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Sample records for human somatosensory cortex

  1. Somatosensory responses in a human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Shaikhouni, Ammar; Donoghue, John P; Hochberg, Leigh R

    2013-04-01

    Somatic sensory signals provide a major source of feedback to motor cortex. Changes in somatosensory systems after stroke or injury could profoundly influence brain computer interfaces (BCI) being developed to create new output signals from motor cortex activity patterns. We had the unique opportunity to study the responses of hand/arm area neurons in primary motor cortex to passive joint manipulation in a person with a long-standing brain stem stroke but intact sensory pathways. Neurons responded to passive manipulation of the contralateral shoulder, elbow, or wrist as predicted from prior studies of intact primates. Thus fundamental properties and organization were preserved despite arm/hand paralysis and damage to cortical outputs. The same neurons were engaged by attempted arm actions. These results indicate that intact sensory pathways retain the potential to influence primary motor cortex firing rates years after cortical outputs are interrupted and may contribute to online decoding of motor intentions for BCI applications.

  2. Somatosensory responses in a human motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Donoghue, John P.; Hochberg, Leigh R.

    2013-01-01

    Somatic sensory signals provide a major source of feedback to motor cortex. Changes in somatosensory systems after stroke or injury could profoundly influence brain computer interfaces (BCI) being developed to create new output signals from motor cortex activity patterns. We had the unique opportunity to study the responses of hand/arm area neurons in primary motor cortex to passive joint manipulation in a person with a long-standing brain stem stroke but intact sensory pathways. Neurons responded to passive manipulation of the contralateral shoulder, elbow, or wrist as predicted from prior studies of intact primates. Thus fundamental properties and organization were preserved despite arm/hand paralysis and damage to cortical outputs. The same neurons were engaged by attempted arm actions. These results indicate that intact sensory pathways retain the potential to influence primary motor cortex firing rates years after cortical outputs are interrupted and may contribute to online decoding of motor intentions for BCI applications. PMID:23343902

  3. Oral structure representation in human somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Yohei; Shibukawa, Yoshiyuki; Shintani, Masuro; Kaneko, Yuzuru; Ichinohe, Tatsuya

    2008-10-15

    To clarify the topography of the areas representing whole intraoral structures and elucidate bilateral neuronal projection to those areas in the primary somatosensory (S1) cortex, we recorded somatosensory-evoked magnetic fields (SEFs), which reflect the earliest cortical responses to pure tactile stimulation, using magnetoencephalography and a piezo-driven tactile stimulation device. Subjects consisted of 10 healthy male adults. Following tactile stimulation of 6 sites on the oral mucosa (inferior/superior buccal mucosa, posterior/anterior tongue mucosa, and upper/lower lip mucosa), SEFs with a peak latency of 15 ms (1M) were identified bilaterally. In contrast, SEFs with a peak latency of 30 ms following right index finger tactile stimulation were identified only in the contralateral hemisphere. Equivalent current dipoles (ECDs) generating 15 ms components were found along the posterior wall of the central sulcus, bilaterally. The ECD locations for oral mucosa-representing areas were located inferiorly to those for the index finger, with the following pattern of organization from top to bottom along the central sulcus: index finger, upper or lower lip, anterior or posterior tongue and superior or inferior buccal mucosa, with a wide distribution, covering 30% of the S1 cortex. Source strength for 1M in the ipsilateral hemisphere was weaker than that in the contralateral hemisphere. These results clearly indicate that sensory afferents innervating the intraoral region project to both the contralateral and ipsilateral 3b areas via the trigeminothalamic tract, where contralateral projection is predominant. The results clarify the intraoral structure-representing areas in the S1 cortex, adding those areas to the classical "sensory homunculus". PMID:18672075

  4. Spatiotemporal dynamics of bimanual integration in human somatosensory cortex and their relevance to bimanual object manipulation.

    PubMed

    Jung, Patrick; Klein, Johannes C; Wibral, Michael; Hoechstetter, Karsten; Bliem, Barbara; Lu, Ming-Kuei; Wahl, Mathias; Ziemann, Ulf

    2012-04-18

    Little is known about the spatiotemporal dynamics of cortical responses that integrate slightly asynchronous somatosensory inputs from both hands. This study aimed to clarify the timing and magnitude of interhemispheric interactions during early integration of bimanual somatosensory information in different somatosensory regions and their relevance for bimanual object manipulation and exploration. Using multi-fiber probabilistic diffusion tractography and MEG source analysis of conditioning-test (C-T) median nerve somatosensory evoked fields in healthy human subjects, we sought to extract measures of structural and effective callosal connectivity between different somatosensory cortical regions and correlated them with bimanual tactile task performance. Neuromagnetic responses were found in major somatosensory regions, i.e., primary somatosensory cortex SI, secondary somatosensory cortex SII, posterior parietal cortex, and premotor cortex. Contralateral to the test stimulus, SII activity was maximally suppressed by 51% at C-T intervals of 40 and 60 ms. This interhemispheric inhibition of the contralateral SII source activity correlated directly and topographically specifically with the fractional anisotropy of callosal fibers interconnecting SII. Thus, the putative pathway that mediated inhibitory interhemispheric interactions in SII was a transcallosal route from ipsilateral to contralateral SII. Moreover, interhemispheric inhibition of SII source activity correlated directly with bimanual tactile task performance. These findings were exclusive to SII. Our data suggest that early interhemispheric somatosensory integration primarily occurs in SII, is mediated by callosal fibers that interconnect homologous SII areas, and has behavioral importance for bimanual object manipulation and exploration.

  5. Detection of Optogenetic Stimulation in Somatosensory Cortex by Non-Human Primates - Towards Artificial Tactile Sensation

    PubMed Central

    Brush, Benjamin; Borton, David; Wagner, Fabien; Agha, Naubahar; Sheinberg, David L.; Nurmikko, Arto V.

    2014-01-01

    Neuroprosthesis research aims to enable communication between the brain and external assistive devices while restoring lost functionality such as occurs from stroke, spinal cord injury or neurodegenerative diseases. In future closed-loop sensorimotor prostheses, one approach is to use neuromodulation as direct stimulus to the brain to compensate for a lost sensory function and help the brain to integrate relevant information for commanding external devices via, e.g. movement intention. Current neuromodulation techniques rely mainly of electrical stimulation. Here we focus specifically on the question of eliciting a biomimetically relevant sense of touch by direct stimulus of the somatosensory cortex by introducing optogenetic techniques as an alternative to electrical stimulation. We demonstrate that light activated opsins can be introduced to target neurons in the somatosensory cortex of non-human primates and be optically activated to create a reliably detected sensation which the animal learns to interpret as a tactile sensation localized within the hand. The accomplishment highlighted here shows how optical stimulation of a relatively small group of mostly excitatory somatosensory neurons in the nonhuman primate brain is sufficient for eliciting a useful sensation from data acquired by simultaneous electrophysiology and from behavioral metrics. In this first report to date on optically neuromodulated behavior in the somatosensory cortex of nonhuman primates we do not yet dissect the details of the sensation the animals exerience or contrast it to those evoked by electrical stimulation, issues of considerable future interest. PMID:25541938

  6. Increased excitability of somatosensory cortex in aged humans is associated with impaired tactile acuity.

    PubMed

    Lenz, Melanie; Tegenthoff, Martin; Kohlhaas, Karsten; Stude, Philipp; Höffken, Oliver; Gatica Tossi, Mario A; Kalisch, Tobias; Kowalewski, Rebecca; Dinse, Hubert R

    2012-02-01

    Aging affects all levels of neural processing, including changes of intracortical inhibition and cortical excitability. Paired-pulse stimulation, the application of two stimuli in close succession, is a useful tool to investigate cortical excitability in humans. The paired-pulse behavior is characterized by the second response being significantly suppressed at short stimulus onset asynchronies. While in rat somatosensory cortex, intracortical inhibition has been demonstrated to decline with increasing age, data from human motor cortex of elderly subjects are controversial and there are no data for the human somatosensory cortex (SI). Moreover, behavioral implications of age-related changes of cortical excitability remain elusive. We therefore assessed SI excitability by combining paired-pulse median nerve stimulation with recording somatosensory evoked potentials in 138 healthy subjects aged 17-86 years. We found that paired-pulse suppression was characterized by substantial interindividual variability, but declined significantly with age, confirming reduced intracortical inhibition in elderly subjects. To link the age-related increase of cortical excitability to perceptual changes, we measured tactile two-point discrimination in a subsample of 26 aged participants who showed either low or high paired-pulse suppression. We found that tactile performance was particularly impaired in subjects showing markedly enhanced cortical excitability. Our data demonstrate that paired-pulse suppression of human SI is significantly reduced in older adults, and that age-related enhancement of cortical excitability correlates with degradation of tactile perception. These findings indicate that cortical excitability constitutes an important mechanism that links age-related neurophysiological changes to behavioral alterations in humans.

  7. Image-Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulates Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyungmin; Jung, Yujin; Song, In-Uk; Chung, Yong An; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2015-03-01

    Focused ultrasound (FUS) has recently been investigated as a new mode of non-invasive brain stimulation, which offers exquisite spatial resolution and depth control. We report on the elicitation of explicit somatosensory sensations as well as accompanying evoked electroencephalographic (EEG) potentials induced by FUS stimulation of the human somatosensory cortex. As guided by individual-specific neuroimage data, FUS was transcranially delivered to the hand somatosensory cortex among healthy volunteers. The sonication elicited transient tactile sensations on the hand area contralateral to the sonicated hemisphere, with anatomical specificity of up to a finger, while EEG recordings revealed the elicitation of sonication-specific evoked potentials. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic propagation through the skull showed that a threshold of acoustic intensity may exist for successful cortical stimulation. The neurological and neuroradiological assessment before and after the sonication, along with strict safety considerations through the individual-specific estimation of effective acoustic intensity in situ and thermal effects, showed promising initial safety profile; however, equal/more rigorous precautionary procedures are advised for future studies. The transient and localized stimulation of the brain using image-guided transcranial FUS may serve as a novel tool for the non-invasive assessment and modification of region-specific brain function.

  8. Image-Guided Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Stimulates Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyungmin; Jung, Yujin; Song, In-Uk; Chung, Yong An; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2015-01-01

    Focused ultrasound (FUS) has recently been investigated as a new mode of non-invasive brain stimulation, which offers exquisite spatial resolution and depth control. We report on the elicitation of explicit somatosensory sensations as well as accompanying evoked electroencephalographic (EEG) potentials induced by FUS stimulation of the human somatosensory cortex. As guided by individual-specific neuroimage data, FUS was transcranially delivered to the hand somatosensory cortex among healthy volunteers. The sonication elicited transient tactile sensations on the hand area contralateral to the sonicated hemisphere, with anatomical specificity of up to a finger, while EEG recordings revealed the elicitation of sonication-specific evoked potentials. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic propagation through the skull showed that a threshold of acoustic intensity may exist for successful cortical stimulation. The neurological and neuroradiological assessment before and after the sonication, along with strict safety considerations through the individual-specific estimation of effective acoustic intensity in situ and thermal effects, showed promising initial safety profile; however, equal/more rigorous precautionary procedures are advised for future studies. The transient and localized stimulation of the brain using image-guided transcranial FUS may serve as a novel tool for the non-invasive assessment and modification of region-specific brain function. PMID:25735418

  9. Spatial segregation of somato-sensory and pain activations in the human operculo-insular cortex.

    PubMed

    Mazzola, Laure; Faillenot, Isabelle; Barral, Fabrice-Guy; Mauguière, François; Peyron, Roland

    2012-03-01

    The role of operculo-insular region in the processing of somato-sensory inputs, painful or not, is now well established. However, available maps from previous literature show a substantial overlap of cortical areas activated by these stimuli, and the region referred to as the "secondary somatosensory area (SII)" is widely distributed in the parietal operculum. Differentiating SII from posterior insula cortex, which is anatomically contiguous, is not easy, explaining why the "operculo-insular" label has been introduced to describe activations by somatosensory stimuli in this cortical region. Based on the recent cyto-architectural parcellation of the human insular/SII cortices (Eickhoff et al., 2006, Kurth et al., 2010), the present study investigates with functional MRI (fMRI), whether these structural subdivisions could subserve distinct aspects of discriminative somato-sensory functions, including pain. Responses to five types of stimuli applied on the left hand of 25 healthy volunteers were considered: i) tactile stimuli; ii) passive movements; iii) innocuous cold stimuli; iv) non-noxious warm and v) heat pain. Our results show different patterns of activation depending on the type of somato-sensory stimulation. The posterior part of SII (OP1 area), contralateral to stimuli, was the only sub-region activated by all type of stimuli and might therefore be considered as a common cortical target for different types of somato-sensory inputs. Proprioceptive stimulation by passive finger movements activated the posterior part of SII (OP1 sub-region) bilaterally and the contralateral median part of insula (PreCG and MSG). Innocuous cooling activated the contralateral posterior part of SII (OP1) and the dorsal posterior and median part of insula (OP2, PostCG). Pain stimuli induced the most widespread and intense activation that was bilateral in SII (OP1, OP4) and distributed to all sub-regions of contralateral insula (except OP2) and to the anterior part of the

  10. Metaplasticity in human primary somatosensory cortex: effects on physiology and tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Jones, Christina B; Lulic, Tea; Bailey, Aaron Z; Mackenzie, Tanner N; Mi, Yi Qun; Tommerdahl, Mark; Nelson, Aimee J

    2016-05-01

    Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) over human primary motor cortex evokes plasticity and metaplasticity, the latter contributing to the homeostatic balance of excitation and inhibition. Our knowledge of TBS-induced effects on primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is limited, and it is unknown whether TBS induces metaplasticity within human SI. Sixteen right-handed participants (6 females, mean age 23 yr) received two TBS protocols [continuous TBS (cTBS) and intermittent TBS (iTBS)] delivered in six different combinations over SI in separate sessions. TBS protocols were delivered at 30 Hz and were as follows: a single cTBS protocol, a single iTBS protocol, cTBS followed by cTBS, iTBS followed by iTBS, cTBS followed by iTBS, and iTBS followed by cTBS. Measures included the amplitudes of the first and second somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) via median nerve stimulation, their paired-pulse ratio (PPR), and temporal order judgment (TOJ). Dependent measures were obtained before TBS and at 5, 25, 50, and 90 min following stimulation. Results indicate similar effects following cTBS and iTBS; increased amplitudes of the second SEP and PPR without amplitude changes to SEP 1, and impairments in TOJ. Metaplasticity was observed such that TOJ impairments following a single cTBS protocol were abolished following consecutive cTBS protocols. Additionally, consecutive iTBS protocols altered the time course of effects when compared with a single iTBS protocol. In conclusion, 30-Hz cTBS and iTBS protocols delivered in isolation induce effects consistent with a TBS-induced reduction in intracortical inhibition within SI. Furthermore, cTBS- and iTBS-induced metaplasticity appear to follow homeostatic and nonhomeostatic rules, respectively.

  11. Metaplasticity in human primary somatosensory cortex: effects on physiology and tactile perception.

    PubMed

    Jones, Christina B; Lulic, Tea; Bailey, Aaron Z; Mackenzie, Tanner N; Mi, Yi Qun; Tommerdahl, Mark; Nelson, Aimee J

    2016-05-01

    Theta-burst stimulation (TBS) over human primary motor cortex evokes plasticity and metaplasticity, the latter contributing to the homeostatic balance of excitation and inhibition. Our knowledge of TBS-induced effects on primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is limited, and it is unknown whether TBS induces metaplasticity within human SI. Sixteen right-handed participants (6 females, mean age 23 yr) received two TBS protocols [continuous TBS (cTBS) and intermittent TBS (iTBS)] delivered in six different combinations over SI in separate sessions. TBS protocols were delivered at 30 Hz and were as follows: a single cTBS protocol, a single iTBS protocol, cTBS followed by cTBS, iTBS followed by iTBS, cTBS followed by iTBS, and iTBS followed by cTBS. Measures included the amplitudes of the first and second somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) via median nerve stimulation, their paired-pulse ratio (PPR), and temporal order judgment (TOJ). Dependent measures were obtained before TBS and at 5, 25, 50, and 90 min following stimulation. Results indicate similar effects following cTBS and iTBS; increased amplitudes of the second SEP and PPR without amplitude changes to SEP 1, and impairments in TOJ. Metaplasticity was observed such that TOJ impairments following a single cTBS protocol were abolished following consecutive cTBS protocols. Additionally, consecutive iTBS protocols altered the time course of effects when compared with a single iTBS protocol. In conclusion, 30-Hz cTBS and iTBS protocols delivered in isolation induce effects consistent with a TBS-induced reduction in intracortical inhibition within SI. Furthermore, cTBS- and iTBS-induced metaplasticity appear to follow homeostatic and nonhomeostatic rules, respectively. PMID:26984422

  12. Neuromagnetic correlates of adaptive plasticity across the hand-face border in human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Muret, Dollyane; Daligault, Sébastien; Dinse, Hubert R; Delpuech, Claude; Mattout, Jérémie; Reilly, Karen T; Farnè, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    It is well established that permanent or transient reduction of somatosensory inputs, following hand deafferentation or anesthesia, induces plastic changes across the hand-face border, supposedly responsible for some altered perceptual phenomena such as tactile sensations being referred from the face to the phantom hand. It is also known that transient increase of hand somatosensory inputs, via repetitive somatosensory stimulation (RSS) at a fingertip, induces local somatosensory discriminative improvement accompanied by cortical representational changes in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). We recently demonstrated that RSS at the tip of the right index finger induces similar training-independent perceptual learning across the hand-face border, improving somatosensory perception at the lips (Muret D, Dinse HR, Macchione S, Urquizar C, Farnè A, Reilly KT.Curr Biol24: R736-R737, 2014). Whether neural plastic changes across the hand-face border accompany such remote and adaptive perceptual plasticity remains unknown. Here we used magnetoencephalography to investigate the electrophysiological correlates underlying RSS-induced behavioral changes across the hand-face border. The results highlight significant changes in dipole location after RSS both for the stimulated finger and for the lips. These findings reveal plastic changes that cross the hand-face border after an increase, instead of a decrease, in somatosensory inputs.

  13. Stimulus-Rate Sensitivity Discerns Area 3b of the Human Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hlushchuk, Yevhen; Simões-Franklin, Cristina; Nangini, Cathy; Hari, Riitta

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that the hemodynamic response of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) to electrical median nerve stimulation doubles in strength when the stimulus rate (SR) increases from 1 to 5 Hz. Here we investigated whether such sensitivity to SR is homogenous within the functionally different subareas of the SI cortex, and whether SR sensitivity would help discern area 3b among the other SI subareas. We acquired 3-tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data from nine healthy adults who received pneumotactile stimuli in 25-s blocks to three right-hand fingers, either at 1, 4, or 10 Hz. The main contrast (all stimulations pooled vs. baseline), applied to the whole brain, first limited the search to the whole SI cortex. The conjunction of SR-sensitive contrasts [4 Hz − 1 Hz] > 0 and [10 Hz − 1 Hz] > 0 ([4Hz − 1Hz] + [10Hz − 1Hz] > 0), applied to the SI cluster, then revealed an anterior-ventral subcluster that reacted more strongly to both 10-Hz and 4-Hz stimuli than to the 1-Hz stimuli. No other SR-sensitive clusters were found at the group-level in the whole-brain analysis. The site of the SR-sensitive SI subcluster corresponds to the canonical position of area 3b; such differentiation was also possible at the individual level in 5 out of 9 subjects. Thus the SR sensitivity of the BOLD response appears to discern area 3b among other subareas of the human SI cortex. PMID:26020639

  14. Detection of optogenetic stimulation in somatosensory cortex by non-human primates--towards artificial tactile sensation.

    PubMed

    May, Travis; Ozden, Ilker; Brush, Benjamin; Borton, David; Wagner, Fabien; Agha, Naubahar; Sheinberg, David L; Nurmikko, Arto V

    2014-01-01

    Neuroprosthesis research aims to enable communication between the brain and external assistive devices while restoring lost functionality such as occurs from stroke, spinal cord injury or neurodegenerative diseases. In future closed-loop sensorimotor prostheses, one approach is to use neuromodulation as direct stimulus to the brain to compensate for a lost sensory function and help the brain to integrate relevant information for commanding external devices via, e.g. movement intention. Current neuromodulation techniques rely mainly of electrical stimulation. Here we focus specifically on the question of eliciting a biomimetically relevant sense of touch by direct stimulus of the somatosensory cortex by introducing optogenetic techniques as an alternative to electrical stimulation. We demonstrate that light activated opsins can be introduced to target neurons in the somatosensory cortex of non-human primates and be optically activated to create a reliably detected sensation which the animal learns to interpret as a tactile sensation localized within the hand. The accomplishment highlighted here shows how optical stimulation of a relatively small group of mostly excitatory somatosensory neurons in the nonhuman primate brain is sufficient for eliciting a useful sensation from data acquired by simultaneous electrophysiology and from behavioral metrics. In this first report to date on optically neuromodulated behavior in the somatosensory cortex of nonhuman primates we do not yet dissect the details of the sensation the animals exerience or contrast it to those evoked by electrical stimulation, issues of considerable future interest.

  15. Human Umbilical Cord Blood Cells Restore Brain Damage Induced Changes in Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Geißler, Maren; Dinse, Hubert R.; Neuhoff, Sandra; Kreikemeier, Klaus; Meier, Carola

    2011-01-01

    Intraperitoneal transplantation of human umbilical cord blood (hUCB) cells has been shown to reduce sensorimotor deficits after hypoxic ischemic brain injury in neonatal rats. However, the neuronal correlate of the functional recovery and how such a treatment enforces plastic remodelling at the level of neural processing remains elusive. Here we show by in-vivo recordings that hUCB cells have the capability of ameliorating the injury-related impairment of neural processing in primary somatosensory cortex. Intact cortical processing depends on a delicate balance of inhibitory and excitatory transmission, which is disturbed after injury. We found that the dimensions of cortical maps and receptive fields, which are significantly altered after injury, were largely restored. Additionally, the lesion induced hyperexcitability was no longer observed in hUCB treated animals as indicated by a paired-pulse behaviour resembling that observed in control animals. The beneficial effects on cortical processing were reflected in an almost complete recovery of sensorimotor behaviour. Our results demonstrate that hUCB cells reinstall the way central neurons process information by normalizing inhibitory and excitatory processes. We propose that the intermediate level of cortical processing will become relevant as a new stage to investigate efficacy and mechanisms of cell therapy in the treatment of brain injury. PMID:21673795

  16. Segmentally arranged somatotopy within the face representation of human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Moulton, Eric A; Pendse, Gautam; Morris, Susie; Aiello-Lammens, Matthew; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David

    2009-03-01

    Though somatotypic representation within the face in human primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to innocuous stimuli is controversial; previous work suggests that painful heat is represented based on an "onion-skin" or segmental pattern on the face. The aim of this study was to determine if face somatotopy for brush stimuli in S1 also follows this segmental representation model. Twelve healthy subjects (nine men: three women) underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging to measure blood oxygen level dependent signals during brush (1 Hz, 15 s) applied to their faces. Separate functional scans were collected for brush stimuli repetitively applied to each of five separate stimulation sites on the right side of the face. These sites were arranged in a vertical, horizontal, and circular manner encompassing the three divisions of the trigeminal nerve. To minimize inter-individual morphological differences in the post-central gyrus across subjects, cortical surface-based registration was implemented before group statistical image analysis. Based on activation foci, somatotopic activation in the post-central gyrus was detected for brush, consistent with the segmental face representation model. PMID:18266215

  17. Somatotopic source arrangement of 600 Hz oscillatory magnetic fields at the human primary somatosensory hand cortex.

    PubMed

    Curio, G; Mackert, B M; Burghoff, M; Neumann, J; Nolte, G; Scherg, M; Marx, P

    1997-10-01

    Based on low-noise superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) magnetoencephalography allows the non-invasive detection of low-amplitude high-frequency brain responses evoked about 20 ms after electric hand nerve stimulation. The main spectral energy of these brief oscillatory bursts (near 600 Hz) is in the range typical for rapidly repeated action potentials. Here, the magnetic fields of median and ulnar nerve evoked 600 Hz bursts are shown to exhibit a somatotopic arrangement at the primary somatosensory hand cortex closely resembling that of the concomitant postsynaptic primary cortical response (¿N20m'). Two possible burst generators are discussed: (1) repetitive spike volleys conducted along the terminal segments of somatotopically arranged thalamocortical axons, and (2) early intracortical spike activity in nerve-specific subterritories of the 3b hand area.

  18. Regional structural differences across functionally parcellated Brodmann areas of human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Sánchez-Panchuelo, Rosa-María; Besle, Julien; Mougin, Olivier; Gowland, Penny; Bowtell, Richard; Schluppeck, Denis; Francis, Susan

    2014-06-01

    Ultra-high-field (UHF) MRI is ideally suited for structural and functional imaging of the brain. High-resolution structural MRI can be used to map the anatomical boundaries between functional domains of the brain by identifying changes related to the pattern of myelination within cortical gray matter, opening up the possibility to study the relationship between functional domains and underlying structure in vivo. In a recent study, we demonstrated the correspondence between functional (based on retinotopic mapping) and structural (based on changes in T2(⁎)-weighted images linked to myelination) parcellations of the primary visual cortex (V1) in vivo at 7T (Sanchez-Panchuelo et al., 2012b). Here, we take advantage of the improved BOLD CNR and high spatial resolution achievable at 7T to study regional structural variations across the functionally defined areas within the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in individual subjects. Using a traveling wave fMRI paradigm to map the internal somatotopic representation of the index, middle, and ring fingers in S1, we were able to identify multiple map reversals at the tip and base, corresponding to the boundaries between Brodmann areas 3a, 3b, 1 and 2. Based on high resolution structural MRI data acquired in the same subjects, we inspected these functionally-parcellated Brodmann areas for differences in cortical thickness and MR contrast measures (magnetization transfer ratio (MTR) and signal intensity in phase sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR) images) that are sensitive to myelination. Consistent area-related differences in cortical thickness and MTR/PSIR measurements were found across subjects. However these measures did not have sufficient sensitivity to allow definition of areal boundaries.

  19. Polarity-Specific Cortical Effects of Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation in Primary Somatosensory Cortex of Healthy Humans

    PubMed Central

    Rehmann, Robert; Sczesny-Kaiser, Matthias; Lenz, Melanie; Gucia, Tomasz; Schliesing, Annika; Schwenkreis, Peter; Tegenthoff, Martin; Höffken, Oliver

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive stimulation method that has been shown to modulate the excitability of the motor and visual cortices in human subjects in a polarity dependent manner in previous studies. The aim of our study was to investigate whether anodal and cathodal tDCS can also be used to modulate the excitability of the human primary somatosensory cortex (S1). We measured paired-pulse suppression (PPS) of somatosensory evoked potentials in 36 right-handed volunteers before and after anodal, cathodal, or sham stimulation over the right non-dominant S1. Paired-pulse stimulation of the median nerve was performed at the dominant and non-dominant hand. After anodal tDCS, PPS was reduced in the ipsilateral S1 compared to sham stimulation, indicating an excitatory effect of anodal tDCS. In contrast, PPS in the stimulated left hemisphere was increased after cathodal tDCS, indicating an inhibitory effect of cathodal tDCS. Sham stimulation induced no pre–post differences. Thus, tDCS can be used to modulate the excitability of S1 in polarity-dependent manner, which can be assessed by PPS. An interesting topic for further studies could be the investigation of direct correlations between sensory changes and excitability changes induced by tDCS. PMID:27242473

  20. Individual left-hand and right-hand intra-digit representations in human primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schweisfurth, Meike A; Frahm, Jens; Schweizer, Renate

    2015-09-01

    Individual intra-digit somatotopy of all phalanges of the middle and little finger of the right and left hand was studied by functional magnetic resonance imaging in 12 healthy subjects. Phalanges were tactilely stimulated and activation in BA 3b of the human primary somatosensory cortex could be observed for each individual phalanx. Activation peaks were further analysed using the Direction/Order (DiOr) method, which identifies somatotopy, if a significantly high number of subjects exhibit ordered distal-to-proximal phalanx representions along a similar direction. Based on DiOr, ordered and similar-direction-aligned intra-digit maps across subjects were found at the left hand for the little and middle finger and at the right hand for the little finger. In these digits the proximal phalanges were represented more medially along the course of the central sulcus than the distal phalanges. This is contrasted by the intra-digit maps for the middle finger of the right hand, which showed larger inter-subject variations of phalanx alignments without a similar within-digit representation across subjects. As all subjects were right-handed and as the middle finger of the dominant hand probably plays a more individual role in everyday tactile performance than the little finger of the right hand and all left-hand digits, the observed variation might reflect a functional somatotopy based on individual use of that particular digit at the dominant hand.

  1. Mnemonic neuronal activity in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Y D; Fuster, J M

    1996-01-01

    Single-unit activity was recorded from the hand areas of the somatosensory cortex of monkeys trained to perform a haptic delayed matching to sample task with objects of identical dimensions but different surface features. During the memory retention period of the task (delay), many units showed sustained firing frequency change, either excitation or inhibition. In some cases, firing during that period was significantly higher after one sample object than after another. These observations indicate the participation of somatosensory neurons not only in the perception but in the short-term memory of tactile stimuli. Neurons most directly implicated in tactile memory are (i) those with object-selective delay activity, (ii) those with nondifferential delay activity but without activity related to preparation for movement, and (iii) those with delay activity in the haptic-haptic delayed matching task but no such activity in a control visuo-haptic delayed matching task. The results indicate that cells in early stages of cortical somatosensory processing participate in haptic short-term memory. PMID:8927629

  2. Evolution of somatosensory and motor cortex in primates.

    PubMed

    Kaas, Jon H

    2004-11-01

    Inferences about how the complex somatosensory systems of anthropoid primates evolved are based on comparative studies of such systems in extant mammals. Experimental studies of members of the major clades of extant mammals suggest that somatosensory cortex of early mammals consisted of only a few areas, including a primary area, S1, bordered by strip-like rostral and caudal somatosensory fields, SR and SC. In addition, the second somatosensory area, S2, and the parietal ventral area, PV, were probably present. S1, S2, and PV were activated independently via parallel projections from the ventroposterior nucleus, VP. Little posterior parietal cortex existed, and it was unlikely that a separate primary motor area, M1, existed until placental mammals evolved. Early primates retained this basic organization and also had a larger posterior parietal region that mediated sensorimotor functions via connections with motor and premotor areas. The frontal cortex included M1, dorsal and ventral premotor areas, supplementary motor area, and cingulate motor fields. Ventroposterior superior and ventroposterior inferior nuclei were distinct from the ventroposterior nucleus in the thalamus. In early anthropoid primates, areas S1, SR, and SC had differentiated into the fields now recognized as areas 3b, 3a, and 1. Areas 3b and 1 contained parallel mirror-image representations of cutaneous receptors and a parallel representation in area 2 was probable. Serial processing became dominant, so that neurons in areas 1, S2, and PV became dependent on area 3b for activation. Posterior parietal cortex expanded into more areas that related to frontal cortex. Less is known about changes that might have occurred with the emergence of apes and humans, but their brains were larger and posed scaling problems most likely solved by increasing the number of cortical areas and reducing the proportion of long connections.

  3. Adaptation in human somatosensory cortex as a model of sensory memory construction: a study using high-density EEG.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Claire; Joyce, Niamh; Garcia-Larrea, Luis

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation in sensory cortices has been seen as a mechanism allowing the creation of transient memory representations. Here we tested the adapting properties of early responses in human somatosensory areas SI and SII by analysing somatosensory-evoked potentials over the very first repetitions of a stimulus. SI and SII generators were identified by well-defined scalp potentials and source localisation from high-density 128-channel EEG. Earliest responses (~20 ms) from area 3b in the depth of the post-central gyrus did not show significant adaptation to stimuli repeated at 300 ms intervals. In contrast, responses around 45 ms from the crown of the gyrus (areas 1 and 2) rapidly lessened to a plateau and abated at the 20th stimulation, and activities from SII in the parietal operculum at ~100 ms displayed strong adaptation with a steady amplitude decrease from the first repetition. Although responses in both SI (1-2) and SII areas showed adapting properties and hence sensory memory capacities, evidence of sensory mismatch detection has been demonstrated only for responses reflecting SII activation. This may index the passage from an early form of sensory storage in SI to more operational memory codes in SII, allowing the prediction of forthcoming input and the triggering of a specific signal when such input differs from the previous sequence. This is consistent with a model whereby the length of temporal receptive windows increases with progression in the cortical hierarchy, in parallel with the complexity and abstraction of neural representations.

  4. Corticocortical connections of cat primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schwark, H D; Esteky, H; Jones, E G

    1992-01-01

    The organization of corticocortical connections in the representation of the forepaw in cat primary somatosensory cortex (SI) was studied following injections of various tracers into different cortical cytoarchitectonic areas. Small injections of horseradish peroxidase, wheat germ agglutinin-conjugated HRP, Phaseolus vulgaris leukoagglutinin, or fast blue were placed into the representation of the forepaw in areas 3b, 1, or 2. The positions of labeled neurons in SI and the surrounding cortical areas were plotted on flattened surface reconstructions to determine the organization of the corticocortical connections within SI. A strong, reciprocal projection linked the two forepaw representations which have been described in area 3b and the part of area 2 which lies in the anterior bank of the lateral ansate sulcus (see Iwamura and Tanaka 1978a, b). Dense projections also linked these areas with SII, as previously reported (Burton and Kopf 1984a). Additional projections to area 3b arose primarily from areas 3a and 1. Projections to area 2 were more widespread than those to area 3b, and arose from all other areas of SI as well as from areas 4 and 5a. All injections into SI tended to label groups of neurons which lay in mediolateral strips. Corticocortical projection neurons which were most heavily labeled by SI injections were pyramidal cells in layer III. Additional projections from area 2 to 3b, area 5a to 2, and SII to areas 2 and 3b arose from layer VI as well. Although neurons of layers III and VI were always the most densely labeled, large injections into SI labeled neurons in layers II and V as well. PMID:1282890

  5. Fine-grained nociceptive maps in primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Mancini, Flavia; Haggard, Patrick; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Longo, Matthew R.; Sereno, Martin I.

    2012-01-01

    Topographic maps of the receptive surface are a fundamental feature of neural organization in many sensory systems. While touch is finely mapped in the cerebral cortex, it remains controversial how precise any cortical nociceptive map may be. Given that nociceptive innervation density is relatively low on distal skin regions such as the digits, one might conclude that the nociceptive system lacks fine representation of these regions. Indeed, only gross spatial organization of nociceptive maps has been reported so far. However, here we reveal the existence of fine-grained somatotopy for nociceptive inputs to the digits in human primary somatosensory cortex (SI). Using painful nociceptive-selective laser stimuli to the hand, and phase-encoded fMRI analysis methods, we observed somatotopic maps of the digits in contralateral SI. These nociceptive maps were highly aligned with maps of non-painful tactile stimuli, suggesting comparable cortical representations for, and possible interactions between, mechanoreceptive and nociceptive signals. Our findings may also be valuable for future studies tracking the timecourse and the spatial pattern of plastic changes in cortical organization involved in chronic pain. PMID:23197708

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Induction of transcription factors in somatosensory cortex after tactile stimulation.

    PubMed

    Mack, K J; Mack, P A

    1992-01-01

    Immediate early response genes have been shown to be inducible in the central nervous system after a variety of stimuli. Induction of these transcription factors in cerebral cortex by a physiological stimulus had not previously been demonstrated. In this study, tactile stimuli induced multiple transcription factors in the somatosensory cortex. Adult male rats were lightly anesthetized with urethane. Tactile stimuli was delivered by a paint brush gently stroking an animals whiskers on one side of its face for a 15 min period. Two h later, the animals were sacrificed. Cortex contralateral to the stimulation was compared with ipsilateral cortex using antibodies raised against immediate early response gene products NGFI-A, NGFI-B, and c-fos. The different transcription factors showed slightly different patterns of response to the tactile stimulus. However, the induction of immunohistochemical staining was most prominent in layer 4 with all antibodies under study. This increase in the number of cell bodies stained was less robust than that seen in the somatosensory cortex after a seizure, and showed more of a predominance in layer 4 cells. These data demonstrate that physiologic stimulation can induce immediate early response genes in cortical cells, and that multiple immediate early response genes react to a stimulus. PMID:1312199

  9. Human task-specific somatosensory activation.

    PubMed

    Ginsberg, M D; Yoshii, F; Vibulsresth, S; Chang, J Y; Duara, R; Barker, W W; Boothe, T E

    1987-08-01

    We used positron emission tomography to study normal patterns of local cortical metabolic activation induced by somatosensory stimuli. Palpation and sorting of mah-jongg tiles by textured design increased local glucose metabolic rate (lCMRgl), by 18% on average, in contralateral somatosensory cortex. A graphesthesia task gave a similar result. In contrast, vigorous vibrotactile stimulation of fingers, face, or knee did not produce a consistent focus of activation. Our results indicate that lCMRgl activation is best achieved by somatosensory tasks requiring an active perceptual effort.

  10. Illusory and veridical mapping of tactile objects in the primary somatosensory and posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Bufalari, Ilaria; Di Russo, Francesco; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2014-07-01

    While several behavioral and neuroscience studies have explored visual, auditory, and cross-modal illusions, information about the phenomenology and neural correlates of somatosensory illusions is meager. By combining psychophysics and somatosensory evoked potentials, we explored in healthy humans the neural correlates of 2 compelling tactuo-proprioceptive illusions, namely Aristotle (1 object touching the contact area between 2 crossed fingers is perceived as 2 lateral objects) and Reverse illusions (2 lateral objects are perceived as 1 between crossed-fingers object). These illusions likely occur because of the tactuo-proprioceptive conflict induced by fingers being crossed in a non-natural posture. We found that different regions in the somatosensory stream exhibit different proneness to the illusions. Early electroencephalographic somatosensory activity (at 20 ms) originating in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) reflects the phenomenal rather than the physical properties of the stimuli. Notably, later activity (around 200 ms) originating in the posterior parietal cortex is higher when subjects resist the illusions. Thus, while S1 activity is related to illusory perception, PPC acts as a conflict resolver that recodes tactile events from somatotopic to spatiotopic frames of reference and ultimately enables veridical perception. PMID:23438449

  11. Illusory and veridical mapping of tactile objects in the primary somatosensory and posterior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Bufalari, Ilaria; Di Russo, Francesco; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2014-07-01

    While several behavioral and neuroscience studies have explored visual, auditory, and cross-modal illusions, information about the phenomenology and neural correlates of somatosensory illusions is meager. By combining psychophysics and somatosensory evoked potentials, we explored in healthy humans the neural correlates of 2 compelling tactuo-proprioceptive illusions, namely Aristotle (1 object touching the contact area between 2 crossed fingers is perceived as 2 lateral objects) and Reverse illusions (2 lateral objects are perceived as 1 between crossed-fingers object). These illusions likely occur because of the tactuo-proprioceptive conflict induced by fingers being crossed in a non-natural posture. We found that different regions in the somatosensory stream exhibit different proneness to the illusions. Early electroencephalographic somatosensory activity (at 20 ms) originating in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) reflects the phenomenal rather than the physical properties of the stimuli. Notably, later activity (around 200 ms) originating in the posterior parietal cortex is higher when subjects resist the illusions. Thus, while S1 activity is related to illusory perception, PPC acts as a conflict resolver that recodes tactile events from somatotopic to spatiotopic frames of reference and ultimately enables veridical perception.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Seeing Is Not Feeling: Posterior Parietal But Not Somatosensory Cortex Engagement During Touch Observation

    PubMed Central

    Baker, Chris I.

    2015-01-01

    Observing touch has been reported to elicit activation in human primary and secondary somatosensory cortices and is suggested to underlie our ability to interpret other's behavior and potentially empathy. However, despite these reports, there are a large number of inconsistencies in terms of the precise topography of activation, the extent of hemispheric lateralization, and what aspects of the stimulus are necessary to drive responses. To address these issues, we investigated the localization and functional properties of regions responsive to observed touch in a large group of participants (n = 40). Surprisingly, even with a lenient contrast of hand brushing versus brushing alone, we did not find any selective activation for observed touch in the hand regions of somatosensory cortex but rather in superior and inferior portions of neighboring posterior parietal cortex, predominantly in the left hemisphere. These regions in the posterior parietal cortex required the presence of both brush and hand to elicit strong responses and showed some selectivity for the form of the object or agent of touch. Furthermore, the inferior parietal region showed nonspecific tactile and motor responses, suggesting some similarity to area PFG in the monkey. Collectively, our findings challenge the automatic engagement of somatosensory cortex when observing touch, suggest mislocalization in previous studies, and instead highlight the role of posterior parietal cortex. PMID:25632124

  15. Visual Responses of Neurons in Somatosensory Cortex of Hamsters with Experimentally Induced Retinal Projections to Somatosensory Thalamus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Metin, Christine; Frost, Douglas O.

    1989-01-01

    These experiments investigate the capacity of thalamic and cortical structures in a sensory system to process information of a modality normally associated with another system. Retinal ganglion cells in newborn Syrian hamsters were made to project permanently to the main thalamic somatosensory (ventrobasal) nucleus. When the animals were adults, single unit recordings were made in the somatosensory cortices, the principal targets of the ventrobasal nucleus. The somatosensory neurons responded to visual stimulation of distinct receptive fields, and their response properties resembled, in several characteristic features, those of normal visual cortical neurons. In the visual cortex of normal animals and the somatosensory cortex of operated animals, the same functional categories of neurons occurred in similar proportions, and the neurons' selectivity for the orientation or direction of movement of visual stimuli was comparable. These results suggest that thalamic nuclei or cortical areas at corresponding levels in the visual and somatosensory pathways perform similar transformations on their inputs.

  16. The importance of the negative blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) response in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Klingner, Carsten M; Brodoehl, Stefan; Witte, Otto W

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, multiple studies have shown task-induced negative blood-oxygenation-level-dependent responses (NBRs) in multiple brain regions in humans and animals. Converging evidence suggests that task-induced NBRs can be interpreted in terms of decreased neuronal activity. However, the vascular and metabolic dynamics and functional importance of the NBR are highly debated. Here, we review studies investigating the origin and functional importance of the NBR, with special attention to the somatosensory cortex. PMID:26057216

  17. Sensitivity to microstimulation of somatosensory cortex distributed over multiple electrodes.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sungshin; Callier, Thierri; Tabot, Gregg A; Tenore, Francesco V; Bensmaia, Sliman J

    2015-01-01

    Meaningful and repeatable tactile sensations can be evoked by electrically stimulating primary somatosensory cortex. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) may thus be a viable approach to restore the sense of touch in individuals who have lost it, for example tetraplegic patients. One of the potential limitations of this approach, however, is that high levels of current can damage the neuronal tissue if the resulting current densities are too high. The limited range of safe ICMS amplitudes thus limits the dynamic range of ICMS-evoked sensations. One way to get around this limitation would be to distribute the ICMS over multiple electrodes in the hopes of intensifying the resulting percept without increasing the current density experienced by the neuronal tissue. Here, we test whether stimulating through multiple electrodes is a viable solution to increase the dynamic range of ICMS-elicited sensations without increasing the peak current density. To this end, we compare the ability of non-human primates to detect ICMS delivered through one vs. multiple electrodes. We also compare their ability to discriminate pulse trains differing in amplitude when these are delivered through one or more electrodes. We find that increasing the number of electrodes through which ICMS is delivered only has a marginal effect on detectability or discriminability despite the fact that 2-4 times more current is delivered overall. Furthermore, the impact of multielectrode stimulation (or lack thereof) is found whether pulses are delivered synchronously or asynchronously, whether the leading phase of the pulses is cathodic or anodic, and regardless of the spatial configuration of the electrode groups. PMID:25914630

  18. Synaptic potentials evoked by convergent somatosensory and corticocortical inputs in raccoon somatosensory cortex: substrates for plasticity.

    PubMed

    Smits, E; Gordon, D C; Witte, S; Rasmusson, D D; Zarzecki, P

    1991-09-01

    1. "Unmasking" of weak synaptic connections has been suggested as a mechanism for the early changes in cortical topographic maps that follow alterations of sensory activity. For such a mechanism to operate, convergent sensory inputs must already exist in the normal cortex. 2. We tested for topographic and cross-modality convergence in primary somatosensory cortex of raccoon. The representation of glabrous skin of forepaw digits was chosen because, even though it is dominated by inputs from the glabrous skin of a single digit, it nevertheless comes to respond to stimulation of other digits when, e.g., a digit is removed. 3. Intracellular recordings were made from 109 neurons in the representation of glabrous skin of digit 4. Neurons were tested for somatosensory inputs with electrical and natural stimulation of digits. 4. Excitatory postsynaptic potentials (EPSPs) were evoked in 100% of the neurons (109/109) by electrical stimulation of glabrous skin of digit 4, and in 79% (31 of 39) by vibrotactile stimulation. 5. Glabrous skin of digit 4 was not the sole source of somatosensory inputs. A minority of neurons generated EPSPs after electrical stimulation of hairy skin of digit 4 (10 of 98 neurons, 10%). Electrical stimulation of digits 3 or 5 evoked EPSPs in 22 of 103 neurons (21%). Natural stimulation (vibrotactile or hair bending) was also effective in most of these latter cases (digit 3, 6/7; digit 5, 9/10). 6. Intracortical microstimulation of the "heterogeneous zone" was used to test for corticocortical connections to neurons in the glabrous zone.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:1753280

  19. Population analysis of single neurons in cat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Warren, R A; Dykes, R W

    1992-01-01

    Single neurons in the somatosensory cortex are divisible into a population with receptive fields and a population without receptive fields. These two populations display different laminar distributions, and their respective functions are unknown. We compared other physiological characteristics of these two neuronal populations in an attempt to understand why some neurons lack a receptive field. Only 23% of 465 neurons isolated in the somatosensory cortex of halothane-anesthetized cats displayed a cutaneous receptive field. The iontophoretic administration of glutamate uncovered input from the periphery in another 34% of the sample, leaving 43% of the neurons without evidence of peripheral input under these experimental conditions. Neurons with a receptive field were spontaneously active much more often than neurons lacking peripheral inputs, and their rates of discharge were higher. No differences were found between neurons having a receptive field uncovered with glutamate and those unaffected by glutamate. In all classes of neurons, those cells with spontaneous activity were excited by smaller amounts of glutamate than were silent neurons, but sensitivity to glutamate was not correlated with the presence or absence of a receptive field. We infer that some classes of somatosensory cortical neurons receive strong thalamocortical inputs, whereas others have only relatively weak or no thalamocortical connections. In other experiments we have shown also that those neurons lacking a receptive field and/or spontaneous activity were more likely to be plastic than those with stronger inputs (see Warren and Dykes, 1993a,b), suggesting that neurons having weaker afferent inputs can be more readily modified under certain circumstances. PMID:1362827

  20. Decoding Visual Object Categories in Early Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Fraser W.; Goodale, Melvyn A.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons, even in the earliest sensory areas of cortex, are subject to a great deal of contextual influence from both within and across modality connections. In the present work, we investigated whether the earliest regions of somatosensory cortex (S1 and S2) would contain content-specific information about visual object categories. We reasoned that this might be possible due to the associations formed through experience that link different sensory aspects of a given object. Participants were presented with visual images of different object categories in 2 fMRI experiments. Multivariate pattern analysis revealed reliable decoding of familiar visual object category in bilateral S1 (i.e., postcentral gyri) and right S2. We further show that this decoding is observed for familiar but not unfamiliar visual objects in S1. In addition, whole-brain searchlight decoding analyses revealed several areas in the parietal lobe that could mediate the observed context effects between vision and somatosensation. These results demonstrate that even the first cortical stages of somatosensory processing carry information about the category of visually presented familiar objects. PMID:24122136

  1. Convergence of sensory inputs upon projection neurons of somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Zarzecki, P; Wiggin, D M

    1982-01-01

    Cortico-cortical neurons and pyramidal tract neurons of the cat were tested for convergent inputs from forelimb afferents. Neurons were recorded in cortical areas 1, 2, and 3a. Consideration was given to both suprathreshold and subthreshold inputs evoked by electrical stimulation of forelimb nerves. Individual cortico-cortical neurons and also pyramidal tract neurons were characterized by convergence of multiple somatosensory inputs from different regions of skin, from several muscle groups, and between group I deep afferents and low threshold cutaneous afferents. Certain patterns of afferent input varied with cytoarchitectonic area. There was, however, no difference between area 3a and areas 1-2 in the incidence of cross-modality convergence in the form of input from cutaneous and also deep nerves. Many of the inputs were subthreshold. Arguments are presented that these inputs, though subthreshold, must be considered for a role in cortical information processing. The convergent nature of the sensory inputs is discussed in relation to the proposed specificities of cortical columns. The patterns of afferent inputs reaching cortico-cortical neurons seem to be appropriate for them to have a role in the formation of sensory fields of motor cortex neurons. PT neurons of somatosensory cortex have possible roles as modifiers of ascending sensory systems, however, the convergent input which these PT neurons receive argues against a simple relationship between the modality of peripheral stimuli influencing them and the modality of the ascending tract neurons under their descending control. PMID:7140889

  2. Spine loss in primary somatosensory cortex during trace eyeblink conditioning.

    PubMed

    Joachimsthaler, Bettina; Brugger, Dominik; Skodras, Angelos; Schwarz, Cornelius

    2015-03-01

    Classical conditioning that involves mnemonic processing, that is, a "trace" period between conditioned and unconditioned stimulus, requires awareness of the association to be formed and is considered a simple model paradigm for declarative learning. Barrel cortex, the whisker representation of primary somatosensory cortex, is required for the learning of a tactile variant of trace eyeblink conditioning (TTEBC) and undergoes distinct map plasticity during learning. To investigate the cellular mechanism underpinning TTEBC and concurrent map plasticity, we used two-photon imaging of dendritic spines in barrel cortex of awake mice while being conditioned. Monitoring layer 5 neurons' apical dendrites in layer 1, we show that one cellular expression of barrel cortex plasticity is a substantial spine count reduction of ∼15% of the dendritic spines present before learning. The number of eliminated spines and their time of elimination are tightly related to the learning success. Moreover, spine plasticity is highly specific for the principal barrel column receiving the main signals from the stimulated vibrissa. Spines located in other columns, even those directly adjacent to the principal column, are unaffected. Because layer 1 spines integrate signals from associative thalamocortical circuits, their column-specific elimination suggests that this spine plasticity may be the result of an association of top-down signals relevant for declarative learning and spatially precise ascending tactile signals.

  3. Microglia contact induces synapse formation in developing somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Miyamoto, Akiko; Wake, Hiroaki; Ishikawa, Ayako Wendy; Eto, Kei; Shibata, Keisuke; Murakoshi, Hideji; Koizumi, Schuichi; Moorhouse, Andrew J.; Yoshimura, Yumiko; Nabekura, Junichi

    2016-01-01

    Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system that play important roles in brain pathologies. Microglia also help shape neuronal circuits during development, via phagocytosing weak synapses and regulating neurogenesis. Using in vivo multiphoton imaging of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the developing somatosensory cortex, we demonstrate here that microglial contact with dendrites directly induces filopodia formation. This filopodia formation occurs only around postnatal day 8–10, a period of intense synaptogenesis and when microglia have an activated phenotype. Filopodia formation is preceded by contact-induced Ca2+ transients and actin accumulation. Inhibition of microglia by genetic ablation decreases subsequent spine density, functional excitatory synapses and reduces the relative connectivity from layer 4 neurons. Our data provide the direct demonstration of microglial-induced spine formation and provide further insights into immune system regulation of neuronal circuit development, with potential implications for developmental disorders of immune and brain dysfunction. PMID:27558646

  4. Sharing social touch in the primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  5. Endocannabinoid modulation of hyperaemia evoked by physiologically relevant stimuli in the rat primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Ho, W-SV; Patel, S; Thompson, JR; Roberts, CJ; Stuhr, KL; Hillard, CJ

    2010-01-01

    Background and purpose: In vitro studies demonstrate that cannabinoid CB1 receptors subserve activity-dependent suppression of inhibition in the neocortex. To examine this mechanism in vivo, we assessed the effects of local changes in CB1 receptor activity on somatosensory cortex neuronal activation by whisker movement in rats. Experimental approach: Laser Doppler flowmetry and c-Fos immunohistochemistry were used to measure changes in local blood flow and neuronal activation, respectively. All drugs were applied directly to the cranium above the whisker barrel fields of the primary somatosensory cortex. Key results: The CB1 receptor agonist WIN55212-2 potentiated the hyperaemia induced by whisker movement and this potentiation was occluded by bicuculline. The CB1 receptor antagonists, rimonabant and AM251, inhibited hyperaemic responses to whisker movement; indicating that activation of endogenous CB1 receptors increased during whisker movement. Whisker movement-induced expression of c-Fos protein in neurons of the whisker barrel cortex was inhibited by rimonabant. Movement of the whiskers increased the 2-arachidonoylglycerol content in the contralateral, compared to the ipsilateral, sensory cortex. Conclusions and implications: These results support the hypothesis that endocannabinoid signalling is recruited during physiologically relevant activation of the sensory cortex. These data support the hypothesis that the primary effect of CB1 receptor activation within the activated whisker barrel cortex is to inhibit GABA release, resulting in disinhibition of neuronal activation. These studies provide physiological data involving endocannabinoid signalling in activity-dependent regulation of neuronal activation and provide a mechanistic basis for the effects of cannabis use on sensory processing in humans. This article is part of a themed issue on Cannabinoids. To view the editorial for this themed issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.00831.x PMID

  6. Four-dimensional maps of the human somatosensory system

    PubMed Central

    Avanzini, Pietro; Abdollahi, Rouhollah O.; Sartori, Ivana; Caruana, Fausto; Pelliccia, Veronica; Casaceli, Giuseppe; Mai, Roberto; Lo Russo, Giorgio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Orban, Guy A.

    2016-01-01

    A fine-grained description of the spatiotemporal dynamics of human brain activity is a major goal of neuroscientific research. Limitations in spatial and temporal resolution of available noninvasive recording and imaging techniques have hindered so far the acquisition of precise, comprehensive four-dimensional maps of human neural activity. The present study combines anatomical and functional data from intracerebral recordings of nearly 100 patients, to generate highly resolved four-dimensional maps of human cortical processing of nonpainful somatosensory stimuli. These maps indicate that the human somatosensory system devoted to the hand encompasses a widespread network covering more than 10% of the cortical surface of both hemispheres. This network includes phasic components, centered on primary somatosensory cortex and neighboring motor, premotor, and inferior parietal regions, and tonic components, centered on opercular and insular areas, and involving human parietal rostroventral area and ventral medial-superior-temporal area. The technique described opens new avenues for investigating the neural basis of all levels of cortical processing in humans. PMID:26976579

  7. Four-dimensional maps of the human somatosensory system.

    PubMed

    Avanzini, Pietro; Abdollahi, Rouhollah O; Sartori, Ivana; Caruana, Fausto; Pelliccia, Veronica; Casaceli, Giuseppe; Mai, Roberto; Lo Russo, Giorgio; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Orban, Guy A

    2016-03-29

    A fine-grained description of the spatiotemporal dynamics of human brain activity is a major goal of neuroscientific research. Limitations in spatial and temporal resolution of available noninvasive recording and imaging techniques have hindered so far the acquisition of precise, comprehensive four-dimensional maps of human neural activity. The present study combines anatomical and functional data from intracerebral recordings of nearly 100 patients, to generate highly resolved four-dimensional maps of human cortical processing of nonpainful somatosensory stimuli. These maps indicate that the human somatosensory system devoted to the hand encompasses a widespread network covering more than 10% of the cortical surface of both hemispheres. This network includes phasic components, centered on primary somatosensory cortex and neighboring motor, premotor, and inferior parietal regions, and tonic components, centered on opercular and insular areas, and involving human parietal rostroventral area and ventral medial-superior-temporal area. The technique described opens new avenues for investigating the neural basis of all levels of cortical processing in humans. PMID:26976579

  8. Interhemispheric connections of the somatosensory cortex in the rabbit.

    PubMed

    Ledoux, M S; Whitworth, R H; Gould, H J

    1987-04-01

    Corpus callosal connections of somatosensory cortex were studied in rabbits by combining anatomical tracing and electrophysiological mapping in the same animals. The results show that callosal connections are unevenly distributed in SI and SII. In SI, the representations of all body surfaces caudal to the neck and midline structures of the head have dense callosal connections. Conversely, connections are sparse to absent within representations of laterally positioned surfaces of the head, such as the sinus hairs, vibrissae, and nonmidline portions of the lips. Almost all of SII has dense callosal connections; only the representations of the vibrissae and sinus hairs have moderate callosal connections. The laminar distribution of callosal connections in rabbit SI and SII is similar to that observed in other mammals. Callosal terminations extend from the inner portion of layer I to the outer portion of layer VI, are moderately denser in the supragranular layers, and are sparse in layer IV. Callosally projecting cells are found predominantly in layers II, III, and V and are sparse in layers IV and VI. These data further emphasize the direct correspondence between the pattern of callosal connections in SI and the functional importance of particular body surfaces. Hence, representations of body surfaces important in the exploration of the environment are relatively free of callosal connections, whereas representations of midline and more lateral surfaces, less significant in tactile exploration, receive dense callosal connections. Callosal connections in rabbits are distributed extensively throughout responsive koniocortical regions rather than being relegated to distinct, specialized regions of "unresponsive" dysgranular cortex as in rodents.

  9. Magnetometry of evoked fields from human peripheral nerve, brachial plexus and primary somatosensory cortex using a liquid nitrogen cooled superconducting quantum interference device.

    PubMed

    Curio, G; Drung, D; Koch, H; Müller, W; Steinhoff, U; Trahms, L; Shen, Y Q; Vase, P; Freltoft, T

    1996-03-15

    Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) can be used to detect neuromagnetic fields evoked in the peripheral and central nervous system. Up to now, such measurements had to be based on SQUIDs with a low critical temperature (Tc) requiring liquid helium cooling. Recent improvements in high-Tc SQUID technology relying on liquid nitrogen cooling led to a significant reduction in the system's noise level. Hare, first high-Tc recordings of weak neuromagnetic fields are demonstrated. In particular, along the entire somatosensory afferent pathway including peripheral nerves, brachial plexus and primary somatosensory neocortex evoked neuromagnetic activities were detected using conventional recording parameters for bandwidth and number of averages. This opens up a wide perspective for cost-effective high-Tc magnetometry in clinical neuroscience.

  10. Beta 2-adrenergic receptors are colocalized and coregulated with "whisker barrels" in rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Vos, P; Kaufmann, D; Hand, P J; Wolfe, B B

    1990-01-01

    Autoradiography has been used to visualize independently the subtypes of beta-adrenergic receptors in rat somatosensory cortex. Beta 2-Adrenergic receptors, but not beta 1-adrenergic receptors colocalize with "whisker barrels" in this tissue. Thus, each whisker sends a specific multisynaptic pathway to the somatosensory cortex that can be histochemically visualized and only one subtype of beta-adrenergic receptor is specifically associated with this cortical representation. Additionally, neonatal lesion of any or all of the whisker follicles results in loss of the corresponding barrel(s) as shown by histochemical markers. This loss is paralleled by a similar loss in the organization of beta 2-adrenergic receptors in the somatosensory cortex. Other results indicate that these beta 2-adrenergic receptors are not involved in moment-to-moment signal transmission in this pathway and, additionally, are not involved in a gross way in the development of whisker-barrel array. Images PMID:2164222

  11. The assessment of somatosensory cortex plasticity during sleep deprivation by paired associative stimulation.

    PubMed

    Gorgoni, Maurizio; Ferlazzo, Fabio; D'Atri, Aurora; Lauri, Giulia; Ferrara, Michele; Rossini, Paolo Maria; De Gennaro, Luigi

    2015-01-01

    Many animal studies suggest that during sleep deprivation (SD) synaptic strength should progressively increase, leading to the saturation of the ability to induce long-term potentiation (LTP). Nevertheless, direct evidences about the effects of sustained wakefulness on cortical plasticity in humans are still lacking. The aim of the present study was to assess changes in the ability to induce LTP-like mechanism in humans during a period of SD by means of a paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol, which combines median nerve stimulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) applied over the contralateral somatosensory cortex. During a 41-h SD protocol, 16 healthy subjects, defined as responders to the PAS protocol after a pre-selection session, were involved in 4 experimental sessions (11.00 a.m. and 11.00 p.m. of first and second day) with: a) pre-PAS somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) recordings; b) PAS protocol; c) post-PAS SEPs recordings. The effect of PAS on SEPs early components (N20-P25 complex) was assessed. During the first experimental session (without SD) no significant PAS effects on SEPs components amplitude have been found, and large intra- and inter-individual variability have been observed. A lack of significant changes has been observed also in the subsequent sessions. Our results index a low intra- and inter-individual reliability of the PAS protocol, suggesting particular caution when longitudinally evaluating the effect of this technique on cortical plasticity. PMID:26742665

  12. Distinct vestibular effects on early and late somatosensory cortical processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Christian; van Elk, Michiel; Bernasconi, Fosco; Blanke, Olaf

    2016-01-15

    In non-human primates several brain areas contain neurons that respond to both vestibular and somatosensory stimulation. In humans, vestibular stimulation activates several somatosensory brain regions and improves tactile perception. However, less is known about the spatio-temporal dynamics of such vestibular-somatosensory interactions in the human brain. To address this issue, we recorded high-density electroencephalography during left median nerve electrical stimulation to obtain Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs). We analyzed SEPs during vestibular activation following sudden decelerations from constant-velocity (90°/s and 60°/s) earth-vertical axis yaw rotations and SEPs during a non-vestibular control period. SEP analysis revealed two distinct temporal effects of vestibular activation: An early effect (28-32ms post-stimulus) characterized by vestibular suppression of SEP response strength that depended on rotation velocity and a later effect (97-112ms post-stimulus) characterized by vestibular modulation of SEP topographical pattern that was rotation velocity-independent. Source estimation localized these vestibular effects, during both time periods, to activation differences in a distributed cortical network including the right postcentral gyrus, right insula, left precuneus, and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortex. These results suggest that vestibular-somatosensory interactions in humans depend on processing in specific time periods in somatosensory and vestibular cortical regions.

  13. Distinct vestibular effects on early and late somatosensory cortical processing in humans.

    PubMed

    Pfeiffer, Christian; van Elk, Michiel; Bernasconi, Fosco; Blanke, Olaf

    2016-01-15

    In non-human primates several brain areas contain neurons that respond to both vestibular and somatosensory stimulation. In humans, vestibular stimulation activates several somatosensory brain regions and improves tactile perception. However, less is known about the spatio-temporal dynamics of such vestibular-somatosensory interactions in the human brain. To address this issue, we recorded high-density electroencephalography during left median nerve electrical stimulation to obtain Somatosensory Evoked Potentials (SEPs). We analyzed SEPs during vestibular activation following sudden decelerations from constant-velocity (90°/s and 60°/s) earth-vertical axis yaw rotations and SEPs during a non-vestibular control period. SEP analysis revealed two distinct temporal effects of vestibular activation: An early effect (28-32ms post-stimulus) characterized by vestibular suppression of SEP response strength that depended on rotation velocity and a later effect (97-112ms post-stimulus) characterized by vestibular modulation of SEP topographical pattern that was rotation velocity-independent. Source estimation localized these vestibular effects, during both time periods, to activation differences in a distributed cortical network including the right postcentral gyrus, right insula, left precuneus, and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortex. These results suggest that vestibular-somatosensory interactions in humans depend on processing in specific time periods in somatosensory and vestibular cortical regions. PMID:26466979

  14. Functional assays of local connectivity in the somatosensory cortex of individuals with autism.

    PubMed

    Coskun, Mehmet Akif; Loveland, Katherine A; Pearson, Deborah A; Papanicolaou, Andrew C; Sheth, Bhavin R

    2013-06-01

    Emerging evidence for differences between individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and neurotypical (NT) individuals in somatic processing and brain response to touch suggests somatosensory cortex as a promising substrate for elucidating differences in functional brain connectivity between individuals with and without autism. Signals from adjacent digits project to neighboring locations or representations in somatosensory cortex. When a digit is stimulated, i.e. touched, its representation in cortex is directly activated; local intracortical connections indirectly activate nonprimary cortical representations corresponding to adjacent digits. The response of the nonprimary cortical representations is thus a proxy for connection strength. Local overconnectivity in autism implies that the nonprimary/primary response ratios of the ASD group will be higher than those of the NT group. D1 and D2 of the dominant hand of the participant were individually stimulated while we recorded neural responses using magnetoencephalography. The cortical representations of D1 and D2 (somatosensory-evoked fields) were computed from the ensemble-averaged data using (a) dipole model fits and (b) singular value decomposition. Individual adjacent/primary response ratios were measured, and group response ratio data were fitted with straight lines. Local overconnectivity in autism implies steeper ASD vs. NT group slopes. Our findings did not support local overconnectivity. Slopes were found to be significantly shallower for the ASD group than the NT group. Our findings support the idea of local underconnectivity in the somatosensory cortex of the brains of individuals with ASD. PMID:23427110

  15. [The cerebral control of the somatosensory and auditory afferent projections to the cerebral cortex in man and animals].

    PubMed

    Liubimov, N N; Orlova, T V; Liubimov, S N

    1998-01-01

    The main purpose of the present paper was consisted in studying of topology (spreading) of the somatosensory and auditory projections in cortex of both brain hemispheres in humans under different functional states conditions: during quiet walking state and during realization of the meditative programme. At the same time for the purpose of verification these steering mechanisms a number of experiments were realized in animals with neurosurgical cutting of brainstem ascending projections, which control the transfer of somatosensory and auditory sensibility. Experimental study was realized with two groups of subjects--8 subjects (age from 25 to 35 years old) and 25 (age from 25 to 40 years old) subjects practicing technique of Transcendental Meditation (TM). In addition to the mentioned above group some groups of animals were used in the experiments. Among them there were used the groups of monkeys (8 macaque rhesus and macaque nemestrina) and cats (10 animals) in conditions of acute experiment, under tiopenthal anesthesia. Two experimental methods were used in the study: electrophysiological for subjects and neurosurgical, additionally for animals. For evaluation of the brain reactivity in subjects registration of the somatosensory, to median nerve stimulation, and auditory, to bilateral application of auditory clicks, evoked potentials (EPs) in the symmetrical cortical structures of the brain was used. Registration of the somatosensory and auditory evoked potentials in animals was realized not only from the cortex, but from the brainstem somatosensory and auditory structures. SSEP in subjects-meditators were registered before and during meditation programme. In animals SSEP and AEP registration on the corresponding stimuli realized before and after neurosurgical operation--section of the midbrain tegmentum. Specific alterations of the early (up to 80 ms) and late components SSEP and AEP complexes in forms of topology spreading and diminution of registration areas of

  16. Metaphorically Feeling: Comprehending Textural Metaphors Activates Somatosensory Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lacey, Simon; Stilla, Randall; Sathian, K.

    2012-01-01

    Conceptual metaphor theory suggests that knowledge is structured around metaphorical mappings derived from physical experience. Segregated processing of object properties in sensory cortex allows testing of the hypothesis that metaphor processing recruits activity in domain-specific sensory cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging…

  17. Disordered plasticity in the primary somatosensory cortex in focal hand dystonia.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Yohei; Ueki, Yoshino; Lin, Peter; Vorbach, Sherry; Mima, Tatsuya; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Hallett, Mark

    2009-03-01

    Interventional paired associative stimulation (PAS) can induce plasticity in the cortex, and this plasticity was previously shown to be disordered in the primary motor cortex in focal hand dystonia (FHD). This study aimed to test whether associative plasticity is abnormal in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in FHD and whether PAS modulates excitatory or inhibitory interneurons within the cortex. Ten FHD patients and 10 healthy volunteers were studied. We investigated the changes in single- and double-pulse somatosensory-evoked potentials before and after PAS, which consisted of peripheral electrical nerve stimulation and subsequent transcranial magnetic stimulation over S1. Four sessions of somatosensory-evoked potentials recordings were performed: before PAS, and immediately, 15 and 30 min after PAS. We compared the time course of the somatosensory-evoked potentials between the FHD and healthy groups. In the single-pulse condition, the P27 amplitudes were significantly higher in FHD immediately after PAS than before PAS, while no changes were observed in healthy subjects. In the double-pulse condition, significant differences in the suppression ratio of P27 were found immediately after and 15 min after PAS, while there were no significant differences in healthy subjects. The P27 suppression tended to normalize toward the level of the healthy volunteer group. In FHD, PAS transiently induced an abnormal increase in excitability in S1. In addition, intracortical inhibition in S1 was found to increase as well. This abnormal plasticity of the intracortical neurons in S1 may contribute to the pathophysiology of dystonia. PMID:19151081

  18. Cross-sectional imaging of functional activation in the rat somatosensory cortex with optical coherence tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aguirre, A. D.; Chen, Y.; Ruvinskaya, L.; Devor, A.; Boas, D. A.; Fujimoto, J. G.

    2005-08-01

    Simultaneous optical coherence tomography (OCT) and video microscopy were performed on the rat somatosensory cortex through a thinned skull during forepaw stimulation. Fractional change measurements in OCT images reveal a functional signal timecourse similar to well understood hemodynamic signal timecourses measured with video microscopy. The precise etiology of the observed OCT functional signal is still under investigation, but these results suggest that OCT can provide high-resolution cross-sectional images of functional neuro-vascular activation.

  19. Somatosensory brainstem, thalamus, and cortex of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Eva K; Turner, Emily C; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-06-15

    Pinnipeds (sea lions, seals, and walruses) are notable for many reasons, including their ape-sized brains, their adaptation to a coastal niche that combines mastery of the sea with strong ties to land, and the remarkable abilities of their trigeminal whisker system. However, little is known about the central nervous system of pinnipeds. Here we report on the somatosensory areas of the nervous system of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Using stains for Nissl, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters, we investigated the primary somatosensory areas in the brainstem, thalamus, and cortex in one sea lion pup and the external anatomy of the brain in a second pup. We find that the sea lion's impressive array of whiskers is matched by a large trigeminal representation in the brainstem with well-defined parcellation that resembles the barrelettes found in rodents but scaled upward in size. The dorsal column nuclei are large and distinct. The ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus has divisions, with a large area for the presumptive head representation. Primary somatosensory cortex is located in the neocortex just anterior to the main vertical fissure, and precisely locating it as we do here is useful for comparing the highly gyrified pinniped cortex with that of other carnivores. To our knowledge this work is the first comprehensive report on the central nervous system areas for any sensory system in a pinniped. The results may be useful both in the veterinary setting and for comparative studies related to brain evolution. PMID:26878587

  20. Asymmetric Multisensory Interactions of Visual and Somatosensory Responses in a Region of the Rat Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lippert, Michael T.; Takagaki, Kentaroh

    2013-01-01

    Perception greatly benefits from integrating multiple sensory cues into a unified percept. To study the neural mechanisms of sensory integration, model systems are required that allow the simultaneous assessment of activity and the use of techniques to affect individual neural processes in behaving animals. While rodents qualify for these requirements, little is known about multisensory integration and areas involved for this purpose in the rodent. Using optical imaging combined with laminar electrophysiological recordings, the rat parietal cortex was identified as an area where visual and somatosensory inputs converge and interact. Our results reveal similar response patterns to visual and somatosensory stimuli at the level of current source density (CSD) responses and multi-unit responses within a strip in parietal cortex. Surprisingly, a selective asymmetry was observed in multisensory interactions: when the somatosensory response preceded the visual response, supra-linear summation of CSD was observed, but the reverse stimulus order resulted in sub-linear effects in the CSD. This asymmetry was not present in multi-unit activity however, which showed consistently sub-linear interactions. These interactions were restricted to a specific temporal window, and pharmacological tests revealed significant local intra-cortical contributions to this phenomenon. Our results highlight the rodent parietal cortex as a system to model the neural underpinnings of multisensory processing in behaving animals and at the cellular level. PMID:23667650

  1. Somatosensory brainstem, thalamus, and cortex of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus).

    PubMed

    Sawyer, Eva K; Turner, Emily C; Kaas, Jon H

    2016-06-15

    Pinnipeds (sea lions, seals, and walruses) are notable for many reasons, including their ape-sized brains, their adaptation to a coastal niche that combines mastery of the sea with strong ties to land, and the remarkable abilities of their trigeminal whisker system. However, little is known about the central nervous system of pinnipeds. Here we report on the somatosensory areas of the nervous system of the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus). Using stains for Nissl, cytochrome oxidase, and vesicular glutamate transporters, we investigated the primary somatosensory areas in the brainstem, thalamus, and cortex in one sea lion pup and the external anatomy of the brain in a second pup. We find that the sea lion's impressive array of whiskers is matched by a large trigeminal representation in the brainstem with well-defined parcellation that resembles the barrelettes found in rodents but scaled upward in size. The dorsal column nuclei are large and distinct. The ventral posterior nucleus of the thalamus has divisions, with a large area for the presumptive head representation. Primary somatosensory cortex is located in the neocortex just anterior to the main vertical fissure, and precisely locating it as we do here is useful for comparing the highly gyrified pinniped cortex with that of other carnivores. To our knowledge this work is the first comprehensive report on the central nervous system areas for any sensory system in a pinniped. The results may be useful both in the veterinary setting and for comparative studies related to brain evolution.

  2. Alteration of digital representations in somatosensory cortex in focal hand dystonia.

    PubMed

    Elbert, T; Candia, V; Altenmüller, E; Rau, H; Sterr, A; Rockstroh, B; Pantev, C; Taub, E

    1998-11-16

    Focal hand dystonia involves a loss of motor control of one or more digits; it is associated with the repetitive, synchronous movements of the digits made by musicians over periods of many years. Magnetic source imaging revealed that there is a smaller distance (fusion) between the representations of the digits in somatosensory cortex for the affected hand of dystonic musicians than for the hands of non-musician control subjects. The data suggest that use-dependent susceptibility to digital representation fusion in cortex may be involved in the etiology of focal dystonia. A successful therapy for the condition has been developed based on this consideration.

  3. Functional deficits in carpal tunnel syndrome reflect reorganization of primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kettner, Norman; Holden, Jameson; Lee, Jeungchan; Kim, Jieun; Cina, Stephen; Malatesta, Cristina; Gerber, Jessica; McManus, Claire; Im, Jaehyun; Libby, Alexandra; Mezzacappa, Pia; Morse, Leslie R.; Park, Kyungmo; Audette, Joseph; Tommerdahl, Mark; Napadow, Vitaly

    2014-01-01

    Carpal tunnel syndrome, a median nerve entrapment neuropathy, is characterized by sensorimotor deficits. Recent reports have shown that this syndrome is also characterized by functional and structural neuroplasticity in the primary somatosensory cortex of the brain. However, the linkage between this neuroplasticity and the functional deficits in carpal tunnel syndrome is unknown. Sixty-three subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome aged 20–60 years and 28 age- and sex-matched healthy control subjects were evaluated with event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T while vibrotactile stimulation was delivered to median nerve innervated (second and third) and ulnar nerve innervated (fifth) digits. For each subject, the interdigit cortical separation distance for each digit’s contralateral primary somatosensory cortex representation was assessed. We also evaluated fine motor skill performance using a previously validated psychomotor performance test (maximum voluntary contraction and visuomotor pinch/release testing) and tactile discrimination capacity using a four-finger forced choice response test. These biobehavioural and clinical metrics were evaluated and correlated with the second/third interdigit cortical separation distance. Compared with healthy control subjects, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated reduced second/third interdigit cortical separation distance (P < 0.05) in contralateral primary somatosensory cortex, corroborating our previous preliminary multi-modal neuroimaging findings. For psychomotor performance testing, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated reduced maximum voluntary contraction pinch strength (P < 0.01) and a reduced number of pinch/release cycles per second (P < 0.05). Additionally, for four-finger forced-choice testing, subjects with carpal tunnel syndrome demonstrated greater response time (P < 0.05), and reduced sensory discrimination accuracy (P < 0.001) for median nerve, but not ulnar nerve

  4. Altered somatosensory barrel cortex refinement in the developing brain of Mecp2-null mice.

    PubMed

    Moroto, M; Nishimura, A; Morimoto, M; Isoda, K; Morita, T; Yoshida, M; Morioka, S; Tozawa, T; Hasegawa, T; Chiyonobu, T; Yoshimoto, K; Hosoi, H

    2013-11-01

    Rett syndrome (RTT) is a neurodevelopmental disorder caused by mutations in the methyl-CpG binding protein 2 (MeCP2) gene. In previous studies, monoaminergic dysfunctions have been detected in patients with RTT and in a murine model of RTT, the Mecp2-null mouse. Therefore, the pathogenesis of RTT is thought to involve impairments in the monoaminergic systems. However, there have been limited data showing that the impairment of monoamines leads to early symptoms during development. We used histochemistry to study the somatosensory barrel cortex in the B6.129P2(C)-Mecp2(tm1.1Bird) mouse model of RTT. The barrel cortex is widely used to investigate neuronal development and its regulation by various neurotransmitters including 5-HT. 5-HT levels were measured by high performance liquid chromatography with electrochemical detection (HPLC/EC), and serotonin transporter (SERT) and 5-HT1B receptor mRNAs were measured in the somatosensory cortex, thalamus and striatum on postnatal days (P) 10, P20 and P40. Mecp2-null mice (Mecp2-/y) had significantly smaller barrel fields than age-matched wild-type controls (Mecp2+/y) on P10 and P40, but the topographic map was accurately formed. Levels of 5-HT, and SERT and 5-HT1B receptor mRNA expression in the somatosensory cortex did not differ significantly between the Mecp2-null and wild-type mice on P10. However, thalamic 5-HT was reduced in Mecp2-null mice. Our data indicate that a lack of MeCP2 may disturb the refinement of the barrel cortex in the early postnatal period. Our findings suggest that a decrease in thalamic 5-HT might be involved in this phenomenon.

  5. Enhancement of the amplitude of somatosensory evoked potentials following magnetic pulse stimulation of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Seyal, M; Browne, J K; Masuoka, L K; Gabor, A J

    1993-01-01

    In this study we have demonstrated an enhancement of cortically generated wave forms of the somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) following magnetic pulse stimulation of the human brain. Subcortically generated activity was unaltered. The enhancement of SEP amplitude was greatest when the median nerve was stimulated 30-70 msec following magnetic pulse stimulation over the contralateral parietal scalp. We posit that the enhancement of the SEP is the result of synchronization of pyramidal cells in the sensorimotor cortex resulting from the magnetic pulse.

  6. The roles of primary somatosensory cortex in the coding of pain

    PubMed Central

    Vierck, Charles J.; Whitsel, Barry L.; Favorov, Oleg V.; Brown, Alexander W.; Tommerdahl, Mark

    2014-01-01

    The intensity and submodality of pain are widely attributed to stimulus encoding by peripheral and subcortical spinal/trigeminal portions of the somatosensory nervous system. Consistent with this interpretation are studies of surgically anesthetized animals, showing that relationships between nociceptive stimulation and activation of neurons are similar at subcortical levels of somatosensory projection and within the primary somatosensory cortex (in cytoarchitectural areas 3b and 1 of SI). Such findings have led to characterizations of SI as a network which preserves, rather than transforms, the excitatory drive it receives from subcortical levels. Inconsistent with this perspective are images and neurophysiological recordings of SI neurons in lightly anesthetized primates. These studies show that an extreme anterior position within SI (area 3a) receives input originating predominantly from unmyelinated nociceptors, distinguishing it from posterior SI (areas 3b and 1), long recognized as receiving input predominantly from myelinated afferents, including nociceptors. Of particular importance, interactions between these subregions during maintained nociceptive stimulation are accompanied by an altered SI response to myelinated and unmyelinated nociceptors. A revised view of pain coding within SI cortex is discussed, and potentially significant clinical implications are emphasized. PMID:23245864

  7. Amplitude and timing of somatosensory cortex activity in Task Specific Focal Hand Dystonia

    PubMed Central

    Dolberg, Rebecca; Hinkley, Leighton B. N.; Honma, Susanne; Zhu, Zhao; Findlay, Anne M.; Byl, Nancy N.; Nagarjan, Srikantan S.

    2011-01-01

    Objective Task-specific focal hand dystonia (tspFHD) is a movement disorder diagnosed in individuals performing repetitive hand behaviors. The extent to which processing anomalies in primary sensory cortex extend to other regions or across the two hemispheres is presently unclear. Methods In response to low/high rate and novel tactile stimuli on the affected and unaffected hands, magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to elaborate activity timing and amplitude in the primary somatosensory (S1) and secondary somatosensory/parietal ventral (S2/PV) cortices. MEG and clinical performance measures were collected from thirteen patients and matched controls. Results Compared to controls, subjects with tspFHD had increased response amplitude in S2/PV bilaterally in response to high rate and novel stimuli. Subjects with tspFHD also showed increased response latency (low rate, novel) of the affected digits in contralateral S1. For high rate, subjects with tspFHD showed increased response latency in ipsilateral S1 and S2/PV bilaterally. Activation differences correlated with functional sensory deficits (predicting a latency shift in S1), motor speed and muscle strength. Conclusions There are objective differences in the amplitude and timing of activity for both hands across contralateral and ipsilateral somatosensory cortex in patients with tspFHD. Significance Knowledge of cortical processing abnormalities across S1 and S2/PV in dystonia should be applied towards the development of learning based sensorimotor interventions. PMID:21802357

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Single-unit Analysis of Somatosensory Processing in Core Auditory Cortex of Hearing Ferrets

    PubMed Central

    Meredith, M. Alex; Allman, Brian L.

    2014-01-01

    The recent findings in several species that primary auditory cortex processes non-auditory information have largely overlooked the possibility for somatosensory effects. Therefore, the present investigation examined the core auditory cortices (anterior – AAF, and primary auditory-- A1, fields) for tactile responsivity. Multiple single-unit recordings from anesthetized ferret cortex yielded histologically verified neurons (n=311) tested with electronically controlled auditory, visual and tactile stimuli and their combinations. Of the auditory neurons tested, a small proportion (17%) was influenced by visual cues, but a somewhat larger number (23%) was affected by tactile stimulation. Tactile effects rarely occurred alone and spiking responses were observed in bimodal auditory-tactile neurons. However, the broadest tactile effect that was observed, which occurred in all neuron types, was that of suppression of the response to a concurrent auditory cue. The presence of tactile effects in core auditory cortices was supported by a substantial anatomical projection from the rostral suprasylvian sulcal somatosensory area. Collectively, these results demonstrate that crossmodal effects in auditory cortex are not exclusively visual and that somatosensation plays a significant role in modulation of acoustic processing and indicate that crossmodal plasticity following deafness may unmask these existing non-auditory functions. PMID:25728185

  10. Computational modeling of direct neuronal recruitment during intracortical microstimulation in somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Overstreet, C. K.; Klein, J. D.; Helms Tillery, S. I.

    2013-12-01

    Objective. Electrical stimulation of cortical tissue could be used to deliver sensory information as part of a neuroprosthetic device, but current control of the location, resolution, quality, and intensity of sensations elicited by intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) remains inadequate for this purpose. One major obstacle to resolving this problem is the poor understanding of the neural activity induced by ICMS. Even with new imaging methods, quantifying the activity of many individual neurons within cortex is difficult. Approach. We used computational modeling to examine the response of somatosensory cortex to ICMS. We modeled the axonal arbors of eight distinct morphologies of interneurons and seven types of pyramidal neurons found in somatosensory cortex and identified their responses to extracellular stimulation. We then combined these axonal elements to form a multi-layered slab of simulated cortex and investigated the patterns of neural activity directly induced by ICMS. Specifically we estimated the number, location, and variety of neurons directly recruited by stimulation on a single penetrating microelectrode. Main results. The population of neurons activated by ICMS was dependent on both stimulation strength and the depth of the electrode within cortex. Strikingly, stimulation recruited interneurons and pyramidal neurons in very different patterns. Interneurons are primarily recruited within a dense, continuous region around the electrode, while pyramidal neurons were recruited in a sparse fashion both near the electrode and up to several millimeters away. Thus ICMS can lead to an unexpectedly complex spatial distribution of firing neurons. Significance. These results lend new insights to the complexity and range of neural activity that can be induced by ICMS. This work also suggests mechanisms potentially responsible for the inconsistency and unnatural quality of sensations initiated by ICMS. Understanding these mechanisms will aid in the design of

  11. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche.

  12. Golgi Analysis of Neuron Morphology in the Presumptive Somatosensory Cortex and Visual Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Harland, Tessa; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C; Jacobs, Bob

    2016-01-01

    The current study investigates neuron morphology in presumptive primary somatosensory (S1) and primary visual (V1) cortices of the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris) as revealed by Golgi impregnation. Sirenians, including manatees, have an aquatic lifestyle, a large body size, and a relatively large lissencephalic brain. The present study examines neuron morphology in 3 cortical areas: in S1, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2) and in V1, dorsolateral cortex area 4 (DL4). Neurons exhibited a variety of morphological types, with pyramidal neurons being the most common. The large variety of neuron types present in the manatee cortex was comparable to that seen in other eutherian mammals, except for rodents and primates, where pyramid-shaped neurons predominate. A comparison between pyramidal neurons in S1 and V1 indicated relatively greater dendritic branching in S1. Across all 3 areas, the dendritic arborization pattern of pyramidal neurons was also similar to that observed previously in the afrotherian rock hyrax, cetartiodactyls, opossums, and echidnas but did not resemble the widely bifurcated dendrites seen in the large-brained African elephant. Despite adaptations for an aquatic environment, manatees did not share specific neuron types such as tritufted and star-like neurons that have been found in cetaceans. Manatees exhibit an evolutionarily primitive pattern of cortical neuron morphology shared with most other mammals and do not appear to have neuronal specializations for an aquatic niche. PMID:27166161

  13. Functional Reorganization of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex of a Phantom Limb Pain Patient.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Jia; Guo, Xiaoli; Xia, Xiaolei; Peng, Weiwei; Wang, Wuchao; Li, Shulin; Zhang, Ya; Hu, Li

    2016-07-01

    Functional reorganization of the somatosensory system was widely observed in phantom limb pain patients. Whereas some studies demonstrated that the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of the amputated limb was engaged with the regions around it, others showed that phantom limb pain was associated with preserved structure and functional organization in the former brain region. However, according to the law of use and disuse, the sensitivity of S1 of the amputated limb to pain-related context should be enhanced due to the adaptation to the long-lasting phantom limb pain experience. Here, we collected neurophysiological data from a patient with 21-year phantom limb pain using electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) techniques. EEG data showed that both laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) and tactile-evoked potentials (TEPs) were clearly presented only when radiant-heat laser pulses and electrical pulses were delivered to the shoulder of the healthy limb, but not of the amputated limb. This observation suggested the functional deficit of somatosensory pathways at the amputated side. FMRI data showed that significant larger brain activations by painful rather than non-painful stimuli in video clips were observed not only at visual-related brain areas and anterior/mid-cingulate cortex, but also at S1 contralateral to the amputated limb. This observation suggested the increased sensitivity of S1 of the amputated limb to the pain-related context. In addition, such increase of sensitivity was significantly larger if the context was associated with the amputated limb of the patient. In summary, our findings provided novel evidence for a possible neuroplasticity of S1 of the amputated limb: in an amputee with long-lasting phantom limb pain, the sensitivity of S1 to pain-related and amputated-limb-related context was greatly enhanced. PMID:27389122

  14. The reactivation of somatosensory cortex and behavioral recovery after sensory loss in mature primates

    PubMed Central

    Qi, Hui-Xin; Kaas, Jon H.; Reed, Jamie L.

    2014-01-01

    In our experiments, we removed a major source of activation of somatosensory cortex in mature monkeys by unilaterally sectioning the sensory afferents in the dorsal columns of the spinal cord at a high cervical level. At this level, the ascending branches of tactile afferents from the hand are cut, while other branches of these afferents remain intact to terminate on neurons in the dorsal horn of the spinal cord. Immediately after such a lesion, the monkeys seem relatively unimpaired in locomotion and often use the forelimb, but further inspection reveals that they prefer to use the unaffected hand in reaching for food. In addition, systematic testing indicates that they make more errors in retrieving pieces of food, and start using visual inspection of the rotated hand to confirm the success of the grasping of the food. Such difficulties are not surprising as a complete dorsal column lesion totally deactivates the contralateral hand representation in primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b). However, hand use rapidly improves over the first post-lesion weeks, and much of the hand representational territory in contralateral area 3b is reactivated by inputs from the hand in roughly a normal somatotopic pattern. Quantitative measures of single neuron response properties reveal that reactivated neurons respond to tactile stimulation on the hand with high firing rates and only slightly longer latencies. We conclude that preserved dorsal column afferents after nearly complete lesions contribute to the reactivation of cortex and the recovery of the behavior, but second-order sensory pathways in the spinal cord may also play an important role. Our microelectrode recordings indicate that these preserved first-order, and second-order pathways are initially weak and largely ineffective in activating cortex, but they are potentiated during the recovery process. Therapies that would promote this potentiation could usefully enhance recovery after spinal cord injury. PMID:24860443

  15. A Neural Field Model of the Somatosensory Cortex: Formation, Maintenance and Reorganization of Ordered Topographic Maps

    PubMed Central

    Detorakis, Georgios Is.; Rougier, Nicolas P.

    2012-01-01

    We investigate the formation and maintenance of ordered topographic maps in the primary somatosensory cortex as well as the reorganization of representations after sensory deprivation or cortical lesion. We consider both the critical period (postnatal) where representations are shaped and the post-critical period where representations are maintained and possibly reorganized. We hypothesize that feed-forward thalamocortical connections are an adequate site of plasticity while cortico-cortical connections are believed to drive a competitive mechanism that is critical for learning. We model a small skin patch located on the distal phalangeal surface of a digit as a set of 256 Merkel ending complexes (MEC) that feed a computational model of the primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b). This model is a two-dimensional neural field where spatially localized solutions (a.k.a. bumps) drive cortical plasticity through a Hebbian-like learning rule. Simulations explain the initial formation of ordered representations following repetitive and random stimulations of the skin patch. Skin lesions as well as cortical lesions are also studied and results confirm the possibility to reorganize representations using the same learning rule and depending on the type of the lesion. For severe lesions, the model suggests that cortico-cortical connections may play an important role in complete recovery. PMID:22808127

  16. Resting BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex correlate with tactile acuity.

    PubMed

    Haag, Lauren M; Heba, Stefanie; Lenz, Melanie; Glaubitz, Benjamin; Höffken, Oliver; Kalisch, Tobias; Puts, Nicholaas A; Edden, Richard A E; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-03-01

    Sensory perception, including 2-point discrimination (2 ptD), is tightly linked to cortical processing of tactile stimuli in primary somatosensory cortices. While the role of cortical activity in response to a tactile stimulus has been widely investigated, the role of baseline cortical activity is largely unknown. Using resting state fMRI we investigated the relationship between local BOLD fluctuations in the primary somatosensory cortex (the representational field of the hand) and 2 ptD of the corresponding index finger (right and left). Cortical activity was measured using fractional amplitudes of the low frequency BOLD fluctuations (fALFF) and synchronicity using regional homogeneity (ReHo) of the S1 hand region during rest. 2 ptD correlated with higher ReHo values in the representational areas of the contralateral S1 cortex (left hand: p = .028; right hand: p = .049). 2 ptD additionally correlated with higher fALFF in the representational area of the left hand (p = .007) and showed a trend for a significant correlation in the representational area of the right hand (p = .051). Thus, higher BOLD amplitudes and synchronicity at rest, as measures of cortical activity and synchronicity, respectively, are related to better tactile discrimination abilities of the contralateral hand. Our findings extend the relationship seen between spontaneous BOLD fluctuations and sensory perception.

  17. Pathway-specific reorganization of projection neurons in somatosensory cortex during learning.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jerry L; Margolis, David J; Stankov, Atanas; Sumanovski, Lazar T; Schneider, Bernard L; Helmchen, Fritjof

    2015-08-01

    In the mammalian brain, sensory cortices exhibit plasticity during task learning, but how this alters information transferred between connected cortical areas remains unknown. We found that divergent subpopulations of cortico-cortical neurons in mouse whisker primary somatosensory cortex (S1) undergo functional changes reflecting learned behavior. We chronically imaged activity of S1 neurons projecting to secondary somatosensory (S2) or primary motor (M1) cortex in mice learning a texture discrimination task. Mice adopted an active whisking strategy that enhanced texture-related whisker kinematics, correlating with task performance. M1-projecting neurons reliably encoded basic kinematics features, and an additional subset of touch-related neurons was recruited that persisted past training. The number of S2-projecting touch neurons remained constant, but improved their discrimination of trial types through reorganization while developing activity patterns capable of discriminating the animal's decision. We propose that learning-related changes in S1 enhance sensory representations in a pathway-specific manner, providing downstream areas with task-relevant information for behavior.

  18. Task-relevant modulation of primary somatosensory cortex suggests a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Rotte, Michael

    2005-08-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that somatosensory information is modulated cortically for task-specific sensory inflow: Several studies report short-term adaptation of representational maps in primary somatosensory cortex (SI) due to attention or induced by task-related motor activity such as handwriting. Recently, it has been hypothesized that the frontal or prefrontal cortex may modulate SI. In order to test this hypothesis, we studied the functional organization of SI while subjects performed the Tower of Hanoi task. This task is known to be related to activation of frontal or prefrontal areas. The functional organization of SI while performing the Tower of Hanoi task was compared to the organization of SI during performing the same movements but without the Tower of Hanoi task and with rest. Topography of SI was assessed using neuromagnetic source imaging based on tactile stimulation of the first (D1) and fifth digits (D5). Performing the Tower of Hanoi task was accompanied by plastic changes in SI as indicated by significant shifts in the cortical representations of D1 and D5: They moved further apart during the Tower of Hanoi task compared to the control task containing the same movements but without the cognitive characteristic. Thus, we conclude that SI maps undergo dynamic modulation depending on motor tasks with different cognitive demands. The results suggest that this short-term plasticity may be regulated by a prefrontal-cortical sensory gating system. PMID:15886021

  19. Temporal profiles and 2-dimensional oxy-, deoxy-, and total-hemoglobin somatosensory maps in rat versus mouse cortex

    PubMed Central

    Prakash, Neal; Biag, Jonathan D.; Sheth, Sameer A.; Mitsuyama, Satoshi; Theriot, Jeremy; Ramachandra, Chaithanya; Toga, Arthur W.

    2007-01-01

    Background Mechanisms of neurovascular coupling—the relationship between neuronal chemoelectrical activity and compensatory metabolic and hemodynamic changes—appear to be preserved across species from rats to humans despite differences in scale. However, previous work suggests that the highly cellular dense mouse somatosensory cortex has different functional hemodynamic changes compared to other species. Methods We developed novel hardware and software for 2-dimensional optical spectroscopy (2DOS). Optical changes at four simultaneously recorded wavelengths were measured in both rat and mouse primary somatosensory cortex (S1) evoked by forepaw stimulation to create four spectral maps. The spectral maps were converted to maps of deoxy-, oxy-, and total-hemoglobin (HbR, HbO, and HbT) concentration changes using the modified Beer-Lambert law and phantom HbR and HbO absorption spectra. Results Functional hemodynamics were different in mouse versus rat neocortex. On average, hemodynamics were as expected in rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1): the fractional change in the log of HbT concentration increased monophasically 2 s after stimulus, whereas HbO changes mirrored HbR changes, with HbO showing a small initial dip at 0.5 s followed by a large increase 3.0 s post stimulus. In contrast, mouse S1 showed a novel type of stimulus-evoked hemodynamic response, with prolonged, concurrent, monophasic increases in HbR and HbT and a parallel decrease in HbO that all peaked 3.5–4.5 s post stimulus onset. For rats, at any given time point the average size and shape of HbO and HbR forepaw maps were the same, whereas surface veins distorted the shape of the HbT map. For mice, HbO, HbR, and HbT forepaw maps were generally the same size and shape at any post-stimulus time point. Conclusions 2DOS using image splitting optics is feasible across species for brain mapping and quantifying the map topography of cortical hemodynamics. These results suggest that during physiologic

  20. Thalamocortical Connections Drive Intracortical Activation of Functional Columns in the Mislaminated Reeler Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wagener, Robin J.; Witte, Mirko; Guy, Julien; Mingo-Moreno, Nieves; Kügler, Sebastian; Staiger, Jochen F.

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal wiring is key to proper neural information processing. Tactile information from the rodent's whiskers reaches the cortex via distinct anatomical pathways. The lemniscal pathway relays whisking and touch information from the ventral posteromedial thalamic nucleus to layer IV of the primary somatosensory “barrel” cortex. The disorganized neocortex of the reeler mouse is a model system that should severely compromise the ingrowth of thalamocortical axons (TCAs) into the cortex. Moreover, it could disrupt intracortical wiring. We found that neuronal intermingling within the reeler barrel cortex substantially exceeded previous descriptions, leading to the loss of layers. However, viral tracing revealed that TCAs still specifically targeted transgenically labeled spiny layer IV neurons. Slice electrophysiology and optogenetics proved that these connections represent functional synapses. In addition, we assessed intracortical activation via immediate-early-gene expression resulting from a behavioral exploration task. The cellular composition of activated neuronal ensembles suggests extensive similarities in intracolumnar information processing in the wild-type and reeler brains. We conclude that extensive ectopic positioning of neuronal partners can be compensated for by cell-autonomous mechanisms that allow for the establishment of proper connectivity. Thus, genetic neuronal fate seems to be of greater importance for correct cortical wiring than radial neuronal position. PMID:26564256

  1. Transcriptome fingerprints distinguish hallucinogenic and nonhallucinogenic 5-hydroxytryptamine 2A receptor agonist effects in mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    González-Maeso, Javier; Yuen, Tony; Ebersole, Barbara J; Wurmbach, Elisa; Lira, Alena; Zhou, Mingming; Weisstaub, Noelia; Hen, Rene; Gingrich, Jay A; Sealfon, Stuart C

    2003-10-01

    Most neuropharmacological agents and many drugs of abuse modulate the activity of heptahelical G-protein-coupled receptors. Although the effects of these ligands result from changes in cellular signaling, their neurobehavioral activity may not correlate with results of in vitro signal transduction assays. 5-Hydroxytryptamine 2A receptor (5-HT2AR) partial agonists that have similar pharmacological profiles differ in the behavioral responses they elicit. In vitro studies suggest that different agonists acting at the same receptor may establish distinct patterns of signal transduction. Testing this hypothesis in the brain requires a global signal transduction assay that is applicable in vivo. To distinguish the cellular effects of the different 5-HT2AR agonists, we developed an assay for global signal transduction on the basis of high throughput quantification of rapidly modulated transcripts. Study of the responses to agonists in human embryonic kidney 293 cells stably expressing 5-HT2ARs demonstrated that each agonist elicits a distinct transcriptome fingerprint. We therefore studied behavioral and cortical signal transduction responses in wild-type and 5-HT2AR null-mutant mice. The hallucinogenic chemicals (+/-)-2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) stimulated a head-twitch behavioral response that was not observed with the nonhallucinogenic lisuride hydrogen maleate (LHM) and was absent in receptor null-mutant mice. We also found that DOI, LSD, and LHM each induced distinct transcriptome fingerprints in somatosensory cortex that were absent in 5-HT2AR null-mutants. Moreover, DOI and LSD showed similarities in the transcriptome fingerprints obtained that were not observed with the behaviorally inactive drug LHM. Our results demonstrate that chemicals acting at the 5-HT2AR induce specific cellular response patterns in vivo that are reflected in unique changes in the somatosensory cortex transcriptome.

  2. Glutamate receptor blockade at cortical synapses disrupts development of thalamocortical and columnar organization in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Fox, K; Schlaggar, B L; Glazewski, S; O'Leary, D D

    1996-01-01

    The segregation of thalamocortical inputs into eye-specific stripes in the developing cat or monkey visual cortex is prevented by manipulations that perturb or abolish neural activity in the visual pathway. Such findings show that proper development of the functional organization of visual cortex is dependent on normal patterns of neural activity. The generalisation of this conclusion to other sensory cortices has been questioned by findings that the segregation of thalamocortical afferents into a somatotopic barrel pattern in developing rodent primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is not prevented by activity blockade. We show that a temporary block of N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) and non-NMDA glutamate receptors in rat S1 during the critical period for barrel development disrupts the topographic refinement of thalamocortical connectivity and columnar organization. These effects are evident well after the blockade is ineffective and thus may be permanent. Our findings show that neural activity and specifically the activation of postsynaptic cortical neurons has a prominent role in establishing the primary sensory map in S1, as well as the topographic organization of higher order synaptic connections. Images Fig. 1 PMID:8643619

  3. Somatosensory areas of manatee cerebral cortex: histochemical characterization and functional implications.

    PubMed

    Sarko, D K; Reep, R L

    2007-01-01

    A histochemical and cytoarchitectural analysis was completed for the neocortex of the Florida manatee in order to localize primary sensory areas and particularly primary somatosensory cortex (SI). Based on the location of cytochrome oxidase-dense staining in flattened cortex preparations, preliminary functional divisions were assigned for SI with the face represented laterally followed by the flipper, body and tail representations proceeding medially. The neonate exhibited four distinct patches in the frontoparietal cortex (presumptive SI), whereas juvenile and adult specimens demonstrated a distinct pattern in which cytochrome oxidase-dense staining appeared to be blended into one large patch extending dorsomedially. This differential staining between younger versus older more developed animals was also seen on coronal sections stained for cytochrome oxidase, myelin, or Nissl bodies. These were systematically analyzed in order to accurately localize the laminar and cytoarchitectural extent of cytochrome oxidase staining. Overall, SI appears to span seven cytoarchitectural areas to which we have assigned presumptive functional representations based on the relative locations of cytochrome oxidase-dense staining. PMID:16912474

  4. cTBS delivered to the left somatosensory cortex changes its functional connectivity during rest

    PubMed Central

    Valchev, Nikola; Ćurčić-Blake, Branislava; Renken, Remco J.; Avenanti, Alessio; Keysers, Christian

    2016-01-01

    The primary somatosensory cortex (SI) plays a critical role in somatosensation as well as in action performance and social cognition. Although SI has been a major target of experimental and clinical research using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), to date information on the effect of TMS over SI on its resting-state functional connectivity is very scant. Here, we explored whether continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), a repetitive TMS protocol, administered over SI can change the functional connectivity of the brain at rest, as measured using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In a randomized order on two different days we administered active TMS or sham TMS over the left SI. TMS was delivered off-line before scanning by means of cTBS. The target area was selected previously and individually for each subject as the part of SI activated both when the participant executes and observes actions. Three analytical approaches, both theory driven (partial correlations and seed based whole brain regression) and more data driven (Independent Component Analysis), indicated a reduction in functional connectivity between the stimulated part of SI and several brain regions functionally associated with SI including the dorsal premotor cortex, the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings highlight the impact of cTBS delivered over SI on its functional connectivity at rest. Our data may have implications for experimental and therapeutic applications of cTBS over SI. PMID:25882754

  5. cTBS delivered to the left somatosensory cortex changes its functional connectivity during rest.

    PubMed

    Valchev, Nikola; Ćurčić-Blake, Branislava; Renken, Remco J; Avenanti, Alessio; Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria; Maurits, Natasha M

    2015-07-01

    The primary somatosensory cortex (SI) plays a critical role in somatosensation as well as in action performance and social cognition. Although the SI has been a major target of experimental and clinical research using non-invasive transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), to date information on the effect of TMS over the SI on its resting-state functional connectivity is very scant. Here, we explored whether continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS), a repetitive TMS protocol, administered over the SI can change the functional connectivity of the brain at rest, as measured using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI). In a randomized order on two different days we administered active TMS or sham TMS over the left SI. TMS was delivered off-line before scanning by means of cTBS. The target area was selected previously and individually for each subject as the part of the SI activated both when the participant executes and observes actions. Three analytical approaches, both theory driven (partial correlations and seed based whole brain regression) and more data driven (Independent Component Analysis), indicated a reduction in functional connectivity between the stimulated part of the SI and several brain regions functionally associated with the SI including the dorsal premotor cortex, the cerebellum, basal ganglia, and anterior cingulate cortex. These findings highlight the impact of cTBS delivered over the SI on its functional connectivity at rest. Our data may have implications for experimental and therapeutic applications of cTBS over the SI.

  6. Precision mapping of the vibrissa representation within murine primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Knutsen, Per M; Mateo, Celine; Kleinfeld, David

    2016-10-01

    The ability to form an accurate map of sensory input to the brain is an essential aspect of interpreting functional brain signals. Here, we consider the somatotopic map of vibrissa-based touch in the primary somatosensory (vS1) cortex of mice. The vibrissae are represented by a Manhattan-like grid of columnar structures that are separated by inter-digitating septa. The development, dynamics and plasticity of this organization is widely used as a model system. Yet, the exact anatomical position of this organization within the vS1 cortex varies between individual mice. Targeting of a particular column in vivo therefore requires prior mapping of the activated cortical region, for instance by imaging the evoked intrinsic optical signal (eIOS) during vibrissa stimulation. Here, we describe a procedure for constructing a complete somatotopic map of the vibrissa representation in the vS1 cortex using eIOS. This enables precise targeting of individual cortical columns. We found, using C57BL/6 mice, that although the precise location of the columnar field varies between animals, the relative spatial arrangement of the columns is highly preserved. This finding enables us to construct a canonical somatotopic map of the vibrissae in the vS1 cortex. In particular, the position of any column, in absolute anatomical coordinates, can be established with near certainty when the functional representations in the vS1 cortex for as few as two vibrissae have been mapped with eIOS.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574305

  7. Precision mapping of the vibrissa representation within murine primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Knutsen, Per M; Mateo, Celine; Kleinfeld, David

    2016-10-01

    The ability to form an accurate map of sensory input to the brain is an essential aspect of interpreting functional brain signals. Here, we consider the somatotopic map of vibrissa-based touch in the primary somatosensory (vS1) cortex of mice. The vibrissae are represented by a Manhattan-like grid of columnar structures that are separated by inter-digitating septa. The development, dynamics and plasticity of this organization is widely used as a model system. Yet, the exact anatomical position of this organization within the vS1 cortex varies between individual mice. Targeting of a particular column in vivo therefore requires prior mapping of the activated cortical region, for instance by imaging the evoked intrinsic optical signal (eIOS) during vibrissa stimulation. Here, we describe a procedure for constructing a complete somatotopic map of the vibrissa representation in the vS1 cortex using eIOS. This enables precise targeting of individual cortical columns. We found, using C57BL/6 mice, that although the precise location of the columnar field varies between animals, the relative spatial arrangement of the columns is highly preserved. This finding enables us to construct a canonical somatotopic map of the vibrissae in the vS1 cortex. In particular, the position of any column, in absolute anatomical coordinates, can be established with near certainty when the functional representations in the vS1 cortex for as few as two vibrissae have been mapped with eIOS.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'.

  8. Dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Leguey, Ignacio; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Rojo, Concepción; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; DeFelipe, Javier

    2016-09-01

    The characterization of the structural design of cortical microcircuits is essential for understanding how they contribute to function in both health and disease. Since pyramidal neurons represent the most abundant neuronal type and their dendritic spines constitute the major postsynaptic elements of cortical excitatory synapses, our understanding of the synaptic organization of the neocortex largely depends on the available knowledge regarding the structure of pyramidal cells. Previous studies have identified several apparently common rules in dendritic geometry. We study the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers to further shed light on the principles that determine the geometric shapes of these cells. We find that the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells from layers II-VI of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex suggest common design principles, despite the particular morphological and functional features that are characteristic of pyramidal cells in each cortical layer. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2567-2576, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  9. Dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Leguey, Ignacio; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Rojo, Concepción; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; DeFelipe, Javier

    2016-09-01

    The characterization of the structural design of cortical microcircuits is essential for understanding how they contribute to function in both health and disease. Since pyramidal neurons represent the most abundant neuronal type and their dendritic spines constitute the major postsynaptic elements of cortical excitatory synapses, our understanding of the synaptic organization of the neocortex largely depends on the available knowledge regarding the structure of pyramidal cells. Previous studies have identified several apparently common rules in dendritic geometry. We study the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells across layers to further shed light on the principles that determine the geometric shapes of these cells. We find that the dendritic branching angles of pyramidal cells from layers II-VI of the juvenile rat somatosensory cortex suggest common design principles, despite the particular morphological and functional features that are characteristic of pyramidal cells in each cortical layer. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2567-2576, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26850576

  10. Cortical Plasticity Induced by Spike-Triggered Microstimulation in Primate Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Song, Weiguo; Kerr, Cliff C.; Lytton, William W.; Francis, Joseph T.

    2013-01-01

    Electrical stimulation of the nervous system for therapeutic purposes, such as deep brain stimulation in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, has been used for decades. Recently, increased attention has focused on using microstimulation to restore functions as diverse as somatosensation and memory. However, how microstimulation changes the neural substrate is still not fully understood. Microstimulation may cause cortical changes that could either compete with or complement natural neural processes, and could result in neuroplastic changes rendering the region dysfunctional or even epileptic. As part of our efforts to produce neuroprosthetic devices and to further study the effects of microstimulation on the cortex, we stimulated and recorded from microelectrode arrays in the hand area of the primary somatosensory cortex (area 1) in two awake macaque monkeys. We applied a simple neuroprosthetic microstimulation protocol to a pair of electrodes in the area 1 array, using either random pulses or pulses time-locked to the recorded spiking activity of a reference neuron. This setup was replicated using a computer model of the thalamocortical system, which consisted of 1980 spiking neurons distributed among six cortical layers and two thalamic nuclei. Experimentally, we found that spike-triggered microstimulation induced cortical plasticity, as shown by increased unit-pair mutual information, while random microstimulation did not. In addition, there was an increased response to touch following spike-triggered microstimulation, along with decreased neural variability. The computer model successfully reproduced both qualitative and quantitative aspects of the experimental findings. The physiological findings of this study suggest that even simple microstimulation protocols can be used to increase somatosensory information flow. PMID:23472086

  11. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields arising from sources in the human cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Tesche, C D; Karhu, J

    1997-01-01

    Somatosensory evoked neuromagnetic activity of human cerebellum was recorded noninvasively with a 122-channel whole-scalp magnetometer. Cerebellar source areas activated 13-19 ms after unilateral electric stimulation of the median nerve. The first signals preceded those occurring in the primary sensorimotor cortex at around 20 ms and overlapped in time with the activation of thalamic sources. The orientation and location of most prominent cerebellar activation suggest that the detected signals represent synchronized postsynaptic activity of spinocerebellar cortex. These signals are probably elicited by the first afferent sensory volley from peripheral nerve endings and mediated by spinocerebellar (cuneocerebellar) tracts. The results imply strong coherent activation of cerebellar neuronal populations after purely sensory stimulation. Moreover, with presented methods the millisecond-scale temporal resolution of neurophysiological measurements can be more generally applied to the study of neuronal population activity in intact human cerebellum.

  12. Quantitative analysis of somatosensory cortex development in metatherians and monotremes, with comparison to the laboratory rat.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, Ken W S

    2015-01-01

    Metatherians and monotremes are born in an immature state, followed by prolonged nurturing by maternal lactation. Quantitative analysis of isocortical sections held in the collections at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin was used to compare the pace of somatosensory cortex development relative to body size and pallial thickness between metatherian groups, monotremes, and the laboratory rat. Analysis indicated that the pace of pallial growth in the monotremes is much lower than that in the metatherians or laboratory rat, with an estimated 8.6-fold increase in parietal cortex thickness between 10 and 100 mm body length, compared to a 10- to 20-fold increase among the metatherians and the rat. It was found that aggregation of cortical plate neurons occurs at similar embryo size in the mammals studied (around 8-14 mm body length) and a similar pallial thickness (around 200 µm), but that proliferative zone involution occurs at a much higher body size and pallial thickness in the monotremes compared to the metatherians and the laboratory rat. The observations suggest that cortical development in the monotremes is slower and subject to different regulatory signals to the therians studied. The slow pace may be related to either generally slower metabolism in monotremes or less efficient nutrient supply to the offspring due to the lack of teats. PMID:25393314

  13. Quantitative analysis of somatosensory cortex development in eutherians, with a comparison with metatherians and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, Ken W S

    2015-01-01

    Extant eutherians exhibit a wide range of adult brain sizes and degree of cortical gyrification. Quantitative analysis of parietal isocortical sections held in museum collections was used to compare the pace of somatosensory cortex development relative to body size and pallial thickness among diverse eutherian embryos, foetuses, and neonates. Analysis indicated that, for most eutherians, cortical plate aggregation begins at about 6-18 mm greatest length or about 120-320 µm pallial thickness. Expansion of the proliferative compartment occurs at a similar pace in most eutherians, but exceptionally rapidly in hominoids. Involution of the pallial proliferative zones occurs over a wide range of body sizes (42 mm to over 500 mm greatest length) or when the cerebral cortex reaches a thickness of 1.2-9.8 mm depending on the eutherian group. Many of these values overlap with those for metatherians. The findings suggest that there is less evolutionary flexibility in the timing of cortical plate aggregation than in the rate of expansion of the pallial proliferative compartment and the duration of proliferative zone activity. PMID:25884290

  14. Quantitative analysis of somatosensory cortex development in metatherians and monotremes, with comparison to the laboratory rat.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, Ken W S

    2015-01-01

    Metatherians and monotremes are born in an immature state, followed by prolonged nurturing by maternal lactation. Quantitative analysis of isocortical sections held in the collections at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin was used to compare the pace of somatosensory cortex development relative to body size and pallial thickness between metatherian groups, monotremes, and the laboratory rat. Analysis indicated that the pace of pallial growth in the monotremes is much lower than that in the metatherians or laboratory rat, with an estimated 8.6-fold increase in parietal cortex thickness between 10 and 100 mm body length, compared to a 10- to 20-fold increase among the metatherians and the rat. It was found that aggregation of cortical plate neurons occurs at similar embryo size in the mammals studied (around 8-14 mm body length) and a similar pallial thickness (around 200 µm), but that proliferative zone involution occurs at a much higher body size and pallial thickness in the monotremes compared to the metatherians and the laboratory rat. The observations suggest that cortical development in the monotremes is slower and subject to different regulatory signals to the therians studied. The slow pace may be related to either generally slower metabolism in monotremes or less efficient nutrient supply to the offspring due to the lack of teats.

  15. Quantitative analysis of somatosensory cortex development in eutherians, with a comparison with metatherians and monotremes.

    PubMed

    Ashwell, Ken W S

    2015-01-01

    Extant eutherians exhibit a wide range of adult brain sizes and degree of cortical gyrification. Quantitative analysis of parietal isocortical sections held in museum collections was used to compare the pace of somatosensory cortex development relative to body size and pallial thickness among diverse eutherian embryos, foetuses, and neonates. Analysis indicated that, for most eutherians, cortical plate aggregation begins at about 6-18 mm greatest length or about 120-320 µm pallial thickness. Expansion of the proliferative compartment occurs at a similar pace in most eutherians, but exceptionally rapidly in hominoids. Involution of the pallial proliferative zones occurs over a wide range of body sizes (42 mm to over 500 mm greatest length) or when the cerebral cortex reaches a thickness of 1.2-9.8 mm depending on the eutherian group. Many of these values overlap with those for metatherians. The findings suggest that there is less evolutionary flexibility in the timing of cortical plate aggregation than in the rate of expansion of the pallial proliferative compartment and the duration of proliferative zone activity.

  16. 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

  17. Effects of anesthesia on BOLD signal and neuronal activity in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Aksenov, Daniil P; Li, Limin; Miller, Michael J; Iordanescu, Gheorghe; Wyrwicz, Alice M

    2015-11-01

    Most functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) animal studies rely on anesthesia, which can induce a variety of drug-dependent physiological changes, including depression of neuronal activity and cerebral metabolism as well as direct effects on the vasculature. The goal of this study was to characterize the effects of anesthesia on the BOLD signal and neuronal activity. Simultaneous fMRI and electrophysiology were used to measure changes in single units (SU), multi-unit activity (MUA), local field potentials (LFP), and the blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response in the somatosensory cortex during whisker stimulation of rabbits before, during and after anesthesia with fentanyl or isoflurane. Our results indicate that anesthesia modulates the BOLD signal as well as both baseline and stimulus-evoked neuronal activity, and, most significantly, that the relationship between the BOLD and electrophysiological signals depends on the type of anesthetic. Specifically, the behavior of LFP observed under isoflurane did not parallel the behavior of BOLD, SU, or MUA. These findings suggest that the relationship between these signals may not be straightforward. BOLD may scale more closely with the best measure of the excitatory subcomponents of the underlying neuronal activity, which may vary according to experimental conditions that alter the excitatory/inhibitory balance in the cortex.

  18. Parallel pathways from motor and somatosensory cortex for controlling whisker movements in mice

    PubMed Central

    Sreenivasan, Varun; Karmakar, Kajari; Rijli, Filippo M; Petersen, Carl C H

    2015-01-01

    Mice can gather tactile sensory information by actively moving their whiskers to palpate objects in their immediate surroundings. Whisker sensory perception therefore requires integration of sensory and motor information, which occurs prominently in the neocortex. The signalling pathways from the neocortex for controlling whisker movements are currently poorly understood in mice. Here, we delineate two pathways, one originating from primary whisker somatosensory cortex (wS1) and the other from whisker motor cortex (wM1), that control qualitatively distinct movements of contralateral whiskers. Optogenetic stimulation of wS1 drove retraction of contralateral whiskers while stimulation of wM1 drove rhythmic whisker protraction. To map brainstem pathways connecting these cortical areas to whisker motor neurons, we used a combination of anterograde tracing using adenoassociated virus injected into neocortex and retrograde tracing using monosynaptic rabies virus injected into whisker muscles. Our data are consistent with wS1 driving whisker retraction by exciting glutamatergic premotor neurons in the rostral spinal trigeminal interpolaris nucleus, which in turn activate the motor neurons innervating the extrinsic retractor muscle nasolabialis. The rhythmic whisker protraction evoked by wM1 stimulation might be driven by excitation of excitatory and inhibitory premotor neurons in the brainstem reticular formation innervating both intrinsic and extrinsic muscles. Our data therefore begin to unravel the neuronal circuits linking the neocortex to whisker motor neurons. PMID:25476605

  19. Multi-electrode stimulation in somatosensory cortex increases probability of detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zaaimi, Boubker; Ruiz-Torres, Ricardo; Solla, Sara A.; Miller, Lee E.

    2013-10-01

    Objective. Brain machine interfaces (BMIs) that decode control signals from motor cortex have developed tremendously in the past decade, but virtually all rely exclusively on vision to provide feedback. There is now increasing interest in developing an afferent interface to replace natural somatosensation, much as the cochlear implant has done for the sense of hearing. Preliminary experiments toward a somatosensory neuroprosthesis have mostly addressed the sense of touch, but proprioception, the sense of limb position and movement, is also critical for the control of movement. However, proprioceptive areas of cortex lack the precise somatotopy of tactile areas. We showed previously that there is only a weak tendency for neighboring neurons in area 2 to signal similar directions of hand movement. Consequently, stimulation with the relatively large currents used in many studies is likely to activate a rather heterogeneous set of neurons. Approach. Here, we have compared the effect of single-electrode stimulation at subthreshold levels to the effect of stimulating as many as seven electrodes in combination. Main results. We found a mean enhancement in the sensitivity to the stimulus (d‧) of 0.17 for pairs compared to individual electrodes (an increase of roughly 30%), and an increase of 2.5 for groups of seven electrodes (260%). Significance. We propose that a proprioceptive interface made up of several hundred electrodes may yield safer, more effective sensation than a BMI using fewer electrodes and larger currents.

  20. Activity of Somatosensory-Responsive Neurons in High Subdivisions of SI Cortex during Locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Favorov, Oleg V.; Nilaweera, Wijitha U.; Miasnikov, Alexandre A.

    2015-01-01

    Responses of neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex during movements are poorly understood, even during such simple tasks as walking on a flat surface. In this study, we analyzed spike discharges of neurons in the rostral bank of the ansate sulcus (areas 1–2) in 2 cats while the cats walked on a flat surface or on a horizontal ladder, a complex task requiring accurate stepping. All neurons (n = 82) that had receptive fields (RFs) on the contralateral forelimb exhibited frequency modulation of their activity that was phase locked to the stride cycle during simple locomotion. Neurons with proximal RFs (upper arm/shoulder) and pyramidal tract-projecting neurons (PTNs) with fast-conducting axons tended to fire at peak rates in the middle of the swing phase, whereas neurons with RFs on the distal limb (wrist/paw) and slow-conducting PTNs typically showed peak firing at the transition between swing and stance phases. Eleven of 12 neurons with tactile RFs on the volar forepaw began firing toward the end of swing, with peak activity occurring at the moment of foot contact with floor, thereby preceding the evoked sensory volley from touch receptors. Requirement to step accurately on the ladder affected 91% of the neurons, suggesting their involvement in control of accuracy of stepping. During both tasks, neurons exhibited a wide variety of spike distributions within the stride cycle, suggesting that, during either simple or ladder locomotion, they represent the cycling somatosensory events in their activity both predictively before and reflectively after these events take place. PMID:25995465

  1. Meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus

    PubMed Central

    Nakata, Hiroki; Sakamoto, Kiwako; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that meditation inhibits or relieves pain perception. To clarify the underlying mechanisms for this phenomenon, neuroimaging methods, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging, and neurophysiological methods, such as magnetoencephalography and electroencephalography, have been used. However, it has been difficult to interpret the results, because there is some paradoxical evidence. For example, some studies reported increased neural responses to pain stimulation during meditation in the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and insula, whereas others showed a decrease in these regions. There have been inconsistent findings to date. Moreover, in general, since the activities of the ACC and insula are correlated with pain perception, the increase in neural activities during meditation would be related to the enhancement of pain perception rather than its reduction. These contradictions might directly contribute to the ‘mystery of meditation.’ In this review, we presented previous findings for brain regions during meditation and the anatomical changes that occurred in the brain with long-term meditation training. We then discussed the findings of previous studies that examined pain-related neural activity during meditation. We also described the brain mechanisms responsible for pain relief during meditation, and possible reasons for paradoxical evidence among previous studies. By thoroughly overviewing previous findings, we hypothesized that meditation reduces pain-related neural activity in the ACC, insula, secondary somatosensory cortex, and thalamus. We suggest that the characteristics of the modulation of this activity may depend on the kind of meditation and/or number of years of experience of meditation, which were associated with paradoxical findings among previous studies that investigated pain-related neural activities during meditation. PMID:25566158

  2. Somatosensory cortex functional connectivity abnormalities in autism show opposite trends, depending on direction and spatial scale

    PubMed Central

    Khan, Sheraz; Michmizos, Konstantinos; Tommerdahl, Mark; Ganesan, Santosh; Kitzbichler, Manfred G.; Zetino, Manuel; Garel, Keri-Lee A.; Herbert, Martha R.; Hämäläinen, Matti S.

    2015-01-01

    Functional connectivity is abnormal in autism, but the nature of these abnormalities remains elusive. Different studies, mostly using functional magnetic resonance imaging, have found increased, decreased, or even mixed pattern functional connectivity abnormalities in autism, but no unifying framework has emerged to date. We measured functional connectivity in individuals with autism and in controls using magnetoencephalography, which allowed us to resolve both the directionality (feedforward versus feedback) and spatial scale (local or long-range) of functional connectivity. Specifically, we measured the cortical response and functional connectivity during a passive 25-Hz vibrotactile stimulation in the somatosensory cortex of 20 typically developing individuals and 15 individuals with autism, all males and right-handed, aged 8–18, and the mu-rhythm during resting state in a subset of these participants (12 per group, same age range). Two major significant group differences emerged in the response to the vibrotactile stimulus. First, the 50-Hz phase locking component of the cortical response, generated locally in the primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortex, was reduced in the autism group (P < 0.003, corrected). Second, feedforward functional connectivity between S1 and S2 was increased in the autism group (P < 0.004, corrected). During resting state, there was no group difference in the mu-α rhythm. In contrast, the mu-β rhythm, which has been associated with feedback connectivity, was significantly reduced in the autism group (P < 0.04, corrected). Furthermore, the strength of the mu-β was correlated to the relative strength of 50 Hz component of the response to the vibrotactile stimulus (r = 0.78, P < 0.00005), indicating a shared aetiology for these seemingly unrelated abnormalities. These magnetoencephalography-derived measures were correlated with two different behavioural sensory processing scores (P < 0.01 and P < 0.02 for the autism

  3. Effects of passive heat stress on human somatosensory processing.

    PubMed

    Nakata, Hiroki; Oshiro, Misaki; Namba, Mari; Shibasaki, Manabu

    2015-12-01

    Herein, we investigated the effects of passive heat stress on human somatosensory processing recorded by somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs). Fifteen healthy subjects received a median nerve stimulation at the left wrist under two thermal conditions: Heat Stress and normothermic Time Control. The latencies and amplitudes of P14, N20, P25, N35, P45, and N60 at C4' and P14, N18, P22, and N30 at Fz were evaluated. Under the Heat Stress condition, SEPs were recorded at normothermic baseline (1st), early in heat stress (2nd), when esophageal temperature had increased by ~1.0°C (3rd) and ~2.0°C (4th), and after heat stress (5th). In the Time Control condition, SEPs were measured at the same time intervals as those in the Heat Stress condition. The peak latencies and amplitudes of SEPs did not change early in heat stress. However, the latencies of P14, N20, and N60 at C4' and P14, N18, and P22 at Fz were significantly shorter in the 4th session than in the 1st session. Furthermore, the peak amplitudes of P25 and N60 at C4', and P22 and N30 at Fz decreased with increases in body temperature. On the other hand, under the Time Control condition, no significant differences were observed in the amplitudes or latencies of any component of SEPs. These results suggested that the conduction velocity of the ascending somatosensory input was accelerated by increases in body temperature, and hyperthermia impaired the neural activity of cortical somatosensory processing. PMID:26468258

  4. Exposure to Music and Noise During Pregnancy Influences Neurogenesis and Thickness in Motor and Somatosensory Cortex of Rat Pups

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Chang-Hee; Lee, Sang-Chul; Shin, Je Wook; Chung, Kyung-Jin; Lee, Shin-Ho; Shin, Mal-Soon; Baek, Sang-Bin; Sung, Yun-Hee; Kim, Chang-Ju

    2013-01-01

    Purpose Prenatal environmental conditions affect the development of the fetus. In the present study, we investigated the effects of exposure to music and noise during pregnancy on neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. Methods The pregnant rats in the music-applied group were exposed to 65 dB of comfortable music for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. The pregnant rats in the noise-applied group were exposed to 95 dB of sound from a supersonic sound machine for 1 hour, once per day, from the 15th day of pregnancy until delivery. After birth, the offspring were left undisturbed together with their mother. The rat pups were sacrificed at 21 days after birth. Results Exposure to music during pregnancy increased neurogenesis in the motor and somatosensory cortex of rat pups. In contrast, rat pups exposed to noise during pregnancy showed decreased neurogenesis and thickness in the motor and somatosensory cortex. Conclusions Our study suggests that music and noise during the developmental period are important factors influencing brain development and urogenital disorders. PMID:24143288

  5. Neuron Types in the Presumptive Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Gupta, Kanika; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-01-01

    Within afrotherians, sirenians are unusual due to their aquatic lifestyle, large body size and relatively large lissencephalic brain. However, little is known about the neuron type distributions of the cerebral cortex in sirenians within the context of other afrotherians and aquatic mammals. The present study investigated two cortical regions, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2), in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to characterize cyto- and chemoarchitecture. The mean neuron density for both cortical regions was 35,617 neurons/mm(3) and fell within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass based on a reference group of afrotherians and xenarthrans. Densities of inhibitory interneuron subtypes labeled against calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptide Y were relatively low compared to afrotherians and xenarthrans and also formed a small percentage of the overall population of inhibitory interneurons as revealed by GAD67 immunoreactivity. Nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive (NPNFP-ir) neurons comprised a mean of 60% of neurons in layer V across DL1 and CL2. DL1 contained a higher percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons than CL2, although CL2 had a higher variety of morphological types. The mean percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons in the two regions of the presumptive S1 were low compared to other afrotherians and xenarthrans but were within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass, and their morphologies were comparable to those found in other afrotherians and xenarthrans. Although this specific pattern of neuron types and densities sets the manatee apart from other afrotherians and xenarthrans, the manatee isocortex does not appear to be explicitly adapted for an aquatic habitat. Many of the features that are shared between manatees and cetaceans are also shared with a diverse array of terrestrial mammals and likely represent highly conserved

  6. Neuron Types in the Presumptive Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Florida Manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris).

    PubMed

    Reyes, Laura D; Stimpson, Cheryl D; Gupta, Kanika; Raghanti, Mary Ann; Hof, Patrick R; Reep, Roger L; Sherwood, Chet C

    2015-01-01

    Within afrotherians, sirenians are unusual due to their aquatic lifestyle, large body size and relatively large lissencephalic brain. However, little is known about the neuron type distributions of the cerebral cortex in sirenians within the context of other afrotherians and aquatic mammals. The present study investigated two cortical regions, dorsolateral cortex area 1 (DL1) and cluster cortex area 2 (CL2), in the presumptive primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in Florida manatees (Trichechus manatus latirostris) to characterize cyto- and chemoarchitecture. The mean neuron density for both cortical regions was 35,617 neurons/mm(3) and fell within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass based on a reference group of afrotherians and xenarthrans. Densities of inhibitory interneuron subtypes labeled against calcium-binding proteins and neuropeptide Y were relatively low compared to afrotherians and xenarthrans and also formed a small percentage of the overall population of inhibitory interneurons as revealed by GAD67 immunoreactivity. Nonphosphorylated neurofilament protein-immunoreactive (NPNFP-ir) neurons comprised a mean of 60% of neurons in layer V across DL1 and CL2. DL1 contained a higher percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons than CL2, although CL2 had a higher variety of morphological types. The mean percentage of NPNFP-ir neurons in the two regions of the presumptive S1 were low compared to other afrotherians and xenarthrans but were within the 95% prediction intervals relative to brain mass, and their morphologies were comparable to those found in other afrotherians and xenarthrans. Although this specific pattern of neuron types and densities sets the manatee apart from other afrotherians and xenarthrans, the manatee isocortex does not appear to be explicitly adapted for an aquatic habitat. Many of the features that are shared between manatees and cetaceans are also shared with a diverse array of terrestrial mammals and likely represent highly conserved

  7. Distribution and morphology of nitrergic neurons across functional domains of the rat primary somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Nogueira-Campos, Anaelli A.; Finamore, Deborah M.; Imbiriba, Luis A.; Houzel, Jean C.; Franca, João G.

    2012-01-01

    The rat primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is remarkable for its conspicuous vertical compartmentalization in barrels and septal columns, which are additionally stratified in horizontal layers. Whereas excitatory neurons from each of these compartments perform different types of processing, the role of interneurons is much less clear. Among the numerous types of GABAergic interneurons, those producing nitric oxide (NO) are especially puzzling, since this gaseous messenger can modulate neural activity, synaptic plasticity, and neurovascular coupling. We used a quantitative morphological approach to investigate whether nitrergic interneurons, which might therefore be considered both as NO volume diffusers and as elements of local circuitry, display features that could relate to barrel cortex architecture. In fixed brain sections, nitrergic interneurons can be revealed by histochemical processing for NADPH-diaphorase (NADPHd). Here, the dendritic arbors of nitrergic neurons from different compartments of area S1 were 3D reconstructed from serial 200 μm thick sections, using 100x objective and the Neurolucida system. Standard morphological parameters were extracted for all individual arbors and compared across columns and layers. Wedge analysis was used to compute dendritic orientation indices. Supragranular (SG) layers displayed the highest density of nitrergic neurons, whereas layer IV contained nitrergic neurons with largest soma area. The highest nitrergic neuronal density was found in septa, where dendrites were previously characterized as more extense and ramified than in barrels. Dendritic arbors were not confined to the boundaries of the column nor layer of their respective soma, being mostly double-tufted and vertically oriented, except in SG layers. These data strongly suggest that nitrergic interneurons adapt their morphology to the dynamics of processing performed by cortical compartments. PMID:23133407

  8. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex Modulates Perception of the Tendon Vibration Illusion.

    PubMed

    Huh, D C; Lee, J M; Oh, S M; Lee, J-H; Van Donkelaar, P; Lee, D H

    2016-10-01

    The effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on kinesthetic perception, when applied to the somatosensory cortex, was examined. Further, the facilitatory and inhibitory effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation using different stimulation frequencies were tested. Six female (M age = 32.0 years, SD = 6.7) and nine male (M age = 32.9 years, SD = 6.6) participants were asked to perceive the tendon vibration illusion of the left wrist joint and to replicate the illusion with their right hand. When comparing changes in the corresponding movement amplitude and velocity after three different repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols (sham, 1 Hz inhibitory, and 5 Hz facilitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation), the movement amplitude was found to decrease with the inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, while the movement velocity respectively increased and decreased with the facilitatory and inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. These results confirmed the modulating effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on kinesthetic perception in a single experimental paradigm. PMID:27516411

  9. Tactile texture signals in primate primary somatosensory cortex and their relation to subjective roughness intensity.

    PubMed

    Bourgeon, Stéphanie; Dépeault, Alexandra; Meftah, El-Mehdi; Chapman, C Elaine

    2016-04-01

    This study investigated the hypothesis that a simple intensive code, based on mean firing rate, could explain the cortical representation of subjective roughness intensity and its invariance with scanning speed. We examined the sensitivity of neurons in the cutaneous, finger representation of primary somatosensory cortex (S1) to a wide range of textures [1 mm high, raised-dot surfaces; spatial periods (SPs), 1.5-8.5 mm], scanned under the digit tips at different speeds (40-115 mm/s). Since subjective roughness estimates show a monotonic increase over this range and are independent of speed, we predicted that the mean firing rate of a subgroup of S1 neurons would share these properties. Single-unit recordings were made in four alert macaques (areas 3b, 1 and 2). Cells whose discharge rate showed a monotonic increase with SP, independent of speed, were particularly concentrated in area 3b. Area 2 was characterized by a high proportion of cells sensitive to speed, with or without texture sensitivity. Area 1 had intermediate properties. We suggest that area 3b and most likely area 1 play a key role in signaling roughness intensity, and that a mean rate code, signaled by both slowly and rapidly adapting neurons, is present at the level of area 3b. Finally, the substantial proportion of neurons that showed a monotonic change in discharge limited to a small range of SPs (often independent of response saturation) could play a role in discriminating smaller changes in SP. PMID:26763776

  10. Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex Modulates Perception of the Tendon Vibration Illusion.

    PubMed

    Huh, D C; Lee, J M; Oh, S M; Lee, J-H; Van Donkelaar, P; Lee, D H

    2016-10-01

    The effect of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on kinesthetic perception, when applied to the somatosensory cortex, was examined. Further, the facilitatory and inhibitory effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation using different stimulation frequencies were tested. Six female (M age = 32.0 years, SD = 6.7) and nine male (M age = 32.9 years, SD = 6.6) participants were asked to perceive the tendon vibration illusion of the left wrist joint and to replicate the illusion with their right hand. When comparing changes in the corresponding movement amplitude and velocity after three different repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation protocols (sham, 1 Hz inhibitory, and 5 Hz facilitatory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation), the movement amplitude was found to decrease with the inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, while the movement velocity respectively increased and decreased with the facilitatory and inhibitory repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. These results confirmed the modulating effects of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on kinesthetic perception in a single experimental paradigm.

  11. Laminar Differences in Dendritic Structure of Pyramidal Neurons in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Concepción; Leguey, Ignacio; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2016-06-01

    Pyramidal cell structure varies between different cortical areas and species, indicating that the cortical circuits that these cells participate in are likely to be characterized by different functional capabilities. Structural differences between cortical layers have been traditionally reported using either the Golgi method or intracellular labeling, but the structure of pyramidal cells has not previously been systematically analyzed across all cortical layers at a particular age. In the present study, we investigated the dendritic architecture of complete basal arbors of pyramidal neurons in layers II, III, IV, Va, Vb, and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. We found that the characteristics of basal dendritic morphologies are statistically different in each cortical layer. The variations in size and branching pattern that exist between pyramidal cells of different cortical layers probably reflect the particular functional properties that are characteristic of the cortical circuit in which they participate. This new set of complete basal dendritic arbors of 3D-reconstructed pyramidal cell morphologies across each cortical layer will provide new insights into interlaminar information processing in the cerebral cortex.

  12. Laminar Differences in Dendritic Structure of Pyramidal Neurons in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex.

    PubMed

    Rojo, Concepción; Leguey, Ignacio; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2016-06-01

    Pyramidal cell structure varies between different cortical areas and species, indicating that the cortical circuits that these cells participate in are likely to be characterized by different functional capabilities. Structural differences between cortical layers have been traditionally reported using either the Golgi method or intracellular labeling, but the structure of pyramidal cells has not previously been systematically analyzed across all cortical layers at a particular age. In the present study, we investigated the dendritic architecture of complete basal arbors of pyramidal neurons in layers II, III, IV, Va, Vb, and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. We found that the characteristics of basal dendritic morphologies are statistically different in each cortical layer. The variations in size and branching pattern that exist between pyramidal cells of different cortical layers probably reflect the particular functional properties that are characteristic of the cortical circuit in which they participate. This new set of complete basal dendritic arbors of 3D-reconstructed pyramidal cell morphologies across each cortical layer will provide new insights into interlaminar information processing in the cerebral cortex. PMID:26762857

  13. Laminar Differences in Dendritic Structure of Pyramidal Neurons in the Juvenile Rat Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rojo, Concepción; Leguey, Ignacio; Kastanauskaite, Asta; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth

    2016-01-01

    Pyramidal cell structure varies between different cortical areas and species, indicating that the cortical circuits that these cells participate in are likely to be characterized by different functional capabilities. Structural differences between cortical layers have been traditionally reported using either the Golgi method or intracellular labeling, but the structure of pyramidal cells has not previously been systematically analyzed across all cortical layers at a particular age. In the present study, we investigated the dendritic architecture of complete basal arbors of pyramidal neurons in layers II, III, IV, Va, Vb, and VI of the hindlimb somatosensory cortical region of postnatal day 14 rats. We found that the characteristics of basal dendritic morphologies are statistically different in each cortical layer. The variations in size and branching pattern that exist between pyramidal cells of different cortical layers probably reflect the particular functional properties that are characteristic of the cortical circuit in which they participate. This new set of complete basal dendritic arbors of 3D-reconstructed pyramidal cell morphologies across each cortical layer will provide new insights into interlaminar information processing in the cerebral cortex. PMID:26762857

  14. Posterior insular cortex – a site of vestibular–somatosensory interaction?

    PubMed Central

    Baier, Bernhard; zu Eulenburg, Peter; Best, Christoph; Geber, Christian; Müller-Forell, Wibke; Birklein, Frank; Dieterich, Marianne

    2013-01-01

    Background In previous imaging studies the insular cortex (IC) has been identified as an essential part of the processing of a wide spectrum of perception and sensorimotor integration. Yet, there are no systematic lesion studies in a sufficient number of patients examining whether processing of vestibular and the interaction of somatosensory and vestibular signals take place in the IC. Methods We investigated acute stroke patients with lesions affecting the IC in order to fill this gap. In detail, we explored signs of a vestibular tone imbalance such as the deviation of the subjective visual vertical (SVV). We applied voxel-lesion behaviour mapping analysis in 27 patients with acute unilateral stroke. Results Our data demonstrate that patients with lesions of the posterior IC have an abnormal tilt of SVV. Furthermore, re-analysing data of 20 patients from a previous study, we found a positive correlation between thermal perception contralateral to the stroke and the severity of the SVV tilt. Conclusions We conclude that the IC is a sensory brain region where different modalities might interact. PMID:24392273

  15. Morphology and physiology of excitatory neurons in layer 6b of the somatosensory rat barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Marx, Manuel; Feldmeyer, Dirk

    2013-12-01

    Neocortical lamina 6B (L6B) is a largely unexplored layer with a very heterogeneous cellular composition. To date, only little is known about L6B neurons on a systematic and quantitative basis. We investigated the morphological and electrophysiological properties of excitatory L6B neurons in the rat somatosensory barrel cortex using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and simultaneous biocytin fillings. Subsequent histological processing and computer-assisted 3D reconstructions provided the basis for a classification of excitatory L6B neurons according to their structural and functional characteristics. Three distinct clusters of excitatory L6B neurons were identified: (C1) pyramidal neurons with an apical dendrite pointing towards the pial surface, (C2) neurons with a prominent, "apical"-like dendrite not oriented towards the pia, and (C3) multipolar spiny neurons without any preferential dendritic orientation. The second group could be further subdivided into three categories termed inverted, "tangentially" oriented and "horizontally" oriented neurons. Furthermore, based on the axonal domain two subcategories of L6B pyramidal cells were identified that had either a more barrel-column confined or an extended axonal field. The classification of excitatory L6B neurons provided here may serve as a basis for future studies on the structure, function, and synaptic connectivity of L6B neurons.

  16. The primary somatosensory cortex and the insula contribute differently to the processing of transient and sustained nociceptive and non-nociceptive somatosensory inputs.

    PubMed

    Hu, Li; Zhang, Li; Chen, Rui; Yu, Hongbo; Li, Hong; Mouraux, André

    2015-11-01

    Transient nociceptive stimuli elicit consistent brain responses in the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (S1, S2), the insula and the anterior and mid-cingulate cortex (ACC/MCC). However, the functional significance of these responses, especially their relationship with sustained pain perception, remains largely unknown. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we characterize the differential involvement of these brain regions in the processing of sustained nociceptive and non-nociceptive somatosensory input. By comparing the spatial patterns of activity elicited by transient (0.5 ms) and long-lasting (15 and 30 s) stimuli selectively activating nociceptive or non-nociceptive afferents, we found that the contralateral S1 responded more strongly to the onset of non-nociceptive stimulation as compared to the onset of nociceptive stimulation and the sustained phases of nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimulation. Similarly, the anterior insula responded more strongly to the onset of nociceptive stimulation as compared to the onset of non-nociceptive stimulation and the sustained phases of nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimulation. This suggests that S1 is specifically sensitive to changes in incoming non-nociceptive input, whereas the anterior insula is specifically sensitive to changes in incoming nociceptive input. Second, we found that the MCC responded more strongly to the onsets as compared to the sustained phases of both nociceptive and non-nociceptive stimulation, suggesting that it could be involved in the detection of change regardless of sensory modality. Finally, the posterior insula and S2 responded maximally during the sustained phase of non-nociceptive stimulation but not nociceptive stimulation, suggesting that these regions are preferentially involved in processing non-nociceptive somatosensory input. PMID:26252509

  17. Simultaneous Top-down Modulation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex and Thalamic Nuclei during Active Tactile Discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Pais-Vieira, Miguel; Lebedev, Mikhail A.; Wiest, Michael C.; Nicolelis, Miguel A.L.

    2013-01-01

    The rat somatosensory system contains multiple thalamocortical loops (TCL) that altogether process, in fundamentally different ways, tactile stimuli delivered passively or actively sampled. To elucidate potential top-down mechanisms that govern TCL processing in awake, behaving animals, we simultaneously recorded neuronal ensemble activity across multiple cortical and thalamic areas while rats performed an active aperture discrimination task. Single neurons located in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the ventroposterior medial (VPM) and the posterior medial (POM) thalamic nuclei of the trigeminal somatosensory pathways exhibited prominent anticipatory firing modulations prior to the whiskers touching the aperture edges. This cortical and thalamic anticipatory firing could not be explained by whisker movements or whisker stimulation, because neither trigeminal ganglion sensory-evoked responses nor EMG activity were detected during the same period. Both thalamic and S1 anticipatory activity were predictive of the animal’s discrimination accuracy. Inactivation of the primary motor cortex (M1) with muscimol affected anticipatory patterns in S1 and the thalamus, and impaired the ability to predict the animal’s performance accuracy based on thalamocortical anticipatory activity. These findings suggest that neural processing in TCLs is launched in anticipation of whisker contact with objects, depends on top-down effects generated in part by M1 activity, and cannot be explained by the classical feedforward model of the rat trigeminal system. PMID:23447616

  18. The Tactile Window to Consciousness is Characterized by Frequency-Specific Integration and Segregation of the Primary Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Frey, Julia Natascha; Ruhnau, Philipp; Leske, Sabine; Siegel, Markus; Braun, Christoph; Weisz, Nathan

    2016-01-01

    We recently proposed that besides levels of local cortical excitability, also distinct pre-stimulus network states (windows to consciousness) determine whether a near-threshold stimulus will be consciously perceived. In the present magnetoencephalography study, we scrutinised these pre-stimulus network states with a focus on the primary somatosensory cortex. For this purpose participants performed a simple near-threshold tactile detection task. Confirming previous studies, we found reduced alpha and beta power in the somatosensory region contralateral to stimulation prior to correct stimulus detection as compared to undetected stimuli, and stronger event-related responses following successful stimulus detection. As expected, using graph theoretical measures, we also observed modulated pre-stimulus network level integration. Specifically, the right primary somatosensory cortex contralateral to stimulation showed an increased integration in the theta band, and additionally, a decreased integration in the beta band. Overall, these results underline the importance of network states for enabling conscious perception. Moreover, they indicate that also a reduction of irrelevant functional connections contributes to the window to consciousness by tuning pre-stimulus pathways of information flow. PMID:26864304

  19. Mild systemic inflammation and moderate hypoxia transiently alter neuronal excitability in mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Mordel, Jérôme; Sheikh, Aminah; Tsohataridis, Simeon; Kanold, Patrick O; Zehendner, Christoph M; Luhmann, Heiko J

    2016-04-01

    During the perinatal period, the brain is highly vulnerable to hypoxia and inflammation, which often cause white matter injury and long-term neuronal dysfunction such as motor and cognitive deficits or epileptic seizures. We studied the effects of moderate hypoxia (HYPO), mild systemic inflammation (INFL), or the combination of both (HYPO+INFL) in mouse somatosensory cortex induced during the first postnatal week on network activity and compared it to activity in SHAM control animals. By performing in vitro electrophysiological recordings with multi-electrode arrays from slices prepared directly after injury (P8-10), one week after injury (P13-16), or in young adults (P28-30), we investigated how the neocortical network developed following these insults. No significant difference was observed between the four groups in an extracellular solution close to physiological conditions. In extracellular 8mM potassium solution, slices from the HYPO, INFL, and HYPO+INFL group were more excitable than SHAM at P8-10 and P13-16. In these two age groups, the number and frequency of spontaneous epileptiform events were significantly increased compared to SHAM. The frequency of epileptiform events was significantly reduced by the NMDA antagonist D-APV in HYPO, INFL, and HYPO+INFL, but not in SHAM, indicating a contribution of NMDA receptors to this pathophysiological activity. In addition, the AMPA/kainate receptor antagonist CNQX suppressed the remaining epileptiform activity. Electrical stimulation evoked prominent epileptiform activity in slices from HYPO, INFL and HYPO+INFL animals. Stimulation threshold to elicit epileptiform events was lower in these groups than in SHAM. Evoked events spread over larger areas and lasted longer in treated animals than in SHAM. In addition, the evoked epileptiform activity was reduced in the older (P28-30) group indicating that cortical dysfunction induced by hypoxia and inflammation was transient and compensated during early development.

  20. Thalamocortical control of feed-forward inhibition in awake somatosensory 'barrel' cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Swadlow, Harvey A

    2002-01-01

    Intracortical inhibition plays a role in shaping sensory cortical receptive fields and is mediated by both feed-forward and feedback mechanisms. Feed-forward inhibition is the faster of the two processes, being generated by inhibitory interneurons driven by monosynaptic thalamocortical (TC) input. In principle, feed-forward inhibition can prevent targeted cortical neurons from ever reaching threshold when TC input is weak. To do so, however, inhibitory interneurons must respond to TC input at low thresholds and generate spikes very quickly. A powerful feed-forward inhibition would sharpen the tuning characteristics of targeted cortical neurons, and interneurons with sensitive and broadly tuned receptive fields could mediate this process. Suspected inhibitory interneurons (SINs) with precisely these properties are found in layer 4 of the somatosensory (S1) 'barrel' cortex of rodents and rabbits. These interneurons lack the directional selectivity seen in most cortical spiny neurons and in ventrobasal TC afferents, but are much more sensitive than cortical spiny neurons to low-amplitude whisker displacements. This paper is concerned with the activation of S1 SINs by TC impulses, and with the consequences of this activation. Multiple TC neurons and multiple S1 SINs were simultaneously studied in awake rabbits, and cross-correlation methods were used to examine functional connectivity. The results demonstrate a potent, temporally precise, dynamic and highly convergent/divergent functional input from ventrobasal TC neurons to SINs of the topographically aligned S1 barrel. Whereas the extensive pooling of convergent TC inputs onto SINs generates sensitive and broadly tuned inhibitory receptive fields, the potent TC divergence onto many SINs generates sharply synchronous activity among these elements. This TC feed-forward inhibitory network is well suited to provide a fast, potent, sensitive and broadly tuned inhibition of targeted spiny neurons that will suppress spike

  1. Predicting spike occurrence and neuronal responsiveness from LFPs in primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Storchi, Riccardo; Zippo, Antonio G; Caramenti, Gian Carlo; Valente, Maurizio; Biella, Gabriele E M

    2012-01-01

    Local Field Potentials (LFPs) integrate multiple neuronal events like synaptic inputs and intracellular potentials. LFP spatiotemporal features are particularly relevant in view of their applications both in research (e.g. for understanding brain rhythms, inter-areal neural communication and neuronal coding) and in the clinics (e.g. for improving invasive Brain-Machine Interface devices). However the relation between LFPs and spikes is complex and not fully understood. As spikes represent the fundamental currency of neuronal communication this gap in knowledge strongly limits our comprehension of neuronal phenomena underlying LFPs. We investigated the LFP-spike relation during tactile stimulation in primary somatosensory (S-I) cortex in the rat. First we quantified how reliably LFPs and spikes code for a stimulus occurrence. Then we used the information obtained from our analyses to design a predictive model for spike occurrence based on LFP inputs. The model was endowed with a flexible meta-structure whose exact form, both in parameters and structure, was estimated by using a multi-objective optimization strategy. Our method provided a set of nonlinear simple equations that maximized the match between models and true neurons in terms of spike timings and Peri Stimulus Time Histograms. We found that both LFPs and spikes can code for stimulus occurrence with millisecond precision, showing, however, high variability. Spike patterns were predicted significantly above chance for 75% of the neurons analysed. Crucially, the level of prediction accuracy depended on the reliability in coding for the stimulus occurrence. The best predictions were obtained when both spikes and LFPs were highly responsive to the stimuli. Spike reliability is known to depend on neuron intrinsic properties (i.e. on channel noise) and on spontaneous local network fluctuations. Our results suggest that the latter, measured through the LFP response variability, play a dominant role. PMID:22586452

  2. Low-frequency calcium oscillations accompany deoxyhemoglobin oscillations in rat somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Du, Congwu; Volkow, Nora D.; Koretsky, Alan P.; Pan, Yingtian

    2014-01-01

    Spontaneous low-frequency oscillations (LFOs) of blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signals are used to map brain functional connectivity with functional MRI, but their source is not well understood. Here we used optical imaging to assess whether LFOs from vascular signals covary with oscillatory intracellular calcium (Ca2+i) and with local field potentials in the rat’s somatosensory cortex. We observed that the frequency of Ca2+i oscillations in tissue (∼0.07 Hz) was similar to the LFOs of deoxyhemoglobin (HbR) and oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) in both large blood vessels and capillaries. The HbR and HbO2 fluctuations within tissue correlated with Ca2+i oscillations with a lag time of ∼5–6 s. The Ca2+i and hemoglobin oscillations were insensitive to hypercapnia. In contrast, cerebral-blood-flow velocity (CBFv) in arteries and veins fluctuated at a higher frequency (∼0.12 Hz) and was sensitive to hypercapnia. However, in parenchymal tissue, CBFv oscillated with peaks at both ∼0.06 Hz and ∼0.12 Hz. Although the higher-frequency CBFv oscillation (∼0.12 Hz) was decreased by hypercapnia, its lower-frequency component (∼0.06 Hz) was not. The sensitivity of the higher CBFV oscillations to hypercapnia, which triggers blood vessel vasodilation, suggests its dependence on vascular effects that are distinct from the LFOs detected in HbR, HbO2, Ca2+i, and the lower-frequency tissue CBFv, which were insensitive to hypercapnia. Hemodynamic LFOs correlated both with Ca2+i and neuronal firing (local field potentials), indicating that they directly reflect neuronal activity (perhaps also glial). These findings show that HbR fluctuations (basis of BOLD oscillations) are linked to oscillatory cellular activity and detectable throughout the vascular tree (arteries, capillaries, and veins). PMID:25313035

  3. Beta rhythm modulation by speech sounds: somatotopic mapping in somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura; Campus, Claudio; D'Ausilio, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    During speech listening motor regions are somatotopically activated, resembling the activity that subtends actual speech production, suggesting that motor commands can be retrieved from sensory inputs. Crucially, the efficient motor control of the articulators relies on the accurate anticipation of the somatosensory reafference. Nevertheless, evidence about somatosensory activities elicited by auditory speech processing is sparse. The present work looked for specific interactions between auditory speech presentation and somatosensory cortical information processing. We used an auditory speech identification task with sounds having different place of articulation (bilabials and dentals). We tested whether coupling the auditory task with a peripheral electrical stimulation of the lips would affect the pattern of sensorimotor electroencephalographic rhythms. Peripheral electrical stimulation elicits a series of spectral perturbations of which the beta rebound reflects the return-to-baseline stage of somatosensory processing. We show a left-lateralized and selective reduction in the beta rebound following lip somatosensory stimulation when listening to speech sounds produced with the lips (i.e. bilabials). Thus, the somatosensory processing could not return to baseline due to the recruitment of the same neural resources by speech stimuli. Our results are a clear demonstration that heard speech sounds are somatotopically mapped onto somatosensory cortices, according to place of articulation. PMID:27499204

  4. Beta rhythm modulation by speech sounds: somatotopic mapping in somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bartoli, Eleonora; Maffongelli, Laura; Campus, Claudio; D’Ausilio, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    During speech listening motor regions are somatotopically activated, resembling the activity that subtends actual speech production, suggesting that motor commands can be retrieved from sensory inputs. Crucially, the efficient motor control of the articulators relies on the accurate anticipation of the somatosensory reafference. Nevertheless, evidence about somatosensory activities elicited by auditory speech processing is sparse. The present work looked for specific interactions between auditory speech presentation and somatosensory cortical information processing. We used an auditory speech identification task with sounds having different place of articulation (bilabials and dentals). We tested whether coupling the auditory task with a peripheral electrical stimulation of the lips would affect the pattern of sensorimotor electroencephalographic rhythms. Peripheral electrical stimulation elicits a series of spectral perturbations of which the beta rebound reflects the return-to-baseline stage of somatosensory processing. We show a left-lateralized and selective reduction in the beta rebound following lip somatosensory stimulation when listening to speech sounds produced with the lips (i.e. bilabials). Thus, the somatosensory processing could not return to baseline due to the recruitment of the same neural resources by speech stimuli. Our results are a clear demonstration that heard speech sounds are somatotopically mapped onto somatosensory cortices, according to place of articulation. PMID:27499204

  5. The effects of localized inactivation of somatosensory cortex, area 3a, on area 2 in cats.

    PubMed

    Porter, L L; Izraeli, R

    1993-01-01

    In cats and primates, area 3a of the somatosensory cortex is the primary recipient of proprioceptive input (Phillips et al., 1971). Neurons in area 3a project to area 2 (Pons and Kaas, 1986; Porter, 1991), where somatic input relayed from the cortex and the thalamus may be integrated (Iwamura and Tanaka, 1978a,c). The goal of the present study was to determine the effects of area 3a input on neuronal activity in area 2 of cats. Extracellular recording techniques were used to identify neurons in area 2 that responded to deep stimulation of the contralateral forepaw. Neurons in area 3a that responded to the same receptive field modality and location as those in area 2 were also isolated. Single-unit or multiunit responses and evoked potentials to electrical stimulation of the shared peripheral receptive field and spontaneous activity were recorded from areas 2 and 3a. Lidocaine, a local anesthetic, was injected at the area 3a recording site to block neuronal activity. Spontaneous activity and receptive fields were abolished and evoked potentials were considerably diminished at the injection site, immediately after lidocaine was administered. Changes in unit responses, spontaneous activity, and evoked potentials in area 2 were monitored following inactivation of the somatotopically "matched" site in area 3a. Unit activity was recorded at 15 matched sites. In area 2, changes in unit responses to the peripheral stimulation and/or in spontaneous activity were observed at most of the recording sites following inactivation of area 3a. Spontaneous activity rates changed at 63% of the sites (mean change = 85%). Unit responses to the peripheral stimulation changed at 57% of the recording sites (mean change = 47%). The remaining sites in area 2 did not show lidocaine-induced changes. These sites may not have been connected with the matched sites in area 3a. Spontaneous activity and unit responses were not always similarly altered at a given site; sometimes one increased while

  6. Objective classification of motion- and direction-sensitive neurons in primary somatosensory cortex of awake monkeys.

    PubMed

    Warren, S; Hamalainen, H A; Gardner, E P

    1986-09-01

    In order to classify movement-sensitive neurons in SI cortex, and to estimate their relative distribution, we have developed a new simple method for controlled motion of textured surfaces across the skin, as well as a set of objective criteria for determining direction selectivity. Moving stimuli were generated using 5 mm thick precision gear wheels, whose teeth formed a grafting. They were mounted on the shafts of low-torque potentiometers (to measure the speed and direction of movement) and rolled manually across the skin using the potentiometer shaft as an axle. As the grafting wheel was advanced, its ridges sequentially contacted a specific set of points on the skin, leaving gaps of defined spacing that were unstimulated. This stimulus was reproducible from trial to trial and produced little distention of the skin. Three objective criteria were used to categorize responses: the ratio of responses to motion in the most and least preferred directions [direction index (DI)], the difference between mean firing rates in the two directions divided by the average standard deviation [index of discriminability (delta'e)], and statistical tests. Neurons were classified as direction sensitive if DI greater than 35, delta's greater than or equal to 1.35 (equivalent to 75% correct discrimination by an unbiased observer), and firing rates in most- and least-preferred directions were significantly different (P less than 0.05). Good agreement was found between the three classification schemes. Recordings were made from 1,020 cortical neurons in the hand and forearm regions of primary somatosensory cortex (areas 3b, 1 and 2) of five macaque monkeys. Tangential motion across the skin was found to be an extremely effective stimulus for SI cortical neurons. Two hundred eighty six of 757 tactile neurons (38%) responded more vigorously to moving stimuli than to pressure or tapping the skin. One hundred twenty-one cells were tested with moving gratings and were classified according

  7. Differential effects of continuous theta burst stimulation over left premotor cortex and right prefrontal cortex on modulating upper limb somatosensory input.

    PubMed

    Brown, Matt J N; Staines, W Richard

    2016-02-15

    Somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) represent somatosensory processing in non-primary motor areas (i.e. frontal N30 and N60) and somatosensory cortices (i.e. parietal P50). It is well-known that the premotor cortex (PMC) and prefrontal cortex (PFC) are involved in the preparation and planning of upper limb movements but it is currently unclear how they modulate somatosensory processing for upper limb motor control. In the current study, two experiments examined SEP modulations after continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) was used to transiently disrupt the left PMC (Experiment 1) and right PFC (Experiment 2). Both Experiment 1 (n=15) and Experiment 2 (n=16) used pre-post experimental designs. In both experiments participants performed a task requiring detection of varying amplitudes of attended vibrotactile (VibT) stimuli to the left index finger (D2) and execution of a pre-matched finger sequence with the right (contralateral) hand to specific VibT targets. During the task, SEPs were measured to median nerve (MN) stimulations time-locked during pre-stimulus (250 ms before VibT), early response selection (250 ms after VibT), late preparatory (750 ms after VibT) and execution (1250 ms VibT) phases. The key findings of Experiment 1 revealed significant decreases in N30 and N60 peak amplitudes after cTBS to PMC. In contrast, the results of Experiment 2, also found significant decreased N60 peak amplitudes as well as trends for increased N30 and P50 peak amplitudes. A direct comparison of Experiment 1 and Experiment 2 confirmed differential modulation of N30 peak amplitudes after PMC (gated) compared to PFC (enhanced) cTBS. Collectively, these results support that both the left PMC and right PFC have modulatory roles on early somatosensory input into non-primary motor areas, such as PMC and supplementary motor area (SMA), represented by frontal N30 and N60 SEPs. These results confirm that PMC and PFC are both part of a network that regulates somatosensory input

  8. Cortical Connections to Single Digit Representations in Area 3b of Somatosensory Cortex in Squirrel Monkeys and Prosimian Galagos

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Chia-Chi; Gharbawie, Omar A.; Qi, Huixin; Kaas, Jon H.

    2014-01-01

    The ventral posterior nucleus of thalamus sends highly segregated inputs into each digit representation in area 3b of primary somatosensory cortex. However, the spatial organization of the connections that link digit representations of areas 3b with other somatosensory areas is less understood. Here we examined the cortical inputs to individual digit representations of area 3b in four squirrel monkeys and one prosimian galago. Retrograde tracers were injected into neurophysiologically defined representations of individual digits of area 3b. Cortical tissues were cut parallel to the surface in some cases and showed that feedback projections to individual digits overlapped extensively in the hand representations of areas 3b, 1, and parietal ventral (PV) and second somatosensory (S2) areas. Other regions with overlapping populations of labeled cells included area 3a and primary motor cortex (M1). The results were confirmed in other cases in which the cortical tissues were cut in the coronal plane. The same cases also showed that cells were primarily labeled in the infragranular and supragranular layers. Thus, feedback projections to individual digit representations in area 3b mainly originate from multiple digits and other portions of hand representations of areas 3b, 1, PV, and S2. This organization is in stark contrast to the segregated thalamocortical inputs, which originate in single digit representations and terminate in the matching digit representation in the cortex. The organization of feedback connections could provide a substrate for the integration of information across the representations of adjacent digits in area 3b. PMID:23749740

  9. Long-term stability of sensitivity to intracortical microstimulation of somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Callier, Thierri; Schluter, Erik W.; Tabot, Gregg A.; Miller, Lee E.; Tenore, Francesco V.; Bensmaia, Sliman J.

    2015-10-01

    Objective. The dexterous manipulation of objects depends heavily on somatosensory signals from the limb. The development of anthropomorphic robotic arms and of algorithms to decode intended movements from neuronal signals has stimulated the need to restore somatosensation for use in upper-limb neuroprostheses. Without touch and proprioception, patients have difficulty controlling prosthetic limbs to a level that justifies the required invasive surgery. Intracortical microstimulation (ICMS) through chronically implanted electrode arrays has the potential to provide rich and intuitive sensory feedback. This approach to sensory restoration requires, however, that the evoked sensations remain stable over time. Approach. To investigate the stability of ICMS-evoked sensations, we measured the ability of non-human primates to detect ICMS over experimental sessions that spanned years. Main results. We found that the performance of the animals remained highly stable over time, even when they were tested with electrodes that had experienced extensive stimulation. Significance. Given the stability of the sensations that it evokes, ICMS may thus be a viable approach for sensory restoration.

  10. Integrated approach for studying adaptation mechanisms in the human somatosensory cortical network.

    PubMed

    Venkatesan, Lalit; Barlow, Steven M; Popescu, Mihai; Popescu, Anda

    2014-11-01

    Magnetoencephalography and independent component analysis (ICA) was utilized to study and characterize neural adaptation in the somatosensory cortical network. Repetitive punctate tactile stimuli were applied unilaterally to the dominant hand and face using a custom-built pneumatic stimulator called the TAC-Cell. ICA-based source estimation from the evoked neuromagnetic responses indicated cortical activity in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (SI) for face stimulation, while hand stimulation resulted in robust contralateral SI and posterior parietal cortex (PPC) activation. Activity was also observed in the secondary somatosensory cortical area (SII) with reduced amplitude and higher variability across subjects. There was a significant difference in adaptation rate between SI and higher-order somatosensory cortices for hand stimulation. Adaptation was significantly dependent on stimulus frequency and pulse index within the stimulus train for both hand and face stimulation. The peak latency of the activity was significantly dependent on stimulation site (hand vs. face) and cortical area (SI vs. PPC). The difference in the peak latency of activity in SI and PPC is presumed to reflect a hierarchical serial-processing mechanism in the somatosensory cortex.

  11. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Seelke, Adele M H; Perkeybile, Allison M; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-02-15

    Early-life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity, and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and the amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring vary. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question, we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high-contact (HC) and low-contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared with LC offspring. Additionally, HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections, whereas LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of labeled callosal neurons. This study is the first to examine individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that individual differences in cortical connections may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact.

  12. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Seelke, Adele M H; Perkeybile, Allison M; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-02-15

    Early-life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity, and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and the amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring vary. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question, we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high-contact (HC) and low-contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared with LC offspring. Additionally, HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections, whereas LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of labeled callosal neurons. This study is the first to examine individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that individual differences in cortical connections may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact. PMID:26101098

  13. Individual differences in cortical connections of somatosensory cortex are associated with parental rearing style in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Seelke, Adele M. H.; Perkeybile, Allison M.; Grunewald, Rebecca; Bales, Karen L.; Krubitzer, Leah A.

    2015-01-01

    Early life sensory experiences have a profound effect on brain organization, connectivity and subsequent behavior. In most mammals, the earliest sensory inputs are delivered to the developing brain through tactile contact with the parents, especially the mother. Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous and, like humans, are biparental. Within the normal prairie vole population, both the type and amount of interactions, particularly tactile contact, that parents have with their offspring varies. The question is whether these early and pervasive differences in tactile stimulation and social experience between parent and offspring are manifest in differences in cortical organization and connectivity. To address this question we examined the cortical and callosal connections of the primary somatosensory area (S1) in high contact (HC) and low contact (LC) offspring using neuroanatomical tracing techniques. Injection sites within S1 were matched so that direct comparisons between these two groups could be made. We observed several important differences between these groups. The first was that HC offspring had a greater density of intrinsic connections within S1 compared to LC offspring. The HC offspring had a more restricted pattern of ipsilateral connections while LC offspring had dense connections with areas of parietal and frontal cortex that were more widespread. Finally, LC offspring had a broader distribution of callosal connections than HC offspring and a significantly higher percentage of callosal labeled neurons. To date, this is the first study that examines individual differences in cortical connections and suggests that they may be related to natural differences in parental rearing styles associated with tactile contact. PMID:26101098

  14. Abnormal Population Responses in the Somatosensory Cortex of Alzheimer’s Disease Model Mice

    PubMed Central

    Maatuf, Yossi; Stern, Edward A.; Slovin, Hamutal

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia. One of the neuropathological hallmarks of AD is the accumulation of amyloid-β plaques. Overexpression of human amyloid precursor protein in transgenic mice induces hippocampal and neocortical amyloid-β accumulation and plaque deposition that increases with age. The impact of these effects on neuronal population responses and network activity in sensory cortex is not well understood. We used Voltage Sensitive Dye Imaging, to investigate at high spatial and temporal resolution, the sensory evoked population responses in the barrel cortex of aged transgenic (Tg) mice and of age-matched non-transgenic littermate controls (Ctrl) mice. We found that a whisker deflection evoked abnormal sensory responses in the barrel cortex of Tg mice. The response amplitude and the spatial spread of the cortical responses were significantly larger in Tg than in Ctrl mice. At the network level, spontaneous activity was less synchronized over cortical space than in Ctrl mice, however synchronization during evoked responses induced by whisker deflection did not differ between the two groups. Thus, the presence of elevated Aβ and plaques may alter population responses and disrupts neural synchronization in large-scale networks, leading to abnormalities in sensory processing. PMID:27079783

  15. Altered expression of neuropeptides in the primary somatosensory cortex of the Down syndrome model Ts65Dn.

    PubMed

    Hernández, Samuel; Gilabert-Juan, Javier; Blasco-Ibáñez, José Miguel; Crespo, Carlos; Nácher, Juan; Varea, Emilio

    2012-02-01

    Down syndrome is the most common genetic disorder associated with mental retardation. Subjects and mice models for Down syndrome (such as Ts65Dn) show defects in the formation of neuronal networks in both the hippocampus and the cerebral cortex. The principal neurons display alterations in the morphology, density and distribution of dendritic spines in the cortex as well as in the hippocampus. Several evidences point to the possibility that the atrophy observed in principal neurons could be mediated by changes in their inhibitory inputs and, in fact, an imbalance between excitation and inhibition has been observed in Ts65Dn mice in these regions, which are crucial for learning and information processing. These animals have an increased density of interneurons in the primary somatosensory cortex, especially of those expressing calretinin and calbindin D-28k. Here, we have analysed the expression and distribution of several neuropeptides in the primary somatosensory cortex of Ts65Dn mice in order to investigate whether these subpopulations of interneurons are affected. We have observed an increase in the total density of somatostatin expressing interneurons and of those expressing VIP in layer IV in Ts65Dn mice. The typology of the somatostatin and VIP interneurons was unaltered as attested by the pattern of co-expression with other markers. Somatostatin immunoreactive neurons co-express mainly D-28k calbindin and VIP expressing interneurons maintain its pattern of co-expression with calcium binding proteins. These alterations, in case they were also present in subjects with Down syndrome, could be related to their impairment in cognitive profile and could be involved in the neurological defects observed in this disorder.

  16. A Somatosensory Latency between the Thalamus and Cortex also Correlates with Level of Intelligence.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reed, T. Edward; Jensen, Arthur R.

    1993-01-01

    Results for sensory thalamocortical latency (3 somatosensory evoked potentials) for 205 college students agree with data that correlate a more extensive visual evoked potential latency with intelligence quotient. Findings suggest that the correlation occurs because the latency indexes cortical nerve conduction velocity. (SLD)

  17. Cortical and thalamic contributions to response dynamics across layers of the primary somatosensory cortex during tactile discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Pais-Vieira, Miguel; Kunicki, Carolina; Tseng, Po-He; Martin, Joel; Lebedev, Mikhail

    2015-01-01

    Tactile information processing in the rodent primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is layer specific and involves modulations from both thalamocortical and cortico-cortical loops. However, the extent to which these loops influence the dynamics of the primary somatosensory cortex while animals execute tactile discrimination remains largely unknown. Here, we describe neural dynamics of S1 layers across the multiple epochs defining a tactile discrimination task. We observed that neuronal ensembles within different layers of the S1 cortex exhibited significantly distinct neurophysiological properties, which constantly changed across the behavioral states that defined a tactile discrimination. Neural dynamics present in supragranular and granular layers generally matched the patterns observed in the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus (VPM), whereas the neural dynamics recorded from infragranular layers generally matched the patterns from the posterior nucleus of the thalamus (POM). Selective inactivation of contralateral S1 specifically switched infragranular neural dynamics from POM-like to those resembling VPM neurons. Meanwhile, ipsilateral M1 inactivation profoundly modulated the firing suppression observed in infragranular layers. This latter effect was counterbalanced by contralateral S1 block. Tactile stimulus encoding was layer specific and selectively affected by M1 or contralateral S1 inactivation. Lastly, causal information transfer occurred between all neurons in all S1 layers but was maximal from infragranular to the granular layer. These results suggest that tactile information processing in the S1 of awake behaving rodents is layer specific and state dependent and that its dynamics depend on the asynchronous convergence of modulations originating from ipsilateral M1 and contralateral S1. PMID:26180115

  18. Cortical and thalamic contributions to response dynamics across layers of the primary somatosensory cortex during tactile discrimination.

    PubMed

    Pais-Vieira, Miguel; Kunicki, Carolina; Tseng, Po-He; Martin, Joel; Lebedev, Mikhail; Nicolelis, Miguel A L

    2015-09-01

    Tactile information processing in the rodent primary somatosensory cortex (S1) is layer specific and involves modulations from both thalamocortical and cortico-cortical loops. However, the extent to which these loops influence the dynamics of the primary somatosensory cortex while animals execute tactile discrimination remains largely unknown. Here, we describe neural dynamics of S1 layers across the multiple epochs defining a tactile discrimination task. We observed that neuronal ensembles within different layers of the S1 cortex exhibited significantly distinct neurophysiological properties, which constantly changed across the behavioral states that defined a tactile discrimination. Neural dynamics present in supragranular and granular layers generally matched the patterns observed in the ventral posterior medial nucleus of the thalamus (VPM), whereas the neural dynamics recorded from infragranular layers generally matched the patterns from the posterior nucleus of the thalamus (POM). Selective inactivation of contralateral S1 specifically switched infragranular neural dynamics from POM-like to those resembling VPM neurons. Meanwhile, ipsilateral M1 inactivation profoundly modulated the firing suppression observed in infragranular layers. This latter effect was counterbalanced by contralateral S1 block. Tactile stimulus encoding was layer specific and selectively affected by M1 or contralateral S1 inactivation. Lastly, causal information transfer occurred between all neurons in all S1 layers but was maximal from infragranular to the granular layer. These results suggest that tactile information processing in the S1 of awake behaving rodents is layer specific and state dependent and that its dynamics depend on the asynchronous convergence of modulations originating from ipsilateral M1 and contralateral S1.

  19. Oscillatory activity of single units in a somatosensory cortex of an awake monkey and their possible role in texture analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Ahissar, E; Vaadia, E

    1990-01-01

    Neuronal activity was extracellularly recorded in the cortex of an awake monkey (Macaca fascicularis). Single units displaying oscillatory firing patterns were found in the upper bank of the lateral sulcus in a region where most of the neurons responded to somatosensory stimuli. The spectral energies of the oscillating activity were distributed in a trimodal fashion--0-15, 15-50, and 80-250 Hz--with the most common frequencies around 30 Hz. The oscillatory activity was not affected by anesthesia, but it was often reduced by tactile stimulation or self-initiated movements. Analysis of the spike trains suggests that the majority of oscillatory activity was intrinsically generated by the neurons. A neural model of texture analysis is offered based on a corticothalamic phase-locked loop. The newly identified oscillators play a key role in this model. The relevance of the model to physiological, anatomical, and psychophysical data, as well as testable predictions, are discussed. Images PMID:2247469

  20. Effects of Ketamine on Neuronal Spontaneous Excitatory Postsynaptic Currents and Miniature Excitatory Postsynaptic Currents in the Somatosensory Cortex of Rats

    PubMed Central

    Yuan, Chengdong; Zhang, Yajun; Zhang, Yu; Cao, Song; Wang, Yuan; Fu, Bao; Yu, Tian

    2016-01-01

    Background: Ketamine is a commonly used intravenous anesthetic which produces dissociation anesthesia, analgesia, and amnesia. The mechanism of ketamine-induced synaptic inhibition in high-level cortical areas is still unknown. We aimed to elucidate the effects of different concentrations of ketamine on the glutamatergic synaptic transmission of the neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex by using the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Methods: Sprague-Dawley rats (11–19 postnatal days, n=36) were used to obtain brain slices (300 μM). Spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (data from 40 neurons) were recorded at a command potential of -70 mV in the presence of bicuculline (a competitive antagonist of GABAA receptors, 30 μM) and strychnine (glycine receptor antagonist, 30 μM). Miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (data from 40 neurons) were also recorded when 1 μM of tetrodotoxin was added into the artificial cerebrospinal fluid. We used GraphPad Prism5for statistical analysis. Significant differences in the mean amplitude and frequency were tested using the Student paired 2-tailed t test. Values of P<0.05 were considered significant. Results: Different concentrations of ketamine inhibited the frequency and amplitude of the spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents as well as the amplitude of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents in a concentration-dependent manner, but they exerted no significant effect on the frequency of the miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents. Conclusion: Ketamine inhibited the excitatory synaptic transmission of the neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex. The inhibition may have been mediated by a reduction in the sensitivity of the postsynaptic glutamatergic receptors. PMID:27365548

  1. Vibrotactile amplitude discrimination capacity parallels magnitude changes in somatosensory cortex and follows Weber's Law.

    PubMed

    Francisco, E; Tannan, V; Zhang, Z; Holden, J; Tommerdahl, M

    2008-10-01

    In this study, we investigated the changes in perceptual metrics of amplitude discrimination that were observed in ten healthy human subjects with increasing intensities of stimulation. The ability to perceive differences in vibrotactile amplitude changed systematically with increasing stimulus magnitude (i.e., followed Weber's Law) in a near linear fashion (R (2) = 0.9977), and the linear fit determined by the amplitude discrimination task predicted the subjects' detection thresholds. Additionally, the perceptual metrics correlated well with observations from a previously reported study in which measures of SI cortical activity in non-human primates (squirrel monkeys) evoked by different amplitudes of vibrotactile stimulation were obtained (Simons et al. in BMC Neurosci 6:43, 2005). Stimuli were delivered simultaneously to two different skin sites (D2 and D3), enabling a method for the relatively rapid acquisition of the data. Stability and robustness of the measure, its rapid acquisition, and its apparent relationship with responses previously observed in SI cortex, led to the conclusion that deviations from the baseline values observed in the obtained perceptual metric could provide a useful indicator of cerebral cortical health. PMID:18651137

  2. Development of Human Somatosensory Cortical Functions - What have We Learned from Magnetoencephalography: A Review.

    PubMed

    Nevalainen, Päivi; Lauronen, Leena; Pihko, Elina

    2014-01-01

    The mysteries of early development of cortical processing in humans have started to unravel with the help of new non-invasive brain research tools like multichannel magnetoencephalography (MEG). In this review, we evaluate, within a wider neuroscientific and clinical context, the value of MEG in studying normal and disturbed functional development of the human somatosensory system. The combination of excellent temporal resolution and good localization accuracy provided by MEG has, in the case of somatosensory studies, enabled the differentiation of activation patterns from the newborn's primary (SI) and secondary somatosensory (SII) areas. Furthermore, MEG has shown that the functioning of both SI and SII in newborns has particular immature features in comparison with adults. In extremely preterm infants, the neonatal MEG response from SII also seems to potentially predict developmental outcome: those lacking SII responses at term show worse motor performance at age 2 years than those with normal SII responses at term. In older children with unilateral early brain lesions, bilateral alterations in somatosensory cortical activation detected in MEG imply that the impact of a localized insult may have an unexpectedly wide effect on cortical somatosensory networks. The achievements over the last decade show that MEG provides a unique approach for studying the development of the somatosensory system and its disturbances in childhood. MEG well complements other neuroimaging methods in studies of cortical processes in the developing brain.

  3. Physical Exercise Preserves Adult Visual Plasticity in Mice and Restores it after a Stroke in the Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kalogeraki, Evgenia; Pielecka-Fortuna, Justyna; Hüppe, Janika M.; Löwel, Siegrid

    2016-01-01

    The primary visual cortex (V1) is widely used to study brain plasticity, which is not only crucial for normal brain function, such as learning and memory, but also for recovery after brain injuries such as stroke. In standard cage (SC) raised mice, experience-dependent ocular dominance (OD) plasticity in V1 declines with age and is compromised by a lesion in adjacent and distant cortical regions. In contrast, mice raised in an enriched environment (EE), exhibit lifelong OD plasticity and are protected from losing OD plasticity after a stroke-lesion in the somatosensory cortex. Since SC mice with an access to a running wheel (RW) displayed preserved OD plasticity during aging, we investigated whether physical exercise might also provide a plasticity promoting effect after a cortical stroke. To this end, we tested if adult RW-raised mice preserved OD plasticity after stroke and also if short-term running after stroke restored OD plasticity to SC mice. Indeed, unlike mice without a RW, adult RW mice continued to show OD plasticity even after stroke, and a 2 weeks RW experience after stroke already restored lost OD plasticity. Additionally, the experience-enabled increase of the spatial frequency and contrast threshold of the optomotor reflex of the open eye, normally lost after a stroke, was restored in both groups of RW mice. Our data suggest that physical exercise alone can not only preserve visual plasticity into old age, but also restore it after a cortical stroke. PMID:27708575

  4. Early and moderate sensory stimulation exerts a protective effect on perilesion representations of somatosensory cortex after focal ischemic damage.

    PubMed

    Xerri, Christian; Zennou-Azogui, Yoh'i

    2014-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that intensive training within an early critical time window after focal cortical ischemia increases the area of damaged tissue and is detrimental to behavioral recovery. We postulated that moderate stimulation initiated soon after the lesion could have protective effects on peri-infarct cortical somatotopic representations. Therefore, we have assessed the effects of mild cutaneous stimulation delivered in an attention-demanding behavioral context on the functional organization of the perilesion somatosensory cortex using high-density electrophysiological mapping. We compared the effects of 6-day training initiated on the 3rd day postlesion (early training; ET) to those of same-duration training started on the 8th day (delayed training; DT). Our findings confirm previous work showing that the absence of training aggravates representational loss in the perilesion zone. In addition, ET was found to be sufficient to limit expansion of the ischemic lesion and reduce tissue loss, and substantially maintain the neuronal responsiveness to tactile stimulation, thereby preserving somatotopic map arrangement in the peri-infarct cortical territories. By contrast, DT did not prevent tissue loss and only partially reinstated lost representations in a use-dependent manner within the spared peri-infarct cortical area. This study differentiates the effects of early versus delayed training on perilesion tissue and cortical map reorganization, and underscores the neuroprotective influence of mild rehabilitative stimulation on neuronal response properties in the peri-infarct cortex during an early critical period. PMID:24914807

  5. Distribution of neurons immunoreactive for calcium-binding proteins varies across areas of cat primary somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schwark, H D; Li, J

    2000-03-15

    The primary somatosensory (SI) cortex in the cat contains four cytoarchitectonic areas that appear to contain separate body representations and have different functions. We tested whether functional differences among these areas are reflected in the densities of neurons containing each of three calcium-binding proteins: parvalbumin (PV), calbindin (CB), and calretinin (CR). Colocalization experiments revealed that CR was localized in a population of neurons distinct from those containing PV or CB. The general laminar distributions of the three calcium-binding proteins were similar to those described in other species and cortical areas, but there were significant density differences in layers II and III across SI. The density of PV-immunoreactive neurons was higher in areas 3b and 1 than in areas 3a and 2. CB-immunoreactive neurons were found in higher densities in anterior SI than in posterior SI, and the pattern of CR-immunoreactive neurons was reciprocal to that of CB, with significantly higher densities in posterior regions of SI. Since the firing characteristics of nonpyramidal neurons appear to be related to their calcium-binding protein content, differences in regional distributions of these neurons in layers II and III may contribute to functional differences between the cytoarchitectonic areas of SI cortex.

  6. Callosal axon arbors in the limb representations of the somatosensory cortex (SI) in the agouti (Dasyprocta primnolopha).

    PubMed

    Rocha, E G; Santiago, L F; Freire, M A M; Gomes-Leal, W; Dias, I A; Lent, R; Houzel, J C; Franca, J G; Pereira, A; Picanço-Diniz, C W

    2007-01-10

    The present report compares the morphology of callosal axon arbors projecting from and to the hind- or forelimb representations in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the agouti (Dasyprocta primnolopha), a large, lisencephlic Brazilian rodent that uses forelimb coordination for feeding. Callosal axons were labeled after single pressure (n = 6) or iontophoretic injections (n = 2) of the neuronal tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA, 10 kD), either into the hind- (n = 4) or forelimb (n = 4) representations of SI, as identified by electrophysiological recording. Sixty-nine labeled axon fragments located across all layers of contralateral SI representations of the hindlimb (n = 35) and forelimb (n = 34) were analyzed. Quantitative morphometric features such as densities of branching points and boutons, segments length, branching angles, and terminal field areas were measured. Cluster analysis of these values revealed the existence of two types of axon terminals: Type I (46.4%), less branched and more widespread, and Type II (53.6%), more branched and compact. Both axon types were asymmetrically distributed; Type I axonal fragments being more frequent in hindlimb (71.9%) vs. forelimb (28.13%) representation, while most of Type II axonal arbors were found in the forelimb representation (67.56%). We concluded that the sets of callosal axon connecting fore- and hindlimb regions in SI are morphometrically distinct from each other. As callosal projections in somatosensory and motor cortices seem to be essential for bimanual interaction, we suggest that the morphological specialization of callosal axons in SI of the agouti may be correlated with this particular function.

  7. Increased Brain Gray Matter in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex is Associated with Increased Pain and Mood Disturbance in Interstitial Cystitis/Painful Bladder Syndrome Patients

    PubMed Central

    Kairys, Anson E.; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias; Puiu, Tudor; Ichesco, Eric; Labus, Jennifer S.; Martucci, Katherine; Farmer, Melissa A.; Ness, Timothy J.; Deutsch, Georg; Mayer, Emeran A.; Mackey, Sean; Apkarian, A. Vania; Maravilla, Kenneth; Clauw, Daniel J.; Harris, Richard E.

    2015-01-01

    Purpose Interstitial cystitis (IC) is a highly prevalent pain condition, estimated to affect 3-6% of women in the United States. Emerging data suggests there are central neurobiological components to the etiology of this disease. Here we report the first brain structural imaging findings from the Multidisciplinary Approach to Pelvic Pain (MAPP) network, with data on over 300 participants. Materials and Methods We used Voxel-Based Morphometry (VBM) to determine whether human patients with chronic IC display changes in brain morphology as compared to healthy controls (HCs). 33 female IC patients without comorbidities and 33 age- and sex-matched controls, taken from the larger sample, underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging at 5 different MAPP sites across the United States. Results When compared to controls, females with IC displayed significant increased gray matter (GM) volume in several regions of the brain including the right primary somatosensory cortex (S1), the superior parietal lobule bilaterally, and the right supplementary motor area. GM volume in the right S1 was associated with greater pain, mood (anxiety), and urological symptoms. We explored these correlations in a linear regression model and found independent effects of these three measures on S1 GM volume: clinical pain (McGill pain sensory total), a measure of “urgency,” and anxiety (HADS). Conclusions These data support the notion that changes in somatosensory GM may play an important role in pain sensitivity as well as affective and sensory aspects of IC. Further studies are needed to confirm the generalizability of these findings to other pain conditions. PMID:25132239

  8. Embedding a Panoramic Representation of Infrared Light in the Adult Rat Somatosensory Cortex through a Sensory Neuroprosthesis

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Konstantin; Thomson, Eric E.; Zea, Ivan; Yun, Richy; Mullen, Peter; Canarick, Jay; Huh, Albert

    2016-01-01

    Can the adult brain assimilate a novel, topographically organized, sensory modality into its perceptual repertoire? To test this, we implemented a microstimulation-based neuroprosthesis that rats used to discriminate among infrared (IR) light sources. This system continuously relayed information from four IR sensors that were distributed to provide a panoramic view of IR sources, into primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Rats learned to discriminate the location of IR sources in <4 d. Animals in which IR information was delivered in spatial register with whisker topography learned the task more quickly. Further, in animals that had learned to use the prosthesis, altering the topographic mapping from IR sensor to stimulating electrode had immediate deleterious effects on discrimination performance. Multielectrode recordings revealed that S1 neurons had multimodal (tactile/IR) receptive fields, with clear preferences for those stimuli most likely to be delivered during the task. Neuronal populations predicted, with high accuracy, which stimulation pattern was present in small (75 ms) time windows. Surprisingly, when identical microstimulation patterns were delivered during an unrelated task, cortical activity in S1 was strongly suppressed. Overall, these results show that the adult mammalian neocortex can readily absorb completely new information sources into its representational repertoire, and use this information in the production of adaptive behaviors. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the potential for plasticity in the adult brain is a key goal for basic neuroscience and modern rehabilitative medicine. Our study examines one dimension of this challenge: how malleable is sensory processing in adult mammals? We implemented a panoramic infrared (IR) sensory prosthetic system in rats; it consisted of four IR sensors equally spaced around the circumference of the head of the rat. Each sensor was coupled to a microstimulating electrode placed in the somatosensory

  9. Look but don't touch: Visual cues to surface structure drive somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hua-Chun; Welchman, Andrew E.; Chang, Dorita H.F.; Di Luca, Massimiliano

    2016-01-01

    When planning interactions with nearby objects, our brain uses visual information to estimate shape, material composition, and surface structure before we come into contact with them. Here we analyse brain activations elicited by different types of visual appearance, measuring fMRI responses to objects that are glossy, matte, rough, or textured. In addition to activation in visual areas, we found that fMRI responses are evoked in the secondary somatosensory area (S2) when looking at glossy and rough surfaces. This activity could be reliably discriminated on the basis of tactile-related visual properties (gloss, rough, and matte), but importantly, other visual properties (i.e., coloured texture) did not substantially change fMRI activity. The activity could not be solely due to tactile imagination, as asking explicitly to imagine such surface properties did not lead to the same results. These findings suggest that visual cues to an object's surface properties evoke activity in neural circuits associated with tactile stimulation. This activation may reflect the a-priori probability of the physics of the interaction (i.e., the expectation of upcoming friction) that can be used to plan finger placement and grasp force. PMID:26778128

  10. Neural response to movement of the hand and mouth in the secondary somatosensory cortex of Japanese monkeys during a simple feeding task.

    PubMed

    Taoka, Miki; Tanaka, Michio; Hihara, Sayaka; Ojima, Hisayuki; Iriki, Atsushi

    2013-09-01

    Neural activity was recorded in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) of macaque monkeys during a simple feeding task. Around the border between the representations of the hand and face in SII, we found neurons that became active during both retrieving with the hand and eating; 59% had receptive fields (RFs) in the hand/face and the remaining 41% had no RFs. Neurons that responded to touching objects were rarely found. This suggests their sensorimotor function rather than tactile object recognition.

  11. Spatiotemporal characteristics of cerebral blood volume changes in different microvascular compartments evoked by sciatic nerve stimulation in rat somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Pengcheng; Luo, Qingming; Luo, Weihua; Chen, Shanbin; Cheng, Haiying; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2003-07-01

    The spatio-temporal characteristics of changes in cerebral blood volume associated with neuronal activity were investigated in the hindlimb somatosensory cortex of α-chloralose/urethan anesthetized rats (n=10) with optical imaging at 570nm through a thinned skull. Activation of cortex was carried out by electrical stimulation of the contralateral sciatic nerve with 5Hz, 0.3V pulses (0.5ms) for duration of 2s. The stimulation evoked a monophasic optical reflectance decrease at cortical parenchyma and arteries sites rapidly after the onset of stimulation, whereas no similar response was observed at vein compartments. The optical signal changes reached 10% of the peak response 0.70+/-0.32s after stimulation onset and no significant time lag in this 10% start latency time was observed between the response at cortical parenchyma and arteries compartments. The evoked optical reflectance decrease reached the peak (0.25%+/-0.047%) 2.66+/-0.61s after the stimulus onset at parenchyma site, 0.40+/-0.20s earlier (P<0.05) than that at arteries site (0.50+/-0.068% 3.06+/-0.70s). Variable location within the cortical parenchyma and arteries compartment themselves didn"t affect the temporal characteristics of the evoked signal significantly. These results suggest that the sciatic nerve stimulation evokes a local blood volume increase at both capillaries (cortical parenchyma) and arterioles rapidly after the stimulus onset but the evoked blood volume increase in capillaries could not be entirely accounted for by the dilation of arterioles.

  12. Endocannabinoid signaling is required for development and critical period plasticity of the whisker map in somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Li, Lu; Bender, Kevin J.; Drew, Patrick J.; Jadhav, Shantanu P.; Sylwestrak, Emily; Feldman, Daniel E.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Type 1 cannabinoid (CB1) receptors mediate widespread synaptic plasticity, but how this contributes to systems-level plasticity and development in vivo is unclear. We tested whether CB1 signaling is required for development and plasticity of the whisker map in rat somatosensory cortex. Treatment with the CB1 antagonist AM251 during an early critical period for layer (L) 2/3 development (beginning postnatal day [P] 12–16) disrupted whisker map development, leading to inappropriate whisker tuning in L2/3 column edges and a blurred map. Early AM251 treatment also prevented experience-dependent plasticity in L2/3, including deprivation-induced synapse weakening and weakening of deprived whisker responses. CB1 blockade after P25 did not disrupt map development or plasticity. AM251 had no acute effect on sensory-evoked spiking, and only modestly affected field potentials, suggesting that plasticity effects were not secondary to gross activity changes. These findings implicate CB1-dependent plasticity in systems-level development and early postnatal plasticity of the whisker map. PMID:19945395

  13. Embedding a Panoramic Representation of Infrared Light in the Adult Rat Somatosensory Cortex through a Sensory Neuroprosthesis.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Konstantin; Thomson, Eric E; Zea, Ivan; Yun, Richy; Mullen, Peter; Canarick, Jay; Huh, Albert; Nicolelis, Miguel A L

    2016-02-24

    Can the adult brain assimilate a novel, topographically organized, sensory modality into its perceptual repertoire? To test this, we implemented a microstimulation-based neuroprosthesis that rats used to discriminate among infrared (IR) light sources. This system continuously relayed information from four IR sensors that were distributed to provide a panoramic view of IR sources, into primary somatosensory cortex (S1). Rats learned to discriminate the location of IR sources in <4 d. Animals in which IR information was delivered in spatial register with whisker topography learned the task more quickly. Further, in animals that had learned to use the prosthesis, altering the topographic mapping from IR sensor to stimulating electrode had immediate deleterious effects on discrimination performance. Multielectrode recordings revealed that S1 neurons had multimodal (tactile/IR) receptive fields, with clear preferences for those stimuli most likely to be delivered during the task. Neuronal populations predicted, with high accuracy, which stimulation pattern was present in small (75 ms) time windows. Surprisingly, when identical microstimulation patterns were delivered during an unrelated task, cortical activity in S1 was strongly suppressed. Overall, these results show that the adult mammalian neocortex can readily absorb completely new information sources into its representational repertoire, and use this information in the production of adaptive behaviors. PMID:26911689

  14. Representation of Afferent Signals from Forearm Muscle and Cutaneous Nerves in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex of the Macaque Monkey

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Hiroshi; Yaguchi, Hiroaki; Tomatsu, Saeka; Takei, Tomohiko; Oya, Tomomichi

    2016-01-01

    Proprioception is one’s overall sense of the relative positions and movements of the various parts of one’s body. The primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is involved in generating the proprioception by receiving peripheral sensory inputs from both cutaneous and muscle afferents. In particular, area 3a receives input from muscle afferents and areas 3b and 1 from cutaneous afferents. However, segregation of two sensory inputs to these cortical areas has not been evaluated quantitatively because of methodological difficulties in distinguishing the incoming signals. To overcome this, we applied electrical stimulation separately to two forearm nerves innervating muscle (deep radial nerve) and skin (superficial radial nerve), and examined the spatiotemporal distribution of sensory evoked potentials (SEPs) in SI of anaesthetized macaques. The SEPs arising from the deep radial nerve were observed exclusively at the bottom of central sulcus (CS), which was identified as area 3a using histological reconstruction. In contrast, SEPs evoked by stimulation of the superficial radial nerve were observed in the superficial part of SI, identified as areas 3b and 1. In addition to these earlier, larger potentials, we also found small and slightly delayed SEPs evoked by cutaneous nerve stimulation in area 3a. Coexistence of the SEPs from both deep and superficial radial nerves suggests that area 3a could integrate muscle and cutaneous signals to shape proprioception. PMID:27701434

  15. Primary and secondary somatosensory cortex responses to anticipation and pain: a magnetoencephalography study.

    PubMed

    Worthen, Siân F; Hobson, Anthony R; Hall, Stephen D; Aziz, Qasim; Furlong, Paul L

    2011-03-01

    Several brain regions, including the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices (SI and SII, respectively), are functionally active during the pain experience. Both of these regions are thought to be involved in the sensory-discriminative processing of pain and recent evidence suggests that SI in particular may also be involved in more affective processing. In this study we used MEG to investigate the hypothesis that frequency-specific oscillatory activity may be differentially associated with the sensory and affective components of pain. In eight healthy participants (four male), MEG was recorded during a visceral pain experiment comprising baseline, anticipation, pain and post-pain phases. Pain was delivered via intraluminal oesophageal balloon distension (four stimuli at 1 Hz). Significant bilateral but asymmetrical changes in neural activity occurred in the β-band within SI and SII. In SI, a continuous increase in neural activity occurred during the anticipation phase (20-30 Hz), which continued during the pain phase but at a lower frequency (10-15 Hz). In SII, oscillatory changes only occurred during the pain phase, predominantly in the 20-30 Hz β band, and were coincident with the stimulus. These data provide novel evidence of functional diversity within SI, indicating a role in attentional and sensory aspects of pain processing. In SII, oscillatory changes were predominantly stimulus-related, indicating a role in encoding the characteristics of the stimulus. We therefore provide objective evidence of functional heterogeneity within SI and functional segregation between SI and SII, and suggest that the temporal and frequency dynamics within cortical regions may offer valuable insights into pain processing.

  16. The structure of somatosensory information for human postural control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeka, J. J.; Ribeiro, P.; Oie, K.; Lackner, J. R.

    1998-01-01

    The goal of the present study was to determine the properties of the somatosensory stimulus that alter its temporal coupling to body sway. Six standing subjects were tested while touching a metal plate positioned either directly in front of or lateral to the subject. In each condition, the plate moved 4 mm at 0.2 Hz in either the medial-lateral (ML) or anterior-posterior direction (AP). The results showed that coupling between body sway and touch plate movement was strongest when the touch plate moved in a direction along the longitudinal axis of the arm. Coupling strength was weaker when the touch plate moved perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the arm. The results consistently show that a radial expansion stimulus was more effective than a lamellar-type stimulus at the fingertip. Moreover, somatosensory information from a surface is interpreted in terms of the orientation of the contact limb and the potential degrees of freedom available through its movement.

  17. Low-noise encoding of active touch by layer 4 in the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Hires, Samuel Andrew; Gutnisky, Diego A; Yu, Jianing; O'Connor, Daniel H; Svoboda, Karel

    2015-08-06

    Cortical spike trains often appear noisy, with the timing and number of spikes varying across repetitions of stimuli. Spiking variability can arise from internal (behavioral state, unreliable neurons, or chaotic dynamics in neural circuits) and external (uncontrolled behavior or sensory stimuli) sources. The amount of irreducible internal noise in spike trains, an important constraint on models of cortical networks, has been difficult to estimate, since behavior and brain state must be precisely controlled or tracked. We recorded from excitatory barrel cortex neurons in layer 4 during active behavior, where mice control tactile input through learned whisker movements. Touch was the dominant sensorimotor feature, with >70% spikes occurring in millisecond timescale epochs after touch onset. The variance of touch responses was smaller than expected from Poisson processes, often reaching the theoretical minimum. Layer 4 spike trains thus reflect the millisecond-timescale structure of tactile input with little noise.

  18. Low-noise encoding of active touch by layer 4 in the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Andrew Hires, Samuel; Gutnisky, Diego A; Yu, Jianing; O'Connor, Daniel H; Svoboda, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Cortical spike trains often appear noisy, with the timing and number of spikes varying across repetitions of stimuli. Spiking variability can arise from internal (behavioral state, unreliable neurons, or chaotic dynamics in neural circuits) and external (uncontrolled behavior or sensory stimuli) sources. The amount of irreducible internal noise in spike trains, an important constraint on models of cortical networks, has been difficult to estimate, since behavior and brain state must be precisely controlled or tracked. We recorded from excitatory barrel cortex neurons in layer 4 during active behavior, where mice control tactile input through learned whisker movements. Touch was the dominant sensorimotor feature, with >70% spikes occurring in millisecond timescale epochs after touch onset. The variance of touch responses was smaller than expected from Poisson processes, often reaching the theoretical minimum. Layer 4 spike trains thus reflect the millisecond-timescale structure of tactile input with little noise. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06619.001 PMID:26245232

  19. Role of somatosensory and vestibular cues in attenuating visually induced human postural sway

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Peterka, Robert J.; Benolken, Martha S.

    1993-01-01

    The purpose was to determine the contribution of visual, vestibular, and somatosensory cues to the maintenance of stance in humans. Postural sway was induced by full field, sinusoidal visual surround rotations about an axis at the level of the ankle joints. The influences of vestibular and somatosensory cues were characterized by comparing postural sway in normal and bilateral vestibular absent subjects in conditions that provided either accurate or inaccurate somatosensory orientation information. In normal subjects, the amplitude of visually induced sway reached a saturation level as stimulus amplitude increased. The saturation amplitude decreased with increasing stimulus frequency. No saturation phenomena was observed in subjects with vestibular loss, implying that vestibular cues were responsible for the saturation phenomenon. For visually induced sways below the saturation level, the stimulus-response curves for both normal and vestibular loss subjects were nearly identical implying that (1) normal subjects were not using vestibular information to attenuate their visually induced sway, possibly because sway was below a vestibular-related threshold level, and (2) vestibular loss subjects did not utilize visual cues to a greater extent than normal subjects; that is, a fundamental change in visual system 'gain' was not used to compensate for a vestibular deficit. An unexpected finding was that the amplitude of body sway induced by visual surround motion could be almost three times greater than the amplitude of the visual stimulus in normals and vestibular loss subjects. This occurred in conditions where somatosensory cues were inaccurate and at low stimulus amplitudes. A control system model of visually induced postural sway was developed to explain this finding. For both subject groups, the amplitude of visually induced sway was smaller by a factor of about four in tests where somatosensory cues provided accurate versus inaccurate orientation information. This

  20. Shifts in Developmental Timing, and Not Increased Levels of Experience-Dependent Neuronal Activity, Promote Barrel Expansion in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex of Rats Enucleated at Birth

    PubMed Central

    Fetter-Pruneda, Ingrid; Ibarrarán-Viniegra, Ana Sofía; Martínez-Martínez, Eduardo; Sandoval-Velasco, Marcela; Uribe-Figueroa, Laura; Padilla-Cortés, Patricia; Mercado-Célis, Gabriela; Gutiérrez-Ospina, Gabriel

    2013-01-01

    Birth-enucleated rodents display enlarged representations of whiskers (i.e., barrels of the posteromedial subfield) in the primary somatosensory cortex. Although the historical view maintains that barrel expansion is due to incremental increases in neuronal activity along the trigeminal pathway during postnatal development, recent evidence obtained in experimental models of intramodal plasticity challenges this view. Here, we re-evaluate the role of experience-dependent neuronal activity on barrel expansion in birth-enucleated rats by combining various anatomical methods and sensory deprivation paradigms. We show that barrels in birth-enucleated rats were already enlarged by the end of the first week of life and had levels of metabolic activity comparable to those in control rats at different ages. Dewhiskering after the postnatal period of barrel formation did not prevent barrel expansion in adult, birth-enucleated rats. Further, dark rearing and enucleation after barrel formation did not lead to expanded barrels in adult brains. Because incremental increases of somatosensory experience did not promote barrel expansion in birth-enucleated rats, we explored whether shifts of the developmental timing could better explain barrel expansion during the first week of life. Accordingly, birth-enucleated rats show earlier formation of barrels, accelerated growth of somatosensory thalamocortical afferents, and an earlier H4 deacetylation. Interestingly, when H4 deacetylation was prevented with a histone deacetylases inhibitor (valproic acid), barrel specification timing returned to normal and barrel expansion did not occur. Thus, we provide evidence supporting that shifts in developmental timing modulated through epigenetic mechanisms, and not increased levels of experience dependent neuronal activity, promote barrel expansion in the primary somatosensory cortex of rats enucleated at birth. PMID:23372796

  1. Mapping Prefrontal Cortex Functions in Human Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2013-01-01

    It has long been thought that the prefrontal cortex, as the seat of most higher brain functions, is functionally silent during most of infancy. This review highlights recent work concerned with the precise mapping (localization) of brain activation in human infants, providing evidence that prefrontal cortex exhibits functional activation much…

  2. Imaging of prolonged BOLD response in the somatosensory cortex of the rat.

    PubMed

    Sonnay, Sarah; Just, Nathalie; Duarte, João M N; Gruetter, Rolf

    2015-03-01

    Blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) functional MRI is a widely employed methodology in experimental and clinical neuroscience, although its nature is not fully understood. To gain insights into BOLD mechanisms and take advantage of the new functional methods, it is of interest to investigate prolonged paradigms of activation suitable for long experimental protocols and to observe any long-term modifications induced by these functional challenges. While different types of sustained stimulation paradigm have been explored in human studies, the BOLD response is typically limited to a few minutes in animal models, due to fatigue, anesthesia effects and physiological instability. In the present study, the rat forepaw was electrically stimulated for 2 h, which resulted in a prolonged and localized cortical BOLD response over that period. The stimulation paradigm, including an inter-stimulus interval (ISI) of 10 s, that is 25% of the total time, was applied at constant or variable frequency over 2 h. The steady-state level of the BOLD response was reached after 15-20 min of stimulation and was maintained until the end of the stimulation. On average, no substantial loss in activated volume was observed at the end of the stimulation, but less variability in the fraction of remaining activated volume and higher steady-state BOLD amplitude were observed when stimulation frequency was varied between 2 and 3 Hz every 5 min. We conclude that the combination of ISI and variable stimulus frequency reproducibly results in robust, prolonged and localized BOLD activation.

  3. The chronometry of risk processing in the human cortex

    PubMed Central

    Symmonds, Mkael; Moran, Rosalyn J.; Wright, Nicholas D.; Bossaerts, Peter; Barnes, Gareth; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2013-01-01

    The neuroscience of human decision-making has focused on localizing brain activity correlating with decision variables and choice, most commonly using functional MRI (fMRI). Poor temporal resolution means these studies are agnostic in relation to how decisions unfold in time. Consequently, here we address the temporal evolution of neural activity related to encoding of risk using magnetoencephalography (MEG), and show modulations of electromagnetic power in posterior parietal and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC) which scale with both variance and skewness in a lottery, detectable within 500 ms following stimulus presentation. Electromagnetic responses in somatosensory cortex following this risk encoding predict subsequent choices. Furthermore, within anterior insula we observed early and late effects of subject-specific risk preferences, suggestive of a role in both risk assessment and risk anticipation during choice. The observation that cortical activity tracks specific and independent components of risk from early time-points in a decision-making task supports the hypothesis that specialized brain circuitry underpins risk perception. PMID:23970849

  4. Somatosensory and visual deprivation each decrease the density of parvalbumin neurons and their synapse terminals in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus of mice.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Hiroshi; Shoshi, Chikafumi; Suemitsu, Shunsuke; Usui, Shinichi; Sujiura, Hiroko; Okamoto, Motoi

    2013-01-01

    In the phenomenon known as cross-modal plasticity, the loss of one sensory system is followed by improved functioning of other intact sensory systems. MRI and functional MRI studies suggested a role of the prefrontal cortex and the temporal lobe in cross-modal plasticity. We used a mouse model to examine the effects of sensory deprivation achieved by whisker trimming and visual deprivation achieved by dark rearing in neonatal mice on the appearance of parvalbumin (PV) neurons and the formation of glutamic acid decarboxylase 67 (GAD67)-positive puncta around pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. Whisker trimming, but not dark rearing, decreased the density of PV neurons in the hippocampus at postnatal day 28 (P28). In the prefrontal cortex, whisker trimming and dark rearing decreased the density of PV neurons in layer 5/6 (L5/6) at P28 and in L2/3 at P56, respectively, whereas dark rearing increased the density of PV neurons in L5/6 at P56. Whisker trimming decreased the density of GAD67-positive puncta in CA1 of the hippocampus at both P28 and P56 and in L5/6 of the prefrontal cortex at P28. Dark rearing decreased the density of GAD67-positive puncta in CA1 of the hippocampus and in both L2/3 and L5/6 of the prefrontal cortex at P28, and in L2/3 of the prefrontal cortex at P56. These results demonstrate that somatosensory or visual deprivation causes changes in the PV-interneuronal network in the mouse prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. The results also suggest that the alteration of the PV-interneuronal network, especially in the prefrontal cortex, may contribute to cross-modal plasticity.

  5. Activity in the primary somatosensory cortex induced by reflexological stimulation is unaffected by pseudo-information: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Background Reflexology is an alternative medical practice that produces beneficial effects by applying pressure to specific reflex areas. Our previous study suggested that reflexological stimulation induced cortical activation in somatosensory cortex corresponding to the stimulated reflex area; however, we could not rule out the possibility of a placebo effect resulting from instructions given during the experimental task. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate how reflexological stimulation of the reflex area is processed in the primary somatosensory cortex when correct and pseudo-information about the reflex area is provided. Furthermore, the laterality of activation to the reflexological stimulation was investigated. Methods Thirty-two healthy Japanese volunteers participated. The experiment followed a double-blind design. Half of the subjects received correct information, that the base of the second toe was the eye reflex area, and pseudo-information, that the base of the third toe was the shoulder reflex area. The other half of the subjects received the opposite information. fMRI time series data were acquired during reflexological stimulation to both feet. The experimenter stimulated each reflex area in accordance with an auditory cue. The fMRI data were analyzed using a conventional two-stage approach. The hemodynamic responses produced by the stimulation of each reflex area were assessed using a general linear model on an intra-subject basis, and a two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was performed on an intersubject basis to determine the effect of reflex area laterality and information accuracy. Results Our results indicated that stimulation of the eye reflex area in either foot induced activity in the left middle postcentral gyrus, the area to which tactile sensation to the face projects, as well as in the postcentral gyrus contralateral foot representation area. This activity was not affected by pseudo information

  6. Representational Similarity of Body Parts in Human Occipitotemporal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bracci, Stefania; Caramazza, Alfonso; Peelen, Marius V

    2015-09-23

    Regions in human lateral and ventral occipitotemporal cortices (OTC) respond selectively to pictures of the human body and its parts. What are the organizational principles underlying body part responses in these regions? Here we used representational similarity analysis (RSA) of fMRI data to test multiple possible organizational principles: shape similarity, physical proximity, cortical homunculus proximity, and semantic similarity. Participants viewed pictures of whole persons, chairs, and eight body parts (hands, arms, legs, feet, chests, waists, upper faces, and lower faces). The similarity of multivoxel activity patterns for all body part pairs was established in whole person-selective OTC regions. The resulting neural similarity matrices were then compared with similarity matrices capturing the hypothesized organizational principles. Results showed that the semantic similarity model best captured the neural similarity of body parts in lateral and ventral OTC, which followed an organization in three clusters: (1) body parts used as action effectors (hands, feet, arms, and legs), (2) noneffector body parts (chests and waists), and (3) face parts (upper and lower faces). Whole-brain RSA revealed, in addition to OTC, regions in parietal and frontal cortex in which neural similarity was related to semantic similarity. In contrast, neural similarity in occipital cortex was best predicted by shape similarity models. We suggest that the semantic organization of body parts in high-level visual cortex relates to the different functions associated with the three body part clusters, reflecting the unique processing and connectivity demands associated with the different types of information (e.g., action, social) different body parts (e.g., limbs, faces) convey. Significance statement: While the organization of body part representations in motor and somatosensory cortices has been well characterized, the principles underlying body part representations in visual cortex

  7. Representational Similarity of Body Parts in Human Occipitotemporal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Bracci, Stefania; Caramazza, Alfonso; Peelen, Marius V

    2015-09-23

    Regions in human lateral and ventral occipitotemporal cortices (OTC) respond selectively to pictures of the human body and its parts. What are the organizational principles underlying body part responses in these regions? Here we used representational similarity analysis (RSA) of fMRI data to test multiple possible organizational principles: shape similarity, physical proximity, cortical homunculus proximity, and semantic similarity. Participants viewed pictures of whole persons, chairs, and eight body parts (hands, arms, legs, feet, chests, waists, upper faces, and lower faces). The similarity of multivoxel activity patterns for all body part pairs was established in whole person-selective OTC regions. The resulting neural similarity matrices were then compared with similarity matrices capturing the hypothesized organizational principles. Results showed that the semantic similarity model best captured the neural similarity of body parts in lateral and ventral OTC, which followed an organization in three clusters: (1) body parts used as action effectors (hands, feet, arms, and legs), (2) noneffector body parts (chests and waists), and (3) face parts (upper and lower faces). Whole-brain RSA revealed, in addition to OTC, regions in parietal and frontal cortex in which neural similarity was related to semantic similarity. In contrast, neural similarity in occipital cortex was best predicted by shape similarity models. We suggest that the semantic organization of body parts in high-level visual cortex relates to the different functions associated with the three body part clusters, reflecting the unique processing and connectivity demands associated with the different types of information (e.g., action, social) different body parts (e.g., limbs, faces) convey. Significance statement: While the organization of body part representations in motor and somatosensory cortices has been well characterized, the principles underlying body part representations in visual cortex

  8. The somatosensory evoked magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Kakigi, R; Hoshiyama, M; Shimojo, M; Naka, D; Yamasaki, H; Watanabe, S; Xiang, J; Maeda, K; Lam, K; Itomi, K; Nakamura, A

    2000-08-01

    Averaged magnetoencephalography (MEG) following somatosensory stimulation, somatosensory evoked magnetic field(s) (SEF), in humans are reviewed. The equivalent current dipole(s) (ECD) of the primary and the following middle-latency components of SEF following electrical stimulation within 80-100 ms are estimated in area 3b of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), the posterior bank of the central sulcus, in the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulated site. Their sites are generally compatible with the homunculus which was reported by Penfield using direct cortical stimulation during surgery. SEF to passive finger movement is generated in area 3a or 2 of SI, unlike with electrical stimulation. Long-latency components with peaks of approximately 80-120 ms are recorded in the bilateral hemispheres and their ECD are estimated in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) in the bilateral hemispheres. We also summarized (1) the gating effects on SEF by interference tactile stimulation or movement applied to the stimulus site, (2) clinical applications of SEF in the fields of neurosurgery and neurology and (3) cortical plasticity (reorganization) of the SI. SEF specific to painful stimulation is also recorded following painful stimulation by CO(2) laser beam. Pain-specific components are recorded over 150 ms after the stimulus and their ECD are estimated in the bilateral SII and the limbic system. We introduced a newly-developed multi (12)-channel gradiometer system with the smallest and highest quality superconducting quantum interference device (micro-SQUID) available to non-invasively detect the magnetic fields of a human peripheral nerve. Clear nerve action fields (NAFs) were consistently recorded from all subjects.

  9. The Age of Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    SciTech Connect

    Bhardwaj, R D; Curtis, M A; Spalding, K L; Buchholz, B A; Fink, D; Bjork-Eriksson, T; Nordborg, C; Gage, F H; Druid, H; Eriksson, P S; Frisen, J

    2006-04-06

    The traditional static view of the adult mammalian brain has been challenged by the realization of continuous generation of neurons from stem cells. Based mainly on studies in experimental animals, adult neurogenesis may contribute to recovery after brain insults and decreased neurogenesis has been implicated in the pathogenesis of neurological and psychiatric diseases in man. The extent of neurogenesis in the adult human brain has, however, been difficult to establish. We have taken advantage of the integration of {sup 14}C, generated by nuclear bomb tests during the Cold War, in DNA to establish the age of neurons in the major areas of the human cerebral cortex. Together with the analysis of the cortex from patients who received BrdU, which integrates in the DNA of dividing cells, our results demonstrate that whereas non-neuronal cells turn over, neurons in the human cerebral cortex are not generated postnatally at detectable levels, but are as old as the individual.

  10. Area-Specific Alterations of Synaptic Plasticity in the 5XFAD Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease: Dissociation between Somatosensory Cortex and Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Crouzin, Nadine; Baranger, Kevin; Cavalier, Mélanie; Marchalant, Yannick; Cohen-Solal, Catherine; Roman, François S.; Khrestchatisky, Michel; Rivera, Santiago; Féron, François; Vignes, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) that overproduce the amyloid beta peptide (Aβ) have highlighted impairments of hippocampal long-term synaptic plasticity associated with the progression of the disease. Here we examined whether the characteristics of one of the hallmarks of AD, i.e. Aβ deposition, in both the somatosensory cortex and the hippocampus, correlated with specific losses of synaptic plasticity in these areas. For this, we evaluated the occurrence of long-term potentiation (LTP) in the cortex and the hippocampus of 6-month old 5xFAD transgenic mice that exhibited massive Aβ deposition in both regions but with different features: in cortical areas a majority of Aβ deposits comprised a dense core surrounded by a diffuse corona while such kind of Aβ deposition was less frequently observed in the hippocampus. In order to simultaneously monitor synaptic changes in both areas, we developed a method based on the use of Multi-Electrode Arrays (MEA). When compared with wild-type (WT) mice, basal transmission was significantly reduced in both areas in 5xFAD mice, while short-term synaptic plasticity was unaffected. The induction of long-term changes of synaptic transmission by different protocols revealed that in 5xFAD mice, LTP in the layer 5 of the somatosensory cortex was more severely impaired than LTP triggered in the CA1 area of the hippocampus. We conclude that cortical plasticity is deficient in the 5xFAD model and that this deficit could be correlated with the proportion of diffuse plaques in 5xFAD mice. PMID:24069328

  11. Spatial updating in human parietal cortex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merriam, Elisha P.; Genovese, Christopher R.; Colby, Carol L.

    2003-01-01

    Single neurons in monkey parietal cortex update visual information in conjunction with eye movements. This remapping of stimulus representations is thought to contribute to spatial constancy. We hypothesized that a similar process occurs in human parietal cortex and that we could visualize it with functional MRI. We scanned subjects during a task that involved remapping of visual signals across hemifields. We observed an initial response in the hemisphere contralateral to the visual stimulus, followed by a remapped response in the hemisphere ipsilateral to the stimulus. We ruled out the possibility that this remapped response resulted from either eye movements or visual stimuli alone. Our results demonstrate that updating of visual information occurs in human parietal cortex.

  12. Somatosensory Representations Link the Perception of Emotional Expressions and Sensory Experience123

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Studies of human emotion perception have linked a distributed set of brain regions to the recognition of emotion in facial, vocal, and body expressions. In particular, lesions to somatosensory cortex in the right hemisphere have been shown to impair recognition of facial and vocal expressions of emotion. Although these findings suggest that somatosensory cortex represents body states associated with distinct emotions, such as a furrowed brow or gaping jaw, functional evidence directly linking somatosensory activity and subjective experience during emotion perception is critically lacking. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate decoding techniques, we show that perceiving vocal and facial expressions of emotion yields hemodynamic activity in right somatosensory cortex that discriminates among emotion categories, exhibits somatotopic organization, and tracks self-reported sensory experience. The findings both support embodied accounts of emotion and provide mechanistic insight into how emotional expressions are capable of biasing subjective experience in those who perceive them. PMID:27280154

  13. Alpha stimulation of the human parietal cortex attunes tactile perception to external space.

    PubMed

    Ruzzoli, Manuela; Soto-Faraco, Salvador

    2014-02-01

    An intriguing question in neuroscience concerns how somatosensory events on the skin are represented in the human brain. Since Head and Holmes' [1] neuropsychological dissociation between localizing touch on the skin and localizing body parts in external space, touch is considered to operate in a variety of spatial reference frames [2]. At least two representations of space are in competition during orienting to touch: a somatotopic one, reflecting the organization of the somatosensory cortex (S1) [3], and a more abstract, external reference frame that factors postural changes in relation to body parts and/or external space [4, 5]. Previous transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies suggest that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) plays a key role in supporting representations as well as orienting attention in an external reference frame [4, 6]. Here, we capitalized on the TMS entrainment approach [7, 8], targeting the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). We found that frequency-specific (10 Hz) tuning of the PPC induced spatially specific enhancement of tactile detection that was expressed in an external reference frame. This finding establishes a tight causal link between a concrete form of brain activity (10 Hz oscillation) and a specific type of spatial representation, revealing a fundamental property of how the parietal cortex encodes information. PMID:24440394

  14. Spatiotemporal Changes of Neuronal Responses in the Primary Somatosensory Cortex to Noxious Tail Stimulation in Awake and Pentobarbital-Anesthetized Rats.

    PubMed

    Kuo, Chung-Chih; Lee, Jye-Chang; Chiou, Ruei-Jen; Tsai, Meng-Li; Yen, Chen-Tung

    2015-10-31

    Primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is a key area in the processing of nociceptor inputs to our consciousness. To clarify the columnar and laminar organization of SI for pain processing, we compared spatiotemporal changes in neuronal activities of the primary sensorimotor cortex (SmI) of the rat in response to noxious laser heat stimulation applied to the mid-tail. Longitudinal and vertical array microelectrodes were chronically implanted in the cerebral cortex. Evoked neuronal activities, including intracortical local field potentials (LFP) and ensemble single-unit activity (SU) around SmI were simultaneously recorded. The effect of pentobarbital on the neuronal responses was evaluated in comparison with the neuronal responses in conscious animals to explore the potential substrate of nociceptive processing in the conscious state. The results from the experiment with longitudinal microelectrode arrays indicated that noxious stimulation induced a neuronal response which was spread widely around the SmI of the conscious rat, and the range of neuronal responses was limited to the tail region of the SmI under anesthesia. The results from the experiment with vertical microelectrode arrays showed the universal neuronal responses through all cortical layers of the SmI in conscious rats, and sodium pentobarbital suppressed these neuronal responses in the supragranular layers significantly relative to the deeper layers and basal activity. These results imply that a wider range of cortical activation, both in the horizontal or vertical dimension, might be important for nociceptive processing in the conscious state. PMID:26387657

  15. Functional Topography of Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Rauschecker, Josef P.

    2016-01-01

    Functional and anatomical studies have clearly demonstrated that auditory cortex is populated by multiple subfields. However, functional characterization of those fields has been largely the domain of animal electrophysiology, limiting the extent to which human and animal research can inform each other. In this study, we used high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging to characterize human auditory cortical subfields using a variety of low-level acoustic features in the spectral and temporal domains. Specifically, we show that topographic gradients of frequency preference, or tonotopy, extend along two axes in human auditory cortex, thus reconciling historical accounts of a tonotopic axis oriented medial to lateral along Heschl's gyrus and more recent findings emphasizing tonotopic organization along the anterior–posterior axis. Contradictory findings regarding topographic organization according to temporal modulation rate in acoustic stimuli, or “periodotopy,” are also addressed. Although isolated subregions show a preference for high rates of amplitude-modulated white noise (AMWN) in our data, large-scale “periodotopic” organization was not found. Organization by AM rate was correlated with dominant pitch percepts in AMWN in many regions. In short, our data expose early auditory cortex chiefly as a frequency analyzer, and spectral frequency, as imposed by the sensory receptor surface in the cochlea, seems to be the dominant feature governing large-scale topographic organization across human auditory cortex. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this study, we examine the nature of topographic organization in human auditory cortex with fMRI. Topographic organization by spectral frequency (tonotopy) extended in two directions: medial to lateral, consistent with early neuroimaging studies, and anterior to posterior, consistent with more recent reports. Large-scale organization by rates of temporal modulation (periodotopy) was correlated with confounding

  16. Augmented Pain Processing in Primary and Secondary Somatosensory Cortex in Fibromyalgia: A Magnetoencephalography Study Using Intra-Epidermal Electrical Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Manyoel; Roosink, Meyke; Kim, June Sic; Kim, Hye Won; Lee, Eun Bong; Son, Kyeong Min; Kim, Hyun Ah; Chung, Chun Kee

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate augmented pain processing in the cortical somatosensory system in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Cortical evoked responses were recorded in FM (n = 19) and healthy subjects (n = 21) using magnetoencephalography after noxious intra-epidermal electrical stimulation (IES) of the hand dorsum (pain rating 6 on a numeric rating scale, perceptually-equivalent). In addition, healthy subjects were stimulated using the amplitude corresponding to the average stimulus intensity rated 6 in patients with FM (intensity-equivalent). Quantitative sensory testing was performed on the hand dorsum or thenar muscle (neutral site) and over the trapezius muscle (tender point), using IES (thresholds, ratings, temporal summation of pain, stimulus-response curve) and mechanical stimuli (threshold, ratings). Increased amplitude of cortical responses was found in patients with FM as compared to healthy subjects. These included the contralateral primary (S1) and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortices (S2) in response to intensity-equivalent stimuli and the contralateral S1 and S2 in response to perceptually-equivalent stimuli. The amplitude of the contralateral S2 response in patients with FM was positively correlated with average pain intensity over the last week. Quantitative sensory testing results showed that patients with FM were more sensitive to painful IES as well as to mechanical stimulation, regardless of whether the stimulation site was the hand or the trapezius muscle. Interestingly, the slope of the stimulus-response relationship as well as temporal summation of pain in response to IES was not different between groups. Together, these results suggest that the observed pain augmentation in response to IES in patients with FM could be due to sensitization or disinhibition of the cortical somatosensory system. Since the S2 has been shown to play a role in higher-order functions, further studies are needed to clarify the role of augmented

  17. Augmented Pain Processing in Primary and Secondary Somatosensory Cortex in Fibromyalgia: A Magnetoencephalography Study Using Intra-Epidermal Electrical Stimulation.

    PubMed

    Lim, Manyoel; Roosink, Meyke; Kim, June Sic; Kim, Hye Won; Lee, Eun Bong; Son, Kyeong Min; Kim, Hyun Ah; Chung, Chun Kee

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate augmented pain processing in the cortical somatosensory system in patients with fibromyalgia (FM). Cortical evoked responses were recorded in FM (n = 19) and healthy subjects (n = 21) using magnetoencephalography after noxious intra-epidermal electrical stimulation (IES) of the hand dorsum (pain rating 6 on a numeric rating scale, perceptually-equivalent). In addition, healthy subjects were stimulated using the amplitude corresponding to the average stimulus intensity rated 6 in patients with FM (intensity-equivalent). Quantitative sensory testing was performed on the hand dorsum or thenar muscle (neutral site) and over the trapezius muscle (tender point), using IES (thresholds, ratings, temporal summation of pain, stimulus-response curve) and mechanical stimuli (threshold, ratings). Increased amplitude of cortical responses was found in patients with FM as compared to healthy subjects. These included the contralateral primary (S1) and bilateral secondary somatosensory cortices (S2) in response to intensity-equivalent stimuli and the contralateral S1 and S2 in response to perceptually-equivalent stimuli. The amplitude of the contralateral S2 response in patients with FM was positively correlated with average pain intensity over the last week. Quantitative sensory testing results showed that patients with FM were more sensitive to painful IES as well as to mechanical stimulation, regardless of whether the stimulation site was the hand or the trapezius muscle. Interestingly, the slope of the stimulus-response relationship as well as temporal summation of pain in response to IES was not different between groups. Together, these results suggest that the observed pain augmentation in response to IES in patients with FM could be due to sensitization or disinhibition of the cortical somatosensory system. Since the S2 has been shown to play a role in higher-order functions, further studies are needed to clarify the role of augmented

  18. Long-term plasticity in adult somatosensory cortex: functional reorganization after surgical removal of an arteriovenous malformation.

    PubMed

    Burianová, Hana; Rich, Anina N; Williams, Mark; Morgan, Michael; Marstaller, Lars; Maruff, Paul; Baker, Chris I; Savage, Greg

    2015-01-01

    The temporal scale of neuroplasticity following acute alterations in brain structure due to neurosurgical intervention is still under debate. We conducted a longitudinal study with the objective of investigating the postoperative changes in a patient who underwent cerebrovascular surgery and who subsequently lost proprioception in the fingers of her right hand. The results show increased activation in contralesional somatosensory areas, additional recruitment of premotor and posterior parietal areas, and changes in functional connectivity with left postcentral gyrus. These findings demonstrate long-term modifications of cortical organization and as such have important implications for treatment strategies for patients with brain injury. PMID:25265167

  19. Human high frequency somatosensory evoked potential components are refractory to circadian modulations of tonic alertness.

    PubMed

    Gobbelé, René; Waberski, Till D; Thyerlei, Dinah; Thissen, Melanie; Fimm, Bruno; Klostermann, Fabian; Curio, Gabriel; Buchner, Helmut

    2007-02-01

    The impact of vigilance states, such as sleep or arousal changes, on the high-frequency (600 Hz) components (HFOs) of somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) is known. The present study sought to characterize the effects of circadian fluctuations of tonic alertness on HFOs in awake humans. Median nerve SEPs were recorded at four times during a 24-hour waking period. In parallel to the SEP recordings, a reaction-time (RT) task was performed to assess tonic alertness. Additionally, the spontaneous EEG was monitored. The low-frequency SEP component N20 and the early and late HFO parts did not change across the measurement sessions. In contrast, RTs were clearly prolonged at night and on the second morning. EEG also showed increased delta power at night. HFOs are sensitive to pronounced vigilance changes, such as sleep, but are refractory to fluctuations of tonic alertness. Tonic alertness is regarded to be the top-down cognitive control mechanism of wakefulness, whereas sleep is mediated by overwhelming bottom-up regulation, which seems apparently more relevant for, at least in part, subcortically triggered high-frequency burst generation in the ascending somatosensory system. PMID:17277574

  20. Cortical EEG alpha rhythms reflect task-specific somatosensory and motor interactions in humans.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Del Percio, Claudio; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Soricelli, Andrea; Romani, Gian Luca; Rossini, Paolo Maria; Capotosto, Paolo

    2014-10-01

    Anticipating sensorimotor events allows adaptive reactions to environment with crucial implications for self-protection and survival. Here we review several studies of our group that aimed to test the hypothesis that the cortical processes preparing the elaboration of sensorimotor interaction is reflected by the reduction of anticipatory electroencephalographic alpha power (about 8-12Hz; event-related desynchronization, ERD), as an index that regulate task-specific sensorimotor processes, accounted by high-alpha sub-band (10-12Hz), rather than a general tonic alertness, accounted by low-alpha sub-band (8-10Hz). In this line, we propose a model for human cortical processes anticipating warned sensorimotor interactions. Overall, we reported a stronger high-alpha ERD before painful than non-painful somatosensory stimuli that is also predictive of the subjective evaluation of pain intensity. Furthermore, we showed that anticipatory high-alpha ERD increased before sensorimotor interactions between non-painful or painful stimuli and motor demands involving opposite hands. In contrast, sensorimotor interactions between painful somatosensory and sensorimotor demands involving the same hand decreased anticipatory high-alpha ERD, due to a sort of sensorimotor "gating" effect. In conclusion, we suggest that anticipatory cortical high-alpha rhythms reflect the central interference and/or integration of ascending (sensory) and descending (motor) signals relative to one or two hands before non-painful and painful sensorimotor interactions. PMID:24929901

  1. Fast temporal interactions in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Rupp, A; Hack, S; Gutschalk, A; Schneider, P; Picton, T W; Stippich, C; Scherg, M

    2000-11-27

    The temporal resolution of the human primary auditory cortex (AC) was studied using middle-latency evoked fields. Paired sounds with either the same or different spectral characteristics were presented with gaps between the sounds of 1, 4, 8 and 14 ms. Spatio-temporal modelling showed (1) that the response to the second sound was recognizable with gaps of 1 ms and rapidly increased in amplitude with increasing gap durations, (2) an enhanced N40m amplitude at gaps > 4 ms, (3) delayed N19m-P30m latencies when the stimuli were different. The median psychoacoustical thresholds were 1.6 ms for the same stimuli and 2.5 ms for different stimuli, confirming the electrophysiological evidence for rapid pattern-specific temporal processing in human primary auditory cortex.

  2. Quantitative changes of GABA-immunoreactive cells in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14-day hindlimb unloading by tail suspension

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amelio, F.; Fox, R. A.; Wu, L. C.; Daunton, N. G.

    1996-01-01

    The present study was aimed at evaluating quantitatively gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) immunoreactivity in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14 days of hindlimb unloading by tail suspension. A reduction in the number of GABA-immunoreactive cells with respect to the control animals was observed in layer Va and Vb. GABA-containing terminals were also reduced in the same layers, particularly those terminals surrounding the soma and apical dendrites of pyramidal cells in layer Vb. On the basis of previous morphological and behavioral studies of the neuromuscular system of hindlimb-suspended animals, it is suggested that the unloading due to hindlimb suspension alters afferent signaling and feedback information from intramuscular receptors to the cerebral cortex due to modifications in the reflex organization of hindlimb muscle groups. We propose that the reduction in immunoreactivity of local circuit GABAergic neurons and terminals is an expression of changes in their modulatory activity to compensate for the alterations in the afferent information.

  3. Hemispherical map for the human brain cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tosun, Duygu; Prince, Jerry L.

    2001-07-01

    Understanding the function of the human brain cortex is a primary goal in human brain mapping. Methods to unfold and flatten the cortical surface for visualization and measurement have been described in previous literature; but comparison across multiple subjects is still difficult because of the lack of a standard mapping technique. We describe a new approach that maps each hemisphere of the cortex to a portion of a sphere in a standard way, making comparison of anatomy and function across different subjects possible. Starting with a three-dimensional magnetic resonance image of the brain, the cortex is segmented and represented as a triangle mesh. Defining a cut around the corpus collosum identifies the left and right hemispheres. Together, the two hemispheres are mapped to the complex plane using a conformal mapping technique. A Mobius transformation, which is conformal, is used to transform the points on the complex plane so that a projective transformation maps each brain hemisphere onto a spherical segment comprising a sphere with a cap removed. We determined the best size of the spherical cap by minimizing the relative area distortion between hemispherical maps and original cortical surfaces. The relative area distortion between the hemispherical maps and the original cortical surfaces for fifteen human brains is analyzed.

  4. Acupuncture-induced changes in functional connectivity of the primary somatosensory cortex varied with pathological stages of Bell's palsy.

    PubMed

    He, Xiaoxuan; Zhu, Yifang; Li, Chuanfu; Park, Kyungmo; Mohamed, Abdalla Z; Wu, Hongli; Xu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Linying; Yang, Jun; Qiu, Bensheng

    2014-10-01

    Bell's palsy is the most common cause of acute facial nerve paralysis. In China, Bell's palsy is frequently treated with acupuncture. However, its efficacy and underlying mechanism are still controversial. In this study, we used functional MRI to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the functional connectivity of the brain in Bell's palsy patients and healthy individuals. The patients were further grouped according to disease duration and facial motor performance. The results of resting-state functional MRI connectivity show that acupuncture induces significant connectivity changes in the primary somatosensory region of both early and late recovery groups, but no significant changes in either the healthy control group or the recovered group. In the recovery group, the changes also varied with regions and disease duration. Therefore, we propose that the effect of acupuncture stimulation may depend on the functional connectivity status of patients with Bell's palsy.

  5. Acupuncture-induced changes in functional connectivity of the primary somatosensory cortex varied with pathological stages of Bell's palsy.

    PubMed

    He, Xiaoxuan; Zhu, Yifang; Li, Chuanfu; Park, Kyungmo; Mohamed, Abdalla Z; Wu, Hongli; Xu, Chunsheng; Zhang, Wei; Wang, Linying; Yang, Jun; Qiu, Bensheng

    2014-10-01

    Bell's palsy is the most common cause of acute facial nerve paralysis. In China, Bell's palsy is frequently treated with acupuncture. However, its efficacy and underlying mechanism are still controversial. In this study, we used functional MRI to investigate the effect of acupuncture on the functional connectivity of the brain in Bell's palsy patients and healthy individuals. The patients were further grouped according to disease duration and facial motor performance. The results of resting-state functional MRI connectivity show that acupuncture induces significant connectivity changes in the primary somatosensory region of both early and late recovery groups, but no significant changes in either the healthy control group or the recovered group. In the recovery group, the changes also varied with regions and disease duration. Therefore, we propose that the effect of acupuncture stimulation may depend on the functional connectivity status of patients with Bell's palsy. PMID:25121624

  6. The human cerebral cortex flattens during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Alemán-Gómez, Yasser; Janssen, Joost; Schnack, Hugo; Balaban, Evan; Pina-Camacho, Laura; Alfaro-Almagro, Fidel; Castro-Fornieles, Josefina; Otero, Soraya; Baeza, Immaculada; Moreno, Dolores; Bargalló, Nuria; Parellada, Mara; Arango, Celso; Desco, Manuel

    2013-09-18

    The human cerebral cortex appears to shrink during adolescence. To delineate the dynamic morphological changes involved in this process, 52 healthy male and female adolescents (11-17 years old) were neuroimaged twice using magnetic resonance imaging, approximately 2 years apart. Using a novel morphometric analysis procedure combining the FreeSurfer and BrainVisa image software suites, we quantified global and lobar change in cortical thickness, outer surface area, the gyrification index, the average Euclidean distance between opposing sides of the white matter surface (gyral white matter thickness), the convex ("exposed") part of the outer cortical surface (hull surface area), sulcal length, depth, and width. We found that the cortical surface flattens during adolescence. Flattening was strongest in the frontal and occipital cortices, in which significant sulcal widening and decreased sulcal depth co-occurred. Globally, sulcal widening was associated with cortical thinning and, for the frontal cortex, with loss of surface area. For the other cortical lobes, thinning was related to gyral white matter expansion. The overall flattening of the macrostructural three-dimensional architecture of the human cortex during adolescence thus involves changes in gray matter and effects of the maturation of white matter.

  7. The human cerebral cortex flattens during adolescence.

    PubMed

    Alemán-Gómez, Yasser; Janssen, Joost; Schnack, Hugo; Balaban, Evan; Pina-Camacho, Laura; Alfaro-Almagro, Fidel; Castro-Fornieles, Josefina; Otero, Soraya; Baeza, Immaculada; Moreno, Dolores; Bargalló, Nuria; Parellada, Mara; Arango, Celso; Desco, Manuel

    2013-09-18

    The human cerebral cortex appears to shrink during adolescence. To delineate the dynamic morphological changes involved in this process, 52 healthy male and female adolescents (11-17 years old) were neuroimaged twice using magnetic resonance imaging, approximately 2 years apart. Using a novel morphometric analysis procedure combining the FreeSurfer and BrainVisa image software suites, we quantified global and lobar change in cortical thickness, outer surface area, the gyrification index, the average Euclidean distance between opposing sides of the white matter surface (gyral white matter thickness), the convex ("exposed") part of the outer cortical surface (hull surface area), sulcal length, depth, and width. We found that the cortical surface flattens during adolescence. Flattening was strongest in the frontal and occipital cortices, in which significant sulcal widening and decreased sulcal depth co-occurred. Globally, sulcal widening was associated with cortical thinning and, for the frontal cortex, with loss of surface area. For the other cortical lobes, thinning was related to gyral white matter expansion. The overall flattening of the macrostructural three-dimensional architecture of the human cortex during adolescence thus involves changes in gray matter and effects of the maturation of white matter. PMID:24048830

  8. Functional subregions of the human entorhinal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Maass, Anne; Berron, David; Libby, Laura A; Ranganath, Charan; Düzel, Emrah

    2015-01-01

    The entorhinal cortex (EC) is the primary site of interactions between the neocortex and hippocampus. Studies in rodents and nonhuman primates suggest that EC can be divided into subregions that connect differentially with perirhinal cortex (PRC) vs parahippocampal cortex (PHC) and with hippocampal subfields along the proximo-distal axis. Here, we used high-resolution functional magnetic resonance imaging at 7 Tesla to identify functional subdivisions of the human EC. In two independent datasets, PRC showed preferential intrinsic functional connectivity with anterior-lateral EC and PHC with posterior-medial EC. These EC subregions, in turn, exhibited differential connectivity with proximal and distal subiculum. In contrast, connectivity of PRC and PHC with subiculum followed not only a proximal-distal but also an anterior-posterior gradient. Our data provide the first evidence that the human EC can be divided into functional subdivisions whose functional connectivity closely parallels the known anatomical connectivity patterns of the rodent and nonhuman primate EC. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06426.001 PMID:26052749

  9. Corticothalamic and corticotectal somatosensory projections from the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (SIV cortex) in neonatal cats: an anatomical demonstration with HRP and /sup 3/H-leucine

    SciTech Connect

    McHaffie, J.G.; Kruger, L.; Clemo, H.R.; Stein, B.E.

    1988-08-01

    Corticothalamic and corticotectal projections from the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (AES) in neonatal cats were studied with anterograde and retrograde neuroanatomical techniques. When the injection site was relatively restricted to the sulcal walls and fundus of the rostral AES (i.e., the SIV cortex), heavy ipsilateral thalamic label was observed in the medial subdivision of the posterior group, in the suprageniculate nucleus, and in the external medullary lamina. No terminal label was seen in the contralateral thalamus although the contralateral homotopic cortex was heavily labeled. Within the ventrobasal complex (VB), dense axonal label was observed in fascicles that traversed VB, but only light terminal label was observed within VB itself. However, in cases where the tracer spread into adjacent SII, terminal label in VB was pronounced. Similarly, when the injection site extended into auditory cortex, terminal label was observed in the lateral and intermediate subdivisions of the posterior group. Rostral AES injections produced distinct, predominantly ipsilateral, terminal label in the superior colliculus that was distributed in two tiers: a discontinuous band in the stratum griseum intermedium and a more diffuse band in stratum griseum profundum. Caudally, dense terminal label was seen in the intercollicular zone and dorsolateral periaqueductal gray. When the injection site did not include rostral AES, no label was observed in the superior colliculus. Horseradish peroxidase injections into the superior colliculus of neonates produced retrogradely labeled neurons throughout the AES, but none was found on the crown of the gyrus where SII is located. Thus, the neonatal corticotectal somatosensory projection arises exclusively from AES and parallels that found in adults.

  10. Transcranial magnetic stimulation techniques to study the somatosensory system: research applications.

    PubMed

    Staines, W Richard; Bolton, David A E

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of brain stimulation research techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) has greatly advanced the understanding of the somatosensory system in humans. Over the last several years, several studies have focused on applying TMS in a variety of contexts to alter transiently the excitability of the somatosensory cortex or regions that project to it and exert some control over its activity in specific behavioral contexts. Specific foci that are discussed in this chapter are methods of repetitive TMS, including theta-burst protocols, delivered to the primary somatosensory cortex that have been shown to affect behavioral indices of somatic sensation such as tactile perception. Similar stimulation techniques can also be applied to distant areas that interact with and modulate activity in somatosensory cortex (i.e., attentional or motor networks). For example, suppression of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex modifies the attention-modulation of somatosensory information in modality-specific cortices. Overall this chapter is focused on understanding the interaction of activity in systems that function with the somatosensory system in behavioral contexts. These include systems such as those that control attention, whether sustained or selective between sensory modalities, or those that control movement based on targets present in other sensory systems. PMID:24112932

  11. Functional topography of the human entorhinal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Zaragoza Jimenez, Nestor I

    2015-01-01

    Despite extensive research on the role of the rodent medial and lateral entorhinal cortex (MEC/LEC) in spatial navigation, memory and related disease, their human homologues remain elusive. Here, we combine high-field functional magnetic resonance imaging at 7 T with novel data-driven and model-based analyses to identify corresponding subregions in humans based on the well-known global connectivity fingerprints in rodents and sensitivity to spatial and non-spatial information. We provide evidence for a functional division primarily along the anteroposterior axis. Localising the human homologue of the rodent MEC and LEC has important implications for translating studies on the hippocampo-entorhinal memory system from rodents to humans. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06738.001 PMID:26052748

  12. Amodal processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Tamber-Rosenau, Benjamin J; Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Asplund, Christopher L; Marois, René

    2013-07-10

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., "central executive," Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; "supervisory attentional system," Norman and Shallice, 1986; "response selection bottleneck," Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex.

  13. Neurotransmitter Release at the Thalamocortical Synapse Instructs Barrel Formation But Not Axon Patterning in the Somatosensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Narboux-Nême, Nicolas; Evrard, Alexis; Ferezou, Isabelle; Erzurumlu, Reha S.; Kaeser, Pascal S.; Lainé, Jeanne; Rossier, Jean; Ropert, Nicole; Südhof, Thomas C.; Gaspar, Patricia

    2012-01-01

    To assess the impact of synaptic neurotransmitter release on neural circuit development, we analyzed barrel cortex formation after thalamic or cortical ablation of RIM1 and RIM2 proteins, which control synaptic vesicle fusion. Thalamus-specific deletion of RIMs reduced neurotransmission efficacy by 67%. A barrelless phenotype was found with a dissociation of effects on the presynaptic and postsynaptic cellular elements of the barrel. Presynaptically, thalamocortical axons formed a normal whisker map, whereas postsynaptically the cytoarchitecture of layer IV neurons was altered as spiny stellate neurons were evenly distributed and their dendritic trees were symmetric. Strikingly, cortex-specific deletion of the RIM genes did not modify barrel development. Adult mice with thalamic-specific RIM deletion showed a lack of activity-triggered immediate early gene expression and altered sensory-related behaviors. Thus, efficient synaptic release is required at thalamocortical but not at corticocortical synapses for building the whisker to barrel map and for efficient sensory function. PMID:22553025

  14. The effect of task-relevance on primary somatosensory cortex during continuous sensory-guided movement in the presence of bimodal competition.

    PubMed

    Meehan, Sean K; Staines, W Richard

    2007-03-23

    Recent perceptual neuroimaging studies have shown that intermodal selective attention extracts relevant information from one modality at the expense of another at the level of unimodal sensory cortex. The present paper sought 1) to determine the effects of intermodal selective attention on primary somatosensory cortex (S1) during continuous sensorimotor transformations, 2) to investigate the interactions of spatial relationship between the target and distracter modalities on S1 and 3) to identify any potential modulators during continuous sensorimotor transformations. Functional MRI was acquired while participants (n=10) received simultaneous vibrotactile and visuospatial stimulation. In each condition, participants tracked either vibrotactile stimulation (25 Hz), applied to the right index finger with variable intensity, or a visuospatial stimulus, a centrally presented dial where the spatial position of a needle randomly moved, by applying graded force to a force sensing resistor. The distracter modality either originated from a location that was spatially related or distinct to the target that guided movement. Vibrotactile tracking resulted in decreased S1 activation relative to when it was task-irrelevant. Neither S1 activity nor tracking performance was influenced by spatial relationship. In addition the superior parietal lobe/precuneus (BA 7), inferior parietal lobe (BA 40), precentral gyrus (BA 6) and secondary visual areas (BA 18 and 19) may modulate the extraction of task-relevant information while the insula (BA 13) may do so during cases of spatial conflict. We conclude that modulation of S1 is important to the proper execution of sensory-guided movements and that sensorimotor requirements determine the mechanisms of intermodal selective attention. PMID:17275792

  15. Spatio-temporal characteristics of cerebral blood volume changes in different microvascular compartments evoked by sciatic nerve stimulation in rat somatosensory cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Pengcheng; Luo, Qingming; Luo, Weihua; Chen, Shangbin; Chen, Haiying; Zeng, Shaoqun

    2003-10-01

    The spatio-temporal characteristics of changes in cerebral blood volume associated with neuronal activity were investigated in the hindlimb somatosensory cortex of α-chloralose/urethan anesthetized rats (n=10) with optical imaging at 570nm through a thinned skull. Activation of cortex was carried out by electrical stimulation of the contralateral sciatic nerve with 5Hz, 0.3V pulses (0.5ms) for duration of 2s. The stimulation evoked a monophasic optical reflectance decrease at cortical parenchyma and arteries sites rapidly after the onset of stimulation, whereas no similar response was observed at vein compartments. The optical signal changes reached 10% of the peak response 0.70+/-0.32s after stimulation onset and no significant time lag in this 10% start latency time was observed between the response at cortical parenchyma and arteries compartments. The evoked optical reflectance decrease reached the peak (0.25%+/-0.047%)2.66+/-0.61s after the stimulus onset at parenchyma site, 0.40+/-0.20s earlier (P<0.05) than that at arteries site (0.50%+/-0.068% 3.06+/-0.70s). Variable location within the cortical parenchyma and arteries compartment themselves didn"t affect the temporal characteristics of the evoked signal significantly. These results suggest that the sciatic nerve stimulation evokes a local blood volume increase at both capillaries (cortical parenchyma) and arterioles rapidly after the stimulus onset but the evoked blood volume increase in capillaries could not be entirely accounted for by the dilation of arterioles.

  16. Purinergic glio-endothelial coupling during neuronal activity: role of P2Y1 receptors and eNOS in functional hyperemia in the mouse somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Toth, Peter; Tarantini, Stefano; Davila, Antonio; Valcarcel-Ares, M Noa; Tucsek, Zsuzsanna; Varamini, Behzad; Ballabh, Praveen; Sonntag, William E; Baur, Joseph A; Csiszar, Anna; Ungvari, Zoltan

    2015-12-01

    Impairment of moment-to-moment adjustment of cerebral blood flow (CBF) via neurovascular coupling is thought to play a critical role in the genesis of cognitive impairment associated with aging and pathological conditions associated with accelerated cerebromicrovascular aging (e.g., hypertension, obesity). Although previous studies demonstrate that endothelial dysfunction plays a critical role in neurovascular uncoupling in these conditions, the role of endothelial NO mediation in neurovascular coupling responses is not well understood. To establish the link between endothelial function and functional hyperemia, neurovascular coupling responses were studied in mutant mice overexpressing or deficient in endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), and the role of P2Y1 receptors in purinergic glioendothelial coupling was assessed. We found that genetic depletion of eNOS (eNOS(-/-)) and pharmacological inhibition of NO synthesis significantly decreased the CBF responses in the somatosensory cortex evoked by whisker stimulation and by administration of ATP. Overexpression of eNOS enhanced NO mediation of functional hyperemia. In control mice, the selective and potent P2Y1 receptor antagonist MRS2179 attenuated both whisker stimulation-induced and ATP-mediated CBF responses, whereas, in eNOS(-/-) mice, the inhibitory effects of MRS2179 were blunted. Collectively, our findings provide additional evidence for purinergic glio-endothelial coupling during neuronal activity, highlighting the role of ATP-mediated activation of eNOS via P2Y1 receptors in functional hyperemia. PMID:26453330

  17. Functional Signature of Recovering Cortex: Dissociation of Local Field Potentials and Spiking Activity in Somatosensory Cortices of Spinal Cord Injured Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Zheng; Qi, Hui-Xin; Kaas, Jon H.; Roe, Anna W.; Chen, Li Min

    2013-01-01

    After disruption of dorsal column afferents at high cervical spinal levels in adult monkeys, somatosensory cortical neurons recover responsiveness to tactile stimulation of the hand; this reactivation correlates with a recovery of hand use. However, it is not known if all neuronal response properties recover, and whether different cortical areas recover in a similar manner. To address this, we recorded neuronal activity in cortical area 3b and S2 in adult squirrel monkeys weeks after unilateral lesion of the dorsal columns. We found that in response to vibrotactile stimulation, local field potentials remained robust at all frequency ranges. However, neuronal spiking activity failed to follow at high frequencies (≥15Hz). We suggest that the failure to generate spiking activity at high stimulus frequency reflects a changed balance of inhibition and excitation in both area 3b and S2, and that this mismatch in spiking and local field potential is a signature of an early phase of recovering cortex (< two months). PMID:24017995

  18. Hypergravity exposure decreases gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity in axon terminals contacting pyramidal cells in the rat somatosensory cortex: a quantitative immunocytochemical image analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amelio, F.; Wu, L. C.; Fox, R. A.; Daunton, N. G.; Corcoran, M. L.; Polyakov, I.

    1998-01-01

    Quantitative evaluation of gamma-aminobutyric acid immunoreactivity (GABA-IR) in the hindlimb representation of the rat somatosensory cortex after 14 days of exposure to hypergravity (hyper-G) was conducted by using computer-assisted image processing. The area of GABA-IR axosomatic terminals apposed to pyramidal cells of cortical layer V was reduced in rats exposed to hyper-G compared with control rats, which were exposed either to rotation alone or to vivarium conditions. Based on previous immunocytochemical and behavioral studies, we suggest that this reduction is due to changes in sensory feedback information from muscle receptors. Consequently, priorities for muscle recruitment are altered at the cortical level, and a new pattern of muscle activity is thus generated. It is proposed that the reduction observed in GABA-IR of the terminal area around pyramidal neurons is the immunocytochemical expression of changes in the activity of GABAergic cells that participate in reprogramming motor outputs to achieve effective movement control in response to alterations in the afferent information.

  19. Amodal Processing in Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Dux, Paul E.; Tombu, Michael N.; Asplund, Christopher L.; Marois, René

    2013-01-01

    Information enters the cortex via modality-specific sensory regions, whereas actions are produced by modality-specific motor regions. Intervening central stages of information processing map sensation to behavior. Humans perform this central processing in a flexible, abstract manner such that sensory information in any modality can lead to response via any motor system. Cognitive theories account for such flexible behavior by positing amodal central information processing (e.g., “central executive,” Baddeley and Hitch, 1974; “supervisory attentional system,” Norman and Shallice, 1986; “response selection bottleneck,” Pashler, 1994). However, the extent to which brain regions embodying central mechanisms of information processing are amodal remains unclear. Here we apply multivariate pattern analysis to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data to compare response selection, a cognitive process widely believed to recruit an amodal central resource across sensory and motor modalities. We show that most frontal and parietal cortical areas known to activate across a wide variety of tasks code modality, casting doubt on the notion that these regions embody a central processor devoid of modality representation. Importantly, regions of anterior insula and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex consistently failed to code modality across four experiments. However, these areas code at least one other task dimension, process (instantiated as response selection vs response execution), ensuring that failure to find coding of modality is not driven by insensitivity of multivariate pattern analysis in these regions. We conclude that abstract encoding of information modality is primarily a property of subregions of the prefrontal cortex. PMID:23843526

  20. Individual Differences in Anticipatory Somatosensory Cortex Activity for Shock is Positively Related with Trait Anxiety and Multisensory Integration

    PubMed Central

    Greening, Steven G.; Lee, Tae-Ho; Mather, Mara

    2016-01-01

    Anxiety is associated with an exaggerated expectancy of harm, including overestimation of how likely a conditioned stimulus (CS+) predicts a harmful unconditioned stimulus (US). In the current study we tested whether anxiety-associated expectancy of harm increases primary sensory cortex (S1) activity on non-reinforced (i.e., no shock) CS+ trials. Twenty healthy volunteers completed a differential-tone trace conditioning task while undergoing fMRI, with shock delivered to the left hand. We found a positive correlation between trait anxiety and activity in right, but not left, S1 during CS+ versus CS− conditions. Right S1 activity also correlated with individual differences in both primary auditory cortices (A1) and amygdala activity. Lastly, a seed-based functional connectivity analysis demonstrated that trial-wise S1 activity was positively correlated with regions of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), suggesting that higher-order cognitive processes contribute to the anticipatory sensory reactivity. Our findings indicate that individual differences in trait anxiety relate to anticipatory reactivity for the US during associative learning. This anticipatory reactivity is also integrated along with emotion-related sensory signals into a brain network implicated in fear-conditioned responding. PMID:26751483

  1. [Influence of GABA(C)-Receptor Antagonist on Formation of Evoked Potentials in Columns of the Rat Somatosensory Cortex].

    PubMed

    Matukhno, A E; Lysenko, L V; Andreeva, Y V; Sukhov, A G

    2015-01-01

    Microelectrode studies of evoked potentials (EP) in neuronal column of rats barrel cortex show activating action of selective GABA(C)-receptor antagonist 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl-methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA) mainly on secondary components of EP of supragranular afferent layers of column compared to the efferent infragranular layers. These data suggest localization of GABA(C)-receptors on pre- synaptic terminals of thalamo-cortical glutamatergic afferents and ascending apical dendrites of pyramidal cells. A blockade of GABA(C)-receptors with the selective antagonist TPM PA leads to dose-dependent afferent depolarization with development of presynaptic inhibition and suppression of primary components of EP GABA(C)-receptors blocker produces different effects on secondary components of EP in supragranular layers of the cortex caused by the development of neuronal after hyperpolarization followed by high-amplitude primary response and afterdepolarization followed by low-amplitude primary responses with subsequent activation of different voltage-gated channels and formation of different level of cortical direct current potential gradients.

  2. [Influence of GABA(C)-Receptor Antagonist on Formation of Evoked Potentials in Columns of the Rat Somatosensory Cortex].

    PubMed

    Matukhno, A E; Lysenko, L V; Andreeva, Y V; Sukhov, A G

    2015-01-01

    Microelectrode studies of evoked potentials (EP) in neuronal column of rats barrel cortex show activating action of selective GABA(C)-receptor antagonist 1,2,5,6-tetrahydropyridin-4-yl-methylphosphinic acid (TPMPA) mainly on secondary components of EP of supragranular afferent layers of column compared to the efferent infragranular layers. These data suggest localization of GABA(C)-receptors on pre- synaptic terminals of thalamo-cortical glutamatergic afferents and ascending apical dendrites of pyramidal cells. A blockade of GABA(C)-receptors with the selective antagonist TPM PA leads to dose-dependent afferent depolarization with development of presynaptic inhibition and suppression of primary components of EP GABA(C)-receptors blocker produces different effects on secondary components of EP in supragranular layers of the cortex caused by the development of neuronal after hyperpolarization followed by high-amplitude primary response and afterdepolarization followed by low-amplitude primary responses with subsequent activation of different voltage-gated channels and formation of different level of cortical direct current potential gradients. PMID:26841661

  3. The most sensitive inputs to cutaneous representing regions of primary somatosensory cortex do not change with behavioral training.

    PubMed

    Blake, David T; Spingath, Elsie

    2015-12-01

    Learning a sensory detection task leads to an increased primary sensory cortex response to the detected stimulus, while learning a sensory discrimination task additionally leads to a decreased sensory cortex response to the distractor stimulus. Neural responses are scaled up, and down, in strength, along with concomitant changes in receptive field size. The present work considers neural response properties that are invariant to learning. Data are drawn from two animals that were trained to detect and discriminate spatially separate taps delivered to positions on the skin of their fingers. Each animal was implanted with electrodes positioned in area 3b, and responses were derived on a near daily basis over 84 days in animal 1 and 202 days in animal 2. Responses to taps delivered in the receptive field were quantitatively measured each day, and receptive fields were audiomanually mapped each day. In the subset of responses that had light cutaneous receptive fields, a preponderance of the days, the most sensitive region of the field was invariant to training. This skin region was present in the receptive field on all, or nearly all, occasions in which the receptive field was mapped, and this region constituted roughly half of the most sensitive region. These results suggest that maintaining the most sensitive inputs as dominant in cortical receptive fields provide a measure of stability that may be transformationally useful for minimizing reconstruction errors and perceptual constancy. PMID:26634900

  4. Evaluation of somatosensory cortical differences between flutter and vibration tactile stimuli.

    PubMed

    Han, Sang Woo; Chung, Yoon Gi; Kim, Hyung-Sik; Chung, Soon-Cheol; Park, Jang-Yeon; Kim, Sung-Phil

    2013-01-01

    In parallel with advances in haptic-based mobile computing systems, understanding of the neural processing of vibrotactile information becomes of great importance. In the human nervous system, two types of vibrotactile information, flutter and vibration, are delivered from mechanoreceptors to the somatosensory cortex through segregated neural afferents. To investigate how the somatosensory cortex differentiates flutter and vibration, we analyzed the cortical responses to vibrotactile stimuli with a wide range of frequencies. Specifically, we examined whether cortical activity changed most around 50 Hz, which is known as a boundary between flutter and vibration. We explored various measures to evaluate separability of cortical activity across frequency and found that the hypothesis margin method resulted in the greatest separability between flutter and vibration. This result suggests that flutter and vibration information may be processed by different neural processes in the somatosensory cortex.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Dirty deeds and dirty bodies: Embodiment of the Macbeth effect is mapped topographically onto the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Rotte, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Denke, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    The theory of embodied cognition claims that knowledge is represented in modal systems derived from perception. Recent behavioral studies found evidence for this hypothesis, for example, by linking moral purity with physical cleansing (the Macbeth effect). Neurophysiological approaches provided further support by showing an involvement of sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. However, the exact role of this brain region for embodied cognitions remains to be cleared. Here we demonstrate that the involvement of the sensorimotor cortex for the embodied metaphor of moral-purity is somatotopically organized. Participants enacted in scenarios where they had to perform immoral or moral acts either with their mouths or their hands. Results showed that mouthwash products were particularly desirable after lying in a voice mail and hand wash products were particularly desirable after writing a lie, thus demonstrating that the moral-purity metaphor is specific to the sensorimotor modality involved in earlier immoral behavior. FMRI results of this interaction showed activation in sensorimotor cortices during the evaluation phase that was somatotopically organized with respect to preceding lying in a voice mail (mouth-area) or in a written note (hand-area). Thus, the results provide evidence for a central role of the sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. PMID:26686599

  7. Dirty deeds and dirty bodies: Embodiment of the Macbeth effect is mapped topographically onto the somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, Michael; Rotte, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Denke, Claudia

    2015-12-21

    The theory of embodied cognition claims that knowledge is represented in modal systems derived from perception. Recent behavioral studies found evidence for this hypothesis, for example, by linking moral purity with physical cleansing (the Macbeth effect). Neurophysiological approaches provided further support by showing an involvement of sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. However, the exact role of this brain region for embodied cognitions remains to be cleared. Here we demonstrate that the involvement of the sensorimotor cortex for the embodied metaphor of moral-purity is somatotopically organized. Participants enacted in scenarios where they had to perform immoral or moral acts either with their mouths or their hands. Results showed that mouthwash products were particularly desirable after lying in a voice mail and hand wash products were particularly desirable after writing a lie, thus demonstrating that the moral-purity metaphor is specific to the sensorimotor modality involved in earlier immoral behavior. FMRI results of this interaction showed activation in sensorimotor cortices during the evaluation phase that was somatotopically organized with respect to preceding lying in a voice mail (mouth-area) or in a written note (hand-area). Thus, the results provide evidence for a central role of the sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors.

  8. Dirty deeds and dirty bodies: Embodiment of the Macbeth effect is mapped topographically onto the somatosensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schaefer, Michael; Rotte, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Denke, Claudia

    2015-01-01

    The theory of embodied cognition claims that knowledge is represented in modal systems derived from perception. Recent behavioral studies found evidence for this hypothesis, for example, by linking moral purity with physical cleansing (the Macbeth effect). Neurophysiological approaches provided further support by showing an involvement of sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. However, the exact role of this brain region for embodied cognitions remains to be cleared. Here we demonstrate that the involvement of the sensorimotor cortex for the embodied metaphor of moral-purity is somatotopically organized. Participants enacted in scenarios where they had to perform immoral or moral acts either with their mouths or their hands. Results showed that mouthwash products were particularly desirable after lying in a voice mail and hand wash products were particularly desirable after writing a lie, thus demonstrating that the moral-purity metaphor is specific to the sensorimotor modality involved in earlier immoral behavior. FMRI results of this interaction showed activation in sensorimotor cortices during the evaluation phase that was somatotopically organized with respect to preceding lying in a voice mail (mouth-area) or in a written note (hand-area). Thus, the results provide evidence for a central role of the sensorimotor cortices for embodied metaphors. PMID:26686599

  9. Layer-specific interhemispheric functional connectivity in the somatosensory cortex of rats: resting state electrophysiology and fMRI studies.

    PubMed

    Baek, Kwangyeol; Shim, Woo Hyun; Jeong, Jaeseung; Radhakrishnan, Harsha; Rosen, Bruce R; Boas, David; Franceschini, Maria; Biswal, Bharat B; Kim, Young R

    2016-06-01

    The spontaneous cerebral hemodynamic fluctuations observed during the resting state have been frequently visualized using functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI). However, the neuronal populations and neuroelectric characteristics underlying the functional connectivity of cerebrohemodynamic activities are poorly understood. We investigated the characteristics of bi-hemispheric functional connectivity via electrophysiology and rsfMRI in the primary sensory cortex of rats anesthetized by α-chloralose. Unlike the evoked responses, the spontaneous electrophysiological activity was concentrated in the infragranular layers and could be classified into subtypes with distinctive current sources and sinks. Both neuroelectric and rsfMRI signals were interhemispherically correlated in a layer-specific manner, suggesting that there are independent neural inputs to infragranular and granular/supragranular layers. The majority of spontaneous electrophysiological activities were bilaterally paired with delays of up to ~50 ms between each pair. The variable interhemispheric delay implies the involvement of indirect, multi-neural pathways. Our findings demonstrated the diverse activity patterns of layer-specific electrophysiological substrates and suggest the recruitment of multiple, non-specific brain regions in construction of interhemispheric functional connectivity. PMID:26077581

  10. Time-sensitive reorganization of the somatosensory cortex poststroke depends on interaction between Hebbian and homeoplasticity: a simulation study

    PubMed Central

    Schweighofer, Nicolas

    2014-01-01

    Together with Hebbian plasticity, homeoplasticity presumably plays a significant, yet unclear, role in recovery postlesion. Here, we undertake a simulation study addressing the role of homeoplasticity and rehabilitation timing poststroke. We first hypothesize that homeoplasticity is essential for recovery and second that rehabilitation training delivered too early, before homeoplasticity has compensated for activity disturbances postlesion, is less effective for recovery than training delivered after a delay. We developed a neural network model of the sensory cortex driven by muscle spindle inputs arising from a six-muscle arm. All synapses underwent Hebbian plasticity, while homeoplasticity adjusted cell excitability to maintain a desired firing distribution. After initial training, the network was lesioned, leading to areas of hyper- and hypoactivity due to the loss of lateral synaptic connections. The network was then retrained through rehabilitative arm movements. We found that network recovery was unsuccessful in the absence of homeoplasticity, as measured by reestablishment of lesion-affected inputs. We also found that a delay preceding rehabilitation led to faster network recovery during the rehabilitation training than no delay. Our simulation results thus suggest that homeoplastic restoration of prelesion activity patterns is essential to functional network recovery via Hebbian plasticity. PMID:25274347

  11. Successful cryopreservation of human ovarian cortex tissues using supercooling.

    PubMed

    Moriguchi, Hisashi; Zhang, Yue; Mihara, Makoto; Sato, Chifumi

    2012-01-01

    The development of new method to cryopreserve human ovarian cortex tissues without damage is needed for the improvement of quality of life (QOL) of female cancer patients. Here we show novel cryopreservation method of human ovarian cortex tissues by using supercooling (S.C.) procedure. Our method will be helpful in order to preserve fertility of female cancer patients.

  12. Effects of administration of histamine and its H1, H2, and H3 receptor antagonists into the primary somatosensory cortex on inflammatory pain in rats

    PubMed Central

    Tamaddonfard, Esmaeal; Hamzeh-Gooshchi, Nasrin

    2014-01-01

    Objective(s): The present study investigated the effects of microinjection of histamine and histamine H1, H2, and H3 receptor antagonists, chlorpheniramine, ranitidine and thioperamide, respectively into the primary somatosensory cortex (PSC) on inflammatory pain. Material and Methods: Two stainless steel guide canulas were bilaterally implanted into the PSC of anaesthetized rats. Inflammatory pain was induced by subcutaneous (SC) injection of formalin (50 µl, 2.5%) in the ventral surface of right hind paw. Time durations of licking/biting of the injected paw were recorded as a pain measure. Results: Formalin produced a biphasic pattern of licking/biting of the injected paw. Histamine at doses of 0.5, 1, and 2 µg decreased the intensity of pain. Chlorpheniramine and ranitidine at the same doses of 1 and 4 µg had no effects, whereas thioperamide at a dose of 4 µg suppressed both phases of formalin-induced pain. Pretreatments with chlorpheniramine and ranitidine at the same dose of 4 µg prevented histamine (2 µg)-induced antinociception. Antinociceptive effects were observed when thioperamide at doses of 1 and 4 µg was used with 0.25 and 1 µg of histamine, respectively. The antinociceptive effects induced by histamine (2 µg) and thioperamide (4 µg) were prevented by prior treatment with naloxone (4 µg). Conclusion: These results indicate that at PSC levels, histamine through post-synaptic H1, H2, and pre-synaptic H3 receptors might be involved in pain modulation. The endogenous opioid system may be involved in histamine- and thioperamide-induced antinociception. PMID:24592308

  13. Different effects of anoxia and hind-limb immobilization on sensorimotor development and cell numbers in the somatosensory cortex in rats.

    PubMed

    Marcuzzo, Simone; Dutra, Márcio Ferreira; Stigger, Felipe; do Nascimento, Patrícia Severo; Ilha, Jocemar; Kalil-Gaspar, Pedro Ivo; Achaval, Matilde

    2010-04-01

    Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of movement and posture disorders attributed to insults in the developing brain. In rats, CP-like motor deficits can be induced by early hind-limb sensorimotor restriction (SR; from postnatal days P2 to P28), associated or otherwise with perinatal anoxia (PA; on P0 and P1). In this study, we address the question of whether PA, early SR or a combination of both produces alterations to sensorimotor development. Developmental milestones (surface righting, cliff aversion, stability on an inclined surface, proprioceptive placing, auditory startle, eye opening) were assessed daily from P3 to P14. Motor skills (horizontal ladder and beam walking) were evaluated weekly (from P31 to P52). In addition, on P52, the thickness of the somatosensory (S1) and cerebellar cortices, and corpus callosum were measured, and the neuronal and glial cell numbers in S1 were counted. SR (with or without PA) significantly delayed the stability on an inclined surface and hastened the appearance of the placing reflex and impaired motor skills. No significant differences were found in the thickness measurements between the groups. Quantitative histology of S1 showed that PA, either alone or associated with SR, increased the number of glial cells, while SR alone reduced neuronal cell numbers. Finally, the combination of PA and SR increased the size of neuronal somata. We conclude that SR impairs the achievement of developmental milestones and motor skills. Moreover, both SR and PA induce histological alterations in the S1 cortex, which may contribute to sensorimotor deficits. PMID:19467580

  14. Cell-Type and State-Dependent Synchronization among Rodent Somatosensory, Visual, Perirhinal Cortex, and Hippocampus CA1.

    PubMed

    Vinck, Martin; Bos, Jeroen J; Van Mourik-Donga, Laura A; Oplaat, Krista T; Klein, Gerbrand A; Jackson, Jadin C; Gentet, Luc J; Pennartz, Cyriel M A

    2015-01-01

    Beta and gamma rhythms have been hypothesized to be involved in global and local coordination of neuronal activity, respectively. Here, we investigated how cells in rodent area S1BF are entrained by rhythmic fluctuations at various frequencies within the local area and in connected areas, and how this depends on behavioral state and cell type. We performed simultaneous extracellular field and unit recordings in four connected areas of the freely moving rat (S1BF, V1M, perirhinal cortex, CA1). S1BF spiking activity was strongly entrained by both beta and gamma S1BF oscillations, which were associated with deactivations and activations, respectively. We identified multiple classes of fast spiking and excitatory cells in S1BF, which showed prominent differences in rhythmic entrainment and in the extent to which phase locking was modulated by behavioral state. Using an additional dataset acquired by whole-cell recordings in head-fixed mice, these cell classes could be compared with identified phenotypes showing gamma rhythmicity in their membrane potential. We next examined how S1BF cells were entrained by rhythmic fluctuations in connected brain areas. Gamma-synchronization was detected in all four areas, however we did not detect significant gamma coherence among these areas. Instead, we only found long-range coherence in the theta-beta range among these areas. In contrast to local S1BF synchronization, we found long-range S1BF-spike to CA1-LFP synchronization to be homogeneous across inhibitory and excitatory cell types. These findings suggest distinct, cell-type contributions of low and high-frequency synchronization to intra- and inter-areal neuronal interactions. PMID:26834582

  15. Cell-Type and State-Dependent Synchronization among Rodent Somatosensory, Visual, Perirhinal Cortex, and Hippocampus CA1

    PubMed Central

    Vinck, Martin; Bos, Jeroen J.; Van Mourik-Donga, Laura A.; Oplaat, Krista T.; Klein, Gerbrand A.; Jackson, Jadin C.; Gentet, Luc J.; Pennartz, Cyriel M. A.

    2016-01-01

    Beta and gamma rhythms have been hypothesized to be involved in global and local coordination of neuronal activity, respectively. Here, we investigated how cells in rodent area S1BF are entrained by rhythmic fluctuations at various frequencies within the local area and in connected areas, and how this depends on behavioral state and cell type. We performed simultaneous extracellular field and unit recordings in four connected areas of the freely moving rat (S1BF, V1M, perirhinal cortex, CA1). S1BF spiking activity was strongly entrained by both beta and gamma S1BF oscillations, which were associated with deactivations and activations, respectively. We identified multiple classes of fast spiking and excitatory cells in S1BF, which showed prominent differences in rhythmic entrainment and in the extent to which phase locking was modulated by behavioral state. Using an additional dataset acquired by whole-cell recordings in head-fixed mice, these cell classes could be compared with identified phenotypes showing gamma rhythmicity in their membrane potential. We next examined how S1BF cells were entrained by rhythmic fluctuations in connected brain areas. Gamma-synchronization was detected in all four areas, however we did not detect significant gamma coherence among these areas. Instead, we only found long-range coherence in the theta-beta range among these areas. In contrast to local S1BF synchronization, we found long-range S1BF-spike to CA1–LFP synchronization to be homogeneous across inhibitory and excitatory cell types. These findings suggest distinct, cell-type contributions of low and high-frequency synchronization to intra- and inter-areal neuronal interactions. PMID:26834582

  16. Inhibition in the Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Inui, Koji; Nakagawa, Kei; Nishihara, Makoto; Motomura, Eishi; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2016-01-01

    Despite their indispensable roles in sensory processing, little is known about inhibitory interneurons in humans. Inhibitory postsynaptic potentials cannot be recorded non-invasively, at least in a pure form, in humans. We herein sought to clarify whether prepulse inhibition (PPI) in the auditory cortex reflected inhibition via interneurons using magnetoencephalography. An abrupt increase in sound pressure by 10 dB in a continuous sound was used to evoke the test response, and PPI was observed by inserting a weak (5 dB increase for 1 ms) prepulse. The time course of the inhibition evaluated by prepulses presented at 10–800 ms before the test stimulus showed at least two temporally distinct inhibitions peaking at approximately 20–60 and 600 ms that presumably reflected IPSPs by fast spiking, parvalbumin-positive cells and somatostatin-positive, Martinotti cells, respectively. In another experiment, we confirmed that the degree of the inhibition depended on the strength of the prepulse, but not on the amplitude of the prepulse-evoked cortical response, indicating that the prepulse-evoked excitatory response and prepulse-evoked inhibition reflected activation in two different pathways. Although many diseases such as schizophrenia may involve deficits in the inhibitory system, we do not have appropriate methods to evaluate them; therefore, the easy and non-invasive method described herein may be clinically useful. PMID:27219470

  17. Repeating spatial activations in human entorhinal cortex.

    PubMed

    Miller, Jonathan F; Fried, Itzhak; Suthana, Nanthia; Jacobs, Joshua

    2015-04-20

    The ability to remember and navigate spatial environments is critical for everyday life. A primary mechanism by which the brain represents space is through hippocampal place cells, which indicate when an animal is at a particular location. An important issue is understanding how the hippocampal place-cell network represents specific properties of the environment, such as signifying that a particular position is near a doorway or that another position is near the end of a corridor. The entorhinal cortex (EC), as the main input to the hippocampus, may play a key role in coding these properties because it contains neurons that activate at multiple related positions per environment. We examined the diversity of spatial coding across the human medial temporal lobe by recording neuronal activity during virtual navigation of an environment containing four similar paths. Neurosurgical patients performed this task as we recorded from implanted microelectrodes, allowing us to compare the human neuronal representation of space with that of animals. EC neurons activated in a repeating manner across the environment, with individual cells spiking at the same relative location across multiple paths. This finding indicates that EC cells represent non-specific information about location relative to an environment's geometry, unlike hippocampal place cells, which activate at particular random locations. Given that spatial navigation is considered to be a model of how the brain supports non-spatial episodic memory, these findings suggest that EC neuronal activity is used by the hippocampus to represent the properties of different memory episodes.

  18. Subspecialization in the human posterior medial cortex

    PubMed Central

    Bzdok, Danilo; Heeger, Adrian; Langner, Robert; Laird, Angela R.; Fox, Peter T.; Palomero-Gallagher, Nicola; Vogt, Brent A.; Zilles, Karl; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2014-01-01

    The posterior medial cortex (PMC) is particularly poorly understood. Its neural activity changes have been related to highly disparate mental processes. We therefore investigated PMC properties with a data-driven exploratory approach. First, we subdivided the PMC by whole-brain coactivation profiles. Second, functional connectivity of the ensuing PMC regions was compared by task-constrained meta-analytic coactivation mapping (MACM) and task-unconstrained resting-state correlations (RSFC). Third, PMC regions were functionally described by forward/reverse functional inference. A precuneal cluster was mostly connected to the intraparietal sulcus, frontal eye fields, and right temporo-parietal junction; associated with attention and motor tasks. A ventral posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) cluster was mostly connected to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and middle left inferior parietal cortex (IPC); associated with facial appraisal and language tasks. A dorsal PCC cluster was mostly connected to the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, anterior/posterior IPC, posterior midcingulate cortex, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex; associated with delay discounting. A cluster in the retrosplenial cortex was mostly connected to the anterior thalamus and hippocampus. Furthermore, all PMC clusters were congruently coupled with the default mode network according to task-constrained but not task-unconstrained connectivity. We thus identified distinct regions in the PMC and characterized their neural networks and functional implications. PMID:25462801

  19. Electrical neuroimaging reveals intensity-dependent activation of human cortical gustatory and somatosensory areas by electric taste.

    PubMed

    Ohla, Kathrin; Toepel, Ulrike; le Coutre, Johannes; Hudry, Julie

    2010-12-01

    To analyze the neural basis of electric taste we performed electrical neuroimaging analyses of event-related potentials (ERPs) recorded while participants received electrical pulses to the tongue. Pulses were presented at individual taste threshold to excite gustatory fibers selectively without concomitant excitation of trigeminal fibers and at high intensity evoking a prickling and, thus, activating trigeminal fibers. Sour, salty and metallic tastes were reported at both intensities while clear prickling was reported at high intensity only. ERPs exhibited augmented amplitudes and shorter latencies for high intensity. First activations of gustatory areas (bilateral anterior insula, medial orbitofrontal cortex) were observed at 70-80ms. Common somatosensory regions were more strongly, but not exclusively, activated at high intensity. Our data provide a comprehensive view on the dynamics of cortical processing of the gustatory and trigeminal portions of electric taste and suggest that gustatory and trigeminal afferents project to overlapping cortical areas. PMID:20858525

  20. Topographic representation of the human body in the occipitotemporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Orlov, Tanya; Makin, Tamar R; Zohary, Ehud

    2010-11-01

    Large-scale topographic representations of the body have long been established in the somatosensory and motor cortices. Using functional imaging, we identified a topographically organized body part map within the occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), with distinct clusters of voxels showing clear preference for different visually presented body parts. This representation was consistent both across hemispheres and participants. Using converging methods, the preference for specific body parts was demonstrated to be robust and did not merely reflect shape differences between the categories. Finally, execution of (unseen) movements with different body parts resulted in a limited topographic representation of the limbs and trunk, which partially overlapped with the visual body part map. This motor-driven activation in the OTC could not be explained solely by visual or motor imagery of the body parts. This suggests that visual and motor-related information converge within the OTC in a body part specific manner.

  1. Interaction of gustatory and lingual somatosensory perceptions at the cortical level in the human: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Cerf-Ducastel, B; Van de Moortele, P F; MacLeod, P; Le Bihan, D; Faurion, A

    2001-05-01

    The present study has investigated interaction at the cortical level in the human between two major components of flavor perception, pure chemical gustatory and lingual somatosensory perception. Twelve subjects participated in a functional magnetic resonance imaging study and tasted six stimuli, applied on the whole tongue, among which four were pure gustatory stimuli (NaCl, aspartame, quinine and HCl, pH 2.4 or 2.2) and two were both taste and lingual somatosensory stimuli, i.e. somato-gustatory stimuli (HCl, pH 1.6 or 1.5, and aluminum potassium sulfate). Functional images were acquired with an echo planar sequence on a 3 T system and were individually processed by correlation with the temporal perception profile. Both sets of stimuli showed activation in the same cortical areas, namely the insula, the rolandic operculum (base of the pre- and post-central gyri), the frontal operculum and the temporal operculum, confirming a wide overlap of taste and lingual somatosensory representations. However, the relative activation across areas and the analysis of co-activated areas across all runs for each set of stimuli allowed discrimination of taste and somatosensory modalities. Factor analysis of correspondences indicated different patterns of activation across the sub-insular and opercular regions, depending on the gustatory or somato-gustatory nature of the stimuli. For gustatory stimuli different activation patterns for the superior and inferior parts of the insula suggested a difference in function between these two insular sub-regions. Furthermore, the left inferior insula was co-activated with the left angular gyrus, a structure involved in semantic processing. In contrast, only somato-gustatory stimuli specifically produced a simultaneous and symmetrical activation of both the left and right rolandic opercula, which include a part of the sensory homunculus dedicated to the tactile representation of oral structures.

  2. Imaging Electrical Stimulation of the Human Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bahar, Sonya; Suh, Minah; Mehta, Ashesh D.; Schwartz, Theodore H.

    2004-03-01

    The intrinsic optical signal (IOS) is a change in light reflectance from neural tissue that correlates spatially with electrophysiological activity. Depending on the wavelength of incident light, the IOS reveals different physiological changes in the tissue. In order for the IOS to be applicable to problems such as the intraoperative brain mapping, it is critical to determine which wavelengths of incident light provide optimal information about the time course and spatial localization of the underlying activity. We performed intraoperative imaging of the human cortex during direct electrical stimulation, with illumination at 546 nm (corresponding mainly to blood flow) and 605 nm (corresponding to the oxy/deoxy ratio of hemoglobin). Incident light at 546 nm showed a much larger reflectance change than orange light; at 605 nm an initial reflectance change was observed which may correspond to the ``initial dip'' observed in BOLD (blood oxygen level dependent) fMRI imaging, followed by a large inverse reflectance signal which may correlate closely with the BOLD fMRI signal itself.

  3. The auditory representation of speech sounds in human motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cheung, Connie; Hamilton, Liberty S; Johnson, Keith; Chang, Edward F

    2016-01-01

    In humans, listening to speech evokes neural responses in the motor cortex. This has been controversially interpreted as evidence that speech sounds are processed as articulatory gestures. However, it is unclear what information is actually encoded by such neural activity. We used high-density direct human cortical recordings while participants spoke and listened to speech sounds. Motor cortex neural patterns during listening were substantially different than during articulation of the same sounds. During listening, we observed neural activity in the superior and inferior regions of ventral motor cortex. During speaking, responses were distributed throughout somatotopic representations of speech articulators in motor cortex. The structure of responses in motor cortex during listening was organized along acoustic features similar to auditory cortex, rather than along articulatory features as during speaking. Motor cortex does not contain articulatory representations of perceived actions in speech, but rather, represents auditory vocal information. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12577.001 PMID:26943778

  4. The multisensory function of the human primary visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Murray, Micah M; Thelen, Antonia; Thut, Gregor; Romei, Vincenzo; Martuzzi, Roberto; Matusz, Pawel J

    2016-03-01

    It has been nearly 10 years since Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) proposed that the neocortex is essentially multisensory in nature. However, it is only recently that sufficient and hard evidence that supports this proposal has accrued. We review evidence that activity within the human primary visual cortex plays an active role in multisensory processes and directly impacts behavioural outcome. This evidence emerges from a full pallet of human brain imaging and brain mapping methods with which multisensory processes are quantitatively assessed by taking advantage of particular strengths of each technique as well as advances in signal analyses. Several general conclusions about multisensory processes in primary visual cortex of humans are supported relatively solidly. First, haemodynamic methods (fMRI/PET) show that there is both convergence and integration occurring within primary visual cortex. Second, primary visual cortex is involved in multisensory processes during early post-stimulus stages (as revealed by EEG/ERP/ERFs as well as TMS). Third, multisensory effects in primary visual cortex directly impact behaviour and perception, as revealed by correlational (EEG/ERPs/ERFs) as well as more causal measures (TMS/tACS). While the provocative claim of Ghazanfar and Schroeder (2006) that the whole of neocortex is multisensory in function has yet to be demonstrated, this can now be considered established in the case of the human primary visual cortex. PMID:26275965

  5. Persistent Neuronal Firing in Primary Somatosensory Cortex in the Absence of Working Memory of Trial-Specific Features of the Sample Stimuli in a Haptic Working Memory Task

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Liping; Li, Xianchun; Hsiao, Steven S.; Bodner, Mark; Lenz, Fred; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2012-01-01

    Previous studies suggested that primary somatosensory (SI) neurons in well-trained monkeys participated in the haptic-haptic unimodal delayed matching-to-sample (DMS) task. In this study, 585 SI neurons were recorded in monkeys performing a task that was identical to that in the previous studies but without requiring discrimination and active…

  6. To-and-fro optical voltage signal propagation between the insular gustatory and parietal oral somatosensory areas in rat cortex slices.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Hiroshi; Kato, Nobuo; Sugai, Tokio; Honjo, Makoto; Sato, Jun; Segami, Natsuki; Onoda, Norihiko

    2004-07-23

    Taste perception depends not only on special taste information processed in the insular cortex, but also on oral somesthetic processing in the parietal cortex. Many insular cortex neurons show multimodal responsiveness. Such multimodality may be enabled by signal exchange between these two cortices. By using the protocol that we have developed, a synchronized population oscillation of synaptic potentials was induced in the parietal cortex by stimulation to the insular cortex in rat neocortex slices. The spatiotemporal pattern of propagation of this oscillation was studied by recording voltage-sensitive optical signals and field potentials. The first wavelet of the oscillation was propagated from the insular stimulation site to the parietal cortex. However, the second and later wavelets propagated back from the parietal cortex to the insular cortex. The oscillation was detected in the insular cortex as well, but was actually generated in the parietal cortex. Thus, the initial peak of optical signal, sent from the insular to parietal cortex, served to generate oscillatory responses in the parietal cortex, which propagated back to the insular cortex wave-by-wave. We propose that this to-and-fro propagation may be an artificially exaggerated demonstration of an intrinsic mechanism relevant to signal exchange between the parietal and insular cortices.

  7. The Organization of Dorsal Frontal Cortex in Humans and Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Mars, Rogier B.; Noonan, MaryAnn P.; Neubert, Franz-Xaver; Jbabdi, Saad; O'Reilly, Jill X.; Filippini, Nicola; Thomas, Adam G.; Rushworth, Matthew F.

    2013-01-01

    The human dorsal frontal cortex has been associated with the most sophisticated aspects of cognition, including those that are thought to be especially refined in humans. Here we used diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (DW-MRI) and functional MRI (fMRI) in humans and macaques to infer and compare the organization of dorsal frontal cortex in the two species. Using DW-MRI tractography-based parcellation, we identified 10 dorsal frontal regions lying between the human inferior frontal sulcus and cingulate cortex. Patterns of functional coupling between each area and the rest of the brain were then estimated with fMRI and compared with functional coupling patterns in macaques. Areas in human medial frontal cortex, including areas associated with high-level social cognitive processes such as theory of mind, showed a surprising degree of similarity in their functional coupling patterns with the frontal pole, medial prefrontal, and dorsal prefrontal convexity in the macaque. We failed to find evidence for “new” regions in human medial frontal cortex. On the lateral surface, comparison of functional coupling patterns suggested correspondences in anatomical organization distinct from those that are widely assumed. A human region sometimes referred to as lateral frontal pole more closely resembled area 46, rather than the frontal pole, of the macaque. Overall the pattern of results suggest important similarities in frontal cortex organization in humans and other primates, even in the case of regions thought to carry out uniquely human functions. The patterns of interspecies correspondences are not, however, always those that are widely assumed. PMID:23884933

  8. Cortical oscillatory activity and the induction of plasticity in the human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    McAllister, Suzanne M; Rothwell, John C; Ridding, Michael C

    2011-05-01

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation paradigms such as continuous theta burst stimulation (cTBS) induce long-term potentiation- and long-term depression-like plasticity in the human motor cortex. However, responses to cTBS are highly variable and may depend on the activity of the cortex at the time of stimulation. We investigated whether power in different electroencephalogram (EEG) frequency bands predicted the response to subsequent cTBS, and conversely whether cTBS had after-effects on the EEG. cTBS may utilize similar mechanisms of plasticity to motor learning; thus, we conducted a parallel set of experiments to test whether ongoing electroencephalography could predict performance of a visuomotor training task, and whether training itself had effects on the EEG. Motor evoked potentials (MEPs) provided an index of cortical excitability pre- and post-intervention. The EEG was recorded over the motor cortex pre- and post-intervention, and power spectra were computed. cTBS reduced MEP amplitudes; however, baseline power in the delta, theta, alpha or beta frequencies did not predict responses to cTBS or learning of the visuomotor training task. cTBS had no effect on delta, theta, alpha or beta power. In contrast, there was an increase in alpha power following visuomotor training that was positively correlated with changes in MEP amplitude post-training. The results suggest that the EEG is not a useful state-marker for predicting responses to plasticity-inducing paradigms. The correlation between alpha power and changes in corticospinal excitability following visuomotor training requires further investigation, but may be related to disengagement of the somatosensory system important for motor memory consolidation. PMID:21488985

  9. Architectonic mapping of somatosensory areas involved in skilled forelimb movements and tool use.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Andrei; Nascimento-Silva, Márcio L; Keher, Natalia B; Bittencourt-Navarrete, Ruben Ernesto; Gattass, Ricardo; Franca, João G

    2016-05-01

    Cebus monkeys stand out from other New World monkeys by their ability to perform fine hand movements, and by their spontaneous use of tools in the wild. Those behaviors rely on the integration of somatosensory information, which occurs in different areas of the parietal cortex. Although a few studies have examined and parceled the somatosensory areas of the cebus monkey, mainly using electrophysiological criteria, very little is known about its anatomical organization. In this study we used SMI-32 immunohistochemistry, myelin, and Nissl stains to characterize the architecture of the parietal cortical areas of cebus monkeys. Seven cortical areas were identified between the precentral gyrus and the anterior bank of the intraparietal sulcus. Except for areas 3a and 3b, distinction between different somatosensory areas was more evident in myelin-stained sections and SMI-32 immunohistochemistry than in Nissl stain, especially for area 2 and subdivisions of area 5. Our results show that cebus monkeys have a relatively complex somatosensory cortex, similar to that of macaques and humans. This suggests that, during primate evolution, the emergence of new somatosensory areas underpinned complex manual behaviors in most Old World simians and in the New World cebus monkey. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:1399-1423, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Neural mechanisms of selective attention in the somatosensory system.

    PubMed

    Gomez-Ramirez, Manuel; Hysaj, Kristjana; Niebur, Ernst

    2016-09-01

    Selective attention allows organisms to extract behaviorally relevant information while ignoring distracting stimuli that compete for the limited resources of their central nervous systems. Attention is highly flexible, and it can be harnessed to select information based on sensory modality, within-modality feature(s), spatial location, object identity, and/or temporal properties. In this review, we discuss the body of work devoted to understanding mechanisms of selective attention in the somatosensory system. In particular, we describe the effects of attention on tactile behavior and corresponding neural activity in somatosensory cortex. Our focus is on neural mechanisms that select tactile stimuli based on their location on the body (somatotopic-based attention) or their sensory feature (feature-based attention). We highlight parallels between selection mechanisms in touch and other sensory systems and discuss several putative neural coding schemes employed by cortical populations to signal the behavioral relevance of sensory inputs. Specifically, we contrast the advantages and disadvantages of using a gain vs. spike-spike correlation code for representing attended sensory stimuli. We favor a neural network model of tactile attention that is composed of frontal, parietal, and subcortical areas that controls somatosensory cells encoding the relevant stimulus features to enable preferential processing throughout the somatosensory hierarchy. Our review is based on data from noninvasive electrophysiological and imaging data in humans as well as single-unit recordings in nonhuman primates. PMID:27334956

  11. Evaluation of the synuclein-y (SNCG) gene as a PPARy target in murine adipocytes, dorsal root ganglia somatosensory neurons, and human adipose tissue

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Synuclein-gamma is highly expressed in both adipocytes and peripheral nervous system (PNS) somatosensory neurons. Its mRNA is induced during adipogenesis, increased in obese human white adipose tissue (WAT), may be coordinately regulated with leptin, and is decreased following treatment of murine 3T...

  12. Changes in pain perception and pain-related somatosensory evoked potentials in humans produced by exposure to oscillating magnetic fields.

    PubMed

    Sartucci, F; Bonfiglio, L; Del Seppia, C; Luschi, P; Ghione, S; Murri, L; Papi, F

    1997-09-26

    Nociception has been reported to be influenced by exposure to magnetic fields (MFs). The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 2 h exposure to weak, oscillating MFs on pain perception thresholds and on pain-related somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs). In 11 healthy volunteers, pain perception thresholds and pain-related SEPs were assessed by intracutaneous electrical stimulation. After sham treatment, pain thresholds significantly increased, whereas after MFs a slight non-significant decrease in thresholds was found. After both treatments pain-related SEP amplitude was reduced, but this decrease was more evident and statistically significant only after MF exposure. The increase found in thresholds after sham exposure may be due to stress-induced analgesia (SIA) and the contrasting behaviour recorded after MF exposure might indicate a suppression of SIA. The significant reduction in pain-related SEP amplitude observed after MF exposure provides the first evidence that human SEPs are influenced by MFs.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

    We test theories about the functional organization of the human cortex by correlating brain activity with demands on perception versus action selection. Subjects covertly searched for a target among an array of 4, 8, or 12 items (perceptual manipulation) and then, depending on the color of the array, made a saccade toward, away from, or at a right…

  14. The Role of the Orbitofrontal Cortex in Human Discrimination Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chase, Henry W.; Clark, Luke; Myers, Catherine E.; Gluck, Mark A.; Sahakian, Barbara J.; Bullmore, Edward T.; Robbins, Trevor W.

    2008-01-01

    Several lines of evidence implicate the prefrontal cortex in learning but there is little evidence from studies of human lesion patients to demonstrate the critical role of this structure. To this end, we tested patients with lesions of the frontal lobe (n = 36) and healthy controls (n = 35) on two learning tasks: the weather prediction task…

  15. Short-Latency Median-Nerve Somatosensory-Evoked Potentials and Induced Gamma-Oscillations in Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fukuda, Miho; Nishida, Masaaki; Juhasz, Csaba; Muzik, Otto; Sood, Sandeep; Chugani, Harry T.; Asano, Eishi

    2008-01-01

    Recent studies have suggested that cortical gamma-oscillations are tightly linked with various forms of physiological activity. In the present study, the dynamic changes of intracranially recorded median-nerve somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) and somatosensory-induced gamma-oscillations were animated on a three-dimensional MR image, and the…

  16. Maturation of human auditory cortex: implications for speech perception.

    PubMed

    Moore, Jean K

    2002-05-01

    This project traced the maturation of the human auditory cortex from midgestation to young adulthood, using immunostaining of axonal neurofilaments to determine the time of onset of rapid conduction. The study identified 3 developmental periods, each characterized by maturation of a different axonal system. During the perinatal period (3rd trimester to 4th postnatal month), neurofilament expression occurs only in axons of the marginal layer. These axons drive the structural and functional development of cells in the deeper cortical layers, but do not relay external stimuli. In early childhood (6 months to 5 years), maturing thalamocortical afferents to the deeper cortical layers are the first source of input to the auditory cortex from lower levels of the auditory system. During later childhood (5 to 12 years), maturation of commissural and association axons in the superficial cortical layers allows communication between different subdivisions of the auditory cortex, thus forming a basis for more complex cortical processing of auditory stimuli. PMID:12018354

  17. Neurochemical changes within human early blind occipital cortex.

    PubMed

    Weaver, K E; Richards, T L; Saenz, M; Petropoulos, H; Fine, I

    2013-11-12

    Early blindness results in occipital cortex neurons responding to a wide range of auditory and tactile stimuli. These changes in tuning properties are accompanied by an extensive reorganization of the occipital cortex that includes alterations in anatomical structure, neurochemical and metabolic pathways. Although it has been established in animal models that neurochemical pathways are heavily affected by early visual deprivation, the effects of blindness on these pathways in humans is still not well characterized. Here, using (1)H magnetic resonance spectroscopy in nine early blind and normally sighted subjects, we find that early blindness is associated with higher levels of creatine, choline and myo-Inositol and indications of lower levels of GABA within the occipital cortex. These results suggest that the cross-modal responses associated with early blindness may, at least in part, be driven by changes within occipital biochemical pathways.

  18. Motor Skill Acquisition and Retention after Somatosensory Electrical Stimulation in Healthy Humans

    PubMed Central

    Veldman, Menno P.; Zijdewind, Inge; Maffiuletti, Nicola A.; Hortobágyi, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Somatosensory electrical stimulation (SES) can increase motor performance, presumably through a modulation of neuronal excitability. Because the effects of SES can outlast the period of stimulation, we examined the possibility that SES can also enhance the retention of motor performance, motor memory consolidation, after 24 h (Day 2) and 7 days (Day 7), that such effects would be scaled by SES duration, and that such effects were mediated by changes in aspects of corticospinal excitability, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), and intracortical facilitation (ICF). Healthy young adults (n = 40) received either 20 (SES-20), 40 (SES-40), or 60 min (SES-60) of real SES, or sham SES (SES-0). The results showed SES-20 increased visuomotor performance on Day 2 (15%) and Day 7 (17%) and SES-60 increased visuomotor performance on Day 7 (11%; all p < 0.05) compared with SES-0. Specific responses to transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) increased immediately after SES (p < 0.05) but not on Days 2 and 7. In addition, changes in behavioral and neurophysiological parameters did not correlate, suggesting that paths and structures other than the ones TMS can assay must be (also) involved in the increases in visuomotor performance after SES. As examined in the present study, low-intensity peripheral electrical nerve stimulation did not have acute effects on healthy adults' visuomotor performance but SES had delayed effects in the form of enhanced motor memory consolidation that were not scaled by the duration of SES. PMID:27014043

  19. Focal physiological uncoupling of cerebral blood flow and oxidative metabolism during somatosensory stimulation in human subjects

    SciTech Connect

    Fox, P.T.; Raichle, M.E.

    1986-02-01

    Coupling between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2) was studied using multiple sequential administrations of VO-labeled radiotracers and positron emission tomography. In the resting state an excellent correlation between CBF and CMRO2 was found when paired measurements of CBF and CMRO2 from multiple (30-48) brain regions were tested in each of 33 normal subjects. Regional uncoupling of CBF and CMRO2 was found, however, during neuronal activation induced by somatosensory stimulation. Stimulus-induced focal augmentation of cerebral blood flow (29% mean) far exceeded the concomitant local increase in tissue metabolic rate (mean, 5%), when resting-state and stimulated-state measurements were obtained in each of 9 subjects. Stimulus duration had no significant effect on response magnitude or on the degree of CBF-CMRO2 uncoupling observed. Dynamic, physiological regulation of CBF by a mechanism (neuronal or biochemical) dependent on neuronal firing per se, but independent of the cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen, is hypothesized.

  20. Design of a New Somatosensory Stimulus Delivery Device for Measuring Laryngeal Mechanosensory Detection Thresholds in Humans

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Laryngeal control is essential for airway protection, breathing, deglutition, speech, and voice. Unfortunately, integration of laryngeal sensory assessment in research and clinical practice is limited by technical and practical limitations of commercially available technology. A commercial device is available, but reported limitations include procedural complexity requiring two or three individuals to operate, limited stimulus dynamic range, device generated noise, and questionable stimulus reproducibility. The objective of this study was to design a new laryngeal somatosensory stimulus delivery device that provides direct, reliable control over the timing, duration, and dynamic range of stimulus presentation, and test the device in individuals who may manifest a laryngeal sensory deficit. The new device operates silently and has more than four times greater stimulus dynamic range than the commercial device. Testing with the new device revealed laryngeal mechanosensory detection thresholds in an individual with Parkinson’s disease that were seven times higher than those of healthy controls. These data would have otherwise gone undetected due to limited stimulus dynamic range in the commercial device. The new design resulted in a new assessment instrument that is simple to use for routine clinical assessment, yet sufficiently versatile for integration within rigorous clinical research protocols. PMID:19272888

  1. A motion area in human visual cortex.

    PubMed Central

    Orban, G A; Dupont, P; De Bruyn, B; Vogels, R; Vandenberghe, R; Mortelmans, L

    1995-01-01

    We have localized an area in the human brain involved in the processing of contours defined by motion differences (kinetic contours) by comparing with positron emission tomography the regional cerebral blood flow in tasks performed with kinetic and luminance-defined gratings. These tasks included passive viewing, counting the total number of grating stimuli, and counting the number of gratings of a given orientation. Comparison between the counting tasks and passive viewing with a given type of contour revealed a set of active areas that were similar for both luminance-defined and kinetic contours. Comparisons between these two types of contours revealed a single focus in the right hemisphere that did not overlap with the many regions activated by uniform motion. In particular this "kinetic focus" was clearly separated from the area previously defined as the human homologue of V5/middle temporal. Activity in this kinetic focus was stronger when orientation had to be processed than in the other two tasks. These results and control experiments with uniformly moving random dot patterns suggest the existence of an area in the human visual system that is activated much more by kinetic contours than by luminance contours or uniformly moving random dots. Up to now, such an area has not been described in the monkey visual system. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 4 PMID:7862680

  2. Spindle neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nimchinsky, E. A.; Vogt, B. A.; Morrison, J. H.; Hof, P. R.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The human anterior cingulate cortex is distinguished by the presence of an unusual cell type, a large spindle neuron in layer Vb. This cell has been noted numerous times in the historical literature but has not been studied with modern neuroanatomic techniques. For instance, details regarding the neuronal class to which these cells belong and regarding their precise distribution along both ventrodorsal and anteroposterior axes of the cingulate gyrus are still lacking. In the present study, morphological features and the anatomic distribution of this cell type were studied using computer-assisted mapping and immunocytochemical techniques. Spindle neurons are restricted to the subfields of the anterior cingulate cortex (Brodmann's area 24), exhibiting a greater density in anterior portions of this area than in posterior portions, and tapering off in the transition zone between anterior and posterior cingulate cortex. Furthermore, a majority of the spindle cells at any level is located in subarea 24b on the gyral surface. Immunocytochemical analysis revealed that the neurofilament protein triple was present in a large percentage of these neurons and that they did not contain calcium-binding proteins. Injections of the carbocyanine dye DiI into the cingulum bundle revealed that these cells are projection neurons. Finally, spindle cells were consistently affected in Alzheimer's disease cases, with an overall loss of about 60%. Taken together, these observations indicate that the spindle cells of the human cingulate cortex represent a morphological subpopulation of pyramidal neurons whose restricted distribution may be associated with functionally distinct areas.

  3. Similarities between GCS and human motor cortex: complex movement coordination

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodríguez, Jose A.; Macias, Rosa; Molgo, Jordi; Guerra, Dailos

    2014-07-01

    The "Gran Telescopio de Canarias" (GTC1) is an optical-infrared 10-meter segmented mirror telescope at the ORM observatory in Canary Islands (Spain). The GTC control system (GCS), the brain of the telescope, is is a distributed object & component oriented system based on RT-CORBA and it is responsible for the management and operation of the telescope, including its instrumentation. On the other hand, the Human motor cortex (HMC) is a region of the cerebrum responsible for the coordination of planning, control, and executing voluntary movements. If we analyze both systems, as far as the movement control of their mechanisms and body parts is concerned, we can find extraordinary similarities in their architectures. Both are structured in layers, and their functionalities are comparable from the movement conception until the movement action itself: In the GCS we can enumerate the Sequencer high level components, the Coordination libraries, the Control Kit library and the Device Driver library as the subsystems involved in the telescope movement control. If we look at the motor cortex, we can also enumerate the primary motor cortex, the secondary motor cortices, which include the posterior parietal cortex, the premotor cortex, and the supplementary motor area (SMA), the motor units, the sensory organs and the basal ganglia. From all these components/areas we will analyze in depth the several subcortical regions, of the the motor cortex, that are involved in organizing motor programs for complex movements and the GCS coordination framework, which is composed by a set of classes that allow to the high level components to transparently control a group of mechanisms simultaneously.

  4. Transcranial static magnetic field stimulation of the human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Oliviero, Antonio; Mordillo-Mateos, Laura; Arias, Pablo; Panyavin, Ivan; Foffani, Guglielmo; Aguilar, Juan

    2011-10-15

    The aim of the present study was to investigate in healthy humans the possibility of a non-invasive modulation of motor cortex excitability by the application of static magnetic fields through the scalp. Static magnetic fields were obtained by using cylindrical NdFeB magnets. We performed four sets of experiments. In Experiment 1, we recorded motor potentials evoked by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex before and after 10 min of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) in conscious subjects. We observed an average reduction of motor cortex excitability of up to 25%, as revealed by TMS, which lasted for several minutes after the end of tSMS, and was dose dependent (intensity of the magnetic field) but not polarity dependent. In Experiment 2, we confirmed the reduction of motor cortex excitability induced by tSMS using a double-blind sham-controlled design. In Experiment 3, we investigated the duration of tSMS that was necessary to modulate motor cortex excitability. We found that 10 min of tSMS (compared to 1 min and 5 min) were necessary to induce significant effects. In Experiment 4, we used transcranial electric stimulation (TES) to establish that the tSMS-induced reduction of motor cortex excitability was not due to corticospinal axon and/or spinal excitability, but specifically involved intracortical networks. These results suggest that tSMS using small static magnets may be a promising tool to modulate cerebral excitability in a non-invasive, painless, and reversible way.

  5. Transcranial static magnetic field stimulation of the human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Oliviero, Antonio; Mordillo-Mateos, Laura; Arias, Pablo; Panyavin, Ivan; Foffani, Guglielmo; Aguilar, Juan

    2011-10-15

    The aim of the present study was to investigate in healthy humans the possibility of a non-invasive modulation of motor cortex excitability by the application of static magnetic fields through the scalp. Static magnetic fields were obtained by using cylindrical NdFeB magnets. We performed four sets of experiments. In Experiment 1, we recorded motor potentials evoked by single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the motor cortex before and after 10 min of transcranial static magnetic field stimulation (tSMS) in conscious subjects. We observed an average reduction of motor cortex excitability of up to 25%, as revealed by TMS, which lasted for several minutes after the end of tSMS, and was dose dependent (intensity of the magnetic field) but not polarity dependent. In Experiment 2, we confirmed the reduction of motor cortex excitability induced by tSMS using a double-blind sham-controlled design. In Experiment 3, we investigated the duration of tSMS that was necessary to modulate motor cortex excitability. We found that 10 min of tSMS (compared to 1 min and 5 min) were necessary to induce significant effects. In Experiment 4, we used transcranial electric stimulation (TES) to establish that the tSMS-induced reduction of motor cortex excitability was not due to corticospinal axon and/or spinal excitability, but specifically involved intracortical networks. These results suggest that tSMS using small static magnets may be a promising tool to modulate cerebral excitability in a non-invasive, painless, and reversible way. PMID:21807616

  6. Effects of flurbiprofen enantiomers on pain-related chemo-somatosensory evoked potentials in human subjects.

    PubMed Central

    Lötsch, J; Geisslinger, G; Mohammadian, P; Brune, K; Kobal, G

    1995-01-01

    1. The aim of the study was to investigate the analgesic effects of flurbiprofen enantiomers using an experimental pain model based on both chemo-somatosensory event-related potentials (CSSERP) and subjective pain ratings. 2. Healthy female volunteers (n = 16, age 23-36 years) participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind, four-way crossover study. Single doses of (S)-flurbiprofen (50 mg), (R)-flurbiprofen (50 and 100 mg) and placebo were administered orally. Measurements were taken before and 2 h after administration of the medications. During each measurement, 32 painful stimuli of gaseous carbon dioxide (200 ms duration, interval approximately 30 s) of two concentrations (60 and 65% CO2 v/v) were applied to the right nostril. EEG was recorded from five positions and CSSERP were obtained in response to the painful CO2- stimuli. Additionally, subjects rated the perceived intensity of the painful stimuli by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS). 3. The CSSERP-amplitude P2, a measure of analgesic effect, decreased after administration of both (R)- and (S)-flurbiprofen, while it increased after placebo. This was statistically significant at recording positions C4 (P < 0.01) and Fz (P < 0.05). The analgesia-related decreases in evoked potential produced by (R)-flurbiprofen were dose-dependent. Comparing similar doses of (R)- and (S)-flurbiprofen, the decrease in CSSERP-amplitudes produced by the (S)-enantiomer was somewhat more pronounced, indicating a higher analgesic potency. 4. The present data indicate that both enantiomers of flurbiprofen produce analgesic effects. Since (R)-flurbiprofen caused only little toxicity in rats as compared with the (S)-enantiomer or the racemic compound, a reduction of the quantitatively most important side effects in the gastrointestinal tract might be achieved by employing (R)-flurbiprofen in pain therapy. PMID:8554936

  7. Effects of flurbiprofen enantiomers on pain-related chemo-somatosensory evoked potentials in human subjects.

    PubMed

    Lötsch, J; Geisslinger, G; Mohammadian, P; Brune, K; Kobal, G

    1995-10-01

    1. The aim of the study was to investigate the analgesic effects of flurbiprofen enantiomers using an experimental pain model based on both chemo-somatosensory event-related potentials (CSSERP) and subjective pain ratings. 2. Healthy female volunteers (n = 16, age 23-36 years) participated in a placebo-controlled, randomised, double-blind, four-way crossover study. Single doses of (S)-flurbiprofen (50 mg), (R)-flurbiprofen (50 and 100 mg) and placebo were administered orally. Measurements were taken before and 2 h after administration of the medications. During each measurement, 32 painful stimuli of gaseous carbon dioxide (200 ms duration, interval approximately 30 s) of two concentrations (60 and 65% CO2 v/v) were applied to the right nostril. EEG was recorded from five positions and CSSERP were obtained in response to the painful CO2- stimuli. Additionally, subjects rated the perceived intensity of the painful stimuli by means of a visual analogue scale (VAS). 3. The CSSERP-amplitude P2, a measure of analgesic effect, decreased after administration of both (R)- and (S)-flurbiprofen, while it increased after placebo. This was statistically significant at recording positions C4 (P < 0.01) and Fz (P < 0.05). The analgesia-related decreases in evoked potential produced by (R)-flurbiprofen were dose-dependent. Comparing similar doses of (R)- and (S)-flurbiprofen, the decrease in CSSERP-amplitudes produced by the (S)-enantiomer was somewhat more pronounced, indicating a higher analgesic potency. 4. The present data indicate that both enantiomers of flurbiprofen produce analgesic effects. Since (R)-flurbiprofen caused only little toxicity in rats as compared with the (S)-enantiomer or the racemic compound, a reduction of the quantitatively most important side effects in the gastrointestinal tract might be achieved by employing (R)-flurbiprofen in pain therapy.

  8. Representation of speech in human auditory cortex: Is it special?

    PubMed Central

    Steinschneider, Mitchell; Nourski, Kirill V.; Fishman, Yonatan I.

    2013-01-01

    Successful categorization of phonemes in speech requires that the brain analyze the acoustic signal along both spectral and temporal dimensions. Neural encoding of the stimulus amplitude envelope is critical for parsing the speech stream into syllabic units. Encoding of voice onset time (VOT) and place of articulation (POA), cues necessary for determining phonemic identity, occurs within shorter time frames. An unresolved question is whether the neural representation of speech is based on processing mechanisms that are unique to humans and shaped by learning and experience, or is based on rules governing general auditory processing that are also present in non-human animals. This question was examined by comparing the neural activity elicited by speech and other complex vocalizations in primary auditory cortex of macaques, who are limited vocal learners, with that in Heschl’s gyrus, the putative location of primary auditory cortex in humans. Entrainment to the amplitude envelope is neither specific to humans nor to human speech. VOT is represented by responses time-locked to consonant release and voicing onset in both humans and monkeys. Temporal representation of VOT is observed both for isolated syllables and for syllables embedded in the more naturalistic context of running speech. The fundamental frequency of male speakers is represented by more rapid neural activity phase-locked to the glottal pulsation rate in both humans and monkeys. In both species, the differential representation of stop consonants varying in their POA can be predicted by the relationship between the frequency selectivity of neurons and the onset spectra of the speech sounds. These findings indicate that the neurophysiology of primary auditory cortex is similar in monkeys and humans despite their vastly different experience with human speech, and that Heschl’s gyrus is engaged in general auditory, and not language-specific, processing. PMID:23792076

  9. Similar synapse density in layer IV columns of the primary somatosensory cortex of transgenic mice with different brain size: implications for mechanisms underlying the differential allocation of cortical space.

    PubMed

    Gutiérrez-Ospina, Gabriel; Uribe-Querol, Eileen; Sánchez, Norma; Geovannini, Helga; Padilla, Patricia; Hernández-Echeagaray, Elizabeth

    2004-01-01

    The relative dimension of the areas constituting the cerebral cortex differs greatly in the brains of different mammalian species. The mechanisms by which such an evolutionary remodeling has occurred is not well understood. To begin exploring possible mechanisms, we took advantage of a transgenic mouse model in which the area of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) shifts, to some extent independent from the area of the cortex as a whole, as a result of differences in the availability of insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I). Electron microscopy estimations of synapse density in D3 and C3 cortical columns of the S1 layer IV revealed that this parameter was similar among wild type and transgenic mice with higher and lower availability of IGF-I. Because D3 and C3 columns were larger and smaller than normal in mice with higher and lower IGF-I availability, the total number of synapses contained in the average area of D3 and C3 columns increased and decreased, respectively. No differences in the number and overall arrangement of S1 columns were observed among animal groups. These results suggest that: 1) synapse density is a constant factor within the S1 cortical column structure; 2) the mechanisms and factors regulating cell number and synaptogenesis are affected as columns and cortical areas modify their relative dimensions; 3) altered availability of neurotrophic factors might be associated with changes in areal dimensions; and 4) changes in cortical areal dimensions within single lineages might result from the addition of minicolumns to preexisting columns.

  10. Noninvasive studies of human visual cortex using neuromagnetic techniques

    SciTech Connect

    Aine, C.J.; George, J.S.; Supek, S. ); Maclin, E.L. . Center for Magnetoencephalography)

    1990-01-01

    The major goals of noninvasive studies of the human visual cortex are: to increase knowledge of the functional organization of cortical visual pathways; and to develop noninvasive clinical tests for the assessment of cortical function. Noninvasive techniques suitable for studies of the structure and function of human visual cortex include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), single photon emission tomography (SPECT), scalp recorded event-related potentials (ERPs), and event-related magnetic fields (ERFs). The primary challenge faced by noninvasive functional measures is to optimize the spatial and temporal resolution of the measurement and analytic techniques in order to effectively characterize the spatial and temporal variations in patterns of neuronal activity. In this paper we review the use of neuromagnetic techniques for this purpose. 8 refs., 3 figs.

  11. Random positions of dendritic spines in human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Morales, Juan; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Dar, Mor; Fernaud, Isabel; Rodríguez, Angel; Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Yuste, Rafael

    2014-07-23

    Dendritic spines establish most excitatory synapses in the brain and are located in Purkinje cell's dendrites along helical paths, perhaps maximizing the probability to contact different axons. To test whether spine helixes also occur in neocortex, we reconstructed >500 dendritic segments from adult human cortex obtained from autopsies. With Fourier analysis and spatial statistics, we analyzed spine position along apical and basal dendrites of layer 3 pyramidal neurons from frontal, temporal, and cingulate cortex. Although we occasionally detected helical positioning, for the great majority of dendrites we could not reject the null hypothesis of spatial randomness in spine locations, either in apical or basal dendrites, in neurons of different cortical areas or among spines of different volumes and lengths. We conclude that in adult human neocortex spine positions are mostly random. We discuss the relevance of these results for spine formation and plasticity and their functional impact for cortical circuits.

  12. Random Positions of Dendritic Spines in Human Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Morales, Juan; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Dar, Mor; Fernaud, Isabel; Rodríguez, Angel; Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier

    2014-01-01

    Dendritic spines establish most excitatory synapses in the brain and are located in Purkinje cell's dendrites along helical paths, perhaps maximizing the probability to contact different axons. To test whether spine helixes also occur in neocortex, we reconstructed >500 dendritic segments from adult human cortex obtained from autopsies. With Fourier analysis and spatial statistics, we analyzed spine position along apical and basal dendrites of layer 3 pyramidal neurons from frontal, temporal, and cingulate cortex. Although we occasionally detected helical positioning, for the great majority of dendrites we could not reject the null hypothesis of spatial randomness in spine locations, either in apical or basal dendrites, in neurons of different cortical areas or among spines of different volumes and lengths. We conclude that in adult human neocortex spine positions are mostly random. We discuss the relevance of these results for spine formation and plasticity and their functional impact for cortical circuits. PMID:25057209

  13. Random positions of dendritic spines in human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Morales, Juan; Benavides-Piccione, Ruth; Dar, Mor; Fernaud, Isabel; Rodríguez, Angel; Anton-Sanchez, Laura; Bielza, Concha; Larrañaga, Pedro; DeFelipe, Javier; Yuste, Rafael

    2014-07-23

    Dendritic spines establish most excitatory synapses in the brain and are located in Purkinje cell's dendrites along helical paths, perhaps maximizing the probability to contact different axons. To test whether spine helixes also occur in neocortex, we reconstructed >500 dendritic segments from adult human cortex obtained from autopsies. With Fourier analysis and spatial statistics, we analyzed spine position along apical and basal dendrites of layer 3 pyramidal neurons from frontal, temporal, and cingulate cortex. Although we occasionally detected helical positioning, for the great majority of dendrites we could not reject the null hypothesis of spatial randomness in spine locations, either in apical or basal dendrites, in neurons of different cortical areas or among spines of different volumes and lengths. We conclude that in adult human neocortex spine positions are mostly random. We discuss the relevance of these results for spine formation and plasticity and their functional impact for cortical circuits. PMID:25057209

  14. Functional involvement of cerebral cortex in human narcolepsy.

    PubMed

    Oliviero, A; Della Marca, G; Tonali, P A; Pilato, F; Saturno, E; Dileone, M; Versace, V; Mennuni, G; Di Lazzaro, V

    2005-01-01

    The pathophysiology of human narcolepsy is still poorly understood. The hypoactivity of some neurotransmitter systems has been hypothesised on the basis of the canine model. To determine whether narcolepsy is associated with changes in excitability of the cerebral cortex, we assessed the excitability of the motor cortex with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in 13 patients with narcolepsy and in 12 control subjects. We used several TMS paradigms that can provide information on the excitability of the motor cortex. Resting and active motor thresholds were higher in narcoleptic patients than in controls and intracortical inhibition was more pronounced in narcoleptic patients. No changes in the other evaluated measures were detected. These results are consistent with an impaired balance between excitatory and inhibitory intracortical circuits in narcolepsy that leads to cortical hypoexcitability. We hypothesise that the deficiency of the excitatory hypocretin/orexin-neurotransmitter-system in narcolepsy is reflected in changes of cortical excitability since circuits originating in the lateral hypothalamus and in the basal forebrain project widely to the neocortex, including motor cortex. This abnormal excitability of cortical networks could be the physiological correlate of excessive daytime sleepiness and it could be the substrate for allowing dissociated states of wakefulness and sleep to emerge suddenly while patients are awake, which constitute the symptoms of narcolepsy. PMID:15654554

  15. Human posterior auditory cortex gates novel sounds to consciousness.

    PubMed

    Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Bonmassar, Giorgio; Dale, Anders M; Ilmoniemi, Risto J; Levänen, Sari; Lin, Fa-Hsuan; May, Patrick; Melcher, Jennifer; Stufflebeam, Steven; Tiitinen, Hannu; Belliveau, John W

    2004-04-27

    Life or death in hostile environments depends crucially on one's ability to detect and gate novel sounds to awareness, such as that of a twig cracking under the paw of a stalking predator in a noisy jungle. Two distinct auditory cortex processes have been thought to underlie this phenomenon: (i) attenuation of the so-called N1 response with repeated stimulation and (ii) elicitation of a mismatch negativity response (MMN) by changes in repetitive aspects of auditory stimulation. This division has been based on previous studies suggesting that, unlike for the N1, repetitive "standard" stimuli preceding a physically different "novel" stimulus constitute a prerequisite to MMN elicitation, and that the source loci of MMN and N1 are different. Contradicting these findings, our combined electromagnetic, hemodynamic, and psychophysical data indicate that the MMN is generated as a result of differential adaptation of anterior and posterior auditory cortex N1 sources by preceding auditory stimulation. Early ( approximately 85 ms) neural activity within posterior auditory cortex is adapted as sound novelty decreases. This alters the center of gravity of electromagnetic N1 source activity, creating an illusory difference between N1 and MMN source loci when estimated by using equivalent current dipole fits. Further, our electroencephalography data show a robust MMN after a single standard event when the interval between two consecutive novel sounds is kept invariant. Our converging findings suggest that transient adaptation of feature-specific neurons within human posterior auditory cortex filters superfluous sounds from entering one's awareness.

  16. The Tracking of Speech Envelope in the Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kubanek, Jan; Brunner, Peter; Gunduz, Aysegul; Poeppel, David; Schalk, Gerwin

    2013-01-01

    Humans are highly adept at processing speech. Recently, it has been shown that slow temporal information in speech (i.e., the envelope of speech) is critical for speech comprehension. Furthermore, it has been found that evoked electric potentials in human cortex are correlated with the speech envelope. However, it has been unclear whether this essential linguistic feature is encoded differentially in specific regions, or whether it is represented throughout the auditory system. To answer this question, we recorded neural data with high temporal resolution directly from the cortex while human subjects listened to a spoken story. We found that the gamma activity in human auditory cortex robustly tracks the speech envelope. The effect is so marked that it is observed during a single presentation of the spoken story to each subject. The effect is stronger in regions situated relatively early in the auditory pathway (belt areas) compared to other regions involved in speech processing, including the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and the posterior inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's region). To further distinguish whether speech envelope is encoded in the auditory system as a phonological (speech-related), or instead as a more general acoustic feature, we also probed the auditory system with a melodic stimulus. We found that belt areas track melody envelope weakly, and as the only region considered. Together, our data provide the first direct electrophysiological evidence that the envelope of speech is robustly tracked in non-primary auditory cortex (belt areas in particular), and suggest that the considered higher-order regions (STG and Broca's region) partake in a more abstract linguistic analysis. PMID:23408924

  17. Detection of a weak somatosensory stimulus: role of the prestimulus mu rhythm and its top-down modulation.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yan; Ding, Mingzhou

    2010-02-01

    The ongoing neural activity in human primary somatosensory cortex (SI) is characterized by field potential oscillations in the 7-13 Hz range known as the mu rhythm. Recent work has shown that the magnitude of the mu oscillation immediately preceding the onset of a weak stimulus has a significant impact on its detection. The neural mechanisms mediating this impact remain not well understood. In particular, whether and how somatosensory mu rhythm is modulated by executive areas prior to stimulus onset for improved behavioral performance has not been investigated. We addressed these issues by recording 128-channel scalp electroencephalogram from normal volunteers performing a somatosensory perception experiment in which they reported the detection of a near-threshold electrical stimulus ( approximately 50% detection rate) delivered to the right index finger. Three results were found. First, consistent with numerous previous reports, the N1 component ( approximately 140 msec) of the somatosensory-evoked potential was significantly enhanced for perceived stimulus compared to unperceived stimulus. Second, the prestimulus mu power and the evoked N1 amplitude exhibited an inverted-U relationship, suggesting that an intermediate level of prestimulus mu oscillatory activity is conducive to stimulus processing and perception. Third, a Granger causality analysis revealed that the prestimulus causal influence in the mu band from prefrontal cortex to SI was significantly higher for perceived stimulus than for unperceived stimulus, indicating that frontal executive structures, via ongoing mu oscillations, exert cognitive control over posterior sensory cortices to facilitate somatosensory processing.

  18. Steady-state evoked potentials to study the processing of tactile and nociceptive somatosensory input in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Colon, E; Legrain, V; Mouraux, A

    2012-10-01

    The periodic presentation of a sensory stimulus induces, at certain frequencies of stimulation, a sustained electroencephalographic response of corresponding frequency, known as steady-state evoked potentials (SS-EP). In visual, auditory and vibrotactile modalities, studies have shown that SS-EP reflect mainly activity originating from early, modality-specific sensory cortices. Furthermore, it has been shown that SS-EP have several advantages over the recording of transient event-related brain potentials (ERP), such as a high signal-to-noise ratio, a shorter time to obtain reliable signals, and the capacity to frequency-tag the cortical activity elicited by concurrently presented sensory stimuli. Recently, we showed that SS-EP can be elicited by the selective activation of skin nociceptors and that nociceptive SS-EP reflect the activity of a population of neurons that is spatially distinct from the somatotopically-organized population of neurons underlying vibrotactile SS-EP. Hence, the recording of SS-EP offers a unique opportunity to study the cortical representation of nociception and touch in humans, and to explore their potential crossmodal interactions. Here, (1) we review available methods to achieve the rapid periodic stimulation of somatosensory afferents required to elicit SS-EP, (2) review previous studies that have characterized vibrotactile and nociceptive SS-EP, (3) discuss the nature of the recorded signals and their relationship with transient event-related potentials and (4) outline future perspectives and potential clinical applications of this technique.

  19. A Model of Representational Spaces in Human Cortex.

    PubMed

    Guntupalli, J Swaroop; Hanke, Michael; Halchenko, Yaroslav O; Connolly, Andrew C; Ramadge, Peter J; Haxby, James V

    2016-06-01

    Current models of the functional architecture of human cortex emphasize areas that capture coarse-scale features of cortical topography but provide no account for population responses that encode information in fine-scale patterns of activity. Here, we present a linear model of shared representational spaces in human cortex that captures fine-scale distinctions among population responses with response-tuning basis functions that are common across brains and models cortical patterns of neural responses with individual-specific topographic basis functions. We derive a common model space for the whole cortex using a new algorithm, searchlight hyperalignment, and complex, dynamic stimuli that provide a broad sampling of visual, auditory, and social percepts. The model aligns representations across brains in occipital, temporal, parietal, and prefrontal cortices, as shown by between-subject multivariate pattern classification and intersubject correlation of representational geometry, indicating that structural principles for shared neural representations apply across widely divergent domains of information. The model provides a rigorous account for individual variability of well-known coarse-scale topographies, such as retinotopy and category selectivity, and goes further to account for fine-scale patterns that are multiplexed with coarse-scale topographies and carry finer distinctions.

  20. A Model of Representational Spaces in Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Guntupalli, J. Swaroop; Hanke, Michael; Halchenko, Yaroslav O.; Connolly, Andrew C.; Ramadge, Peter J.; Haxby, James V.

    2016-01-01

    Current models of the functional architecture of human cortex emphasize areas that capture coarse-scale features of cortical topography but provide no account for population responses that encode information in fine-scale patterns of activity. Here, we present a linear model of shared representational spaces in human cortex that captures fine-scale distinctions among population responses with response-tuning basis functions that are common across brains and models cortical patterns of neural responses with individual-specific topographic basis functions. We derive a common model space for the whole cortex using a new algorithm, searchlight hyperalignment, and complex, dynamic stimuli that provide a broad sampling of visual, auditory, and social percepts. The model aligns representations across brains in occipital, temporal, parietal, and prefrontal cortices, as shown by between-subject multivariate pattern classification and intersubject correlation of representational geometry, indicating that structural principles for shared neural representations apply across widely divergent domains of information. The model provides a rigorous account for individual variability of well-known coarse-scale topographies, such as retinotopy and category selectivity, and goes further to account for fine-scale patterns that are multiplexed with coarse-scale topographies and carry finer distinctions. PMID:26980615

  1. Mapping striate and extrastriate visual areas in human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed Central

    DeYoe, E A; Carman, G J; Bandettini, P; Glickman, S; Wieser, J; Cox, R; Miller, D; Neitz, J

    1996-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to identify and map the representation of the visual field in seven areas of human cerebral cortex and to identify at least two additional visually responsive regions. The cortical locations of neurons responding to stimulation along the vertical or horizontal visual field meridia were charted on three-dimensional models of the cortex and on unfolded maps of the cortical surface. These maps were used to identify the borders among areas that would be topographically homologous to areas V1, V2, V3, VP, and parts of V3A and V4 of the macaque monkey. Visually responsive areas homologous to the middle temporal/medial superior temporal area complex and unidentified parietal visual areas were also observed. The topography of the visual areas identified thus far is consistent with the organization in macaque monkeys. However, these and other findings suggest that human and simian cortical organization may begin to differ in extrastriate cortex at, or beyond, V3A and V4. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8637882

  2. Volition and conflict in human medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Nachev, Parashkev; Rees, Geraint; Parton, Andrew; Kennard, Christopher; Husain, Masud

    2005-01-26

    Controversy surrounds the role of human medial frontal cortex in controlling actions. Although damage to this area leads to severe difficulties in spontaneously initiating actions, the precise mechanisms underlying such "volitional" deficits remain to be established. Previous studies have implicated the medial frontal cortex in conflict monitoring and the control of voluntary action, suggesting that these key processes are functionally related or share neural substrates. Here, we combine a novel behavioral paradigm with functional imaging of the oculomotor system to reveal, for the first time, a functional subdivision of the pre-supplementary motor area (pre-SMA) into anatomically distinct areas that respond exclusively to either volition or conflict. We also demonstrate that activity in the supplementary eye field (SEF) distinguishes between success and failure in changing voluntary action plans during conflict, suggesting a role for the SEF in implementing the resolution of conflicting actions. We propose a functional architecture of human medial frontal cortex that incorporates the generation of action plans and the resolution of conflict.

  3. Stimulation of the cerebral cortex in the intact human subject

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Merton, P. A.; Morton, H. B.

    1980-05-01

    One of the most fertile methods of investigating the brain is to stimulate a part of it electrically and observe the results. So far, however, use of the method in man has been restricted by the necessity of opening the skull surgically to apply the electrodes. Much could be done, both with healthy subjects and with neurological patients, if it were feasible to stimulate through electrodes on the scalp, although the localization of the stimulus on the cortex will always be much less sharp than with electrodes on the brain surface. In an intact man, however, the brain is protected from electricity by the skull and by the scalp, both of which normally offer considerable resistance. Furthermore, the cerebral cortex does not have a particularly low electrical threshold. It is probably for these reasons (despite an occasional contrary claim1) that attempts to stimulate the brain by applying stimuli from conventional stimulators to the scalp have been stopped by pain or have otherwise failed. These obstacles have now begun to yield. Recently, it was found that, on stimulating muscles in the human hand2 without any special preparation of the skin, the effective resistance fell to low values if brief but very high voltage shocks were used. Applying the same technique to the head, it has now proved possible at the first attempt to stimulate two areas of the human cortex, without undue discomfort.

  4. Topographic Organization for Delayed Saccades in Human Posterior Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Schluppeck, Denis; Glimcher, Paul; Heeger, David J.

    2008-01-01

    Posterior parietal cortex (PPC) is thought to play a critical role in decision making, sensory attention, motor intention, and/or working memory. Research on the PPC in non-human primates has focused on the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS). Neurons in LIP respond after the onset of visual targets, just before saccades to those targets, and during the delay period in between. To study the function of posterior parietal cortex in humans, it will be crucial to have a routine and reliable method for localizing specific parietal areas in individual subjects. Here, we show that human PPC contains at least two topographically organized regions, which are candidates for the human homologue of LIP. We mapped the topographic organization of human PPC for delayed (memory guided) saccades using fMRI. Subjects were instructed to fixate centrally while a peripheral target was briefly presented. After a further 3-s delay, subjects made a saccade to the remembered target location followed by a saccade back to fixation and a 1-s inter-trial interval. Targets appeared at successive locations “around the clock” (same eccentricity, ≈30° angular steps), to produce a traveling wave of activity in areas that are topographically organized. PPC exhibited topographic organization for delayed saccades. We defined two areas in each hemisphere that contained topographic maps of the contralateral visual field. These two areas were immediately rostral to V7 as defined by standard retinotopic mapping. The two areas were separated from each other and from V7 by reversals in visual field orientation. However, we leave open the possibility that these two areas will be further subdivided in future studies. Our results demonstrate that topographic maps tile the cortex continuously from V1 well into PPC. PMID:15817644

  5. The human premotor cortex is 'mirror' only for biological actions.

    PubMed

    Tai, Yen F; Scherfler, Christoph; Brooks, David J; Sawamoto, Nobukatsu; Castiello, Umberto

    2004-01-20

    Previous work has shown that both human adults and children attend to grasping actions performed by another person but not necessarily to those made by a mechanical device. According to recent neurophysiological data, the monkey premotor cortex contains "mirror" neurons that discharge both when the monkey performs specific manual grasping actions and when it observes another individual performing the same or similar actions. However, when a human model uses tools to perform grasping actions, the mirror neurons are not activated. A similar "mirror" system has been described in humans, but whether or not it is also tuned specifically to biological actions has never been tested. Here we show that when subjects observed manual grasping actions performed by a human model a significant neural response was elicited in the left premotor cortex. This activation was not evident for the observation of grasping actions performed by a robot model commanded by an experimenter. This result indicates for the first time that in humans the mirror system is biologically tuned. This system appears to be the neural substrate for biological preference during action coding.

  6. Gender and age differences in expression of GABAA receptor subunits in rat somatosensory thalamus and cortex in an absence epilepsy model

    PubMed Central

    Li, Huifang; Huguenard, John R.; Fisher, Robert S.

    2009-01-01

    Absence epilepsy is more prevalent in females, but reasons for this gender asymmetry are unknown. We reported previously that perinatal treatment of Long-Evans Hooded rats with the cholesterol synthesis inhibitor (CSI) AY9944 causes a life-long increase in EEG spike-wave discharges (SWDs), correlated with decreased expression of GABAA receptor subunit γ2 protein levels in thalamic reticular and ventrobasal nuclei (SS thalamus) (Li et al., 2006). In this study, we explored time course and gender different effects of perinatal AY9944 treatment on expression of GABAA receptor α1 and γ2 subunits in SS thalamus and SS cortex. Perinatal AY9944 treatment-induced decreases in GABAA γ2 receptor subunits in rat SS thalamus and increases in SS cortex are gender and age-specific. The findings suggest a mechanism for the higher prevalence of absence epilepsy in female patients. PMID:17208003

  7. Subliminal stimulation and somatosensory signal detection.

    PubMed

    Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella; Sahani, Maneesh; Haggard, Patrick

    2016-10-01

    Only a small fraction of sensory signals is consciously perceived. The brain's perceptual systems may include mechanisms of feedforward inhibition that protect the cortex from subliminal noise, thus reserving cortical capacity and conscious awareness for significant stimuli. Here we provide a new view of these mechanisms based on signal detection theory, and gain control. We demonstrated that subliminal somatosensory stimulation decreased sensitivity for the detection of a subsequent somatosensory input, largely due to increased false alarm rates. By delivering the subliminal somatosensory stimulus and the to-be-detected somatosensory stimulus to different digits of the same hand, we show that this effect spreads across the sensory surface. In addition, subliminal somatosensory stimulation tended to produce an increased probability of responding "yes", whether the somatosensory stimulus was present or not. Our results suggest that subliminal stimuli temporarily reduce input gain, avoiding excessive responses to further small inputs. This gain control may be automatic, and may precede discriminative classification of inputs into signals or noise. Crucially, we found that subliminal inputs influenced false alarm rates only on blocks where the to-be-detected stimuli were present, and not on pre-test control blocks where they were absent. Participants appeared to adjust their perceptual criterion according to a statistical distribution of stimuli in the current context, with the presence of supraliminal stimuli having an important role in the criterion-setting process. These findings clarify the cognitive mechanisms that reserve conscious perception for salient and important signals.

  8. Subliminal stimulation and somatosensory signal detection.

    PubMed

    Ferrè, Elisa Raffaella; Sahani, Maneesh; Haggard, Patrick

    2016-10-01

    Only a small fraction of sensory signals is consciously perceived. The brain's perceptual systems may include mechanisms of feedforward inhibition that protect the cortex from subliminal noise, thus reserving cortical capacity and conscious awareness for significant stimuli. Here we provide a new view of these mechanisms based on signal detection theory, and gain control. We demonstrated that subliminal somatosensory stimulation decreased sensitivity for the detection of a subsequent somatosensory input, largely due to increased false alarm rates. By delivering the subliminal somatosensory stimulus and the to-be-detected somatosensory stimulus to different digits of the same hand, we show that this effect spreads across the sensory surface. In addition, subliminal somatosensory stimulation tended to produce an increased probability of responding "yes", whether the somatosensory stimulus was present or not. Our results suggest that subliminal stimuli temporarily reduce input gain, avoiding excessive responses to further small inputs. This gain control may be automatic, and may precede discriminative classification of inputs into signals or noise. Crucially, we found that subliminal inputs influenced false alarm rates only on blocks where the to-be-detected stimuli were present, and not on pre-test control blocks where they were absent. Participants appeared to adjust their perceptual criterion according to a statistical distribution of stimuli in the current context, with the presence of supraliminal stimuli having an important role in the criterion-setting process. These findings clarify the cognitive mechanisms that reserve conscious perception for salient and important signals. PMID:27387873

  9. Infant cortex responds to other humans from shortly after birth

    PubMed Central

    Farroni, Teresa; Chiarelli, Antonio M.; Lloyd-Fox, Sarah; Massaccesi, Stefano; Merla, Arcangelo; Di Gangi, Valentina; Mattarello, Tania; Faraguna, Dino; Johnson, Mark H.

    2013-01-01

    A significant feature of the adult human brain is its ability to selectively process information about conspecifics. Much debate has centred on whether this specialization is primarily a result of phylogenetic adaptation, or whether the brain acquires expertise in processing social stimuli as a result of its being born into an intensely social environment. Here we study the haemodynamic response in cortical areas of newborns (1–5 days old) while they passively viewed dynamic human or mechanical action videos. We observed activation selective to a dynamic face stimulus over bilateral posterior temporal cortex, but no activation in response to a moving human arm. This selective activation to the social stimulus correlated with age in hours over the first few days post partum. Thus, even very limited experience of face-to-face interaction with other humans may be sufficient to elicit social stimulus activation of relevant cortical regions. PMID:24092239

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Maloney, Ryan T; Clifford, Colin W G

    2015-10-01

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

  12. Probabilistic Maps of Visual Topography in Human Cortex.

    PubMed

    Wang, Liang; Mruczek, Ryan E B; Arcaro, Michael J; Kastner, Sabine

    2015-10-01

    The human visual system contains an array of topographically organized regions. Identifying these regions in individual subjects is a powerful approach to group-level statistical analysis, but this is not always feasible. We addressed this limitation by generating probabilistic maps of visual topographic areas in 2 standardized spaces suitable for use with adult human brains. Using standard fMRI paradigms, we identified 25 topographic maps in a large population of individual subjects (N = 53) and transformed them into either a surface- or volume-based standardized space. Here, we provide a quantitative characterization of the inter-subject variability within and across visual regions, including the likelihood that a given point would be classified as a part of any region (full probability map) and the most probable region for any given point (maximum probability map). By evaluating the topographic organization across the whole of visual cortex, we provide new information about the organization of individual visual field maps and large-scale biases in visual field coverage. Finally, we validate each atlas for use with independent subjects. Overall, the probabilistic atlases quantify the variability of topographic representations in human cortex and provide a useful reference for comparing data across studies that can be transformed into these standard spaces.

  13. A multi-modal parcellation of human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Glasser, Matthew F; Coalson, Timothy S; Robinson, Emma C; Hacker, Carl D; Harwell, John; Yacoub, Essa; Ugurbil, Kamil; Andersson, Jesper; Beckmann, Christian F; Jenkinson, Mark; Smith, Stephen M; Van Essen, David C

    2016-08-11

    Understanding the amazingly complex human cerebral cortex requires a map (or parcellation) of its major subdivisions, known as cortical areas. Making an accurate areal map has been a century-old objective in neuroscience. Using multi-modal magnetic resonance images from the Human Connectome Project (HCP) and an objective semi-automated neuroanatomical approach, we delineated 180 areas per hemisphere bounded by sharp changes in cortical architecture, function, connectivity, and/or topography in a precisely aligned group average of 210 healthy young adults. We characterized 97 new areas and 83 areas previously reported using post-mortem microscopy or other specialized study-specific approaches. To enable automated delineation and identification of these areas in new HCP subjects and in future studies, we trained a machine-learning classifier to recognize the multi-modal 'fingerprint' of each cortical area. This classifier detected the presence of 96.6% of the cortical areas in new subjects, replicated the group parcellation, and could correctly locate areas in individuals with atypical parcellations. The freely available parcellation and classifier will enable substantially improved neuroanatomical precision for studies of the structural and functional organization of human cerebral cortex and its variation across individuals and in development, aging, and disease. PMID:27437579

  14. The role of the anterior prefrontal cortex in human cognition.

    PubMed

    Koechlin, E; Basso, G; Pietrini, P; Panzer, S; Grafman, J

    1999-05-13

    Complex problem-solving and planning involve the most anterior part of the frontal lobes including the fronto-polar prefrontal cortex (FPPC), which is especially well developed in humans compared with other primates. The specific role of this region in human cognition, however, is poorly understood. Here we show, using functional magnetic resonance imaging, that bilateral regions in the FPPC alone are selectively activated when subjects have to keep in mind a main goal while performing concurrent (sub)goals. Neither keeping in mind a goal over time (working memory) nor successively allocating attentional resources between alternative goals (dual-task performance) could by themselves activate these regions. Our results indicate that the FPPC selectively mediates the human ability to hold in mind goals while exploring and processing secondary goals, a process generally required in planning and reasoning.

  15. Gender and age differences in expression of GABAA receptor subunits in rat somatosensory thalamus and cortex in an absence epilepsy model.

    PubMed

    Li, Huifang; Huguenard, John R; Fisher, Robert S

    2007-03-01

    Absence epilepsy is more prevalent in females, but reasons for this gender asymmetry are unknown. We reported previously that perinatal treatment of Long-Evans Hooded rats with the cholesterol synthesis inhibitor (CSI) AY9944 causes a life-long increase in EEG spike-wave discharges (SWDs), correlated with decreased expression of GABA(A) receptor subunit gamma2 protein levels in thalamic reticular and ventrobasal nuclei (SS thalamus) [Li, H., Kraus, A., Wu, J., Huguenard, J.R., Fisher, R.S., 2006. Selective changes in thalamic and cortical GABA(A) receptor subunits in a model of acquired absence epilepsy in the rat. Neuropharmacology 51, 121-128]. In this study, we explored time course and gender different effects of perinatal AY9944 treatment on expression of GABA(A) receptor alpha1 and gamma2 subunits in SS thalamus and SS cortex. Perinatal AY9944 treatment-induced decreases in GABA(A) gamma2 receptor subunits in rat SS thalamus and increases in SS cortex are gender and age specific. The findings suggest a mechanism for the higher prevalence of absence epilepsy in female patients.

  16. Pial arteries respond earlier than penetrating arterioles to neural activation in the somatosensory cortex in awake mice exposed to chronic hypoxia: an additional mechanism to proximal integration signaling?

    PubMed Central

    Sekiguchi, Yuta; Takuwa, Hiroyuki; Kawaguchi, Hiroshi; Kikuchi, Takahiro; Okada, Eiji; Kanno, Iwao; Ito, Hiroshi; Tomita, Yutaka; Itoh, Yoshiaki; Suzuki, Norihiro; Sudo, Ryo; Tanishita, Kazuo; Masamoto, Kazuto

    2014-01-01

    The pial and penetrating arteries have a crucial role in regulating cerebral blood flow (CBF) to meet neural demand in the cortex. Here, we examined the longitudinal effects of chronic hypoxia on the arterial diameter responses to single whisker stimulation in the awake mouse cortex, where activity-induced responses of CBF were gradually attenuated. The vasodilation responses to whisker stimulation under prehypoxia normal conditions were 8.1% and 12% relative to their baselines in the pial arteries and penetrating arterioles, respectively. After 3 weeks of hypoxia, however, these responses were significantly reduced to 5.5% and 4.1%, respectively. The CBF response, measured using laser-Doppler flowmetry (LDF), induced by the same whisker stimulation was also attenuated (14% to 2.6%). A close linear correlation was found for the responses between the penetrating arteriolar diameter and LDF, and their temporal dynamics. After 3 weeks of chronic hypoxia, the initiation of vasodilation in the penetrating arterioles was significantly extended, but the pial artery responses remained unchanged. These results show that vasodilation of the penetrating arterioles followed the pial artery responses, which are not explainable in terms of proximal integration signaling. The findings therefore indicate an additional mechanism for triggering pial artery dilation in the neurovascular coupling. PMID:25074744

  17. Cadmium concentrations in human renal cortex tissue (necropsies)

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez-Artiguez, M.; Repetto, M.; Camean, A.; Gonzalez, G.

    1995-06-01

    Cadmium is toxic to most living organisms. It occurs as part of different types of rocks, sedimentation sludges, coals and mineral oils; in minerals, cadmium (Cd) is frequently associated with zinc. Its world wide presence and considerable industrial use has given rise to an increase in its content in trophic food chains, which contribute mainly to human exposure. Oral absorption is relatively low and is influenced by the solubility of the compound, type of diet, and individual nutritional state. Interest in Cd contamination began after the outbreak of itai-itai disease in Japan. Evaluation of Cd contamination has been carried out in all the countries of the European Economic Community, and it has been estimated that in Spain emissions to the atmosphere and water are respectively 6.89 and 3.79% of total emissions in the European Communities. After exposure, the kidney is the organ which contains the highest concentrations of the Cd and retains it longest. When critical body concentration is reached, renal malfunction and damage are produced. Moreover, studies on humans not occupationally exposed to Cd show 50% of the body burden is found in the kidneys. Cd in the renal cortex increases with age, reaching a maximum between 40-60 years. Differences found among populations have been associated with daily intake in the diet and smoking habits. Taking into consideration the lack of studies on factors influencing the Cd burden in renal cortex in our country, the aim of the present paper was to find out the levels of Cd in renal cortex samples obtained from necropsies of inhabitants of Andalusia, Spain, and compare them with levels in other populations not occupationally exposed to the element; also to investigate the influence of individual factors, such as sex, age and drug addition on said Cd levels. 21 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs.

  18. In search of augmentation at human SI: Somatosensory cortical responses to stimulus trains and their modulation by motor activity.

    PubMed

    Huttunen, Juha

    2010-05-17

    In many animal preparations, repeated stimulation at ca. 10 Hz in thalamic nuclei leads to rapid changes in the cortical evoked responses, known as the augmenting response. The present study was undertaken to evaluate whether anything similar to the augmenting response can be observed in awake human subjects when a peripheral nerve is stimulated, and whether a possible human correlate of augmenting would be modified when the subject is engaged in an active motor task. Somatosensory-evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) were recorded in healthy human subjects in response to stimulus trains (15 pulses at 10 Hz) applied to the left median nerve. SEFs were recorded in a resting condition and during a finger-tapping task performed with the stimulated hand. In the resting condition, the most marked change in the SEF configuration was a reduction of the P35m deflection and a concurrent enhancement of the N45m deflection during the 1st few stimuli of the trains. Another conspicuous feature was a prolongation of the latencies of the N45m and P60m deflections toward the end of the train. In the motor task, the response modulation during the pulse trains was in general similar to the resting condition. The most notable difference was that the P35m amplitude was markedly reduced already for the 1st pulse of the train when compared with rest. Also, the latencies of N45m and P60m were not prolonged during the train. We discuss the possibility that the reduction of P35m and a concurrent increase of N45m during a pulse train constitute a human analogue to the augmenting response, and suggest that these changes may reflect a decrease of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs, P35m) and an increase of secondary excitatory postsynaptic potentials (N45m) during stimulus train presentation. The reduction of P35m during motor activity compared with rest already at the beginning of stimulus trains suggests that postsynaptic IPSPs in response to afferent stimulation are reduced during active

  19. In search of augmentation at human SI: Somatosensory cortical responses to stimulus trains and their modulation by motor activity.

    PubMed

    Huttunen, Juha

    2010-05-17

    In many animal preparations, repeated stimulation at ca. 10 Hz in thalamic nuclei leads to rapid changes in the cortical evoked responses, known as the augmenting response. The present study was undertaken to evaluate whether anything similar to the augmenting response can be observed in awake human subjects when a peripheral nerve is stimulated, and whether a possible human correlate of augmenting would be modified when the subject is engaged in an active motor task. Somatosensory-evoked magnetic fields (SEFs) were recorded in healthy human subjects in response to stimulus trains (15 pulses at 10 Hz) applied to the left median nerve. SEFs were recorded in a resting condition and during a finger-tapping task performed with the stimulated hand. In the resting condition, the most marked change in the SEF configuration was a reduction of the P35m deflection and a concurrent enhancement of the N45m deflection during the 1st few stimuli of the trains. Another conspicuous feature was a prolongation of the latencies of the N45m and P60m deflections toward the end of the train. In the motor task, the response modulation during the pulse trains was in general similar to the resting condition. The most notable difference was that the P35m amplitude was markedly reduced already for the 1st pulse of the train when compared with rest. Also, the latencies of N45m and P60m were not prolonged during the train. We discuss the possibility that the reduction of P35m and a concurrent increase of N45m during a pulse train constitute a human analogue to the augmenting response, and suggest that these changes may reflect a decrease of inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs, P35m) and an increase of secondary excitatory postsynaptic potentials (N45m) during stimulus train presentation. The reduction of P35m during motor activity compared with rest already at the beginning of stimulus trains suggests that postsynaptic IPSPs in response to afferent stimulation are reduced during active

  20. Cerebral Microcirculation and Oxygen Tension in the Human Secondary Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Linninger, A. A.; Gould, I. G.; Marinnan, T.; Hsu, C.-Y.; Chojecki, M.; Alaraj, A.

    2013-01-01

    The three-dimensional spatial arrangement of the cortical microcirculatory system is critical for understanding oxygen exchange between blood vessels and brain cells. A three-dimensional computer model of a 3 × 3 × 3 mm3 subsection of the human secondary cortex was constructed to quantify oxygen advection in the microcirculation, tissue oxygen perfusion, and consumption in the human cortex. This computer model accounts for all arterial, capillary and venous blood vessels of the cerebral microvascular bed as well as brain tissue occupying the extravascular space. Microvessels were assembled with optimization algorithms emulating angiogenic growth; a realistic capillary bed was built with space filling procedures. The extravascular tissue was modeled as a porous medium supplied with oxygen by advection–diffusion to match normal metabolic oxygen demand. The resulting synthetic computer generated network matches prior measured morphometrics and fractal patterns of the cortical microvasculature. This morphologically accurate, physiologically consistent, multi-scale computer network of the cerebral microcirculation predicts the oxygen exchange of cortical blood vessels with the surrounding gray matter. Oxygen tension subject to blood pressure and flow conditions were computed and validated for the blood as well as brain tissue. Oxygen gradients along arterioles, capillaries and veins agreed with in vivo trends observed recently in imaging studies within experimental tolerances and uncertainty. PMID:23842693

  1. Human Orbitofrontal Cortex Represents a Cognitive Map of State Space.

    PubMed

    Schuck, Nicolas W; Cai, Ming Bo; Wilson, Robert C; Niv, Yael

    2016-09-21

    Although the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) has been studied intensely for decades, its precise functions have remained elusive. We recently hypothesized that the OFC contains a "cognitive map" of task space in which the current state of the task is represented, and this representation is especially critical for behavior when states are unobservable from sensory input. To test this idea, we apply pattern-classification techniques to neuroimaging data from humans performing a decision-making task with 16 states. We show that unobservable task states can be decoded from activity in OFC, and decoding accuracy is related to task performance and the occurrence of individual behavioral errors. Moreover, similarity between the neural representations of consecutive states correlates with behavioral accuracy in corresponding state transitions. These results support the idea that OFC represents a cognitive map of task space and establish the feasibility of decoding state representations in humans using non-invasive neuroimaging. PMID:27657452

  2. Insights into Human Behavior from Lesions to the Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Szczepanski, Sara M.; Knight, Robert T.

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY The prefrontal cortex (PFC), a cortical region that was once thought to be functionally insignificant, is now known to play an essential role in the organization and control of goal-directed thought and behavior. Neuroimaging, neurophysiological, and modeling techniques have lead to tremendous advances in our understanding of PFC functions over the last few decades. It should be noted, however, that neurological, neuropathological, and neuropsychological studies have contributed some of the most essential, historical, and often prescient, conclusions regarding the functions of this region. Importantly, examination of patients with brain damage allows one to draw conclusions about whether a brain area is necessary for a particular function. Here, we provide a broad overview of PFC functions based upon behavioral and neural changes resulting from damage to PFC in both human patients and non-human primates. PMID:25175878

  3. Multilevel Cortical Processing of Somatosensory Novelty: A Magnetoencephalography Study

    PubMed Central

    Naeije, Gilles; Vaulet, Thibaut; Wens, Vincent; Marty, Brice; Goldman, Serge; De Tiège, Xavier

    2016-01-01

    Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), this study investigates the spatio-temporal dynamics of the multilevel cortical processing of somatosensory change detection. Neuromagnetic signals of 16 healthy adult subjects (7 females and 9 males, mean age 29 ± 3 years) were recorded using whole-scalp-covering MEG while they underwent an oddball paradigm based on simple standard (right index fingertip tactile stimulation) and deviant (simultaneous right index fingertip and middle phalanx tactile stimulation) stimuli gathered into sequences to create and then deviate from stimulus patterns at multiple (local vs. global) levels of complexity. Five healthy adult subjects (3 females and 2 males, mean age 31, 6 ± 2 years) also underwent a similar oddball paradigm in which standard and deviant stimuli were flipped. Local deviations led to a somatosensory mismatch response peaking at 55–130 ms post-stimulus onset with a cortical generator located at the contralateral secondary somatosensory (cSII) cortex. The mismatch response was independent of the deviant stimuli physical characteristics. Global deviants led to a P300 response with cortical sources located bilaterally at temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) and supplementary motor area (SMA). The posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and the SMA were found to generate a contingent magnetic variation (CMV) attributed to top-down expectations. Amplitude of mismatch responses were modulated by top-down expectations and correlated with both the magnitude of the CMV and the P300 amplitude at the right TPJ. These results provide novel empirical evidence for a unified sensory novelty detection system in the human brain by linking detection of salient sensory stimuli in personal and extra-personal spaces to a common framework of multilevel cortical processing. PMID:27313523

  4. Observing motor learning produces somatosensory change.

    PubMed

    Bernardi, Nicolò F; Darainy, Mohammad; Bricolo, Emanuela; Ostry, David J

    2013-10-01

    Observing the actions of others has been shown to affect motor learning, but does it have effects on sensory systems as well? It has been recently shown that motor learning that involves actual physical practice is also associated with plasticity in the somatosensory system. Here, we assessed the idea that observational learning likewise changes somatosensory function. We evaluated changes in somatosensory function after human subjects watched videos depicting motor learning. Subjects first observed video recordings of reaching movements either in a clockwise or counterclockwise force field. They were then trained in an actual force-field task that involved a counterclockwise load. Measures of somatosensory function were obtained before and after visual observation and also following force-field learning. Consistent with previous reports, video observation promoted motor learning. We also found that somatosensory function was altered following observational learning, both in direction and in magnitude, in a manner similar to that which occurs when motor learning is achieved through actual physical practice. Observation of the same sequence of movements in a randomized order did not result in somatosensory perceptual change. Observational learning and real physical practice appear to tap into the same capacity for sensory change in that subjects that showed a greater change following observational learning showed a reliably smaller change following physical motor learning. We conclude that effects of observing motor learning extend beyond the boundaries of traditional motor circuits, to include somatosensory representations.

  5. Segregation of the human medial prefrontal cortex in social cognition

    PubMed Central

    Bzdok, Danilo; Langner, Robert; Schilbach, Leonhard; Engemann, Denis A.; Laird, Angela R.; Fox, Peter T.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2013-01-01

    While the human medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is widely believed to be a key node of neural networks relevant for socio-emotional processing, its functional subspecialization is still poorly understood. We thus revisited the often assumed differentiation of the mPFC in social cognition along its ventral-dorsal axis. Our neuroinformatic analysis was based on a neuroimaging meta-analysis of perspective-taking that yielded two separate clusters in the ventral and dorsal mPFC, respectively. We determined each seed region's brain-wide interaction pattern by two complementary measures of functional connectivity: co-activation across a wide range of neuroimaging studies archived in the BrainMap database and correlated signal fluctuations during unconstrained (“resting”) cognition. Furthermore, we characterized the functions associated with these two regions using the BrainMap database. Across methods, the ventral mPFC was more strongly connected with the nucleus accumbens, hippocampus, posterior cingulate cortex, and retrosplenial cortex, while the dorsal mPFC was more strongly connected with the inferior frontal gyrus, temporo-parietal junction, and middle temporal gyrus. Further, the ventral mPFC was selectively associated with reward related tasks, while the dorsal mPFC was selectively associated with perspective-taking and episodic memory retrieval. The ventral mPFC is therefore predominantly involved in bottom-up-driven, approach/avoidance-modulating, and evaluation-related processing, whereas the dorsal mPFC is predominantly involved in top–down-driven, probabilistic-scene-informed, and metacognition-related processing in social cognition. PMID:23755001

  6. Cascade of neural processing orchestrates cognitive control in human frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Tang, Hanlin; Yu, Hsiang-Yu; Chou, Chien-Chen; Crone, Nathan E; Madsen, Joseph R; Anderson, William S; Kreiman, Gabriel

    2016-01-01

    Rapid and flexible interpretation of conflicting sensory inputs in the context of current goals is a critical component of cognitive control that is orchestrated by frontal cortex. The relative roles of distinct subregions within frontal cortex are poorly understood. To examine the dynamics underlying cognitive control across frontal regions, we took advantage of the spatiotemporal resolution of intracranial recordings in epilepsy patients while subjects resolved color-word conflict. We observed differential activity preceding the behavioral responses to conflict trials throughout frontal cortex; this activity was correlated with behavioral reaction times. These signals emerged first in anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) before dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC), followed by medial frontal cortex (mFC) and then by orbitofrontal cortex (OFC). These results disassociate the frontal subregions based on their dynamics, and suggest a temporal hierarchy for cognitive control in human cortex. PMID:26888070

  7. Mapping the human cerebral cortex using 3-D medial manifolds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szekely, Gabor; Brechbuehler, Christian; Kuebler, Olaf; Ogniewicz, Robert; Budinger, Thomas F.

    1992-09-01

    Novel imaging technologies provide a detailed look at structure and function of the tremendously complex and variable human brain. Optimal exploitation of the information stored in the rapidly growing collection of acquired and segmented MRI data calls for robust and reliable descriptions of the individual geometry of the cerebral cortex. A mathematical description and representation of 3-D shape, capable of dealing with form of variable appearance, is at the focus of this paper. We base our development on the Medial Axis Transformation (MAT) customarily defined in 2-D although the concept generalizes to any number of dimensions. Our implementation of the 3-D MAT combines full 3-D Voronoitesselation generated by the set of all border points with regularization procedures to obtain geometrically and topologically correct medial manifolds. The proposed algorithm was tested on synthetic objects and has been applied to 3-D MRI data of 1 mm isotropic resolution to obtain a description of the sulci in the cerebral cortex. Description and representation of the cortical anatomy is significant in clinical applications, medical research, and instrumentation developments.

  8. Functional Organization of Human Sensorimotor Cortex for Speech Articulation

    PubMed Central

    Bouchard, Kristofer E.; Mesgarani, Nima; Johnson, Keith; Chang, Edward F.

    2013-01-01

    Speaking is one of the most complex actions we perform, yet nearly all of us learn to do it effortlessly. Production of fluent speech requires the precise, coordinated movement of multiple articulators (e.g., lips, jaw, tongue, larynx) over rapid time scales. Here, we used high-resolution, multi-electrode cortical recordings during the production of consonant-vowel syllables to determine the organization of speech sensorimotor cortex in humans. We found speech articulator representations that were somatotopically arranged on ventral pre- and post-central gyri and partially overlapping at individual electrodes. These representations were temporally coordinated as sequences during syllable production. Spatial patterns of cortical activity revealed an emergent, population-level representation, which was organized by phonetic features. Over tens of milliseconds, the spatial patterns transitioned between distinct representations for different consonants and vowels. These results reveal the dynamic organization of speech sensorimotor cortex during the generation of multi-articulator movements underlying our ability to speak. PMID:23426266

  9. Optical coherence tomography visualizes neurons in human entorhinal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Magnain, Caroline; Augustinack, Jean C.; Konukoglu, Ender; Frosch, Matthew P.; Sakadžić, Sava; Varjabedian, Ani; Garcia, Nathalie; Wedeen, Van J.; Boas, David A.; Fischl, Bruce

    2015-01-01

    Abstract. The cytoarchitecture of the human brain is of great interest in diverse fields: neuroanatomy, neurology, neuroscience, and neuropathology. Traditional histology is a method that has been historically used to assess cell and fiber content in the ex vivo human brain. However, this technique suffers from significant distortions. We used a previously demonstrated optical coherence microscopy technique to image individual neurons in several square millimeters of en-face tissue blocks from layer II of the human entorhinal cortex, over 50  μm in depth. The same slices were then sectioned and stained for Nissl substance. We registered the optical coherence tomography (OCT) images with the corresponding Nissl stained slices using a nonlinear transformation. The neurons were then segmented in both images and we quantified the overlap. We show that OCT images contain information about neurons that is comparable to what can be obtained from Nissl staining, and thus can be used to assess the cytoarchitecture of the ex vivo human brain with minimal distortion. With the future integration of a vibratome into the OCT imaging rig, this technique can be scaled up to obtain undistorted volumetric data of centimeter cube tissue blocks in the near term, and entire human hemispheres in the future. PMID:25741528

  10. Representation of visual gravitational motion in the human vestibular cortex.

    PubMed

    Indovina, Iole; Maffei, Vincenzo; Bosco, Gianfranco; Zago, Myrka; Macaluso, Emiliano; Lacquaniti, Francesco

    2005-04-15

    How do we perceive the visual motion of objects that are accelerated by gravity? We propose that, because vision is poorly sensitive to accelerations, an internal model that calculates the effects of gravity is derived from graviceptive information, is stored in the vestibular cortex, and is activated by visual motion that appears to be coherent with natural gravity. The acceleration of visual targets was manipulated while brain activity was measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging. In agreement with the internal model hypothesis, we found that the vestibular network was selectively engaged when acceleration was consistent with natural gravity. These findings demonstrate that predictive mechanisms of physical laws of motion are represented in the human brain. PMID:15831760

  11. Neuropil distribution in the cerebral cortex differs between humans and chimpanzees

    PubMed Central

    Spocter, Muhammad A.; Hopkins, William D.; Barks, Sarah K.; Bianchi, Serena; Hehmeyer, Abigail E.; Anderson, Sarah M.; Stimpson, Cheryl D.; Fobbs, Archibald J.; Hof, Patrick R.; Sherwood, Chet C.

    2013-01-01

    Increased connectivity of higher-order association regions in the neocortex has been proposed as a defining feature of human brain evolution. At present, however, there are limited comparative data to examine this claim fully. We tested the hypothesis that the distribution of neuropil across areas of the neocortex of humans differs from that of one of our closest living relatives, the common chimpanzee. The neuropil provides a proxy measure of total connectivity within a local region because it is comprised mostly of dendrites, axons, and synapses. Using image analysis techniques, we quantified the neuropil fraction from both hemispheres in six cytoarchitectonically defined regions including frontopolar cortex (area 10), Broca’s area (area 45), frontoinsular cortex (area FI), primary motor cortex (area 4), primary auditory cortex (area 41/42), and the planum temporale (area 22). Our results demonstrate that humans exhibit a unique distribution of neuropil in the neocortex compared to chimpanzees. In particular, the human frontopolar cortex and the frontoinsular cortex had a significantly higher neuropil fraction than the other areas. In chimpanzees these prefrontal regions did not display significantly more neuropil, but the primary auditory cortex had a lower neuropil fraction than other areas. Our results support the conclusion that enhanced connectivity in the prefrontal cortex accompanied the evolution of the human brain. These species differences in neuropil distribution may offer insight into the neural basis of human cognition, reflecting enhancement of the integrative capacity of the prefrontal cortex. PMID:22350926

  12. Pleasant human touch is represented in pregenual anterior cingulate cortex.

    PubMed

    Lindgren, Lenita; Westling, Göran; Brulin, Christine; Lehtipalo, Stefan; Andersson, Micael; Nyberg, Lars

    2012-02-15

    Touch massage (TM) is a form of pleasant touch stimulation used as treatment in clinical settings and found to improve well-being and decrease anxiety, stress, and pain. Emotional responses reported during and after TM have been studied, but the underlying mechanisms are still largely unexplored. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) to test the hypothesis that the combination of human touch (i.e. skin-to-skin contact) with movement is eliciting a specific response in brain areas coding for pleasant sensations. The design included four different touch conditions; human touch with or without movement and rubber glove with or without movement. Force (2.5 N) and velocity (1.5 cm/s) were held constant across conditions. The pleasantness of the four different touch stimulations was rated on a visual analog scale (VAS-scale) and human touch was rated as most pleasant, particularly in combination with movement. The fMRI results revealed that TM stimulation most strongly activated the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex (pgACC). These results are consistent with findings showing pgACC activation during various rewarding pleasant stimulations. This area is also known to be activated by both opioid analgesia and placebo. Together with these prior results, our finding furthers the understanding of the basis for positive TM treatment effects.

  13. Architecture of Explanatory Inference in the Human Prefrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Barbey, Aron K.; Patterson, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Causal reasoning is a ubiquitous feature of human cognition. We continuously seek to understand, at least implicitly and often explicitly, the causal scenarios in which we live, so that we may anticipate what will come next, plan a potential response and envision its outcome, decide among possible courses of action in light of their probable outcomes, make midstream adjustments in our goal-related activities as our situation changes, and so on. A considerable body of research shows that the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) is crucial for causal reasoning, but also that there are significant differences in the manner in which ventrolateral PFC, dorsolateral PFC, and anterolateral PFC support causal reasoning. We propose, on the basis of research on the evolution, architecture, and functional organization of the lateral PFC, a general framework for understanding its roles in the many and varied sorts of causal reasoning carried out by human beings. Specifically, the ventrolateral PFC supports the generation of basic causal explanations and inferences; dorsolateral PFC supports the evaluation of these scenarios in light of some given normative standard (e.g., of plausibility or correctness in light of real or imagined causal interventions); and anterolateral PFC supports explanation and inference at an even higher level of complexity, coordinating the processes of generation and evaluation with further cognitive processes, and especially with computations of hedonic value and emotional implications of possible behavioral scenarios – considerations that are often critical both for understanding situations causally and for deciding about our own courses of action. PMID:21845182

  14. Transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation of human primary visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyun-Chul; Jung, Yujin; Chung, Yong An; Song, In-Uk; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is making progress as a new non-invasive mode of regional brain stimulation. Current evidence of FUS-mediated neurostimulation for humans has been limited to the observation of subjective sensory manifestations and electrophysiological responses, thus warranting the identification of stimulated brain regions. Here, we report FUS sonication of the primary visual cortex (V1) in humans, resulting in elicited activation not only from the sonicated brain area, but also from the network of regions involved in visual and higher-order cognitive processes (as revealed by simultaneous acquisition of blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging). Accompanying phosphene perception was also reported. The electroencephalo graphic (EEG) responses showed distinct peaks associated with the stimulation. None of the participants showed any adverse effects from the sonication based on neuroimaging and neurological examinations. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic profile showed the presence of individual variability in terms of the location and intensity of the acoustic focus. With exquisite spatial selectivity and capability for depth penetration, FUS may confer a unique utility in providing non-invasive stimulation of region-specific brain circuits for neuroscientific and therapeutic applications. PMID:27658372

  15. Transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation of human primary visual cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Wonhye; Kim, Hyun-Chul; Jung, Yujin; Chung, Yong An; Song, In-Uk; Lee, Jong-Hwan; Yoo, Seung-Schik

    2016-09-01

    Transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) is making progress as a new non-invasive mode of regional brain stimulation. Current evidence of FUS-mediated neurostimulation for humans has been limited to the observation of subjective sensory manifestations and electrophysiological responses, thus warranting the identification of stimulated brain regions. Here, we report FUS sonication of the primary visual cortex (V1) in humans, resulting in elicited activation not only from the sonicated brain area, but also from the network of regions involved in visual and higher-order cognitive processes (as revealed by simultaneous acquisition of blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging). Accompanying phosphene perception was also reported. The electroencephalo graphic (EEG) responses showed distinct peaks associated with the stimulation. None of the participants showed any adverse effects from the sonication based on neuroimaging and neurological examinations. Retrospective numerical simulation of the acoustic profile showed the presence of individual variability in terms of the location and intensity of the acoustic focus. With exquisite spatial selectivity and capability for depth penetration, FUS may confer a unique utility in providing non-invasive stimulation of region-specific brain circuits for neuroscientific and therapeutic applications.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Mapping visual cortex in monkeys and humans using surface-based atlases

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Essen, D. C.; Lewis, J. W.; Drury, H. A.; Hadjikhani, N.; Tootell, R. B.; Bakircioglu, M.; Miller, M. I.

    2001-01-01

    We have used surface-based atlases of the cerebral cortex to analyze the functional organization of visual cortex in humans and macaque monkeys. The macaque atlas contains multiple partitioning schemes for visual cortex, including a probabilistic atlas of visual areas derived from a recent architectonic study, plus summary schemes that reflect a combination of physiological and anatomical evidence. The human atlas includes a probabilistic map of eight topographically organized visual areas recently mapped using functional MRI. To facilitate comparisons between species, we used surface-based warping to bring functional and geographic landmarks on the macaque map into register with corresponding landmarks on the human map. The results suggest that extrastriate visual cortex outside the known topographically organized areas is dramatically expanded in human compared to macaque cortex, particularly in the parietal lobe.

  18. Dynamic encoding of speech sequence probability in human temporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Leonard, Matthew K; Bouchard, Kristofer E; Tang, Claire; Chang, Edward F

    2015-05-01

    Sensory processing involves identification of stimulus features, but also integration with the surrounding sensory and cognitive context. Previous work in animals and humans has shown fine-scale sensitivity to context in the form of learned knowledge about the statistics of the sensory environment, including relative probabilities of discrete units in a stream of sequential auditory input. These statistics are a defining characteristic of one of the most important sequential signals humans encounter: speech. For speech, extensive exposure to a language tunes listeners to the statistics of sound sequences. To address how speech sequence statistics are neurally encoded, we used high-resolution direct cortical recordings from human lateral superior temporal cortex as subjects listened to words and nonwords with varying transition probabilities between sound segments. In addition to their sensitivity to acoustic features (including contextual features, such as coarticulation), we found that neural responses dynamically encoded the language-level probability of both preceding and upcoming speech sounds. Transition probability first negatively modulated neural responses, followed by positive modulation of neural responses, consistent with coordinated predictive and retrospective recognition processes, respectively. Furthermore, transition probability encoding was different for real English words compared with nonwords, providing evidence for online interactions with high-order linguistic knowledge. These results demonstrate that sensory processing of deeply learned stimuli involves integrating physical stimulus features with their contextual sequential structure. Despite not being consciously aware of phoneme sequence statistics, listeners use this information to process spoken input and to link low-level acoustic representations with linguistic information about word identity and meaning.

  19. Visual Responsiveness of Neurons in the Secondary Somatosensory Area and its Surrounding Parietal Operculum Regions in Awake Macaque Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Hihara, Sayaka; Taoka, Miki; Tanaka, Michio; Iriki, Atsushi

    2015-01-01

    Previous neurophysiological studies performed in macaque monkeys have shown that the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) is essentially engaged in the processing of somatosensory information and no other sensory input has been reported. In contrast, recent human brain-imaging studies have revealed the effects of visual and auditory stimuli on SII activity, which suggest multisensory integration in the human SII. To determine whether multisensory responses of the SII also exist in nonhuman primates, we recorded single-unit activity in response to visual and auditory stimuli from the SII and surrounding regions in 8 hemispheres from 6 awake monkeys. Among 1157 recorded neurons, 306 neurons responded to visual stimuli. These visual neurons usually responded to rather complex stimuli, such as stimulation of the peripersonal space (40.5%), observation of human action (29.1%), and moving-object stimulation outside the monkey's reach (23.9%). We occasionally applied auditory stimuli to visual neurons and found 10 auditory-responsive neurons that exhibited somatosensory responses. The visual neurons were distributed continuously along the lateral sulcus covering the entire SII, along with other somatosensory neurons. These results highlight the need to investigate novel functional roles—other than somesthetic sensory processing—of the SII. PMID:25962920

  20. Visual Responsiveness of Neurons in the Secondary Somatosensory Area and its Surrounding Parietal Operculum Regions in Awake Macaque Monkeys.

    PubMed

    Hihara, Sayaka; Taoka, Miki; Tanaka, Michio; Iriki, Atsushi

    2015-11-01

    Previous neurophysiological studies performed in macaque monkeys have shown that the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) is essentially engaged in the processing of somatosensory information and no other sensory input has been reported. In contrast, recent human brain-imaging studies have revealed the effects of visual and auditory stimuli on SII activity, which suggest multisensory integration in the human SII. To determine whether multisensory responses of the SII also exist in nonhuman primates, we recorded single-unit activity in response to visual and auditory stimuli from the SII and surrounding regions in 8 hemispheres from 6 awake monkeys. Among 1157 recorded neurons, 306 neurons responded to visual stimuli. These visual neurons usually responded to rather complex stimuli, such as stimulation of the peripersonal space (40.5%), observation of human action (29.1%), and moving-object stimulation outside the monkey's reach (23.9%). We occasionally applied auditory stimuli to visual neurons and found 10 auditory-responsive neurons that exhibited somatosensory responses. The visual neurons were distributed continuously along the lateral sulcus covering the entire SII, along with other somatosensory neurons. These results highlight the need to investigate novel functional roles-other than somesthetic sensory processing-of the SII.

  1. The evolution of a disparity decision in human visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Cottereau, Benoit R.; Ales, Justin M.; Norcia, Anthony M.

    2015-01-01

    We used fMRI-informed EEG source-imaging in humans to characterize the dynamics of cortical responses during a disparity-discrimination task. After the onset of a disparity-defined target, decision-related activity was found within an extended cortical network that included several occipital regions of interest (ROIs): V4, V3A, hMT+ and the Lateral Occipital Complex (LOC). By using a response-locked analysis, we were able to determine the timing relationships in this network of ROIs relative to the subject's behavioral response. Choice-related activity appeared first in the V4 ROI almost 200 ms before the button press and then subsequently in the V3A ROI. Modeling of the responses in the V4 ROI suggests that this area provides an early contribution to disparity discrimination. Choice-related responses were also found after the button-press in ROIs V4, V3A, LOC and hMT+. Outside the visual cortex, choice-related activity was found in the frontal and temporal pole before the button-press. By combining the spatial resolution of fMRI-informed EEG source imaging with the ability to sort out neural activity occurring before, during and after the behavioral manifestation of the decision, our study is the first to assign distinct functional roles to the extra-striate ROIs involved in perceptual decisions based on disparity, the primary cue for depth. PMID:24513152

  2. Vestibular and visual responses in human posterior insular cortex.

    PubMed

    Frank, Sebastian M; Baumann, Oliver; Mattingley, Jason B; Greenlee, Mark W

    2014-11-15

    The central hub of the cortical vestibular network in humans is likely localized in the region of posterior lateral sulcus. An area characterized by responsiveness to visual motion has previously been described at a similar location and named posterior insular cortex (PIC). Currently it is not known whether PIC processes vestibular information as well. We localized PIC using visual motion stimulation in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and investigated whether PIC also responds to vestibular stimuli. To this end, we designed an MRI-compatible caloric stimulation device that allowed us to stimulate bithermally with hot temperature in one ear and simultaneously cold temperature in the other or with warm temperatures in both ears for baseline. During each trial, participants indicated the presence or absence of self-motion sensations. We found activation in PIC during periods of self motion when vestibular stimulation was carried out with minimal visual input. In combined visual-vestibular stimulation area PIC was activated in a similar fashion during congruent and incongruent stimulation conditions. Our results show that PIC not only responds to visual motion but also to vestibular stimuli related to the sensation of self motion. We suggest that PIC is part of the cortical vestibular network and plays a role in the integration of visual and vestibular stimuli for the perception of self motion.

  3. A Hierarchy of Temporal Receptive Windows in Human Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hasson, Uri; Yang, Eunice; Vallines, Ignacio; Heeger, David J.; Rubin, Nava

    2008-01-01

    Real-world events unfold at different time scales and, therefore, cognitive and neuronal processes must likewise occur at different time scales. We present a novel procedure that identifies brain regions responsive to sensory information accumulated over different time scales. We measured functional magnetic resonance imaging activity while observers viewed silent films presented forward, backward, or piecewise-scrambled in time. Early visual areas (e.g., primary visual cortex and the motion-sensitive area MT+) exhibited high response reliability regardless of disruptions in temporal structure. In contrast, the reliability of responses in several higher brain areas, including the superior temporal sulcus (STS), precuneus, posterior lateral sulcus (LS), temporal parietal junction (TPJ), and frontal eye field (FEF), was affected by information accumulated over longer time scales. These regions showed highly reproducible responses for repeated forward, but not for backward or piecewise-scrambled presentations. Moreover, these regions exhibited marked differences in temporal characteristics, with LS, TPJ, and FEF responses depending on information accumulated over longer durations (~36 s) than STS and precuneus (~12 s). We conclude that, similar to the known cortical hierarchy of spatial receptive fields, there is a hierarchy of progressively longer temporal receptive windows in the human brain. PMID:18322098

  4. Topologically Dissociable Patterns of Development of the Human Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Vandekar, Simon N.; Shinohara, Russell T.; Raznahan, Armin; Roalf, David R.; Ross, Michelle; DeLeo, Nicholas; Ruparel, Kosha; Verma, Ragini; Wolf, Daniel H.; Gur, Ruben C.; Gur, Raquel E.

    2015-01-01

    Over 90 years ago, anatomists noted the cortex is thinner in sulci than gyri, suggesting that development may occur on a fine scale driven by local topology. However, studies of brain development in youth have focused on describing how cortical thickness varies over large-scale functional and anatomic regions. How the relationship between thickness and local sulcal topology arises in development is still not well understood. Here, we investigated the spatial relationships between cortical thickness, folding, and underlying white matter organization to elucidate the influence of local topology on human brain development. Our approach included using both T1-weighted imaging and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) in a cross-sectional sample of 932 youths ages 8–21 studied as part of the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort. Principal components analysis revealed separable development-related processes of regionally specific nonlinear cortical thickening (from ages 8–14) and widespread linear cortical thinning that have dissociable relationships with cortical topology. Whereas cortical thinning was most prominent in the depths of the sulci, early cortical thickening was present on the gyri. Furthermore, decline in mean diffusivity calculated from DTI in underlying white matter was correlated with cortical thinning, suggesting that cortical thinning is spatially associated with white matter development. Spatial permutation tests were used to assess the significance of these relationships. Together, these data demonstrate that cortical remodeling during youth occurs on a local topological scale and is associated with changes in white matter beneath the cortical surface. PMID:25589754

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  7. Creating Concepts from Converging Features in Human Cortex.

    PubMed

    Coutanche, Marc N; Thompson-Schill, Sharon L

    2015-09-01

    To make sense of the world around us, our brain must remember the overlapping features of millions of objects. Crucially, it must also represent each object's unique feature-convergence. Some theories propose that an integration area (or "convergence zone") binds together separate features. We report an investigation of our knowledge of objects' features and identity, and the link between them. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to record neural activity, as humans attempted to detect a cued fruit or vegetable in visual noise. Crucially, we analyzed brain activity before a fruit or vegetable was present, allowing us to interrogate top-down activity. We found that pattern-classification algorithms could be used to decode the detection target's identity in the left anterior temporal lobe (ATL), its shape in lateral occipital cortex, and its color in right V4. A novel decoding-dependency analysis revealed that identity information in left ATL was specifically predicted by the temporal convergence of shape and color codes in early visual regions. People with stronger feature-and-identity dependencies had more similar top-down and bottom-up activity patterns. These results fulfill three key requirements for a neural convergence zone: a convergence result (object identity), ingredients (color and shape), and the link between them.

  8. Interaction of streaming and attention in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Rupp, André; Dykstra, Andrew R

    2015-01-01

    Serially presented tones are sometimes segregated into two perceptually distinct streams. An ongoing debate is whether this basic streaming phenomenon reflects automatic processes or requires attention focused to the stimuli. Here, we examined the influence of focused attention on streaming-related activity in human auditory cortex using magnetoencephalography (MEG). Listeners were presented with a dichotic paradigm in which left-ear stimuli consisted of canonical streaming stimuli (ABA_ or ABAA) and right-ear stimuli consisted of a classical oddball paradigm. In phase one, listeners were instructed to attend the right-ear oddball sequence and detect rare deviants. In phase two, they were instructed to attend the left ear streaming stimulus and report whether they heard one or two streams. The frequency difference (ΔF) of the sequences was set such that the smallest and largest ΔF conditions generally induced one- and two-stream percepts, respectively. Two intermediate ΔF conditions were chosen to elicit bistable percepts (i.e., either one or two streams). Attention enhanced the peak-to-peak amplitude of the P1-N1 complex, but only for ambiguous ΔF conditions, consistent with the notion that automatic mechanisms for streaming tightly interact with attention and that the latter is of particular importance for ambiguous sound sequences.

  9. Hippocampus, Perirhinal Cortex, and Complex Visual Discriminations in Rats and Humans

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hales, Jena B.; Broadbent, Nicola J.; Velu, Priya D.; Squire, Larry R.; Clark, Robert E.

    2015-01-01

    Structures in the medial temporal lobe, including the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex, are known to be essential for the formation of long-term memory. Recent animal and human studies have investigated whether perirhinal cortex might also be important for visual perception. In our study, using a simultaneous oddity discrimination task, rats with…

  10. Congruency of body-related information induces somatosensory reorganization.

    PubMed

    Cardini, Flavia; Longo, Matthew R

    2016-04-01

    Chronic pain and impaired tactile sensitivity are frequently associated with "blurred" representations in the somatosensory cortex. The factors that produce such somatosensory blurring, however, remain poorly understood. We manipulated visuo-tactile congruence to investigate its role in promoting somatosensory reorganization. To this aim we used the mirror box illusion that produced in participants the subjective feeling of looking directly at their left hand, though they were seeing the reflection of their right hand. Simultaneous touches were applied to the middle or ring finger of each hand. In one session, the same fingers were touched (for example both middle fingers), producing a congruent percept; in the other session different fingers were touched, producing an incongruent percept. In the somatosensory system, suppressive interactions between adjacent stimuli are an index of intracortical inhibitory function. After each congruent and incongruent session, we recorded somatosensory evoked potential (SEPs) elicited by electrocutaneous stimulation of the left ring and middle fingers, either individually or simultaneously. A somatosensory suppression index (SSI) was calculated as the difference in amplitude between the sum of potentials evoked by the two individually stimulated fingers and the potentials evoked by simultaneous stimulation of both fingers. This SSI can be taken as an index of the strength of inhibitory interactions and consequently can provide a measure of how distinct the representations of the two fingers are. Results showed stronger SSI in the P100 component after congruent than incongruent stimulation, suggesting the key role of congruent sensory information about the body in inducing somatosensory reorganization. PMID:26902158

  11. Attention and visual interference stimulation affect somatosensory processing: a magnetoencephalographic study.

    PubMed

    Lam, K; Kakigi, R; Mukai, T; Yamasaki, H

    2001-01-01

    In our previous study, continuous visual (cartoon and random dot motion) and auditory (music) stimulation changed the somatosensory evoked magnetic fields following electrical stimulation of the median nerve in human subjects. They enhanced the middle-latency components (3M and 4M) generated in the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex, and reduced the MI component generated in the ipsilateral secondary somatosensory cortex. We speculated that such interference effects were caused by activation of polymodal neurons in areas 5 and/or 7 of the parietal lobe as well as in the medial superior temporal region and superior temporal sulcus. However, we could not exclude the effect of attention on such interference effects. In the present study, to know the effect of attention on visual and auditory interference in these changes, we stimulated the bilateral median nerves unilaterally in a random order, and asked subjects to count the number of times the left median nerve was stimulated while visual or auditory interference was applied. Five components (1M-5M) were identified in the hemisphere contralateral to the stimulated nerve and only one component (MI) was found in the ipsilateral hemisphere. The 3M and 4M components (33-75 ms in latency) were enhanced by both attention and visual interference stimulation but not by auditory stimulation. The 5M component (70-115 ms) and MI component (70-133 ms) were enhanced by attention, but were not changed by attention together with visual or auditory interference. Summarizing the results of our previous study and the present study, (1) visual interference alone enhanced the 3M and 4M but reduced the MI, and (2) attention alone also enhanced the 3M and 4M, and enhanced the 5M and MI. As a result, (3) visual interference with attention enhanced the 3M and 4M more, and showed no significant change of the 5M and MI. This was compatible with a summation of the effects caused by visual interference alone and attention alone, but

  12. TMS-induced neural noise in sensory cortex interferes with short-term memory storage in prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Bancroft, Tyler D; Hogeveen, Jeremy; Hockley, William E; Servos, Philip

    2014-01-01

    In a previous study, Harris et al. (2002) found disruption of vibrotactile short-term memory after applying single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to primary somatosensory cortex (SI) early in the maintenance period, and suggested that this demonstrated a role for SI in vibrotactile memory storage. While such a role is compatible with recent suggestions that sensory cortex is the storage substrate for working memory, it stands in contrast to a relatively large body of evidence from human EEG and single-cell recording in primates that instead points to prefrontal cortex as the storage substrate for vibrotactile memory. In the present study, we use computational methods to demonstrate how Harris et al.'s results can be reproduced by TMS-induced activity in sensory cortex and subsequent feedforward interference with memory traces stored in prefrontal cortex, thereby reconciling discordant findings in the tactile memory literature.

  13. Relative valuation of pain in human orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Winston, Joel S; Vlaev, Ivo; Seymour, Ben; Chater, Nick; Dolan, Raymond J

    2014-10-29

    The valuation of health-related states, including pain, is a critical issue in clinical practice, health economics, and pain neuroscience. Surprisingly the monetary value people associate with pain is highly context-dependent, with participants willing to pay more to avoid medium-level pain when presented in a context of low-intensity, rather than high-intensity, pain. Here, we ask whether context impacts upon the neural representation of pain itself, or alternatively the transformation of pain into valuation-driven behavior. While undergoing fMRI, human participants declared how much money they would be willing to pay to avoid repeated instances of painful cutaneous electrical stimuli delivered to the foot. We also implemented a contextual manipulation that involved presenting medium-level painful stimuli in blocks with either low- or high-level stimuli. We found no evidence of context-dependent activity within a conventional "pain matrix," where pain-evoked activity reflected absolute stimulus intensity. By contrast, in right lateral orbitofrontal cortex, a strong contextual dependency was evident, and here activity tracked the contextual rank of the pain. The findings are in keeping with an architecture where an absolute pain valuation system and a rank-dependent system interact to influence willing to pay to avoid pain, with context impacting value-based behavior high in a processing hierarchy. This segregated processing hints that distinct neural representations reflect sensory aspects of pain and components that are less directly nociceptive whose integration also guides pain-related actions. A dominance of the latter might account for puzzling phenomena seen in somatization disorders where perceived pain is a dominant driver of behavior. PMID:25355207

  14. Relative valuation of pain in human orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Winston, Joel S; Vlaev, Ivo; Seymour, Ben; Chater, Nick; Dolan, Raymond J

    2014-10-29

    The valuation of health-related states, including pain, is a critical issue in clinical practice, health economics, and pain neuroscience. Surprisingly the monetary value people associate with pain is highly context-dependent, with participants willing to pay more to avoid medium-level pain when presented in a context of low-intensity, rather than high-intensity, pain. Here, we ask whether context impacts upon the neural representation of pain itself, or alternatively the transformation of pain into valuation-driven behavior. While undergoing fMRI, human participants declared how much money they would be willing to pay to avoid repeated instances of painful cutaneous electrical stimuli delivered to the foot. We also implemented a contextual manipulation that involved presenting medium-level painful stimuli in blocks with either low- or high-level stimuli. We found no evidence of context-dependent activity within a conventional "pain matrix," where pain-evoked activity reflected absolute stimulus intensity. By contrast, in right lateral orbitofrontal cortex, a strong contextual dependency was evident, and here activity tracked the contextual rank of the pain. The findings are in keeping with an architecture where an absolute pain valuation system and a rank-dependent system interact to influence willing to pay to avoid pain, with context impacting value-based behavior high in a processing hierarchy. This segregated processing hints that distinct neural representations reflect sensory aspects of pain and components that are less directly nociceptive whose integration also guides pain-related actions. A dominance of the latter might account for puzzling phenomena seen in somatization disorders where perceived pain is a dominant driver of behavior.

  15. Relative Valuation of Pain in Human Orbitofrontal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Vlaev, Ivo; Seymour, Ben; Chater, Nick; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2014-01-01

    The valuation of health-related states, including pain, is a critical issue in clinical practice, health economics, and pain neuroscience. Surprisingly the monetary value people associate with pain is highly context-dependent, with participants willing to pay more to avoid medium-level pain when presented in a context of low-intensity, rather than high-intensity, pain. Here, we ask whether context impacts upon the neural representation of pain itself, or alternatively the transformation of pain into valuation-driven behavior. While undergoing fMRI, human participants declared how much money they would be willing to pay to avoid repeated instances of painful cutaneous electrical stimuli delivered to the foot. We also implemented a contextual manipulation that involved presenting medium-level painful stimuli in blocks with either low- or high-level stimuli. We found no evidence of context-dependent activity within a conventional “pain matrix,” where pain-evoked activity reflected absolute stimulus intensity. By contrast, in right lateral orbitofrontal cortex, a strong contextual dependency was evident, and here activity tracked the contextual rank of the pain. The findings are in keeping with an architecture where an absolute pain valuation system and a rank-dependent system interact to influence willing to pay to avoid pain, with context impacting value-based behavior high in a processing hierarchy. This segregated processing hints that distinct neural representations reflect sensory aspects of pain and components that are less directly nociceptive whose integration also guides pain-related actions. A dominance of the latter might account for puzzling phenomena seen in somatization disorders where perceived pain is a dominant driver of behavior. PMID:25355207

  16. Neural population dynamics in human motor cortex during movements in people with ALS

    PubMed Central

    Pandarinath, Chethan; Gilja, Vikash; Blabe, Christine H; Nuyujukian, Paul; Sarma, Anish A; Sorice, Brittany L; Eskandar, Emad N; Hochberg, Leigh R; Henderson, Jaimie M; Shenoy, Krishna V

    2015-01-01

    The prevailing view of motor cortex holds that motor cortical neural activity represents muscle or movement parameters. However, recent studies in non-human primates have shown that neural activity does not simply represent muscle or movement parameters; instead, its temporal structure is well-described by a dynamical system where activity during movement evolves lawfully from an initial pre-movement state. In this study, we analyze neuronal ensemble activity in motor cortex in two clinical trial participants diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). We find that activity in human motor cortex has similar dynamical structure to that of non-human primates, indicating that human motor cortex contains a similar underlying dynamical system for movement generation. Clinical trial registration: NCT00912041. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07436.001 PMID:26099302

  17. Subjective Somatosensory Experiences Disclosed by Focused Attention: Cortical-Hippocampal-Insular and Amygdala Contributions

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Clemens C. C.; Barrios, Fernando A.; Díaz, José-Luis

    2014-01-01

    In order to explore the neurobiological foundations of qualitative subjective experiences, the present study was designed to correlate objective third-person brain fMRI measures with subjective first-person identification and scaling of local, subtle, and specific somatosensory sensations, obtained directly after the imaging procedure. Thus, thirty-four volunteers were instructed to focus and sustain their attention to either provoked or spontaneous sensations of each thumb during the fMRI procedure. By means of a Likert scale applied immediately afterwards, the participants recalled and evaluated the intensity of their attention and identified specific somatosensory sensations (e.g. pulsation, vibration, heat). Using the subject's subjective scores as covariates to model both attention intensity and general somatosensory experiences regressors, the whole-brain random effect analyses revealed activations in the frontopolar prefrontal cortex (BA10), primary somatosensory cortex (BA1), premotor cortex (BA 6), precuneus (BA 7), temporopolar cortex (BA 38), inferior parietal lobe (BA 39), hippocampus, insula and amygdala. Furthermore, BA10 showed differential activity, with ventral BA10 correlating exclusively with attention (r(32) = 0.54, p = 0.0013) and dorsal BA10 correlating exclusively with somatosensory sensation (r(32) = 0.46, p = 0.007). All other reported brain areas showed significant positive correlations solely with subjective somatosensory experiences reports. These results provide evidence that the frontopolar prefrontal cortex has dissociable functions depending on specific cognitive demands; i.e. the dorsal portion of the frontopolar prefrontal cortex in conjunction with primary somatosensory cortex, temporopolar cortex, inferior parietal lobe, hippocampus, insula and amygdala are involved in the processing of spontaneous general subjective somatosensory experiences disclosed by focused and sustained attention. PMID:25166875

  18. Somatosensory evoked magnetic fields in patients with stroke.

    PubMed

    Maclin, E L; Rose, D F; Knight, J E; Orrison, W W; Davis, L E

    1994-12-01

    We used magnetoencephalography to evaluate areas of sensory cortex in patients with ischemic strokes involving the somatomotor system. We measured somatosensory evoked magnetic fields using a 7-channel neuromagnetometer and estimated the location of cortical responses to median nerve stimulation in 5 patients with cortical or subcortical strokes involving the somatomotor system. All patients underwent quantitative neurological examinations and a high resolution volumetric magnetic resonance imaging. The estimated current dipoles were localized onto the patient's own MRI scan in all patients with measurable responses. The location of the estimated dipole was always in non-infarcted tissue in the anatomical region of the somatosensory cortex. In 1 patient the somatosensory dipole localized to a peninsula of cortex flanked by infarcted tissue. Single photon emission computed tomography found the localized area of cortex to have significant blood flow. The estimated current dipole strengths of somatosensory evoked fields from median nerve stimulation correlated significantly (r = 0.95, P < 0.02) with the patient's ability to recognize numbers written on the involved palm (graphesthesia). The combination of evoked magnetic field recording and magnetic resonance imaging is a promising non-invasive technology for studying brain function in patients with cerebrovascular disease.

  19. An embedded four-channel receive-only RF coil array for fMRI experiments of the somatosensory pathway in conscious awake marmosets.

    PubMed

    Papoti, Daniel; Yen, Cecil Chern-Chyi; Mackel, Julie B; Merkle, Hellmut; Silva, Afonso C

    2013-11-01

    fMRI has established itself as the main research tool in neuroscience and brain cognitive research. The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a non-human primate model of increasing interest in biomedical research. However, commercial MRI coils for marmosets are not generally available. The present work describes the design and construction of a four-channel receive-only surface RF coil array with excellent signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) specifically optimized for fMRI experiments in awake marmosets in response to somatosensory stimulation. The array was designed as part of a helmet-based head restraint system used to prevent motion during the scans. High SNR was obtained by building the coil array using a thin and flexible substrate glued to the inner surface of the restraint helmet, so as to minimize the distance between the array elements and the somatosensory cortex. Decoupling between coil elements was achieved by partial geometrical overlapping and by connecting them to home-built low-input-impedance preamplifiers. In vivo images show excellent coverage of the brain cortical surface with high sensitivity near the somatosensory cortex. Embedding the coil elements within the restraint helmet allowed fMRI data in response to somatosensory stimulation to be collected with high sensitivity and reproducibility in conscious, awake marmosets.

  20. Effects of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on somatosensory evoked potentials in humans anesthetized with isoflurane and nitrous oxide.

    PubMed

    Andoh, T; Ohtsuka, T; Okazaki, K; Okutsu, Y; Okumura, F

    1993-08-01

    In order to examine the usefulness of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) as an adjuvant to anesthesia for surgery requiring intraoperative somatosensory evoked potential (SSEP) monitoring, we have studied the effects of ATP on SSEPs in patients anesthetized with isoflurane and nitrous oxide (N2O). A control recording of SSEP was performed while anesthesia was maintained with 0.5% end-tidal concentration of isoflurane in 60% N2O. The recordings were repeated after an ATP infusion had been added to this basal anesthesia at the rates of 100 micrograms.kg bw-1.min-1 and 200 micrograms.kg bw-1.min-1. SSEP was also studied when end-tidal isoflurane concentration was increased to 1.5% after cessation of ATP infusion. An infusion of ATP combined with 0.5% isoflurane and 60% N2O effectively inhibited an increase in blood pressure during surgery. The amplitude of the cortical component of SSEP was lowered by 1.5% isoflurane, which also increased both cortical and spinal latencies as well as central conduction time (CCT). In contrast ATP infusions at both rates induced no significant changes in latencies, amplitude and CCT. The results indicate that ATP infusion combined with 0.5% isoflurane in 60% N2O can be a useful anesthetic technique for intraoperative SSEP monitoring because adequate anesthetic depth can be maintained by a low concentration of anesthetics without further suppression of SSEPs. PMID:8213025

  1. Functional organization and visual representations of human ventral lateral prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Chan, Annie W.-Y.

    2013-01-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies in both human and non-human primates have identified face selective activation in the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC) even in the absence of working memory (WM) demands. Further, research has suggested that this face-selective response is largely driven by the presence of the eyes. However, the nature and origin of visual category responses in the VLPFC remain unclear. In a broader sense, how do these findings relate to our current understandings of lateral prefrontal cortex? What do these findings tell us about the underlying function and organization principles of the VLPFC? What is the future direction for investigating visual representations in this cortex? This review focuses on the function, topography, and circuitry of the VLPFC to enhance our understanding of the evolution and development of this cortex. PMID:23847558

  2. Effect of Range and Angular Velocity of Passive Movement on Somatosensory Evoked Magnetic Fields.

    PubMed

    Sugawara, Kazuhiro; Onishi, Hideaki; Yamashiro, Koya; Kojima, Sho; Miyaguchi, Shota; Kotan, Shinichi; Tsubaki, Atsuhiro; Kirimoto, Hikari; Tamaki, Hiroyuki; Shirozu, Hiroshi; Kameyama, Shigeki

    2016-09-01

    To clarify characteristics of each human somatosensory evoked field (SEF) component following passive movement (PM), PM1, PM2, and PM3, using high spatiotemporal resolution 306-channel magnetoencephalography and varying PM range and angular velocity. We recorded SEFs following PM under three conditions [normal range-normal velocity (NN), small range-normal velocity (SN), and small range-slow velocity (SS)] with changing movement range and angular velocity in 12 participants and calculated the amplitude, equivalent current dipole (ECD) location, and the ECD strength for each component. All components were observed in six participants, whereas only PM1 and PM3 in the other six. Clear response deflections at the ipsilateral hemisphere to PM side were observed in seven participants. PM1 amplitude was larger under NN and SN conditions, and mean ECD location for PM1 was at primary motor area. PM3 amplitude was larger under SN condition and mean ECD location for PM3 under SS condition was at primary somatosensory area. PM1 amplitude was dependent on the angular velocity of PM, suggesting that PM1 reflects afferent input from muscle spindle, whereas PM3 amplitude was dependent on the duration. The ECD for PM3 was located in the primary somatosensory cortex, suggesting that PM3 reflects cutaneous input. We confirmed the hypothesis for locally distinct generators and characteristics of each SEF component.

  3. Authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and the human prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Asp, Erik; Ramchandran, Kanchna; Tranel, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    Objective The psychological processes of doubting and skepticism have recently become topics of neuroscientific investigation. In this context, we developed the False Tagging Theory, a neurobiological model of the belief and doubt process, which proposes that the prefrontal cortex is critical for normative doubt regarding properly comprehended cognitive representations. Here, we put our theory to an empirical test, hypothesizing that patients with prefrontal cortex damage would have a doubt deficit that would manifest as higher authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism. Method Ten patients with bilateral damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), ten patients with damage to areas outside the vmPFC, and sixteen medical comparison patients, who experienced life-threatening (but non-neurological) medical events, completed a series of scales measuring authoritarianism, religious fundamentalism, and specific religious beliefs. Results VMPFC patients reported significantly higher authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism than the other groups. The degrees of authoritarianism and religious fundamentalism in the vmPFC group were significantly higher than normative values, as well; by contrast, the comparison groups did not differ from normative values. Moreover, vmPFC patients reported increased specific religious beliefs after brain injury. Conclusions The findings support the False Tagging Theory, and suggest that the vmPFC is critical for psychological doubt and resistance to authoritarian persuasion. PMID:22612576

  4. Differential distribution of NADPH-diaphorase histochemistry in human cerebral cortex.

    PubMed

    Garbossa, Diego; Fontanella, Marco; Tomasi, Simone; Ducati, Alessandro; Vercelli, Alessandro

    2005-02-01

    Beta-nicotinamidedinucleotide phosphate diaphorase (NADPH-d) colocalizes with NOS in the central nervous system. Two types of NADPH-d-positive neurons are present in the primate cerebral cortex: type 1, intensely and Golgi-like labeled neurons, a subset of GABAergic interneurons; type 2, lightly labeled neurons (divided into two subclasses, a first one having a lightly stained cell body bearing only one short process, and a second one showing intense NADPH-d staining with short processes extending radially). We have analyzed the distribution of NADPH-d activity in human frontal, temporal, and occipital cortical areas, finding remarkable laminar and interareal differences in cell size and distribution of the different cell types. There was a clear bias for type 1 neurons in infragranular layers in all areas considered; both in supra- and infragranular layers, their density was highest in frontal, and lowest in temporal cortex. The density of type 2 neurons was lower supragranularly in temporal cortex and infragranularly in occipital cortex. The overall density of type 2 cells was remarkably higher in occipital cortex than in the temporal and frontal ones. Type 1 neurons were significantly larger than type 2, and were smaller in the supragranular than in the infragranular subzone in occipital and temporal cortex. Type 1 cells were significantly larger in frontal cortex than in occipital and temporal cortex, and type 2 cells were significantly smaller in occipital than in temporal and frontal cortex. These area-related differences might reflect differences between heterotypic and homotypic cortex in the regulation of cortical blood flow.

  5. Decoding movement intent from human premotor cortex neurons for neural prosthetic applications

    PubMed Central

    Ojakangas, Catherine L.; Shaikhouni, Ammar; Friehs, Gerhard M.; Caplan, Abraham H.; Serruya, Mijail D.; Saleh, Maryam; Morris, Daniel S.; Donoghue, John P.

    2006-01-01

    Summary Primary motor cortex (MI), a key region for voluntary motor control, has been considered a first choice as the source of neural signals to control prosthetic devices for humans with paralysis. Less is known about the potential for other areas of frontal cortex as prosthesis signal sources. The frontal cortex is widely engaged in voluntary behavior. Single neuron recordings in monkey frontal cortex beyond MI have readily identified activity related to planning and initiating movement direction, remembering movement instructions over delays, or mixtures of these features (Kurata & Wise, 1988; Boussaoud & Wise, 1993; Crammond & Kalaska, 1994, 2000). Human functional imaging and lesion studies also support this role (Toni et al., 1999; Simon et al., 2002). Intraoperative mapping during deep brain stimulator placement in humans (Benabid et al., 1989) provides a unique opportunity to evaluate potential prosthesis control signals derived from non-primary areas and to expand our understanding of frontal lobe function and its role in movement disorders. Here we show that recordings from small groups of human prefrontal/premotor cortex neurons can provide information about movement planning, production and decision making sufficient to decode the planned direction of movement. Thus, additional frontal areas, beyond M1, may be valuable signal sources for human neuromotor prostheses. PMID:17143147

  6. Somatosensory integration controlled by dynamic thalamocortical feed-forward inhibition.

    PubMed

    Gabernet, Laetitia; Jadhav, Shantanu P; Feldman, Daniel E; Carandini, Matteo; Scanziani, Massimo

    2005-10-20

    The temporal features of tactile stimuli are faithfully represented by the activity of neurons in the somatosensory cortex. However, the cellular mechanisms that enable cortical neurons to report accurate temporal information are not known. Here, we show that in the rodent barrel cortex, the temporal window for integration of thalamic inputs is under the control of thalamocortical feed-forward inhibition and can vary from 1 to 10 ms. A single thalamic fiber can trigger feed-forward inhibition and contacts both excitatory and inhibitory cortical neurons. The dynamics of feed-forward inhibition exceed those of each individual synapse in the circuit and are captured by a simple disynaptic model of the thalamocortical projection. The variations in the integration window produce changes in the temporal precision of cortical responses to whisker stimulation. Hence, feed-forward inhibitory circuits, classically known to sharpen spatial contrast of tactile inputs, also increase the temporal resolution in the somatosensory cortex.

  7. The neural dynamics of reward value and risk coding in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Li, Yansong; Vanni-Mercier, Giovanna; Isnard, Jean; Mauguière, François; Dreher, Jean-Claude

    2016-04-01

    The orbitofrontal cortex is known to carry information regarding expected reward, risk and experienced outcome. Yet, due to inherent limitations in lesion and neuroimaging methods, the neural dynamics of these computations has remained elusive in humans. Here, taking advantage of the high temporal definition of intracranial recordings, we characterize the neurophysiological signatures of the intact orbitofrontal cortex in processing information relevant for risky decisions. Local field potentials were recorded from the intact orbitofrontal cortex of patients suffering from drug-refractory partial epilepsy with implanted depth electrodes as they performed a probabilistic reward learning task that required them to associate visual cues with distinct reward probabilities. We observed three successive signals: (i) around 400 ms after cue presentation, the amplitudes of the local field potentials increased with reward probability; (ii) a risk signal emerged during the late phase of reward anticipation and during the outcome phase; and (iii) an experienced value signal appeared at the time of reward delivery. Both the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex encoded risk and reward probability while the lateral orbitofrontal cortex played a dominant role in coding experienced value. The present study provides the first evidence from intracranial recordings that the human orbitofrontal cortex codes reward risk both during late reward anticipation and during the outcome phase at a time scale of milliseconds. Our findings offer insights into the rapid mechanisms underlying the ability to learn structural relationships from the environment. PMID:26811252

  8. The neural dynamics of reward value and risk coding in the human orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Li, Yansong; Vanni-Mercier, Giovanna; Isnard, Jean; Mauguière, François; Dreher, Jean-Claude

    2016-04-01

    The orbitofrontal cortex is known to carry information regarding expected reward, risk and experienced outcome. Yet, due to inherent limitations in lesion and neuroimaging methods, the neural dynamics of these computations has remained elusive in humans. Here, taking advantage of the high temporal definition of intracranial recordings, we characterize the neurophysiological signatures of the intact orbitofrontal cortex in processing information relevant for risky decisions. Local field potentials were recorded from the intact orbitofrontal cortex of patients suffering from drug-refractory partial epilepsy with implanted depth electrodes as they performed a probabilistic reward learning task that required them to associate visual cues with distinct reward probabilities. We observed three successive signals: (i) around 400 ms after cue presentation, the amplitudes of the local field potentials increased with reward probability; (ii) a risk signal emerged during the late phase of reward anticipation and during the outcome phase; and (iii) an experienced value signal appeared at the time of reward delivery. Both the medial and lateral orbitofrontal cortex encoded risk and reward probability while the lateral orbitofrontal cortex played a dominant role in coding experienced value. The present study provides the first evidence from intracranial recordings that the human orbitofrontal cortex codes reward risk both during late reward anticipation and during the outcome phase at a time scale of milliseconds. Our findings offer insights into the rapid mechanisms underlying the ability to learn structural relationships from the environment.

  9. Neural representations of faces and body parts in macaque and human cortex: a comparative FMRI study.

    PubMed

    Pinsk, Mark A; Arcaro, Michael; Weiner, Kevin S; Kalkus, Jan F; Inati, Souheil J; Gross, Charles G; Kastner, Sabine

    2009-05-01

    Single-cell studies in the macaque have reported selective neural responses evoked by visual presentations of faces and bodies. Consistent with these findings, functional magnetic resonance imaging studies in humans and monkeys indicate that regions in temporal cortex respond preferentially to faces and bodies. However, it is not clear how these areas correspond across the two species. Here, we directly compared category-selective areas in macaques and humans using virtually identical techniques. In the macaque, several face- and body part-selective areas were found located along the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and middle temporal gyrus (MTG). In the human, similar to previous studies, face-selective areas were found in ventral occipital and temporal cortex and an additional face-selective area was found in the anterior temporal cortex. Face-selective areas were also found in lateral temporal cortex, including the previously reported posterior STS area. Body part-selective areas were identified in the human fusiform gyrus and lateral occipitotemporal cortex. In a first experiment, both monkey and human subjects were presented with pictures of faces, body parts, foods, scenes, and man-made objects, to examine the response profiles of each category-selective area to the five stimulus types. In a second experiment, face processing was examined by presenting upright and inverted faces. By comparing the responses and spatial relationships of the areas, we propose potential correspondences across species. Adjacent and overlapping areas in the macaque anterior STS/MTG responded strongly to both faces and body parts, similar to areas in the human fusiform gyrus and posterior STS. Furthermore, face-selective areas on the ventral bank of the STS/MTG discriminated both upright and inverted faces from objects, similar to areas in the human ventral temporal cortex. Overall, our findings demonstrate commonalities and differences in the wide-scale brain organization between

  10. Comparison of human ventral frontal cortex areas for cognitive control and language with areas in monkey frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Neubert, Franz-Xaver; Mars, Rogier B; Thomas, Adam G; Sallet, Jerome; Rushworth, Matthew F S

    2014-02-01

    Human ventrolateral frontal cortex (vlFC) is identified with cognitive processes such as language and cognitive flexibility. The relationship between it and the vlFC of other primates has therefore been the subject of particular speculation. We used a combination of structural and functional neuroimaging methods to identify key components of human vlFC. We compared how vlFC areas interacted with other brain areas in 25 humans and 25 macaques using the same methods. We identified a core set of 11 vlFC components that interacted in similar ways with similar distributed circuits in both species and, in addition, one distinctively human component in ventrolateral frontal pole. Fundamental differences in interactions with posterior auditory association areas in the two species were also present-these were ubiquitous throughout posterior human vlFC but channeled to different frontal regions in monkeys. Finally, there were some differences in interregional interactions within vlFC in the two species.

  11. Human retrosplenial cortex displays transient theta phase locking with medial temporal cortex prior to activation during autobiographical memory retrieval.

    PubMed

    Foster, Brett L; Kaveh, Anthony; Dastjerdi, Mohammad; Miller, Kai J; Parvizi, Josef

    2013-06-19

    The involvement of retrosplenial cortex (RSC) in human autobiographical memory retrieval has been confirmed by functional brain imaging studies, and is supported by anatomical evidence of strong connectivity between the RSC and memory structures within the medial temporal lobe (MTL). However, electrophysiological investigations of the RSC and its interaction with the MTL have mostly remained limited to the rodent brain. Recently, we reported a selective increase of high-frequency broadband (HFB; 70-180 Hz) power within the human RSC during autobiographical retrieval, and a predominance of 3-5 Hz theta band oscillations within the RSC during the resting state. In the current study, we aimed to explore the temporal dynamics of theta band interaction between human RSC and MTL during autobiographical retrieval. Toward this aim, we obtained simultaneous recordings from the RSC and MTL in human subjects undergoing invasive electrophysiological monitoring, and quantified the strength of RSC-MTL theta band phase locking. We observed significant phase locking in the 3-4 Hz theta range between the RSC and the MTL during autobiographical retrieval. This theta band phase coupling was transient and peaked at a consistent latency before the peak of RSC HFB power across subjects. Control analyses confirmed that theta phase coupling between the RSC and MTL was not seen for other conditions studied, other sites of recording, or other frequency ranges of interest (1-20 Hz). Our findings provide the first evidence of theta band interaction between the human RSC and MTL during conditions of autobiographical retrieval.

  12. Coding of melodic gestalt in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Schindler, Andreas; Herdener, Marcus; Bartels, Andreas

    2013-12-01

    The perception of a melody is invariant to the absolute properties of its constituting notes, but depends on the relation between them-the melody's relative pitch profile. In fact, a melody's "Gestalt" is recognized regardless of the instrument or key used to play it. Pitch processing in general is assumed to occur at the level of the auditory cortex. However, it is unknown whether early auditory regions are able to encode pitch sequences integrated over time (i.e., melodies) and whether the resulting representations are invariant to specific keys. Here, we presented participants different melodies composed of the same 4 harmonic pitches during functional magnetic resonance imaging recordings. Additionally, we played the same melodies transposed in different keys and on different instruments. We found that melodies were invariantly represented by their blood oxygen level-dependent activation patterns in primary and secondary auditory cortices across instruments, and also across keys. Our findings extend common hierarchical models of auditory processing by showing that melodies are encoded independent of absolute pitch and based on their relative pitch profile as early as the primary auditory cortex.

  13. Human posterior parietal cortex mediates hand-specific planning

    PubMed Central

    Valyear, Kenneth F.; Frey, Scott H.

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Histological Basis of Laminar MRI Patterns in High Resolution Images of Fixed Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wallace, Mark N.; Cronin, Matthew J.; Bowtell, Richard W.; Scott, Ian S.; Palmer, Alan R.; Gowland, Penny A.

    2016-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies of the auditory region of the temporal lobe would benefit from the availability of image contrast that allowed direct identification of the primary auditory cortex, as this region cannot be accurately located using gyral landmarks alone. Previous work has suggested that the primary area can be identified in magnetic resonance (MR) images because of its relatively high myelin content. However, MR images are also affected by the iron content of the tissue and in this study we sought to confirm that different MR image contrasts did correlate with the myelin content in the gray matter and were not primarily affected by iron content as is the case in the primary visual and somatosensory areas. By imaging blocks of fixed post-mortem cortex in a 7 T scanner and then sectioning them for histological staining we sought to assess the relative contribution of myelin and iron to the gray matter contrast in the auditory region. Evaluating the image contrast in T2*-weighted images and quantitative R2* maps showed a reasonably high correlation between the myelin density of the gray matter and the intensity of the MR images. The correlation with T1-weighted phase sensitive inversion recovery (PSIR) images was better than with the previous two image types, and there were clearly differentiated borders between adjacent cortical areas in these images. A significant amount of iron was present in the auditory region, but did not seem to contribute to the laminar pattern of the cortical gray matter in MR images. Similar levels of iron were present in the gray and white matter and although iron was present in fibers within the gray matter, these fibers were fairly uniformly distributed across the cortex. Thus, we conclude that T1- and T2*-weighted imaging sequences do demonstrate the relatively high myelin levels that are characteristic of the deep layers in primary auditory cortex and allow it and some of the surrounding areas to be

  15. Cortical localization of phase and amplitude dynamics predicting access to somatosensory awareness.

    PubMed

    Hirvonen, Jonni; Palva, Satu

    2016-01-01

    Neural dynamics leading to conscious sensory perception have remained enigmatic in despite of large interest. Human functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have revealed that a co-activation of sensory and frontoparietal areas is crucial for conscious sensory perception in the several second time-scale of BOLD signal fluctuations. Electrophysiological recordings with magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG and EEG) and intracranial EEG (iEEG) have shown that event related responses (ERs), phase-locking of neuronal activity, and oscillation amplitude modulations in sub-second timescales are greater for consciously perceived than for unperceived stimuli. The cortical sources of ER and oscillation dynamics predicting the conscious perception have, however, remained unclear because these prior studies have utilized MEG/EEG sensor-level analyses or iEEG with limited neuroanatomical coverage. We used a somatosensory detection task, magnetoencephalography (MEG), and cortically constrained source reconstruction to identify the cortical areas where ERs, local poststimulus amplitudes and phase-locking of neuronal activity are predictive of the conscious access of somatosensory information. We show here that strengthened ERs, phase-locking to stimulus onset (SL), and induced oscillations amplitude modulations all predicted conscious somatosensory perception, but the most robust and widespread of these was SL that was sustained in low-alpha (6-10 Hz) band. The strength of SL and to a lesser extent that of ER predicted conscious perception in the somatosensory, lateral and medial frontal, posterior parietal, and in the cingulate cortex. These data suggest that a rapid phase-reorganization and concurrent oscillation amplitude modulations in these areas play an instrumental role in the emergence of a conscious percept.

  16. Ultra-low-noise EEG/MEG systems enable bimodal non-invasive detection of spike-like human somatosensory evoked responses at 1 kHz.

    PubMed

    Fedele, T; Scheer, H J; Burghoff, M; Curio, G; Körber, R

    2015-02-01

    Non-invasive EEG detection of very high frequency somatosensory evoked potentials featuring frequencies up to and above 1 kHz has been recently reported. Here, we establish the detectability of such components by combined low-noise EEG/MEG. We recorded SEP/SEF simultaneously using median nerve stimulation in five healthy human subjects inside an electromagnetically shielded room, combining a low-noise EEG custom-made amplifier (4.7 nV/√Hz) and a custom-made single-channel low-noise MEG (0.5 fT/√Hz @ 1 kHz). Both, low-noise EEG and MEG revealed three spectrally distinct and temporally overlapping evoked components: N20 (<100 Hz), sigma-burst (450-750 Hz), and kappa-burst (850-1200 Hz). The two recording modalities showed similar relative scaling of signal amplitude in all three frequencies domains (EEG [10 nV] ≅ MEG [1 fT]). Pronounced waveform (peak-by-peak) overlap of EEG and MEG signals is observed in the sigma band, whereas in the kappa band overlap was only partial. A decreasing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR; calculated for n = 12.000 averages) from sigma to kappa components characterizes both, electric and magnetic field recordings: Sigma-band SNR was 12.9  ±  5.5/19.8  ±  12.6 for EEG/MEG, and kappa-band SNR at 3.77  ±  0.8/4.5  ±  2.9. High-frequency performance of a tailor-made MEG matches closely with simultaneously recorded low-noise EEG for the non-invasive detection of somatosensory evoked activity at and above 1 kHz. Thus, future multi-channel dual-mode low-noise technology could offer complementary views for source reconstruction of the neural generators underlying such high-frequency responses, and render neural high-frequency processes related to multi-unit spike discharges accessible in non-invasive recordings.

  17. Relationship between intracerebral gamma oscillations and slow potentials in the human sensorimotor cortex.

    PubMed

    Szurhaj, William; Labyt, Etienne; Bourriez, Jean-Louis; Kahane, Philippe; Chauvel, Patrick; Mauguière, François; Derambure, Philippe

    2006-08-01

    Changes in sensorimotor rhythms (mu, beta and gamma) and movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) are both generated principally by the contralateral sensorimotor areas during the execution of self-paced movement. They appear to reflect movement control mechanisms, which remain partially unclear. With the aim of better understanding their sources and significance, we recorded MRCPs and sensorimotor rhythms during and after self-paced movement using intracerebral electrodes in eight epileptic subjects investigated by stereoelectroencephalography. The results showed that: (i) there is a strong spatial relationship between the late components of movement--the so-called motor potential (MP) and post-movement complex (PMc)--and gamma event-related synchronization (ERS) within the 40-60 Hz band, as the MP/PMc always occurred in contacts displaying gamma ERS (the primary sensorimotor areas), whereas mu and beta reactivities were more diffuse; and (ii) MPs and PMc are both generated by the primary motor and somatosensory areas, but with distinct sources. Hence, this could mean that kinesthesic sensory afferences project to neurons other than those firing during the pyramidal tract volley. The PMc and low gamma ERS represent two electrophysiological facets of kinesthesic feedback from the joints and muscles involved in the movement to the sensorimotor cortex. It could be suggested that gamma oscillations within the 40-60 Hz band could serve to synchronize the activities of the various neuronal populations involved in control of the ongoing movement. PMID:16930422

  18. Learning modifies subsequent induction of long-term potentiation-like and long-term depression-like plasticity in human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Ziemann, Ulf; Ilić, Tihomir V; Iliać, Tihomir V; Pauli, Christian; Meintzschel, Frank; Ruge, Diane

    2004-02-18

    Learning may alter rapidly the output organization of adult motor cortex. It is a long-held hypothesis that modification of synaptic strength along cortical horizontal connections through long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) forms one important mechanism for learning-induced cortical plasticity. Strong evidence in favor of this hypothesis was provided for rat primary motor cortex (M1) by showing that motor learning reduced subsequent LTP but increased LTD. Whether a similar relationship exists in humans is unknown. Here, we induced LTP-like and LTD-like plasticity in the intact human M1 by an established paired associative stimulation (PAS) protocol. PAS consisted of 200 pairs of electrical stimulation of the right median nerve, followed by focal transcranial magnetic stimulation of the hand area of the left M1 at an interval equaling the individual N20 latency of the median nerve somatosensory-evoked cortical potential (PAS(N20)) or N20-5 msec (PAS(N20-5)). PAS(N20) induced reproducibly a LTP-like long-lasting (>30 min) increase in motor-evoked potentials from the left M1 to a thumb abductor muscle of the right hand, whereas PAS(N20-5) induced a LTD-like decrease. Repeated fastest possible thumb abduction movements resulted in learning, defined by an increase in maximum peak acceleration of the practiced movements, and prevented subsequent PAS(N20)-induced LTP-like plasticity but enhanced subsequent PAS(N20-5)-induced LTD-like plasticity. The same number of repeated slow thumb abduction movements did not result in learning and had no effects on PAS-induced plasticity. Findings support the view that learning in human M1 occurs through LTP-like mechanisms.

  19. Homuncular organization of human motor cortex as indicated by neuromagnetic recordings.

    PubMed

    Cheyne, D; Kristeva, R; Deecke, L

    1991-01-14

    Sources of neural activity identified using non-invasive measurements of cerebral magnetic fields (magnetoencephalography) were found to confirm the somatotopic organization of primary motor cortex for movements of different parts of the body in normal human subjects. Somatotopic maps produced with this technique showed slight differences to the 'classic' homunculus obtained from studies using direct cortical stimulation. These findings indicate that neuromagnetic recordings are capable of localizing cortical activity associated with voluntarily produced movements without the use of external stimulation and provide a new method for studying the functional organization of human motor cortex and its role in voluntary movement.

  20. [Role of the prefrontal cortex in human behavioral adaptation].

    PubMed

    Volle, Emmanuelle; Levy, Richard

    2014-02-01

    Behavioral adaptation to complex or new situations depends on the anatomical, physiological and functional properties of the prefrontal cortex, and on its interaction with other regions. These properties allow distinguishing two main prefrontal regions: the lateral part involved in cognitive aspects of goal-directed behaviors, and the ventral part involved in its affective aspects. Damage to these two regions is associated with two distinct clinical syndromes. Cognitive deficits in planning dominate in the lateral syndrome, behavioral regulation and motivation disorders in the ventral syndrome. Beyond this distinction, the question of how the systems that enable cognitive and behavioral aspects of adaptation are organized in prefrontal subregions, and can be best assessed, is not fully understood. This question is an essential issue in cognitive neuroscience and is crucial to improve clinical practice.

  1. Exploratory Metabolomic Analyses Reveal Compounds Correlated with Lutein Concentration in Frontal Cortex, Hippocampus, and Occipital Cortex of Human Infant Brain.

    PubMed

    Lieblein-Boff, Jacqueline C; Johnson, Elizabeth J; Kennedy, Adam D; Lai, Chron-Si; Kuchan, Matthew J

    2015-01-01

    Lutein is a dietary carotenoid well known for its role as an antioxidant in the macula, and recent reports implicate a role for lutein in cognitive function. Lutein is the dominant carotenoid in both pediatric and geriatric brain tissue. In addition, cognitive function in older adults correlated with macular and postmortem brain lutein concentrations. Furthermore, lutein was found to preferentially accumulate in the infant brain in comparison to other carotenoids that are predominant in diet. While lutein is consistently related to cognitive function, the mechanisms by which lutein may influence cognition are not clear. In an effort to identify potential mechanisms through which lutein might influence neurodevelopment, an exploratory study relating metabolite signatures and lutein was completed. Post-mortem metabolomic analyses were performed on human infant brain tissues in three regions important for learning and memory: the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and occipital cortex. Metabolomic profiles were compared to lutein concentration, and correlations were identified and reported here. A total of 1276 correlations were carried out across all brain regions. Of 427 metabolites analyzed, 257 were metabolites of known identity. Unidentified metabolite correlations (510) were excluded. In addition, moderate correlations with xenobiotic relationships (2) or those driven by single outliers (3) were excluded from further study. Lutein concentrations correlated with lipid pathway metabolites, energy pathway metabolites, brain osmolytes, amino acid neurotransmitters, and the antioxidant homocarnosine. These correlations were often brain region-specific. Revealing relationships between lutein and metabolic pathways may help identify potential candidates on which to complete further analyses and may shed light on important roles of lutein in the human brain during development.

  2. Exploratory Metabolomic Analyses Reveal Compounds Correlated with Lutein Concentration in Frontal Cortex, Hippocampus, and Occipital Cortex of Human Infant Brain

    PubMed Central

    Lieblein-Boff, Jacqueline C.; Johnson, Elizabeth J.; Kennedy, Adam D.; Lai, Chron-Si; Kuchan, Matthew J.

    2015-01-01

    Lutein is a dietary carotenoid well known for its role as an antioxidant in the macula, and recent reports implicate a role for lutein in cognitive function. Lutein is the dominant carotenoid in both pediatric and geriatric brain tissue. In addition, cognitive function in older adults correlated with macular and postmortem brain lutein concentrations. Furthermore, lutein was found to preferentially accumulate in the infant brain in comparison to other carotenoids that are predominant in diet. While lutein is consistently related to cognitive function, the mechanisms by which lutein may influence cognition are not clear. In an effort to identify potential mechanisms through which lutein might influence neurodevelopment, an exploratory study relating metabolite signatures and lutein was completed. Post-mortem metabolomic analyses were performed on human infant brain tissues in three regions important for learning and memory: the frontal cortex, hippocampus, and occipital cortex. Metabolomic profiles were compared to lutein concentration, and correlations were identified and reported here. A total of 1276 correlations were carried out across all brain regions. Of 427 metabolites analyzed, 257 were metabolites of known identity. Unidentified metabolite correlations (510) were excluded. In addition, moderate correlations with xenobiotic relationships (2) or those driven by single outliers (3) were excluded from further study. Lutein concentrations correlated with lipid pathway metabolites, energy pathway metabolites, brain osmolytes, amino acid neurotransmitters, and the antioxidant homocarnosine. These correlations were often brain region—specific. Revealing relationships between lutein and metabolic pathways may help identify potential candidates on which to complete further analyses and may shed light on important roles of lutein in the human brain during development. PMID:26317757

  3. Functional and structural mapping of human cerebral cortex: solutions are in the surfaces

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Essen, D. C.; Drury, H. A.; Joshi, S.; Miller, M. I.

    1998-01-01

    The human cerebral cortex is notorious for the depth and irregularity of its convolutions and for its variability from one individual to the next. These complexities of cortical geography have been a chronic impediment to studies of functional specialization in the cortex. In this report, we discuss ways to compensate for the convolutions by using a combination of strategies whose common denominator involves explicit reconstructions of the cortical surface. Surface-based visualization involves reconstructing cortical surfaces and displaying them, along with associated experimental data, in various complementary formats (including three-dimensional native configurations, two-dimensional slices, extensively smoothed surfaces, ellipsoidal representations, and cortical flat maps). Generating these representations for the cortex of the Visible Man leads to a surface-based atlas that has important advantages over conventional stereotaxic atlases as a substrate for displaying and analyzing large amounts of experimental data. We illustrate this by showing the relationship between functionally specialized regions and topographically organized areas in human visual cortex. Surface-based warping allows data to be mapped from individual hemispheres to a surface-based atlas while respecting surface topology, improving registration of identifiable landmarks, and minimizing unwanted distortions. Surface-based warping also can aid in comparisons between species, which we illustrate by warping a macaque flat map to match the shape of a human flat map. Collectively, these approaches will allow more refined analyses of commonalities as well as individual differences in the functional organization of primate cerebral cortex.

  4. Functional and structural mapping of human cerebral cortex: Solutions are in the surfaces

    PubMed Central

    Van Essen, David C.; Drury, Heather A.; Joshi, Sarang; Miller, Michael I.

    1998-01-01

    The human cerebral cortex is notorious for the depth and irregularity of its convolutions and for its variability from one individual to the next. These complexities of cortical geography have been a chronic impediment to studies of functional specialization in the cortex. In this report, we discuss ways to compensate for the convolutions by using a combination of strategies whose common denominator involves explicit reconstructions of the cortical surface. Surface-based visualization involves reconstructing cortical surfaces and displaying them, along with associated experimental data, in various complementary formats (including three-dimensional native configurations, two-dimensional slices, extensively smoothed surfaces, ellipsoidal representations, and cortical flat maps). Generating these representations for the cortex of the Visible Man leads to a surface-based atlas that has important advantages over conventional stereotaxic atlases as a substrate for displaying and analyzing large amounts of experimental data. We illustrate this by showing the relationship between functionally specialized regions and topographically organized areas in human visual cortex. Surface-based warping allows data to be mapped from individual hemispheres to a surface-based atlas while respecting surface topology, improving registration of identifiable landmarks, and minimizing unwanted distortions. Surface-based warping also can aid in comparisons between species, which we illustrate by warping a macaque flat map to match the shape of a human flat map. Collectively, these approaches will allow more refined analyses of commonalities as well as individual differences in the functional organization of primate cerebral cortex. PMID:9448242

  5. Mapping the after-effects of theta burst stimulation on the human auditory cortex with functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Andoh, Jamila; Zatorre, Robert J

    2012-09-12

    Auditory cortex pertains to the processing of sound, which is at the basis of speech or music-related processing. However, despite considerable recent progress, the functional properties and lateralization of the human auditory cortex are far from being fully understood. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) is a non-invasive technique that can transiently or lastingly modulate cortical excitability via the application of localized magnetic field pulses, and represents a unique method of exploring plasticity and connectivity. It has only recently begun to be applied to understand auditory cortical function. An important issue in using TMS is that the physiological consequences of the stimulation are difficult to establish. Although many TMS studies make the implicit assumption that the area targeted by the coil is the area affected, this need not be the case, particularly for complex cognitive functions which depend on interactions across many brain regions. One solution to this problem is to combine TMS with functional Magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The idea here is that fMRI will provide an index of changes in brain activity associated with TMS. Thus, fMRI would give an independent means of assessing which areas are affected by TMS and how they are modulated. In addition, fMRI allows the assessment of functional connectivity, which represents a measure of the temporal coupling between distant regions. It can thus be useful not only to measure the net activity modulation induced by TMS in given locations, but also the degree to which the network properties are affected by TMS, via any observed changes in functional connectivity. Different approaches exist to combine TMS and functional imaging according to the temporal order of the methods. Functional MRI can be applied before, during, after, or both before and after TMS. Recently, some studies interleaved TMS and fMRI in order to provide online mapping of the functional changes induced by TMS. However, this

  6. Learning-dependent plasticity in human auditory cortex during appetitive operant conditioning.

    PubMed

    Puschmann, Sebastian; Brechmann, André; Thiel, Christiane M

    2013-11-01

    Animal experiments provide evidence that learning to associate an auditory stimulus with a reward causes representational changes in auditory cortex. However, most studies did not investigate the temporal formation of learning-dependent plasticity during the task but rather compared auditory cortex receptive fields before and after conditioning. We here present a functional magnetic resonance imaging study on learning-related plasticity in the human auditory cortex during operant appetitive conditioning. Participants had to learn to associate a specific category of frequency-modulated tones with a reward. Only participants who learned this association developed learning-dependent plasticity in left auditory cortex over the course of the experiment. No differential responses to reward predicting and nonreward predicting tones were found in auditory cortex in nonlearners. In addition, learners showed similar learning-induced differential responses to reward-predicting and nonreward-predicting tones in the ventral tegmental area and the nucleus accumbens, two core regions of the dopaminergic neurotransmitter system. This may indicate a dopaminergic influence on the formation of learning-dependent plasticity in auditory cortex, as it has been suggested by previous animal studies.

  7. Complex Organization of Human Primary Motor Cortex: A High-Resolution fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Meier, Jeffrey D.; Aflalo, Tyson N.; Kastner, Sabine; Graziano, Michael S. A.

    2008-01-01

    A traditional view of the human motor cortex is that it contains an overlapping sequence of body part representations from the tongue in a ventral location to the foot in a dorsal location. In this study, high-resolution functional MRI (1.5 × 1.5 × 2 mm) was used to examine the somatotopic map in the lateral motor cortex of humans, to determine whether it followed the traditional somatotopic order or whether it contained any violations of that somatotopic order. The arm and hand representation had a complex organization in which the arm was relatively emphasized in two areas: one dorsal and the other ventral to a region that emphasized the fingers. This violation of a traditional somatotopic order suggests that the motor cortex is not merely a map of the body but is topographically shaped by other influences, perhaps including correlations in the use of body parts in the motor repertoire. PMID:18684903

  8. [Basic principles of structural asymmetry of cortex formations in the human brain].

    PubMed

    Bogolepova, I N; Malofeeva, L I

    2004-01-01

    Studying the cytoarchitectonical asymmetry of human brain cortex requires using the new approaches and modern quantitative methods. One of the promising ways is analyzing relation between the macroscopic and neuronal structure of the brain. The present article contains original data of histological and morphological studies. The authors develop the concept of different degree of expression of asymmetry in the cortex formations of left and right hemispheres. The data on the principal differences of topography and types of structure of fissure and gyrus in different brain hemispheres are presented. Results of the analysis carried out enable one to show the basic criteria of peculiarities of cytoarchitecture of human brain cortex in the left and right hemispheres. PMID:15455550

  9. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex.

    PubMed

    Self, Matthew W; Peters, Judith C; Possel, Jessy K; Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C; Roelfsema, Pieter R

    2016-03-01

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons' receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex. PMID:27015604

  10. Human Topological Task Adapted for Rats: Spatial Information Processes of the Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Goodrich-Hunsaker, Naomi J.; Howard, Brian P.; Hunsaker, Michael R.; Kesner, Raymond P.

    2008-01-01

    Human research has shown that lesions of the parietal cortex disrupt spatial information processing, specifically topological information. Similar findings have been found in nonhumans. It has been difficult to determine homologies between human and non-human mnemonic mechanisms for spatial information processing because methodologies and neuropathology differ. The first objective of the present study was to adapt a previously established human task for rats. The second objective was to better characterize the role of parietal cortex (PC) and dorsal hippocampus (dHPC) for topological spatial information processing. Rats had to distinguish whether a ball inside a ring or a ball outside a ring was the correct, rewarded object. After rats reached criterion on the task (>95%) they were randomly assigned to a lesion group (control, PC, dHPC). Animals were then re-tested. Post-surgery data show that controls were 94% correct on average, dHPC rats were 89% correct on average, and PC rats were 56% correct on average. The results from the present study suggest that the parietal cortex, but not the dHPC processes topological spatial information. The present data are the first to support comparable topological spatial information processes of the parietal cortex in humans and rats. PMID:18571941

  11. The Effects of Context and Attention on Spiking Activity in Human Early Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Reithler, Joel; Goebel, Rainer; Ris, Peterjan; Jeurissen, Danique; Reddy, Leila; Claus, Steven; Baayen, Johannes C.; Roelfsema, Pieter R.

    2016-01-01

    Here we report the first quantitative analysis of spiking activity in human early visual cortex. We recorded multi-unit activity from two electrodes in area V2/V3 of a human patient implanted with depth electrodes as part of her treatment for epilepsy. We observed well-localized multi-unit receptive fields with tunings for contrast, orientation, spatial frequency, and size, similar to those reported in the macaque. We also observed pronounced gamma oscillations in the local-field potential that could be used to estimate the underlying spiking response properties. Spiking responses were modulated by visual context and attention. We observed orientation-tuned surround suppression: responses were suppressed by image regions with a uniform orientation and enhanced by orientation contrast. Additionally, responses were enhanced on regions that perceptually segregated from the background, indicating that neurons in the human visual cortex are sensitive to figure-ground structure. Spiking responses were also modulated by object-based attention. When the patient mentally traced a curve through the neurons’ receptive fields, the accompanying shift of attention enhanced neuronal activity. These results demonstrate that the tuning properties of cells in the human early visual cortex are similar to those in the macaque and that responses can be modulated by both contextual factors and behavioral relevance. Our results, therefore, imply that the macaque visual system is an excellent model for the human visual cortex. PMID:27015604

  12. Behaviorally Relevant Abstract Object Identity Representation in the Human Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Jeong, Su Keun

    2016-01-01

    The representation of object identity is fundamental to human vision. Using fMRI and multivoxel pattern analysis, here we report the representation of highly abstract object identity information in human parietal cortex. Specifically, in superior intraparietal sulcus (IPS), a region previously shown to track visual short-term memory capacity, we found object identity representations for famous faces varying freely in viewpoint, hairstyle, facial expression, and age; and for well known cars embedded in different scenes, and shown from different viewpoints and sizes. Critically, these parietal identity representations were behaviorally relevant as they closely tracked the perceived face-identity similarity obtained in a behavioral task. Meanwhile, the task-activated regions in prefrontal and parietal cortices (excluding superior IPS) did not exhibit such abstract object identity representations. Unlike previous studies, we also failed to observe identity representations in posterior ventral and lateral visual object-processing regions, likely due to the greater amount of identity abstraction demanded by our stimulus manipulation here. Our MRI slice coverage precluded us from examining identity representation in anterior temporal lobe, a likely region for the computing of identity information in the ventral region. Overall, we show that human parietal cortex, part of the dorsal visual processing pathway, is capable of holding abstract and complex visual representations that are behaviorally relevant. These results argue against a “content-poor” view of the role of parietal cortex in attention. Instead, the human parietal cortex seems to be “content rich” and capable of directly participating in goal-driven visual information representation in the brain. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The representation of object identity (including faces) is fundamental to human vision and shapes how we interact with the world. Although object representation has traditionally been

  13. The representation of the ipsilateral visual field in human cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tootell, Roger B. H.; Mendola, Janine D.; Hadjikhani, Nouchine K.; Liu, Arthur K.; Dale, Anders M.

    1998-01-01

    Previous studies of cortical retinotopy focused on influences from the contralateral visual field, because ascending inputs to cortex are known to be crossed. Here, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to demonstrate and analyze an ipsilateral representation in human visual cortex. Moving stimuli, in a range of ipsilateral visual field locations, revealed activity: (i) along the vertical meridian in retinotopic (presumably lower-tier) areas; and (ii) in two large branches anterior to that, in presumptive higher-tier areas. One branch shares the anterior vertical meridian representation in human V3A, extending superiorly toward parietal cortex. The second branch runs antero-posteriorly along lateral visual cortex, overlying motion-selective area MT. Ipsilateral stimuli sparing the region around the vertical meridian representation also produced signal reductions (perhaps reflecting neural inhibition) in areas showing contralaterally driven retinotopy. Systematic sampling across a range of ipsilateral visual field extents revealed significant increases in ipsilateral activation in V3A and V4v, compared with immediately posterior areas V3 and VP. Finally, comparisons between ipsilateral stimuli of different types but equal retinotopic extent showed clear stimulus specificity, consistent with earlier suggestions of a functional segregation of motion vs. form processing in parietal vs. temporal cortex, respectively. PMID:9448246

  14. Hearing suppression induced by electrical stimulation of human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Fenoy, Albert J; Severson, Meryl A; Volkov, Igor O; Brugge, John F; Howard, Matthew A

    2006-11-01

    In the course of performing electrical stimulation functional mapping (ESFM) in neurosurgery patients, we identified three subjects who experienced hearing suppression during stimulation of sites within the superior temporal gyrus (STG). One of these patients had long standing tinnitus that affected both ears. In all subjects, auditory event related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from chronically implanted intracranial electrodes and the results were used to localize auditory cortical fields within the STG. Hearing suppression sites were identified within anterior lateral Heschl's gyrus (HG) and posterior lateral STG, in what may be auditory belt and parabelt fields. Cortical stimulation suppressed hearing in both ears, which persisted beyond the period of electrical stimulation. Subjects experienced other stimulation-evoked perceptions at some of these same sites, including symptoms of vestibular activation and alteration of audio-visual speech processing. In contrast, stimulation of presumed core auditory cortex within posterior medial HG evoked sound perceptions, or in one case an increase in tinnitus intensity, that affected the contralateral ear and did not persist beyond the period of stimulation. The current results confirm a rarely reported experimental observation, and correlate the cortical sites associated with hearing suppression with physiologically identified auditory cortical fields. PMID:16979144

  15. Stimulus dependence of contralateral dominance in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Gutschalk, Alexander; Steinmann, Iris

    2015-03-01

    The auditory system is often considered to show little contralateral dominance but physiological reports on the contralateral dominance of activity evoked by monaural sound vary widely. Here, we show that part of this variation is stimulus-dependent: blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) responses to 32 s of monaurally presented unmodulated noise (UN) showed activation in contralateral auditory cortex (AC) and deactivation in ipsilateral AC compared to nonstimulus baseline. Slow amplitude-modulated (AM) noise evoked strong contralateral activation and minimal ipsilateral activation. The contrast of AM-versus-UN was used to separate fMRI activity related to the slow amplitude modulation per se. This difference activation was bilateral although still stronger in contralateral AC. In magnetoencephalography (MEG), the response was dominated by the steady-state activity phase locked to the amplitude modulation. This MEG activity showed no consistent contralateral dominance across listeners. Subcortical BOLD activation was strongly contralateral subsequent to the superior olivary complex (SOC) and showed no significant difference between modulated and UN. An acallosal participant showed similar fMRI activation as the group, ruling transcallosal transmission an unlikely source of ipsilateral enhancement or ipsilateral deactivation. These results suggest that ascending activity subsequent to the SOC is strongly dominant contralateral to the stimulus ear. In contrast, the part of BOLD and MEG activity related to slow amplitude modulation is more bilateral and only observed in AC. Ipsilateral deactivation can potentially bias measures of contralateral BOLD dominance and should be considered in future studies.

  16. Positive and negative reinforcement activate human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Weis, Tina; Puschmann, Sebastian; Brechmann, André; Thiel, Christiane M

    2013-01-01

    Prior studies suggest that reward modulates neural activity in sensory cortices, but less is known about punishment. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging and an auditory discrimination task, where participants had to judge the duration of frequency modulated tones. In one session correct performance resulted in financial gains at the end of the trial, in a second session incorrect performance resulted in financial loss. Incorrect performance in the rewarded as well as correct performance in the punishment condition resulted in a neutral outcome. The size of gains and losses was either low or high (10 or 50 Euro cent) depending on the direction of frequency modulation. We analyzed neural activity at the end of the trial, during reinforcement, and found increased neural activity in auditory cortex when gaining a financial reward as compared to gaining no reward and when avoiding financial loss as compared to receiving a financial loss. This was independent on the size of gains and losses. A similar pattern of neural activity for both gaining a reward and avoiding a loss was also seen in right middle temporal gyrus, bilateral insula and pre-supplemental motor area, here however neural activity was lower after correct responses compared to incorrect responses. To summarize, this study shows that the activation of sensory cortices, as previously shown for gaining a reward is also seen during avoiding a loss.

  17. Flexible neural mechanisms of cognitive control within human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Braver, Todd S; Paxton, Jessica L; Locke, Hannah S; Barch, Deanna M

    2009-05-01

    A major challenge in research on executive control is to reveal its functional decomposition into underlying neural mechanisms. A typical assumption is that this decomposition occurs solely through anatomically based dissociations. Here we tested an alternative hypothesis that different cognitive control processes may be implemented within the same brain regions, with fractionation and dissociation occurring on the basis of temporal dynamics. Regions within lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) were examined that, in a prior study, exhibited contrasting temporal dynamics between older and younger adults during performance of the AX-CPT cognitive control task. The temporal dynamics in younger adults fit a proactive control pattern (primarily cue-based activation), whereas in older adults a reactive control pattern was found (primarily probe-based activation). In the current study, we found that following a period of task-strategy training, these older adults exhibited a proactive shift within a subset of the PFC regions, normalizing their activity dynamics toward young adult patterns. Conversely, under conditions of penalty-based monetary incentives, the younger adults exhibited a reactive shift some of the same regions, altering their temporal dynamics toward the older adult baseline pattern. These experimentally induced crossover patterns of temporal dynamics provide strong support for dual modes of cognitive control that can be flexibly shifted within PFC regions, via modulation of neural responses to changing task conditions or behavioral goals. PMID:19380750

  18. Evaluation of the synuclein-γ (SNCG) gene as a PPARγ target in murine adipocytes, dorsal root ganglia somatosensory neurons, and human adipose tissue.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Tamara N; Akiyama, Tasuku; Lee, Hyun Woo; Kim, Jae Bum; Knotts, Trina A; Smith, Steven R; Sears, Dorothy D; Carstens, Earl; Adams, Sean H

    2015-01-01

    Recent evidence in adipocytes points to a role for synuclein-γ in metabolism and lipid droplet dynamics, but interestingly this factor is also robustly expressed in peripheral neurons. Specific regulation of the synuclein-γ gene (Sncg) by PPARγ requires further evaluation, especially in peripheral neurons, prompting us to test if Sncg is a bona fide PPARγ target in murine adipocytes and peripheral somatosensory neurons derived from the dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Sncg mRNA was decreased in 3T3-L1 adipocytes (~68%) by rosiglitazone, and this effect was diminished by the PPARγ antagonist T0070907. Chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments confirmed PPARγ protein binding at two promoter sequences of Sncg during 3T3-L1 adipogenesis. Rosiglitazone did not affect Sncg mRNA expression in murine cultured DRG neurons. In subcutaneous human WAT samples from two cohorts treated with pioglitazone (>11 wks), SNCG mRNA expression was reduced, albeit highly variable and most evident in type 2 diabetes. Leptin (Lep) expression, thought to be coordinately-regulated with Sncg based on correlations in human adipose tissue, was also reduced in 3T3-L1 adipocytes by rosiglitazone. However, Lep was unaffected by PPARγ antagonist, and the LXR agonist T0901317 significantly reduced Lep expression (~64%) while not impacting Sncg. The results support the concept that synuclein-γ shares some, but not all, gene regulators with leptin and is a PPARγ target in adipocytes but not DRG neurons. Regulation of synuclein-γ by cues such as PPARγ agonism in adipocytes is logical based on recent evidence for an important role for synuclein-γ in the maintenance and dynamics of adipocyte lipid droplets. PMID:25756178

  19. Understanding the Dorsal and Ventral Systems of the Human Cerebral Cortex: Beyond Dichotomies

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Borst, Gregoire; Thompson, William L.; Kosslyn, Stephen M.

    2011-01-01

    Traditionally, characterizations of the macrolevel functional organization of the human cerebral cortex have focused on the left and right cerebral hemispheres. However, the idea of left brain versus right brain functions has been shown to be an oversimplification. We argue here that a top-bottom divide, rather than a left-right divide, is a more…

  20. Development of the Human Cortex and the Concept of "Critical" or "Sensitive" Periods

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Uylings, H. B. M.

    2006-01-01

    This review describes the prenatal and postnatal development of the human cortex. Neurogenesis, neuronal migration, dendrite maturation, synaptogenesis, and white matter development are discussed. In addition, the concept of "critical" or "sensitive" periods is discussed as well as genetic and environmental influences (Nature-Nurture). The effects…

  1. Representation of the Speech Effectors in the Human Motor Cortex: Somatotopy or Overlap?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Takai, Osamu; Brown, Steven; Liotti, Mario

    2010-01-01

    Somatotopy within the orofacial region of the human motor cortex has been a central concept in interpreting the results of neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation studies of normal and disordered speech. Yet, somatotopy has been challenged by studies showing overlap among the effectors within the homunculus. In order to address this…

  2. Changes in somatosensory-evoked potentials and high-frequency oscillations after paired-associative stimulation.

    PubMed

    Murakami, Takenobu; Sakuma, Kenji; Nomura, Takashi; Uemura, Yusuke; Hashimoto, Isao; Nakashima, Kenji

    2008-01-01

    Paired-associative stimulation (PAS), combining electrical median nerve stimulation with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with a variable delay, causes long-term potentiation or depression (LTP/LTD)-like cortical plasticity. In the present study, we examined how PAS over the motor cortex affected a distant site, the somatosensory cortex. Furthermore, the influences of PAS on high-frequency oscillations (HFOs) were investigated to clarify the origin of HFOs. Interstimulus intervals between median nerve stimulation and TMS were 25 ms (PAS(25)) and 10 ms (PAS(10)). PAS was performed over the motor and somatosensory cortices. SEPs following median nerve stimulation were recorded before and after PAS. HFOs were isolated by 400-800 Hz band-pass filtering. PAS(25) over the motor cortex increased the N20-P25 and P25-N33 amplitudes and the HFOs significantly. The enhancement of the P25-N33 amplitude and the late HFOs lasted more than 60 min. After PAS(10) over the motor cortex, the N20-P25 and P25-N33 amplitudes decreased for 40 min, and the HFOs decreased for 60 min. Frontal SEPs were not affected after PAS over the motor cortex. PAS(25/10) over the somatosensory cortex did not affect SEPs and HFOs. PAS(25/10) over the motor cortex caused the LTP/LTD-like phenomena in a distant site, the somatosensory cortex. The PAS paradigms over the motor cortex can modify both the neural generators of SEPs and HFOs. HFOs may reflect the activation of GABAergic inhibitory interneurons regulating pyramidal neurons in the somatosensory cortex. PMID:17724581

  3. Voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping of stroke lesions underlying somatosensory deficits

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Sarah; Kessner, Simon S.; Cheng, Bastian; Bönstrup, Marlene; Schulz, Robert; Hummel, Friedhelm C.; De Bruyn, Nele; Peeters, Andre; Van Pesch, Vincent; Duprez, Thierry; Sunaert, Stefan; Schrooten, Maarten; Feys, Hilde; Gerloff, Christian; Thomalla, Götz; Thijs, Vincent; Verheyden, Geert

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between stroke lesion location and the resulting somatosensory deficit. We studied exteroceptive and proprioceptive somatosensory symptoms and stroke lesions in 38 patients with first-ever acute stroke. The Erasmus modified Nottingham Sensory Assessment was used to clinically evaluate somatosensory functioning in the arm and hand within the first week after stroke onset. Additionally, more objective measures such as the perceptual threshold of touch and somatosensory evoked potentials were recorded. Non-parametric voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping was performed to investigate lesion contribution to different somatosensory deficits in the upper limb. Additionally, structural connectivity of brain areas that demonstrated the strongest association with somatosensory symptoms was determined, using probabilistic fiber tracking based on diffusion tensor imaging data from a healthy age-matched sample. Voxels with a significant association to somatosensory deficits were clustered in two core brain regions: the central parietal white matter, also referred to as the sensory component of the superior thalamic radiation, and the parietal operculum close to the insular cortex, representing the secondary somatosensory cortex. Our objective recordings confirmed findings from clinical assessments. Probabilistic tracking connected the first region to thalamus, internal capsule, brain stem, postcentral gyrus, cerebellum, and frontal pathways, while the second region demonstrated structural connections to thalamus, insular and primary somatosensory cortex. This study reveals that stroke lesions in the sensory fibers of the superior thalamocortical radiation and the parietal operculum are significantly associated with multiple exteroceptive and proprioceptive deficits in the arm and hand. PMID:26900565

  4. fMRI investigation of unexpected somatosensory feedback perturbation during speech

    PubMed Central

    Golfinopoulos, Elisa; Tourville, Jason A.; Bohland, Jason W.; Ghosh, Satrajit S.; Nieto-Castanon, Alfonso; Guenther, Frank H.

    2011-01-01

    Somatosensory feedback plays a critical role in the coordination of articulator movements for speech production. In response to unexpected resistance to lip or jaw movements during speech, fluent speakers can use the difference between the somatosensory expectations of a speech sound and the actual somatosensory feedback to adjust the trajectories of functionally relevant but unimpeded articulators. In an effort to investigate the neural substrates underlying the somatosensory feedback control of speech, we used an event-related sparse sampling functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm and a novel pneumatic device that unpredictably blocked subjects’ jaw movements. In comparison to speech, perturbed speech, in which jaw perturbation prompted the generation of compensatory speech motor commands, demonstrated increased effects in bilateral ventral motor cortex, right-lateralized anterior supramarginal gyrus, inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis and ventral premotor cortex, and bilateral inferior posterior cerebellum (lobule VIII). Structural equation modeling revealed a significant increased influence from left anterior supramarginal gyrus to right anterior supramarginal gyrus and from left anterior supramarginal gyrus to right ventral premotor cortex as well as a significant increased reciprocal influence between right ventral premotor cortex and right ventral motor cortex and right anterior supramarginal gyrus and right inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis for perturbed speech relative to speech. These results suggest that bilateral anterior supramarginal gyrus, right inferior frontal gyrus pars triangularis, right ventral premotor and motor cortices are functionally coupled and influence speech motor output when somatosensory feedback is unexpectedly perturbed during speech production. PMID:21195191

  5. Lactate rise detected by sup 1 H NMR in human visual cortex during physiologic stimulation

    SciTech Connect

    Prichard, J.; Rothman, D.; Novotny, E.; Petroff, O.; Kuwabara, Takeo; Avison, M.; Howseman, A.; Shulman, R. ); Hanstock, C. )

    1991-07-01

    Brain lactate concentration is usually assumed to be stable except when pathologic conditions cause a mismatch between glycolysis and respiration. Using newly developed {sup 1}H NMR spectroscopic techniques that allow measurement of lactate in vivo, the authors detected lactate elevations of 0.3-0.9 mM in human visual cortex during physiologic photic stimulation. The maximum rise appeared in the first few minutes; thereafter lactate concentration declined while stimulation continued. The results are consistent with a transient excess of glycolysis over respiration in the visual cortex, occurring as a normal response to stimulation in the physiologic range.

  6. Von Economo neurons are present in the dorsolateral (dysgranular) prefrontal cortex of humans.

    PubMed

    Fajardo, C; Escobar, M I; Buriticá, E; Arteaga, G; Umbarila, J; Casanova, M F; Pimienta, H

    2008-04-25

    Von Economo neurons (VENs), also known as spindle cells, have been described in layer V of the anterior cingulate (BA 24) and frontoinsular cortex (FI) of humans and other great apes. In the present study we used immunohistochemistry against two specific neuronal markers (NeuN and MAP2) in order to establish the presence of these cell types in Brodmann area 9 (BA 9) of the human prefrontal cortex. We evaluated tissue samples of eight human postmortem brains (age range 26-50) from BAs 9, 24, 4, 46, 45, 10 and 17. We identified a group of cells with similar morphology to that previously described for VENs in all specimens of BA 9 examined, albeit less frequently than in BA 24. This is the first description of this cell type in a human brain area with well developed granular layers (BA 9).

  7. Neural mechanisms of economic commitment in the human medial prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Tsetsos, Konstantinos; Wyart, Valentin; Shorkey, S Paul; Summerfield, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Neurobiologists have studied decisions by offering successive, independent choices between goods or gambles. However, choices often have lasting consequences, as when investing in a house or choosing a partner. Here, humans decided whether to commit (by acceptance or rejection) to prospects that provided sustained financial return. BOLD signals in the rostral medial prefrontal cortex (rmPFC) encoded stimulus value only when acceptance or rejection was deferred into the future, suggesting a role in integrating value signals over time. By contrast, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) encoded stimulus value only when participants rejected (or deferred accepting) a prospect. dACC BOLD signals reflected two decision biases-to defer commitments to later, and to weight potential losses more heavily than gains-that (paradoxically) maximised reward in this task. These findings offer fresh insights into the pressures that shape economic decisions, and the computation of value in the medial prefrontal cortex. PMID:25333687

  8. Frequency preference and attention effects across cortical depths in the human primary auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    De Martino, Federico; Moerel, Michelle; Ugurbil, Kamil; Goebel, Rainer; Yacoub, Essa; Formisano, Elia

    2015-01-01

    Columnar arrangements of neurons with similar preference have been suggested as the fundamental processing units of the cerebral cortex. Within these columnar arrangements, feed-forward information enters at middle cortical layers whereas feedback information arrives at superficial and deep layers. This interplay of feed-forward and feedback processing is at the core of perception and behavior. Here we provide in vivo evidence consistent with a columnar organization of the processing of sound frequency in the human auditory cortex. We measure submillimeter functional responses to sound frequency sweeps at high magnetic fields (7 tesla) and show that frequency preference is stable through cortical depth in primary auditory cortex. Furthermore, we demonstrate that—in this highly columnar cortex—task demands sharpen the frequency tuning in superficial cortical layers more than in middle or deep layers. These findings are pivotal to understanding mechanisms of neural information processing and flow during the active perception of sounds. PMID:26668397

  9. Magnetic Field Homogenization of the Human Prefrontal Cortex with a Set of Localized Electrical Coils

    PubMed Central

    Juchem, Christoph; Nixon, Terence W.; McIntyre, Scott; Rothman, Douglas L.; de Graaf, Robin A.

    2011-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex is a common target brain structure in psychiatry and neuroscience due to its role in working memory and cognitive control. Large differences in magnetic susceptibility between the air-filled sinuses and the tissue/bone in the frontal part of the human head cause a strong and highly localized magnetic field focus in the prefrontal cortex. As a result, image distortion and signal dropout are observed in MR imaging. A set of external, electrical coils is presented that provides localized and high amplitude shim fields in the prefrontal cortex with minimum impact on the rest of the brain when combined with regular zero-to-second order spherical harmonics shimming. The experimental realization of the new shim method strongly minimized or even eliminated signal dropout in gradient-echo images acquired at settings typically used in functional magnetic resonance at 4 Tesla. PMID:19918909

  10. The role of the human orbitofrontal cortex in taste and flavor processing.

    PubMed

    Small, Dana M; Bender, Genevieve; Veldhuizen, Maria G; Rudenga, Kristin; Nachtigal, Danielle; Felsted, Jennifer

    2007-12-01

    The human orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) plays an important role in representing taste, flavor, and food reward. The primary role of the OFC in taste is thought to be the encoding of affective value and the computation of perceived pleasantness. The OFC also encodes retronasal olfaction and oral somatosensation. During eating, distinct sensory inputs fuse into a unitary flavor percept, and there is evidence that this percept is encoded in the orbital cortex. Studies examining the effect of internal state on neural representation of food and drink further suggest that processing in the OFC is critical for representing the reward value of foods. Thus, it is likely that, in addition to serving as higher-order gustatory cortex, the OFC integrates multiple sensory inputs and computes reward value to guide feeding behavior. PMID:17846155

  11. Identity-specific coding of future rewards in the human orbitofrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Howard, James D.; Gottfried, Jay A.; Tobler, Philippe N.

    2015-01-01

    Nervous systems must encode information about the identity of expected outcomes to make adaptive decisions. However, the neural mechanisms underlying identity-specific value signaling remain poorly understood. By manipulating the value and identity of appetizing food odors in a pattern-based imaging paradigm of human classical conditioning, we were able to identify dissociable predictive representations of identity-specific reward in orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and identity-general reward in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). Reward-related functional coupling between OFC and olfactory (piriform) cortex and between vmPFC and amygdala revealed parallel pathways that support identity-specific and -general predictive signaling. The demonstration of identity-specific value representations in OFC highlights a role for this region in model-based behavior and reveals mechanisms by which appetitive behavior can go awry. PMID:25848032

  12. Training improves multitasking performance by increasing the speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Dux, Paul E; Tombu, Michael N; Harrison, Stephenie; Rogers, Baxter P; Tong, Frank; Marois, René

    2009-07-16

    Our ability to multitask is severely limited: task performance deteriorates when we attempt to undertake two or more tasks simultaneously. Remarkably, extensive training can greatly reduce such multitasking costs. While it is not known how training alters the brain to solve the multitasking problem, it likely involves the prefrontal cortex given this brain region's purported role in limiting multitasking performance. Here, we show that the reduction of multitasking interference with training is not achieved by diverting the flow of information processing away from the prefrontal cortex or by segregating prefrontal cells into independent task-specific neuronal ensembles, but rather by increasing the speed of information processing in this brain region, thereby allowing multiple tasks to be processed in rapid succession. These results not only reveal how training leads to efficient multitasking, they also provide a mechanistic account of multitasking limitations, namely the poor speed of information processing in human prefrontal cortex.

  13. Effective Connectivity within Human Primary Visual Cortex Predicts Interindividual Diversity in Illusory Perception

    PubMed Central

    Schwarzkopf, D. Samuel; Lutti, Antoine; Li, Baojuan; Kanai, Ryota; Rees, Geraint

    2013-01-01

    Visual perception depends strongly on spatial context. A classic example is the tilt illusion where the perceived orientation of a central stimulus differs from its physical orientation when surrounded by tilted spatial contexts. Here we show that such contextual modulation of orientation perception exhibits trait-like interindividual diversity that correlates with interindividual differences in effective connectivity within human primary visual cortex. We found that the degree to which spatial contexts induced illusory orientation perception, namely, the magnitude of the tilt illusion, varied across healthy human adults in a trait-like fashion independent of stimulus size or contrast. Parallel to contextual modulation of orientation perception, the presence of spatial contexts affected effective connectivity within human primary visual cortex between peripheral and foveal representations that responded to spatial context and central stimulus, respectively. Importantly, this effective connectivity from peripheral to foveal primary visual cortex correlated with interindividual differences in the magnitude of the tilt illusion. Moreover, this correlation with illusion perception was observed for effective connectivity under tilted contextual stimulation but not for that under iso-oriented contextual stimulation, suggesting that it reflected the impact of orientation-dependent intra-areal connections. Our findings revealed an interindividual correlation between intra-areal connectivity within primary visual cortex and contextual influence on orientation perception. This neurophysiological-perceptual link provides empirical evidence for theoretical proposals that intra-areal connections in early visual cortices are involved in contextual modulation of visual perception. PMID:24285885

  14. Invariance of Firing Rate and Field Potential Dynamics to Stimulus Modulation Rate in Human Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Mukamel, Roy; Nir, Yuval; Harel, Michal; Arieli, Amos; Malach, Rafael; Fried, Itzhak

    2011-01-01

    The effect of stimulus modulation rate on the underlying neural activity in human auditory cortex is not clear. Human studies (using both invasive and noninvasive techniques) have demonstrated that at the population level, auditory cortex follows stimulus envelope. Here we examined the effect of stimulus modulation rate by using a rare opportunity to record both spiking activity and local field potentials (LFP) in auditory cortex of patients during repeated presentations of an audio-visual movie clip presented at normal, double, and quadruple speeds. Mean firing rate during evoked activity remained the same across speeds and the temporal response profile of firing rate modulations at increased stimulus speeds was a linearly scaled version of the response during slower speeds. Additionally, stimulus induced power modulation of local field potentials in the high gamma band (64–128 Hz) exhibited similar temporal scaling as the neuronal firing rate modulations. Our data confirm and extend previous studies in humans and anesthetized animals, supporting a model in which both firing rate, and high-gamma LFP power modulations in auditory cortex follow the temporal envelope of the stimulus across different modulation rates. PMID:20665720

  15. Neural Consequences of Increasing Body Weight: Evidence from Somatosensory Evoked Potentials and the Frequency-Specificity of Brain Oscillations

    PubMed Central

    Lhomond, Olivia; Teasdale, Normand; Simoneau, Martin; Mouchnino, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on the control of human balance suggested that increased pressure under the feet, leading to reduced plantar sole mechanoreceptors sensitivity, increases body sway. Although this suggestion is attracting, it is unclear whether increased plantar sole pressure simply reduces the transmission of plantar sole afferent to the cortex or also alters the sensorimotor integrative mechanisms. Here we used electrical stimulation applied under the sole of the foot to probe the sensorimotor mechanisms processing foot mechanoreceptors. Balance control of healthy individuals was assessed either when wearing a loaded vest or in normal-weight condition. In the Loaded condition, we observed decreased cortical activity over the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) for both an early P50-N90 somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) and for oscillatory brain activity within the gamma band (30–80 Hz). These reductions were interpreted as a disrupted early sensory transmission (i.e., decreased early SEP) leading to a decreased perception of plantar sole sensory information (i.e., decreased gamma band power). These early sensory mechanisms for the Loaded condition were associated with an increase in the late P170-N210 SEP and oscillatory brain activity within the beta band (19–24 Hz). These neural signatures involved areas which are engaged in sensorimotor integrative processes (secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) and right temporoparietal junction). Altered early and late sensory processes may result from the increase pressure on the mechanoreceptors of the foot sole and not from postural instability per se. Indeed, postural instability with normal weight condition did not lead to SEP changes. PMID:27445758

  16. Neural Consequences of Increasing Body Weight: Evidence from Somatosensory Evoked Potentials and the Frequency-Specificity of Brain Oscillations.

    PubMed

    Lhomond, Olivia; Teasdale, Normand; Simoneau, Martin; Mouchnino, Laurence

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies on the control of human balance suggested that increased pressure under the feet, leading to reduced plantar sole mechanoreceptors sensitivity, increases body sway. Although this suggestion is attracting, it is unclear whether increased plantar sole pressure simply reduces the transmission of plantar sole afferent to the cortex or also alters the sensorimotor integrative mechanisms. Here we used electrical stimulation applied under the sole of the foot to probe the sensorimotor mechanisms processing foot mechanoreceptors. Balance control of healthy individuals was assessed either when wearing a loaded vest or in normal-weight condition. In the Loaded condition, we observed decreased cortical activity over the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) for both an early P50-N90 somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) and for oscillatory brain activity within the gamma band (30-80 Hz). These reductions were interpreted as a disrupted early sensory transmission (i.e., decreased early SEP) leading to a decreased perception of plantar sole sensory information (i.e., decreased gamma band power). These early sensory mechanisms for the Loaded condition were associated with an increase in the late P170-N210 SEP and oscillatory brain activity within the beta band (19-24 Hz). These neural signatures involved areas which are engaged in sensorimotor integrative processes (secondary somatosensory cortex (SII) and right temporoparietal junction). Altered early and late sensory processes may result from the increase pressure on the mechanoreceptors of the foot sole and not from postural instability per se. Indeed, postural instability with normal weight condition did not lead to SEP changes. PMID:27445758

  17. GABAA receptor subunit gene expression in human prefrontal cortex: comparison of schizophrenics and controls

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Akbarian, S.; Huntsman, M. M.; Kim, J. J.; Tafazzoli, A.; Potkin, S. G.; Bunney, W. E. Jr; Jones, E. G.; Bloom, F. E. (Principal Investigator)

    1995-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics is hypoactive and displays changes related to inhibitory, GABAergic neurons, and GABAergic synapses. These changes include decreased levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), the enzyme for GABA synthesis, upregulation of muscimol binding, and downregulation of benzodiazepine binding to GABAA receptors. Studies in the visual cortex of nonhuman primates have demonstrated that gene expression for GAD and for several GABAA receptor subunit polypeptides is under control of neuronal activity, raising the possibility that similar mechanisms in the hypoactive prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics may explain the abnormalities in GAD and in GABAA receptor regulation. In the present study, which is the first of its type on human cerebral cortex, levels of mRNAs for six GABAA receptor subunits (alpha 1, alpha 2, alpha 5, beta 1, beta 2, gamma 2) and their laminar expression patterns were analyzed in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics and matched controls, using in situ hybridization histochemistry and densitometry. Three types of laminar expression pattern were observed: mRNAs for the alpha 1, beta 2, and gamma 2 subunits, which are the predominant receptor subunits expressed in the mature cortex, were expressed at comparatively high levels by cells of all six cortical layers, but most intensely by cells in lower layer III and layer IV. mRNAs for the alpha 2, alpha 5, and beta 1 subunits were expressed at lower levels; alpha 2 and beta 1 were expressed predominantly by cells in layers II, III, and IV; alpha 5 was expressed predominantly in layers IV, V, and VI. There were no significant changes in overall mRNA levels for any of the receptor subunits in the prefrontal cortex of schizophrenics, and the laminar expression pattern of all six receptor subunit mRNAs did not differ between schizophrenics and controls. Because gene expression for GABAA receptor subunits is not consistently altered in the prefrontal cortex of

  18. Coupling Between Neuronal Firing, Field Potentials, and fMRI in Human Auditory Cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mukamel, Roy; Gelbard, Hagar; Arieli, Amos; Hasson, Uri; Fried, Itzhak; Malach, Rafael

    2005-08-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is an important tool for investigating human brain function, but the relationship between the hemodynamically based fMRI signals in the human brain and the underlying neuronal activity is unclear. We recorded single unit activity and local field potentials in auditory cortex of two neurosurgical patients and compared them with the fMRI signals of 11 healthy subjects during presentation of an identical movie segment. The predicted fMRI signals derived from single units and the measured fMRI signals from auditory cortex showed a highly significant correlation (r = 0.75, P < 10-47). Thus, fMRI signals can provide a reliable measure of the firing rate of human cortical neurons.

  19. Functional organization of human intraparietal and frontal cortex for attending, looking, and pointing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Astafiev, Serguei V.; Shulman, Gordon L.; Stanley, Christine M.; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Van Essen, David C.; Corbetta, Maurizio

    2003-01-01

    We studied the functional organization of human posterior parietal and frontal cortex using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map preparatory signals for attending, looking, and pointing to a peripheral visual location. The human frontal eye field and two separate regions in the intraparietal sulcus were similarly recruited in all conditions, suggesting an attentional role that generalizes across response effectors. However, the preparation of a pointing movement selectively activated a different group of regions, suggesting a stronger role in motor planning. These regions were lateralized to the left hemisphere, activated by preparation of movements of either hand, and included the inferior and superior parietal lobule, precuneus, and posterior superior temporal sulcus, plus the dorsal premotor and anterior cingulate cortex anteriorly. Surface-based registration of macaque cortical areas onto the map of fMRI responses suggests a relatively good spatial correspondence between human and macaque parietal areas. In contrast, large interspecies differences were noted in the topography of frontal areas.

  20. Observational learning computations in neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Michael R.; Boorman, Erie D.; Fried, Itzhak

    2016-01-01

    When learning from direct experience, neurons in the primate brain have been shown to encode a teaching signal used by algorithms in artificial intelligence: the reward prediction error (PE)—the difference between how rewarding an event is, and how rewarding it was expected to be. However, in humans and other species learning often takes place by observing other individuals. Here, we show that, when humans observe other players in a card game, neurons in their rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) encode both the expected value of an observed choice, and the PE after the outcome was revealed. Notably, during the same task neurons recorded in the amygdala (AMY) and the rostromedial prefrontal cortex (rmPFC) do not exhibit this type of encoding. Our results suggest that humans learn by observing others, at least in part through the encoding of observational PEs in single neurons in the rACC. PMID:27598687

  1. Observational learning computations in neurons of the human anterior cingulate cortex.

    PubMed

    Hill, Michael R; Boorman, Erie D; Fried, Itzhak

    2016-01-01

    When learning from direct experience, neurons in the primate brain have been shown to encode a teaching signal used by algorithms in artificial intelligence: the reward prediction error (PE)-the difference between how rewarding an event is, and how rewarding it was expected to be. However, in humans and other species learning often takes place by observing other individuals. Here, we show that, when humans observe other players in a card game, neurons in their rostral anterior cingulate cortex (rACC) encode both the expected value of an observed choice, and the PE after the outcome was revealed. Notably, during the same task neurons recorded in the amygdala (AMY) and the rostromedial prefrontal cortex (rmPFC) do not exhibit this type of encoding. Our results suggest that humans learn by observing others, at least in part through the encoding of observational PEs in single neurons in the rACC. PMID:27598687

  2. Structural and functional analyses of human cerebral cortex using a surface-based atlas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Van Essen, D. C.; Drury, H. A.

    1997-01-01

    We have analyzed the geometry, geography, and functional organization of human cerebral cortex using surface reconstructions and cortical flat maps of the left and right hemispheres generated from a digital atlas (the Visible Man). The total surface area of the reconstructed Visible Man neocortex is 1570 cm2 (both hemispheres), approximately 70% of which is buried in sulci. By linking the Visible Man cerebrum to the Talairach stereotaxic coordinate space, the locations of activation foci reported in neuroimaging studies can be readily visualized in relation to the cortical surface. The associated spatial uncertainty was empirically shown to have a radius in three dimensions of approximately 10 mm. Application of this approach to studies of visual cortex reveals the overall patterns of activation associated with different aspects of visual function and the relationship of these patterns to topographically organized visual areas. Our analysis supports a distinction between an anterior region in ventral occipito-temporal cortex that is selectively involved in form processing and a more posterior region (in or near areas VP and V4v) involved in both form and color processing. Foci associated with motion processing are mainly concentrated in a region along the occipito-temporal junction, the ventral portion of which overlaps with foci also implicated in form processing. Comparisons between flat maps of human and macaque monkey cerebral cortex indicate significant differences as well as many similarities in the relative sizes and positions of cortical regions known or suspected to be homologous in the two species.

  3. Mechanisms of migraine aura revealed by functional MRI in human visual cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hadjikhani, Nouchine; Sanchez del Rio, Margarita; Wu, Ona; Schwartz, Denis; Bakker, Dick; Fischl, Bruce; Kwong, Kenneth K.; Cutrer, F. Michael; Rosen, Bruce R.; Tootell, Roger B. H.; Sorensen, A. Gregory; Moskowitz, Michael A.

    2001-01-01

    Cortical spreading depression (CSD) has been suggested to underlie migraine visual aura. However, it has been challenging to test this hypothesis in human cerebral cortex. Using high-field functional MRI with near-continuous recording during visual aura in three subjects, we observed blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal changes that demonstrated at least eight characteristics of CSD, time-locked to percept/onset of the aura. Initially, a focal increase in BOLD signal (possibly reflecting vasodilation), developed within extrastriate cortex (area V3A). This BOLD change progressed contiguously and slowly (3.5 ± 1.1 mm/min) over occipital cortex, congruent with the retinotopy of the visual percept. Following the same retinotopic progression, the BOLD signal then diminished (possibly reflecting vasoconstriction after the initial vasodilation), as did the BOLD response to visual activation. During periods with no visual stimulation, but while the subject was experiencing scintillations, BOLD signal followed the retinotopic progression of the visual percept. These data strongly suggest that an electrophysiological event such as CSD generates the aura in human visual cortex. PMID:11287655

  4. Tonotopic organization in human auditory cortex revealed by progressions of frequency sensitivity.

    PubMed

    Talavage, Thomas M; Sereno, Martin I; Melcher, Jennifer R; Ledden, Patrick J; Rosen, Bruce R; Dale, Anders M

    2004-03-01

    Functional neuroimaging experiments have revealed an organization of frequency-dependent responses in human auditory cortex suggestive of multiple tonotopically organized areas. Numerous studies have sampled cortical responses to isolated narrow-band stimuli, revealing multiple locations in auditory cortex at which the position of response varies systematically with frequency content. Because appropriate anatomical or functional grouping of these distinct frequency-dependent responses is uncertain, the number and location of tonotopic mappings within human auditory cortex remains unclear. Further, sampling does not address whether the observed mappings exhibit continuity as a function of position. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study used frequency-swept stimuli to identify progressions of frequency sensitivity across the cortical surface. The center-frequency of narrow-band, amplitude-modulated noise was slowly swept between 125 and 8,000 Hz. The latency of response relative to sweep onset was determined for each cortical surface location. Because frequency varied systematically with time, response latency indicated the frequency to which a location was maximally sensitive. Areas of cortex exhibiting a progressive change in response latency with position were considered tonotopically organized. There exist two main findings. First, six progressions of frequency sensitivity (i.e., tonotopic mappings) were repeatably observed in the superior temporal plane. Second, the locations of the higher- and lower-frequency endpoints of these progressions were approximately congruent with regions reported to be most responsive to discrete higher- and lower-frequency stimuli. Based on these findings and previous anatomical work, we propose a correspondence between these progressions and anatomically defined cortical areas, suggesting that five areas in human auditory cortex exhibit at least six tonotopic organizations.

  5. Connectivity-based parcellation of the human frontal polar cortex.

    PubMed

    Moayedi, Massieh; Salomons, Tim V; Dunlop, Katharine A M; Downar, Jonathan; Davis, Karen D

    2015-09-01

    The frontal pole corresponds to Brodmann area (BA) 10, the largest single architectonic area in the human frontal lobe. Generally, BA10 is thought to contain two or three subregions that subserve broad functions such as multitasking, social cognition, attention, and episodic memory. However, there is a substantial debate about the functional and structural heterogeneity of this large frontal region. Previous connectivity-based parcellation studies have identified two or three subregions in the human frontal pole. Here, we used diffusion tensor imaging to assess structural connectivity of BA10 in 35 healthy subjects and delineated subregions based on this connectivity. This allowed us to determine the correspondence of structurally based subregions with the scheme previously defined functionally. Three subregions could be defined in each subject. However, these three subregions were not spatially consistent between subjects. Therefore, we accepted a solution with two subregions that encompassed the lateral and medial frontal pole. We then examined resting-state functional connectivity of the two subregions and found significant differences between their connectivities. The medial cluster was connected to nodes of the default-mode network, which is implicated in internally focused, self-related thought, and social cognition. The lateral cluster was connected to nodes of the executive control network, associated with directed attention and working memory. These findings support the concept that there are two major anatomical subregions of the frontal pole related to differences in functional connectivity.

  6. Youth at risk for obesity show greater activation of striatal and somatosensory regions to food.

    PubMed

    Stice, Eric; Yokum, Sonja; Burger, Kyle S; Epstein, Leonard H; Small, Dana M

    2011-03-23

    Obese humans, compared with normal-weight humans, have less striatal D2 receptors and striatal response to food intake; weaker striatal response to food predicts weight gain for individuals at genetic risk for reduced dopamine (DA) signaling, consistent with the reward-deficit theory of obesity. Yet these may not be initial vulnerability factors, as overeating reduces D2 receptor density, D2 sensitivity, reward sensitivity, and striatal response to food. Obese humans also show greater striatal, amygdalar, orbitofrontal cortex, and somatosensory region response to food images than normal-weight humans do, which predicts weight gain for those not at genetic risk for compromised dopamine signaling, consonant with the reward-surfeit theory of obesity. However, after pairings of palatable food intake and predictive cues, DA signaling increases in response to the cues, implying that eating palatable food contributes to increased responsivity. Using fMRI, we tested whether normal-weight adolescents at high- versus low-risk for obesity showed aberrant activation of reward circuitry in response to receipt and anticipated receipt of palatable food and monetary reward. High-risk youth showed greater activation in the caudate, parietal operculum, and frontal operculum in response to food intake and in the caudate, putamen, insula, thalamus, and orbitofrontal cortex in response to monetary reward. No differences emerged in response to anticipated food or monetary reward. Data indicate that youth at risk for obesity show elevated reward circuitry responsivity in general, coupled with elevated somatosensory region responsivity to food, which may lead to overeating that produces blunted dopamine signaling and elevated responsivity to food cues.

  7. Youth at risk for obesity show greater activation of striatal and somatosensory regions to food.

    PubMed

    Stice, Eric; Yokum, Sonja; Burger, Kyle S; Epstein, Leonard H; Small, Dana M

    2011-03-23

    Obese humans, compared with normal-weight humans, have less striatal D2 receptors and striatal response to food intake; weaker striatal response to food predicts weight gain for individuals at genetic risk for reduced dopamine (DA) signaling, consistent with the reward-deficit theory of obesity. Yet these may not be initial vulnerability factors, as overeating reduces D2 receptor density, D2 sensitivity, reward sensitivity, and striatal response to food. Obese humans also show greater striatal, amygdalar, orbitofrontal cortex, and somatosensory region response to food images than normal-weight humans do, which predicts weight gain for those not at genetic risk for compromised dopamine signaling, consonant with the reward-surfeit theory of obesity. However, after pairings of palatable food intake and predictive cues, DA signaling increases in response to the cues, implying that eating palatable food contributes to increased responsivity. Using fMRI, we tested whether normal-weight adolescents at high- versus low-risk for obesity showed aberrant activation of reward circuitry in response to receipt and anticipated receipt of palatable food and monetary reward. High-risk youth showed greater activation in the caudate, parietal operculum, and frontal operculum in response to food intake and in the caudate, putamen, insula, thalamus, and orbitofrontal cortex in response to monetary reward. No differences emerged in response to anticipated food or monetary reward. Data indicate that youth at risk for obesity show elevated reward circuitry responsivity in general, coupled with elevated somatosensory region responsivity to food, which may lead to overeating that produces blunted dopamine signaling and elevated responsivity to food cues. PMID:21430137

  8. APP Metabolism Regulates Tau Proteostasis in Human Cerebral Cortex Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Moore, Steven; Evans, Lewis D.B.; Andersson, Therese; Portelius, Erik; Smith, James; Dias, Tatyana B.; Saurat, Nathalie; McGlade, Amelia; Kirwan, Peter; Blennow, Kaj; Hardy, John; Zetterberg, Henrik; Livesey, Frederick J.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Accumulation of Aβ peptide fragments of the APP protein and neurofibrillary tangles of the microtubule-associated protein tau are the cellular hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). To investigate the relationship between APP metabolism and tau protein levels and phosphorylation, we studied human-stem-cell-derived forebrain neurons with genetic forms of AD, all of which increase the release of pathogenic Aβ peptides. We identified marked increases in intracellular tau in genetic forms of AD that either mutated APP or increased its dosage, suggesting that APP metabolism is coupled to changes in tau proteostasis. Manipulating APP metabolism by β-secretase and γ-secretase inhibition, as well as γ-secretase modulation, results in specific increases and decreases in tau protein levels. These data demonstrate that APP metabolism regulates tau proteostasis and suggest that the relationship between APP processing and tau is not mediated solely through extracellular Aβ signaling to neurons. PMID:25921538

  9. The bilingual brain: flexibility and control in the human cortex.

    PubMed

    Buchweitz, Augusto; Prat, Chantel

    2013-12-01

    The goal of the present review is to discuss recent cognitive neuroscientific findings concerning bilingualism. Three interrelated questions about the bilingual brain are addressed: How are multiple languages represented in the brain? how are languages controlled in the brain? and what are the real-world implications of experience with multiple languages? The review is based on neuroimaging research findings about the nature of bilingual processing, namely, how the brain adapts to accommodate multiple languages in the bilingual brain and to control which language should be used, and when. We also address how this adaptation results in differences observed in the general cognition of bilingual individuals. General implications for models of human learning, plasticity, and cognitive control are discussed.

  10. The bilingual brain: Flexibility and control in the human cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buchweitz, Augusto; Prat, Chantel

    2013-12-01

    The goal of the present review is to discuss recent cognitive neuroscientific findings concerning bilingualism. Three interrelated questions about the bilingual brain are addressed: How are multiple languages represented in the brain? how are languages controlled in the brain? and what are the real-world implications of experience with multiple languages? The review is based on neuroimaging research findings about the nature of bilingual processing, namely, how the brain adapts to accommodate multiple languages in the bilingual brain and to control which language should be used, and when. We also address how this adaptation results in differences observed in the general cognition of bilingual individuals. General implications for models of human learning, plasticity, and cognitive control are discussed.

  11. An immunohistochemical localization of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in its amidated form in human frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Blinkenberg, M; Kruse-Larsen, C; Mikkelsen, J D

    1990-01-01

    The distribution of neuropeptide Y (NPY)-immunoreactive neurons was studied in human frontal cerebral cortex from surgical biopsy specimens by immunohistochemical techniques. NPY-containing neurons were identified in all cortical sublayers except sublayer I. The stained neurons were of the multipolar, bitufted, round or triangular form with dendritic and axonal processes. The immunoreactive neurons were considered to be cortical interneurons, due to their nonpyramidal form, and since their processes could be followed intracortically particularly in direction to superficial cortical layers. The NPY precursor molecule is processed to NPY by a dibasic cleavage, and NPY is further enzymatically amidated before release and receptor activation can be achieved. Antisera raised against Cys-NPY(32-36)amide recognize amidated NPY not cross-reacting with nonamidated NPY. These antisera and immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of a population of NPYamide-immunoreactive cells morphologically indistinguishable from the NPY-immunoreactive cells in the human frontal cortex. By comparing the number of immunoreactive cells in adjacent sections, it appears that the number of NPY-immunoreactive cells was higher than those immunoreactive to NPYamide. Also, the density of NPY fibers was much higher compared with the number stained with NPYamide antiserum. The present immunohistochemical study indicates that NPY in its amidated form is contained in a subpopulation of human cortical NPY-immunoreactive neurons and may participate as an active neurotransmitter/modulator within the human cerebral cortex.

  12. A primate genesis model of focal dystonia and repetitive strain injury: I. Learning-induced dedifferentiation of the representation of the hand in the primary somatosensory cortex in adult monkeys.

    PubMed

    Byl, N N; Merzenich, M M; Jenkins, W M

    1996-08-01

    In this study we tested a neuroplasticity/learning origins hypothesis for repetitive strain injuries (RSIs), including occupationally induced focal dystonia. Repetitive movements produced in a specific form and in an appropriate behavioral context cause a degradation of the sensory feedback information controlling fine motor movements, resulting in the "learned" genesis of RSIs. Two adult New World owl monkeys were trained at a behavioral task that required them to maintain an attended grasp on a hand grip that repetitively and rapidly (20 msec) opened and closed over short distances. The monkeys completed 300 behavioral trials per day (1,100 to 3,000 movement events) with an accuracy of 80 to 90%. A movement control disorder was recorded in both monkeys. Training was continued until the performance accuracy dropped to below 50%. We subsequently conducted an electrophysiologic mapping study of the representations of the hand within the primary somatosensory (SI) cortical zone. The hand representation in the true primary somatosensory cortical field, SI area 3b, was found to be markedly degraded in these monkeys, as characterized by (1) a dedifferentiation of cortical representations of the skin of the hand manifested by receptive fields that were 10 to 20 times larger than normal, (2) the emergence of many receptive fields that covered the entire glabrous surface of individual digits or that extended across the surfaces of two or more digits, (3) a breakdown of the normally sharply segregated area 3b representations of volar glabrous and dorsal hairy skin of the hand, and (4) a breakdown of the local shifted-overlap receptive field topography of area 3b, with many digital receptive fields overlapping the fields of neurons sampled in cortical penetrations up to more than four times farther apart than normal. Thus, rapid, repetitive, highly stereotypic movements applied in a learning context can actively degrade cortical representations of sensory information guiding

  13. Distinct fine-scale fMRI activation patterns of contra- and ipsilateral somatosensory areas 3b and 1 in humans.

    PubMed

    Ann Stringer, Elizabeth; Qiao, Peng-Gang; Friedman, Robert M; Holroyd, Lauren; Newton, Allen T; Gore, John C; Min Chen, Li

    2014-09-01

    Inter-areal and ipsilateral cortical responses to tactile stimulation have not been well described in human S1 cortex. By taking advantage of the high signal-to-noise ratio at 7 T, we quantified blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) response patterns and time courses to tactile stimuli on individual distal finger pads at a fine spatial scale, and examined whether there are inter-areal (area 3b versus area 1) and interhemispheric response differences to unilateral tactile stimulation in healthy human subjects. We found that 2-Hz tactile stimulation of individual fingertips evoked detectable BOLD signal changes in both contralateral and ipsilateral area 3b and area 1. Contralateral digit activations were organized in an orderly somatotopic manner, and BOLD responses in area 3b were more digit selective than those in area 1. However, the area of cortex that was responsive to stimulation of a single digit (stimulus-response field) was similar across areas. In the ipsilateral hemisphere, response magnitudes in both areas 3b and 1 were significantly weaker than those of the contralateral hemisphere. Digit activations exhibited no clear somatotopic organizational pattern in either area 3b or area 1, yet digit selectivity was retained in area 1 but not in area 3b. The observation of distinct digit-selective responses of contralateral area 3b versus area 1 supports a higher order function of contralateral area 1 in spatial integration. In contrast, ipsilateral cortices may play a less discriminative role in the perception of unilateral tactile sensation in humans.

  14. Behavioral demonstration of a somatosensory neuroprosthesis.

    PubMed

    Berg, J A; Dammann, J F; Tenore, F V; Tabot, G A; Boback, J L; Manfredi, L R; Peterson, M L; Katyal, K D; Johannes, M S; Makhlin, A; Wilcox, R; Franklin, R K; Vogelstein, R J; Hatsopoulos, N G; Bensmaia, S J

    2013-05-01

    Tactile sensation is critical for effective object manipulation, but current prosthetic upper limbs make no provision for delivering somesthetic feedback to the user. For individuals who require use of prosthetic limbs, this lack of feedback transforms a mundane task into one that requires extreme concentration and effort. Although vibrotactile motors and sensory substitution devices can be used to convey gross sensations, a direct neural interface is required to provide detailed and intuitive sensory feedback. In light of this, we describe the implementation of a somatosensory prosthesis with which we elicit, through intracortical microstimulation (ICMS), percepts whose magnitude is graded according to the force exerted on the prosthetic finger. Specifically, the prosthesis consists of a sensorized finger, the force output of which is converted into a regime of ICMS delivered to primary somatosensory cortex through chronically implanted multi-electrode arrays. We show that the performance of animals (Rhesus macaques) on a tactile task is equivalent whether stimuli are delivered to the native finger or to the prosthetic finger. PMID:23475375

  15. Human Motor Cortex Functional Changes in Acute Stroke: Gender Effects

    PubMed Central

    Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo; Pellegrino, Giovanni; Di Pino, Giovanni; Ranieri, Federico; Lotti, Fiorenza; Florio, Lucia; Capone, Fioravante

    2016-01-01

    The acute phase of stroke is accompanied by functional changes in the activity and interplay of both hemispheres. In healthy subjects, gender is known to impact the functional brain organization. We investigated whether gender influences also acute stroke functional changes. In thirty-five ischemic stroke patients, we evaluated the excitability of the affected (AH) and unaffected hemisphere (UH) by measuring resting and active motor threshold (AMT) and motor-evoked potential amplitude under baseline conditions and after intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) of AH. We also computed an index of the excitability balance between the hemispheres, laterality indexes (LI), to evidence hemispheric asymmetry. AMT differed significantly between AH and UH only in the male group (p = 0.004), not in females (p > 0.200), and both LIAMT and LIRMT were significantly higher in males than in females (respectively p = 0.033 and p = 0.042). LTP-like activity induced by iTBS in AH was more frequent in females. Gender influences the functional excitability changes that take place after human stroke and the level of LTP that can be induced by repetitive stimulation. This knowledge is of high value in the attempt of individualizing to different genders any non-invasive stimulation strategy designed to foster stroke recovery. PMID:26858590

  16. Time Adaptation Shows Duration Selectivity in the Human Parietal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Hayashi, Masamichi J; Ditye, Thomas; Harada, Tokiko; Hashiguchi, Maho; Sadato, Norihiro; Carlson, Synnöve; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota

    2015-01-01

    Although psychological and computational models of time estimation have postulated the existence of neural representations tuned for specific durations, empirical evidence of this notion has been lacking. Here, using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) adaptation paradigm, we show that the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) (corresponding to the supramarginal gyrus) exhibited reduction in neural activity due to adaptation when a visual stimulus of the same duration was repeatedly presented. Adaptation was strongest when stimuli of identical durations were repeated, and it gradually decreased as the difference between the reference and test durations increased. This tuning property generalized across a broad range of durations, indicating the presence of general time-representation mechanisms in the IPL. Furthermore, adaptation was observed irrespective of the subject's attention to time. Repetition of a nontemporal aspect of the stimulus (i.e., shape) did not produce neural adaptation in the IPL. These results provide neural evidence for duration-tuned representations in the human brain. PMID:26378440

  17. Time Adaptation Shows Duration Selectivity in the Human Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hayashi, Masamichi J.; Ditye, Thomas; Harada, Tokiko; Hashiguchi, Maho; Sadato, Norihiro; Carlson, Synnöve; Walsh, Vincent; Kanai, Ryota

    2015-01-01

    Although psychological and computational models of time estimation have postulated the existence of neural representations tuned for specific durations, empirical evidence of this notion has been lacking. Here, using a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) adaptation paradigm, we show that the inferior parietal lobule (IPL) (corresponding to the supramarginal gyrus) exhibited reduction in neural activity due to adaptation when a visual stimulus of the same duration was repeatedly presented. Adaptation was strongest when stimuli of identical durations were repeated, and it gradually decreased as the difference between the reference and test durations increased. This tuning property generalized across a broad range of durations, indicating the presence of general time-representation mechanisms in the IPL. Furthermore, adaptation was observed irrespective of the subject’s attention to time. Repetition of a nontemporal aspect of the stimulus (i.e., shape) did not produce neural adaptation in the IPL. These results provide neural evidence for duration-tuned representations in the human brain. PMID:26378440

  18. Visual short-term memory load affects sensory processing of irrelevant sounds in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Valtonen, Jussi; May, Patrick; Mäkinen, Ville; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2003-07-01

    We used whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural activity in human auditory cortex elicited by irrelevant tones while the subjects were engaged in a short-term memory task presented in the visual modality. As compared to a no-memory-task condition, memory load enhanced the amplitude of the auditory N1m response. In addition, the N1m amplitude depended on the phase of the memory task, with larger response amplitudes observed during encoding than retention. Further, these amplitude modulations were accompanied by anterior-posterior shifts in N1m source locations. The results show that a memory task for visually presented stimuli alters sensory processing in human auditory cortex, even when subjects are explicitly instructed to ignore any auditory stimuli. Thus, it appears that task demands requiring attentional allocation and short-term memory result in interaction across visual and auditory brain areas carrying out the processing of stimulus features.

  19. Developmental regulation of human cortex transcription and its clinical relevance at base resolution

    PubMed Central

    Jaffe, Andrew E.; Shin, Jooheon; Collado-Torres, Leonardo; Leek, Jeffrey T.; Tao, Ran; Li, Chao; Gao, Yuan; Jia, Yankai; Maher, Brady J.; Hyde, Thomas M.

    2014-01-01

    Transcriptome analysis of human brain provides fundamental insight about development and disease, but largely relies on existing annotation. We sequenced transcriptomes of 72 prefrontal cortex samples across six life stages, and identified 50,650 differentially expression regions (DERs) associated with developmental and aging, agnostic of annotation. While many DERs annotated to non-exonic sequence (41.1%), most were similarly regulated in cytosolic mRNA extracted from independent samples. The DERs were developmentally conserved across 16 brain regions and within the developing mouse cortex, and were expressed in diverse cell and tissue types. The DERs were further enriched for active chromatin marks and clinical risk for neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia. Lastly, we demonstrate quantitatively that these DERs associate with a changing neuronal phenotype related to differentiation and maturation. These data highlight conserved molecular signatures of transcriptional dynamics across brain development, some potential clinical relevance and the incomplete annotation of the human brain transcriptome. PMID:25501035

  20. Activity of the human visual cortex measured non-invasively by diffusing-wave spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jaillon, Franck; Li, Jun; Dietsche, Gregor; Elbert, Thomas; Gisler, Thomas

    2007-05-01

    Activity of the human visual cortex, elicited by steady-state flickering at 8Hz, is non-invasively probed by multi-speckle diffusingwave spectroscopy (DWS). Parallel detection of the intensity fluctuations of statistically equivalent, but independent speckles allows to resolve stimulation-induced changes in the field autocorrelation of multiply scattered light of less than 2%. In a group of 9 healthy subjects we find a faster decay of the field autocorrelation function during the stimulation periods for data measured with a long-distance probe (30mm source-receiver distance) at 2 positions over the occipital cortex (t-test: t(8) = -2.672, p = 0.028 < 0.05 for position 1, t(8) = -2.874, p = 0.021 < 0.05 for position 2). In contrast, no statistically significant change is seen when a short-distance probe (16mm source-receiver distance) is used (t-test: t(8) = -2.043, p = 0.075 > 0.05 for position 1, t(8) = -2.146, p = 0.064 > 0.05 for position 2). The enhanced dynamics observed with DWS is positively correlated with the functional increase of blood volume in the visual cortex, while the heartbeat rate is not affected by stimulation. Our results indicate that the DWS signal from the visual cortex is governed by the regional cerebral blood flow velocity.

  1. Category-Selectivity in Human Visual Cortex Follows Cortical Topology: A Grouped icEEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Conner, Christopher Richard; Whaley, Meagan Lee; Baboyan, Vatche George; Tandon, Nitin

    2016-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies suggest that category-selective regions in higher-order visual cortex are topologically organized around specific anatomical landmarks: the mid-fusiform sulcus (MFS) in the ventral temporal cortex (VTC) and lateral occipital sulcus (LOS) in the lateral occipital cortex (LOC). To derive precise structure-function maps from direct neural signals, we collected intracranial EEG (icEEG) recordings in a large human cohort (n = 26) undergoing implantation of subdural electrodes. A surface-based approach to grouped icEEG analysis was used to overcome challenges from sparse electrode coverage within subjects and variable cortical anatomy across subjects. The topology of category-selectivity in bilateral VTC and LOC was assessed for five classes of visual stimuli—faces, animate non-face (animals/body-parts), places, tools, and words—using correlational and linear mixed effects analyses. In the LOC, selectivity for living (faces and animate non-face) and non-living (places and tools) classes was arranged in a ventral-to-dorsal axis along the LOS. In the VTC, selectivity for living and non-living stimuli was arranged in a latero-medial axis along the MFS. Written word-selectivity was reliably localized to the intersection of the left MFS and the occipito-temporal sulcus. These findings provide direct electrophysiological evidence for topological information structuring of functional representations within higher-order visual cortex. PMID:27272936

  2. Viewing the motion of human body parts activates different regions of premotor, temporal, and parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Wheaton, Kylie J; Thompson, James C; Syngeniotis, Ari; Abbott, David F; Puce, Aina

    2004-05-01

    Activation of premotor and temporoparietal cortex occurs when we observe others movements, particularly relating to objects. Viewing the motion of different body parts without the context of an object has not been systematically evaluated. During a 3T fMRI study, 12 healthy subjects viewed human face, hand, and leg motion, which was not directed at or did not involve an object. Activation was identified relative to static images of the same human face, hand, and leg in both individual subject and group average data. Four clear activation foci emerged: (1) right MT/V5 activated to all forms of viewed motion; (2) right STS activated to face and leg motion; (3) ventral premotor cortex activated to face, hand, and leg motion in the right hemisphere and to leg motion in the left hemisphere; and (4) anterior intraparietal cortex (aIP) was active bilaterally to viewing hand motion and in the right hemisphere leg motion. In addition, in the group data, a somatotopic activation pattern for viewing face, hand, and leg motion occurred in right ventral premotor cortex. Activation patterns in STS and aIP were more complex--typically activation foci to viewing two types of human motion showed some overlap. Activation in individual subjects was similar; however, activation to hand motion also occurred in the STS with a variable location across subjects--explaining the lack of a clear activation focus in the group data. The data indicate that there are selective responses to viewing motion of different body parts in the human brain that are independent of object or tool use.

  3. Cortical and medullary somatosensory projections to the cochlear nuclear complex in the hedgehog tenrec.

    PubMed

    Wolff, A; Künzle, H

    1997-01-17

    Various tracer substances were injected into the spinal cord, the dorsal column nuclei, the trigeminal nuclear complex and the somatosensory cortex in Madagascan hedgehog tenrecs. With the exception of the cases injected exclusively into the spinal cord all injections gave rise to sparse, but distinct anterograde projections to the cochlear nuclear complex, particularly the granular cell domain within and outside of the dorsal cochlear nucleus. Among these cochlear afferents the projection from the primary somatosensory cortex is the most remarkable because the hedgehog tenrec has one of the lowest encephalisation indices among mammals and a similar cortico-cochlear connection has not been demonstrated so far in other species.

  4. Three-dimensional architecture of macrofibrils in the human scalp hair cortex.

    PubMed

    Harland, Duane P; Walls, Richard J; Vernon, James A; Dyer, Jolon M; Woods, Joy L; Bell, Fraser

    2014-03-01

    Human scalp hairs are comprised of a central cortex enveloped by plate-like cuticle cells. The elongate cortex cells of mature fibres are composed primarily of macrofibrils-bundles of hard-keratin intermediate filaments (IFs) chemically cross-linked within a globular protein matrix. In wool, three cell types (ortho-, meso- and paracortex) contain macrofibrils with distinctly different filament arrangements and matrix fractions, but in human hair macrofibril-cell type relationships are less clear. Here we show that hair macrofibrils all have a similar matrix fraction (∼0.4) and are typically composed of a double-twist architecture in which a central IF is surrounded by concentric rings of tangentially-angled IFs. The defining parameter is the incremental angle increase (IF-increment) between IFs of successive rings. Unlike the wool orthocortex, hair double-twist macrofibrils have considerable inter-macrofibril variation in IF increment (0.05-0.35°/nm), and macrofibril size and IF increment are negatively correlated. Correspondingly, angular difference between central and outer-most IFs is up to 40° in small macrofibrils, but only 5-10° in large macrofibrils. Single cells were observed containing mixtures of macrofibrils with different diameters. These new observations advance our understanding of the nano-level and cell-level organisation of human hair, with implications for interpretation of structure with respect the potential roles of cortex cell types in defining the mechanical properties of hair.

  5. [Trajectories of alpha rhythm dipoles shifting over the human brain cortex].

    PubMed

    Bark, E D; Shevelev, I A; Kulikov, M A; Kamenkovich, V M; Pokazan'eva, L N

    2005-01-01

    Dynamic study of 3D localization of the equivalent current dipoles (ECD)--sources of the EEG alpha rhythm in the human brain was performed in seven subjects with closed eyes using a one-dipole model. An exact localization of ECDs was obtained by combination of EEG and MRI mapping that allowed tracing of ECD shifts over the cortex with 4 ms step. Our data confirmed localization of these ECDs mainly in the occipital cortex and revealed their successive shift over this area during generation of each alpha-wave. Typical trajectories of these shifts were revealed and quantitatively compared by the hierarchical cluster analysis. The data obtained directly proved periodical rhythmic alpha-wave spreading process in the human visual cortex and an external control of this process. The data are discussed in terms of the "scanning hypothesis" (Pitts W., McCulloch W.H. Bull. Math. Biophys. 1947. V. 9. P. 127) which predicted a certain functional meaning of the alpha activity for cortical processing of sensory information in the human brain.

  6. RTTN Mutations Link Primary Cilia Function to Organization of the Human Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Kheradmand Kia, Sima; Verbeek, Elly; Engelen, Erik; Schot, Rachel; Poot, Raymond A.; de Coo, Irenaeus F.M.; Lequin, Maarten H.; Poulton, Cathryn J.; Pourfarzad, Farzin; Grosveld, Frank G.; Brehm, António; de Wit, Marie Claire Y.; Oegema, Renske; Dobyns, William B.; Verheijen, Frans W.; Mancini, Grazia M.S.

    2012-01-01

    Polymicrogyria is a malformation of the developing cerebral cortex caused by abnormal organization and characterized by many small gyri and fusion of the outer molecular layer. We have identified autosomal-recessive mutations in RTTN, encoding Rotatin, in individuals with bilateral diffuse polymicrogyria from two separate families. Rotatin determines early embryonic axial rotation, as well as anteroposterior and dorsoventral patterning in the mouse. Human Rotatin has recently been identified as a centrosome-associated protein. The Drosophila melanogaster homolog of Rotatin, Ana3, is needed for structural integrity of centrioles and basal bodies and maintenance of sensory neurons. We show that Rotatin colocalizes with the basal bodies at the primary cilium. Cultured fibroblasts from affected individuals have structural abnormalities of the cilia and exhibit downregulation of BMP4, WNT5A, and WNT2B, which are key regulators of cortical patterning and are expressed at the cortical hem, the cortex-organizing center that gives rise to Cajal-Retzius (CR) neurons. Interestingly, we have shown that in mouse embryos, Rotatin colocalizes with CR neurons at the subpial marginal zone. Knockdown experiments in human fibroblasts and neural stem cells confirm a role for RTTN in cilia structure and function. RTTN mutations therefore link aberrant ciliary function to abnormal development and organization of the cortex in human individuals. PMID:22939636

  7. Auditory sequence processing reveals evolutionarily conserved regions of frontal cortex in macaques and humans

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Benjamin; Kikuchi, Yukiko; Sun, Li; Hunter, David; Dick, Frederic; Smith, Kenny; Thiele, Alexander; Griffiths, Timothy D.; Marslen-Wilson, William D.; Petkov, Christopher I.

    2015-01-01

    An evolutionary account of human language as a neurobiological system must distinguish between human-unique neurocognitive processes supporting language and evolutionarily conserved, domain-general processes that can be traced back to our primate ancestors. Neuroimaging studies across species may determine whether candidate neural processes are supported by homologous, functionally conserved brain areas or by different neurobiological substrates. Here we use functional magnetic resonance imaging in Rhesus macaques and humans to examine the brain regions involved in processing the ordering relationships between auditory nonsense words in rule-based sequences. We find that key regions in the human ventral frontal and opercular cortex have functional counterparts in the monkey brain. These regions are also known to be associated with initial stages of human syntactic processing. This study raises the possibility that certain ventral frontal neural systems, which play a significant role in language function in modern humans, originally evolved to support domain-general abilities involved in sequence processing. PMID:26573340

  8. Long-term modifications of synaptic efficacy in the human inferior and middle temporal cortex

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chen, W. R.; Lee, S.; Kato, K.; Spencer, D. D.; Shepherd, G. M.; Williamson, A.

    1996-01-01

    The primate temporal cortex has been demonstrated to play an important role in visual memory and pattern recognition. It is of particular interest to investigate whether activity-dependent modification of synaptic efficacy, a presumptive mechanism for learning and memory, is present in this cortical region. Here we address this issue by examining the induction of synaptic plasticity in surgically resected human inferior and middle temporal cortex. The results show that synaptic strength in the human temporal cortex could undergo bidirectional modifications, depending on the pattern of conditioning stimulation. High frequency stimulation (100 or 40 Hz) in layer IV induced long-term potentiation (LTP) of both intracellular excitatory postsynaptic potentials and evoked field potentials in layers II/III. The LTP induced by 100 Hz tetanus was blocked by 50-100 microM DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid, suggesting that N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors were responsible for its induction. Long-term depression (LTD) was elicited by prolonged low frequency stimulation (1 Hz, 15 min). It was reduced, but not completely blocked, by DL-2-amino-5-phosphonovaleric acid, implying that some other mechanisms in addition to N-methyl-DL-aspartate receptors were involved in LTD induction. LTD was input-specific, i.e., low frequency stimulation of one pathway produced LTD of synaptic transmission in that pathway only. Finally, the LTP and LTD could reverse each other, suggesting that they can act cooperatively to modify the functional state of cortical network. These results suggest that LTP and LTD are possible mechanisms for the visual memory and pattern recognition functions performed in the human temporal cortex.

  9. Microscale recording from human motor cortex: implications for minimally invasive electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Leuthardt, Eric C.; Freudenberg, Zac; Bundy, David; Roland, Jarod

    2010-01-01

    Object There is a growing interest in the use of recording from the surface of the brain, known as electrocorticography (ECoG), as a practical signal platform for brain-computer interface application. The signal has a combination of high signal quality and long-term stability that may be the ideal intermediate modality for future application. The research paradigm for studying ECoG signals uses patients requiring invasive monitoring for seizure localization. The implanted arrays span cortex areas on the order of centimeters. Currently, it is unknown what level of motor information can be discerned from small regions of human cortex with microscale ECoG recording. Methods In this study, a patient requiring invasive monitoring for seizure localization underwent concurrent implantation with a 16-microwire array (1-mm electrode spacing) placed over primary motor cortex. Microscale activity was recorded while the patient performed simple contra- and ipsilateral wrist movements that were monitored in parallel with electromyography. Using various statistical methods, linear and nonlinear relationships between these microcortical changes and recorded electromyography activity were defined. Results Small regions of primary motor cortex (< 5 mm) carry sufficient information to separate multiple aspects of motor movements (that is, wrist flexion/extension and ipsilateral/contralateral movements). Conclusions These findings support the conclusion that small regions of cortex investigated by ECoG recording may provide sufficient information about motor intentions to support brain-computer interface operations in the future. Given the small scale of the cortical region required, the requisite implanted array would be minimally invasive in terms of surgical placement of the electrode array. PMID:19569885

  10. A neural basis for real-world visual search in human occipitotemporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Peelen, Marius V; Kastner, Sabine

    2011-07-19

    Mammals are highly skilled in rapidly detecting objects in cluttered natural environments, a skill necessary for survival. What are the neural mechanisms mediating detection of objects in natural scenes? Here, we use human brain imaging to address the role of top-down preparatory processes in the detection of familiar object categories in real-world environments. Brain activity was measured while participants were preparing to detect highly variable depictions of people or cars in natural scenes that were new to the participants. The preparation to detect objects of the target category, in the absence of visual input, evoked activity patterns in visual cortex that resembled the response to actual exemplars of the target category. Importantly, the selectivity of multivoxel preparatory activity patterns in object-selective cortex (OSC) predicted target detection performance. By contrast, preparatory activity in early visual cortex (V1) was negatively related to search performance. Additional behavioral results suggested that the dissociation between OSC and V1 reflected the use of different search strategies, linking OSC preparatory activity to relatively abstract search preparation and V1 to more specific imagery-like preparation. Finally, whole-brain searchlight analyses revealed that, in addition to OSC, response patterns in medial prefrontal cortex distinguished the target categories based on the search cues alone, suggesting that this region may constitute a top-down source of preparatory activity observed in visual cortex. These results indicate that in naturalistic situations, when the precise visual characteristics of target objects are not known in advance, preparatory activity at higher levels of the visual hierarchy selectively mediates visual search.

  11. Cocaine cue–induced dopamine release in the human prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Milella, Michele S.; Fotros, Aryandokht; Gravel, Paul; Casey, Kevin F.; Larcher, Kevin; Verhaeghe, Jeroen A.J.; Cox, Sylvia M.L.; Reader, Andrew J.; Dagher, Alain; Benkelfat, Chawki; Leyton, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Background Accumulating evidence indicates that drug-related cues can induce dopamine (DA) release in the striatum of substance abusers. Whether these same cues provoke DA release in the human prefrontal cortex remains unknown. Methods We used high-resolution positron emission tomography with [18F]fallypride to measure cortical and striatal DA D2/3 receptor availability in the presence versus absence of drug-related cues in volunteers with current cocaine dependence. Results Twelve individuals participated in our study. Among participants reporting a craving response (9 of 12), exposure to the cocaine cues significantly decreased [18F]fallypride binding potential (BPND) values in the medial orbitofrontal cortex and striatum. In all 12 participants, individual differences in the magnitude of craving correlated with BPND changes in the medial orbitofrontal cortex, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior cingulate, and striatum. Consistent with the presence of autoreceptors on mesostriatal but not mesocortical DA cell bodies, midbrain BPND values were significantly correlated with changes in BPND within the striatum but not the cortex. The lower the midbrain D2 receptor levels, the greater the striatal change in BPND and self-reported craving. Limitations Limitations of this study include its modest sample size, with only 2 female participants. Newer tracers might have greater sensitivity to cortical DA release. Conclusion In people with cocaine use disorders, the presentation of drug-related cues induces DA release within cortical and striatal regions. Both effects are associated with craving, but only the latter is regulated by midbrain autoreceptors. Together, the results suggest that cortical and subcortical DA responses might both influence drug-focused incentive motivational states, but with separate regulatory mechanisms. PMID:26900792

  12. A trade-off between somatosensory and auditory related brain activity during object naming but not reading.

    PubMed

    Seghier, Mohamed L; Hope, Thomas M H; Prejawa, Susan; Parker Jones, 'Ōiwi; Vitkovitch, Melanie; Price, Cathy J

    2015-03-18

    The parietal operculum, particularly the cytoarchitectonic area OP1 of the secondary somatosensory area (SII), is involved in somatosensory feedback. Using fMRI with 58 human subjects, we investigated task-dependent differences in SII/OP1 activity during three familiar speech production tasks: object naming, reading and repeatedly saying "1-2-3." Bilateral SII/OP1 was significantly suppressed (relative to rest) during object naming, to a lesser extent when repeatedly saying "1-2-3" and not at all during reading. These results cannot be explained by task difficulty but the contrasting difference between naming and reading illustrates how the demands on somatosensory activity change with task, even when motor output (i.e., production of object names) is matched. To investigate what determined SII/OP1 deactivation during object naming, we searched the whole brain for areas where activity increased as that in SII/OP1 decreased. This across subject covariance analysis revealed a region in the right superior temporal sulcus (STS) that lies within the auditory cortex, and is activated by auditory feedback during speech production. The tradeoff between activity in SII/OP1 and STS was not observed during reading, which showed significantly more activation than naming in both SII/OP1 and STS bilaterally. These findings suggest that, although object naming is more error prone than reading, subjects can afford to rely more or less on somatosensory or auditory feedback during naming. In contrast, fast and efficient error-free reading places more consistent demands on both types of feedback, perhaps because of the potential for increased competition between lexical and sublexical codes at the articulatory level. PMID:25788691

  13. A Trade-Off between Somatosensory and Auditory Related Brain Activity during Object Naming But Not Reading

    PubMed Central

    Hope, Thomas M.H.; Prejawa, Susan; Parker Jones, ‘Ōiwi; Vitkovitch, Melanie; Price, Cathy J.

    2015-01-01

    The parietal operculum, particularly the cytoarchitectonic area OP1 of the secondary somatosensory area (SII), is involved in somatosensory feedback. Using fMRI with 58 human subjects, we investigated task-dependent differences in SII/OP1 activity during three familiar speech production tasks: object naming, reading and repeatedly saying “1-2-3.” Bilateral SII/OP1 was significantly suppressed (relative to rest) during object naming, to a lesser extent when repeatedly saying “1-2-3” and not at all during reading. These results cannot be explained by task difficulty but the contrasting difference between naming and reading illustrates how the demands on somatosensory activity change with task, even when motor output (i.e., production of object names) is matched. To investigate what determined SII/OP1 deactivation during object naming, we searched the whole brain for areas where activity increased as that in SII/OP1 decreased. This across subject covariance analysis revealed a region in the right superior temporal sulcus (STS) that lies within the auditory cortex, and is activated by auditory feedback during speech production. The tradeoff between activity in SII/OP1 and STS was not observed during reading, which showed significantly more activation than naming in both SII/OP1 and STS bilaterally. These findings suggest that, although object naming is more error prone than reading, subjects can afford to rely more or less on somatosensory or auditory feedback during naming. In contrast, fast and efficient error-free reading places more consistent demands on both types of feedback, perhaps because of the potential for increased competition between lexical and sublexical codes at the articulatory level. PMID:25788691

  14. A trade-off between somatosensory and auditory related brain activity during object naming but not reading.

    PubMed

    Seghier, Mohamed L; Hope, Thomas M H; Prejawa, Susan; Parker Jones, 'Ōiwi; Vitkovitch, Melanie; Price, Cathy J

    2015-03-18

    The parietal operculum, particularly the cytoarchitectonic area OP1 of the secondary somatosensory area (SII), is involved in somatosensory feedback. Using fMRI with 58 human subjects, we investigated task-dependent differences in SII/OP1 activity during three familiar speech production tasks: object naming, reading and repeatedly saying "1-2-3." Bilateral SII/OP1 was significantly suppressed (relative to rest) during object naming, to a lesser extent when repeatedly saying "1-2-3" and not at all during reading. These results cannot be explained by task difficulty but the contrasting difference between naming and reading illustrates how the demands on somatosensory activity change with task, even when motor output (i.e., production of object names) is matched. To investigate what determined SII/OP1 deactivation during object naming, we searched the whole brain for areas where activity increased as that in SII/OP1 decreased. This across subject covariance analysis revealed a region in the right superior temporal sulcus (STS) that lies within the auditory cortex, and is activated by auditory feedback during speech production. The tradeoff between activity in SII/OP1 and STS was not observed during reading, which showed significantly more activation than naming in both SII/OP1 and STS bilaterally. These findings suggest that, although object naming is more error prone than reading, subjects can afford to rely more or less on somatosensory or auditory feedback during naming. In contrast, fast and efficient error-free reading places more consistent demands on both types of feedback, perhaps because of the potential for increased competition between lexical and sublexical codes at the articulatory level.

  15. Output of Neurogliaform Cells to Various Neuron Types in the Human and Rat Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Oláh, Szabolcs; Komlósi, Gergely; Szabadics, János; Varga, Csaba; Tóth, Éva; Barzó, Pál; Tamás, Gábor

    2007-01-01

    Neurogliaform cells in the rat elicit combined GABAA and GABAB receptor-mediated postsynaptic responses on cortical pyramidal cells and establish electrical synapses with various interneuron types. However, the involvement of GABAB receptors in postsynaptic effects of neurogliaform cells on other GABAergic interneurons is not clear. We measured the postsynaptic effects of neurogliaform cells in vitro applying simultaneous whole-cell recordings in human and rat cortex. Single action potentials of human neurogliaform cells evoked unitary IPSPs composed of GABAA and GABAB receptor-mediated components in various types of inteneuron and in pyramidal cells. Slow IPSPs were combined with homologous and heterologous electrical coupling between neurogliaform cells and several human interneuron types. In the rat, single action potentials in neurogliaform cells elicited GABAB receptor-mediated component in responses of neurogliaform, regular spiking, and fast spiking interneurons following the GABAA receptor-mediated component in postsynaptic responses. In conclusion, human and rat neurogliaform cells elicit slow IPSPs and reach GABAA and GABAB receptors on several interneuron types with a connection-specific involvement of GABAB receptors. The electrical synapses recorded between human neurogliaform cells and various interneuron types represent the first electrical synapses recorded in the human cortex. PMID:18946546

  16. Near-optimal Integration of Magnitude in the Human Parietal Cortex.

    PubMed

    Tickle, Hannah; Speekenbrink, Maarten; Tsetsos, Konstantinos; Michael, Elizabeth; Summerfield, Christopher

    2016-04-01

    Humans are often observed to make optimal sensorimotor decisions but to be poor judges of situations involving explicit estimation of magnitudes or numerical quantities. For example, when drawing conclusions from data, humans tend to neglect the size of the sample from which it was collected. Here, we asked whether this sample size neglect is a general property of human decisions and investigated its neural implementation. Participants viewed eight discrete visual arrays (samples) depicting variable numbers of blue and pink balls. They then judged whether the samples were being drawn from an urn in which blue or pink predominated. A participant who neglects the sample size will integrate the ratio of balls on each array, giving equal weight to each sample. However, we found that human behavior resembled that of an optimal observer, giving more credence to larger sample sizes. Recording scalp EEG signals while participants performed the task allowed us to assess the decision information that was computed during integration. We found that neural signals over the posterior cortex after each sample correlated first with the sample size and then with the difference in the number of balls in either category. Moreover, lateralized beta-band activity over motor cortex was predicted by the cumulative difference in number of balls in each category. Together, these findings suggest that humans achieve statistically near-optimal decisions by adding up the difference in evidence on each sample, and imply that sample size neglect may not be a general feature of human decision-making.

  17. Human Dorsolateral Prefrontal Cortex Is Not Necessary for Spatial Working Memory

    PubMed Central

    Mackey, Wayne E.; Devinsky, Orrin; Doyle, Werner K.; Meager, Michael R.

    2016-01-01

    A dominant theory, based on electrophysiological and lesion evidence from nonhuman primate studies, posits that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) stores and maintains working memory (WM) representations. Yet, neuroimaging studies have consistently failed to translate these results to humans; these studies normally find that neural activity persists in the human precentral sulcus (PCS) during WM delays. Here, we attempt to resolve this discrepancy. To test the degree to which dlPFC is necessary for WM, we compared the performance of patients with dlPFC lesions and neurologically healthy controls on a memory-guided saccade task that was used in the monkey studies to measure spatial WM. We found that dlPFC damage only impairs the accuracy of memory-guided saccades if the damage impacts the PCS; lesions to dorsolateral dlPFC that spare the PCS have no effect on WM. These results identify the necessary subregion of the frontal cortex for WM and specify how this influential animal model of human cognition must be revised. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT High-level cognition depends on working memory (WM) as a critical building block, and many symptoms of psychiatric disorders may be the direct result of impaired WM. Canonical theory posits a critical role for the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) in WM based on studies of nonhuman primates. However, we find that spatial WM in humans is intact after dlPFC damage unless it impacts the more caudal PCS. Therefore, the human dlPFC is not necessary for spatial WM and highlights the need for careful translation of animal models of human cognition. PMID:26961941

  18. Altered temporal dynamics of neural adaptation in the aging human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Herrmann, Björn; Henry, Molly J; Johnsrude, Ingrid S; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-09-01

    Neural response adaptation plays an important role in perception and cognition. Here, we used electroencephalography to investigate how aging affects the temporal dynamics of neural adaptation in human auditory cortex. Younger (18-31 years) and older (51-70 years) normal hearing adults listened to tone sequences with varying onset-to-onset intervals. Our results show long-lasting neural adaptation such that the response to a particular tone is a nonlinear function of the extended temporal history of sound events. Most important, aging is associated with multiple changes in auditory cortex; older adults exhibit larger and less variable response magnitudes, a larger dynamic response range, and a reduced sensitivity to temporal context. Computational modeling suggests that reduced adaptation recovery times underlie these changes in the aging auditory cortex and that the extended temporal stimulation has less influence on the neural response to the current sound in older compared with younger individuals. Our human electroencephalography results critically narrow the gap to animal electrophysiology work suggesting a compensatory release from cortical inhibition accompanying hearing loss and aging. PMID:27459921

  19. Vestibular activation differentially modulates human early visual cortex and V5/MT excitability and response entropy.

    PubMed

    Seemungal, Barry M; Guzman-Lopez, Jessica; Arshad, Qadeer; Schultz, Simon R; Walsh, Vincent; Yousif, Nada

    2013-01-01

    Head movement imposes the additional burdens on the visual system of maintaining visual acuity and determining the origin of retinal image motion (i.e., self-motion vs. object-motion). Although maintaining visual acuity during self-motion is effected by minimizing retinal slip via the brainstem vestibular-ocular reflex, higher order visuovestibular mechanisms also contribute. Disambiguating self-motion versus object-motion also invokes higher order mechanisms, and a cortical visuovestibular reciprocal antagonism is propounded. Hence, one prediction is of a vestibular modulation of visual cortical excitability and indirect measures have variously suggested none, focal or global effects of activation or suppression in human visual cortex. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation-induced phosphenes to probe cortical excitability, we observed decreased V5/MT excitability versus increased early visual cortex (EVC) excitability, during vestibular activation. In order to exclude nonspecific effects (e.g., arousal) on cortical excitability, response specificity was assessed using information theory, specifically response entropy. Vestibular activation significantly modulated phosphene response entropy for V5/MT but not EVC, implying a specific vestibular effect on V5/MT responses. This is the first demonstration that vestibular activation modulates human visual cortex excitability. Furthermore, using information theory, not previously used in phosphene response analysis, we could distinguish between a specific vestibular modulation of V5/MT excitability from a nonspecific effect at EVC.

  20. Development and function of human cerebral cortex neural networks from pluripotent stem cells in vitro.

    PubMed

    Kirwan, Peter; Turner-Bridger, Benita; Peter, Manuel; Momoh, Ayiba; Arambepola, Devika; Robinson, Hugh P C; Livesey, Frederick J

    2015-09-15

    A key aspect of nervous system development, including that of the cerebral cortex, is the formation of higher-order neural networks. Developing neural networks undergo several phases with distinct activity patterns in vivo, which are thought to prune and fine-tune network connectivity. We report here that human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC)-derived cerebral cortex neurons form large-scale networks that reflect those found in the developing cerebral cortex in vivo. Synchronised oscillatory networks develop in a highly stereotyped pattern over several weeks in culture. An initial phase of increasing frequency of oscillations is followed by a phase of decreasing frequency, before giving rise to non-synchronous, ordered activity patterns. hPSC-derived cortical neural networks are excitatory, driven by activation of AMPA- and NMDA-type glutamate receptors, and can undergo NMDA-receptor-mediated plasticity. Investigating single neuron connectivity within PSC-derived cultures, using rabies-based trans-synaptic tracing, we found two broad classes of neuronal connectivity: most neurons have small numbers (<10) of presynaptic inputs, whereas a small set of hub-like neurons have large numbers of synaptic connections (>40). These data demonstrate that the formation of hPSC-derived cortical networks mimics in vivo cortical network development and function, demonstrating the utility of in vitro systems for mechanistic studies of human forebrain neural network biology.

  1. Effects of high frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by mobile phones on the human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Inomata-Terada, Satomi; Okabe, Shingo; Arai, Noritoshi; Hanajima, Ritsuko; Terao, Yasuo; Frubayashi, Toshiaki; Ugawa, Yoshikazu

    2007-10-01

    We investigated whether the pulsed high frequency electromagnetic field (EMF) emitted by a mobile phone has short term effects on the human motor cortex. We measured motor evoked potentials (MEPs) elicited by single pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), before and after mobile phone exposure (active and sham) in 10 normal volunteers. Three sites were stimulated (motor cortex (CTX), brainstem (BST) and spinal nerve (Sp)). The short interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) of the motor cortex reflecting GABAergic interneuronal function was also studied by paired pulse TMS method. MEPs to single pulse TMS were also recorded in two patients with multiple sclerosis showing temperature dependent neurological symptoms (hot bath effect). Neither MEPs to single pulse TMS nor the SICI was affected by 30 min of EMF exposure from mobile phones or sham exposure. In two MS patients, mobile phone exposure had no effect on any parameters of MEPs even though conduction block occurred at the corticospinal tracts after taking a bath. As far as available methods are concerned, we did not detect any short-term effects of 30 min mobile phone exposure on the human motor cortical output neurons or interneurons even though we can not exclude the possibility that we failed to detect some mild effects due to a small sample size in the present study. This is the first study of MEPs after electromagnetic exposure from a mobile phone in neurological patients. PMID:17516508

  2. Neuronal mechanisms mediating the variability of somatosensory evoked potentials during sleep oscillations in cats

    PubMed Central

    Rosanova, Mario; Timofeev, Igor

    2005-01-01

    The slow oscillation (SO) generated within the corticothalamic system is composed of active and silent states. The studies of response variability during active versus silent network states within thalamocortical system of human and animals provided inconsistent results. To investigate this inconsistency, we used electrophysiological recordings from the main structures of the somatosensory system in anaesthetized cats. Stimulation of the median nerve (MN) elicited cortical responses during all phases of SO. Cortical responses to stimulation of the medial lemniscus (ML) were virtually absent during silent periods. At the ventral-posterior lateral (VPL) level, ML stimuli elicited either EPSPs in isolation or EPSPs crowned by spikes, as a function of membrane potential. Response to MN stimuli elicited compound synaptic responses and spiked at any physiological level of membrane potential. The responses of dorsal column nuclei neurones to MN stimuli were of similar latency, but the latencies of antidromic responses to ML stimuli were variable. Thus, the variable conductance velocity of ascending prethalamic axons was the most likely cause of the barrages of synaptic events in VPL neurones mediating their firing at different level of the membrane potential. We conclude that the preserved ability of the somatosensory system to transmit the peripheral stimuli to the cerebral cortex during all the phases of sleep slow oscillation is based on the functional properties of the medial lemniscus and on the intrinsic properties of the thalamocortical cells. However the reduced firing ability of the cortical neurones during the silent state may contribute to impair sensory processing during sleep. PMID:15528249

  3. Fusion and Fission of Cognitive Functions in the Human Parietal Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Humphreys, Gina F.; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A.

    2015-01-01

    How is higher cognitive function organized in the human parietal cortex? A century of neuropsychology and 30 years of functional neuroimaging has implicated the parietal lobe in many different verbal and nonverbal cognitive domains. There is little clarity, however, on how these functions are organized, that is, where do these functions coalesce (implying a shared, underpinning neurocomputation) and where do they divide (indicating different underlying neural functions). Until now, there has been no multi-domain synthesis in order to reveal where there is fusion or fission of functions in the parietal cortex. This aim was achieved through a large-scale activation likelihood estimation (ALE) analysis of 386 studies (3952 activation peaks) covering 8 cognitive domains. A tripartite, domain-general neuroanatomical division and 5 principles of cognitive organization were established, and these are discussed with respect to a unified theory of parietal functional organization. PMID:25205661

  4. Limbic areas are functionally decoupled and visual cortex takes a more central role during fear conditioning in humans

    PubMed Central

    Lithari, Chrysa; Moratti, Stephan; Weisz, Nathan

    2016-01-01

    Going beyond the focus on isolated brain regions (e.g. amygdala), recent neuroimaging studies on fear conditioning point to the relevance of a network of mutually interacting brain regions. In the present MEG study we used Graph Theory to uncover changes in the architecture of the brain functional network shaped by fear conditioning. Firstly, induced power analysis revealed differences in local cortical excitability (lower alpha and beta power) between CS+ and CS− localized to somatosensory cortex and insula. What is more striking however is that the graph theoretical measures unveiled a re-organization of brain functional connections, not evident using conventional power analysis. Subcortical fear-related structures exhibited reduced connectivity with temporal and frontal areas rendering the overall brain functional network more sparse during fear conditioning. At the same time, the calcarine took on a more central role in the network. Interestingly, the more the connectivity of limbic areas is reduced, the more central the role of the occipital cortex becomes. We speculated that both, the reduced coupling in some regions and the emerging centrality of others, contribute to the efficient processing of fear-relevant information during fear learning. PMID:27381479

  5. Limbic areas are functionally decoupled and visual cortex takes a more central role during fear conditioning in humans.

    PubMed

    Lithari, Chrysa; Moratti, Stephan; Weisz, Nathan

    2016-01-01

    Going beyond the focus on isolated brain regions (e.g. amygdala), recent neuroimaging studies on fear conditioning point to the relevance of a network of mutually interacting brain regions. In the present MEG study we used Graph Theory to uncover changes in the architecture of the brain functional network shaped by fear conditioning. Firstly, induced power analysis revealed differences in local cortical excitability (lower alpha and beta power) between CS+ and CS- localized to somatosensory cortex and insula. What is more striking however is that the graph theoretical measures unveiled a re-organization of brain functional connections, not evident using conventional power analysis. Subcortical fear-related structures exhibited reduced connectivity with temporal and frontal areas rendering the overall brain functional network more sparse during fear conditioning. At the same time, the calcarine took on a more central role in the network. Interestingly, the more the connectivity of limbic areas is reduced, the more central the role of the occipital cortex becomes. We speculated that both, the reduced coupling in some regions and the emerging centrality of others, contribute to the efficient processing of fear-relevant information during fear learning. PMID:27381479

  6. Youth at Risk for Obesity Show Greater Activation of Striatal and Somatosensory Regions to Food

    PubMed Central

    Stice, E; Yokum, S; Burger, KS; Epstein, LH; Small, DM

    2011-01-01

    Obese versus normal-weight humans have less striatal D2 receptors and striatal response to food intake, and weaker striatal response to food predicts weight gain for individuals at genetic risk for reduced dopamine (DA) signaling, consistent with the reward deficit theory of obesity. Yet these may not be initial vulnerability factors, as overeating reduces D2 receptor density, D2 sensitivity, reward sensitivity, and striatal response to food. Obese versus normal-weight humans also show greater striatal, amygdalar, orbitofrontal cortex, and somatosensory region response to food images, which predicts weight gain for those not at genetic risk for compromised dopamine signaling, consonant with the reward surfeit theory of obesity. However, after pairings of palatable food intake and predictive cues, DA signaling increases in response to the cues, implying that eating palatable food contributes to increased responsivity. We tested whether normal-weight adolescents at high- versus low-risk for obesity showed aberrant activation of reward circuitry in response to receipt and anticipated receipt of palatable food and monetary reward using fMRI. High-risk youth showed greater activation in the caudate, parietal operculum, and frontal operculum in response to food intake and in the caudate, putamen, insula, thalamus, and orbitofrontal cortex in response to monetary reward. No differences emerged in response to anticipated food or monetary reward. Data indicate that youth at risk for obesity show elevated reward circuitry responsivity in general coupled with elevated somatosensory region responsivity to food, which may lead to overeating that produces blunted dopamine signaling and elevated responsivity to food cues. PMID:21430137

  7. Low Doses of Ethanol Enhance LTD-like Plasticity in Human Motor Cortex.

    PubMed

    Fuhl, Anna; Müller-Dahlhaus, Florian; Lücke, Caroline; Toennes, Stefan W; Ziemann, Ulf

    2015-12-01

    Humans liberally use ethanol for its facilitating effects on social interactions but its effects on central nervous system function remain underexplored. We have recently described that very low doses of ethanol abolish long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity in human cortex, most likely through enhancement of tonic inhibition [Lücke et al, 2014, Neuropsychopharmacology 39:1508-18]. Here, we studied the effects of low-dose ethanol on long-term depression (LTD)-like plasticity. LTD-like plasticity was induced in human motor cortex by paired associative transcranial magnetic stimulation (PASLTD), and measured as decreases of motor evoked potential input-output curve (IO-curve). In addition, sedation was measured by decreases in saccade peak velocity (SPV). Ethanol in two low doses (EtOH<10mM, EtOH<20mM) was compared to single oral doses of alprazolam (APZ, 1mg) a classical benzodiazepine, and zolpidem (ZLP, 10 mg), a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, in a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled crossover design in ten healthy human subjects. EtOH<10mM and EtOH<20mM but not APZ or ZLP enhanced the PASLTD-induced LTD-like plasticity, while APZ and ZLP but not EtOH<10mM or EtOH<20mM decreased SPV. Non-sedating low doses of ethanol, easily reached during social drinking, enhance LTD-like plasticity in human cortex. This effect is most likely explained by the activation of extrasynaptic α4-subunit containing gamma-aminobutyric type A receptors by low-dose EtOH, resulting in increased tonic inhibition. Findings may stimulate cellular research on the role of tonic inhibition in regulating excitability and plasticity of cortical neuronal networks. PMID:26038159

  8. Low Doses of Ethanol Enhance LTD-like Plasticity in Human Motor Cortex.

    PubMed

    Fuhl, Anna; Müller-Dahlhaus, Florian; Lücke, Caroline; Toennes, Stefan W; Ziemann, Ulf

    2015-12-01

    Humans liberally use ethanol for its facilitating effects on social interactions but its effects on central nervous system function remain underexplored. We have recently described that very low doses of ethanol abolish long-term potentiation (LTP)-like plasticity in human cortex, most likely through enhancement of tonic inhibition [Lücke et al, 2014, Neuropsychopharmacology 39:1508-18]. Here, we studied the effects of low-dose ethanol on long-term depression (LTD)-like plasticity. LTD-like plasticity was induced in human motor cortex by paired associative transcranial magnetic stimulation (PASLTD), and measured as decreases of motor evoked potential input-output curve (IO-curve). In addition, sedation was measured by decreases in saccade peak velocity (SPV). Ethanol in two low doses (EtOH<10mM, EtOH<20mM) was compared to single oral doses of alprazolam (APZ, 1mg) a classical benzodiazepine, and zolpidem (ZLP, 10 mg), a non-benzodiazepine hypnotic, in a double-blinded randomized placebo-controlled crossover design in ten healthy human subjects. EtOH<10mM and EtOH<20mM but not APZ or ZLP enhanced the PASLTD-induced LTD-like plasticity, while APZ and ZLP but not EtOH<10mM or EtOH<20mM decreased SPV. Non-sedating low doses of ethanol, easily reached during social drinking, enhance LTD-like plasticity in human cortex. This effect is most likely explained by the activation of extrasynaptic α4-subunit containing gamma-aminobutyric type A receptors by low-dose EtOH, resulting in increased tonic inhibition. Findings may stimulate cellular research on the role of tonic inhibition in regulating excitability and plasticity of cortical neuronal networks.

  9. Human Choice Strategy Varies with Anatomical Projections from Ventromedial Prefrontal Cortex to Medial Striatum.

    PubMed

    Piray, Payam; Toni, Ivan; Cools, Roshan

    2016-03-01

    Two distinct systems, goal-directed and habitual, support decision making. It has recently been hypothesized that this distinction may arise from two computational mechanisms, model-based and model-free reinforcement learning, neuronally implemented in frontostriatal circuits involved in learning and behavioral control. Here, we test whether the relative strength of anatomical connectivity within frontostriatal circuits accounts for variation in human individuals' reliance on model-based and model-free control. This hypothesis was tested by combining diffusion tensor imaging with a multistep decision task known to distinguish model-based and model-free control in humans. We found large interindividual differences in the degree of model-based control, and those differences are predicted by the structural integrity of white-matter tracts from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the medial striatum. Furthermore, an analysis based on masking out of bottom-up tracts suggests that this effect is driven by top-down influences from ventromedial prefrontal cortex to medial striatum. Our findings indicate that individuals with stronger afferences from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex to the medial striatum are more likely to rely on a model-based strategy to control their instrumental actions. These findings suggest a mechanism for instrumental action control through which medial striatum determines, at least partly, the relative contribution of model-based and model-free systems during decision-making according to top-down model-based information from the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. These findings have important implications for understanding the neural circuitry that might be susceptible to pathological computational processes in impulsive/compulsive psychiatric disorders. PMID:26961942

  10. Dynamic expression of calretinin in embryonic and early fetal human cortex

    PubMed Central

    González-Gómez, Miriam; Meyer, Gundela

    2014-01-01

    Calretinin (CR) is one of the earliest neurochemical markers in human corticogenesis. In embryos from Carnegie stages (CS) 17 to 23, calbindin (CB) and CR stain opposite poles of the incipient cortex suggesting early regionalization: CB marks the neuroepithelium of the medial boundary of the cortex with the choroid plexus (cortical hem). By contrast, CR is confined to the subventricular zone (SVZ) of the lateral and caudal ganglionic eminences at the pallial-subpallial boundary (PSB, or antihem), from where CR+/Tbr1- neurons migrate toward piriform cortex and amygdala as a component of the lateral cortical stream. At CS 19, columns of CR+ cells arise in the rostral cortex, and contribute at CS 20 to the “monolayer” of horizontal Tbr1+/CR+ and GAD+ cells in the preplate. At CS 21, the “pioneer cortical plate” appears as a radial aggregation of CR+/Tbr1+ neurons, which cover the entire future neocortex and extend the first corticofugal axons. CR expression in early human corticogenesis is thus not restricted to interneurons, but is also present in the first excitatory projection neurons of the cortex. At CS 21/22, the cortical plate is established following a lateral to medial gradient, when Tbr1+/CR- neurons settle within the pioneer cortical plate, and thus separate superficial and deep pioneer neurons. CR+ pioneer neurons disappear shortly after the formation of the cortical plate. Reelin+ Cajal-Retzius cells begin to express CR around CS21 (7/8 PCW). At CS 21–23, the CR+ SVZ at the PSB is the source of CR+ interneurons migrating into the cortical SVZ. In turn, CB+ interneurons migrate from the subpallium into the intermediate zone following the fibers of the internal capsule. Early CR+ and CB+ interneurons thus have different origins and migratory routes. CR+ cell populations in the embryonic telencephalon take part in a complex sequence of events not analyzed so far in other mammalian species, which may represent a distinctive trait of the initial

  11. Parcellation of the human orbitofrontal cortex based on gray matter volume covariance.

    PubMed

    Liu, Huaigui; Qin, Wen; Qi, Haotian; Jiang, Tianzi; Yu, Chunshui

    2015-02-01

    The human orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is an enigmatic brain region that cannot be parcellated reliably using diffusional and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) because there is signal dropout that results from an inherent defect in imaging techniques. We hypothesise that the OFC can be reliably parcellated into subregions based on gray matter volume (GMV) covariance patterns that are derived from artefact-free structural images. A total of 321 healthy young subjects were examined by high-resolution structural MRI. The OFC was parcellated into subregions-based GMV covariance patterns; and then sex and laterality differences in GMV covariance pattern of each OFC subregion were compared. The human OFC was parcellated into the anterior (OFCa), medial (OFCm), posterior (OFCp), intermediate (OFCi), and lateral (OFCl) subregions. This parcellation scheme was validated by the same analyses of the left OFC and the bilateral OFCs in male and female subjects. Both visual observation and quantitative comparisons indicated a unique GMV covariance pattern for each OFC subregion. These OFC subregions mainly covaried with the prefrontal and temporal cortices, cingulate cortex and amygdala. In addition, GMV correlations of most OFC subregions were similar across sex and laterality except for significant laterality difference in the OFCl. The right OFCl had stronger GMV correlation with the right inferior frontal cortex. Using high-resolution structural images, we established a reliable parcellation scheme for the human OFC, which may provide an in vivo guide for subregion-level studies of this region and improve our understanding of the human OFC at subregional levels.

  12. Complex Events Initiated by Individual Spikes in the Human Cerebral Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Komlósi, Gergely; Füle, Miklós; Szabadics, János; Varga, Csaba; Barzó, Pál; Tamás, Gábor

    2008-01-01

    Synaptic interactions between neurons of the human cerebral cortex were not directly studied to date. We recorded the first dataset, to our knowledge, on the synaptic effect of identified human pyramidal cells on various types of postsynaptic neurons and reveal complex events triggered by individual action potentials in the human neocortical network. Brain slices were prepared from nonpathological samples of cortex that had to be removed for the surgical treatment of brain areas beneath association cortices of 58 patients aged 18 to 73 y. Simultaneous triple and quadruple whole-cell patch clamp recordings were performed testing mono- and polysynaptic potentials in target neurons following a single action potential fired by layer 2/3 pyramidal cells, and the temporal structure of events and underlying mechanisms were analyzed. In addition to monosynaptic postsynaptic potentials, individual action potentials in presynaptic pyramidal cells initiated long-lasting (37 ± 17 ms) sequences of events in the network lasting an order of magnitude longer than detected previously in other species. These event series were composed of specifically alternating glutamatergic and GABAergic postsynaptic potentials and required selective spike-to-spike coupling from pyramidal cells to GABAergic interneurons producing concomitant inhibitory as well as excitatory feed-forward action of GABA. Single action potentials of human neurons are sufficient to recruit Hebbian-like neuronal assemblies that are proposed to participate in cognitive processes. PMID:18767905

  13. Speaking modifies voice-evoked activity in the human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Curio, G; Neuloh, G; Numminen, J; Jousmäki, V; Hari, R

    2000-04-01

    The voice we most often hear is our own, and proper interaction between speaking and hearing is essential for both acquisition and performance of spoken language. Disturbed audiovocal interactions have been implicated in aphasia, stuttering, and schizophrenic voice hallucinations, but paradigms for a noninvasive assessment of auditory self-monitoring of speaking and its possible dysfunctions are rare. Using magnetoencephalograpy we show here that self-uttered syllables transiently activate the speaker's auditory cortex around 100 ms after voice onset. These phasic responses were delayed by 11 ms in the speech-dominant left hemisphere relative to the right, whereas during listening to a replay of the same utterances the response latencies were symmetric. Moreover, the auditory cortices did not react to rare vowel changes interspersed randomly within a series of repetitively spoken vowels, in contrast to regular change-related responses evoked 100-200 ms after replayed rare vowels. Thus, speaking primes the human auditory cortex at a millisecond time scale, dampening and delaying reactions to self-produced "expected" sounds, more prominently in the speech-dominant hemisphere. Such motor-to-sensory priming of early auditory cortex responses during voicing constitutes one element of speech self-monitoring that could be compromised in central speech disorders.

  14. Counterfactual choice and learning in a neural network centered on human lateral frontopolar cortex.

    PubMed

    Boorman, Erie D; Behrens, Timothy E; Rushworth, Matthew F

    2011-06-01

    Decision making and learning in a real-world context require organisms to track not only the choices they make and the outcomes that follow but also other untaken, or counterfactual, choices and their outcomes. Although the neural system responsible for tracking the value of choices actually taken is increasingly well understood, whether a neural system tracks counterfactual information is currently unclear. Using a three-alternative decision-making task, a Bayesian reinforcement-learning algorithm, and fMRI, we investigated the coding of counterfactual choices and prediction errors in the human brain. Rather than representing evidence favoring multiple counterfactual choices, lateral frontal polar cortex (lFPC), dorsomedial frontal cortex (DMFC), and posteromedial cortex (PMC) encode the reward-based evidence favoring the best counterfactual option at future decisions. In addition to encoding counterfactual reward expectations, the network carries a signal for learning about counterfactual options when feedback is available-a counterfactual prediction error. Unlike other brain regions that have been associated with the processing of counterfactual outcomes, counterfactual prediction errors within the identified network cannot be related to regret theory. Furthermore, individual variation in counterfactual choice-related activity and prediction error-related activity, respectively, predicts variation in the propensity to switch to profitable choices in the future and the ability to learn from hypothetical feedback. Taken together, these data provide both neural and behavioral evidence to support the existence of a previously unidentified neural system responsible for tracking both counterfactual choice options and their outcomes.

  15. Solubilization and characterization of alpha-2 adrenergic receptors from the human platelet and rat cerebral cortex

    SciTech Connect

    Kawahara, R.S.

    1984-01-01

    Alpha-2 adrenergic receptor heterogeneity has been hypothesized to explain functional and radioligand binding differences between rodent and non-rodent species. Computer analysis of the inhibition of (/sup 3/He)yohimbine binding by prazosin in the rat cerebral cortex indicates the possibility of at least two binding sites rather than negative cooperativity at a single site. There appear to be three alternative hypotheses which may explain the rodent vs. non-rodent differences. To develop the technical capability to distinguish between the above alternatives, the human platelet and rat cerebral cortex were solubilized and p-azidoclonidine (AZC) an alpha-2 receptor photoaffinity label was synthesized. Soluble preparations from both species showed saturable, high affinity (/sup 3/He)yohimbine binding. The rank order of potencies for various adrenergic agonists and antagonists are consistent with the notion that (/sup 3/He)yohimbine binding detected solubilized alpha-2 receptors. Sucrose density gradient centrifugation of soluble alpha-2 receptors indicated no significant molecular size difference. (/sup 3/H)AZC binding to the alpha-2 receptor in the rat cerebral cortex demonstrated high affinity saturability and the correct rank order of potency.

  16. Neural mechanisms of economic commitment in the human medial prefrontal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Tsetsos, Konstantinos; Wyart, Valentin; Shorkey, S Paul; Summerfield, Christopher

    2014-01-01

    Neurobiologists have studied decisions by offering successive, independent choices between goods or gambles. However, choices often have lasting consequences, as when investing in a house or choosing a partner. Here, humans decided whether to commit (by acceptance or rejection) to prospects that provided sustained financial return. BOLD signals in the rostral medial prefrontal cortex (rmPFC) encoded stimulus value only when acceptance or rejection was deferred into the future, suggesting a role in integrating value signals over time. By contrast, the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) encoded stimulus value only when participants rejected (or deferred accepting) a prospect. dACC BOLD signals reflected two decision biases–to defer commitments to later, and to weight potential losses more heavily than gains–that (paradoxically) maximised reward in this task. These findings offer fresh insights into the pressures that shape economic decisions, and the computation of value in the medial prefrontal cortex. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03701.001 PMID:25333687

  17. Oscillatory activity and phase-amplitude coupling in the human medial frontal cortex during decision making.

    PubMed

    Cohen, Michael X; Elger, Christian E; Fell, Juergen

    2009-02-01

    Electroencephalogram oscillations recorded both within and over the medial frontal cortex have been linked to a range of cognitive functions, including positive and negative feedback processing. Medial frontal oscillatory characteristics during decision making remain largely unknown. Here, we examined oscillatory activity of the human medial frontal cortex recorded while subjects played a competitive decision-making game. Distinct patterns of power and cross-trial phase coherence in multiple frequency bands were observed during different decision-related processes (e.g., feedback anticipation vs. feedback processing). Decision and feedback processing were accompanied by a broadband increase in cross-trial phase coherence at around 220 msec, and dynamic fluctuations in power. Feedback anticipation was accompanied by a shift in the power spectrum from relatively lower (delta and theta) to higher (alpha and beta) power. Power and cross-trial phase coherence were greater following losses compared to wins in theta, alpha, and beta frequency bands, but were greater following wins compared to losses in the delta band. Finally, we found that oscillation power in alpha and beta frequency bands were synchronized with the phase of delta and theta oscillations ("phase-amplitude coupling"). This synchronization differed between losses and wins, suggesting that phase-amplitude coupling might reflect a mechanism of feedback valence coding in the medial frontal cortex. Our findings link medial frontal oscillations to decision making, with relations among activity in different frequency bands suggesting a phase-utilizing coding of feedback valence information.

  18. The human operculo-insular cortex is pain-preferentially but not pain-exclusively activated by trigeminal and olfactory stimuli.

    PubMed

    Lötsch, Jörn; Walter, Carmen; Felden, Lisa; Nöth, Ulrike; Deichmann, Ralf; Oertel, Bruno G

    2012-01-01

    Increasing evidence about the central nervous representation of pain in the brain suggests that the operculo-insular cortex is a crucial part of the pain matrix. The pain-specificity of a brain region may be tested by administering nociceptive stimuli while controlling for unspecific activations by administering non-nociceptive stimuli. We applied this paradigm to nasal chemosensation, delivering trigeminal or olfactory stimuli, to verify the pain-specificity of the operculo-insular cortex. In detail, brain activations due to intranasal stimulation induced by non-nociceptive olfactory stimuli of hydrogen sulfide (5 ppm) or vanillin (0.8 ppm) were used to mask brain activations due to somatosensory, clearly nociceptive trigeminal stimulations with gaseous carbon dioxide (75% v/v). Functional magnetic resonance (fMRI) images were recorded from 12 healthy volunteers in a 3T head scanner during stimulus administration using an event-related design. We found that significantly more activations following nociceptive than non-nociceptive stimuli were localized bilaterally in two restricted clusters in the brain containing the primary and secondary somatosensory areas and the insular cortices consistent with the operculo-insular cortex. However, these activations completely disappeared when eliminating activations associated with the administration of olfactory stimuli, which were small but measurable. While the present experiments verify that the operculo-insular cortex plays a role in the processing of nociceptive input, they also show that it is not a pain-exclusive brain region and allow, in the experimental context, for the interpretation that the operculo-insular cortex splay a major role in the detection of and responding to salient events, whether or not these events are nociceptive or painful. PMID:22496865

  19. Dissimilar processing of emotional facial expressions in human and monkey temporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qi; Nelissen, Koen; Van den Stock, Jan; De Winter, François-Laurent; Pauwels, Karl; de Gelder, Beatrice; Vanduffel, Wim; Vandenbulcke, Mathieu

    2013-02-01

    Emotional facial expressions play an important role in social communication across primates. Despite major progress made in our understanding of categorical information processing such as for objects and faces, little is known, however, about how the primate brain evolved to process emotional cues. In this study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare the processing of emotional facial expressions between monkeys and humans. We used a 2×2×2 factorial design with species (human and monkey), expression (fear and chewing) and configuration (intact versus scrambled) as factors. At the whole brain level, neural responses to conspecific emotional expressions were anatomically confined to the superior temporal sulcus (STS) in humans. Within the human STS, we found functional subdivisions with a face-selective right posterior STS area that also responded to emotional expressions of other species and a more anterior area in the right middle STS that responded specifically to human emotions. Hence, we argue that the latter region does not show a mere emotion-dependent modulation of activity but is primarily driven by human emotional facial expressions. Conversely, in monkeys, emotional responses appeared in earlier visual cortex and outside face-selective regions in inferior temporal cortex that responded also to multiple visual categories. Within monkey IT, we also found areas that were more responsive to conspecific than to non-conspecific emotional expressions but these responses were not as specific as in human middle STS. Overall, our results indicate that human STS may have developed unique properties to deal with social cues such as emotional expressions.

  20. Investigation of human frontal cortex under noxious thermal stimulation of temporo-mandibular joint using functional near infrared spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yennu, Amarnath; Rawat, Rohit; Manry, Michael T.; Gatchel, Robert; Liu, Hanli

    2013-03-01

    According to American Academy of Orofacial Pain, 75% of the U.S. population experiences painful symptoms of temporo-mandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJMD) during their lifetime. Thus, objective assessment of pain is crucial for efficient pain management. We used near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as a tool to explore hemodynamic responses in the frontal cortex to noxious thermal stimulation of temporomadibular joint (TMJ). NIRS experiments were performed on 9 healthy volunteers under both low pain stimulation (LPS) and high pain stimulation (HPS), using a temperature-controlled thermal stimulator. To induce thermal pain, a 16X16 mm2 thermode was strapped onto the right TMJ of each subject. Initially, subjects were asked to rate perceived pain on a scale of 0 to 10 for the temperatures from 41°C to 47°C. For the NIRS measurement, two magnitudes of temperatures, one rated as 3 and another rated as 7, were chosen as LPS and HPS, respectively. By analyzing the temporal profiles of changes in oxy-hemoglobin concentration (HbO) using cluster-based statistical tests, we were able to identify several regions of interest (ROI), (e.g., secondary somatosensory cortex and prefrontal cortex), where significant differences (p<0.05) between HbO responses to LPS and HPS are shown. In order to classify these two levels of pain, a neural-network-based classification algorithm was used. With leave-one-out cross validation from 9 subjects, the two levels of pain were identified with 100% mean sensitivity, 98% mean specificity and 99% mean accuracy to high pain. From the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.99 mean area under curve was observed.

  1. Neural coding and perceptual detection in the primate somatosensory thalamus.

    PubMed

    Vázquez, Yuriria; Zainos, Antonio; Alvarez, Manuel; Salinas, Emilio; Romo, Ranulfo

    2012-09-11

    The contribution of the sensory thalamus to perception and decision making is not well understood. We addressed this problem by recording single neurons in the ventral posterior lateral (VPL) nucleus of the somatosensory thalamus while trained monkeys judged the presence or absence of a vibrotactile stimulus of variable amplitude applied to the skin of a fingertip. We found that neurons in the VPL nucleus modulated their firing rate as a function of stimulus amplitude, and that such modulations accounted for the monkeys' overall psychophysical performance. These neural responses did not predict the animals' decision reports in individual trials, however. Moreover, the sensitivity to changes in stimulus amplitude was similar when the monkeys' performed the detection task and when they were not required to report stimulus detection. These results suggest that the primate somatosensory thalamus likely provides a reliable neural representation of the sensory input to the cerebral cortex, where sensory information is transformed and combined with other cognitive components associated with behavioral performance.

  2. Encoding of natural sounds at multiple spectral and temporal resolutions in the human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Roberta; Moerel, Michelle; De Martino, Federico; Goebel, Rainer; Ugurbil, Kamil; Yacoub, Essa; Formisano, Elia

    2014-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging research provides detailed observations of the response patterns that natural sounds (e.g. human voices and speech, animal cries, environmental sounds) evoke in the human brain. The computational and representational mechanisms underlying these observations, however, remain largely unknown. Here we combine high spatial resolution (3 and 7 Tesla) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) with computational modeling to reveal how natural sounds are represented in the human brain. We compare competing models of sound representations and select the model that most accurately predicts fMRI response patterns to natural sounds. Our results show that the cortical encoding of natural sounds entails the formation of multiple representations of sound spectrograms with different degrees of spectral and temporal resolution. The cortex derives these multi-resolution representations through frequency-specific neural processing channels and through the combined analysis of the spectral and temporal modulations in the spectrogram. Furthermore, our findings suggest that a spectral-temporal resolution trade-off may govern the modulation tuning of neuronal populations throughout the auditory cortex. Specifically, our fMRI results suggest that neuronal populations in posterior/dorsal auditory regions preferably encode coarse spectral information with high temporal precision. Vice-versa, neuronal populations in anterior/ventral auditory regions preferably encode fine-grained spectral information with low temporal precision. We propose that such a multi-resolution analysis may be crucially relevant for flexible and behaviorally-relevant sound processing and may constitute one of the computational underpinnings of functional specialization in auditory cortex. PMID:24391486

  3. Adaptation of high-gamma responses in human auditory association cortex

    PubMed Central

    Eliades, Steven J.; Crone, Nathan E.; Anderson, William S.; Ramadoss, Deepti; Lenz, Frederick A.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigates adaptation of high-frequency cortical responses [>60 Hz; high-gamma (HG)] to simple and complex sounds in human nonprimary auditory cortex. We used intracranial electrocorticographic recordings to measure event-related changes in HG power as a function of stimulus probability. Tone and speech stimuli were presented in a series of traditional oddball and control paradigms. We hypothesized that HG power attenuates with stimulus repetition over multiple concurrent time scales in auditory association cortex. Time-frequency analyses were performed to identify auditory-responsive sites. Single-trial analyses and quantitative modeling were then used to measure trial-to-trial changes in HG power for high (frequent), low (infrequent), and equal (control) stimulus probabilities. Results show strong reduction of HG responses to frequently repeated tones and speech, with no differences in responses to infrequent and equal-probability stimuli. Adaptation of the HG frequent response, and not stimulus-acoustic differences or deviance-detection enhancement effects, accounted for the differential responses observed for frequent and infrequent sounds. Adaptation of HG responses showed a rapid onset (less than two trials) with slower adaptation between consecutive, repeated trials (2–10 s) and across trials in a stimulus block (∼7 min). The auditory-evoked N100 response also showed repetition-related adaptation, consistent with previous human scalp and animal single-unit recordings. These findings indicate that HG responses are highly sensitive to the regularities of simple and complex auditory events and show adaptation on multiple concurrent time scales in human auditory association cortex. PMID:25122702

  4. Contour junctions underlie neural representations of scene categories in high-level human visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Choo, Heeyoung; Walther, Dirk B

    2016-07-15

    Humans efficiently grasp complex visual environments, making highly consistent judgments of entry-level category despite their high variability in visual appearance. How does the human brain arrive at the invariant neural representations underlying categorization of real-world environments? We here show that the neural representation of visual environments in scene-selective human visual cortex relies on statistics of contour junctions, which provide cues for the three-dimensional arrangement of surfaces in a scene. We manipulated line drawings of real-world environments such that statistics of contour orientations or junctions were disrupted. Manipulated and intact line drawings were presented to participants in an fMRI experiment. Scene categories were decoded from neural activity patterns in the parahippocampal place area (PPA), the occipital place area (OPA) and other visual brain regions. Disruption of junctions but not orientations led to a drastic decrease in decoding accuracy in the PPA and OPA, indicating the reliance of these areas on intact junction statistics. Accuracy of decoding from early visual cortex, on the other hand, was unaffected by either image manipulation. We further show that the correlation of error patterns between decoding from the scene-selective brain areas and behavioral experiments is contingent on intact contour junctions. Finally, a searchlight analysis exposes the reliance of visually active brain regions on different sets of contour properties. Statistics of contour length and curvature dominate neural representations of scene categories in early visual areas and contour junctions in high-level scene-selective brain regions.

  5. Learning of new sound categories shapes neural response patterns in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Ley, Anke; Vroomen, Jean; Hausfeld, Lars; Valente, Giancarlo; De Weerd, Peter; Formisano, Elia

    2012-09-19

    The formation of new sound categories is fundamental to everyday goal-directed behavior. Categorization requires the abstraction of discrete classes from continuous physical features as required by context and task. Electrophysiology in animals has shown that learning to categorize novel sounds alters their spatiotemporal neural representation at the level of early auditory cortex. However, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies so far did not yield insight into the effects of category learning on sound representations in human auditory cortex. This may be due to the use of overlearned speech-like categories and fMRI subtraction paradigms, leading to insufficient sensitivity to distinguish the responses to learning-induced, novel sound categories. Here, we used fMRI pattern analysis to investigate changes in human auditory cortical response patterns induced by category learning. We created complex novel sound categories and analyzed distributed activation patterns during passive listening to a sound continuum before and after category learning. We show that only after training, sound categories could be successfully decoded from early auditory areas and that learning-induced pattern changes were specific to the category-distinctive sound feature (i.e., pitch). Notably, the similarity between fMRI response patterns for the sound continuum mirrored the sigmoid shape of the behavioral category identification function. Our results indicate that perceptual representations of novel sound categories emerge from neural changes at early levels of the human auditory processing hierarchy.

  6. Neurophysiology. Decoding motor imagery from the posterior parietal cortex of a tetraplegic human.

    PubMed

    Aflalo, Tyson; Kellis, Spencer; Klaes, Christian; Lee, Brian; Shi, Ying; Pejsa, Kelsie; Shanfield, Kathleen; Hayes-Jackson, Stephanie; Aisen, Mindy; Heck, Christi; Liu, Charles; Andersen, Richard A

    2015-05-22

    Nonhuman primate and human studies have suggested that populations of neurons in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) may represent high-level aspects of action planning that can be used to control external devices as part of a brain-machine interface. However, there is no direct neuron-recording evidence that human PPC is involved in action planning, and the suitability of these signals for neuroprosthetic control has not been tested. We recorded neural population activity with arrays of microelectrodes implanted in the PPC of a tetraplegic subject. Motor imagery could be decoded from these neural populations, including imagined goals, trajectories, and types of movement. These findings indicate that the PPC of humans represents high-level, cognitive aspects of action and that the PPC can be a rich source for cognitive control signals for neural prosthetics that assist paralyzed patients.

  7. Corticospinal activity evoked and modulated by non-invasive stimulation of the intact human motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Di Lazzaro, Vincenzo; Rothwell, John C

    2014-10-01

    A number of methods have been developed recently that stimulate the human brain non-invasively through the intact scalp. The most common are transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), transcranial electric stimulation (TES) and transcranial direct current stimulation (TDCS). They are widely used to probe function and connectivity of brain areas as well as therapeutically in a variety of conditions such as depression or stroke. They are much less focal than conventional invasive methods which use small electrodes placed on or in the brain and are often thought to activate all classes of neurones in the stimulated area. However, this is not true. A large body of evidence from experiments on the motor cortex shows that non-invasive methods of brain stimulation can be surprisingly selective and that adjusting the intensity and direction of stimulation can activate different classes of inhibitory and excitatory inputs to the corticospinal output cells. Here we review data that have elucidated the action of TMS and TES, concentrating mainly on the most direct evidence available from spinal epidural recordings of the descending corticospinal volleys. The results show that it is potentially possible to test and condition specific neural circuits in motor cortex that could be affected differentially by disease, or be used in different forms of natural behaviour. However, there is substantial interindividual variability in the specificity of these protocols. Perhaps in the future it will be possible, with the advances currently being made to model the electrical fields induced in individual brains, to develop forms of stimulation that can reliably target more specific populations of neurones, and open up the internal circuitry of the motor cortex for study in behaving humans. PMID:25172954

  8. Cerebellum to motor cortex paired associative stimulation induces bidirectional STDP-like plasticity in human motor cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lu, Ming-Kuei; Tsai, Chon-Haw; Ziemann, Ulf

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum is crucially important for motor control and adaptation. Recent non-invasive brain stimulation studies have indicated the possibility to alter the excitability of the cerebellum and its projections to the contralateral motor cortex, with behavioral consequences on motor control and adaptation. Here we sought to induce bidirectional spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP)-like modifications of motor cortex (M1) excitability by application of paired associative stimulation (PAS) in healthy subjects. Conditioning stimulation over the right lateral cerebellum (CB) preceded focal transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of the left M1 hand area at an interstimulus interval of 2 ms (CB→M1 PAS2 ms), 6 ms (CB→M1 PAS6 ms) or 10 ms (CB→M1 PAS10 ms) or randomly alternating intervals of 2 and 10 ms (CB→M1 PASControl). Effects of PAS on M1 excitability were assessed by the motor-evoked potential (MEP) amplitude, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI), intracortical facilitation (ICF) and cerebellar-motor cortex inhibition (CBI) in the first dorsal interosseous muscle of the right hand. CB→M1 PAS2 ms resulted in MEP potentiation, CB→M1 PAS6 ms and CB→M1 PAS10 ms in MEP depression, and CB→M1 PASControl in no change. The MEP changes lasted for 30–60 min after PAS. SICI and CBI decreased non-specifically after all PAS protocols, while ICF remained unaltered. The physiological mechanisms underlying these MEP changes are carefully discussed. Findings support the notion of bidirectional STDP-like plasticity in M1 mediated by associative stimulation of the cerebello-dentato-thalamo-cortical pathway and M1. Future studies may investigate the behavioral significance of this plasticity. PMID:23049508

  9. Differentiation of muscarinic cholinergic receptor subtypes in human cortex and pons - Implications for anti-motion sickness therapy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mccarthy, Bruce G.; Peroutka, Stephen J.

    1988-01-01

    Radioligand binding studies were used to analyze muscarinic cholinergic receptor subtypes in human cortex and pons. Muscarinic cholinergic receptors were labeled by H-3-quinuclidinyl benzilate (H-3-QNB). Scopolamine was equipotent in both brain regions and did not discriminate subtypes of H-3-QNB binding. By contrast, the M1 selective antagonist pirenzepine was approximately 33-fold more potent in human cortex than pons. Carbachol, a putative M2 selective agonist, was more than 100-fold more potent in human pons than cortex. These results demonstrate that the human pons contains a relatively large proportion of carbachol-sensitive muscarinic cholinergic receptors. Drugs targeted to this subpopulation of muscarinic cholinergic receptors may prove to be effective anti-motion sickness agents with less side effects than scopolamine.

  10. Two sequential processes of change detection in hierarchically ordered areas of the human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Recasens, Marc; Grimm, Sabine; Capilla, Almudena; Nowak, Rafal; Escera, Carles

    2014-01-01

    Auditory deviance detection occurs around 150 ms after the onset of a deviant sound. Recent studies in animals and humans have described change-related processes occurring during the first 50 ms after sound onset. However, it still remains an open question whether these early and late processes of deviance detection are organized hierarchically in the human auditory cortex. We applied a beamforming source reconstruction approach in order to estimate brain sources associated with 2 temporally distinct markers of deviance detection. Results showed that rare frequency changes elicit an enhancement of the Nbm component of the middle latency response (MLR) peaking at 43 ms, in addition to the magnetic mismatch negativity (MMNm) peaking at 115 ms. Sources of MMNm, located in the right superior temporal gyrus, were lateral and posterior to the deviance-related MLR activity being generated in the right primary auditory cortex. Source reconstruction analyses revealed that detection of changes in the acoustic environment is a process accomplished in 2 different time ranges, by spatially separated auditory regions. Paralleling animal studies, our findings suggest that primary and secondary areas are involved in successive stages of deviance detection and support the existence of a hierarchical network devoted to auditory change detection.

  11. Influence of gradient acoustic noise on fMRI response in the human visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Nanyin; Zhu, Xiao-Hong; Chen, Wei

    2005-08-01

    A paired-stimuli paradigm combined with fMRI was utilized to study the effect of gradient acoustic noise on fMRI response in the human primary visual cortex (V1) in terms of the auditory-visual cross-modal neural interaction. The gradient noise generated during the fMRI acquisition was used as the primary stimulus, and a single flashing light was used as the secondary stimulus. An interstimulus interval (ISI) separated the two. Six tasks were designed with different ISIs ranging from 50 to 700 ms. Both BOLD signal intensity and the number of activated pixels in V1 were analyzed and examined, and they showed a significant reduction when the gradient noise preceded the flashing light by approximately 300 ms. These results indicate that the gradient acoustic noise generated during fMRI acquisitions does interfere with neural behavior and the BOLD signal in the human visual cortex. This interference is modulated by the delay between the gradient noise and visual stimulation, and it can be studied quantitatively when the stimulation paradigm is designed appropriately. This study provides evidence of the auditory-visual interaction during fMRI studies, and the results should have an impact on fMRI applications.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Retinotopic mapping of adult human visual cortex with high-density diffuse optical tomography

    PubMed Central

    Zeff, Benjamin W.; White, Brian R.; Dehghani, Hamid; Schlaggar, Bradley L.; Culver, Joseph P.

    2007-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging is a vital element of neuroscience and cognitive research and, increasingly, is an important clinical tool. Diffuse optical imaging is an emerging, noninvasive technique with unique portability and hemodynamic contrast capabilities for mapping brain function in young subjects and subjects in enriched or clinical environments. We have developed a high-performance, high-density diffuse optical tomography (DOT) system that overcomes previous limitations and enables superior image quality. We show herein the utility of the DOT system by presenting functional hemodynamic maps of the adult human visual cortex. The functional brain images have a high contrast-to-noise ratio, allowing visualization of individual activations and highly repeatable mapping within and across subjects. With the improved spatial resolution and localization, we were able to image functional responses of 1.7 cm in extent and shifts of <1 cm. Cortical maps of angle and eccentricity in the visual field are consistent with retinotopic studies using functional MRI and positron-emission tomography. These results demonstrate that high-density DOT is a practical and powerful tool for mapping function in the human cortex. PMID:17616584

  14. Cortex-sparing fiber dissection: an improved method for the study of white matter anatomy in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Martino, Juan; De Witt Hamer, Philip C; Vergani, Francesco; Brogna, Christian; de Lucas, Enrique Marco; Vázquez-Barquero, Alfonso; García-Porrero, Juan A; Duffau, Hugues

    2011-01-01

    Classical fiber dissection of post mortem human brains enables us to isolate a fiber tract by removing the cortex and overlying white matter. In the current work, a modification of the dissection methodology is presented that preserves the cortex and the relationships within the brain during all stages of dissection, i.e. ‘cortex-sparing fiber dissection’. Thirty post mortem human hemispheres (15 right side and 15 left side) were dissected using cortex-sparing fiber dissection. Magnetic resonance imaging study of a healthy brain was analyzed using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI)-based tractography software. DTI fiber tract reconstructions were compared with cortex-sparing fiber dissection results. The fibers of the superior longitudinal fasciculus (SLF), inferior fronto-occipital fasciculus (IFOF), inferior longitudinal fasciculus (ILF) and uncinate fasciculus (UF) were isolated so as to enable identification of their cortical terminations. Two segments of the SLF were identified: first, an indirect and superficial component composed of a horizontal and vertical segment; and second, a direct and deep component or arcuate fasciculus. The IFOF runs within the insula, temporal stem and sagittal stratum, and connects the frontal operculum with the occipital, parietal and temporo-basal cortex. The UF crosses the limen insulae and connects the orbito-frontal gyri with the anterior temporal lobe. Finally, a portio