, the level of protein for NR2A and NR2B subunits was elevated in the CA1 region of hippocampal slices from CIE-treated animals compared with slices from age-matched controls. These results are consistent with an involvement of NMDA-receptor-mediated synaptic responses in the neuroadaptive effects of CIE on hippocampal physiology and suggest that such changes may contribute to ethanol-induced changes in processes dependent on NMDA-receptor-mediated synaptic responses such as learning and memory, neural development, hyperexcitability and seizures, and neurotoxicity.

  18. [Counseling: a tool for enhancing the communication with the patient].

    PubMed

    Martí-Gil, C; Barreda-Hernández, D; Marcos-Pérez, G; Barreira-Hernández, D

    2013-01-01

    Counseling is a technique used in psychology that has shown a major impact on health: in deep, it is the methodology recommended by the Worl Health Organization to help HIV-infected patients. Although it has been translated to spanish by assisted counseling or helping relationship, counseling covers a broader concept. It is defined as an interactive process based on communication in which the clinician helps the patients to think about their own health and to take appropiate decisions based on their values and interests. In short, counseling is a tool to enhance communication with the patient, resulting very useful during clinical interview in pharmaceutical care programs in order to improve pharmacotherapy and patient safety.

  19. Enhancement of Global Communication Skill at the School of Engineering

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morimura, Kumiko

    Globalization is one of the most important challenges for universities. Especially for the School of Engineering, it is crucial to foster researchers or engineers with broader perspective. International communication competency is essential for them in order to deal with other professionals from overseas. Center for Innovation in Engineering Education established in the School of Engineering at the University of Tokyo in 2005 started two programs for graduate and undergraduate students to enhance their international communication competency and to increase international competitiveness. ‘English for Scientists and Engineers A, B’ are for the graduate students to learn how to write papers in English and how to make good presentations. Special English Lessons are for the undergraduate students to have a chance to practice English conversation or prepare for TOEFL test. In this paper, the authors discuss the details of the programs, their purpose and the future tasks.

  20. Effects of T-588, a cognitive enhancer compound, on synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, H; Tamura, R; Kuriwaki, J I; Eifuku, S; Ono, T

    2001-07-01

    (1R)-1-benzo [b] thiophen-5-yl-2-[2-(diethylamino) ethoxy] ethan-1-ol hydrochloride (T-588) is a compound for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular diseases. T-588 reportedly alleviates learning and memory deficits in animal models of dementia. In the present study, we investigated the effects of T-588 on the induction and decay of long-term potentiation (LTP) and on the responses to paired-pulse (pp) stimulation in freely moving rats. Perforant path-evoked field potentials were recorded in the dentate gyrus by chronically implanted electrodes. LTP was induced by high-frequency stimulation 30 min after oral administration of T-588 (0.3 or 3 mg/kg). T-588 significantly augmented the increase in population spike amplitude and field excitatory postsynaptic potential slope after LTP induction. T-588 also prolonged the decay of augmented population spike amplitude, but had no significant effect on the response to pp stimulation. These results suggest that T-588 facilitates long-term synaptic plasticity, but not short-term synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus of freely moving rats. The effect of T-588 on long-term synaptic plasticity may contribute to the alleviation of learning and memory dysfunction seen in animal models.

  1. Matching kinetics of synaptic vesicle recycling and enhanced neurotransmitter influx by Ca2+ in brain plasma membrane vesicles.

    PubMed

    Kovács, I; Szárics, E; Nyitrai, G; Blandl, T; Kardos, J

    1998-11-01

    Using native plasma membrane vesicle suspensions from the rat cerebral cortex under conditions designed to alter intravesicular [Ca2+], we found that Ca2+ induced 47 +/- 5% more influx of [3H]GABA, [3H]D-aspartate and [3H]glycine at 37 degrees C with half-times 1.7 +/- 0.5, 1.3 +/- 0.4 and 1.3 +/- 0.4 min, respectively. We labelled GABA transporter sites with the uptake inhibitor, [3H]-(R,S)-N-[4,4-bis(3-methyl-2-thienyl)but-3-en-1-yl]nipecotic acid and found that Ca2+ induced a partial dissociation of the bound inhibitor from GABA transporter sites with a similar half-time. By means of rapid kinetic techniques applied to native plasma membrane vesicle suspensions, containing synaptic vesicles stained with the amphipathic fluorescent styryl membrane probe N-(3-triethylammoniumpropyl)-4-[4-(dibutylamino)styryl]pyrid inium dibromide, we have measured the progress of the release and reuptake of synaptic vesicles in response to Ca2+ and high-[K+] depolarization in the 0.0004-100 s range of time. Synaptic vesicle exocytosis, strongly influenced by external [Ca2+], appeared with the kinetics accelerated by depolarization. These results are consistent with the potential involvement of Ca2+ in taking low-affinity transporters to the plasma membrane surface via exocytosis.

  2. Acetyl-l-carnitine restores synaptic transmission and enhances the inducibility of stable LTP after oxygen-glucose deprivation.

    PubMed

    Kocsis, Kitti; Frank, Rita; Szabó, József; Knapp, Levente; Kis, Zsolt; Farkas, Tamás; Vécsei, László; Toldi, József

    2016-09-22

    Hypoxic circumstances result in functional and structural impairments of the brain. Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD) on hippocampal slices is a technique widely used to investigate the consequences of ischemic stroke and the potential neuroprotective effects of different drugs. Acetyl-l-carnitine (ALC) is a naturally occurring substance in the body, and it can therefore be administered safely even in relatively high doses. In previous experiments, ALC pretreatment proved to be effective against global hypoperfusion. In the present study, we investigated whether ALC can be protective in an OGD model. We are not aware of any earlier study in which the long-term potentiation (LTP) function on hippocampal slices was measured after OGD. Therefore, we set out to determine whether an effective ALC concentration has an effect on synaptic plasticity after OGD in the hippocampal CA1 subfield of rats. A further aim was to investigate the mechanism underlying the protective effect of this compound. The experiments revealed that ALC is neuroprotective against OGD in a dose-dependent manner, which is manifested not only in the regeneration of the impaired synaptic transmission after the OGD, but also in the inducibility and stability of the LTP. In the case of the most effective concentration of ALC (500μM), use of a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor (LY294002) revealed that the PI3K/Akt signaling pathway has a key role in the restoration of the synaptic transmission and plasticity reached by ALC treatment.

  3. Optical fiber synaptic sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pisarchik, A. N.; Jaimes-Reátegui, R.; Sevilla-Escoboza, R.; García-Lopez, J. H.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2011-06-01

    Understanding neuron connections is a great challenge, which is needed to solve many important problems in neurobiology and neuroengineering for recreation of brain functions and efficient biorobotics. In particular, a design of an optical synapse capable to communicate with neuron spike sequences would be crucial to improve the functionality of neuromimmetic networks. In this work we propose an optical synaptic sensor based on an erbium-doped fiber laser driven by a FitzHung-Nagumo electronic neuron, to connect with another electronic neuron. Two possible optical synaptic configurations are analyzed for optoelectronic coupling between neurons: laser cavity loss modulation and pump laser modulation. The control parameters of the proposed optical synapse provide additional degrees of flexibility to the neuron connection traditionally controlled only by coupling strengths in artificial networks.

  4. Reactive oxygen species enhance excitatory synaptic transmission in rat spinal dorsal horn neurons by activating TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels.

    PubMed

    Nishio, N; Taniguchi, W; Sugimura, Y K; Takiguchi, N; Yamanaka, M; Kiyoyuki, Yasukuni; Yamada, H; Miyazaki, N; Yoshida, M; Nakatsuka, T

    2013-09-05

    Central neuropathic pain (CNP) in the spinal cord, such as chronic pain after spinal cord injury (SCI), is an incurable ailment. However, little is known about the spinal cord mechanisms underlying CNP. Recently, reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been recognized to play an important role in CNP of the spinal cord. However, it is unclear how ROS affect synaptic transmission in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. To clarify how ROS impact on synaptic transmission, we investigated the effects of ROS on synaptic transmission in rat spinal cord substantia gelatinosa (SG) neurons using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings. Administration of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (t-BOOH), an ROS donor, into the spinal cord markedly increased the frequency and amplitude of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) in SG neurons. This t-BOOH-induced enhancement was not suppressed by the Na(+) channel blocker tetrodotoxin. However, in the presence of a non-N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate receptor antagonist, 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione, t-BOOH did not generate any sEPSCs. Furthermore, in the presence of a transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1) channel antagonist (HC-030031) or a transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel antagonist (capsazepine or AMG9810), the t-BOOH-induced increase in the frequency of sEPSCs was inhibited. These results indicate that ROS enhance the spontaneous release of glutamate from presynaptic terminals onto SG neurons through TRPA1 and TRPV1 channel activation. Excessive activation of these ion channels by ROS may induce central sensitization in the spinal cord and result in chronic pain such as that following SCI.

  5. Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Enhances the Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Neurons and Induces a Tolerance to the Acute Inhibitory Actions of Ethanol

    PubMed Central

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; Lopez, Marcelo F; Mulholland, Patrick J; Woodward, John J

    2016-01-01

    Alcoholism is associated with changes in brain reward and control systems, including the prefrontal cortex. In prefrontal areas, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to have an important role in the development of alcohol-abuse disorders and studies from this laboratory demonstrate that OFC-mediated behaviors are impaired in alcohol-dependent animals. However, it is not known whether chronic alcohol (ethanol) exposure alters the fundamental properties of OFC neurons. In this study, mice were exposed to repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to induce dependence and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was used to examine the effects of CIE treatment on lateral OFC (lOFC) neuron excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. Repeated cycles of CIE exposure and withdrawal enhanced current-evoked action potential (AP) spiking and this was accompanied by a reduction in the after-hyperpolarization and a decrease in the functional activity of SK channels. CIE mice also showed an increase in the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and this was associated with an increase in GluA1/GluA2 AMPA receptor expression and a decrease in GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. Following CIE treatment, lOFC neurons displayed a persistent long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission following a spike-timing-dependent protocol. Lastly, CIE treatment diminished the inhibitory effect of acute ethanol on AP spiking of lOFC neurons and reduced expression of the GlyT1 transporter. Taken together, these results suggest that chronic exposure to ethanol leads to enhanced intrinsic excitability and glutamatergic synaptic signaling of lOFC neurons. These alterations may contribute to the impairment of OFC-dependent behaviors in alcohol-dependent individuals. PMID:26286839

  6. Chronic Intermittent Ethanol Exposure Enhances the Excitability and Synaptic Plasticity of Lateral Orbitofrontal Cortex Neurons and Induces a Tolerance to the Acute Inhibitory Actions of Ethanol.

    PubMed

    Nimitvilai, Sudarat; Lopez, Marcelo F; Mulholland, Patrick J; Woodward, John J

    2016-03-01

    Alcoholism is associated with changes in brain reward and control systems, including the prefrontal cortex. In prefrontal areas, the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been suggested to have an important role in the development of alcohol-abuse disorders and studies from this laboratory demonstrate that OFC-mediated behaviors are impaired in alcohol-dependent animals. However, it is not known whether chronic alcohol (ethanol) exposure alters the fundamental properties of OFC neurons. In this study, mice were exposed to repeated cycles of chronic intermittent ethanol (CIE) exposure to induce dependence and whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology was used to examine the effects of CIE treatment on lateral OFC (lOFC) neuron excitability, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. Repeated cycles of CIE exposure and withdrawal enhanced current-evoked action potential (AP) spiking and this was accompanied by a reduction in the after-hyperpolarization and a decrease in the functional activity of SK channels. CIE mice also showed an increase in the AMPA/NMDA ratio, and this was associated with an increase in GluA1/GluA2 AMPA receptor expression and a decrease in GluN2B NMDA receptor subunits. Following CIE treatment, lOFC neurons displayed a persistent long-term potentiation of glutamatergic synaptic transmission following a spike-timing-dependent protocol. Lastly, CIE treatment diminished the inhibitory effect of acute ethanol on AP spiking of lOFC neurons and reduced expression of the GlyT1 transporter. Taken together, these results suggest that chronic exposure to ethanol leads to enhanced intrinsic excitability and glutamatergic synaptic signaling of lOFC neurons. These alterations may contribute to the impairment of OFC-dependent behaviors in alcohol-dependent individuals.

  7. TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptors through lipid bilayers

    PubMed Central

    Sumioka, Akio; Yan, Dan; Tomita, Susumu

    2010-01-01

    Summary Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like MAGUKs. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA-, NMDA, kainate-type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively-charged lipid bilayers in its phosphorylation dependent manner, and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction. PMID:20547132

  8. TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptors through lipid bilayers.

    PubMed

    Sumioka, Akio; Yan, Dan; Tomita, Susumu

    2010-06-10

    Neurons use neurotransmitters to communicate across synapses, constructing neural circuits in the brain. AMPA-type glutamate receptors are the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter receptors mediating fast synaptic transmission. AMPA receptors localize at synapses by forming protein complexes with transmembrane AMPA receptor regulatory proteins (TARPs) and PSD-95-like membrane-associated guanylate kinases. Among the three classes of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPA, NMDA, and kainate type), AMPA receptor activity is most regulatable by neuronal activity to adjust synaptic strength. Here, we mutated the prototypical TARP, stargazin, and found that TARP phosphorylation regulates synaptic AMPA receptor activity in vivo. We also found that stargazin interacts with negatively charged lipid bilayers in a phosphorylation-dependent manner and that the lipid interaction inhibited stargazin binding to PSD-95. Cationic lipids dissociated stargazin from lipid bilayers and enhanced synaptic AMPA receptor activity in a stargazin phosphorylation-dependent manner. Thus, TARP phosphorylation plays a critical role in regulating AMPA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission via a lipid bilayer interaction.

  9. Airborne laser communications and performance enhancement by equalization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sangwoo; Hamzeh, Belal; Kavehrad, Mohsen

    2006-02-01

    Free space optical (FSO) communication is a promising candidate for emerging broadband applications, considering that RF spectrum is already congested, rendering accommodation of additional RF broadband channels difficult and costly. Communications via RF signals are reliable but cannot support emerging high data rate services unless they use a large portion of the costly radio spectrum. FSO communications offer enormous data rates but operate much more at the mercy of the atmospheric environment, such as scintillation and multi-scattering through fog and clouds. Since RF paths are relatively immune to these phenomena, combining the attributes of a higher data rate but bursty link (FSO) with the attributes of a lower data rate but reliable link (RF) could yield attributes better than either one alone, enabling a high availability link at high data rates. This transmission configuration is typically called a hybrid RF/FSO wireless system. The focus of this paper will be on applying well-known equalization techniques to FSO, to further enhance availability of RF/FSO wireless system.

  10. Enhanced Pointing Gimbal Mechanisms for Next Generation Communication Antennas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nalbandian, Ruben

    2013-09-01

    This paper summarizes the design and the development of a family of high precision Enhanced Pointing Gimbal Assemblies (EPGA) specifically targeting the next generation of satellite communication antenna technologies.The development and qualification of the first two EPGAs started some years ago. The purpose of this project has been to develop a gimbal based on a new rotary actuator technology achieving positioning performance superior to micro-stepping performance, to be used in highly accurate pointing and scanning mechanisms. The design also had to provide high stiffness and high load carrying capacity at the output stage.The design of this new line of gimbals is based on a rotary actuator with a high gear reduction ratio and high load carrying capacity output stage.Analysis of the latest missions, especially those for communication, earth observation and imaging, show that performance requirements for dual axis gimbals used for antenna pointing are becoming more and more demanding. Most recent Ka-band and future generation antenna technologies for smaller spot beams require finer resolutions of less than 0.003 degrees. Considerably larger solid core ( 3.0 meter diameter) and expandable wire-mesh ( 22 meter diameter) require higher load carrying capabilities and moment stiffness to sustain the launch and orbital maneuvering loads. The developed Enhanced Pointing Gimbal Assembly addresses those applications requiring small output step size, high precision pointing, and unpowered holding torque, which challenge the use of gimbals that use conventional rotary actuators.

  11. Inhibition of PI3K-Akt Signaling Blocks Exercise-Mediated Enhancement of Adult Neurogenesis and Synaptic Plasticity in the Dentate Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Bruel-Jungerman, Elodie; Veyrac, Alexandra; Dufour, Franck; Horwood, Jennifer; Laroche, Serge; Davis, Sabrina

    2009-01-01

    Background Physical exercise has been shown to increase adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and enhances synaptic plasticity. The antiapoptotic kinase, Akt has also been shown to be phosphorylated following voluntary exercise; however, it remains unknown whether the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway is involved in exercise-induced neurogenesis and the associated facilitation of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. Methodology/Principal Findings To gain insight into the potential role of this signaling pathway in exercise-induced neurogenesis and LTP in the dentate gyrus rats were infused with the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002 or vehicle control solution (icv) via osmotic minipumps and exercised in a running wheel for 10 days. Newborn cells in the dentate gyrus were date-labelled with BrdU on the last 3 days of exercise. Then, they were either returned to the home cage for 2 weeks to assess exercise-induced LTP and neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, or were killed on the last day of exercise to assess proliferation and activation of the PI3K-Akt cascade using western blotting. Conclusions/Significance Exercise increases cell proliferation and promotes survival of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus. Immediately after exercise, we found that Akt and three downstream targets, BAD, GSK3β and FOXO1 were activated. LY294002 blocked exercise-induced phosphorylation of Akt and downstream target proteins. This had no effect on exercise-induced cell proliferation, but it abolished most of the beneficial effect of exercise on the survival of newly generated dentate gyrus neurons and prevented exercise-induced increase in dentate gyrus LTP. These results suggest that activation of the PI3 kinase-Akt signaling pathway plays a significant role via an antiapoptotic function in promoting survival of newly formed granule cells generated during exercise and the associated increase in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. PMID:19936256

  12. Inhibition of PI3K-Akt signaling blocks exercise-mediated enhancement of adult neurogenesis and synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus.

    PubMed

    Bruel-Jungerman, Elodie; Veyrac, Alexandra; Dufour, Franck; Horwood, Jennifer; Laroche, Serge; Davis, Sabrina

    2009-11-19

    Physical exercise has been shown to increase adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and enhances synaptic plasticity. The antiapoptotic kinase, Akt has also been shown to be phosphorylated following voluntary exercise; however, it remains unknown whether the PI3K-Akt signaling pathway is involved in exercise-induced neurogenesis and the associated facilitation of synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus. To gain insight into the potential role of this signaling pathway in exercise-induced neurogenesis and LTP in the dentate gyrus rats were infused with the PI3K inhibitor, LY294002 or vehicle control solution (icv) via osmotic minipumps and exercised in a running wheel for 10 days. Newborn cells in the dentate gyrus were date-labelled with BrdU on the last 3 days of exercise. Then, they were either returned to the home cage for 2 weeks to assess exercise-induced LTP and neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus, or were killed on the last day of exercise to assess proliferation and activation of the PI3K-Akt cascade using western blotting. Exercise increases cell proliferation and promotes survival of adult-born neurons in the dentate gyrus. Immediately after exercise, we found that Akt and three downstream targets, BAD, GSK3beta and FOXO1 were activated. LY294002 blocked exercise-induced phosphorylation of Akt and downstream target proteins. This had no effect on exercise-induced cell proliferation, but it abolished most of the beneficial effect of exercise on the survival of newly generated dentate gyrus neurons and prevented exercise-induced increase in dentate gyrus LTP. These results suggest that activation of the PI3 kinase-Akt signaling pathway plays a significant role via an antiapoptotic function in promoting survival of newly formed granule cells generated during exercise and the associated increase in synaptic plasticity in the dentate gyrus.

  13. EDITORIAL: Synaptic electronics Synaptic electronics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demming, Anna; Gimzewski, James K.; Vuillaume, Dominique

    2013-09-01

    Conventional computers excel in logic and accurate scientific calculations but make hard work of open ended problems that human brains handle easily. Even von Neumann—the mathematician and polymath who first developed the programming architecture that forms the basis of today's computers—was already looking to the brain for future developments before his death in 1957 [1]. Neuromorphic computing uses approaches that better mimic the working of the human brain. Recent developments in nanotechnology are now providing structures with very accommodating properties for neuromorphic approaches. This special issue, with guest editors James K Gimzewski and Dominique Vuillaume, is devoted to research at the serendipitous interface between the two disciplines. 'Synaptic electronics', looks at artificial devices with connections that demonstrate behaviour similar to synapses in the nervous system allowing a new and more powerful approach to computing. Synapses and connecting neurons respond differently to incident signals depending on the history of signals previously experienced, ultimately leading to short term and long term memory behaviour. The basic characteristics of a synapse can be replicated with around ten simple transistors. However with the human brain having around 1011 neurons and 1015 synapses, artificial neurons and synapses from basic transistors are unlikely to accommodate the scalability required. The discovery of nanoscale elements that function as 'memristors' has provided a key tool for the implementation of synaptic connections [2]. Leon Chua first developed the concept of the 'The memristor—the missing circuit element' in 1971 [3]. In this special issue he presents a tutorial describing how memristor research has fed into our understanding of synaptic behaviour and how they can be applied in information processing [4]. He also describes, 'The new principle of local activity, which uncovers a minuscule life-enabling "Goldilocks zone", dubbed the

  14. Isolation of Synaptosomes, Synaptic Plasma Membranes, and Synaptic Junctional Complexes.

    PubMed

    Michaelis, Mary L; Jiang, Lei; Michaelis, Elias K

    2017-01-01

    Isolation of synaptic nerve terminals or synaptosomes provides an opportunity to study the process of neurotransmission at many levels and with a variety of approaches. For example, structural features of the synaptic terminals and the organelles within them, such as synaptic vesicles and mitochondria, have been elucidated with electron microscopy. The postsynaptic membranes are joined to the presynaptic "active zone" of transmitter release through cell adhesion molecules and remain attached throughout the isolation of synaptosomes. These "post synaptic densities" or "PSDs" contain the receptors for the transmitters released from the nerve terminals and can easily be seen with electron microscopy. Biochemical and cell biological studies with synaptosomes have revealed which proteins and lipids are most actively involved in synaptic release of neurotransmitters. The functional properties of the nerve terminals, such as responses to depolarization and the uptake or release of signaling molecules, have also been characterized through the use of fluorescent dyes, tagged transmitters, and transporter substrates. In addition, isolated synaptosomes can serve as the starting material for the isolation of relatively pure synaptic plasma membranes (SPMs) that are devoid of organelles from the internal environment of the nerve terminal, such as mitochondria and synaptic vesicles. The isolated SPMs can reseal and form vesicular structures in which transport of ions such as sodium and calcium, as well as solutes such as neurotransmitters can be studied. The PSDs also remain associated with the presynaptic membranes during isolation of SPM fractions, making it possible to isolate the synaptic junctional complexes (SJCs) devoid of the rest of the plasma membranes of the nerve terminals and postsynaptic membrane components. Isolated SJCs can be used to identify the proteins that constitute this highly specialized region of neurons. In this chapter, we describe the steps involved

  15. Nicotine-induced enhancement of synaptic plasticity at CA3-CA1 synapses requires GABAergic interneurons in adult anti-NGF mice.

    PubMed

    Rosato-Siri, Marcelo; Cattaneo, Antonino; Cherubini, Enrico

    2006-10-15

    The hippocampus, a key structure for learning and memory processes, receives an important cholinergic innervation and is densely packed with a variety of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) localized on principal cells and interneurons. Activation of these receptors by nicotine or endogenously released acetylcholine enhances activity-dependent synaptic plasticity processes. Deficits in the cholinergic system produce impairment of cognitive functions that are particularly relevant during senescence and in age-related neurodegenerative pathologies. In particular, Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by a selective loss of cholinergic neurons in the basal forebrain and nAChRs in particular regions controlling memory processes such as the cortex and the hippocampus. Field excitatory postsynaptic potentials were recorded in order to examine whether nicotine was able to regulate induction of long-term potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses in hippocampal slices from adult anti-NGF transgenic mice (AD 11), a comprehensive animal model of AD, in which cholinergic deficits due to nerve growth factor depletion are accompanied by progressive Alzheimer-like neurodegeneration. Both AD 11 and wild-type (WT) mice exhibited short- and long-lasting synaptic plasticity processes that were boosted by nicotine. The effects of nicotine on WT and AD 11 mice were mediated by both alpha7- and beta2-containing nAChRs. In the presence of GABA(A) receptor antagonists, nicotine failed to boost synaptic plasticity in AD 11 but not in WT mice, indicating that in anti-NGF transgenic mice GABAergic interneurons are able to compensate for the deficit in cholinergic modulation of glutamatergic transmission. This compensation may occur at different levels and may involve the reorganization of the GABAergic circuit. However, patch-clamp whole-cell recordings from principal cells failed to reveal any change in spontaneous release of GABA following pressure application of nicotine to nearby

  16. Astrocytes Potentiate Synaptic Transmission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2005-03-01

    A recent experimental study shows that astrocytes, a subtype of glia, are able to influence the spontaneous activity in the brain via calcium dependent glutamate release. We model the coupling mechanism between an astrocyte and a neuron based on experimental data. This coupling is dynamic and bi-directional, such that the modulations in intracellular calcium concentrations in astrocytes affect neuronal excitability and vice versa via a glutamatergic pathway. We demonstrate through simple neural-glial circuits that increases in the intracellular calcium concentration in astrocytes nearby can enhance spontaneous activity in a neuron, a significant mechanism said to be involved in plasticity and learning. The pattern of this marked increase in spontaneous firing rate in our model quantitatively follows that observed in the experiment. Further, depending on the type of synaptic connections diverging from the neuron, it can either inhibit or excite the ensuing dynamics and potentiate synaptic transmission, thus reinstating the integral role played by astrocytes in normal neuronal dynamics.

  17. Nicotine enhancement of dopamine release by a calcium-dependent increase in the size of the readily releasable pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Turner, Timothy J

    2004-12-15

    A major factor underlying compulsive tobacco use is nicotine-induced modulation of dopamine release in the mesolimbic reward pathway (Wise and Rompre, 1989). An established biochemical mechanism for nicotine-enhanced dopamine release is by activating presynaptic nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) (Wonnacott, 1997). Prolonged application of 10(-7) to 10(-5) m nicotine to striatal synaptosomes promoted a sustained efflux of [3H]dopamine. This nicotine effect was mediated by non-alpha7 nAChRs, because it was blocked by 5 mum mecamylamine but was resistant to 100 nm alpha-bungarotoxin (alphaBgTx). Dopamine release was diminished by omitting Na+ or by applying peptide calcium channel blockers, indicating that nAChRs trigger release by depolarizing the nerve terminals. However, because alpha7 receptors rapidly desensitize in the continuous presence of agonists, a repetitive stimulation protocol was used to evaluate the possible significance of desensitization. This protocol produced a transient increase in [3H]dopamine released by depolarization and a significant increase in the response to hypertonic solutions that measure the size of the readily releasable pool (RRP) of synaptic vesicles. The nicotine-induced increase in the size of the readily releasable pool was blocked by alphaBgTx and by the calmodulin antagonist calmidazolium, suggesting that Ca2+ entry through alpha7 nAChRs specifically enhances synaptic vesicle mobilization at dopamine terminals. Thus, nicotine enhances dopamine release by two complementary actions mediated by discrete nAChR subtypes and suggest that the alpha7 nAChR-mediated pathway is tightly and specifically coupled to refilling of the RRP of vesicles in dopamine terminals.

  18. Enhancing Environmental Communication and Products Through Qualitative Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLorme, D.; Hagen, S. C.

    2014-12-01

    This presentation discusses two ongoing interdisciplinary case studies that are using qualitative research to design and enhance environmental communication and science products for outreach and decision making purposes. Both cases demonstrate the viability and practical value of qualitative social science methodology, specifically focus group interviews, to better understand the viewpoints of target audiences, improve deliverables, and support project goals. The first case is a NOAA-funded project to conduct process-based modeling to project impact from climate change in general and sea level rise in particular to the natural and built environment. The project spans the Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida Panhandle coasts with concentration on the three National Estuarine Research Reserves. As part of the broader project, four annual focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of coastal resource managers to capture their perspectives and suggestions to better meet their informational and operational needs. The second case is a Florida Sea Grant-funded project that is developing, implementing, and testing a cohesive outreach campaign to promote voluntary careful and responsible recreational boating to help protect sensitive marine life and habitats (especially seagrasses and oyster reefs) in the Mosquito Lagoon. Six focus groups were conducted with a purposive sample of the target audience of boaters to gain insights, feedback, and ideas on the direction of the campaign and design of the messages and products. The campaign materials created include a branded website, Facebook page, mobile app, information packets, brochures, pledge forms, and promotional items. A comparison of these two case studies will be provided and will explain how the qualitative findings were/are being implemented to tailor and refine the respective communication strategies and techniques including the emerging outreach products. The resulting outcomes are messages and tools that are

  19. Enhanced TCP for maritime communications over satellite network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zong, Liang; Du, Wencai; Bai, Yong

    2014-10-01

    For maritime communications over satellite network, TCP performance is essential for data transmissions. TCP ADaLR is congestion control algorithm that the sender judgments the relevant window change and measures roundtrip time to control congestion window. It can adapt to the characteristics of the satellite link and improve the performance of TCP than conventional TCP. However, it does not take into account distinction of random packet loss and congestion loss like TCP Veno. In this paper, we propose further enhancement of TCP ADaLR, called TCP ADaLR+, that can distinguish between random packet loss and congestion loss. The improved performance of proposed TCP ADaLR+ is demonstrated by simulations.

  20. Enhancement of FSO communications links under complex environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alnajjar, Satea H.; Noori, Ammar A.; Moosa, Arwa A.

    2017-06-01

    Free space optical communication is a line-of-sight (LOS) technology that uses lasers to provide optical bandwidth connections. Potential disturbance arising from the weather condition is one of the most effective factors that influence the bi-directional free space optics (FSO) performance. The complex weather condition in the Middle East region and Arabian Gulf has been dominated by dust storms activities. Dust storms directly affect the characteristics of FSO and consequently lead to an increase in the bit error rate (BER) and deterioration Q-factor to bad levels due to the high attenuation factor. In this research, the authors compare the differences between two bi-directional FSOs. One is the traditional link, and the other has been developed to enhance the system performance under the dust storms condition. The proposed design consists of dual FSO channels, and each one includes erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) optical amplifiers. This design has demonstrated the proficiency in addressing the attenuation that occurs due to weather stickers. The results prove there is an improvement in performance by measuring the Q-factor. In addition, BER can be significantly improved, and further communicating distance can be achieved by utilizing 1550 nm with multiple channels and EDFA.

  1. Enhancement of FSO communications links under complex environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alnajjar, Satea H.; Noori, Ammar A.; Moosa, Arwa A.

    2017-03-01

    Free space optical communication is a line-of-sight (LOS) technology that uses lasers to provide optical bandwidth connections. Potential disturbance arising from the weather condition is one of the most effective factors that influence the bi-directional free space optics (FSO) performance. The complex weather condition in the Middle East region and Arabian Gulf has been dominated by dust storms activities. Dust storms directly affect the characteristics of FSO and consequently lead to an increase in the bit error rate (BER) and deterioration Q-factor to bad levels due to the high attenuation factor. In this research, the authors compare the differences between two bi-directional FSOs. One is the traditional link, and the other has been developed to enhance the system performance under the dust storms condition. The proposed design consists of dual FSO channels, and each one includes erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) optical amplifiers. This design has demonstrated the proficiency in addressing the attenuation that occurs due to weather stickers. The results prove there is an improvement in performance by measuring the Q-factor. In addition, BER can be significantly improved, and further communicating distance can be achieved by utilizing 1550 nm with multiple channels and EDFA.

  2. Enhancing communication in oncology outpatient consultations: critical reflections from doctors

    PubMed Central

    Murphy, Roger; Cox, Karen; Steward, William

    2011-01-01

    Objectives The experiences of patients diagnosed with advanced incurable cancer and the doctors who conducted their medical consultations were studied in order to improve the understanding of what happens in consultations, when bad news is disclosed. The major objective of the study was to critically reflect upon doctor-patient communication, in such situations, with a view to considering future strategies for doctors’ continuing professional development. Methods Sixteen patients and sixteen Oncologists, from a cancer centre in the UK were recruited into this ethnographic study. One hundred and fifteen episodes of data were collected from audio recorded consultations; interviews with doctors and patients and their relatives and observations of consultations. These data were analysed using a constant comparison method. Results Interactions between doctors and patients are complex and consultations can be challenging for both of them. Some doctors spoke openly about their need for additional support to enhance their communication related competencies within Oncology consultations. These doctors wanted to observe their peers conducting consultations. They also wanted to receive feedback about their own clinical practices. These doctors stated that they wanted an open culture whereby they could talk freely about difficult and emotionally challenging consultations without fear of being considered incompetent by their Consultants, who act in a clinical supervisory role. Conclusions To help practitioners consolidate their practice in such settings it is necessary to develop better collaborations among practitioners within clinical practice. Providing individual supervisory sessions or group workshops can facilitate reflective learning and provide an open and supportive learning culture.

  3. The psychostimulant modafinil enhances gap junctional communication in cortical astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xinhe; Petit, Jean-Marie; Ezan, Pascal; Gyger, Joël; Magistretti, Pierre; Giaume, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Sleep-wake cycle is characterized by changes in neuronal network activity. However, for the last decade there is increasing evidence that neuroglial interaction may play a role in the modulation of sleep homeostasis and that astrocytes have a critical impact in this process. Interestingly, astrocytes are organized into communicating networks based on their high expression of connexins, which are the molecular constituents of gap junction channels. Thus, neuroglial interactions should also be considered as the result of the interplay between neuronal and astroglial networks. Here, we investigate the effect of modafinil, a wakefulness-promoting agent, on astrocyte gap junctional communication. We report that in the cortex modafinil injection increases the expression of mRNA and protein of connexin 30 but not those of connexin 43, the other major astroglial connexin. These increases are correlated with an enhancement of intercellular dye coupling in cortical astrocytes, which is abolished when neuronal activity is silenced by tetrodotoxin. Moreover, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, which at a millimolar concentration induces sleep, has an opposite effect on astroglial gap junctions in an activity-independent manner. These results support the proposition that astroglia may play an important role in complex physiological brain functions, such as sleep regulation, and that neuroglial networking interaction is modified during sleep-wake cycle. This article is part of the Special Issue Section entitled 'Current Pharmacology of Gap Junction Channels and Hemichannels'.

  4. Multiple personalities: synaptic target cells as introverts and extroverts.

    PubMed

    Ritzenthaler, S; Chiba, A

    2001-10-01

    The intricate process of wiring a neuronetwork requires a high degree of accuracy in the communication between pre- and post-synaptic cells. While presynaptic cells have been widely recognized for their dynamic role in synaptic matchmaking, post-synaptic cells have historically been overlooked as passive targets. Recent studies in the Drosophila embryonic neuromuscular system provide compelling evidence that post-synaptic cells participate actively in the synaptogenic process. Endocytosis allows them to quickly modify the array of molecular cues they provide on their surfaces and the extension of dynamic filopodia allows post-synaptic cells to engage in direct long-distance communication. By making use of familiar cellular mechanisms such as endocytosis and filopodia formation, post-synaptic cells may be able to communicate more effectively with potential synaptic partners.

  5. Enhanced cognitive activity--over and above social or physical activity--is required to protect Alzheimer's mice against cognitive impairment, reduce Abeta deposition, and increase synaptic immunoreactivity.

    PubMed

    Cracchiolo, Jennifer R; Mori, Takashi; Nazian, Stanley J; Tan, Jun; Potter, Huntington; Arendash, Gary W

    2007-10-01

    Although social, physical, and cognitive activities have each been suggested to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease (AD), epidemiologic studies cannot determine which activity or combination of activities is most important. To address this question, mutant APP transgenic AD mice were reared long-term in one of four housing conditions (impoverished, social, social+physical, or complete enrichment) from 1(1/2) through 9 months of age. Thus, a stepwise layering of social, physical, and enhanced cognitive activity was created. Behavioral evaluation in a full battery of sensorimotor, anxiety, and cognitive tasks was carried out during the final 5 weeks of housing. Only AD mice raised in complete enrichment (i.e., enhanced cognitive activity) showed: (1) protection against cognitive impairment, (2) decreased brain beta-amyloid deposition, and (3) increased hippocampal synaptic immunoreactivity. The protection provided by enhanced cognitive activity spanned multiple cognitive domains (working memory, reference learning, and recognition/identification). Cognitive and neurohistologic benefits of complete enrichment occurred without any changes in blood cytokine or corticosterone levels, suggesting that enrichment-dependent mechanisms do not involve changes in the inflammatory response or stress levels, respectively. These results indicate that the enhanced cognitive activity of complete enrichment is required for cognitive and neurologic benefit to AD mice-physical and/or social activity are insufficient. Thus, our data suggest that humans who emphasize a high lifelong level of cognitive activity (over and above social and physical activities) will attain the maximal environmental protection against AD.

  6. 24S-Hydroxycholesterol enhances synaptic vesicle cycling in the mouse neuromuscular junction: Implication of glutamate NMDA receptors and nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Kasimov, M R; Fatkhrakhmanova, M R; Mukhutdinova, K A; Petrov, A M

    2017-01-31

    24S-hydroxycholesterol (24S-HC) is a brain-derived product of lipid metabolism present in the systemic circulation, where its level can change significantly in response to physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Here, using electrophysiological and optical approaches, we have found a high sensitivity to 24S-HC of the synaptic vesicle cycle at the mouse neuromuscular junctions. Treatment with 24S-HC increased the end plate potential amplitude (EPP) in response to a single stimulus and attenuated the EPP amplitude rundown during high frequency (HF) activity but had no influence on miniature EPP amplitude or frequency. The effects on evoked responses were associated with enhanced FM1-43 dye loading and unloading by endo- and exocytosis. Comparison of electrophysiological and optical data revealed an increase in the rate of vesicular cycling. The impact of 24S-HC was abolished or potentiated by stimulation or inhibition of NMDA-receptors respectively. Moreover, 24S-HC, acting in the same manner as the endothelial NO synthase (eNOS) inhibitor cavtratin, suppressed an increase in NO-sensitive dye fluorescence during HF stimulation, while l-glutamate had the opposite effect. Inhibitors of NOS (l-NAME and cavtratin, but not the neuronal NOS inhibitor TRIM), a scavenger of extracellular NO and a protein kinase G blocker all had stimulatory effects, similar to those of 24S-HC, on exocytosis induced by HF activity and completely masked the effect of 24S-HC. The data suggest that 24S-HC enhances synaptic vesicle cycling due to an attenuation of retrograde NO signaling that depends on eNOS. In this regard, 24S-HC counteracts the effects of NMDA-receptor stimulation at mouse neuromuscular junctions.

  7. SDF-1α/CXCL12 enhances GABA and glutamate synaptic activity at serotonin neurons in the rat dorsal raphe nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Heinisch, Silke; Kirby, Lynn G.

    2009-01-01

    Summary The serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine; 5-HT) system has a well-characterized role in depression. Recent reports describe comorbidities of mood-immune disorders, suggesting an immunological component may contribute to the pathogenesis of depression as well. Chemokines, immune proteins which mediate leukocyte trafficking, and their receptors are widely distributed in the brain, mediate neuronal patterning, and modulate various neuropathologies. The purpose of this study was to investigate the neuroanatomical relationship and functional impact of the chemokine stromal cell-derived factor-1α/CXCL12 and its receptor, CXCR4, on the serotonin dorsal raphe nucleus (DRN) system in the rat using anatomical and electrophysiological techniques. Immunohistochemical analysis indicates that over 70% of 5-HT neurons colocalize with CXCL12 and CXCR4. At a subcellular level, CXCL12 localizes throughout the cytoplasm whereas CXCR4 concentrates to the outer membrane and processes of 5-HT neurons. CXCL12 and CXCR4 also colocalize on individual DRN cells. Furthermore, electrophysiological studies demonstrate CXCL12 depolarization of 5-HT neurons indirectly via glutamate synaptic inputs. CXCL12 also enhances the frequency of spontaneous inhibitory and excitatory postsynaptic currents (sIPSC and sEPSC). CXCL12 concentration-dependently increases evoked IPSC amplitude and decreases evoked IPSC paired-pulse ratio selectively in 5-HT neurons, effects blocked by the CXCR4 antagonist AMD3100. These data indicate presynaptic enhancement of GABA and glutamate release at 5-HT DRN neurons by CXCL12. Immunohistochemical analysis further shows CXCR4 localization to DRN GABA neurons, providing an anatomical basis for CXCL12 effects on GABA release. Thus, CXCL12 indirectly modulates 5-HT neurotransmission via GABA and glutamate synaptic afferents. Future therapies targeting CXCL12 and other chemokines may treat serotonin related mood disorders, particularly depression experienced by immune

  8. The role of synaptic ion channels in synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voglis, Giannis; Tavernarakis, Nektarios

    2006-01-01

    The nervous system receives a large amount of information about the environment through elaborate sensory routes. Processing and integration of these wide-ranging inputs often results in long-term behavioural alterations as a result of past experiences. These relatively permanent changes in behaviour are manifestations of the capacity of the nervous system for learning and memory. At the cellular level, synaptic plasticity is one of the mechanisms underlying this process. Repeated neural activity generates physiological changes in the nervous system that ultimately modulate neuronal communication through synaptic transmission. Recent studies implicate both presynaptic and postsynaptic ion channels in the process of synapse strength modulation. Here, we review the role of synaptic ion channels in learning and memory, and discuss the implications and significance of these findings towards deciphering the molecular biology of learning and memory. PMID:17077866

  9. Enhanced sensitivity of hippocampal pyramidal neurons from mdx mice to hypoxia-induced loss of synaptic transmission.

    PubMed Central

    Mehler, M F; Haas, K Z; Kessler, J A; Stanton, P K

    1992-01-01

    The gene at the Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy locus encodes dystrophin, a member of a protein superfamily that links the actin cytoskeleton to transmembrane plasmalemmal proteins. In mature skeletal myocytes, the absence of dystrophin is associated with decreased membrane stability, altered kinetics of several calcium channels, and increased intracellular calcium concentration. In the central nervous system, dystrophin is restricted to specific neuronal populations that show heightened susceptibility to excitotoxic damage and is localized in proximal dendrites and the neuronal somata. We report that CA1 pyramidal neurons in a hippocampal slice preparation from a dystrophin-deficient mouse genetic model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (the mdx mouse) exhibit significant increased susceptibility to hypoxia-induced damage to synaptic transmission. This selective vulnerability was substantially ameliorated by pretreatment with diphenylhydantoin, an anticonvulsant that blocks both sodium-dependent action potentials and low-threshold transient calcium conductances. These findings suggest that dystrophin deficiency could predispose susceptible neuronal populations to cumulative hypoxic insults that may contribute to the development of cognitive deficits in Duchenne/Becker muscular dystrophy patients and that the effects of such periods of hypoxia may be pharmacologically remediable. PMID:1549609

  10. Digital photography: enhancing communication between burn therapists and nurses.

    PubMed

    Van, Lan B; Sicotte, K M; Lassiter, R R; Jablonski, K A; Crean, D A; Jeng, J C; Jordan, M H

    2004-01-01

    Burn rehabilitation therapists rely on nursing staff to follow through with the positioning and splinting programs. To communicate more effectively, a communication tool that consisted of digital photos and written instructions was created. Microsoft Word and Nikon View software were used to design the communication tool. The purpose of the study was to assess the perceived effectiveness of a communication tool between burn therapists and burn nurses for splinting and positioning. Thirty-two surveys were distributed to burn nursing staff to assess their perception of the communication tool (digital photographs with written instructions) compared with previous methods of instructions (without digital photographs). Seventy-three percent of nurses felt the communication tool with verbal instructions were the best methods of communicating splinting and positioning needs. All respondents felt that the rehabilitation staff should continue to use the communication tool.

  11. Enhancing Distant Learning through Email Communication: A Case of BOU

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rahman, K. M. Rezanur; Anwar, Sadat; Numan, Sharker Md.

    2008-01-01

    Today computer has replaced all means of traditional communication significantly. Many distant learning tools claim to be interactive, but few can offer two-way communication. Email is the most popular means of communication medium now-a-days. Therefore, it may be used as an educational tool for learning. In present socioeconomic condition of…

  12. YAC128 Huntington's disease transgenic mice show enhanced short-term hippocampal synaptic plasticity early in the course of the disease.

    PubMed

    Ghilan, Mohamed; Bostrom, Crystal A; Hryciw, Brett N; Simpson, Jessica M; Christie, Brian R; Gil-Mohapel, Joana

    2014-09-18

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive and fatal neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the gene encoding the protein huntingtin. The disease progresses over decades, but often patients develop cognitive impairments that precede the onset of the classical motor symptoms. Similar to the disease progression in humans, the yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) 128 HD mouse model also exhibits cognitive dysfunction that precedes the onset of the neuropathological and motor impairments characteristic of HD. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate whether short- and long-term synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus, two related biological models of learning and memory processes, were altered in YAC128 mice in early stages of disease progression. We show that the YAC128 hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) displays marked reductions in paired-pulse depression both at 3 and 6 months of age. In addition, significantly enhanced post-tetanic and short-term potentiation are apparent in YAC128 mice after high-frequency stimulation at this time. Early and late forms of long-term plasticity were not altered at this stage. Together these findings indicate that there may be elevated neurotransmitter release in response to synaptic stimulation in YAC128 mice during the initial phase of disease progression. These abnormalities in short-term plasticity detected at this stage in YAC128 HD transgenic mice indicate that aberrant information processing at the level of the synapses may contribute, at least in part, to the early onset of cognitive deficits that are characteristic of this devastating neurodegenerative disorder. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. How interpersonal communication mediates the relationship of multichannel communication connections to health-enhancing and health-threatening behaviors.

    PubMed

    Seo, Mihye; Matsaganis, Matthew D

    2013-08-01

    This article examines how everyday media use and interpersonal communication for health information could influence health behaviors beyond intervention or campaign contexts. The authors argue that interpersonal communication works as an independent information channel and mediates the relation between media channels and health behaviors. In addition, the authors investigate whether interpersonal communication differently influences the relation between media connections and health behaviors for more and less educated individuals. Using data from the 2008 Annenberg National Health Communication Survey, the authors show that multiple communication channels for health information encourage health-enhancing behaviors but do not have significant relations with health-threatening behaviors. Interpersonal communication is directly linked to health-enhancing behaviors, but it also mediates the influence of individuals' multichannel media environment on health-enhancing behaviors. The mediating role of interpersonal health communication was only significant for less educated people. In addition, among media channels, television was a more important instigator of health-related conversations with family and friends for the less educated group. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings, as well as suggestions for future research directions, are discussed.

  14. Synaptic Vesicle Proteins and Active Zone Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kittel, Robert J.; Heckmann, Manfred

    2016-01-01

    Neurotransmitter is released from synaptic vesicles at the highly specialized presynaptic active zone (AZ). The complex molecular architecture of AZs mediates the speed, precision and plasticity of synaptic transmission. Importantly, structural and functional properties of AZs vary significantly, even for a given connection. Thus, there appear to be distinct AZ states, which fundamentally influence neuronal communication by controlling the positioning and release of synaptic vesicles. Vice versa, recent evidence has revealed that synaptic vesicle components also modulate organizational states of the AZ. The protein-rich cytomatrix at the active zone (CAZ) provides a structural platform for molecular interactions guiding vesicle exocytosis. Studies in Drosophila have now demonstrated that the vesicle proteins Synaptotagmin-1 (Syt1) and Rab3 also regulate glutamate release by shaping differentiation of the CAZ ultrastructure. We review these unexpected findings and discuss mechanistic interpretations of the reciprocal relationship between synaptic vesicles and AZ states, which has heretofore received little attention. PMID:27148040

  15. Synaptic plasticity along the sleep-wake cycle: implications for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Romcy-Pereira, Rodrigo N; Leite, João P; Garcia-Cairasco, Norberto

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent changes in synaptic efficacy (i.e., synaptic plasticity) can alter the way neurons communicate and process information as a result of experience. Synaptic plasticity mechanisms involve both molecular and structural modifications that affect synaptic functioning, either enhancing or depressing neuronal transmission. They include redistribution of postsynaptic receptors, activation of intracellular signaling cascades, and formation/retraction of dendritic spines, among others. During the sleep-wake cycle, as the result of particular neurochemical and neuronal firing modes, distinct oscillatory patterns organize the activity of neuronal populations, modulating synaptic plasticity. Such modulation, for example, has been shown in the visual cortex following sleep deprivation and in the ability to induce hippocampal long-term potentiation during sleep. In epilepsy, synchronized behavioral states tend to contribute to the initiation of paroxystic discharges and are considered more epileptogenic than desynchronized states. Here, we review some of the current understandings of synaptic plasticity changes in wake and sleep states and how sleep may affect epileptic seizures.

  16. Compassionate care: enhancing physician-patient communication and education in dermatology: Part I: Patient-centered communication.

    PubMed

    Nguyen, Tien V; Hong, Judith; Prose, Neil S

    2013-03-01

    The motivation for developing patient-centered communication stems from a desire to enhance the quality of patient care, fulfill professional competency requirements, reduce medical errors, and improve health outcomes and patient satisfaction. Patient-centered communication skills can optimize the physician-patient relationship without significantly prolonging office visits. We propose a series of practical and generally effective techniques for verbal and nonverbal communication. We also suggest a targeted approach for specific difficult conversations that may occur frequently in the practice of dermatology.

  17. GPCR Mediated Regulation of Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Betke, Katherine M.; Wells, Christopher A.; Hamm, Heidi E.

    2012-01-01

    Synaptic transmission is a finely regulated mechanism of neuronal communication. The release of neurotransmitter at the synapse is not only the reflection of membrane depolarization events, but rather, is the summation of interactions between ion channels, G protein coupled receptors, second messengers, and the exocytotic machinery itself which exposes the components within a synaptic vesicle to the synaptic cleft. The focus of this review is to explore the role of G protein signaling as it relates to neurotransmission, as well as to discuss the recently determined inhibitory mechanism of Gβγ dimers acting directly on the exocytotic machinery proteins to inhibit neurotransmitter release. PMID:22307060

  18. Communication vulnerable patients in the pediatric ICU: Enhancing care through augmentative and alternative communication.

    PubMed

    Costello, John M; Patak, Lance; Pritchard, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    Children in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) may experience a broad range of motor, sensory, cognitive, and linguistic difficulties that make it difficult for them to communicate effectively. Being unable to communicate is emotionally frightening for children and can lead to an increase in sentinel events, medical errors and extended lengths of stay. Implementation of augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) tools and strategies can address the communication needs of children in the PICU by enabling them to communicate their wants, needs and feelings to healthcare providers and family members and participate in their own care more productively. Hospitals around the world are increasingly recognizing and addressing patients' needs for communication access and have begun to implement communication screenings and assessments and interventions at admission and throughout the hospital stay. New standards for all American hospitals, in fact, mandate efforts to improve patient communication. When patient-provider communication improves, treatment success goes up, hospital-caused errors decrease and patient and family satisfaction improve. This article describes three phases of intervention for communication vulnerable children in the PICU and provides examples of treatment approaches that ensure communication access as their medical condition changes.

  19. Does communication enhance pedestrians transport in the dark?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cirillo, Emilio N. M.; Colangeli, Matteo; Muntean, Adrian

    2016-01-01

    We study the motion of pedestrians through an obscure tunnel where the lack of visibility hides the exits. Using a lattice model, we explore the effects of communication on the effective transport properties of the crowd of pedestrians. More precisely, we study the effect of two thresholds on the structure of the effective nonlinear diffusion coefficient. One threshold models pedestrian communication efficiency in the dark, while the other one describes the tunnel capacity. Essentially, we note that if the evacuees show a maximum trust (leading to a fast communication), they tend to quickly find the exit and hence the collective action tends to prevent the occurrence of disasters.

  20. Engineering amorphous-crystalline interfaces in TiO2-x/TiO2-y-based bilayer structures for enhanced resistive switching and synaptic properties

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bousoulas, P.; Asenov, P.; Karageorgiou, I.; Sakellaropoulos, D.; Stathopoulos, S.; Tsoukalas, D.

    2016-10-01

    The operating principle of resistive random access memories (RRAMs) relies on the distribution of ionic species and their influence on the electron transport. Taking into account that formation and annihilation of conducting filaments (CFs) is the driving mechanism for the switching effect, it is very important to control the regions where these filaments will evolve. Thus, homolayers of titanium oxide with different oxygen contents were fabricated in order to tune the local electrical and thermal properties of the CFs and narrow down the potential percolation paths. We show that the oxygen content in the top layer of the TiO2-x/TiO2-y bilayer memristors can directly influence the morphology of the layers which affect the diffusion barrier and consequently the diffusivity and drift velocity of oxygen vacancies, yielding in important enhancement of switching characteristics, in terms of spatial uniformity (σ/μ < 0.2), enlarged switching ratio (˜104), and synaptic learning. In order to address the experimental data, a physical model was applied, divulging the crucial role of temperature, electric potential and oxygen vacancy density on the switching effect and offering physical insights to the SET/RESET transitions and the analog switching. The forming free nature of all the devices in conjunction with the self-rectifying behavior, should also be regarded as important assets towards RRAM device optimization.

  1. Amateur Radio Emergency Communications Enhancement Act of 2009

    THOMAS, 111th Congress

    Rep. Jackson-Lee, Sheila [D-TX-18

    2009-04-29

    House - 05/01/2009 Referred to the Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet. (All Actions) Tracker: This bill has the status IntroducedHere are the steps for Status of Legislation:

  2. The number of components of enhancement contributing to short-term synaptic plasticity at the neuromuscular synapse during patterned nerve Stimulation progressively decreases as basal release probability is increased from low to normal levels by changing extracellular Ca2+.

    PubMed

    Holohean, Alice M; Magleby, Karl L

    2011-05-11

    Presynaptic short-term plasticity (STP) dynamically modulates synaptic strength in a reversible manner on a timescale of milliseconds to minutes. For low basal vesicular release probability (prob0), four components of enhancement, F1 and F2 facilitation, augmentation (A), and potentiation (P), increase synaptic strength during repetitive nerve activity. For release rates that exceed the rate of replenishment of the readily releasable pool (RRP) of synaptic vesicles, depression of synaptic strength, observed as a rundown of postsynaptic potential amplitudes, can also develop. To understand the relationship between enhancement and depression at the frog (Rana pipiens) neuromuscular synapse, data obtained over a wide range of prob0 using patterned stimulation are analyzed with a hybrid model to reveal the components of STP. We find that F1, F2, A, P, and depletion of the RRP all contribute to STP during repetitive nerve activity at low prob0. As prob0 is increased by raising Ca(o)(2+) (extracellular Ca2+), specific components of enhancement no longer contribute, with first P, then A, and then F2 becoming undetectable, even though F1 continues to enhance release. For levels of prob0 that lead to appreciable depression, only F1 and depletion of the RRP contribute to STP during rundown, and for low stimulation rates, F2 can also contribute. These observations place prob0-dependent limitations on which components of enhancement contribute to STP and suggest some fundamental mechanistic differences among the components. The presented model can serve as a tool to readily characterize the components of STP over wide ranges of prob0.

  3. Quadrifilar Helix Antenna for Enhanced Air-to-Ground Communications

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-05-01

    antenna is designed , simulated, fabricated and measured for use in Army air -to-ground and airborne-assisted ground-to-ground communication systems. The...Fig. 1 Antenna choices for air -to-ground communications link 2. Design The quadrifilar antenna, as shown in Fig. 2, is composed of 2 equally spaced...has been designed , simulated, fabricated and measured for use as one or both antennas in Army air -to-ground and airborne- assisted ground-to-ground

  4. Spike-Timing Precision and Neuronal Synchrony Are Enhanced by an Interaction between Synaptic Inhibition and Membrane Oscillations in the Amygdala

    PubMed Central

    Daftary, Shabrine; Madsen, Teresa E.; Rainnie, Donald G.

    2012-01-01

    The basolateral complex of the amygdala (BLA) is a critical component of the neural circuit regulating fear learning. During fear learning and recall, the amygdala and other brain regions, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, exhibit phase-locked oscillations in the high delta/low theta frequency band (∼2–6 Hz) that have been shown to contribute to the learning process. Network oscillations are commonly generated by inhibitory synaptic input that coordinates action potentials in groups of neurons. In the rat BLA, principal neurons spontaneously receive synchronized, inhibitory input in the form of compound, rhythmic, inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs), likely originating from burst-firing parvalbumin interneurons. Here we investigated the role of compound IPSPs in the rat and rhesus macaque BLA in regulating action potential synchrony and spike-timing precision. Furthermore, because principal neurons exhibit intrinsic oscillatory properties and resonance between 4 and 5 Hz, in the same frequency band observed during fear, we investigated whether compound IPSPs and intrinsic oscillations interact to promote rhythmic activity in the BLA at this frequency. Using whole-cell patch clamp in brain slices, we demonstrate that compound IPSPs, which occur spontaneously and are synchronized across principal neurons in both the rat and primate BLA, significantly improve spike-timing precision in BLA principal neurons for a window of ∼300 ms following each IPSP. We also show that compound IPSPs coordinate the firing of pairs of BLA principal neurons, and significantly improve spike synchrony for a window of ∼130 ms. Compound IPSPs enhance a 5 Hz calcium-dependent membrane potential oscillation (MPO) in these neurons, likely contributing to the improvement in spike-timing precision and synchronization of spiking. Activation of the cAMP-PKA signaling cascade enhanced the MPO, and inhibition of this cascade blocked the MPO. We discuss these results in

  5. Properties and dynamics of inhibitory synaptic communication within the CA3 microcircuits of pyramidal cells and interneurons expressing parvalbumin or cholecystokinin.

    PubMed

    Kohus, Z; Káli, S; Rovira-Esteban, L; Schlingloff, D; Papp, O; Freund, T F; Hájos, N; Gulyás, A I

    2016-07-01

    To understand how a network operates, its elements must be identified and characterized, and the interactions of the elements need to be studied in detail. In the present study, we describe quantitatively the connectivity of two classes of inhibitory neurons in the hippocampal CA3 area (parvalbumin-positive and cholecystokinin-positive interneurons), a key region for the generation of behaviourally relevant synchronous activity patterns. We describe how interactions among these inhibitory cells and their local excitatory target neurons evolve over the course of physiological and pathological activity patterns. The results of the present study enable the construction of precise neuronal network models that may help us understand how network dynamics is generated and how it can underlie information processing and pathological conditions in the brain. We show how inhibitory dynamics between parvalbumin-positive basket cells and pyramidal cells could contribute to sharp wave-ripple generation. Different hippocampal activity patterns are determined primarily by the interaction of excitatory cells and different types of interneurons. To understand the mechanisms underlying the generation of different network dynamics, the properties of synaptic transmission need to be uncovered. Perisomatic inhibition is critical for the generation of sharp wave-ripples, gamma oscillations and pathological epileptic activities. Therefore, we aimed to quantitatively and systematically characterize the temporal properties of the synaptic transmission between perisomatic inhibitory neurons and pyramidal cells in the CA3 area of mouse hippocampal slices, using action potential patterns recorded during physiological and pathological network states. Parvalbumin-positive (PV+) and cholecystokinin-positive (CCK+) interneurons showed distinct intrinsic physiological features. Interneurons of the same type formed reciprocally connected subnetworks, whereas the connectivity between interneuron

  6. Coaching and feedback: enhancing communication teaching and learning in veterinary practice settings.

    PubMed

    Adams, Cindy L; Kurtz, Suzanne

    2012-01-01

    Communication is a critical clinical skill closely linked to clinical reasoning, medical problem solving, and significant outcomes of care such as accuracy, efficiency, supportiveness, adherence to treatment plans, and client and veterinarian satisfaction. More than 40 years of research on communication and communication education in human medicine and, more recently, in veterinary medicine provide a substantive rationale for formal communication teaching in veterinary education. As a result, veterinary schools are beginning to invest in communication training. However, if communication training is to result in development of veterinary communication skills to a professional level of competence, there must be follow-through with effective communication modeling and coaching in practice settings. The purpose of this article is to move the communication modeling and coaching done in the "real world" of clinical practice to the next level. The development of skills for communication coaching and feedback is demanding. We begin by comparing communication coaching with what is required for teaching other clinical skills in practice settings. Examining both, what it takes to teach others (whether DVM students or veterinarians in practice for several years) and what it takes to enhance one's own communication skills and capacities, we consider the why, what, and how of communication coaching. We describe the use of teaching instruments to structure this work and give particular attention to how to engage in feedback sessions, since these elements are so critical in communication teaching and learning. We consider the preconditions necessary to initiate and sustain communication skills training in practice, including the need for a safe and supportive environment within which to implement communication coaching and feedback. Finally we discuss the challenges and opportunities unique to coaching and to building and delivering communication skills training in practice

  7. Oxytocin modulates human communication by enhancing cognitive exploration.

    PubMed

    de Boer, Miriam; Kokal, Idil; Blokpoel, Mark; Liu, Rui; Stolk, Arjen; Roelofs, Karin; van Rooij, Iris; Toni, Ivan

    2017-09-08

    Oxytocin is a neuropeptide known to influence how humans share material resources. Here we explore whether oxytocin influences how we share knowledge. We focus on two distinguishing features of human communication, namely the ability to select communicative signals that disambiguate the many-to-many mappings that exist between a signal's form and meaning, and adjustments of those signals to the presumed cognitive characteristics of the addressee ("audience design"). Fifty-five males participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled experiment involving the intranasal administration of oxytocin. The participants produced novel non-verbal communicative signals towards two different addressees, an adult or a child, in an experimentally-controlled live interactive setting. We found that oxytocin administration drives participants to generate signals of higher referential quality, i.e. signals that disambiguate more communicative problems; and to rapidly adjust those communicative signals to what the addressee understands. The combined effects of oxytocin on referential quality and audience design fit with the notion that oxytocin administration leads participants to explore more pervasively behaviors that can convey their intention, and diverse models of the addressees. These findings suggest that, besides affecting prosocial drive and salience of social cues, oxytocin influences how we share knowledge by promoting cognitive exploration. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. The Enhancement of Teacher Education through the Use of Communication Technology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Durham, John Richard; Sunal, Dennis W.

    The University of Alabama set up a communication network pilot program to enhance the early childhood and elementary methods block in the College of Education. The pilot program incorporated electronic mail (E-Mail), a fax machine, and a microcomputer communications network. The network made possible instructors' clarifications of assignments,…

  9. Recognizing and Enhancing the Communication Skills of Your Group Home Clients.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vicker, Beverly A.

    The manual examines ways in which nonprofessional group home health care workers can enhance the communication and interaction skills of developmentally disabled clients. The communication process is explored in terms of information exchange, both verbal and nonverbal. Examples of vocal, nonvocal, and echolalic speech are offered and suggestions…

  10. Using Virtual Interactions to Enhance the Teaching of Communication Skills to Information Technology Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pineteh, Ernest A.

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines the use of virtual interactions in a Communication class at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT)-South Africa. It demonstrates how synthesising virtual and other computer-assisted exercises as well as traditional classroom-based activities can enhance the teaching and learning of communication concepts. The paper is…

  11. Enhancing mathematics communication using critical aspects and dimensions of variation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Olteanu, Constanta; Olteanu, Lucian

    2013-06-01

    This article deals with two prominent topics in the field of mathematics education: the communication in mathematics and its teaching and learning and the continuous professional development of mathematics teachers. In this article, a framework is proposed for analysing the effectiveness of communication in mathematics classrooms. The presentation is based on data collected, during a 3-year period, while different objects of learning is presented in nine classes, and it includes 22 teachers and 884 students. Among other things, the data consist of the students' tests, the teachers' lessons plan and reports of the lessons' instructions. In the analysis, concepts relating to variation theory have been used as analytical tools. The results show that effective communication occurs in the classroom if it has the real critical aspects in student learning as its starting point. Also, the results show that teachers develop new strategies to present the contents by having the focus to open up dimensions of variation.

  12. Enhanced Glutamatergic Synaptic Plasticity in the Hippocampal CA1 Field of Food-Restricted Rats: Involvement of CB1 Receptors.

    PubMed

    Talani, Giuseppe; Licheri, Valentina; Biggio, Francesca; Locci, Valentina; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Secci, Pietro Paolo; Melis, Valentina; Dazzi, Laura; Carta, Gianfranca; Banni, Sebastiano; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2016-04-01

    The endogenous endocannabinoid system has a crucial role in regulating appetite and feeding behavior in mammals, as well as working memory and reward mechanisms. In order to elucidate the possible role of cannabinoid type-1 receptors (CB1Rs) in the regulation of hippocampal plasticity in animals exposed to food restriction (FR), we limited the availability of food to a 2-h daily period for 3 weeks in Sprague-Dawley rats. FR rats showed a higher long-term potentiation at hippocampal CA1 excitatory synapses with a parallel increase in glutamate release when compared with animals fed ad libitum. FR rats showed a significant increase in the long-term spatial memory determined by Barnes maze. FR was also associated with a decreased inhibitory effect of the CB1R agonist win55,212-2 on glutamatergic field excitatory postsynaptic potentials, together with a decrease in hippocampal CB1R protein expression. In addition, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein levels and mushroom dendritic spine density were significantly enhanced in FR rats. Altogether, our data suggest that alterations of hippocampal CB1R expression and function in FR rats are associated with dendritic spine remodeling and functional potentiation of CA1 excitatory synapses, and these findings are consistent with increasing evidence supporting the idea that FR may improve cognitive functions.

  13. Increased Anxiety-Like Behavior and Enhanced Synaptic Efficacy in the Amygdala of GluR5 Knockout Mice

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Hui; Vadakkan, Kunjumon I.; Ren, Ming; Knifed, Eva; Shum, Fanny; Quan, Jessica; Zhang, Xue-Han; Zhuo, Min

    2007-01-01

    GABAergic transmission in the amygdala modulates the expression of anxiety. Understanding the interplay between GABAergic transmission and excitatory circuits in the amygdala is, therefore, critical for understanding the neurobiological basis of anxiety. Here, we used a multi-disciplinary approach to demonstrate that GluR5-containing kainate receptors regulate local inhibitory circuits, modulate the excitatory transmission from the basolateral amygdala to the central amygdala, and control behavioral anxiety. Genetic deletion of GluR5 or local injection of a GluR5 antagonist into the basolateral amygdala increases anxiety-like behavior. Activation of GluR5 selectively depolarized inhibitory neurons, thereby increasing GABA release and contributing to tonic GABA current in the basolateral amygdala. The enhanced GABAergic transmission leads to reduced excitatory inputs in the central amygdala. Our results suggest that GluR5 is a key regulator of inhibitory circuits in the amygdala and highlight the potential use of GluR5-specific drugs in the treatment of pathological anxiety. PMID:17245443

  14. Synaptic Vesicle Endocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Saheki, Yasunori; De Camilli, Pietro

    2012-01-01

    Neurons can sustain high rates of synaptic transmission without exhausting their supply of synaptic vesicles. This property relies on a highly efficient local endocytic recycling of synaptic vesicle membranes, which can be reused for hundreds, possibly thousands, of exo-endocytic cycles. Morphological, physiological, molecular, and genetic studies over the last four decades have provided insight into the membrane traffic reactions that govern this recycling and its regulation. These studies have shown that synaptic vesicle endocytosis capitalizes on fundamental and general endocytic mechanisms but also involves neuron-specific adaptations of such mechanisms. Thus, investigations of these processes have advanced not only the field of synaptic transmission but also, more generally, the field of endocytosis. This article summarizes current information on synaptic vesicle endocytosis with an emphasis on the underlying molecular mechanisms and with a special focus on clathrin-mediated endocytosis, the predominant pathway of synaptic vesicle protein internalization. PMID:22763746

  15. Toll-like receptor 4 enhancement of non-NMDA synaptic currents increases dentate excitability after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Li, Ying; Korgaonkar, Akshata A; Swietek, Bogumila; Wang, Jianfeng; Elgammal, Fatima S; Elkabes, Stella; Santhakumar, Vijayalakshmi

    2015-02-01

    Concussive brain injury results in neuronal degeneration, microglial activation and enhanced excitability in the hippocampal dentate gyrus, increasing the risk for epilepsy and memory dysfunction. Endogenous molecules released during injury can activate innate immune responses including toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). Recent studies indicate that immune mediators can modulate neuronal excitability. Since non-specific agents that reduce TLR4 signaling can limit post-traumatic neuropathology, we examined whether TLR4 signaling contributes to early changes in dentate excitability after brain injury. Concussive brain injury caused a transient increase in hippocampal TLR4 expression within 4h, which peaked at 24h. Post-injury increase in TLR4 expression in the dentate gyrus was primarily neuronal and persisted for one week. Acute, in vitro treatment with TLR4 ligands caused bidirectional modulation of dentate excitability in control and brain-injured rats, with a reversal in the direction of modulation after brain injury. TLR4 antagonists decreased, and agonist increased, afferent-evoked dentate excitability one week after brain injury. NMDA receptor antagonist did not occlude the ability of LPS-RS, a TLR4 antagonist, to decrease post-traumatic dentate excitability. LPS-RS failed to modulate granule cell NMDA EPSCs but decreased perforant path-evoked non-NMDA EPSC peak amplitude and charge transfer in both granule cells and mossy cells. Our findings indicate an active role for TLR4 signaling in early post-traumatic dentate hyperexcitability. The novel TLR4 modulation of non-NMDA glutamatergic currents, identified herein, could represent a general mechanism by which immune activation influences neuronal excitability in neurological disorders that recruit sterile inflammatory responses. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Enhancing Teacher-Student Communications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childers, John H., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Defines Neurolinguistic Programming (NCP) and discusses specific dimensions of the model that have applications for classroom teaching. Describes five representational systems individuals use to process information and gives examples of effective and ineffective teacher-student communication for each system. (MCF)

  17. Enhanced Communication Network Solution for Positive Train Control Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fatehi, M. T.; Simon, J.; Chang, W.; Chow, E. T.; Burleigh, S. C.

    2011-01-01

    The commuter and freight railroad industry is required to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by 2015 (2012 for Metrolink), a challenging network communications problem. This paper will discuss present technologies developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to overcome comparable communication challenges encountered in deep space mission operations. PTC will be based on a new cellular wireless packet Internet Protocol (IP) network. However, ensuring reliability in such a network is difficult due to the "dead zones" and transient disruptions we commonly experience when we lose calls in commercial cellular networks. These disruptions make it difficult to meet PTC s stringent reliability (99.999%) and safety requirements, deployment deadlines, and budget. This paper proposes innovative solutions based on space-proven technologies that would help meet these challenges: (1) Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology, designed for use in resource-constrained, embedded systems and currently in use on the International Space Station, enables reliable communication over networks in which timely data acknowledgments might not be possible due to transient link outages. (2) Policy-Based Management (PBM) provides dynamic management capabilities, allowing vital data to be exchanged selectively (with priority) by utilizing alternative communication resources. The resulting network may help railroads implement PTC faster, cheaper, and more reliably.

  18. Language Training for Enhanced Horizontal Communication: A Challenge for MNCs.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Charles, Mirjaliisa; Marschan-Piekkari, Rebecca

    2002-01-01

    Identifies and examines the problems that staff in multinational corporations (MNCs) experience in horizontal communication with other units and discusses the implications of these problems for in-company language training. Concludes that illustrative interview data suggests that corporate training schemes should focus on the broad spectrum of…

  19. Enhanced Communication Network Solution for Positive Train Control Implementation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fatehi, M. T.; Simon, J.; Chang, W.; Chow, E. T.; Burleigh, S. C.

    2011-01-01

    The commuter and freight railroad industry is required to implement Positive Train Control (PTC) by 2015 (2012 for Metrolink), a challenging network communications problem. This paper will discuss present technologies developed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to overcome comparable communication challenges encountered in deep space mission operations. PTC will be based on a new cellular wireless packet Internet Protocol (IP) network. However, ensuring reliability in such a network is difficult due to the "dead zones" and transient disruptions we commonly experience when we lose calls in commercial cellular networks. These disruptions make it difficult to meet PTC s stringent reliability (99.999%) and safety requirements, deployment deadlines, and budget. This paper proposes innovative solutions based on space-proven technologies that would help meet these challenges: (1) Delay Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology, designed for use in resource-constrained, embedded systems and currently in use on the International Space Station, enables reliable communication over networks in which timely data acknowledgments might not be possible due to transient link outages. (2) Policy-Based Management (PBM) provides dynamic management capabilities, allowing vital data to be exchanged selectively (with priority) by utilizing alternative communication resources. The resulting network may help railroads implement PTC faster, cheaper, and more reliably.

  20. Improving Student Academic Achievement through Enhanced Communication Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Rivan, Christine A.; Weber, Annette M.

    This report describes a program implemented to improve inadequate student communication skills, specifically in the areas of listening, speaking, social, and emotional development. The targeted population consisted of first and second grade students in a middle class community, located in central Illinois. Evidence for the existence of the problem…

  1. Using Discussion Pedagogy to Enhance Oral and Written Communication Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dallimore, Elise J.; Hertenstein, Julie H.; Platt, Marjorie B.

    2008-01-01

    This research project examines students' reactions to in-class discussion as an instructional technique by investigating the effect of participation practices on communication-based skill development. The findings provide evidence that active preparation and participation in class discussion can be linked to students' reports of improved oral and…

  2. Using Discussion Pedagogy to Enhance Oral and Written Communication Skills

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dallimore, Elise J.; Hertenstein, Julie H.; Platt, Marjorie B.

    2008-01-01

    This research project examines students' reactions to in-class discussion as an instructional technique by investigating the effect of participation practices on communication-based skill development. The findings provide evidence that active preparation and participation in class discussion can be linked to students' reports of improved oral and…

  3. Enhancing Communication Related to Symptom Management Through Plain Language.

    PubMed

    Wittenberg, Elaine; Goldsmith, Joy; Ferrell, Betty; Platt, Christine Small

    2015-11-01

    Symptom management is a key dimension of palliative care. In addition to aspects such as assessment and pharmacological management of symptoms, professionals also require communication skills to effectively manage symptoms in serious illness. Application of the Plain Language Planner for Palliative Care(©), a provider tool for communicating about medication and symptoms using plain language, was tested. Approximately 75% of the 155 health care professionals, mostly nurses, who participated in a before-and-after educational activity about the tool, provided written communication explanations using one of three medication-symptom pairs: senna for constipation, amitriptyline for nerve pain, and lorazepam for anxiety. Responses were coded for plain language characteristics: active voice, second person, use of jargon, brief sentences, reading level, and easy to understand data phrasing. Frequency counts for coding categories were calculated and compared across medication-symptom pairs before and after the education session. A comparison between written responses before and after the education session showed improvement in the use of plain language. Overall, plain language scores were highest for communication about senna (81%), followed by amitriptyline (72%) and lorazepam (77%). Across all three medication-symptom pairs, the greatest improvement in the use of plain language occurred in the use of jargon. Provider training with the tool produced increased plain language. Use of the tool in provider education shows promise in increasing the health literacy for patients and families regarding symptom management. Copyright © 2015 American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  4. Neuro-Linguistic Programming: Enhancing Teacher-Student Communications.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Childers, John H., Jr.

    1985-01-01

    Defines Neurolinguistic Programming (NCP) and discusses specific dimensions of the model that have applications for classroom teaching. Describes five representational systems individuals use to process information and gives examples of effective and ineffective teacher-student communication for each system. (MCF)

  5. Synaptic Effects of Electric Fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rahman, Asif

    . Moreover, stimulation polarity has asymmetric effects on synaptic strength making it easier to enhance ongoing plasticity. These results suggest that the susceptibility of brain networks to an electric field depends on the state of synaptic activity. Combining a training task, which activates specific circuits, with TES may lead to functionally-specific effects. Given the simplicity of TES and the complexity of brain function, understanding the mechanisms leading to specificity is fundamental to the rational advancement of TES.

  6. Therapeutic communication part 2: strategies that can enhance the quality of the emergency care consultation.

    PubMed

    O'gara, Paula E; Fairhurst, Wendy

    2004-10-01

    Therapeutic, patient-centred communication as well as being desirable in its own right may also have the potential to improve satisfaction, health outcomes and change health behaviours in Emergency Care. This paper, the second of two, identifies from a substantive literature review five specific communication strategies that, when employed in an Emergency Care consultation, could significantly enhance its therapeutic potential. The five strategies: questioning, listening and noticing, communicating empathy, establishing and incorporating the patient's cares and concerns and concluding the consultation have been derived from the purposeful selection and analysis of communication research between 1990 and 2002.

  7. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation enhances spatial learning and synaptic plasticity via the VEGF and BDNF-NMDAR pathways in a rat model of vascular dementia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, N; Xing, M; Wang, Y; Tao, H; Cheng, Y

    2015-12-17

    This study aimed to evaluate the effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) on learning and memory in a rat model of vascular dementia (VaD) and to analyze the associated mechanisms. Bilateral carotid artery occlusion (2-VO) was used to establish a rat model of VaD. High-frequency (5Hz) rTMS was performed on rats for four weeks. Spatial learning and memory abilities were evaluated using the Morris water maze (MWM), and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus was assessed via long-term potentiation (LTP). Hippocampal expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and three subunits of the N-methyl-D-aspartic acid receptor (NMDAR), NR1, NR2A and NR2B, was analyzed by Western blotting. Compared with the VaD group, escape latency was decreased (P<0.05) and the time spent in the target quadrant and the percentage of swimming distance within that quadrant were increased (P<0.05) in the rTMS group. LTP at hippocampal CA3-CA1 synapses was enhanced by rTMS (P<0.05). VEGF expression was up-regulated following 2-VO and was further increased by rTMS (P<0.05). BDNF, NR1 and NR2B expression was decreased in the VaD group and increased by rTMS (P<0.05). There were no significant differences in NR2A expression among the three groups. These results suggest that rTMS improved learning and memory in the VaD model rats via the up-regulation of VEGF, BDNF and NMDARs. In addition, NR2B may be more important than NR2A for LTP induction in the hippocampus during rTMS treatment of VaD.

  8. SPECS: Secure and Privacy Enhancing Communications Schemes for VANETs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chim, T. W.; Yiu, S. M.; Hui, L. C. K.; Jiang, Zoe L.; Li, Victor O. K.

    Vehicular ad hoc network (VANET) is an emerging type of networks which facilitates vehicles on roads to communicate for driving safety. The basic idea is to allow arbitrary vehicles to broadcast ad hoc messages (e.g. traffic accidents) to other vehicles. However, this raises the concern of security and privacy. Messages should be signed and verified before they are trusted while the real identity of vehicles should not be revealed, but traceable by authorized party. Existing solutions either rely heavily on a tamper-proof hardware device, or cannot satisfy the privacy requirement and do not have an effective message verification scheme. In this paper, we provide a software-based solution which makes use of only two shared secrets to satisfy the privacy requirement and gives lower message overhead and at least 45% higher successful rate than previous solutions in the message verification phase using the bloom filter and the binary search techniques. We also provide the first group communication protocol to allow vehicles to authenticate and securely communicate with others in a group of known vehicles.

  9. Chelation of hippocampal zinc enhances long-term potentiation and synaptic tagging/capture in CA1 pyramidal neurons of aged rats: implications to aging and memory.

    PubMed

    Shetty, Mahesh Shivarama; Sharma, Mahima; Sajikumar, Sreedharan

    2017-02-01

    Aging is associated with decline in cognitive functions, prominently in the memory consolidation and association capabilities. Hippocampus plays a crucial role in the formation and maintenance of long-term associative memories, and a significant body of evidence shows that impairments in hippocampal function correlate with aging-related memory loss. A number of studies have implicated alterations in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, such as long-term potentiation (LTP), in age-related cognitive decline although exact mechanisms underlying are not completely clear. Zinc deficiency and the resultant adverse effects on cognition have been well studied. However, the role of excess of zinc in synaptic plasticity, especially in aging, is not addressed well. Here, we have investigated the hippocampal zinc levels and the impairments in synaptic plasticity, such as LTP and synaptic tagging and capture (STC), in the CA1 region of acute hippocampal slices from 82- to 84-week-old male Wistar rats. We report increased zinc levels in the hippocampus of aged rats and also deficits in the tetani-induced and dopaminergic agonist-induced late-LTP and STC. The observed deficits in synaptic plasticity were restored upon chelation of zinc using a cell-permeable chelator. These data suggest that functional plasticity and associativity can be successfully established in aged neural networks by chelating zinc with cell-permeable chelating agents.

  10. Functional diversity on synaptic plasticity mediated by endocannabinoids

    PubMed Central

    Cachope, Roger

    2012-01-01

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) act as modulators of synaptic transmission through activation of a number of receptors, including, but not limited to, cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1). eCBs share CB1 receptors as a common target with Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Although THC has been used for recreational and medicinal purposes for thousands of years, little was known about its effects at the cellular level or on neuronal circuits. Identification of CB1 receptors and the subsequent development of its specific ligands has therefore enhanced our ability to study and bring together a substantial amount of knowledge regarding how marijuana and eCBs modify interneuronal communication. To date, the eCB system, composed of cannabinoid receptors, ligands and the relevant enzymes, is recognized as the best-described retrograde signalling system in the brain. Its impact on synaptic transmission is widespread and more diverse than initially thought. The aim of this review is to succinctly present the most common forms of eCB-mediated modulation of synaptic transmission, while also illustrating the multiplicity of effects resulting from specializations of this signalling system at the circuital level. PMID:23108543

  11. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Strauss, Andre

    The following essays on communication are presented: communication as a condition of survival, communication for special purposes, the means of transmission of communication, communication within social and economic structures, the teaching of communication through the press, the teaching of modern languages, communication as a point of departure,…

  12. Enabling Enhanced Company Operations (ECO): An Analysis of Tactical Communication Requirements and Solutions for a Marine Corps Company and Below

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-09-01

    OPTIMAL COMMUNICATION SOLUTION The optimal communication solution for enabling ECO is one that is designed to ensure interoperability. Current and...NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY, CALIFORNIA THESIS ENABLING ENHANCED COMPANY OPERATIONS ( ECO ): AN ANALYSIS OF TACTICAL...AND SUBTITLE: Enabling Enhanced Company Operations ( ECO ): An Analysis of Tactical Communication Requirements and Solutions for a Marine Corps Company

  13. States and synaptic algebras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foulis, David J.; Jenčová, Anna; Pulmannová, Sylvia

    2017-02-01

    Different versions of the notion of a state have been formulated for various so-called quantum structures. In this paper, we investigate the interplay among states on synaptic algebras and on its sub-structures. A synaptic algebra is a generalization of the partially ordered Jordan algebra of all bounded self-adjoint operators on a Hilbert space. The paper culminates with a characterization of extremal states on a commutative generalized Hermitian algebra, a special kind of synaptic algebra.

  14. Phosphorylation of Synaptojanin Differentially Regulates Endocytosis of Functionally Distinct Synaptic Vesicle Pools

    PubMed Central

    Geng, Junhua; Wang, Liping; Lee, Joo Yeun; Chen, Chun-Kan

    2016-01-01

    The rapid replenishment of synaptic vesicles through endocytosis is crucial for sustaining synaptic transmission during intense neuronal activity. Synaptojanin (Synj), a phosphoinositide phosphatase, is known to play an important role in vesicle recycling by promoting the uncoating of clathrin following synaptic vesicle uptake. Synj has been shown to be a substrate of the minibrain (Mnb) kinase, a fly homolog of the dual-specificity tyrosine phosphorylation-regulated kinase 1A (DYRK1A); however, the functional impacts of Synj phosphorylation by Mnb are not well understood. Here we identify that Mnb phosphorylates Synj at S1029 in Drosophila. We find that phosphorylation of Synj at S1029 enhances Synj phosphatase activity, alters interaction between Synj and endophilin, and promotes efficient endocytosis of the active cycling vesicle pool (also referred to as exo-endo cycling pool) at the expense of reserve pool vesicle endocytosis. Dephosphorylated Synj, on the other hand, is deficient in the endocytosis of the active recycling pool vesicles but maintains reserve pool vesicle endocytosis to restore total vesicle pool size and sustain synaptic transmission. Together, our findings reveal a novel role for Synj in modulating reserve pool vesicle endocytosis and further indicate that dynamic phosphorylation and dephosphorylation of Synj differentially maintain endocytosis of distinct functional synaptic vesicle pools. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Synaptic vesicle endocytosis sustains communication between neurons during a wide range of neuronal activities by recycling used vesicle membrane and protein components. Here we identify that Synaptojanin, a protein with a known role in synaptic vesicle endocytosis, is phosphorylated at S1029 in vivo by the Minibrain kinase. We further demonstrate that the phosphorylation status of Synaptojanin at S1029 differentially regulates its participation in the recycling of distinct synaptic vesicle pools. Our results reveal a new role for

  15. Enhanced communication performance improvement and patient satisfaction in an endoscopy/ambulatory surgery unit.

    PubMed

    Griffiths, Barbara

    2015-01-01

    A nursing incentive directed toward enhanced communication, performance improvement, patient safety, and patient satisfaction was initiated by the staff nurses in an endoscopy unit of a 714-bed specialized teaching hospital. Data were collected from approximately 1,800 ambulatory patients using a hands-off communication tool. The population was evenly divided between males and females. The goals of the data collection focused on the utilization of a medical questionnaire given to patients prior to elective procedures. The purpose of this initial study was to ascertain whether the questionnaires contributed to patients' communication regarding their health record while facilitating the admission/assessment phase of undergoing an elective endoscopy procedure. The medical questionnaire also served as a patient education tool whereby staff promoted the importance of safe medication administration. The initiative will remain ongoing and future studies will monitor and identify areas needed for performance improvement, patient safety, and enhanced communication. Patient satisfaction is measured using Press Ganey results.

  16. Enhancing risk communication for more effective epidemic control in Taiwan.

    PubMed

    Ou, Shih-Ming; Liu, Li-Ling; Chin, Ko-Chien

    2014-01-01

    This article investigates how to more effectively conduct risk communication to increase the probability of successful control of an epidemic in Taiwan. The epidemic control of H1N1 in Taiwan in 2010 was studied. We used factor analysis and Decision-Making Trial and Evaluation Laboratory (DEMATEL) to obtain the total influence for each factor and to determine the critical factors among them. After being processed using proposed operational procedures, we obtained the critical factors and found that the government plays the key role in successful epidemic control. To reduce the resistance to efforts that seek to prevent pandemic crises, some necessary intervention activities, such as fairly and honorably exploring the complete relevant information and revealing the side effects of vaccines in a manner that is easily understood, were recommended. These could lead to an increase in immunizations among Taiwanese people by gaining their trust and commitment, thus achieving control of this epidemic.

  17. Enhanced nitric oxide production during lead (Pb²⁺) exposure recovers protein expression but not presynaptic localization of synaptic proteins in developing hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Neal, April P; Stansfield, Kirstie H; Guilarte, Tomás R

    2012-02-23

    We have previously reported that lead (Pb(2+)) exposure results in both presynaptic and postsynaptic changes in developing neurons as a result of inhibition of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor (NMDAR). NMDAR inhibition by Pb(2+) during synaptogenesis disrupts downstream trans-synaptic signaling of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and exogenous addition of BDNF can recover the effects of Pb(2+) on both presynaptic protein expression and presynaptic vesicular release. NMDAR activity can modulate other trans-synaptic signaling pathways, such as nitric oxide (NO) signaling. Thus, it is possible that other trans-synaptic pathways in addition to BDNF signaling may be disrupted by Pb(2+) exposure. The current study investigated whether exogenous addition of NO could recover the presynaptic vesicular proteins lost as a result of Pb(2+) exposure during synaptogenesis, namely Synaptophysin (Syn) and Synaptobrevin (Syb). We observed that exogenous addition of NO during Pb(2+) exposure results in complete recovery of whole-cell Syn levels and partial recovery of Syn and Syb synaptic targeting in Pb(2+)-exposed neurons.

  18. Lateral regulation of synaptic transmission by astrocytes.

    PubMed

    Covelo, A; Araque, A

    2016-05-26

    Fifteen years ago the concept of the "tripartite synapse" was proposed to conceptualize the functional view that astrocytes are integral elements of synapses. The signaling exchange between astrocytes and neurons within the tripartite synapse results in the synaptic regulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity through an autocrine form of communication. However, recent evidence indicates that the astrocyte synaptic regulation is not restricted to the active tripartite synapse but can be manifested through astrocyte signaling at synapses relatively distant from active synapses, a process termed lateral astrocyte synaptic regulation. This phenomenon resembles the classical heterosynaptic modulation but is mechanistically different because it involves astrocytes and its properties critically depend on the morphological and functional features of astrocytes. Therefore, the functional concept of the tripartite synapse as a fundamental unit must be expanded to include the interaction between tripartite synapses. Through lateral synaptic regulation, astrocytes serve as an active processing bridge for synaptic interaction and crosstalk between synapses with no direct neuronal connectivity, supporting the idea that neural network function results from the coordinated activity of astrocytes and neurons.

  19. Enhancing the Performance of Medical Implant Communication Systems through Cooperative Diversity.

    PubMed

    Hegyi, Barnabás; Levendovszky, János

    2010-01-01

    Battery-operated medical implants-such as pacemakers or cardioverter-defibrillators-have already been widely used in practical telemedicine and telecare applications. However, no solution has yet been found to mitigate the effect of the fading that the in-body to off-body communication channel is subject to. In this paper, we reveal and assess the potential of cooperative diversity to combat fading-hence to improve system performance-in medical implant communication systems. In the particular cooperative communication scenario we consider, multiple cooperating receiver units are installed across the room accommodating the patient with a medical implant inside his/her body. Our investigations have shown that the application of cooperative diversity is a promising approach to enhance the performance of medical implant communication systems in various aspects such as implant lifetime and communication link reliability.

  20. Enhancing patient safety in the pediatric emergency department: teams, communication, and lessons from crew resource management.

    PubMed

    Pruitt, Christopher M; Liebelt, Erica L

    2010-12-01

    The fast-paced and multifaceted nature of patient care in the emergency department makes our discipline especially prone to errors and adverse events. In recent years, strategies such as formal communication and medical team training have been proposed as potential means to enhance patient safety. In many ways, practice dynamics particular to the emergency department make this setting almost ideal for implementation of these strategies. This article reviews concepts of communication and team training in medicine, including those learned from the aviation industry (known as crew resource management). Recent literature pertaining to teams and communication in medicine is reviewed.

  1. Enhancing HIV communication between parents and children: efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program.

    PubMed

    Miller, Kim S; Lin, Carol Y; Poulsen, Melissa N; Fasula, Amy; Wyckoff, Sarah C; Forehand, Rex; Long, Nicholas; Armistead, Lisa

    2011-12-01

    We examine efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program (PMP), a program to teach African-American parents of preadolescents sexual communication and HIV-prevention skills, through a multicenter, randomized control trial. A total of 1115 parent-child participants were randomized to one of three intervention arms (enhanced, brief, control). Percentages and 95% confidence intervals compare parents' perception of child readiness to learn about sexual issues, communication effectiveness, and dyad concordance from baseline to 12 months postintervention. Wilcoxon rank sum tests compare the changes in scores measuring communication content in HIV/AIDS, abstinence, and condom use. Compared to control, parents in the enhanced arm increased perception of child readiness to learn about sex (16% vs. 29%; p < .001), and a greater proportion of parent-child dyads reported concordant responses on communication topics: HIV/AIDS (15%, 95% CI = 8-21%; p < .001), abstinence (13%, 95% CI = 7-20%; p < .001), condoms (15%, 95% CI = 9-22%; p < .001). Increases in communication scores in HIV/AIDS, abstinence, and condom use were greater in the enhanced arm than control (p < 0.01). We conclude that the enhanced PMP can help parents educate children about HIV and prepare children to avoid sexual risk.

  2. COMMUNICATION: Folate and S-adenosylmethionine modulate synaptic activity in cultured cortical neurons: acute differential impact on normal and apolipoprotein-deficient mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Serra, Michael; Chan, Amy; Dubey, Maya; Gilman, Vladimir; Shea, Thomas B.

    2008-12-01

    Folate deficiency is accompanied by a decline in the cognitive neurotransmitter acetylcholine and a decline in cognitive performance in mice lacking apolipoprotein E (ApoE-/- mice), a low-density lipoprotein that regulates aspects of lipid metabolism. One direct consequence of folate deficiency is a decline in S-adenosylmethionine (SAM). Since dietary SAM supplementation maintains acetylcholine levels and cognitive performance in the absence of folate, we examined herein the impact of folate and SAM on neuronal synaptic activity. Embryonic cortical neurons from mice expressing or lacking ApoE (ApoE+/+ or -/-, respectively) were cultured for 1 month on multi-electrode arrays, and signaling was recorded. ApoE+/+ cultures displayed significantly more frequent spontaneous signals than ApoE-/- cultures. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM (not normally present in culture medium) increased signal frequency and decreased signal amplitude in ApoE+/+ cultures. SAM also increased the frequency of tightly clustered signal bursts. Folate deprivation reversibly reduced signal frequency in ApoE+/+ cultures; SAM supplementation maintained signal frequency despite folate deprivation. These findings support the importance of dietary supplementation with folate and SAM on neuronal health. Supplementation with 166 µm SAM did not alter signaling in ApoE-/- cultures, which may be a reflection of the reduced SAM levels in ApoE-/- mice. The differential impact of SAM on ApoE+/+ and -/- neurons underscores the combined impact of nutritional and genetic deficiencies on neuronal homeostasis.

  3. Science documentary video slides to enhance education and communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Byrne, J. M.; Little, L. J.; Dodgson, K.

    2010-12-01

    Documentary production can convey powerful messages using a combination of authentic science and reinforcing video imagery. Conventional documentary production contains too much information for many viewers to follow; hence many powerful points may be lost. But documentary productions that are re-edited into short video sequences and made available through web based video servers allow the teacher/viewer to access the material as video slides. Each video slide contains one critical discussion segment of the larger documentary. A teacher/viewer can review the documentary one segment at a time in a class room, public forum, or in the comfort of home. The sequential presentation of the video slides allows the viewer to best absorb the documentary message. The website environment provides space for additional questions and discussion to enhance the video message.

  4. Dopaminergic enhancement of excitatory synaptic transmission in layer II entorhinal neurons is dependent on D₁-like receptor-mediated signaling.

    PubMed

    Glovaci, I; Caruana, D A; Chapman, C A

    2014-01-31

    The modulatory neurotransmitter dopamine induces concentration-dependent changes in synaptic transmission in the entorhinal cortex, in which high concentrations of dopamine suppress evoked excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) and lower concentrations induce an acute synaptic facilitation. Whole-cell current-clamp recordings were used to investigate the dopaminergic facilitation of synaptic responses in layer II neurons of the rat lateral entorhinal cortex. A constant bath application of 1 μM dopamine resulted in a consistent facilitation of EPSPs evoked in layer II fan cells by layer I stimulation; the size of the facilitation was more variable in pyramidal neurons, and synaptic responses in a small group of multiform neurons were not modulated by dopamine. Isolated inhibitory synaptic responses were not affected by dopamine, and the facilitation of EPSPs was not associated with a change in paired-pulse facilitation ratio. Voltage-clamp recordings of α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methylisoxazole-4-propionic acid (AMPA) glutamate receptor-mediated excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) were facilitated by dopamine, but N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor-mediated currents were not. Bath application of the dopamine D₁-like receptor blocker SCH23390 (50 μM), but not the D₂-like receptor blocker sulpiride (50 μM), prevented the facilitation, indicating that it is dependent upon D₁-like receptor activation. Dopamine D₁ receptors lead to activation of protein kinase A (PKA), and including the PKA inhibitor H-89 or KT 5720 in the recording pipette solution prevented the facilitation of EPSCs. PKA-dependent phosphorylation of inhibitor 1 or the dopamine- and cAMP-regulated protein phosphatase (DARPP-32) can lead to a facilitation of AMPA receptor responses by inhibiting the activity of protein phosphatase 1 (PP1) that reduces dephosphorylation of AMPA receptors, and we found here that inhibition of PP1 occluded the facilitatory effect of dopamine. The dopamine

  5. Correlated network activity enhances synaptic efficacy via BDNF and the ERK pathway at immature CA3 CA1 connections in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Mohajerani, Majid H; Sivakumaran, Sudhir; Zacchi, Paola; Aguilera, Pedro; Cherubini, Enrico

    2007-08-07

    At early developmental stages, correlated neuronal activity is thought to exert a critical control on functional and structural refinement of synaptic connections. In the hippocampus, between postnatal day 2 (P2) and P6, network-driven giant depolarizing potentials (GDPs) are generated by the synergistic action of glutamate and GABA, which is depolarizing and excitatory. Here the rising phase of GDPs was used to trigger Schaffer collateral stimulation in such a way that synchronized network activity was coincident with presynaptic activation of afferent input. This procedure produced a persistent increase in spontaneous and evoked alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxadepropionic acid-mediated glutamatergic currents, an effect that required calcium influx through postsynaptic L-type calcium channels. No potentiation was observed when a delay of 3 sec was introduced between GDPs and afferent stimulation. Pairing-induced potentiation was prevented by scavengers of endogenous BDNF or tropomyosin-related kinase receptor B (TrkB) receptor antagonists. Blocking TrkB receptors in the postsynaptic cell did not prevent the effects of pairing, suggesting that BDNF, possibly secreted from the postsynaptic cell during GDPs, acts on TrkB receptors localized on presynaptic neurons. Application of exogenous BDNF mimicked the effects of pairing on synaptic transmission. In addition, pairing-induced synaptic potentiation was blocked by ERK inhibitors, suggesting that BDNF activates the MAPK/ERK cascade, which may lead to transcriptional regulation and new protein synthesis in the postsynaptic neuron. These results support the hypothesis that, during a critical period of postnatal development, GABAA-mediated GDPs are instrumental in tuning excitatory synaptic connections and provide insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in this process.

  6. Astrocytes optimize synaptic fidelity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert

    2007-03-01

    Most neuronal synapses in the central nervous system are enwrapped by an astrocytic process. This relation allows the astrocyte to listen to and feed back to the synapse and to regulate synaptic transmission. We combine a tested mathematical model for the Ca^2+ response of the synaptic astrocyte and presynaptic feedback with a detailed model for vesicle release of neurotransmitter at active zones. The predicted Ca^2+ dependence of the presynaptic synaptic vesicle release compares favorably for several types of synapses, including the Calyx of Held. We hypothesize that the feedback regulation of the astrocyte onto the presynaptic terminal optimizes the fidelity of the synapse in terms of information transmission.

  7. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF)-induced mitochondrial motility arrest and presynaptic docking contribute to BDNF-enhanced synaptic transmission.

    PubMed

    Su, Bo; Ji, Yun-Song; Sun, Xu-lu; Liu, Xiang-Hua; Chen, Zhe-Yu

    2014-01-17

    Appropriate mitochondrial transport and distribution are essential for neurons because of the high energy and Ca(2+) buffering requirements at synapses. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an essential role in regulating synaptic transmission and plasticity. However, whether and how BDNF can regulate mitochondrial transport and distribution are still unclear. Here, we find that in cultured hippocampal neurons, application of BDNF for 15 min decreased the percentage of moving mitochondria in axons, a process dependent on the activation of the TrkB receptor and its downstream PI3K and phospholipase-Cγ signaling pathways. Moreover, the BDNF-induced mitochondrial stopping requires the activation of transient receptor potential canonical 3 and 6 (TRPC3 and TRPC6) channels and elevated intracellular Ca(2+) levels. The Ca(2+) sensor Miro1 plays an important role in this process. Finally, the BDNF-induced mitochondrial stopping leads to the accumulation of more mitochondria at presynaptic sites. Mutant Miro1 lacking the ability to bind Ca(2+) prevents BDNF-induced mitochondrial presynaptic accumulation and synaptic transmission, suggesting that Miro1-mediated mitochondrial motility is involved in BDNF-induced mitochondrial presynaptic docking and neurotransmission. Together, these data suggest that mitochondrial transport and distribution play essential roles in BDNF-mediated synaptic transmission.

  8. BER performance enhancement for secure wireless communication systems based on chaotic-MIMO techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdulameer, Lwaa F.; Jignesh, Jokhakar D.; Sripati, U.; Kulkarni, Murlidhar

    2013-01-01

    The growing interest in the use of chaotic techniques for enabling secure communication in recent years has been motivated by the emergence of a number of wireless services which require the service provider to provide low bit error rates (BER) along with information security. This paper investigates the feasibility of using chaotic communications over Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) channels. While the use of Chaotic maps can enhance security, it is seen that the overall BER performance gets degraded when compared to conventional communication schemes. In order to overcome this limitation, we have proposed the use of a combination of Chaotic modulation and Alamouti Space Time Block Code. The performance of Chaos Shift Keying (CSK) with 2×1 and 2×2 Alamouti schemes for different chaotic maps over wireless channels has been studied. It has been shown that the use of these schemes can provide security enhancement without the penalty of degradation of BER performance.

  9. Enhancing the Utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) among Home Economics Lecturers in South Eastern Nigeria

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ejinkeonye, Uju Bridget; Usoroh, Comfort I.

    2016-01-01

    The study was on enhancing the utilization of information communication Technology (ICT) among Home Economics lecturers in south Eastern Nigeria. The study adopted a survey method. The area of the study is south eastern Nigeria. Three research questions guided the study. The population was made up of 63 Home Economics lecturers from the six…

  10. Using Visual Accents to Enhance Attending to Communication Symbols for Students with Severe Multiple Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Brent R.; Downing, June

    1994-01-01

    Visual accents can create unique communication graphics to increase attending behavior necessary for learning symbol/referent relationships by students with severe vision loss. Accenting procedures use size, color, contrast, shape, and graphic pattern to enhance the probability that the learner will self-initiate attending to the visual symbol.…

  11. Communication Enhancement Project. Manitoba Pool Elevators and United Grain Growers. Phase One Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Howell, Sandi

    In 1992, United Grain Growers (UGG) and Manitoba Pool (MP) formed a partnership to examine the literacy and numeracy needs of their rural grain elevator operators and the potential of delivering a communications enhancement program in the rural areas. During part 1, the committee held a series of initial planning meetings. Both companies held…

  12. Coping and Communication-Enhancing Intervention versus Supportive Counseling for Women Diagnosed with Gynecological Cancers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manne, Sharon L.; Rubin, Stephen; Edelson, Mitchell; Rosenblum, Norman; Bergman, Cynthia; Hernandez, Enrique; Carlson, John; Rocereto, Thomas; Winkel, Gary

    2007-01-01

    This study compared the efficacy of 2 psychological interventions, a coping and communication-enhancing intervention (CCI) and supportive counseling (SC), in reducing depressive symptoms and cancer-specific distress of women diagnosed with gynecological cancer. Demographic, medical, and psychological moderators of intervention effects were…

  13. Music and Sign Language to Promote Infant and Toddler Communication and Enhance Parent-Child Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colwell, Cynthia; Memmott, Jenny; Meeker-Miller, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using music and/or sign language to promote early communication in infants and toddlers (6-20 months) and to enhance parent-child interactions. Three groups used for this study were pairs of participants (care-giver(s) and child) assigned to each group: 1) Music Alone 2) Sign Language…

  14. Enhancing Willingness to Communicate: Relative Effects of Visualization and Goal Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munezane, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the relative effects of two treatments--goal setting and visualization--on enhancing Willingness to Communicate (WTC) among a group of 373 Japanese university EFL learners. Although longitudinal studies in both EFL and ESL settings have been conducted to examine the developmental aspect of WTC, no solid results of enhancing…

  15. Using Visual Accents to Enhance Attending to Communication Symbols for Students with Severe Multiple Disabilities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailey, Brent R.; Downing, June

    1994-01-01

    Visual accents can create unique communication graphics to increase attending behavior necessary for learning symbol/referent relationships by students with severe vision loss. Accenting procedures use size, color, contrast, shape, and graphic pattern to enhance the probability that the learner will self-initiate attending to the visual symbol.…

  16. Enhancing HIV Communication between Parents and Children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kim S.; Lin, Carol Y.; Poulsen, Melissa N.; Fasula, Amy; Wyckoff, Sarah C.; Forehand, Rex; Long, Nicholas; Armistead, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    We examine efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program (PMP), a program to teach African-American parents of preadolescents sexual communication and HIV-prevention skills, through a multicenter, randomized control trial. A total of 1115 parent-child participants were randomized to one of three intervention arms (enhanced, brief, control). Percentages…

  17. NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT TO ENHANCE AND IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS AT USEPA'S NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    New media technology (NT) interactive applications are currently being developed in house at ORD/NRMRL to enhance and improve communication of NRMRL's 1) research projects, 2) workshops/conferences and 3) specialized training. NT is an exciting mix of cutting-edge information tec...

  18. Cooperative Learning and Enhanced Communication: Effects on Student Performance, Retention, and Attitudes in General Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, R. C.; Bowen, C. W.; Berger, T.; Rees, W.; Mellon, E. K.; Pulliam, E.

    1995-09-01

    This report discusses the retention and performance of three sections of general chemistry that utilized different levels of cooperative learning and enhanced communication. The structured cooperative section (S-coop) required that students belonged to study groups, had group homework and group quizzes and had course credit driven electronic mail. The unstructured cooperative section (U-coop) encouraged students to form optional informal groups and provided for optional enhanced communication by paper mail. The control section used a standard lecture format without any cooperative learning or enhanced communication options. The student retention (C or better) was S-coop 85 %, U-coop 76 %, and Control 59 % (all differences were statistically significant). On the final exam the percent correct for common questions was S-coop 58%, U-coop 60%, and Control 55%. Adjusted for the difference in retention there was no significant difference between the two cooperative sections. The results of the Student Instructional Rating System for the three sections had the following percentage of students agreeing that the instructor was an effective teacher: S-coop 74%; U-coop 99%; and Control 80%. In all cases the differences were statistically significant. We conclude that a structured cooperative learning environment with enhanced communication can improve overall student retention and performance in general chemistry.

  19. Enhancing English Learners' Willingness to Communicate through Debate and Philosophy Inquiry Discussion

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shamsudin, Mardziah; Othman, Moomala; Jahedi, Maryam; Aralas, Dalia

    2017-01-01

    The present study investigated the impact of two instructional methods, Debate and Philosophy Inquiry (PI), in enhancing Willingness to Communicate (WTC) among two groups of English as a Second Language (ESL) learners who were randomly selected. In each group there were sixteen participants. The researchers used independent samples t-test and…

  20. Enhancing Intercultural Communication and Understanding: Team Translation Project as a Student Engagement Learning Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yang, Ping

    2015-01-01

    This paper reflects on a team translation project on Aboriginal culture designed to enhance university students' intercultural communication competence and understanding through engaging in an interactive team translation project funded by the Australia-China Council. A selected group of Chinese speaking translation students participated in the…

  1. NEW MEDIA TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT TO ENHANCE AND IMPROVE COMMUNICATIONS AT USEPA'S NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

    EPA Science Inventory

    New media technology (NT) interactive applications are currently being developed in house at ORD/NRMRL to enhance and improve communication of NRMRL's 1) research projects, 2) workshops/conferences and 3) specialized training. NT is an exciting mix of cutting-edge information tec...

  2. Use of Information and Communication Technology to Enhance the Information Literacy Skills of Distance Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pastula, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral tool in enhancing library services worldwide. This article looks at ways technology is utilized at Massey University to bridge the gap between distance students and traditional library services. There are a variety of software providers, formats and implementation practices…

  3. Use of Information and Communication Technology to Enhance the Information Literacy Skills of Distance Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pastula, Matthew

    2010-01-01

    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become an integral tool in enhancing library services worldwide. This article looks at ways technology is utilized at Massey University to bridge the gap between distance students and traditional library services. There are a variety of software providers, formats and implementation practices…

  4. Leveraging Computer-Mediated Communication Technologies to Enhance Interactions in Online Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Linda J.

    2011-01-01

    Computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies have been an integral part of distance education for many years. They are found in both synchronous and asynchronous platforms and are intended to enhance the learning experience for students. CMC technologies add an interactive element to the online learning environment. The findings from this…

  5. Enhancing HIV Communication between Parents and Children: Efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Miller, Kim S.; Lin, Carol Y.; Poulsen, Melissa N.; Fasula, Amy; Wyckoff, Sarah C.; Forehand, Rex; Long, Nicholas; Armistead, Lisa

    2011-01-01

    We examine efficacy of the Parents Matter! Program (PMP), a program to teach African-American parents of preadolescents sexual communication and HIV-prevention skills, through a multicenter, randomized control trial. A total of 1115 parent-child participants were randomized to one of three intervention arms (enhanced, brief, control). Percentages…

  6. Grade/Study-Performance Contracts, Enhanced Communication, Cooperative Learning, and Student Performance in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dougherty, Ralph C.

    1997-01-01

    Describes and evaluates a teaching strategy, designed to increase student retention while maintaining academic performance levels in undergraduate organic chemistry, that uses grade/study-performance contracts, enhanced communication using electronic mail, and cooperative learning. Concludes that a series of interventions can substantially…

  7. A Review of Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Social Work Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Chitat; Holosko, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Information and communications technology (ICT) has impacted almost all human service disciplines and currently is evolving in social work. This study provides a systematic review of ICT-enhanced social work interventions, with particular reference to their intervention fidelity (IF), validity, and the role of ICT in the helping…

  8. Enhancing Willingness to Communicate: Relative Effects of Visualization and Goal Setting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Munezane, Yoko

    2015-01-01

    This article examines the relative effects of two treatments--goal setting and visualization--on enhancing Willingness to Communicate (WTC) among a group of 373 Japanese university EFL learners. Although longitudinal studies in both EFL and ESL settings have been conducted to examine the developmental aspect of WTC, no solid results of enhancing…

  9. Leveraging Computer-Mediated Communication Technologies to Enhance Interactions in Online Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wright, Linda J.

    2011-01-01

    Computer-mediated communication (CMC) technologies have been an integral part of distance education for many years. They are found in both synchronous and asynchronous platforms and are intended to enhance the learning experience for students. CMC technologies add an interactive element to the online learning environment. The findings from this…

  10. How Can Mobile SMS Communication Support and Enhance a First Year Undergraduate Learning Environment?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Geraldine; Edwards, Gabriele; Reid, Alan

    2009-01-01

    In this paper we discuss a case study investigating how the academic and personal development of first year students on an undergraduate sports education degree can be supported and enhanced with mobile SMS (Short Message Service) communication. SMS-based technologies were introduced in response to students' particular needs (in transition to…

  11. Music and Sign Language to Promote Infant and Toddler Communication and Enhance Parent-Child Interaction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colwell, Cynthia; Memmott, Jenny; Meeker-Miller, Anne

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of using music and/or sign language to promote early communication in infants and toddlers (6-20 months) and to enhance parent-child interactions. Three groups used for this study were pairs of participants (care-giver(s) and child) assigned to each group: 1) Music Alone 2) Sign Language…

  12. A Review of Information and Communication Technology Enhanced Social Work Interventions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chan, Chitat; Holosko, Michael J.

    2016-01-01

    Objectives: Information and communications technology (ICT) has impacted almost all human service disciplines and currently is evolving in social work. This study provides a systematic review of ICT-enhanced social work interventions, with particular reference to their intervention fidelity (IF), validity, and the role of ICT in the helping…

  13. Patient proactivity enhancing doctor-patient-family communication in cancer prevention and care among the aged.

    PubMed

    Kahana, Eva; Kahana, Boaz

    2003-05-01

    This paper presents a comprehensive conceptual model of health care communication involving three key health care partners: patients, physicians, and significant family members (health significant other, HSOs). A unique feature of this model is its focus on proactive roles played by elderly patients in information gathering and communication with health care partners regarding both cancer prevention and cancer care. We outline how proactive initiatives by health care consumers and involvement of their HSOs can enhance patient outcomes (satisfaction with physician, adherence to preventive and corrective practice recommendations, and quality of life). Finally, we also note primary antecedents of health care partner communication in terms of both medical care context and patient characteristics. We hope that this testable causal model will inform future research in the field of health communication.

  14. Method of Enhancing On-Board State Estimation Using Communication Signals

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anzalone, Evan J. (Inventor); Chuang, Jason C. H. (Inventor)

    2015-01-01

    A method of enhancing on-board state estimation for a spacecraft utilizes a network of assets to include planetary-based assets and space-based assets. Communication signals transmitted from each of the assets into space are defined by a common protocol. Data is embedded in each communication signal transmitted by the assets. The data includes a time-of-transmission for a corresponding one of the communication signals and a position of a corresponding one of the assets at the time-of-transmission. A spacecraft is equipped to receive the communication signals, has a clock synchronized to the space-wide time reference frame, and has a processor programmed to generate state estimates of the spacecraft. Using its processor, the spacecraft determines a one-dimensional range from itself to at least one of the assets and then updates its state estimates using each one-dimensional range.

  15. Synaptic connectivity in hippocampal neuronal networks cultured on micropatterned surfaces.

    PubMed

    Liu, Q Y; Coulombe, M; Dumm, J; Shaffer, K M; Schaffner, A E; Barker, J L; Pancrazio, J J; Stenger, D A; Ma, W

    2000-04-14

    Embryonic rat hippocampal neurons were grown on patterned silane surface in order to organize synapse formations in a controlled manner. The surface patterns were composed of trimethoxysilylpropyl-diethylenetriamine (DETA) lines separated by tridecafluoro-1,1,2,2-tetrahydrooctyl-1-dimethylchlorosilane (13F) spaces. Pre- and post-synaptic specializations were identified by immunostaining for synapsin I and microtubule-associated protein-2 (MAP-2). Functional synaptic connections were examined by recording simultaneously from pairs of neurons using the whole-cell configuration of the patch-clamp technique. Spontaneous and evoked synaptic currents were recorded in neurons cultured for 2-14 days. The formation of functional connections was accompanied by the appearance of spontaneous synaptic currents (SSCs), which could be detected after approximately 3 days in culture in the absence of evoked synaptic currents (ESCs). ESCs were detected only after approximately 7 days in culture, mostly in the form of unidirectional synaptic connections. Other forms of synaptic connectivity, such as bidirectional and autaptic connections, were also identified. Both transient GABAergic and glutamatergic signals mediated the transmissions between communicating cells. These results demonstrate the combination of various types of synaptic connections forming simple and complex networks in neurons cultured on line (DETA)-space (13F) patterns. Finally, precisely synchronized SSCs were recorded in neuron pairs cultured on pattern indicating the existence of a fast-acting feedback mechanism mediated by pre-synaptic GABA(A) receptors.

  16. Sleep, synaptic connectivity, and hippocampal memory during early development.

    PubMed

    Huber, Reto; Born, Jan

    2014-03-01

    Sleep, specifically sleep slow-wave activity (SWA), contributes to global synaptic homeostasis in neocortical networks by downscaling synaptic connections that were potentiated during prior wakefulness. In parallel, SWA supports the consolidation of hippocampus-dependent episodic memory, a process linked to local increases in synaptic connectivity. During development, both SWA and episodic memory show parallel time courses: distinct SWA and capabilities to form episodic memory become established during infancy and then profoundly increase across childhood until puberty. We propose that the parallel increases across childhood reflect an imbalance in the underlying regulation of synaptic connectivity during sleep; although memory consolidation favoring synaptic potentiation is enhanced, global synaptic downscaling during sleep SWA does not attain complete recovery of homeostatic baseline levels.

  17. How can communication by oncologists enhance patients' trust? An experimental study.

    PubMed

    Hillen, M A; de Haes, H C J M; Stalpers, L J A; Klinkenbijl, J H G; Eddes, E H; Butow, P N; van der Vloodt, J; van Laarhoven, H W M; Smets, E M A

    2014-04-01

    Cancer patients need to trust their oncologist to embark in the process of oncologic treatment. Yet, it is unclear how oncologist communication contributes to such trust. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of three elements of oncologists' communication on cancer patients' trust: conferring competence, honesty, and caring. Eight videotaped consultations, 'vignettes', were created, reflecting an encounter between an oncologist and a patient with colorectal cancer. All vignettes were identical, except for small variations in the oncologist's verbal communication. Cancer patients (n = 345) were randomly assigned to viewing two vignettes, asked to identify with the patient and afterwards to rate their trust in the observed oncologist. The effects of competence, honesty, and caring on trust were established with multilevel analysis. Oncologist's enhanced expression of competence (β = 0.17, 95% CI 0.08, 0.27; P < 0.001), honesty (β = 0.30, 95% CI 0.20, 0.40; P < 0.001), as well as caring (β = 0.36, 95% CI 0.26, 0.46; P < 0.001) resulted in significantly increased trust. Communication of honesty and caring also increased patients' expectation of operation success and reported willingness to recommend the oncologist. As hypothesized, oncologists can influence their patients' trust by enhanced conveyance of their level of competence, honesty, and caring. Caring behavior has the strongest impact on trust. These findings can be translated directly into daily clinical practice as well as in communication skills training.

  18. Regulatory Enhancer-Core-Promoter Communication via Transcription Factors and Cofactors.

    PubMed

    Zabidi, Muhammad A; Stark, Alexander

    2016-12-01

    Gene expression is regulated by genomic enhancers that recruit transcription factors and cofactors to activate transcription from target core promoters. Over the past years, thousands of enhancers and core promoters in animal genomes have been annotated, and we have learned much about the domain structure in which regulatory genomes are organized in animals. Enhancer-core-promoter targeting occurs at several levels, including regulatory domains, DNA accessibility, and sequence-encoded core-promoter specificities that are likely mediated by different regulatory proteins. We review here current knowledge about enhancer-core-promoter targeting, regulatory communication between enhancers and core promoters, and the protein factors involved. We conclude with an outlook on open questions that we find particularly interesting and that will likely lead to additional insights in the upcoming years.

  19. Transgenic Expression of Glud1 (Glutamate Dehydrogenase 1) in Neurons: In Vivo Model of Enhanced Glutamate Release, Altered Synaptic Plasticity, and Selective Neuronal Vulnerability

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Xiaodong; Pal, Ranu; Hascup, Kevin N.; Wang, Yongfu; Wang, Wen-Tung; Xu, Wenhao; Hui, Dongwei; Agbas, Abdulbaki; Wang, Xinkun; Michaelis, Mary L.; Choi, In-Young; Belousov, Andrei B.; Gerhardt, Greg A.; Michaelis, Elias K.

    2010-01-01

    The effects of lifelong, moderate excess release of glutamate (Glu) in the CNS have not been previously characterized. We created a transgenic (Tg) mouse model of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release in the CNS by introducing the gene for glutamate dehydrogenase 1 (Glud1) under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. Glud1 is, potentially, an important enzyme in the pathway of Glu synthesis in nerve terminals. Increased levels of GLUD protein and activity in CNS neurons of hemizygous Tg mice were associated with increases in the in vivo release of Glu after neuronal depolarization in striatum and in the frequency and amplitude of miniature EPSCs in the CA1 region of the hippocampus. Despite overexpression of Glud1 in all neurons of the CNS, the Tg mice suffered neuronal losses in select brain regions (e.g., the CA1 but not the CA3 region). In vulnerable regions, Tg mice had decreases in MAP2A labeling of dendrites and in synaptophysin labeling of presynaptic terminals; the decreases in neuronal numbers and dendrite and presynaptic terminal labeling increased with advancing age. In addition, the Tg mice exhibited decreases in long-term potentiation of synaptic activity and in spine density in dendrites of CA1 neurons. Behaviorally, the Tg mice were significantly more resistant than wild-type mice to induction and duration of anesthesia produced by anesthetics that suppress Glu neurotransmission. The Glud1 mouse might be a useful model for the effects of lifelong excess synaptic Glu release on CNS neurons and for age-associated neurodegenerative processes. PMID:19890003

  20. CPP-TRS(C): On using visual cognitive symbols to enhance communication effectiveness

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tonfoni, Graziella

    1994-01-01

    Communicative Positioning Program/Text Representation Systems (CPP-TRS) is a visual language based on a system of 12 canvasses, 10 signals and 14 symbols. CPP-TRS is based on the fact that every communication action is the result of a set of cognitive processes and the whole system is based on the concept that you can enhance communication by visually perceiving text. With a simple syntax, CPP-TRS is capable of representing meaning and intention as well as communication functions visually. Those are precisely invisible aspects of natural language that are most relevant to getting the global meaning of a text. CPP-TRS reinforces natural language in human machine interaction systems. It complements natural language by adding certain important elements that are not represented by natural language by itself. These include communication intention and function of the text expressed by the sender, as well as the role the reader is supposed to play. The communication intention and function of a text and the reader's role are invisible in natural language because neither specific words nor punctuation conveys them sufficiently and unambiguously; they are therefore non-transparent.

  1. Activity-dependent synaptic GRIP1 accumulation drives synaptic scaling up in response to action potential blockade.

    PubMed

    Gainey, Melanie A; Tatavarty, Vedakumar; Nahmani, Marc; Lin, Heather; Turrigiano, Gina G

    2015-07-07

    Synaptic scaling is a form of homeostatic plasticity that stabilizes neuronal firing in response to changes in synapse number and strength. Scaling up in response to action-potential blockade is accomplished through increased synaptic accumulation of GluA2-containing AMPA receptors (AMPAR), but the receptor trafficking steps that drive this process remain largely obscure. Here, we show that the AMPAR-binding protein glutamate receptor-interacting protein-1 (GRIP1) is essential for regulated synaptic AMPAR accumulation during scaling up. Synaptic abundance of GRIP1 was enhanced by activity deprivation, directly increasing synaptic GRIP1 abundance through overexpression increased the amplitude of AMPA miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs), and shRNA-mediated GRIP1 knockdown prevented scaling up of AMPA mEPSCs. Furthermore, knockdown and replace experiments targeting either GRIP1 or GluA2 revealed that scaling up requires the interaction between GRIP1 and GluA2. Finally, GRIP1 synaptic accumulation during scaling up did not require GluA2 binding. Taken together, our data support a model in which activity-dependent trafficking of GRIP1 to synaptic sites drives the forward trafficking and enhanced synaptic accumulation of GluA2-containing AMPAR during synaptic scaling up.

  2. Extracellular ATP Hydrolysis Inhibits Synaptic Transmission by Increasing pH Buffering in the Synaptic Cleft

    PubMed Central

    Vroman, Rozan; Klaassen, Lauw J.; Howlett, Marcus H.C.; Cenedese, Valentina; Klooster, Jan; Sjoerdsma, Trijntje; Kamermans, Maarten

    2014-01-01

    Neuronal computations strongly depend on inhibitory interactions. One such example occurs at the first retinal synapse, where horizontal cells inhibit photoreceptors. This interaction generates the center/surround organization of bipolar cell receptive fields and is crucial for contrast enhancement. Despite its essential role in vision, the underlying synaptic mechanism has puzzled the neuroscience community for decades. Two competing hypotheses are currently considered: an ephaptic and a proton-mediated mechanism. Here we show that horizontal cells feed back to photoreceptors via an unexpected synthesis of the two. The first one is a very fast ephaptic mechanism that has no synaptic delay, making it one of the fastest inhibitory synapses known. The second one is a relatively slow (τ≈200 ms), highly intriguing mechanism. It depends on ATP release via Pannexin 1 channels located on horizontal cell dendrites invaginating the cone synaptic terminal. The ecto-ATPase NTPDase1 hydrolyses extracellular ATP to AMP, phosphate groups, and protons. The phosphate groups and protons form a pH buffer with a pKa of 7.2, which keeps the pH in the synaptic cleft relatively acidic. This inhibits the cone Ca2+ channels and consequently reduces the glutamate release by the cones. When horizontal cells hyperpolarize, the pannexin 1 channels decrease their conductance, the ATP release decreases, and the formation of the pH buffer reduces. The resulting alkalization in the synaptic cleft consequently increases cone glutamate release. Surprisingly, the hydrolysis of ATP instead of ATP itself mediates the synaptic modulation. Our results not only solve longstanding issues regarding horizontal cell to photoreceptor feedback, they also demonstrate a new form of synaptic modulation. Because pannexin 1 channels and ecto-ATPases are strongly expressed in the nervous system and pannexin 1 function is implicated in synaptic plasticity, we anticipate that this novel form of synaptic modulation

  3. Synaptic Basis for Cross-modal Plasticity: Enhanced Supragranular Dendritic Spine Density in Anterior Ectosylvian Auditory Cortex of the Early Deaf Cat.

    PubMed

    Clemo, H Ruth; Lomber, Stephen G; Meredith, M Alex

    2016-04-01

    In the cat, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (FAES) is sensitive to auditory cues and its deactivation leads to orienting deficits toward acoustic, but not visual, stimuli. However, in early deaf cats, FAES activity shifts to the visual modality and its deactivation blocks orienting toward visual stimuli. Thus, as in other auditory cortices, hearing loss leads to cross-modal plasticity in the FAES. However, the synaptic basis for cross-modal plasticity is unknown. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of early deafness on the density, distribution, and size of dendritic spines in the FAES. Young cats were ototoxically deafened and raised until adulthood when they (and hearing controls) were euthanized, the cortex stained using Golgi-Cox, and FAES neurons examined using light microscopy. FAES dendritic spine density averaged 0.85 spines/μm in hearing animals, but was significantly higher (0.95 spines/μm) in the early deaf. Size distributions and increased spine density were evident specifically on apical dendrites of supragranular neurons. In separate tracer experiments, cross-modal cortical projections were shown to terminate predominantly within the supragranular layers of the FAES. This distributional correspondence between projection terminals and dendritic spine changes indicates that cross-modal plasticity is synaptically based within the supragranular layers of the early deaf FAES. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. Synaptic Basis for Cross-modal Plasticity: Enhanced Supragranular Dendritic Spine Density in Anterior Ectosylvian Auditory Cortex of the Early Deaf Cat

    PubMed Central

    Clemo, H. Ruth; Lomber, Stephen G.; Meredith, M. Alex

    2016-01-01

    In the cat, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (FAES) is sensitive to auditory cues and its deactivation leads to orienting deficits toward acoustic, but not visual, stimuli. However, in early deaf cats, FAES activity shifts to the visual modality and its deactivation blocks orienting toward visual stimuli. Thus, as in other auditory cortices, hearing loss leads to cross-modal plasticity in the FAES. However, the synaptic basis for cross-modal plasticity is unknown. Therefore, the present study examined the effect of early deafness on the density, distribution, and size of dendritic spines in the FAES. Young cats were ototoxically deafened and raised until adulthood when they (and hearing controls) were euthanized, the cortex stained using Golgi-Cox, and FAES neurons examined using light microscopy. FAES dendritic spine density averaged 0.85 spines/μm in hearing animals, but was significantly higher (0.95 spines/μm) in the early deaf. Size distributions and increased spine density were evident specifically on apical dendrites of supragranular neurons. In separate tracer experiments, cross-modal cortical projections were shown to terminate predominantly within the supragranular layers of the FAES. This distributional correspondence between projection terminals and dendritic spine changes indicates that cross-modal plasticity is synaptically based within the supragranular layers of the early deaf FAES. PMID:25274986

  5. An Evaluation of Protocol Enhancing Proxies and File Transport Protocols for Satellite Communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finch, Patrick Eugene; Sullivan, Donald; Ivancic, William D.

    2012-01-01

    NASA is utilizing Global Hawk aircraft in high-altitude, long-duration Earth science missions. Communications with the onboard research equipment and sensors (the science payload) is via Ku-Band radio utilizing satellites in geostationary orbits. All payload communications use standard Internet Protocols and routing, and much of the data to be transferred is comprised of very large files. The science community is interested in fully utilizing these communication links to retrieve data as quickly and reliably as possible. A test bed was developed at NASA Ames to evaluate modern transport protocols as well as Protocol Enhancing Proxies (PEPs) to determine what tools best fit the needs of the science community. This paper describes the test bed used, the protocols, the PEPs that were evaluated, the particular tests performed and the results and conclusions.

  6. Cell-specific gain modulation by synaptically released zinc in cortical circuits of audition.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Charles T; Kumar, Manoj; Xiong, Shanshan; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2017-09-09

    In many excitatory synapses, mobile zinc is found within glutamatergic vesicles and is coreleased with glutamate. Ex vivo studies established that synaptically released (synaptic) zinc inhibits excitatory neurotransmission at lower frequencies of synaptic activity but enhances steady state synaptic responses during higher frequencies of activity. However, it remains unknown how synaptic zinc affects neuronal processing in vivo. Here, we imaged the sound-evoked neuronal activity of the primary auditory cortex in awake mice. We discovered that synaptic zinc enhanced the gain of sound-evoked responses in CaMKII-expressing principal neurons, but it reduced the gain of parvalbumin- and somatostatin-expressing interneurons. This modulation was sound intensity-dependent and, in part, NMDA receptor-independent. By establishing a previously unknown link between synaptic zinc and gain control of auditory cortical processing, our findings advance understanding about cortical synaptic mechanisms and create a new framework for approaching and interpreting the role of the auditory cortex in sound processing.

  7. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stouffer, Donald D.

    1990-01-01

    Communication in its many forms is a critical component for an effective Space Grant Program. Good communication is needed within individual Space Grant College/Consortia, for example between consortium affiliates and the consortium program office. Effective communication between the several programs, NASA Headquarters, and NASA field centers also is required. Further, communication among the above program elements, industry, local and state government, and the public also are necessary for meeting program objectives.

  8. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hancock, Alan

    An informal introduction to the study of communication deals with the major topics in the field. It presents basic theories of communication and language, reviews how language takes on meaning, explains the stimulus-response and Piaget theories of learning, and presents major theories dealing with communications and society. These theories include…

  9. Communication.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hancock, Alan

    An informal introduction to the study of communication deals with the major topics in the field. It presents basic theories of communication and language, reviews how language takes on meaning, explains the stimulus-response and Piaget theories of learning, and presents major theories dealing with communications and society. These theories include…

  10. Performance Assessment of Hearing Protection and Communication Enhancement Devices: Peltor Comtac III and IV

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-07-01

    designed to amplify soft sounds and conversational speech while allowing loud sounds to pass though without amplification. To normalize the hear-thru...2015; 88ABW-2015-4423. 14. ABSTRACT Hearing Protection and communication enhancement devices were designed for those who want to maintain natural...noise. The devices also reduced critical aural cues required to localize sounds essential to maintaining situational awareness. The active headsets

  11. Lessons from special education: enhancing communication between health professionals and children with learning difficulties.

    PubMed

    Kerzman, Barbara; Smith, Pam

    2004-12-01

    Children with learning difficulties have potentially greater health needs than non-disabled children, and as a consequence, are more likely to access health services. Parents of children with learning difficulties express concerns regarding the ability of health professionals to meet their needs, one of these concerns is the capacity to communicate effectively with the child. We suggest in this discussion paper that to facilitate improved communication a more collaborative approach between all individuals involved in the care and everyday life of the child with learning difficulties is advantageous. Collaboration has the potential to enable health professionals to adopt methods of communication that are familiar to the child, such as those used in the school setting. The advantage of such collaboration will enable health professionals to learn some of the methods used in the education of children with learning difficulties, which could be transferred to the health care setting. How greater collaboration and knowledge of communication methods used in education will enhance communication with children with learning difficulties are also discussed in this paper.

  12. Astrocytes Optimize the Synaptic Transmission of Information

    PubMed Central

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter; Levine, Herbert

    2008-01-01

    Chemical synapses transmit information via the release of neurotransmitter-filled vesicles from the presynaptic terminal. Using computational modeling, we predict that the limited availability of neurotransmitter resources in combination with the spontaneous release of vesicles limits the maximum degree of enhancement of synaptic transmission. This gives rise to an optimal tuning that depends on the number of active zones. There is strong experimental evidence that astrocytes that enwrap synapses can modulate the probabilities of vesicle release through bidirectional signaling and hence regulate synaptic transmission. For low-fidelity hippocampal synapses, which typically have only one or two active zones, the predicted optimal values lie close to those determined by experimentally measured astrocytic feedback, suggesting that astrocytes optimize synaptic transmission of information. PMID:18516277

  13. Modeling synaptic transmission of the tripartite synapse

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita; Jung, Peter

    2007-03-01

    The tripartite synapse denotes the junction of a pre- and postsynaptic neuron modulated by a synaptic astrocyte. Enhanced transmission probability and frequency of the postsynaptic current-events are among the significant effects of the astrocyte on the synapse as experimentally characterized by several groups. In this paper we provide a mathematical framework for the relevant synaptic interactions between neurons and astrocytes that can account quantitatively for both the astrocytic effects on the synaptic transmission and the spontaneous postsynaptic events. Inferred from experiments, the model assumes that glutamate released by the astrocytes in response to synaptic activity regulates store-operated calcium in the presynaptic terminal. This source of calcium is distinct from voltage-gated calcium influx and accounts for the long timescale of facilitation at the synapse seen in correlation with calcium activity in the astrocytes. Our model predicts the inter-event interval distribution of spontaneous current activity mediated by a synaptic astrocyte and provides an additional insight into a novel mechanism for plasticity in which a low fidelity synapse gets transformed into a high fidelity synapse via astrocytic coupling.

  14. Presynaptic angiotensin II AT1 receptors enhance inhibitory and excitatory synaptic neurotransmission to motoneurons and other ventral horn neurons in neonatal rat spinal cord.

    PubMed

    Oz, Murat; Yang, Keun-Hang; O'donovan, Michael J; Renaud, Leo P

    2005-08-01

    In neonatal spinal cord, we previously reported that exogenous angiotensin II (ANG II) acts at postsynaptic AT1 receptors to depolarize neonatal rat spinal ventral horn neurons in vitro. This study evaluated an associated increase in synaptic activity. Patch clamp recordings revealed that 38/81 thoracolumbar (T7-L5) motoneurons responded to bath applied ANG II (0.3-1 microM; 30 s) with a prolonged (5-10 min) and reversible increase in spontaneous postsynaptic activity, selectively blockable with Losartan (n = 5) but not PD123319 (n = 5). ANG-II-induced events included both spontaneous inhibitory (IPSCs; n = 6) and excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs; n = 5). While most ANG induced events were tetrodotoxin-sensitive, ANG induced a significant tetrodotoxin-resistant increase in frequency but not amplitude of miniature IPSCs (n = 7/13 cells) and EPSCs (n = 2/7 cells). In 35/77 unidentified neurons, ANG II also induced a tetrodotoxin-sensitive and prolonged increase in their spontaneous synaptic activity that featured both IPSCs (n = 5) and EPSCs (n = 4) when tested in the presence of selective amino acid receptor antagonists. When tested in the presence of tetrodotoxin, ANG II was noted to induce a significant increase in the frequency but not the amplitude of mIPSCs (n = 9) and mEPSCs (n = 8). ANG also increased spontaneous motor activity from isolated mouse lumbar ventral rootlets. Collectively, these observations support the existence of a wide pre- and postsynaptic distribution of ANG II AT1 receptors in neonatal ventral spinal cord that are capable of influencing both inhibitory and excitatory neurotransmission.

  15. NMDA Receptors Mediate Synaptic Competition in Culture

    PubMed Central

    She, Kevin; Craig, Ann Marie

    2011-01-01

    Background Activity through NMDA type glutamate receptors sculpts connectivity in the developing nervous system. This topic is typically studied in the visual system in vivo, where activity of inputs can be differentially regulated, but in which individual synapses are difficult to visualize and mechanisms governing synaptic competition can be difficult to ascertain. Here, we develop a model of NMDA-receptor dependent synaptic competition in dissociated cultured hippocampal neurons. Methodology/Principal Findings GluN1 -/- (KO) mouse hippocampal neurons lacking the essential NMDA receptor subunit were cultured alone or cultured in defined ratios with wild type (WT) neurons. The absence of functional NMDA receptors did not alter neuron survival. Synapse development was assessed by immunofluorescence for postsynaptic PSD-95 family scaffold and apposed presynaptic vesicular glutamate transporter VGlut1. Synapse density was specifically enhanced onto minority wild type neurons co-cultured with a majority of GluN1 -/- neighbour neurons, both relative to the GluN1 -/- neighbours and relative to sister pure wild type cultures. This form of synaptic competition was dependent on NMDA receptor activity and not conferred by the mere physical presence of GluN1. In contrast to these results in 10% WT and 90% KO co-cultures, synapse density did not differ by genotype in 50% WT and 50% KO co-cultures or in 90% WT and 10% KO co-cultures. Conclusions/Significance The enhanced synaptic density onto NMDA receptor-competent neurons in minority coculture with GluN1 -/- neurons represents a cell culture paradigm for studying synaptic competition. Mechanisms involved may include a retrograde ‘reward’ signal generated by WT neurons, although in this paradigm there was no ‘punishment’ signal against GluN1 -/- neurons. Cell culture assays involving such defined circuits may help uncover the rules and mechanisms of activity-dependent synaptic competition in the developing nervous

  16. [Memory and synaptic plasticity].

    PubMed

    Maitre, M

    1996-01-01

    Short term memory traces are probably induced by a sustained and specific functional activation of some sensory and/or motor circuits in brain. These modifications, which could concern a large proportion of the brain but especially the limbic areas, are constituted primarily by ionic mechanisms and second messengers cascades induced by the activation of glutamatergic receptors (namely NMDA). In the invertebrate (Drosophilia melanogaster, aplysia), the role of serotonergic receptors seems to be more important. The activated cAMP-dependent and calcium dependent protein kinases target several proteins which are reversibly phosphorylated modifying the synaptic functions which in turn induce potentiated (PLT) or depressed (DLT) post-synaptic responses. These phenomena are at the basis of specific protein neosynthesis which is initiated by several early genes or trancription factor (cfos, zif 268, jun, CREB). Specific mRNA migrate to the potentiated synapse or dendritic spine where activated polyribosomes synthesize trophic factor, adhesion molecules and synaptic constituents. The building of new synaptic contacts and/or the plastic evolution of existing synapses could explain long-term LTP and long-term memory traces.

  17. Synaptic growth: dancing with adducin.

    PubMed

    Stevens, Robin J; Littleton, J Troy

    2011-05-24

    Manipulations of the actin-capping protein adducin in Drosophila and mammalian neurons provide new insights into the mechanisms linking structural changes to synaptic plasticity and learning. Adducin regulates synaptic remodeling, providing a molecular switch that controls synaptic growth versus disassembly during plasticity.

  18. Synaptic Vesicle Pools: An Update

    PubMed Central

    Denker, Annette; Rizzoli, Silvio O.

    2010-01-01

    During the last few decades synaptic vesicles have been assigned to a variety of functional and morphological classes or “pools”. We have argued in the past (Rizzoli and Betz, 2005) that synaptic activity in several preparations is accounted for by the function of three vesicle pools: the readily releasable pool (docked at active zones and ready to go upon stimulation), the recycling pool (scattered throughout the nerve terminals and recycling upon moderate stimulation), and finally the reserve pool (occupying most of the vesicle clusters and only recycling upon strong stimulation). We discuss here the advancements in the vesicle pool field which took place in the ensuing years, focusing on the behavior of different pools under both strong stimulation and physiological activity. Several new findings have enhanced the three-pool model, with, for example, the disparity between recycling and reserve vesicles being underlined by the observation that the former are mobile, while the latter are “fixed”. Finally, a number of altogether new concepts have also evolved such as the current controversy on the identity of the spontaneously recycling vesicle pool. PMID:21423521

  19. Cell–cell communication enhances the capacity of cell ensembles to sense shallow gradients during morphogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, David; Mugler, Andrew; Brennan, Matthew D.; Lee, Sung Hoon; Huebner, Robert J.; Shamir, Eliah R.; Woo, Laura A.; Kim, Joseph; Amar, Patrick; Nemenman, Ilya; Ewald, Andrew J.; Levchenko, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Collective cell responses to exogenous cues depend on cell–cell interactions. In principle, these can result in enhanced sensitivity to weak and noisy stimuli. However, this has not yet been shown experimentally, and little is known about how multicellular signal processing modulates single-cell sensitivity to extracellular signaling inputs, including those guiding complex changes in the tissue form and function. Here we explored whether cell–cell communication can enhance the ability of cell ensembles to sense and respond to weak gradients of chemotactic cues. Using a combination of experiments with mammary epithelial cells and mathematical modeling, we find that multicellular sensing enables detection of and response to shallow epidermal growth factor (EGF) gradients that are undetectable by single cells. However, the advantage of this type of gradient sensing is limited by the noisiness of the signaling relay, necessary to integrate spatially distributed ligand concentration information. We calculate the fundamental sensory limits imposed by this communication noise and combine them with the experimental data to estimate the effective size of multicellular sensory groups involved in gradient sensing. Functional experiments strongly implicated intercellular communication through gap junctions and calcium release from intracellular stores as mediators of collective gradient sensing. The resulting integrative analysis provides a framework for understanding the advantages and limitations of sensory information processing by relays of chemically coupled cells. PMID:26792522

  20. Exponentially enhanced quantum communication rate by multiplexing continuous-variable teleportation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Christ, Andreas; Lupo, Cosmo; Silberhorn, Christine

    2012-08-01

    A major challenge of today's quantum communication systems lies in the transmission of quantum information with high rates over long distances in the presence of unavoidable losses. Thereby the achievable quantum communication rate is fundamentally limited by the amount of energy that can be transmitted per use of the channel. It is hence vital to develop quantum communication protocols that encode quantum information as energy efficiently as possible. To this aim we investigate continuous-variable quantum teleportation as a method of distributing quantum information. We explore the possibility to encode information on multiple optical modes and derive upper and lower bounds on the achievable quantum channel capacities. This analysis enables us to benchmark single-mode versus multi-mode entanglement resources. Our research reveals that multiplexing does not only feature an enhanced energy efficiency, leading to an exponential increase in the achievable quantum communication rates in comparison to single-mode coding, but also yields an improved loss resilience. However, as reliable quantum information transfer is only achieved for entanglement values above a certain threshold a careful optimization of the number of coding modes is needed to obtain the optimal quantum channel capacity.

  1. Cost effective optical coupling for enhanced rate polymer optical fiber communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chandrappan, Jayakrishnan; Zhang, Jing; Ramana, Pamidighantam V.; Lau, John Hon Shing; Kwong, Dim Lee

    2008-02-01

    Recent developments in the short distance communication have made polymer optical fibers (POF) an attractive product in the high speed data communication market. The requirement of a large bandwidth, low cost, light weight and flexibility in installation have placed them over the copper cables especially in applications like home networking and automotives. Since POFs are large core multimoded fibers, their band width is limited by intermodal dispersion. This confines POFs application to low data rate short distance communications. Restrictive mode launchers (RML) and higher order mode strippers placed in the data link helps to reduce the intermodal dispersion. The techniques used to implement these signal conditioners should be simple and cost effective to keep POFs attractive in the short distance communication. In this paper we explore the possibility of integrating the RML and mode stripping elements in the transmitter and receiver package itself. The pre-designed optical signal conditioning elements are projected to get molded in the plastic packages and are fiber plug in modules. This connector less package design, universal to any light source proposes to enhance the data rate and is widely manufacturable at an ease of installation and low cost.

  2. A synaptic mechanism for network synchrony

    PubMed Central

    Alford, Simon T.; Alpert, Michael H.

    2014-01-01

    Within neural networks, synchronization of activity is dependent upon the synaptic connectivity of embedded microcircuits and the intrinsic membrane properties of their constituent neurons. Synaptic integration, dendritic Ca2+ signaling, and non-linear interactions are crucial cellular attributes that dictate single neuron computation, but their roles promoting synchrony and the generation of network oscillations are not well understood, especially within the context of a defined behavior. In this regard, the lamprey spinal central pattern generator (CPG) stands out as a well-characterized, conserved vertebrate model of a neural network (Smith et al., 2013a), which produces synchronized oscillations in which neural elements from the systems to cellular level that control rhythmic locomotion have been determined. We review the current evidence for the synaptic basis of oscillation generation with a particular emphasis on the linkage between synaptic communication and its cellular coupling to membrane processes that control oscillatory behavior of neurons within the locomotor network. We seek to relate dendritic function found in many vertebrate systems to the accessible lamprey central nervous system in which the relationship between neural network activity and behavior is well understood. This enables us to address how Ca2+ signaling in spinal neuron dendrites orchestrate oscillations that drive network behavior. PMID:25278839

  3. Improving Outcomes for Children with Developmental Disabilities through Enhanced Communication and Collaboration between School Psychologists and Physicians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritzema, Anne M.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Ghosh, Shuvo; Karagiannakis, Anastasia; Manay-Quian, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    A renewed call for enhanced communication and collaboration between school psychology and medicine is envisioned, in light of a transdisciplinary model, where school psychologists, family physicians, and other health professionals transcend disciplinary boundaries. Recommendations for optimal communication and collaboration are described, as well…

  4. Improving Outcomes for Children with Developmental Disabilities through Enhanced Communication and Collaboration between School Psychologists and Physicians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ritzema, Anne M.; Sladeczek, Ingrid E.; Ghosh, Shuvo; Karagiannakis, Anastasia; Manay-Quian, Natalia

    2014-01-01

    A renewed call for enhanced communication and collaboration between school psychology and medicine is envisioned, in light of a transdisciplinary model, where school psychologists, family physicians, and other health professionals transcend disciplinary boundaries. Recommendations for optimal communication and collaboration are described, as well…

  5. Communicate!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chase, Stuart

    This ten chapter book is designed to provide high school students with an understanding of basic communication processes. The first five chapters include discussions of language development, function, and acquisition in relation to both human and non-human communication. The sixth chapter contains specimen linguistic analyses of speech and…

  6. Synaptic Plasticity onto Dopamine Neurons Shapes Fear Learning.

    PubMed

    Pignatelli, Marco; Umanah, George Kwabena Essien; Ribeiro, Sissi Palma; Chen, Rong; Karuppagounder, Senthilkumar Senthil; Yau, Hau-Jie; Eacker, Stephen; Dawson, Valina Lynn; Dawson, Ted Murray; Bonci, Antonello

    2017-01-18

    Fear learning is a fundamental behavioral process that requires dopamine (DA) release. Experience-dependent synaptic plasticity occurs on DA neurons while an organism is engaged in aversive experiences. However, whether synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons is causally involved in aversion learning is unknown. Here, we show that a stress priming procedure enhances fear learning by engaging VTA synaptic plasticity. Moreover, we took advantage of the ability of the ATPase Thorase to regulate the internalization of AMPA receptors (AMPARs) in order to selectively manipulate glutamatergic synaptic plasticity on DA neurons. Genetic ablation of Thorase in DAT(+) neurons produced increased AMPAR surface expression and function that lead to impaired induction of both long-term depression (LTD) and long-term potentiation (LTP). Strikingly, animals lacking Thorase in DAT(+) neurons expressed greater associative learning in a fear conditioning paradigm. In conclusion, our data provide a novel, causal link between synaptic plasticity onto DA neurons and fear learning.

  7. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, forming trans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft or cis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics. PMID:28255461

  8. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Rudenko, Gabby

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, formingtrans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft orcis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  9. Dynamic Control of Synaptic Adhesion and Organizing Molecules in Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rudenko, Gabby

    2017-01-01

    Synapses play a critical role in establishing and maintaining neural circuits, permitting targeted information transfer throughout the brain. A large portfolio of synaptic adhesion/organizing molecules (SAMs) exists in the mammalian brain involved in synapse development and maintenance. SAMs bind protein partners, forming trans-complexes spanning the synaptic cleft or cis-complexes attached to the same synaptic membrane. SAMs play key roles in cell adhesion and in organizing protein interaction networks; they can also provide mechanisms of recognition, generate scaffolds onto which partners can dock, and likely take part in signaling processes as well. SAMs are regulated through a portfolio of different mechanisms that affect their protein levels, precise localization, stability, and the availability of their partners at synapses. Interaction of SAMs with their partners can further be strengthened or weakened through alternative splicing, competing protein partners, ectodomain shedding, or astrocytically secreted factors. Given that numerous SAMs appear altered by synaptic activity, in vivo, these molecules may be used to dynamically scale up or scale down synaptic communication. Many SAMs, including neurexins, neuroligins, cadherins, and contactins, are now implicated in neuropsychiatric and neurodevelopmental diseases, such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder and studying their molecular mechanisms holds promise for developing novel therapeutics.

  10. Communication

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Griner, James

    2010-01-01

    NASA s communication work for the UAS Command and Control area will build upon work currently being conducted under NASA Recovery Act funds. Communication portions of UAS NextGen ConOps, Stateof- the-Art assessment, and Gap Analysis. Preliminary simulations for UAS CNPC link scalability assessment. Surrogate UAS aircraft upgrades. This work will also leverage FY10 in-guide funding for communication link model development. UAS are currently managed through exceptions and are operating using DoD frequencies for line-of-sight (LOS) and satellite-based communications links, low-power LOS links in amateur bands, or unlicensed Instrument/Scientific/Medical (ISM) frequencies. None of these frequency bands are designated for Safety and Regularity of Flight. No radio-frequency (RF) spectrum has been allocated by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) specifically for UAS command and control links, for either LOS or Beyond LOS (BLOS) communication.

  11. Active music classes in infancy enhance musical, communicative and social development.

    PubMed

    Gerry, David; Unrau, Andrea; Trainor, Laurel J

    2012-05-01

    Previous studies suggest that musical training in children can positively affect various aspects of development. However, it remains unknown as to how early in development musical experience can have an effect, the nature of any such effects, and whether different types of music experience affect development differently. We found that random assignment to 6 months of active participatory musical experience beginning at 6 months of age accelerates acquisition of culture-specific knowledge of Western tonality in comparison to a similar amount of passive exposure to music. Furthermore, infants assigned to the active musical experience showed superior development of prelinguistic communicative gestures and social behaviour compared to infants assigned to the passive musical experience. These results indicate that (1) infants can engage in meaningful musical training when appropriate pedagogical approaches are used, (2) active musical participation in infancy enhances culture-specific musical acquisition, and (3) active musical participation in infancy impacts social and communication development. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  12. Enhancing the decoding performance of optical wireless communication systems using receiver-side predistortion.

    PubMed

    Wang, Qi; Wang, Zhaocheng; Chen, Sheng; Hanzo, Lajos

    2013-12-16

    White light emitting diodes (LEDs) have been widely utilized for illumination owing to their desired properties of inherent bright output, high efficiency, low power consumption and long life-time. They are also increasingly applied in optical wireless communications for realizing high data rate transmission. This paper presents an improved scheme relying on the insertion of a simple predistortion module before the decoder at the receiver of optical wireless communication systems that use white LEDs. The proposed predistortion scheme exploits the inherent nature of mixing the three unequal optical-power primary colours in generating white light to enhance the system's performance. Specifically, we design this predistortion module by minimizing the upper bound of the error probability in conjunction with a soft-decision decoder. Our simulation results demonstrate that the detection performance is considerably improved with the aid of the proposed predistortion module.

  13. Context-Dependent Modulation of Excitatory Synaptic Strength by Synaptically Released Zinc

    PubMed Central

    Kalappa, Bopanna I.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Synaptically released zinc inhibits baseline excitatory neurotransmission; however, the role of this neuromodulator on short-term plasticity during different levels of synaptic activity remains largely unknown. This lack of knowledge prevents our understanding of information transfer across zinc-releasing synapses, including 50% of excitatory synapses in cortical areas. We used in vitro electrophysiology in mouse brain slices and discovered that the effects of zinc on excitatory postsynaptic current (EPSC) amplitudes are context-dependent. At lower frequencies of activity, synaptically released zinc reduces EPSC amplitudes. In contrast, at higher stimulation frequencies and vesicular release probability (Pr), zinc inhibits EPSC amplitudes during the first few stimuli but leads to enhanced steady-state EPSC amplitudes during subsequent stimuli. This paradoxical enhancement is due to zinc-dependent potentiation of synaptic facilitation via the recruitment of endocannabinoid signaling. Together, these findings demonstrate that synaptically released zinc is a modulator of excitatory short-term plasticity, which shapes information transfer among excitatory synapses. PMID:28275718

  14. Sleep, Clocks and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Sleep is widely believed to play an essential role in synaptic plasticity. However, the precise mechanisms governing this presumptive function are largely unknown. There is also evidence for independent circadian oscillations in synaptic strength and morphology. Therefore, synaptic changes observed after sleep reflect interactions between state-dependent (e.g. wake vs. sleep) and state-independent (circadian) processes. In this article we review how sleep and biological clocks influence synaptic plasticity. We discuss these findings in the context of current plasticity-based theories of sleep function and propose a new model that integrates circadian and brain state influences on synaptic plasticity. PMID:25087980

  15. Sleep, clocks, and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G; Cantera, Rafael

    2014-09-01

    Sleep is widely believed to play an essential role in synaptic plasticity. However, the precise mechanisms governing this presumptive function are largely unknown. There is also evidence for independent circadian oscillations in synaptic strength and morphology. Therefore, synaptic changes observed after sleep reflect interactions between state-dependent (e.g., wake versus sleep) and state-independent (circadian) processes. In this review we consider how sleep and biological clocks influence synaptic plasticity. We discuss these findings in the context of current plasticity-based theories of sleep function and propose a new model that integrates circadian and brain-state influences on synaptic plasticity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. Sleep and Synaptic Renormalization: A Computational Study

    PubMed Central

    Olcese, Umberto; Esser, Steve K.

    2010-01-01

    Recent evidence indicates that net synaptic strength in cortical and other networks increases during wakefulness and returns to a baseline level during sleep. These homeostatic changes in synaptic strength are accompanied by corresponding changes in sleep slow wave activity (SWA) and in neuronal firing rates and synchrony. Other evidence indicates that sleep is associated with an initial reactivation of learned firing patterns that decreases over time. Finally, sleep can enhance performance of learned tasks, aid memory consolidation, and desaturate the ability to learn. Using a large-scale model of the corticothalamic system equipped with a spike-timing dependent learning rule, in agreement with experimental results, we demonstrate a net increase in synaptic strength in the waking mode associated with an increase in neuronal firing rates and synchrony. In the sleep mode, net synaptic strength decreases accompanied by a decline in SWA. We show that the interplay of activity and plasticity changes implements a control loop yielding an exponential, self-limiting renormalization of synaptic strength. Moreover, when the model “learns” a sequence of activation during waking, the learned sequence is preferentially reactivated during sleep, and reactivation declines over time. Finally, sleep-dependent synaptic renormalization leads to increased signal-to-noise ratios, increased resistance to interference, and desaturation of learning capabilities. Although the specific mechanisms implemented in the model cannot capture the variety and complexity of biological substrates, and will need modifications in line with future evidence, the present simulations provide a unified, parsimonious account for diverse experimental findings coming from molecular, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches. PMID:20926617

  17. Technology and Research Requirements for Combating Human Trafficking: Enhancing Communication, Analysis, Reporting, and Information Sharing

    SciTech Connect

    Kreyling, Sean J.; West, Curtis L.; Olson, Jarrod

    2011-03-17

    DHS’ Science & Technology Directorate directed PNNL to conduct an exploratory study on the domain of human trafficking in the Pacific Northwest in order to examine and identify technology and research requirements for enhancing communication, analysis, reporting, and information sharing – activities that directly support efforts to track, identify, deter, and prosecute human trafficking – including identification of potential national threats from smuggling and trafficking networks. This effort was conducted under the Knowledge Management Technologies Portfolio as part of the Integrated Federal, State, and Local/Regional Information Sharing (RISC) and Collaboration Program.

  18. Reflections on learning and enhancing communication skills through community engagement: a student perspective.

    PubMed

    Hanks, S; Marples, C; Wall, E

    2016-07-22

    Students in Peninsula School of Dentistry (PSD), Plymouth, undertake community engagement projects during the first two years of their undergraduate curriculum. These projects involve interaction with a variety of specific community groups and the planning and delivery of an appropriate and meaningful oral health intervention. Many of the project outcomes are based on enhancing communication skills and encouraging students to transfer these into their patient treatment sessions. This report draws on the experience of students who undertook two specific projects to demonstrate how they feel this is achieved.

  19. Synaptic Vesicle Exocytosis

    PubMed Central

    Südhof, Thomas C.; Rizo, Josep

    2011-01-01

    Presynaptic nerve terminals release neurotransmitters by synaptic vesicle exocytosis. Membrane fusion mediating synaptic exocytosis and other intracellular membrane traffic is affected by a universal machinery that includes SNARE (for “soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor”) and SM (for “Sec1/Munc18-like”) proteins. During fusion, vesicular and target SNARE proteins assemble into an α-helical trans-SNARE complex that forces the two membranes tightly together, and SM proteins likely wrap around assembling trans-SNARE complexes to catalyze membrane fusion. After fusion, SNARE complexes are dissociated by the ATPase NSF (for “N-ethylmaleimide sensitive factor”). Fusion-competent conformations of SNARE proteins are maintained by chaperone complexes composed of CSPα, Hsc70, and SGT, and by nonenzymatically acting synuclein chaperones; dysfunction of these chaperones results in neurodegeneration. The synaptic membrane-fusion machinery is controlled by synaptotagmin, and additionally regulated by a presynaptic protein matrix (the “active zone”) that includes Munc13 and RIM proteins as central components. PMID:22026965

  20. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Xie, Yu-feng; Jackson, Michael F; Macdonald, John F

    2013-11-01

    The intricate and complex interaction between different populations of neurons in the brain has imposed limits on our ability to gain detailed understanding of synaptic transmission and its integration when employing classical electrophysiological approaches. Indeed, electrical field stimulation delivered via traditional microelectrodes does not permit the targeted, precise and selective control of neuronal activity amongst a varied population of neurons and their inputs (eg, cholinergic, dopaminergic or glutamatergic neurons). Recently established optogenetic techniques overcome these limitations allowing precise control of the target neuron populations, which is essential for the elucidation of the neural substrates underlying complex animal behaviors. Indeed, by introducing light-activated channels (ie, microbial opsin genes) into specific neuronal populations, optogenetics enables non-invasive optical control of specific neurons with milliseconds precision. These approaches can readily be applied to freely behaving live animals. Recently there is increased interests in utilizing optogenetics tools to understand synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Here, we summarize recent progress in applying optogenetics in in the study of synaptic plasticity.

  1. Optogenetics and synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Yu-feng; Jackson, Michael F; MacDonald, John F

    2013-01-01

    The intricate and complex interaction between different populations of neurons in the brain has imposed limits on our ability to gain detailed understanding of synaptic transmission and its integration when employing classical electrophysiological approaches. Indeed, electrical field stimulation delivered via traditional microelectrodes does not permit the targeted, precise and selective control of neuronal activity amongst a varied population of neurons and their inputs (eg, cholinergic, dopaminergic or glutamatergic neurons). Recently established optogenetic techniques overcome these limitations allowing precise control of the target neuron populations, which is essential for the elucidation of the neural substrates underlying complex animal behaviors. Indeed, by introducing light-activated channels (ie, microbial opsin genes) into specific neuronal populations, optogenetics enables non-invasive optical control of specific neurons with milliseconds precision. These approaches can readily be applied to freely behaving live animals. Recently there is increased interests in utilizing optogenetics tools to understand synaptic plasticity and learning/memory. Here, we summarize recent progress in applying optogenetics in in the study of synaptic plasticity. PMID:24162508

  2. Improving multidisciplinary communication at ward board rounds using video enhanced reflective practice

    PubMed Central

    Hellier, Cyril; Tully, Vicki; Forrest, Sandra; Jaggard, Pamela; MacRae, Morag; Habicht, Dirk; Greene, Alexandra; Collins, Karen

    2015-01-01

    The priority to ensure patient safety and use resources effectively, demands attention and innovation. Video enhanced reflective practice (VERP) provides training based upon analysis of film clips of one's professional practice to develop practical insight into the processes of communication, so that effective changes can be made to ongoing behaviour and practice. In this case the focus was on multi-disciplinary communication within daily board rounds on an acute medicine and care of the elderly ward. Baseline assessment and post intervention testing of perceptions of change by both full and core team were undertaken to establish the impact of VERP training. In addition pre and post focus group discussion and film analysis supplemented evaluation. The findings support the view that after VERP training of a core team, board rounds were seen as consistently easier to participate in, providing improved focus, were more efficient in goal setting and resulting in better care for patients as well as improved pathways to discharge. This suggests benefits to the communication “culture” of a multidisciplinary team resulting in increased benefits for the wider team. It is concluded that the use of tailored VERP training for personal, professional and team development is relevant, feasible, and worthy of further testing and investigation. PMID:26734342

  3. Retinal synaptic regeneration via microfluidic guiding channels

    PubMed Central

    Su, Ping-Jung; Liu, Zongbin; Zhang, Kai; Han, Xin; Saito, Yuki; Xia, Xiaojun; Yokoi, Kenji; Shen, Haifa; Qin, Lidong

    2015-01-01

    In vitro culture of dissociated retinal neurons is an important model for investigating retinal synaptic regeneration (RSR) and exploring potentials in artificial retina. Here, retinal precursor cells were cultured in a microfluidic chip with multiple arrays of microchannels in order to reconstruct the retinal neuronal synapse. The cultured retinal cells were physically connected through microchannels. Activation of electric signal transduction by the cells through the microchannels was demonstrated by administration of glycinergic factors. In addition, an image-based analytical method was used to quantify the synaptic connections and to assess the kinetics of synaptic regeneration. The rate of RSR decreased significantly below 100 μM of inhibitor glycine and then approached to a relatively constant level at higher concentrations. Furthermore, RSR was enhanced by chemical stimulation with potassium chloride. Collectively, the microfluidic synaptic regeneration chip provides a novel tool for high-throughput investigation of RSR at the cellular level and may be useful in quality control of retinal precursor cell transplantation. PMID:26314276

  4. Dynamic inhibition of excitatory synaptic transmission by astrocyte-derived ATP in hippocampal cultures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koizumi, Schuichi; Fujishita, Kayoko; Tsuda, Makoto; Shigemoto-Mogami, Yukari; Inoue, Kazuhide

    2003-09-01

    Originally ascribed passive roles in the CNS, astrocytes are now known to have an active role in the regulation of synaptic transmission. Neuronal activity can evoke Ca2+ transients in astrocytes, and Ca2+ transients in astrocytes can evoke changes in neuronal activity. The excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate has been shown to mediate such bidirectional communication between astrocytes and neurons. We demonstrate here that ATP, a primary mediator of intercellular Ca2+ signaling among astrocytes, also mediates intercellular signaling between astrocytes and neurons in hippocampal cultures. Mechanical stimulation of astrocytes evoked Ca2+ waves mediated by the release of ATP and the activation of P2 receptors. Mechanically evoked Ca2+ waves led to decreased excitatory glutamatergic synaptic transmission in an ATP-dependent manner. Exogenous application of ATP does not affect postsynaptic glutamatergic responses but decreased presynaptic exocytotic events. Finally, we show that astrocytes exhibit spontaneous Ca2+ waves mediated by extracellular ATP and that inhibition of these Ca2+ responses enhanced excitatory glutamatergic transmission. We therefore conclude that ATP released from astrocytes exerts tonic and activity-dependent down-regulation of synaptic transmission via presynaptic mechanisms.

  5. HCN1 channels reduce the rate of exocytosis from a subset of cortical synaptic terminals

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Zhuo; Li, Gengyu; Aguado, Carolina; Lujan, Rafael; Shah, Mala M.

    2017-01-01

    The hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN1) channels are predominantly located in pyramidal cell dendrites within the cortex. Recent evidence suggests these channels also exist pre-synaptically in a subset of synaptic terminals within the mature entorhinal cortex (EC). Inhibition of pre-synaptic HCN channels enhances miniature excitatory post-synaptic currents (mEPSCs) onto EC layer III pyramidal neurons, suggesting that these channels decrease the release of the neurotransmitter, glutamate. Thus, do pre-synaptic HCN channels alter the rate of synaptic vesicle exocytosis and thereby enhance neurotransmitter release? To address this, we imaged the release of FM1-43, a dye that is incorporated into synaptic vesicles, from EC synaptic terminals using two photon microscopy in slices obtained from forebrain specific HCN1 deficient mice, global HCN1 knockouts and their wildtype littermates. This coupled with electrophysiology and pharmacology showed that HCN1 channels restrict the rate of exocytosis from a subset of cortical synaptic terminals within the EC and in this way, constrain non-action potential-dependent and action potential-dependent spontaneous release as well as synchronous, evoked release. Since HCN1 channels also affect post-synaptic potential kinetics and integration, our results indicate that there are diverse ways by which HCN1 channels influence synaptic strength and plasticity. PMID:28071723

  6. Influence of Parent-Adolescent Communication About Anabolic Steroids on Adolescent Athletes' Willingness to Try Performance-Enhancing Substances.

    PubMed

    Dodge, Tonya; Clarke, Paige

    2015-01-01

    Performance-enhancing substances are used by adolescent athletes to help improve performance. Anabolic steroids (AS) are performance-enhancing substances that pose significant health problems when used by adolescents. Objectives were to: (1) examine the extent to which parents and adolescents discuss AS and (2) test whether parent-adolescent communication about AS can generalize to, and influence, decisions to use other types of performance-enhancing substances. Adolescent athletes (n = 244) completed an anonymous questionnaire that assessed the extent to which the adolescents discussed with their parents the performance outcomes and protective factors associated with AS, their intentions to use AS, and their willingness to try a newly developed, potentially illegal performance-enhancing substance. Data were collected during 2009-2010. Adolescents reported relatively low levels of communication with their parents about anabolic androgenic steroids (AAS). Communication with parents about the performance outcomes associated with AS was a positive predictor of willingness to try a newly developed performance-enhancing substance (b = 0.31, p < .01) and intentions to use AS (b = 0.54, p < .01). Communication with parents about protective factors predicted willingness to try a new performance-enhancing substance (b = -0.24, p < .01), but not intentions (b = -0.20, p > .77). Conclusions/Importance: Parents should highlight the protective factors and avoid emphasizing the performance outcomes associated with AS in discussions with their adolescents. Discussions about AS may influence adolescents' decisions to use other types of performance-enhancing substances.

  7. Communications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailenson, Jeremy; Buzzanell, Patrice; Deetz, Stanley; Tewksbury, David; Thompson, Robert J.; Turow, Joseph; Bichelmeyer, Barbara; Bishop, M. J.; Gayeski, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Scholars representing the field of communications were asked to identify what they considered to be the most exciting and imaginative work currently being done in their field, as well as how that work might change our understanding. The scholars included Jeremy Bailenson, Patrice Buzzanell, Stanley Deetz, David Tewksbury, Robert J. Thompson, and…

  8. Communications

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bailenson, Jeremy; Buzzanell, Patrice; Deetz, Stanley; Tewksbury, David; Thompson, Robert J.; Turow, Joseph; Bichelmeyer, Barbara; Bishop, M. J.; Gayeski, Diane

    2013-01-01

    Scholars representing the field of communications were asked to identify what they considered to be the most exciting and imaginative work currently being done in their field, as well as how that work might change our understanding. The scholars included Jeremy Bailenson, Patrice Buzzanell, Stanley Deetz, David Tewksbury, Robert J. Thompson, and…

  9. Visible light communications using predistortion signal to enhance the response of passive optical receiver

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Yang; Chen, Hung-Yu; Liang, Kevin; Wei, Liang-Yu; Chow, Chi-Wai; Yeh, Chien-Hung

    2016-01-01

    Traditional visible light communication (VLC) uses positive-intrinsic-negative photodiode (PD) or avalanche PD as the optical receivers (Rx). We demonstrate using a solar cell as the VLC Rx. The solar cell is flexible and low cost and converts the optical signal into an electrical signal directly without the need of external power supply. In addition to acting as the VLC passive Rx, the converted electrical signal from the solar cell can charge up the battery of the Rx nodes. Hence, the proposed scheme can be a promising candidate for the future Internet of Things network. However, a solar cell acting as a VLC Rx is very challenging, since the response of the solar cell is limited. Here, we propose and demonstrate using predistortion to significantly enhance the solar cell Rx response for the first time up to the authors' knowledge. Experimental results show that the response of the solar cell Rx is significantly enhanced; and the original 2-kHz detection bandwidth of the solar cell can be enhanced by 250 times for receiving 500-kbit/s VLC signal at a transmission distance of 1 m. The operation principle, the generated voltage by the solar cell, and the maximum data rates achieved at different transmission distances are also studied.

  10. Synaptic plasticity with discrete state synapses

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abarbanel, Henry D. I.; Talathi, Sachin S.; Gibb, Leif; Rabinovich, M. I.

    2005-09-01

    Experimental observations on synaptic plasticity at individual glutamatergic synapses from the CA3 Shaffer collateral pathway onto CA1 pyramidal cells in the hippocampus suggest that the transitions in synaptic strength occur among discrete levels at individual synapses [C. C. H. Petersen , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 85, 4732 (1998); O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang, D. H. O’Connor , Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (to be published); J. M. Montgomery and D. V. Madison, Trends Neurosci. 27, 744 (2004)]. This happens for both long term potentiation (LTP) and long term depression (LTD) induction protocols. O’Connor, Wittenberg, and Wang have argued that three states would account for their observations on individual synapses in the CA3-CA1 pathway. We develop a quantitative model of this three-state system with transitions among the states determined by a competition between kinases and phosphatases shown by D. H. O’Connor , to be determinant of LTP and LTD, respectively. Specific predictions for various plasticity protocols are given by coupling this description of discrete synaptic α -amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA) receptor ligand gated ion channel conductance changes to a model of postsynaptic membrane potential and associated intracellular calcium fluxes to yield the transition rates among the states. We then present various LTP and LTD induction protocols to the model system and report the resulting whole cell changes in AMPA conductance. We also examine the effect of our discrete state synaptic plasticity model on the synchronization of realistic oscillating neurons. We show that one-to-one synchronization is enhanced by the plasticity we discuss here and the presynaptic and postsynaptic oscillations are in phase. Synaptic strength saturates naturally in this model and does not require artificial upper or lower cutoffs, in contrast to earlier models of plasticity.

  11. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice

    PubMed Central

    Ardiles, Alvaro O.; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M.; Palacios, Adrian G.; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C.; Martínez, Agustín D.

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca2+ concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory. PMID:25360084

  12. Pannexin 1 regulates bidirectional hippocampal synaptic plasticity in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Ardiles, Alvaro O; Flores-Muñoz, Carolina; Toro-Ayala, Gabriela; Cárdenas, Ana M; Palacios, Adrian G; Muñoz, Pablo; Fuenzalida, Marco; Sáez, Juan C; Martínez, Agustín D

    2014-01-01

    The threshold for bidirectional modification of synaptic plasticity is known to be controlled by several factors, including the balance between protein phosphorylation and dephosphorylation, postsynaptic free Ca(2+) concentration and NMDA receptor (NMDAR) composition of GluN2 subunits. Pannexin 1 (Panx1), a member of the integral membrane protein family, has been shown to form non-selective channels and to regulate the induction of synaptic plasticity as well as hippocampal-dependent learning. Although Panx1 channels have been suggested to play a role in excitatory long-term potentiation (LTP), it remains unknown whether these channels also modulate long-term depression (LTD) or the balance between both types of synaptic plasticity. To study how Panx1 contributes to excitatory synaptic efficacy, we examined the age-dependent effects of eliminating or blocking Panx1 channels on excitatory synaptic plasticity within the CA1 region of the mouse hippocampus. By using different protocols to induce bidirectional synaptic plasticity, Panx1 channel blockade or lack of Panx1 were found to enhance LTP, whereas both conditions precluded the induction of LTD in adults, but not in young animals. These findings suggest that Panx1 channels restrain the sliding threshold for the induction of synaptic plasticity and underlying brain mechanisms of learning and memory.

  13. Enhancer-promoter communication mediated by Chip during Pannier-driven proneural patterning is regulated by Osa.

    PubMed

    Heitzler, Pascal; Vanolst, Luc; Biryukova, Inna; Ramain, Philippe

    2003-03-01

    The GATA factor Pannier activates proneural achaete/scute (ac/sc) expression during development of the sensory organs of Drosophila through enhancer binding. Chip bridges Pannier with the (Ac/Sc)-Daughterless heterodimers bound to the promoter and facilitates the enhancer-promoter communication required for proneural development. We show here that this communication is regulated by Osa, which is recruited by Pannier and Chip. Osa belongs to Brahma chromatin remodeling complexes and we show that Osa negatively regulates ac/sc. Consequently, Pannier and Chip also play an essential role during repression of proneural gene expression. Our study suggests that altering chromatin structure is essential for regulation of enhancer-promoter communication.

  14. Security-enhanced chaos communication with time-delay signature suppression and phase encryption.

    PubMed

    Xue, Chenpeng; Jiang, Ning; Lv, Yunxin; Wang, Chao; Li, Guilan; Lin, Shuqing; Qiu, Kun

    2016-08-15

    A security-enhanced chaos communication scheme with time delay signature (TDS) suppression and phase-encrypted feedback light is proposed, in virtue of dual-loop feedback with independent high-speed phase modulation. We numerically investigate the property of TDS suppression in the intensity and phase space and quantitatively discuss security of the proposed system by calculating the bit error rate of eavesdroppers who try to crack the system by directly filtering the detected signal or by using a similar semiconductor laser to synchronize the link signal and extract the data. The results show that TDS embedded in the chaotic carrier can be well suppressed by properly setting the modulation frequency, which can keep the time delay a secret from the eavesdropper. Moreover, because the feedback light is encrypted, without the accurate time delay and key, the eavesdropper cannot reconstruct the symmetric operation conditions and decode the correct data.

  15. Diversity climate enhances work outcomes through trust and openness in workgroup communication.

    PubMed

    Hofhuis, Joep; van der Rijt, Pernill G A; Vlug, Martijn

    2016-01-01

    Diversity climate, defined as an organizational climate characterized by openness towards and appreciation of individual differences, has been shown to enhance outcomes in culturally diverse teams. To date, it remains unclear which processes are responsible for these findings. This paper presents two quantitative studies (n = 91; 246) that identify trust and openness in workgroup communication as possible mediators. We replicate earlier findings that perceived diversity climate positively relates to job satisfaction, sense of inclusion, work group identification and knowledge sharing in teams. In study 1, trust is shown to mediate the effects of perceived diversity climate on team members' sense of inclusion. In study 2, trust mediates the relationship between perceived diversity climate and workgroup identification and openness mediates its relationship with knowledge sharing.

  16. Synaptic encoding of temporal contiguity

    PubMed Central

    Ostojic, Srdjan; Fusi, Stefano

    2013-01-01

    Often we need to perform tasks in an environment that changes stochastically. In these situations it is important to learn the statistics of sequences of events in order to predict the future and the outcome of our actions. The statistical description of many of these sequences can be reduced to the set of probabilities that a particular event follows another event (temporal contiguity). Under these conditions, it is important to encode and store in our memory these transition probabilities. Here we show that for a large class of synaptic plasticity models, the distribution of synaptic strengths encodes transitions probabilities. Specifically, when the synaptic dynamics depend on pairs of contiguous events and the synapses can remember multiple instances of the transitions, then the average synaptic weights are a monotonic function of the transition probabilities. The synaptic weights converge to the distribution encoding the probabilities also when the correlations between consecutive synaptic modifications are considered. We studied how this distribution depends on the number of synaptic states for a specific model of a multi-state synapse with hard bounds. In the case of bistable synapses, the average synaptic weights are a smooth function of the transition probabilities and the accuracy of the encoding depends on the learning rate. As the number of synaptic states increases, the average synaptic weights become a step function of the transition probabilities. We finally show that the information stored in the synaptic weights can be read out by a simple rate-based neural network. Our study shows that synapses encode transition probabilities under general assumptions and this indicates that temporal contiguity is likely to be encoded and harnessed in almost every neural circuit in the brain. PMID:23641210

  17. Time reversal multiple-input/multiple-output acoustic communication enhanced by parallel interference cancellation.

    PubMed

    Song, Aijun; Badiey, Mohsen

    2012-01-01

    Multiple-input/multiple-output (MIMO) techniques can lead to significant improvements of underwater acoustic communication capabilities. In this paper, receivers based on time reversal processing are developed for high frequency underwater MIMO channels. Time reversal followed by a single channel decision feedback equalizer, aided by frequent channel updates, is used to compensate for the time-varying inter-symbol interference. A parallel interference cancellation method is incorporated to suppress the co-channel interference in the MIMO system. The receiver performance is demonstrated by a 2008 shallow water experiment in Kauai, Hawaii. In the experiment, high frequency MIMO signals centered at 16 kHz were transmitted every hour during a 35 h period from an 8-element source array to a wide aperture 16-element vertical receiving array at 4 km range. The interference cancellation method is shown to generate significant performance enhancement, on average 2-4 dB in the output signal-to-noise ratio per data stream, throughout the 35 h MIMO transmissions. Further, communication performance and achieved data rates exhibit significant changes over the 35 h period as a result of stratification of the water column. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.

  18. Surface-plasmon enhanced photodetection at communication band based on hot electrons

    SciTech Connect

    Wu, Kai; Zhan, Yaohui E-mail: xfli@suda.edu.cn; Wu, Shaolong; Deng, Jiajia; Li, Xiaofeng E-mail: xfli@suda.edu.cn

    2015-08-14

    Surface plasmons can squeeze light into a deep-subwavelength space and generate abundant hot electrons in the nearby metallic regions, enabling a new paradigm of photoconversion by the way of hot electron collection. Unlike the visible spectral range concerned in previous literatures, we focus on the communication band and design the infrared hot-electron photodetectors with plasmonic metal-insulator-metal configuration by using full-wave finite-element method. Titanium dioxide-silver Schottky interface is employed to boost the low-energy infrared photodetection. The photodetection sensitivity is strongly improved by enhancing the plasmonic excitation from a rationally engineered metallic grating, which enables a strong unidirectional photocurrent. With a five-step electrical simulation, the optimized device exhibits an unbiased responsivity of ∼0.1 mA/W and an ultra-narrow response band (FWHM = 4.66 meV), which promises to be a candidate as the compact photodetector operating in communication band.

  19. Performance enhancement technique of visible light communications using passive photovoltaic cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Jhao-Ting; Chow, Chi-Wai; Liu, Yang; Hsu, Chin-Wei; Yeh, Chien-Hung

    2017-06-01

    The light emitting diode (LED) based visible light communication (VLC) system can provide lighting and communication simultaneously. It has attracted much attenuation recently. As the photovoltaic cell (also known as solar cell) is physically flexible, low cost, and easily available, it could be a good choice for the VLC receiver (Rx). Furthermore, besides acting as the VLC Rx, the solar cell can convert VLC signal into electricity for charging up the Rx devices. Hence, it could be a promising candidate for the future internet-of-thing (IoT) networks. However, using solar cell as VLC Rx is challenging, since the response of the solar cell is highly limited and it will limit the VLC data rate. In this work, we propose and demonstrate for the first time using pre-distortion Manchester coding (MC) signal to enhance the signal performance of solar cell Rx based VLC. The proposed scheme can significantly mitigate the slow response, as well as the direct-current (DC) wandering effect of the solar cell; hence 50 times increase in data rate can be experimentally achieved.

  20. Communications and Control for Enhanced Autonomy in Underwater Vehicles for Deep Oceanographic Research

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jakuba, M.; Kinsey, J. C.; Yoerger, D. R.; Whitcomb, L. L.; Camilli, R.; Murphy, C.; Bowen, A.; German, C. R.

    2010-12-01

    NASA’s Astrobiology Science and Technology for Exploring Planets (ASTEP) program is a science-driven program to produce advances in scientific and technological capabilities for planetary exploration. Oceanographic robotic vehicles and planetary exploration robots have proven to be highly effective scientific tools for performing scientific research in remote, extreme, and hostile environments that preclude direct human presence. In both domains, the planets and the world’s oceans, human oversight of remote robotic exploration can dramatically enhance scientific return in comparison to purely pre-planned missions by combining the perception, intelligence, and domain knowledge of the human operators with the super-human physical and sensory capabilities of robots. The degree of human oversight, however, is restricted in sea and space by physical limits on the bandwidth and time delay of communications between human operators and remote robotic platforms. Enhanced robotic autonomy can alleviate this obstacle. We present a communications and control architecture for underwater oceanographic robot vehicles that has permitted us to introduce elements of enhanced autonomy into operations with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) Nereus and Sentry. Our architecture is designed to facilitate: (1) autonomous distillation of scientific data and transmission of salient synopses from the remote vehicle to its human operators; (2) high-level near real-time human supervision and control of mission programming; (3) semi-supervised learning of environmental models for enhanced survey and search mission effectiveness. Specific capabilities our group has demonstrated include selective data delivery via acoustic link; near real-time reprogramming of vehicle mission programs during otherwise preplanned dives; and validation of autonomous decision-making processes with human-supervision. These elements have been recently demonstrated

  1. Communicative social capital and collective efficacy as determinants of access to health-enhancing resources in residential communities.

    PubMed

    Matsaganis, Matthew D; Wilkin, Holley A

    2015-04-01

    This article contributes to the burgeoning literature on the social determinants of health disparities. The authors investigate how communication resources and collective efficacy, independently and in combination, shape residents' access to health enhancing resources (including healthcare services, sources of healthier food options, and public recreation spaces) in their communities. Using random digit dial telephone survey data from 833 residents of South Los Angeles communities the authors show that communicative social capital-that is, an information and problem-solving resource that accrues to residents as they become more integrated into their local communication network of neighbors, community organizations, and local media-plays a significant role in access to health resources. This relationship is complicated by individuals' health insurance and health status, as communicative social capital magnifies the sense of absence of resources for those who are in worse health and lack insurance. Communicative social capital builds collective efficacy, which is positively related to access to health-enhancing resources, but it also mediates the negative relationship between communicative social capital and access to health resources. Residents with richer stores of communicative social capital and collective efficacy report better access to health resources. The authors conclude with a discussion of implications of these findings and suggestions for future research.

  2. A Calcium-Dependent Plasticity Rule for HCN Channels Maintains Activity Homeostasis and Stable Synaptic Learning

    PubMed Central

    Honnuraiah, Suraj; Narayanan, Rishikesh

    2013-01-01

    Theoretical and computational frameworks for synaptic plasticity and learning have a long and cherished history, with few parallels within the well-established literature for plasticity of voltage-gated ion channels. In this study, we derive rules for plasticity in the hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels, and assess the synergy between synaptic and HCN channel plasticity in establishing stability during synaptic learning. To do this, we employ a conductance-based model for the hippocampal pyramidal neuron, and incorporate synaptic plasticity through the well-established Bienenstock-Cooper-Munro (BCM)-like rule for synaptic plasticity, wherein the direction and strength of the plasticity is dependent on the concentration of calcium influx. Under this framework, we derive a rule for HCN channel plasticity to establish homeostasis in synaptically-driven firing rate, and incorporate such plasticity into our model. In demonstrating that this rule for HCN channel plasticity helps maintain firing rate homeostasis after bidirectional synaptic plasticity, we observe a linear relationship between synaptic plasticity and HCN channel plasticity for maintaining firing rate homeostasis. Motivated by this linear relationship, we derive a calcium-dependent rule for HCN-channel plasticity, and demonstrate that firing rate homeostasis is maintained in the face of synaptic plasticity when moderate and high levels of cytosolic calcium influx induced depression and potentiation of the HCN-channel conductance, respectively. Additionally, we show that such synergy between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity enhances the stability of synaptic learning through metaplasticity in the BCM-like synaptic plasticity profile. Finally, we demonstrate that the synergistic interaction between synaptic and HCN-channel plasticity preserves robustness of information transfer across the neuron under a rate-coding schema. Our results establish specific physiological roles

  3. Synaptic Activity Regulates the Abundance and Binding of Complexin

    PubMed Central

    Wragg, Rachel T.; Gouzer, Géraldine; Bai, Jihong; Arianna, Gianluca; Ryan, Timothy A.; Dittman, Jeremy S.

    2015-01-01

    Nervous system function relies on precise chemical communication between neurons at specialized junctions known as synapses. Complexin (CPX) is one of a small number of cytoplasmic proteins that are indispensable in controlling neurotransmitter release through SNARE and synaptic vesicle interactions. However, the mechanisms that recruit and stabilize CPX are poorly understood. The mobility of CPX tagged with photoactivatable green fluorescent protein (pGFP) was quantified in vivo using Caenorhabditis elegans. Although pGFP escaped the synapse within seconds, CPX-pGFP displayed both fast and slow decay components, requiring minutes for complete exchange of the synaptic pool. The longer synaptic residence time of CPX arose from both synaptic vesicle and SNARE interactions, and surprisingly, CPX mobility depended on synaptic activity. Moreover, mouse CPX-GFP reversibly dispersed out of hippocampal presynaptic terminals during stimulation, and blockade of vesicle fusion prevented CPX dispersion. Hence, synaptic CPX can rapidly redistribute and this exchange is influenced by neuronal activity, potentially contributing to use-dependent plasticity. PMID:25809246

  4. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

  5. Synaptic Plasticity and Translation Initiation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Klann, Eric; Antion, Marcia D.; Banko, Jessica L.; Hou, Lingfei

    2004-01-01

    It is widely accepted that protein synthesis, including local protein synthesis at synapses, is required for several forms of synaptic plasticity. Local protein synthesis enables synapses to control synaptic strength independent of the cell body via rapid protein production from pre-existing mRNA. Therefore, regulation of translation initiation is…

  6. Acetylcholine Mediates a Slow Synaptic Potential in Hippocampal Pyramidal Cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cole, A. E.; Nicoll, R. A.

    1983-09-01

    The hippocampal slice preparation was used to study the role of acetylcholine as a synaptic transmitter. Bath-applied acetylcholine had three actions on pyramidal cells: (i) depolarization associated with increased input resistance, (ii) blockade of calcium-activated potassium responses, and (iii) blockade of accommodation of cell discharge. All these actions were reversed by the muscarinic antagonist atropine. Stimulation of sites in the slice known to contain cholinergic fibers mimicked all the actions. Furthermore, these evoked synaptic responses were enhanced by the cholinesterase inhibitor eserine and were blocked by atropine. These findings provide electrophysiological support for the role of acetylcholine as a synaptic transmitter in the brain and demonstrate that nonclassical synaptic responses involving the blockade of membrane conductances exist in the brain.

  7. Synaptic electronics: materials, devices and applications.

    PubMed

    Kuzum, Duygu; Yu, Shimeng; Wong, H-S Philip

    2013-09-27

    In this paper, the recent progress of synaptic electronics is reviewed. The basics of biological synaptic plasticity and learning are described. The material properties and electrical switching characteristics of a variety of synaptic devices are discussed, with a focus on the use of synaptic devices for neuromorphic or brain-inspired computing. Performance metrics desirable for large-scale implementations of synaptic devices are illustrated. A review of recent work on targeted computing applications with synaptic devices is presented.

  8. A Model of Synaptic Reconsolidation

    PubMed Central

    Kastner, David B.; Schwalger, Tilo; Ziegler, Lorric; Gerstner, Wulfram

    2016-01-01

    Reconsolidation of memories has mostly been studied at the behavioral and molecular level. Here, we put forward a simple extension of existing computational models of synaptic consolidation to capture hippocampal slice experiments that have been interpreted as reconsolidation at the synaptic level. The model implements reconsolidation through stabilization of consolidated synapses by stabilizing entities combined with an activity-dependent reservoir of stabilizing entities that are immune to protein synthesis inhibition (PSI). We derive a reduced version of our model to explore the conditions under which synaptic reconsolidation does or does not occur, often referred to as the boundary conditions of reconsolidation. We find that our computational model of synaptic reconsolidation displays complex boundary conditions. Our results suggest that a limited resource of hypothetical stabilizing molecules or complexes, which may be implemented by protein phosphorylation or different receptor subtypes, can underlie the phenomenon of synaptic reconsolidation. PMID:27242410

  9. Molecular Mechanisms of Synaptic Specificity

    PubMed Central

    Margeta, Milica A.; Shen, Kang

    2011-01-01

    Synapses are specialized junctions that mediate information flow between neurons and their targets. A striking feature of the nervous system is the specificity of its synaptic connections: an individual neuron will form synapses only with a small subset of available presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. Synaptic specificity has been classically thought to arise from homophilic or heterophilic interactions between adhesive molecules acting across the synaptic cleft. Over the past decade, many new mechanisms giving rise to synaptic specificity have been identified. Synapses can be specified by secreted molecules that promote or inhibit synaptogenesis, and their source can be a neighboring guidepost cell, not just presynaptic and postsynaptic neurons. Furthermore, lineage, fate, and timing of development can also play critical roles in shaping neural circuits. Future work utilizing large-scale screens will aim to elucidate the full scope of cellular mechanisms and molecular players that can give rise to synaptic specificity. PMID:19969086

  10. Acid-Sensing Ion Channels Activated by Evoked Released Protons Modulate Synaptic Transmission at the Mouse Calyx of Held Synapse.

    PubMed

    González-Inchauspe, Carlota; Urbano, Francisco J; Di Guilmi, Mariano N; Uchitel, Osvaldo D

    2017-03-08

    (coreleased with neurotransmitter from acidified synaptic vesicles). These ASIC-1as contribute to the generation of postsynaptic currents and, more relevant, to calcium influx, which could be involved in the modulation of presynaptic transmitter release. Inhibition or deletion of ASIC-1a leads to enhanced short-term depression, demonstrating that they are concerned with short-term plasticity of the synapse. ASICs represent a widespread communication system with unique properties. We expect that our experiments will have an impact in the neurobiology field and will spread in areas related to neuronal plasticity. Copyright © 2017 the authors 0270-6474/17/372589-11$15.00/0.

  11. Selective 5-HT7 Receptor Activation May Enhance Synaptic Plasticity Through N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) Receptor Activity in the Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Xiang, Kangjian; Zhao, Xuefei; Li, Youjun; Zheng, Liang; Wang, Jue; Li, Yan-Hai

    2016-01-01

    Serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine, 5-HT) is an important neurotransmitter that modulates N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity by binding to several different 5-HT receptor subtypes. In the present study, we used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings in transverse slice preparations to test the role of 5-HT receptors in modulating the NMDA receptor-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the rat visual cortex. We found that the NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs could be potentiated by exogenously applied 5-HT. Similar results were obtained by exogenously applied 5-CT or 8-OH-DPAT (the 5-HT1A and 5-HT7 receptor agonist). A specific antagonist for the 5-HT7 receptor, SB-269970, completely blocked the increase in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-CT or 8- OH-DPAT. Moreover, the selective 5-HT1A receptor antagonist, WAY-100135, displayed no influence on the enhancement in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-CT or 8-OHDPAT. These results indicated that the increase in NMDA receptor-mediated component of mEPSCs by 5-HT in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the young rat visual cortex requires activation of 5-HT7 receptors, but not 5-HT1A receptors. These observations might be clinically relevant to schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease (AD), where enhancing NMDA receptor-mediated neurotransmission is considered to be a promising strategy for treatment of these diseases.

  12. Review of Interventions to Enhance the Health Communication of People with Intellectual Disabilities: A Communicative Health Literacy Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chinn, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    Background: Communicative health literacy is a term relating to the range of competencies and capabilities patients bring to the task of seeking information about their health and sharing it with others. This exchange can be problematic for people with intellectual disabilities. The aim of this review was to synthesize findings from interventions…

  13. Review of Interventions to Enhance the Health Communication of People with Intellectual Disabilities: A Communicative Health Literacy Perspective

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chinn, Deborah

    2017-01-01

    Background: Communicative health literacy is a term relating to the range of competencies and capabilities patients bring to the task of seeking information about their health and sharing it with others. This exchange can be problematic for people with intellectual disabilities. The aim of this review was to synthesize findings from interventions…

  14. Behavioral activation for dementia caregivers: scheduling pleasant events and enhancing communications

    PubMed Central

    Au, Alma; Gallagher-Thompson, Dolores; Wong, Meng-Kong; Leung, Jess; Chan, Wai-Chi; Chan, Chun Chung; Lu, Hui-Jing; Lai, Man Kin; Chan, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Background Dementia caregiving is often associated with increase in depressive symptoms and strained relationships. This study tested whether telephone-delivered psychoeducation combined with an enhanced behavioral activation (BA) module had a better effect on the well-being of Alzheimer’s caregivers than psychoeducation alone. The focus is on enhancing the competent use of coping skills via BA. The program is delivered by telephone to increase accessibility and sustainability for caregivers. Senior citizens are trained as paraprofessionals to deliver the BA module to increase the potential for sustainability of the program. Methods and subjects The study compared two telephone interventions using a 4-month longitudinal randomized controlled trial. For the first 4 weeks, all participants received the same psychoeducation program via telephone. Then for the following 4 months, eight biweekly telephone follow-up calls were carried out. For these eight follow-up calls, participants were randomized into either one of the two following groups with different conditions. For the psychoeducation with BA (PsyED-BA) group, participants received eight biweekly sessions of BA practice focused on pleasant event scheduling and improving communications. For the psychoeducation only (PsyED only) group, participants received eight biweekly sessions of general discussion of psychoeducation and related information. A total of 62 family caregivers of persons living with dementia were recruited and 59 (29 in the PsyED-BA group and 30 in the PsyED only group) completed the whole study. Results As compared to the group with psychoeducation and discussion, the group with enhanced BA had decreased levels of depressive symptoms. The study had a low attrition rate. Conclusion Results suggested that competence-based training could be effectively administered through the telephone with the help of senior citizens trained and engaged as paraprofessionals. Results contribute to the present

  15. Structure activity relationship of synaptic and junctional neurotransmission

    PubMed Central

    Goyal, Raj K; Chaudhury, Arun

    2013-01-01

    Chemical neurotransmission may include transmission to local or remote sites. Locally, contact between ‘bare’ portions of the bulbous nerve terminal termed a varicosity and the effector cell may be in the form of either synapse or non-synaptic contact. Traditionally, all local transmissions between nerves and effector cells are considered synaptic in nature. This is particularly true for communication between neurons. However, communication between nerves and other effectors such as smooth muscles has been described as nonsynaptic or junctional in nature. Nonsynaptic neurotransmission is now also increasing recognized in the CNS. This review focuses on the relationship between structure and function that orchestrate synaptic and junctional neurotransmissions. A synapse is a specialized focal contact between the presynaptic active zone capable for ultrafast release of soluble transmitters and the postsynaptic density that cluster ionotropic receptors. The presynaptic and the postsynaptic areas are separated by the ‘closed’ synaptic cavity. The physiological hallmark of the synapse is ultrafast postsynaptic potentials lasting in milliseconds. In contrast, junctions are juxtapositions of nerve terminals and the effector cells without clear synaptic specializations and the junctional space is ‘open’ to the extracellular space. Based on the nature of the transmitters, postjunctional receptors and their separation from the release sites, the junctions can be divided into ‘close’ and ‘wide’ junctions. Functionally, the ‘close’ and the ‘wide’ junctions can be distinguished by postjunctional potentials lasting ~1 second and 10s of seconds, respectively. Both synaptic and junctional communications are common between neurons; however, junctional transmission is the rule at many neuro-non-neural effectors. PMID:23535140

  16. Introduction of a guide to enhance risk communication among low-income and minority populations: a grassroots community engagement approach.

    PubMed

    Rowel, Randy; Sheikhattari, Payam; Barber, Tanyka M; Evans-Holland, Myrtle

    2012-01-01

    Low-income populations, especially those belonging to minority groups, are among the most vulnerable groups before, during, and after a natural disaster. One of the factors that can be attributed to their vulnerability is the ineffectiveness of traditional risk communication systems in reaching this population. Many low-income populations are distrustful of government agencies and those who typically communicate risk messages. Consequently, traditional systems are not as effective in reaching these communities. Furthermore, traditional systems have been based on the social media that the general population uses and not based on social networks of disadvantaged populations which are more important than formal channels in these communities for dissemination of information. To bridge the gap, an approach is needed that relies on trusted agencies and leaders to educate and warn low-income communities about possible public health threats. A grassroots approach can enhance the capacity of the risk communication systems to more effectively reach vulnerable populations by engaging grassroots organizations in risk communication activities. The Guide to Enhance Grassroots Risk Communication Among Low-Income Populations provides strategies and guidance that can assist agencies in upgrading their systems for risk communication by building partnerships with local community stakeholders.

  17. Differential Modulation of Synaptic Strength and Timing Regulate Synaptic Efficacy in a Motor Network

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Jessica M.; Kvarta, Mark D.; Lu, Jay Y. J.; Schneider, Lauren R.; Nadim, Farzan; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M.

    2011-01-01

    Neuromodulators modify network output by altering neuronal firing properties and synaptic strength at multiple sites; however, the functional importance of each site is often unclear. We determined the importance of monoamine modulation of a single synapse for regulation of network cycle frequency in the oscillatory pyloric network of the lobster. The pacemaker kernel of the pyloric network receives only one chemical synaptic feedback, an inhibitory synapse from the lateral pyloric (LP) neuron to the pyloric dilator (PD) neurons, which can limit cycle frequency. We measured the effects of dopamine (DA), octopamine (Oct), and serotonin (5HT) on the strength of the LP→PD synapse and the ability of the modified synapse to regulate pyloric cycle frequency. DA and Oct strengthened, whereas 5HT weakened, LP→PD inhibition. Surprisingly, the DA-strengthened LP→PD synapse lost its ability to slow the pyloric oscillations, whereas the 5HT-weakened LP→PD synapse gained a greater influence on the oscillations. These results are explained by monoamine modulation of factors that determine the firing phase of the LP neuron in each cycle. DA acts via multiple mechanisms to phase-advance the LP neuron into the pacemaker's refractory period, where the strengthened synapse has little effect. In contrast, 5HT phase-delays LP activity into a region of greater pacemaker sensitivity to LP synaptic input. Only Oct enhanced LP regulation of cycle period simply by enhancing LP→PD synaptic strength. These results show that modulation of the strength and timing of a synaptic input can differentially affect the synapse's efficacy in the network. PMID:21047938

  18. Mediators of a Coping and Communication-Enhancing Intervention and a Supportive Counseling Intervention among Women Diagnosed with Gynecological Cancers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Manne, Sharon L.; Winkel, Gary; Rubin, Stephen; Edelson, Mitchell; Rosenblum, Norman; Bergman, Cynthia; Hernandez, Enrique; Carlson, John; Rocereto, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    The authors evaluated mechanisms of change for a coping and communication-enhancing intervention (CCI) and supportive counseling (SC). They proposed that the effects of CCI on depressive symptoms would be mediated by psychological processes targeted by CCI, namely increases in the following: positive reappraisal, acceptance, planful problem…

  19. Efficacy of Information and Communication Technology in Enhancing Learning Outcomes of Students with Hearing Impairment in Ibadan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Egaga, Patrick I.; Aderibigbe, S. Akinwumi

    2015-01-01

    The study aimed at examining the efficacy of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in enhancing learning outcomes of students with hearing impairment in Ibadan. The study adopted a pretest, post-test, control group quasi-experimental research design. Purposive sampling techniques was used for the selection of thirty participants…

  20. Workplace Learning Curriculum Guides. Volume VIII: Enhanced Basic Skills--Listening Skills, Communications, Speech, Self-Esteem, Individual Workplace Skills.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Colorado Community Coll. and Occupational Education System, Denver.

    This volume, the last of a series of eight curriculum guides compiled by the Colorado Workplace Learning Initiative: 1991-92, contains 11 workplace literacy courses on enhanced basic skills including listening skills, communications, speech, self-esteem, and individual workplace skills. Introductory materials include a table of contents and a list…

  1. proBDNF negatively regulates neuronal remodeling, synaptic transmission, and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Yang, Jianmin; Harte-Hargrove, Lauren C; Siao, Chia-Jen; Marinic, Tina; Clarke, Roshelle; Ma, Qian; Jing, Deqiang; Lafrancois, John J; Bath, Kevin G; Mark, Willie; Ballon, Douglas; Lee, Francis S; Scharfman, Helen E; Hempstead, Barbara L

    2014-05-08

    Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF, which binds p75(NTR). In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knockin mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75(NTR). Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP, and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission, and plasticity, effects that are distinct from those of mature BDNF. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. ProBDNF negatively regulates neuronal remodeling, synaptic transmission and synaptic plasticity in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Jianmin; Harte-Hargrove, Lauren C.; Siao, Chia-Jen; Marinic, Tina; Clarke, Roshelle; Ma, Qian; Jing, Deqiang; LaFrancois, John J.; Bath, Kevin G.; Mark, Willie; Ballon, Douglas; Lee, Francis S.; Scharfman, Helen E.; Hempstead, Barbara L.

    2014-01-01

    Summary Experience-dependent plasticity shapes postnatal development of neural circuits, but the mechanisms that refine dendritic arbors, remodel spines, and impair synaptic activity are poorly understood. Mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) modulates neuronal morphology and synaptic plasticity, including long-term potentiation (LTP) via TrkB activation. BDNF is initially translated as proBDNF which binds p75NTR. In vitro, recombinant proBDNF modulates neuronal structure and alters hippocampal long-term plasticity, but the actions of endogenously expressed proBDNF are unclear. Therefore, we generated a cleavage-resistant probdnf knock-in mouse. Our results demonstrate that proBDNF negatively regulates hippocampal dendritic complexity and spine density through p75NTR. Hippocampal slices from probdnf mice exhibit depressed synaptic transmission, impaired LTP and enhanced long-term depression (LTD) in area CA1. These results suggest that proBDNF acts in vivo as a biologically active factor that regulates hippocampal structure, synaptic transmission and plasticity, effects that are distinct from mature BDNF. PMID:24746813

  3. Stimulation of the Sigma-1 Receptor by DHEA Enhances Synaptic Efficacy and Neurogenesis in the Hippocampal Dentate Gyrus of Olfactory Bulbectomized Mice

    PubMed Central

    Moriguchi, Shigeki; Shinoda, Yasuharu; Yamamoto, Yui; Sasaki, Yuzuru; Miyajima, Kosuke; Tagashira, Hideaki; Fukunaga, Kohji

    2013-01-01

    Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) is the most abundant neurosteroid synthesized de novo in the central nervous system. We previously reported that stimulation of the sigma-1 receptor by DHEA improves cognitive function by activating calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II (CaMKII), protein kinase C and extracellular signal-regulated kinase in the hippocampus in olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) mice. Here, we asked whether DHEA enhances neurogenesis in the subgranular zone of the hippocampal dentate gyrus (DG) and improves depressive-like behaviors observed in OBX mice. Chronic treatment with DHEA at 30 or 60 mg/kg p.o. for 14 days significantly improved hippocampal LTP impaired in OBX mice concomitant with increased CaMKII autophosphorylation and GluR1 (Ser-831) phosphorylation in the DG. Chronic DHEA treatment also ameliorated depressive-like behaviors in OBX mice, as assessed by tail suspension and forced swim tests, while a single DHEA treatment had no affect. DHEA treatment also significantly increased the number of BrdU-positive neurons in the subgranular zone of the DG of OBX mice, an increase inhibited by treatment with NE-100, a sigma-1 receptor antagonist. DHEA treatment also significantly increased phosphorylation of Akt (Ser-473), Akt (Ser-308) and ERK in the DG. Furthermore, GSK-3β (Ser-9) phosphorylation increased in the DG of OBX mice possibly accounting for increased neurogenesis through Akt activation. Finally, we confirmed that DHEA treatment of OBX mice increases the number of BrdU-positive neurons co-expressing β-catenin, a downstream GSK-3βtarget. Overall, we conclude that sigma-1 receptor stimulation by DHEA ameliorates OBX-induced depressive-like behaviors by increasing neurogenesis in the DG through activation of the Akt/GSK-3β/β-catenin pathway. PMID:23593332

  4. Teaching partner-focused questions to individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication to enhance their communicative competence.

    PubMed

    Light, J C; Binger, C; Agate, T L; Ramsay, K N

    1999-02-01

    A single-subject, multiple-probe experimental design was used to investigate the effect of instruction on the acquisition, generalization, and long-term maintenance of partner-focused questions (i.e., questions about communication partners and their experiences) by individuals who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Six participants who had severe speech impairments and used AAC participated in the study; they ranged in age from 10 to 44 years, had a variety of disabilities, and used a range of AAC systems. Instruction used a least-to-most prompting hierarchy in real-world interactions and during simulations. All of the participants successfully learned to ask partner-focused questions spontaneously in social interactions; they required an average of approximately 6 hours of instruction (range: 3-11 hours). The participants generalized the use of partner-focused questions to new situations in the natural environment and maintained use of partner-focused questions at least 2 months postinstruction; one participant required some "booster" instructional sessions 4 weeks postinstruction to maintain her long-term use of partner-focused questions. The participants all reported high levels of satisfaction with the outcomes of the instructional program, as did their facilitators. Members of the general public, blind to the goals of the study, judged the majority of the participants to be more competent communicators after instruction.

  5. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marcos G.

    2016-01-01

    Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity. PMID:27420105

  6. Synaptic Tagging During Memory Allocation

    PubMed Central

    Rogerson, Thomas; Cai, Denise; Frank, Adam; Sano, Yoshitake; Shobe, Justin; Aranda, Manuel L.; Silva, Alcino J.

    2014-01-01

    There is now compelling evidence that the allocation of memory to specific neurons (neuronal allocation) and synapses (synaptic allocation) in a neurocircuit is not random and that instead specific mechanisms, such as increases in neuronal excitability and synaptic tagging and capture, determine the exact sites where memories are stored. We propose an integrated view of these processes, such that neuronal allocation, synaptic tagging and capture, spine clustering and metaplasticity reflect related aspects of memory allocation mechanisms. Importantly, the properties of these mechanisms suggest a set of rules that profoundly affect how memories are stored and recalled. PMID:24496410

  7. Circadian Regulation of Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G

    2016-07-13

    Circadian rhythms refer to oscillations in biological processes with a period of approximately 24 h. In addition to the sleep/wake cycle, there are circadian rhythms in metabolism, body temperature, hormone output, organ function and gene expression. There is also evidence of circadian rhythms in synaptic plasticity, in some cases driven by a master central clock and in other cases by peripheral clocks. In this article, I review the evidence for circadian influences on synaptic plasticity. I also discuss ways to disentangle the effects of brain state and rhythms on synaptic plasticity.

  8. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonelle, G. J.

    1984-01-01

    Communications in any system is one of the last technologies to be considered, and sometimes it is considered too late to impact the system. This was somewhat the impression on reviewing the NASA budget for two mission scenarios for the space station. However, that budget fortunately was well spent, and the money was spent to get the most benefit per dollar. Another thing that is very often forgotten is that technology is not produced in a vacuum. In fact, in conducting independent research and development (IR&D), the first phase is to define the requirements which must be time phased, becuase very often the conditions will change during the life of the system. From the requirements, a set of architectures that are at least representative of that era are produced. If the exact requirements were not established, at least boundaries are set on the requirements for that architecture. When this is completed, then the technology that is really needed is defined. The major criticism of the work that was presented to the panel is the lack of a firm set of requirements.

  9. Communications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bonelle, G. J.

    1984-01-01

    Communications in any system is one of the last technologies to be considered, and sometimes it is considered too late to impact the system. This was somewhat the impression on reviewing the NASA budget for two mission scenarios for the space station. However, that budget fortunately was well spent, and the money was spent to get the most benefit per dollar. Another thing that is very often forgotten is that technology is not produced in a vacuum. In fact, in conducting independent research and development (IR&D), the first phase is to define the requirements which must be time phased, becuase very often the conditions will change during the life of the system. From the requirements, a set of architectures that are at least representative of that era are produced. If the exact requirements were not established, at least boundaries are set on the requirements for that architecture. When this is completed, then the technology that is really needed is defined. The major criticism of the work that was presented to the panel is the lack of a firm set of requirements.

  10. Glucagon-like peptide-1 cleavage product GLP-1 (9-36) amide enhances hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity in correlation with suppression of Kv4.2 expression and eEF2 phosphorylation.

    PubMed

    Day, Stephen M; Yang, Wenzhong; Ewin, Sarah; Zhou, Xueyan; Ma, Tao

    2017-08-18

    Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) is an endogenous gut hormone and a key regulator in maintaining glucose homeostasis by stimulating insulin secretion. Its natural cleavage product GLP-1 (9-36), used to be considered a "bio-inactive" metabolite mainly because of its lack of insulinotropic effects and low affinity for GLP-1 receptors, possesses unique properties such as anti-oxidant and cardiovascular protection. Little is known about the role of GLP-1 (9-36) in central nervous system. Here we report that chronic, systemic application of GLP-1 (9-36) in adult mice facilitated both the induction and maintenance phases of hippocampal long-term potentiation (LTP), a major form of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, spatial learning and memory, as assessed by the Morris water maze test, was not altered by GLP-1 (9-36) administration. At the molecular level, GLP-1 (9-36) reduced protein levels of the potassium channel Kv4.2 in hippocampus, which is linked to elevated dendritic membrane excitability. Moreover, GLP-1(9-36) treatment inhibited phosphorylation of mRNA translational factor eEF2, which is associated with increased capacity for de novo protein synthesis. Finally, we showed that the LTP-enhancing effects by GLP-1 (9-36) treatment in vivo were blunted by application of exendin(9-39)amide [EX(9-39)], the GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) antagonist, suggesting its role as a GLP-1R agonist. These findings demonstrate that GLP-1 (9-36), which was considered a "bio-inactive" peptide, clearly exerts physiological effects on neuronal plasticity in the hippocampus, a brain region critical for learning and memory. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Synaptic plasticity model of therapeutic sleep deprivation in major depression.

    PubMed

    Wolf, Elias; Kuhn, Marion; Normann, Claus; Mainberger, Florian; Maier, Jonathan G; Maywald, Sarah; Bredl, Aliza; Klöppel, Stefan; Biber, Knut; van Calker, Dietrich; Riemann, Dieter; Sterr, Annette; Nissen, Christoph

    2016-12-01

    Therapeutic sleep deprivation (SD) is a rapid acting treatment for major depressive disorder (MDD). Within hours, SD leads to a dramatic decrease in depressive symptoms in 50-60% of patients with MDD. Scientifically, therapeutic SD presents a unique paradigm to study the neurobiology of MDD. Yet, up to now, the neurobiological basis of the antidepressant effect, which is most likely different from today's first-line treatments, is not sufficiently understood. This article puts the idea forward that sleep/wake-dependent shifts in synaptic plasticity, i.e., the neural basis of adaptive network function and behavior, represent a critical mechanism of therapeutic SD in MDD. Particularly, this article centers on two major hypotheses of MDD and sleep, the synaptic plasticity hypothesis of MDD and the synaptic homeostasis hypothesis of sleep-wake regulation, and on how they can be integrated into a novel synaptic plasticity model of therapeutic SD in MDD. As a major component, the model proposes that therapeutic SD, by homeostatically enhancing cortical synaptic strength, shifts the initially deficient inducibility of associative synaptic long-term potentiation (LTP) in patients with MDD in a more favorable window of associative plasticity. Research on the molecular effects of SD in animals and humans, including observations in the neurotrophic, adenosinergic, monoaminergic, and glutamatergic system, provides some support for the hypothesis of associative synaptic plasticity facilitation after therapeutic SD in MDD. The model proposes a novel framework for a mechanism of action of therapeutic SD that can be further tested in humans based on non-invasive indices and in animals based on direct studies of synaptic plasticity. Further determining the mechanisms of action of SD might contribute to the development of novel fast acting treatments for MDD, one of the major health problems worldwide. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. Thermal stability enhanced ZDSF proposal for ultra high-speed long haul communication systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Makouei, S.; Makouei, F.

    2017-04-01

    In this article, thermal stability enhanced triangular graded-index single-mode zero-dispersion shifted fiber (ZDSF) is designed and the effect of temperature variation on its characteristics is investigated. The zero-dispersion wavelength (λZD) adjustment is accomplished through minimization of the broadening factor at the wavelength of 1.55 μm. The simulation results admit that the dispersion and its slope at 1.55 μm are 0.0051 ps/km/nm and 0.038 ps/km/nm2, respectively. This small slope of the structure results in the bit rate of 133 Gb/s in the 100 km distance. In addition, compared to the bell-shaped electrical mode distribution structures, the proposed structure holds an extended effective area (Aeff), which leads to elimination of the nonlinear effects. The λZD in the designed fiber exhibits a lower thermal coefficient compared to the reports previously presented which provides a better stability. This satisfactory feature is the direct result of small dispersion slope in the introduced structure. Furthermore, a temperature compensation system based on tensile strain induction, for the first time to the best of our knowledge, is proposed that preserves the effective refractive index (neff) profile versus wavelength not only in λZD but also in all communication bands of S+C+L. This accomplishment compensates the temperature impact on parameters such as dispersion and zero-dispersion wavelength.

  13. Grade/Performance Contracts, Enhanced Communication, Cooperative Learning and Student Performance in Undergraduate Organic Chemistry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dougherty, Ralph C.

    1997-06-01

    This paper describes a grade/study-performance contract that was designed to increase student retention while maintaining academic performance levels in undergraduate organic chemistry. The experimental course included enhanced communication using electronic mail, and cooperative learning in addition to grade/study-performance contracts. The objective of the grade/study-performance contract was the development of learning skills with creation of a basis for unobtrusive auditing of performance. The retention rate in the experimental course was 0.82 for the first term and 0.93 for the second term. The overall retention was 0.76. This value was 3.8 times the average retention for the same sequence in the previous five years at the same institution. It was seven standard deviations away from the previous mean. The ACS Organic Chemistry Examination percentile score for the control section was 46+25 (n=117). The corresponding data for the experimental section was 53+23 (n=143). When the course was offered with the same instructor, cooperative learning, e-mail, but no grade/study-performance contract the ACS Exam percentile average 37+29. This represents a drop of 9.9 standard deviations for comparison of the means. We conclude that grade/study-performance contracts can be effective in increasing both student performance and retention in undergraduate organic chemistry.

  14. Clinical Decision Support System to Enhance Quality Control of Spirometry Using Information and Communication Technologies

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background We recently demonstrated that quality of spirometry in primary care could markedly improve with remote offline support from specialized professionals. It is hypothesized that implementation of automatic online assessment of quality of spirometry using information and communication technologies may significantly enhance the potential for extensive deployment of a high quality spirometry program in integrated care settings. Objective The objective of the study was to elaborate and validate a Clinical Decision Support System (CDSS) for automatic online quality assessment of spirometry. Methods The CDSS was done through a three step process including: (1) identification of optimal sampling frequency; (2) iterations to build-up an initial version using the 24 standard spirometry curves recommended by the American Thoracic Society; and (3) iterations to refine the CDSS using 270 curves from 90 patients. In each of these steps the results were checked against one expert. Finally, 778 spirometry curves from 291 patients were analyzed for validation purposes. Results The CDSS generated appropriate online classification and certification in 685/778 (88.1%) of spirometry testing, with 96% sensitivity and 95% specificity. Conclusions Consequently, only 93/778 (11.9%) of spirometry testing required offline remote classification by an expert, indicating a potential positive role of the CDSS in the deployment of a high quality spirometry program in an integrated care setting. PMID:25600957

  15. Effectively using communication to enhance the provision of pediatric palliative care in an acute care setting.

    PubMed

    Hubble, Rosemary; Trowbridge, Kelly; Hubbard, Claudia; Ahsens, Leslie; Ward-Smith, Peggy

    2008-08-01

    The capability of effectively communicating is crucial when providing palliative care, especially when the patient is a child. Communication among healthcare professionals with the child and family members must be clear, concise, and consistent. Use of a communication tool provides documentation for conversations, treatment plans, and specific desires related to care. This paper describes communication theory, portrays the use of this theory to develop a communication tool, and illustrates the use of this tool by multidisciplinary members of a healthcare team to provide pediatric palliative care.

  16. Spiritual Coping: A Gateway to Enhancing Family Communication During Cancer Treatment.

    PubMed

    Prouty, Anne M; Fischer, Judith; Purdom, Ann; Cobos, Everardo; Helmeke, Karen B

    2016-02-01

    The researchers examined the spiritual coping, family communication, and family functioning of 95 participants in 34 families by an online survey. Multilevel linear regression was used to test whether individuals' and families' higher endorsement of more use of spiritual coping strategies to deal with a member's cancer would be associated with higher scores on family communication and family functioning, and whether better communication would also be associated with higher family functioning scores. Results revealed that spiritual coping was positively associated with family communication, and family communication was positively associated with healthier family functioning. The researchers provide suggestions for further research.

  17. Growth factors in synaptic function

    PubMed Central

    Poon, Vivian Y.; Choi, Sojoong; Park, Mikyoung

    2013-01-01

    Synapses are increasingly recognized as key structures that malfunction in disorders like schizophrenia, mental retardation, and neurodegenerative diseases. The importance and complexity of the synapse has fuelled research into the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptogenesis, synaptic transmission, and plasticity. In this regard, neurotrophic factors such as netrin, Wnt, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), and others have gained prominence for their ability to regulate synaptic function. Several of these factors were first implicated in neuroprotection, neuronal growth, and axon guidance. However, their roles in synaptic development and function have become increasingly clear, and the downstream signaling pathways employed by these factors have begun to be elucidated. In this review, we will address the role of these factors and their downstream effectors in synaptic function in vivo and in cultured neurons. PMID:24065916

  18. Synaptic dynamics in analog VLSI.

    PubMed

    Bartolozzi, Chiara; Indiveri, Giacomo

    2007-10-01

    Synapses are crucial elements for computation and information transfer in both real and artificial neural systems. Recent experimental findings and theoretical models of pulse-based neural networks suggest that synaptic dynamics can play a crucial role for learning neural codes and encoding spatiotemporal spike patterns. Within the context of hardware implementations of pulse-based neural networks, several analog VLSI circuits modeling synaptic functionality have been proposed. We present an overview of previously proposed circuits and describe a novel analog VLSI synaptic circuit suitable for integration in large VLSI spike-based neural systems. The circuit proposed is based on a computational model that fits the real postsynaptic currents with exponentials. We present experimental data showing how the circuit exhibits realistic dynamics and show how it can be connected to additional modules for implementing a wide range of synaptic properties.

  19. Ethanol Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    McCool, Brian A.

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity in the most general terms represents the flexibility of neurotransmission in response to neuronal activity. Synaptic plasticity is essential both for the moment-by-moment modulation of neural activity in response to dynamic environmental cues and for long-term learning and memory formation. These temporal characteristics are served by an array of pre- and post-synaptic mechanisms that are frequently modulated by ethanol exposure. This modulation likely makes significant contributions to both alcohol abuse and dependence. In this review, I discuss the modulation of both short-term and long-term synaptic plasticity in the context of specific ethanol-sensitive cellular substrates. A general discussion of the available preclinical, animal-model based neurophysiology literature provides a comparison between results from in vitro and in vivo studies. Finally, in the context of alcohol abuse and dependence, the review proposes potential behavioral contributions by ethanol modulation of plasticity. PMID:21195719

  20. Direct current stimulation boosts synaptic gain and cooperativity in vitro.

    PubMed

    Rahman, Asif; Lafon, Belen; Parra, Lucas C; Bikson, Marom

    2017-06-01

    Direct current stimulation (DCS) polarity specifically modulates synaptic efficacy during a continuous train of presynaptic inputs, despite synaptic depression. DCS polarizes afferent axons and postsynaptic neurons, boosting cooperativity between synaptic inputs. Polarization of afferent neurons in upstream brain regions may modulate activity in the target brain region during transcranial DCS (tDCS). A statistical theory of coincident activity predicts that the diffuse and weak profile of current flow can be advantageous in enhancing connectivity between co-active brain regions. Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) produces sustained and diffuse current flow in the brain with effects that are state dependent and outlast stimulation. A mechanistic explanation for tDCS should capture these spatiotemporal features. It remains unclear how sustained DCS affects ongoing synaptic dynamics and how modulation of afferent inputs by diffuse stimulation changes synaptic activity at the target brain region. We tested the effect of acute DCS (10-20 V m(-1) for 3-5 s) on synaptic dynamics with constant rate (5-40 Hz) and Poisson-distributed (4 Hz mean) trains of presynaptic inputs. Across tested frequencies, sustained synaptic activity was modulated by DCS with polarity-specific effects. Synaptic depression attenuates the sensitivity to DCS from 1.1% per V m(-1) to 0.55%. DCS applied during synaptic activity facilitates cumulative neuromodulation, potentially reversing endogenous synaptic depression. We establish these effects are mediated by both postsynaptic membrane polarization and afferent axon fibre polarization, which boosts cooperativity between synaptic inputs. This potentially extends the locus of neuromodulation from the nominal target to afferent brain regions. Based on these results we hypothesized the polarization of afferent neurons in upstream brain regions may modulate activity in the target brain region during tDCS. A multiscale model of

  1. Theoretical models of synaptic short term plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hennig, Matthias H.

    2013-01-01

    Short term plasticity is a highly abundant form of rapid, activity-dependent modulation of synaptic efficacy. A shared set of mechanisms can cause both depression and enhancement of the postsynaptic response at different synapses, with important consequences for information processing. Mathematical models have been extensively used to study the mechanisms and roles of short term plasticity. This review provides an overview of existing models and their biological basis, and of their main properties. Special attention will be given to slow processes such as calcium channel inactivation and the effect of activation of presynaptic autoreceptors. PMID:23626536

  2. Persistent ERK Activation Maintains Learning-Induced Long-Lasting Modulation of Synaptic Connectivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Matsliah, Sivan Ida; Seroussi, Yaron; Rosenblum, Kobi; Barkai, Edi

    2008-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination (OD) trained rats undergo synaptic modifications that last for days after learning. A particularly intriguing modification is reduced paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in the synapses interconnecting these cells; a phenomenon thought to reflect enhanced synaptic release. The…

  3. Persistent ERK Activation Maintains Learning-Induced Long-Lasting Modulation of Synaptic Connectivity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cohen-Matsliah, Sivan Ida; Seroussi, Yaron; Rosenblum, Kobi; Barkai, Edi

    2008-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons in the piriform cortex from olfactory-discrimination (OD) trained rats undergo synaptic modifications that last for days after learning. A particularly intriguing modification is reduced paired-pulse facilitation (PPF) in the synapses interconnecting these cells; a phenomenon thought to reflect enhanced synaptic release. The…

  4. Enhanced communication and coordination in the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Drinking Water Contamination Warning System.

    PubMed

    Dangel, Chrissy; Allgeier, Steven C; Gibbons, Darcy; Haas, Adam; Simon, Katie

    2012-03-01

    Effective communication and coordination are critical when investigating a possible drinking water contamination incident. A contamination warning system is designed to detect water contamination by initiating a coordinated, effective response to mitigate significant public health and economic consequences. This article describes historical communication barriers during water contamination incidents and discusses how these barriers were overcome through the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Drinking Water Contamination Warning System, referred to as the "Cincinnati Pilot." By enhancing partnerships in the public health surveillance component of the Cincinnati Pilot, information silos that existed in each organization were replaced with interagency information depots that facilitated effective decision making.

  5. Activity-dependent facilitation of Synaptojanin and synaptic vesicle recycling by the Minibrain kinase

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Chun-Kan; Bregere, Catherine; Paluch, Jeremy; Lu, Jason; Dickman, Dion K.; Chang, Karen T.

    2014-01-01

    Phosphorylation has emerged as a crucial regulatory mechanism in the nervous system to integrate the dynamic signaling required for proper synaptic development, function, and plasticity, particularly during changes in neuronal activity. Here we present evidence that Minibrain (Mnb; also known as Dyrk1A), a serine/threonine kinase implicated in autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome, is required presynaptically for normal synaptic growth and rapid synaptic vesicle endocytosis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We find that Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of synaptojanin (Synj) is required, in vivo, for complex endocytic protein interactions and to enhance Synj activity. Neuronal stimulation drives Mnb mobilization to endocytic zones and triggers Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synj. Our data identify Mnb as a synaptic kinase that promotes efficient synaptic vesicle recycling by dynamically calibrating Synj function at the Drosophila NMJ, and in turn endocytic capacity, to adapt to conditions of high synaptic activity. PMID:24977345

  6. Activity-dependent facilitation of Synaptojanin and synaptic vesicle recycling by the Minibrain kinase.

    PubMed

    Chen, Chun-Kan; Bregere, Catherine; Paluch, Jeremy; Lu, Jason F; Dickman, Dion K; Chang, Karen T

    2014-06-30

    Phosphorylation has emerged as a crucial regulatory mechanism in the nervous system to integrate the dynamic signalling required for proper synaptic development, function and plasticity, particularly during changes in neuronal activity. Here we present evidence that Minibrain (Mnb; also known as Dyrk1A), a serine/threonine kinase implicated in autism spectrum disorder and Down syndrome, is required presynaptically for normal synaptic growth and rapid synaptic vesicle endocytosis at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction (NMJ). We find that Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synaptojanin (Synj) is required, in vivo, for complex endocytic protein interactions and to enhance Synj activity. Neuronal stimulation drives Mnb mobilization to endocytic zones and triggers Mnb-dependent phosphorylation of Synj. Our data identify Mnb as a synaptic kinase that promotes efficient synaptic vesicle recycling by dynamically calibrating Synj function at the Drosophila NMJ, and in turn endocytic capacity, to adapt to conditions of high synaptic activity.

  7. Synaptic Mechanisms of Blast-Induced Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Przekwas, Andrzej; Somayaji, Mahadevabharath R.; Gupta, Raj K.

    2016-01-01

    Blast wave-induced traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most common injuries to military personnel. Brain tissue compression/tension due to blast-induced cranial deformations and shear waves due to head rotation may generate diffuse micro-damage to neuro-axonal structures and trigger a cascade of neurobiological events culminating in cognitive and neurodegenerative disorders. Although diffuse axonal injury is regarded as a signature wound of mild TBI (mTBI), blast loads may also cause synaptic injury wherein neuronal synapses are stretched and sheared. This synaptic injury may result in temporary disconnect of the neural circuitry and transient loss in neuronal communication. We hypothesize that mTBI symptoms such as loss of consciousness or dizziness, which start immediately after the insult, could be attributed to synaptic injury. Although empirical evidence is beginning to emerge; the detailed mechanisms underlying synaptic injury are still elusive. Coordinated in vitro–in vivo experiments and mathematical modeling studies can shed light into the synaptic injury mechanisms and their role in the potentiation of mTBI symptoms. PMID:26834697

  8. Tweek, an evolutionary conserved proteinis required for synaptic vesicle recycling

    PubMed Central

    Verstreken, Patrik; Ohyama, Tomoko; Haueter, Claire; Habets, Ron L.P.; Lin, Yong Q.; Swan, Laura E.; Ly, Cindy V.; Venken, Koen J. T.; De Camilli, Pietro; Bellen, Hugo J.

    2009-01-01

    Synaptic vesicle endocytosis is critical to maintain synaptic communication during intense stimulation. Here we describe Tweek, a conserved protein that is required for synaptic vesicle recycling. tweek mutants show reduced FM 1–43 uptake, cannot maintain release during intense stimulation and harbor larger than normal synaptic vesicles, implicating it in vesicle recycling at the synapse. Interestingly, the levels of a fluorescent PI(4,5)P2 reporter are reduced at tweek mutant synapses and the probe is aberrantly localized during stimulation. In addition, various endocytic adaptors known to bind PI(4,5)P2 are mislocalized and the defects in FM 1–43 dye uptake and adaptor localization are partially suppressed by removing one copy of the phosphoinositide-phosphatase synaptojanin, suggesting a role for Tweek in maintaining proper phosphoinositide levels at synapses. Our data implicate Tweek in regulating synaptic vesicle recycling via an action mediated at least in part by the regulation of PI(4,5)P2 levels or availability at the synapse. PMID:19640479

  9. The use of hi fidelity simulation to enhance nursing students' therapeutic communication skills.

    PubMed

    Sleeper, Justin A; Thompson, Cesarina

    2008-01-01

    Nursing students entering psychiatric settings for clinical practice need a solid foundation of therapeutic communication skills. This article presents an innovative strategy for nursing students to practice therapeutic communication skills with psychiatric patients by using hi fidelity simulation with Laerdal SimMan. Using the SimMan vocal function enabled nurse educators to develop communication algorithms that allowed students to interact with SimMan as they would with psychiatric patients. The SimMan algorithms can be designed to mimic many scenarios typically found in psychiatric settings. Nursing students can use this technology to take the therapeutic communication skills they have learned in the classroom and practice them in a safe laboratory environment before entering actual psychiatric settings. The ability of students to practice communication skills prior to entering psychiatric settings can promote effective therapeutic communication skills and decrease student anxiety.

  10. Enhancing the Communication Process of Suddenly Speechless Patients in the Critical Care Setting

    PubMed Central

    Rowe, Meredeth; Thomas, Loris; Shuster, Jonathan; Koeppel, Brent; Cairns, Paula

    2015-01-01

    Background Sudden speechlessness is common in critically ill patients with airway intubation or head and neck cancer surgery. Sudden inability to speak poses significant challenges for hospitalized patients as strategies to facilitate communication are often limited and unreliable. Technology- based communication interventions have the potential to facilitate the communication process of hospitalized patients experiencing health events resulting in sudden speechlessness. Methods A quasi-experimental, 4-cohort (control and intervention) repeated measures design was used, with data points occurring daily up to 10 days. The study was conducted in adult critical care units and participants were followed as they were transferred to other units within institutions selected for the study. The impact of a technology-based communication system (intervention) in comparison with a control group (Usual care + Urgent Button) was evaluated. Patient communication outcomes pertinent to communication with nursing staff evaluated in this study included: perception of communication ease, satisfaction with methods used for communication, and frustration with communication. Results A comparison of the intervention and control group indicates that subjects in the intervention group reported lower mean frustration levels (-2.68, SE=0.17; 95% CI -3.02 to -2.34, p=<0.001), and a higher mean satisfaction level (0.59, SE=0.16; 95% CI 0.27 to 0.91; p<0.0001) with use of the communication intervention. Consistent increase of perception of communication ease over the hospital stay was reported by subjects in the intervention group. Conclusions This study facilitated the evaluation of a bedside technology-based communication intervention tailored to the needs of critically ill suddenly speechless patients. PMID:27134237

  11. Climate Change Media Forum - for Enhanced Communication between Journalists and Climate Scientists in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goto-Maeda, Y.; Emori, S.; Takahashi, K.; Aoyagi-Usui, M.; Fukushi, K.; Tanaka, Y.; Fukuda, H.; Matsumoto, Y.; Asakura, A.; Hiramatsu, A.; Sumi, A.

    2011-12-01

    For researchers, being reported by mass media is an effective way to share their studies with others, although some have concerns that scientific results are often exaggerated by highlighting sensational parts and ignoring essential results by the media. Obviously, journalists have their own criteria of effective science reporting for their newspapers or magazines which do not necessarily conform to how researchers report their results. Climate Change Media Forum was started in 2009 by researchers specializing in climate science and communication to fill such gaps and enhance communication between climate scientists and journalists as part of a climate change research project funded by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. Since its start, forum events have been held once a year to exchange ideas on reporting of climate change science through mass media. At the first event in March, 2009, we started with learning about what actually the journalists and researchers think about media reports on climate change sciences. Using onsite questionnaire surveys, the participants (39 journalists and 31 researchers) discussed their problems on reporting climate change and what they would like to tell to the public. Some of the survey results suggested that researchers are willing to emphasize more about the conditions and assumptions of studies, while journalists would like to know more about current and short-term impacts. From the second year, two journalists joined the committee to make the events more meaningful for journalists. For the event in March, 2010, three months after COP15 in Copenhagen, the 2 degrees temperature target, which was the only written number on the Copenhagen Accord, was selected as a timely topic. Although researchers understand that a specific target is necessary for setting a concrete pathway, many of them also feel uncomfortable about selecting one single value from the temperature range with uncertainty. After two lectures on the history of the

  12. Investigating interactional competence using video recordings in ESL classrooms to enhance communication

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnasamy, Hariharan N.

    2016-08-01

    Interactional competence, or knowing and using the appropriate skills for interaction in various communication situations within a given speech community and culture is important in the field of business and professional communication [1], [2]. Similar to many developing countries in the world, Malaysia is a growing economy and undergraduates will have to acquire appropriate communication skills. In this study, two aspects of the interactional communicative competence were investigated, that is the linguistic and paralinguistic behaviors in small group communication as well as conflict management in small group communication. Two groups of student participants were given a problem-solving task based on a letter of complaint. The two groups of students were video recorded during class hours for 40 minutes. The videos and transcription of the group discussions were analyzed to examine the use of language and interaction in small groups. The analysis, findings and interpretations were verified with three lecturers in the field of communication. The results showed that students were able to accomplish the given task using verbal and nonverbal communication. However, participation was unevenly distributed with two students talking for less than a minute. Negotiation was based more on alternative views and consensus was easily achieved. In concluding, suggestions are given on ways to improve English language communication.

  13. Enhancing medical students' communication skills: development and evaluation of an undergraduate training program

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background There is a relative lack of current research on the effects of specific communication training offered at the beginning of the medical degree program. The newly developed communication training "Basics and Practice in Communication Skills" was pilot tested in 2008 and expanded in the following year at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf in Germany. The goal was to promote and improve the communicative skills of participants and show the usefulness of an early offered intervention on patient-physician communication within the medical curriculum. Methods The students participating in the project and a comparison group of students from the standard degree program were surveyed at the beginning and end of the courses. The survey consisted of a self-assessment of their skills as well as a standardised expert rating and an evaluation of the modules by means of a questionnaire. Results Students who attended the communication skills course exhibited a considerable increase of communication skills in this newly developed training. It was also observed that students in the intervention group had a greater degree of self-assessed competence following training than the medical students in the comparison group. This finding is also reflected in the results from a standardised objective measure. Conclusions The empirical results of the study showed that the training enabled students to acquire specialised competence in communication through the course of a newly developed training program. These findings will be used to establish new communication training at the University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf. PMID:22443807

  14. Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: enhancing global processes to improve health development.

    PubMed

    Magnusson, Roger S

    2007-05-22

    This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy.

  15. Non-communicable diseases and global health governance: enhancing global processes to improve health development

    PubMed Central

    Magnusson, Roger S

    2007-01-01

    This paper assesses progress in the development of a global framework for responding to non-communicable diseases, as reflected in the policies and initiatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank and the UN: the institutions most capable of shaping a coherent global policy. Responding to the global burden of chronic disease requires a strategic assessment of the global processes that are likely to be most effective in generating commitment to policy change at country level, and in influencing industry behaviour. WHO has adopted a legal process with tobacco (the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control), but a non-legal, advocacy-based approach with diet and physical activity (the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health). The paper assesses the merits of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the FCTC as distinct global processes for advancing health development, before considering what lessons might be learned for enhancing the implementation of the Global Strategy on Diet. While global partnerships, economic incentives, and international legal instruments could each contribute to a more effective global response to chronic diseases, the paper makes a special case for the development of international legal standards in select areas of diet and nutrition, as a strategy for ensuring that the health of future generations does not become dependent on corporate charity and voluntary commitments. A broader frame of reference for lifestyle-related chronic diseases is needed: one that draws together WHO's work in tobacco, nutrition and physical activity, and that envisages selective use of international legal obligations, non-binding recommendations, advocacy and policy advice as tools of choice for promoting different elements of the strategy. PMID:17519005

  16. Designing for Communication at Work: A Case for Technology-Enhanced Boundary Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bakker, Arthur; Kent, Phillip; Hoyles, Celia; Noss, Richard

    2011-01-01

    In this article we conceptualise the challenges of communication between a mortgage company and its customers in terms of crossing boundaries between communities. Through an ethnographic study we first address the question: what are the challenges of communication between sales agents and customers of a mortgage company around mathematical…

  17. Does Increasing Communication through Visual Learning Environments Enhance Student Perceptions of Lecturers?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Frumkin, Lara

    2006-01-01

    The current study was conducted in an effort to examine whether increased levels of communication using visual learning environments (VLEs) alters student perceptions of lecturers. Eighty-six MSc students in Computing Science participated by using She and Fisher's (2002) Teacher Communication Behavior Questionnaire (TCBQ). In addition to using the…

  18. Enhancing Parent-Child Communication about Drug Use: Strategies for Professionals Working with Parents and Guardians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Keith A.; Vidourek, Rebecca A.

    2011-01-01

    Research indicates that family connectedness is the leading protective factor against youth involvement in alcohol and other drug use. A vital component to building positive family connections is effective parent-child communication. This article discusses the importance of building positive parent-child communication skills and provides practical…

  19. The Use of Computer-Mediated Communication To Enhance Subsequent Face-to-Face Discussions.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dietz-Uhler, Beth; Bishop-Clark, Cathy

    2001-01-01

    Describes a study of undergraduate students that assessed the effects of synchronous (Internet chat) and asynchronous (Internet discussion board) computer-mediated communication on subsequent face-to-face discussions. Results showed that face-to-face discussions preceded by computer-mediated communication were perceived to be more enjoyable.…

  20. Designing for Communication at Work: A Case for Technology-Enhanced Boundary Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bakker, Arthur; Kent, Phillip; Hoyles, Celia; Noss, Richard

    2011-01-01

    In this article we conceptualise the challenges of communication between a mortgage company and its customers in terms of crossing boundaries between communities. Through an ethnographic study we first address the question: what are the challenges of communication between sales agents and customers of a mortgage company around mathematical…

  1. Enhancing Graduate Student Communication to General Audiences through Blogging about Nanotechnology and Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Lee M.; Tillman, Ayesha S.; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Murphy, Catherine J.; Orr, Galya; Pedersen, Joel A.; DeStefano, Lizanne; Hamers, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    We have developed and assessed a multiauthor science blog on the topic of nanotechnology and sustainability as a tool to improve the written communication and public engagement skills of graduate students. Focus group studies revealed that after participation in the blog, student authors felt more confident and capable of communicating technical…

  2. Enhancing Parent-Teacher Communication Using Technology: A Reading Improvement Clinic Example

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Merkley, Donna; Schmidt, Denise; Dirksen, Carrie; Fuhler, Carol

    2006-01-01

    Effective communication between homes and schools can be essential in helping students experience success in the classroom. Unfortunately, the topic of establishing mechanisms for meaningful parent-teacher communication is often slighted during the preparation of teachers. New teachers entering classrooms need the opportunity to interact and…

  3. Enhancing Graduate Student Communication to General Audiences through Blogging about Nanotechnology and Sustainability

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bishop, Lee M.; Tillman, Ayesha S.; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Murphy, Catherine J.; Orr, Galya; Pedersen, Joel A.; DeStefano, Lizanne; Hamers, Robert J.

    2014-01-01

    We have developed and assessed a multiauthor science blog on the topic of nanotechnology and sustainability as a tool to improve the written communication and public engagement skills of graduate students. Focus group studies revealed that after participation in the blog, student authors felt more confident and capable of communicating technical…

  4. Enhancing the Instruction of Relationship Development in the Basic Communication Course.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gorcyca, Diane Atkinson

    Traditional course outlines in a hybrid communication course cover the "elements" areas before discussion of different forms and types of relationships. This paper proposes a structure whereby the development of relationships is presented first, and the elements are examined as communication factors that promote or discourage a…

  5. Problems and Recommendations: Enhancing Communication with Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kader, Shereen Abdel; Yawkey, Thomas D.

    2002-01-01

    Notes that communication between teachers and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students need serious consideration especially in recognizing potential sources of miscommunication and misinterpretation. Considers sources of miscommunication within verbal and nonverbal communication. Discusses each element and offers examples in CLD…

  6. From a Medicinal to Educational Context: Implementing a Signature Pedagogy for Enhanced Parent-Teacher Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dotger, Benjamin H.

    2009-01-01

    Many teachers are not well prepared for, nor are they being trained to communicate effectively with, parents/caregivers from the different backgrounds and cultures with whom they will interact. Yet, one knows that teachers' professional communication skills are important as they work with parents to promote the success of all children in the…

  7. Teaching Communication Ethics and Diversity: Using Technology and Community Engagement to Enhance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swenson-Lepper, Tammy

    2012-01-01

    The workforce in the United States is becoming more diverse. To help students prepare to work and live in a diverse society, the author developed a lower-division course called "Communication Ethics and Diversity." After this course, students should be able to: (1) define diversity and communication ethics; (2) understand a variety of…

  8. From a Medicinal to Educational Context: Implementing a Signature Pedagogy for Enhanced Parent-Teacher Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dotger, Benjamin H.

    2009-01-01

    Many teachers are not well prepared for, nor are they being trained to communicate effectively with, parents/caregivers from the different backgrounds and cultures with whom they will interact. Yet, one knows that teachers' professional communication skills are important as they work with parents to promote the success of all children in the…

  9. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills in the Science Classroom through Socioscientific Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Yoonsook; Yoo, Jungsook; Kim, Sung-Won; Lee, Hyunju; Zeidler, Dana L.

    2016-01-01

    Communication skills are one of the most important competencies for 21st century global citizens. Our guiding presupposition was that socioscientific issues (SSIs) could be used as an effective pedagogical tool for promoting students' communication skills by increasing peer interactions, stimulating students' reasoning, and in constructing shared…

  10. Enhancing Students' Communication Skills in the Science Classroom through Socioscientific Issues

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chung, Yoonsook; Yoo, Jungsook; Kim, Sung-Won; Lee, Hyunju; Zeidler, Dana L.

    2016-01-01

    Communication skills are one of the most important competencies for 21st century global citizens. Our guiding presupposition was that socioscientific issues (SSIs) could be used as an effective pedagogical tool for promoting students' communication skills by increasing peer interactions, stimulating students' reasoning, and in constructing shared…

  11. Teaching Communication Ethics and Diversity: Using Technology and Community Engagement to Enhance Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swenson-Lepper, Tammy

    2012-01-01

    The workforce in the United States is becoming more diverse. To help students prepare to work and live in a diverse society, the author developed a lower-division course called "Communication Ethics and Diversity." After this course, students should be able to: (1) define diversity and communication ethics; (2) understand a variety of…

  12. Enhancing Cross Cultural Communication in the Marketing Classroom: A Case Approach

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Budden, Michael C.; Budden, Connie B.; Lopez, Tará Burnthorne

    2017-01-01

    The importance of effective communication skills in the workplace is widely documented and recognized as a success factor in many fields of endeavor. As the workplace becomes more diverse and more global in nature, the ability to communicate across cultures is gaining in importance. A class exercise in which Panamanian educators and US students…

  13. Enhancing Professionalism in Academic Agricultural Communications Programs: The Role of Accreditation.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tucker, Mark; Whaley, Sherrie R.; Whiting, Larry; Agunga, Robert

    2002-01-01

    Provides an overview of the accreditation process as it relates to academic agricultural communications programs. Reports results of an electronic mail survey regarding the perceptions of 16 agricultural communications faculty as to the need for accreditation. Discusses the merits of national accreditation standards. (Contains 20 references.) (JOW)

  14. Enhancing Parent-Child Communication about Drug Use: Strategies for Professionals Working with Parents and Guardians

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    King, Keith A.; Vidourek, Rebecca A.

    2011-01-01

    Research indicates that family connectedness is the leading protective factor against youth involvement in alcohol and other drug use. A vital component to building positive family connections is effective parent-child communication. This article discusses the importance of building positive parent-child communication skills and provides practical…

  15. Synaptic Cell Adhesion Molecules in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Leshchyns'ka, Iryna

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder associated with the loss of synapses between neurons in the brain. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules are cell surface glycoproteins which are expressed at the synaptic plasma membranes of neurons. These proteins play key roles in formation and maintenance of synapses and regulation of synaptic plasticity. Genetic studies and biochemical analysis of the human brain tissue, cerebrospinal fluid, and sera from AD patients indicate that levels and function of synaptic cell adhesion molecules are affected in AD. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules interact with Aβ, a peptide accumulating in AD brains, which affects their expression and synaptic localization. Synaptic cell adhesion molecules also regulate the production of Aβ via interaction with the key enzymes involved in Aβ formation. Aβ-dependent changes in synaptic adhesion affect the function and integrity of synapses suggesting that alterations in synaptic adhesion play key roles in the disruption of neuronal networks in AD. PMID:27242933

  16. Translating medical documents into plain language enhances communication skills in medical students--A pilot study.

    PubMed

    Bittner, Anja; Jonietz, Ansgar; Bittner, Johannes; Beickert, Luise; Harendza, Sigrid

    2015-09-01

    To train and assess undergraduate medical students' written communication skills by exercises in translating medical reports into plain language for real patients. 27 medical students participated in a newly developed communication course. They attended a 3-h seminar including a briefing on patient-centered communication and an introduction to working with the internet platform http://washabich.de. In the following ten weeks, participants "translated" one medical report every fortnight on this platform receiving feedback by a near-peer supervisor. A pre- and post-course assignment consisted of a self-assessment questionnaire on communication skills, analysis of a medical text with respect to medical jargon, and the translation of a medical report into plain language. In the self-assessment, students rated themselves in most aspects of patient-centered communication significantly higher after attending the course. After the course they marked significantly more medical jargon terms correctly than before (p<0.001). In a written plain language translation of a medical report they scored significantly higher with respect to communicative aspects (p<0.05) and medical correctness (p<0.001). Translating medical reports into plain language under near-peer supervision is associated with improved communication skills and medical knowledge in undergraduate medical students. To include translation exercises in the undergraduate medical curriculum. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Effectiveness of enhanced communication therapy in the first four months after stroke for aphasia and dysarthria: a randomised controlled trial

    PubMed Central

    Hesketh, Anne; Patchick, Emma; Young, Alys; Davies, Linda; Vail, Andy; Long, Andrew F; Watkins, Caroline; Wilkinson, Mo; Pearl, Gill; Ralph, Matthew A Lambon; Tyrrell, Pippa

    2012-01-01

    Objective To assess the effectiveness of enhanced communication therapy in the first four months after stroke compared with an attention control (unstructured social contact). Design Externally randomised, pragmatic, parallel, superiority trial with blinded outcome assessment. Setting Twelve UK hospital and community stroke services. Participants 170 adults (mean age 70 years) randomised within two weeks of admission to hospital with stroke (December 2006 to January 2010) whom speech and language therapists deemed eligible, and 135 carers. Interventions Enhanced, agreed best practice, communication therapy specific to aphasia or dysarthria, offered by speech and language therapists according to participants’ needs for up to four months, with continuity from hospital to community. Comparison was with similarly resourced social contact (without communication therapy) from employed visitors. Outcome measures Primary outcome was blinded, functional communicative ability at six months on the Therapy Outcome Measure (TOM) activity subscale. Secondary outcomes (unblinded, six months): participants’ perceptions on the Communication Outcomes After Stroke scale (COAST); carers’ perceptions of participants from part of the Carer COAST; carers’ wellbeing on Carers of Older People in Europe Index and quality of life items from Carer COAST; and serious adverse events. Results Therapist and visitor contact both had good uptake from service users. An average 22 contacts (intervention or control) over 13 weeks were accepted by users. Impairment focused therapy was the approach most often used by the speech and language therapists. Visitors most often provided general conversation. In total, 81/85 of the intervention group and 72/85 of the control group completed the primary outcome measure. Both groups improved on the TOM activity subscale. The estimated six months group difference was not statistically significant, with 0.25 (95% CI –0.19 to 0.69) points in favour of

  18. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction.

    PubMed

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse.

  19. Sumoylation in Synaptic Function and Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Schorova, Lenka; Martin, Stéphane

    2016-01-01

    Sumoylation has recently emerged as a key post-translational modification involved in many, if not all, biological processes. Small Ubiquitin-like Modifier (SUMO) polypeptides are covalently attached to specific lysine residues of target proteins through a dedicated enzymatic pathway. Disruption of the SUMO enzymatic pathway in the developing brain leads to lethality indicating that this process exerts a central role during embryonic and post-natal development. However, little is still known regarding how this highly dynamic protein modification is regulated in the mammalian brain despite an increasing number of data implicating sumoylated substrates in synapse formation, synaptic communication and plasticity. The aim of this review is therefore to briefly describe the enzymatic SUMO pathway and to give an overview of our current knowledge on the function and dysfunction of protein sumoylation at the mammalian synapse. PMID:27199730

  20. Neuromodulator-evoked synaptic metaplasticity within a central pattern generator network.

    PubMed

    Kvarta, Mark D; Harris-Warrick, Ronald M; Johnson, Bruce R

    2012-11-01

    Synapses show short-term activity-dependent dynamics that alter the strength of neuronal interactions. This synaptic plasticity can be tuned by neuromodulation as a form of metaplasticity. We examined neuromodulator-induced metaplasticity at a graded chemical synapse in a model central pattern generator (CPG), the pyloric network of the spiny lobster stomatogastric ganglion. Dopamine, serotonin, and octopamine each produce a unique motor pattern from the pyloric network, partially through their modulation of synaptic strength in the network. We characterized synaptic depression and its amine modulation at the graded synapse from the pyloric dilator neuron to the lateral pyloric neuron (PD→LP synapse), driving the PD neuron with both long square pulses and trains of realistic waveforms over a range of presynaptic voltages. We found that the three amines can differentially affect the amplitude of graded synaptic transmission independently of the synaptic dynamics. Low concentrations of dopamine had weak and variable effects on the strength of the graded inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (gIPSPs) but reliably accelerated the onset of synaptic depression and recovery from depression independently of gIPSP amplitude. Octopamine enhanced gIPSP amplitude but decreased the amount of synaptic depression; it slowed the onset of depression and accelerated its recovery during square pulse stimulation. Serotonin reduced gIPSP amplitude but increased the amount of synaptic depression and accelerated the onset of depression. These results suggest that amine-induced metaplasticity at graded chemical synapses can alter the parameters of synaptic dynamics in multiple and independent ways.

  1. Enhanced communication by developing a non-anxious presence: a key attribute for the successful veterinarian.

    PubMed

    Strand, Elizabeth B

    2006-01-01

    In the recent past much has been written about non-technical skills in veterinary medical education. This dialogue has focused extensively on competence in behaviorally based communication skills for successful veterinary practice. Other relationship-based communication skills are also useful in communication, such as self-awareness, flexibility, non-judgment (compassion), and being present. All of these relationally based skills are present in the concept of non-anxious presence. This article will review the history of the term ''non-anxious presence'' (NAP), discuss a proposed model of NAP for the veterinary medical environment, and review some methods useful in teaching NAP in veterinary medical education.

  2. MPTP-meditated hippocampal dopamine deprivation modulates synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu Guoqi; Chen Ying; Huang Yuying; Li Qinglin; Behnisch, Thomas

    2011-08-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD)-like symptoms including learning deficits are inducible by 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP). Therefore, it is possible that MPTP may disturb hippocampal memory processing by modulation of dopamine (DA)- and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. We demonstrate here that intraperitoneal (i.p.) MPTP injection reduces the number of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)-positive neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) within 7 days. Subsequently, the TH expression level in SN and hippocampus and the amount of DA and its metabolite DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus decrease. DA depletion does not alter basal synaptic transmission and changes pair-pulse facilitation (PPF) of field excitatory postsynaptic potentials (fEPSPs) only at the 30 ms inter-pulse interval. In addition, the induction of long-term potentiation (LTP) is impaired whereas the duration of long-term depression (LTD) becomes prolonged. Since both LTP and LTD depend critically on activation of NMDA and DA receptors, we also tested the effect of DA depletion on NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission. Seven days after MPTP injection, the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSPs are decreased by about 23%. Blocking the NMDA receptor-mediated fEPSP does not mimic the MPTP-LTP. Only co-application of D1/D5 and NMDA receptor antagonists during tetanization resembled the time course of fEPSP potentiation as observed 7 days after i.p. MPTP injection. Together, our data demonstrate that MPTP-induced degeneration of DA neurons and the subsequent hippocampal DA depletion alter NMDA receptor-mediated synaptic transmission and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity. - Highlights: > I.p. MPTP-injection mediates death of dopaminergic neurons. > I.p. MPTP-injection depletes DA and DOPAC in striatum and hippocampus. > I.p. MPTP-injection does not alter basal synaptic transmission. > Reduction of LTP and enhancement of LTD after i.p. MPTP-injection. > Attenuation of NMDA-receptors mediated f

  3. PSD-95 and PSD-93 play critical but distinct roles in synaptic scaling up and down.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qian; Turrigiano, Gina G

    2011-05-04

    Synaptic scaling stabilizes neuronal firing through the homeostatic regulation of postsynaptic strength, but the mechanisms by which chronic changes in activity lead to bidirectional adjustments in synaptic AMPA receptor (AMPAR) abundance are incompletely understood. Furthermore, it remains unclear to what extent scaling up and scaling down use distinct molecular machinery. PSD-95 is a scaffold protein proposed to serve as a binding "slot" that determines synaptic AMPAR content, and synaptic PSD-95 abundance is regulated by activity, raising the possibility that activity-dependent changes in the synaptic abundance of PSD-95 or other membrane-associated guanylate kinases (MAGUKs) drives the bidirectional changes in AMPAR accumulation during synaptic scaling. We found that synaptic PSD-95 and SAP102 (but not PSD-93) abundance were bidirectionally regulated by activity, but these changes were not sufficient to drive homeostatic changes in synaptic strength. Although not sufficient, the PSD-95 MAGUKs were necessary for synaptic scaling, but scaling up and down were differentially dependent on PSD-95 and PSD-93. Scaling down was completely blocked by reduced or enhanced PSD-95, through a mechanism that depended on the PDZ1/2 domains. In contrast, scaling up could be supported by either PSD-95 or PSD-93 in a manner that depended on neuronal age and was unaffected by a superabundance of PSD-95. Together, our data suggest that scaling up and down of quantal amplitude is not driven by changes in synaptic abundance of PSD-95 MAGUKs, but rather that the PSD-95 MAGUKs serve as critical synaptic organizers that use distinct protein-protein interactions to mediate homeostatic accumulation and loss of synaptic AMPAR.

  4. PSD-95 and PSD-93 Play Critical but Distinct Roles in Synaptic Scaling Up and Down

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Qian; Turrigiano, Gina G.

    2011-01-01

    Synaptic scaling stabilizes neuronal firing through the homeostatic regulation of postsynaptic strength, but the mechanisms by which chronic changes in activity lead to bidirectional adjustments in synaptic AMPAR abundance are incompletely understood. Further, it remains unclear to what extent scaling up and scaling down utilize distinct molecular machinery. PSD-95 is a scaffold protein proposed to serve as a binding “slot” that determines synaptic AMPAR content, and synaptic PSD-95 abundance is regulated by activity, raising the possibility that activity-dependent changes in the synaptic abundance of PSD-95 or other MAGUKs drives the bidirectional changes in AMPAR accumulation during synaptic scaling. We found that synaptic PSD-95 and SAP102 (but not PSD-93) abundance were bidirectionally regulated by activity, but these changes were not sufficient to drive homeostatic changes in synaptic strength. Although not sufficient, the PSD-95-MAGUKs were necessary for synaptic scaling, but scaling up and down were differentially dependent on PSD-95 and PSD-93. Scaling down was completely blocked by reduced or enhanced PSD-95, through a mechanism that depended on the PDZ1/2 domains. In contrast scaling up could be supported by either PSD-95 or PSD-93 in a manner that depended on neuronal age, and was unaffected by a superabundance of PSD-95. Taken together, our data suggest that scaling up and down of quantal amplitude is not driven by changes in synaptic abundance of PSD-95-MAGUKs, but rather that the PSD-95 MAGUKs serve as critical synaptic organizers that utilize distinct protein-protein interactions to mediate homeostatic accumulation and loss of synaptic AMPAR. PMID:21543610

  5. Balanced synaptic input shapes the correlation between neural spike trains.

    PubMed

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Oswald, Anne-Marie M; Urban, Nathaniel N; Doiron, Brent

    2011-12-01

    Stimulus properties, attention, and behavioral context influence correlations between the spike times produced by a pair of neurons. However, the biophysical mechanisms that modulate these correlations are poorly understood. With a combined theoretical and experimental approach, we show that the rate of balanced excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input modulates the magnitude and timescale of pairwise spike train correlation. High rate synaptic inputs promote spike time synchrony rather than long timescale spike rate correlations, while low rate synaptic inputs produce opposite results. This correlation shaping is due to a combination of enhanced high frequency input transfer and reduced firing rate gain in the high input rate state compared to the low state. Our study extends neural modulation from single neuron responses to population activity, a necessary step in understanding how the dynamics and processing of neural activity change across distinct brain states.

  6. Balanced Synaptic Input Shapes the Correlation between Neural Spike Trains

    PubMed Central

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Oswald, Anne-Marie M.; Urban, Nathaniel N.; Doiron, Brent

    2011-01-01

    Stimulus properties, attention, and behavioral context influence correlations between the spike times produced by a pair of neurons. However, the biophysical mechanisms that modulate these correlations are poorly understood. With a combined theoretical and experimental approach, we show that the rate of balanced excitatory and inhibitory synaptic input modulates the magnitude and timescale of pairwise spike train correlation. High rate synaptic inputs promote spike time synchrony rather than long timescale spike rate correlations, while low rate synaptic inputs produce opposite results. This correlation shaping is due to a combination of enhanced high frequency input transfer and reduced firing rate gain in the high input rate state compared to the low state. Our study extends neural modulation from single neuron responses to population activity, a necessary step in understanding how the dynamics and processing of neural activity change across distinct brain states. PMID:22215995

  7. Scaffold remodeling in space and time controls synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Perroy, Julie; Moutin, Enora

    2012-01-01

    Scaffolding proteins that are associated with glutamate receptors in dendritic spines govern the location and function of receptors to control synaptic transmission. Unraveling the spatio-temporal dynamics of protein-protein interactions within components of the scaffolding complex will bring to light the function of these interactions. Combining bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET) imaging to electrophysiological recordings, we have recently shown that GKAP, a core protein of the scaffolding complex, interacts with DLC2, a protein associated with molecular motors. Synaptic activity-induced GKAP-DLC2 interaction in spines stabilizes the scaffolding complex and enhances the NMDA currents. Interestingly, this work placed emphasis on the bioarchitectural dependence of protein-protein interaction dynamics. Depending on physiological conditions, the modulation in space and time of protein-protein interaction is acutely regulated, engendering a subtle control of synaptic transmission in the state of the individual synapse. PMID:22754626

  8. A Randomized Control Trial: Supplementing Hearing Aid Use with Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE) Auditory Training.

    PubMed

    Saunders, Gabrielle H; Smith, Sherri L; Chisolm, Theresa H; Frederick, Melissa T; McArdle, Rachel A; Wilson, Richard H

    2016-01-01

    To examine the effectiveness of the Listening and Communication Enhancement (LACE) program as a supplement to standard-of-care hearing aid intervention in a Veteran population. A multisite randomized controlled trial was conducted to compare outcomes following standard-of-care hearing aid intervention supplemented with (1) LACE training using the 10-session DVD format, (2) LACE training using the 20-session computer-based format, (3) placebo auditory training (AT) consisting of actively listening to 10 hr of digitized books on a computer, and (4) educational counseling-the control group. The study involved 3 VA sites and enrolled 279 veterans. Both new and experienced hearing aid users participated to determine if outcomes differed as a function of hearing aid user status. Data for five behavioral and two self-report measures were collected during three research visits: baseline, immediately following the intervention period, and at 6 months postintervention. The five behavioral measures were selected to determine whether the perceptual and cognitive skills targeted in LACE training generalized to untrained tasks that required similar underlying skills. The two self-report measures were completed to determine whether the training resulted in a lessening of activity limitations and participation restrictions. Outcomes were obtained from 263 participants immediately following the intervention period and from 243 participants 6 months postintervention. Analyses of covariance comparing performance on each outcome measure separately were conducted using intervention and hearing aid user status as between-subject factors, visit as a within-subject factor, and baseline performance as a covariate. No statistically significant main effects or interactions were found for the use of LACE on any outcome measure. Findings from this randomized controlled trial show that LACE training does not result in improved outcomes over standard-of-care hearing aid intervention alone

  9. Ketones prevent synaptic dysfunction induced by mitochondrial respiratory complex inhibitors

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Do Young; Vallejo, Johana; Rho, Jong M

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Ketones have previously shown beneficial effects in models of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly against associated mitochondrial dysfunction and cognitive impairment. However, evidence of a synaptic protective effect of ketones remains lacking. We tested the effects of ketones on synaptic impairment induced by mitochondrial respiratory complex (MRC) inhibitors using electrophysiological, reactive oxygen species (ROS) imaging and biochemical techniques. MRC inhibitors dose-dependently suppressed both population spike (PS) and field potential amplitudes in the CA1 hippocampus. Pre-treatment with ketones strongly prevented changes in the PS, whereas partial protection was seen in the field potential. Rotenone (Rot; 100 nmol/L), a MRC I inhibitor, suppressed synaptic function without altering ROS levels and PS depression by Rot was unaffected by antioxidants. In contrast, antioxidant-induced PS recovery against the MRC II inhibitor 3-nitropropionic acid (3-NP; 1 mmol/L) was similar to the synaptic protective effects of ketones. Ketones also suppressed ROS generation induced by 3-NP. Finally, ketones reversed the decreases in ATP levels caused by Rot and 3-NP. In summary, our data demonstrate that ketones can preserve synaptic function in CA1 hippocampus induced by MRC dysfunction, likely through an antioxidant action and enhanced ATP generation. PMID:20374433

  10. Cell-specific synaptic plasticity induced by network oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Zarnadze, Shota; Bäuerle, Peter; Santos-Torres, Julio; Böhm, Claudia; Schmitz, Dietmar; Geiger, Jörg RP

    2016-01-01

    Gamma rhythms are known to contribute to the process of memory encoding. However, little is known about the underlying mechanisms at the molecular, cellular and network levels. Using local field potential recording in awake behaving mice and concomitant field potential and whole-cell recordings in slice preparations we found that gamma rhythms lead to activity-dependent modification of hippocampal networks, including alterations in sharp wave-ripple complexes. Network plasticity, expressed as long-lasting increases in sharp wave-associated synaptic currents, exhibits enhanced excitatory synaptic strength in pyramidal cells that is induced postsynaptically and depends on metabotropic glutamate receptor-5 activation. In sharp contrast, alteration of inhibitory synaptic strength is independent of postsynaptic activation and less pronounced. Further, we found a cell type-specific, directionally biased synaptic plasticity of two major types of GABAergic cells, parvalbumin- and cholecystokinin-expressing interneurons. Thus, we propose that gamma frequency oscillations represent a network state that introduces long-lasting synaptic plasticity in a cell-specific manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.14912.001 PMID:27218453

  11. Membrane-Derived Phospholipids Control Synaptic Neurotransmission and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    García-Morales, Victoria; Montero, Fernando; González-Forero, David; Rodríguez-Bey, Guillermo; Gómez-Pérez, Laura; Medialdea-Wandossell, María Jesús; Domínguez-Vías, Germán; García-Verdugo, José Manuel; Moreno-López, Bernardo

    2015-01-01

    Synaptic communication is a dynamic process that is key to the regulation of neuronal excitability and information processing in the brain. To date, however, the molecular signals controlling synaptic dynamics have been poorly understood. Membrane-derived bioactive phospholipids are potential candidates to control short-term tuning of synaptic signaling, a plastic event essential for information processing at both the cellular and neuronal network levels in the brain. Here, we showed that phospholipids affect excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmission by different degrees, loci, and mechanisms of action. Signaling triggered by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) evoked rapid and reversible depression of excitatory and inhibitory postsynaptic currents. At excitatory synapses, LPA-induced depression depended on LPA1/Gαi/o-protein/phospholipase C/myosin light chain kinase cascade at the presynaptic site. LPA increased myosin light chain phosphorylation, which is known to trigger actomyosin contraction, and reduced the number of synaptic vesicles docked to active zones in excitatory boutons. At inhibitory synapses, postsynaptic LPA signaling led to dephosphorylation, and internalization of the GABAAγ2 subunit through the LPA1/Gα12/13-protein/RhoA/Rho kinase/calcineurin pathway. However, LPA-induced depression of GABAergic transmission was correlated with an endocytosis-independent reduction of GABAA receptors, possibly by GABAAγ2 dephosphorylation and subsequent increased lateral diffusion. Furthermore, endogenous LPA signaling, mainly via LPA1, mediated activity-dependent inhibitory depression in a model of experimental synaptic plasticity. Finally, LPA signaling, most likely restraining the excitatory drive incoming to motoneurons, regulated performance of motor output commands, a basic brain processing task. We propose that lysophospholipids serve as potential local messengers that tune synaptic strength to precedent activity of the neuron. PMID:25996636

  12. Depression as a Glial-Based Synaptic Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Rial, Daniel; Lemos, Cristina; Pinheiro, Helena; Duarte, Joana M.; Gonçalves, Francisco Q.; Real, Joana I.; Prediger, Rui D.; Gonçalves, Nélio; Gomes, Catarina A.; Canas, Paula M.; Agostinho, Paula; Cunha, Rodrigo A.

    2016-01-01

    Recent studies combining pharmacological, behavioral, electrophysiological and molecular approaches indicate that depression results from maladaptive neuroplastic processes occurring in defined frontolimbic circuits responsible for emotional processing such as the prefrontal cortex, hippocampus, amygdala and ventral striatum. However, the exact mechanisms controlling synaptic plasticity that are disrupted to trigger depressive conditions have not been elucidated. Since glial cells (astrocytes and microglia) tightly and dynamically interact with synapses, engaging a bi-directional communication critical for the processing of synaptic information, we now revisit the role of glial cells in the etiology of depression focusing on a dysfunction of the “quad-partite” synapse. This interest is supported by the observations that depressive-like conditions are associated with a decreased density and hypofunction of astrocytes and with an increased microglia “activation” in frontolimbic regions, which is expected to contribute for the synaptic dysfunction present in depression. Furthermore, the traditional culprits of depression (glucocorticoids, biogenic amines, brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF) affect glia functioning, whereas antidepressant treatments (serotonin-selective reuptake inhibitors, SSRIs, electroshocks, deep brain stimulation) recover glia functioning. In this context of a quad-partite synapse, systems modulating glia-synapse bidirectional communication—such as the purinergic neuromodulation system operated by adenosine 5′-triphosphate (ATP) and adenosine—emerge as promising candidates to “re-normalize” synaptic function by combining direct synaptic effects with an ability to also control astrocyte and microglia function. This proposed triple action of purines to control aberrant synaptic function illustrates the rationale to consider the interference with glia dysfunction as a mechanism of action driving the design of future

  13. Scrambled coherent superposition for enhanced optical fiber communication in the nonlinear transmission regime.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiang; Chandrasekhar, S; Winzer, P J; Chraplyvy, A R; Tkach, R W; Zhu, B; Taunay, T F; Fishteyn, M; DiGiovanni, D J

    2012-08-13

    Coherent superposition of light waves has long been used in various fields of science, and recent advances in digital coherent detection and space-division multiplexing have enabled the coherent superposition of information-carrying optical signals to achieve better communication fidelity on amplified-spontaneous-noise limited communication links. However, fiber nonlinearity introduces highly correlated distortions on identical signals and diminishes the benefit of coherent superposition in nonlinear transmission regime. Here we experimentally demonstrate that through coordinated scrambling of signal constellations at the transmitter, together with appropriate unscrambling at the receiver, the full benefit of coherent superposition is retained in the nonlinear transmission regime of a space-diversity fiber link based on an innovatively engineered multi-core fiber. This scrambled coherent superposition may provide the flexibility of trading communication capacity for performance in future optical fiber networks, and may open new possibilities in high-performance and secure optical communications.

  14. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles.

    PubMed

    Harper, Callista B; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R; Morgan, Garry P; Nguyen, Tam H; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A

    2016-01-25

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles.

  15. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A enters a non-recycling pool of synaptic vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Harper, Callista B.; Papadopulos, Andreas; Martin, Sally; Matthews, Daniel R.; Morgan, Garry P.; Nguyen, Tam H.; Wang, Tong; Nair, Deepak; Choquet, Daniel; Meunier, Frederic A.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal communication relies on synaptic vesicles undergoing regulated exocytosis and recycling for multiple rounds of fusion. Whether all synaptic vesicles have identical protein content has been challenged, suggesting that their recycling ability may differ greatly. Botulinum neurotoxin type-A (BoNT/A) is a highly potent neurotoxin that is internalized in synaptic vesicles at motor nerve terminals and induces flaccid paralysis. Recently, BoNT/A was also shown to undergo retrograde transport, suggesting it might enter a specific pool of synaptic vesicles with a retrograde trafficking fate. Using high-resolution microscopy techniques including electron microscopy and single molecule imaging, we found that the BoNT/A binding domain is internalized within a subset of vesicles that only partially co-localize with cholera toxin B-subunit and have markedly reduced VAMP2 immunoreactivity. Synaptic vesicles loaded with pHrodo-BoNT/A-Hc exhibited a significantly reduced ability to fuse with the plasma membrane in mouse hippocampal nerve terminals when compared with pHrodo-dextran-containing synaptic vesicles and pHrodo-labeled anti-GFP nanobodies bound to VAMP2-pHluorin or vGlut-pHluorin. Similar results were also obtained at the amphibian neuromuscular junction. These results reveal that BoNT/A is internalized in a subpopulation of synaptic vesicles that are not destined to recycle, highlighting the existence of significant molecular and functional heterogeneity between synaptic vesicles. PMID:26805017

  16. Molecular bases of caloric restriction regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Fontán-Lozano, Angela; López-Lluch, Guillermo; Delgado-García, José María; Navas, Placido; Carrión, Angel Manuel

    2008-10-01

    Aging is associated with the decline of cognitive properties. This situation is magnified when neurodegenerative processes associated with aging appear in human patients. Neuronal synaptic plasticity events underlie cognitive properties in the central nervous system. Caloric restriction (CR; either a decrease in food intake or an intermittent fasting diet) can extend life span and increase disease resistance. Recent studies have shown that CR can have profound effects on brain function and vulnerability to injury and disease. Moreover, CR can stimulate the production of new neurons from stem cells (neurogenesis) and can enhance synaptic plasticity, which modulate pain sensation, enhance cognitive function, and may increase the ability of the brain to resist aging. The beneficial effects of CR appear to be the result of a cellular stress response stimulating the production of proteins that enhance neuronal plasticity and resistance to oxidative and metabolic insults; they include neurotrophic factors, neurotransmitter receptors, protein chaperones, and mitochondrial biosynthesis regulators. In this review, we will present and discuss the effect of CR in synaptic processes underlying analgesia and cognitive improvement in healthy, sick, and aging animals. We will also discuss the possible role of mitochondrial biogenesis induced by CR in regulation of neuronal synaptic plasticity.

  17. Synaptic potentiation onto habenula neurons in the learned helplessness model of depression

    SciTech Connect

    Li, B.; Schulz, D.; Li, B; Piriz, J.; Mirrione, M.; Chung, C.H.; Proulx, C.D.; Schulz, D.; Henn, F.; Malinow, R.

    2011-02-24

    The cellular basis of depressive disorders is poorly understood. Recent studies in monkeys indicate that neurons in the lateral habenula (LHb), a nucleus that mediates communication between forebrain and midbrain structures, can increase their activity when an animal fails to receive an expected positive reward or receives a stimulus that predicts aversive conditions (that is, disappointment or anticipation of a negative outcome). LHb neurons project to, and modulate, dopamine-rich regions, such as the ventral tegmental area (VTA), that control reward-seeking behaviour and participate in depressive disorders. Here we show that in two learned helplessness models of depression, excitatory synapses onto LHb neurons projecting to the VTA are potentiated. Synaptic potentiation correlates with an animal's helplessness behaviour and is due to an enhanced presynaptic release probability. Depleting transmitter release by repeated electrical stimulation of LHb afferents, using a protocol that can be effective for patients who are depressed, markedly suppresses synaptic drive onto VTA-projecting LHb neurons in brain slices and can significantly reduce learned helplessness behaviour in rats. Our results indicate that increased presynaptic action onto LHb neurons contributes to the rodent learned helplessness model of depression.

  18. A Clinical Communication Strategy to Enhance Effectiveness and CAHPS Scores: The ALERT Model.

    PubMed

    Hardee, James T; Kasper, Ilene K

    2008-01-01

    The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program is a national annual report that surveys patients and rates health plans on a variety of metrics, including claims processing, customer service, office staff helpfulness, and ability to get needed care. Although physicians may feel they have no immediate control over many aspects of this questionnaire, there is an important area of the survey where they do have direct control: "how well the doctor communicates."It is well established that effective physician-patient communication has beneficial effects not only on physician and patient satisfaction but also on adherence to medical advice, diagnostic accuracy, and malpractice risk. The creators of the CAHPS survey developed and incorporated four questions seeking to ascertain the patient's impression of the physician's communication skills. These questions assess how well the physician listened carefully to the patient, how often the physician explained things understandably, how often the physician showed respect for what the patient said, and how often the physician spent enough time with the patient.Many excellent clinical communication models exist that touch on aspects of the CAHPS topics, but it behooves physicians to be mindful of the exact survey questions. The ALERT model of communication was developed to facilitate physicians' recall of these measures. By incorporating key verbal and nonverbal communication skills, clinicians can address and improve their scores on this important area of the CAHPS survey.

  19. Utilizing Trigger Films to Enhance Communication Skills of Home Care Clinicians.

    PubMed

    Brennan-Cook, Jill; Molloy, Margory A

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this article is to describe an innovative method to help home care clinicians better communicate with older adults experiencing normal physiologic changes that impact their ability to communicate effectively. Developmental changes such as hearing, speech, vision, and cognition profoundly impede an older adult's ability to communicate with others, potentially undermining the quality of care delivered. The use of trigger films as an educational intervention can assist home care clinicians to improve communication with their patients. Trigger films are 2- to 4-minute video clips that end abruptly, encouraging learners to analyze clinical situations in a safe environment, such as a staff conference room. Trigger films are easy to make with the use of a smart phone and two staff members portraying the role of home care clinician and patient. Allowing discussion after viewing the trigger film places clinicians in an active learning role, thus fostering the sharing of ideas and best practice. Addressing age-related barriers to communication with this modality serves to improve patient interaction and healthcare outcomes. The use of trigger films is another tool that empowers the clinician to provide improved care for patients with communication deficits.

  20. A Clinical Communication Strategy to Enhance Effectiveness and CAHPS Scores: The ALERT Model

    PubMed Central

    Hardee, James T; Kasper, Ilene K

    2008-01-01

    The Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) program is a national annual report that surveys patients and rates health plans on a variety of metrics, including claims processing, customer service, office staff helpfulness, and ability to get needed care. Although physicians may feel they have no immediate control over many aspects of this questionnaire, there is an important area of the survey where they do have direct control: “how well the doctor communicates.” It is well established that effective physician–patient communication has beneficial effects not only on physician and patient satisfaction but also on adherence to medical advice, diagnostic accuracy, and malpractice risk. The creators of the CAHPS survey developed and incorporated four questions seeking to ascertain the patient's impression of the physician's communication skills. These questions assess how well the physician listened carefully to the patient, how often the physician explained things understandably, how often the physician showed respect for what the patient said, and how often the physician spent enough time with the patient. Many excellent clinical communication models exist that touch on aspects of the CAHPS topics, but it behooves physicians to be mindful of the exact survey questions. The ALERT model of communication was developed to facilitate physicians' recall of these measures. By incorporating key verbal and nonverbal communication skills, clinicians can address and improve their scores on this important area of the CAHPS survey. PMID:21331215

  1. Synaptic vesicle distribution by conveyor belt.

    PubMed

    Moughamian, Armen J; Holzbaur, Erika L F

    2012-03-02

    The equal distribution of synaptic vesicles among synapses along the axon is critical for robust neurotransmission. Wong et al. show that the continuous circulation of synaptic vesicles throughout the axon driven by molecular motors ultimately yields this even distribution.

  2. Mitochondria, synaptic plasticity, and schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Ben-Shachar, Dorit; Laifenfeld, Daphna

    2004-01-01

    The conceptualization of schizophrenia as a disorder of connectivity, i.e., of neuronal?synaptic plasticity, suggests abnormal synaptic modeling and neuronal signaling, possibly as a consequence of flawed interactions with the environment, as at least a secondary mechanism underlying the pathophysiology of this disorder. Indeed, deficits in episodic memory and malfunction of hippocampal circuitry, as well as anomalies of axonal sprouting and synapse formation, are all suggestive of diminished neuronal plasticity in schizophrenia. Evidence supports a dysfunction of mitochondria in schizophrenia, including mitochondrial hypoplasia, and a dysfunction of the oxidative phosphorylation system, as well as altered mitochondrial-related gene expression. Mitochondrial dysfunction leads to alterations in ATP production and cytoplasmatic calcium concentrations, as well as reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide production. All of the latter processes have been well established as leading to altered synaptic strength or plasticity. Moreover, mitochondria have been shown to play a role in plasticity of neuronal polarity, and studies in the visual cortex show an association between mitochondria and synaptogenesis. Finally, mitochondrial gene upregulation has been observed following synaptic and neuronal activity. This review proposes that mitochondrial dysfunction in schizophrenia could cause, or arise from, anomalies in processes of plasticity in this disorder.

  3. Open Access in the Natural and Social Sciences: The Correspondence of Innovative Moves to Enhance Access, Inclusion and Impact in Scholarly Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armbruster, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Online, open access is the superior model for scholarly communication. A variety of scientific communities in physics, the life sciences and economics have gone furthest in innovating their scholarly communication through open access, enhancing accessibility for scientists, students and the interested public. Open access enjoys a comparative…

  4. Open Access in the Natural and Social Sciences: The Correspondence of Innovative Moves to Enhance Access, Inclusion and Impact in Scholarly Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Armbruster, Chris

    2008-01-01

    Online, open access is the superior model for scholarly communication. A variety of scientific communities in physics, the life sciences and economics have gone furthest in innovating their scholarly communication through open access, enhancing accessibility for scientists, students and the interested public. Open access enjoys a comparative…

  5. A simple packet retransmission strategy for throughput and delay enhancement on power line communication channels

    SciTech Connect

    Onunga, J.O. ); Donaldson, R.W. . Dept. of Electrical Engineering)

    1993-07-01

    A new, simple, and effective communication protocol is developed and evaluated for use on power line distribution networks. The protocol involves retransmission of unacknowledged packets, which are sent in either single or multiple (N) copies in accordance with estimates of communication link quality. Multiple packet copies can be code combined at the receiver, using majority voting on each bit position, to reduce packet error rates. Adaptive link quality estimates are based on the receipt or absence of positive acknowledgements. Information throughput efficiency is calculated and N optimized in terms of system variables. Performance benefits of code combining are clearly demonstrated. The algorithm was implemented and tested using a five-station intrabuilding power line communications network operating at 1.2, 2.4, 4.8 and 9.6 kbit/s data rate. Substantial throughput and delay improvement occurred on poor quality links, without degrading performance on good links.

  6. Finite Post Synaptic Potentials Cause a Fast Neuronal Response

    PubMed Central

    Helias, Moritz; Deger, Moritz; Rotter, Stefan; Diesmann, Markus

    2011-01-01

    A generic property of the communication between neurons is the exchange of pulses at discrete time points, the action potentials. However, the prevalent theory of spiking neuronal networks of integrate-and-fire model neurons relies on two assumptions: the superposition of many afferent synaptic impulses is approximated by Gaussian white noise, equivalent to a vanishing magnitude of the synaptic impulses, and the transfer of time varying signals by neurons is assessable by linearization. Going beyond both approximations, we find that in the presence of synaptic impulses the response to transient inputs differs qualitatively from previous predictions. It is instantaneous rather than exhibiting low-pass characteristics, depends non-linearly on the amplitude of the impulse, is asymmetric for excitation and inhibition and is promoted by a characteristic level of synaptic background noise. These findings resolve contradictions between the earlier theory and experimental observations. Here we review the recent theoretical progress that enabled these insights. We explain why the membrane potential near threshold is sensitive to properties of the afferent noise and show how this shapes the neural response. A further extension of the theory to time evolution in discrete steps quantifies simulation artifacts and yields improved methods to cross check results. PMID:21427776

  7. Self-Assembled Framework Enhances Electronic Communication of Ultrasmall-Sized Nanoparticles for Exceptional Solar Hydrogen Evolution

    DOE PAGES

    Li, Xu-Bing; Gao, Yu-Ji; Wang, Yang; ...

    2017-03-10

    Colloidal quantum dots (QDs) have demonstrated great promise in artificial photosynthesis. However, the ultrasmall size hinders its controllable and effective interaction with cocatalysts. To improve the poor interparticle electronic communication between free QD and cocatalyst, we design here a self-assembled architecture of nanoparticles, QDs and Ptnanoparticles, simply jointed together by molecular polyacrylate to greatly enhance the rate and efficiency of interfacial electron transfer (ET). The enhanced interparticle electronic communication is confirmed by femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy and X-ray transient absorption. Taking advantage of the enhanced interparticle ET with a time scale of ~65 ps, 5.0 mL assembled CdSe/CdS QDs/cocatalysts solutionmore » produces 94 ± 1.5 mL (4183 ± 67 µmol) molecular H2 in 8 h, giving rise to an internal quantum yield of ~65% in the first 30 min and a total turnover number of >16,400,000 per Pt-nanoparticle. This study demonstrates that self-assembly is a promising way to improve the sluggish kinetics of interparticle ET process, which is the key step for advanced H2 photosynthesis.« less

  8. Reelin supplementation recovers synaptic plasticity and cognitive deficits in a mouse model for Angelman syndrome.

    PubMed

    Hethorn, Whitney R; Ciarlone, Stephanie L; Filonova, Irina; Rogers, Justin T; Aguirre, Daniela; Ramirez, Raquel A; Grieco, Joseph C; Peters, Melinda M; Gulick, Danielle; Anderson, Anne E; L Banko, Jessica; Lussier, April L; Weeber, Edwin J

    2015-05-01

    The Reelin signaling pathway is implicated in processes controlling synaptic plasticity and hippocampus-dependent learning and memory. A single direct in vivo application of Reelin enhances long-term potentiation, increases dendritic spine density and improves associative and spatial learning and memory. Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurological disorder that presents with an overall defect in synaptic function, including decreased long-term potentiation, reduced dendritic spine density, and deficits in learning and memory, making it an attractive model in which to examine the ability of Reelin to recover synaptic function and cognitive deficits. In this study, we investigated the effects of Reelin administration on synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in a mouse model of AS and demonstrated that bilateral, intraventricular injections of Reelin recover synaptic function and corresponding hippocampus-dependent associative and spatial learning and memory. Additionally, we describe alteration of the Reelin profile in tissue from both the AS mouse and post-mortem human brain.

  9. LRRK2 regulates retrograde synaptic compensation at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction

    PubMed Central

    Penney, Jay; Tsurudome, Kazuya; Liao, Edward H.; Kauwe, Grant; Gray, Lindsay; Yanagiya, Akiko; R. Calderon, Mario; Sonenberg, Nahum; Haghighi, A. Pejmun

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease gene leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) has been implicated in a number of processes including the regulation of mitochondrial function, autophagy and endocytic dynamics; nevertheless, we know little about its potential role in the regulation of synaptic plasticity. Here we demonstrate that postsynaptic knockdown of the fly homologue of LRRK2 thwarts retrograde, homeostatic synaptic compensation at the larval neuromuscular junction. Conversely, postsynaptic overexpression of either the fly or human LRRK2 transgene induces a retrograde enhancement of presynaptic neurotransmitter release by increasing the size of the release ready pool of vesicles. We show that LRRK2 promotes cap-dependent translation and identify Furin 1 as its translational target, which is required for the synaptic function of LRRK2. As the regulation of synaptic homeostasis plays a fundamental role in ensuring normal and stable synaptic function, our findings suggest that aberrant function of LRRK2 may lead to destabilization of neural circuits. PMID:27432119

  10. Turnover of synaptic membranes: age-related changes and modulation by dietary restriction.

    PubMed

    Ando, Susumu; Tanaka, Yasukazu; Toyoda nee Ono, Yuriko; Kon, Kazuo; Kawashima, Sei-Ichi

    2002-11-01

    We examined age-related changes in the turnover rates of synaptic membrane components that might underlie the decrease in synaptic functions in senescence. Synaptic membrane constituents were labeled in vivo with deuterium and the disappearance of the deuterated molecules from synaptic membranes was measured by mass spectrometry. The turnover rates of phosphatidylcholine, phosphatidylethanolamine, cholesterol, and synaptophysin were all shown to slow down with aging. Dietary restriction, which is known to retard various aging processes, was found to decrease the turnover rates of membrane lipid species. Consequently, the fatty acid composition in phospholipids remained unchanged in the synaptic plasma membranes of food restricted mice. In contrast, the turnover rate of synaptophysin was accelerated under dietary restriction. This may mean that increased turnover enhances the removal of damaged proteins from membranes.

  11. Use of Information and Communication Technology in Enhancing Teaching and Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Salleh, Siti Maliza Hj.; Jack, Suriani; Bohari, Zubaidah; Jusoff, Hj. Kamaruzaman

    2011-01-01

    The role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in education has been peripheral, with new technologies being added to the traditional teacher centred model of instruction. Students in the global economy of the 21st Century need to be creative thinkers and innovators. Thus, this paper provides an overview of the integration of…

  12. Enhancing Motivation in Online Courses with Mobile Communication Tool Support: A Comparative Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chaiprasurt, Chantorn; Esichaikul, Vatcharaporn

    2013-01-01

    Mobile technologies have helped establish new channels of communication among learners and instructors, potentially providing greater access to course information, and promoting easier access to course activities and learner motivation in online learning environments. The paper compares motivation between groups of learners being taught through an…

  13. An Internet Web-Site To Enhance Communication with School Personnel and Parents.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Flores, Jayne; Karr-Kidwell, PJ

    This document represents a Web site for Chisholm Trail Intermediate School (Keller Independent School District (KISD), Fort Worth, Texas). The first part of the document provides an introduction that discusses the importance of the communication environment and the sense of community that can be created within education. This section also…

  14. Enhancing Communications outside the Classroom. Tipsheet: Serving Students Who Are Hard of Hearing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sivertson, Larry

    2009-01-01

    While many institutions provide communications access for hard-of-hearing students in the classroom, few have made a similar effort outside the classroom. Providing complete access for students with hearing loss begins with the commitment of a university's administration. Some students may require accommodations in several communications…

  15. Evaluating iPad Technology for Enhancing Communication Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Tara K.; Hart Barnett, Juliet E.; More, Cori M.

    2015-01-01

    Mobile technology has introduced a new communication opportunity for students with autism spectrum disorder. Tablets, like the iPad, allow users to customize applications for their needs. Users also have found iPads to be less stigmatizing because so many people own them and use them for various purposes. In the fast-paced world of technology,…

  16. Social Media Use to Enhance Internal Communication: Course Design for Business Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Amy M.; Hinesly, Mary D.

    2014-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly using social media to improve their internal communication. When successfully implemented, such initiatives can have a dramatic impact on internal efficiency, team collaboration, innovation, organizational alignment, and cultural transformation. This article describes a course offered by the Ross School of Business,…

  17. Social Media Use to Enhance Internal Communication: Course Design for Business Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Young, Amy M.; Hinesly, Mary D.

    2014-01-01

    Organizations are increasingly using social media to improve their internal communication. When successfully implemented, such initiatives can have a dramatic impact on internal efficiency, team collaboration, innovation, organizational alignment, and cultural transformation. This article describes a course offered by the Ross School of Business,…

  18. An Integrated Science Course Designed with Information Communication Technologies to Enhance University Students' Learning Performance

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Su, King-Dow

    2008-01-01

    This study evaluated the performance of university students who learned science texts by using, information communication technologies (ICT) including animation, static figures, power point, and e-plus software. The characteristics of students and their achievements and attitudes toward 11 multimedia science courses were analyzed. The 11 samples…

  19. Untethering Education: Creating a Pilot Hybrid Class to Enhance Learning in Intercultural Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawton, Bessie; Foeman, Anita; Thompsen, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Improvements in educational technology in the past couple of decades have led institutions of higher learning to encourage and implement various types of distance education courses. This article reports on the conversion process of a face-to-face Intercultural Communication class at a mid-Atlantic university in the USA. First, the impetus for its…

  20. Evaluating iPad Technology for Enhancing Communication Skills of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Boyd, Tara K.; Hart Barnett, Juliet E.; More, Cori M.

    2015-01-01

    Mobile technology has introduced a new communication opportunity for students with autism spectrum disorder. Tablets, like the iPad, allow users to customize applications for their needs. Users also have found iPads to be less stigmatizing because so many people own them and use them for various purposes. In the fast-paced world of technology,…

  1. Enhancing the Speech and Language Development of Communicatively Disordered Children through Music and Movement.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leung, Katherine

    The paper examines the suprasegmental aspects of speech and focuses on the benefits of music and movement to facilitate language development in handicapped children. The paper discusses the current thinking of suprasegmental functions of intonation, stress, and rhythm as the foundation for the organization of speech communication. Strategies for…

  2. Teaching Teams To Enhance Microcomputer Communications between School and Family, 1986-1988. Final Report.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cavalluzzo, Virginia A.

    This report describes the goals, objectives, activities, and outcomes of a project developed at the University of New Mexico Children's Psychiatric Hospital's Mimbres School to demonstrate the use of the microcomputer as a tool for establishing positive communication between emotionally-disturbed children and their parents. The project was…

  3. Computer-Mediated Communication as an Autonomy-Enhancement Tool for Advanced Learners of English

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wach, Aleksandra

    2012-01-01

    This article examines the relevance of modern technology for the development of learner autonomy in the process of learning English as a foreign language. Computer-assisted language learning and computer-mediated communication (CMC) appear to be particularly conducive to fostering autonomous learning, as they naturally incorporate many elements of…

  4. Enhancing University Teachers' Information and Communication Technology Usage by Using a Virtual Learning Environment Training Course

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ageel, Mohammed; Woollard, John

    2012-01-01

    The research project is a case study focussing on the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE) implemented to increase the use of information and communication technology (ICT) by university teachers in Jazan University, Saudi Arabia. The study aims to investigate the effect of the VLE as the vehicle for a training course in ICT designed to…

  5. Untethering Education: Creating a Pilot Hybrid Class to Enhance Learning in Intercultural Communication

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lawton, Bessie; Foeman, Anita; Thompsen, Philip

    2014-01-01

    Improvements in educational technology in the past couple of decades have led institutions of higher learning to encourage and implement various types of distance education courses. This article reports on the conversion process of a face-to-face Intercultural Communication class at a mid-Atlantic university in the USA. First, the impetus for its…

  6. Regulators of synaptic transmission: roles in the pathogenesis and treatment of epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Casillas-Espinosa, Pablo M; Powell, Kim L; O'Brien, Terence J

    2012-12-01

    Synaptic transmission is the communication between a presynaptic and a postsynaptic neuron, and the subsequent processing of the signal. These processes are complex and highly regulated, reflecting their importance in normal brain functioning and homeostasis. Sustaining synaptic transmission depends on the continuing cycle of synaptic vesicle formation, release, and endocytosis, which requires proteins such as dynamin, syndapin, synapsin, and synaptic vesicle protein 2A. Synaptic transmission is regulated by diverse mechanisms, including presynaptic modulators of synaptic vesicle formation and release, postsynaptic receptors and signaling, and modulators of neurotransmission. Neurotransmitters released presynaptically can bind to their postsynaptic receptors, the inhibitory γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA)ergic receptors or the excitatory glutamate receptors. Once released, glutamate activates a variety of postsynaptic receptors including α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid (AMPA), N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA), kainate, and metabotropic receptors. The activation of the receptors triggers downstream signaling cascades generating a vast array of effects, which can be modulated by a numerous auxiliary regulatory subunits. Moreover, different neuropeptides such as neuropeptide Y, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), somatostatin, ghrelin, and galanin, act as regulators of diverse synaptic functions and along with the classic neurotransmitters. Abnormalities in the regulation of synaptic transmission play a critical role in the pathogenesis of numerous brain diseases, including epilepsy. This review focuses on the different mechanisms involved in the regulation of synaptic transmission, which may play a role in the pathogenesis of epilepsy: the presynaptic modulators of synaptic vesicle formation and release, postsynaptic receptors, and modulators of neurotransmission, including the mechanism by which drugs can modulate the frequency and severity of

  7. Enhancing communication skills for pediatric visits through on-line training using video demonstrations.

    PubMed

    Kemper, Kathi J; Foy, Jane M; Wissow, Larry; Shore, Steve

    2008-02-11

    Training in communication skills for health professionals is important, but there are substantial barriers to individual in-person training for practicing clinicians. We evaluated the feasibility and desirability of on-line training and sought suggestions for future courses. Based on successful in-person curricula for communication skills and our previous on-line curricula, we created an on-line course consisting of 28 modules (4.75 hours CME credit) about communication skills during pediatric visits that included a mental health concern; each module included a brief case, a multiple choice question, an explanation, and a 1-2 minute video demonstrating key skills. Specific communication skills included: greeting, setting an agenda, discussing diagnosis and treatment, and managing negative interactions. The course was announced by emails in spring, 2007; the course was available on-line for 60 days; we aimed to enroll 50 clinicians. Outcomes were analyzed for those who evaluated the course within 75 days of its initial availability. Overall, 61 clinicians registered, of whom most were nurses (N = 24), physicians (N = 22), or psychologists or social workers (N = 12). Of the 36 (59%) clinicians who evaluated the course, over 85% agreed that all course objectives had been met; over 90% reported greater confidence in greetings and agenda-setting; and over 80% reported greater confidence in discussing diagnosis and treatment and managing negative interactions. Nearly all, 97% would recommend the course to other clinicians and trainees. Suggestions for improvement included a library of additional video vignettes and written materials to accompany the on-line training. On-line training in communication skills for pediatric mental health visits is feasible, desirable and associated with increased confidence in key skills. Positive feedback from clinicians suggests that a comparison of on-line versus in-person training is warranted.

  8. Synaptic ultrastructure changes in trigeminocervical complex posttrigeminal nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Park, John; Trinh, Van Nancy; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Li, Kang-Wu; Steward, Oswald; Luo, Z David

    2016-02-01

    Trigeminal nerves collecting sensory information from the orofacial area synapse on second-order neurons in the dorsal horn of subnucleus caudalis and cervical C1/C2 spinal cord (Vc/C2, or trigeminocervical complex), which is critical for sensory information processing. Injury to the trigeminal nerves may cause maladaptive changes in synaptic connectivity that plays an important role in chronic pain development. Here we examined whether injury to the infraorbital nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerves, led to synaptic ultrastructural changes when the injured animals have developed neuropathic pain states. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic profiles in Vc/C2 at 3 weeks postinjury, corresponding to the time of peak behavioral hypersensitivity following chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION). Using established criteria, synaptic profiles were classified as associated with excitatory (R-), inhibitory (F-), and primary afferent (C-) terminals. Each type was counted within the superficial dorsal horn of the Vc/C2 and the means from each rat were compared between sham and injured animals; synaptic contact length was also measured. The overall analysis indicates that rats with orofacial pain states had increased numbers and decreased mean synaptic length of R-profiles within the Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn (lamina I) 3 weeks post-CCI-ION. Increases in the number of excitatory synapses in the superficial dorsal horn of Vc/C2 could lead to enhanced activation of nociceptive pathways, contributing to the development of orofacial pain states. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Synaptic ultrastructure changes in trigeminocervical complex post trigeminal nerve injury

    PubMed Central

    Park, John; Trinh, Van Nancy; Sears-Kraxberger, Ilse; Li, Kang-Wu; Steward, Oswald; Luo, Z. David

    2015-01-01

    Trigeminal nerves collecting sensory information from the orofacial area synapse on second order neurons in the dorsal horn of subnucleus caudalis and cervical C1/C2 spinal cord (Vc/C2, or trigeminocervical complex), which is critical for sensory information processing. Injury to the trigeminal nerves may cause maladaptive changes in synaptic connectivity that plays an important role in chronic pain development. Here, we examined whether injury to the infraorbital nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerves, led to synaptic ultrastructural changes when the injured animals have developed neuropathic pain states. Transmission electron microscopy was used to examine synaptic profiles in Vc/C2 at three-weeks post-injury, corresponding to the time of peak behavioral hypersensitivity following chronic constriction injury to the infraorbital nerve (CCI-ION). Using established criteria, synaptic profiles were classified as associated with excitatory (R-), inhibitory (F-), and primary afferent (C-) terminals. Each type was counted within the superficial dorsal horn of the Vc/C2 and the means from each rat were compared between sham and injured animals; synaptic contact length was also measured. The overall analysis indicates that rats with orofacial pain states had increased numbers and decreased mean synaptic length of R-profiles within the Vc/C2 superficial dorsal horn (lamina I) three-weeks post CCI-ION. Increases in the number of excitatory synapses in the superficial dorsal horn of Vc/C2 could lead to enhanced activation of nociceptive pathways, contributing to the development of orofacial pain states. PMID:26132987

  10. Emergence of Functional Specificity in Balanced Networks with Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Sadeh, Sadra; Clopath, Claudia; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    In rodent visual cortex, synaptic connections between orientation-selective neurons are unspecific at the time of eye opening, and become to some degree functionally specific only later during development. An explanation for this two-stage process was proposed in terms of Hebbian plasticity based on visual experience that would eventually enhance connections between neurons with similar response features. For this to work, however, two conditions must be satisfied: First, orientation selective neuronal responses must exist before specific recurrent synaptic connections can be established. Second, Hebbian learning must be compatible with the recurrent network dynamics contributing to orientation selectivity, and the resulting specific connectivity must remain stable for unspecific background activity. Previous studies have mainly focused on very simple models, where the receptive fields of neurons were essentially determined by feedforward mechanisms, and where the recurrent network was small, lacking the complex recurrent dynamics of large-scale networks of excitatory and inhibitory neurons. Here we studied the emergence of functionally specific connectivity in large-scale recurrent networks with synaptic plasticity. Our results show that balanced random networks, which already exhibit highly selective responses at eye opening, can develop feature-specific connectivity if appropriate rules of synaptic plasticity are invoked within and between excitatory and inhibitory populations. If these conditions are met, the initial orientation selectivity guides the process of Hebbian learning and, as a result, functionally specific and a surplus of bidirectional connections emerge. Our results thus demonstrate the cooperation of synaptic plasticity and recurrent dynamics in large-scale functional networks with realistic receptive fields, highlight the role of inhibition as a critical element in this process, and paves the road for further computational studies of sensory

  11. Sapap3 deletion anomalously activates short-term endocannabinoid-mediated synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Meng; Wan, Yehong; Ade, Kristen; Ting, Jonathan; Feng, Guoping; Calakos, Nicole

    2011-01-01

    Retrograde synaptic signaling by endocannabinoids is a widespread mechanism for activity-dependent inhibition of synaptic strength in the brain. Although prevalent, the conditions for eliciting endocannabinoid (eCB)-mediated synaptic depression vary among brain circuits. As yet, relatively little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this variation, although the initial signaling events are likely dictated by postsynaptic proteins. SAPAPs are a family of postsynaptic proteins unique to excitatory synapses. Using Sapap3 knock-out (KO) mice, we find that, in the absence of SAPAP3, striatal medium spiny neuron (MSN) excitatory synapses exhibit eCB-mediated synaptic depression under conditions that do not normally activate this process. The anomalous synaptic plasticity requires type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR5), which are dysregulated in Sapap3 KO MSNs. Both surface expression and activity of mGluR5 are increased in Sapap3 KO MSNs, suggesting that enhanced mGluR5 activity may drive the anomalous synaptic plasticity. In direct support of this possibility, we find that, in wildtype (WT) MSNs, pharmacological enhancement of mGluR5 by a positive allosteric modulator is sufficient to reproduce the increased synaptic depression seen in Sapap3 KO MSNs. The same pharmacologic treatment, however, fails to elicit further depression in KO MSNs. Under conditions that are sufficient to engage eCB-mediated synaptic depression in WT MSNs, Sapap3 deletion does not alter the magnitude of the response. These results identify a role for SAPAP3 in the regulation of postsynaptic mGluRs and eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. SAPAPs, through their effect on mGluR activity, may serve as regulatory molecules gating the threshold for inducing eCB-mediated synaptic plasticity. PMID:21715621

  12. An essential role of Rab5 in uniformity of synaptic vesicle size.

    PubMed

    Shimizu, Hideyuki; Kawamura, Satoru; Ozaki, Koichi

    2003-09-01

    Rab5 small GTPase is a famous regulator of endocytic vesicular transport from plasma membrane to early endosomes. In neurons, Rab5 is found not only on endocytic vesicles in cell bodies but also on synaptic vesicles in nerve terminals. However, the function of Rab5 on synaptic vesicles remains unclear. Here, we elucidate the function of Rab5 on synaptic vesicles with in vivo and in vitro experiments using Drosophila photoreceptor cells. Functional inhibition of Rab5 with Rab5N142I, a dominant negative version of Drosophila Rab5, induced enlargement of synaptic vesicles. This enlargement was, however, suppressed by enhancing synaptic vesicle recycling under light illumination. In addition, synaptic vesicles prepared from Rab5N142I-expressing flies exhibited homotypic fusion in vitro. These results indicate that Rab5 functions to keep the size of synaptic vesicles uniform by preventing their homotypic fusion. By contrast, Rab5 was not involved in the endocytic reformation of synaptic vesicles, contrary to expectation from its conventional function. Furthermore, we electrophysiologically and behaviourally showed that the function of Rab5 is essential for efficient signal transmission across synapses.

  13. Use of computer-assisted technologies (CAT) to enhance social, communicative, and language development in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Ploog, Bertram O; Scharf, Alexa; Nelson, DeShawn; Brooks, Patricia J

    2013-02-01

    Major advances in multimedia computer technology over the past decades have made sophisticated computer games readily available to the public. This, combined with the observation that most children, including those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), show an affinity to computers, has led researchers to recognize the potential of computer technology as an effective and efficient tool in research and treatment. This paper reviews the use of computer-assisted technology (CAT), excluding strictly internet-based approaches, to enhance social, communicative, and language development in individuals with ASD by dividing the vast literature into four main areas: language, emotion recognition, theory of mind, and social skills. Although many studies illustrate the tremendous promise of CAT to enhance skills of individuals with ASD, most lack rigorous, scientific assessment of efficacy relative to non-CAT approaches.

  14. Enhancing Graduate Student Communication to General Audiences through Blogging about Nanotechnology and Sustainability

    SciTech Connect

    Bishop, Lee M.; Tillman, Ayesha S.; Geiger, Franz M.; Haynes, Christy L.; Klaper, Rebecca D.; Murphy, Catherine; Orr, Galya; Pedersen, Joel A.; DeStefano, Lizanne; Hamers, Robert J.

    2014-10-14

    We have developed and assessed a multiauthor science blog on the topic of nanotechnology and sustainability as a tool to improve the written communication and public engagement skills of graduate students. Focus group studies revealed that after participation in the blog, student authors felt more confident and capable of communicating technical topics to general audiences. Students' research mentors viewed this as an important component of their students' education, as indicated by survey data. Important design aspects of this effort include participation of an editor as well as having flexible content and target-audience guidelines. We have explicitly outlined aspects of the effort we see as critical in order to enable others to replicate this model in related settings.

  15. Volunteering Information - Enhancing the Communication Capabilities of Knowledge-Based Systems

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1987-09-01

    Conference on Artiicial Intelligence missing- in many cases this resistance will be based on the (Milan), 1987. limited communication capabilities...scientific foundations for the con- The use of knowledge-based systems will be severely limited I stiuction of intelligent systems which serve as amplifiers...locally, follow- be crucial for intelligent systems, the progress to achieve them ing a style as defined by its rules. The advice given is based on

  16. Open Syntaxin Docks Synaptic Vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Olsen, Shawn; Jorgensen, Erik M

    2007-01-01

    Synaptic vesicles dock to the plasma membrane at synapses to facilitate rapid exocytosis. Docking was originally proposed to require the soluble N-ethylmaleimide–sensitive fusion attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins; however, perturbation studies suggested that docking was independent of the SNARE proteins. We now find that the SNARE protein syntaxin is required for docking of all vesicles at synapses in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The active zone protein UNC-13, which interacts with syntaxin, is also required for docking in the active zone. The docking defects in unc-13 mutants can be fully rescued by overexpressing a constitutively open form of syntaxin, but not by wild-type syntaxin. These experiments support a model for docking in which UNC-13 converts syntaxin from the closed to the open state, and open syntaxin acts directly in docking vesicles to the plasma membrane. These data provide a molecular basis for synaptic vesicle docking. PMID:17645391

  17. Optimal Degrees of Synaptic Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Litwin-Kumar, Ashok; Harris, Kameron Decker; Axel, Richard; Sompolinsky, Haim; Abbott, L F

    2017-03-08

    Synaptic connectivity varies widely across neuronal types. Cerebellar granule cells receive five orders of magnitude fewer inputs than the Purkinje cells they innervate, and cerebellum-like circuits, including the insect mushroom body, also exhibit large divergences in connectivity. In contrast, the number of inputs per neuron in cerebral cortex is more uniform and large. We investigate how the dimension of a representation formed by a population of neurons depends on how many inputs each neuron receives and what this implies for learning associations. Our theory predicts that the dimensions of the cerebellar granule-cell and Drosophila Kenyon-cell representations are maximized at degrees of synaptic connectivity that match those observed anatomically, showing that sparse connectivity is sometimes superior to dense connectivity. When input synapses are subject to supervised plasticity, however, dense wiring becomes advantageous, suggesting that the type of plasticity exhibited by a set of synapses is a major determinant of connection density.

  18. Synaptic dynamics and decision making

    PubMed Central

    Deco, Gustavo; Rolls, Edmund T.; Romo, Ranulfo

    2010-01-01

    During decision making between sequential stimuli, the first stimulus must be held in memory and then compared with the second. Here, we show that in systems that encode the stimuli by their firing rate, neurons can use synaptic facilitation not only to remember the first stimulus during the delay but during the presentation of the second stimulus so that they respond to a combination of the first and second stimuli, as has been found for “partial differential” neurons recorded in the ventral premotor cortex during vibrotactile flutter frequency decision making. Moreover, we show that such partial differential neurons provide important input to a subsequent attractor decision-making network that can then compare this combination of the first and second stimuli with inputs from other neurons that respond only to the second stimulus. Thus, both synaptic facilitation and neuronal attractor dynamics can account for sequential decision making in such systems in the brain. PMID:20360555

  19. Using the Electronic Medical Record to Enhance Physician-Nurse Communication Regarding Patients' Discharge Status.

    PubMed

    Driscoll, Molly; Gurka, David

    2015-01-01

    The fast-paced environment of hospitals contributes to communication failures between health care providers while impacting patient care and patient flow. An effective mechanism for sharing patients' discharge information with health care team members is required to improve patient throughput. The communication of a patient's discharge plan was identified as crucial in alleviating patient flow delays at a tertiary care, academic medical center. By identifying the patients who were expected to be discharged the following day, the health care team could initiate discharge preparations in advance to improve patient care and patient flow. The patients' electronic medical record served to convey dynamic information regarding the patients' discharge status to the health care team via conditional discharge orders. Two neurosciences units piloted a conditional discharge order initiative. Conditional discharge orders were designed in the electronic medical record so that the conditions for discharge were listed in a dropdown menu. The health care team was trained on the conditional discharge order protocol, including when to write them, how to find them in the patients' electronic medical record, and what actions should be prompted by these orders. On average, 24% of the patients discharged had conditional discharge orders written the day before discharge. The average discharge time for patients with conditional discharge orders decreased by 83 minutes (0.06 day) from baseline. Qualitatively, the health care team reported improved workflows with conditional orders. The conditional discharge orders allowed physicians to communicate pending discharges electronically to the multidisciplinary team. The initiative positively impacted patient discharge times and workflows.

  20. Enhancing In-Flight Transoceanic Communications Using Swift-64 Packet Mode Service

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Slywczak, Richard A.

    2004-01-01

    Current aeronautical communications can be divided into two segments. The first provides state of the art, packet switched technology to the cabin passengers so that they have access to e-mail and web services. The second provides basic circuit switch communication technology to the cockpit, which does not use bandwidth as efficiently as packet switching nor promotes resource sharing. This paper explores the research efforts currently being conducted by the NASA/Glenn Research Center (GRC) for transoceanic communications. The goal is to bring packet mode services to both the cabin and the cockpit of the aircraft and be able to attain benefits by sharing the data link with cabin services. First, this paper will outline the goals of the program and detail the benefits and issues related to this research. We will explain our current laboratory setup and show an architecture implemented in the testbed. Finally, we will present a work plan that will show the progression of research over the next year. This plan will describe a complete cycle from conceptual design and laboratory implementation to the final flight testing.

  1. Making an "Attitude Adjustment": Using a Simulation-Enhanced Interprofessional Education Strategy to Improve Attitudes Toward Teamwork and Communication.

    PubMed

    Wong, Ambrose Hon-Wai; Gang, Maureen; Szyld, Demian; Mahoney, Heather

    2016-04-01

    Health care providers must effectively function in highly skilled teams in a collaborative manner, but there are few interprofessional training strategies in place. Interprofessional education (IPE) using simulation technology has gained popularity to address this need because of its inherent ability to impact learners' cognitive frames and promote peer-to-peer dialog. Provider attitudes toward teamwork have been directly linked to the quality of patient care. Investigators implemented a simulation-enhanced IPE intervention to improve staff attitudes toward teamwork and interprofessional communication in the emergency department setting. The 3-hour course consisted of a didactic session highlighting teamwork and communication strategies, 2 simulation scenarios on septic shock and cardiac arrest, and structured debriefing directed at impacting participant attitudes to teamwork and communication. This was a survey-based observational study. We used the TeamSTEPPS Teamwork Attitudes Questionnaire immediately before and after the session as a measurement of attitude change as well as the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture before the session and 1 year after the intervention for program impact at the behavior level. Seventy-two emergency department nurses and resident physicians participated in the course from July to September 2012. Of the 5 constructs in TeamSTEPPS Teamwork Attitudes Questionnaire, 4 had a significant improvement in scores-6.4%, 2.8%, 4.0%, and 4.0% for team structure, leadership, situation monitoring, and mutual support, respectively (P < 0.0001, P = 0.029, P = 0.014, and P = 0.003, respectively). For Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture, 3 of 6 composites directly related to teamwork and communication showed a significant improvement-20.6%, 20.5%, and 23.9%, for frequency of event reporting, teamwork within hospital units, and hospital handoffs and transitions, respectively (P = 0.028, P = 0.035, and P = 0.024, respectively). A

  2. Synaptic Plasticity and Memory Formation

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1994-05-31

    The name " Ampakines " has been used to describe this family; when more is known about structure-activity relationships, it should be possible to...regarding the physiological effects of the drugs. Excised patch studies have shown that Ampakines prolong the duration of AMPA receptor-mediated...also revealed that Ampakines produce the expected facilitation and prolongation of synaptic responses in situ; these drugs are thus the first compounds

  3. Improving therapeutic outcomes in autism spectrum disorders: Enhancing social communication and sensory processing through the use of interactive robots.

    PubMed

    Sartorato, Felippe; Przybylowski, Leon; Sarko, Diana K

    2017-07-01

    For children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs), social robots are increasingly utilized as therapeutic tools in order to enhance social skills and communication. Robots have been shown to generate a number of social and behavioral benefits in children with ASD including heightened engagement, increased attention, and decreased social anxiety. Although social robots appear to be effective social reinforcement tools in assistive therapies, the perceptual mechanism underlying these benefits remains unknown. To date, social robot studies have primarily relied on expertise in fields such as engineering and clinical psychology, with measures of social robot efficacy principally limited to qualitative observational assessments of children's interactions with robots. In this review, we examine a range of socially interactive robots that currently have the most widespread use as well as the utility of these robots and their therapeutic effects. In addition, given that social interactions rely on audiovisual communication, we discuss how enhanced sensory processing and integration of robotic social cues may underlie the perceptual and behavioral benefits that social robots confer. Although overall multisensory processing (including audiovisual integration) is impaired in individuals with ASD, social robot interactions may provide therapeutic benefits by allowing audiovisual social cues to be experienced through a simplified version of a human interaction. By applying systems neuroscience tools to identify, analyze, and extend the multisensory perceptual substrates that may underlie the therapeutic benefits of social robots, future studies have the potential to strengthen the clinical utility of social robots for individuals with ASD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Enhancing Feedback on Professionalism and Communication Skills in Anesthesia Residency Programs.

    PubMed

    Mitchell, John D; Ku, Cindy; Diachun, Carol Ann B; DiLorenzo, Amy; Lee, Daniel E; Karan, Suzanne; Wong, Vanessa; Schell, Randall M; Brzezinski, Marek; Jones, Stephanie B

    2017-08-01

    Despite its importance, training faculty to provide feedback to residents remains challenging. We hypothesized that, overall, at 4 institutions, a faculty development program on providing feedback on professionalism and communication skills would lead to (1) an improvement in the quantity, quality, and utility of feedback and (2) an increase in feedback containing negative/constructive feedback and pertaining to professionalism/communication. As secondary analyses, we explored these outcomes at the individual institutions. In this prospective cohort study (October 2013 to July 2014), we implemented a video-based educational program on feedback at 4 institutions. Feedback records from 3 months before to 3 months after the intervention were rated for quality (0-5), utility (0-5), and whether they had negative/constructive feedback and/or were related to professionalism/communication. Feedback records during the preintervention, intervention, and postintervention periods were compared using the Kruskal-Wallis and χ tests. Data are reported as median (interquartile range) or proportion/percentage. A total of 1926 feedback records were rated. The institutions overall did not have a significant difference in feedback quantity (preintervention: 855/3046 [28.1%]; postintervention: 896/3327 [26.9%]; odds ratio: 1.06; 95% confidence interval, 0.95-1.18; P = .31), feedback quality (preintervention: 2 [1-4]; intervention: 2 [1-4]; postintervention: 2 [1-4]; P = .90), feedback utility (preintervention: 1 [1-3]; intervention: 2 [1-3]; postintervention: 1 [1-2]; P = .61), or percentage of feedback records containing negative/constructive feedback (preintervention: 27%; intervention: 32%; postintervention: 25%; P = .12) or related to professionalism/communication (preintervention: 23%; intervention: 33%; postintervention: 24%; P = .03). Institution 1 had a significant difference in feedback quality (preintervention: 2 [1-3]; intervention: 3 [2-4]; postintervention: 3 [2-4]; P

  5. The Schwartz Center Rounds: evaluation of an interdisciplinary approach to enhancing patient-centered communication, teamwork, and provider support.

    PubMed

    Lown, Beth A; Manning, Colleen F

    2010-06-01

    To assess the impact of Schwartz Center Rounds, an interdisciplinary forum where attendees discuss psychosocial and emotional aspects of patient care. The authors investigated changes in attendees' self-reported behaviors and beliefs about patient care, sense of teamwork, stress, and personal support. In 2006-2007, researchers conducted retrospective surveys of attendees at six sites offering Schwartz Center Rounds ("the Rounds") for > or =3 years and prospective surveys of attendees at 10 new Rounds sites that have held > or =7 Rounds. Most of the retrospective survey respondents indicated that attending Rounds enhanced their likelihood of attending to psychosocial and emotional aspects of care and enhanced their beliefs about the importance of empathy. Respondents reported better teamwork, including heightened appreciation of the roles and contributions of colleagues. There were significant decreases in perceived stress (P < .001) and improvements in the ability to cope with the psychosocial demands of care (P < .05). In the prospective study, after control for presurvey differences, the more Rounds one attended, the greater the impact on postsurvey insights into psychosocial aspects of care and teamwork (both: P < .05). Respondents to both retrospective and prospective surveys described changes in institutional culture and greater focus on patient-centered care and institution-specific initiatives. Schwartz Center Rounds may foster enhanced communication, teamwork, and provider support. The impact on measured outcomes increased with the number of Rounds attended. The Rounds represent an effective strategy for providing support to health care professionals and for enhancing relationships among them and with their patients.

  6. Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity by Exercise Training as a Basis for Ischemic Stroke Rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Nie, Jingjing; Yang, Xiaosu

    2017-01-01

    In recent years, rehabilitation of ischemic stroke draws more and more attention in the world, and has been linked to changes of synaptic plasticity. Exercise training improves motor function of ischemia as well as cognition which is associated with formation of learning and memory. The molecular basis of learning and memory might be synaptic plasticity. Research has therefore been conducted in an attempt to relate effects of exercise training to neuroprotection and neurogenesis adjacent to the ischemic injury brain. The present paper reviews the current literature addressing this question and discusses the possible mechanisms involved in modulation of synaptic plasticity by exercise training. This review shows the pathological process of synaptic dysfunction in ischemic roughly and then discusses the effects of exercise training on scaffold proteins and regulatory protein expression. The expression of scaffold proteins generally increased after training, but the effects on regulatory proteins were mixed. Moreover, the compositions of postsynaptic receptors were changed and the strength of synaptic transmission was enhanced after training. Finally, the recovery of cognition is critically associated with synaptic remodeling in an injured brain, and the remodeling occurs through a number of local regulations including mRNA translation, remodeling of cytoskeleton, and receptor trafficking into and out of the synapse. We do provide a comprehensive knowledge of synaptic plasticity enhancement obtained by exercise training in this review.

  7. Progress toward treatments for synaptic defects in autism.

    PubMed

    Delorme, Richard; Ey, Elodie; Toro, Roberto; Leboyer, Marion; Gillberg, Christopher; Bourgeron, Thomas

    2013-06-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) encompasses a range of disorders that are characterized by social and communication deficits and repetitive behaviors. For the majority of affected individuals, the cause of ASD remains unknown, but in at least 20% of the cases, a genetic cause can be identified. There is currently no cure for ASD; however, results from mouse models indicate that some forms of the disorder could be alleviated even at the adult stage. Genes involved in ASD seem to converge on common pathways altering synaptic homeostasis. We propose, given the clinical heterogeneity of ASD, that specific 'synaptic clinical trials' should be designed and launched with the aim of establishing whether phenotype 'reversals' could also occur in humans.

  8. Communication via extracellular vesicles enhances viral infection of a cosmopolitan alga.

    PubMed

    Schatz, Daniella; Rosenwasser, Shilo; Malitsky, Sergey; Wolf, Sharon G; Feldmesser, Ester; Vardi, Assaf

    2017-09-18

    Communication between microorganisms in the marine environment has immense ecological impact by mediating trophic-level interactions and thus determining community structure (1) . Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are produced by bacteria (2,3) , archaea (4) , protists (5) and metazoans, and can mediate pathogenicity (6) or act as vectors for intercellular communication. However, little is known about the involvement of EVs in microbial interactions in the marine environment (7) . Here we investigated the signalling role of EVs produced during interactions between the cosmopolitan alga Emiliania huxleyi and its specific virus (EhV, Phycodnaviridae) (8) , which leads to the demise of these large-scale oceanic blooms (9,10) . We found that EVs are highly produced during viral infection or when bystander cells are exposed to infochemicals derived from infected cells. These vesicles have a unique lipid composition that differs from that of viruses and their infected host cells, and their cargo is composed of specific small RNAs that are predicted to target sphingolipid metabolism and cell-cycle pathways. EVs can be internalized by E. huxleyi cells, which consequently leads to a faster viral infection dynamic. EVs can also prolong EhV half-life in the extracellular milieu. We propose that EVs are exploited by viruses to sustain efficient infectivity and propagation across E. huxleyi blooms. As these algal blooms have an immense impact on the cycling of carbon and other nutrients (11,12) , this mode of cell-cell communication may influence the fate of the blooms and, consequently, the composition and flow of nutrients in marine microbial food webs.Infection of the alga Emiliania huxleyi with its virus EhV results in the increased release of extracellular vesicles that impact viral decay and infection, suggesting that EhV exploits these extracellular vesicles for efficient viral infection during algal blooms.

  9. Directional visible light communication signal enhancement using a varifocal micromirror with four degrees of freedom

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Jessica; Rahaim, Michael; Miao, Yun; Imboden, Matthias; Little, Thomas D. C.; Koomson, Valencia; Bishop, David J.

    2016-09-01

    We present the use of a micromirror to dynamically improve an optical wireless communications link. The signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is improved by directing the output of a 675 nm laser diode modulated at 10 MHz toward a receiver and by varying the divergence of the output beam using a varifocal, tip-tilt-piston micromirror. The SNR has a dynamic range of 30 dB for a diffuse source, all by optimizing the overall shape and direction of the mirror.

  10. Using Virtual Patients to Teach Empathy: A Randomized Controlled Study to Enhance Medical Students' Empathic Communication.

    PubMed

    Foster, Adriana; Chaudhary, Neelam; Kim, Thomas; Waller, Jennifer L; Wong, Joyce; Borish, Michael; Cordar, Andrew; Lok, Benjamin; Buckley, Peter F

    2016-06-01

    Physician empathy is a complex phenomenon known to improve illness outcomes; however, few tools are available for deliberate practice of empathy. We used a virtual patient (VP) to teach empathic communication to first-year medical students. We then evaluated students' verbal empathy in a standardized patient (SP) interaction. Seventy medical students, randomly assigned to 3 separate study groups, interacted with (1) a control VP portraying depression, (2) a VP with a backstory simulating patient shadowing, or (3) a VP able to give immediate feedback about empathic communication (empathy-feedback VP). Subsequently, the students interviewed an SP portraying a scenario that included opportunities to express empathy. All SP interviews were recorded and transcribed. The study outcomes were (1) the students' verbal response to the empathic opportunities presented by the SP, as coded by reliable assessors using the Empathic Communication Coding System, and (2) the students' responses as coded by the SPs, using a communication checklist. There were no significant differences in student demographics between groups. The students who interacted with the empathy-feedback VP showed higher empathy in the SP interview than did the students in the backstory VP and the control VP groups [mean (SD) empathy scores coded on a 0-6 scale were 2.91 (0.16) vs. 2.20 (0.22) and 2.27 (0.21), respectively). The difference in scores was significant only for the empathy-feedback VP versus the backstory VP group (P = 0.027). The SPs rated the empathy-feedback and the backstory VP groups significantly higher than the control VP group on offering empathic statements (P < 0.0001), appearing warm and caring (P = 0.015), and forming rapport (P = 0.004). Feedback on empathy in a VP interaction increased students' empathy in encounters with SPs, as rated by trained assessors, whereas a simulation of patient shadowing did not. Both VP interventions increased students' empathy as rated by SPs, compared

  11. Capsaicin augments synaptic transmission in the rat medial preoptic nucleus.

    PubMed

    Karlsson, Urban; Sundgren-Andersson, Anna K; Johansson, Staffan; Krupp, Johannes J

    2005-05-10

    The medial preoptic nucleus (MPN) is the major nucleus of the preoptic area (POA), a hypothalamic area involved in the regulation of body-temperature. Injection of capsaicin into this area causes hypothermia in vivo. Capsaicin also causes glutamate release from hypothalamic slices. However, no data are available on the effect of capsaicin on synaptic transmission within the MPN. Here, we have studied the effect of exogenously applied capsaicin on spontaneous synaptic activity in hypothalamic slices of the rat. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings were made from visually identified neurons located in the MPN. In a subset of the studied neurons, capsaicin enhanced the frequency of spontaneous glutamatergic EPSCs. Remarkably, capsaicin also increased the frequency of GABAergic IPSCs, an effect that was sensitive to removal of extracellular calcium, but insensitive to tetrodotoxin. This suggests an action of capsaicin at presynaptic GABAergic terminals. In contrast to capsaicin, the TRPV4 agonist 4alpha-PDD did not affect GABAergic IPSCs. Our results show that capsaicin directly affects synaptic transmission in the MPN, likely through actions at presynaptic terminals as well as on projecting neurons. Our data add to the growing evidence that capsaicin receptors are not only expressed in primary afferent neurons, but also contribute to synaptic processing in some CNS regions.

  12. Synaptic regulation of affective behaviors; role of BDNF

    PubMed Central

    Ninan, Ipe

    2013-01-01

    Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin essential for nervous system development and synaptic plasticity, has been found to have a significant influence on affective behaviors. The notion that an impairment in BDNF signaling might be involved in affective disorders is originated primarily from the opposing effects of antidepressants and stress on BDNF signaling. Antidepressants enhance BDNF signaling and synaptic plasticity. On the other hand, negative environmental factors such as severe stress suppress BDNF signaling, impair synaptic activity and increase susceptibility to affective disorders. Postmortem studies provided strong support for decreased BDNF signaling in depressive disorders. Remarkably, studies in humans with a single nucleotide polymorphism in the BDNF gene, the BDNF Val66Met which affects regulated release of BDNF, showed profound deficits in hippocampal and prefrontal cortical (PFC) plasticity and cognitive behaviors. BDNF regulates synaptic mechanisms responsible for various cognitive processes including attenuation of aversive memories, a key process in the regulation of affective behaviors. The unique role of BDNF in cognitive and affective behaviors suggests that cognitive deficits due to altered BDNF signaling might underlie affective disorders. Understanding how BDNF modulates synapses in neural circuits relevant to affective behaviors, particularly the medial prefrontal cortical (mPFC)-hippocampus-amygdala pathway, and its interaction with development, sex, and environmental risk factors might shed light on potential therapeutic targets for affective disorders. PMID:23747574

  13. Spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity depends on dendritic location

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Froemke, Robert C.; Poo, Mu-ming; Dan, Yang

    2005-03-01

    In the neocortex, each neuron receives thousands of synaptic inputs distributed across an extensive dendritic tree. Although postsynaptic processing of each input is known to depend on its dendritic location, it is unclear whether activity-dependent synaptic modification is also location-dependent. Here we report that both the magnitude and the temporal specificity of spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification vary along the apical dendrite of rat cortical layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons. At the distal dendrite, the magnitude of long-term potentiation is smaller, and the window of pre-/postsynaptic spike interval for long-term depression (LTD) is broader. The spike-timing window for LTD correlates with the window of action potential-induced suppression of NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptors; this correlation applies to both their dendritic location-dependence and pharmacological properties. Presynaptic stimulation with partial blockade of NMDA receptors induced LTD and occluded further induction of spike-timing-dependent LTD, suggesting that NMDA receptor suppression underlies LTD induction. Computer simulation studies showed that the dendritic inhomogeneity of spike-timing-dependent synaptic modification leads to differential input selection at distal and proximal dendrites according to the temporal characteristics of presynaptic spike trains. Such location-dependent tuning of inputs, together with the dendritic heterogeneity of postsynaptic processing, could enhance the computational capacity of cortical pyramidal neurons.

  14. Emerging Link between Alzheimer's Disease and Homeostatic Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Jang, Sung-Soo; Chung, Hee Jung

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is an irreversible brain disorder characterized by progressive cognitive decline and neurodegeneration of brain regions that are crucial for learning and memory. Although intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and extracellular senile plaques, composed of insoluble amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, have been the hallmarks of postmortem AD brains, memory impairment in early AD correlates better with pathological accumulation of soluble Aβ oligomers and persistent weakening of excitatory synaptic strength, which is demonstrated by inhibition of long-term potentiation, enhancement of long-term depression, and loss of synapses. However, current, approved interventions aiming to reduce Aβ levels have failed to retard disease progression; this has led to a pressing need to identify and target alternative pathogenic mechanisms of AD. Recently, it has been suggested that the disruption of Hebbian synaptic plasticity in AD is due to aberrant metaplasticity, which is a form of homeostatic plasticity that tunes the magnitude and direction of future synaptic plasticity based on previous neuronal or synaptic activity. This review examines emerging evidence for aberrant metaplasticity in AD. Putative mechanisms underlying aberrant metaplasticity in AD will also be discussed. We hope this review inspires future studies to test the extent to which these mechanisms contribute to the etiology of AD and offer therapeutic targets. PMID:27019755

  15. Translational regulatory mechanisms in persistent forms of synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kelleher, Raymond J; Govindarajan, Arvind; Tonegawa, Susumu

    2004-09-30

    Memory and synaptic plasticity exhibit distinct temporal phases, with long-lasting forms distinguished by their dependence on macromolecular synthesis. Prevailing models for the molecular mechanisms underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity have largely focused on transcriptional regulation. However, a growing body of evidence now supports a crucial role for neuronal activity-dependent mRNA translation, which may occur in dendrites for a subset of neuronal mRNAs. Recent work has begun to define the signaling mechanisms coupling synaptic activation to the protein synthesis machinery. The ERK and mTOR signaling pathways have been shown to regulate the activity of the general translational machinery, while the translation of particular classes of mRNAs is additionally controlled by gene-specific mechanisms. Rapid enhancement of the synthesis of a diverse array of neuronal proteins through such mechanisms provides the components necessary for persistent forms of LTP and LTD. These findings have important implications for the synapse specificity and associativity of protein synthesis-dependent changes in synaptic strength.

  16. Slob, a Slowpoke channel–binding protein, modulates synaptic transmission

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiaming

    2011-01-01

    Modulation of ion channels by regulatory proteins within the same macromolecular complex is a well-accepted concept, but the physiological consequences of such modulation are not fully understood. Slowpoke (Slo), a potassium channel critical for action potential repolarization and transmitter release, is regulated by Slo channel–binding protein (Slob), a Drosophila melanogaster Slo (dSlo) binding partner. Slob modulates the voltage dependence of dSlo channel activation in vitro and exerts similar effects on the dSlo channel in Drosophila central nervous system neurons in vivo. In addition, Slob modulates action potential duration in these neurons. Here, we investigate further the functional consequences of the modulation of the dSlo channel by Slob in vivo, by examining larval neuromuscular synaptic transmission in flies in which Slob levels have been altered. In Slob-null flies generated through P-element mutagenesis, as well as in Slob knockdown flies generated by RNA interference (RNAi), we find an enhancement of synaptic transmission but no change in the properties of the postsynaptic muscle cell. Using targeted transgenic rescue and targeted expression of Slob-RNAi, we find that Slob expression in neurons (but not in the postsynaptic muscle cell) is critical for its effects on synaptic transmission. Furthermore, inhibition of dSlo channel activity abolishes these effects of Slob. These results suggest that presynaptic Slob, by regulating dSlo channel function, participates in the modulation of synaptic transmission. PMID:21282401

  17. Elevated serotonergic signaling amplifies synaptic noise and facilitates the emergence of epileptiform network oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Puzerey, Pavel A.; Decker, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Serotonin fibers densely innervate the cortical sheath to regulate neuronal excitability, but its role in shaping network dynamics remains undetermined. We show that serotonin provides an excitatory tone to cortical neurons in the form of spontaneous synaptic noise through 5-HT3 receptors, which is persistent and can be augmented using fluoxetine, a selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor. Augmented serotonin signaling also increases cortical network activity by enhancing synaptic excitation through activation of 5-HT2 receptors. This in turn facilitates the emergence of epileptiform network oscillations (10–16 Hz) known as fast runs. A computational model of cortical dynamics demonstrates that these two combined mechanisms, increased background synaptic noise and enhanced synaptic excitation, are sufficient to replicate the emergence fast runs and their statistics. Consistent with these findings, we show that blocking 5-HT2 receptors in vivo significantly raises the threshold for convulsant-induced seizures. PMID:25122717

  18. Phosphorylation of Complexin by PKA Regulates Activity-dependent Spontaneous Neurotransmitter Release and Structural Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Cho, Richard W.; Buhl, Lauren K.; Volfson, Dina; Tran, Adrienne; Li, Feng; Akbergenova, Yulia; Littleton, J. Troy

    2016-01-01

    Summary Synaptic plasticity is a fundamental feature of the nervous system that allows adaptation to changing behavioral environments. Most studies of synaptic plasticity have examined the regulated trafficking of postsynaptic glutamate receptors that generates alterations in synaptic transmission. Whether and how changes in the presynaptic release machinery contribute to neuronal plasticity is less clear. The SNARE complex mediates neurotransmitter release in response to presynaptic Ca++ entry. Here we show that the SNARE fusion clamp Complexin undergoes activity-dependent phosphorylation that alters the basic properties of neurotransmission in Drosophila. Retrograde signaling following stimulation activates PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the Complexin C-terminus that selectively and transiently enhances spontaneous release. Enhanced spontaneous release is required for activity-dependent synaptic growth. These data indicate that SNARE-dependent fusion mechanisms can be regulated in an activity-dependent manner and highlight the key role of spontaneous neurotransmitter release as a mediator of functional and structural plasticity. PMID:26590346

  19. Communication: Enhanced oxygen reduction reaction and its underlying mechanism in Pd-Ir-Co trimetallic alloys

    SciTech Connect

    Ham, Hyung Chul; Hwang, Gyeong S.; Manogaran, Dhivya; Lee, Kang Hee; Jin, Seon-ah; You, Dae Jong; Pak, Chanho; Kwon, Kyungjung

    2013-11-28

    Based on a combined density functional theory and experimental study, we present that the electrochemical activity of Pd{sub 3}Co alloy catalysts toward oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) can be enhanced by adding a small amount of Ir. While Ir tends to favorably exist in the subsurface layers, the underlying Ir atoms are found to cause a substantial modification in the surface electronic structure. As a consequence, we find that the activation barriers of O/OH hydrogenation reactions are noticeably lowered, which would be mainly responsible for the enhanced ORR activity. Furthermore, our study suggests that the presence of Ir in the near-surface region can suppress Co out-diffusion from the Pd{sub 3}Co substrate, thereby improving the durability of Pd-Ir-Co catalysts. We also discuss the relative roles played by Ir and Co in enhancing the ORR activity relative to monometallic Pd catalysts.

  20. Privacy enhancing techniques - the key to secure communication and management of clinical and genomic data.

    PubMed

    De Moor, G J E; Claerhout, B; De Meyer, F

    2003-01-01

    To introduce some of the privacy protection problems related to genomics based medicine and to highlight the relevance of Trusted Third Parties (TTPs) and of Privacy Enhancing Techniques (PETs) in the restricted context of clinical research and statistics. Practical approaches based on two different pseudonymisation models, both for batch and interactive data collection and exchange, are described and analysed. The growing need of managing both clinical and genetic data raises important legal and ethical challenges. Protecting human rights in the realm of privacy, while optimising research potential and other statistical activities is a challenge that can easily be overcome with the assistance of a trust service provider offering advanced privacy enabling/enhancing solutions. As such, the use of pseudonymisation and other innovative Privacy Enhancing Techniques can unlock valuable data sources.