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Sample records for functional brain plasticity

  1. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2014-03-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist's toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses can provide insights into experience-dependent plasticity at the macro level of large-scale functional networks. Such insights are foundational to the design of training and remediation interventions that will best facilitate recovery of function. In this review, we consider what is currently known about the origin and function of iFC in the brain, and how this knowledge is informative in neuropsychological settings. We then summarize studies that have examined experience-driven plasticity of iFC in healthy control participants, and frame these findings in terms of a schema that may aid in the interpretation of results and the generation of hypotheses for rehabilitative studies. Finally, we outline some caveats to the R-fMRI approach, as well as some current developments that are likely to bolster the utility of the iFC paradigm for neuropsychology.

  2. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

    The ascendancy of functional neuroimaging has facilitated the addition of network-based approaches to the neuropsychologist’s toolbox for evaluating the sequelae of brain insult. In particular, intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) mapping of resting state fMRI (R-fMRI) data constitutes an ideal approach to measuring macro-scale networks in the human brain. Beyond the value of iFC mapping for charting how the functional topography of the brain is altered by insult and injury, iFC analyses can provide insights into effects of experience-dependent plasticity at the macro level of large-scale functional networks. Such insights are foundational to the design of training and remediation interventions that will best facilitate recovery of function. In this review, we consider what is currently known about the origin and function of iFC in the brain, and how this knowledge is informative in neuropsychological settings. We then summarize studies that have examined experience-driven plasticity of iFC in healthy control participants, and frame these findings in terms of a schema that may aid in the interpretation of results and the generation of hypothesis for rehabilitative studies. Finally, we outline some caveats to the R-fMRI approach, as well as some current developments that are likely to bolster the utility of the iFC paradigm for neuropsychology. PMID:24496903

  3. [Functional brain plasticity associated with motor learning].

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Orban, Pierre; Barakat, Marc; Debas, Karen; Lungu, Ovidiu; Albouy, Geneviève; Fogel, Stuart; Proulx, Sébastien; Laventure, Samuel; Deslauriers, Jonathan; Duchesne, Catherine; Carrier, Julie; Benali, Habib

    2011-04-01

    This review presents the results of studies carried out in our laboratory that aim to investigate, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the brain plasticity associated with motor sequence learning, defined as our ability to integrate simple stereotyped movements into a single motor representation. Following a brief description of Doyon and colleagues' model (2002, 2005, 2009) of motor skill learning that has guided this work, we then describe the functional changes that occur at the different (rapid, slow, automatization) acquisition phases, and propose specific roles that the putamen, the cerebellum and their motor-related cortical areas, play in this form of motor behavior. Finally, we put forward evidence that post-training, non-REM sleep (and spindles in Stage 2 sleep, in particular) contributes to the consolidation of a motor sequence memory trace, and that increased activity within the striatum and/or the hippocampus mediates this mnemonic process.

  4. Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Maternal Brain Circuitry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-01-01

    Parenting recruits a distributed network of brain structures (and neuromodulators) that coordinates caregiving responses attuned to the young's affect, needs, and developmental stage. Many of these structures and connections undergo significant structural and functional plasticity, mediated by the interplay between maternal hormones and social…

  5. Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Maternal Brain Circuitry.

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-09-01

    Parenting recruits a distributed network of brain structures (and neuromodulators) that coordinates caregiving responses attuned to the young's affect, needs, and developmental stage. Many of these structures and connections undergo significant structural and functional plasticity, mediated by the interplay between maternal hormones and social experience while the reciprocal relationship between the mother and her infant forms and develops. These alterations account for the remarkable behavioral plasticity of mothers. This review will examine the molecular and neurobiological modulation and plasticity through which parenting develops and adjusts in new mothers, primarily discussing recent findings in nonhuman animals. A better understanding of how parenting impacts the brain at the molecular, cellular, systems/network, and behavioral levels is likely to significantly contribute to novel strategies for treating postpartum neuropsychiatric disorders in new mothers, and critical for both the mother's physiological and mental health and the development and well-being of her young. PMID:27589496

  6. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A.; Hillary, Frank G.

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  7. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A; Hillary, Frank G

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  8. The Current Status of Somatostatin-Interneurons in Inhibitory Control of Brain Function and Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Scheyltjens, Isabelle; Arckens, Lutgarde

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex contains many distinct inhibitory neuronal populations to balance excitatory neurotransmission. A correct excitation/inhibition equilibrium is crucial for normal brain development, functioning, and controlling lifelong cortical plasticity. Knowledge about how the inhibitory network contributes to brain plasticity however remains incomplete. Somatostatin- (SST-) interneurons constitute a large neocortical subpopulation of interneurons, next to parvalbumin- (PV-) and vasoactive intestinal peptide- (VIP-) interneurons. Unlike the extensively studied PV-interneurons, acknowledged as key components in guiding ocular dominance plasticity, the contribution of SST-interneurons is less understood. Nevertheless, SST-interneurons are ideally situated within cortical networks to integrate unimodal or cross-modal sensory information processing and therefore likely to be important mediators of experience-dependent plasticity. The lack of knowledge on SST-interneurons partially relates to the wide variety of distinct subpopulations present in the sensory neocortex. This review informs on those SST-subpopulations hitherto described based on anatomical, molecular, or electrophysiological characteristics and whose functional roles can be attributed based on specific cortical wiring patterns. A possible role for these subpopulations in experience-dependent plasticity will be discussed, emphasizing on learning-induced plasticity and on unimodal and cross-modal plasticity upon sensory loss. This knowledge will ultimately contribute to guide brain plasticity into well-defined directions to restore sensory function and promote lifelong learning. PMID:27403348

  9. The Current Status of Somatostatin-Interneurons in Inhibitory Control of Brain Function and Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The mammalian neocortex contains many distinct inhibitory neuronal populations to balance excitatory neurotransmission. A correct excitation/inhibition equilibrium is crucial for normal brain development, functioning, and controlling lifelong cortical plasticity. Knowledge about how the inhibitory network contributes to brain plasticity however remains incomplete. Somatostatin- (SST-) interneurons constitute a large neocortical subpopulation of interneurons, next to parvalbumin- (PV-) and vasoactive intestinal peptide- (VIP-) interneurons. Unlike the extensively studied PV-interneurons, acknowledged as key components in guiding ocular dominance plasticity, the contribution of SST-interneurons is less understood. Nevertheless, SST-interneurons are ideally situated within cortical networks to integrate unimodal or cross-modal sensory information processing and therefore likely to be important mediators of experience-dependent plasticity. The lack of knowledge on SST-interneurons partially relates to the wide variety of distinct subpopulations present in the sensory neocortex. This review informs on those SST-subpopulations hitherto described based on anatomical, molecular, or electrophysiological characteristics and whose functional roles can be attributed based on specific cortical wiring patterns. A possible role for these subpopulations in experience-dependent plasticity will be discussed, emphasizing on learning-induced plasticity and on unimodal and cross-modal plasticity upon sensory loss. This knowledge will ultimately contribute to guide brain plasticity into well-defined directions to restore sensory function and promote lifelong learning. PMID:27403348

  10. [New functional cerebral cartography: studies of plasticity of the human brain].

    PubMed

    Frackowiak, R S

    2001-01-01

    The non-invasive brain scanning techniques, introduced a quarter of a century ago, have become crucial for diagnosis in clinical neurology. They have also been used to investigate brain function and have provided information about normal activity and pathogenesis. They have been used to investigate functional specialisation in the brain and how specialised areas communicate to generate complex integrated functions such as speech, memory, the emotions and so on. Brain plasticity is a generic term that has now come to be used to signify any changes in brain structure or function. The phenomenon is poorly understood, and yet clinical neurologists are aware that spontaneous recovery from brain lesions is not uncommon. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of recovery may generate new therapeutic strategies and indicate ways of modulating mechanisms that promote plastic compensation for loss of function. The main methods used to investigate these issues are positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The techniques of functional brain mapping and computational morphometrics depend on high performance scanners and a validated set of analytic statistical procedures that generate reproducible data and meaningful inferences from them. The motor system presents a good paradigm to illustrate advances made by scanning towards an understanding of plasticity at the level of brain areas. The normal motor system is organised in a nested hierarchy. Recovery from paralysis caused by internal capsule strokes involves functional reorganisation manifesting as changed patterns of activity in the component brain areas of the normal motor system. The pattern of plastic modification depends in part on patterns of residual or disturbed connectivity after brain injury. Therapeutic manipulations in patients with Parkinson's disease using deep brain stimulation, dopaminergic agents or foetal mesencephalic transplantation provide a means to examine mechanisms

  11. Brain plasticity as a basis for recovery of function in humans.

    PubMed

    Bach-y-Rita, P

    1990-01-01

    One of the factors leading to the virtual neglect of the long-term potential for functional recovery following brain damage was the eclipse of plasticity concepts during the 100 years following Broca's 1861 publication on location of function. However, in the last 30 years evidence has been accumulating that demonstrates the plasticity of the brain and thus recovery potential is a subject of practical as well as theoretical interest. "Unmasking" of relatively inactive pathways, the taking over of functional representation by undamaged brain tissue, and neuronal group selection are among the mechanisms that are being explored. Human models of recovery of function include hemispherectomy patients that have regained bilateral function, facial paralysis patients who recover function (with appropriate rehabilitation) after VII-XII cranial nerve anastomosis, and patients with muscle transpositions to re-establish lost motor functions. The role of early and late rehabilitation, with attention to psychosocial and environmental factors, appears to be critical for recovery. PMID:2395525

  12. Brain plasticity and functional losses in the aged: scientific bases for a novel intervention.

    PubMed

    Mahncke, Henry W; Bronstone, Amy; Merzenich, Michael M

    2006-01-01

    Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint--based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields--argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors--reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning--interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in

  13. Brain plasticity and functional losses in the aged: scientific bases for a novel intervention.

    PubMed

    Mahncke, Henry W; Bronstone, Amy; Merzenich, Michael M

    2006-01-01

    Aging is associated with progressive losses in function across multiple systems, including sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect. The traditional view has been that functional decline in aging is unavoidable because it is a direct consequence of brain machinery wearing down over time. In recent years, an alternative perspective has emerged, which elaborates on this traditional view of age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint--based upon decades of research in neuroscience, experimental psychology, and other related fields--argues that as people age, brain plasticity processes with negative consequences begin to dominate brain functioning. Four core factors--reduced schedules of brain activity, noisy processing, weakened neuromodulatory control, and negative learning--interact to create a self-reinforcing downward spiral of degraded brain function in older adults. This downward spiral might begin from reduced brain activity due to behavioral change, from a loss in brain function driven by aging brain machinery, or more likely from both. In aggregate, these interrelated factors promote plastic changes in the brain that result in age-related functional decline. This new viewpoint on the root causes of functional decline immediately suggests a remedial approach. Studies of adult brain plasticity have shown that substantial improvement in function and/or recovery from losses in sensation, cognition, memory, motor control, and affect should be possible, using appropriately designed behavioral training paradigms. Driving brain plasticity with positive outcomes requires engaging older adults in demanding sensory, cognitive, and motor activities on an intensive basis, in a behavioral context designed to re-engage and strengthen the neuromodulatory systems that control learning in adults, with the goal of increasing the fidelity, reliability, and power of cortical representations. Such a training program would serve a substantial unmet need in

  14. Functional Plasticity in Childhood Brain Disorders: When, What, How, and Whom to Assess

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Simic, Nevena; Sinopoli, Katia J.; Wilkinson, Amy; Yeates, Keith Owen; Taylor, H. Gerry; Bigler, Erin D.; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2014-01-01

    At every point in the lifespan, the brain balances malleable processes representing neural plasticity that promote change with homeostatic processes that promote stability. Whether a child develops typically or with brain injury, his or her neural and behavioral outcome is constructed through transactions between plastic and homeostatic processes and the environment. In clinical research with children in whom the developing brain has been malformed or injured, behavioral outcomes provide an index of the result of plasticity, homeostasis, and environmental transactions. When should we assess outcome in relation to age at brain insult, time since brain insult, and age of the child at testing? What should we measure? Functions involving reacting to the past and predicting the future, as well as social-affective skills, are important. How should we assess outcome? Information from performance variability, direct measures and informants, overt and covert measures, and laboratory and ecological measures should be considered. In whom are we assessing outcome? Assessment should be cognizant of individual differences in gene, socio-economic status (SES), parenting, nutrition, and interpersonal supports, which are moderators that interact with other factors influencing functional outcome. PMID:24821533

  15. [Changes in structural and functional plasticity of the brain induced by environmental enrichment].

    PubMed

    Komleva, Iu K; Salmina, A B; Prokopenko, S V; Shestakova, L A; Petrova, M M; Malinovskaia, N A; Lopatina, O L

    2013-01-01

    The review contains current data on structural and functional brain plasticity mechanisms under the enriched environment. Enriched environment contains social and non-social stimuli acting on different aspects of the development and functioning of the brain. Special attention is devoted to the modeling of enriched environment in the experiment. Enriched environment implies the action of social stimuli, new objects, therefore the enriched environment in animals can be considered as an adequate model to study changes in brain structure and function in people during learning or acquiring complex skills. The review describes the theory of enriched environment's influence on neurogenesis, the neuron-glia relationships, and the impact of enriched environment on damaged brain as well as the possibilities of using the paradigm of enriched envimronmentfor neurorenhabilitation. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission, which has a correlation with the performance of cognitive functions, are the possible target for the action of environmental factors at the brain under (patho)physiological conditions. The considerable progress has been done in understanding the mechanisms that mediate the effects of enriched environment on the brain, but still there are many non-resolved questions in the neurochemistry and neurobiology of this phenomenon. Overall, the experience-induced neuroplasticity is a unique mechanism for the development and recovery of brain functions. It opens new perspectives in neuropharmacology and neurorehabilitation.

  16. Brain-controlled neuromuscular stimulation to drive neural plasticity and functional recovery.

    PubMed

    Ethier, C; Gallego, J A; Miller, L E

    2015-08-01

    There is mounting evidence that appropriately timed neuromuscular stimulation can induce neural plasticity and generate functional recovery from motor disorders. This review addresses the idea that coordinating stimulation with a patient's voluntary effort might further enhance neurorehabilitation. Studies in cell cultures and behaving animals have delineated the rules underlying neural plasticity when single neurons are used as triggers. However, the rules governing more complex stimuli and larger networks are less well understood. We argue that functional recovery might be optimized if stimulation were modulated by a brain machine interface, to match the details of the patient's voluntary intent. The potential of this novel approach highlights the need for a better understanding of the complex rules underlying this form of plasticity. PMID:25827275

  17. Brain-Controlled Neuromuscular Stimulation to Drive Neural Plasticity and Functional Recovery

    PubMed Central

    Ethier, C.; Gallego, J.A.; Miller, L.E.

    2015-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that appropriately timed neuromuscular stimulation can induce neural plasticity and generate functional recovery from motor disorders. This review addresses the idea that coordinating stimulation with a patient’s voluntary effort might further enhance neurorehabilitation. Studies in cell cultures and behaving animals have delineated the rules underlying neural plasticity when single neurons are used as triggers. However, the rules governing more complex stimuli and larger networks are less well understood. We argue that functional recovery might be optimized if stimulation were modulated by a brain machine interface, to matched the details of the patient’s voluntary intent. The potential of this novel approach highlights the need for a better understanding of the complex rules underlying this form of plasticity. PMID:25827275

  18. Functional and Structural Brain Plasticity Enhanced by Motor and Cognitive Rehabilitation in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Prosperini, Luca; Piattella, Maria Cristina

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitation is recognized to be important in ameliorating motor and cognitive functions, reducing disease burden, and improving quality of life in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In this systematic review, we summarize the existing evidences that motor and cognitive rehabilitation may enhance functional and structural brain plasticity in patients with MS, as assessed by means of the most advanced neuroimaging techniques, including diffusion tensor imaging and task-related and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In most cases, the rehabilitation program was based on computer-assisted/video game exercises performed in either an outpatient or home setting. Despite their heterogeneity, all the included studies describe changes in white matter microarchitecture, in task-related activation, and/or in functional connectivity following both task-oriented and selective training. When explored, relevant correlation between improved function and MRI-detected brain changes was often found, supporting the hypothesis that training-induced brain plasticity is specifically linked to the trained domain. Small sample sizes, lack of randomization and/or an active control group, as well as missed relationship between MRI-detected changes and clinical performance, are the major drawbacks of the selected studies. Knowledge gaps in this field of research are also discussed to provide a framework for future investigations. PMID:26064692

  19. Differential pattern of functional brain plasticity after compassion and empathy training.

    PubMed

    Klimecki, Olga M; Leiberg, Susanne; Ricard, Matthieu; Singer, Tania

    2014-06-01

    Although empathy is crucial for successful social interactions, excessive sharing of others' negative emotions may be maladaptive and constitute a source of burnout. To investigate functional neural plasticity underlying the augmentation of empathy and to test the counteracting potential of compassion, one group of participants was first trained in empathic resonance and subsequently in compassion. In response to videos depicting human suffering, empathy training, but not memory training (control group), increased negative affect and brain activations in anterior insula and anterior midcingulate cortex-brain regions previously associated with empathy for pain. In contrast, subsequent compassion training could reverse the increase in negative effect and, in contrast, augment self-reports of positive affect. In addition, compassion training increased activations in a non-overlapping brain network spanning ventral striatum, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex and medial orbitofrontal cortex. We conclude that training compassion may reflect a new coping strategy to overcome empathic distress and strengthen resilience.

  20. Chondroitinase enhances cortical map plasticity and increases functionally active sprouting axons after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Harris, Neil G; Nogueira, Marcia S M; Verley, Derek R; Sutton, Richard L

    2013-07-15

    The beneficial effect of interventions with chondroitinase ABC enzyme to reduce axon growth-inhibitory chondroitin sulphate side chains after central nervous system injuries has been mainly attributed to enhanced axonal sprouting. After traumatic brain injury (TBI), it is unknown whether newly sprouting axons that occur as a result of interventional strategies are able to functionally contribute to existing circuitry, and it is uncertain whether maladaptive sprouting occurs to increase the well-known risk for seizure activity after TBI. Here, we show that after a controlled cortical impact injury in rats, chondroitinase infusion into injured cortex at 30 min and 3 days reduced c-Fos⁺ cell staining resulting from the injury alone at 1 week postinjury, indicating that at baseline, abnormal spontaneous activity is likely to be reduced, not increased, with this type of intervention. c-Fos⁺ cell staining elicited by neural activity from stimulation of the affected forelimb 1 week after injury was significantly enhanced by chondroitinase, indicating a widespread effect on cortical map plasticity. Underlying this map plasticity was a larger contribution of neuronal, rather than glial cells and an absence of c-Fos⁺ cells surrounded by perineuronal nets that were normally present in stimulated naïve rats. After injury, chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan digestion produced the expected increase in growth-associated protein 43-positive axons and perikarya, of which a significantly greater number were double labeled for c-Fos after intervention with chondroitinase, compared to vehicle. These data indicate that chondroitinase produces significant gains in cortical map plasticity after TBI, and that either axonal sprouting and/or changes in perineuronal nets may underlie this effect. Chondroitinase dampens, rather than increases nonspecific c-Fos activity after brain injury, and induction of axonal sprouting is not maladaptive because greater numbers are functionally

  1. Brain functional plasticity associated with the emergence of expertise in extreme language control.

    PubMed

    Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Moser-Mercer, Barbara; Golestani, Narly

    2015-07-01

    We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to longitudinally examine brain plasticity arising from long-term, intensive simultaneous interpretation training. Simultaneous interpretation is a bilingual task with heavy executive control demands. We compared brain responses observed during simultaneous interpretation with those observed during simultaneous speech repetition (shadowing) in a group of trainee simultaneous interpreters, at the beginning and at the end of their professional training program. Age, sex and language-proficiency matched controls were scanned at similar intervals. Using multivariate pattern classification, we found distributed patterns of changes in functional responses from the first to second scan that distinguished the interpreters from the controls. We also found reduced recruitment of the right caudate nucleus during simultaneous interpretation as a result of training. Such practice-related change is consistent with decreased demands on multilingual language control as the task becomes more automatized with practice. These results demonstrate the impact of simultaneous interpretation training on the brain functional response in a cerebral structure that is not specifically linguistic, but that is known to be involved in learning, in motor control, and in a variety of domain-general executive functions. Along with results of recent studies showing functional and structural adaptations in the caudate nuclei of experts in a broad range of domains, our results underline the importance of this structure as a central node in expertise-related networks.

  2. Narrative Skill in Children with Early Unilateral Brain Injury: A Possible Limit to Functional Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demir, Ozlem Ece; Levine, Susan C.; Goldin-Meadow, Susan

    2010-01-01

    Children with pre- or perinatal brain injury (PL) exhibit marked plasticity for language learning. Previous work has focused mostly on the emergence of earlier-developing skills, such as vocabulary and syntax. Here we ask whether this plasticity for earlier-developing aspects of language extends to more complex, later-developing language functions…

  3. Oxytocin and Maternal Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sohye; Strathearn, Lane

    2016-09-01

    Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. The present paper synthesizes growing insights from both animal and human research to provide an overview of the plasticity of the mother's brain, with a particular emphasis on the oxytocin system. We examine plasticity observed within the oxytocin system and discuss how these changes mediate an array of other adaptations observed within the maternal brain. We outline factors that affect the oxytocin-mediated plasticity of the maternal brain and review evidence linking disruptions in oxytocin functions to challenges in maternal adaptation. We conclude by suggesting a strategy for intervention with mothers who may be at risk for maladjustment during this transition to motherhood, while highlighting areas where further research is needed. PMID:27589498

  4. Glucocorticoid regulation of brain-derived neurotrophic factor: relevance to hippocampal structural and functional plasticity.

    PubMed

    Suri, D; Vaidya, V A

    2013-06-01

    Glucocorticoids serve as key stress response hormones that facilitate stress coping. However, sustained glucocorticoid exposure is associated with adverse consequences on the brain, in particular within the hippocampus. Chronic glucocorticoid exposure evokes neuronal cell damage and dendritic atrophy, reduces hippocampal neurogenesis and impairs synaptic plasticity. Glucocorticoids also alter expression and signaling of the neurotrophin, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Since BDNF is known to promote neuroplasticity, enhance cell survival, increase hippocampal neurogenesis and cellular excitability, it has been hypothesized that specific adverse effects of glucocorticoids may be mediated by attenuating BDNF expression and signaling. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current state of literature examining the influence of glucocorticoids on BDNF, and to address whether specific effects of glucocorticoids arise through perturbation of BDNF signaling. We integrate evidence of glucocorticoid regulation of BDNF at multiple levels, spanning from the well-documented glucocorticoid-induced changes in BDNF mRNA to studies examining alterations in BDNF receptor-mediated signaling. Further, we delineate potential lines of future investigation to address hitherto unexplored aspects of the influence of glucocorticoids on BDNF. Finally, we discuss the current understanding of the contribution of BDNF to the modulation of structural and functional plasticity by glucocorticoids, in particular in the context of the hippocampus. Understanding the mechanistic crosstalk between glucocorticoids and BDNF holds promise for the identification of potential therapeutic targets for disorders associated with the dysfunction of stress hormone pathways.

  5. Psychotherapy and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Collerton, Daniel

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, I will review why psychotherapy is relevant to the question of how consciousness relates to brain plasticity. A great deal of the research and theorizing on consciousness and the brain, including my own on hallucinations for example (Collerton and Perry, 2011) has focused upon specific changes in conscious content which can be related to temporal changes in restricted brain systems. I will argue that psychotherapy, in contrast, allows only a focus on holistic aspects of consciousness; an emphasis which may usefully complement what can be learnt from more specific methodologies. PMID:24046752

  6. Functional and anatomical basis for brain plasticity in facial palsy rehabilitation using the masseteric nerve.

    PubMed

    Buendia, Javier; Loayza, Francis R; Luis, Elkin O; Celorrio, Marta; Pastor, Maria A; Hontanilla, Bernardo

    2016-03-01

    Several techniques have been described for smile restoration after facial nerve paralysis. When a nerve other than the contralateral facial nerve is used to restore the smile, some controversy appears because of the nonphysiological mechanism of smile recovering. Different authors have reported natural results with the masseter nerve. The physiological pathways which determine whether this is achieved continue to remain unclear. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, brain activation pattern measuring blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal during smiling and jaw clenching was recorded in a group of 24 healthy subjects (11 females). Effective connectivity of premotor regions was also compared in both tasks. The brain activation pattern was similar for smile and jaw-clenching tasks. Smile activations showed topographic overlap though more extended for smile than clenching. Gender comparisons during facial movements, according to kinematics and BOLD signal, did not reveal significant differences. Effective connectivity results of psychophysiological interaction (PPI) from the same seeds located in bilateral facial premotor regions showed significant task and gender differences (p < 0.001). The hypothesis of brain plasticity between the facial nerve and masseter nerve areas is supported by the broad cortical overlap in the representation of facial and masseter muscles.

  7. Using brain-computer interfaces to induce neural plasticity and restore function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grosse-Wentrup, Moritz; Mattia, Donatella; Oweiss, Karim

    2011-04-01

    Analyzing neural signals and providing feedback in realtime is one of the core characteristics of a brain-computer interface (BCI). As this feature may be employed to induce neural plasticity, utilizing BCI technology for therapeutic purposes is increasingly gaining popularity in the BCI community. In this paper, we discuss the state-of-the-art of research on this topic, address the principles of and challenges in inducing neural plasticity by means of a BCI, and delineate the problems of study design and outcome evaluation arising in this context. We conclude with a list of open questions and recommendations for future research in this field.

  8. Quality and Timing of Stressors Differentially Impact on Brain Plasticity and Neuroendocrine-Immune Function in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Capoccia, Sara; Berry, Alessandra; Bellisario, Veronica; Vacirca, Davide; Ortona, Elena; Alleva, Enrico; Cirulli, Francesca

    2013-01-01

    A growing body of evidence suggests that psychological stress is a major risk factor for psychiatric disorders. The basic mechanisms are still under investigation but involve changes in neuroendocrine-immune interactions, ultimately affecting brain plasticity. In this study we characterized central and peripheral effects of different stressors, applied for different time lengths, in adult male C57BL/6J mice. We compared the effects of repeated (7 versus 21 days) restraint stress (RS) and chronic disruption of social hierarchy (SS) on neuroendocrine (corticosterone) and immune function (cytokines and splenic apoptosis) and on a marker of brain plasticity (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, BDNF ). Neuroendocrine activation did not differ between SS and control subjects; by contrast, the RS group showed a strong neuroendocrine response characterized by a specific time-dependent profile. Immune function and hippocampal BDNF levels were inversely related to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation. These data show a fine modulation of the crosstalk between central and peripheral pathways of adaptation and plasticity and suggest that the length of stress exposure is crucial to determine its final outcome on health or disease. PMID:23606988

  9. Indices of adrenal deficiency involved in brain plasticity and functional control reorganization in hemodialysis patients with polysulfone membrane: BOLD-fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Belaïch, Rachida; Boujraf, Saïd; Benzagmout, Mohammed; Maaroufi, Mustapha; Housni, Abdelkhalek; Batta, Fatima; Tizniti, Siham; Magoul, Rabia; Sqalli, Tarik

    2016-06-01

    This work purpose was to estimate the implication of suspected adrenal function deficiencies, which was influenced by oxidative stress (OS) that are generating brain plasticity, and reorganization of the functional control. This phenomenon was revealed in two-hemodialysis patients described in this paper. Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) revealed a significant activation of the motor cortex. Hemodialysis seems to originate an inflammatory state of the cerebral tissue reflected by increased OS, while expected to decrease since hemodialysis eliminates free radicals responsible for OS. Considering adrenal function deficiencies, sensitivity to OS and assessed hyponatremia and hypercalcemia, adrenal function deficiencies is strongly suspected in both patients. This probably contributes to amplify brain plasticity and a reorganization of functional control after hemodialysis that is compared to earlier reported studies. Brain plasticity and functional control reorganization was revealed by BOLD-fMRI with a remarkable sensitivity. Brain plastic changes are originated by elevated OS associating indices of adrenal function deficiencies. These results raise important issues about adrenal functional deficiencies impact on brain plasticity in chronic hemodialysis-patients. This motivates more global studies of plasticity induced factors in this category of patients including adrenal functional deficiencies and OS. PMID:27301905

  10. Indices of adrenal deficiency involved in brain plasticity and functional control reorganization in hemodialysis patients with polysulfone membrane: BOLD-fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Belaïch, Rachida; Boujraf, Saïd; Benzagmout, Mohammed; Maaroufi, Mustapha; Housni, Abdelkhalek; Batta, Fatima; Tizniti, Siham; Magoul, Rabia; Sqalli, Tarik

    2016-06-01

    This work purpose was to estimate the implication of suspected adrenal function deficiencies, which was influenced by oxidative stress (OS) that are generating brain plasticity, and reorganization of the functional control. This phenomenon was revealed in two-hemodialysis patients described in this paper. Blood oxygenation level dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging (BOLD-fMRI) revealed a significant activation of the motor cortex. Hemodialysis seems to originate an inflammatory state of the cerebral tissue reflected by increased OS, while expected to decrease since hemodialysis eliminates free radicals responsible for OS. Considering adrenal function deficiencies, sensitivity to OS and assessed hyponatremia and hypercalcemia, adrenal function deficiencies is strongly suspected in both patients. This probably contributes to amplify brain plasticity and a reorganization of functional control after hemodialysis that is compared to earlier reported studies. Brain plasticity and functional control reorganization was revealed by BOLD-fMRI with a remarkable sensitivity. Brain plastic changes are originated by elevated OS associating indices of adrenal function deficiencies. These results raise important issues about adrenal functional deficiencies impact on brain plasticity in chronic hemodialysis-patients. This motivates more global studies of plasticity induced factors in this category of patients including adrenal functional deficiencies and OS.

  11. [Brain development and plasticity].

    PubMed

    Martinez-Morga, M; Martinez, S

    2016-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders are associated to functional anomalies of the brain that become manifest early on in life. Traditionally, they have been related almost exclusively to the appearance of intellectual disability and delayed psychomotor development. The causes of these disorders have been partially described, and include anomalies due to genetic causes (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, etc.), exposure to toxic factors during pregnancy (foetal alcohol syndrome), infections (cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, etc.) or other alterations, including a status of great immaturity at birth (very preterm). Epidemiological data based on a better knowledge of the diseases affecting the central nervous system suggest that some mental disorders, which appear in adolescence or early adulthood, also have their origin in anomalies in brain development. This review aims to offer an overview of brain development. Some of the cellular and molecular processes that may account for the similarities and differences in the phenotypes that generate alterations affecting normal development are also analysed. The study is conducted with a view to clearly identifying processes that are susceptible to modification by means of therapeutic intervention consisting in an early care programme. PMID:26922956

  12. [Brain development and plasticity].

    PubMed

    Martinez-Morga, M; Martinez, S

    2016-01-01

    Neurodevelopmental disorders are associated to functional anomalies of the brain that become manifest early on in life. Traditionally, they have been related almost exclusively to the appearance of intellectual disability and delayed psychomotor development. The causes of these disorders have been partially described, and include anomalies due to genetic causes (Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome, etc.), exposure to toxic factors during pregnancy (foetal alcohol syndrome), infections (cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, etc.) or other alterations, including a status of great immaturity at birth (very preterm). Epidemiological data based on a better knowledge of the diseases affecting the central nervous system suggest that some mental disorders, which appear in adolescence or early adulthood, also have their origin in anomalies in brain development. This review aims to offer an overview of brain development. Some of the cellular and molecular processes that may account for the similarities and differences in the phenotypes that generate alterations affecting normal development are also analysed. The study is conducted with a view to clearly identifying processes that are susceptible to modification by means of therapeutic intervention consisting in an early care programme.

  13. GSK3 Function in the Brain during Development, Neuronal Plasticity, and Neurodegeneration

    PubMed Central

    Salcedo-Tello, Pamela; Ortiz-Matamoros, Abril; Arias, Clorinda

    2011-01-01

    GSK3 has diverse functions, including an important role in brain pathology. In this paper, we address the primary functions of GSK3 in development and neuroplasticity, which appear to be interrelated and to mediate age-associated neurological diseases. Specifically, GSK3 plays a pivotal role in controlling neuronal progenitor proliferation and establishment of neuronal polarity during development, and the upstream and downstream signals modulating neuronal GSK3 function affect cytoskeletal reorganization and neuroplasticity throughout the lifespan. Modulation of GSK3 in brain areas subserving cognitive function has become a major focus for treating neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. As a crucial node that mediates a variety of neuronal processes, GSK3 is proposed to be a therapeutic target for restoration of synaptic functioning and cognition, particularly in Alzheimer's disease. PMID:21660241

  14. Stress- and Allostasis-Induced Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.; Gianaros, Peter J.

    2014-01-01

    The brain is the key organ of stress processes. It determines what individuals will experience as stressful, it orchestrates how individuals will cope with stressful experiences, and it changes both functionally and structurally as a result of stressful experiences. Within the brain, a distributed, dynamic, and plastic neural circuitry coordinates, monitors, and calibrates behavioral and physiological stress response systems to meet the demands imposed by particular stressors. These allodynamic processes can be adaptive in the short term (allostasis) and maladaptive in the long term (allostatic load). Critically, these processes involve bidirectional signaling between the brain and body. Consequently, allostasis and allostatic load can jointly affect vulnerability to brain-dependent and stress-related mental and physical health conditions. This review focuses on the role of brain plasticity in adaptation to, and pathophysiology resulting from, stressful experiences. It also considers interventions to prevent and treat chronic and prevalent health conditions via allodynamic brain mechanisms. PMID:20707675

  15. Brain white matter plasticity and functional reorganization underlying the central pathogenesis of trigeminal neuralgia

    PubMed Central

    Tian, Tian; Guo, Linying; Xu, Jing; Zhang, Shun; Shi, Jingjing; Liu, Chengxia; Qin, Yuanyuan; Zhu, Wenzhen

    2016-01-01

    Peripheral nerve damage does not fully explain the pathogenesis of trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Central nervous system changes can follow trigeminal nerve dysfunction. We hypothesized that brain white matter and functional connectivity changes in TN patients were involved in pain perception, modulation, the cognitive-affective system, and motor function; moreover, changes in functional reorganization were correlated with white matter alterations. Twenty left TN patients and twenty-two healthy controls were studied. Diffusion kurtosis imaging was analyzed to extract diffusion and kurtosis parameters, and functional connectivity density (FCD) mapping was used to explore the functional reorganization in the brain. In the patient group, we found lower axial kurtosis and higher axial diffusivity in tracts participated in sensory, cognitive-affective, and modulatory aspects of pain, such as the corticospinal tract, superior longitudinal fasciculus, anterior thalamic radiation, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus, cingulated gyrus, forceps major and uncinate fasciculus. Patients exhibited complex FCD reorganization of hippocampus, striatum, thalamus, precentral gyrus, precuneus, prefrontal cortex and inferior parietal lobule in multiple modulatory networks that played crucial roles in pain perception, modulation, cognitive-affective system, and motor function. Further, the correlated structural-functional changes may be responsible for the persistence of long-term recurrent pain and sensory-related dysfunction in TN. PMID:27779254

  16. Augmentation-related brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self

  17. Augmentation-related brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self

  18. Augmentation-related brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Maravita, Angelo; Zollo, Loredana; Guglielmelli, Eugenio; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-01-01

    Today, the anthropomorphism of the tools and the development of neural interfaces require reconsidering the concept of human-tools interaction in the framework of human augmentation. This review analyses the plastic process that the brain undergoes when it comes into contact with augmenting artificial sensors and effectors and, on the other hand, the changes that the use of external augmenting devices produces in the brain. Hitherto, few studies investigated the neural correlates of augmentation, but clues on it can be borrowed from logically-related paradigms: sensorimotor training, cognitive enhancement, cross-modal plasticity, sensorimotor functional substitution, use and embodiment of tools. Augmentation modifies function and structure of a number of areas, i.e., primary sensory cortices shape their receptive fields to become sensitive to novel inputs. Motor areas adapt the neuroprosthesis representation firing-rate to refine kinematics. As for normal motor outputs, the learning process recruits motor and premotor cortices and the acquisition of proficiency decreases attentional recruitment, focuses the activity on sensorimotor areas and increases the basal ganglia drive on the cortex. Augmentation deeply relies on the frontoparietal network. In particular, premotor cortex is involved in learning the control of an external effector and owns the tool motor representation, while the intraparietal sulcus extracts its visual features. In these areas, multisensory integration neurons enlarge their receptive fields to embody supernumerary limbs. For operating an anthropomorphic neuroprosthesis, the mirror system is required to understand the meaning of the action, the cerebellum for the formation of its internal model and the insula for its interoception. In conclusion, anthropomorphic sensorized devices can provide the critical sensory afferences to evolve the exploitation of tools through their embodiment, reshaping the body representation and the sense of the self.

  19. Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting.

    PubMed

    Kim, Pilyoung

    2016-09-01

    New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human mothers' brains, and explore how such plasticity supports mothers' psychological adaptation to parenting and sensitive maternal behaviors. Last, I discuss pregnancy and the early postpartum period as a window of vulnerabilities and opportunities when the human maternal brain is influenced by stress and psychopathology, but also receptive to interventions. PMID:27589497

  20. Oxytocin and Maternal Brain Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Sohye; Strathearn, Lane

    2016-01-01

    Although dramatic postnatal changes in maternal behavior have long been noted, we are only now beginning to understand the neurobiological mechanisms that support this transition. The present paper synthesizes growing insights from both animal and human research to provide an overview of the plasticity of the mother's brain, with a particular…

  1. Ben's Plastic Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kaplan, Susan L.

    2010-01-01

    This article shares a story of Ben who as a result of his premature birth, suffered a brain hemorrhage resulting in cerebral palsy, which affected his left side (left hemiparesis) and caused learning disabilities. Despite these challenges, he graduated from college and currently works doing information management for a local biotech start-up…

  2. FGF21 improves cognition by restored synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine density, brain mitochondrial function and cell apoptosis in obese-insulin resistant male rats.

    PubMed

    Sa-Nguanmoo, Piangkwan; Tanajak, Pongpan; Kerdphoo, Sasiwan; Satjaritanun, Pattarapong; Wang, Xiaojie; Liang, Guang; Li, Xiaokun; Jiang, Chao; Pratchayasakul, Wasana; Chattipakorn, Nipon; Chattipakorn, Siriporn C

    2016-09-01

    Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is an endocrine hormone which exerts beneficial effects on metabolic regulation in obese and diabetic models. However, the effect of FGF21 on cognition in obese-insulin resistant rats has not been investigated. We hypothesized that FGF21 prevented cognitive decline in obese-insulin resistant rats by improving hippocampal synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine density, brain mitochondrial function and brain FGF21 signaling as well as decreasing brain cell apoptosis. Eighteen male Wistar rats were divided into two groups, and received either a normal diet (ND) (n=6) or a high fat diet (HFD) (n=12) for 12weeks. At week 13, the HFD-fed rats were subdivided into two subgroups (n=6/subgroup) to receive either vehicle or recombinant human FGF21 (0.1mg/kg/day) for four weeks. ND-fed rats were given vehicle for four weeks. At the end of the treatment, cognitive function, metabolic parameters, pro-inflammatory markers, brain mitochondrial function, cell apoptosis, hippocampal synaptic plasticity, dendritic spine density and brain FGF21 signaling were determined. The results showed that vehicle-treated HFD-fed rats developed obese-insulin resistance and cognitive decline with impaired hippocampal synaptic plasticity, decreased dendritic spine density, brain mitochondrial dysfunction and increased brain cell apoptosis. Impaired brain FGF 21 signaling was found in these obese-insulin resistant rats. FGF21-treated obese-insulin resistant rats had improved peripheral insulin sensitivity, increased hippocampal synaptic plasticity, increased dendritic spine density, restored brain mitochondrial function, attenuated brain cells apoptosis and increased brain FGF21 signaling, leading to a prevention of cognitive decline. These findings suggest that FGF21 treatment exerts neuroprotection in obese-insulin resistant rats. PMID:27566237

  3. [The plasticity of systemic brain mechanisms].

    PubMed

    Sudakov, K V

    1996-01-01

    Mechanisms of plasticity of the main components (dominant motivation and reinforcement) of systemic behavioural act organisation are considered. It is shown that dominant motivation changes different properties of brain neurones including their specific sensitivity to neuromediators and neuropeptides. Reinforcement in its turn modifies the properties of brain neurones which take part in dominant motivation. The foregoing reinforcement influences the modification of genetic apparatus of neurones involved in dominant motivation and, as a consequence, they begin to express specific information molecules under the influence of dominant motivation in the subsequent formation of the corresponding drive. The information molecules organise a corresponding behaviour. Plasticity properties of brain neurones are mostly revealed in conflict situations leading to emotional stress. Reorganisation of chemical integration of limbic-reticular neurones takes place under emotional stress. Oligopeptides play the leading role in these processes. It is shown that oligopeptides are able to compensate the functions of damaged limbic-reticular brain structures.

  4. Neurolinguistics: structural plasticity in the bilingual brain.

    PubMed

    Mechelli, Andrea; Crinion, Jenny T; Noppeney, Uta; O'Doherty, John; Ashburner, John; Frackowiak, Richard S; Price, Cathy J

    2004-10-14

    Humans have a unique ability to learn more than one language--a skill that is thought to be mediated by functional (rather than structural) plastic changes in the brain. Here we show that learning a second language increases the density of grey matter in the left inferior parietal cortex and that the degree of structural reorganization in this region is modulated by the proficiency attained and the age at acquisition. This relation between grey-matter density and performance may represent a general principle of brain organization. PMID:15483594

  5. Brain plasticity-based therapeutics

    PubMed Central

    Merzenich, Michael M.; Van Vleet, Thomas M.; Nahum, Mor

    2014-01-01

    The primary objective of this review article is to summarize how the neuroscience of brain plasticity, exploiting new findings in fundamental, integrative and cognitive neuroscience, is changing the therapeutic landscape for professional communities addressing brain-based disorders and disease. After considering the neurological bases of training-driven neuroplasticity, we shall describe how this neuroscience-guided perspective distinguishes this new approach from (a) the more-behavioral, traditional clinical strategies of professional therapy practitioners, and (b) an even more widely applied pharmaceutical treatment model for neurological and psychiatric treatment domains. With that background, we shall argue that neuroplasticity-based treatments will be an important part of future best-treatment practices in neurological and psychiatric medicine. PMID:25018719

  6. Brain plasticity and cognitive functions after ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice

    PubMed Central

    Stragier, E; Martin, V; Davenas, E; Poilbout, C; Mongeau, R; Corradetti, R; Lanfumey, L

    2015-01-01

    Acute or chronic administrations of high doses of ethanol in mice are known to produce severe cognitive deficits linked to hippocampal damage. However, we recently reported that chronic and moderate ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice induced chromatin remodeling within the Bdnf promoters, leading to both enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and hippocampal neurogenesis under free-choice protocol. We performed here a series of cellular and behavioral studies to analyze the consequences of these modifications. We showed that a 3-week chronic free-choice ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice led to a decrease in DNA methylation of the Bdnf gene within the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus, and upregulated hippocampal BDNF signaling pathways mediated by ERK, AKT and CREB. However, this activation did not affect long-term potentiation in the CA1. Conversely, ethanol intake impaired learning and memory capacities analyzed in the contextual fear conditioning test and the novel object recognition task. In addition, ethanol increased behavioral perseveration in the Barnes maze test but did not alter the mouse overall spatial capacities. These data suggested that in conditions of chronic and moderate ethanol intake, the chromatin remodeling leading to BDNF signaling upregulation is probably an adaptive process, engaged via epigenetic regulations, to counteract the cognitive deficits induced by ethanol. PMID:26670281

  7. Brain plasticity and cognitive functions after ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Stragier, E; Martin, V; Davenas, E; Poilbout, C; Mongeau, R; Corradetti, R; Lanfumey, L

    2015-01-01

    Acute or chronic administrations of high doses of ethanol in mice are known to produce severe cognitive deficits linked to hippocampal damage. However, we recently reported that chronic and moderate ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice induced chromatin remodeling within the Bdnf promoters, leading to both enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and hippocampal neurogenesis under free-choice protocol. We performed here a series of cellular and behavioral studies to analyze the consequences of these modifications. We showed that a 3-week chronic free-choice ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice led to a decrease in DNA methylation of the Bdnf gene within the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus, and upregulated hippocampal BDNF signaling pathways mediated by ERK, AKT and CREB. However, this activation did not affect long-term potentiation in the CA1. Conversely, ethanol intake impaired learning and memory capacities analyzed in the contextual fear conditioning test and the novel object recognition task. In addition, ethanol increased behavioral perseveration in the Barnes maze test but did not alter the mouse overall spatial capacities. These data suggested that in conditions of chronic and moderate ethanol intake, the chromatin remodeling leading to BDNF signaling upregulation is probably an adaptive process, engaged via epigenetic regulations, to counteract the cognitive deficits induced by ethanol. PMID:26670281

  8. Brain plasticity and cognitive functions after ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice.

    PubMed

    Stragier, E; Martin, V; Davenas, E; Poilbout, C; Mongeau, R; Corradetti, R; Lanfumey, L

    2015-01-01

    Acute or chronic administrations of high doses of ethanol in mice are known to produce severe cognitive deficits linked to hippocampal damage. However, we recently reported that chronic and moderate ethanol intake in C57BL/6J mice induced chromatin remodeling within the Bdnf promoters, leading to both enhanced brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression and hippocampal neurogenesis under free-choice protocol. We performed here a series of cellular and behavioral studies to analyze the consequences of these modifications. We showed that a 3-week chronic free-choice ethanol consumption in C57BL/6J mice led to a decrease in DNA methylation of the Bdnf gene within the CA1 and CA3 subfields of the hippocampus, and upregulated hippocampal BDNF signaling pathways mediated by ERK, AKT and CREB. However, this activation did not affect long-term potentiation in the CA1. Conversely, ethanol intake impaired learning and memory capacities analyzed in the contextual fear conditioning test and the novel object recognition task. In addition, ethanol increased behavioral perseveration in the Barnes maze test but did not alter the mouse overall spatial capacities. These data suggested that in conditions of chronic and moderate ethanol intake, the chromatin remodeling leading to BDNF signaling upregulation is probably an adaptive process, engaged via epigenetic regulations, to counteract the cognitive deficits induced by ethanol.

  9. Temporal entrainment of cognitive functions: musical mnemonics induce brain plasticity and oscillatory synchrony in neural networks underlying memory.

    PubMed

    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C

    2005-12-01

    In a series of experiments, we have begun to investigate the effect of music as a mnemonic device on learning and memory and the underlying plasticity of oscillatory neural networks. We used verbal learning and memory tests (standardized word lists, AVLT) in conjunction with electroencephalographic analysis to determine differences between verbal learning in either a spoken or musical (verbal materials as song lyrics) modality. In healthy adults, learning in both the spoken and music condition was associated with significant increases in oscillatory synchrony across all frequency bands. A significant difference between the spoken and music condition emerged in the cortical topography of the learning-related synchronization. When using EEG measures as predictors during learning for subsequent successful memory recall, significantly increased coherence (phase-locked synchronization) within and between oscillatory brain networks emerged for music in alpha and gamma bands. In a similar study with multiple sclerosis patients, superior learning and memory was shown in the music condition when controlled for word order recall, and subjects were instructed to sing back the word lists. Also, the music condition was associated with a significant power increase in the low-alpha band in bilateral frontal networks, indicating increased neuronal synchronization. Musical learning may access compensatory pathways for memory functions during compromised PFC functions associated with learning and recall. Music learning may also confer a neurophysiological advantage through the stronger synchronization of the neuronal cell assemblies underlying verbal learning and memory. Collectively our data provide evidence that melodic-rhythmic templates as temporal structures in music may drive internal rhythm formation in recurrent cortical networks involved in learning and memory.

  10. Evolutionary Perspectives on Language and Brain Plasticity.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Deacon, Terrence W.

    2000-01-01

    This review discusses how general principles of brain development have contributed to both human brain plasticity and the acquisition of the human capacity for speech. Specifically, the role played by plastic developmental processes in the evolution and development of articulate control over vocalization in speech is examined. (Contains…

  11. Bridging from Cells to Cognition in Autism Pathophysiology: Biological Pathways to Defective Brain Function and Plasticity

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, Matthew; Hooker, Brian S.; Herbert, Martha

    2008-01-01

    We review evidence to support the model that autism may begin when a maternal environmental, infectious, or autoantibody insult causes inflammation which increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in the fetus, leading to fetal DNA damage (nuclear and mitochondrial), and that these inflammatory and oxidative stressors persist beyond early development (with potential further exacerbations), producing ongoing functional consequences. In organs with a high metabolic demand such as the central nervous system, the continued use of mitochondria with DNA damage may generate additional ROS which will activate the innate immune system leading to more ROS production. Such a mechanism would self-sustain and possibly progressively worsen. The mitochondrial dysfunction and altered redox signal transduction pathways found in autism would conspire to activate both astroglia and microglia. These activated cells can then initiate a broad-spectrum proinflammatory gene response. Neurons may have acquired receptors for these inflammatory signals to inhibit neuronal signaling as a protection from excitotoxic damage during various pathologic insults (e.g., infection). In autism, over-zealous neuroinflammatory responses could not only influence neural developmental processes, but may more significantly impair neural signaling involved in cognition in an ongoing fashion. This model makes specific predictions in patients and experimental animal models and suggests a number of targets sites of intervention. Our model of potentially reversible pathophysiological mechanisms in autism motivates our hope that effective therapies may soon appear on the horizon.

  12. Hearing colors: an example of brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called "Eyeborg", that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778

  13. Physical activity and brain plasticity in late adulthood.

    PubMed

    Erickson, Kirk I; Gildengers, Ariel G; Butters, Meryl A

    2013-03-01

    The human brain shrinks with advancing age, but recent research suggests that it is also capable of remarkable plasticity, even in late life. In this review we summarize the research linking greater amounts of physical activity to less cortical atrophy, better brain function, and enhanced cognitive function, and argue that physical activity takes advantage of the brain's natural capacity for plasticity. Further, although the effects of physical activity on the brain are relatively widespread, there is also some specificity, such that prefrontal and hippocampal areas appear to be more influenced than other areas of the brain. The specificity of these effects, we argue, provides a biological basis for understanding the capacity for physical activity to influence neurocognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression. We conclude that physical activity is a promising intervention that can influence the endogenous pharmacology of the brain to enhance cognitive and emotional function in late adulthood.

  14. 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

  15. Erythropoietin Restores Long-Term Neurocognitive Function Involving Mechanisms of Neuronal Plasticity in a Model of Hyperoxia-Induced Preterm Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Hoeber, Daniela; Sifringer, Marco; van de Looij, Yohan; Herz, Josephine; Sizonenko, Stéphane V; Kempe, Karina; Serdar, Meray; Palasz, Joanna; Hadamitzky, Martin; Endesfelder, Stefanie; Fandrey, Joachim; Felderhoff-Müser, Ursula; Bendix, Ivo

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral white and grey matter injury is the leading cause of an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in prematurely born infants. High oxygen concentrations have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of neonatal brain damage. Here, we focused on motor-cognitive outcome up to the adolescent and adult age in an experimental model of preterm brain injury. In search of the putative mechanisms of action we evaluated oligodendrocyte degeneration, myelination, and modulation of synaptic plasticity-related molecules. A single dose of erythropoietin (20,000 IU/kg) at the onset of hyperoxia (24 hours, 80% oxygen) in 6-day-old Wistar rats improved long-lasting neurocognitive development up to the adolescent and adult stage. Analysis of white matter structures revealed a reduction of acute oligodendrocyte degeneration. However, erythropoietin did not influence hypomyelination occurring a few days after injury or long-term microstructural white matter abnormalities detected in adult animals. Erythropoietin administration reverted hyperoxia-induced reduction of neuronal plasticity-related mRNA expression up to four months after injury. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of erythropoietin as a neuroregenerative treatment option in neonatal brain injury, leading to improved memory function in adolescent and adult rats which may be linked to increased neuronal network connectivity. PMID:27493706

  16. Erythropoietin Restores Long-Term Neurocognitive Function Involving Mechanisms of Neuronal Plasticity in a Model of Hyperoxia-Induced Preterm Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Sifringer, Marco; van de Looij, Yohan; Herz, Josephine; Sizonenko, Stéphane V.; Kempe, Karina; Palasz, Joanna; Hadamitzky, Martin; Fandrey, Joachim

    2016-01-01

    Cerebral white and grey matter injury is the leading cause of an adverse neurodevelopmental outcome in prematurely born infants. High oxygen concentrations have been shown to contribute to the pathogenesis of neonatal brain damage. Here, we focused on motor-cognitive outcome up to the adolescent and adult age in an experimental model of preterm brain injury. In search of the putative mechanisms of action we evaluated oligodendrocyte degeneration, myelination, and modulation of synaptic plasticity-related molecules. A single dose of erythropoietin (20,000 IU/kg) at the onset of hyperoxia (24 hours, 80% oxygen) in 6-day-old Wistar rats improved long-lasting neurocognitive development up to the adolescent and adult stage. Analysis of white matter structures revealed a reduction of acute oligodendrocyte degeneration. However, erythropoietin did not influence hypomyelination occurring a few days after injury or long-term microstructural white matter abnormalities detected in adult animals. Erythropoietin administration reverted hyperoxia-induced reduction of neuronal plasticity-related mRNA expression up to four months after injury. Thus, our findings highlight the importance of erythropoietin as a neuroregenerative treatment option in neonatal brain injury, leading to improved memory function in adolescent and adult rats which may be linked to increased neuronal network connectivity. PMID:27493706

  17. Hearing colors: an example of brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Alfaro, Arantxa; Bernabeu, Ángela; Agulló, Carlos; Parra, Jaime; Fernández, Eduardo

    2015-01-01

    Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) are providing new ways for improving or replacing sensory abilities that have been lost due to disease or injury, and at the same time offer unprecedented opportunities to address how the nervous system could lead to an augmentation of its capacities. In this work we have evaluated a color-blind subject using a new visual-to-auditory SSD device called “Eyeborg”, that allows colors to be perceived as sounds. We used a combination of neuroimaging techniques including Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) and proton Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (1H-MRS) to study potential brain plasticity in this subject. Our results suggest that after 8 years of continuous use of this device there could be significant adaptive and compensatory changes within the brain. In particular, we found changes in functional neural patterns, structural connectivity and cortical topography at the visual and auditive cortex of the Eyeborg user in comparison with a control population. Although at the moment we cannot claim that the continuous use of the Eyeborg is the only reason for these findings, our results may shed further light on potential brain changes associated with the use of other SSDs. This could help to better understand how the brain adapts to several pathologies and uncover adaptive resources such as cross-modal representations. We expect that the precise understanding of these changes will have clear implications for rehabilitative training, device development and for more efficient programs for people with disabilities. PMID:25926778

  18. Insulin-like growth factor I interfaces with brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity to modulate aspects of exercise-induced cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Ding, Q; Vaynman, S; Akhavan, M; Ying, Z; Gomez-Pinilla, F

    2006-07-01

    The ability of exercise to benefit neuronal and cognitive plasticity is well recognized. This study reveals that the effects of exercise on brain neuronal and cognitive plasticity are in part modulated by a central source of insulin-like growth factor-I. Exercise selectively increased insulin-like growth factor-I expression without affecting insulin-like growth factor-II expression in the rat hippocampus. To determine the role that insulin-like growth factor-I holds in mediating exercise-induced neuronal and cognitive enhancement, a specific antibody against the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor was used to block the action of insulin-like growth factor-I in the hippocampus during a 5-day voluntary exercise period. A two-trial-per-day Morris water maze was performed for five consecutive days, succeeded by a probe trial 2 days later. Blocking hippocampal insulin-like growth factor-I receptors did not significantly attenuate the ability of exercise to enhance learning acquisition, but abolished the effect of exercise on augmenting recall. Blocking the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor significantly reversed the exercise-induced increase in the levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor mRNA and protein and pro-brain-derived neurotrophic factor protein, suggesting that the effects of insulin-like growth factor-I may be partially accomplished by modulating the precursor to the mature brain-derived neurotrophic factor. A molecular analysis revealed that exercise significantly elevated proteins downstream to brain-derived neurotrophic factor activation important for synaptic function, i.e. synapsin I, and signal transduction cascades associated with memory processes, i.e. phosphorylated calcium/calmodulin protein kinase II and phosphorylated mitogen-activated protein kinase II. Blocking the insulin-like growth factor-I receptor abolished these exercise-induced increases. Our results illustrate a possible mechanism by which insulin-like growth factor-I interfaces

  19. Processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain: Insights from simultaneous interpreters.

    PubMed

    Elmer, Stefan; Hänggi, Jürgen; Jäncke, Lutz

    2014-05-01

    Until now, considerable effort has been made to determine structural brain characteristics related to exceptional multilingual skills. However, at least one important question has not yet been satisfactorily addressed in the previous literature, namely whether and to which extent the processing demands upon cognitive, linguistic, and articulatory functions may promote grey matter plasticity in the adult multilingual brain. Based on the premise that simultaneous interpretation is a highly demanding linguistic task that places strong demands on executive and articulatory functions, here we compared grey matter volumes between professional simultaneous interpreters (SI) and multilingual control subjects. Thereby, we focused on a specific set of a-priori defined bilateral brain regions that have previously been shown to support neurocognitional aspects of language control and linguistic functions in the multilingual brain. These regions are the cingulate gyrus, caudate nucleus, frontal operculum (pars triangularis and opercularis), inferior parietal lobe (IPL) (supramarginal and angular gyrus), and the insula. As a main result, we found reduced grey matter volumes in professional SI, compared to multilingual controls, in the left middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, bilateral pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, bilateral middle part of the insula, and in the left supramarginal gyrus (SMG). Interestingly, grey matter volume in left pars triangularis, right pars opercularis, middle-anterior cingulate gyrus, and in the bilateral caudate nucleus was negatively correlated with the cumulative number of interpreting hours. Hence, we provide first evidence for an expertise-related grey matter architecture that may reflect a composite of brain characteristics that were still present before interpreting training and training-related changes.

  20. Plasticity of the aging brain: new directions in cognitive neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Gutchess, Angela

    2014-10-31

    Cognitive neuroscience has revealed aging of the human brain to be rich in reorganization and change. Neuroimaging results have recast our framework around cognitive aging from one of decline to one emphasizing plasticity. Current methods use neurostimulation approaches to manipulate brain function, providing a direct test of the ways that the brain differently contributes to task performance for younger and older adults. Emerging research into emotional, social, and motivational domains provides some evidence for preservation with age, suggesting potential avenues of plasticity, alongside additional evidence for reorganization. Thus, we begin to see that aging of the brain, amidst interrelated behavioral and biological changes, is as complex and idiosyncratic as the brain itself, qualitatively changing over the life span.

  1. [A study on functional plasticity of the brain in childhood. II. Speech development and intelligence after the damage of cerebral hemisphere under 1 year of age].

    PubMed

    Ichiba, N; Takigawa, H

    1992-11-01

    To investigate the functional plasticity of the brain in childhood, the speech development, the intelligence test and dichotic listening test were performed on 27 patients who had suffered from hemiplegia under 1 year of age. Among 13 patients with right hemiplegia, 7 to 24 years old, 11 patients showed a left ear dominance suggesting the lateralization of language in the right hemisphere. All 14 patients with left hemiplegia, 5 to 37 years old, showed a right ear dominance suggesting the lateralization of language in the left hemisphere. All 27 patients acquired speech function enough to converse with other people during daily life. There were no differences in speech development or intelligence scores between both groups of hemiplegia. Although there was no correlation between the speech development and the age of onset of hemiplegia, there was a correlation between the speech development and the intelligence score in both groups of hemiplegia. PMID:1419166

  2. ParvalbuminCircuits Pivotal for BrainPlasticity

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Experience shapes brain function throughout life to varying degree. In a recent issue of Nature, Donato et al. identify reversible shifts in focal parvalbumin-cell state during adult learning, placing it on a mechanistic continuum with developmental critical periods. A disinhibitory microcircuit controls the plasticity switch to modulate memory formation. PMID:24439367

  3. Brain plasticity and motor practice in cognitive aging

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Liuyang; Chan, John S. Y.; Yan, Jin H.; Peng, Kaiping

    2014-01-01

    For more than two decades, there have been extensive studies of experience-based neural plasticity exploring effective applications of brain plasticity for cognitive and motor development. Research suggests that human brains continuously undergo structural reorganization and functional changes in response to stimulations or training. From a developmental point of view, the assumption of lifespan brain plasticity has been extended to older adults in terms of the benefits of cognitive training and physical therapy. To summarize recent developments, first, we introduce the concept of neural plasticity from a developmental perspective. Secondly, we note that motor learning often refers to deliberate practice and the resulting performance enhancement and adaptability. We discuss the close interplay between neural plasticity, motor learning and cognitive aging. Thirdly, we review research on motor skill acquisition in older adults with, and without, impairments relative to aging-related cognitive decline. Finally, to enhance future research and application, we highlight the implications of neural plasticity in skills learning and cognitive rehabilitation for the aging population. PMID:24653695

  4. In pursuit of resilience: stress, epigenetics, and brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Bruce S

    2016-06-01

    The brain is the central organ for adaptation to experiences, including stressors, which are capable of changing brain architecture as well as altering systemic function through neuroendocrine, autonomic, immune, and metabolic systems. Because the brain is the master regulator of these systems, as well as of behavior, alterations in brain function by chronic stress can have direct and indirect effects on cumulative allostatic overload, which refers to the cost of adaptation. There is much new knowledge on the neural control of systemic physiology and the feedback actions of physiologic mediators on brain regions regulating higher cognitive function, emotional regulation, and self-regulation. The healthy brain has a considerable capacity for resilience, based upon its ability to respond to interventions designed to open "windows of plasticity" and redirect its function toward better health. As a result, plasticity-facilitating treatments should be given within the framework of a positive behavioral intervention; negative experiences during this window may even make matters worse. Indeed, there are no magic bullets and drugs cannot substitute for targeted interventions that help an individual become resilient, of which mindfulness-based stress reduction and meditation are emerging as useful tools. PMID:26919273

  5. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

    This book is a survey of the applications of imaging studies of regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism to the investigation of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Contributors review imaging techniques and strategies for measuring regional cerebral blood flow and metabolism, for mapping functional neural systems, and for imaging normal brain functions. They then examine the applications of brain imaging techniques to the study of such neurological and psychiatric disorders as: cerebral ischemia; convulsive disorders; cerebral tumors; Huntington's disease; Alzheimer's disease; depression and other mood disorders. A state-of-the-art report on magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and central nervous system rounds out the book's coverage.

  6. Repeated stress and structural plasticity in the brain.

    PubMed

    Radley, Jason J; Morrison, John H

    2005-05-01

    Although adrenal steroid receptors are distributed widely throughout the central nervous system, specific limbic and cortical regions targeted by stress hormones play a key role in integrating behavioral and physiological responses during stress and adaptation to subsequent stressors. When the stressor is of a sufficient magnitude or prolonged, it may result in abnormal changes in brain plasticity that, paradoxically, may impair the ability of the brain to appropriately regulate and respond to subsequent stressors. Here we review how repeated stress produces alterations in brain plasticity in animal models, and discuss its relevance to behavioral changes associated with these regions. Interestingly, prolonged stress produces opposing effects on structural plasticity, notably dendritic atrophy and excitatory synapse loss in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex, and growth of dendrites and spines in the amygdala. The granule cells of the dentate gyrus are also significantly affected through a decrease in the rate neurogenesis following prolonged stress. How functional impairments in these brain regions play a role in stress-related mental illnesses is discussed in this context. Finally, we discuss the cumulative impact of stress-induced structural plasticity in aging.

  7. Successful brain aging: plasticity, environmental enrichment, and lifestyle.

    PubMed

    Mora, Francisco

    2013-03-01

    Aging is a physiological process that can develop without the appearance of concurrent diseases. However, very frequently, older people suffer from memory loss and an accelerated cognitive decline. Studies of the neurobiology of aging are beginning to decipher the mechanisms underlying not only the physiology of aging of the brain but also the mechanisms that make people more vulnerable to cognitive dysfunction and neurodegenerative diseases. Today we know that the aging brain retains a considerable functional plasticity, and that this plasticity is positively promoted by genes activated by different lifestyle factors. In this article some of these lifestyle factors and their mechanisms of action are reviewed, including environmental enrichment and the importance of food intake and some nutrients. Aerobic physical exercise and reduction of chronic stress are also briefly reviewed. It is proposed that lifestyle factors are powerful instruments to promote healthy and successful aging of the brain and delay the appearance of age-related cognitive deficits in elderly people.

  8. Searching for Factors Underlying Cerebral Plasticity in the Normal and Injured Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kolb, Bryan; Muhammad, Arif; Gibb, Robbin

    2011-01-01

    Brain plasticity refers to the capacity of the nervous system to change its structure and ultimately its function over a lifetime. There have been major advances in our understanding of the principles of brain plasticity and behavior in laboratory animals and humans. Over the past decade there have been advances in the application of these…

  9. Contrasting Acute and Slow-Growing Lesions: A New Door to Brain Plasticity

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Desmurget, Michel; Bonnetblanc, FranCois; Duffau, Hugues

    2007-01-01

    The concept of plasticity describes the mechanisms that rearrange cerebral organization following a brain injury. During the last century, plasticity has been mainly investigated in humans with acute strokes. It was then shown: (i) that the brain is organized into highly specialized functional areas, often designated "eloquent" areas and (ii) that…

  10. Synaptic plasticity functions in an organic electrochemical transistor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gkoupidenis, Paschalis; Schaefer, Nathan; Strakosas, Xenofon; Fairfield, Jessamyn A.; Malliaras, George G.

    2015-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity functions play a crucial role in the transmission of neural signals in the brain. Short-term plasticity is required for the transmission, encoding, and filtering of the neural signal, whereas long-term plasticity establishes more permanent changes in neural microcircuitry and thus underlies memory and learning. The realization of bioinspired circuits that can actually mimic signal processing in the brain demands the reproduction of both short- and long-term aspects of synaptic plasticity in a single device. Here, we demonstrate the implementation of neuromorphic functions similar to biological memory, such as short- to long-term memory transition, in non-volatile organic electrochemical transistors (OECTs). Depending on the training of the OECT, the device displays either short- or long-term plasticity, therefore, exhibiting non von Neumann characteristics with merged processing and storing functionalities. These results are a first step towards the implementation of organic-based neuromorphic circuits.

  11. Human Maternal Brain Plasticity: Adaptation to Parenting

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kim, Pilyoung

    2016-01-01

    New mothers undergo dynamic neural changes that support positive adaptation to parenting and the development of mother-infant relationships. In this article, I review important psychological adaptations that mothers experience during pregnancy and the early postpartum period. I then review evidence of structural and functional plasticity in human…

  12. Plasticity in the Neonatal Brain following Hypoxic-Ischaemic Injury

    PubMed Central

    Rocha-Ferreira, Eridan

    2016-01-01

    Hypoxic-ischaemic damage to the developing brain is a leading cause of child death, with high mortality and morbidity, including cerebral palsy, epilepsy, and cognitive disabilities. The developmental stage of the brain and the severity of the insult influence the selective regional vulnerability and the subsequent clinical manifestations. The increased susceptibility to hypoxia-ischaemia (HI) of periventricular white matter in preterm infants predisposes the immature brain to motor, cognitive, and sensory deficits, with cognitive impairment associated with earlier gestational age. In term infants HI causes selective damage to sensorimotor cortex, basal ganglia, thalamus, and brain stem. Even though the immature brain is more malleable to external stimuli compared to the adult one, a hypoxic-ischaemic event to the neonate interrupts the shaping of central motor pathways and can affect normal developmental plasticity through altering neurotransmission, changes in cellular signalling, neural connectivity and function, wrong targeted innervation, and interruption of developmental apoptosis. Models of neonatal HI demonstrate three morphologically different types of cell death, that is, apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy, which crosstalk and can exist as a continuum in the same cell. In the present review we discuss the mechanisms of HI injury to the immature brain and the way they affect plasticity. PMID:27047695

  13. Blockade of Astrocytic Calcineurin/NFAT Signaling Helps to Normalize Hippocampal Synaptic Function and Plasticity in a Rat Model of Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Furman, Jennifer L.; Sompol, Pradoldej; Kraner, Susan D.; Pleiss, Melanie M.; Putman, Esther J.; Dunkerson, Jacob; Mohmmad Abdul, Hafiz; Roberts, Kelly N.; Scheff, Stephen W.

    2016-01-01

    -dependent activation of the transcription factor NFAT (Nuclear Factor of Activated T cells) selectively, we have shown that activated astrocytes contribute to neural dysfunction in animal models characterized by progressive/chronic neuropathology. Here, we show that the suppression of astrocytic calcineurin/NFATs helps to protect synaptic function and plasticity in an animal model in which pathology arises from a single traumatic brain injury. The findings suggest that at least some astrocyte functions impair recovery after trauma and may provide druggable targets for treating victims of acute nervous system injury. PMID:26843634

  14. Plastic brains and the dialectics of dialectics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan

    2014-09-01

    This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist self-determination in a way that embraces science but non-reductively, and which leads to the possibility of challenging theoretical rigidity as a form of transformative action. Secondly, this response article provides political analysis of scientific concepts as they reproduce and reinforce particular interests and are expropriated by policy makers and unaware teacher educators whose understanding lies within a technical-instrumentalism and diluted humanism framework. Both arguments feature the human brain as an object of research in science education. From Malabou, the emancipatory conceptualisation of the brain as material, historical and sociocultural; whilst `Brain Gym' exemplifies a non-science and nonsensical misappropriation of scientific concepts for commercial gain via a para-educational intervention.

  15. Age, Plasticity, and Homeostasis In Childhood Brain Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen; Spiegler, Brenda J.; Juranek, Jenifer J.; Bigler, Erin D.; Snead, O. Carter; Fletcher, Jack M.

    2013-01-01

    It has been widely accepted that the younger the age and/or immaturity of the organism, the greater the brain plasticity, the young age plasticity privilege. This paper examines the relation of a young age to plasticity, reviewing human pediatric brain disorders, as well as selected animal models, human developmental and adult brain disorder studies. As well, we review developmental and childhood acquired disorders that involve a failure of regulatory homeostasis. Our core arguments are: Plasticity is neutral with respect to outcome. Although the effects of plasticity are often beneficial, the outcome of plasticity may be adaptive or maladaptive.The young age plasticity privilege has been overstated.Plastic change operates in concert with homeostatic mechanisms regulating change at every point in the lifespan.The same mechanisms that propel developmental change expose the immature brain to adverse events, making it more difficult for the immature than for the mature brain to sustain equilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis.Poor outcome in many neurodevelopmental disorders and childhood acquired brain insults is related to disequilibrium between plasticity and homeostasis. PMID:24096190

  16. Plasticity of Nonneuronal Brain Tissue: Roles in Developmental Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dong, Willie K.; Greenough, William T.

    2004-01-01

    Neuronal and nonneuronal plasticity are both affected by environmental and experiential factors. Remodeling of existing neurons induced by such factors has been observed throughout the brain, and includes alterations in dendritic field dimensions, synaptogenesis, and synaptic morphology. The brain loci affected by these plastic neuronal changes…

  17. Plasticity in the Developing Brain: Implications for Rehabilitation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnston, Michael V.

    2009-01-01

    Neuronal plasticity allows the central nervous system to learn skills and remember information, to reorganize neuronal networks in response to environmental stimulation, and to recover from brain and spinal cord injuries. Neuronal plasticity is enhanced in the developing brain and it is usually adaptive and beneficial but can also be maladaptive…

  18. Factors Influencing Cerebral Plasticity in the Normal and Injured Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kolb, Bryan; Teskey, G. Campbell; Gibb, Robbin

    2010-01-01

    An important development in behavioral neuroscience in the past 20 years has been the demonstration that it is possible to stimulate functional recovery after cerebral injury in laboratory animals. Rodent models of cerebral injury provide an important tool for developing such rehabilitation programs. The models include analysis at different levels including detailed behavioral paradigms, electrophysiology, neuronal morphology, protein chemistry, and epigenetics. A significant challenge for the next 20 years will be the translation of this work to improve the outcome from brain injury and disease in humans. Our goal in the article will be to synthesize the multidisciplinary laboratory work on brain plasticity and behavior in the injured brain to inform the development of rehabilitation programs. PMID:21120136

  19. Brain foods: the effects of nutrients on brain function

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

    It has long been suspected that the relative abundance of specific nutrients can affect cognitive processes and emotions. Newly described influences of dietary factors on neuronal function and synaptic plasticity have revealed some of the vital mechanisms that are responsible for the action of diet on brain health and mental function. Several gut hormones that can enter the brain, or that are produced in the brain itself, influence cognitive ability. In addition, well-established regulators of synaptic plasticity, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor, can function as metabolic modulators, responding to peripheral signals such as food intake. Understanding the molecular basis of the effects of food on cognition will help us to determine how best to manipulate diet in order to increase the resistance of neurons to insults and promote mental fitness. PMID:18568016

  20. Modulating Hippocampal Plasticity with In Vivo Brain Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Carhuatanta, Kim A.; McInturf, Shawn M.; Miklasevich, Molly K.; Jankord, Ryan

    2015-01-01

    Investigations into the use of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) in relieving symptoms of neurological disorders and enhancing cognitive or motor performance have exhibited promising results. However, the mechanisms by which tDCS effects brain function remain under scrutiny. We have demonstrated that in vivo tDCS in rats produced a lasting effect on hippocampal synaptic plasticity, as measured using extracellular recordings. Ex vivo preparations of hippocampal slices from rats that have been subjected to tDCS of 0.10 or 0.25 mA for 30 min followed by 30 min of recovery time displayed a robust twofold enhancement in long-term potentiation (LTP) induction accompanied by a 30% increase in paired-pulse facilitation (PPF). The magnitude of the LTP effect was greater with 0.25 mA compared with 0.10 mA stimulations, suggesting a dose-dependent relationship between tDCS intensity and its effect on synaptic plasticity. To test the persistence of these observed effects, animals were stimulated in vivo for 30 min at 0.25 mA and then allowed to return to their home cage for 24 h. Observation of the enhanced LTP induction, but not the enhanced PPF, continued 24 h after completion of 0.25 mA of tDCS. Addition of the NMDA blocker AP-5 abolished LTP in both control and stimulated rats but maintained the PPF enhancement in stimulated rats. The observation of enhanced LTP and PPF after tDCS demonstrates that non-invasive electrical stimulation is capable of modifying synaptic plasticity. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Researchers have used brain stimulation such as transcranial direct current stimulation on human subjects to alleviate symptoms of neurological disorders and enhance their performance. Here, using rats, we have investigated the potential mechanisms of how in vivo brain stimulation can produce such effect. We recorded directly on viable brain slices from rats after brain stimulation to detect lasting changes in pattern of neuronal activity. Our results showed that

  1. Structure, function, and plasticity of GABA transporters

    PubMed Central

    Scimemi, Annalisa

    2014-01-01

    GABA transporters belong to a large family of neurotransmitter:sodium symporters. They are widely expressed throughout the brain, with different levels of expression in different brain regions. GABA transporters are present in neurons and in astrocytes and their activity is crucial to regulate the extracellular concentration of GABA under basal conditions and during ongoing synaptic events. Numerous efforts have been devoted to determine the structural and functional properties of GABA transporters. There is also evidence that the expression of GABA transporters on the cell membrane and their lateral mobility can be modulated by different intracellular signaling cascades. The strength of individual synaptic contacts and the activity of entire neuronal networks may be finely tuned by altering the density, distribution and diffusion rate of GABA transporters within the cell membrane. These findings are intriguing because they suggest the existence of complex regulatory systems that control the plasticity of GABAergic transmission in the brain. Here we review the current knowledge on the structural and functional properties of GABA transporters and highlight the molecular mechanisms that alter the expression and mobility of GABA transporters at central synapses. PMID:24987330

  2. Dynamic DNA methylation in the brain: a new epigenetic mark for experience-dependent plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Tognini, Paola; Napoli, Debora; Pizzorusso, Tommaso

    2015-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is the ability of brain circuits to undergo molecular, structural and functional changes as a function of neural activity. Neural activity continuously shapes our brain during all the stages of our life, from infancy through adulthood and beyond. Epigenetic modifications of histone proteins and DNA seem to be a leading molecular mechanism to modulate the transcriptional changes underlying the fine-tuning of synaptic connections and circuitry rewiring during activity-dependent plasticity. The recent discovery that cytosine methylation is an epigenetic mark particularly dynamic in brain cells has strongly increased the interest of neuroscientists in understanding the role of covalent modifications of DNA in activity-induced remodeling of neuronal circuits. Here, we provide an overview of the role of DNA methylation and hydroxylmethylation in brain plasticity both during adulthood, with emphasis on learning and memory related processes, and during postnatal development, focusing specifically on experience-dependent plasticity in the visual cortex. PMID:26379502

  3. Plasticity of the Maternal Brain Across the Lifespan.

    PubMed

    Champagne, Frances A; Curley, James P

    2016-09-01

    Maternal behavior is dynamic and highly sensitive to experiential and contextual factors. In this review, this plasticity will be explored, with a focus on how experiences of females occurring from the time of fetal development through to adulthood impact maternal behavior and the maternal brain. Variation in postpartum maternal behavior is dependent on estrogen sensitivity within the medial preoptic area of the hypothalamus and activation within mesolimbic dopamine neurons. This review will discuss how experiences across the lifespan alter the function of these systems and the multigenerational consequences of these neuroendocrine and behavioral changes. These studies, based primarily on the examination of maternal behavior in laboratory rodents and nonhuman primates, provide mechanistic insights relevant to our understanding of human maternal behavior and to the mechanisms of lifelong plasticity. PMID:27589495

  4. Forthergillian Lecture. Imaging human brain function.

    PubMed

    Frackowiak, R S

    The non-invasive brain scanning techniques introduced a quarter of a century ago have become crucial for diagnosis in clinical neurology. They have also been used to investigate brain function and have provided information about normal activity and pathogenesis. They have been used to investigate functional specialization in the brain and how specialized areas communicate to generate complex integrated functions such as speech, memory, the emotions and so on. The phenomenon of brain plasticity is poorly understood and yet clinical neurologists are aware, from everyday observations, that spontaneous recovery from brain lesions is common. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of recovery may generate new therapeutic strategies and indicate ways of modulating mechanisms that promote plastic compensation for loss of function. The main methods used to investigate these issues are positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (M.R.I.). M.R.I. is also used to map brain structure. The techniques of functional brain mapping and computational morphometrics depend on high performance scanners and a validated set of analytic statistical procedures that generate reproducible data and meaningful inferences from brain scanning data. The motor system presents a good paradigm to illustrate advances made by scanning towards an understanding of plasticity at the level of brain areas. The normal motor system is organized in a nested hierarchy. Recovery from paralysis caused by internal capsule strokes involves functional reorganization manifesting itself as changed patterns of activity in the component brain areas of the normal motor system. The pattern of plastic modification depends in part on patterns of residual or disturbed connectivity after brain injury. Therapeutic manipulations in patients with Parkinson's disease using deep brain stimulation, dopaminergic agents or fetal mesencephalic transplantation provide a means to examine mechanisms underpinning

  5. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness.

    PubMed

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented "visual" cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here. PMID:27625596

  6. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness

    PubMed Central

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A.; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented “visual” cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here. PMID:27625596

  7. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness

    PubMed Central

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A.; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented “visual” cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here.

  8. Cortical Plasticity and Olfactory Function in Early Blindness.

    PubMed

    Araneda, Rodrigo; Renier, Laurent A; Rombaux, Philippe; Cuevas, Isabel; De Volder, Anne G

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decade, functional brain imaging has provided insight to the maturation processes and has helped elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in brain plasticity in the absence of vision. In case of congenital blindness, drastic changes occur within the deafferented "visual" cortex that starts receiving and processing non visual inputs, including olfactory stimuli. This functional reorganization of the occipital cortex gives rise to compensatory perceptual and cognitive mechanisms that help blind persons achieve perceptual tasks, leading to superior olfactory abilities in these subjects. This view receives support from psychophysical testing, volumetric measurements and functional brain imaging studies in humans, which are presented here.

  9. Neural Plasticity and Neurorehabilitation: Teaching the New Brain Old Tricks

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.

    2011-01-01

    Following brain injury or disease there are widespread biochemical, anatomical and physiological changes that result in what might be considered a new, very different brain. This adapted brain is forced to reacquire behaviors lost as a result of the injury or disease and relies on neural plasticity within the residual neural circuits. The same…

  10. Measuring and Inducing Brain Plasticity in Chronic Aphasia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius

    2011-01-01

    Brain plasticity associated with anomia recovery in aphasia is poorly understood. Here, I review four recent studies from my lab that focused on brain modulation associated with long-term anomia outcome, its behavioral treatment, and the use of transcranial brain stimulation to enhance anomia treatment success in individuals with chronic aphasia…

  11. Brain plasticity in Diptera and Hymenoptera

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Claudia; Meinertzhagen, Ian A.

    2010-01-01

    To mediate different types of behaviour, nervous systems must coordinate the proper operation of their neural circuits as well as short- and long-term alterations that occur within those circuits. The latter ultimately devolve upon specific changes in neuronal structures, membrane properties and synaptic connections that are all examples of plasticity. This reorganization of the adult nervous system is shaped by internal and external influences both during development and adult maturation. In adults, behavioural experience is a major driving force of neuronal plasticity studied particularly in sensory systems. The range of adaptation depends on features that are important to a particular species, so that learning is essential for foraging in honeybees, while regenerative capacities are important in hemimetabolous insects with long appendages. Experience is usually effective during a critical period in early adult life, when neural function becomes tuned to future conditions in an insect's life. Changes occur at all levels, in synaptic circuits, neuropile volumes, and behaviour. There are many examples, and this review incorporates only a select few, mainly those from Diptera and Hymenoptera. PMID:20036946

  12. Computational anatomy for studying use-dependant brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Draganski, Bogdan; Kherif, Ferath; Lutti, Antoine

    2014-01-01

    In this article we provide a comprehensive literature review on the in vivo assessment of use-dependant brain structure changes in humans using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computational anatomy. We highlight the recent findings in this field that allow the uncovering of the basic principles behind brain plasticity in light of the existing theoretical models at various scales of observation. Given the current lack of in-depth understanding of the neurobiological basis of brain structure changes we emphasize the necessity of a paradigm shift in the investigation and interpretation of use-dependent brain plasticity. Novel quantitative MRI acquisition techniques provide access to brain tissue microstructural properties (e.g., myelin, iron, and water content) in-vivo, thereby allowing unprecedented specific insights into the mechanisms underlying brain plasticity. These quantitative MRI techniques require novel methods for image processing and analysis of longitudinal data allowing for straightforward interpretation and causality inferences. PMID:25018716

  13. Plasticity of renal endocrine function.

    PubMed

    Kurt, Birgül; Kurtz, Armin

    2015-03-15

    The kidneys are important endocrine organs. They secrete humoral factors, such as calcitriol, erythropoietin, klotho, and renin into the circulation, and therefore, they are essentially involved in the regulation of a variety of processes ranging from bone formation to erythropoiesis. The endocrine functions are established by cells, such as proximal or distal tubular cells, renocortical interstitial cells, or mural cells of afferent arterioles. These endocrine cells are either fixed in number, such as tubular cells, which individually and gradually upregulate or downregulate hormone production, or they belong to a pool of cells, which display a recruitment behavior, such as erythropoietin- and renin-producing cells. In the latter case, regulation of humoral function occurs via (de)recruitment of active endocrine cells. As a consequence renin- and erythropoietin-producing cells in the kidney show a high degree of plasticity by reversibly switching between distinct cell states. In this review, we will focus on the characteristics of renin- and of erythropoietin-producing cells, especially on their origin and localization, their reversible transformations, and the mediators, which are responsible for transformation. Finally, we will discuss a possible interconversion of renin and erythropoietin expression. PMID:25608752

  14. The effect of inflammation and its reduction on brain plasticity in multiple sclerosis: MRI evidence

    PubMed Central

    d'Ambrosio, Alessandro; Petsas, Nikolaos; Wise, Richard G.; Sbardella, Emilia; Allen, Marek; Tona, Francesca; Fanelli, Fulvia; Foster, Catherine; Carnì, Marco; Gallo, Antonio; Pantano, Patrizia; Pozzilli, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Brain plasticity is the basis for systems‐level functional reorganization that promotes recovery in multiple sclerosis (MS). As inflammation interferes with plasticity, its pharmacological modulation may restore plasticity by promoting desired patterns of functional reorganization. Here, we tested the hypothesis that brain plasticity probed by a visuomotor adaptation task is impaired with MS inflammation and that pharmacological reduction of inflammation facilitates its restoration. MS patients were assessed twice before (sessions 1 and 2) and once after (session 3) the beginning of Interferon beta (IFN beta), using behavioural and structural MRI measures. During each session, 2 functional MRI runs of a visuomotor task, separated by 25‐minutes of task practice, were performed. Within‐session between‐run change in task‐related functional signal was our imaging marker of plasticity. During session 1, patients were compared with healthy controls. Comparison of patients' sessions 2 and 3 tested the effect of reduced inflammation on our imaging marker of plasticity. The proportion of patients with gadolinium‐enhancing lesions reduced significantly during IFN beta. In session 1, patients demonstrated a greater between‐run difference in functional MRI activity of secondary visual areas and cerebellum than controls. This abnormally large practice‐induced signal change in visual areas, and in functionally connected posterior parietal and motor cortices, was reduced in patients in session 3 compared with 2. Our results suggest that MS inflammation alters short‐term plasticity underlying motor practice. Reduction of inflammation with IFN beta is associated with a restoration of this plasticity, suggesting that modulation of inflammation may enhance recovery‐oriented strategies that rely on patients' brain plasticity. Hum Brain Mapp 37:2431–2445, 2016. © 2016 The Authors Human Brain Mapping Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26991559

  15. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  16. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states.

    PubMed

    Liu, Kang K L; Bartsch, Ronny P; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N; Ivanov, Plamen Ch

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  17. Plasticity of brain wave network interactions and evolution across physiologic states

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Kang K. L.; Bartsch, Ronny P.; Lin, Aijing; Mantegna, Rosario N.; Ivanov, Plamen Ch.

    2015-01-01

    Neural plasticity transcends a range of spatio-temporal scales and serves as the basis of various brain activities and physiologic functions. At the microscopic level, it enables the emergence of brain waves with complex temporal dynamics. At the macroscopic level, presence and dominance of specific brain waves is associated with important brain functions. The role of neural plasticity at different levels in generating distinct brain rhythms and how brain rhythms communicate with each other across brain areas to generate physiologic states and functions remains not understood. Here we perform an empirical exploration of neural plasticity at the level of brain wave network interactions representing dynamical communications within and between different brain areas in the frequency domain. We introduce the concept of time delay stability (TDS) to quantify coordinated bursts in the activity of brain waves, and we employ a system-wide Network Physiology integrative approach to probe the network of coordinated brain wave activations and its evolution across physiologic states. We find an association between network structure and physiologic states. We uncover a hierarchical reorganization in the brain wave networks in response to changes in physiologic state, indicating new aspects of neural plasticity at the integrated level. Globally, we find that the entire brain network undergoes a pronounced transition from low connectivity in Deep Sleep and REM to high connectivity in Light Sleep and Wake. In contrast, we find that locally, different brain areas exhibit different network dynamics of brain wave interactions to achieve differentiation in function during different sleep stages. Moreover, our analyses indicate that plasticity also emerges in frequency-specific networks, which represent interactions across brain locations mediated through a specific frequency band. Comparing frequency-specific networks within the same physiologic state we find very different degree of

  18. Split My Brain: A Case Study of Seizure Disorder and Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

    This case involves a couple deciding whether or not their son should undergo brain surgery to treat a severe seizure disorder. In examining this dilemma, students apply knowledge of brain anatomy and function. They also learn about brain scanning techniques and discuss the plasticity of the brain.

  19. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Erdman, John W.; Smith, Joshua W.; Kuchan, Matthew J.; Mohn, Emily S.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Rubakhin, Stanislav S.; Wang, Lin; Sweedler, Jonathan V.; Neuringer, Martha

    2015-01-01

    Lutein is one of the most prevalent carotenoids in nature and in the human diet. Together with zeaxanthin, it is highly concentrated as macular pigment in the foveal retina of primates, attenuating blue light exposure, providing protection from photo-oxidation and enhancing visual performance. Recently, interest in lutein has expanded beyond the retina to its possible contributions to brain development and function. Only primates accumulate lutein within the brain, but little is known about its distribution or physiological role. Our team has begun to utilize the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) model to study the uptake and bio-localization of lutein in the brain. Our overall goal has been to assess the association of lutein localization with brain function. In this review, we will first cover the evolution of the non-human primate model for lutein and brain studies, discuss prior association studies of lutein with retina and brain function, and review approaches that can be used to localize brain lutein. We also describe our approach to the biosynthesis of 13C-lutein, which will allow investigation of lutein flux, localization, metabolism and pharmacokinetics. Lastly, we describe potential future research opportunities. PMID:26566524

  20. Neural Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis: The Functional and Molecular Background

    PubMed Central

    Ksiazek-Winiarek, Dominika Justyna; Szpakowski, Piotr; Glabinski, Andrzej

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune neurodegenerative disorder resulting in motor dysfunction and cognitive decline. The inflammatory and neurodegenerative changes seen in the brains of MS patients lead to progressive disability and increasing brain atrophy. The most common type of MS is characterized by episodes of clinical exacerbations and remissions. This suggests the presence of compensating mechanisms for accumulating damage. Apart from the widely known repair mechanisms like remyelination, another important phenomenon is neuronal plasticity. Initially, neuroplasticity was connected with the developmental stages of life; however, there is now growing evidence confirming that structural and functional reorganization occurs throughout our lifetime. Several functional studies, utilizing such techniques as fMRI, TBS, or MRS, have provided valuable data about the presence of neuronal plasticity in MS patients. CNS ability to compensate for neuronal damage is most evident in RR-MS; however it has been shown that brain plasticity is also preserved in patients with substantial brain damage. Regardless of the numerous studies, the molecular background of neuronal plasticity in MS is still not well understood. Several factors, like IL-1β, BDNF, PDGF, or CB1Rs, have been implicated in functional recovery from the acute phase of MS and are thus considered as potential therapeutic targets. PMID:26229689

  1. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L.; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  2. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  3. A Plastic Temporal Brain Code for Conscious State Generation

    PubMed Central

    Dresp-Langley, Birgitta; Durup, Jean

    2009-01-01

    Consciousness is known to be limited in processing capacity and often described in terms of a unique processing stream across a single dimension: time. In this paper, we discuss a purely temporal pattern code, functionally decoupled from spatial signals, for conscious state generation in the brain. Arguments in favour of such a code include Dehaene et al.'s long-distance reverberation postulate, Ramachandran's remapping hypothesis, evidence for a temporal coherence index and coincidence detectors, and Grossberg's Adaptive Resonance Theory. A time-bin resonance model is developed, where temporal signatures of conscious states are generated on the basis of signal reverberation across large distances in highly plastic neural circuits. The temporal signatures are delivered by neural activity patterns which, beyond a certain statistical threshold, activate, maintain, and terminate a conscious brain state like a bar code would activate, maintain, or inactivate the electronic locks of a safe. Such temporal resonance would reflect a higher level of neural processing, independent from sensorial or perceptual brain mechanisms. PMID:19644552

  4. Cajal and brain plasticity: insights relevant to emerging concepts of mind.

    PubMed

    Azmitia, Efrain C

    2007-10-01

    The main legacies of Cajal are his drawings of brain structure and their connections, and his ideas of brain plasticity, not only in the mature brain but also during development and after brain injury. As the 21st century begins, many scientists are asking an old question: "how does the brain express the mind?" Although most models of mind incorporate the brain connections produced by Cajal, his ideas of plasticity are largely ignored. The purpose of this chapter is to review how some of Cajal's ideas can be useful in understanding the expression of the mind. I have also introduced several concepts and facts not available during Cajal's life. I cover the concept of homeostasis, the global projections of the monoamine neurons, and the actions of "mind-expanding" drugs. The global projecting neurons, because their monoamine transmitters have such a long history, are considered 1st order systems. The point-to-point connections are considered 2nd order systems. Their importance in theories of functional localization studies is briefly reviewed. Finally, a new model is presented called "Plastic Homeostasis," which incorporates the plastic interactions between 1st and 2nd order neurons. It is hoped that this review will encourage others to study the ideas presented by Cajal when considering functions of the brain. The emerging models of the mind would be well served by a review of the theoretical writing of Cajal.

  5. Neurophysiological markers of plastic brain reorganization following central and peripheral lesions.

    PubMed

    Ferreri, Florinda; Guerra, Andrea; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2014-12-01

    There is increasing evidence supporting the concept that adult brain has the remarkable ability to plastically reorganize itself. Brain plasticity involves distinct functional and structural components and plays a crucial role in reorganizing central nervous system's networks after central and peripheral lesions in order to partly or totally restore lost and/or compromised functions. This plastic rearrangement occurs in fact not only after a central nervous system injury but also following a peripheral lesion. Interestingly, the existence of a certain type of maladaptive plasticity was clearly recognized in the last decade, which gives reason for example to poor out- come performances or aberrant phenomena. In this review we analyze stroke and amputees studies, as illustrative conditions of central and peripheral nervous system damage, and discuss the adaptive as well maladaptive plastic brain changes following these lesions. The emerging possibility, through neuro-imaging and neurophysiological advanced techniques, to clarify some crucial issues underlying brain plasticity will give the chance to modulate these mechanisms in a highly personalized therapy. This approach may have a tremendous impact in a variety of neuropsychiatric disorders opening a new era of restorative medicine. PMID:25987182

  6. Spatiotemporal Computations of an Excitable and Plastic Brain: Neuronal Plasticity Leads to Noise-Robust and Noise-Constructive Computations

    PubMed Central

    Toutounji, Hazem; Pipa, Gordon

    2014-01-01

    It is a long-established fact that neuronal plasticity occupies the central role in generating neural function and computation. Nevertheless, no unifying account exists of how neurons in a recurrent cortical network learn to compute on temporally and spatially extended stimuli. However, these stimuli constitute the norm, rather than the exception, of the brain's input. Here, we introduce a geometric theory of learning spatiotemporal computations through neuronal plasticity. To that end, we rigorously formulate the problem of neural representations as a relation in space between stimulus-induced neural activity and the asymptotic dynamics of excitable cortical networks. Backed up by computer simulations and numerical analysis, we show that two canonical and widely spread forms of neuronal plasticity, that is, spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity and intrinsic plasticity, are both necessary for creating neural representations, such that these computations become realizable. Interestingly, the effects of these forms of plasticity on the emerging neural code relate to properties necessary for both combating and utilizing noise. The neural dynamics also exhibits features of the most likely stimulus in the network's spontaneous activity. These properties of the spatiotemporal neural code resulting from plasticity, having their grounding in nature, further consolidate the biological relevance of our findings. PMID:24651447

  7. Plastic Brains and the Dialectics of Dialectics

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Loxley, Andrew; Murphy, Colette; Seery, Aidan

    2014-01-01

    This article advances the thinking of Lima, Ostermann and Rezende's "Marxism in Vygotskian approaches to cultural studies of science education" and Mark Zuss' response to their paper. Firstly, it introduces Catherine Malabou's concept of plasticity, from which Hegel's dialectic can be re-read as historical materialist…

  8. Effects of Diet on Brain Plasticity in Animal and Human Studies: Mind the Gap

    PubMed Central

    Dias, Gisele Pereira

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease—with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924

  9. Effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal and human studies: mind the gap.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Tytus; Dias, Gisele Pereira; Thuret, Sandrine

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease-with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function. PMID:24900924

  10. Effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal and human studies: mind the gap.

    PubMed

    Murphy, Tytus; Dias, Gisele Pereira; Thuret, Sandrine

    2014-01-01

    Dietary interventions have emerged as effective environmental inducers of brain plasticity. Among these dietary interventions, we here highlight the impact of caloric restriction (CR: a consistent reduction of total daily food intake), intermittent fasting (IF, every-other-day feeding), and diet supplementation with polyphenols and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on markers of brain plasticity in animal studies. Moreover, we also discuss epidemiological and intervention studies reporting the effects of CR, IF and dietary polyphenols and PUFAs on learning, memory, and mood. In particular, we evaluate the gap in mechanistic understanding between recent findings from animal studies and those human studies reporting that these dietary factors can benefit cognition, mood, and anxiety, aging, and Alzheimer's disease-with focus on the enhancement of structural and functional plasticity markers in the hippocampus, such as increased expression of neurotrophic factors, synaptic function and adult neurogenesis. Lastly, we discuss some of the obstacles to harnessing the promising effects of diet on brain plasticity in animal studies into effective recommendations and interventions to promote healthy brain function in humans. Together, these data reinforce the important translational concept that diet, a modifiable lifestyle factor, holds the ability to modulate brain health and function.

  11. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

    Executive Summary Objective The objective of this analysis is to review a spectrum of functional brain imaging technologies to identify whether there are any imaging modalities that are more effective than others for various brain pathology conditions. This evidence-based analysis reviews magnetoencephalography (MEG), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), positron emission tomography (PET), and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) for the diagnosis or surgical management of the following conditions: Alzheimer’s disease (AD), brain tumours, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis (MS), and Parkinson’s disease (PD). Clinical Need: Target Population and Condition Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive, degenerative, neurologic condition characterized by cognitive impairment and memory loss. The Canadian Study on Health and Aging estimated that there will be 97,000 incident cases (about 60,000 women) of dementia (including AD) in Canada in 2006. In Ontario, there will be an estimated 950 new cases and 580 deaths due to brain cancer in 2006. Treatments for brain tumours include surgery and radiation therapy. However, one of the limitations of radiation therapy is that it damages tissue though necrosis and scarring. Computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may not distinguish between radiation effects and resistant tissue, creating a potential role for functional brain imaging. Epilepsy is a chronic disorder that provokes repetitive seizures. In Ontario, the rate of epilepsy is estimated to be 5 cases per 1,000 people. Most people with epilepsy are effectively managed with drug therapy; but about 50% do not respond to drug therapy. Surgical resection of the seizure foci may be considered in these patients, and functional brain imaging may play a role in localizing the seizure foci. Multiple sclerosis is a progressive, inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS). The cause of MS is unknown; however, it is thought to be

  12. High-fat diet transition reduces brain DHA levels associated with altered brain plasticity and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Sandeep; Zhuang, Yumei; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2012-01-01

    To assess how the shift from a healthy diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids to a diet rich in saturated fatty acid affects the substrates for brain plasticity and function, we used pregnant rats fed with omega-3 supplemented diet from their 2nd day of gestation period as well as their male pups for 12 weeks. Afterwards, the animals were randomly assigned to either a group fed on the same diet or a group fed on a high-fat diet (HFD) rich in saturated fats for 3 weeks. We found that the HFD increased vulnerability for anxiety-like behavior, and that these modifications harmonized with changes in the anxiety-related NPY1 receptor and the reduced levels of BDNF, and its signalling receptor pTrkB, as well as the CREB protein. Brain DHA contents were significantly associated with the levels of anxiety-like behavior in these rats. PMID:22666534

  13. Rapid eye movement sleep promotes cortical plasticity in the developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Dumoulin Bridi, Michelle C.; Aton, Sara J.; Seibt, Julie; Renouard, Leslie; Coleman, Tammi; Frank, Marcos G.

    2015-01-01

    Rapid eye movement sleep is maximal during early life, but its function in the developing brain is unknown. We investigated the role of rapid eye movement sleep in a canonical model of developmental plasticity in vivo (ocular dominance plasticity in the cat) induced by monocular deprivation. Preventing rapid eye movement sleep after monocular deprivation reduced ocular dominance plasticity and inhibited activation of a kinase critical for this plasticity (extracellular signal–regulated kinase). Chronic single-neuron recording in freely behaving cats further revealed that cortical activity during rapid eye movement sleep resembled activity present during monocular deprivation. This corresponded to times of maximal extracellular signal–regulated kinase activation. These findings indicate that rapid eye movement sleep promotes molecular and network adaptations that consolidate waking experience in the developing brain. PMID:26601213

  14. Brain-machine interfaces can accelerate clarification of the principal mysteries and real plasticity of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Sakurai, Yoshio

    2014-01-01

    This perspective emphasizes that the brain-machine interface (BMI) research has the potential to clarify major mysteries of the brain and that such clarification of the mysteries by neuroscience is needed to develop BMIs. I enumerate five principal mysteries. The first is “how is information encoded in the brain?” This is the fundamental question for understanding what our minds are and is related to the verification of Hebb’s cell assembly theory. The second is “how is information distributed in the brain?” This is also a reconsideration of the functional localization of the brain. The third is “what is the function of the ongoing activity of the brain?” This is the problem of how the brain is active during no-task periods and what meaning such spontaneous activity has. The fourth is “how does the bodily behavior affect the brain function?” This is the problem of brain-body interaction, and obtaining a new “body” by a BMI leads to a possibility of changes in the owner’s brain. The last is “to what extent can the brain induce plasticity?” Most BMIs require changes in the brain’s neuronal activity to realize higher performance, and the neuronal operant conditioning inherent in the BMIs further enhances changes in the activity. PMID:24904323

  15. Neural Functions of Matrix Metalloproteinases: Plasticity, Neurogenesis, and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Fujioka, Hiromi; Dairyo, Yusuke; Yasunaga, Kei-ichiro; Emoto, Kazuo

    2012-01-01

    The brain changes in response to experience and altered environment. To do that, the nervous system often remodels the structures of neuronal circuits. This structural plasticity of the neuronal circuits appears to be controlled not only by intrinsic factors, but also by extrinsic mechanisms including modification of the extracellular matrix. Recent studies employing a range of animal models implicate that matrix metalloproteinases regulate multiple aspects of the neuronal development and remodeling in the brain. This paper aims to summarize recent advances of our knowledge on the neuronal functions of matrix metalloproteinases and discuss how they might relate in neuronal disease. PMID:22567285

  16. Musical Training Induces Functional Plasticity in Human Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Esposito, Fabrizio; di Salle, Francesco; Boller, Christian; Hilti, Caroline C.; Habermeyer, Benedikt; Scheffler, Klaus; Wetzel, Stephan; Seifritz, Erich; Cattapan-Ludewig, Katja

    2010-01-01

    Training can change the functional and structural organization of the brain, and animal models demonstrate that the hippocampus formation is particularly susceptible to training-related neuroplasticity. In humans, however, direct evidence for functional plasticity of the adult hippocampus induced by training is still missing. Here, we used musicians' brains as a model to test for plastic capabilities of the adult human hippocampus. By using functional magnetic resonance imaging optimized for the investigation of auditory processing, we examined brain responses induced by temporal novelty in otherwise isochronous sound patterns in musicians and musical laypersons, since the hippocampus has been suggested previously to be crucially involved in various forms of novelty detection. In the first cross-sectional experiment, we identified enhanced neural responses to temporal novelty in the anterior left hippocampus of professional musicians, pointing to expertise-related differences in hippocampal processing. In the second experiment, we evaluated neural responses to acoustic temporal novelty in a longitudinal approach to disentangle training-related changes from predispositional factors. For this purpose, we examined an independent sample of music academy students before and after two semesters of intensive aural skills training. After this training period, hippocampal responses to temporal novelty in sounds were enhanced in musical students, and statistical interaction analysis of brain activity changes over time suggests training rather than predisposition effects. Thus, our results provide direct evidence for functional changes of the adult hippocampus in humans related to musical training. PMID:20107063

  17. Central Role of Maladapted Astrocytic Plasticity in Ischemic Brain Edema Formation.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yu-Feng; Parpura, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the resulting reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas, associated with maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphological and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the subsequent glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K(+) and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the BBB. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the BBB, but also leads to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation. PMID:27242440

  18. Central Role of Maladapted Astrocytic Plasticity in Ischemic Brain Edema Formation

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yu-Feng; Parpura, Vladimir

    2016-01-01

    Brain edema formation and the ensuing brain damages are the major cause of high mortality and long term disability following the occurrence of ischemic stroke. In this process, oxygen and glucose deprivation and the resulting reperfusion injury play primary roles. In response to the ischemic insult, the neurovascular unit experiences both intracellular and extracellular edemas, associated with maladapted astrocytic plasticity. The astrocytic plasticity includes both morphological and functional plasticity. The former involves a reactive gliosis and the subsequent glial retraction. It relates to the capacity of astrocytes to buffer changes in extracellular chemical levels, particularly K+ and glutamate, as well as the integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB). The latter involves the expression and activity of a series of ion and water transport proteins. These molecules are grouped together around glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and water channel protein aquaporin 4 (AQP4) to form functional networks, regulate hydromineral balance across cell membranes and maintain the integrity of the BBB. Intense ischemic challenges can disrupt these capacities of astrocytes and result in their maladaptation. The maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke cannot only disrupt the hydromineral homeostasis across astrocyte membrane and the BBB, but also leads to disorders of the whole neurovascular unit. This review focuses on how the maladapted astrocytic plasticity in ischemic stroke plays the central role in the brain edema formation. PMID:27242440

  19. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

    Do neuronal oscillations play a causal role in brain function? In a study in this issue of PLOS Biology, Helfrich and colleagues address this long-standing question by attempting to drive brain oscillations using transcranial electrical current stimulation. Remarkably, they were able to manipulate visual perception by forcing brain oscillations of the left and right visual hemispheres into synchrony using oscillatory currents over both hemispheres. Under this condition, human observers more often perceived an inherently ambiguous visual stimulus in one of its perceptual instantiations. These findings shed light on the mechanisms underlying neuronal computation. They show that it is the neuronal oscillations that drive the visual experience, not the experience driving the oscillations. And they indicate that synchronized oscillatory activity groups brain areas into functional networks. This points to new ways for controlled experimental and possibly also clinical interventions for the study and modulation of brain oscillations and associated functions. PMID:25549340

  20. Plasticity of the Maternal Brain across the Lifespan

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Champagne, Frances A.; Curley, James P.

    2016-01-01

    Maternal behavior is dynamic and highly sensitive to experiential and contextual factors. In this review, this plasticity will be explored, with a focus on how experiences of females occurring from the time of fetal development through to adulthood impact maternal behavior and the maternal brain. Variation in postpartum maternal behavior is…

  1. Recovery of cognitive functions following nonprogressive brain injury.

    PubMed

    Wilson, B A

    1998-04-01

    It has recently become clear that the adult human brain is capable of more plasticity than previously thought. Investigations into the natural history of change following brain injury demonstrate that partial recovery of function can and does occur. Furthermore, there is increasing evidence that intervention through re-training or provision of compensatory memory aids can result in improved cognitive functioning.

  2. Effect of exosomes derived from multipluripotent mesenchymal stromal cells on functional recovery and neurovascular plasticity in rats after traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yanlu; Chopp, Michael; Meng, Yuling; Katakowski, Mark; Xin, Hongqi; Mahmood, Asim; Xiong, Ye

    2015-01-01

    Object Transplanted multipotent mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) improve functional recovery in rats after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Here, we test a novel hypothesis that systemic administration of cell-free exosomes generated from MSCs promotes functional recovery and neurovascular remodeling in rats after TBI. Methods Wistar rats were subjected to TBI followed by tail vein injection of 100 μg protein of exosomes derived from MSCs or an equal volume of vehicle phosphate-buffered saline (n = 8/group) 24 hours later. To evaluate cognitive and sensorimotor functional recovery, the modified Morris water maze, neurological severity score and footfault tests were performed. Animals were sacrificed at 35 days after TBI. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analyses were performed for measurements of lesion volume, neurovascular remodeling (angiogenesis and neurogenesis), and neuroinflammation. Results Compared with saline-treated controls, exosome-treated TBI rats showed significant improvement in spatial learning at 34-35 days measured by the Morris water maze test (p < 0.05), and sensorimotor functional recovery, i.e., reduced neurological deficits and footfault frequency, observed at 14-35 days post injury (p < 0.05). Exosome treatment significantly increased the number of newborn endothelial cells in the lesion boundary zone and dentate gyrus, and significantly increased the number of newborn immature and mature neurons in the dentate gyrus as well as reduced neuroinflammation. Conclusions We, for the first time, demonstrate that MSC-generated exosomes effectively improve functional recovery, at least in part, by promoting endogenous angiogenesis and neurogenesis and reducing inflammation in rats after TBI. Thus, MSC-generated exosomes may provide a novel cell-free therapy for TBI and possibly other neurological diseases. PMID:25594326

  3. Molecular kinesis in cellular function and plasticity.

    PubMed

    Tiedge, H; Bloom, F E; Richter, D

    2001-06-19

    Intracellular transport and localization of cellular components are essential for the functional organization and plasticity of eukaryotic cells. Although the elucidation of protein transport mechanisms has made impressive progress in recent years, intracellular transport of RNA remains less well understood. The National Academy of Sciences Colloquium on Molecular Kinesis in Cellular Function and Plasticity therefore was devised as an interdisciplinary platform for participants to discuss intracellular molecular transport from a variety of different perspectives. Topics covered at the meeting included RNA metabolism and transport, mechanisms of protein synthesis and localization, the formation of complex interactive protein ensembles, and the relevance of such mechanisms for activity-dependent regulation and synaptic plasticity in neurons. It was the overall objective of the colloquium to generate momentum and cohesion for the emerging research field of molecular kinesis.

  4. Does meditation enhance cognition and brain plasticity?

    PubMed

    Xiong, Glen L; Doraiswamy, P Murali

    2009-08-01

    Meditation practices have various health benefits including the possibility of preserving cognition and preventing dementia. While the mechanisms remain investigational, studies show that meditation may affect multiple pathways that could play a role in brain aging and mental fitness. For example, meditation may reduce stress-induced cortisol secretion and this could have neuroprotective effects potentially via elevating levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Meditation may also potentially have beneficial effects on lipid profiles and lower oxidative stress, both of which could in turn reduce the risk for cerebrovascular disease and age-related neurodegeneration. Further, meditation may potentially strengthen neuronal circuits and enhance cognitive reserve capacity. These are the theoretical bases for how meditation might enhance longevity and optimal health. Evidence to support a neuroprotective effect comes from cognitive, electroencephalogram (EEG), and structural neuroimaging studies. In one cross-sectional study, meditation practitioners were found to have a lower age-related decline in thickness of specific cortical regions. However, the enthusiasm must be balanced by the inconsistency and preliminary nature of existing studies as well as the fact that meditation comprises a heterogeneous group of practices. Key future challenges include the isolation of a potential common element in the different meditation modalities, replication of existing findings in larger randomized trials, determining the correct "dose," studying whether findings from expert practitioners are generalizable to a wider population, and better control of the confounding genetic, dietary and lifestyle influences.

  5. Plasticity of Hippocampal Excitatory-Inhibitory Balance: Missing the Synaptic Control in the Epileptic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bonansco, Christian; Fuenzalida, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the capacity generated by experience to modify the neural function and, thereby, adapt our behaviour. Long-term plasticity of glutamatergic and GABAergic transmission occurs in a concerted manner, finely adjusting the excitatory-inhibitory (E/I) balance. Imbalances of E/I function are related to several neurological diseases including epilepsy. Several evidences have demonstrated that astrocytes are able to control the synaptic plasticity, with astrocytes being active partners in synaptic physiology and E/I balance. Here, we revise molecular evidences showing the epileptic stage as an abnormal form of long-term brain plasticity and propose the possible participation of astrocytes to the abnormal increase of glutamatergic and decrease of GABAergic neurotransmission in epileptic networks. PMID:27006834

  6. Optimising plasticity: environmental and training associated factors in transplant-mediated brain repair.

    PubMed

    Döbrössy, Màtè Daniel; Dunnett, Stephen B

    2005-01-01

    With progressively ageing populations, degeneration of nerve cells of the brain, due to accident or disease, represents one of the major problems for health and welfare in the developed world. The molecular environment in the adult brain promotes stability limiting its ability to regenerate or to repair itself following injury. Cell transplantation aims to repair the nervous system by introducing new cells that can replace the function of the compromised or lost cells. Alternatives to primary embryonic tissue are actively being sought but this is at present the only source that has been shown reliably to survive grafting into the adult brain and spinal cord, connect with the host nervous system, and influence behaviour. Based on animal studies, several clinical trials have now shown that embryonic tissue grafts can partially alleviate symptoms in Parkinson's disease, and related strategies are under evaluation for Huntington's disease, spinal cord injury, stroke and other CNS disorders. The adult brain is at its most plastic in the period following injury, offering a window of opportunity for therapeutic intervention. Enriched environment, behavioural experience and grafting can each separately influence neuronal plasticity and recovery of function after brain damage, but the extent to which these factors interact is at present unknown. To improve the outcome following brain damage, transplantation must make use of the endogenous potential for plasticity of both the host and the graft and optimise the external circumstances associated with graft-mediated recovery. Our understanding of mechanisms of brain plasticity subsequent to brain damage needs to be associated with what we know about enhancing intrinsic recovery processes in order to improve neurobiological and surgical strategies for repair at the clinical level. With the proof of principle beginning to emerge from clinical trials, a rich area for innovative research with profound therapeutic application, even

  7. Aging, plasticity and environmental enrichment: structural changes and neurotransmitter dynamics in several areas of the brain.

    PubMed

    Mora, Francisco; Segovia, Gregorio; del Arco, Alberto

    2007-08-01

    Cajal was probably the first neurobiologist to suggest that plasticity of nerve cells almost completely disappeared during aging. However, we know today that neural plasticity is still present in the brain during aging. In this review we suggest that aging is a physiological process that occurs asynchronously in different areas of the brain and that the rate of that process is modulated by environmental factors and related to the neuronal-synaptic-molecular substrates of each area. We review here some of the most recent results on aging of the brain in relation to the plastic changes that occur in young and aged animals as a result of living in an enriched environment. We highlight the results from our own laboratory on the dynamics of neurotransmitters in different areas of the brain. Specifically we review first the effects of aging on neurons, dendrites, synapses, and also on molecular and functional plasticity. Second, the effects of environmental enrichment on the brain of young and aged animals. And third the effects of an enriched environment on the age-related changes in neurogenesis and in the extracellular concentrations of glutamate and GABA in hippocampus, and on dopamine, acetylcholine, glutamate and GABA under a situation of acute mild stress in the prefrontal cortex.

  8. Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity in the Adult Damaged Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kerr, Abigail L.; Cheng, Shao-Ying; Jones, Theresa A.

    2011-01-01

    Behavioral experience is at work modifying the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan, but it has a particularly dramatic influence after brain injury. This review summarizes recent findings on the role of experience in reorganizing the adult damaged brain, with a focus on findings from rodent stroke models of chronic upper…

  9. [FUNCTIONAL PLASTIC OF ANTERIOR ABDOMINAL WALL HERNIAS].

    PubMed

    Grubnik, V V; Parfentyeva, N D; Parfentyev, R S

    2015-07-01

    In order to improve the treatment efficacy of postoperative anterior abdominal wall hernias the method of plastic with restoration of anatomical and physiological properties of the muscles of the anterior abdominal wall was used. After the intervention by the improved method, regardless of the location of the hernia defect yielded promising results for the conservation of anterior abdominal wall muscle function in 75% of cases completely restored functional ability of muscles recti abdomini. PMID:26591212

  10. Exploring Cortical Plasticity and Oscillatory Brain Dynamics via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Resting-State Electroencephalogram.

    PubMed

    Noh, Nor Azila

    2016-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological technique that is able to modulate cortical activity beyond the stimulation period. The residual aftereffects are akin to the plasticity mechanism of the brain and suggest the potential use of TMS for therapy. For years, TMS has been shown to transiently improve symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, but the underlying neural correlates remain elusive. Recently, there is evidence that altered connectivity of brain network dynamics is the mechanism underlying symptoms of various neuropsychiatric illnesses. By combining TMS and electroencephalography (EEG), the functional connectivity patterns among brain regions, and the causal link between function or behaviour and a specific brain region can be determined. Nonetheless, the brain network connectivity are highly complex and involve the dynamics interplay among multitude of brain regions. In this review article, we present previous TMS-EEG co-registration studies, which explore the functional connectivity patterns of human cerebral cortex. We argue the possibilities of neural correlates of long-term potentiation/depression (LTP-/LTD)-like mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that drive the TMS aftereffects as shown by the dissociation between EEG and motor evoked potentials (MEP) cortical output. Here, we also explore alternative explanations that drive the EEG oscillatory modulations post TMS. The precise knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying TMS will help characterise disturbances in oscillatory patterns, and the altered functional connectivity in neuropsychiatric illnesses.

  11. Exploring Cortical Plasticity and Oscillatory Brain Dynamics via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Resting-State Electroencephalogram.

    PubMed

    Noh, Nor Azila

    2016-07-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological technique that is able to modulate cortical activity beyond the stimulation period. The residual aftereffects are akin to the plasticity mechanism of the brain and suggest the potential use of TMS for therapy. For years, TMS has been shown to transiently improve symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, but the underlying neural correlates remain elusive. Recently, there is evidence that altered connectivity of brain network dynamics is the mechanism underlying symptoms of various neuropsychiatric illnesses. By combining TMS and electroencephalography (EEG), the functional connectivity patterns among brain regions, and the causal link between function or behaviour and a specific brain region can be determined. Nonetheless, the brain network connectivity are highly complex and involve the dynamics interplay among multitude of brain regions. In this review article, we present previous TMS-EEG co-registration studies, which explore the functional connectivity patterns of human cerebral cortex. We argue the possibilities of neural correlates of long-term potentiation/depression (LTP-/LTD)-like mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that drive the TMS aftereffects as shown by the dissociation between EEG and motor evoked potentials (MEP) cortical output. Here, we also explore alternative explanations that drive the EEG oscillatory modulations post TMS. The precise knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying TMS will help characterise disturbances in oscillatory patterns, and the altered functional connectivity in neuropsychiatric illnesses. PMID:27660540

  12. Exploring Cortical Plasticity and Oscillatory Brain Dynamics via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Resting-State Electroencephalogram

    PubMed Central

    Noh, Nor Azila

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological technique that is able to modulate cortical activity beyond the stimulation period. The residual aftereffects are akin to the plasticity mechanism of the brain and suggest the potential use of TMS for therapy. For years, TMS has been shown to transiently improve symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, but the underlying neural correlates remain elusive. Recently, there is evidence that altered connectivity of brain network dynamics is the mechanism underlying symptoms of various neuropsychiatric illnesses. By combining TMS and electroencephalography (EEG), the functional connectivity patterns among brain regions, and the causal link between function or behaviour and a specific brain region can be determined. Nonetheless, the brain network connectivity are highly complex and involve the dynamics interplay among multitude of brain regions. In this review article, we present previous TMS-EEG co-registration studies, which explore the functional connectivity patterns of human cerebral cortex. We argue the possibilities of neural correlates of long-term potentiation/depression (LTP−/LTD)-like mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that drive the TMS aftereffects as shown by the dissociation between EEG and motor evoked potentials (MEP) cortical output. Here, we also explore alternative explanations that drive the EEG oscillatory modulations post TMS. The precise knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying TMS will help characterise disturbances in oscillatory patterns, and the altered functional connectivity in neuropsychiatric illnesses. PMID:27660540

  13. Exploring Cortical Plasticity and Oscillatory Brain Dynamics via Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Resting-State Electroencephalogram

    PubMed Central

    Noh, Nor Azila

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive, non-pharmacological technique that is able to modulate cortical activity beyond the stimulation period. The residual aftereffects are akin to the plasticity mechanism of the brain and suggest the potential use of TMS for therapy. For years, TMS has been shown to transiently improve symptoms of neuropsychiatric disorders, but the underlying neural correlates remain elusive. Recently, there is evidence that altered connectivity of brain network dynamics is the mechanism underlying symptoms of various neuropsychiatric illnesses. By combining TMS and electroencephalography (EEG), the functional connectivity patterns among brain regions, and the causal link between function or behaviour and a specific brain region can be determined. Nonetheless, the brain network connectivity are highly complex and involve the dynamics interplay among multitude of brain regions. In this review article, we present previous TMS-EEG co-registration studies, which explore the functional connectivity patterns of human cerebral cortex. We argue the possibilities of neural correlates of long-term potentiation/depression (LTP−/LTD)-like mechanisms of synaptic plasticity that drive the TMS aftereffects as shown by the dissociation between EEG and motor evoked potentials (MEP) cortical output. Here, we also explore alternative explanations that drive the EEG oscillatory modulations post TMS. The precise knowledge of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying TMS will help characterise disturbances in oscillatory patterns, and the altered functional connectivity in neuropsychiatric illnesses.

  14. Understanding entangled cerebral networks: a prerequisite for restoring brain function with brain-computer interfaces.

    PubMed

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

    Historically, cerebral processing has been conceptualized as a framework based on statically localized functions. However, a growing amount of evidence supports a hodotopical (delocalized) and flexible organization. A number of studies have reported absence of a permanent neurological deficit after massive surgical resections of eloquent brain tissue. These results highlight the tremendous plastic potential of the brain. Understanding anatomo-functional correlates underlying this cerebral reorganization is a prerequisite to restore brain functions through brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in patients with cerebral diseases, or even to potentiate brain functions in healthy individuals. Here, we review current knowledge of neural networks that could be utilized in the BCIs that enable movements and language. To this end, intraoperative electrical stimulation in awake patients provides valuable information on the cerebral functional maps, their connectomics and plasticity. Overall, these studies indicate that the complex cerebral circuitry that underpins interactions between action, cognition and behavior should be throughly investigated before progress in BCI approaches can be achieved.

  15. Structural plasticity of the brain to psychostimulant use.

    PubMed

    Nyberg, Fred

    2014-12-01

    Over the past years it has become evident that repeated exposure to a variety of psychoactive stimulants, like amphetamine, cocaine, MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-N-methylamphetamine), methylphenidate and nicotine may produce profound behavioral changes as well as structural and neurochemical alterations in the brain that may persist long after drug administration has ceased. These stimulants have been shown to produce long-lasting enhanced embranchments of dendrites and increasing spine density in brain regions linked to behavioral sensitization and compulsive patterns characteristic of drug seeking and drug addiction. In this regard, addiction to stimulant drugs represents a compulsory behavior that includes drug seeking, drug use and drug craving, but is also characterized as a cognitive disorder. In this article, recent findings regarding the impact of central stimulants on plasticity in brain regions of relevance for addictive behavior will be highlighted. A particular focus will be given to changes in neuroplasticity that occur in areas related to memory and cognition. Possible routes for the reversal of altered brain plasticity will also be discussed. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'CNS Stimulants'. PMID:25018041

  16. Human brain somatic representation: a functional magnetic resonance mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romero-Romo, Juan; Rojas, Rafael; Salgado, Perla; Sánchez-Cortázar, Julián; Vazquez-Vela, Arturo; Barrios, Fernando A.

    2001-10-01

    Central nervous system studies of injury and plasticity for the reorganization in the phantom limb sensation area presented. In particular functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) mapping of the somatic and motor cortex of amputee patients, in the case of referred sensations. Using fMRI we can show the correlation between structure and functional field and study the reorganization due to plasticity in the brain.

  17. Increased morphological asymmetry, evolvability and plasticity in human brain evolution

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Robles, Aida; Hopkins, William D.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2013-01-01

    The study of hominin brain evolution relies mostly on evaluation of the endocranial morphology of fossil skulls. However, only some general features of external brain morphology are evident from endocasts, and many anatomical details can be difficult or impossible to examine. In this study, we use geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate inter- and intraspecific differences in cerebral morphology in a sample of in vivo magnetic resonance imaging scans of chimpanzees and humans, with special emphasis on the study of asymmetric variation. Our study reveals that chimpanzee–human differences in cerebral morphology are mainly symmetric; by contrast, there is continuity in asymmetric variation between species, with humans showing an increased range of variation. Moreover, asymmetric variation does not appear to be the result of allometric scaling at intraspecific levels, whereas symmetric changes exhibit very slight allometric effects within each species. Our results emphasize two key properties of brain evolution in the hominine clade: first, evolution of chimpanzee and human brains (and probably their last common ancestor and related species) is not strongly morphologically constrained, thus making their brains highly evolvable and responsive to selective pressures; second, chimpanzee and, especially, human brains show high levels of fluctuating asymmetry indicative of pronounced developmental plasticity. We infer that these two characteristics can have a role in human cognitive evolution. PMID:23615289

  18. Structural plasticity upon learning: regulation and functions.

    PubMed

    Caroni, Pico; Donato, Flavio; Muller, Dominique

    2012-07-01

    Recent studies have provided long-sought evidence that behavioural learning involves specific synapse gain and elimination processes, which lead to memory traces that influence behaviour. The connectivity rearrangements are preceded by enhanced synapse turnover, which can be modulated through changes in inhibitory connectivity. Behaviourally related synapse rearrangement events tend to co-occur spatially within short stretches of dendrites, and involve signalling pathways partially overlapping with those controlling the functional plasticity of synapses. The new findings suggest that a mechanistic understanding of learning and memory processes will require monitoring ensembles of synapses in situ and the development of synaptic network models that combine changes in synaptic function and connectivity.

  19. Cell biology of normal brain aging: synaptic plasticity-cell death.

    PubMed

    Dorszewska, Jolanta

    2013-04-01

    Senescence of the brain seems to be related to increased levels of free oxygen radical (FOR). FOR may damage macromolecular compounds such as: proteins, lipids, and DNA. In the aging brain, increased FOR levels damage DNA, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), and nuclear DNA (nDNA). In DNA they damage single and double strands, leading to mutations in mtDNA and nDNA. Damage to mtDNA seems to result in decay of mitochondria, decreased production of ATP, and in the activation of the apoptotic process. In the aging brain, apoptosis does not seem to be activated in wild-type p53-expressing cells because the elevated levels of the p53 protein are no longer accompanied by decreased levels of the Bcl-2 protein and increased levels of the Bax protein. It seems that, in the aging brain, changes in the metabolism of neurons may lead to their decreased numbers in the cerebral and cerebellar cortex, hippocampus, basal nucleus of Meynert, locus ceruleus, and substantia nigra, as well as to decreased numbers of synapses and disturbed stimulation of synaptic plasticity in the senescent brain. Simultaneously, a decrease in neurogenesis in the aging brain may lead to a decline in the maintenance of tissue integrity, function, and regenerative response. Environmental enrichment and physical activity may improve hippocampal neurogenesis and induce neuronal plasticity. The morphological lesions in the senescent brain are undoubtedly followed by a disturbed balance between various types of neurons in the CNS. Nevertheless, the high plasticity of the CNS in humans most probably does not allow for the development of abnormalities in higher functions. PMID:23740630

  20. Review of Research: Neuroscience and the Impact of Brain Plasticity on Braille Reading

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hannan, Cheryl Kamei

    2006-01-01

    In this systematic review of research, the author analyzes studies of neural cortical activation, brain plasticity, and braille reading. The conclusions regarding the brain's plasticity and ability to reorganize are encouraging for individuals with degenerative eye conditions or late-onset blindness because they indicate that the brain can make…

  1. Low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation is beneficial for enhancing synaptic plasticity in the aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Zhan-chi; Luan, Feng; Xie, Chun-yan; Geng, Dan-dan; Wang, Yan-yong; Ma, Jun

    2015-01-01

    In the aging brain, cognitive function gradually declines and causes a progressive reduction in the structural and functional plasticity of the hippocampus. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is an emerging and novel neurological and psychiatric tool used to investigate the neurobiology of cognitive function. Recent studies have demonstrated that low-frequency transcranial magnetic stimulation (≤1 Hz) ameliorates synaptic plasticity and spatial cognitive deficits in learning-impaired mice. However, the mechanisms by which this treatment improves these deficits during normal aging are still unknown. Therefore, the current study investigated the effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on the brain-derived neurotrophic factor signal pathway, synaptic protein markers, and spatial memory behavior in the hippocampus of normal aged mice. The study also investigated the downstream regulator, Fyn kinase, and the downstream effectors, synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 (both synaptic markers), to determine the possible mechanisms by which transcranial magnetic stimulation regulates cognitive capacity. Transcranial magnetic stimulation with low intensity (110% average resting motor threshold intensity, 1 Hz) increased mRNA and protein levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, tropomyosin receptor kinase B, and Fyn in the hippocampus of aged mice. The treatment also upregulated the mRNA and protein expression of synaptophysin and growth-associated protein 43 in the hippocampus of these mice. In conclusion, brain-derived neurotrophic factor signaling may play an important role in sustaining and regulating structural synaptic plasticity induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation in the hippocampus of aging mice, and Fyn may be critical during this regulation. These responses may change the structural plasticity of the aging hippocampus, thereby improving cognitive function. PMID:26199608

  2. Evolution, development, and plasticity of the human brain: from molecules to bones

    PubMed Central

    Hrvoj-Mihic, Branka; Bienvenu, Thibault; Stefanacci, Lisa; Muotri, Alysson R.; Semendeferi, Katerina

    2013-01-01

    Neuroanatomical, molecular, and paleontological evidence is examined in light of human brain evolution. The brain of extant humans differs from the brains of other primates in its overall size and organization, and differences in size and organization of specific cortical areas and subcortical structures implicated into complex cognition and social and emotional processing. The human brain is also characterized by functional lateralizations, reflecting specializations of the cerebral hemispheres in humans for different types of processing, facilitating fast and reliable communication between neural cells in an enlarged brain. The features observed in the adult brain reflect human-specific patterns of brain development. Compared to the brains of other primates, the human brain takes longer to mature, promoting an extended period for establishing cortical microcircuitry and its modifications. Together, these features may underlie the prolonged period of learning and acquisition of technical and social skills necessary for survival, creating a unique cognitive and behavioral niche typical of our species. The neuroanatomical findings are in concordance with molecular analyses, which suggest a trend toward heterochrony in the expression of genes implicated in different functions. These include synaptogenesis, neuronal maturation, and plasticity in humans, mutations in genes implicated in neurite outgrowth and plasticity, and an increased role of regulatory mechanisms, potentially promoting fast modification of neuronal morphologies in response to new computational demands. At the same time, endocranial casts of fossil hominins provide an insight into the timing of the emergence of uniquely human features in the course of evolution. We conclude by proposing several ways of combining comparative neuroanatomy, molecular biology and insights gained from fossil endocasts in future research. PMID:24194709

  3. Neural Mechanisms of Brain Plasticity with Complex Cognitive Training in Healthy Seniors

    PubMed Central

    Chapman, Sandra B.; Aslan, Sina; Spence, Jeffrey S.; Hart, John J.; Bartz, Elizabeth K.; Didehbani, Nyaz; Keebler, Molly W.; Gardner, Claire M.; Strain, Jeremy F.; DeFina, Laura F.; Lu, Hanzhang

    2015-01-01

    Complex mental activity induces improvements in cognition, brain function, and structure in animals and young adults. It is not clear to what extent the aging brain is capable of such plasticity. This study expands previous evidence of generalized cognitive gains after mental training in healthy seniors. Using 3 MRI-based measurements, that is, arterial spin labeling MRI, functional connectivity, and diffusion tensor imaging, we examined brain changes across 3 time points pre, mid, and post training (12 weeks) in a randomized sample (n = 37) who received cognitive training versus a control group. We found significant training-related brain state changes at rest; specifically, 1) increases in global and regional cerebral blood flow (CBF), particularly in the default mode network and the central executive network, 2) greater connectivity in these same networks, and 3) increased white matter integrity in the left uncinate demonstrated by an increase in fractional anisotropy. Improvements in cognition were identified along with significant CBF correlates of the cognitive gains. We propose that cognitive training enhances resting-state neural activity and connectivity, increasing the blood supply to these regions via neurovascular coupling. These convergent results provide preliminary evidence that neural plasticity can be harnessed to mitigate brain losses with cognitive training in seniors. PMID:23985135

  4. Functional plasticity before the cradle: a review of neural functional imaging in the human fetus.

    PubMed

    Anderson, Amy L; Thomason, Moriah E

    2013-11-01

    The organization of the brain is highly plastic in fetal life. Establishment of healthy neural functional systems during the fetal period is essential to normal growth and development. Across the last several decades, remarkable progress has been made in understanding the development of human fetal functional brain systems. This is largely due to advances in imaging methodologies. Fetal neuroimaging began in the 1950-1970's with fetal electroencephalography (EEG) applied during labor. Later, in the 1980's, magnetoencephalography (MEG) emerged as an effective approach for investigating fetal brain function. Most recently, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has arisen as an additional powerful approach for examining fetal brain function. This review will discuss major developmental findings from fetal imaging studies such as the maturation of prenatal sensory system functions, functional hemispheric asymmetry, and sensory-driven neurodevelopment. We describe how with improved imaging and analysis techniques, functional imaging of the fetus has the potential to assess the earliest point of neural maturation and provide insight into the patterning and sequence of normal and abnormal brain development.

  5. Interactions between environmental changes and brain plasticity in birds.

    PubMed

    Barnea, Anat

    2009-09-01

    Neurogenesis and neuronal recruitment occur in many vertebrates, including humans. Most of the new neurons die before reaching their destination. Those which survive migrate to various brain regions, replace older ones and connect to existing circuits. Evidence suggests that this replacement is related to acquisition of new information. Therefore, neuronal replacement can be seen as a form of brain plasticity that enables organisms to adjust to environmental changes. However, direct evidence of a causal link between replacement and learning remains elusive. Our hypothesis is that increased neuronal recruitment is associated with increase in memory load. Moreover, since neuronal recruitment is part of a turnover process, we assume that the same conditions that favor survival of some neurons induce the death of others. I present studies that investigated the effect of various behaviors and environmental conditions (food-hoarding, social change, reproductive cycle) on neuronal recruitment and survival in adult avian brains, and discuss how these phenomena relate to the life of animals. I offer a frame and rationale for comparing neuronal replacement in the adult brain, in order to uncover the pressures, rules, and mechanisms that govern its constant rejuvenation. The review emphasizes the importance of using various approaches (behavioral, anatomical, cellular and hormonal) in neuroethological research, and the need to study natural populations, in order to fully understand how neurogenesis and neuronal replacement contribute to life of animals. Finally, the review indicates to future directions and ends with the hope that a better understanding of adult neuronal replacement will lead to medical applications.

  6. Indestructible plastic: the neuroscience of the new aging brain

    PubMed Central

    Holman, Constance; de Villers-Sidani, Etienne

    2014-01-01

    In recent years, research on experience-dependent plasticity has provided valuable insight on adaptation to environmental input across the lifespan, and advances in understanding the minute cellular changes underlying the brain’s capacity for self-reorganization have opened exciting new possibilities for treating illness and injury. Ongoing work in this line of inquiry has also come to deeply influence another field: cognitive neuroscience of the normal aging. This complex process, once considered inevitable or beyond the reach of treatment, has been transformed into an arena of intense investigation and strategic intervention. However, important questions remain about this characterization of the aging brain, and the assumptions it makes about the social, cultural, and biological space occupied by cognition in the older individual and body. The following paper will provide a critical examination of the move from basic experiments on the neurophysiology of experience-dependent plasticity to the growing market for (and public conception of) cognitive aging as a medicalized space for intervention by neuroscience-backed technologies. Entangled with changing concepts of normality, pathology, and self-preservation, we will argue that this new understanding, led by personalized cognitive training strategies, is approaching a point where interdisciplinary research is crucial to provide a holistic and nuanced understanding of the aging process. This new outlook will allow us to move forward in a space where our knowledge, like our new conception of the brain, is never static. PMID:24782746

  7. Neural Plastic Effects of Cognitive Training on Aging Brain

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Natalie T. Y.; Tam, Helena M. K.; Chu, Leung W.; Kwok, Timothy C. Y.; Chan, Felix; Lam, Linda C. W.; Woo, Jean; Lee, Tatia M. C.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing research has evidenced that our brain retains a capacity to change in response to experience until late adulthood. This implies that cognitive training can possibly ameliorate age-associated cognitive decline by inducing training-specific neural plastic changes at both neural and behavioral levels. This longitudinal study examined the behavioral effects of a systematic thirteen-week cognitive training program on attention and working memory of older adults who were at risk of cognitive decline. These older adults were randomly assigned to the Cognitive Training Group (n = 109) and the Active Control Group (n = 100). Findings clearly indicated that training induced improvement in auditory and visual-spatial attention and working memory. The training effect was specific to the experience provided because no significant difference in verbal and visual-spatial memory between the two groups was observed. This pattern of findings is consistent with the prediction and the principle of experience-dependent neuroplasticity. Findings of our study provided further support to the notion that the neural plastic potential continues until older age. The baseline cognitive status did not correlate with pre- versus posttraining changes to any cognitive variables studied, suggesting that the initial cognitive status may not limit the neuroplastic potential of the brain at an old age. PMID:26417460

  8. Reorganization of Functional Connectivity as a Correlate of Cognitive Recovery in Acquired Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Castellanos, Nazareth P.; Paul, Nuria; Ordonez, Victoria E.; Demuynck, Olivier; Bajo, Ricardo; Campo, Pablo; Bilbao, Alvaro; Ortiz, Tomas; del-Pozo, Francisco; Maestu, Fernando

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive processes require a functional interaction between specialized multiple, local and remote brain regions. Although these interactions can be strongly altered by an acquired brain injury, brain plasticity allows network reorganization to be principally responsible for recovery. The present work evaluates the impact of brain injury on…

  9. [Components of plastic disrupt the function of the nervous system].

    PubMed

    Szychowski, Konrad Andrzej; Wójtowicz, Anna Katarzyna

    2013-05-27

    Development of the chemical industry leads to the development of new chemical compounds, which naturally do not exist in the environment. These chemicals are used to reduce flammability, increase plasticity, or improve solubility of other substances. Many of these compounds, which are components of plastic, the new generation of cosmetics, medical devices, food packaging and other everyday products, are easily released into the environment. Many studies have shown that a major lipophilicity characterizes substances such as phthalates, BPA, TBBPA and PCBs. This feature allows them to easily penetrate into living cells, accumulate in the tissues and the organs, and affect human and animal health. Due to the chemical structures, these compounds are able to mimic some endogenous hormones such as estradiol and to disrupt the hormone homeostasis. They can also easily pass the placental barrier and the blood-brain barrier. As numerous studies have shown, these chemicals disturb the proper functions of the nervous system from the earliest moments of life. It has been proven that these compounds affect neurogenesis as well as the synaptic transmission process. As a consequence, they interfere with the formation of the sex of the brain, as well as with the learning processes, memory and behavior. Additionally, the cytotoxic and pro-apoptotic effect may cause neurodegenerative diseases. This article presents the current state of knowledge about the effects of phthalates, BPA, TBBPA, and PCBs on the nervous system.

  10. Training-related brain plasticity in subjects at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Belleville, Sylvie; Clément, Francis; Mellah, Samira; Gilbert, Brigitte; Fontaine, Francine; Gauthier, Serge

    2011-06-01

    Subjects with mild cognitive impairment are at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Cognitive stimulation is an emerging intervention in the field of neurology and allied sciences, having already been shown to improve cognition in subjects with mild cognitive impairment. Yet no studies have attempted to unravel the brain mechanisms that support such improvement. This study uses functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure the effect of memory training on brain activation in older adults with mild cognitive impairment and to assess whether it can reverse the brain changes associated with mild cognitive impairment. Brain activation associated with verbal encoding and retrieval was recorded twice prior to training and once after training. In subjects with mild cognitive impairment, increased activation was found after training within a large network that included the frontal, temporal and parietal areas. Healthy controls showed mostly areas of decreased activation following training. Comparison with pre-training indicated that subjects with mild cognitive impairment used a combination of specialized areas; that is, areas activated prior to training and new alternative areas activated following training. However, only activation of the right inferior parietal lobule, a new area of activation, correlated with performance. Furthermore, the differences between the brain activation patterns of subjects with mild cognitive impairment and those of healthy controls were attenuated by training in a number of brain regions. These results indicate that memory training can result in significant neural changes that are measurable with brain imaging. They also show that the brains of people with mild cognitive impairment remain highly plastic.

  11. Bridging animal and human models of exercise-induced brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Vivar, Carmen; Kramer, Arthur F.; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-01-01

    Significant progress has been made in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms through which exercise protects and restores the brain. In this feature review, we integrate animal and human research, examining physical activity effects across multiple levels of description (neurons up to inter-regional pathways). We evaluate the influence of exercise on hippocampal structure and function, addressing common themes such as spatial memory and pattern separation, brain structure and plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and vasculature. Areas of research focused more within species, such as hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, also provide crucial insight into the protective role of physical activity. Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. PMID:24029446

  12. Bridging animal and human models of exercise-induced brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Voss, Michelle W; Vivar, Carmen; Kramer, Arthur F; van Praag, Henriette

    2013-10-01

    Significant progress has been made in understanding the neurobiological mechanisms through which exercise protects and restores the brain. In this feature review, we integrate animal and human research, examining physical activity effects across multiple levels of description (neurons up to inter-regional pathways). We evaluate the influence of exercise on hippocampal structure and function, addressing common themes such as spatial memory and pattern separation, brain structure and plasticity, neurotrophic factors, and vasculature. Areas of research focused more within species, such as hippocampal neurogenesis in rodents, also provide crucial insight into the protective role of physical activity. Overall, converging evidence suggests exercise benefits brain function and cognition across the mammalian lifespan, which may translate into reduced risk for Alzheimer's disease (AD) in humans.

  13. Brain composition in Heliconius butterflies, posteclosion growth and experience-dependent neuropil plasticity.

    PubMed

    Montgomery, Stephen H; Merrill, Richard M; Ott, Swidbert R

    2016-06-15

    Behavioral and sensory adaptations are often reflected in the differential expansion of brain components. These volumetric differences represent changes in cell number, size, and/or connectivity, which may denote changes in the functional and evolutionary relationships between different brain regions, and between brain composition and behavioral ecology. Here we describe the brain composition of two species of Heliconius butterflies, a long-standing study system for investigating ecological adaptation and speciation. We confirm a previous report of a striking volumetric expansion of the mushroom body, and explore patterns of differential posteclosion and experience-dependent plasticity between different brain regions. This analysis uncovers age- and experience-dependent posteclosion mushroom body growth comparable to that in foraging Hymenoptera, but also identifies plasticity in several other neuropils. An interspecific analysis indicates that Heliconius display a remarkably large investment in mushroom bodies for a lepidopteran, and indeed rank highly compared to other insects. Our analyses lay the foundation for future comparative and experimental analyses that will establish Heliconius as a valuable case study in evolutionary neurobiology.

  14. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W.

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation. PMID:26582976

  15. Extracellular proteolysis in structural and functional plasticity of mossy fiber synapses in hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Wiera, Grzegorz; Mozrzymas, Jerzy W

    2015-01-01

    Brain is continuously altered in response to experience and environmental changes. One of the underlying mechanisms is synaptic plasticity, which is manifested by modification of synapse structure and function. It is becoming clear that regulated extracellular proteolysis plays a pivotal role in the structural and functional remodeling of synapses during brain development, learning and memory formation. Clearly, plasticity mechanisms may substantially differ between projections. Mossy fiber synapses onto CA3 pyramidal cells display several unique functional features, including pronounced short-term facilitation, a presynaptically expressed long-term potentiation (LTP) that is independent of NMDAR activation, and NMDA-dependent metaplasticity. Moreover, structural plasticity at mossy fiber synapses ranges from the reorganization of projection topology after hippocampus-dependent learning, through intrinsically different dynamic properties of synaptic boutons to pre- and postsynaptic structural changes accompanying LTP induction. Although concomitant functional and structural plasticity in this pathway strongly suggests a role of extracellular proteolysis, its impact only starts to be investigated in this projection. In the present report, we review the role of extracellular proteolysis in various aspects of synaptic plasticity in hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. A growing body of evidence demonstrates that among perisynaptic proteases, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA)/plasmin system, β-site amyloid precursor protein-cleaving enzyme 1 (BACE1) and metalloproteinases play a crucial role in shaping plastic changes in this projection. We discuss recent advances and emerging hypotheses on the roles of proteases in mechanisms underlying mossy fiber target specific synaptic plasticity and memory formation.

  16. Functional brain mapping of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Honey, G; Fletcher, P; Bullmore, E

    2002-01-01

    In this paper, we consider the impact that the novel functional neuroimaging techniques may have upon psychiatric illness. Functional neuroimaging has rapidly developed as a powerful tool in cognitive neuroscience and, in recent years, has seen widespread application in psychiatry. Although such studies have produced evidence for abnormal patterns of brain response in association with some pathological conditions, the core pathophysiologies remain unresolved. Although imaging techniques provide an unprecedented opportunity for investigation of physiological function of the living human brain, there are fundamental questions and assumptions which remain to be addressed. In this review we examine these conceptual issues under three broad sections: (1) characterising the clinical population of interest, (2) defining appropriate levels of description of normal brain function, and (3) relating these models to pathophysiological conditions. Parallel advances in each of these questions will be required before imaging techniques can impact on clinical decisions in psychiatry. PMID:11909899

  17. Chronic pain: the role of learning and brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Mansour, A R; Farmer, M A; Baliki, M N; Apkarian, A Vania

    2014-01-01

    Based on theoretical considerations and recent observations, we argue that continued suffering of chronic pain is critically dependent on the state of motivational and emotional mesolimbic-prefrontal circuitry of the brain. The plastic changes that occur within this circuitry in relation to nociceptive inputs dictate the transition to chronic pain, rendering the pain less somatic and more affective in nature. This theoretical construct is a strong departure from the traditional scientific view of pain, which has focused on encoding and representation of nociceptive signals. We argue that the definition of chronic pain can be recast, within the associative learning and valuation concept, as an inability to extinguish the associated memory trace, implying that supraspinal/cortical manipulations may be a more fruitful venue for adequately modulating suffering and related behavior for chronic pain. We briefly review the evidence generated to date for the proposed model and emphasize that the details of underlying mechanisms remain to be expounded.

  18. Building a brain under nutritional restriction: insights on sparing and plasticity from Drosophila studies

    PubMed Central

    Lanet, Elodie; Maurange, Cédric

    2014-01-01

    While the growth of the developing brain is known to be well-protected compared to other organs in the face of nutrient restriction (NR), careful analysis has revealed a range of structural alterations and long-term neurological defects. Yet, despite intensive studies, little is known about the basic principles that govern brain development under nutrient deprivation. For over 20 years, Drosophila has proved to be a useful model for investigating how a functional nervous system develops from a restricted number of neural stem cells (NSCs). Recently, a few studies have started to uncover molecular mechanisms as well as region-specific adaptive strategies that preserve brain functionality and neuronal repertoire under NR, while modulating neuron numbers. Here, we review the developmental constraints that condition the response of the developing brain to NR. We then analyze the recent Drosophila work to highlight key principles that drive sparing and plasticity in different regions of the central nervous system (CNS). As simple animal models start to build a more integrated picture, understanding how the developing brain copes with NR could help in defining strategies to limit damage and improve brain recovery after birth. PMID:24723892

  19. PET-imaging of brain plasticity after cochlear implantation.

    PubMed

    Strelnikov, K; Marx, M; Lagleyre, S; Fraysse, B; Deguine, O; Barone, P

    2015-04-01

    In this article, we review the PET neuroimaging literature, which indicates peculiarities of brain networks involved in speech restoration after cochlear implantation. We consider data on implanted patients during stimulation as well as during resting state, which indicates basic long-term reorganisation of brain functional architecture. On the basis of our analysis of neuroimaging literature and considering our own studies, we indicate that auditory recovery in deaf patients after cochlear implantation partly relies on visual cues. The brain develops mechanisms of audio-visual integration as a strategy to achieve high levels of speech recognition. It turns out that this neuroimaging evidence is in line with behavioural findings of better audiovisual integration in these patients. Thus, strong visually and audio-visually based rehabilitation during the first months after cochlear implantation would significantly improve and fasten the functional recovery of speech intelligibility and other auditory functions in these patients. We provide perspectives for further neuroimaging studies in cochlear implanted patients, which would help understand brain organisation to restore auditory cognitive processing in the implanted patients and would potentially suggest novel approaches for their rehabilitation. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled . PMID:25448166

  20. Effect of disease and recovery on functional anatomy in brain tumor patients: insights from functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging

    PubMed Central

    Abd-El-Barr, Muhammad M; Saleh, Emam; Huang, Raymond Y; Golby, Alexandra J

    2014-01-01

    Patients with brain tumors provide a unique opportunity to understand functional brain plasticity. Using advanced imaging techniques, such as functional MRI and diffusion tensor imaging, we have gained tremendous knowledge of brain tumor behavior, transformation, infiltration and destruction of nearby structures. Using these advanced techniques as an adjunct with more proven techniques, such as direct cortical stimulation, intraoperative navigation and advanced microsurgical techniques, we now are able to better formulate safer resection trajectories, perform larger resections at reduced risk and better counsel patients and their families about possible complications. Brain mapping in patients with brain tumors and other lesions has shown us that the old idea of fixed function of the adult cerebral cortex is not entirely true. Improving care for patients with brain lesions in the future will depend on better understanding of the functional organization and plasticity of the adult brain. Advanced noninvasive brain imaging will undoubtedly play a role in advancing this understanding. PMID:24660024

  1. Sleep, plasticity and memory from molecules to whole-brain networks.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ted; Havekes, Robbert; Saletin, Jared M; Walker, Matthew P

    2013-09-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep across phylogeny, its function remains elusive. In this review, we consider one compelling candidate: brain plasticity associated with memory processing. Focusing largely on hippocampus-dependent memory in rodents and humans, we describe molecular, cellular, network, whole-brain and behavioral evidence establishing a role for sleep both in preparation for initial memory encoding, and in the subsequent offline consolidation of memory. Sleep and sleep deprivation bidirectionally alter molecular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength and control plasticity-related gene transcription and protein translation. At the cellular level, sleep deprivation impairs cellular excitability necessary for inducing synaptic potentiation and accelerates the decay of long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep enhance previously induced synaptic potentiation, although synaptic de-potentiation during sleep has also been observed. Beyond single cell dynamics, large-scale cell ensembles express coordinated replay of prior learning-related firing patterns during subsequent NREM sleep. At the whole-brain level, somewhat analogous learning-associated hippocampal (re)activation during NREM sleep has been reported in humans. Moreover, the same cortical NREM oscillations associated with replay in rodents also promote human hippocampal memory consolidation, and this process can be manipulated using exogenous reactivation cues during sleep. Mirroring molecular findings in rodents, specific NREM sleep oscillations before encoding refresh human hippocampal learning capacity, while deprivation of sleep conversely impairs subsequent hippocampal activity and associated encoding. Together, these cross-descriptive level findings demonstrate that the unique neurobiology of sleep exerts powerful effects on molecular, cellular and network mechanisms of plasticity that govern both initial

  2. Sleep, plasticity and memory from molecules to whole-brain networks.

    PubMed

    Abel, Ted; Havekes, Robbert; Saletin, Jared M; Walker, Matthew P

    2013-09-01

    Despite the ubiquity of sleep across phylogeny, its function remains elusive. In this review, we consider one compelling candidate: brain plasticity associated with memory processing. Focusing largely on hippocampus-dependent memory in rodents and humans, we describe molecular, cellular, network, whole-brain and behavioral evidence establishing a role for sleep both in preparation for initial memory encoding, and in the subsequent offline consolidation of memory. Sleep and sleep deprivation bidirectionally alter molecular signaling pathways that regulate synaptic strength and control plasticity-related gene transcription and protein translation. At the cellular level, sleep deprivation impairs cellular excitability necessary for inducing synaptic potentiation and accelerates the decay of long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity. In contrast, rapid eye movement (REM) and non-rapid eye movement (NREM) sleep enhance previously induced synaptic potentiation, although synaptic de-potentiation during sleep has also been observed. Beyond single cell dynamics, large-scale cell ensembles express coordinated replay of prior learning-related firing patterns during subsequent NREM sleep. At the whole-brain level, somewhat analogous learning-associated hippocampal (re)activation during NREM sleep has been reported in humans. Moreover, the same cortical NREM oscillations associated with replay in rodents also promote human hippocampal memory consolidation, and this process can be manipulated using exogenous reactivation cues during sleep. Mirroring molecular findings in rodents, specific NREM sleep oscillations before encoding refresh human hippocampal learning capacity, while deprivation of sleep conversely impairs subsequent hippocampal activity and associated encoding. Together, these cross-descriptive level findings demonstrate that the unique neurobiology of sleep exerts powerful effects on molecular, cellular and network mechanisms of plasticity that govern both initial

  3. Brain structural plasticity in survivors of a major earthquake

    PubMed Central

    Lui, Su; Chen, Long; Yao, Li; Xiao, Yuan; Wu, Qi-Zhu; Zhang, Jun-Ran; Huang, Xiao-Qi; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Yu-Qin; Chen, Hua-Fu; Chan, Raymond C.K.; Sweeney, John A.; Gong, Qi-Yong

    2013-01-01

    Background Stress responses have been studied extensively in animal models, but effects of major life stress on the human brain remain poorly understood. The aim of this study was to determine whether survivors of a major earthquake, who were presumed to have experienced extreme emotional stress during the disaster, demonstrate differences in brain anatomy relative to individuals who have not experienced such stressors. Methods Healthy survivors living in an area devastated by a major earthquake and matched healthy controls underwent 3-dimentional high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Survivors were scanned 13–25 days after the earthquake; controls had undergone MRI for other studies not long before the earthquake. We used optimized voxel-based morphometry analysis to identify regional differences of grey matter volume between the survivors and controls. Results We included 44 survivors (17 female, mean age 37 [standard deviation (SD) 10.6] yr) and 38 controls (14 female, mean age 35.3 [SD 11.2] yr) in our analysis. Compared with controls, the survivors showed significantly lower grey matter volume in the bilateral insula, hippocampus, left caudate and putamen, and greater grey matter volume in the bilateral orbitofrontal cortex and the parietal lobe (all p < 0.05, corrected for multiple comparison). Limitations Differences in the variance of survivor and control data could impact study findings. Conclusion Acute anatomic alterations could be observed in earthquake survivors in brain regions where functional alterations after stress have been described. Anatomic changes in the present study were observed earlier than previously reported and were seen in prefrontal–limbic, parietal and striatal brain systems. Together with the results of previous functional imaging studies, our observations suggest a complex pattern of human brain response to major life stress affecting brain systems that modulate and respond to heightened affective arousal. PMID

  4. Current trends in stroke rehabilitation. A review with focus on brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Johansson, B B

    2011-03-01

    Current understanding of brain plasticity has lead to new approaches in ischemic stroke rehabilitation. Stroke units that combine good medical and nursing care with task-oriented intense training in an environment that provides confidence, stimulation and motivation significantly improve outcome. Repetitive trans-cranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), and trans-cranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are applied in rehabilitation of motor function. The long-term effect, optimal way of stimulation and possibly efficacy in cognitive rehabilitation need evaluation. Methods based on multisensory integration of motor, cognitive, and perceptual processes including action observation, mental training, and virtual reality are being tested. Different approaches of intensive aphasia training are described. Recent data on intensive melodic intonation therapy indicate that even patients with very severe non-fluent aphasia can regain speech through homotopic white matter tract plasticity. Music therapy is applied in motor and cognitive rehabilitation. To avoid the confounding effect of spontaneous improvement, most trials are preformed ≥3 months post stroke. Randomized controlled trials starting earlier after strokes are needed. More attention should be given to stroke heterogeneity, cognitive rehabilitation, and social adjustment and to genetic differences, including the role of BDNF polymorphism in brain plasticity.

  5. Physical exercise in overweight to obese individuals induces metabolic- and neurotrophic-related structural brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Mueller, Karsten; Möller, Harald E.; Horstmann, Annette; Busse, Franziska; Lepsien, Jöran; Blüher, Matthias; Stumvoll, Michael; Villringer, Arno; Pleger, Burkhard

    2015-01-01

    Previous cross-sectional studies on body-weight-related alterations in brain structure revealed profound changes in the gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) that resemble findings obtained from individuals with advancing age. This suggests that obesity may lead to structural brain changes that are comparable with brain aging. Here, we asked whether weight-loss-dependent improved metabolic and neurotrophic functioning parallels the reversal of obesity-related alterations in brain structure. To this end we applied magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) together with voxel-based morphometry and diffusion-tensor imaging in overweight to obese individuals who participated in a fitness course with intensive physical training twice a week over a period of 3 months. After the fitness course, participants presented, with inter-individual heterogeneity, a reduced body mass index (BMI), reduced serum leptin concentrations, elevated high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C), and alterations of serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) concentrations suggesting changes of metabolic and neurotrophic function. Exercise-dependent changes in BMI and serum concentration of BDNF, leptin, and HDL-C were related to an increase in GM density in the left hippocampus, the insular cortex, and the left cerebellar lobule. We also observed exercise-dependent changes of diffusivity parameters in surrounding WM structures as well as in the corpus callosum. These findings suggest that weight-loss due to physical exercise in overweight to obese participants induces profound structural brain plasticity, not primarily of sensorimotor brain regions involved in physical exercise, but of regions previously reported to be structurally affected by an increased body weight and functionally implemented in gustation and cognitive processing. PMID:26190989

  6. Sex Hormones Regulate Cytoskeletal Proteins Involved in Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hansberg-Pastor, Valeria; González-Arenas, Aliesha; Piña-Medina, Ana Gabriela; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone. PMID:26635640

  7. Sex Hormones Regulate Cytoskeletal Proteins Involved in Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Hansberg-Pastor, Valeria; González-Arenas, Aliesha; Piña-Medina, Ana Gabriela; Camacho-Arroyo, Ignacio

    2015-01-01

    In the brain of female mammals, including humans, a number of physiological and behavioral changes occur as a result of sex hormone exposure. Estradiol and progesterone regulate several brain functions, including learning and memory. Sex hormones contribute to shape the central nervous system by modulating the formation and turnover of the interconnections between neurons as well as controlling the function of glial cells. The dynamics of neuron and glial cells morphology depends on the cytoskeleton and its associated proteins. Cytoskeletal proteins are necessary to form neuronal dendrites and dendritic spines, as well as to regulate the diverse functions in astrocytes. The expression pattern of proteins, such as actin, microtubule-associated protein 2, Tau, and glial fibrillary acidic protein, changes in a tissue-specific manner in the brain, particularly when variations in sex hormone levels occur during the estrous or menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Here, we review the changes in structure and organization of neurons and glial cells that require the participation of cytoskeletal proteins whose expression and activity are regulated by estradiol and progesterone. PMID:26635640

  8. Effects of non-pharmacological or pharmacological interventions on cognition and brain plasticity of aging individuals

    PubMed Central

    Pieramico, Valentina; Esposito, Roberto; Cesinaro, Stefano; Frazzini, Valerio; Sensi, Stefano L.

    2014-01-01

    Brain aging and aging-related neurodegenerative disorders are major health challenges faced by modern societies. Brain aging is associated with cognitive and functional decline and represents the favourable background for the onset and development of dementia. Brain aging is associated with early and subtle anatomo-functional physiological changes that often precede the appearance of clinical signs of cognitive decline. Neuroimaging approaches unveiled the functional correlates of these alterations and helped in the identification of therapeutic targets that can be potentially useful in counteracting age-dependent cognitive decline. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that cognitive stimulation and aerobic training can preserve and enhance operational skills in elderly individuals as well as reduce the incidence of dementia. This review aims at providing an extensive and critical overview of the most recent data that support the efficacy of non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions aimed at enhancing cognition and brain plasticity in healthy elderly individuals as well as delaying the cognitive decline associated with dementia. PMID:25228860

  9. Maladaptive Plasticity in Aphasia: Brain Activation Maps Underlying Verb Retrieval Errors

    PubMed Central

    Durand, Edith; Marcotte, Karine; Ansaldo, Ana Inés

    2016-01-01

    Anomia, or impaired word retrieval, is the most widespread symptom of aphasia, an acquired language impairment secondary to brain damage. In the last decades, functional neuroimaging techniques have enabled studying the neural basis underlying anomia and its recovery. The present study aimed to explore maladaptive plasticity in persistent verb anomia, in three male participants with chronic nonfluent aphasia. Brain activation maps associated with semantic verb paraphasia occurring within an oral picture-naming task were identified with an event-related fMRI paradigm. These maps were compared with those obtained in our previous study examining adaptive plasticity (i.e., successful verb naming) in the same participants. The results show that activation patterns related to semantic verb paraphasia and successful verb naming comprise a number of common areas, contributing to both maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms. This finding suggests that the segregation of brain areas provides only a partial view of the neural basis of verb anomia and successful verb naming. Therefore, it indicates the importance of network approaches which may better capture the complexity of maladaptive and adaptive neuroplasticity mechanisms in anomia recovery. PMID:27429808

  10. A voxelwise approach to determine consensus regions-of-interest for the study of brain network plasticity.

    PubMed

    Rajtmajer, Sarah M; Roy, Arnab; Albert, Reka; Molenaar, Peter C M; Hillary, Frank G

    2015-01-01

    Despite exciting advances in the functional imaging of the brain, it remains a challenge to define regions of interest (ROIs) that do not require investigator supervision and permit examination of change in networks over time (or plasticity). Plasticity is most readily examined by maintaining ROIs constant via seed-based and anatomical-atlas based techniques, but these approaches are not data-driven, requiring definition based on prior experience (e.g., choice of seed-region, anatomical landmarks). These approaches are limiting especially when functional connectivity may evolve over time in areas that are finer than known anatomical landmarks or in areas outside predetermined seeded regions. An ideal method would permit investigators to study network plasticity due to learning, maturation effects, or clinical recovery via multiple time point data that can be compared to one another in the same ROI while also preserving the voxel-level data in those ROIs at each time point. Data-driven approaches (e.g., whole-brain voxelwise approaches) ameliorate concerns regarding investigator bias, but the fundamental problem of comparing the results between distinct data sets remains. In this paper we propose an approach, aggregate-initialized label propagation (AILP), which allows for data at separate time points to be compared for examining developmental processes resulting in network change (plasticity). To do so, we use a whole-brain modularity approach to parcellate the brain into anatomically constrained functional modules at separate time points and then apply the AILP algorithm to form a consensus set of ROIs for examining change over time. To demonstrate its utility, we make use of a known dataset of individuals with traumatic brain injury sampled at two time points during the first year of recovery and show how the AILP procedure can be applied to select regions of interest to be used in a graph theoretical analysis of plasticity.

  11. Interhemispheric Plasticity Protects the Deafferented Somatosensory Cortex from Functional Takeover After Nerve Injury

    PubMed Central

    Koretsky, Alan P.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Functional changes across brain hemispheres have been reported after unilateral cortical or peripheral nerve injury. Interhemispheric callosal connections usually underlie this cortico-cortical plasticity. However, the effect of the altered callosal inputs on local cortical plasticity in the adult brain is not well studied. Ipsilateral functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) activation has been reliably detected in the deafferented barrel cortex (BC) at 2 weeks after unilateral infraorbital denervation (IO) in adult rats. The ipsilateral fMRI signal relies on callosal-mediated interhemispheric plasticity. This form of interhemispheric plasticity provides a good chronic model to study the interaction between callosal inputs and local cortical plasticity. The receptive field of forepaw in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), which is adjacent to the BC, was mapped with fMRI. The S1 receptive field expanded to take over a portion of the BC in 2 weeks after both ascending inputs and callosal inputs were removed in IO rats with ablated contralateral BC (IO+ablation). This expansion, estimated specifically by fMRI mapping, is significantly larger than what has been observed in the IO rats with intact callosal connectivity, as well as in the rats with sham surgery. This work indicates that altered callosal inputs prevent the functional takeover of the deafferented BC from adjacent cortices and may help preserve the functional identity of the BC. PMID:25117691

  12. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning - Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey's auditory verbal learning test. We defined the "learning-related synchronization" (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances "deep encoding" during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS.

  13. Methylphenidate and the juvenile brain: enhancement of attention at the expense of cortical plasticity?

    PubMed

    Urban, Kimberly R; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2013-12-01

    Methylphenidate (Ritalin) is the most commonly prescribed psychoactive drug for juveniles and adolescents. Used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and for cognitive enhancement in healthy individuals, it has been regarded as a relatively safe medication for the past several decades. However, a thorough review of the literature reveals that the age-dependent activities of the drug, as well as potential developmental effects, are largely ignored. In addition, the diagnosis of ADHD is subjective, leaving open the possibility of misdiagnosis and excessive prescription of the drug. Recent studies have suggested that early life exposure of healthy rodent models to methylphenidate resulted in altered sleep/wake cycle, heightened stress reactivity, and, in fact, a dosage previously thought of as therapeutic depressed neuronal function in juvenile rats. Furthermore, juvenile rats exposed to low-dose methylphenidate displayed alterations in neural markers of plasticity, indicating that the drug might alter the basic properties of prefrontal cortical circuits. In this review of the current literature, we propose that juvenile exposure to methylphenidate may cause abnormal prefrontal function and impaired plasticity in the healthy brain, strengthening the case for developing a more thorough understanding of methylphenidate's actions on the developing, juvenile brain, as well as better diagnostic measures for ADHD.

  14. Understanding entangled cerebral networks: a prerequisite for restoring brain function with brain-computer interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

    Historically, cerebral processing has been conceptualized as a framework based on statically localized functions. However, a growing amount of evidence supports a hodotopical (delocalized) and flexible organization. A number of studies have reported absence of a permanent neurological deficit after massive surgical resections of eloquent brain tissue. These results highlight the tremendous plastic potential of the brain. Understanding anatomo-functional correlates underlying this cerebral reorganization is a prerequisite to restore brain functions through brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) in patients with cerebral diseases, or even to potentiate brain functions in healthy individuals. Here, we review current knowledge of neural networks that could be utilized in the BCIs that enable movements and language. To this end, intraoperative electrical stimulation in awake patients provides valuable information on the cerebral functional maps, their connectomics and plasticity. Overall, these studies indicate that the complex cerebral circuitry that underpins interactions between action, cognition and behavior should be throughly investigated before progress in BCI approaches can be achieved. PMID:24834030

  15. Non-invasive Brain Stimulation, a Tool to Revert Maladaptive Plasticity in Neuropathic Pain

    PubMed Central

    Naro, Antonino; Milardi, Demetrio; Russo, Margherita; Terranova, Carmen; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cacciola, Alberto; Marino, Silvia; Calabro, Rocco S.; Quartarone, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Neuromodulatory effects of non-invasive brain stimulation (NIBS) have been extensively studied in chronic pain. A hypothetic mechanism of action would be to prevent or revert the ongoing maladaptive plasticity within the pain matrix. In this review, the authors discuss the mechanisms underlying the development of maladaptive plasticity in patients with chronic pain and the putative mechanisms of NIBS in modulating synaptic plasticity in neuropathic pain conditions. PMID:27512368

  16. Neurotransmitter precursors and brain function.

    PubMed

    Conlay, L A; Zeisel, S H

    1982-04-01

    Brain function can be affected by the availability of dietary precursors of neurotransmitters. This occurs because the rate-limiting synthetic enzymes are not "saturated" with substrate under normal circumstances. Tyrosine affects catecholaminergic neurons that fire rapidly, whether in the brain stem to decrease blood pressure in hypertension or in the adrenal gland to increase blood pressure in hypotension, and has been used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and depression. Choline forms acetylcholine and has been used successfully in the treatment of tardive dyskinesia and memory disorders. Tryptophan, which forms serotonin, has been used for chronic pain therapy, sleep disorders, depression, and appetite control. Although these substances may lack the potency of traditionally used agonists, they offer an increase in specificity because the enzymes necessary to convert them to neurotransmitters are found only in neurons. Precursors are also "physiological"; they are consumed as foods and, therefore, should be relatively safe therapeutic agents. PMID:6124895

  17. Eloquent Brain, Ethical Challenges: Functional Brain Mapping in Neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    Klein, Eran

    2015-06-01

    Functional brain mapping is an increasingly relied upon tool in presurgical planning and intraoperative decision making. Mapping allows personalization of structure-function relationships when surgical or other treatment of pathology puts eloquent functioning like language or vision at risk. As an innovative technology, functional brain mapping holds great promise but also raises important ethical questions. In this article, recent work in neuroethics on functional imaging and functional neurosurgery is explored and applied to functional brain mapping. Specific topics discussed in this article are incidental findings, responsible innovation, and informed consent.

  18. Social plasticity in fish: integrating mechanisms and function.

    PubMed

    Oliveira, R F

    2012-12-01

    Social plasticity is a ubiquitous feature of animal behaviour. Animals must adjust the expression of their social behaviour to the nuances of daily social life and to the transitions between life-history stages, and the ability to do so affects their Darwinian fitness. Here, an integrative framework is proposed for understanding the proximate mechanisms and ultimate consequences of social plasticity. According to this framework, social plasticity is achieved by rewiring or by biochemically switching nodes of the neural network underlying social behaviour in response to perceived social information. Therefore, at the molecular level, it depends on the social regulation of gene expression, so that different brain genomic and epigenetic states correspond to different behavioural responses and the switches between states are orchestrated by signalling pathways that interface the social environment and the genotype. At the evolutionary scale, social plasticity can be seen as an adaptive trait that can be under positive selection when changes in the environment outpace the rate of genetic evolutionary change. In cases when social plasticity is too costly or incomplete, behavioural consistency can emerge by directional selection that recruits gene modules corresponding to favoured behavioural states in that environment. As a result of this integrative approach, how knowledge of the proximate mechanisms underlying social plasticity is crucial to understanding its costs, limits and evolutionary consequences is shown, thereby highlighting the fact that proximate mechanisms contribute to the dynamics of selection. The role of teleosts as a premier model to study social plasticity is also highlighted, given the diversity and plasticity that this group exhibits in terms of social behaviour. Finally, the proposed integrative framework to social plasticity also illustrates how reciprocal causation analysis of biological phenomena (i.e. considering the interaction between

  19. Wnts in adult brain: from synaptic plasticity to cognitive deficiencies

    PubMed Central

    Oliva, Carolina A.; Vargas, Jessica Y.; Inestrosa, Nibaldo C.

    2013-01-01

    During development of the central nervous system the Wnt signaling pathway has been implicated in a wide spectrum of physiological processes, including neuronal connectivity and synapse formation. Wnt proteins and components of the Wnt pathway are expressed in the brain since early development to the adult life, however, little is known about its role in mature synapses. Here, we review evidences indicating that Wnt proteins participate in the remodeling of pre- and post-synaptic regions, thus modulating synaptic function. We include the most recent data in the literature showing that Wnts are constantly released in the brain to maintain the basal neural activity. Also, we review the evidences that involve components of the Wnt pathway in the development of neurological and mental disorders, including a special emphasis on in vivo studies that relate behavioral abnormalities to deficiencies in Wnt signaling. Finally, we include the evidences that support a neuroprotective role of Wnt proteins in Alzheimer’s disease. We postulate that deregulation in Wnt signaling might have a fundamental role in the origin of neurological diseases, by altering the synaptic function at stages where the phenotype is not yet established but when the cognitive decline starts. PMID:24348327

  20. Functional Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex Supports Motor Learning by Observing.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Heather R; Cashaback, Joshua G A; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-04-01

    An influential idea in neuroscience is that the sensory-motor system is activated when observing the actions of others [1, 2]. This idea has recently been extended to motor learning, in which observation results in sensory-motor plasticity and behavioral changes in both motor and somatosensory domains [3-9]. However, it is unclear how the brain maps visual information onto motor circuits for learning. Here we test the idea that the somatosensory system, and specifically primary somatosensory cortex (S1), plays a role in motor learning by observing. In experiment 1, we applied stimulation to the median nerve to occupy the somatosensory system with unrelated inputs while participants observed a tutor learning to reach in a force field. Stimulation disrupted motor learning by observing in a limb-specific manner. Stimulation delivered to the right arm (the same arm used by the tutor) disrupted learning, whereas left arm stimulation did not. This is consistent with the idea that a somatosensory representation of the observed effector must be available during observation for learning to occur. In experiment 2, we assessed S1 cortical processing before and after observation by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) associated with median nerve stimulation. SEP amplitudes increased only for participants who observed learning. Moreover, SEPs increased more for participants who exhibited greater motor learning following observation. Taken together, these findings support the idea that motor learning by observing relies on functional plasticity in S1. We propose that visual signals about the movements of others are mapped onto motor circuits for learning via the somatosensory system.

  1. Functional Plasticity in Somatosensory Cortex Supports Motor Learning by Observing.

    PubMed

    McGregor, Heather R; Cashaback, Joshua G A; Gribble, Paul L

    2016-04-01

    An influential idea in neuroscience is that the sensory-motor system is activated when observing the actions of others [1, 2]. This idea has recently been extended to motor learning, in which observation results in sensory-motor plasticity and behavioral changes in both motor and somatosensory domains [3-9]. However, it is unclear how the brain maps visual information onto motor circuits for learning. Here we test the idea that the somatosensory system, and specifically primary somatosensory cortex (S1), plays a role in motor learning by observing. In experiment 1, we applied stimulation to the median nerve to occupy the somatosensory system with unrelated inputs while participants observed a tutor learning to reach in a force field. Stimulation disrupted motor learning by observing in a limb-specific manner. Stimulation delivered to the right arm (the same arm used by the tutor) disrupted learning, whereas left arm stimulation did not. This is consistent with the idea that a somatosensory representation of the observed effector must be available during observation for learning to occur. In experiment 2, we assessed S1 cortical processing before and after observation by measuring somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) associated with median nerve stimulation. SEP amplitudes increased only for participants who observed learning. Moreover, SEPs increased more for participants who exhibited greater motor learning following observation. Taken together, these findings support the idea that motor learning by observing relies on functional plasticity in S1. We propose that visual signals about the movements of others are mapped onto motor circuits for learning via the somatosensory system. PMID:26972317

  2. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

    In recent years, there have been unprecedented methodological advances in the dynamic imaging of brain activities. Electrophysiological, optical, and magnetic resonance methods now allow mapping of functional activation (or deactivation) by measurement of neuronal activity (e.g., membrane potential, ion flux, neurotransmitter flux), energy metabolism (e.g., glucose consumption, oxygen consumption, creatine kinase flux), and functional hyperemia (e.g., blood oxygenation, blood flow, blood volume). Properties of the glutamatergic synapse are used as a model to reveal activities at the nerve terminal and their associated changes in energy demand and blood flow. This approach reveals that each method measures different tissue- and/or cell-specific components with specified spatiotemporal resolution. While advantages and disadvantages of different methods are apparent and often used to supersede one another in terms of specificity and/or sensitivity, no particular technique is the optimal dynamic brain imaging method because each method is unique in some respect. Because the demand for energy substrates is a fundamental requirement for function, energy-based methods may allow quantitative dynamic imaging in vivo. However there are exclusive neurobiological insights gained by combining some of these different dynamic imaging techniques. PMID:18839085

  3. The role of sleep in memory consolidation and brain plasticity: dream or reality?

    PubMed

    Frank, Marcos G; Benington, Joel H

    2006-12-01

    The notion that a good night of sleep improves memory is widely accepted by the general public. Among sleep scientists, however, the idea has been hotly debated for decades. In this review, the authors consider current evidence for and against the hypothesis that sleep facilitates memory consolidation and promotes plastic changes in the brain. They find that despite a steady accumulation of positive findings over the past decade, the precise role of sleep in memory and brain plasticity remains elusive. This impasse may be resolved by more integrated approaches that combine behavioral and neurophysiological measurements in well-described in vivo models of synaptic plasticity.

  4. Plasticity of inhibitory synapses in the brain: a possible memory mechanism that has been overlooked.

    PubMed

    Kano, M

    1995-01-01

    Long-term modification of transmission efficacy at inhibitory synapses has recently been discovered in several regions of the vertebrate brain, i.e. Mauthner cells of the goldfish, cerebellar Purkinje cells, deep cerebellar nuclei and the visual cortex. Synaptic plasticity at inhibitory synapses has properties similar to that of excitatory synapses, such as dependency on intracellular Ca2+ levels, input specificity, saturation and associativity. Considering the ubiquitous distribution of inhibitory synapses and the receptors for inhibitory transmitters, GABA and glycine, plasticity of inhibitory synapses may exist widely throughout the brain. It may contribute to learning and development in concert with plasticity of excitatory synapses.

  5. Pathological brain plasticity and cognition in the offspring of males subjected to postnatal traumatic stress.

    PubMed

    Bohacek, J; Farinelli, M; Mirante, O; Steiner, G; Gapp, K; Coiret, G; Ebeling, M; Durán-Pacheco, G; Iniguez, A L; Manuella, F; Moreau, J-L; Mansuy, I M

    2015-05-01

    Traumatic stress in early-life increases the risk for cognitive and neuropsychiatric disorders later in life. Such early stress can also impact the progeny even if not directly exposed, likely through epigenetic mechanisms. Here, we report in mice that the offspring of males subjected to postnatal traumatic stress have decreased gene expression in molecular pathways necessary for neuronal signaling, and altered synaptic plasticity when adult. Long-term potentiation is abolished and long-term depression is enhanced in the hippocampus, and these defects are associated with impaired long-term memory in both the exposed fathers and their offspring. The brain-specific gamma isoform of protein kinase C (Prkcc) is one of the affected signaling components in the hippocampus. Its expression is reduced in the offspring, and DNA methylation at its promoter is altered both in the hippocampus of the offspring and the sperm of fathers. These results suggest that postnatal traumatic stress in males can affect brain plasticity and cognitive functions in the adult progeny, possibly through epigenetic alterations in the male germline.

  6. Learning, memory and brain plasticity in posttraumatic stress disorder: context matters.

    PubMed

    Flor, Herta; Nees, Frauke

    2014-01-01

    We review evidence from our laboratory that suggests that in addition to enhanced cue conditioning and delayed cue extinction disturbed contextual learning may play an important role in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress disorder. Based on data from a longitudinal sample of rescue workers at high risk for posttraumatic stress disorder and data on single trauma exposed persons with and without posttraumatic stress disorder we show the crucial role of the hippocampus for contextual memory and impaired contextual learning along with enhanced cue conditioning and delayed extinction in PTSD. Using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging we confirmed animal data on the role of the hippocampus in contextual and the importance of the amygdala in cue conditioning and the role of the frontal cortex in extinction. Genetic variants related to the modulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis are associated with cue and genetic variants related to calcium signaling and memory processes and the regulation of the stress response are associated with context conditioning. These genes also play a role in PTSD. Further research needs to identify the predictive nature of these learning processes and plastic brain changes and their interaction with genetic characteristics changes for the transition into PTSD and its maintenance. A further focus needs to be on the identification of learning and memory mechanisms and the associated brain plasticity across disorders.

  7. Insulin action in brain regulates systemic metabolism and brain function.

    PubMed

    Kleinridders, André; Ferris, Heather A; Cai, Weikang; Kahn, C Ronald

    2014-07-01

    Insulin receptors, as well as IGF-1 receptors and their postreceptor signaling partners, are distributed throughout the brain. Insulin acts on these receptors to modulate peripheral metabolism, including regulation of appetite, reproductive function, body temperature, white fat mass, hepatic glucose output, and response to hypoglycemia. Insulin signaling also modulates neurotransmitter channel activity, brain cholesterol synthesis, and mitochondrial function. Disruption of insulin action in the brain leads to impairment of neuronal function and synaptogenesis. In addition, insulin signaling modulates phosphorylation of tau protein, an early component in the development of Alzheimer disease. Thus, alterations in insulin action in the brain can contribute to metabolic syndrome, and the development of mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.

  8. Performance enhancement at the cost of potential brain plasticity: neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain

    PubMed Central

    Urban, Kimberly R.; Gao, Wen-Jun

    2014-01-01

    Cognitive enhancement is perhaps one of the most intriguing and controversial topics in neuroscience today. Currently, the main classes of drugs used as potential cognitive enhancers include psychostimulants (methylphenidate (MPH), amphetamine), but wakefulness-promoting agents (modafinil) and glutamate activators (ampakine) are also frequently used. Pharmacologically, substances that enhance the components of the memory/learning circuits—dopamine, glutamate (neuronal excitation), and/or norepinephrine—stand to improve brain function in healthy individuals beyond their baseline functioning. In particular, non-medical use of prescription stimulants such as MPH and illicit use of psychostimulants for cognitive enhancement have seen a recent rise among teens and young adults in schools and college campuses. However, this enhancement likely comes with a neuronal, as well as ethical, cost. Altering glutamate function via the use of psychostimulants may impair behavioral flexibility, leading to the development and/or potentiation of addictive behaviors. Furthermore, dopamine and norepinephrine do not display linear effects; instead, their modulation of cognitive and neuronal function maps on an inverted-U curve. Healthy individuals run the risk of pushing themselves beyond optimal levels into hyperdopaminergic and hypernoradrenergic states, thus vitiating the very behaviors they are striving to improve. Finally, recent studies have begun to highlight potential damaging effects of stimulant exposure in healthy juveniles. This review explains how the main classes of cognitive enhancing drugs affect the learning and memory circuits, and highlights the potential risks and concerns in healthy individuals, particularly juveniles and adolescents. We emphasize the performance enhancement at the potential cost of brain plasticity that is associated with the neural ramifications of nootropic drugs in the healthy developing brain. PMID:24860437

  9. Simultaneous Brain-Cervical Cord fMRI Reveals Intrinsic Spinal Cord Plasticity during Motor Sequence Learning.

    PubMed

    Vahdat, Shahabeddin; Lungu, Ovidiu; Cohen-Adad, Julien; Marchand-Pauvert, Veronique; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2015-06-01

    The spinal cord participates in the execution of skilled movements by translating high-level cerebral motor representations into musculotopic commands. Yet, the extent to which motor skill acquisition relies on intrinsic spinal cord processes remains unknown. To date, attempts to address this question were limited by difficulties in separating spinal local effects from supraspinal influences through traditional electrophysiological and neuroimaging methods. Here, for the first time, we provide evidence for local learning-induced plasticity in intact human spinal cord through simultaneous functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and spinal cord during motor sequence learning. Specifically, we show learning-related modulation of activity in the C6-C8 spinal region, which is independent from that of related supraspinal sensorimotor structures. Moreover, a brain-spinal cord functional connectivity analysis demonstrates that the initial linear relationship between the spinal cord and sensorimotor cortex gradually fades away over the course of motor sequence learning, while the connectivity between spinal activity and cerebellum gains strength. These data suggest that the spinal cord not only constitutes an active functional component of the human motor learning network but also contributes distinctively from the brain to the learning process. The present findings open new avenues for rehabilitation of patients with spinal cord injuries, as they demonstrate that this part of the central nervous system is much more plastic than assumed before. Yet, the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying this intrinsic functional plasticity in the spinal cord warrant further investigations.

  10. Task decomposition: a framework for comparing diverse training models in human brain plasticity studies.

    PubMed

    Coffey, Emily B J; Herholz, Sibylle C

    2013-01-01

    Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain's potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify "missing puzzle pieces," and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927

  11. Motor Skill Acquisition Promotes Human Brain Myelin Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Lakhani, Bimal; Borich, Michael R.; Jackson, Jacob N.; Wadden, Katie P.; Peters, Sue; Villamayor, Anica; MacKay, Alex L.; Vavasour, Irene M.; Rauscher, Alexander; Boyd, Lara A.

    2016-01-01

    Experience-dependent structural changes are widely evident in gray matter. Using diffusion weighted imaging (DWI), the neuroplastic effect of motor training on white matter in the brain has been demonstrated. However, in humans it is not known whether specific features of white matter relate to motor skill acquisition or if these structural changes are associated to functional network connectivity. Myelin can be objectively quantified in vivo and used to index specific experience-dependent change. In the current study, seventeen healthy young adults completed ten sessions of visuomotor skill training (10,000 total movements) using the right arm. Multicomponent relaxation imaging was performed before and after training. Significant increases in myelin water fraction, a quantitative measure of myelin, were observed in task dependent brain regions (left intraparietal sulcus [IPS] and left parieto-occipital sulcus). In addition, the rate of motor skill acquisition and overall change in myelin water fraction in the left IPS were negatively related, suggesting that a slower rate of learning resulted in greater neuroplastic change. This study provides the first evidence for experience-dependent changes in myelin that are associated with changes in skilled movements in healthy young adults. PMID:27293906

  12. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

    Tomasi D.; Tomasi, D.; Volkow, N.D.

    2011-07-11

    Aging is associated with changes in human brain anatomy and function and cognitive decline. Recent studies suggest the aging decline of major functional connectivity hubs in the 'default-mode' network (DMN). Aging effects on other networks, however, are largely unknown. We hypothesized that aging would be associated with a decline of short- and long-range functional connectivity density (FCD) hubs in the DMN. To test this hypothesis, we evaluated resting-state data sets corresponding to 913 healthy subjects from a public magnetic resonance imaging database using functional connectivity density mapping (FCDM), a voxelwise and data-driven approach, together with parallel computing. Aging was associated with pronounced long-range FCD decreases in DMN and dorsal attention network (DAN) and with increases in somatosensory and subcortical networks. Aging effects in these networks were stronger for long-range than for short-range FCD and were also detected at the level of the main functional hubs. Females had higher short- and long-range FCD in DMN and lower FCD in the somatosensory network than males, but the gender by age interaction effects were not significant for any of the networks or hubs. These findings suggest that long-range connections may be more vulnerable to aging effects than short-range connections and that, in addition to the DMN, the DAN is also sensitive to aging effects, which could underlie the deterioration of attention processes that occurs with aging.

  13. Rehabilitative Interventions and Brain Plasticity in Autism Spectrum Disorders: Focus on MRI-Based Studies

    PubMed Central

    Calderoni, Sara; Billeci, Lucia; Narzisi, Antonio; Brambilla, Paolo; Retico, Alessandra; Muratori, Filippo

    2016-01-01

    Clinical and research evidence supports the efficacy of rehabilitative intervention for improving targeted skills or global outcomes in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, putative mechanisms of structural and functional brain changes are poorly understood. This review aims to investigate the research literature on the neural circuit modifications after non-pharmacological intervention. For this purpose, longitudinal studies that used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)-based techniques at the start and at the end of the trial to evaluate the neural effects of rehabilitative treatment in subjects with ASD were identified. The six included studies involved a limited number of patients in the active group (from 2 to 16), and differed by acquisition method (task-related and resting-state functional MRI) as well as by functional MRI tasks. Overall, the results produced by the selected investigations demonstrated brain plasticity during the treatment interval that results in an activation/functional connectivity more similar to those of subjects with typical development (TD). Repeated MRI evaluation may represent a promising tool for the detection of neural changes in response to treatment in patients with ASD. However, large-scale randomized controlled trials after standardized rehabilitative intervention are required before translating these preliminary results into clinical use. PMID:27065795

  14. Describing functional diversity of brain regions and brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Michael L.; Kinnison, Josh; Pessoa, Luiz

    2013-01-01

    Despite the general acceptance that functional specialization plays an important role in brain function, there is little consensus about its extent in the brain. We sought to advance the understanding of this question by employing a data-driven approach that capitalizes on the existence of large databases of neuroimaging data. We quantified the diversity of activation in brain regions as a way to characterize the degree of functional specialization. To do so, brain activations were classified in terms of task domains, such as vision, attention, and language, which determined a region’s functional fingerprint. We found that the degree of diversity varied considerably across the brain. We also quantified novel properties of regions and of networks that inform our understanding of several task-positive and task-negative networks described in the literature, including defining functional fingerprints for entire networks and measuring their functional assortativity, namely the degree to which they are composed of regions with similar functional fingerprints. Our results demonstrate that some brain networks exhibit strong assortativity, whereas other networks consist of relatively heterogeneous parts. In sum, rather than characterizing the contributions of individual brain regions using task-based functional attributions, we instead quantified their dispositional tendencies, and related those to each region’s affiliative properties in both task-positive and task-negative contexts. PMID:23396162

  15. Dietary amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, J D

    1994-01-01

    Two groups of amino acids--the aromatic and the acidic amino acids--are reputed to influence brain function when their ingestion in food changes the levels of these amino acids in the brain. The aromatic amino acids (tryptophan, tyrosine, phenylalanine) are the biosynthetic precursors for the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine. Single meals, depending on their protein content, can rapidly influence uptake of aromatic amino acid into the brain and, as a result, directly modify their conversion to neurotransmitters. Such alterations in the production of transmitters can directly modify their release from neurons and, thus, influence brain function. The acidic amino acids glutamate and aspartate are themselves brain neurotransmitters. However, they do not have ready access to the brain from the circulation or the diet. As a result, the ingestion of proteins, which are naturally rich in aspartate and glutamate, has no effect on the level of acidic amino acid in the brain (or, thus, on brain function by this mechanism). Nevertheless, the food additives monosodium glutamate and aspartame (which contains aspartate) have been reputed to raise the level of acidic amino acid in the brain (when ingested in enormous amounts), to modify brain function, and even to cause neuronal damage. Despite such claims, a substantial body of published evidence clearly indicates that the brain is not affected by ingestion of aspartame and is affected by glutamate only when the amino acid is administered alone in extremely large doses. Therefore, when consumed in the diet neither compound presents a risk to normal brain function.

  16. Two is More Than One: How to Combine Brain Stimulation Rehabilitative Training for Functional Recovery?

    PubMed Central

    Koganemaru, Satoko; Fukuyama, Hidenao; Mima, Tatsuya

    2015-01-01

    A number of studies have shown that non-invasive brain stimulation has an additional effect in combination with rehabilitative therapy to enhance functional recovery than either therapy alone. The combination enhances use-dependent plasticity induced by repetitive training. The neurophysiological mechanism of the effects of this combination is based on associative plasticity. However, these effects were not reported in all cases. We propose a list of possible strategies to achieve an effective association between rehabilitative training with brain stimulation for plasticity: (1) control of temporal aspect between stimulation and task execution; (2) the use of a shaped task for the combination; (3) the appropriate stimulation of neuronal circuits where use-dependent plastic changes occur; and (4) phase synchronization between rhythmically patterned brain stimulation and task-related patterned activities of neurons. To better utilize brain stimulation in neuro-rehabilitation, it is important to develop more effective techniques to combine them. PMID:26617497

  17. Musicians and music making as a model for the study of brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions. PMID:25725909

  18. Musicians and music making as a model for the study of brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions.

  19. Musicians and music making as a model for the study of brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Schlaug, Gottfried

    2015-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of sensory and motor skills over the course of a musician’s lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying behavioral-cognitive as well as brain effects of acquiring, practicing, and maintaining these specialized skills. Research has shown that repeatedly practicing the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation), while receiving continuous multisensory feedback will strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) as well as multimodal integration regions. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. Furthermore, the plasticity of this system as a result of long term and intense interventions suggest the potential for music making activities (e.g., forms of singing) as an intervention for neurological and developmental disorders to learn and relearn associations between auditory and motor functions such as vocal motor functions. PMID:25725909

  20. The birth of new neurons in the maternal brain: Hormonal regulation and functional implications.

    PubMed

    Leuner, Benedetta; Sabihi, Sara

    2016-04-01

    The maternal brain is remarkably plastic and exhibits multifaceted neural modifications. Neurogenesis has emerged as one of the mechanisms by which the maternal brain exhibits plasticity. This review highlights what is currently known about peripartum-associated changes in adult neurogenesis and the underlying hormonal mechanisms. We also consider the functional consequences of neurogenesis in the peripartum brain and extent to which this process may play a role in maternal care, cognitive function and postpartum mood. Finally, while most work investigating the effects of parenting on adult neurogenesis has focused on mothers, a few studies have examined fathers and these results are also discussed. PMID:26969795

  1. Modeling learning in brain stem and cerebellar sites responsible for VOR plasticity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Quinn, K. J.; Didier, A. J.; Baker, J. F.; Peterson, B. W.

    1998-01-01

    A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response.

  2. Modeling learning in brain stem and cerebellar sites responsible for VOR plasticity.

    PubMed

    Quinn, K J; Didier, A J; Baker, J F; Peterson, B W

    1998-07-01

    A simple model of vestibuloocular reflex (VOR) function was used to analyze several hypotheses currently held concerning the characteristics of VOR plasticity. The network included a direct vestibular pathway and an indirect path via the cerebellum. An optimization analysis of this model suggests that regulation of brain stem sites is critical for the proper modification of VOR gain. A more physiologically plausible learning rule was also applied to this network. Analysis of these simulation results suggests that the preferred error correction signal controlling gain modification of the VOR is the direct output of the accessory optic system (AOS) to the vestibular nuclei vs. a signal relayed through the cerebellum via floccular Purkinje cells. The potential anatomical and physiological basis for this conclusion is discussed, in relation to our current understanding of the latency of the adapted VOR response. PMID:9671263

  3. Effects of exercise intensity on spatial memory performance and hippocampal synaptic plasticity in transient brain ischemic rats.

    PubMed

    Shih, Pei-Cheng; Yang, Yea-Ru; Wang, Ray-Yau

    2013-01-01

    Memory impairment is commonly noted in stroke survivors, and can lead to delay of functional recovery. Exercise has been proved to improve memory in adult healthy subjects. Such beneficial effects are often suggested to relate to hippocampal synaptic plasticity, which is important for memory processing. Previous evidence showed that in normal rats, low intensity exercise can improve synaptic plasticity better than high intensity exercise. However, the effects of exercise intensities on hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory after brain ischemia remain unclear. In this study, we investigated such effects in brain ischemic rats. The middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) procedure was used to induce brain ischemia. After the MCAO procedure, rats were randomly assigned to sedentary (Sed), low-intensity exercise (Low-Ex), or high-intensity exercise (High-Ex) group. Treadmill training began from the second day post MCAO procedure, 30 min/day for 14 consecutive days for the exercise groups. The Low-Ex group was trained at the speed of 8 m/min, while the High-Ex group at the speed of 20 m/min. The spatial memory, hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synapsin-I, postsynaptic density protein 95 (PSD-95), and dendritic structures were examined to document the effects. Serum corticosterone level was also quantified as stress marker. Our results showed the Low-Ex group, but not the High-Ex group, demonstrated better spatial memory performance than the Sed group. Dendritic complexity and the levels of BDNF and PSD-95 increased significantly only in the Low-Ex group as compared with the Sed group in bilateral hippocampus. Notably, increased level of corticosterone was found in the High-Ex group, implicating higher stress response. In conclusion, after brain ischemia, low intensity exercise may result in better synaptic plasticity and spatial memory performance than high intensity exercise; therefore, the intensity is suggested to be considered

  4. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning – Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis

    PubMed Central

    Thaut, Michael H.; Peterson, David A.; McIntosh, Gerald C.; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey’s auditory verbal learning test. We defined the “learning-related synchronization” (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances “deep encoding” during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626

  5. Music mnemonics aid Verbal Memory and Induce Learning - Related Brain Plasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Thaut, Michael H; Peterson, David A; McIntosh, Gerald C; Hoemberg, Volker

    2014-01-01

    Recent research on music and brain function has suggested that the temporal pattern structure in music and rhythm can enhance cognitive functions. To further elucidate this question specifically for memory, we investigated if a musical template can enhance verbal learning in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) and if music-assisted learning will also influence short-term, system-level brain plasticity. We measured systems-level brain activity with oscillatory network synchronization during music-assisted learning. Specifically, we measured the spectral power of 128-channel electroencephalogram (EEG) in alpha and beta frequency bands in 54 patients with MS. The study sample was randomly divided into two groups, either hearing a spoken or a musical (sung) presentation of Rey's auditory verbal learning test. We defined the "learning-related synchronization" (LRS) as the percent change in EEG spectral power from the first time the word was presented to the average of the subsequent word encoding trials. LRS differed significantly between the music and the spoken conditions in low alpha and upper beta bands. Patients in the music condition showed overall better word memory and better word order memory and stronger bilateral frontal alpha LRS than patients in the spoken condition. The evidence suggests that a musical mnemonic recruits stronger oscillatory network synchronization in prefrontal areas in MS patients during word learning. It is suggested that the temporal structure implicit in musical stimuli enhances "deep encoding" during verbal learning and sharpens the timing of neural dynamics in brain networks degraded by demyelination in MS. PMID:24982626

  6. Promoting motor function by exercising the brain.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

    Exercise represents a behavioral intervention that enhances brain health and motor function. The increase in cerebral blood volume in response to physical activity may be responsible for improving brain function. Among the various neuroimaging techniques used to monitor brain hemodynamic response during exercise, functional near-infrared spectroscopy could facilitate the measurement of task-related cortical responses noninvasively and is relatively robust with regard to the subjects' motion. Although the components of optimal exercise interventions have not been determined, evidence from animal and human studies suggests that aerobic exercise with sufficiently high intensity has neuroprotective properties and promotes motor function. This review provides an insight into the effect of physical activity (based on endurance and resistance exercises) on brain function for producing movement. Since most progress in the study of brain function has come from patients with neurological disorders (e.g., stroke and Parkinson's patients), this review presents some findings emphasizing training paradigms for restoring motor function. PMID:24961309

  7. Polysialic acid-neural cell adhesion molecule in brain plasticity: from synapses to integration of new neurons.

    PubMed

    Gascon, Eduardo; Vutskits, Laszlo; Kiss, Jozsef Zoltan

    2007-11-01

    Isoforms of the neuronal cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) carrying the linear homopolymer of alpha 2,8-linked sialic acid (polysialic acid, PSA) have emerged as particularly attractive candidates for promoting plasticity in the nervous system. The large negatively charged PSA chain of NCAM is postulated to be a spacer that reduces adhesion forces between cells allowing dynamic changes in membrane contacts. Accumulating evidence also suggests that PSA-NCAM-mediated interactions lead to activation of intracellular signaling cascades that are fundamental to the biological functions of the molecule. An important role of PSA-NCAM appears to be during development, when its expression level is high and where it contributes to the regulation of cell shape, growth or migration. However, PSA-NCAM does persist in adult brain structures such as the hippocampus that display a high degree of plasticity where it is involved in activity-induced synaptic plasticity. Recent advances in the field of PSA-NCAM research have not only consolidated the importance of this molecule in plasticity processes but also suggest a role for PSA-NCAM in the regulation of higher cognitive functions and psychiatric disorders. In this review, we discuss the role and mode of actions of PSA-NCAM in structural plasticity as well as its potential link to cognitive processes.

  8. The brain timewise: how timing shapes and supports brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

    We discuss the importance of timing in brain function: how temporal dynamics of the world has left its traces in the brain during evolution and how we can monitor the dynamics of the human brain with non-invasive measurements. Accurate timing is important for the interplay of neurons, neuronal circuitries, brain areas and human individuals. In the human brain, multiple temporal integration windows are hierarchically organized, with temporal scales ranging from microseconds to tens and hundreds of milliseconds for perceptual, motor and cognitive functions, and up to minutes, hours and even months for hormonal and mood changes. Accurate timing is impaired in several brain diseases. From the current repertoire of non-invasive brain imaging methods, only magnetoencephalography (MEG) and scalp electroencephalography (EEG) provide millisecond time-resolution; our focus in this paper is on MEG. Since the introduction of high-density whole-scalp MEG/EEG coverage in the 1990s, the instrumentation has not changed drastically; yet, novel data analyses are advancing the field rapidly by shifting the focus from the mere pinpointing of activity hotspots to seeking stimulus- or task-specific information and to characterizing functional networks. During the next decades, we can expect increased spatial resolution and accuracy of the time-resolved brain imaging and better understanding of brain function, especially its temporal constraints, with the development of novel instrumentation and finer-grained, physiologically inspired generative models of local and network activity. Merging both spatial and temporal information with increasing accuracy and carrying out recordings in naturalistic conditions, including social interaction, will bring much new information about human brain function. PMID:25823867

  9. The brain timewise: how timing shapes and supports brain function.

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-05-19

    We discuss the importance of timing in brain function: how temporal dynamics of the world has left its traces in the brain during evolution and how we can monitor the dynamics of the human brain with non-invasive measurements. Accurate timing is important for the interplay of neurons, neuronal circuitries, brain areas and human individuals. In the human brain, multiple temporal integration windows are hierarchically organized, with temporal scales ranging from microseconds to tens and hundreds of milliseconds for perceptual, motor and cognitive functions, and up to minutes, hours and even months for hormonal and mood changes. Accurate timing is impaired in several brain diseases. From the current repertoire of non-invasive brain imaging methods, only magnetoencephalography (MEG) and scalp electroencephalography (EEG) provide millisecond time-resolution; our focus in this paper is on MEG. Since the introduction of high-density whole-scalp MEG/EEG coverage in the 1990s, the instrumentation has not changed drastically; yet, novel data analyses are advancing the field rapidly by shifting the focus from the mere pinpointing of activity hotspots to seeking stimulus- or task-specific information and to characterizing functional networks. During the next decades, we can expect increased spatial resolution and accuracy of the time-resolved brain imaging and better understanding of brain function, especially its temporal constraints, with the development of novel instrumentation and finer-grained, physiologically inspired generative models of local and network activity. Merging both spatial and temporal information with increasing accuracy and carrying out recordings in naturalistic conditions, including social interaction, will bring much new information about human brain function.

  10. Task decomposition: a framework for comparing diverse training models in human brain plasticity studies

    PubMed Central

    Coffey, Emily B. J.; Herholz, Sibylle C.

    2013-01-01

    Training studies, in which the structural or functional neurophysiology is compared before and after expertise is acquired, are increasingly being used as models for understanding the human brain’s potential for reorganization. It is proving difficult to use these results to answer basic and important questions like how task training leads to both specific and general changes in behavior and how these changes correspond with modifications in the brain. The main culprit is the diversity of paradigms used as complex task models. An assortment of activities ranging from juggling to deciphering Morse code has been reported. Even when working in the same general domain, few researchers use similar training models. New ways to meaningfully compare complex tasks are needed. We propose a method for characterizing and deconstructing the task requirements of complex training paradigms, which is suitable for application to both structural and functional neuroimaging studies. We believe this approach will aid brain plasticity research by making it easier to compare training paradigms, identify “missing puzzle pieces,” and encourage researchers to design training protocols to bridge these gaps. PMID:24115927

  11. Insulin Action in Brain Regulates Systemic Metabolism and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Kleinridders, André; Ferris, Heather A.; Cai, Weikang

    2014-01-01

    Insulin receptors, as well as IGF-1 receptors and their postreceptor signaling partners, are distributed throughout the brain. Insulin acts on these receptors to modulate peripheral metabolism, including regulation of appetite, reproductive function, body temperature, white fat mass, hepatic glucose output, and response to hypoglycemia. Insulin signaling also modulates neurotransmitter channel activity, brain cholesterol synthesis, and mitochondrial function. Disruption of insulin action in the brain leads to impairment of neuronal function and synaptogenesis. In addition, insulin signaling modulates phosphorylation of tau protein, an early component in the development of Alzheimer disease. Thus, alterations in insulin action in the brain can contribute to metabolic syndrome, and the development of mood disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. PMID:24931034

  12. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease. PMID:25823869

  13. The restless brain: how intrinsic activity organizes brain function.

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

    Traditionally studies of brain function have focused on task-evoked responses. By their very nature such experiments tacitly encourage a reflexive view of brain function. While such an approach has been remarkably productive at all levels of neuroscience, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic and ongoing, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. I suggest that the latter view best captures the essence of brain function, a position that accords well with the allocation of the brain's energy resources, its limited access to sensory information and a dynamic, intrinsic functional organization. The nature of this intrinsic activity, which exhibits a surprising level of organization with dimensions of both space and time, is revealed in the ongoing activity of the brain and its metabolism. As we look to the future, understanding the nature of this intrinsic activity will require integrating knowledge from cognitive and systems neuroscience with cellular and molecular neuroscience where ion channels, receptors, components of signal transduction and metabolic pathways are all in a constant state of flux. The reward for doing so will be a much better understanding of human behaviour in health and disease.

  14. Bioengineered functional brain-like cortical tissue

    PubMed Central

    Tang-Schomer, Min D.; White, James D.; Tien, Lee W.; Schmitt, L. Ian; Valentin, Thomas M.; Graziano, Daniel J.; Hopkins, Amy M.; Omenetto, Fiorenzo G.; Haydon, Philip G.; Kaplan, David L.

    2014-01-01

    The brain remains one of the most important but least understood tissues in our body, in part because of its complexity as well as the limitations associated with in vivo studies. Although simpler tissues have yielded to the emerging tools for in vitro 3D tissue cultures, functional brain-like tissues have not. We report the construction of complex functional 3D brain-like cortical tissue, maintained for months in vitro, formed from primary cortical neurons in modular 3D compartmentalized architectures with electrophysiological function. We show that, on injury, this brain-like tissue responds in vitro with biochemical and electrophysiological outcomes that mimic observations in vivo. This modular 3D brain-like tissue is capable of real-time nondestructive assessments, offering previously unidentified directions for studies of brain homeostasis and injury. PMID:25114234

  15. Modulation of Rho GTPases rescues brain mitochondrial dysfunction, cognitive deficits and aberrant synaptic plasticity in female mice modeling Rett syndrome.

    PubMed

    De Filippis, Bianca; Valenti, Daniela; Chiodi, Valentina; Ferrante, Antonella; de Bari, Lidia; Fiorentini, Carla; Domenici, Maria Rosaria; Ricceri, Laura; Vacca, Rosa Anna; Fabbri, Alessia; Laviola, Giovanni

    2015-06-01

    Rho GTPases are molecules critically involved in neuronal plasticity and cognition. We have previously reported that modulation of brain Rho GTPases by the bacterial toxin CNF1 rescues the neurobehavioral phenotype in MeCP2-308 male mice, a model of Rett syndrome (RTT). RTT is a rare X-linked neurodevelopmental disorder and a genetic cause of intellectual disability, for which no effective therapy is available. Mitochondrial dysfunction has been proposed to be involved in the mechanism of the disease pathogenesis. Here we demonstrate that modulation of Rho GTPases by CNF1 rescues the reduced mitochondrial ATP production via oxidative phosphorylation in the brain of MeCP2-308 heterozygous female mice, the condition which more closely recapitulates that of RTT patients. In RTT mouse brain, CNF1 also restores the alterations in the activity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain (MRC) complexes and of ATP synthase, the molecular machinery responsible for the majority of cell energy production. Such effects were achieved through the upregulation of the protein content of those MRC complexes subunits, which were defective in RTT mouse brain. Restored mitochondrial functionality was accompanied by the rescue of deficits in cognitive function (spatial reference memory in the Barnes maze), synaptic plasticity (long-term potentiation) and Tyr1472 phosphorylation of GluN2B, which was abnormally enhanced in the hippocampus of RTT mice. Present findings bring into light previously unknown functional mitochondrial alterations in the brain of female mice modeling RTT and provide the first evidence that RTT brain mitochondrial dysfunction can be rescued by modulation of Rho GTPases.

  16. Pulmonary functions in plastic factory workers: a preliminary study.

    PubMed

    Khaliq, Farah; Singh, Pawan; Chandra, Prakash; Gupta, Keshav; Vaney, Neelam

    2011-01-01

    Exposure to long term air pollution in the work environment may result in decreased lung functions and various other health problems. A significant occupational hazard to lung functions is experienced by plastic factory workers. The present study is planned to assess the pulmonary functions of workers in the plastic factory where recycling of pastic material was done. These workers were constantly exposed to fumes of various chemicals throughout the day. Thirty one workers of plastic factory were assessed for their pulmonary functions. Parameters were compared with 31 age and sex matched controls not exposed to the same environment. The pulmonary function tests were done using Sibelmed Datospir 120 B portable spirometer. A significant decrease in most of the flow rates (MEF 25%, MEF 50%, MEF 75% and FEF 25-75%) and most of the lung volumes and capacities (FVC, FEV1, VC, TV, ERV, MVV) were observed in the workers. Smoking and duration of exposure were not affecting the lung functions as the non smokers also showed a similar decrement in pulmonary functions. Similarly the workers working for less than 5 years also had decrement in pulmonary functions indicating that their lungs are being affected even if they have worked for one year. Exposure to the organic dust in the work environment should be controlled by adequate engineering measures, complemented by effective personal respiratory protection. PMID:22315811

  17. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-11-19

    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results in learning and memory impairments. Interestingly, such impairments appear to occur particularly when these learning and memory processes require the hippocampus, suggesting that this brain region may be particularly sensitive to the consequences of sleep loss. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and memory formation remain to be investigated, available evidence suggests that SD may impair hippocampal neuronal plasticity and memory processes by attenuating intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling which may lead to alterations in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene transcription, neurotrophic signaling, and glutamate receptor expression. When restricted sleep becomes a chronic condition, it causes a reduction of hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which may eventually lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume. Ultimately, by impairing hippocampal plasticity and function, chronically restricted and disrupted sleep contributes to cognitive disorders and psychiatric diseases.

  18. Sleep deprivation and hippocampal vulnerability: changes in neuronal plasticity, neurogenesis and cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kreutzmann, J C; Havekes, R; Abel, T; Meerlo, P

    2015-11-19

    Despite the ongoing fundamental controversy about the physiological function of sleep, there is general consensus that sleep benefits neuronal plasticity, which ultimately supports brain function and cognition. In agreement with this are numerous studies showing that sleep deprivation (SD) results in learning and memory impairments. Interestingly, such impairments appear to occur particularly when these learning and memory processes require the hippocampus, suggesting that this brain region may be particularly sensitive to the consequences of sleep loss. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying sleep and memory formation remain to be investigated, available evidence suggests that SD may impair hippocampal neuronal plasticity and memory processes by attenuating intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP)-protein kinase A (PKA) signaling which may lead to alterations in cAMP response element binding protein (CREB)-mediated gene transcription, neurotrophic signaling, and glutamate receptor expression. When restricted sleep becomes a chronic condition, it causes a reduction of hippocampal cell proliferation and neurogenesis, which may eventually lead to a reduction in hippocampal volume. Ultimately, by impairing hippocampal plasticity and function, chronically restricted and disrupted sleep contributes to cognitive disorders and psychiatric diseases. PMID:25937398

  19. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

    Exercise enhances learning and memory in animals and humans. The role of peripheral factors that may trigger the beneficial effects of running on brain function has been sparsely examined. In particular, it is unknown whether AMP-kinase (AMPK) activation in muscle can predict enhancement of brain plasticity. Here we compare the effects of running and administration of AMPK agonist 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-β-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR, 500 mg/kg), for 3, 7 or 14 days in one-month-old male C57BL/6J mice, on muscle AMPK signaling. At the time-points where we observed equivalent running- and AICAR-induced muscle pAMPK levels (7 and 14 days), cell proliferation, synaptic plasticity and gene expression, as well as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) were evaluated. At the 7-day time-point, both regimens increased new DG cell number and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels. Furthermore, microarray analysis of DG and LEC tissue showed a remarkable overlap between running and AICAR in the regulation of neuronal, mitochondrial and metabolism related gene classes. Interestingly, while similar outcomes for both treatments were stable over time in muscle, in the brain an inversion occurred at fourteen days. The compound no longer increased DG cell proliferation or neurotrophin levels, and upregulated expression of apoptotic genes and inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β. Thus, an exercise mimetic that produces changes in muscle consistent with those of exercise does not have the same sustainable positive effects on the brain, indicating that only running consistently benefits brain function. PMID:26286955

  20. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

    Exercise enhances learning and memory in animals and humans. The role of peripheral factors that may trigger the beneficial effects of running on brain function has been sparsely examined. In particular, it is unknown whether AMP-kinase (AMPK) activation in muscle can predict enhancement of brain plasticity. Here we compare the effects of running and administration of AMPK agonist 5-Aminoimidazole-4-carboxamide 1-β-D-ribofuranoside (AICAR, 500 mg/kg), for 3, 7 or 14 days in one-month-old male C57BL/6J mice, on muscle AMPK signaling. At the time-points where we observed equivalent running- and AICAR-induced muscle pAMPK levels (7 and 14 days), cell proliferation, synaptic plasticity and gene expression, as well as markers of oxidative stress and inflammation in the dentate gyrus (DG) of the hippocampus and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEC) were evaluated. At the 7-day time-point, both regimens increased new DG cell number and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels. Furthermore, microarray analysis of DG and LEC tissue showed a remarkable overlap between running and AICAR in the regulation of neuronal, mitochondrial and metabolism related gene classes. Interestingly, while similar outcomes for both treatments were stable over time in muscle, in the brain an inversion occurred at fourteen days. The compound no longer increased DG cell proliferation or neurotrophin levels, and upregulated expression of apoptotic genes and inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β. Thus, an exercise mimetic that produces changes in muscle consistent with those of exercise does not have the same sustainable positive effects on the brain, indicating that only running consistently benefits brain function.

  1. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

    The implications of cerebral dominance for curriculum and instruction are enormous. Cognitive style, sex differences, instructional materials preparation and selection, and testing are affected by right or left brain hemisphere dominance. (CJ)

  2. Principles of Experience-Dependent Neural Plasticity: Implications for Rehabilitation after Brain Damage

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kleim, Jeffrey A.; Jones, Theresa A.

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This paper reviews 10 principles of experience-dependent neural plasticity and considerations in applying them to the damaged brain. Method: Neuroscience research using a variety of models of learning, neurological disease, and trauma are reviewed from the perspective of basic neuroscientists but in a manner intended to be useful for the…

  3. Human brain plasticity: evidence from sensory deprivation and altered language experience.

    PubMed

    Neville, Helen; Bavelier, Daphne

    2002-01-01

    The results from the language studies taken as a whole point to different developmental time courses and developmental vulnerabilities of aspects of grammatical and semantic/lexical processing. They thus provide support for conceptions of language that distinguish these subprocesses within language. Similarly, following auditory deprivation, processes associated with the dorsal visual pathway were more altered than were functions associated with the ventral pathway, providing support for conceptions of visual system organization that distinguish functions along these lines. Could the effects observed in blind and deaf adults be accounted for, at least in part, by the redundant connectivity of the immature human brain? One way we tested this hypothesis was to study the differentiation of visual and auditory sensory responses in normal development (Neville, 1995). In normal adults, auditory stimuli elicit ERP responses that are large over temporal brain regions but small or absent over occipital regions. By contrast, in 6-month-old children we observed that auditory ERPs are equally large over temporal and visual brain regions, consistent with the idea that there is less specificity and more redundancy of connections between the auditory and visual cortex at this time. Between 6 and 36 months, however, we observed a gradual decrease in the amplitude of the auditory ERP over visual areas, while the amplitude over the temporal areas was unchanged. These results suggest that early in human development, there exists a redundancy of connections between auditory and visual areas and that this overlap gradually decreases after birth. This loss of redundancy may be a boundary condition that determines when sensory deprivation can result in alterations in the organization of remaining sensory systems. The considerable variability in timing of sensitive periods may also be in part due to temporal differences in the occurrence of redundancy within different systems. Ongoing

  4. Brain Plasticity and the Art of Teaching to Learn

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martinez, Margaret

    2005-01-01

    "Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself, "wrote Leo Tolstoy. Have you ever thought about how learning changes your brain? If yes, this paper may help you explore the research that will change our learning landscape in the next few years! Recent developers in the neurosciences and education research…

  5. Essential Role for Vav GEFs in Brain-derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)-induced Dendritic Spine Growth and Synapse Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Hale, Carly F.; Dietz, Karen C.; Varela, Juan A.; Wood, Cody B.; Zirlin, Benjamin C.; Leverich, Leah S.; Greene, Robert W.; Cowan, Christopher W.

    2011-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and its cognate receptor, TrkB, regulate a wide range of cellular processes, including dendritic spine formation and functional synapse plasticity. However, the signaling mechanisms that link BDNF-activated TrkB to F-actin remodeling enzymes and dendritic spine morphological plasticity remain poorly understood. We report here that BDNF/TrkB signaling in neurons activates the Vav family of Rac/RhoA guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) through a novel TrkB kinase-dependent mechanism. We find that Vav is required for BDNF-stimulated Rac-GTP production in cortical and hippocampal neurons. Vav is partially enriched at excitatory synapses in the postnatal hippocampus, but does not appear to be required for normal dendritic spine density. Rather, we observe significant reductions in both BDNF-induced, rapid dendritic spine head growth and in CA3-CA1 theta burst stimulated (TBS) long-term potentiation (LTP) in Vav-deficient mouse hippocampal slices, suggesting that Vav-dependent regulation of dendritic spine morphological plasticity facilitates normal functional synapse plasticity. PMID:21880903

  6. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Vértes, Petra E; Alexander-Bloch, Aaron F; Gogtay, Nitin; Giedd, Jay N; Rapoport, Judith L; Bullmore, Edward T

    2012-04-10

    Human brain functional networks are embedded in anatomical space and have topological properties--small-worldness, modularity, fat-tailed degree distributions--that are comparable to many other complex networks. Although a sophisticated set of measures is available to describe the topology of brain networks, the selection pressures that drive their formation remain largely unknown. Here we consider generative models for the probability of a functional connection (an edge) between two cortical regions (nodes) separated by some Euclidean distance in anatomical space. In particular, we propose a model in which the embedded topology of brain networks emerges from two competing factors: a distance penalty based on the cost of maintaining long-range connections; and a topological term that favors links between regions sharing similar input. We show that, together, these two biologically plausible factors are sufficient to capture an impressive range of topological properties of functional brain networks. Model parameters estimated in one set of functional MRI (fMRI) data on normal volunteers provided a good fit to networks estimated in a second independent sample of fMRI data. Furthermore, slightly detuned model parameters also generated a reasonable simulation of the abnormal properties of brain functional networks in people with schizophrenia. We therefore anticipate that many aspects of brain network organization, in health and disease, may be parsimoniously explained by an economical clustering rule for the probability of functional connectivity between different brain areas.

  7. Studying synaptic plasticity in the human brain and opportunities for drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Nathan, Pradeep J; Cobb, Stuart R; Lu, Bai; Bullmore, Edward T; Davies, Ceri H

    2011-10-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the ability of synaptic connections between neurons to be strengthened or weakened; a process that is central to the information processing within the brain and which plays a particularly important role in enabling higher cognitive processes [1,2]. Its role in disease is becoming increasingly clear across a wide spectrum of CNS disorders. Thus, for example, dysfunctional synaptic plasticity has been reported in neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) as well as in schizophrenia and in a range of disorders associated with learning disabilities [3]. Moreover, maladaptive plasticity processes in response to specific external challenges are believed to underlie disorders such as addiction and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The molecular basis of normal and disease plasticity is rapidly being unravelled such that synaptic plasticity now provides a unique platform from which to launch the hunt for highly innovative drugs to treat CNS disease by either, firstly, rectifying identifiable abnormalities in these processes, or secondly, utilizing these processes as a vehicle to rectify, or bypass, other mechanisms underlying disease. In this respect, recent advances have been made in studying synaptic plasticity in humans at the molecular through to clinical level and these approaches now provide a real opportunity to test synaptic plasticity as a treatment paradigm for a wide variety of CNS disorders.

  8. Adaptation of the communicative brain to post-lingual deafness. Evidence from functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Lazard, Diane S; Innes-Brown, Hamish; Barone, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Not having access to one sense profoundly modifies our interactions with the environment, in turn producing changes in brain organization. Deafness and its rehabilitation by cochlear implantation offer a unique model of brain adaptation during sensory deprivation and recovery. Functional imaging allows the study of brain plasticity as a function of the times of deafness and implantation. Even long after the end of the sensitive period for auditory brain physiological maturation, some plasticity may be observed. In this way the mature brain that becomes deaf after language acquisition can adapt to its modified sensory inputs. Oral communication difficulties induced by post-lingual deafness shape cortical reorganization of brain networks already specialized for processing oral language. Left hemisphere language specialization tends to be more preserved than functions of the right hemisphere. We hypothesize that the right hemisphere offers cognitive resources re-purposed to palliate difficulties in left hemisphere speech processing due to sensory and auditory memory degradation. If cochlear implantation is considered, this reorganization during deafness may influence speech understanding outcomes positively or negatively. Understanding brain plasticity during post-lingual deafness should thus inform the development of cognitive rehabilitation, which promotes positive reorganization of the brain networks that process oral language before surgery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging. PMID:23973562

  9. Adaptation of the communicative brain to post-lingual deafness. Evidence from functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Lazard, Diane S; Innes-Brown, Hamish; Barone, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Not having access to one sense profoundly modifies our interactions with the environment, in turn producing changes in brain organization. Deafness and its rehabilitation by cochlear implantation offer a unique model of brain adaptation during sensory deprivation and recovery. Functional imaging allows the study of brain plasticity as a function of the times of deafness and implantation. Even long after the end of the sensitive period for auditory brain physiological maturation, some plasticity may be observed. In this way the mature brain that becomes deaf after language acquisition can adapt to its modified sensory inputs. Oral communication difficulties induced by post-lingual deafness shape cortical reorganization of brain networks already specialized for processing oral language. Left hemisphere language specialization tends to be more preserved than functions of the right hemisphere. We hypothesize that the right hemisphere offers cognitive resources re-purposed to palliate difficulties in left hemisphere speech processing due to sensory and auditory memory degradation. If cochlear implantation is considered, this reorganization during deafness may influence speech understanding outcomes positively or negatively. Understanding brain plasticity during post-lingual deafness should thus inform the development of cognitive rehabilitation, which promotes positive reorganization of the brain networks that process oral language before surgery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging.

  10. Functional recovery after surgical resection of low grade gliomas in eloquent brain: hypothesis of brain compensation

    PubMed Central

    Duffau, H; Capelle, L; Denvil, D; Sichez, N; Gatignol, P; Lopes, M; Mitchell, M; Sichez, J; Van Effenterre, R

    2003-01-01

    Objectives: To describe functional recovery after surgical resection of low grade gliomas (LGG) in eloquent brain areas, and discuss the mechanisms of compensation. Methods: Seventy-seven right-handed patients without deficit were operated on for a LGG invading primary and/or secondary sensorimotor and/or language areas, as shown anatomically by pre-operative MRI and intraoperatively by electrical brain stimulation and cortico-subcortical mapping. Results: Tumours involved 31 supplementary motor areas, 28 insulas, 8 primary somatosensory areas, 4 primary motor areas, 4 Broca's areas, and 2 left temporal language areas. All patients had immediate post-operative deficits. Recovery occurred within 3 months in all except four cases (definitive morbidity: 5%). Ninety-two percent of the lesions were either totally or extensively resected on post-operative MRI. Conclusions: These findings suggest that spatio-temporal functional re-organisation is possible in peritumoural brain, and that the process is dynamic. The recruitment of compensatory areas with long term perilesional functional reshaping would explain why: before surgery, there is no clinical deficit despite the tumour growth in eloquent regions; immediately after surgery, the occurrence of a deficit, which could be due to the resection of invaded areas participating (but not essential) to the function; and why three months after surgery, almost complete recovery had occurred. This brain plasticity, which decreases the long term risk of surgical morbidity, may be used to extend the limits of surgery in eloquent areas. PMID:12810776

  11. Prentice Award Lecture 2011: Removing the Brakes on Plasticity in the Amblyopic Brain

    PubMed Central

    Levi, Dennis M.

    2012-01-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity is closely linked with the development of sensory function. Beyond this sensitive period, developmental plasticity is actively limited; however, new studies provide growing evidence for plasticity in the adult visual system. The amblyopic visual system is an excellent model for examining the “brakes” that limit recovery of function beyond the critical period. While amblyopia can often be reversed when treated early, conventional treatment is generally not undertaken in older children and adults. However new clinical and experimental studies in both animals and humans provide evidence for neural plasticity beyond the critical period. The results suggest that perceptual learning and video game play may be effective in improving a range of visual performance measures and importantly the improvements may transfer to better visual acuity and stereopsis. These findings, along with the results of new clinical trials, suggest that it might be time to re-consider our notions about neural plasticity in amblyopia. PMID:22581119

  12. Preventive brain radio-chemotherapy alters plasticity associated metabolite profile in the hippocampus but seems to not affect spatial memory in young leukemia patients

    PubMed Central

    Brandt, Moritz D; Brandt, Kalina; Werner, Annett; Schönfeld, Robby; Loewenbrück, Kai; Donix, Markus; Schaich, Markus; Bornhäuser, Martin; von Kummer, Rüdiger; Leplow, Bernd; Storch, Alexander

    2015-01-01

    Background Neuronal plasticity leading to evolving reorganization of the neuronal network during entire lifespan plays an important role for brain function especially memory performance. Adult neurogenesis occurring in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus represents the maximal way of network reorganization. Brain radio-chemotherapy strongly inhibits adult hippocampal neurogenesis in mice leading to impaired spatial memory. Methods To elucidate the effects of CNS radio-chemotherapy on hippocampal plasticity and function in humans, we performed a longitudinal pilot study using 3T proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) and virtual water-maze-tests in 10 de-novo patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia undergoing preventive whole brain radio-chemotherapy. Patients were examined before, during and after treatment. Results CNS radio-chemotherapy did neither affect recall performance in probe trails nor flexible (reversal) relearning of a new target position over a time frame of 10 weeks measured by longitudinal virtual water-maze-testing, but provoked hippocampus-specific decrease in choline as a metabolite associated with cellular plasticity in 1H-MRS. Conclusion Albeit this pilot study needs to be followed up to definitely resolve the question about the functional role of adult human neurogenesis, the presented data suggest that 1H-MRS allows the detection of neurogenesis-associated plasticity in the human brain. PMID:26442754

  13. Impact of fatty acids on brain circulation, structure and function.

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

    The use of dietary intervention has evolved into a promising approach to prevent the onset and progression of brain diseases. The positive relationship between intake of omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (ω3-LCPUFAs) and decreased onset of disease- and aging-related deterioration of brain health is increasingly endorsed across epidemiological and diet-interventional studies. Promising results are found regarding to the protection of proper brain circulation, structure and functionality in healthy and diseased humans and animal models. These include enhanced cerebral blood flow (CBF), white and gray matter integrity, and improved cognitive functioning, and are possibly mediated through increased neurovascular coupling, neuroprotection and neuronal plasticity, respectively. Contrary, studies investigating diets high in saturated fats provide opposite results, which may eventually lead to irreversible damage. Studies like these are of great importance given the high incidence of obesity caused by the increased and decreased consumption of respectively saturated fats and ω3-LCPUFAs in the Western civilization. This paper will review in vivo research conducted on the effects of ω3-LCPUFAs and saturated fatty acids on integrity (circulation, structure and function) of the young, aging and diseased brain.

  14. Plasticity of GABAA Receptors during Pregnancy and Postpartum Period: From Gene to Function

    PubMed Central

    Licheri, Valentina; Talani, Giuseppe; Gorule, Ashish A.; Mostallino, Maria Cristina; Biggio, Giovanni; Sanna, Enrico

    2015-01-01

    Pregnancy needs complex pathways that together play a role in proper growth and protection of the fetus preventing its premature loss. Changes during pregnancy and postpartum period include the manifold machinery of neuroactive steroids that plays a crucial role in neuronal excitability by local modulation of specific inhibitory receptors: the GABAA receptors. Marked fluctuations in both blood and brain concentration of neuroactive steroids strongly contribute to GABAA receptor function and plasticity. In this review, we listed several interesting results regarding the regulation and plasticity of GABAA receptor function during pregnancy and postpartum period in rats. The increase in brain levels of neuroactive steroids during pregnancy and their sudden decrease immediately before delivery are causally related to changes in the expression/function of specific GABAA receptor subunits in the hippocampus. These data suggest that alterations in GABAA receptor expression and function may be related to neurological and psychiatric disorders associated with crucial periods in women. These findings could help to provide potential new treatments for these women's disabling syndromes. PMID:26413323

  15. Modeling of functional brain imaging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    1999-03-01

    The richness and complexity of data sets obtained from functional neuroimaging studies of human cognitive behavior, using techniques such as positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging, have until recently not been exploited by computational neural modeling methods. In this article, following a brief introduction to functional neuroimaging methodology, two neural modeling approaches for use with functional brain imaging data are described. One, which uses structural equation modeling, examines the effective functional connections between various brain regions during specific cognitive tasks. The second employs large-scale neural modeling to relate functional neuroimaging signals in multiple, interconnected brain regions to the underlying neurobiological time-varying activities in each region. These two modeling procedures are illustrated using a visual processing paradigm.

  16. Structure and function of complex brain networks.

    PubMed

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-09-01

    An increasing number of theoretical and empirical studies approach the function of the human brain from a network perspective. The analysis of brain networks is made feasible by the development of new imaging acquisition methods as well as new tools from graph theory and dynamical systems. This review surveys some of these methodological advances and summarizes recent findings on the architecture of structural and functional brain networks. Studies of the structural connectome reveal several modules or network communities that are interlinked by hub regions mediating communication processes between modules. Recent network analyses have shown that network hubs form a densely linked collective called a "rich club," centrally positioned for attracting and dispersing signal traffic. In parallel, recordings of resting and task-evoked neural activity have revealed distinct resting-state networks that contribute to functions in distinct cognitive domains. Network methods are increasingly applied in a clinical context, and their promise for elucidating neural substrates of brain and mental disorders is discussed.

  17. Relationship between structural brainstem and brain plasticity and lower-limb training in spinal cord injury: a longitudinal pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Villiger, Michael; Grabher, Patrick; Hepp-Reymond, Marie-Claude; Kiper, Daniel; Curt, Armin; Bolliger, Marc; Hotz-Boendermaker, Sabina; Kollias, Spyros; Eng, Kynan; Freund, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Rehabilitative training has shown to improve significantly motor outcomes and functional walking capacity in patients with incomplete spinal cord injury (iSCI). However, whether performance improvements during rehabilitation relate to brain plasticity or whether it is based on functional adaptation of movement strategies remain uncertain. This study assessed training improvement-induced structural brain plasticity in chronic iSCI patients using longitudinal MRI. We used tensor-based morphometry (TBM) to analyze longitudinal brain volume changes associated with intensive virtual reality (VR)-augmented lower limb training in nine traumatic iSCI patients. The MRI data was acquired before and after a 4-week training period (16–20 training sessions). Before training, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) and voxel-based cortical thickness (VBCT) assessed baseline morphometric differences in nine iSCI patients compared to 14 healthy controls. The intense VR-augmented training of limb control improved significantly balance, walking speed, ambulation, and muscle strength in patients. Retention of clinical improvements was confirmed by the 3–4 months follow-up. In patients relative to controls, VBM revealed reductions of white matter volume within the brainstem and cerebellum and VBCT showed cortical thinning in the primary motor cortex. Over time, TBM revealed significant improvement-induced volume increases in the left middle temporal and occipital gyrus, left temporal pole and fusiform gyrus, both hippocampi, cerebellum, corpus callosum, and brainstem in iSCI patients. This study demonstrates structural plasticity at the cortical and brainstem level as a consequence of VR-augmented training in iSCI patients. These structural changes may serve as neuroimaging biomarkers of VR-augmented lower limb neurorehabilitation in addition to performance measures to detect improvements in rehabilitative training. PMID:25999842

  18. Margaret Kennard (1899–1975): Not a ‘Principle’ of Brain Plasticity But a Founding Mother of Developmental Neuropsychology

    PubMed Central

    Dennis, Maureen

    2009-01-01

    According to the ‘Kennard Principle’, there is a negative linear relation between age at brain injury and functional outcome. Other things being equal, the younger the lesioned organism, the better the outcome. But the ‘Kennard Principle’ is neither Kennard’s nor a principle. In her work, Kennard sought to explain the factors that predicted functional outcome (age, to be sure, but also staging, laterality, location, and number of brain lesions, and outcome domain) and the neural mechanisms that altered the lesioned brain’s functionality. This paper discusses Kennard’s life and years at Yale (1931–1943); considers the genesis and scope of her work on early-onset brain lesions, which represents an empirical and theoretical foundation for current developmental neuropsychology; offers an historical explanation of why the ‘Kennard Principle’ emerged in the context of early 1970s work on brain plasticity; shows why uncritical belief in the ‘Kennard Principle’ continues to shape current research and practice; and reviews the continuing importance of her work. PMID:20079891

  19. Scale-Free Brain Functional Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eguíluz, Victor M.; Chialvo, Dante R.; Cecchi, Guillermo A.; Baliki, Marwan; Apkarian, A. Vania

    2005-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging is used to extract functional networks connecting correlated human brain sites. Analysis of the resulting networks in different tasks shows that (a)the distribution of functional connections, and the probability of finding a link versus distance are both scale-free, (b)the characteristic path length is small and comparable with those of equivalent random networks, and (c)the clustering coefficient is orders of magnitude larger than those of equivalent random networks. All these properties, typical of scale-free small-world networks, reflect important functional information about brain states.

  20. An allosteric model for the functional plasticity of olfactory chemoreceptors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colosimo, Alfredo

    2000-12-01

    A simple allosteric model may describe the relatively (a)specific behaviour of olfactory chemoreceptors (OCs) and their functional plasticity with a minimum number of parameters. Allosteric, heterotropic effectors are suggested as a possible cause of variable responses documented, in particular, in frog OCs. As an immediate spinoff of the continuously increasing amount of structural information available on natural OCs, development of appropriate allosteric models is foreseen to provide plausible molecular mechanisms for their complex functional performance. This may also have implications in the design of artificial olfaction systems.

  1. Nitroxy/azido-functionalized triazoles as potential energetic plasticizers.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yongxing; Shreeve, Jean'ne M

    2015-05-01

    The synthesis of a series of nitroxy- and azido-functionalized compounds, based on 4-amino-3,5-di(hydroxymethyl)-1,2,4-triazole, for possible use as an energetic plasticizers is described. All compounds were fully characterized. Two of them were further confirmed by X-ray single crystal diffraction. Energetic performance was calculated by using EXPLO5 v6.01 based on calculated heats of formation (Gaussian 03) and experimentally determined densities at 25 °C. The results show that the nitration product 1-nitro-3,5-di(nitroxymethyl)-1,2,4-triazole, containing a nitro group and two nitroxy groups, exhibits good detonation properties (D=8574 m s(-1) , P=32.7 GPa). In addition, its low melting point makes it very attractive as an energetic plasticizer in solid propellants.

  2. Brain Connectivity Plasticity in the Motor Network after Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Lin; Xu, Huijuan

    2013-01-01

    The motor function is controlled by the motor system that comprises a series of cortical and subcortical areas interacting via anatomical connections. The motor function will be disturbed when the stroke lesion impairs either any of these areas or their connections. More and more evidence indicates that the reorganization of the motor network including both areas and their anatomical and functional connectivity might contribute to the motor recovery after stroke. Here, we review recent studies employing models of anatomical, functional, and effective connectivity on neuroimaging data to investigate how ischemic stroke influences the connectivity of motor areas and how changes in connectivity relate to impaired function and functional recovery. We suggest that connectivity changes constitute an important pathophysiological aspect of motor impairment after stroke and important mechanisms of motor recovery. We also demonstrate that therapeutic interventions may facilitate motor recovery after stroke by modulating the connectivity among the motor areas. In conclusion, connectivity analyses improved our understanding of the mechanisms of motor recovery after stroke and may help to design hypothesis-driven treatment strategies and sensitive measures for outcome prediction in stroke patients. PMID:23738150

  3. Evidence for training-induced plasticity in multisensory brain structures: an MEG study.

    PubMed

    Paraskevopoulos, Evangelos; Kuchenbuch, Anja; Herholz, Sibylle C; Pantev, Christo

    2012-01-01

    Multisensory learning and resulting neural brain plasticity have recently become a topic of renewed interest in human cognitive neuroscience. Music notation reading is an ideal stimulus to study multisensory learning, as it allows studying the integration of visual, auditory and sensorimotor information processing. The present study aimed at answering whether multisensory learning alters uni-sensory structures, interconnections of uni-sensory structures or specific multisensory areas. In a short-term piano training procedure musically naive subjects were trained to play tone sequences from visually presented patterns in a music notation-like system [Auditory-Visual-Somatosensory group (AVS)], while another group received audio-visual training only that involved viewing the patterns and attentively listening to the recordings of the AVS training sessions [Auditory-Visual group (AV)]. Training-related changes in cortical networks were assessed by pre- and post-training magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of an auditory, a visual and an integrated audio-visual mismatch negativity (MMN). The two groups (AVS and AV) were differently affected by the training. The results suggest that multisensory training alters the function of multisensory structures, and not the uni-sensory ones along with their interconnections, and thus provide an answer to an important question presented by cognitive models of multisensory training.

  4. Lrp4 Domains Differentially Regulate Limb/Brain Development and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B.; Hammer, Robert E.; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  5. Lrp4 domains differentially regulate limb/brain development and synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

    Pohlkamp, Theresa; Durakoglugil, Murat; Lane-Donovan, Courtney; Xian, Xunde; Johnson, Eric B; Hammer, Robert E; Herz, Joachim

    2015-01-01

    Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) genotype is the strongest predictor of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) risk. ApoE is a cholesterol transport protein that binds to members of the Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Receptor family, which includes LDL Receptor Related Protein 4 (Lrp4). Lrp4, together with one of its ligands Agrin and its co-receptors Muscle Specific Kinase (MuSK) and Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP), regulates neuromuscular junction (NMJ) formation. All four proteins are also expressed in the adult brain, and APP, MuSK, and Agrin are required for normal synapse function in the CNS. Here, we show that Lrp4 is also required for normal hippocampal plasticity. In contrast to the closely related Lrp8/Apoer2, the intracellular domain of Lrp4 does not appear to be necessary for normal expression and maintenance of long-term potentiation at central synapses or for the formation and maintenance of peripheral NMJs. However, it does play a role in limb development. PMID:25688974

  6. Reorganization and plasticity in the adult brain during learning of motor skills.

    PubMed

    Doyon, Julien; Benali, Habib

    2005-04-01

    On the basis of brain imaging studies, Doyon and Ungerleider recently proposed a model describing the cerebral plasticity that occurs in both cortico-striatal and cortico-cerebellar systems of the adult brain during learning of new motor skilled behaviors. This theoretical framework makes several testable predictions with regards to the contribution of these neural systems based on the phase (fast, slow, consolidation, automatization, and retention) and nature of the motor learning processes (motor sequence versus motor adaptation) acquired through repeated practice. There has been recent behavioral, lesion and additional neuroimaging studies that have addressed the assumptions made in this theory that will help in the revision of this model.

  7. Brain plasticity through the life span: learning to learn and action video games.

    PubMed

    Bavelier, Daphne; Green, C Shawn; Pouget, Alexandre; Schrater, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The ability of the human brain to learn is exceptional. Yet, learning is typically quite specific to the exact task used during training, a limiting factor for practical applications such as rehabilitation, workforce training, or education. The possibility of identifying training regimens that have a broad enough impact to transfer to a variety of tasks is thus highly appealing. This work reviews how complex training environments such as action video game play may actually foster brain plasticity and learning. This enhanced learning capacity, termed learning to learn, is considered in light of its computational requirements and putative neural mechanisms.

  8. Lead poisoning and brain cell function

    SciTech Connect

    Goldstein, G.W. Kennedy Institute, Baltimore, MD )

    1990-11-01

    Exposure to excessive amounts of inorganic lead during the toddler years may produce lasting adverse effects upon brain function. Maximal ingestion of lead occurs at an age when major changes are occurring in the density of brain synaptic connections. The developmental reorganization of synapses is, in part, mediated by protein kinases, and these enzymes are particularly sensitive to stimulation by lead. By inappropriately activating specific protein kinases, lead poisoning may disrupt the development of neural networks without producing overt pathological alterations. The blood-brain barrier is another potential vulnerable site for the neurotoxic action of lead. protein kinases appear to regulate the development of brain capillaries and the expression of the blood-brain barrier properties. Stimulation of protein kinase by lead may disrupt barrier development and alter the precise regulation of the neuronal environment that is required for normal brain function. Together, these findings suggest that the sensitivity of protein kinases to lead may in part underlie the brain dysfunction observed in children poisoned by this toxicant.

  9. Metabolism and functions of copper in brain.

    PubMed

    Scheiber, Ivo F; Mercer, Julian F B; Dringen, Ralf

    2014-05-01

    Copper is an important trace element that is required for essential enzymes. However, due to its redox activity, copper can also lead to the generation of toxic reactive oxygen species. Therefore, cellular uptake, storage as well as export of copper have to be tightly regulated in order to guarantee sufficient copper supply for the synthesis of copper-containing enzymes but also to prevent copper-induced oxidative stress. In brain, copper is of importance for normal development. In addition, both copper deficiency as well as excess of copper can seriously affect brain functions. Therefore, this organ possesses ample mechanisms to regulate its copper metabolism. In brain, astrocytes are considered as important regulators of copper homeostasis. Impairments of homeostatic mechanisms in brain copper metabolism have been associated with neurodegeneration in human disorders such as Menkes disease, Wilson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. This review article will summarize the biological functions of copper in the brain and will describe the current knowledge on the mechanisms involved in copper transport, storage and export of brain cells. The role of copper in diseases that have been connected with disturbances in brain copper homeostasis will also be discussed.

  10. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Gohel, Suril; Kelly, Clare; Smith, Steve M; Beckmann, Christian F; Adelstein, Jonathan S; Buckner, Randy L; Colcombe, Stan; Dogonowski, Anne-Marie; Ernst, Monique; Fair, Damien; Hampson, Michelle; Hoptman, Matthew J; Hyde, James S; Kiviniemi, Vesa J; Kötter, Rolf; Li, Shi-Jiang; Lin, Ching-Po; Lowe, Mark J; Mackay, Clare; Madden, David J; Madsen, Kristoffer H; Margulies, Daniel S; Mayberg, Helen S; McMahon, Katie; Monk, Christopher S; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Nagel, Bonnie J; Pekar, James J; Peltier, Scott J; Petersen, Steven E; Riedl, Valentin; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Rypma, Bart; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Schmidt, Sein; Seidler, Rachael D; Siegle, Greg J; Sorg, Christian; Teng, Gao-Jun; Veijola, Juha; Villringer, Arno; Walter, Martin; Wang, Lihong; Weng, Xu-Chu; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Williamson, Peter; Windischberger, Christian; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Hong-Ying; Castellanos, F Xavier; Milham, Michael P

    2010-03-01

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating the myriad functional systems in the brain without the constraints of a priori hypotheses. Resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) constitutes a candidate approach capable of addressing this challenge. Imaging the brain during rest reveals large-amplitude spontaneous low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) fluctuations in the fMRI signal that are temporally correlated across functionally related areas. Referred to as functional connectivity, these correlations yield detailed maps of complex neural systems, collectively constituting an individual's "functional connectome." Reproducibility across datasets and individuals suggests the functional connectome has a common architecture, yet each individual's functional connectome exhibits unique features, with stable, meaningful interindividual differences in connectivity patterns and strengths. Comprehensive mapping of the functional connectome, and its subsequent exploitation to discern genetic influences and brain-behavior relationships, will require multicenter collaborative datasets. Here we initiate this endeavor by gathering R-fMRI data from 1,414 volunteers collected independently at 35 international centers. We demonstrate a universal architecture of positive and negative functional connections, as well as consistent loci of inter-individual variability. Age and sex emerged as significant determinants. These results demonstrate that independent R-fMRI datasets can be aggregated and shared. High-throughput R-fMRI can provide quantitative phenotypes for molecular genetic studies and biomarkers of developmental and pathological processes in the brain. To initiate discovery science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/.

  11. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Biswal, Bharat B; Mennes, Maarten; Zuo, Xi-Nian; Gohel, Suril; Kelly, Clare; Smith, Steve M; Beckmann, Christian F; Adelstein, Jonathan S; Buckner, Randy L; Colcombe, Stan; Dogonowski, Anne-Marie; Ernst, Monique; Fair, Damien; Hampson, Michelle; Hoptman, Matthew J; Hyde, James S; Kiviniemi, Vesa J; Kötter, Rolf; Li, Shi-Jiang; Lin, Ching-Po; Lowe, Mark J; Mackay, Clare; Madden, David J; Madsen, Kristoffer H; Margulies, Daniel S; Mayberg, Helen S; McMahon, Katie; Monk, Christopher S; Mostofsky, Stewart H; Nagel, Bonnie J; Pekar, James J; Peltier, Scott J; Petersen, Steven E; Riedl, Valentin; Rombouts, Serge A R B; Rypma, Bart; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Schmidt, Sein; Seidler, Rachael D; Siegle, Greg J; Sorg, Christian; Teng, Gao-Jun; Veijola, Juha; Villringer, Arno; Walter, Martin; Wang, Lihong; Weng, Xu-Chu; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Williamson, Peter; Windischberger, Christian; Zang, Yu-Feng; Zhang, Hong-Ying; Castellanos, F Xavier; Milham, Michael P

    2010-03-01

    Although it is being successfully implemented for exploration of the genome, discovery science has eluded the functional neuroimaging community. The core challenge remains the development of common paradigms for interrogating the myriad functional systems in the brain without the constraints of a priori hypotheses. Resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) constitutes a candidate approach capable of addressing this challenge. Imaging the brain during rest reveals large-amplitude spontaneous low-frequency (<0.1 Hz) fluctuations in the fMRI signal that are temporally correlated across functionally related areas. Referred to as functional connectivity, these correlations yield detailed maps of complex neural systems, collectively constituting an individual's "functional connectome." Reproducibility across datasets and individuals suggests the functional connectome has a common architecture, yet each individual's functional connectome exhibits unique features, with stable, meaningful interindividual differences in connectivity patterns and strengths. Comprehensive mapping of the functional connectome, and its subsequent exploitation to discern genetic influences and brain-behavior relationships, will require multicenter collaborative datasets. Here we initiate this endeavor by gathering R-fMRI data from 1,414 volunteers collected independently at 35 international centers. We demonstrate a universal architecture of positive and negative functional connections, as well as consistent loci of inter-individual variability. Age and sex emerged as significant determinants. These results demonstrate that independent R-fMRI datasets can be aggregated and shared. High-throughput R-fMRI can provide quantitative phenotypes for molecular genetic studies and biomarkers of developmental and pathological processes in the brain. To initiate discovery science of brain function, the 1000 Functional Connectomes Project dataset is freely accessible at www.nitrc.org/projects/fcon_1000/. PMID

  12. Entropy changes in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rosso, Osvaldo A

    2007-04-01

    The traditional way of analyzing brain electrical activity, on the basis of electroencephalography (EEG) records, relies mainly on visual inspection and years of training. Although it is quite useful, of course, one has to acknowledge its subjective nature that hardly allows for a systematic protocol. In the present work quantifiers based on information theory and wavelet transform are reviewed. The "relative wavelet energy" provides information about the relative energy associated with different frequency bands present in the EEG and their corresponding degree of importance. The "normalized total wavelet entropy" carries information about the degree of order-disorder associated with a multi-frequency signal response. Their application in the analysis and quantification of short duration EEG signals (event-related potentials) and epileptic EEG records are summarized.

  13. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Berger, Johannes; Dorninger, Fabian; Forss-Petter, Sonja; Kunze, Markus

    2016-05-01

    Peroxisomes contain numerous enzymatic activities that are important for mammalian physiology. Patients lacking either all peroxisomal functions or a single enzyme or transporter function typically develop severe neurological deficits, which originate from aberrant development of the brain, demyelination and loss of axonal integrity, neuroinflammation or other neurodegenerative processes. Whilst correlating peroxisomal properties with a compilation of pathologies observed in human patients and mouse models lacking all or individual peroxisomal functions, we discuss the importance of peroxisomal metabolites and tissue- and cell type-specific contributions to the observed brain pathologies. This enables us to deconstruct the local and systemic contribution of individual metabolic pathways to specific brain functions. We also review the recently discovered variability of pathological symptoms in cases with unexpectedly mild presentation of peroxisome biogenesis disorders. Finally, we explore the emerging evidence linking peroxisomes to more common neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, autism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. PMID:26686055

  14. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Berger, Johannes; Dorninger, Fabian; Forss-Petter, Sonja; Kunze, Markus

    2016-05-01

    Peroxisomes contain numerous enzymatic activities that are important for mammalian physiology. Patients lacking either all peroxisomal functions or a single enzyme or transporter function typically develop severe neurological deficits, which originate from aberrant development of the brain, demyelination and loss of axonal integrity, neuroinflammation or other neurodegenerative processes. Whilst correlating peroxisomal properties with a compilation of pathologies observed in human patients and mouse models lacking all or individual peroxisomal functions, we discuss the importance of peroxisomal metabolites and tissue- and cell type-specific contributions to the observed brain pathologies. This enables us to deconstruct the local and systemic contribution of individual metabolic pathways to specific brain functions. We also review the recently discovered variability of pathological symptoms in cases with unexpectedly mild presentation of peroxisome biogenesis disorders. Finally, we explore the emerging evidence linking peroxisomes to more common neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, autism and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

  15. Functional brain changes in presymptomatic Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Reading, Sarah A J; Dziorny, Adam C; Peroutka, Laura A; Schreiber, Mathew; Gourley, Lisa M; Yallapragada, Venu; Rosenblatt, Adam; Margolis, Russell L; Pekar, James J; Pearlson, Godfrey D; Aylward, Elizabeth; Brandt, Jason; Bassett, Susan S; Ross, Christopher A

    2004-06-01

    Evidence suggests early structural brain changes in individuals with the Huntington's disease (HD) genetic mutation who are presymptomatic for the movement symptoms of the illness. The aim of this study was to investigate the presence of functional brain changes in this same population using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects and matched controls underwent an functional magnetic resonance imaging "interference" protocol, a task known to be mediated in part by corticostriatal circuitry. In the setting of normal cognitive performance, presymptomatic HD subjects had significantly and specifically less activation in the left anterior cingulate cortex (BA 24, 32) compared with matched controls.

  16. The Brain Prize 2014: complex human functions.

    PubMed

    Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-11-01

    Giacomo Rizzolatti, Stanislas Dehaene, and Trevor Robbins were recently awarded the 2014 Grete Lundbeck European Brain Research Prize for their 'pioneering research on higher brain mechanisms underpinning such complex human functions as literacy, numeracy, motivated behavior and social cognition, and for their effort to understand cognitive and behavioral disorders'. Why was their work highlighted? Is there anything that links together these seemingly disparate lines of research?

  17. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to optically control neural activity opens up possibilities for the restoration of normal function following neurological disorders. The temporal precision, spatial resolution, and neuronal specificity that optogenetics offers is unequalled by other available methods, so will it be suitable for not only restoring but also extending brain function? As the first demonstrations of optically “implanted” novel memories emerge, we examine the suitability of optogenetics as a technique for extending neural function. While optogenetics is an effective tool for altering neural activity, the largest impediment for optogenetics in neural augmentation is our systems level understanding of brain function. Furthermore, a number of clinical limitations currently remain as substantial hurdles for the applications proposed. While neurotechnologies for treating brain disorders and interfacing with prosthetics have advanced rapidly in the past few years, partially addressing some of these critical problems, optogenetics is not yet suitable for use in humans. Instead we conclude that for the immediate future, optogenetics is the neurological equivalent of the 3D printer: its flexibility providing an ideal tool for testing and prototyping solutions for treating brain disorders and augmenting brain function. PMID:26635547

  18. Imaging visual function of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Marg, E.

    1988-10-01

    Imaging of human brain structure and activity with particular reference to visual function is reviewed along with methods of obtaining the data including computed tomographic (CT) scan, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), and positron emission tomography (PET). The literature is reviewed and the potential for a new understanding of brain visual function is discussed. PET is reviewed from basic physical principles to the most recent visual brain findings with oxygen-15. It is shown that there is a potential for submillimeter localization of visual functions with sequentially different visual stimuli designed for the temporal separation of the responses. Single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT), a less expensive substitute for PET, is also discussed. MRS is covered from basic physical principles to the current state of the art of in vivo biochemical analysis. Future possible clinical applications are discussed. Improved understanding of the functional neural organization of vision and brain will open a window to maps and circuits of human brain function.119 references.

  19. Functional MRI of long-term potentiation: imaging network plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Álvarez-Salvado, Efrén; Pallarés, Vicente; Moreno, Andrea; Canals, Santiago

    2014-01-01

    Neurons are able to express long-lasting and activity-dependent modulations of their synapses. This plastic property supports memory and conveys an extraordinary adaptive value, because it allows an individual to learn from, and respond to, changes in the environment. Molecular and physiological changes at the cellular level as well as network interactions are required in order to encode a pattern of synaptic activity into a long-term memory. While the cellular mechanisms linking synaptic plasticity to memory have been intensively studied, those regulating network interactions have received less attention. Combining high-resolution fMRI and in vivo electrophysiology in rats, we have previously reported a functional remodelling of long-range hippocampal networks induced by long-term potentiation (LTP) of synaptic plasticity in the perforant pathway. Here, we present new results demonstrating an increased bilateral coupling in the hippocampus specifically supported by the mossy cell commissural/associational pathway in response to LTP. This fMRI-measured increase in bilateral connectivity is accompanied by potentiation of the corresponding polysynaptically evoked commissural potential in the contralateral dentate gyrus and depression of the inactive convergent commissural pathway to the ipsilateral dentate. We review these and previous findings in the broader context of memory consolidation. PMID:24298154

  20. Characterizing Brain Cortical Plasticity and Network Dynamics Across the Age-Span in Health and Disease with TMS-EEG and TMS-fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Freitas, Catarina; Oberman, Lindsay; Horvath, Jared C.; Halko, Mark; Eldaief, Mark; Bashir, Shahid; Vernet, Marine; Shafi, Mouhshin; Westover, Brandon; Vahabzadeh-Hagh, Andrew M.; Rotenberg, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Brain plasticity can be conceptualized as nature’s invention to overcome limitations of the genome and adapt to a rapidly changing environment. As such, plasticity is an intrinsic property of the brain across the life-span. However, mechanisms of plasticity may vary with age. The combination of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with electroencephalography (EEG) or functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) enables clinicians and researchers to directly study local and network cortical plasticity, in humans in vivo, and characterize their changes across the age-span. Parallel, translational studies in animals can provide mechanistic insights. Here, we argue that, for each individual, the efficiency of neuronal plasticity declines throughout the age-span and may do so more or less prominently depending on variable ‘starting-points’ and different ‘slopes of change’ defined by genetic, biological, and environmental factors. Furthermore, aberrant, excessive, insufficient, or mistimed plasticity may represent the proximal pathogenic cause of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as autism spectrum disorders or Alzheimer’s disease. PMID:21842407

  1. Neuroanatomical prerequisites for language functions in the maturing brain.

    PubMed

    Brauer, Jens; Anwander, Alfred; Friederici, Angela D

    2011-02-01

    The 2 major language-relevant cortical regions in the human brain, Broca's area and Wernicke's area, are connected via the fibers of the arcuate fasciculus/superior longitudinal fasciculus (AF/SLF). Here, we compared this pathway in adults and children and its relation to language processing during development. Comparison of fiber properties demonstrated lower anisotropy in children's AF/SLF, arguing for an immature status of this particular pathway with conceivably a lower degree of myelination. Combined diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) data and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data indicated that in adults the termination of the AF/SLF fiber projection is compatible with functional activation in Broca's area, that is pars opercularis. In children, activation in Broca's area extended from the pars opercularis into the pars triangularis revealing an alternative connection to the temporal lobe (Wernicke's area) via the ventrally projecting extreme capsule fiber system. fMRI and DTI data converge to indicate that adults make use of a more confined language network than children based on ongoing maturation of the structural network. Our data suggest relations between language development and brain maturation and, moreover, indicate the brain's plasticity to adjust its function to available structural prerequisites. PMID:20566580

  2. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Kraft, Eduard; Santana, Silvina; Tziraki, Chariklia

    2015-08-01

    The unprecedented growth in the number of older adults in our society is accompanied by the exponential increase in the number of elderly people who will suffer cognitive decline and dementia in the next decades. This will create an enormous cost for governments, families and individuals. Brain plasticity and its role in brain adaptation to the process of aging is influenced by other changes as a result of co-morbidities, environmental factors, personality traits (psychosocial variables) and genetic and epigenetic factors. This review summarizes recent findings obtained mostly from interventional studies that aim to prevent and/or delay age-related cognitive decline in healthy adults. There are a multitude of such studies. In this paper, we focused our review on physical activity, computerized cognitive training and social enhancement interventions on improving cognition, physical health, independent living and wellbeing of older adults. The methodological limitations of some of these studies, and the need for new multi-domain synergistic interventions, based on current advances in neuroscience and social-brain theories, are discussed. PMID:26054789

  3. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Kraft, Eduard; Santana, Silvina; Tziraki, Chariklia

    2015-08-01

    The unprecedented growth in the number of older adults in our society is accompanied by the exponential increase in the number of elderly people who will suffer cognitive decline and dementia in the next decades. This will create an enormous cost for governments, families and individuals. Brain plasticity and its role in brain adaptation to the process of aging is influenced by other changes as a result of co-morbidities, environmental factors, personality traits (psychosocial variables) and genetic and epigenetic factors. This review summarizes recent findings obtained mostly from interventional studies that aim to prevent and/or delay age-related cognitive decline in healthy adults. There are a multitude of such studies. In this paper, we focused our review on physical activity, computerized cognitive training and social enhancement interventions on improving cognition, physical health, independent living and wellbeing of older adults. The methodological limitations of some of these studies, and the need for new multi-domain synergistic interventions, based on current advances in neuroscience and social-brain theories, are discussed.

  4. NK cell development and function--plasticity and redundancy unleashed.

    PubMed

    Cichocki, Frank; Sitnicka, Ewa; Bryceson, Yenan T

    2014-04-01

    Bone marrow-derived natural killer (NK) cells constitute the major subset of cytotoxic lymphocytes in peripheral blood. They provide innate defense against intracellular infection or malignancy and contribute to immune homeostasis. Large numbers of NK cells are also present in tissues, including the liver and uterus, where they can mediate immunosurveillance but also play important roles in tissue remodeling and vascularization. Here, we review the pathways involved in NK cell lineage commitment and differentiation, discussing relationships to other lymphocyte populations and highlighting genetic determinants. Characterizing NK cells from distinct tissues and during infections have revealed subset specializations, reflecting inherent cellular plasticity. In this context, we discuss how different environmental and inflammatory stimuli may shape NK cells. Particular emphasis is placed on genes identified as being critical for NK cell development, differentiation, and function from studies of model organisms or associations with disease. Such studies are also revealing important cellular redundancies. Here, we provide a view of the genetic framework constraining NK cell development and function, pinpointing molecules required for these processes but also underscoring plasticity and redundancy that may underlie robust immunological function. With this view, built in redundancy may highlight the importance of NK cells to immunity.

  5. Contribution of Metabolic Reprogramming to Macrophage Plasticity and Function

    PubMed Central

    El Kasmi, Karim C.; Stenmark, Kurt R.

    2015-01-01

    Macrophages display a spectrum of functional activation phenotypes depending on the composition of the microenvironment they reside in, including type of tissue/organ and character of injurious challenge they are exposed to. Our understanding of how macrophage plasticity is regulated by the local microenvironment is still limited. Here we review and discuss the recent literature regarding the contribution of cellular metabolic pathways to the ability of the macrophage to sense the microenvironment and to alter its function. We propose that distinct alterations in the microenvironment induce a spectrum of inducible and reversible metabolic programs that might form the basis of the inducible and reversible spectrum of functional macrophage activation/polarization phenotypes. We highlight that metabolic pathways in the bidirectional communication between macrophages and stromals cells are an important component of chronic inflammatory conditions. Recent work demonstrates that inflammatory macrophage activation is tightly associated with metabolic reprogramming to aerobic glycolysis, an altered TCA cycle, and reduced mitochondrial respiration. We review cytosolic and mitochondrial mechanisms that promote initiation and maintenance of macrophage activation as they relate to increased aerobic glycolysis and highlight potential pathways through which anti-inflammatory IL-10 could promote macrophage deactivation. Finally, we propose that in addition to their role in energy generation and regulation of apoptosis, mitochondria reprogram their metabolism to also participate regulating macrophage activation and plasticity. PMID:26454572

  6. Progesterone Receptors: Form and Function in Brain

    PubMed Central

    Brinton, Roberta Diaz; Thompson, Richard F.; Foy, Michael R.; Baudry, Michel; Wang, JunMing; Finch, Caleb E; Morgan, Todd E.; Stanczyk, Frank Z.; Pike, Christian J.; Nilsen, Jon

    2008-01-01

    Emerging data indicate that progesterone has multiple non-reproductive functions in the central nervous system to regulate cognition, mood, inflammation, mitochondrial function, neurogenesis and regeneration, myelination and recovery from traumatic brain injury. Progesterone-regulated neural responses are mediated by an array of progesterone receptors (PR) that include the classic nuclear PRA and PRB receptors and splice variants of each, the seven transmembrane domain 7TMPRβ and the membrane-associated 25-Dx PR (PGRMC1). These PRs induce classic regulation of gene expression while also transducing signaling cascades that originate at the cell membrane and ultimately activate transcription factors. Remarkably, PRs are broadly expressed throughout the brain and can be detected in every neural cell type. The distribution of PRs beyond hypothalamic borders, suggests a much broader role of progesterone in regulating neural function. Despite the large body of evidence regarding progesterone regulation of reproductive behaviors and estrogen-inducible responses as well as effects of progesterone metabolite neurosteroids, much remains to be discovered regarding the functional outcomes resulting from activation of the complex array of PRs in brain by gonadally and / or glial derived progesterone. Moreover, the impact of clinically used progestogens and developing selective PR modulators for targeted outcomes in brain is a critical avenue of investigation as the non-reproductive functions of PRs have far-reaching implications for hormone therapy to maintain neurological health and function throughout menopausal aging. PMID:18374402

  7. Prefrontal and Hippocampal Brain Volume Deficits: The Role of Low Physical Activity on Brain Plasticity in First-Episode Schizophrenia Patients

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Sarah C.; Hardy, Anthony; Ellingson, Benjamin M.; Jarrahi, Behnaz; Sandu, Navjot; Subotnik, Kenneth L.; Ventura, Joseph; Nuechterlein, Keith H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective Our objective in the present study was to conduct the first empirical study to examine regular physical activity habits and their relationship with brain volume and cortical thickness in patients in the early phase of schizophrenia. Relationships between larger brain volumes and higher physical activity levels have been reported in samples of healthy and aging populations, but have never been explored in first-episode schizophrenia patients. Method We collected MRI structural scans in fourteen first-episode schizophrenia patients with either self-reported low or high physical activity levels. Results We found a reduction in total grey matter volume, prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampal grey matter volumes in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. Cortical thickness in the dorsolateral and orbitofrontal PFC were also significantly reduced in the low physical activity group compared to the high activity group. In the combined sample, greater overall physical activity levels showed a non-significant tendency with better performance on tests of verbal memory and social cognition. Conclusions Together these pilot study findings suggest that greater amounts of physical activity may have a positive influence on brain health and cognition in first-episode schizophrenia patients and support the development of physical exercise interventions in this patient population to improve brain plasticity and cognitive functioning. PMID:26581798

  8. DYNAMIC PLASTICITY: THE ROLE OF GLUCOCORTICOIDS, BRAIN-DERIVED NEUROTROPHIC FACTOR AND OTHER TROPHIC FACTORS

    PubMed Central

    GRAY, J. D.; MILNER, T. A.; MCEWEN, B. S.

    2013-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a secreted protein that has been linked to numerous aspects of plasticity in the central nervous system (CNS). Stress-induced remodeling of the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala is coincident with changes in the levels of BDNF, which has been shown to act as a trophic factor facilitating the survival of existing and newly born neurons. Initially, hippocampal atrophy after chronic stress was associated with reduced BDNF, leading to the hypothesis that stress-related learning deficits resulted from suppressed hippocampal neurogenesis. However, recent evidence suggests that BDNF also plays a rapid and essential role in regulating synaptic plasticity, providing another mechanism through which BDNF can modulate learning and memory after a stressful event. Numerous reports have shown BDNF levels are highly dynamic in response to stress, and not only vary across brain regions but also fluctuate rapidly, both immediately after a stressor and over the course of a chronic stress paradigm. Yet, BDNF alone is not sufficient to effect many of the changes observed after stress. Glucocorticoids and other molecules have been shown to act in conjunction with BDNF to facilitate both the morphological and molecular changes that occur, particularly changes in spine density and gene expression. This review briefly summarizes the evidence supporting BDNF’s role as a trophic factor modulating neuronal survival, and will primarily focus on the interactions between BDNF and other systems within the brain to facilitate synaptic plasticity. This growing body of evidence suggests a more nuanced role for BDNF in stress-related learning and memory, where it acts primarily as a facilitator of plasticity and is dependent upon the coactivation of glucocorticoids and other factors as the determinants of the final cellular response. PMID:22922121

  9. Remaining Flexible in Old Alliances: Functional Plasticity in Constrained Mutualisms

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler, Diana E.

    2009-01-01

    Central to any beneficial interaction is the capacity of partners to detect and respond to significant changes in the other. Recent studies of microbial mutualists show their close integration with host development, immune responses, and acclimation to a dynamic external environment. While the significance of microbial players is broadly appreciated, we are just beginning to understand the genetic, ecological, and physiological mechanisms that generate variation in symbiont functions, broadly termed “symbiont plasticity” here. Some possible mechanisms include shifts in symbiont community composition, genetic changes via DNA acquisition, gene expression fluctuations, and variation in symbiont densities. In this review, we examine mechanisms for plasticity in the exceptionally stable mutualisms between insects and bacterial endosymbionts. Despite the severe ecological and genomic constraints imposed by their specialized lifestyle, these bacteria retain the capacity to modulate functions depending on the particular requirements of the host. Focusing on the mutualism between Blochmannia and ants, we discuss the roles of gene expression fluctuations and shifts in bacterial densities in generating symbiont plasticity. This symbiont variation is best understood by considering ant colony as the host superorganism. In this eusocial host, the bacteria meet the needs of the colony and not necessarily the individual ants that house them. PMID:19435425

  10. Peripheral Chemoreceptors: Function and Plasticity of the Carotid Body

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Prem; Prabhakar, Nanduri R.

    2014-01-01

    The discovery of the sensory nature of the carotid body dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. Following these seminal discoveries, research into carotid body mechanisms moved forward progressively through the 20th century, with many descriptions of the ultrastructure of the organ and stimulus-response measurements at the level of the whole organ. The later part of 20th century witnessed the first descriptions of the cellular responses and electrophysiology of isolated and cultured type I and type II cells, and there now exist a number of testable hypotheses of chemotransduction. The goal of this article is to provide a comprehensive review of current concepts on sensory transduction and transmission of the hypoxic stimulus at the carotid body with an emphasis on integrating cellular mechanisms with the whole organ responses and highlighting the gaps or discrepancies in our knowledge. It is increasingly evident that in addition to hypoxia, the carotid body responds to a wide variety of blood-borne stimuli, including reduced glucose and immune-related cytokines and we therefore also consider the evidence for a polymodal function of the carotid body and its implications. It is clear that the sensory function of the carotid body exhibits considerable plasticity in response to the chronic perturbations in environmental O2 that is associated with many physiological and pathological conditions. The mechanisms and consequences of carotid body plasticity in health and disease are discussed in the final sections of this article. PMID:23728973

  11. Functional transcranial brain imaging by optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Song; Maslov, Konstantin; Tsytsarev, Vassiliy; Wang, Lihong V.

    2009-07-01

    Optical-resolution photoacoustic microscopy (OR-PAM) is applied to functional brain imaging in living mice. A near-diffraction-limited bright-field optical illumination is employed to achieve micrometer lateral resolution, and a dual-wavelength measurement is utilized to extract the blood oxygenation information. The variation in hemoglobin oxygen saturation (sO2) along vascular branching has been imaged in a precapillary arteriolar tree and a postcapillary venular tree, respectively. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on in vivo volumetric imaging of brain microvascular morphology and oxygenation down to single capillaries through intact mouse skulls. It is anticipated that: (i) chronic imaging enabled by this minimally invasive procedure will advance the study of cortical plasticity and neurological diseases; (ii) revealing the neuroactivity-dependent changes in hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation will facilitate the understanding of neurovascular coupling at the capillary level; and (iii) combining functional OR-PAM and high-resolution blood flowmetry will have the potential to explore cellular pathways of brain energy metabolism.

  12. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

    Theories on the development of delirium are complementary rather than competing and they may relate to each other. Here, we highlight that similar alterations in functional brain connectivity underlie both the observed age-related deficits and episodes of delirium. The default mode network (DMN) is a group of brain regions showing a greater level of activity at rest than during attention-based tasks. These regions include the posteromedial-anteromedial cortices and temporoparietal junctions. Evidence suggests that awareness is subserved through higher order neurons associated with the DMN. By using functional MRI disruption of DMN, connectivity and weaker task-induced deactivations of these regions are observed both in age-related cognitive impairment and during episodes of delirium. We can assume that an acute up-regulation of inhibitory tone within the brain acts to further disrupt network connectivity in vulnerable patients, who are predisposed by a reduced baseline connectivity, and triggers the delirium. PMID:25998952

  13. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

    Theories on the development of delirium are complementary rather than competing and they may relate to each other. Here, we highlight that similar alterations in functional brain connectivity underlie both the observed age-related deficits and episodes of delirium. The default mode network (DMN) is a group of brain regions showing a greater level of activity at rest than during attention-based tasks. These regions include the posteromedial-anteromedial cortices and temporoparietal junctions. Evidence suggests that awareness is subserved through higher order neurons associated with the DMN. By using functional MRI disruption of DMN, connectivity and weaker task-induced deactivations of these regions are observed both in age-related cognitive impairment and during episodes of delirium. We can assume that an acute up-regulation of inhibitory tone within the brain acts to further disrupt network connectivity in vulnerable patients, who are predisposed by a reduced baseline connectivity, and triggers the delirium.

  14. Integrated brain restoration after ischemic stroke--medical management, risk factors, nutrients, and other interventions for managing inflammation and enhancing brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kidd, Parris M

    2009-03-01

    Brain injury from ischemic stroke can be devastating, but full brain restoration is feasible. Time until treatment is critical; rapid rate of injury progression, logistical and personnel constraints on neurological and cardiovascular assessment, limitations of recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) for thrombolysis, anticoagulation and antiplatelet interventions, and neuroprotection all affect outcome. Promising acute neuroprotectant measures include albumin, magnesium, and hypothermia. Long-term hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is safe and holds great promise. Eicosanoid and cytokine down-regulation by omega-3 nutrients docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) may help quench stroke inflammation. C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory biomarker and stroke-recurrence predictor, responds favorably to krill oil (a phospholipid-DHA/EPA-astaxanthin complex). High homocysteine (Hcy) is a proven predictor of stroke recurrence and responds to folic acid and vitamin B12. Vitamin E may lower recurrence for individuals experiencing high oxidative stress. Citicoline shows promise for acute neuroprotection. Glycerophosphocholine (GPC) is neuroprotective and supports neuroplasticity via nerve growth factor (NGF) receptors. Stem cells have shown promise for neuronal restoration in randomized trials. Endogenous brain stem cells can migrate to an ischemic injury zone; exogenous stem cells once transplanted can migrate (home) to the stroke lesion and provide trophic support for cortical neuroplasticity. The hematopoietic growth factors erythropoietin (EPO) and granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) have shown promise in preliminary trials, with manageable adverse effects. Physical and mental exercises, including constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) and interactive learning aids, further support brain restoration following ischemic stroke. Brain plasticity underpins the function-driven brain restoration that can occur following stroke.

  15. Histamine function in brain disorders.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Novoa, L; Cacabelos, R

    2001-10-15

    The neurotransmitter histamine (HA) has been implicated in the regulation of numerous and important activities of the central nervous system as arousal, cognition, circadian rhythms and neuroendocrine regulation. The data presented here indicate the participation of the histaminergic system in central nervous system disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia. We also present experimental data on histamine in an animal model of neurodegeneration and the cytotoxic effects of histamine on cultured rat endothelial cells. More studies are needed to investigate the role of the histaminergic system in central nervous system disorders. Peripheral cellular studies in health and disease, molecular studies on receptors and in vivo pharmacological studies may help us to better understand the function of the histaminergic system in health and disease.

  16. The interaction between training and plasticity in the post-stroke brain

    PubMed Central

    Zeiler, Steven R; Krakauer, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Purpose of review Recovery after stroke can occur either via reductions in impairment or through compensation. Studies in humans and non-human animal models show that most recovery from impairment occurs in the first 1 to 3 months after stroke as a result of both spontaneous reorganization and increased responsiveness to enriched environments and training. Improvement from impairment is attributable to a short-lived sensitive period of post-ischemic plasticity defined by unique genetic, molecular, physiological and structural events. In contrast, compensation can occur at any time after stroke. Here we address both the biology of the brain's post-ischemic sensitive period and the difficult question of what kind of training (task-specific vs. a stimulating environment for self-initiated exploration of various natural behaviors) best exploits this period. Recent findings Data suggest that three important variables determine the degree of motor recovery from impairment: (i) the timing, intensity, and approach to training with respect to stroke onset, (ii) the unique post-ischemic plasticity milieu, and (iii) the extent of cortical reorganization. Summary Future work will need to further characterize the unique interaction between types of training and post-ischemic plasticity, and find ways to augment and prolong the sensitive period using pharmacological agents or non-invasive brain stimulation. PMID:24136129

  17. Promoting social plasticity in developmental disorders with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques

    PubMed Central

    Boggio, Paulo S.; Asthana, Manish K.; Costa, Thiago L.; Valasek, Cláudia A.; Osório, Ana A. C.

    2015-01-01

    Being socially connected directly impacts our basic needs and survival. People with deficits in social cognition might exhibit abnormal behaviors and face many challenges in our highly social-dependent world. These challenges and limitations are associated with a substantial economical and subjective impact. As many conditions where social cognition is affected are highly prevalent, more treatments have to be developed. Based on recent research, we review studies where non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques have been used to promote Social Plasticity in developmental disorders. We focused on three populations where non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be a promising approach in inducing social plasticity: Schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Williams Syndrome (WS). There are still very few studies directly evaluating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the social cognition of these populations. However, when considering the promising preliminary evidences presented in this review and the limited amount of clinical interventions available for treating social cognition deficits in these populations today, it is clear that the social neuroscientist arsenal may profit from non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for rehabilitation and promotion of social plasticity. PMID:26388712

  18. Promoting social plasticity in developmental disorders with non-invasive brain stimulation techniques.

    PubMed

    Boggio, Paulo S; Asthana, Manish K; Costa, Thiago L; Valasek, Cláudia A; Osório, Ana A C

    2015-01-01

    Being socially connected directly impacts our basic needs and survival. People with deficits in social cognition might exhibit abnormal behaviors and face many challenges in our highly social-dependent world. These challenges and limitations are associated with a substantial economical and subjective impact. As many conditions where social cognition is affected are highly prevalent, more treatments have to be developed. Based on recent research, we review studies where non-invasive neuromodulatory techniques have been used to promote Social Plasticity in developmental disorders. We focused on three populations where non-invasive brain stimulation seems to be a promising approach in inducing social plasticity: Schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Williams Syndrome (WS). There are still very few studies directly evaluating the effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in the social cognition of these populations. However, when considering the promising preliminary evidences presented in this review and the limited amount of clinical interventions available for treating social cognition deficits in these populations today, it is clear that the social neuroscientist arsenal may profit from non-invasive brain stimulation techniques for rehabilitation and promotion of social plasticity. PMID:26388712

  19. Thinking outside the brain: structural plasticity in the spinal cord promotes recovery from cortical stroke.

    PubMed

    Tennant, Kelly A

    2014-04-01

    Neuroanatomically connected regions distal to a cortical stroke can exhibit both degenerative and adaptive changes during recovery. As the locus for afferent somatosensory fibres and efferent motor fibres, the spinal cord is ideally situated to play a critical role in functional recovery. In contrast to the wealth of research into cortical plasticity after stroke, much less focus has previously been placed on the role of subcortical or spinal cord plasticity in recovery of function after cortical stroke. Little is known about the extent and spatiotemporal profile of spinal rewiring, its regulation by neurotrophins or inflammatory cytokines, or its potential as a therapeutic target to improve stroke recovery. This commentary examines the recent findings by Sist et al. (2014) that there is a distinct critical period of heightened structural plasticity, growth factor expression, and inflammatory cytokine production in the spinal cord. They suggest that neuroplasticity is highest during the first two weeks after stroke and tapers off dramatically by the fourth week. Spinal cord plasticity correlates with the severity of cortical injury and temporally matches periods of accelerated spontaneous recovery of skilled reaching function. The potential of treatments that extend or re-open this window of spinal cord plasticity, such as anti-Nogo-A antibodies or chondroitinase ABC, to dramatically improve recovery from cortical stroke in clinical populations is discussed.

  20. Switching roles: the functional plasticity of adult tissue stem cells

    PubMed Central

    Wabik, Agnieszka; Jones, Philip H

    2015-01-01

    Adult organisms have to adapt to survive, and the same is true for their tissues. Rates and types of cell production must be rapidly and reversibly adjusted to meet tissue demands in response to both local and systemic challenges. Recent work reveals how stem cell (SC) populations meet these requirements by switching between functional states tuned to homoeostasis or regeneration. This plasticity extends to differentiating cells, which are capable of reverting to SCs after injury. The concept of the niche, the micro-environment that sustains and regulates stem cells, is broadening, with a new appreciation of the role of physical factors and hormonal signals. Here, we review different functions of SCs, the cellular mechanisms that underlie them and the signals that bias the fate of SCs as they switch between roles. PMID:25812989

  1. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Luo, Tuanlian; Wagner, Elisabeth; Drager, Ursula C.

    2009-01-01

    The vitamin A derivative retinoic acid (RA) regulates the transcription of about a 6th of the human genome. Compelling evidence indicates a role of RA in cognitive activities, but its integration with the molecular mechanisms of higher brain functions is not known. Here we describe the properties of RA signaling in the mouse, which point to…

  2. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed Central

    Lauritzen, Lotte; Brambilla, Paolo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Harsløf, Laurine B. S.; Ciappolino, Valentina; Agostoni, Carlo

    2016-01-01

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders. PMID:26742060

  3. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

    Lauritzen, Lotte; Brambilla, Paolo; Mazzocchi, Alessandra; Harsløf, Laurine B S; Ciappolino, Valentina; Agostoni, Carlo

    2016-01-04

    Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is a structural constituent of membranes specifically in the central nervous system. Its accumulation in the fetal brain takes place mainly during the last trimester of pregnancy and continues at very high rates up to the end of the second year of life. Since the endogenous formation of DHA seems to be relatively low, DHA intake may contribute to optimal conditions for brain development. We performed a narrative review on research on the associations between DHA levels and brain development and function throughout the lifespan. Data from cell and animal studies justify the indication of DHA in relation to brain function for neuronal cell growth and differentiation as well as in relation to neuronal signaling. Most data from human studies concern the contribution of DHA to optimal visual acuity development. Accumulating data indicate that DHA may have effects on the brain in infancy, and recent studies indicate that the effect of DHA may depend on gender and genotype of genes involved in the endogenous synthesis of DHA. While DHA levels may affect early development, potential effects are also increasingly recognized during childhood and adult life, suggesting a role of DHA in cognitive decline and in relation to major psychiatric disorders.

  4. Magnesium protects cognitive functions and synaptic plasticity in streptozotocin-induced sporadic Alzheimer's model.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhi-Peng; Li, Li; Bao, Jian; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Zeng, Juan; Liu, En-Jie; Li, Xiao-Guang; Huang, Rong-Xi; Gao, Di; Li, Meng-Zhu; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Gong-Ping; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP), dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy. PMID:25268773

  5. Magnesium Protects Cognitive Functions and Synaptic Plasticity in Streptozotocin-Induced Sporadic Alzheimer’s Model

    PubMed Central

    Bao, Jian; Wang, Zhi-Hao; Zeng, Juan; Liu, En-Jie; Li, Xiao-Guang; Huang, Rong-Xi; Gao, Di; Li, Meng-Zhu; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Gong-Ping; Wang, Jian-Zhi

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by profound synapse loss and impairments of learning and memory. Magnesium affects many biochemical mechanisms that are vital for neuronal properties and synaptic plasticity. Recent studies have demonstrated that the serum and brain magnesium levels are decreased in AD patients; however, the exact role of magnesium in AD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we found that the intraperitoneal administration of magnesium sulfate increased the brain magnesium levels and protected learning and memory capacities in streptozotocin-induced sporadic AD model rats. We also found that magnesium sulfate reversed impairments in long-term potentiation (LTP), dendritic abnormalities, and the impaired recruitment of synaptic proteins. Magnesium sulfate treatment also decreased tau hyperphosphorylation by increasing the inhibitory phosphorylation of GSK-3β at serine 9, thereby increasing the activity of Akt at Ser473 and PI3K at Tyr458/199, and improving insulin sensitivity. We conclude that magnesium treatment protects cognitive function and synaptic plasticity by inhibiting GSK-3β in sporadic AD model rats, which suggests a potential role for magnesium in AD therapy. PMID:25268773

  6. The Radical Plasticity Thesis: How the Brain Learns to be Conscious

    PubMed Central

    Cleeremans, Axel

    2011-01-01

    In this paper, I explore the idea that consciousness is something that the brain learns to do rather than an intrinsic property of certain neural states and not others. Starting from the idea that neural activity is inherently unconscious, the question thus becomes: How does the brain learn to be conscious? I suggest that consciousness arises as a result of the brain's continuous attempts at predicting not only the consequences of its actions on the world and on other agents, but also the consequences of activity in one cerebral region on activity in other regions. By this account, the brain continuously and unconsciously learns to redescribe its own activity to itself, so developing systems of meta-representations that characterize and qualify the target first-order representations. Such learned redescriptions, enriched by the emotional value associated with them, form the basis of conscious experience. Learning and plasticity are thus central to consciousness, to the extent that experiences only occur in experiencers that have learned to know they possess certain first-order states and that have learned to care more about certain states than about others. This is what I call the “Radical Plasticity Thesis.” In a sense thus, this is the enactive perspective, but turned both inwards and (further) outwards. Consciousness involves “signal detection on the mind”; the conscious mind is the brain's (non-conceptual, implicit) theory about itself. I illustrate these ideas through neural network models that simulate the relationships between performance and awareness in different tasks. PMID:21687455

  7. See the brain at work: intraoperative laser Doppler functional brain imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Martin-Williams, E. J.; Raabe, A.; Van De Ville, D.; Leutenegger, M.; Szelényi, A.; Hattingen, E.; Gerlach, R.; Seifert, V.; Hauger, C.; Lopez, A.; Leitgeb, R.; Unser, M.; Lasser, T.

    2009-07-01

    During open brain surgery we acquire perfusion images non-invasively using laser Doppler imaging. The regions of brain activity show a distinct signal in response to stimulation providing intraoperative functional brain maps of remarkably strong contrast.

  8. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Wan; Motari, Mary G.; Susuki, Keiichiro; Prendergast, Jillian; Mountney, Andrea; Hurtado, Andres; Schnaar, Ronald L.

    2015-01-01

    Every cell expresses a molecularly diverse surface glycan coat (glycocalyx) comprising its interface with its cellular environment. In vertebrates, the terminal sugars of the glycocalyx are often sialic acids, 9-carbon backbone anionic sugars implicated in intermolecular and intercellular interactions. The vertebrate brain is particularly enriched in sialic acid-containing glycolipids termed gangliosides. Human congenital disorders of ganglioside biosynthesis result in paraplegia, epilepsy, and intellectual disability. To better understand sialoglycan functions in the nervous system, we studied brain anatomy, histology, biochemistry, and behavior in mice with engineered mutations in St3gal2 and St3gal3, sialyltransferase genes responsible for terminal sialylation of gangliosides and some glycoproteins. St3gal2/3 double-null mice displayed dysmyelination marked by a 40% reduction in major myelin proteins, 30% fewer myelinated axons, a 33% decrease in myelin thickness, and molecular disruptions at nodes of Ranvier. In part, these changes may be due to dysregulation of ganglioside-mediated oligodendroglial precursor cell proliferation. Neuronal markers were also reduced up to 40%, and hippocampal neurons had smaller dendritic arbors. Young adult St3gal2/3 double-null mice displayed impaired motor coordination, disturbed gait, and profound cognitive disability. Comparisons among sialyltransferase mutant mice provide insights into the functional roles of brain gangliosides and sialoglycoproteins consistent with related human congenital disorders.—Yoo, S.-W., Motari, M. G., Susuki, K., Prendergast, J., Mountney, A., Hurtado, A., Schnaar, R. L. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function. PMID:25846372

  9. The significance of the subplate for evolution and developmental plasticity of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Judaš, Miloš; Sedmak, Goran; Kostović, Ivica

    2013-01-01

    The human life-history is characterized by long development and introduction of new developmental stages, such as childhood and adolescence. The developing brain had important role in these life-history changes because it is expensive tissue which uses up to 80% of resting metabolic rate (RMR) in the newborn and continues to use almost 50% of it during the first 5 postnatal years. Our hominid ancestors managed to lift-up metabolic constraints to increase in brain size by several interrelated ecological, behavioral and social adaptations, such as dietary change, invention of cooking, creation of family-bonded reproductive units, and life-history changes. This opened new vistas for the developing brain, because it became possible to metabolically support transient patterns of brain organization as well as developmental brain plasticity for much longer period and with much greater number of neurons and connectivity combinations in comparison to apes. This included the shaping of cortical connections through the interaction with infant's social environment, which probably enhanced typically human evolution of language, cognition and self-awareness. In this review, we propose that the transient subplate zone and its postnatal remnant (interstitial neurons of the gyral white matter) probably served as the main playground for evolution of these developmental shifts, and describe various features that makes human subplate uniquely positioned to have such a role in comparison with other primates.

  10. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

    This is the final report of a one-year, Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) project at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). This project addresses an important mathematical and computational problem in functional brain imaging, namely the electromagnetic {open_quotes}inverse problem.{close_quotes} Electromagnetic brain imaging techniques, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and electroencephalography (EEG), are based on measurements of electrical potentials and magnetic fields at hundreds of locations outside the human head. The inverse problem is the estimation of the locations, magnitudes, and time-sources of electrical currents in the brain from surface measurements. This project extends recent progress on the inverse problem by combining the use of anatomical constraints derived from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with Bayesian and other novel algorithmic approaches. The results suggest that we can achieve significant improvements in the accuracy and robustness of inverse solutions by these two approaches.

  11. Functional brain asymmetry, handedness and menarcheal age.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, P; Stoyanov, Z; Negrev, N

    1994-12-01

    Functional brain asymmetry influences many functions of the organism; the neuroendocrine axis is one that has received insufficient attention. In this study we set us as the goal of studying the link between functional brain asymmetry and menarcheal age in females with left versus right manual dominance. The appearance of the first menarche was used as a natural model of functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. 1695 females, aged between 16 and 25 years, were interviewed by questionnaire about manual dominance and menarcheal age. 182 women were selected and divided into 2 groups: all left-handers (n = 91), and a control group of 91 right-handers. We found a significantly lower average age of menarcheal appearance in the left-handers' age of 12.09 +/- 0.16 years compared to the right-handers' age of 13.32 +/- 0.12 years (p < 0.001). The earliest menarcheal age in left-handers was 8 years and the peak of appearance at age 13 (in 30.76% of the cases). In right-handers these values were 10 and 14 years (in 40.60% of the cases), respectively. The data allow us to accept the existence of a link between functional brain asymmetry and menarche, which causes earlier activation of the HPG axis in left-handed females.

  12. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gevins, A.; Smith, M. E.; McEvoy, L. K.; Leong, H.; Le, J.

    1999-01-01

    High temporal resolution is necessary to resolve the rapidly changing patterns of brain activity that underlie mental function. Electroencephalography (EEG) provides temporal resolution in the millisecond range. However, traditional EEG technology and practice provide insufficient spatial detail to identify relationships between brain electrical events and structures and functions visualized by magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. Recent advances help to overcome this problem by recording EEGs from more electrodes, by registering EEG data with anatomical images, and by correcting the distortion caused by volume conduction of EEG signals through the skull and scalp. In addition, statistical measurements of sub-second interdependences between EEG time-series recorded from different locations can help to generate hypotheses about the instantaneous functional networks that form between different cortical regions during perception, thought and action. Example applications are presented from studies of language, attention and working memory. Along with its unique ability to monitor brain function as people perform everyday activities in the real world, these advances make modern EEG an invaluable complement to other functional neuroimaging modalities.

  13. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Petri, G; Expert, P; Turkheimer, F; Carhart-Harris, R; Nutt, D; Hellyer, P J; Vaccarino, F

    2014-12-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186-198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects-homological cycles-associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle,we apply these tools to compare resting state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin-the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo.

  14. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

    Petri, G.; Expert, P.; Turkheimer, F.; Carhart-Harris, R.; Nutt, D.; Hellyer, P. J.; Vaccarino, F.

    2014-01-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186–198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects—homological cycles—associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle, we apply these tools to compare resting-state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin—the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo. PMID:25401177

  15. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Petri, G; Expert, P; Turkheimer, F; Carhart-Harris, R; Nutt, D; Hellyer, P J; Vaccarino, F

    2014-12-01

    Networks, as efficient representations of complex systems, have appealed to scientists for a long time and now permeate many areas of science, including neuroimaging (Bullmore and Sporns 2009 Nat. Rev. Neurosci. 10, 186-198. (doi:10.1038/nrn2618)). Traditionally, the structure of complex networks has been studied through their statistical properties and metrics concerned with node and link properties, e.g. degree-distribution, node centrality and modularity. Here, we study the characteristics of functional brain networks at the mesoscopic level from a novel perspective that highlights the role of inhomogeneities in the fabric of functional connections. This can be done by focusing on the features of a set of topological objects-homological cycles-associated with the weighted functional network. We leverage the detected topological information to define the homological scaffolds, a new set of objects designed to represent compactly the homological features of the correlation network and simultaneously make their homological properties amenable to networks theoretical methods. As a proof of principle,we apply these tools to compare resting state functional brain activity in 15 healthy volunteers after intravenous infusion of placebo and psilocybin-the main psychoactive component of magic mushrooms. The results show that the homological structure of the brain's functional patterns undergoes a dramatic change post-psilocybin, characterized by the appearance of many transient structures of low stability and of a small number of persistent ones that are not observed in the case of placebo. PMID:25401177

  16. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function.

    PubMed Central

    Gevins, A; Smith, M E; McEvoy, L K; Leong, H; Le, J

    1999-01-01

    High temporal resolution is necessary to resolve the rapidly changing patterns of brain activity that underlie mental function. Electroencephalography (EEG) provides temporal resolution in the millisecond range. However, traditional EEG technology and practice provide insufficient spatial detail to identify relationships between brain electrical events and structures and functions visualized by magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. Recent advances help to overcome this problem by recording EEGs from more electrodes, by registering EEG data with anatomical images, and by correcting the distortion caused by volume conduction of EEG signals through the skull and scalp. In addition, statistical measurements of sub-second interdependences between EEG time-series recorded from different locations can help to generate hypotheses about the instantaneous functional networks that form between different cortical regions during perception, thought and action. Example applications are presented from studies of language, attention and working memory. Along with its unique ability to monitor brain function as people perform everyday activities in the real world, these advances make modern EEG an invaluable complement to other functional neuroimaging modalities. PMID:10466140

  17. The function of the respiratory supercomplexes: the plasticity model.

    PubMed

    Acin-Perez, Rebeca; Enriquez, Jose A

    2014-04-01

    Mitochondria are important organelles not only as efficient ATP generators but also in controlling and regulating many cellular processes. Mitochondria are dynamic compartments that rearrange under stress response and changes in food availability or oxygen concentrations. The mitochondrial electron transport chain parallels these rearrangements to achieve an optimum performance and therefore requires a plastic organization within the inner mitochondrial membrane. This consists in a balanced distribution between free respiratory complexes and supercomplexes. The mechanisms by which the distribution and organization of supercomplexes can be adjusted to the needs of the cells are still poorly understood. The aim of this review is to focus on the functional role of the respiratory supercomplexes and its relevance in physiology. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Dynamic and ultrastructure of bioenergetic membranes and their components.

  18. Different plasticity patterns of language function in children with perinatal and childhood stroke.

    PubMed

    Ilves, Pilvi; Tomberg, Tiiu; Kepler, Joosep; Laugesaar, Rael; Kaldoja, Mari-Liis; Kepler, Kalle; Kolk, Anneli

    2014-06-01

    Plasticity of language function after brain damage can depend on maturation of the brain. Children with left-hemisphere perinatal (n = 7) or childhood stroke (n = 5) and 12 controls were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The verb generation and the sentence comprehension tasks were employed to activate the expressive and receptive language areas, respectively. Weighted laterality indices were calculated and correlated with results assessed by neuropsychological test battery. Compared to controls, children with childhood stroke showed significantly lower mean scores for the expressive (P < .05) and receptive (P = .05) language tests. On functional magnetic resonance imaging they showed left-side cortical activation, as did controls. Perinatal stroke patients showed atypical right-side or bilateral language lateralization during both tasks. Negative correlation for stroke patients was found between scores for expressive language tests and laterality index during the verb generation task. (Re)organization of language function differs in children with perinatal and childhood stroke and correlates with neurocognitive performance. PMID:23748202

  19. Different Plasticity Patterns of Language Function in Children With Perinatal and Childhood Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Tomberg, Tiiu; Kepler, Joosep; Laugesaar, Rael; Kaldoja, Mari-Liis; Kepler, Kalle; Kolk, Anneli

    2014-01-01

    Plasticity of language function after brain damage can depend on maturation of the brain. Children with left-hemisphere perinatal (n = 7) or childhood stroke (n = 5) and 12 controls were investigated using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The verb generation and the sentence comprehension tasks were employed to activate the expressive and receptive language areas, respectively. Weighted laterality indices were calculated and correlated with results assessed by neuropsychological test battery. Compared to controls, children with childhood stroke showed significantly lower mean scores for the expressive (P < .05) and receptive (P = .05) language tests. On functional magnetic resonance imaging they showed left-side cortical activation, as did controls. Perinatal stroke patients showed atypical right-side or bilateral language lateralization during both tasks. Negative correlation for stroke patients was found between scores for expressive language tests and laterality index during the verb generation task. (Re)organization of language function differs in children with perinatal and childhood stroke and correlates with neurocognitive performance. PMID:23748202

  20. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

    Cleghorn, J M; Zipursky, R B; List, S J

    1991-01-01

    We present an evaluation of the contribution of structural and functional brain imaging to our understanding of schizophrenia. Methodological influences on the validity of the data generated by these new technologies include problems with measurement and clinical and anatomic heterogeneity. These considerations greatly affect the interpretation of the data generated by these technologies. Work in these fields to date, however, has produced strong evidence which suggests that schizophrenia is a disease which involves abnormalities in the structure and function of many brain areas. Structural brain imaging studies of schizophrenia using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are reviewed and their contribution to current theories of the pathogenesis of schizophrenia are discussed. Positron emission tomography (PET) studies of brain metabolic activity and dopamine receptor binding in schizophrenia are summarized and the critical questions raised by these studies are outlined. Future studies in these fields have the potential to yield critical insights into the pathophysiology of schizophrenia; new directions for studies of schizophrenia using these technologies are identified. PMID:1911736

  1. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

    Hahn, Andreas; Kranz, Georg S; Sladky, Ronald; Ganger, Sebastian; Windischberger, Christian; Kasper, Siegfried; Lanzenberger, Rupert

    2015-04-01

    On average, brain network economy represents a trade-off between communication efficiency, robustness, and connection cost, although an analogous understanding on an individual level is largely missing. Evaluating resting-state networks of 42 healthy participants with seven Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging and graph theory revealed that not even half of all possible connections were common across subjects. The strongest similarities among individuals were observed for interhemispheric and/or short-range connections, which may relate to the essential feature of the human brain to develop specialized systems within each hemisphere. Despite this marked variability in individual network architecture, all subjects exhibited equal small-world properties. Furthermore, interdependency between four major network economy metrics was observed across healthy individuals. The characteristic path length was associated with the clustering coefficient (peak correlation r=0.93), the response to network attacks (r=-0.97), and the physical connection cost in three-dimensional space (r=-0.62). On the other hand, clustering was negatively related to attack response (r=-0.75) and connection cost (r=-0.59). Finally, increased connection cost was associated with better response to attacks (r=0.65). This indicates that functional brain networks with high global information transfer also exhibit strong network resilience. However, it seems that these advantages come at the cost of decreased local communication efficiency and increased physical connection cost. Except for wiring length, the results were replicated on a subsample at three Tesla (n=20). These findings highlight the finely tuned interrelationships between different parameters of brain network economy. Moreover, the understanding of the individual diversity of functional brain network economy may provide further insights in the vulnerability to mental and neurological disorders.

  2. Brain On Stress: Vulnerability and Plasticity of the Prefrontal Cortex Over the Life Course

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.; Morrison, John H.

    2013-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is involved in working memory, self-regulatory and goal-directed behaviors and displays remarkable structural and functional plasticity over the life course. Neural circuitry, molecular profiles and neurochemistry can be changed by experiences, which influences behavior as well as neuroendocrine and autonomic function. Such effects have a particular impact during infancy and in adolescence. Behavioral stress affects both the structure and function of PFC, though such effects are not necessarily permanent, as young animals show remarkable neuronal resilience if the stress is discontinued. During aging, neurons within the PFC become less resilient to stress. There are also sex differences in the PFC response to stressors. While such stress- and sex-hormone related alterations occur in regions mediating the highest levels of cognitive function and self regulatory control, the fact that they are not necessarily permanent has implications for future behavior-based therapies that harness neural plasticity for recovery. PMID:23849196

  3. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor in arterial baroreceptor pathways: implications for activity-dependent plasticity at baroafferent synapses.

    PubMed

    Martin, Jessica L; Jenkins, Victoria K; Hsieh, Hui-ya; Balkowiec, Agnieszka

    2009-01-01

    Functional characteristics of the arterial baroreceptor reflex change throughout ontogenesis, including perinatal adjustments of the reflex gain and adult resetting during hypertension. However, the cellular mechanisms that underlie these functional changes are not completely understood. Here, we provide evidence that brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a neurotrophin with a well-established role in activity-dependent neuronal plasticity, is abundantly expressed in vivo by a large subset of developing and adult rat baroreceptor afferents. Immunoreactivity to BDNF is present in the cell bodies of baroafferent neurons in the nodose ganglion, their central projections in the solitary tract, and terminal-like structures in the lower brainstem nucleus tractus solitarius. Using ELISA in situ combined with electrical field stimulation, we show that native BDNF is released from cultured newborn nodose ganglion neurons in response to patterns that mimic the in vivo activity of baroreceptor afferents. In particular, high-frequency bursting patterns of baroreceptor firing, which are known to evoke plastic changes at baroreceptor synapses, are significantly more effective at releasing BDNF than tonic patterns of the same average frequency. Together, our study indicates that BDNF expressed by first-order baroreceptor neurons is a likely mediator of both developmental and post-developmental modifications at first-order synapses in arterial baroreceptor pathways.

  4. Reorganization of functional connectivity as a correlate of cognitive recovery in acquired brain injury.

    PubMed

    Castellanos, Nazareth P; Paúl, Nuria; Ordóñez, Victoria E; Demuynck, Olivier; Bajo, Ricardo; Campo, Pablo; Bilbao, Alvaro; Ortiz, Tomás; del-Pozo, Francisco; Maestú, Fernando

    2010-08-01

    Cognitive processes require a functional interaction between specialized multiple, local and remote brain regions. Although these interactions can be strongly altered by an acquired brain injury, brain plasticity allows network reorganization to be principally responsible for recovery. The present work evaluates the impact of brain injury on functional connectivity patterns. Networks were calculated from resting-state magnetoencephalographic recordings from 15 brain injured patients and 14 healthy controls by means of wavelet coherence in standard frequency bands. We compared the parameters defining the network, such as number and strength of interactions as well as their topology, in controls and patients for two conditions: following a traumatic brain injury and after a rehabilitation treatment. A loss of delta- and theta-based connectivity and conversely an increase in alpha- and beta-band-based connectivity were found. Furthermore, connectivity parameters approached controls in all frequency bands, especially in slow-wave bands. A correlation between network reorganization and cognitive recovery was found: the reduction of delta-band-based connections and the increment of those based on alpha band correlated with Verbal Fluency scores, as well as Perceptual Organization and Working Memory Indexes, respectively. Additionally, changes in connectivity values based on theta and beta bands correlated with the Patient Competency Rating Scale. The current study provides new evidence of the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying neuronal plasticity processes after brain injury, and suggests that these changes are related with observed changes at the behavioural level.

  5. Axonal plasticity is associated with motor recovery following amphetamine treatment combined with rehabilitation after brain injury in the adult rat.

    PubMed

    Ramic, Maya; Emerick, April J; Bollnow, Melanie R; O'Brien, Timothy E; Tsai, Shih-Yen; Kartje, Gwendolyn L

    2006-09-21

    Clinical and laboratory studies have suggested that amphetamine treatment when paired with rehabilitation results in improved recovery of function after stroke or traumatic brain injury. In the present study, we investigated whether new anatomical pathways developed in association with improved motor function after brain damage and amphetamine treatment linked with rehabilitation. Following a unilateral sensorimotor cortex lesion in the adult rat, amphetamine (2 mg/kg) was administered in conjunction with physiotherapy sessions on postoperative days two and five. Physiotherapy was continued twice daily for the first 3 weeks after injury, and then once daily until week six. Performance on skilled forelimb reaching and ladder rung walking was used to assess motor improvement. Our results show that animals with sensorimotor cortical lesions receiving amphetamine treatment linked with rehabilitation had significant improvement in both tasks. Neuroanatomical tracing of efferent pathways from the opposite, non-damaged cortex resulted in the novel finding that amphetamine treatment linked with rehabilitation, significantly increased axonal growth in the deafferented basilar pontine nuclei. These results support the notion that pharmacological interventions paired with rehabilitation can enhance neuronal plasticity and thereby improve functional recovery after CNS injury. PMID:16920088

  6. Neurological Impairment Linked with Cortico-Subcortical Infiltration of Diffuse Low-Grade Gliomas at Initial Diagnosis Supports Early Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Smits, Anja; Zetterling, Maria; Lundin, Margareta; Melin, Beatrice; Fahlström, Markus; Grabowska, Anna; Larsson, Elna-Marie; Berntsson, Shala Ghaderi

    2015-01-01

    Diffuse low-grade gliomas (DLGG) are slow-growing brain tumors that in spite of an indolent behavior at onset show a continuous expansion over time and inevitably transform into malignant gliomas. Extensive tumor resections may be performed with preservation of neurological function due to neuroplasticity that is induced by the slow tumor growth. However, DLGG prefer to migrate along subcortical pathways, and white matter plasticity is considerably more limited than gray matter plasticity. Whether signs of functional decompensating white matter that may be found as early as at disease presentation has not been systematically studied. Here, we examined 52 patients who presented with a DLGG at the time of radiological diagnosis. We found a significant correlation between neurological impairment and eloquent cortico-subcortical tumor localization, but not between neurological function and tumor volume. These results suggest that even small tumors invading white matter pathways may lack compensatory mechanisms for functional reorganization already at disease presentation.

  7. When "altering brain function" becomes "mind control".

    PubMed

    Koivuniemi, Andrew; Otto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

    Functional neurosurgery has seen a resurgence of interest in surgical treatments for psychiatric illness. Deep brain stimulation (DBS) technology is the preferred tool in the current wave of clinical experiments because it allows clinicians to directly alter the functions of targeted brain regions, in a reversible manner, with the intent of correcting diseases of the mind, such as depression, addiction, anorexia nervosa, dementia, and obsessive compulsive disorder. These promising treatments raise a critical philosophical and humanitarian question. "Under what conditions does 'altering brain function' qualify as 'mind control'?" In order to answer this question one needs a definition of mind control. To this end, we reviewed the relevant philosophical, ethical, and neurosurgical literature in order to create a set of criteria for what constitutes mind control in the context of DBS. We also outline clinical implications of these criteria. Finally, we demonstrate the relevance of the proposed criteria by focusing especially on serendipitous treatments involving DBS, i.e., cases in which an unintended therapeutic benefit occurred. These cases highlight the importance of gaining the consent of the subject for the new therapy in order to avoid committing an act of mind control.

  8. Low-grade inflammation disrupts structural plasticity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Szabó, C; Kelemen, O; Kéri, S

    2014-09-01

    Increased low-grade inflammation is thought to be associated with several neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by decreased neuronal plasticity. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between structural changes in the human brain during cognitive training and the intensity of low-grade peripheral inflammation in healthy individuals (n=56). A two-month training (30 min/day) with a platformer video game resulted in a significantly increased volume of the right hippocampal formation. The number of stressful life events experienced during the past year was associated with less pronounced enlargement of the hippocampus. However, the main predictor of hippocampal volume expansion was the relative peripheral expression of Nuclear Factor-κB (NF-κB), a transcription factor playing a central role in the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and C-reactive protein levels were not related to hippocampal plasticity when NF-κB was taken into consideration. These results suggest that more intensive peripheral inflammation is associated with weaker neuronal plasticity during cognitive training.

  9. Early brain injury in children: development and reorganization of cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Ewing-Cobbs, Linda; Barnes, Marcia A; Fletcher, Jack M

    2003-01-01

    Children who sustain congenital or acquired brain injury typically experience a diffuse insult that impacts many areas of the brain. Yet research has only recently begun to examine the development of these children, who often provide excellent examples of the presence or absence of neural plasticity. Development and recovery after such injuries reflects both restoration and reorganization of cognitive functions. To understand these processes, research should focus on questions and assessment paradigms oriented toward the acquisition (rather than the recovery) of cognitive functions. Outcomes may appear similar across types of insults, even when the sources of difficulties and their neural correlates are different. Comparisons of outcomes involving intellectual functions, memory and learning, reading, and language/discourse in children who sustain congenital injury (spina bifida meningomyelocele) and acquired injury (traumatic brain injury) illustrate these principles and the value of research on diffuse brain injury in children. PMID:14561566

  10. Functional Brain Networks in Schizophrenia: A Review

    PubMed Central

    Calhoun, Vince D.; Eichele, Tom; Pearlson, Godfrey

    2009-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has become a major technique for studying cognitive function and its disruption in mental illness, including schizophrenia. The major proportion of imaging studies focused primarily upon identifying regions which hemodynamic response amplitudes covary with particular stimuli and differentiate between patient and control groups. In addition to such amplitude based comparisons, one can estimate temporal correlations and compute maps of functional connectivity between regions which include the variance associated with event-related responses as well as intrinsic fluctuations of hemodynamic activity. Functional connectivity maps can be computed by correlating all voxels with a seed region when a spatial prior is available. An alternative are multivariate decompositions such as independent component analysis (ICA) which extract multiple components, each of which is a spatially distinct map of voxels with a common time course. Recent work has shown that these networks are pervasive in relaxed resting and during task performance and hence provide robust measures of intact and disturbed brain activity. This in turn bears the prospect of yielding biomarkers for schizophrenia, which can be described both in terms of disrupted local processing as well as altered global connectivity between large-scale networks. In this review we will summarize functional connectivity measures with a focus upon work with ICA and discuss the meaning of intrinsic fluctuations. In addition, examples of how brain networks have been used for classification of disease will be shown. We present work with functional network connectivity, an approach that enables the evaluation of the interplay between multiple networks and how they are affected in disease. We conclude by discussing new variants of ICA for extracting maximally group discriminative networks from data. In summary, it is clear that identification of brain networks and their inter

  11. Subchronic alpha-linolenic acid treatment enhances brain plasticity and exerts an antidepressant effect: a versatile potential therapy for stroke.

    PubMed

    Blondeau, Nicolas; Nguemeni, Carine; Debruyne, David N; Piens, Marie; Wu, Xuan; Pan, Hongna; Hu, XianZhang; Gandin, Carine; Lipsky, Robert H; Plumier, Jean-Christophe; Marini, Ann M; Heurteaux, Catherine

    2009-11-01

    Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids are known to have therapeutic potential in several neurological and psychiatric disorders. However, the molecular mechanisms of action underlying these effects are not well elucidated. We previously showed that alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) reduced ischemic brain damage after a single treatment. To follow-up this finding, we investigated whether subchronic ALA treatment promoted neuronal plasticity. Three sequential injections with a neuroprotective dose of ALA increased neurogenesis and expression of key proteins involved in synaptic functions, namely, synaptophysin-1, VAMP-2, and SNAP-25, as well as proteins supporting glutamatergic neurotransmission, namely, V-GLUT1 and V-GLUT2. These effects were correlated with an increase in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein levels, both in vitro using neural stem cells and hippocampal cultures and in vivo, after subchronic ALA treatment. Given that BDNF has antidepressant activity, this led us to test whether subchronic ALA treatment could produce antidepressant-like behavior. ALA-treated mice had significantly reduced measures of depressive-like behavior compared with vehicle-treated animals, suggesting another aspect of ALA treatment that could stimulate functional stroke recovery by potentially combining acute neuroprotection with long-term repair/compensatory plasticity. Indeed, three sequential injections of ALA enhanced protection, either as a pretreatment, wherein it reduced post-ischemic infarct volume 24 h after a 1-hour occlusion of the middle cerebral artery or as post-treatment therapy, wherein it augmented animal survival rates by threefold 10 days after ischemia. PMID:19641487

  12. Non-Invasive Brain-to-Brain Interface (BBI): Establishing Functional Links between Two Brains

    PubMed Central

    Yoo, Seung-Schik; Kim, Hyungmin; Filandrianos, Emmanuel; Taghados, Seyed Javid; Park, Shinsuk

    2013-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is capable of modulating the neural activity of specific brain regions, with a potential role as a non-invasive computer-to-brain interface (CBI). In conjunction with the use of brain-to-computer interface (BCI) techniques that translate brain function to generate computer commands, we investigated the feasibility of using the FUS-based CBI to non-invasively establish a functional link between the brains of different species (i.e. human and Sprague-Dawley rat), thus creating a brain-to-brain interface (BBI). The implementation was aimed to non-invasively translate the human volunteer’s intention to stimulate a rat’s brain motor area that is responsible for the tail movement. The volunteer initiated the intention by looking at a strobe light flicker on a computer display, and the degree of synchronization in the electroencephalographic steady-state-visual-evoked-potentials (SSVEP) with respect to the strobe frequency was analyzed using a computer. Increased signal amplitude in the SSVEP, indicating the volunteer’s intention, triggered the delivery of a burst-mode FUS (350 kHz ultrasound frequency, tone burst duration of 0.5 ms, pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz, given for 300 msec duration) to excite the motor area of an anesthetized rat transcranially. The successful excitation subsequently elicited the tail movement, which was detected by a motion sensor. The interface was achieved at 94.0±3.0% accuracy, with a time delay of 1.59±1.07 sec from the thought-initiation to the creation of the tail movement. Our results demonstrate the feasibility of a computer-mediated BBI that links central neural functions between two biological entities, which may confer unexplored opportunities in the study of neuroscience with potential implications for therapeutic applications. PMID:23573251

  13. Perinatal choline influences brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Zeisel, Steven H; Niculescu, Mihai D

    2006-04-01

    Choline is derived not only from the diet, but also from de novo synthesis. It is important for methyl-group metabolism, the formation of membranes, kidney function, and neurotransmission. When deprived of dietary choline, most adult men and postmenopausal women develop signs of organ dysfunction (fatty liver or muscle damage) and have a decreased capacity to convert homocysteine to methionine. Choline is critical during fetal development, when it influences stem cell proliferation and apoptosis, thereby altering brain structure and function (memory is permanently enhanced in rodents exposed to choline during the latter part of gestation). PMID:16673755

  14. When Music and Long-Term Memory Interact: Effects of Musical Expertise on Functional and Structural Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Groussard, Mathilde; La Joie, Renaud; Rauchs, Géraldine; Landeau, Brigitte; Chételat, Gaël; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Platel, Hervé

    2010-01-01

    The development of musical skills by musicians results in specific structural and functional modifications in the brain. Surprisingly, no functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study has investigated the impact of musical training on brain function during long-term memory retrieval, a faculty particularly important in music. Thus, using fMRI, we examined for the first time this process during a musical familiarity task (i.e., semantic memory for music). Musical expertise induced supplementary activations in the hippocampus, medial frontal gyrus, and superior temporal areas on both sides, suggesting a constant interaction between episodic and semantic memory during this task in musicians. In addition, a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) investigation was performed within these areas and revealed that gray matter density of the hippocampus was higher in musicians than in nonmusicians. Our data indicate that musical expertise critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus. PMID:20957158

  15. When music and long-term memory interact: effects of musical expertise on functional and structural plasticity in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Groussard, Mathilde; La Joie, Renaud; Rauchs, Géraldine; Landeau, Brigitte; Chételat, Gaël; Viader, Fausto; Desgranges, Béatrice; Eustache, Francis; Platel, Hervé

    2010-10-05

    The development of musical skills by musicians results in specific structural and functional modifications in the brain. Surprisingly, no functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study has investigated the impact of musical training on brain function during long-term memory retrieval, a faculty particularly important in music. Thus, using fMRI, we examined for the first time this process during a musical familiarity task (i.e., semantic memory for music). Musical expertise induced supplementary activations in the hippocampus, medial frontal gyrus, and superior temporal areas on both sides, suggesting a constant interaction between episodic and semantic memory during this task in musicians. In addition, a voxel-based morphometry (VBM) investigation was performed within these areas and revealed that gray matter density of the hippocampus was higher in musicians than in nonmusicians. Our data indicate that musical expertise critically modifies long-term memory processes and induces structural and functional plasticity in the hippocampus.

  16. Brain microRNAs and insights into biological functions and therapeutic potential of brain enriched miRNA-128

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    MicroRNAs, the non-coding single-stranded RNA of 19–25 nucleotides are emerging as robust players of gene regulation. Plethora of evidences support that the ability of microRNAs to regulate several genes of a pathway or even multiple cross talking pathways have significant impact on a complex regulatory network and ultimately the physiological processes and diseases. Brain being a complex organ with several cell types, expresses more distinct miRNAs than any other tissues. This review aims to discuss about the microRNAs in brain development, function and their dysfunction in brain tumors. We also provide a comprehensive summary of targets of brain specific and brain enriched miRNAs that contribute to the diversity and plasticity of the brain. In particular, we uncover recent findings on miRNA-128, a brain-enriched microRNA that is induced during neuronal differentiation and whose aberrant expression has been reported in several cancers. This review describes the wide spectrum of targets of miRNA-128 that have been identified till date with potential roles in apoptosis, angiogenesis, proliferation, cholesterol metabolism, self renewal, invasion and cancer progression and how this knowledge might be exploited for the development of future miRNA-128 based therapies for the treatment of cancer as well as metabolic diseases. PMID:24555688

  17. Brain microRNAs and insights into biological functions and therapeutic potential of brain enriched miRNA-128.

    PubMed

    Adlakha, Yogita K; Saini, Neeru

    2014-02-21

    MicroRNAs, the non-coding single-stranded RNA of 19-25 nucleotides are emerging as robust players of gene regulation. Plethora of evidences support that the ability of microRNAs to regulate several genes of a pathway or even multiple cross talking pathways have significant impact on a complex regulatory network and ultimately the physiological processes and diseases. Brain being a complex organ with several cell types, expresses more distinct miRNAs than any other tissues. This review aims to discuss about the microRNAs in brain development, function and their dysfunction in brain tumors. We also provide a comprehensive summary of targets of brain specific and brain enriched miRNAs that contribute to the diversity and plasticity of the brain. In particular, we uncover recent findings on miRNA-128, a brain-enriched microRNA that is induced during neuronal differentiation and whose aberrant expression has been reported in several cancers. This review describes the wide spectrum of targets of miRNA-128 that have been identified till date with potential roles in apoptosis, angiogenesis, proliferation, cholesterol metabolism, self renewal, invasion and cancer progression and how this knowledge might be exploited for the development of future miRNA-128 based therapies for the treatment of cancer as well as metabolic diseases.

  18. Exercise but not (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate or β-alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice.

    PubMed

    Bhattacharya, Tushar K; Pence, Brandt D; Ossyra, Jessica M; Gibbons, Trisha E; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H; Kelley, Keith W; Johnson, Rodney W; Woods, Jeffrey A; Rhodes, Justin S

    2015-06-01

    Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. β-Alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β-amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (~250mg/kg/day), B-ALA (~550mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB/cJ mice, a 39

  19. Exercise but not (-)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate or β-Alanine enhances physical fitness, brain plasticity, and behavioral performance in mice

    PubMed Central

    Bhattacharya, Tushar K.; Pence, Brandt D.; Ossyra, Jessica M.; Gibbons, Trisha E.; Perez, Samuel; McCusker, Robert H.; Kelley, Keith W.; Johnson, Rodney W.; Woods, Jeffrey A.; Rhodes, Justin S.

    2015-01-01

    Nutrition and physical exercise can enhance cognitive function but the specific combinations of dietary bioactives that maximize pro-cognitive effects are not known nor are the contributing neurobiological mechanisms. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is a flavonoid constituent of many plants with high levels found in green tea. EGCG has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties and is known to cross the blood brain barrier where it can affect brain chemistry and physiology. β-alanine (B-ALA) is a naturally occurring β–amino acid that could increase cognitive functioning by increasing levels of exercise via increased capacity of skeletal muscle, by crossing the blood brain barrier and acting as a neurotransmitter, or by free radical scavenging in muscle and brain after conversion into carnosine. The objective of this study was to determine the effects of EGCG (∼ 250 mg/kg/day), B-ALA (∼550 mg/kg/day), and their combination with voluntary wheel running exercise on the following outcome measures: body composition, time to fatigue, production of new cells in the granule layer of the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus as a marker for neuronal plasticity, and behavioral performance on the contextual and cued fear conditioning tasks, as measures of associative learning and memory. Young adult male BALB/cJ mice approximately 2 months old were randomized into 8 groups varying the nutritional supplement in their diet and access to running wheels over a 39 day study period. Running increased food intake, decreased fat mass, increased time to exhaustive fatigue, increased numbers of new cells in the granule layer of the hippocampus, and enhanced retrieval of both contextual and cued fear memories. The diets had no effect on their own or in combination with exercise on any of the fitness, plasticity, and behavioral outcome measures other than B-ALA decreased percent body fat whereas EGCG increased lean body mass slightly. Results suggest that, in young adult BALB

  20. The Big Five default brain: functional evidence.

    PubMed

    Sampaio, Adriana; Soares, José Miguel; Coutinho, Joana; Sousa, Nuno; Gonçalves, Óscar F

    2014-11-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have provided evidence that different dimensions of human personality may be associated with specific structural neuroanatomic correlates. Identifying brain correlates of a situation-independent personality structure would require evidence of a stable default mode of brain functioning. In this study, we investigated the correlates of the Big Five personality dimensions (Extraversion, Neuroticism, Openness/Intellect, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness) and the default mode network (DMN). Forty-nine healthy adults completed the NEO-Five Factor. The results showed that the Extraversion (E) and Agreeableness (A) were positively correlated with activity in the midline core of the DMN, whereas Neuroticism (N), Openness (O), and Conscientiousness (C) were correlated with the parietal cortex system. Activity of the anterior cingulate cortex was positively associated with A and negatively with C. Regions of the parietal lobe were differentially associated with each personality dimension. The present study not only confirms previous functional correlates regarding the Big Five personality dimensions, but it also expands our knowledge showing the association between different personality dimensions and specific patterns of brain activation at rest.

  1. Optimal level activity of matrix metalloproteinases is critical for adult visual plasticity in the healthy and stroke-affected brain

    PubMed Central

    Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Fortuna, Michal G; Löwel, Siegrid

    2015-01-01

    The ability of the adult brain to undergo plastic changes is of particular interest in medicine, especially regarding recovery from injuries or improving learning and cognition. Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) have been associated with juvenile experience-dependent primary visual cortex (V1) plasticity, yet little is known about their role in this process in the adult V1. Activation of MMPs is a crucial step facilitating structural changes in a healthy brain; however, upon brain injury, upregulated MMPs promote the spread of a lesion and impair recovery. To clarify these seemingly opposing outcomes of MMP-activation, we examined the effects of MMP-inhibition on experience-induced plasticity in healthy and stoke-affected adult mice. In healthy animals, 7-day application of MMP-inhibitor prevented visual plasticity. Additionally, treatment with MMP-inhibitor once but not twice following stroke rescued plasticity, normally lost under these conditions. Our data imply that an optimal level of MMP-activity is crucial for adult visual plasticity to occur. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11290.001 PMID:26609811

  2. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on brain functions.

    PubMed

    Bohacek, Johannes; Gapp, Katharina; Saab, Bechara J; Mansuy, Isabelle M

    2013-02-15

    Psychiatric diseases are multifaceted disorders with complex etiology, recognized to have strong heritable components. Despite intense research efforts, genetic loci that substantially account for disease heritability have not yet been identified. Over the last several years, epigenetic processes have emerged as important factors for many brain diseases, and the discovery of epigenetic processes in germ cells has raised the possibility that they may contribute to disease heritability and disease risk. This review examines epigenetic mechanisms in complex diseases and summarizes the most illustrative examples of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in mammals and their relevance for brain function. Environmental factors that can affect molecular processes and behavior in exposed individuals and their offspring, and their potential epigenetic underpinnings, are described. Possible routes and mechanisms of transgenerational transmission are proposed, and the major questions and challenges raised by this emerging field of research are considered.

  3. Clinton Woolsey: Functional Brain Mapping Pioneer

    PubMed Central

    Lyon, Will; Mehta, Tej I.; Pointer, Kelli B.; Walden, Daniel; Elmayan, Ardem; Swanson, Kyle I.; Kuo, John S.

    2014-01-01

    Dr. Clinton Woolsey was a leading twentieth century neuroscientist for almost four decades. His most significant achievements were the novel use and refinement of evoked potential techniques to functionally map mammalian brains, the discovery of secondary cortical areas, and a wide repertoire of comparative neurofunctional studies across many species. We discuss his life and work through a historical context with contemporaries, highlight the primitive state of brain mapping before Woolsey, and his involvement in advancing its rapid development through work at both Johns Hopkins University and University of Wisconsin in Madison. Dr. Woolsey’s lasting impact on basic and clinical neuroscience, neurosurgery, and neurology and his important roles as a scientific mentor and leader are also described. PMID:25105696

  4. Rising stars: modulation of brain functions by astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Metna-Laurent, Mathilde; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    The type-1-cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptor is amongst the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. In few decades, CB1 receptors have been shown to regulate a large array of functions from brain cell development and survival to complex cognitive processes. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying these functions of CB1 is complex due to the heterogeneity of the brain cell types on which the receptor is expressed. Although the large majority of CB1 receptors act on neurons, early studies pointed to a direct control of CB1 receptors over astroglial functions including brain energy supply and neuroprotection. In line with the growing concept of the tripartite synapse highlighting astrocytes as direct players in synaptic plasticity, astroglial CB1 receptor signaling recently emerged as the mediator of several forms of synaptic plasticity associated to important cognitive functions. Here, we shortly review the current knowledge on CB1 receptor-mediated astroglial functions. This functional spectrum is large and most of the mechanisms by which CB1 receptors control astrocytes, as well as their consequences in vivo, are still unknown, requiring innovative approaches to improve this new cannabinoid research field.

  5. Blindness and brain plasticity: contribution of mental imagery? An fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Lambert, S; Sampaio, E; Mauss, Y; Scheiber, C

    2004-06-01

    The purpose of this study was to study brain plasticity in the visual cortex, in six subjects totally blind from birth. The protocol we used was the same as that employed in a prior study on blindfolded sighted subjects (Brain Res., 924 (2002) 176). The production of mental images from animal names versus passive listening to abstract words, involved, in the early blind subjects as well as in the blindfolded sighted subjects of our control group, the superior occipital, inferior and superior parietal areas, premotor area, visual association. Activation foci in the somatosensory areas in the left hemisphere, as well as in the temporal and fusiform gyri were only visible in the blind subjects. The experiment, which was repeated after a short period of rest, demonstrated, this time again, predominant involvement of the dorsal pathway and activation of the primary visual area (in a region of interest). With respect to the ongoing debate on brain reorganization, our study shows that the primary visual area is activated in early blind subjects, and that activation persists in a mental imagery task involving no sensory input other than verbal instructions.

  6. Stability and Plasticity of Auditory Brainstem Function Across the Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Skoe, Erika; Krizman, Jennifer; Anderson, Samira; Kraus, Nina

    2015-01-01

    The human auditory brainstem is thought to undergo rapid developmental changes early in life until age ∼2 followed by prolonged stability until aging-related changes emerge. However, earlier work on brainstem development was limited by sparse sampling across the lifespan and/or averaging across children and adults. Using a larger dataset than past investigations, we aimed to trace more subtle variations in auditory brainstem function that occur normally from infancy into the eighth decade of life. To do so, we recorded auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) to a click stimulus and a speech syllable (da) in 586 normal-hearing healthy individuals. Although each set of ABR measures (latency, frequency encoding, response consistency, nonstimulus activity) has a distinct developmental profile, across all measures developmental changes were found to continue well past age 2. In addition to an elongated developmental trajectory and evidence for multiple auditory developmental processes, we revealed a period of overshoot during childhood (5–11 years old) for latency and amplitude measures, when the latencies are earlier and the amplitudes are greater than the adult value. Our data also provide insight into the capacity for experience-dependent auditory plasticity at different stages in life and underscore the importance of using age-specific norms in clinical and experimental applications. PMID:24366906

  7. Smart plastic functionalization by nanoimprint and injection molding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zalkovskij, Maksim; Thamdrup, Lasse H.; Smistrup, Kristian; Andén, Thomas; Johansson, Alicia C.; Mikkelsen, Niels Jørgen; Madsen, Morten Hannibal; Garnæs, Jørgen; Kristiansen, Tommy Tungelund; Diemer, Mads; Døssing, Michael; Minzari, Daniel; Tang, Peter Torben; Kristensen, Anders; Taboryski, Rafael; Essendrop, Søren; Nielsen, Theodor; Bilenberg, Brian

    2015-03-01

    In this paper, we present a route for making smart functionalized plastic parts by injection molding with sub-micrometer surface structures. The method is based on combining planar processes well known and established within silicon micro and sub-micro fabrication with proven high resolution and high fidelity with truly freeform injection molding inserts. The link between the planar processes and the freeform shaped injection molding inserts is enabled by the use of nanoimprint with flexible molds for the pattern definition combined with unidirectional sputter etching for transferring the pattern. With this approach, we demonstrate the transfer of down to 140 nm wide holes on large areas with good structure fidelity on an injection molding steel insert. The durability of the sub-micrometer structures on the inserts have been investigated by running two production series of 102,000 and 73,000 injection molded parts, respectively, on two different inserts and inspecting the inserts before and after the production series and the molded parts during the production series.

  8. Synaptic competition in structural plasticity and cognitive function

    PubMed Central

    Ramiro-Cortés, Yazmín; Hobbiss, Anna F.; Israely, Inbal

    2014-01-01

    Connections between neurons can undergo long-lasting changes in synaptic strength correlating with changes in structure. These events require the synthesis of new proteins, the availability of which can lead to cooperative and competitive interactions between synapses for the expression of plasticity. These processes can occur over limited spatial distances and temporal periods, defining dendritic regions over which activity may be integrated and could lead to the physical rewiring of synapses into functional groups. Such clustering of inputs may increase the computational power of neurons by allowing information to be combined in a greater than additive manner. The availability of new proteins may be a key modulatory step towards activity-dependent, long-term growth or elimination of spines necessary for remodelling of connections. Thus, the aberrant growth or shrinkage of dendritic spines could occur if protein levels are misregulated. Indeed, such perturbations can be seen in several mental retardation disorders, wherein either too much or too little protein translation exists, matching an observed increase or decrease in spine density, respectively. Cellular events which alter protein availability could relieve a constraint on synaptic competition and disturb synaptic clustering mechanisms. These changes may be detrimental to modifications in neural circuitry following activity. PMID:24298158

  9. Inverted-U function relating cortical plasticity and task difficulty.

    PubMed

    Engineer, N D; Engineer, C T; Reed, A C; Pandya, P K; Jakkamsetti, V; Moucha, R; Kilgard, M P

    2012-03-15

    Many psychological and physiological studies with simple stimuli have suggested that perceptual learning specifically enhances the response of primary sensory cortex to task-relevant stimuli. The aim of this study was to determine whether auditory discrimination training on complex tasks enhances primary auditory cortex responses to a target sequence relative to non-target and novel sequences. We collected responses from more than 2000 sites in 31 rats trained on one of six discrimination tasks that differed primarily in the similarity of the target and distractor sequences. Unlike training with simple stimuli, long-term training with complex stimuli did not generate target-specific enhancement in any of the groups. Instead, cortical receptive field size decreased, latency decreased, and paired pulse depression decreased in rats trained on the tasks of intermediate difficulty, whereas tasks that were too easy or too difficult either did not alter or degraded cortical responses. These results suggest an inverted-U function relating neural plasticity and task difficulty.

  10. Inverted-U Function Relating Cortical Plasticity and Task Difficulty

    PubMed Central

    Engineer, Navzer D.; Engineer, Crystal T.; Reed, Amanda C.; Pandya, Pritesh K.; Jakkamsetti, Vikram; Moucha, Raluca; Kilgard, Michael P.

    2012-01-01

    Many psychological and physiological studies with simple stimuli have suggested that perceptual learning specifically enhances the response of primary sensory cortex to task-relevant stimuli. The aim of this study was to determine whether auditory discrimination training on complex tasks enhances primary auditory cortex responses to a target sequence relative to non-target and novel sequences. We collected responses from more than 2,000 sites in 31 rats trained on one of six discrimination tasks that differed primarily in the similarity of the target and distractor sequences. Unlike training with simple stimuli, long-term training with complex stimuli did not generate target specific enhancement in any of the groups. Instead, cortical receptive field size decreased, latency decreased, and paired pulse depression decreased in rats trained on the tasks of intermediate difficulty while tasks that were too easy or too difficult either did not alter or degraded cortical responses. These results suggest an inverted-U function relating neural plasticity and task difficulty. PMID:22249158

  11. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Yuan; Qiu, Yihong; Schouten, Alfred C.

    2015-01-01

    Face perception is mediated by a distributed brain network comprised of the core system at occipito-temporal areas and the extended system at other relevant brain areas involving bilateral hemispheres. In this study we explored how the brain connectivity changes over the time for face-sensitive processing. We investigated the dynamic functional connectivity in face perception by analyzing time-dependent EEG phase synchronization in four different frequency bands: theta (4–7 Hz), alpha (8–14 Hz), beta (15–24 Hz), and gamma (25–45 Hz) bands in the early stages of face processing from 30 to 300 ms. High-density EEG were recorded from subjects who were passively viewing faces, buildings, and chairs. The dynamic connectivity within the core system and between the extended system were investigated. Significant differences between faces and non-faces mainly appear in theta band connectivity: (1) at the time segment of 90–120 ms between parietal area and occipito-temporal area in the right hemisphere, and (2) at the time segment of 150–180 ms between bilateral occipito-temporal areas. These results indicate (1) the importance of theta-band connectivity in the face-sensitive processing, and (2) that different parts of network are involved for the initial stage of face categorization and the stage of face structural encoding. PMID:26696870

  12. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Freeman, W. J.; Capolupo, A.; Kozma, R.; Olivares del Campo, A.; Vitiello, G.

    2015-07-01

    By resorting to Freeman's observations showing that the distribution functions of impulse responses of cortex to sensory stimuli resemble Bessel functions, we study brain dynamics by considering the equivalence of spherical Bessel equation, in a given parametrization, to two oscillator equations, one damped and one amplified oscillator. The study of such a couple of equations, which are at the basis of the formulation of the dissipative many-body model, reveals the structure of the root loci of poles and zeros of solutions of Bessel equations, which are consistent with results obtained using ordinary differential equation techniques. We analyze stable and unstable limit cycles and consider thermodynamic features of brain functioning, which in this way may be described in terms of transitions between chaotic gas-like and ordered liquid-like behaviors. Nonlinearity dominates the dynamical critical transition regimes. Linear behavior, on the other hand, characterizes superpositions within self-organized neuronal domains in each dynamical phase. The formalism is consistent with the observed coexistence in circular causality of pulse density fields and wave density fields.

  13. Early-life stress affects the structural and functional plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex in adolescent rats.

    PubMed

    Chocyk, Agnieszka; Bobula, Bartosz; Dudys, Dorota; Przyborowska, Aleksandra; Majcher-Maślanka, Iwona; Hess, Grzegorz; Wędzony, Krzysztof

    2013-07-01

    Early life experiences are crucial factors that shape brain development and function due to their ability to induce structural and functional plasticity. Among these experiences, early-life stress (ELS) is known to interfere with brain development and maturation, increasing the risk of future psychopathologies, including depression, anxiety, and personality disorders. Moreover, ELS may contribute to the emergence of these psychopathologies during adolescence. In this present study, we investigated the effects of ELS, in the form of maternal separation (MS), on the structural and functional plasticity of the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and anxiety-like behavior in adolescent male rats. We found that the MS procedure resulted in disturbances in mother-pup interactions that lasted until weaning and were most strongly demonstrated by increases in nursing behavior. Moreover, MS caused atrophy of the basal dendritic tree and reduced spine density on both the apical and basal dendrites in layer II/III pyramidal neurons of the mPFC. The structural changes were accompanied by an impairment of long-term potentiation processes and increased expression of key proteins, specifically glutamate receptor 1, glutamate receptor 2, postsynaptic density protein 95, αCa(2+) /calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II and αCa(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II phosphorylated at residue Thr305, that are engaged in long-term potentiation induction and maintenance in the mPFC. We also found that the MS animals were more anxious in the light/dark exploration test. The results of this study indicate that ELS has a significant impact on the structural and functional plasticity of the mPFC in adolescents. ELS-induced adaptive plasticity may underlie the pathomechanisms of some early-onset psychopathologies observed in adolescents.

  14. Mind the blind brain to understand the sighted one! Is there a supramodal cortical functional architecture?

    PubMed

    Ricciardi, Emiliano; Bonino, Daniela; Pellegrini, Silvia; Pietrini, Pietro

    2014-04-01

    While most of the research in blind individuals classically has focused on the compensatory plastic rearrangements that follow loss of sight, novel behavioral, anatomical and functional brain studies in individuals born deprived of sight represent a powerful tool to understand to what extent the brain functional architecture is programmed to develop independently from any visual experience. Here we review work from our lab and others, conducted in sighted and congenitally blind individuals, whose results indicate that vision is not a mandatory prerequisite for the brain cortical organization to develop and function. Similar cortical networks subtend visual and/or non-visual perception of form, space and movement, as well as action recognition, both in sighted and in congenitally blind individuals. These findings support the hypothesis of a modality independent, supramodal cortical organization. Visual experience, however, does play a role in shaping specific cortical sub-regions, as loss of sight is accompanied also by cross-modal plastic phenomena. Altogether, studying the blind brain is opening our eyes on how the brain develops and works.

  15. Plastic responses in the metabolome and functional traits of maize plants to temperature variations.

    PubMed

    Sun, C X; Gao, X X; Li, M Q; Fu, J Q; Zhang, Y L

    2016-03-01

    Environmentally inducible phenotypic plasticity is a major player in plant responses to climate change. However, metabolic responses and their role in determining the phenotypic plasticity of plants that are subjected to temperature variations remain poorly understood. The metabolomic profiles and metabolite levels in the leaves of three maize inbred lines grown in different temperature conditions were examined with a nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic technique. The relationship of functional traits to metabolome profiles and the metabolic mechanism underlying temperature variations were then explored. A comparative analysis showed that during heat and cold stress, maize plants shared common plastic responses in biomass accumulation, carbon, nitrogen, sugars, some amino acids and compatible solutes. We also found that the plastic response of maize plants to heat stress was different from that under cold stress, mainly involving biomass allocation, shikimate and its aromatic amino acid derivatives, and other non-polar metabolites. The plastic responsiveness of functional traits of maize lines to temperature variations was low, while the metabolic responsiveness in plasticity was high, indicating that functional and metabolic plasticity may play different roles in maize plant adaptation to temperature variations. A linear regression analysis revealed that the maize lines could adapt to growth temperature variations through the interrelation of plastic responses in the metabolomes and functional traits, such as biomass allocation and the status of carbon and nitrogen. We provide valuable insight into the plastic response strategy of maize plants to temperature variations that will permit the optimisation of crop cultivation in an increasingly variable environment. PMID:26280133

  16. Plastic responses in the metabolome and functional traits of maize plants to temperature variations.

    PubMed

    Sun, C X; Gao, X X; Li, M Q; Fu, J Q; Zhang, Y L

    2016-03-01

    Environmentally inducible phenotypic plasticity is a major player in plant responses to climate change. However, metabolic responses and their role in determining the phenotypic plasticity of plants that are subjected to temperature variations remain poorly understood. The metabolomic profiles and metabolite levels in the leaves of three maize inbred lines grown in different temperature conditions were examined with a nuclear magnetic resonance metabolomic technique. The relationship of functional traits to metabolome profiles and the metabolic mechanism underlying temperature variations were then explored. A comparative analysis showed that during heat and cold stress, maize plants shared common plastic responses in biomass accumulation, carbon, nitrogen, sugars, some amino acids and compatible solutes. We also found that the plastic response of maize plants to heat stress was different from that under cold stress, mainly involving biomass allocation, shikimate and its aromatic amino acid derivatives, and other non-polar metabolites. The plastic responsiveness of functional traits of maize lines to temperature variations was low, while the metabolic responsiveness in plasticity was high, indicating that functional and metabolic plasticity may play different roles in maize plant adaptation to temperature variations. A linear regression analysis revealed that the maize lines could adapt to growth temperature variations through the interrelation of plastic responses in the metabolomes and functional traits, such as biomass allocation and the status of carbon and nitrogen. We provide valuable insight into the plastic response strategy of maize plants to temperature variations that will permit the optimisation of crop cultivation in an increasingly variable environment.

  17. The brain as a complex system: plasticity at multiple scales and criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ng, Tony; Miller, Paul

    2015-03-01

    As a complex system, a successful organism is one that can react effectively to environmental fluctuations. Not only should its response repertoire be commensurate with the number of independent conditions that it encounters, behavioral and environmental variations need to be matched at the appropriate scales. In the cortex, neuronal clusters, not individual cells, operate at the proper scale that is necessary to generate appropriate responses to external states of the world. Single neurons, however, serve on a finer scale to mediate interactions between neuronal assemblies. The distinction of scales is significant, as plasticity mechanisms can operate on various spatial and temporal scales. The brain has apparently evolved complex-system strategies to calibrate its own dynamics at multiple scales. This makes the joint study of local balance and global homeostasis fundamentally important, where criticality emerges as a signature of a computationally powerful system. We show via simulations how plasticity mechanisms at multiple scales are inextricably tied to spike-based neuronal avalanches, which are microscopic in origin and poorly predictive of animal behavior, and cluster-based avalanches, which are manifest macroscopically and are relevant to cognition and behavior.

  18. Functional brain networks involved in reality monitoring.

    PubMed

    Metzak, Paul D; Lavigne, Katie M; Woodward, Todd S

    2015-08-01

    Source monitoring refers to the recollection of variables that specify the context and conditions in which a memory episode was encoded. This process involves using the qualitative and quantitative features of a memory trace to distinguish its source. One specific class of source monitoring is reality monitoring, which involves distinguishing internally generated from externally generated information, that is, memories of imagined events from real events. The purpose of the present study was to identify functional brain networks that underlie reality monitoring, using an alternative type of source monitoring as a control condition. On the basis of previous studies on self-referential thinking, it was expected that a medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) based network would be more active during reality monitoring than the control condition, due to the requirement to focus on a comparison of internal (self) and external (other) source information. Two functional brain networks emerged from this analysis, one reflecting increasing task-related activity, and one reflecting decreasing task-related activity. The second network was mPFC based, and was characterized by task-related deactivations in areas resembling the default-mode network; namely, the mPFC, middle temporal gyri, lateral parietal regions, and the precuneus, and these deactivations were diminished during reality monitoring relative to source monitoring, resulting in higher activity during reality monitoring. This result supports previous research suggesting that self-referential thinking involves the mPFC, but extends this to a network-level interpretation of reality monitoring.

  19. Phosphatidylserine in the brain: metabolism and function.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hee-Yong; Huang, Bill X; Spector, Arthur A

    2014-10-01

    Phosphatidylserine (PS) is the major anionic phospholipid class particularly enriched in the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane in neural tissues. PS is synthesized from phosphatidylcholine or phosphatidylethanolamine by exchanging the base head group with serine, and this reaction is catalyzed by phosphatidylserine synthase 1 and phosphatidylserine synthase 2 located in the endoplasmic reticulum. Activation of Akt, Raf-1 and protein kinase C signaling, which supports neuronal survival and differentiation, requires interaction of these proteins with PS localized in the cytoplasmic leaflet of the plasma membrane. Furthermore, neurotransmitter release by exocytosis and a number of synaptic receptors and proteins are modulated by PS present in the neuronal membranes. Brain is highly enriched with docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and brain PS has a high DHA content. By promoting PS synthesis, DHA can uniquely expand the PS pool in neuronal membranes and thereby influence PS-dependent signaling and protein function. Ethanol decreases DHA-promoted PS synthesis and accumulation in neurons, which may contribute to the deleterious effects of ethanol intake. Improvement of some memory functions has been observed in cognitively impaired subjects as a result of PS supplementation, but the mechanism is unclear.

  20. Dietary boron, brain function, and cognitive performance.

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

    Although the trace element boron has yet to be recognized as an essential nutrient for humans, recent data from animal and human studies suggest that boron may be important for mineral metabolism and membrane function. To investigate further the functional role of boron, brain electrophysiology and cognitive performance were assessed in response to dietary manipulation of boron (approximately 0.25 versus approximately 3.25 mg boron/2000 kcal/day) in three studies with healthy older men and women. Within-subject designs were used to assess functional responses in all studies. Spectral analysis of electroencephalographic data showed effects of dietary boron in two of the three studies. When the low boron intake was compared to the high intake, there was a significant (p < 0.05) increase in the proportion of low-frequency activity, and a decrease in the proportion of higher-frequency activity, an effect often observed in response to general malnutrition and heavy metal toxicity. Performance (e.g., response time) on various cognitive and psychomotor tasks also showed an effect of dietary boron. When contrasted with the high boron intake, low dietary boron resulted in significantly poorer performance (p < 0.05) on tasks emphasizing manual dexterity (studies II and III); eye-hand coordination (study II); attention (all studies); perception (study III); encoding and short-term memory (all studies); and long-term memory (study I). Collectively, the data from these three studies indicate that boron may play a role in human brain function and cognitive performance, and provide additional evidence that boron is an essential nutrient for humans. PMID:7889884

  1. Brain Function and Upper Limb Outcome in Stroke: A Cross-Sectional fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Buma, Floor E.; Raemaekers, Mathijs; Kwakkel, Gert; Ramsey, Nick F.

    2015-01-01

    Objective The nature of changes in brain activation related to good recovery of arm function after stroke is still unclear. While the notion that this is a reflection of neuronal plasticity has gained much support, confounding by compensatory strategies cannot be ruled out. We address this issue by comparing brain activity in recovered patients 6 months after stroke with healthy controls. Methods We included 20 patients with upper limb paresis due to ischemic stroke and 15 controls. We measured brain activation during a finger flexion-extension task with functional MRI, and the relationship between brain activation and hand function. Patients exhibited various levels of recovery, but all were able to perform the task. Results Comparison between patients and controls with voxel-wise whole-brain analysis failed to reveal significant differences in brain activation. Equally, a region of interest analysis constrained to the motor network to optimize statistical power, failed to yield any differences. Finally, no significant relationship between brain activation and hand function was found in patients. Patients and controls performed scanner task equally well. Conclusion Brain activation and behavioral performance during finger flexion-extensions in (moderately) well recovered patients seems normal. The absence of significant differences in brain activity even in patients with a residual impairment may suggest that infarcts do not necessarily induce reorganization of motor function. While brain activity could be abnormal with higher task demands, this may also introduce performance confounds. It is thus still uncertain to what extent capacity for true neuronal repair after stroke exists. PMID:26440276

  2. Regions, systems, and the brain: hierarchical measures of functional integration in fMRI.

    PubMed

    Marrelec, Guillaume; Bellec, Pierre; Krainik, Alexandre; Duffau, Hugues; Pélégrini-Issac, Mélanie; Lehéricy, Stéphane; Benali, Habib; Doyon, Julien

    2008-08-01

    In neuroscience, the notion has emerged that the brain abides by two principles: segregation and integration. Segregation into functionally specialized systems and integration of information flow across systems are basic principles that are thought to shape the functional architecture of the brain. A measure called integration, originating from information theory and derived from mutual information, has been proposed to characterize the global integrative state of a network. In this paper, we show that integration can be applied in a hierarchical fashion to quantify functional interactions between compound systems, each system being composed of several regions. We apply this method to fMRI datasets from patients with low-grade glioma and show how it can efficiently extract information related to both intra- and interhemispheric reorganization induced by lesional brain plasticity.

  3. Brain microvascular function during cardiopulmonary bypass

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, H.R.; Husum, B.; Waaben, J.; Andersen, K.; Andersen, L.I.; Gefke, K.; Kaarsen, A.L.; Gjedde, A.

    1987-11-01

    Emboli in the brain microvasculature may inhibit brain activity during cardiopulmonary bypass. Such hypothetical blockade, if confirmed, may be responsible for the reduction of cerebral metabolic rate for glucose observed in animals subjected to cardiopulmonary bypass. In previous studies of cerebral blood flow during bypass, brain microcirculation was not evaluated. In the present study in animals (pigs), reduction of the number of perfused capillaries was estimated by measurements of the capillary diffusion capacity for hydrophilic tracers of low permeability. Capillary diffusion capacity, cerebral blood flow, and cerebral metabolic rate for glucose were measured simultaneously by the integral method, different tracers being used with different circulation times. In eight animals subjected to normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass, and seven subjected to hypothermic bypass, cerebral blood flow, cerebral metabolic rate for glucose, and capillary diffusion capacity decreased significantly: cerebral blood flow from 63 to 43 ml/100 gm/min in normothermia and to 34 ml/100 gm/min in hypothermia and cerebral metabolic rate for glucose from 43.0 to 23.0 mumol/100 gm/min in normothermia and to 14.1 mumol/100 gm/min in hypothermia. The capillary diffusion capacity declined markedly from 0.15 to 0.03 ml/100 gm/min in normothermia but only to 0.08 ml/100 gm/min in hypothermia. We conclude that the decrease of cerebral metabolic rate for glucose during normothermic cardiopulmonary bypass is caused by interruption of blood flow through a part of the capillary bed, possibly by microemboli, and that cerebral blood flow is an inadequate indicator of capillary blood flow. Further studies must clarify why normal microvascular function appears to be preserved during hypothermic cardiopulmonary bypass.

  4. Neurobiological markers of exercise-related brain plasticity in older adults

    PubMed Central

    Voss, Michelle W.; Erickson, Kirk I.; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S.; Alves, Heloisa; Szabo, Amanda; White, Siobhan M.; Wójcicki, Thomas R.; Mailey, Emily L.; Olson, Erin A.; Gothe, Neha; Potter, Vicki V.; Martin, Stephen A.; Pence, Brandt D.; Cook, Marc D.; Woods, Jeffrey A.; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.

    2012-01-01

    The current study examined how a randomized one-year aerobic exercise program for healthy older adults would affect serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) - putative markers of exercise-induced benefits on brain function. The study also examined whether (a) change in the concentration of these growth factors was associated with alterations in functional connectivity following exercise, and (b) the extent to which pre-intervention growth factor levels were associated with training-related changes in functional connectivity. In 65 participants (mean age = 66.4), we found that although there were no group-level changes in growth factors as a function of the intervention, increased temporal lobe connectivity between the bilateral parahippocampus and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus was associated with increased BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF for an aerobic walking group but not for a non-aerobic control group, and greater pre-intervention VEGF was associated with greater training-related increases in this functional connection. Results are consistent with animal models of exercise and the brain, but are the first to show in humans that exercise-induced increases in temporal lobe functional connectivity are associated with changes in growth factors and may be augmented by greater baseline VEGF. PMID:23123199

  5. Neurobiological markers of exercise-related brain plasticity in older adults.

    PubMed

    Voss, Michelle W; Erickson, Kirk I; Prakash, Ruchika Shaurya; Chaddock, Laura; Kim, Jennifer S; Alves, Heloisa; Szabo, Amanda; Phillips, Siobhan M; Wójcicki, Thomas R; Mailey, Emily L; Olson, Erin A; Gothe, Neha; Vieira-Potter, Victoria J; Martin, Stephen A; Pence, Brandt D; Cook, Marc D; Woods, Jeffrey A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2013-02-01

    The current study examined how a randomized one-year aerobic exercise program for healthy older adults would affect serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), insulin-like growth factor type 1 (IGF-1), and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) - putative markers of exercise-induced benefits on brain function. The study also examined whether (a) change in the concentration of these growth factors was associated with alterations in functional connectivity following exercise, and (b) the extent to which pre-intervention growth factor levels were associated with training-related changes in functional connectivity. In 65 participants (mean age=66.4), we found that although there were no group-level changes in growth factors as a function of the intervention, increased temporal lobe connectivity between the bilateral parahippocampus and the bilateral middle temporal gyrus was associated with increased BDNF, IGF-1, and VEGF for an aerobic walking group but not for a non-aerobic control group, and greater pre-intervention VEGF was associated with greater training-related increases in this functional connection. Results are consistent with animal models of exercise and the brain, but are the first to show in humans that exercise-induced increases in temporal lobe functional connectivity are associated with changes in growth factors and may be augmented by greater baseline VEGF.

  6. Neurogenic plasticity of mesenchymal stem cell, an alluring cellular replacement for traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Pati, Soumya; Muthuraju, Sangu; Hadi, Raisah Ab; Huat, Tee Jong; Singh, Shailja; Maletic-Savatic, Mirjana; Abdullah, Jafri Malin; Jaafar, Hasnan

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) imposes horrendous neurophysiological alterations leading to most devastating forms of neuro-disability. Which includes impaired cognition, distorted locomotors activity and psychosomatic disability in both youths and adults. Emerging evidence from recent studies has identified mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) as one of the promising category of stem cells having excellent neuroregenerative capability in TBI victims. Some of the clinical and animal studies reported that MSCs transplantation could cure neuronal damage as well as improve cognitive and locomotors behaviors in TBI. However, mechanism behind their broad spectrum neuroregenerative potential in TBI has not been reviewed yet. Therefore, in the present article, we present a comprehensive data on the important attributes of MSCs, such as neurotransdifferentiation, neuroprotection, axonal repair and plasticity, maintenance of blood-brain integrity, reduction of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and immunomodulation. We have reviewed in detail the crucial neurogenic capabilities of MSCs in vivo and provided consolidated knowledge regarding their cellular remodeling in TBI for future therapeutic implications. PMID:26763886

  7. Modafinil treatment prevents REM sleep deprivation-induced brain function impairment by increasing MMP-9 expression.

    PubMed

    He, Bin; Peng, Hua; Zhao, Ying; Zhou, Hui; Zhao, Zhongxin

    2011-12-01

    Previous work showed that sleep deprivation (SD) impairs hippocampal-dependent cognitive function and synaptic plasticity, and a novel wake-promoting agent modafinil prevents SD-induced memory impairment in rat. However, the mechanisms by which modafinil prevented REM-SD-induced impairment of brain function remain poorly understood. In the present study, rats were sleep-deprived by using the modified multiple platform method and brain function was detected. The results showed that modafinil treatment prevented REM-SD-induced impairment of cognitive function. Modafinil significantly reduced the number of errors compared to placebo and upregulated synapsin I expression in the dorsal hippocampal CA3 region. A synaptic plasticity-related gene, MMP-9 expression was also upregulated in modafinil-treated rats. Importantly, downregulation of MMP-9 expression by special siRNA decreased synapsin I protein levels and synapse numbers. Therefore, we demonstrated that modafinil increased cognition function and synaptic plasticity, at least in part by increasing MMP-9 expression in REM-SD rats.

  8. [Hunger-driven modulation in brain functions].

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    \\All organisms must obtain nutrition in order to survive and produce their progeny. In the natural environment, however, adequate nutrition or food is not always available. Thus, all organisms are equipped with mechanisms by which their nutritional condition alters their internal activities. In animals, the loss of nutritional intake (fasting) alters not only metabolism, but also behavior in a manner dependent on hormones such as insulin, glucagon, leptin, and ghrelin. As a result, animals are able to maintain their blood sugar level, and are motivated to crave food upon fasting. Moreover, our recent study revealed a novel role of hunger, which facilitates long-term memory (LTM) formation, and its molecular mechanism in the fruit fly, Drosophila. Here, we review the overall effect of fasting, and how fasting affects brain function. I then introduce our finding in which mild fasting facilitates LTM formation, and discuss its biological significance. PMID:24371130

  9. [Hunger-driven modulation in brain functions].

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

    \\All organisms must obtain nutrition in order to survive and produce their progeny. In the natural environment, however, adequate nutrition or food is not always available. Thus, all organisms are equipped with mechanisms by which their nutritional condition alters their internal activities. In animals, the loss of nutritional intake (fasting) alters not only metabolism, but also behavior in a manner dependent on hormones such as insulin, glucagon, leptin, and ghrelin. As a result, animals are able to maintain their blood sugar level, and are motivated to crave food upon fasting. Moreover, our recent study revealed a novel role of hunger, which facilitates long-term memory (LTM) formation, and its molecular mechanism in the fruit fly, Drosophila. Here, we review the overall effect of fasting, and how fasting affects brain function. I then introduce our finding in which mild fasting facilitates LTM formation, and discuss its biological significance.

  10. Coupling energy metabolism with a mechanism to support brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity.

    PubMed

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

    2006-01-01

    Synaptic plasticity and behaviors are likely dependent on the capacity of neurons to meet the energy demands imposed by neuronal activity. We used physical activity, a paradigm intrinsically associated with energy consumption/expenditure and cognitive enhancement, to study how energy metabolism interacts with the substrates for neuroplasticity. We found that in an area critical for learning and memory, the hippocampus, exercise modified aspects of energy metabolism by decreasing oxidative stress and increasing the levels of cytochrome c oxidase-II, a specific component of mitochondrial machinery. We infused 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, a modulator of energy metabolism, directly into the hippocampus during 3 days of voluntary wheel running and measured its effects on brain-derived neurotrophic factor-mediated synaptic plasticity. Brain-derived neurotrophic factor is a central player for the effects of exercise on synaptic and cognitive plasticity. We found that 25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 decreased exercise-induced brain-derived neurotrophic factor but had no significant effect on neurotrophin-3 levels, thereby suggesting a level of specificity for brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hippocampus. 25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 injection also abolished the effects of exercise on the consummate end-products of brain-derived neurotrophic factor action, i.e. cyclic AMP response element-binding protein and synapsin I, and modulated phosphorylated calmodulin protein kinase II, a signal transduction cascade downstream to brain-derived neurotrophic factor action that is important for learning and memory. We also found that exercise significantly increased the expression of the mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2, an energy-balancing factor concerned with ATP production and free radical management. Our results reveal a fundamental mechanism by which key elements of energy metabolism may modulate the substrates of hippocampal synaptic plasticity.

  11. Functional Genomics of Physiological Plasticity and Local Adaptation in Killifish

    PubMed Central

    Galvez, Fernando; Zhang, Shujun; Williams, Larissa M.; Oleksiak, Marjorie F.

    2011-01-01

    Evolutionary solutions to the physiological challenges of life in highly variable habitats can span the continuum from evolution of a cosmopolitan plastic phenotype to the evolution of locally adapted phenotypes. Killifish (Fundulus sp.) have evolved both highly plastic and locally adapted phenotypes within different selective contexts, providing a comparative system in which to explore the genomic underpinnings of physiological plasticity and adaptive variation. Importantly, extensive variation exists among populations and species for tolerance to a variety of stressors, and we exploit this variation in comparative studies to yield insights into the genomic basis of evolved phenotypic variation. Notably, species of Fundulus occupy the continuum of osmotic habitats from freshwater to marine and populations within Fundulus heteroclitus span far greater variation in pollution tolerance than across all species of fish. Here, we explore how transcriptome regulation underpins extreme physiological plasticity on osmotic shock and how genomic and transcriptomic variation is associated with locally evolved pollution tolerance. We show that F. heteroclitus quickly acclimate to extreme osmotic shock by mounting a dramatic rapid transcriptomic response including an early crisis control phase followed by a tissue remodeling phase involving many regulatory pathways. We also show that convergent evolution of locally adapted pollution tolerance involves complex patterns of gene expression and genome sequence variation, which is confounded with body-weight dependence for some genes. Similarly, exploiting the natural phenotypic variation associated with other established and emerging model organisms is likely to greatly accelerate the pace of discovery of the genomic basis of phenotypic variation. PMID:20581107

  12. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernstrom, J. D.

    1981-01-01

    The rates of synthesis by brain neurons of the neurotransmitters serotonin, acetylcholine, and the catecholamines depend on the brain levels of the respective precursor molecules. Brain levels of each precursor are influenced by their blood concentration, and for the amino acid precursors, by the blood levels of other amino acids as well. Since diet readily alters blood concentrations of each of these precursors, it thereby also influences the brain formation of their neutrotransmitter products.

  13. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernstrom, John D.

    The rates of synthesis by brain neurons of the neurotransmitters serotonin, acetylcholine, and the catecholamines depend on the brain levels of the respective precursor molecules. Brain levels of each precursor are influenced by their blood concentration, and for the amino acid precursors, by the blood levels of other amino acids as well. Since diet readily alters blood concentrations of each of these precursors, it thereby also influences the brain formation of their neurotransmitter products.

  14. Acute functional reactivation of the language network during awake intraoperative brain mapping.

    PubMed

    Spena, Giannantonio; Costi, Emanuele; Panciani, Pier Paolo; Roca, Elena; Migliorati, Karol; Fontanella, Marco Maria

    2015-01-01

    Acute brain plasticity during resection of central lesions has been recently described. In the cases reported, perilesional latent networks, useful to preserve the neurological functions, were detected in asymptomatic patients. In this paper, we presented a case of acute functional reactivation (AFR) of the language network in a symptomatic patient. Tumor resection allowed to acutely restore the neurological deficit. Intraoperative direct cortical stimulation (DCS) and functional neuroimaging showed new epicentres of activation of the language network after tumor excision. DCS in awake surgery is mandatory to reveal AFR needful to improve the extent of resection preserving the quality of life.

  15. Notch Is Required in Adult Drosophila Sensory Neurons for Morphological and Functional Plasticity of the Olfactory Circuit

    PubMed Central

    Struhl, Gary

    2015-01-01

    Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) convey odor information to the central brain, but like other sensory neurons were thought to play a passive role in memory formation and storage. Here we show that Notch, part of an evolutionarily conserved intercellular signaling pathway, is required in adult Drosophila ORNs for the structural and functional plasticity of olfactory glomeruli that is induced by chronic odor exposure. Specifically, we show that Notch activity in ORNs is necessary for the odor specific increase in the volume of glomeruli that occurs as a consequence of prolonged odor exposure. Calcium imaging experiments indicate that Notch in ORNs is also required for the chronic odor induced changes in the physiology of ORNs and the ensuing changes in the physiological response of their second order projection neurons (PNs). We further show that Notch in ORNs acts by both canonical cleavage-dependent and non-canonical cleavage-independent pathways. The Notch ligand Delta (Dl) in PNs switches the balance between the pathways. These data define a circuit whereby, in conjunction with odor, N activity in the periphery regulates the activity of neurons in the central brain and Dl in the central brain regulates N activity in the periphery. Our work highlights the importance of experience dependent plasticity at the first olfactory synapse. PMID:26011623

  16. Plasticity of Attentional Functions in Older Adults after Non-Action Video Game Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial

    PubMed Central

    Mayas, Julia; Parmentier, Fabrice B. R.; Andrés, Pilar; Ballesteros, Soledad

    2014-01-01

    A major goal of recent research in aging has been to examine cognitive plasticity in older adults and its capacity to counteract cognitive decline. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether older adults could benefit from brain training with video games in a cross-modal oddball task designed to assess distraction and alertness. Twenty-seven healthy older adults participated in the study (15 in the experimental group, 12 in the control group. The experimental group received 20 1-hr video game training sessions using a commercially available brain-training package (Lumosity) involving problem solving, mental calculation, working memory and attention tasks. The control group did not practice this package and, instead, attended meetings with the other members of the study several times along the course of the study. Both groups were evaluated before and after the intervention using a cross-modal oddball task measuring alertness and distraction. The results showed a significant reduction of distraction and an increase of alertness in the experimental group and no variation in the control group. These results suggest neurocognitive plasticity in the old human brain as training enhanced cognitive performance on attentional functions. Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02007616 PMID:24647551

  17. The Perimenopausal Aging Transition in the Female Rat Brain: Decline in Bioenergetic Systems and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Fei; Yao, Jia; Sancheti, Harsh; Feng, Tao; Melcangi, Roberto C.; Morgan, Todd E.; Finch, Caleb E.; Pike, Christian J.; Mack, Wendy J.; Cadenas, Enrique; Brinton, Roberta D.

    2015-01-01

    The perimenopause is an aging transition unique to the female that leads to reproductive senescence which can be characterized by multiple neurological symptoms. To better understand potential underlying mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause, the current study determined genomic, biochemical, brain metabolic and electrophysiological transformations that occur during this transition using a rat model recapitulating fundamental characteristics of the human perimenopause. Gene expression analyses indicated two distinct aging programs: chronological and endocrine. A critical period emerged during the endocrine transition from regular to irregular cycling characterized by decline in bioenergetic gene expression, confirmed by deficits in FDG-PET brain metabolism, mitochondrial function, and long-term potentiation. Bioinformatic analysis predicted insulin/IGF1 and AMPK/PGC1α signaling pathways as upstream regulators. Onset of acyclicity was accompanied by a rise in genes required for fatty acid metabolism, inflammation, and mitochondrial function. Subsequent chronological aging resulted in decline of genes required for mitochondrial function and β-amyloid degradation. Emergence of glucose hypometabolism and impaired synaptic function in brain provide plausible mechanisms of neurological symptoms of perimenopause and may be predictive of later life vulnerability to hypometabolic conditions such as Alzheimer’s. PMID:25921624

  18. Neural plasticity in hypocretin neurons: the basis of hypocretinergic regulation of physiological and behavioral functions in animals

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Xiao-Bing; Hermes, Gretchen

    2015-01-01

    The neuronal system that resides in the perifornical and lateral hypothalamus (Pf/LH) and synthesizes the neuropeptide hypocretin/orexin participates in critical brain functions across species from fish to human. The hypocretin system regulates neural activity responsible for daily functions (such as sleep/wake homeostasis, energy balance, appetite, etc.) and long-term behavioral changes (such as reward seeking and addiction, stress response, etc.) in animals. The most recent evidence suggests that the hypocretin system undergoes substantial plastic changes in response to both daily fluctuations (such as food intake and sleep-wake regulation) and long-term changes (such as cocaine seeking) in neuronal activity in the brain. The understanding of these changes in the hypocretin system is essential in addressing the role of the hypocretin system in normal physiological functions and pathological conditions in animals and humans. In this review, the evidence demonstrating that neural plasticity occurs in hypocretin-containing neurons in the Pf/LH will be presented and possible physiological, behavioral, and mental health implications of these findings will be discussed. PMID:26539086

  19. Mapping distributed brain function and networks with diffuse optical tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggebrecht, Adam T.; Ferradal, Silvina L.; Robichaux-Viehoever, Amy; Hassanpour, Mahlega S.; Dehghani, Hamid; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Hershey, Tamara; Culver, Joseph P.

    2014-06-01

    Mapping of human brain function has revolutionized systems neuroscience. However, traditional functional neuroimaging by positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging cannot be used when applications require portability, or are contraindicated because of ionizing radiation (positron emission tomography) or implanted metal (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Optical neuroimaging offers a non-invasive alternative that is radiation free and compatible with implanted metal and electronic devices (for example, pacemakers). However, optical imaging technology has heretofore lacked the combination of spatial resolution and wide field of view sufficient to map distributed brain functions. Here, we present a high-density diffuse optical tomography imaging array that can map higher-order, distributed brain function. The system was tested by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks. Finally, we imaged brain function in patients with Parkinson's disease and implanted deep brain stimulators that preclude functional magnetic resonance imaging.

  20. Mouse Social Network Dynamics and Community Structure are Associated with Plasticity-Related Brain Gene Expression

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Cait M.; Franks, Becca; Curley, James P.

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory studies of social behavior have typically focused on dyadic interactions occurring within a limited spatiotemporal context. However, this strategy prevents analyses of the dynamics of group social behavior and constrains identification of the biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior. In the current study, we aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics and hierarchical organization of a large social network of male mice. We also sought to determine if standard assays of social and exploratory behavior are predictive of social behavior in this social network and whether individual network position was associated with the mRNA expression of two plasticity-related genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a. Mice were observed to form a hierarchically organized social network and self-organized into two separate social network communities. Members of both communities exhibited distinct patterns of socio-spatial organization within the vivaria that was not limited to only agonistic interactions. We further established that exploratory and social behaviors in standard behavioral assays conducted prior to placing the mice into the large group was predictive of initial network position and behavior but were not associated with final social network position. Finally, we determined that social network position is associated with variation in mRNA levels of two neural plasticity genes, DNMT1 and DNMT3a, in the hippocampus but not the mPOA. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of social context and complex social dynamics in determining the relationship between individual differences in social behavior and brain gene expression. PMID:27540359

  1. Mouse Social Network Dynamics and Community Structure are Associated with Plasticity-Related Brain Gene Expression.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Cait M; Franks, Becca; Curley, James P

    2016-01-01

    Laboratory studies of social behavior have typically focused on dyadic interactions occurring within a limited spatiotemporal context. However, this strategy prevents analyses of the dynamics of group social behavior and constrains identification of the biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior. In the current study, we aimed to identify the spatiotemporal dynamics and hierarchical organization of a large social network of male mice. We also sought to determine if standard assays of social and exploratory behavior are predictive of social behavior in this social network and whether individual network position was associated with the mRNA expression of two plasticity-related genes, DNA methyltransferase 1 and 3a. Mice were observed to form a hierarchically organized social network and self-organized into two separate social network communities. Members of both communities exhibited distinct patterns of socio-spatial organization within the vivaria that was not limited to only agonistic interactions. We further established that exploratory and social behaviors in standard behavioral assays conducted prior to placing the mice into the large group was predictive of initial network position and behavior but were not associated with final social network position. Finally, we determined that social network position is associated with variation in mRNA levels of two neural plasticity genes, DNMT1 and DNMT3a, in the hippocampus but not the mPOA. This work demonstrates the importance of understanding the role of social context and complex social dynamics in determining the relationship between individual differences in social behavior and brain gene expression. PMID:27540359

  2. Training your brain to be more creative: brain functional and structural changes induced by divergent thinking training.

    PubMed

    Sun, Jiangzhou; Chen, Qunlin; Zhang, Qinglin; Li, Yadan; Li, Haijiang; Wei, Dongtao; Yang, Wenjing; Qiu, Jiang

    2016-10-01

    Creativity is commonly defined as the ability to produce something both novel and useful. Stimulating creativity has great significance for both individual success and social improvement. Although increasing creative capacity has been confirmed to be possible and effective at the behavioral level, few longitudinal studies have examined the extent to which the brain function and structure underlying creativity are plastic. A cognitive stimulation (20 sessions) method was used in the present study to train subjects and to explore the neuroplasticity induced by training. The behavioral results revealed that both the originality and the fluency of divergent thinking were significantly improved by training. Furthermore, functional changes induced by training were observed in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), and posterior brain regions. Moreover, the gray matter volume (GMV) was significantly increased in the dACC after divergent thinking training. These results suggest that the enhancement of creativity may rely not only on the posterior brain regions that are related to the fundamental cognitive processes of creativity (e.g., semantic processing, generating novel associations), but also on areas that are involved in top-down cognitive control, such as the dACC and DLPFC. Hum Brain Mapp 37:3375-3387, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27159407

  3. NF-KappaB in Long-Term Memory and Structural Plasticity in the Adult Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Kaltschmidt, Barbara; Kaltschmidt, Christian

    2015-01-01

    The transcription factor nuclear factor kappaB (NF-κB) is a well-known regulator of inflammation, stress, and immune responses as well as cell survival. In the nervous system, NF-κB is one of the crucial components in the molecular switch that converts short- to long-term memory—a process that requires de novo gene expression. Here, the researches published on NF-κB and downstream target genes in mammals will be reviewed, which are necessary for structural plasticity and long-term memory, both under normal and pathological conditions in the brain. Genetic evidence has revealed that NF-κB regulates neuroprotection, neuronal transmission, and long-term memory. In addition, after genetic ablation of all NF-κB subunits, a severe defect in hippocampal adult neurogenesis was observed during aging. Proliferation of neural precursors is increased; however, axon outgrowth, synaptogenesis, and tissue homeostasis of the dentate gyrus are hampered. In this process, the NF-κB target gene PKAcat and other downstream target genes such as Igf2 are critically involved. Therefore, NF-κB activity seems to be crucial in regulating structural plasticity and replenishment of granule cells within the hippocampus throughout the life. In addition to the function of NF-κB in neurons, we will discuss on a neuroinflammatory role of the transcription factor in glia. Finally, a model for NF-κB homeostasis on the molecular level is presented, in order to explain seemingly the contradictory, the friend or foe, role of NF-κB in the nervous system. PMID:26635522

  4. Multi-functionality and plasticity characterize epithelial cells in Hydra

    PubMed Central

    Buzgariu, W; Al Haddad, S; Tomczyk, S; Wenger, Y; Galliot, B

    2015-01-01

    Epithelial sheets, a synapomorphy of all metazoans but porifers, are present as 2 layers in cnidarians, ectoderm and endoderm, joined at their basal side by an extra-cellular matrix named mesoglea. In the Hydra polyp, epithelial cells of the body column are unipotent stem cells that continuously self-renew and concomitantly express their epitheliomuscular features. These multifunctional contractile cells maintain homeostasis by providing a protective physical barrier, by digesting nutrients, by selecting a stable microbiota, and by rapidly closing wounds. In addition, epithelial cells are highly plastic, supporting the adaptation of Hydra to physiological and environmental changes, such as long starvation periods where survival relies on a highly dynamic autophagy flux. Epithelial cells also play key roles in developmental processes as evidenced by the organizer activity they develop to promote budding and regeneration. We propose here an integrative view of the homeostatic and developmental aspects of epithelial plasticity in Hydra. PMID:26716072

  5. Maternal deprivation effects on brain plasticity and recognition memory in adolescent male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Marco, Eva M; Valero, Manuel; de la Serna, Oscar; Aisa, Barbara; Borcel, Erika; Ramirez, Maria Javier; Viveros, María-Paz

    2013-05-01

    Data from both human and animal studies suggest that exposure to stressful life events at neonatal stages may increase the risk of psychopathology at adulthood. In particular, early maternal deprivation, 24 h at postnatal day (pnd) 9, has been associated with persistent neurobehavioural changes similar to those present in developmental psychopathologies such as depression and schizophrenic-related disorders. Most neuropsychiatric disorders first appear during adolescence, however, the effects of MD on adolescent animals' brain and behaviour have been scarcely explored. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the emotional and cognitive consequences of MD in adolescent male and female rats, as well as possible underlying neurobiological mechanisms within frontal cortex and hippocampus. Animals were exposed to a battery of behavioural tasks, from pnd 35 to 42, to evaluate cognitive [spontaneous alternation task (SAT) and novel object test (NOT)] and anxiety-related responses [elevated plus maze (EPM)] during adolescence. Changes in neuronal and glial cells, alterations in synaptic plasticity as well as modifications in cannabinoid receptor expression were investigated in a parallel group of control and adolescent (pnd 40) male and female animals. Notably, MD induced a significant impairment in recognition memory exclusively among females. A generalized decrease in NeuN expression was found in MD animals, together with an increase in hippocampal glial fibrillar acidic protein (GFAP) expression exclusively among MD adolescent males. In addition, MD induced in the frontal cortex and hippocampus of male and female adolescent rats a significant reduction in brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and postsynaptic density (PSD95) levels, together with a decrease in synaptophysin in frontal cortex and neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) in hippocampus. MD induced, in animals of both sexes, a significant reduction in CB1R expression, but an increase in CB2R that was

  6. Mapping brain function in freely moving subjects

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, Daniel P.; Maarek, Jean-Michel I.

    2014-01-01

    Expression of many fundamental mammalian behaviors such as, for example, aggression, mating, foraging or social behaviors, depend on locomotor activity. A central dilemma in the functional neuroimaging of these behaviors has been the fact that conventional neuroimaging techniques generally rely on immobilization of the subject, which extinguishes all but the simplest activity. Ideally, imaging could occur in freely moving subjects, while presenting minimal interference with the subject’s natural behavior. Here we provide an overview of several approaches that have been undertaken in the past to achieve this aim in both tethered and freely moving animals, as well as in nonrestrained human subjects. Applications of specific radiotracers to single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography are discussed in which brain activation is imaged after completion of the behavioral task and capture of the tracer. Potential applications to clinical neuropsychiatry are discussed, as well as challenges inherent to constraint-free functional neuroimaging. Future applications of these methods promise to increase our understanding of the neural circuits underlying mammalian behavior in health and disease. PMID:15465134

  7. Topographic Brain Mapping: A Window on Brain Function?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

    The article reviews the method of topographic mapping of the brain's electrical activity. Multiple electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes and computerized analysis of the EEG signal are used to generate maps of frequency and voltage (evoked potential). This relatively new technique holds promise in the evaluation of children with behavioral and…

  8. Graph analysis of functional brain networks for cognitive control of action in traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Heitger, Marcus H; Leunissen, Inge; Dhollander, Thijs; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2012-04-01

    Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly dispersed frontal and parietal activity during performance of cognitive control tasks. We constructed binary and weighted functional networks and calculated their topological properties using a graph theoretical approach. Twenty-three adults with traumatic brain injury and 26 age-matched controls were instructed to switch between coordination modes while making spatially and temporally coupled circular motions with joysticks during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results demonstrated that switching performance was significantly lower in patients with traumatic brain injury compared with control subjects. Furthermore, although brain networks of both groups exhibited economical small-world topology, altered functional connectivity was demonstrated in patients with traumatic brain injury. In particular, compared with controls, patients with traumatic brain injury showed increased connectivity degree and strength, and higher values of local efficiency, suggesting adaptive mechanisms in this group. Finally, the degree of increased connectivity was significantly correlated with poorer switching task performance and more severe brain injury. We conclude that analysing the functional brain network connectivity provides new insights into understanding cognitive control changes following brain injury.

  9. Brain Plasticity in Speech Training in Native English Speakers Learning Mandarin Tones

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heinzen, Christina Carolyn

    The current study employed behavioral and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate brain plasticity associated with second-language (L2) phonetic learning based on an adaptive computer training program. The program utilized the acoustic characteristics of Infant-Directed Speech (IDS) to train monolingual American English-speaking listeners to perceive Mandarin lexical tones. Behavioral identification and discrimination tasks were conducted using naturally recorded speech, carefully controlled synthetic speech, and non-speech control stimuli. The ERP experiments were conducted with selected synthetic speech stimuli in a passive listening oddball paradigm. Identical pre- and post- tests were administered on nine adult listeners, who completed two-to-three hours of perceptual training. The perceptual training sessions used pair-wise lexical tone identification, and progressed through seven levels of difficulty for each tone pair. The levels of difficulty included progression in speaker variability from one to four speakers and progression through four levels of acoustic exaggeration of duration, pitch range, and pitch contour. Behavioral results for the natural speech stimuli revealed significant training-induced improvement in identification of Tones 1, 3, and 4. Improvements in identification of Tone 4 generalized to novel stimuli as well. Additionally, comparison between discrimination of across-category and within-category stimulus pairs taken from a synthetic continuum revealed a training-induced shift toward more native-like categorical perception of the Mandarin lexical tones. Analysis of the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) responses in the ERP data revealed increased amplitude and decreased latency for pre-attentive processing of across-category discrimination as a result of training. There were also laterality changes in the MMN responses to the non-speech control stimuli, which could reflect reallocation of brain resources in processing pitch patterns

  10. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions.

  11. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  12. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

    A proposed special-purpose infrared imaging system would be a compact, portable, less-expensive alternative to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) systems heretofore used to study brain function. Whereas a typical fMRI system fills a large room, and must be magnetically isolated, this system would fit into a bicycle helmet. The system would include an assembly that would be mounted inside the padding in a modified bicycle helmet or other suitable headgear. The assembly would include newly designed infrared photodetectors and data-acquisition circuits on integrated-circuit chips on low-thermal-conductivity supports in evacuated housings (see figure) arranged in multiple rows and columns that would define image coordinates. Each housing would be spring-loaded against the wearer s head. The chips would be cooled by a small Stirling Engine mounted contiguous to, but thermally isolated from, the portions of the assembly in thermal contact with the wearer s head. Flexible wires or cables for transmitting data from the aforementioned chips would be routed to an integrated, multichannel transmitter and thence through the top of the assembly to a patch antenna on the outside of the helmet. The multiple streams of data from the infrared-detector chips would be sent to a remote site, where they would be processed, by software, into a three-dimensional display of evoked potentials that would represent firing neuronal bundles and thereby indicate locations of neuronal activity associated with mental or physical activity. The 3D images will be analogous to current fMRI images. The data would also be made available, in real-time, for comparison with data in local or internationally accessible relational databases that already exist in universities and research centers. Hence, this system could be used in research on, and for the diagnosis of response from the wearer s brain to physiological, psychological, and environmental changes in real time. The images would also be

  13. Brain serotonin and pituitary-adrenal functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vernikos-Danellis, J.; Berger, P.; Barchas, J. D.

    1973-01-01

    It had been concluded by Scapagnini et al. (1971) that brain serotonin (5-HT) was involved in the regulation of the diurnal rhythm of the pituitary-adrenal system but not in the stress response. A study was conducted to investigate these findings further by evaluating the effects of altering brain 5-HT levels on the daily fluctuation of plasma corticosterone and on the response of the pituitary-adrenal system to a stressful or noxious stimulus in the rat. In a number of experiments brain 5-HT synthesis was inhibited with parachlorophenylalanine. In other tests it was tried to raise the level of brain 5-HT with precursors.

  14. Plasticity of Adult Sensorimotor System in Severe Brain Infarcts: Challenges and Opportunities

    PubMed Central

    Sterr, Annette; Conforto, Adriana Bastos

    2012-01-01

    Functional reorganization forms the critical mechanism for the recovery of function after brain damage. These processes are driven by inherent changes within the central nervous system (CNS) triggered by the insult and further depend on the neural input the recovering system is processing. Therefore these processes interact with not only the interventions a patient receives, but also the activities and behaviors a patient engages in. In recent years, a wide range of research programs has addressed the association between functional reorganization and the spontaneous and treatment-induced recovery. The bulk of this work has focused on upper-limb and hand function, and today there are new treatments available that capitalize on the neuroplasticity of the brain. However, this is only true for patients with mild to moderated impairments; for those with very limited hand function, the basic understanding is much poorer and directly translates into limited treatment opportunities for these patients. The present paper aims to highlight the knowledge gap on severe stroke with a brief summary of the literature followed by a discussion of the challenges involved in the study and treatment of severe stroke and poor long-term outcome. PMID:22548196

  15. Music Making as a Tool for Promoting Brain Plasticity across the Life Span

    PubMed Central

    Wan, Catherine Y.; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-01-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging. PMID:20889966

  16. Aluminum exposure impacts brain plasticity and behavior in Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar).

    PubMed

    Grassie, C; Braithwaite, V A; Nilsson, J; Nilsen, T O; Teien, H-C; Handeland, S O; Stefansson, S O; Tronci, V; Gorissen, M; Flik, G; Ebbesson, L O E

    2013-08-15

    Aluminum (Al) toxicity occurs frequently in natural aquatic ecosystems as a result of acid deposition and natural weathering processes. Detrimental effects of Al toxicity on aquatic organisms are well known and can have consequences for survival. Fish exposed to Al in low pH waters will experience physiological and neuroendocrine changes that disrupt homeostasis and alter behavior. To investigate the effects of Al exposure on both the brain and behavior, Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) kept in water treated with Al (pH 5.7, 0.37±0.04 μmol 1(-1) Al) for 2 weeks were compared with fish kept in under control conditions (pH 6.7, <0.04 μmol 1(-1) Al). Fish exposed to Al and acidic conditions had increased Al accumulation in the gills and decreased gill Na(+), K(+)-ATPase activity, which impaired osmoregulatory capacity and caused physiological stress, indicated by elevated plasma cortisol and glucose levels. Here we show for the first time that exposure to Al in acidic conditions also impaired learning performance in a maze task. Al toxicity also reduced the expression of NeuroD1 transcript levels in the forebrain of exposed fish. As in mammals, these data show that exposure to chronic stress, such as acidified Al, can reduce neural plasticity during behavioral challenges in salmon, and may impair the ability to cope with new environments.

  17. Music making as a tool for promoting brain plasticity across the life span.

    PubMed

    Wan, Catherine Y; Schlaug, Gottfried

    2010-10-01

    Playing a musical instrument is an intense, multisensory, and motor experience that usually commences at an early age and requires the acquisition and maintenance of a range of skills over the course of a musician's lifetime. Thus, musicians offer an excellent human model for studying the brain effects of acquiring specialized sensorimotor skills. For example, musicians learn and repeatedly practice the association of motor actions with specific sound and visual patterns (musical notation) while receiving continuous multisensory feedback. This association learning can strengthen connections between auditory and motor regions (e.g., arcuate fasciculus) while activating multimodal integration regions (e.g., around the intraparietal sulcus). We argue that training of this neural network may produce cross-modal effects on other behavioral or cognitive operations that draw on this network. Plasticity in this network may explain some of the sensorimotor and cognitive enhancements that have been associated with music training. These enhancements suggest the potential for music making as an interactive treatment or intervention for neurological and developmental disorders, as well as those associated with normal aging.

  18. Perceptual shift in bilingualism: brain potentials reveal plasticity in pre-attentive colour perception.

    PubMed

    Athanasopoulos, Panos; Dering, Benjamin; Wiggett, Alison; Kuipers, Jan-Rouke; Thierry, Guillaume

    2010-09-01

    The validity of the linguistic relativity principle continues to stimulate vigorous debate and research. The debate has recently shifted from the behavioural investigation arena to a more biologically grounded field, in which tangible physiological evidence for language effects on perception can be obtained. Using brain potentials in a colour oddball detection task with Greek and English speakers, a recent study suggests that language effects may exist at early stages of perceptual integration [Thierry, G., Athanasopoulos, P., Wiggett, A., Dering, B., & Kuipers, J. (2009). Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on pre-attentive colour perception. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 4567-4570]. In this paper, we test whether in Greek speakers exposure to a new cultural environment (UK) with contrasting colour terminology from their native language affects early perceptual processing as indexed by an electrophysiological correlate of visual detection of colour luminance. We also report semantic mapping of native colour terms and colour similarity judgements. Results reveal convergence of linguistic descriptions, cognitive processing, and early perception of colour in bilinguals. This result demonstrates for the first time substantial plasticity in early, pre-attentive colour perception and has important implications for the mechanisms that are involved in perceptual changes during the processes of language learning and acculturation.

  19. Estimating functional brain networks by incorporating a modularity prior.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Lishan; Zhang, Han; Kim, Minjeong; Teng, Shenghua; Zhang, Limei; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-11-01

    Functional brain network analysis has become one principled way of revealing informative organization architectures in healthy brains, and providing sensitive biomarkers for diagnosis of neurological disorders. Prior to any post hoc analysis, however, a natural issue is how to construct "ideal" brain networks given, for example, a set of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) time series associated with different brain regions. Although many methods have been developed, it is currently still an open field to estimate biologically meaningful and statistically robust brain networks due to our limited understanding of the human brain as well as complex noises in the observed data. Motivated by the fact that the brain is organized with modular structures, in this paper, we propose a novel functional brain network modeling scheme by encoding a modularity prior under a matrix-regularized network learning framework, and further formulate it as a sparse low-rank graph learning problem, which can be solved by an efficient optimization algorithm. Then, we apply the learned brain networks to identify patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normal controls. We achieved 89.01% classification accuracy even with a simple feature selection and classification pipeline, which significantly outperforms the conventional brain network construction methods. Moreover, we further explore brain network features that contributed to MCI identification, and discovered potential biomarkers for personalized diagnosis.

  20. Estimating functional brain networks by incorporating a modularity prior.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Lishan; Zhang, Han; Kim, Minjeong; Teng, Shenghua; Zhang, Limei; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-11-01

    Functional brain network analysis has become one principled way of revealing informative organization architectures in healthy brains, and providing sensitive biomarkers for diagnosis of neurological disorders. Prior to any post hoc analysis, however, a natural issue is how to construct "ideal" brain networks given, for example, a set of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) time series associated with different brain regions. Although many methods have been developed, it is currently still an open field to estimate biologically meaningful and statistically robust brain networks due to our limited understanding of the human brain as well as complex noises in the observed data. Motivated by the fact that the brain is organized with modular structures, in this paper, we propose a novel functional brain network modeling scheme by encoding a modularity prior under a matrix-regularized network learning framework, and further formulate it as a sparse low-rank graph learning problem, which can be solved by an efficient optimization algorithm. Then, we apply the learned brain networks to identify patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normal controls. We achieved 89.01% classification accuracy even with a simple feature selection and classification pipeline, which significantly outperforms the conventional brain network construction methods. Moreover, we further explore brain network features that contributed to MCI identification, and discovered potential biomarkers for personalized diagnosis. PMID:27485752

  1. Plasticity of functional traits varies clinally along a rainfall gradient in Eucalyptus tricarpa.

    PubMed

    McLean, Elizabeth H; Prober, Suzanne M; Stock, William D; Steane, Dorothy A; Potts, Brad M; Vaillancourt, René E; Byrne, Margaret

    2014-06-01

    Widespread species often occur across a range of climatic conditions, through a combination of local genetic adaptations and phenotypic plasticity. Species with greater phenotypic plasticity are likely to be better positioned to cope with rapid anthropogenic climate changes, while those displaying strong local adaptations might benefit from translocations to assist the movement of adaptive genes as the climate changes. Eucalyptus tricarpa occurs across a climatic gradient in south-eastern Australia, a region of increasing aridity, and we hypothesized that this species would display local adaptation to climate. We measured morphological and physiological traits reflecting climate responses in nine provenances from sites of 460 to 1040 mm annual rainfall, in their natural habitat and in common gardens near each end of the gradient. Local adaptation was evident in functional traits and differential growth rates in the common gardens. Some traits displayed complex combinations of plasticity and genetic divergence among provenances, including clinal variation in plasticity itself. Provenances from drier locations were more plastic in leaf thickness, whereas leaf size was more plastic in provenances from higher rainfall locations. Leaf density and stomatal physiology (as indicated by δ(13)C and δ(18)O) were highly and uniformly plastic. In addition to variation in mean trait values, genetic variation in trait plasticity may play a role in climate adaptation. PMID:24329726

  2. Spatial variability of functional brain networks in early-blind and sighted subjects.

    PubMed

    Boldt, Robert; Seppä, Mika; Malinen, Sanna; Tikka, Pia; Hari, Riitta; Carlson, Synnöve

    2014-07-15

    To further the understanding how the human brain adapts to early-onset blindness, we searched in early-blind and normally-sighted subjects for functional brain networks showing the most and least spatial variabilities across subjects. We hypothesized that the functional networks compensating for early-onset blindness undergo cortical reorganization. To determine whether reorganization of functional networks affects spatial variability, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain networks, derived by independent component analysis, of 7 early-blind and 7 sighted subjects while they rested or listened to an audio drama. In both conditions, the blind compared with sighted subjects showed more spatial variability in a bilateral parietal network (comprising the inferior parietal and angular gyri and precuneus) and in a bilateral auditory network (comprising the superior temporal gyri). In contrast, a vision-related left-hemisphere-lateralized occipital network (comprising the superior, middle and inferior occipital gyri, fusiform and lingual gyri, and the calcarine sulcus) was less variable in blind than sighted subjects. Another visual network and a tactile network were spatially more variable in the blind than sighted subjects in one condition. We contemplate whether our results on inter-subject spatial variability of brain networks are related to experience-dependent brain plasticity, and we suggest that auditory and parietal networks undergo a stronger experience-dependent reorganization in the early-blind than sighted subjects while the opposite is true for the vision-related occipital network. PMID:24680867

  3. Brief Report: Brain Mechanisms in Autism: Functional and Structural Abnormalities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.

    1996-01-01

    This paper summarizes results of research on functional and structural abnormalities of the brain in autism. The current concept of causation is seen to involve multiple biologic levels. A consistent profile of brain function and dysfunction across methods has been found and specific neuropathologic findings have been found; but some research…

  4. Sex hormones and brain dopamine functions.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Zarate, Ramon; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M; Espinosa, Pedro; Ramirez, Victor D

    2014-01-01

    Sex hormones exert differential effects on a variety of sensitive tissues like the reproductive tract, gonads, liver, bone and adipose tissue, among others. In the brain, sex hormones act as neuroactive steroids regulating the function of neuroendocrine diencephalic structures like the hypothalamus. In addition, steroids can exert physiological effects upon cortical, limbic and midbrain structures, influencing different behaviors such as memory, learning, mood and reward. In the last three decades, the role of sex hormones on monoamine neurotransmitters in extra-hypothalamic areas related to motivated behaviors, learning and locomotion has been the focus of much research. The purpose of this thematic issue is to present the state of art concerning the effects of sex hormones on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic midbrain areas involved in neurobiological and pathological processes, such as addiction to drugs of abuse. We also discuss evidence of how neonatal exposure to sex hormones or endocrine disrupting chemicals can produce long-term changes on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic neurons in the limbic and midbrain areas. PMID:25540983

  5. Wearable sensor network to study laterality of brain functions.

    PubMed

    Postolache, Gabriela B; Girao, Pedro S; Postolache, Octavian A

    2015-08-01

    In the last decade researches on laterality of brain functions have been reinvigorated. New models of lateralization of brain functions were proposed and new methods for understanding mechanisms of asymmetry between right and left brain functions were described. We design a system to study laterality of motor and autonomic nervous system based on wearable sensors network. A mobile application was developed for analysis of upper and lower limbs movements, cardiac and respiratory function. The functionalities and experience gained with deployment of the system are described.

  6. Histone deacetylases govern cellular mechanisms underlying behavioral and synaptic plasticity in the developing and adult brain

    PubMed Central

    Morris, Michael J.; Karra, Aroon S.; Monteggia, Lisa M.

    2010-01-01

    Histone deacetylases (HDACs) are a family of enzymes that alter gene expression patterns by modifying chromatin architecture. There are 11 mammalian HDACs that are classified by homology into four subfamilies, all with distinct expression patterns in brain. Through the use of pharmacological HDAC inhibitors, and more recently HDAC knockout mice, the role of these enzymes in the central nervous system are starting to be elucidated. We will discuss the latest findings on the specific or redundant roles of individual HDACs in brain as well as the impact of HDAC function on complex behavior, with a focus on learning, memory formation, and affective behavior. Potential HDAC-mediated cellular mechanisms underlying those behaviors are discussed. PMID:20555253

  7. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Updates News from the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men ... Using functional MRI, researchers have found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in ...

  8. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (Val66Met) and Serotonin Transporter (5-HTTLPR) Polymorphisms Modulate Plasticity in Inhibitory Control Performance Over Time but Independent of Inhibitory Control Training.

    PubMed

    Enge, Sören; Fleischhauer, Monika; Gärtner, Anne; Reif, Andreas; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Kliegel, Matthias; Strobel, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Several studies reported training-induced improvements in executive function tasks and also observed transfer to untrained tasks. However, the results are mixed and there is a large interindividual variability within and across studies. Given that training-related performance changes would require modification, growth or differentiation at the cellular and synaptic level in the brain, research on critical moderators of brain plasticity potentially explaining such changes is needed. In the present study, a pre-post-follow-up design (N = 122) and a 3-weeks training of two response inhibition tasks (Go/NoGo and Stop-Signal) was employed and genetic variation (Val66Met) in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promoting differentiation and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity was examined. Because Serotonin (5-HT) signaling and the interplay of BDNF and 5-HT are known to critically mediate brain plasticity, genetic variation in the 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) was also addressed. The overall results show that the kind of training (i.e., adaptive vs. non-adaptive) did not evoke genotype-dependent differences. However, in the Go/NoGo task, better inhibition performance (lower commission errors) were observed for BDNF Val/Val genotype carriers compared to Met-allele ones supporting similar findings from other cognitive tasks. Additionally, a gene-gene interaction suggests a more impulsive response pattern (faster responses accompanied by higher commission error rates) in homozygous l-allele carriers relative to those with the s-allele of 5-HTTLPR. This, however, is true only in the presence of the Met-allele of BDNF, while the Val/Val genotype seems to compensate for such non-adaptive responding. Intriguingly, similar results were obtained for the Stop-Signal task. Here, differences emerged at post-testing, while no differences were observed at T1. In sum, although no genotype-dependent differences between the relevant training groups emerged

  9. Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (Val66Met) and Serotonin Transporter (5-HTTLPR) Polymorphisms Modulate Plasticity in Inhibitory Control Performance Over Time but Independent of Inhibitory Control Training

    PubMed Central

    Enge, Sören; Fleischhauer, Monika; Gärtner, Anne; Reif, Andreas; Lesch, Klaus-Peter; Kliegel, Matthias; Strobel, Alexander

    2016-01-01

    Several studies reported training-induced improvements in executive function tasks and also observed transfer to untrained tasks. However, the results are mixed and there is a large interindividual variability within and across studies. Given that training-related performance changes would require modification, growth or differentiation at the cellular and synaptic level in the brain, research on critical moderators of brain plasticity potentially explaining such changes is needed. In the present study, a pre-post-follow-up design (N = 122) and a 3-weeks training of two response inhibition tasks (Go/NoGo and Stop-Signal) was employed and genetic variation (Val66Met) in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) promoting differentiation and activity-dependent synaptic plasticity was examined. Because Serotonin (5-HT) signaling and the interplay of BDNF and 5-HT are known to critically mediate brain plasticity, genetic variation in the 5-HTT gene-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) was also addressed. The overall results show that the kind of training (i.e., adaptive vs. non-adaptive) did not evoke genotype-dependent differences. However, in the Go/NoGo task, better inhibition performance (lower commission errors) were observed for BDNF Val/Val genotype carriers compared to Met-allele ones supporting similar findings from other cognitive tasks. Additionally, a gene-gene interaction suggests a more impulsive response pattern (faster responses accompanied by higher commission error rates) in homozygous l-allele carriers relative to those with the s-allele of 5-HTTLPR. This, however, is true only in the presence of the Met-allele of BDNF, while the Val/Val genotype seems to compensate for such non-adaptive responding. Intriguingly, similar results were obtained for the Stop-Signal task. Here, differences emerged at post-testing, while no differences were observed at T1. In sum, although no genotype-dependent differences between the relevant training groups emerged

  10. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

    Thaut, M H; Kenyon, G P; Schauer, M L; McIntosh, G C

    1999-01-01

    endeavor with important ramifications for the study of brain function, sensory perception, and motor behavior. One of the most exciting findings in this research, however, may be the evidence that the interaction between auditory rhythm and physical response can be effectively harnessed for specific therapeutic purposes in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders. PMID:10101675

  11. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

    Thaut, M H; Kenyon, G P; Schauer, M L; McIntosh, G C

    1999-01-01

    endeavor with important ramifications for the study of brain function, sensory perception, and motor behavior. One of the most exciting findings in this research, however, may be the evidence that the interaction between auditory rhythm and physical response can be effectively harnessed for specific therapeutic purposes in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders.

  12. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Hui; Yang, Yang; Xi, Ji-hui; Chen, Zi-qian

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury survivors often experience cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying specific impairments are not fully understood. Advances in neuroimaging techniques (such as diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI) have given us new insights on structural and functional connectivity patterns of the human brain in both health and disease. The connectome derived from connectivity maps reflects the entire constellation of distributed brain networks. Using these powerful neuroimaging approaches, changes at the microstructural level can be detected through regional and global properties of neuronal networks. Here we will review recent developments in the study of brain network abnormalities in traumatic brain injury, mainly focusing on structural and functional connectivity. Some connectomic studies have provided interesting insights into the neurological dysfunction that occurs following traumatic brain injury. These techniques could eventually be helpful in developing imaging biomarkers of cognitive and neurobehavioral sequelae, as well as predicting outcome and prognosis. PMID:26889200

  13. Graph Analysis of Functional Brain Networks for Cognitive Control of Action in Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Heitger, Marcus H.; Leunissen, Inge; Dhollander, Thijs; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly…

  14. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    PubMed

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood.

  15. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J.

    2016-01-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:26980613

  16. Plasticity-Related Gene 1 Affects Mouse Barrel Cortex Function via Strengthening of Glutamatergic Thalamocortical Transmission.

    PubMed

    Unichenko, Petr; Kirischuk, Sergei; Yang, Jenq-Wei; Baumgart, Jan; Roskoden, Thomas; Schneider, Patrick; Sommer, Angela; Horta, Guilherme; Radyushkin, Konstantin; Nitsch, Robert; Vogt, Johannes; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-07-01

    Plasticity-related gene-1 (PRG-1) is a brain-specific protein that modulates glutamatergic synaptic transmission. Here we investigated the functional role of PRG-1 in adolescent and adult mouse barrel cortex both in vitro and in vivo. Compared with wild-type (WT) animals, PRG-1-deficient (KO) mice showed specific behavioral deficits in tests assessing sensorimotor integration and whisker-based sensory discrimination as shown in the beam balance/walking test and sandpaper tactile discrimination test, respectively. At P25-31, spontaneous network activity in the barrel cortex in vivo was higher in KO mice compared with WT littermates, but not at P16-19. At P16-19, sensory evoked cortical responses in vivo elicited by single whisker stimulation were comparable in KO and WT mice. In contrast, at P25-31 evoked responses were smaller in amplitude and longer in duration in WT animals, whereas KO mice revealed no such developmental changes. In thalamocortical slices from KO mice, spontaneous activity was increased already at P16-19, and glutamatergic thalamocortical inputs to Layer 4 spiny stellate neurons were potentiated. We conclude that genetic ablation of PRG-1 modulates already at P16-19 spontaneous and evoked excitability of the barrel cortex, including enhancement of thalamocortical glutamatergic inputs to Layer 4, which distorts sensory processing in adulthood. PMID:26980613

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

  18. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bertolero, Maxwell A.; Yeo, B. T. Thomas; D’Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules’ processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author–topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network’s modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules’ functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain’s modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  19. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Henriksson, Linda; Malinen, Sanna; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-10-01

    People are embedded in social interaction that shapes their brains throughout lifetime. Instead of emerging from lower-level cognitive functions, social interaction could be the default mode via which humans communicate with their environment. Should this hypothesis be true, it would have profound implications on how we think about brain functions and how we dissect and simulate them. We suggest that the research on the brain basis of social cognition and interaction should move from passive spectator science to studies including engaged participants and simultaneous recordings from the brains of the interacting persons.

  20. The Dynamic Dielectric at a Brain Functional Site and an EM Wave Approach to Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Li, X. P.; Xia, Q.; Qu, D.; Wu, T. C.; Yang, D. G.; Hao, W. D.; Jiang, X.; Li, X. M.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain imaging has tremendous applications. The existing methods for functional brain imaging include functional Magnetic Resonant Imaging (fMRI), scalp electroencephalography (EEG), implanted EEG, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which have been widely and successfully applied to various brain imaging studies. To develop a new method for functional brain imaging, here we show that the dielectric at a brain functional site has a dynamic nature, varying with local neuronal activation as the permittivity of the dielectric varies with the ion concentration of the extracellular fluid surrounding neurons in activation. Therefore, the neuronal activation can be sensed by a radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) wave propagating through the site as the phase change of the EM wave varies with the permittivity. Such a dynamic nature of the dielectric at a brain functional site provides the basis for an RF EM wave approach to detecting and imaging neuronal activation at brain functional sites, leading to an RF EM wave approach to functional brain imaging. PMID:25367217

  1. The dynamic dielectric at a brain functional site and an EM wave approach to functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Li, X P; Xia, Q; Qu, D; Wu, T C; Yang, D G; Hao, W D; Jiang, X; Li, X M

    2014-11-04

    Functional brain imaging has tremendous applications. The existing methods for functional brain imaging include functional Magnetic Resonant Imaging (fMRI), scalp electroencephalography (EEG), implanted EEG, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which have been widely and successfully applied to various brain imaging studies. To develop a new method for functional brain imaging, here we show that the dielectric at a brain functional site has a dynamic nature, varying with local neuronal activation as the permittivity of the dielectric varies with the ion concentration of the extracellular fluid surrounding neurons in activation. Therefore, the neuronal activation can be sensed by a radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) wave propagating through the site as the phase change of the EM wave varies with the permittivity. Such a dynamic nature of the dielectric at a brain functional site provides the basis for an RF EM wave approach to detecting and imaging neuronal activation at brain functional sites, leading to an RF EM wave approach to functional brain imaging.

  2. Non-verbal emotion communication training induces specific changes in brain function and structure

    PubMed Central

    Kreifelts, Benjamin; Jacob, Heike; Brück, Carolin; Erb, Michael; Ethofer, Thomas; Wildgruber, Dirk

    2013-01-01

    The perception of emotional cues from voice and face is essential for social interaction. However, this process is altered in various psychiatric conditions along with impaired social functioning. Emotion communication trainings have been demonstrated to improve social interaction in healthy individuals and to reduce emotional communication deficits in psychiatric patients. Here, we investigated the impact of a non-verbal emotion communication training (NECT) on cerebral activation and brain structure in a controlled and combined functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and voxel-based morphometry study. NECT-specific reductions in brain activity occurred in a distributed set of brain regions including face and voice processing regions as well as emotion processing- and motor-related regions presumably reflecting training-induced familiarization with the evaluation of face/voice stimuli. Training-induced changes in non-verbal emotion sensitivity at the behavioral level and the respective cerebral activation patterns were correlated in the face-selective cortical areas in the posterior superior temporal sulcus and fusiform gyrus for valence ratings and in the temporal pole, lateral prefrontal cortex and midbrain/thalamus for the response times. A NECT-induced increase in gray matter (GM) volume was observed in the fusiform face area. Thus, NECT induces both functional and structural plasticity in the face processing system as well as functional plasticity in the emotion perception and evaluation system. We propose that functional alterations are presumably related to changes in sensory tuning in the decoding of emotional expressions. Taken together, these findings highlight that the present experimental design may serve as a valuable tool to investigate the altered behavioral and neuronal processing of emotional cues in psychiatric disorders as well as the impact of therapeutic interventions on brain function and structure. PMID:24146641

  3. Early functional brain development in autism and the promise of sleep fMRI.

    PubMed

    Pierce, Karen

    2011-03-22

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a powerful tool for examining brain function but has yet to be systematically applied to the study of brain development in autism. Recently, however, scientists have begun to apply fMRI during natural sleep as a mechanism to study function in the developing brain. When considering the study of autism, this method opens considerable doors because it eliminates biases of past studies which only sampled from high-functioning, older populations. This paper describes the application of sleep fMRI as a way to study both extrinsic and intrinsic brain functions in autism between 12 and 36 months. Preliminary studies that use sleep fMRI method show that defects in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) in response to language are early emerging in autism and can be found in as young as 14 months in age. As such indices of abnormal early development of the STG may prove useful in the search for a biomarker of autism detectable during the infancy period. From a theoretical standpoint, examining sleep fMRI studies in autism gains some clarity when placed in context of the more established literature on structural brain development of autism which suggests that autism involves early brain overgrowth. Studies of plasticity in autism have yet to be done, but it is likely that the window of opportunity for altering the course of brain development in autism begins within the first year of life. The ability to do so relies on improving and streamlining early identification and thus early treatment efforts.

  4. Differential effects of social and physical environmental enrichment on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication in rats.

    PubMed

    Brenes, Juan C; Lackinger, Martin; Höglinger, Günter U; Schratt, Gerhard; Schwarting, Rainer K W; Wöhr, Markus

    2016-06-01

    Environmental enrichment (EE) exerts beneficial effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and anxiety/depression, leading to a brain that can counteract deficits underlying various brain disorders. Because the complexity of the EE commonly used makes it difficult to identify causal aspects, we examined possible factors using a 2 × 2 design with social EE (two vs. six rats) and physical EE (physically enriched vs. nonenriched). For the first time, we demonstrate that social and physical EE have differential effects on brain plasticity, cognition, and ultrasonic communication. Expectedly, physical EE promoted neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampal formation, but not in the subventricular zone, and, as a novel finding, affected microRNA expression levels, with the activity-dependent miR-124 and miR-132 being upregulated. Concomitant improvements in cognition were observed, yet social deficits were seen in the emission of prosocial 50-kHz ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) paralleled by a lack of social approach in response to them, consistent with the intense world syndrome/theory of autism. In contrast, social EE had only minor effects on brain plasticity and cognition, but led to increased prosocial 50-kHz USV emission rates and enhanced social approach behavior. Importantly, social deficits following physical EE were prevented by additional social EE. The finding that social EE has positive whereas physical EE has negative effects on social behavior indicates that preclinical studies focusing on EE as a potential treatment in models for neuropsychiatric disorders characterized by social deficits, such as autism, should include social EE in addition to physical EE, because its lack might worsen social deficits.

  5. In vitro functional screening as a means to identify new plasticizers devoid of reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Annie; Jones, Steven; Issop, Leeyah; Erythropel, Hanno C; Papadopoulos, Vassilios; Culty, Martine

    2016-10-01

    Plasticizers are indispensable additives providing flexibility and malleability to plastics. Among them, several phthalates, including di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), have emerged as endocrine disruptors, leading to their restriction in consumer products and creating a need for new, safer plasticizers. The goal of this project was to use in vitro functional screening tools to select novel non-toxic plasticizers suitable for further in vivo evaluation. A panel of novel compounds with satisfactory plasticizer properties and biodegradability were tested, along with several commercial plasticizers, such as diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH®). MEHP, the monoester metabolite of DEHP was also included as reference compound. Because phthalates target mainly testicular function, including androgen production and spermatogenesis, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig and C18-4 spermatogonial cell lines as surrogates to examine cell survival, proliferation, steroidogenesis and mitochondrial integrity. The most promising compounds were further assessed on organ cultures of rat fetal and neonatal testes, corresponding to sensitive developmental windows. Dose-response studies revealed the toxicity of most maleates and fumarates, while identifying several dibenzoate and succinate plasticizers as innocuous on Leydig and germ cells. Interestingly, DINCH®, a plasticizer marketed as a safe alternative to phthalates, exerted a biphasic effect on steroid production in MA-10 and fetal Leydig cells. MEHP was the only plasticizer inducing the formation of multinucleated germ cells (MNG) in organ culture. Overall, organ cultures corroborated the cell line data, identifying one dibenzoate and one succinate as the most promising candidates. The adoption of such collaborative approaches for developing new chemicals should help prevent the development of compounds potentially harmful to human health.

  6. In vitro functional screening as a means to identify new plasticizers devoid of reproductive toxicity.

    PubMed

    Boisvert, Annie; Jones, Steven; Issop, Leeyah; Erythropel, Hanno C; Papadopoulos, Vassilios; Culty, Martine

    2016-10-01

    Plasticizers are indispensable additives providing flexibility and malleability to plastics. Among them, several phthalates, including di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), have emerged as endocrine disruptors, leading to their restriction in consumer products and creating a need for new, safer plasticizers. The goal of this project was to use in vitro functional screening tools to select novel non-toxic plasticizers suitable for further in vivo evaluation. A panel of novel compounds with satisfactory plasticizer properties and biodegradability were tested, along with several commercial plasticizers, such as diisononyl-cyclohexane-1,2-dicarboxylate (DINCH®). MEHP, the monoester metabolite of DEHP was also included as reference compound. Because phthalates target mainly testicular function, including androgen production and spermatogenesis, we used the mouse MA-10 Leydig and C18-4 spermatogonial cell lines as surrogates to examine cell survival, proliferation, steroidogenesis and mitochondrial integrity. The most promising compounds were further assessed on organ cultures of rat fetal and neonatal testes, corresponding to sensitive developmental windows. Dose-response studies revealed the toxicity of most maleates and fumarates, while identifying several dibenzoate and succinate plasticizers as innocuous on Leydig and germ cells. Interestingly, DINCH®, a plasticizer marketed as a safe alternative to phthalates, exerted a biphasic effect on steroid production in MA-10 and fetal Leydig cells. MEHP was the only plasticizer inducing the formation of multinucleated germ cells (MNG) in organ culture. Overall, organ cultures corroborated the cell line data, identifying one dibenzoate and one succinate as the most promising candidates. The adoption of such collaborative approaches for developing new chemicals should help prevent the development of compounds potentially harmful to human health. PMID:27423704

  7. Digital media, the developing brain and the interpretive plasticity of neuroplasticity.

    PubMed

    Choudhury, Suparna; McKinney, Kelly A

    2013-04-01

    The use and misuse of digital technologies among adolescents has been the focus of fiery debates among parents, educators, policy-makers and in the media. Recently, these debates have become shaped by emerging data from cognitive neuroscience on the development of the adolescent brain and cognition. "Neuroplasticity" has functioned as a powerful metaphor in arguments both for and against the pervasiveness of digital media cultures that increasingly characterize teenage life. In this paper, we propose that the debates concerning adolescents are the meeting point of two major social anxieties both of which are characterized by the threat of "abnormal" (social) behaviour: existing moral panics about adolescent behaviour in general and the growing alarm about intense, addictive, and widespread media consumption in modern societies. Neuroscience supports these fears but the same kinds of evidence are used to challenge these fears and reframe them in positive terms. Here, we analyze discourses about digital media, the Internet, and the adolescent brain in the scientific and lay literature. We argue that while the evidential basis is thin and ambiguous, it has immense social influence. We conclude by suggesting how we might move beyond the poles of neuro-alarmism and neuro-enthusiasm. By analyzing the neurological adolescent in the digital age as a socially extended mind, firstly, in the sense that adolescent cognition is distributed across the brain, body, and digital media tools and secondly, by viewing adolescent cognition as enabled and transformed by the institution of neuroscience, we aim to displace the normative terms of current debates.

  8. Habitat-dependent and -independent plastic responses to social environment in the nine-spined stickleback (Pungitius pungitius) brain

    PubMed Central

    Gonda, Abigél; Herczeg, Gábor; Merilä, Juha

    2009-01-01

    The influence of environmental complexity on brain development has been demonstrated in a number of taxa, but the potential influence of social environment on neural architecture remains largely unexplored. We investigated experimentally the influence of social environment on the development of different brain parts in geographically and genetically isolated and ecologically divergent populations of nine-spined sticklebacks (Pungitius pungitius). Fish from two marine and two pond populations were reared in the laboratory from eggs to adulthood either individually or in groups. Group-reared pond fish developed relatively smaller brains than those reared individually, but no such difference was found in marine fish. Group-reared fish from both pond and marine populations developed larger tecta optica and smaller bulbi olfactorii than individually reared fish. The fact that the social environment effect on brain size differed between marine and pond origin fish is in agreement with the previous research, showing that pond fish pay a high developmental cost from grouping while marine fish do not. Our results demonstrate that social environment has strong effects on the development of the stickleback brain, and on the brain's sensory neural centres in particular. The potential adaptive significance of the observed brain-size plasticity is discussed. PMID:19324759

  9. Modulation of brain plasticity in stroke: a novel model for neurorehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Di Pino, Giovanni; Pellegrino, Giovanni; Assenza, Giovanni; Capone, Fioravante; Ferreri, Florinda; Formica, Domenico; Ranieri, Federico; Tombini, Mario; Ziemann, Ulf; Rothwell, John C; Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo

    2014-10-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation (NIBS) techniques can be used to monitor and modulate the excitability of intracortical neuronal circuits. Long periods of cortical stimulation can produce lasting effects on brain function, paving the way for therapeutic applications of NIBS in chronic neurological disease. The potential of NIBS in stroke rehabilitation has been of particular interest, because stroke is the main cause of permanent disability in industrial nations, and treatment outcomes often fail to meet the expectations of patients. Despite promising reports from many clinical trials on NIBS for stroke recovery, the number of studies reporting a null effect remains a concern. One possible explanation is that the interhemispheric competition model--which posits that suppressing the excitability of the hemisphere not affected by stroke will enhance recovery by reducing interhemispheric inhibition of the stroke hemisphere, and forms the rationale for many studies--is oversimplified or even incorrect. Here, we critically review the proposed mechanisms of synaptic and functional reorganization after stroke, and suggest a bimodal balance-recovery model that links interhemispheric balancing and functional recovery to the structural reserve spared by the lesion. The proposed model could enable NIBS to be tailored to the needs of individual patients. PMID:25201238

  10. Gut Microbiota and Brain Function: An Evolving Field in Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Foster, Jane A; Lyte, Mark; Meyer, Emeran; Cryan, John F

    2016-05-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microbiota to health and disease. This has been driven by advances in sequencing technology and recent findings demonstrating the important role of microbiota in common health disorders such as obesity. Moreover, the potential role of gut microbiota in influencing brain function, behavior, and mental health has attracted the attention of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. At the 29(th) International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014, a group of experts presented the symposium, "Gut microbiota and brain function: Relevance to psychiatric disorders" to review the latest findings in how gut microbiota may play a role in brain function, behavior, and disease. The symposium covered a broad range of topics, including gut microbiota and neuroendocrine function, the influence of gut microbiota on behavior, probiotics as regulators of brain and behavior, and imaging the gut-brain axis in humans. This report provides an overview of these presentations. PMID:26438800

  11. IL-12 drives functional plasticity of human group 2 innate lymphoid cells.

    PubMed

    Lim, Ai Ing; Menegatti, Silvia; Bustamante, Jacinta; Le Bourhis, Lionel; Allez, Matthieu; Rogge, Lars; Casanova, Jean-Laurent; Yssel, Hans; Di Santo, James P

    2016-04-01

    Group 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2) include IL-5- and IL-13-producing CRTh2(+)CD127(+)cells that are implicated in early protective immunity at mucosal surfaces. Whereas functional plasticity has been demonstrated for both human and mouse ILC3 subsets that can reversibly give rise to IFN-γ-producing ILC1, plasticity of human or mouse ILC2 has not been shown. Here, we analyze the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of human peripheral blood ILC2. Although subsets of human CRTh2(+)ILC2 differentially express CD117 (c-kit receptor), some ILC2 surface phenotypes are unstable and can be modulated in vitro. Surprisingly, human IL-13(+)ILC2 can acquire the capacity to produce IFN-γ, thereby generating plastic ILC2. ILC2 cultures demonstrated that IFN-γ(+)ILC2 clones could be derived and were stably associated with increased T-BET expression. The inductive mechanism for ILC2 plasticity was mapped to the IL-12-IL-12R signaling pathway and was confirmed through analysis of patients with Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease due to IL-12Rβ1 deficiencies that failed to generate plastic ILC2. We also detected IL-13(+)IFN-γ(+)ILC2 ex vivo in intestinal samples from Crohn's disease patients. These results demonstrate cytokine production plasticity for human ILC2 and further suggest that environmental cues can dictate ILC phenotype and function for these tissue-resident innate effector cells.

  12. Tai Chi Chuan optimizes the functional organization of the intrinsic human brain architecture in older adults.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gao-Xia; Dong, Hao-Ming; Yang, Zhi; Luo, Jing; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2014-01-01

    Whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) can influence the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear. To examine TCC-associated changes in functional connectomes, resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22 experienced TCC practitioners (experts) and 18 demographically matched TCC-naïve healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical mantle were compared. Compared to the controls, the TCC experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional homogeneity in the right post-central gyrus (PosCG) and less functional homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional homogeneity (improved functional specialization) in the left ACC and increases in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration) in the right PosCG both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests. These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of the brain's intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on cognition, behavior and health in aging population.

  13. Beyond localized and distributed accounts of brain functions. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

    Recent evidence in cognitive neuroscience lends support to the idea that network models of brain architecture provide a privileged access to the understanding of the relation between brain organization and cognitive processes [1]. The core perspective holds that cognitive processes depend on the interactions among distributed neuronal populations and brain structures, and that the impact of a given region on behavior largely depends on its pattern of anatomical and functional connectivity [2,3].

  14. Enabling functional neural circuit simulations with distributed computing of neuromodulated plasticity.

    PubMed

    Potjans, Wiebke; Morrison, Abigail; Diesmann, Markus

    2010-01-01

    A major puzzle in the field of computational neuroscience is how to relate system-level learning in higher organisms to synaptic plasticity. Recently, plasticity rules depending not only on pre- and post-synaptic activity but also on a third, non-local neuromodulatory signal have emerged as key candidates to bridge the gap between the macroscopic and the microscopic level of learning. Crucial insights into this topic are expected to be gained from simulations of neural systems, as these allow the simultaneous study of the multiple spatial and temporal scales that are involved in the problem. In particular, synaptic plasticity can be studied during the whole learning process, i.e., on a time scale of minutes to hours and across multiple brain areas. Implementing neuromodulated plasticity in large-scale network simulations where the neuromodulatory signal is dynamically generated by the network itself is challenging, because the network structure is commonly defined purely by the connectivity graph without explicit reference to the embedding of the nodes in physical space. Furthermore, the simulation of networks with realistic connectivity entails the use of distributed computing. A neuromodulated synapse must therefore be informed in an efficient way about the neuromodulatory signal, which is typically generated by a population of neurons located on different machines than either the pre- or post-synaptic neuron. Here, we develop a general framework to solve the problem of implementing neuromodulated plasticity in a time-driven distributed simulation, without reference to a particular implementation language, neuromodulator, or neuromodulated plasticity mechanism. We implement our framework in the simulator NEST and demonstrate excellent scaling up to 1024 processors for simulations of a recurrent network incorporating neuromodulated spike-timing dependent plasticity.

  15. The effects of vitamin D on brain development and adult brain function.

    PubMed

    Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J

    2011-12-01

    A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine. PMID:21664231

  16. Anterior thalamic nuclei lesions in rats disrupt markers of neural plasticity in distal limbic brain regions

    PubMed Central

    Dumont, J.R.; Amin, E.; Poirier, G.L.; Albasser, M.M.; Aggleton, J.P.

    2012-01-01

    In two related experiments, neurotoxic lesions were placed in the anterior thalamic nuclei of adult rats. The rats were then trained on behavioral tasks, immediately followed by the immunohistochemical measurement of molecules linked to neural plasticity. These measurements were made in limbic sites including the retrosplenial cortex, the hippocampal formation, and parahippocampal areas. In Experiment 1, rats with unilateral anterior thalamic lesions explored either novel or familiar objects prior to analysis of the immediate-early gene zif268. The lesions reduced zif268 activity in the granular retrosplenial cortex and postsubiculum. Exploring novel objects resulted in local changes of hippocampal zif268, but this change was not moderated by anterior thalamic lesions. In Experiment 2, rats that had received either bilateral anterior thalamic lesions or control surgeries were exposed to novel room cues while running in the arms of a radial maze. In addition to zif268, measurements of c-AMP response element binding protein (CREB), phosphorylated CREB (pCREB), and growth associated protein43 (GAP-43) were made. As before, anterior thalamic lesions reduced zif268 in retrosplenial cortex and postsubiculum, but there were also reductions of pCREB in granular retrosplenial cortex. Again, the hippocampus did not show lesion-induced changes in zif268, but there were differential effects on CREB and pCREB consistent with reduced levels of hippocampal CREB phosphorylation following anterior thalamic damage. No changes in GAP-43 were detected. The results not only point to changes in several limbic sites (retrosplenial cortex and hippocampus) following anterior thalamic damage, but also indicate that these changes include decreased levels of pCREB. As pCREB is required for neuronal plasticity, partly because of its regulation of immediate early-gene expression, the present findings reinforce the concept of an ‘extended hippocampal system’ in which hippocampal function is

  17. Plasticity of the mate choice mind: courtship evokes choice-like brain responses in females from a coercive mating system.

    PubMed

    Wang, S M T; Ramsey, M E; Cummings, M E

    2014-04-01

    Female mate choice is fundamental to sexual selection, and determining molecular underpinnings of female preference variation is important for understanding mating character evolution. Previously it was shown that whole-brain expression of a synaptic plasticity marker, neuroserpin, positively correlates with mating bias in the female choice poeciliid, Xiphophorus nigrensis, when exposed to conspecific courting males, whereas this relationship is reversed in Gambusia affinis, a mate coercive poeciliid with no courting males. Here we explore whether species-level differences in female behavioral and brain molecular responses represent 'canalized' or 'plastic' traits. We expose female G. affinis to conspecific males and females, as well as coercive and courting male Poecilia latipinna, for preference assays followed by whole-brain gene expression analyses of neuroserpin, egr-1 and early B. We find positive correlations between gene expression and female preference strength during exposure to courting heterospecific males, but a reversed pattern following exposure to coercive heterospecific males. This suggests that the neuromolecular processes associated with female preference behavior are plastic and responsive to different male phenotypes (courting or coercive) rather than a canalized response linked to mating system. Further, we propose that female behavioral plasticity may involve learning because female association patterns shifted with experience. Compared to younger females, we found larger, more experienced females spend less time near coercive males but associate more with males in the presence of courters. We thus suggest a conserved learning-based neuromolecular process underlying the diversity of female mate preference across the mate choice and coercion-driven mating systems.

  18. Plasticity of the mate choice mind: courtship evokes choice-like brain responses in females from a coercive mating system.

    PubMed

    Wang, S M T; Ramsey, M E; Cummings, M E

    2014-04-01

    Female mate choice is fundamental to sexual selection, and determining molecular underpinnings of female preference variation is important for understanding mating character evolution. Previously it was shown that whole-brain expression of a synaptic plasticity marker, neuroserpin, positively correlates with mating bias in the female choice poeciliid, Xiphophorus nigrensis, when exposed to conspecific courting males, whereas this relationship is reversed in Gambusia affinis, a mate coercive poeciliid with no courting males. Here we explore whether species-level differences in female behavioral and brain molecular responses represent 'canalized' or 'plastic' traits. We expose female G. affinis to conspecific males and females, as well as coercive and courting male Poecilia latipinna, for preference assays followed by whole-brain gene expression analyses of neuroserpin, egr-1 and early B. We find positive correlations between gene expression and female preference strength during exposure to courting heterospecific males, but a reversed pattern following exposure to coercive heterospecific males. This suggests that the neuromolecular processes associated with female preference behavior are plastic and responsive to different male phenotypes (courting or coercive) rather than a canalized response linked to mating system. Further, we propose that female behavioral plasticity may involve learning because female association patterns shifted with experience. Compared to younger females, we found larger, more experienced females spend less time near coercive males but associate more with males in the presence of courters. We thus suggest a conserved learning-based neuromolecular process underlying the diversity of female mate preference across the mate choice and coercion-driven mating systems. PMID:24548673

  19. The Exercising Brain: Changes in Functional Connectivity Induced by an Integrated Multimodal Cognitive and Whole-Body Coordination Training.

    PubMed

    Demirakca, Traute; Cardinale, Vita; Dehn, Sven; Ruf, Matthias; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of "life kinetik" training on brain plasticity in terms of an increased functional connectivity during resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). The training is an integrated multimodal training that combines motor and cognitive aspects and challenges the brain by introducing new and unfamiliar coordinative tasks. Twenty-one subjects completed at least 11 one-hour-per-week "life kinetik" training sessions in 13 weeks as well as before and after rs-fMRI scans. Additionally, 11 control subjects with 2 rs-fMRI scans were included. The CONN toolbox was used to conduct several seed-to-voxel analyses. We searched for functional connectivity increases between brain regions expected to be involved in the exercises. Connections to brain regions representing parts of the default mode network, such as medial frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, did not change. Significant connectivity alterations occurred between the visual cortex and parts of the superior parietal area (BA7). Premotor area and cingulate gyrus were also affected. We can conclude that the constant challenge of unfamiliar combinations of coordination tasks, combined with visual perception and working memory demands, seems to induce brain plasticity expressed in enhanced connectivity strength of brain regions due to coactivation. PMID:26819776

  20. The Exercising Brain: Changes in Functional Connectivity Induced by an Integrated Multimodal Cognitive and Whole-Body Coordination Training.

    PubMed

    Demirakca, Traute; Cardinale, Vita; Dehn, Sven; Ruf, Matthias; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of "life kinetik" training on brain plasticity in terms of an increased functional connectivity during resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). The training is an integrated multimodal training that combines motor and cognitive aspects and challenges the brain by introducing new and unfamiliar coordinative tasks. Twenty-one subjects completed at least 11 one-hour-per-week "life kinetik" training sessions in 13 weeks as well as before and after rs-fMRI scans. Additionally, 11 control subjects with 2 rs-fMRI scans were included. The CONN toolbox was used to conduct several seed-to-voxel analyses. We searched for functional connectivity increases between brain regions expected to be involved in the exercises. Connections to brain regions representing parts of the default mode network, such as medial frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, did not change. Significant connectivity alterations occurred between the visual cortex and parts of the superior parietal area (BA7). Premotor area and cingulate gyrus were also affected. We can conclude that the constant challenge of unfamiliar combinations of coordination tasks, combined with visual perception and working memory demands, seems to induce brain plasticity expressed in enhanced connectivity strength of brain regions due to coactivation.

  1. The Exercising Brain: Changes in Functional Connectivity Induced by an Integrated Multimodal Cognitive and Whole-Body Coordination Training

    PubMed Central

    Demirakca, Traute; Cardinale, Vita; Dehn, Sven; Ruf, Matthias; Ende, Gabriele

    2016-01-01

    This study investigated the impact of “life kinetik” training on brain plasticity in terms of an increased functional connectivity during resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). The training is an integrated multimodal training that combines motor and cognitive aspects and challenges the brain by introducing new and unfamiliar coordinative tasks. Twenty-one subjects completed at least 11 one-hour-per-week “life kinetik” training sessions in 13 weeks as well as before and after rs-fMRI scans. Additionally, 11 control subjects with 2 rs-fMRI scans were included. The CONN toolbox was used to conduct several seed-to-voxel analyses. We searched for functional connectivity increases between brain regions expected to be involved in the exercises. Connections to brain regions representing parts of the default mode network, such as medial frontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, did not change. Significant connectivity alterations occurred between the visual cortex and parts of the superior parietal area (BA7). Premotor area and cingulate gyrus were also affected. We can conclude that the constant challenge of unfamiliar combinations of coordination tasks, combined with visual perception and working memory demands, seems to induce brain plasticity expressed in enhanced connectivity strength of brain regions due to coactivation. PMID:26819776

  2. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia

    PubMed Central

    Poeppl, Timm B.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Fox, Peter T.; Laird, Angela R.; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Despite its 0.5–1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multi-modal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  3. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuo, Zhao; Cai, Shi-Min; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Zhang, Jie

    2011-09-01

    The functional network of the brain is known to demonstrate modular structure over different hierarchical scales. In this paper, we systematically investigated the hierarchical modular organizations of the brain functional networks that are derived from the extent of phase synchronization among high-resolution EEG time series during a visual task. In particular, we compare the modular structure of the functional network from EEG channels with that of the anatomical parcellation of the brain cortex. Our results show that the modular architectures of brain functional networks correspond well to those from the anatomical structures over different levels of hierarchy. Most importantly, we find that the consistency between the modular structures of the functional network and the anatomical network becomes more pronounced in terms of vision, sensory, vision-temporal, motor cortices during the visual task, which implies that the strong modularity in these areas forms the functional basis for the visual task. The structure-function relationship further reveals that the phase synchronization of EEG time series in the same anatomical group is much stronger than that of EEG time series from different anatomical groups during the task and that the hierarchical organization of functional brain network may be a consequence of functional segmentation of the brain cortex.

  4. Can we observe epigenetic effects on human brain function?

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-07-01

    Imaging genetics has identified many contributions of DNA sequence variation to individual differences in brain function, behavior, and risk for psychopathology. Recent studies have extended this work beyond the genome by mapping epigenetic differences, specifically gene methylation in peripherally assessed DNA, onto variability in behaviorally and clinically relevant brain function. These data have generated understandable enthusiasm for the potential of such research to illuminate biological mechanisms of risk. We use our research on the effects of genetic and epigenetic variation in the human serotonin transporter on brain function to generate a guardedly optimistic opinion that the available data encourage continued research in this direction, and suggest strategies to promote faster progress.

  5. Functional and Phenotypic Plasticity of CD4+ T Cell Subsets

    PubMed Central

    Caza, Tiffany; Landas, Steve

    2015-01-01

    The remarkable plasticity of CD4+ T cells allows individuals to respond to environmental stimuli in a context-dependent manner. A balance of CD4+ T cell subsets is critical to mount responses against pathogen challenges to prevent inappropriate activation, to maintain tolerance, and to participate in antitumor immune responses. Specification of subsets is a process beginning in intrathymic development and continuing within the circulation. It is highly flexible to adapt to differences in nutrient availability and the tissue microenvironment. CD4+ T cell subsets have significant cross talk, with the ability to “dedifferentiate” given appropriate environmental signals. This ability is dependent on the metabolic status of the cell, with mTOR acting as the rheostat. Autoimmune and antitumor immune responses are regulated by the balance between regulatory T cells and Th17 cells. When a homeostatic balance of subsets is not maintained, immunopathology can result. CD4+ T cells carry complex roles within tumor microenvironments, with context-dependent immune responses influenced by oncogenic drivers and the presence of inflammation. Here, we examine the signals involved in CD4+ T cell specification towards each subset, interconnectedness of cytokine networks, impact of mTOR signaling, and cellular metabolism in lineage specification and provide a supplement describing techniques to study these processes. PMID:26583116

  6. Raf Kinase Inhibitory Protein (RKIP): Functional Pleiotropy in the Mammalian Brain

    PubMed Central

    Ling, Harrod H.; Mendoza-Viveros, Lucia; Mehta, Neel; Cheng, Hai-Ying M.

    2016-01-01

    In 1984, a cytosolic protein was isolated from bovine brain and coined phosphatidylethanolamine binding protein (PEBP) to describe its phospholipid-binding potential. Its cellular function remained elusive for more than a decade until it was discovered that PEBP had the ability to suppress the Raf1-mitogen activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway, earning it the new name of Raf1 kinase inhibitory protein (RKIP). This milestone discovery has paved the way for numerous studies that have now extended the reach of RKIP’s function to other signaling cascades, within the context of various physiological and pathophysiological systems. This review will summarize our current knowledge of the neurophysiological roles of RKIP in the mammalian brain, including its function in the circadian clock and synaptic plasticity. It will also discuss evidence for an involvement of RKIP and its derived neuropeptide, hippocampal cholinergic neurostimulating peptide (HCNP), in neural development and differentiation. Implications in certain pathologies such as Alzheimer’s disease and brain cancer will be highlighted. By chronicling the diverse functions of RKIP in the brain, we hope that this review will serve as a timely resource that ignites future studies on this versatile, multifaceted protein in the nervous system. PMID:25597360

  7. Neuroplasticity as a function of second language learning: anatomical changes in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Legault, Jennifer; Litcofsky, Kaitlyn A

    2014-09-01

    The brain has an extraordinary ability to functionally and physically change or reconfigure its structure in response to environmental stimulus, cognitive demand, or behavioral experience. This property, known as neuroplasticity, has been examined extensively in many domains. But how does neuroplasticity occur in the brain as a function of an individual's experience with a second language? It is not until recently that we have gained some understanding of this question by examining the anatomical changes as well as functional neural patterns that are induced by the learning and use of multiple languages. In this article we review emerging evidence regarding how structural neuroplasticity occurs in the brain as a result of one's bilingual experience. Our review aims at identifying the processes and mechanisms that drive experience-dependent anatomical changes, and integrating structural imaging evidence with current knowledge of functional neural plasticity of language and other cognitive skills. The evidence reviewed so far portrays a picture that is highly consistent with structural neuroplasticity observed for other domains: second language experience-induced brain changes, including increased gray matter (GM) density and white matter (WM) integrity, can be found in children, young adults, and the elderly; can occur rapidly with short-term language learning or training; and are sensitive to age, age of acquisition, proficiency or performance level, language-specific characteristics, and individual differences. We conclude with a theoretical perspective on neuroplasticity in language and bilingualism, and point to future directions for research.

  8. Functional plasticity in the interposito-thalamo-cortical pathway during conditioning. Role of the interstimulus interval.

    PubMed

    Pananceau, M; Rispal-Padel, L

    2000-06-01

    In classic conditioning, the interstimulus interval (ISI) between the conditioned (CS) and unconditioned (US) stimulus is a critical parameter. The aim of the present experiment was to assess whether, during conditioning, modification of the CS-US interval could reliably produce changes in the functional properties of the interposito-thalamo-cortical pathways (INTCps). Five cats were prepared for chronic stimulation and recording from several brain regions along this pathway in awake animals. The CS was a weak electric shock applied on the interposed nucleus of the cerebellum in sites that initially elicited forelimb flexion (i.e., alpha motor responses) in three cats, and equal proportions of flexor and extensor responses in two cats. The US was an electric shock applied on the skin that elicited forelimb flexions. The motor and neurobiological effects of synchronous CS-US were compared with pairings in which the CS was applied 100 ms before US. Simultaneous and sequential application of CS and US produced different behavioral outcomes and resulted in different neural processes in the interposito-thalamo-cortical pathways (INTCps). The simultaneous presentation of stimuli only produced a small increase in excitability spreading to all the body representational zones of the primary motor cortex and a weak increase in the amplitude of the alpha motor response. In contrast, the sequential application led to a profound modification of the interposed output to neurons in the forelimb representation of the motor cortex. These robust neuronal correlates of conditioning were accompanied by a large facilitation of the alpha motor response (alpha-MR). There were also changes in the direction of misdirected alpha responses and an emergence of functionally appropriate, long-latency withdrawal forelimb flexion. These data revealed that, during conditioning, plastic changes within the thalamocortical connections are selectively induced by sequential information from central and

  9. Emotion-Induced Topological Changes in Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Park, Chang-Hyun; Lee, Hae-Kook; Kweon, Yong-Sil; Lee, Chung Tai; Kim, Ki-Tae; Kim, Young-Joo; Lee, Kyoung-Uk

    2016-01-01

    In facial expression perception, a distributed network is activated according to stimulus context. We proposed that an interaction between brain activation and stimulus context in response to facial expressions could signify a pattern of interactivity across the whole brain network beyond the face processing network. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired for 19 young healthy subjects who were exposed to either emotionally neutral or negative facial expressions. We constructed group-wise functional brain networks for 12 face processing areas [bilateral inferior occipital gyri (IOG), fusiform gyri (FG), superior temporal sulci (STS), amygdalae (AMG), inferior frontal gyri (IFG), and orbitofrontal cortices (OFC)] and for 73 whole brain areas, based on partial correlation of mean activation across subjects. We compared the topological properties of the networks with respect to functional distance-based measures, global and local efficiency, between the two types of face stimulus. In both face processing and whole brain networks, global efficiency was lower and local efficiency was higher for negative faces relative to neutral faces, indicating that network topology differed according to stimulus context. Particularly in the face processing network, emotion-induced changes in network topology were attributable to interactions between core (bilateral IOG, FG, and STS) and extended (bilateral AMG, IFG, and OFC) systems. These results suggest that changes in brain activation patterns in response to emotional face stimuli could be revealed as changes in the topological properties of functional brain networks for the whole brain as well as for face processing areas.

  10. Apparent plasticity in functional traits determining competitive ability and spatial distribution: a case from desert.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiang-Bo; Xu, Gui-Qing; Jenerette, G Darrel; Bai, Yong-fei; Wang, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Yan

    2015-07-20

    Species competitive abilities and their distributions are closely related to functional traits such as biomass allocation patterns. When we consider how nutrient supply affects competitive abilities, quantifying the apparent and true plasticity in functional traits is important because the allometric relationships among traits are universal in plants. We propose to integrate the notion of allometry and the classical reaction norm into a composite theoretical framework that quantifies the apparent and true plasticity. Combining the framework with a meta-analysis, a series of field surveys and a competition experiment, we aimed to determine the causes of the dune/interdune distribution patterns of two Haloxylon species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. We found that (1) the biomass allocation patterns of both Haloxylon species in responses to environmental conditions were apparent rather than true plasticity and (2) the allometric allocation patterns affected the plants' competition for soil nutrient supply. A key implication of our results is that the apparent plasticity in functional traits of plants determines their response to environmental change. Without identifying the apparent and true plasticity, we would substantially overestimate the magnitude, duration and even the direction of plant responses in functional traits to climate change.

  11. Apparent plasticity in functional traits determining competitive ability and spatial distribution: a case from desert

    PubMed Central

    Xie, Jiang-Bo; Xu, Gui-Qing; Jenerette, G. Darrel; Bai, Yong-fei; Wang, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Species competitive abilities and their distributions are closely related to functional traits such as biomass allocation patterns. When we consider how nutrient supply affects competitive abilities, quantifying the apparent and true plasticity in functional traits is important because the allometric relationships among traits are universal in plants. We propose to integrate the notion of allometry and the classical reaction norm into a composite theoretical framework that quantifies the apparent and true plasticity. Combining the framework with a meta-analysis, a series of field surveys and a competition experiment, we aimed to determine the causes of the dune/interdune distribution patterns of two Haloxylon species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. We found that (1) the biomass allocation patterns of both Haloxylon species in responses to environmental conditions were apparent rather than true plasticity and (2) the allometric allocation patterns affected the plants’ competition for soil nutrient supply. A key implication of our results is that the apparent plasticity in functional traits of plants determines their response to environmental change. Without identifying the apparent and true plasticity, we would substantially overestimate the magnitude, duration and even the direction of plant responses in functional traits to climate change. PMID:26190745

  12. Apparent plasticity in functional traits determining competitive ability and spatial distribution: a case from desert.

    PubMed

    Xie, Jiang-Bo; Xu, Gui-Qing; Jenerette, G Darrel; Bai, Yong-fei; Wang, Zhong-Yuan; Li, Yan

    2015-01-01

    Species competitive abilities and their distributions are closely related to functional traits such as biomass allocation patterns. When we consider how nutrient supply affects competitive abilities, quantifying the apparent and true plasticity in functional traits is important because the allometric relationships among traits are universal in plants. We propose to integrate the notion of allometry and the classical reaction norm into a composite theoretical framework that quantifies the apparent and true plasticity. Combining the framework with a meta-analysis, a series of field surveys and a competition experiment, we aimed to determine the causes of the dune/interdune distribution patterns of two Haloxylon species in the Gurbantonggut Desert. We found that (1) the biomass allocation patterns of both Haloxylon species in responses to environmental conditions were apparent rather than true plasticity and (2) the allometric allocation patterns affected the plants' competition for soil nutrient supply. A key implication of our results is that the apparent plasticity in functional traits of plants determines their response to environmental change. Without identifying the apparent and true plasticity, we would substantially overestimate the magnitude, duration and even the direction of plant responses in functional traits to climate change. PMID:26190745

  13. Early constraint-induced movement therapy promotes functional recovery and neuronal plasticity in a subcortical hemorrhage model rat.

    PubMed

    Ishida, Akimasa; Misumi, Sachiyo; Ueda, Yoshitomo; Shimizu, Yuko; Cha-Gyun, Jung; Tamakoshi, Keigo; Ishida, Kazuto; Hida, Hideki

    2015-05-01

    Constraint-induced movement therapy (CIMT) promotes functional recovery of impaired forelimbs after hemiplegic strokes, including intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH). We used a rat model of subcortical hemorrhage to compare the effects of delivering early or late CIMT after ICH. The rat model was made by injecting collagenase into the globus pallidus near the internal capsule, and then forcing rats to use the affected forelimb for 7 days starting either 1 day (early CIMT) or 17 days (late CIMT) after the lesion. Recovery of forelimb function in the skilled reaching test and the ladder stepping test was found after early-CIMT, while no significant recovery was shown after late CIMT or in the non-CIMT controls. Early CIMT was associated with greater numbers of ΔFosB-positive cells in the ipsi-lesional sensorimotor cortex layers II-III and V. Additionally, we found expression of the growth-related genes brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and growth-related protein 43 (GAP-43), and abundant dendritic arborization of pyramidal neurons in the sensorimotor area. Similar results were not detected in the contra-lesional cortex. In contrast to early CIMT, late CIMT failed to induce any changes in plasticity. We conclude that CIMT induces molecular and morphological plasticity in the ipsi-lesional sensorimotor cortex and facilitates better functional recovery when initiated immediately after hemorrhage.

  14. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2016-07-12

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  15. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  16. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life. How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood. In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  17. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals

    PubMed Central

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans. PMID:25072322

  18. Free D-aspartate regulates neuronal dendritic morphology, synaptic plasticity, gray matter volume and brain activity in mammals.

    PubMed

    Errico, F; Nisticò, R; Di Giorgio, A; Squillace, M; Vitucci, D; Galbusera, A; Piccinin, S; Mango, D; Fazio, L; Middei, S; Trizio, S; Mercuri, N B; Teule, M A; Centonze, D; Gozzi, A; Blasi, G; Bertolino, A; Usiello, A

    2014-01-01

    D-aspartate (D-Asp) is an atypical amino acid, which is especially abundant in the developing mammalian brain, and can bind to and activate N-methyl-D-Aspartate receptors (NMDARs). In line with its pharmacological features, we find that mice chronically treated with D-Asp show enhanced NMDAR-mediated miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents and basal cerebral blood volume in fronto-hippocampal areas. In addition, we show that both chronic administration of D-Asp and deletion of the gene coding for the catabolic enzyme D-aspartate oxidase (DDO) trigger plastic modifications of neuronal cytoarchitecture in the prefrontal cortex and CA1 subfield of the hippocampus and promote a cytochalasin D-sensitive form of synaptic plasticity in adult mouse brains. To translate these findings in humans and consistent with the experiments using Ddo gene targeting in animals, we performed a hierarchical stepwise translational genetic approach. Specifically, we investigated the association of variation in the gene coding for DDO with complex human prefrontal phenotypes. We demonstrate that genetic variation predicting reduced expression of DDO in postmortem human prefrontal cortex is mapped on greater prefrontal gray matter and activity during working memory as measured with MRI. In conclusion our results identify novel NMDAR-dependent effects of D-Asp on plasticity and physiology in rodents, which also map to prefrontal phenotypes in humans.

  19. Mapping Functional Brain Development: Building a Social Brain through Interactive Specialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Mark H.; Grossmann, Tobias; Kadosh, Kathrin Cohen

    2009-01-01

    The authors review a viewpoint on human functional brain development, interactive specialization (IS), and its application to the emerging network of cortical regions referred to as the "social brain." They advance the IS view in 2 new ways. First, they extend IS into a domain to which it has not previously been applied--the emergence of social…

  20. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Recent work has shown that it is possible to take brain images acquired during viewing of a scene and reconstruct an approximation of the scene from those images. Here we show that it is also possible to generate text about the mental content reflected in brain images. We began with images collected as participants read names of concrete items (e.g., “Apartment’’) while also seeing line drawings of the item named. We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. In order to validate this mapping, without accessing information about the items viewed for left-out individual brain images, we were able to generate from each one a collection of semantically pertinent words (e.g., “door,” “window” for “Apartment’’). Furthermore, we show that the ability to generate such words allows us to perform a classification task and thus validate our method quantitatively. PMID:21927602

  1. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

    Uses brain research conducted by Dr. Roger Sperry to show that traditional Native Americans are more dominant in right hemisphere thinking, setting them apart from a modern left hemisphere-oriented society (especially emphasized in schools). Describes some characteristics of Native American thinking that illustrate a right hemisphere orientation…

  2. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Chen, H Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D; Cullen, D Kacy; Wolf, John A; Smith, Douglas H

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  3. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Chen, H. Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D.; Cullen, D. Kacy; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  4. Hyper-connectivity of functional networks for brain disease diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Jie, Biao; Wee, Chong-Yaw; Shen, Dinggang; Zhang, Daoqiang

    2016-08-01

    Exploring structural and functional interactions among various brain regions enables better understanding of pathological underpinnings of neurological disorders. Brain connectivity network, as a simplified representation of those structural and functional interactions, has been widely used for diagnosis and classification of neurodegenerative diseases, especially for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its early stage - mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the conventional functional connectivity network is usually constructed based on the pairwise correlation among different brain regions and thus ignores their higher-order relationships. Such loss of high-order information could be important for disease diagnosis, since neurologically a brain region predominantly interacts with more than one other brain regions. Accordingly, in this paper, we propose a novel framework for estimating the hyper-connectivity network of brain functions and then use this hyper-network for brain disease diagnosis. Here, the functional connectivity hyper-network denotes a network where each of its edges representing the interactions among multiple brain regions (i.e., an edge can connect with more than two brain regions), which can be naturally represented by a hyper-graph. Specifically, we first construct connectivity hyper-networks from the resting-state fMRI (R-fMRI) time series by using sparse representation. Then, we extract three sets of brain-region specific features from the connectivity hyper-networks, and further exploit a manifold regularized multi-task feature selection method to jointly select the most discriminative features. Finally, we use multi-kernel support vector machine (SVM) for classification. The experimental results on both MCI dataset and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) dataset demonstrate that, compared with the conventional connectivity network-based methods, the proposed method can not only improve the classification performance, but also help

  5. The presence of perforated synapses in the striatum after dopamine depletion, is this a sign of maladaptive brain plasticity?

    PubMed

    Anaya-Martínez, Verónica; Gutierrez-Valdez, Ana Luisa; Ordoñez-Librado, Jose Luis; Montiel-Flores, Enrique; Sánchez-Betancourt, Javier; Sánchez Vázquez del Mercado, César; Reynoso-Erazo, Leonardo; Tron-Alvarez, Rocío; Avila-Costa, Maria Rosa

    2014-12-01

    Synaptic plasticity is the process by which long-lasting changes take place at synaptic connections. The phenomenon itself is complex and can involve many levels of organization. Some authors separate forms into adaptations that have positive or negative consequences for the individual. It has been hypothesized that an increase in the number of synapses may represent a structural basis for the enduring expression of synaptic plasticity during some events that involve memory and learning; also, it has been suggested that perforated synapses increase in number after some diseases and experimental situations. The aim of this study was to analyze whether dopamine depletion induces changes in the synaptology of the corpus striatum of rats after the unilateral injection of 6-OHDA. The findings suggest that after the lesion, both contralateral and ipsilateral striata exhibit an increased length of the synaptic ending in ipsilateral (since third day) and contralateral striatum (since Day 20), loss of axospinous synapses in ipsilateral striatum and a significant increment in the number of perforated synapses, suggesting brain plasticity that might be deleterious for the spines, because this type of synaptic contacts are presumably excitatory, and in the absence of the modulatory effects of dopamine, the neuron could die through excitotoxic mechanisms. Thus, we can conclude that the presence of perforated synapses after striatal dopamine depletion might be a form of maladaptive synaptic plasticity. PMID:25246608

  6. Mental training as a tool in the neuroscientific study of brain and cognitive plasticity.

    PubMed

    Slagter, Heleen A; Davidson, Richard J; Lutz, Antoine

    2011-01-01

    Although the adult brain was once seen as a rather static organ, it is now clear that the organization of brain circuitry is constantly changing as a function of experience or learning. Yet, research also shows that learning is often specific to the trained stimuli and task, and does not improve performance on novel tasks, even very similar ones. This perspective examines the idea that systematic mental training, as cultivated by meditation, can induce learning that is not stimulus or task specific, but process specific. Many meditation practices are explicitly designed to enhance specific, well-defined core cognitive processes. We will argue that this focus on enhancing core cognitive processes, as well as several general characteristics of meditation regimens, may specifically foster process-specific learning. To this end, we first define meditation and discuss key findings from recent neuroimaging studies of meditation. We then identify several characteristics of specific meditation training regimes that may determine process-specific learning. These characteristics include ongoing variability in stimulus input, the meta-cognitive nature of the processes trained, task difficulty, the focus on maintaining an optimal level of arousal, and the duration of training. Lastly, we discuss the methodological challenges that researchers face when attempting to control or characterize the multiple factors that may underlie meditation training effects.

  7. Building a minimum frustration framework for brain functions over long time scales.

    PubMed

    Tozzi, Arturo; Flå, Tor; Peters, James F

    2016-08-01

    The minimum frustration principle (MFP) is a computational approach stating that, over the long time scales of evolution, proteins' free energy decreases more than expected by thermodynamical constraints as their amino acids assume conformations progressively closer to the lowest energetic state. This Review shows that this general principle, borrowed from protein folding dynamics, can also be fruitfully applied to nervous function. Highlighting the foremost role of energetic requirements, macromolecular dynamics, and above all intertwined time scales in brain activity, the MFP elucidates a wide range of mental processes from sensations to memory retrieval. Brain functions are compared with trajectories that, over long nervous time scales, are attracted toward the low-energy bottom of funnel-like structures characterized by both robustness and plasticity. We discuss how the principle, derived explicitly from evolution and selection of a funneling structure from microdynamics of contacts, is unlike other brain models equipped with energy landscapes, such as the Bayesian and free energy principles and the Hopfield networks. In summary, we make available a novel approach to brain function cast in a biologically informed fashion, with the potential to be operationalized and assessed empirically. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. Standardized environmental enrichment supports enhanced brain plasticity in healthy rats and prevents cognitive impairment in epileptic rats.

    PubMed

    Fares, Raafat P; Belmeguenai, Amor; Sanchez, Pascal E; Kouchi, Hayet Y; Bodennec, Jacques; Morales, Anne; Georges, Béatrice; Bonnet, Chantal; Bouvard, Sandrine; Sloviter, Robert S; Bezin, Laurent

    2013-01-01

    Environmental enrichment of laboratory animals influences brain plasticity, stimulates neurogenesis, increases neurotrophic factor expression, and protects against the effects of brain insult. However, these positive effects are not constantly observed, probably because standardized procedures of environmental enrichment are lacking. Therefore, we engineered an enriched cage (the Marlau™ cage), which offers: (1) minimally stressful social interactions; (2) increased voluntary exercise; (3) multiple entertaining activities; (4) cognitive stimulation (maze exploration), and (5) novelty (maze configuration changed three times a week). The maze, which separates food pellet and water bottle compartments, guarantees cognitive stimulation for all animals. Compared to rats raised in groups in conventional cages, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited increased cortical thickness, hippocampal neurogenesis and hippocampal levels of transcripts encoding various genes involved in tissue plasticity and remodeling. In addition, rats housed in Marlau™ cages exhibited better performances in learning and memory, decreased anxiety-associated behaviors, and better recovery of basal plasma corticosterone level after acute restraint stress. Marlau™ cages also insure inter-experiment reproducibility in spatial learning and brain gene expression assays. Finally, housing rats in Marlau™ cages after severe status epilepticus at weaning prevents the cognitive impairment observed in rats subjected to the same insult and then housed in conventional cages. By providing a standardized enriched environment for rodents during housing, the Marlau™ cage should facilitate the uniformity of environmental enrichment across laboratories.

  9. [Functions of microglia in the healthy brain: focus on neuroplasticity].

    PubMed

    Tishkina, A O; Stepanichev, M Iu; Aniol, V A; Guliaeva, N V

    2014-01-01

    Microglia is in the center of modern research because it is involved in neuroinflammation processes, which is considered as an important part of pathogenesis of many brain pathologies. On the contrary, normal physiological functions of microglia are less studied. Here we review modern data on functioning of microglia in the healthy brain. We consider involvement of microglia in angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, long-term potentiation, and the mechanisms of microglia-neuron interaction. We further consider modern concept on active interaction of microglia with neurons in developing and healthy mature brain and the essential role of microglia in neuroplasticity mechanisms at various levels.

  10. Behavioral manifestations of brain plasticity in blind and low-vision individuals.

    PubMed

    Jednoróg, Katarzyna; Grabowska, Anna

    2008-01-01

    Tactile sensitivity enhancement (TSE) observed in blind people is probably a result of intensified tactile training. Although many researchers consider TSE in the blind to be an example of use-dependent plasticity, it is unclear whether the effects of training (Braille reading) are specific, i.e. restricted to the trained function and hand, or if they are more general. To examine this issue further, blind Braille readers, low-vision subjects (Braille readers and non-Braille readers) and sighted controls were tested in two tasks: a texture task resembling the Braille system and a dissimilar groove orientation task. Braille readers, both blind and those with low vision, performed better in both tasks than low-vision non-Braille readers or sighted controls. However, the difference was significant only for the blind (more experienced) Braille readers. In the groove orientation task, the positive influence of training was detectable irrespective of the hand used in the test, but in the coarse texture task this influence was limited to the hand trained in Braille. Thus, it appears that tactile training is of significance in TSE but its effects are, to a large extent, task- and hand-specific.

  11. Brain imaging of language plasticity in adopted adults: can a second language replace the first?

    PubMed

    Pallier, C; Dehaene, S; Poline, J-B; LeBihan, D; Argenti, A-M; Dupoux, E; Mehler, J

    2003-02-01

    Do the neural circuits that subserve language acquisition lose plasticity as they become tuned to the maternal language? We tested adult subjects born in Korea and adopted by French families in childhood; they have become fluent in their second language and report no conscious recollection of their native language. In behavioral tests assessing their memory for Korean, we found that they do not perform better than a control group of native French subjects who have never been exposed to Korean. We also used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging to monitor cortical activations while the Korean adoptees and native French listened to sentences spoken in Korean, French and other, unknown, foreign languages. The adopted subjects did not show any specific activations to Korean stimuli relative to unknown languages. The areas activated more by French stimuli than by foreign stimuli were similar in the Korean adoptees and in the French native subjects, but with relatively larger extents of activation in the latter group. We discuss these data in light of the critical period hypothesis for language acquisition.

  12. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Deng, Lifu; Sun, Junfeng; Cheng, Lin; Tong, Shanbao

    2016-01-01

    Functional connectivity (FC), obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brings insights into the functional organization of the brain. Recently, rich and complex behaviour of brain has been revealed by the dynamic fluctuation of FC, which had previously been regarded as confounding 'noise'. While the dynamics of long-distance, inter-regional FC has been extensively studied, the dynamics of local FC within a few millimetres in space remains largely unexplored. In this study, the local FC was depicted by regional homogeneity (ReHo), and the dynamics of local FC was obtained using sliding windows method. We observed a robust positive correlation between ReHo and its temporal variability, which was shown to be an intrinsic feature of the brain rather than a pure stochastic effect. Furthermore, fluctuation of ReHo was associated with global functional organization: (i) brain regions with higher centrality of inter-regional FC tended to possess higher ReHo variability; (ii) coherence of ReHo fluctuation was higher within brain's functional modules. Finally, we observed alteration of ReHo variability during a motor task compared with resting-state. Our findings associated the temporal fluctuation of ReHo with brain function, opening up the possibility of dynamic local FC study in the future. PMID:27231194

  13. Functional imaging of single synapses in brain slices.

    PubMed

    Oertner, Thomas G

    2002-11-01

    The strength of synaptic connections in the brain is not fixed, but can be modulated by numerous mechanisms. Traditionally, electrophysiology has been used to characterize connections between neurons. Electrophysiology typically reports the activity of populations of synapses, while most mechanisms of plasticity are thought to operate at the level of single synapses. Recently, two-photon laser scanning microscopy has enabled us to perform optical quantal analysis of individual synapses in intact brain tissue. Here we introduce the basic principle of the two-photon microscope and discuss its main differences compared to the confocal microscope. Using calcium imaging in dendritic spines as an example, we explain the advantages of simultaneous dual-dye imaging for quantitative calcium measurements and address two common problems, dye saturation and background fluorescence subtraction.

  14. Brain Plasticity following Intensive Bimanual Therapy in Children with Hemiparesis: Preliminary Evidence

    PubMed Central

    Weinstein, Maya; Myers, Vicki; Green, Dido; Schertz, Mitchell; Shiran, Shelly I.; Geva, Ronny; Artzi, Moran; Gordon, Andrew M.; Fattal-Valevski, Aviva; Ben Bashat, Dafna

    2015-01-01

    Neuroplasticity studies examining children with hemiparesis (CH) have focused predominantly on unilateral interventions. CH also have bimanual coordination impairments with bimanual interventions showing benefits. We explored neuroplasticity following hand-arm bimanual intensive therapy (HABIT) of 60 hours in twelve CH (6 females, mean age 11 ± 3.6 y). Serial behavioral evaluations and MR imaging including diffusion tensor (DTI) and functional (fMRI) imaging were performed before, immediately after, and at 6-week follow-up. Manual skills were assessed repeatedly with the Assisting Hand Assessment, Children's Hand Experience Questionnaire, and Jebsen-Taylor Test of Hand Function. Beta values, indicating the level of activation, and lateralization index (LI), indicating the pattern of brain activation, were computed from fMRI. White matter integrity of major fibers was assessed using DTI. 11/12 children showed improvement after intervention in at least one measure, with 8/12 improving on two or more tests. Changes were retained in 6/8 children at follow-up. Beta activation in the affected hemisphere increased at follow-up, and LI increased both after intervention and at follow-up. Correlations between LI and motor function emerged after intervention. Increased white matter integrity was detected in the corpus callosum and corticospinal tract after intervention in about half of the participants. Results provide first evidence for neuroplasticity changes following bimanual intervention in CH. PMID:26640717

  15. Motor programme activating therapy influences adaptive brain functions in multiple sclerosis: clinical and MRI study.

    PubMed

    Rasova, Kamila; Prochazkova, Marie; Tintera, Jaroslav; Ibrahim, Ibrahim; Zimova, Denisa; Stetkarova, Ivana

    2015-03-01

    There is still little scientific evidence for the efficacy of neurofacilitation approaches and their possible influence on brain plasticity and adaptability. In this study, the outcome of a new kind of neurofacilitation approach, motor programme activating therapy (MPAT), was evaluated on the basis of a set of clinical functions and with MRI. Eighteen patients were examined four times with standardized clinical tests and diffusion tensor imaging to monitor changes without therapy, immediately after therapy and 1 month after therapy. Moreover, the strength of effective connectivity was analysed before and after therapy. Patients underwent a 1-h session of MPAT twice a week for 2 months. The data were analysed by nonparametric tests of association and were subsequently statistically evaluated. The therapy led to significant improvement in clinical functions, significant increment of fractional anisotropy and significant decrement of mean diffusivity, and decrement of effective connectivity at supplementary motor areas was observed immediately after the therapy. Changes in clinical functions and diffusion tensor images persisted 1 month after completing the programme. No statistically significant changes in clinical functions and no differences in MRI-diffusion tensor images were observed without physiotherapy. Positive immediate and long-term effects of MPAT on clinical and brain functions, as well as brain microstructure, were confirmed.

  16. Stable learning of functional maps in self-organizing spiking neural networks with continuous synaptic plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Srinivasa, Narayan; Jiang, Qin

    2013-01-01

    This study describes a spiking model that self-organizes for stable formation and maintenance of orientation and ocular dominance maps in the visual cortex (V1). This self-organization process simulates three development phases: an early experience-independent phase, a late experience-independent phase and a subsequent refinement phase during which experience acts to shape the map properties. The ocular dominance maps that emerge accommodate the two sets of monocular inputs that arise from the lateral geniculate nucleus (LGN) to layer 4 of V1. The orientation selectivity maps that emerge feature well-developed iso-orientation domains and fractures. During the last two phases of development the orientation preferences at some locations appear to rotate continuously through ±180° along circular paths and referred to as pinwheel-like patterns but without any corresponding point discontinuities in the orientation gradient maps. The formation of these functional maps is driven by balanced excitatory and inhibitory currents that are established via synaptic plasticity based on spike timing for both excitatory and inhibitory synapses. The stability and maintenance of the formed maps with continuous synaptic plasticity is enabled by homeostasis caused by inhibitory plasticity. However, a prolonged exposure to repeated stimuli does alter the formed maps over time due to plasticity. The results from this study suggest that continuous synaptic plasticity in both excitatory neurons and interneurons could play a critical role in the formation, stability, and maintenance of functional maps in the cortex. PMID:23450808

  17. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-01

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide. PMID:25822754

  18. Impacts of discarded plastic bags on marine assemblages and ecosystem functioning.

    PubMed

    Green, Dannielle Senga; Boots, Bas; Blockley, David James; Rocha, Carlos; Thompson, Richard

    2015-05-01

    The accumulation of plastic debris is a global environmental problem due to its durability, persistence, and abundance. Although effects of plastic debris on individual marine organisms, particularly mammals and birds, have been extensively documented (e.g., entanglement and choking), very little is known about effects on assemblages and consequences for ecosystem functioning. In Europe, around 40% of the plastic items produced are utilized as single-use packaging, which rapidly accumulate in waste management facilities and as litter in the environment. A range of biodegradable plastics have been developed with the aspiration of reducing the persistence of litter; however, their impacts on marine assemblages or ecosystem functioning have never been evaluated. A field experiment was conducted to assess the impact of conventional and biodegradable plastic carrier bags as litter on benthic macro- and meio-faunal assemblages and biogeochemical processes (primary productivity, redox condition, organic matter content, and pore-water nutrients) on an intertidal shore near Dublin, Ireland. After 9 weeks, the presence of either type of bag created anoxic conditions within the sediment along with reduced primary productivity and organic matter and significantly lower abundances of infaunal invertebrates. This indicates that both conventional and biodegradable bags can rapidly alter marine assemblages and the ecosystem services they provide.

  19. Plasticity of functional connectivity in the adult spinal cord

    PubMed Central

    Cai, L.L; Courtine, G; Fong, A.J; Burdick, J.W; Roy, R.R; Edgerton, V.R

    2006-01-01

    This paper emphasizes several characteristics of the neural control of locomotion that provide opportunities for developing strategies to maximize the recovery of postural and locomotor functions after a spinal cord injury (SCI). The major points of this paper are: (i) the circuitry that controls standing and stepping is extremely malleable and reflects a continuously varying combination of neurons that are activated when executing stereotypical movements; (ii) the connectivity between neurons is more accurately perceived as a functional rather than as an anatomical phenomenon; (iii) the functional connectivity that controls standing and stepping reflects the physiological state of a given assembly of synapses, where the probability of these synaptic events is not deterministic; (iv) rather, this probability can be modulated by other factors such as pharmacological agents, epidural stimulation and/or motor training; (v) the variability observed in the kinematics of consecutive steps reflects a fundamental feature of the neural control system and (vi) machine-learning theories elucidate the need to accommodate variability in developing strategies designed to enhance motor performance by motor training using robotic devices after an SCI. PMID:16939979

  20. Compensatory Plasticity in the Deaf Brain: Effects on Perception of Music

    PubMed Central

    Good, Arla; Reed, Maureen J.; Russo, Frank A.

    2014-01-01

    When one sense is unavailable, sensory responsibilities shift and processing of the remaining modalities becomes enhanced to compensate for missing information. This shift, referred to as compensatory plasticity, results in a unique sensory experience for individuals who are deaf, including the manner in which music is perceived. This paper evaluates the neural, behavioural and cognitive evidence for compensatory plasticity following auditory deprivation and considers how this manifests in a unique experience of music that emphasizes visual and vibrotactile modalities. PMID:25354235

  1. EEG-based research on brain functional networks in cognition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

    Recently, exploring the cognitive functions of the brain by establishing a network model to understand the working mechanism of the brain has become a popular research topic in the field of neuroscience. In this study, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to collect data from subjects given four different mathematical cognitive tasks: recite numbers clockwise and counter-clockwise, and letters clockwise and counter-clockwise to build a complex brain function network (BFN). By studying the connectivity features and parameters of those brain functional networks, it was found that the average clustering coefficient is much larger than its corresponding random network and the average shortest path length is similar to the corresponding random networks, which clearly shows the characteristics of the small-world network. The brain regions stimulated during the experiment are consistent with traditional cognitive science regarding learning, memory, comprehension, and other rational judgment results. The new method of complex networking involves studying the mathematical cognitive process of reciting, providing an effective research foundation for exploring the relationship between brain cognition and human learning skills and memory. This could help detect memory deficits early in young and mentally handicapped children, and help scientists understand the causes of cognitive brain disorders. PMID:26405867

  2. [Determinism and Freedom of Choice in the Brain Functioning].

    PubMed

    Ivanitsky, A M

    2015-01-01

    The problem is considered whether the brain response is completely determined by the stimulus and the personal experience or in some cases the brain is free to choose its behavioral response to achieve the desired goal. The attempt is made to approach to this important philosophical problem basing on modern knowledge about the brain. The paper consists of four parts. In the first part the theoretical views about the free choice problem solving are considered, including views about the freedom of choice as a useful illusion, the hypothesis on appliance of quantum mechanics laws to the brain functioning and the theory of mentalism. In other tree parts consequently the more complicated brain functions such as choice reaction, thinking and creation are analyzed. The general conclusion is that the possibility of quite unpredictable, but sometimes very effective decisions increases when the brain functions are more and more complicated. This fact can be explained with two factors: increasing stochasticity of the brain processes and the role of top-down determinations from mental to neural levels, according to the theory of mentalism.

  3. Functional brain connectivity phenotypes for schizophrenia drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Neil; Morris, Brian J; Pratt, Judith A

    2015-02-01

    While our knowledge of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia has increased dramatically, this has not translated into the development of new and improved drugs to treat this disorder. Human brain imaging and electrophysiological studies have provided dramatic new insight into the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in the disease, with a swathe of recent studies highlighting the differences in functional brain network and neural system connectivity present in the disorder. Only recently has the value of applying these approaches in preclinical rodent models relevant to the disorder started to be recognised. Here we highlight recent findings of altered functional brain connectivity in preclinical rodent models and consider their relevance to those alterations seen in the brains of schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, we highlight the potential translational value of using the paradigm of functional brain connectivity phenotypes in the context of preclinical schizophrenia drug discovery, as a means both to understand the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in the disorder and to reduce the current high attrition rate in schizophrenia drug discovery.

  4. Pericytes control key neurovascular functions and neuronal phenotype in the adult brain and during brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Robert D.; Winkler, Ethan A.; Sagare, Abhay P.; Singh, Itender; LaRue, Barb; Deane, Rashid; Zlokovic, Berislav V.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Pericytes play a key role in the development of cerebral microcirculation. The exact role of pericytes in the neurovascular unit in the adult brain and during brain aging remains, however, elusive. Using adult viable pericyte-deficient mice, we show that pericyte loss leads to brain vascular damage by two parallel pathways: (1) reduction in brain microcirculation causing diminished brain capillary perfusion, cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood flow responses to brain activation which ultimately mediates chronic perfusion stress and hypoxia, and (2) blood-brain barrier breakdown associated with brain accumulation of serum proteins and several vasculotoxic and/or neurotoxic macromolecules ultimately leading to secondary neuronal degenerative changes. We show that age-dependent vascular damage in pericyte-deficient mice precedes neuronal degenerative changes, learning and memory impairment and the neuroinflammatory response. Thus, pericytes control key neurovascular functions that are necessary for proper neuronal structure and function, and pericytes loss results in a progressive age-dependent vascular-mediated neurodegeneration. PMID:21040844

  5. Effects of Tetramethylpyrazine on Functional Recovery and Neuronal Dendritic Plasticity after Experimental Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Jun-Bin; Zheng, Chan-Juan; Zhang, Xuan; Chen, Juan; Liao, Wei-Jing; Wan, Qi

    2015-01-01

    The 2,3,5,6-tetramethylpyrazine (TMP) has been widely used in the treatment of ischemic stroke by Chinese doctors. Here, we report the effects of TMP on functional recovery and dendritic plasticity after ischemic stroke. A classical model of middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) was established in this study. The rats were assigned into 3 groups: sham group (sham operated rats treated with saline), model group (MCAO rats treated with saline) and TMP group (MCAO rats treated with 20 mg/kg/d TMP). The neurological function test of animals was evaluated using the modified neurological severity score (mNSS) at 3 d, 7 d, and 14 d after MCAO. Animals were euthanized for immunohistochemical labeling to measure MAP-2 levels in the peri-infarct area. Golgi-Cox staining was performed to test effect of TMP on dendritic plasticity at 14 d after MCAO. TMP significantly improved neurological function at 7 d and 14 d after ischemia, increased MAP-2 level at 14 d after ischemia, and enhanced spine density of basilar dendrites. TMP failed to affect the spine density of apical dendrites and the total dendritic length. Data analyses indicate that there was significant negative correlation between mNSS and plasticity measured at 14 d after MCAO. Thus, enhanced dendritic plasticity contributes to TMP-elicited functional recovery after ischemic stroke. PMID:26379744

  6. Spatiotemporal plasticity of miRNAs functions: The miR-17-92 case.

    PubMed

    Bonaldi, Tiziana; Mihailovich, Marija

    2016-05-01

    The functional effect of a specific miRNA is tightly linked to the transcriptome, thus having the potential to elicit distinct outcomes in different cellular states. Our recent discovery of a dual role of the miR-17-92 cluster, which shifts from oncogene to tumor suppressor during lymphoma progression, exemplifies the spatiotemporal plasticity of miRNAs. PMID:27314099

  7. Function-selective domain architecture plasticity potentials in eukaryotic genome evolution.

    PubMed

    Linkeviciute, Viktorija; Rackham, Owen J L; Gough, Julian; Oates, Matt E; Fang, Hai

    2015-12-01

    To help evaluate how protein function impacts on genome evolution, we introduce a new concept of 'architecture plasticity potential' - the capacity to form distinct domain architectures - both for an individual domain, or more generally for a set of domains grouped by shared function. We devise a scoring metric to measure the plasticity potential for these domain sets, and evaluate how function has changed over time for different species. Applying this metric to a phylogenetic tree of eukaryotic genomes, we find that the involvement of each function is not random but highly selective. For certain lineages there is strong bias for evolution to involve domains related to certain functions. In general eukaryotic genomes, particularly animals, expand complex functional activities such as signalling and regulation, but at the cost of reducing metabolic processes. We also observe differential evolution of transcriptional regulation and a unique evolutionary role of channel regulators; crucially this is only observable in terms of the architecture plasticity potential. Our findings provide a new layer of information to understand the significance of function in eukaryotic genome evolution. A web search tool, available at http://supfam.org/Pevo, offers a wide spectrum of options for exploring functional importance in eukaryotic genome evolution.

  8. Function-selective domain architecture plasticity potentials in eukaryotic genome evolution

    PubMed Central

    Linkeviciute, Viktorija; Rackham, Owen J.L.; Gough, Julian; Oates, Matt E.; Fang, Hai

    2015-01-01

    To help evaluate how protein function impacts on genome evolution, we introduce a new concept of ‘architecture plasticity potential’ – the capacity to form distinct domain architectures – both for an individual domain, or more generally for a set of domains grouped by shared function. We devise a scoring metric to measure the plasticity potential for these domain sets, and evaluate how function has changed over time for different species. Applying this metric to a phylogenetic tree of eukaryotic genomes, we find that the involvement of each function is not random but highly selective. For certain lineages there is strong bias for evolution to involve domains related to certain functions. In general eukaryotic genomes, particularly animals, expand complex functional activities such as signalling and regulation, but at the cost of reducing metabolic processes. We also observe differential evolution of transcriptional regulation and a unique evolutionary role of channel regulators; crucially this is only observable in terms of the architecture plasticity potential. Our findings provide a new layer of information to understand the significance of function in eukaryotic genome evolution. A web search tool, available at http://supfam.org/Pevo, offers a wide spectrum of options for exploring functional importance in eukaryotic genome evolution. PMID:25980317

  9. Potential of optical microangiography to monitor cerebral blood perfusion and vascular plasticity following traumatic brain injury in mice in vivo

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jia, Yali; Alkayed, Nabil; Wang, Ruikang K.

    2009-07-01

    Optical microanglography (OMAG) is a recently developed imaging modality capable of volumetric imaging of dynamic blood perfusion, down to capillary level resolution, with an imaging depth up to 2.00 mm beneath the tissue surface. We report the use of OMAG to monitor the cerebral blood flow (CBF) over the cortex of mouse brain upon traumatic brain injury (TBI), with the cranium left intact, for a period of two weeks on the same animal. We show the ability of OMAG to repeatedly image 3-D cerebral vasculatures during pre- and post-traumatic phases, and to visualize the changes of regulated CBF and the vascular plasticity after TBI. The results indicate the potential of OMAG to explore the mechanism involved in the rehabilitation of TBI.

  10. Brain-robot interface driven plasticity: Distributed modulation of corticospinal excitability.

    PubMed

    Kraus, Dominic; Naros, Georgios; Bauer, Robert; Leão, Maria Teresa; Ziemann, Ulf; Gharabaghi, Alireza

    2016-01-15

    Brain-robot interfaces (BRI) are studied as novel interventions to facilitate functional restoration in patients with severe and persistent motor deficits following stroke. They bridge the impaired connection in the sensorimotor loop by providing brain-state dependent proprioceptive feedback with orthotic devices attached to the hand or arm of the patients. The underlying neurophysiology of this BRI neuromodulation is still largely unknown. We investigated changes of corticospinal excitability with transcranial magnetic stimulation in thirteen right-handed healthy subjects who performed 40min of kinesthetic motor imagery receiving proprioceptive feedback with a robotic orthosis attached to the left hand contingent to event-related desynchronization of the right sensorimotor cortex in the β-band (16-22Hz). Neural correlates of this BRI intervention were probed by acquiring the stimulus-response curve (SRC) of both motor evoked potential (MEP) peak-to-peak amplitudes and areas under the curve. In addition, a motor mapping was obtained. The specificity of the effects was studied by comparing two neighboring hand muscles, one BRI-trained and one control muscle. Robust changes of MEP amplitude but not MEP area occurred following the BRI intervention, but only in the BRI-trained muscle. The steep part of the SRC showed an MEP increase, while the plateau of the SRC showed an MEP decrease. MEP mapping revealed a distributed pattern with a decrease of excitability in the hand area of the primary motor cortex, which controlled the BRI, but an increase of excitability in the surrounding somatosensory and premotor cortex. In conclusion, the BRI intervention induced a complex pattern of modulated corticospinal excitability, which may boost subsequent motor learning during physiotherapy.

  11. Human brain functional MRI and DTI visualization with virtual reality.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) are two active research areas in neuroimaging. DTI is sensitive to the anisotropic diffusion of water exerted by its macromolecular environment and has been shown useful in characterizing structures of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter, myocardium, and cartilage. The diffusion tensor provides two new types of information of water diffusion: the magnitude and the spatial orientation of water diffusivity inside the tissue. This information has been used for white matter fiber tracking to review physical neuronal pathways inside the brain. Functional MRI measures brain activations using the hemodynamic response. The statistically derived activation map corresponds to human brain functional activities caused by neuronal activities. The combination of these two methods provides a new way to understand human brain from the anatomical neuronal fiber connectivity to functional activities between different brain regions. In this study, virtual reality (VR) based MR DTI and fMRI visualization with high resolution anatomical image segmentation and registration, ROI definition and neuronal white matter fiber tractography visualization and fMRI activation map integration is proposed. Rationale and methods for producing and distributing stereoscopic videos are also discussed. PMID:23256049

  12. Branched-chain amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, John D

    2005-06-01

    Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) influence brain function by modifying large, neutral amino acid (LNAA) tr