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Sample records for neural activity related

  1. Social power and approach-related neural activity.

    PubMed

    Boksem, Maarten A S; Smolders, Ruud; De Cremer, David

    2012-06-01

    It has been argued that power activates a general tendency to approach whereas powerlessness activates a tendency to inhibit. The assumption is that elevated power involves reward-rich environments, freedom and, as a consequence, triggers an approach-related motivational orientation and attention to rewards. In contrast, reduced power is associated with increased threat, punishment and social constraint and thereby activates inhibition-related motivation. Moreover, approach motivation has been found to be associated with increased relative left-sided frontal brain activity, while withdrawal motivation has been associated with increased right sided activations. We measured EEG activity while subjects engaged in a task priming either high or low social power. Results show that high social power is indeed associated with greater left-frontal brain activity compared to low social power, providing the first neural evidence for the theory that high power is associated with approach-related motivation. We propose a framework accounting for differences in both approach motivation and goal-directed behaviour associated with different levels of power.

  2. Sensory-related neural activity regulates the structure of vascular networks in the cerebral cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lacoste, Baptiste; Comin, Cesar H.; Ben-Zvi, Ayal; Kaeser, Pascal S.; Xu, Xiaoyin; Costa, Luciano da F.; Gu, Chenghua

    2014-01-01

    SUMMARY Neurovascular interactions are essential for proper brain function. While the effect of neural activity on cerebral blood flow has been extensively studied, whether neural activity influences vascular patterning remains elusive. Here, we demonstrate that neural activity promotes the formation of vascular networks in the early postnatal mouse barrel cortex. Using a combination of genetics, imaging, and computational tools to allow simultaneous analysis of neuronal and vascular components, we found that vascular density and branching were decreased in the barrel cortex when sensory input was reduced by either a complete deafferentation, a genetic impairment of neurotransmitter release at thalamocortical synapses, or a selective reduction of sensory-related neural activity by whisker plucking. In contrast, enhancement of neural activity by whisker stimulation led to an increase in vascular density and branching. The finding that neural activity is necessary and sufficient to trigger alterations of vascular networks reveals a novel feature of neurovascular interactions. PMID:25155955

  3. Working Memory-Related Neural Activity Predicts Future Smoking Relapse

    PubMed Central

    Loughead, James; Wileyto, E Paul; Ruparel, Kosha; Falcone, Mary; Hopson, Ryan; Gur, Ruben; Lerman, Caryn

    2015-01-01

    Brief abstinence from smoking impairs cognition, particularly executive function, and this has a role in relapse to smoking. This study examined whether working memory-related brain activity predicts subsequent smoking relapse above and beyond standard clinical and behavioral measures. Eighty treatment-seeking smokers completed two functional magnetic resonance imaging sessions (smoking satiety vs 24 h abstinence challenge) during performance of a visual N-back task. Brief counseling and a short-term quit attempt followed. Relapse during the first 7 days was biochemically confirmed by the presence of the nicotine metabolite cotinine. Mean percent blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal change was extracted from a priori regions of interest: bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), medial frontal/cingulate gyrus, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Signal from these brain regions and additional clinical measures were used to model outcome status, which was then validated with resampling techniques. Relapse to smoking was predicted by increased withdrawal symptoms, decreased left DLPFC and increased PCC BOLD percent signal change (abstinence vs smoking satiety). Receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated 81% area under the curve using these predictors, a significant improvement over the model with clinical variables only. The combination of abstinence-induced decreases in left DLPFC activation and reduced suppression of PCC may be a prognostic marker for poor outcome, specifically early smoking relapse. PMID:25469682

  4. Differences in Feedback- and Inhibition-Related Neural Activity in Adult ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dibbets, Pauline; Evers, Lisbeth; Hurks, Petra; Marchetta, Natalie; Jolles, Jelle

    2009-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine response inhibition- and feedback-related neural activity in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) using event-related functional MRI. Sixteen male adults with ADHD and 13 healthy/normal controls participated in this study and performed a modified Go/NoGo task. Behaviourally,…

  5. Correlates of reward-predictive value in learning-related hippocampal neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Okatan, Murat

    2009-01-01

    Temporal difference learning (TD) is a popular algorithm in machine learning. Two learning signals that are derived from this algorithm, the predictive value and the prediction error, have been shown to explain changes in neural activity and behavior during learning across species. Here, the predictive value signal is used to explain the time course of learning-related changes in the activity of hippocampal neurons in monkeys performing an associative learning task. The TD algorithm serves as the centerpiece of a joint probability model for the learning-related neural activity and the behavioral responses recorded during the task. The neural component of the model consists of spiking neurons that compete and learn the reward-predictive value of task-relevant input signals. The predictive-value signaled by these neurons influences the behavioral response generated by a stochastic decision stage, which constitutes the behavioral component of the model. It is shown that the time course of the changes in neural activity and behavioral performance generated by the model exhibits key features of the experimental data. The results suggest that information about correct associations may be expressed in the hippocampus before it is detected in the behavior of a subject. In this way, the hippocampus may be among the earliest brain areas to express learning and drive the behavioral changes associated with learning. Correlates of reward-predictive value may be expressed in the hippocampus through rate remapping within spatial memory representations, they may represent reward-related aspects of a declarative or explicit relational memory representation of task contingencies, or they may correspond to reward-related components of episodic memory representations. These potential functions are discussed in connection with hippocampal cell assembly sequences and their reverse reactivation during the awake state. The results provide further support for the proposal that neural

  6. Does motion-related brain functional connectivity reflect both artifacts and genuine neural activity?

    PubMed

    Pujol, Jesus; Macià, Dídac; Blanco-Hinojo, Laura; Martínez-Vilavella, Gerard; Sunyer, Jordi; de la Torre, Rafael; Caixàs, Assumpta; Martín-Santos, Rocío; Deus, Joan; Harrison, Ben J

    2014-11-01

    Imaging research on functional connectivity is uniquely contributing to characterize the functional organization of the human brain. Functional connectivity measurements, however, may be significantly influenced by head motion that occurs during image acquisition. The identification of how motion influences such measurements is therefore highly relevant to the interpretation of a study's results. We have mapped the effect of head motion on functional connectivity in six different populations representing a wide range of potential influences of motion on functional connectivity. Group-level voxel-wise maps of the correlation between a summary head motion measurement and functional connectivity degree were estimated in 80 young adults, 71 children, 53 older adults, 20 patients with Down syndrome, 24 with Prader-Willi syndrome and 20 with Williams syndrome. In highly compliant young adults, motion correlated with functional connectivity measurements showing a system-specific anatomy involving the sensorimotor cortex, visual areas and default mode network. Further characterization was strongly indicative of these changes expressing genuine neural activity related to motion, as opposed to pure motion artifact. In the populations with larger head motion, results were more indicative of widespread artifacts, but showing notably distinct spatial distribution patterns. Group-level regression of motion effects was efficient in removing both generalized changes and changes putatively related to neural activity. Overall, this study endorses a relatively simple approach for mapping distinct effects of head motion on functional connectivity. Importantly, our findings support the intriguing hypothesis that a component of motion-related changes may reflect system-specific neural activity.

  7. Elevated reward-related neural activation as a unique biological marker of bipolar disorder: assessment and treatment implications.

    PubMed

    Nusslock, Robin; Young, Christina B; Damme, Katherine S F

    2014-11-01

    Growing evidence indicates that risk for bipolar disorder is characterized by elevated activation in a fronto-striatal reward neural circuit involving the ventral striatum and orbitofrontal cortex, among other regions. It is proposed that individuals with abnormally elevated reward-related neural activation are at risk for experiencing an excessive increase in approach-related motivation during life events involving rewards or goal striving and attainment. In the extreme, this increase in motivation is reflected in hypomanic/manic symptoms. By contrast, unipolar depression (without a history of hypomania/mania) is characterized by decreased reward responsivity and decreased reward-related neural activation. Collectively, this suggests that risk for bipolar disorder and unipolar depression are characterized by distinct and opposite profiles of reward processing and reward-related neural activation. The objective of the present paper is threefold. First, we review the literature on reward processing and reward-related neural activation in bipolar disorder, and in particular risk for hypomania/mania. Second, we propose that reward-related neural activation reflects a biological marker of differential risk for bipolar disorder versus unipolar depression that may help facilitate psychiatric assessment and differential diagnosis. We also discuss, however, the challenges to using neuroscience techniques and biological markers in a clinical setting for assessment and diagnostic purposes. Lastly, we address the pharmacological and psychosocial treatment implications of research on reward-related neural activation in bipolar disorder. PMID:25241675

  8. Relation of obesity to neural activation in response to food commercials.

    PubMed

    Gearhardt, Ashley N; Yokum, Sonja; Stice, Eric; Harris, Jennifer L; Brownell, Kelly D

    2014-07-01

    Adolescents view thousands of food commercials annually, but the neural response to food advertising and its association with obesity is largely unknown. This study is the first to examine how neural response to food commercials differs from other stimuli (e.g. non-food commercials and television show) and to explore how this response may differ by weight status. The blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging activation was measured in 30 adolescents ranging from lean to obese in response to food and non-food commercials imbedded in a television show. Adolescents exhibited greater activation in regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. occipital gyrus), attention (e.g. parietal lobes), cognition (e.g. temporal gyrus and posterior cerebellar lobe), movement (e.g. anterior cerebellar cortex), somatosensory response (e.g. postcentral gyrus) and reward [e.g. orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)] during food commercials. Obese participants exhibited less activation during food relative to non-food commercials in neural regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. cuneus), attention (e.g. posterior cerebellar lobe), reward (e.g. ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ACC) and salience detection (e.g. precuneus). Obese participants did exhibit greater activation in a region implicated in semantic control (e.g. medial temporal gyrus). These findings may inform current policy debates regarding the impact of food advertising to minors. PMID:23576811

  9. Relation of obesity to neural activation in response to food commercials

    PubMed Central

    Yokum, Sonja; Stice, Eric; Harris, Jennifer L.; Brownell, Kelly D.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescents view thousands of food commercials annually, but the neural response to food advertising and its association with obesity is largely unknown. This study is the first to examine how neural response to food commercials differs from other stimuli (e.g. non-food commercials and television show) and to explore how this response may differ by weight status. The blood oxygen level-dependent functional magnetic resonance imaging activation was measured in 30 adolescents ranging from lean to obese in response to food and non-food commercials imbedded in a television show. Adolescents exhibited greater activation in regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. occipital gyrus), attention (e.g. parietal lobes), cognition (e.g. temporal gyrus and posterior cerebellar lobe), movement (e.g. anterior cerebellar cortex), somatosensory response (e.g. postcentral gyrus) and reward [e.g. orbitofrontal cortex and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC)] during food commercials. Obese participants exhibited less activation during food relative to non-food commercials in neural regions implicated in visual processing (e.g. cuneus), attention (e.g. posterior cerebellar lobe), reward (e.g. ventromedial prefrontal cortex and ACC) and salience detection (e.g. precuneus). Obese participants did exhibit greater activation in a region implicated in semantic control (e.g. medial temporal gyrus). These findings may inform current policy debates regarding the impact of food advertising to minors. PMID:23576811

  10. Perceptual Salience and Reward Both Influence Feedback-Related Neural Activity Arising from Choice.

    PubMed

    Lou, Bin; Hsu, Wha-Yin; Sajda, Paul

    2015-09-23

    For day-to-day decisions, multiple factors influence our choice between alternatives. Two dimensions of decision making that substantially affect choice are the objective perceptual properties of the stimulus (e.g., salience) and its subjective value. Here we measure EEGs in human subjects to relate their feedback-evoked EEG responses to estimates of prediction error given a neurally derived expected value for each trial. Unlike in traditional reinforcement learning paradigms, in our experiment the reward itself is not probabilistic; rather, it is a fixed value, which, when combined with the variable stimulus salience, yields uncertainty in the choice. We find that feedback-evoked event-related potentials (ERPs), specifically those classically termed feedback-related negativity, are modulated by both the reward level and stimulus salience. Using single-trial analysis of the EEG, we show stimulus-locked EEG components reflecting perceived stimulus salience can be combined with the level of reward to create an estimate of expected reward. This expected reward is used to form a prediction error that correlates with the trial-by-trial variability of the feedback ERPs for negative, but not positive, feedback. This suggests that the valence of prediction error is more important than the valence of the actual feedback, since only positive rewards were delivered in the experiment (no penalty or loss). Finally, we show that these subjectively defined prediction errors are informative of the riskiness of the subject's choice on the subsequent trial. In summary, our work shows that neural correlates of stimulus salience interact with value information to yield neural representations of subjective expected reward. Significance statement: How we make perceptual decisions depends on sensory evidence and the value of our options. These two factors often interact to yield subjective decisions; i.e., individuals integrate sensory evidence and value to form their own estimates of

  11. Relations among pure-tone sound stimuli, neural activity, and the loudness sensation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Howes, W. L.

    1972-01-01

    Both the physiological and psychological responses to pure-tone sound stimuli are used to derive formulas which: (1) relate the loudness, loudness level, and sound-pressure level of pure tones; (2) apply continuously over most of the acoustic regime, including the loudness threshold; and (3) contain no undetermined coefficients. Some of the formulas are fundamental for calculating the loudness of any sound. Power-law formulas relating the pure-tone sound stimulus, neural activity, and loudness are derived from published data.

  12. When your friends make you cringe: social closeness modulates vicarious embarrassment-related neural activity.

    PubMed

    Müller-Pinzler, Laura; Rademacher, Lena; Paulus, Frieder M; Krach, Sören

    2016-03-01

    Social closeness is a potent moderator of vicarious affect and specifically vicarious embarrassment. The neural pathways of how social closeness to another person affects our experience of vicarious embarrassment for the other's public flaws, failures and norm violations are yet unknown. To bridge this gap, we examined the neural response of participants while witnessing threats to either a friend's or a stranger's social integrity. The results show consistent responses of the anterior insula (AI) and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), shared circuits of the aversive quality of affect, as well as the medial prefrontal cortex and temporal pole, central structures of the mentalizing network. However, the ACC/AI network activation was increased during vicarious embarrassment in response to a friend's failures. At the same time, the precuneus, a brain region associated with self-related thoughts, showed a specific activation and an increase in functional connectivity with the shared circuits in the frontal lobe while observing friends. This might indicate a neural systems mechanism for greater affective sharing and self-involvement while people interact with close others that are relevant to oneself.

  13. Interactivity and reward-related neural activation during a serious videogame.

    PubMed

    Cole, Steven W; Yoo, Daniel J; Knutson, Brian

    2012-01-01

    This study sought to determine whether playing a "serious" interactive digital game (IDG)--the Re-Mission videogame for cancer patients--activates mesolimbic neural circuits associated with incentive motivation, and if so, whether such effects stem from the participatory aspects of interactive gameplay, or from the complex sensory/perceptual engagement generated by its dynamic event-stream. Healthy undergraduates were randomized to groups in which they were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) as they either actively played Re-Mission or as they passively observed a gameplay audio-visual stream generated by a yoked active group subject. Onset of interactive game play robustly activated mesolimbic projection regions including the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, as well as a subregion of the parahippocampal gyrus. During interactive gameplay, subjects showed extended activation of the thalamus, anterior insula, putamen, and motor-related regions, accompanied by decreased activation in parietal and medial prefrontal cortex. Offset of interactive gameplay activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate. Between-group comparisons of within-subject contrasts confirmed that mesolimbic activation was significantly more pronounced in the active playgroup than in the passive exposure control group. Individual difference analyses also found the magnitude of parahippocampal activation following gameplay onset to correlate with positive attitudes toward chemotherapy assessed both at the end of the scanning session and at an unannounced one-month follow-up. These findings suggest that IDG-induced activation of reward-related mesolimbic neural circuits stems primarily from participatory engagement in gameplay (interactivity), rather than from the effects of vivid and dynamic sensory stimulation.

  14. Interactivity and Reward-Related Neural Activation during a Serious Videogame

    PubMed Central

    Cole, Steven W.; Yoo, Daniel J.; Knutson, Brian

    2012-01-01

    This study sought to determine whether playing a “serious” interactive digital game (IDG) – the Re-Mission videogame for cancer patients – activates mesolimbic neural circuits associated with incentive motivation, and if so, whether such effects stem from the participatory aspects of interactive gameplay, or from the complex sensory/perceptual engagement generated by its dynamic event-stream. Healthy undergraduates were randomized to groups in which they were scanned with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) as they either actively played Re-Mission or as they passively observed a gameplay audio-visual stream generated by a yoked active group subject. Onset of interactive game play robustly activated mesolimbic projection regions including the caudate nucleus and nucleus accumbens, as well as a subregion of the parahippocampal gyrus. During interactive gameplay, subjects showed extended activation of the thalamus, anterior insula, putamen, and motor-related regions, accompanied by decreased activation in parietal and medial prefrontal cortex. Offset of interactive gameplay activated the anterior insula and anterior cingulate. Between-group comparisons of within-subject contrasts confirmed that mesolimbic activation was significantly more pronounced in the active playgroup than in the passive exposure control group. Individual difference analyses also found the magnitude of parahippocampal activation following gameplay onset to correlate with positive attitudes toward chemotherapy assessed both at the end of the scanning session and at an unannounced one-month follow-up. These findings suggest that IDG-induced activation of reward-related mesolimbic neural circuits stems primarily from participatory engagement in gameplay (interactivity), rather than from the effects of vivid and dynamic sensory stimulation. PMID:22442733

  15. Neural activity related to cognitive and emotional empathy in post-traumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Monica; Tempesta, Daniela; Pino, Maria Chiara; Nigri, Anna; Catalucci, Alessia; Guadagni, Veronica; Gallucci, Massimo; Iaria, Giuseppe; Ferrara, Michele

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the empathic ability and its functional brain correlates in post-traumatic stress disorder subjects (PTSD). Seven PTSD subjects and ten healthy controls, all present in the L'Aquila area during the earthquake of the April 2009, underwent fMRI during which they performed a modified version of the Multifaceted Empathy Test. PTSD patients showed impairments in implicit and explicit emotional empathy, but not in cognitive empathy. Brain responses during cognitive empathy showed an increased activation in patients compared to controls in the right medial frontal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus. During implicit emotional empathy responses patients with PTSD, compared to controls, exhibited greater neural activity in the left pallidum and right insula; instead the control group showed an increased activation in right inferior frontal gyrus. Finally, in the explicit emotional empathy responses the PTSD group showed a reduced neural activity in the left insula and the left inferior frontal gyrus. The behavioral deficit limited to the emotional empathy dimension, accompanied by different patterns of activation in empathy related brain structures, represent a first piece of evidence of a dissociation between emotional and cognitive empathy in PTSD patients. The present findings support the idea that empathy is a multidimensional process, with different facets depending on distinct anatomical substrates. PMID:25555525

  16. Neural activity related to cognitive and emotional empathy in post-traumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Mazza, Monica; Tempesta, Daniela; Pino, Maria Chiara; Nigri, Anna; Catalucci, Alessia; Guadagni, Veronica; Gallucci, Massimo; Iaria, Giuseppe; Ferrara, Michele

    2015-04-01

    The aim of this study is to evaluate the empathic ability and its functional brain correlates in post-traumatic stress disorder subjects (PTSD). Seven PTSD subjects and ten healthy controls, all present in the L'Aquila area during the earthquake of the April 2009, underwent fMRI during which they performed a modified version of the Multifaceted Empathy Test. PTSD patients showed impairments in implicit and explicit emotional empathy, but not in cognitive empathy. Brain responses during cognitive empathy showed an increased activation in patients compared to controls in the right medial frontal gyrus and the left inferior frontal gyrus. During implicit emotional empathy responses patients with PTSD, compared to controls, exhibited greater neural activity in the left pallidum and right insula; instead the control group showed an increased activation in right inferior frontal gyrus. Finally, in the explicit emotional empathy responses the PTSD group showed a reduced neural activity in the left insula and the left inferior frontal gyrus. The behavioral deficit limited to the emotional empathy dimension, accompanied by different patterns of activation in empathy related brain structures, represent a first piece of evidence of a dissociation between emotional and cognitive empathy in PTSD patients. The present findings support the idea that empathy is a multidimensional process, with different facets depending on distinct anatomical substrates.

  17. DNA methyltransferase activity is required for memory-related neural plasticity in the lateral amygdala.

    PubMed

    Maddox, Stephanie A; Watts, Casey S; Schafe, Glenn E

    2014-01-01

    We have previously shown that auditory Pavlovian fear conditioning is associated with an increase in DNA methyltransferase (DNMT) expression in the lateral amygdala (LA) and that intra-LA infusion or bath application of an inhibitor of DNMT activity impairs the consolidation of an auditory fear memory and long-term potentiation (LTP) at thalamic and cortical inputs to the LA, in vitro. In the present study, we use awake behaving neurophysiological techniques to examine the role of DNMT activity in memory-related neurophysiological changes accompanying fear memory consolidation and reconsolidation in the LA, in vivo. We show that auditory fear conditioning results in a training-related enhancement in the amplitude of short-latency auditory-evoked field potentials (AEFPs) in the LA. Intra-LA infusion of a DNMT inhibitor impairs both fear memory consolidation and, in parallel, the consolidation of training-related neural plasticity in the LA; that is, short-term memory (STM) and short-term training-related increases in AEFP amplitude in the LA are intact, while long-term memory (LTM) and long-term retention of training-related increases in AEFP amplitudes are impaired. In separate experiments, we show that intra-LA infusion of a DNMT inhibitor following retrieval of an auditory fear memory has no effect on post-retrieval STM or short-term retention of training-related changes in AEFP amplitude in the LA, but significantly impairs both post-retrieval LTM and long-term retention of AEFP amplitude changes in the LA. These findings are the first to demonstrate the necessity of DNMT activity in the consolidation and reconsolidation of memory-associated neural plasticity, in vivo.

  18. Adolescents’ risky decision-making activates neural networks related to social cognition and cognitive control processes

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigo, María José; Padrón, Iván; de Vega, Manuel; Ferstl, Evelyn C.

    2014-01-01

    This study examines by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging the neural mechanisms underlying adolescents’ risk decision-making in social contexts. We hypothesize that the social context could engage brain regions associated with social cognition processes and developmental changes are also expected. Sixty participants (adolescents: 17–18, and young adults: 21–22 years old) read narratives describing typical situations of decision-making in the presence of peers. They were asked to make choices in risky situations (e.g., taking or refusing a drug) or ambiguous situations (e.g., eating a hamburger or a hotdog). Risky as compared to ambiguous scenarios activated bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ), bilateral middle temporal gyrus (MTG), right medial prefrontal cortex, and the precuneus bilaterally; i.e., brain regions related to social cognition processes, such as self-reflection and theory of mind (ToM). In addition, brain structures related to cognitive control were active [right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), bilateral orbitofrontal cortex], whereas no significant clusters were obtained in the reward system (ventral striatum). Choosing the dangerous option involved a further activation of control areas (ACC) and emotional and social cognition areas (temporal pole). Adolescents employed more neural resources than young adults in the right DLPFC and the right TPJ in risk situations. When choosing the dangerous option, young adults showed a further engagement in ToM related regions (bilateral MTG) and in motor control regions related to the planning of actions (pre-supplementary motor area). Finally, the right insula and the right superior temporal gyrus were more activated in women than in men, suggesting more emotional involvement and more intensive modeling of the others’ perspective in the risky conditions. These findings call for more comprehensive developmental accounts of decision

  19. Adolescents' risky decision-making activates neural networks related to social cognition and cognitive control processes.

    PubMed

    Rodrigo, María José; Padrón, Iván; de Vega, Manuel; Ferstl, Evelyn C

    2014-01-01

    This study examines by means of functional magnetic resonance imaging the neural mechanisms underlying adolescents' risk decision-making in social contexts. We hypothesize that the social context could engage brain regions associated with social cognition processes and developmental changes are also expected. Sixty participants (adolescents: 17-18, and young adults: 21-22 years old) read narratives describing typical situations of decision-making in the presence of peers. They were asked to make choices in risky situations (e.g., taking or refusing a drug) or ambiguous situations (e.g., eating a hamburger or a hotdog). Risky as compared to ambiguous scenarios activated bilateral temporoparietal junction (TPJ), bilateral middle temporal gyrus (MTG), right medial prefrontal cortex, and the precuneus bilaterally; i.e., brain regions related to social cognition processes, such as self-reflection and theory of mind (ToM). In addition, brain structures related to cognitive control were active [right anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), bilateral orbitofrontal cortex], whereas no significant clusters were obtained in the reward system (ventral striatum). Choosing the dangerous option involved a further activation of control areas (ACC) and emotional and social cognition areas (temporal pole). Adolescents employed more neural resources than young adults in the right DLPFC and the right TPJ in risk situations. When choosing the dangerous option, young adults showed a further engagement in ToM related regions (bilateral MTG) and in motor control regions related to the planning of actions (pre-supplementary motor area). Finally, the right insula and the right superior temporal gyrus were more activated in women than in men, suggesting more emotional involvement and more intensive modeling of the others' perspective in the risky conditions. These findings call for more comprehensive developmental accounts of decision-making in

  20. Activational and effort-related aspects of motivation: neural mechanisms and implications for psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Salamone, John D; Yohn, Samantha E; López-Cruz, Laura; San Miguel, Noemí; Correa, Mercè

    2016-05-01

    Motivation has been defined as the process that allows organisms to regulate their internal and external environment, and control the probability, proximity and availability of stimuli. As such, motivation is a complex process that is critical for survival, which involves multiple behavioural functions mediated by a number of interacting neural circuits. Classical theories of motivation suggest that there are both directional and activational aspects of motivation, and activational aspects (i.e. speed and vigour of both the instigation and persistence of behaviour) are critical for enabling organisms to overcome work-related obstacles or constraints that separate them from significant stimuli. The present review discusses the role of brain dopamine and related circuits in behavioural activation, exertion of effort in instrumental behaviour, and effort-related decision-making, based upon both animal and human studies. Impairments in behavioural activation and effort-related aspects of motivation are associated with psychiatric symptoms such as anergia, fatigue, lassitude and psychomotor retardation, which cross multiple pathologies, including depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, this review also attempts to provide an interdisciplinary approach that integrates findings from basic behavioural neuroscience, behavioural economics, clinical neuropsychology, psychiatry, and neurology, to provide a coherent framework for future research and theory in this critical field. Although dopamine systems are a critical part of the brain circuitry regulating behavioural activation, exertion of effort, and effort-related decision-making, mesolimbic dopamine is only one part of a distributed circuitry that includes multiple neurotransmitters and brain areas. Overall, there is a striking similarity between the brain areas involved in behavioural activation and effort-related processes in rodents and in humans. Animal models of effort-related decision

  1. Activational and effort-related aspects of motivation: neural mechanisms and implications for psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Salamone, John D; Yohn, Samantha E; López-Cruz, Laura; San Miguel, Noemí; Correa, Mercè

    2016-05-01

    Motivation has been defined as the process that allows organisms to regulate their internal and external environment, and control the probability, proximity and availability of stimuli. As such, motivation is a complex process that is critical for survival, which involves multiple behavioural functions mediated by a number of interacting neural circuits. Classical theories of motivation suggest that there are both directional and activational aspects of motivation, and activational aspects (i.e. speed and vigour of both the instigation and persistence of behaviour) are critical for enabling organisms to overcome work-related obstacles or constraints that separate them from significant stimuli. The present review discusses the role of brain dopamine and related circuits in behavioural activation, exertion of effort in instrumental behaviour, and effort-related decision-making, based upon both animal and human studies. Impairments in behavioural activation and effort-related aspects of motivation are associated with psychiatric symptoms such as anergia, fatigue, lassitude and psychomotor retardation, which cross multiple pathologies, including depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease. Therefore, this review also attempts to provide an interdisciplinary approach that integrates findings from basic behavioural neuroscience, behavioural economics, clinical neuropsychology, psychiatry, and neurology, to provide a coherent framework for future research and theory in this critical field. Although dopamine systems are a critical part of the brain circuitry regulating behavioural activation, exertion of effort, and effort-related decision-making, mesolimbic dopamine is only one part of a distributed circuitry that includes multiple neurotransmitters and brain areas. Overall, there is a striking similarity between the brain areas involved in behavioural activation and effort-related processes in rodents and in humans. Animal models of effort-related decision

  2. Trait self-esteem and neural activities related to self-evaluation and social feedback.

    PubMed

    Yang, Juan; Xu, Xiaofan; Chen, Yu; Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2016-01-01

    Self-esteem has been associated with neural responses to self-reflection and attitude toward social feedback but in different brain regions. The distinct associations might arise from different tasks or task-related attitudes in the previous studies. The current study aimed to clarify these by investigating the association between self-esteem and neural responses to evaluation of one's own personality traits and of others' opinion about one's own personality traits. We scanned 25 college students using functional MRI during evaluation of oneself or evaluation of social feedback. Trait self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale after scanning. Whole-brain regression analyses revealed that trait self-esteem was associated with the bilateral orbitofrontal activity during evaluation of one's own positive traits but with activities in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortices during evaluation of positive social feedback. Our findings suggest that trait self-esteem modulates the degree of both affective processes in the orbitofrontal cortex during self-reflection and cognitive processes in the medial prefrontal cortex during evaluation of social feedback. PMID:26842975

  3. Trait self-esteem and neural activities related to self-evaluation and social feedback

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Juan; Xu, Xiaofan; Chen, Yu; Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2016-01-01

    Self-esteem has been associated with neural responses to self-reflection and attitude toward social feedback but in different brain regions. The distinct associations might arise from different tasks or task-related attitudes in the previous studies. The current study aimed to clarify these by investigating the association between self-esteem and neural responses to evaluation of one’s own personality traits and of others’ opinion about one’s own personality traits. We scanned 25 college students using functional MRI during evaluation of oneself or evaluation of social feedback. Trait self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale after scanning. Whole-brain regression analyses revealed that trait self-esteem was associated with the bilateral orbitofrontal activity during evaluation of one’s own positive traits but with activities in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortices during evaluation of positive social feedback. Our findings suggest that trait self-esteem modulates the degree of both affective processes in the orbitofrontal cortex during self-reflection and cognitive processes in the medial prefrontal cortex during evaluation of social feedback. PMID:26842975

  4. Trait self-esteem and neural activities related to self-evaluation and social feedback.

    PubMed

    Yang, Juan; Xu, Xiaofan; Chen, Yu; Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2016-01-01

    Self-esteem has been associated with neural responses to self-reflection and attitude toward social feedback but in different brain regions. The distinct associations might arise from different tasks or task-related attitudes in the previous studies. The current study aimed to clarify these by investigating the association between self-esteem and neural responses to evaluation of one's own personality traits and of others' opinion about one's own personality traits. We scanned 25 college students using functional MRI during evaluation of oneself or evaluation of social feedback. Trait self-esteem was measured using the Rosenberg self-esteem scale after scanning. Whole-brain regression analyses revealed that trait self-esteem was associated with the bilateral orbitofrontal activity during evaluation of one's own positive traits but with activities in the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and occipital cortices during evaluation of positive social feedback. Our findings suggest that trait self-esteem modulates the degree of both affective processes in the orbitofrontal cortex during self-reflection and cognitive processes in the medial prefrontal cortex during evaluation of social feedback.

  5. Investigating age-related changes in anterior and posterior neural activity throughout the information processing stream.

    PubMed

    Alperin, Brittany R; Tusch, Erich S; Mott, Katherine K; Holcomb, Phillip J; Daffner, Kirk R

    2015-10-01

    Event-related potential (ERP) and other functional imaging studies often demonstrate age-related increases in anterior neural activity and decreases in posterior activity while subjects carry out task demands. It remains unclear whether this "anterior shift" is limited to late cognitive operations like those indexed by the P3 component, or is evident during other stages of information processing. The temporal resolution of ERPs provided an opportunity to address this issue. Temporospatial principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify underlying components that may be obscured by overlapping ERP waveforms. ERPs were measured during a visual oddball task in 26 young, 26 middle-aged, and 29 old subjects who were well-matched for IQ, executive function, education, and task performance. PCA identified six anterior factors peaking between ∼140 ms and 810 ms, and four posterior factors peaking between ∼300 ms and 810 ms. There was an age-related increase in the amplitude of anterior factors between ∼200 and 500 ms, and an age-associated decrease in amplitude of posterior factors after ∼500 ms. The increase in anterior processing began as early as middle-age, was sustained throughout old age, and appeared to be linear in nature. These results suggest that age-associated increases in anterior activity occur after early sensory processing has taken place, and are most prominent during a period in which attention is being marshaled to evaluate a stimulus. In contrast, age-related decreases in posterior activity manifest during operations involved in stimulus categorization, post-decision monitoring, and preparation for an upcoming event. PMID:26295684

  6. 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

  7. Age-related differences in enhancement and suppression of neural activity underlying selective attention in matched young and old adults.

    PubMed

    Haring, A E; Zhuravleva, T Y; Alperin, B R; Rentz, D M; Holcomb, P J; Daffner, K R

    2013-03-01

    Selective attention reflects the top-down control of sensory processing that is mediated by enhancement or inhibition of neural activity. ERPs were used to investigate age-related differences in neural activity in an experiment examining selective attention to color under Attend and Ignore conditions, as well as under a Neutral condition in which color was task-irrelevant. We sought to determine whether differences in neural activity between old and young adult subjects were due to differences in age rather than executive capacity. Old subjects were matched to two groups of young subjects on the basis of neuropsychological test performance: one using age-appropriate norms and the other using test scores not adjusted for age. We found that old and young subject groups did not differ in the overall modulation of selective attention between Attend and Ignore conditions, as indexed by the size of the anterior Selection Positivity. However, in contrast to either young adult group, old subjects did not exhibit reduced neural activity under the Ignore relative to Neutral condition, but showed enhanced activity under the Attend condition. The onset and peak of the Selection Positivity occurred later for old than young subjects. In summary, older adults execute selective attention less efficiently than matched younger subjects, with slowed processing and failed suppression under Ignore. Increased enhancement under Attend may serve as a compensatory mechanism.

  8. Neural relativity principle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koulakov, Alexei

    Olfaction is the final frontier of our senses - the one that is still almost completely mysterious to us. Despite extensive genetic and perceptual data, and a strong push to solve the neural coding problem, fundamental questions about the sense of smell remain unresolved. Unlike vision and hearing, where relatively straightforward relationships between stimulus features and neural responses have been foundational to our understanding sensory processing, it has been difficult to quantify the properties of odorant molecules that lead to olfactory percepts. In a sense, we do not have olfactory analogs of ``red'', ``green'' and ``blue''. The seminal work of Linda Buck and Richard Axel identified a diverse family of about 1000 receptor molecules that serve as odorant sensors in the nose. However, the properties of smells that these receptors detect remain a mystery. I will review our current understanding of the molecular properties important to the olfactory system. I will also describe a theory that explains how odorant identity can be preserved despite substantial changes in the odorant concentration.

  9. Persistent neural activity in auditory cortex is related to auditory working memory in humans and nonhuman primates.

    PubMed

    Huang, Ying; Matysiak, Artur; Heil, Peter; König, Reinhard; Brosch, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is the cognitive capacity of short-term storage of information for goal-directed behaviors. Where and how this capacity is implemented in the brain are unresolved questions. We show that auditory cortex stores information by persistent changes of neural activity. We separated activity related to working memory from activity related to other mental processes by having humans and monkeys perform different tasks with varying working memory demands on the same sound sequences. Working memory was reflected in the spiking activity of individual neurons in auditory cortex and in the activity of neuronal populations, that is, in local field potentials and magnetic fields. Our results provide direct support for the idea that temporary storage of information recruits the same brain areas that also process the information. Because similar activity was observed in the two species, the cellular bases of some auditory working memory processes in humans can be studied in monkeys. PMID:27438411

  10. Imaging evolutionarily conserved neural networks: preferential activation of the olfactory system by food-related odor.

    PubMed

    Kulkarni, Praveen; Stolberg, Tara; Sullivanjr, J M; Ferris, Craig F

    2012-04-21

    Rodents routinely forge and rely on hippocampal-dependent spatial memory to guide them to sources of caloric rich food in their environment. Has evolution affected the olfactory system and its connections to the hippocampus and limbic cortex, so rodents have an innate sensitivity to energy rich food and their location? To test this notion, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging in awake rats to observe changes in brain activity in response to four odors: benzaldehyde (almond odor), isoamyl acetate (banana odor), methyl benzoate (rosy odor), and limonene (citrus odor). We chose the almond odor because nuts are high in calories and would be expected to convey greater valance as compared to the other odors. Moreover, the standard food chow is devoid of nuts, so laboratory bred rats would not have any previous exposure to this food. Activation maps derived from computational analysis using a 3D segmented rat MRI atlas were dramatically different between odors. Animals exposed to banana, rosy and citrus odors showed modest activation of the primary olfactory system, hippocampus and limbic cortex. However, animals exposed to almond showed a robust increase in brain activity in the primary olfactory system particularly the main olfactory bulb, anterior olfactory nucleus and tenia tecta. The most significant difference in brain activation between odors was observed in the hippocampus and limbic cortex. These findings show that fMRI can be used to identify neural circuits that have an innate sensitivity to environmental stimuli that may help in an animal's survival. PMID:22343130

  11. Repetition-Related Reductions in Neural Activity during Emotional Simulations of Future Events

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Simulations of future experiences are often emotionally arousing, and the tendency to repeatedly simulate negative future outcomes has been identified as a predictor of the onset of symptoms of anxiety. Nonetheless, next to nothing is known about how the healthy human brain processes repeated simulations of emotional future events. In this study, we present a paradigm that can be used to study repeated simulations of the emotional future in a manner that overcomes phenomenological confounds between positive and negative events. The results show that pulvinar nucleus and orbitofrontal cortex respectively demonstrate selective reductions in neural activity in response to frequently as compared to infrequently repeated simulations of negative and positive future events. Implications for research on repeated simulations of the emotional future in both non-clinical and clinical populations are discussed. PMID:26390294

  12. Motivated to win: Relationship between anticipatory and outcome reward-related neural activity.

    PubMed

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Reward-processing involves two temporal stages characterized by two distinct neural processes: reward-anticipation and reward-outcome. Intriguingly, very little research has examined the relationship between neural processes involved in reward-anticipation and reward-outcome. To investigate this, one needs to consider the heterogeneity of reward-processing within each stage. To identify different stages of reward processing, we adapted a reward time-estimation task. While EEG data were recorded, participants were instructed to button-press 3.5s after the onset of an Anticipation-Cue and received monetary reward for good time-estimation on the Reward trials, but not on No-Reward trials. We first separated reward-anticipation into event related potentials (ERPs) occurring at three sub-stages: reward/no-reward cue-evaluation, motor-preparation and feedback-anticipation. During reward/no-reward cue-evaluation, the Reward-Anticipation Cue led to a smaller N2 and larger P3. During motor-preparation, we report, for the first time, that the Reward-Anticipation Cue enhanced the Readiness Potential (RP), starting approximately 1s before movement. At the subsequent feedback-anticipation stage, the Reward-Anticipation Cue elevated the Stimulus-Preceding Negativity (SPN). We also separated reward-outcome ERPs into different components occurring at different time-windows: the Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN), Feedback-P3 (FB-P3) and Late-Positive Potentials (LPP). Lastly, we examined the relationship between reward-anticipation and reward-outcome ERPs. We report that individual-differences in specific reward-anticipation ERPs uniquely predicted specific reward-outcome ERPs. In particular, the reward-anticipation Early-RP (1-.8s before movement) predicted early reward-outcome ERPs (FRN and FB-P3), whereas, the reward-anticipation SPN most strongly predicted a later reward-outcome ERP (LPP). Results have important implications for understanding the nature of the relationship

  13. Motivated to win: Relationship between anticipatory and outcome reward-related neural activity.

    PubMed

    Pornpattananangkul, Narun; Nusslock, Robin

    2015-11-01

    Reward-processing involves two temporal stages characterized by two distinct neural processes: reward-anticipation and reward-outcome. Intriguingly, very little research has examined the relationship between neural processes involved in reward-anticipation and reward-outcome. To investigate this, one needs to consider the heterogeneity of reward-processing within each stage. To identify different stages of reward processing, we adapted a reward time-estimation task. While EEG data were recorded, participants were instructed to button-press 3.5s after the onset of an Anticipation-Cue and received monetary reward for good time-estimation on the Reward trials, but not on No-Reward trials. We first separated reward-anticipation into event related potentials (ERPs) occurring at three sub-stages: reward/no-reward cue-evaluation, motor-preparation and feedback-anticipation. During reward/no-reward cue-evaluation, the Reward-Anticipation Cue led to a smaller N2 and larger P3. During motor-preparation, we report, for the first time, that the Reward-Anticipation Cue enhanced the Readiness Potential (RP), starting approximately 1s before movement. At the subsequent feedback-anticipation stage, the Reward-Anticipation Cue elevated the Stimulus-Preceding Negativity (SPN). We also separated reward-outcome ERPs into different components occurring at different time-windows: the Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN), Feedback-P3 (FB-P3) and Late-Positive Potentials (LPP). Lastly, we examined the relationship between reward-anticipation and reward-outcome ERPs. We report that individual-differences in specific reward-anticipation ERPs uniquely predicted specific reward-outcome ERPs. In particular, the reward-anticipation Early-RP (1-.8s before movement) predicted early reward-outcome ERPs (FRN and FB-P3), whereas, the reward-anticipation SPN most strongly predicted a later reward-outcome ERP (LPP). Results have important implications for understanding the nature of the relationship

  14. Tracking real-time neural activation of conceptual knowledge using single-trial event-related potentials.

    PubMed

    Amsel, Ben D

    2011-04-01

    Empirically derived semantic feature norms categorized into different types of knowledge (e.g., visual, functional, auditory) can be summed to create number-of-feature counts per knowledge type. Initial evidence suggests several such knowledge types may be recruited during language comprehension. The present study provides a more detailed understanding of the timecourse and intensity of influence of several such knowledge types on real-time neural activity. A linear mixed-effects model was applied to single trial event-related potentials for 207 visually presented concrete words measured on total number of features (semantic richness), imageability, and number of visual motion, color, visual form, smell, taste, sound, and function features. Significant influences of multiple feature types occurred before 200ms, suggesting parallel neural computation of word form and conceptual knowledge during language comprehension. Function and visual motion features most prominently influenced neural activity, underscoring the importance of action-related knowledge in computing word meaning. The dynamic time courses and topographies of these effects are most consistent with a flexible conceptual system wherein temporally dynamic recruitment of representations in modal and supramodal cortex are a crucial element of the constellation of processes constituting word meaning computation in the brain.

  15. The neural network for tool-related cognition: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of 70 neuroimaging contrasts.

    PubMed

    Ishibashi, Ryo; Pobric, Gorana; Saito, Satoru; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A

    2016-01-01

    The ability to recognize and use a variety of tools is an intriguing human cognitive function. Multiple neuroimaging studies have investigated neural activations with various types of tool-related tasks. In the present paper, we reviewed tool-related neural activations reported in 70 contrasts from 56 neuroimaging studies and performed a series of activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses to identify tool-related cortical circuits dedicated either to general tool knowledge or to task-specific processes. The results indicate the following: (a) Common, task-general processing regions for tools are located in the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and ventral premotor cortex; and (b) task-specific regions are located in superior parietal lobule (SPL) and dorsal premotor area for imagining/executing actions with tools and in bilateral occipito-temporal cortex for recognizing/naming tools. The roles of these regions in task-general and task-specific activities are discussed with reference to evidence from neuropsychology, experimental psychology and other neuroimaging studies. PMID:27362967

  16. The neural network for tool-related cognition: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of 70 neuroimaging contrasts

    PubMed Central

    Ishibashi, Ryo; Pobric, Gorana; Saito, Satoru; Lambon Ralph, Matthew A.

    2016-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ability to recognize and use a variety of tools is an intriguing human cognitive function. Multiple neuroimaging studies have investigated neural activations with various types of tool-related tasks. In the present paper, we reviewed tool-related neural activations reported in 70 contrasts from 56 neuroimaging studies and performed a series of activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses to identify tool-related cortical circuits dedicated either to general tool knowledge or to task-specific processes. The results indicate the following: (a) Common, task-general processing regions for tools are located in the left inferior parietal lobule (IPL) and ventral premotor cortex; and (b) task-specific regions are located in superior parietal lobule (SPL) and dorsal premotor area for imagining/executing actions with tools and in bilateral occipito-temporal cortex for recognizing/naming tools. The roles of these regions in task-general and task-specific activities are discussed with reference to evidence from neuropsychology, experimental psychology and other neuroimaging studies. PMID:27362967

  17. Repetition-related reductions in neural activity reveal component processes of mental simulation

    PubMed Central

    St. Jacques, Peggy L.; Robbins, Clifford A.; Wig, Gagan S.; Schacter, Daniel L.

    2014-01-01

    In everyday life, people adaptively prepare for the future by simulating dynamic events about impending interactions with people, objects and locations. Previous research has consistently demonstrated that a distributed network of frontal–parietal–temporal brain regions supports this ubiquitous mental activity. Nonetheless, little is known about the manner in which specific regions of this network contribute to component features of future simulation. In two experiments, we used a functional magnetic resonance (fMR)-repetition suppression paradigm to demonstrate that distinct frontal–parietal–temporal regions are sensitive to processing the scenarios or what participants imagined was happening in an event (e.g. medial prefrontal, posterior cingulate, temporal–parietal and middle temporal cortices are sensitive to the scenarios associated with future social events), people (medial prefrontal cortex), objects (inferior frontal and premotor cortices) and locations (posterior cingulate/retrosplenial, parahippocampal and posterior parietal cortices) that typically constitute simulations of personal future events. This pattern of results demonstrates that the neural substrates of these component features of event simulations can be reliably identified in the context of a task that requires participants to simulate complex, everyday future experiences. PMID:23482621

  18. Disrupting neural activity related to awake-state sharp wave-ripple complexes prevents hippocampal learning

    PubMed Central

    Nokia, Miriam S.; Mikkonen, Jarno E.; Penttonen, Markku; Wikgren, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Oscillations in hippocampal local-field potentials (LFPs) reflect the crucial involvement of the hippocampus in memory trace formation: theta (4–8 Hz) oscillations and ripples (~200 Hz) occurring during sharp waves are thought to mediate encoding and consolidation, respectively. During sharp wave-ripple complexes (SPW-Rs), hippocampal cell firing closely follows the pattern that took place during the initial experience, most likely reflecting replay of that event. Disrupting hippocampal ripples using electrical stimulation either during training in awake animals or during sleep after training retards spatial learning. Here, adult rabbits were trained in trace eyeblink conditioning, a hippocampus-dependent associative learning task. A bright light was presented to the animals during the inter-trial interval (ITI), when awake, either during SPW-Rs or irrespective of their neural state. Learning was particularly poor when the light was presented following SPW-Rs. While the light did not disrupt the ripple itself, it elicited a theta-band oscillation, a state that does not usually coincide with SPW-Rs. Thus, it seems that consolidation depends on neuronal activity within and beyond the hippocampus taking place immediately after, but by no means limited to, hippocampal SPW-Rs. PMID:23316148

  19. Punishing an error improves learning: the influence of punishment magnitude on error-related neural activity and subsequent learning.

    PubMed

    Hester, Robert; Murphy, Kevin; Brown, Felicity L; Skilleter, Ashley J

    2010-11-17

    Punishing an error to shape subsequent performance is a major tenet of individual and societal level behavioral interventions. Recent work examining error-related neural activity has identified that the magnitude of activity in the posterior medial frontal cortex (pMFC) is predictive of learning from an error, whereby greater activity in this region predicts adaptive changes in future cognitive performance. It remains unclear how punishment influences error-related neural mechanisms to effect behavior change, particularly in key regions such as pMFC, which previous work has demonstrated to be insensitive to punishment. Using an associative learning task that provided monetary reward and punishment for recall performance, we observed that when recall errors were categorized by subsequent performance--whether the failure to accurately recall a number-location association was corrected at the next presentation of the same trial--the magnitude of error-related pMFC activity predicted future correction. However, the pMFC region was insensitive to the magnitude of punishment an error received and it was the left insula cortex that predicted learning from the most aversive outcomes. These findings add further evidence to the hypothesis that error-related pMFC activity may reflect more than a prediction error in representing the value of an outcome. The novel role identified here for the insular cortex in learning from punishment appears particularly compelling for our understanding of psychiatric and neurologic conditions that feature both insular cortex dysfunction and a diminished capacity for learning from negative feedback or punishment.

  20. Functional activation and neural networks in women with posttraumatic stress disorder related to intimate partner violence

    PubMed Central

    Simmons, Alan; Paulus, Martin P.; Thorp, Steven R.; Matthews, Scott C.; Norman, Sonya B.; Stein, Murray B.

    2008-01-01

    Background Intimate partner violence (IPV) is one of the most common causes of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in women. Victims of IPV are often preoccupied by the anticipation of impending harm. This investigation tested the hypothesis that IPV-related PTSD individuals show exaggerated insula reactivity to the anticipation of aversive stimuli. Methods Fifteen women with a history of IPV and consequent PTSD (IPV-PTSD) and 15 non-traumatized control (NTC) women performed a task involving cued anticipation to images of positive and negative events during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results Both groups showed increased activation of bilateral anterior insula during anticipation of negative images minus anticipation of positive images. Activation in right anterior/middle insula was significantly greater in the IPV-PTSD relative to the NTC group. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that changes in activation in right middle insula and bilateral anterior insula were more strongly associated with amygdala activation changes in NTC than in IPV-PTSD subjects. Conclusions Increased activation in the anterior/middle insula during negative anticipation in women with IPV-related PTSD. These findings in women with IPV could be a consequence of the IPV exposure, reflect pre-existing differences in insular function, or due to the development of PTSD. Thus, future longitudinal studi4s need to examine these possibilities. PMID:18639236

  1. I think therefore I am: Rest-related prefrontal cortex neural activity is involved in generating the sense of self.

    PubMed

    Gruberger, M; Levkovitz, Y; Hendler, T; Harel, E V; Harari, H; Ben Simon, E; Sharon, H; Zangen, A

    2015-05-01

    The sense of self has always been a major focus in the psychophysical debate. It has been argued that this complex ongoing internal sense cannot be explained by any physical measure and therefore substantiates a mind-body differentiation. Recently, however, neuro-imaging studies have associated self-referential spontaneous thought, a core-element of the ongoing sense of self, with synchronous neural activations during rest in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), as well as the medial and lateral parietal cortices. By applying deep transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) over human PFC before rest, we disrupted activity in this neural circuitry thereby inducing reports of lowered self-awareness and strong feelings of dissociation. This effect was not found with standard or sham TMS, or when stimulation was followed by a task instead of rest. These findings demonstrate for the first time a critical, causal role of intact rest-related PFC activity patterns in enabling integrated, enduring, self-referential mental processing. PMID:25778382

  2. Neural mechanism of activity spread in the cat motor cortex and its relation to the intrinsic connectivity.

    PubMed

    Capaday, Charles; van Vreeswijk, Carl; Ethier, Christian; Ferkinghoff-Borg, Jesper; Weber, Doug

    2011-05-15

    Motor cortical points are linked by intrinsic horizontal connections having a recurrent network topology. However, it is not known whether neural activity can propagate over the area covered by these intrinsic connections and whether there are spatial anisotropies of synaptic strength, as opposed to synaptic density. Moreover, the mechanisms by which activity spreads have yet to be determined. To address these issues, an 8 × 8 microelectrode array was inserted in the forelimb area of the cat motor cortex (MCx). The centre of the array had a laser etched hole ∼500 μm in diameter. A microiontophoretic pipette, with a tip diameter of 2-3 μm, containing bicuculline methiodide (BIC) was inserted in the hole and driven to a depth of 1200-1400 μm from the cortical surface. BIC was ejected for ∼2min from the tip of the micropipette with positive direct current ranging between 20 and 40 nA in different experiments. This produced spontaneous nearly periodic bursts (0.2-1.0 Hz) of multi-unit activity in a radius of about 400 μm from the tip of the micropipette. The bursts of neural activity spread at a velocity of 0.11-0.24 ms⁻¹ (mean=0.14 mm ms⁻¹, SD=0.05)with decreasing amplitude.The area activated was on average 7.22 mm² (SD=0.91 mm²), or ∼92% of the area covered by the recording array. The mode of propagation was determined to occur by progressive recruitment of cortical territory, driven by a central locus of activity of some 400 μm in radius. Thus, activity did not propagate as a wave. Transection of the connections between the thalamus and MCx did not significantly alter the propagation velocity or the size of the recruited area, demonstrating that the bursts spread along the routes of intrinsic cortical connectivity. These experiments demonstrate that neural activity initiated within a small motor cortical locus (≤ 400 μm in radius) can recruit a relatively large neighbourhood in which a variety of muscles acting at several forelimb joints are

  3. Persistent neural activity in auditory cortex is related to auditory working memory in humans and nonhuman primates

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Ying; Matysiak, Artur; Heil, Peter; König, Reinhard; Brosch, Michael

    2016-01-01

    Working memory is the cognitive capacity of short-term storage of information for goal-directed behaviors. Where and how this capacity is implemented in the brain are unresolved questions. We show that auditory cortex stores information by persistent changes of neural activity. We separated activity related to working memory from activity related to other mental processes by having humans and monkeys perform different tasks with varying working memory demands on the same sound sequences. Working memory was reflected in the spiking activity of individual neurons in auditory cortex and in the activity of neuronal populations, that is, in local field potentials and magnetic fields. Our results provide direct support for the idea that temporary storage of information recruits the same brain areas that also process the information. Because similar activity was observed in the two species, the cellular bases of some auditory working memory processes in humans can be studied in monkeys. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.15441.001 PMID:27438411

  4. The visual perception of natural motion: abnormal task-related neural activity in DYT1 dystonia.

    PubMed

    Sako, Wataru; Fujita, Koji; Vo, An; Rucker, Janet C; Rizzo, John-Ross; Niethammer, Martin; Carbon, Maren; Bressman, Susan B; Uluğ, Aziz M; Eidelberg, David

    2015-12-01

    Although primary dystonia is defined by its characteristic motor manifestations, non-motor signs and symptoms have increasingly been recognized in this disorder. Recent neuroimaging studies have related the motor features of primary dystonia to connectivity changes in cerebello-thalamo-cortical pathways. It is not known, however, whether the non-motor manifestations of the disorder are associated with similar circuit abnormalities. To explore this possibility, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study primary dystonia and healthy volunteer subjects while they performed a motion perception task in which elliptical target trajectories were visually tracked on a computer screen. Prior functional magnetic resonance imaging studies of healthy subjects performing this task have revealed selective activation of motor regions during the perception of 'natural' versus 'unnatural' motion (defined respectively as trajectories with kinematic properties that either comply with or violate the two-thirds power law of motion). Several regions with significant connectivity changes in primary dystonia were situated in proximity to normal motion perception pathways, suggesting that abnormalities of these circuits may also be present in this disorder. To determine whether activation responses to natural versus unnatural motion in primary dystonia differ from normal, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study 10 DYT1 dystonia and 10 healthy control subjects at rest and during the perception of 'natural' and 'unnatural' motion. Both groups exhibited significant activation changes across perceptual conditions in the cerebellum, pons, and subthalamic nucleus. The two groups differed, however, in their responses to 'natural' versus 'unnatural' motion in these regions. In healthy subjects, regional activation was greater during the perception of natural (versus unnatural) motion (P < 0.05). By contrast, in DYT1 dystonia subjects, activation was relatively greater

  5. Reward-Related Neural Activity and Adolescent Antisocial Behavior in a Community Sample.

    PubMed

    Sheffield, James G; Crowley, Michael J; Bel-Bahar, Tarik; Desatnik, Alexander; Nolte, Tobias; Fonagy, Peter; Fearon, R M Pasco

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral research has found evidence supporting reward dominance in adolescence with externalizing disorders, but findings from neuroimaging studies have been largely heterogeneous. We examined the Feedback-Related Negativity (FRN) and P3b in relation to self-reported externalizing behavior among 78 adolescents (11-18 yrs) during a monetary gambling task with concurrent high-density electroencephalogram. As expected, the P3b and the FRN demonstrated greater evoked activity to reward and punishment, respectively. Further, high externalizing behavior was associated with greater P3b difference and reduced FRN difference in response to reward and punishment, suggesting that externalizing behaviors may be associated with both reward dominance and reduced feedback-monitoring. PMID:26491989

  6. Neural activity in relation to empirically derived personality syndromes in depression using a psychodynamic fMRI paradigm

    PubMed Central

    Taubner, Svenja; Wiswede, Daniel; Kessler, Henrik

    2013-01-01

    Objective: The heterogeneity between patients with depression cannot be captured adequately with existing descriptive systems of diagnosis and neurobiological models of depression. Furthermore, considering the highly individual nature of depression, the application of general stimuli in past research efforts may not capture the essence of the disorder. This study aims to identify subtypes of depression by using empirically derived personality syndromes, and to explore neural correlates of the derived personality syndromes. Materials and Methods: In the present exploratory study, an individually tailored and psychodynamically based functional magnetic resonance imaging paradigm using dysfunctional relationship patterns was presented to 20 chronically depressed patients. Results from the Shedler–Westen Assessment Procedure (SWAP-200) were analyzed by Q-factor analysis to identify clinically relevant subgroups of depression and related brain activation. Results: The principle component analysis of SWAP-200 items from all 20 patients lead to a two-factor solution: “Depressive Personality” and “Emotional-Hostile-Externalizing Personality.” Both factors were used in a whole-brain correlational analysis but only the second factor yielded significant positive correlations in four regions: a large cluster in the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), the left ventral striatum, a small cluster in the left temporal pole, and another small cluster in the right middle frontal gyrus. Discussion: The degree to which patients with depression score high on the factor “Emotional-Hostile-Externalizing Personality” correlated with relatively higher activity in three key areas involved in emotion processing, evaluation of reward/punishment, negative cognitions, depressive pathology, and social knowledge (OFC, ventral striatum, temporal pole). Results may contribute to an alternative description of neural correlates of depression showing differential brain activation dependent

  7. Neural Dynamics Underlying Event-Related Potentials

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shah, Ankoor S.; Bressler, Steven L.; Knuth, Kevin H.; Ding, Ming-Zhou; Mehta, Ashesh D.; Ulbert, Istvan; Schroeder, Charles E.

    2003-01-01

    There are two opposing hypotheses about the brain mechanisms underlying sensory event-related potentials (ERPs). One holds that sensory ERPs are generated by phase resetting of ongoing electroencephalographic (EEG) activity, and the other that they result from signal averaging of stimulus-evoked neural responses. We tested several contrasting predictions of these hypotheses by direct intracortical analysis of neural activity in monkeys. Our findings clearly demonstrate evoked response contributions to the sensory ERP in the monkey, and they suggest the likelihood that a mixed (Evoked/Phase Resetting) model may account for the generation of scalp ERPs in humans.

  8. The effects of negative emotion on encoding-related neural activity predicting item and source recognition.

    PubMed

    Yick, Yee Ying; Buratto, Luciano Grüdtner; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    We report here a study that obtained reliable effects of emotional modulation of a well-known index of memory encoding--the electrophysiological "Dm" effect--using a recognition memory paradigm followed by a source memory task. In this study, participants performed an old-new recognition test of emotionally negative and neutral pictures encoded 1 day before the test, and a source memory task involving the retrieval of the temporal context in which pictures had been encoded. Our results showed that Dm activity was enhanced for all emotional items on a late positivity starting at ~400 ms post-stimulus onset, although Dm activity for high arousal items was also enhanced at an earlier stage (200-400 ms). Our results also showed that emotion enhanced Dm activity for items that were both recognised with or without correct source information. Further, when only high arousal items were considered, larger Dm amplitudes were observed if source memory was accurate. Three main conclusions are drawn from these findings. First, negative emotion can enhance encoding processes predicting the subsequent recognition of central item information. Second, if emotion reaches high levels of arousal, the encoding of contextual details can also be enhanced over and above the effects of emotion on central item encoding. Third, the morphology of our ERPs is consistent with a hybrid model of the role of attention in emotion-enhanced memory (Pottage and Schaefer, 2012).

  9. The effects of negative emotion on encoding-related neural activity predicting item and source recognition.

    PubMed

    Yick, Yee Ying; Buratto, Luciano Grüdtner; Schaefer, Alexandre

    2015-07-01

    We report here a study that obtained reliable effects of emotional modulation of a well-known index of memory encoding--the electrophysiological "Dm" effect--using a recognition memory paradigm followed by a source memory task. In this study, participants performed an old-new recognition test of emotionally negative and neutral pictures encoded 1 day before the test, and a source memory task involving the retrieval of the temporal context in which pictures had been encoded. Our results showed that Dm activity was enhanced for all emotional items on a late positivity starting at ~400 ms post-stimulus onset, although Dm activity for high arousal items was also enhanced at an earlier stage (200-400 ms). Our results also showed that emotion enhanced Dm activity for items that were both recognised with or without correct source information. Further, when only high arousal items were considered, larger Dm amplitudes were observed if source memory was accurate. Three main conclusions are drawn from these findings. First, negative emotion can enhance encoding processes predicting the subsequent recognition of central item information. Second, if emotion reaches high levels of arousal, the encoding of contextual details can also be enhanced over and above the effects of emotion on central item encoding. Third, the morphology of our ERPs is consistent with a hybrid model of the role of attention in emotion-enhanced memory (Pottage and Schaefer, 2012). PMID:25936685

  10. The COMT Val/Met polymorphism is associated with reading-related skills and consistent patterns of functional neural activation.

    PubMed

    Landi, Nicole; Frost, Stephen J; Mencl, W Einar; Preston, Jonathan L; Jacobsen, Leslie K; Lee, Maria; Yrigollen, Carolyn; Pugh, Kenneth R; Grigorenko, Elena L

    2013-01-01

    In both children and adults there is large variability in reading skill, with approximately 5-10% of individuals characterized as having reading disability; these individuals struggle to learn to read despite adequate intelligence and opportunity. Although it is well established that a substantial portion of this variability is attributed to the genetic differences between individuals, specifics of the connections between reading and the genome are not understood. This article presents data that suggest that variation in the COMT gene, which has previously been associated with variation in higher-order cognition, is associated with reading and reading-related skills, at the level of both brain and behavior. In particular, we found that the COMT Val/Met polymorphism at rs4680, which results in the substitution of the ancestral Valine (Val) by Methionine (Met), was associated with better performance on a number of critical reading measures and with patterns of functional neural activation that have been linked to better readers. We argue that this polymorphism, known for its broad effects on cognition, may modulate (likely through frontal lobe function) reading skill.

  11. Altered Neural Activity during Semantic Object Memory Retrieval in Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment as Measured by Event-Related Potentials.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Hsueh-Sheng; Mudar, Raksha A; Pudhiyidath, Athula; Spence, Jeffrey S; Womack, Kyle B; Cullum, C Munro; Tanner, Jeremy A; Eroh, Justin; Kraut, Michael A; Hart, John

    2015-01-01

    Deficits in semantic memory in individuals with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) have been previously reported, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms remain to be clarified. We examined event-related potentials (ERPs) associated with semantic memory retrieval in 16 individuals with aMCI as compared to 17 normal controls using the Semantic Object Retrieval Task (EEG SORT). In this task, subjects judged whether pairs of words (object features) elicited retrieval of an object (retrieval trials) or not (non-retrieval trials). Behavioral findings revealed that aMCI subjects had lower accuracy scores and marginally longer reaction time compared to controls. We used a multivariate analytical technique (STAT-PCA) to investigate similarities and differences in ERPs between aMCI and control groups. STAT-PCA revealed a left fronto-temporal component starting at around 750 ms post-stimulus in both groups. However, unlike controls, aMCI subjects showed an increase in the frontal-parietal scalp potential that distinguished retrieval from non-retrieval trials between 950 and 1050 ms post-stimulus negatively correlated with the performance on the logical memory subtest of the Wechsler Memory Scale-III. Thus, individuals with aMCI were not only impaired in their behavioral performance on SORT relative to controls, but also displayed alteration in the corresponding ERPs. The altered neural activity in aMCI compared to controls suggests a more sustained and effortful search during object memory retrieval, which may be a potential marker indicating disease processes at the pre-dementia stage.

  12. Prediction of human actions: expertise and task-related effects on neural activation of the action observation network.

    PubMed

    Balser, Nils; Lorey, Britta; Pilgramm, Sebastian; Stark, Rudolf; Bischoff, Matthias; Zentgraf, Karen; Williams, Andrew Mark; Munzert, Jörn

    2014-08-01

    The action observation network (AON) is supposed to play a crucial role when athletes anticipate the effect of others' actions in sports such as tennis. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to explore whether motor expertise leads to a differential activation pattern within the AON during effect anticipation and whether spatial and motor anticipation tasks are associated with a differential activation pattern within the AON depending on participant expertise level. Expert (N=16) and novice (N=16) tennis players observed video clips depicting forehand strokes with the instruction to either indicate the predicted direction of ball flight (spatial anticipation) or to decide on an appropriate response to the observed action (motor anticipation). The experts performed better than novices on both tennis anticipation tasks, with the experts showing stronger neural activation in areas of the AON, namely, the superior parietal lobe, the intraparietal sulcus, the inferior frontal gyrus, and the cerebellum. When novices were contrasted with experts, motor anticipation resulted in stronger activation of the ventral premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area, and the superior parietal lobe than spatial anticipation task did. In experts, the comparison of motor and spatial anticipation revealed no increased activation. We suggest that the stronger activation of areas in the AON during the anticipation of action effects in experts reflects their use of the more fine-tuned motor representations they have acquired and improved during years of training. Furthermore, results suggest that the neural processing of different anticipation tasks depends on the expertise level.

  13. Relating Alpha Power and Phase to Population Firing and Hemodynamic Activity Using a Thalamo-cortical Neural Mass Model

    PubMed Central

    Becker, Robert; Knock, Stuart; Ritter, Petra; Jirsa, Viktor

    2015-01-01

    Oscillations are ubiquitous phenomena in the animal and human brain. Among them, the alpha rhythm in human EEG is one of the most prominent examples. However, its precise mechanisms of generation are still poorly understood. It was mainly this lack of knowledge that motivated a number of simultaneous electroencephalography (EEG) – functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. This approach revealed how oscillatory neuronal signatures such as the alpha rhythm are paralleled by changes of the blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal. Several such studies revealed a negative correlation between the alpha rhythm and the hemodynamic BOLD signal in visual cortex and a positive correlation in the thalamus. In this study we explore the potential generative mechanisms that lead to those observations. We use a bursting capable Stefanescu-Jirsa 3D (SJ3D) neural-mass model that reproduces a wide repertoire of prominent features of local neuronal-population dynamics. We construct a thalamo-cortical network of coupled SJ3D nodes considering excitatory and inhibitory directed connections. The model suggests that an inverse correlation between cortical multi-unit activity, i.e. the firing of neuronal populations, and narrow band local field potential oscillations in the alpha band underlies the empirically observed negative correlation between alpha-rhythm power and fMRI signal in visual cortex. Furthermore the model suggests that the interplay between tonic and bursting mode in thalamus and cortex is critical for this relation. This demonstrates how biophysically meaningful modelling can generate precise and testable hypotheses about the underpinnings of large-scale neuroimaging signals. PMID:26335064

  14. Optoelectronic monitoring of neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Xiuli; Quan, Tingwei; Zhou, Wei

    2008-12-01

    Neural activity is a process of induction and propagation of neural excitability. Clarifying the mechanism of neural activity is one of the basic goals of modern brain science. The calcium ion, a second messenger in the brain, plays key roles in neuronal signaling pathways. To detect electrophysiology signals basing on membrane potential change of neurons and fluorescence signals basing on calcium dynamics and fluorescence labeling technique is critical for understanding neuronal signaling. In this research, a random access two-photon fluorescence microscope system basing on acousto-optic deflectors was used to monitor calcium fluorescence signals of neurons, combining a HEKA patch clamp to detect neuronal electrophysiology synchronously. Results showed that the optoelectronic method to monitor the firing of action potential at 50 Hz has single action potential resolution.

  15. [Neural activity related to emotional and empathic deficits in subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder who survived the L'Aquila (Central Italy) 2009 earthquake].

    PubMed

    Mazza, Monica; Pino, Maria Chiara; Tempesta, Daniela; Catalucci, Alessia; Masciocchi, Carlo; Ferrara, Michele

    2016-01-01

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a chronic anxiety disorder. The continued efforts to control the distressing memories by traumatized individuals, together with the reduction of responsiveness to the outside world, are called Emotional Numbing (EN). The EN is one of the central symptoms in PTSD and it plays an integral role not only in the development and maintenance of post-traumatic symptomatology, but also in the disability of emotional regulation. This disorder shows an abnormal response of cortical and limbic regions which are normally involved in understanding emotions since the very earliest stages of the development of processing ability. Patients with PTSD exhibit exaggerated brain responses to emotionally negative stimuli. Identifying the neural correlates of emotion regulation in these subjects is important for elucidating the neural circuitry involved in emotional and empathic dysfunction. We showed that PTSD patients, all survivors of the L'Aquila 2009 earthquake, have a higher sensitivity to negative emotion and lower empathy levels. These emotional and empathic deficits are accompanied by neural brain functional correlates. Indeed PTSD subjects exhibit functional abnormalities in brain regions that are involved in stress regulation and emotional responses. The reduced activation of the frontal areas and a stronger activation of the limbic areas when responding to emotional stimuli could lead the subjects to enact coping strategies aimed at protecting themselves from the re-experience of pain related to traumatic events. This would result in a dysfunctional hyperactivation of subcortical areas, which may cause emotional distress and, consequently, impaired social relationships often reported by PTSD patients. PMID:27291207

  16. Aging Affects Neural Synchronization to Speech-Related Acoustic Modulations

    PubMed Central

    Goossens, Tine; Vercammen, Charlotte; Wouters, Jan; van Wieringen, Astrid

    2016-01-01

    As people age, speech perception problems become highly prevalent, especially in noisy situations. In addition to peripheral hearing and cognition, temporal processing plays a key role in speech perception. Temporal processing of speech features is mediated by synchronized activity of neural oscillations in the central auditory system. Previous studies indicate that both the degree and hemispheric lateralization of synchronized neural activity relate to speech perception performance. Based on these results, we hypothesize that impaired speech perception in older persons may, in part, originate from deviances in neural synchronization. In this study, auditory steady-state responses that reflect synchronized activity of theta, beta, low and high gamma oscillations (i.e., 4, 20, 40, and 80 Hz ASSR, respectively) were recorded in young, middle-aged, and older persons. As all participants had normal audiometric thresholds and were screened for (mild) cognitive impairment, differences in synchronized neural activity across the three age groups were likely to be attributed to age. Our data yield novel findings regarding theta and high gamma oscillations in the aging auditory system. At an older age, synchronized activity of theta oscillations is increased, whereas high gamma synchronization is decreased. In contrast to young persons who exhibit a right hemispheric dominance for processing of high gamma range modulations, older adults show a symmetrical processing pattern. These age-related changes in neural synchronization may very well underlie the speech perception problems in aging persons. PMID:27378906

  17. Alpha power and coherence primarily reflect neural activity related to stages of motor response during a continuous monitoring task.

    PubMed

    Moore, Roger A; Gale, Anthony; Morris, Paul H; Forrester, Dave

    2008-08-01

    Previously, EEG theta (4-6 Hz) was related to goal conflict resolution [Moore, R.A., Gale, A., Morris, P.H., Forrester, D., 2006. Theta phase locking across the neocortex reflects cortico-hippocampal recursive communication during goal conflict resolution. Int. J. Psychophysiol. 60, 260-273] in the context of theory linked with animal hippocampal theta [Gray, J.A., McNaughton, N., 2000. The Neuropsychology of Anxiety: An Enquiry into the Functions of the Septo-Hippocampal system, 2nd ed, Oxford University Press, Oxford]. Here, the hypothesis that human EEG alpha (8-12 Hz) may also be a natural analogue to animal hippocampal theta is tested. Participants engaged in a monitoring task where the object was to press a response key immediately after presentation of 4 individual, non-repeating, single integer odd digits. These were presented amongst a continuous stream of single integer digits and Xs. EEG recorded in the earlier study were reanalysed; this time extracting alpha power and coherence from the same 34 participants. Alpha had a different profile to theta and was not primarily related to goal conflict. Low alpha (8-10 Hz) coherence consistently increased at electrodes close to primary sensorimotor cortex; particularly during response execution and response inhibition. The coherence analysis revealed that high alpha (10-12 Hz) related to response execution. Supplementary analyses demonstrated widespread high alpha coherence increase during response execution, inhibition and preparation. These data were discussed within the context of motor driven 'classic alpha' and Rolandic mu. A coherence profile which differentiated response execution and response inhibition was proposed to reflect a working memory network which was activated during response execution. Also, alpha power (8-12 Hz) reduced at several central electrodes during response execution. This reflected classic Rolandic mu response. Participants displaying a predicted low alpha power trend had the

  18. Motor-related brain activity during action observation: a neural substrate for electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces after spinal cord injury.

    PubMed

    Collinger, Jennifer L; Vinjamuri, Ramana; Degenhart, Alan D; Weber, Douglas J; Sudre, Gustavo P; Boninger, Michael L; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    After spinal cord injury (SCI), motor commands from the brain are unable to reach peripheral nerves and muscles below the level of the lesion. Action observation (AO), in which a person observes someone else performing an action, has been used to augment traditional rehabilitation paradigms. Similarly, AO can be used to derive the relationship between brain activity and movement kinematics for a motor-based brain-computer interface (BCI) even when the user cannot generate overt movements. BCIs use brain signals to control external devices to replace functions that have been lost due to SCI or other motor impairment. Previous studies have reported congruent motor cortical activity during observed and overt movements using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Recent single-unit studies using intracortical microelectrodes also demonstrated that a large number of motor cortical neurons had similar firing rate patterns between overt and observed movements. Given the increasing interest in electrocorticography (ECoG)-based BCIs, our goal was to identify whether action observation-related cortical activity could be recorded using ECoG during grasping tasks. Specifically, we aimed to identify congruent neural activity during observed and executed movements in both the sensorimotor rhythm (10-40 Hz) and the high-gamma band (65-115 Hz) which contains significant movement-related information. We observed significant motor-related high-gamma band activity during AO in both able-bodied individuals and one participant with a complete C4 SCI. Furthermore, in able-bodied participants, both the low and high frequency bands demonstrated congruent activity between action execution and observation. Our results suggest that AO could be an effective and critical procedure for deriving the mapping from ECoG signals to intended movement for an ECoG-based BCI system for individuals with paralysis.

  19. Motor-related brain activity during action observation: a neural substrate for electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces after spinal cord injury

    PubMed Central

    Collinger, Jennifer L.; Vinjamuri, Ramana; Degenhart, Alan D.; Weber, Douglas J.; Sudre, Gustavo P.; Boninger, Michael L.; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C.; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    After spinal cord injury (SCI), motor commands from the brain are unable to reach peripheral nerves and muscles below the level of the lesion. Action observation (AO), in which a person observes someone else performing an action, has been used to augment traditional rehabilitation paradigms. Similarly, AO can be used to derive the relationship between brain activity and movement kinematics for a motor-based brain-computer interface (BCI) even when the user cannot generate overt movements. BCIs use brain signals to control external devices to replace functions that have been lost due to SCI or other motor impairment. Previous studies have reported congruent motor cortical activity during observed and overt movements using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Recent single-unit studies using intracortical microelectrodes also demonstrated that a large number of motor cortical neurons had similar firing rate patterns between overt and observed movements. Given the increasing interest in electrocorticography (ECoG)-based BCIs, our goal was to identify whether action observation-related cortical activity could be recorded using ECoG during grasping tasks. Specifically, we aimed to identify congruent neural activity during observed and executed movements in both the sensorimotor rhythm (10–40 Hz) and the high-gamma band (65–115 Hz) which contains significant movement-related information. We observed significant motor-related high-gamma band activity during AO in both able-bodied individuals and one participant with a complete C4 SCI. Furthermore, in able-bodied participants, both the low and high frequency bands demonstrated congruent activity between action execution and observation. Our results suggest that AO could be an effective and critical procedure for deriving the mapping from ECoG signals to intended movement for an ECoG-based BCI system for individuals with paralysis. PMID:24600359

  20. Persistent neural activity in head direction cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Taube, Jeffrey S.; Bassett, Joshua P.; Oman, C. M. (Principal Investigator)

    2003-01-01

    Many neurons throughout the rat limbic system discharge in relation to the animal's directional heading with respect to its environment. These so-called head direction (HD) cells exhibit characteristics of persistent neural activity. This article summarizes where HD cells are found, their major properties, and some of the important experiments that have been conducted to elucidate how this signal is generated. The number of HD and angular head velocity cells was estimated for several brain areas involved in the generation of the HD signal, including the postsubiculum, anterior dorsal thalamus, lateral mammillary nuclei and dorsal tegmental nucleus. The HD cell signal has many features in common with what is known about how neural integration is accomplished in the oculomotor system. The nature of the HD cell signal makes it an attractive candidate for using neural network models to elucidate the signal's underlying mechanisms. The conditions that any network model must satisfy in order to accurately represent how the nervous system generates this signal are highlighted and areas where key information is missing are discussed.

  1. Deep Neural Networks with Multistate Activation Functions

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Chenghao; Xu, Yanyan; Ke, Dengfeng; Su, Kaile

    2015-01-01

    We propose multistate activation functions (MSAFs) for deep neural networks (DNNs). These MSAFs are new kinds of activation functions which are capable of representing more than two states, including the N-order MSAFs and the symmetrical MSAF. DNNs with these MSAFs can be trained via conventional Stochastic Gradient Descent (SGD) as well as mean-normalised SGD. We also discuss how these MSAFs perform when used to resolve classification problems. Experimental results on the TIMIT corpus reveal that, on speech recognition tasks, DNNs with MSAFs perform better than the conventional DNNs, getting a relative improvement of 5.60% on phoneme error rates. Further experiments also reveal that mean-normalised SGD facilitates the training processes of DNNs with MSAFs, especially when being with large training sets. The models can also be directly trained without pretraining when the training set is sufficiently large, which results in a considerable relative improvement of 5.82% on word error rates. PMID:26448739

  2. [Relation between neural structures possessing acetylcholinesterase activity and the hemomicrocirculatory bed of the fascia of the rat].

    PubMed

    Vshivtseva, V V; Lesova, L D

    1986-05-01

    By means of Karnovsky--Roots method the nervous apparatus of the hemomicrocirculatory bed has been revealed in the subcutaneous muscle fascia possessing acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity. Innervational peculiarities in some microvascular branches, bushy pattern of AChE-positive nervous structures have been stated, as well as their uneven distribution along the vessels.

  3. Age-related differences in the neural regulation of stretch-shortening cycle activities in male youths during maximal and sub-maximal hopping.

    PubMed

    Lloyd, Rhodri S; Oliver, Jon L; Hughes, Michael G; Williams, Craig A

    2012-02-01

    The aim of the current study was to investigate potential age-related differences in neural regulation strategies during maximal and sub-maximal hopping. Thirty-two boys from three different age groups (9-, 12- and 15-years), completed trials of both maximal and sub maximal hopping, and based on contact and flight times, measures of reactive strength index (RSI=jump height/contact time) and leg stiffness (peak ground reaction force/peak displacement of centre of mass) were collected respectively. During all trials, surface electromyograms (EMG) were recorded from four different muscle sites of the dominant lower limb, during 100ms pre-ground contact, and then four subsequent stretch reflex phases: background muscle activity (0-30ms), short-latency stretch reflex (31-60ms), intermediate15 latency stretch reflex 61-90ms and long-latency stretch reflex (91-120ms). Reactive strength index and leg stiffness were measured during the hopping trials. During maximal hopping, both 12- and 15-year olds produced significantly greater RSI (P<0.02) than 9-year olds, with 15-year olds utilising significantly greater soleus muscle activity during the 100ms prior to ground contact than the younger age groups (P<0.01). During sub-maximal hopping, 15-year olds produced significantly greater absolute leg stiffness than both 12- and 9-year olds (P<0.01), with 9-year olds producing significantly less soleus muscle activity during the 31-60ms time phase. For all age groups, sub-maximal hopping was associated with significantly greater background muscle activity and short-latency stretch reflex activity in the soleus and vastus lateralis, when compared to maximal hopping (P<0.001). Results suggest that as children mature, they become more reliant on supra-spinal feed forward input and short latency stretch reflexes to regulate greater levels of leg stiffness and RSI when hopping.

  4. Neural Sensitivity to Absolute and Relative Anticipated Reward in Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Vaidya, Jatin G.; Knutson, Brian; O'Leary, Daniel S.; Block, Robert I.; Magnotta, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is associated with a dramatic increase in risky and impulsive behaviors that have been attributed to developmental differences in neural processing of rewards. In the present study, we sought to identify age differences in anticipation of absolute and relative rewards. To do so, we modified a commonly used monetary incentive delay (MID) task in order to examine brain activity to relative anticipated reward value (neural sensitivity to the value of a reward as a function of other available rewards). This design also made it possible to examine developmental differences in brain activation to absolute anticipated reward magnitude (the degree to which neural activity increases with increasing reward magnitude). While undergoing fMRI, 18 adolescents and 18 adult participants were presented with cues associated with different reward magnitudes. After the cue, participants responded to a target to win money on that trial. Presentation of cues was blocked such that two reward cues associated with $.20, $1.00, or $5.00 were in play on a given block. Thus, the relative value of the $1.00 reward varied depending on whether it was paired with a smaller or larger reward. Reflecting age differences in neural responses to relative anticipated reward (i.e., reference dependent processing), adults, but not adolescents, demonstrated greater activity to a $1 reward when it was the larger of the two available rewards. Adults also demonstrated a more linear increase in ventral striatal activity as a function of increasing absolute reward magnitude compared to adolescents. Additionally, reduced ventral striatal sensitivity to absolute anticipated reward (i.e., the difference in activity to medium versus small rewards) correlated with higher levels of trait Impulsivity. Thus, ventral striatal activity in anticipation of absolute and relative rewards develops with age. Absolute reward processing is also linked to individual differences in Impulsivity. PMID:23544046

  5. Neural sensitivity to absolute and relative anticipated reward in adolescents.

    PubMed

    Vaidya, Jatin G; Knutson, Brian; O'Leary, Daniel S; Block, Robert I; Magnotta, Vincent

    2013-01-01

    Adolescence is associated with a dramatic increase in risky and impulsive behaviors that have been attributed to developmental differences in neural processing of rewards. In the present study, we sought to identify age differences in anticipation of absolute and relative rewards. To do so, we modified a commonly used monetary incentive delay (MID) task in order to examine brain activity to relative anticipated reward value (neural sensitivity to the value of a reward as a function of other available rewards). This design also made it possible to examine developmental differences in brain activation to absolute anticipated reward magnitude (the degree to which neural activity increases with increasing reward magnitude). While undergoing fMRI, 18 adolescents and 18 adult participants were presented with cues associated with different reward magnitudes. After the cue, participants responded to a target to win money on that trial. Presentation of cues was blocked such that two reward cues associated with $.20, $1.00, or $5.00 were in play on a given block. Thus, the relative value of the $1.00 reward varied depending on whether it was paired with a smaller or larger reward. Reflecting age differences in neural responses to relative anticipated reward (i.e., reference dependent processing), adults, but not adolescents, demonstrated greater activity to a $1 reward when it was the larger of the two available rewards. Adults also demonstrated a more linear increase in ventral striatal activity as a function of increasing absolute reward magnitude compared to adolescents. Additionally, reduced ventral striatal sensitivity to absolute anticipated reward (i.e., the difference in activity to medium versus small rewards) correlated with higher levels of trait Impulsivity. Thus, ventral striatal activity in anticipation of absolute and relative rewards develops with age. Absolute reward processing is also linked to individual differences in Impulsivity. PMID:23544046

  6. Singing-related neural activity distinguishes two putative pallidal cell types in the songbird basal ganglia: comparison to the primate internal and external pallidal segments

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Jesse H.; Adler, Avital; Bergman, Hagai; Fee, Michale S.

    2010-01-01

    The songbird area X is a basal ganglia homologue that contains two pallidal cell types—local neurons that project within the basal ganglia and output neurons that project to the thalamus. Based on these projections, it has been proposed that these classes are structurally homologous to the primate external (GPe) and internal (GPi) pallidal segments. To test the hypothesis that the two area X pallidal types are functionally homologous to GPe and GPi neurons, we recorded from neurons in area X of singing juvenile male zebra finches, and directly compare their firing patterns to neurons recorded in the primate pallidus. In area X, we find two cell classes that exhibited high firing (HF) rates (>60Hz) characteristic of pallidal neurons. HF-1 neurons, like most GPe neurons we examined, exhibited large firing rate modulations, including bursts and long pauses. In contrast, HF-2 neurons, like GPi neurons, discharged continuously without bursts or long pauses. To test if HF-2 neurons were the output neurons that project to the thalamus, we next recorded directly from pallidal axon terminals in thalamic nucleus DLM, and found that all terminals exhibited singing-related firing patterns indistinguishable from HF-2 neurons. Our data show that singing-related neural activity distinguishes two putative pallidal cell types in area X: thalamus-projecting neurons that exhibit activity similar to the primate GPi, and non-thalamus-projecting neurons that exhibit activity similar to the primate GPe. These results suggest that song learning in birds and motor learning in mammals employ conserved basal ganglia signaling strategies. PMID:20484651

  7. History of mild traumatic brain injury is associated with deficits in relational memory, reduced hippocampal volume, and less neural activity later in life

    PubMed Central

    Monti, Jim M.; Voss, Michelle W.; Pence, Ari; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F.; Cohen, Neal J.

    2013-01-01

    Evidence suggests that a history of head trauma is associated with memory deficits later in life. The majority of previous research has focused on moderate-to-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI), but recent evidence suggests that even a mild TBI (mTBI) can interact with the aging process and produce reductions in memory performance. This study examined the association of mTBI with memory and the brain by comparing young and middle-aged adults who have had mTBI in their recent (several years ago) and remote (several decades ago) past, respectively, with control subjects on a face-scene relational memory paradigm while they underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Hippocampal volumes were also examined from high-resolution structural images. Results indicated middle-aged adults with a head injury in their remote past had impaired memory compared to gender, age, and education matched control participants, consistent with previous results in the study of memory, aging, and TBI. The present findings extended previous results by demonstrating that these individuals also had smaller bilateral hippocampi, and had reduced neural activity during memory performance in cortical regions important for memory retrieval. These results indicate that a history of mTBI may be one of the many factors that negatively influence cognitive and brain health in aging. PMID:23986698

  8. Monitoring Neural Activity with Bioluminescence during Natural Behavior

    PubMed Central

    Naumann, Eva A.; Kampff, Adam R.; Prober, David A.; Schier, Alexander F.; Engert, Florian

    2010-01-01

    Existing techniques for monitoring neural activity in awake, freely behaving vertebrates are invasive and difficult to target to genetically identified neurons. Here we describe the use of bioluminescence to non-invasively monitor the activity of genetically specified neurons in freely behaving zebrafish. Transgenic fish expressing the Ca2+-sensitive photoprotein GFP-apoAequorin (GA) in most neurons generated large and fast bioluminescent signals related to neural activity, neuroluminescence, that could be recorded continuously for many days. To test the limits of this technique, GA was specifically targeted to the hypocretin-positive neurons of the hypothalamus. We found that neuroluminescence generated by this group of ~20 neurons was associated with periods of increased locomotor activity and identified two classes of neural activity corresponding to distinct swim latencies. Thus, our neuroluminescence assay can report, with high temporal resolution and sensitivity, the activity of small subsets of neurons during unrestrained behavior. PMID:20305645

  9. Neural activation during response competition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hazeltine, E.; Poldrack, R.; Gabrieli, J. D.

    2000-01-01

    The flanker task, introduced by Eriksen and Eriksen [Eriksen, B. A., & Eriksen, C. W. (1974). Effects of noise letters upon the identification of a target letter in a nonsearch task. Perception & Psychophysics, 16, 143--149], provides a means to selectively manipulate the presence or absence of response competition while keeping other task demands constant. We measured brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during performance of the flanker task. In accordance with previous behavioral studies, trials in which the flanking stimuli indicated a different response than the central stimulus were performed significantly more slowly than trials in which all the stimuli indicated the same response. This reaction time effect was accompanied by increases in activity in four regions: the right ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, the supplementary motor area, the left superior parietal lobe, and the left anterior parietal cortex. The increases were not due to changes in stimulus complexity or the need to overcome previously learned associations between stimuli and responses. Correspondences between this study and other experiments manipulating response interference suggest that the frontal foci may be related to response inhibition processes whereas the posterior foci may be related to the activation of representations of the inappropriate responses.

  10. Age-Related Changes in 1/f Neural Electrophysiological Noise

    PubMed Central

    Kramer, Mark A.; Case, John; Lepage, Kyle Q.; Tempesta, Zechari R.; Knight, Robert T.; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-01-01

    Aging is associated with performance decrements across multiple cognitive domains. The neural noise hypothesis, a dominant view of the basis of this decline, posits that aging is accompanied by an increase in spontaneous, noisy baseline neural activity. Here we analyze data from two different groups of human subjects: intracranial electrocorticography from 15 participants over a 38 year age range (15–53 years) and scalp EEG data from healthy younger (20–30 years) and older (60–70 years) adults to test the neural noise hypothesis from a 1/f noise perspective. Many natural phenomena, including electrophysiology, are characterized by 1/f noise. The defining characteristic of 1/f is that the power of the signal frequency content decreases rapidly as a function of the frequency (f) itself. The slope of this decay, the noise exponent (χ), is often <−1 for electrophysiological data and has been shown to approach white noise (defined as χ = 0) with increasing task difficulty. We observed, in both electrophysiological datasets, that aging is associated with a flatter (more noisy) 1/f power spectral density, even at rest, and that visual cortical 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related impairments in visual working memory. These results provide electrophysiological support for the neural noise hypothesis of aging. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Understanding the neurobiological origins of age-related cognitive decline is of critical scientific, medical, and public health importance, especially considering the rapid aging of the world's population. We find, in two separate human studies, that 1/f electrophysiological noise increases with aging. In addition, we observe that this age-related 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related working memory decline. These results significantly add to this understanding and contextualize a long-standing problem in cognition by encapsulating age-related cognitive decline within a neurocomputational model of 1/f noise

  11. Age-Related Changes in 1/f Neural Electrophysiological Noise.

    PubMed

    Voytek, Bradley; Kramer, Mark A; Case, John; Lepage, Kyle Q; Tempesta, Zechari R; Knight, Robert T; Gazzaley, Adam

    2015-09-23

    Aging is associated with performance decrements across multiple cognitive domains. The neural noise hypothesis, a dominant view of the basis of this decline, posits that aging is accompanied by an increase in spontaneous, noisy baseline neural activity. Here we analyze data from two different groups of human subjects: intracranial electrocorticography from 15 participants over a 38 year age range (15-53 years) and scalp EEG data from healthy younger (20-30 years) and older (60-70 years) adults to test the neural noise hypothesis from a 1/f noise perspective. Many natural phenomena, including electrophysiology, are characterized by 1/f noise. The defining characteristic of 1/f is that the power of the signal frequency content decreases rapidly as a function of the frequency (f) itself. The slope of this decay, the noise exponent (χ), is often <-1 for electrophysiological data and has been shown to approach white noise (defined as χ = 0) with increasing task difficulty. We observed, in both electrophysiological datasets, that aging is associated with a flatter (more noisy) 1/f power spectral density, even at rest, and that visual cortical 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related impairments in visual working memory. These results provide electrophysiological support for the neural noise hypothesis of aging. Significance statement: Understanding the neurobiological origins of age-related cognitive decline is of critical scientific, medical, and public health importance, especially considering the rapid aging of the world's population. We find, in two separate human studies, that 1/f electrophysiological noise increases with aging. In addition, we observe that this age-related 1/f noise statistically mediates age-related working memory decline. These results significantly add to this understanding and contextualize a long-standing problem in cognition by encapsulating age-related cognitive decline within a neurocomputational model of 1/f noise-induced deficits in

  12. Neural correlates of partial lexical activation

    PubMed Central

    Pirog Revill, Kathleen; Aslin, Richard N.; Tanenhaus, Michael K.; Bavelier, Daphne

    2008-01-01

    As a spoken word unfolds over time, it is temporarily consistent with the acoustic forms of multiple words. Previous behavioral research has shown that, in the face of temporary ambiguity about how a word will end, multiple candidate words are briefly activated. Here, we provide neural imaging evidence that lexical candidates only temporarily consistent with the input activate perceptually based semantic representations. An artificial lexicon and novel visual environment were used to target human MT/V5 and an area anterior to it which have been shown to be recruited during the reading of motion words. Participants learned words that referred to novel objects and to motion or color/texture changes that the objects underwent. The lexical items corresponding to the change events were organized into phonologically similar pairs differing only in the final syllable. Upon hearing spoken scene descriptions in a posttraining verification task, participants showed greater activation in the left hemisphere anterior extent of MT/V5 when motion words were heard than when nonmotion words were heard. Importantly, when a nonmotion word was heard, the level of activation in the anterior extent of MT/V5 was modulated by whether there was a phonologically related competitor that was a motion word rather than another nonmotion word. These results provide evidence of activation of a perceptual brain region in response to the semantics of a word while lexical competition is in process and before the word is fully recognized. PMID:18725635

  13. Interpersonal Liking Modulates Motor-Related Neural Regions

    PubMed Central

    Sobhani, Mona; Fox, Glenn R.; Kaplan, Jonas; Aziz-Zadeh, Lisa

    2012-01-01

    Observing someone perform an action engages brain regions involved in motor planning, such as the inferior frontal, premotor, and inferior parietal cortices. Recent research suggests that during action observation, activity in these neural regions can be modulated by membership in an ethnic group defined by physical differences. In this study we expanded upon previous research by matching physical similarity of two different social groups and investigating whether likability of an outgroup member modulates activity in neural regions involved in action observation. Seventeen Jewish subjects were familiarized with biographies of eight individuals, half of the individuals belonged to Neo-Nazi groups (dislikable) and half of which did not (likable). All subjects and actors in the stimuli were Caucasian and physically similar. The subjects then viewed videos of actors portraying the characters performing simple motor actions (e.g. grasping a water bottle and raising it to the lips), while undergoing fMRI. Using multivariate pattern analysis (MVPA), we found that a classifier trained on brain activation patterns successfully discriminated between the likable and dislikable action observation conditions within the right ventral premotor cortex. These data indicate that the spatial pattern of activity in action observation related neural regions is modulated by likability even when watching a simple action such as reaching for a cup. These findings lend further support for the notion that social factors such as interpersonal liking modulate perceptual processing in motor-related cortices. PMID:23071644

  14. Genetic Control of Active Neural Circuits

    PubMed Central

    Reijmers, Leon; Mayford, Mark

    2009-01-01

    The use of molecular tools to study the neurobiology of complex behaviors has been hampered by an inability to target the desired changes to relevant groups of neurons. Specific memories and specific sensory representations are sparsely encoded by a small fraction of neurons embedded in a sea of morphologically and functionally similar cells. In this review we discuss genetics techniques that are being developed to address this difficulty. In several studies the use of promoter elements that are responsive to neural activity have been used to drive long-lasting genetic alterations into neural ensembles that are activated by natural environmental stimuli. This approach has been used to examine neural activity patterns during learning and retrieval of a memory, to examine the regulation of receptor trafficking following learning and to functionally manipulate a specific memory trace. We suggest that these techniques will provide a general approach to experimentally investigate the link between patterns of environmentally activated neural firing and cognitive processes such as perception and memory. PMID:20057936

  15. Neural Activity Reveals Preferences Without Choices

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Alec; Bernheim, B. Douglas; Camerer, Colin

    2014-01-01

    We investigate the feasibility of inferring the choices people would make (if given the opportunity) based on their neural responses to the pertinent prospects when they are not engaged in actual decision making. The ability to make such inferences is of potential value when choice data are unavailable, or limited in ways that render standard methods of estimating choice mappings problematic. We formulate prediction models relating choices to “non-choice” neural responses and use them to predict out-of-sample choices for new items and for new groups of individuals. The predictions are sufficiently accurate to establish the feasibility of our approach. PMID:25729468

  16. Social status modulates neural activity in the mentalizing network

    PubMed Central

    Muscatell, Keely A.; Morelli, Sylvia A.; Falk, Emily B.; Way, Baldwin M.; Pfeifer, Jennifer H.; Galinsky, Adam D.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; Dapretto, Mirella; Eisenberger, Naomi I.

    2013-01-01

    The current research explored the neural mechanisms linking social status to perceptions of the social world. Two fMRI studies provide converging evidence that individuals lower in social status are more likely to engage neural circuitry often involved in ‘mentalizing’ or thinking about others' thoughts and feelings. Study 1 found that college students' perception of their social status in the university community was related to neural activity in the mentalizing network (e.g., DMPFC, MPFC, precuneus/PCC) while encoding social information, with lower social status predicting greater neural activity in this network. Study 2 demonstrated that socioeconomic status, an objective indicator of global standing, predicted adolescents' neural activity during the processing of threatening faces, with individuals lower in social status displaying greater activity in the DMPFC, previously associated with mentalizing, and the amygdala, previously associated with emotion/salience processing. These studies demonstrate that social status is fundamentally and neurocognitively linked to how people process and navigate their social worlds. PMID:22289808

  17. Consciousness related neural events viewed as brain state space transitions

    PubMed Central

    2008-01-01

    This theoretical and speculative essay addresses a categorical distinction between neural events of sensory-motor cognition and those presumably associated with consciousness. It proposes to view this distinction in the framework of the branch of Statistical Physics currently referred to as Modern Critical Theory (Stanley, Introduction to phase transitions and critical phenomena, 1987; Marro and Dickman, Nonequilibrium phase transitions in lattice, 1999). Based on established landmarks of brain dynamics, network configurations and their role for conveying oscillatory activity of certain frequencies bands, the question is examined: what kind of state space transitions can systems with these properties undergo, and could the relation between neural processes of sensory-motor cognition and those of events in consciousness be of the same category as is characterized by state transitions in non-equilibrium physical systems? Approaches for empirical validation of this view by suitably designed brain imaging studies, and for computational simulations of the proposed principle are discussed. PMID:19003465

  18. Reward-related neural responses are dependent on the beneficiary.

    PubMed

    Braams, Barbara R; Güroğlu, Berna; de Water, Erik; Meuwese, Rosa; Koolschijn, P Cédric; Peper, Jiska S; Crone, Eveline A

    2014-07-01

    Prior studies have suggested that positive social interactions are experienced as rewarding. Yet, it is not well understood how social relationships influence neural responses to other persons' gains. In this study, we investigated neural responses during a gambling task in which healthy participants (N = 31; 18 females) could win or lose money for themselves, their best friend or a disliked other (antagonist). At the moment of receiving outcome, person-related activity was observed in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), precuneus and temporal parietal junction (TPJ), showing higher activity for friends and antagonists than for self, and this activity was independent of outcome. The only region showing an interaction between the person-participants played for and outcome was the ventral striatum. Specifically, the striatum was more active following gains than losses for self and friends, whereas for the antagonist this pattern was reversed. Together, these results show that, in a context with social and reward information, social aspects are processed in brain regions associated with social cognition (mPFC, TPJ), and reward aspects are processed in primary reward areas (striatum). Furthermore, there is an interaction of social and reward information in the striatum, such that reward-related activity was dependent on social relationship.

  19. Reward-related neural responses are dependent on the beneficiary

    PubMed Central

    Güroğlu, Berna; de Water, Erik; Meuwese, Rosa; Koolschijn, P. Cédric; Peper, Jiska S.; Crone, Eveline A.

    2014-01-01

    Prior studies have suggested that positive social interactions are experienced as rewarding. Yet, it is not well understood how social relationships influence neural responses to other persons’ gains. In this study, we investigated neural responses during a gambling task in which healthy participants (N = 31; 18 females) could win or lose money for themselves, their best friend or a disliked other (antagonist). At the moment of receiving outcome, person-related activity was observed in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), precuneus and temporal parietal junction (TPJ), showing higher activity for friends and antagonists than for self, and this activity was independent of outcome. The only region showing an interaction between the person-participants played for and outcome was the ventral striatum. Specifically, the striatum was more active following gains than losses for self and friends, whereas for the antagonist this pattern was reversed. Together, these results show that, in a context with social and reward information, social aspects are processed in brain regions associated with social cognition (mPFC, TPJ), and reward aspects are processed in primary reward areas (striatum). Furthermore, there is an interaction of social and reward information in the striatum, such that reward-related activity was dependent on social relationship. PMID:23720575

  20. Reward-related neural responses are dependent on the beneficiary.

    PubMed

    Braams, Barbara R; Güroğlu, Berna; de Water, Erik; Meuwese, Rosa; Koolschijn, P Cédric; Peper, Jiska S; Crone, Eveline A

    2014-07-01

    Prior studies have suggested that positive social interactions are experienced as rewarding. Yet, it is not well understood how social relationships influence neural responses to other persons' gains. In this study, we investigated neural responses during a gambling task in which healthy participants (N = 31; 18 females) could win or lose money for themselves, their best friend or a disliked other (antagonist). At the moment of receiving outcome, person-related activity was observed in the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex (dmPFC), precuneus and temporal parietal junction (TPJ), showing higher activity for friends and antagonists than for self, and this activity was independent of outcome. The only region showing an interaction between the person-participants played for and outcome was the ventral striatum. Specifically, the striatum was more active following gains than losses for self and friends, whereas for the antagonist this pattern was reversed. Together, these results show that, in a context with social and reward information, social aspects are processed in brain regions associated with social cognition (mPFC, TPJ), and reward aspects are processed in primary reward areas (striatum). Furthermore, there is an interaction of social and reward information in the striatum, such that reward-related activity was dependent on social relationship. PMID:23720575

  1. Dynamic Neural Processing of Linguistic Cues Related to Death

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Yina; Qin, Jungang; Han, Shihui

    2013-01-01

    Behavioral studies suggest that humans evolve the capacity to cope with anxiety induced by the awareness of death’s inevitability. However, the neurocognitive processes that underlie online death-related thoughts remain unclear. Our recent functional MRI study found that the processing of linguistic cues related to death was characterized by decreased neural activity in human insular cortex. The current study further investigated the time course of neural processing of death-related linguistic cues. We recorded event-related potentials (ERP) to death-related, life-related, negative-valence, and neutral-valence words in a modified Stroop task that required color naming of words. We found that the amplitude of an early frontal/central negativity at 84–120 ms (N1) decreased to death-related words but increased to life-related words relative to neutral-valence words. The N1 effect associated with death-related and life-related words was correlated respectively with individuals’ pessimistic and optimistic attitudes toward life. Death-related words also increased the amplitude of a frontal/central positivity at 124–300 ms (P2) and of a frontal/central positivity at 300–500 ms (P3). However, the P2 and P3 modulations were observed for both death-related and negative-valence words but not for life-related words. The ERP results suggest an early inverse coding of linguistic cues related to life and death, which is followed by negative emotional responses to death-related information. PMID:23840787

  2. Generating Coherent Patterns of Activity from Chaotic Neural Networks

    PubMed Central

    Sussillo, David; Abbott, L. F.

    2009-01-01

    Neural circuits display complex activity patterns both spontaneously and when responding to a stimulus or generating a motor output. How are these two forms of activity related? We develop a procedure called FORCE learning for modifying synaptic strengths either external to or within a model neural network to change chaotic spontaneous activity into a wide variety of desired activity patterns. FORCE learning works even though the networks we train are spontaneously chaotic and we leave feedback loops intact and unclamped during learning. Using this approach, we construct networks that produce a wide variety of complex output patterns, input-output transformations that require memory, multiple outputs that can be switched by control inputs, and motor patterns matching human motion capture data. Our results reproduce data on pre-movement activity in motor and premotor cortex, and suggest that synaptic plasticity may be a more rapid and powerful modulator of network activity than generally appreciated. PMID:19709635

  3. Neural mechanisms and management of obesity-related hypertension.

    PubMed

    Esler, Murray D; Eikelis, Nina; Lambert, Elisabeth; Straznicky, Nora

    2008-11-01

    The sympathetic nervous system is activated in human obesity and in the analogous experimental obesity produced by overfeeding. The causes remain uncertain and may be multiple. The consequences include hypertension, probably attributable to activation of the sympathetic outflow to the kidneys, and, more disputed, insulin resistance. The pattern of sympathetic activation in normal-weight and obesity-related hypertension differs in terms of the firing characteristics of individual sympathetic fibers (increased rate of nerve firing in normal-weight hypertensives, increased number of active fibers firing at a normal rate in obesity-hypertension) and the sympathetic outflows involved. The underlying mechanisms and the adverse consequences of the two modes of sympathetic activation may differ. Should antihypertensive drug therapy in obesity-hypertension specifically target the existing neural pathophysiology? Such an approach can be advocated on theoretical grounds. Perhaps more important is the requirement that chosen antihypertensives do not cause weight gain or insulin resistance.

  4. Neural predictive control for active buffet alleviation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pado, Lawrence E.; Lichtenwalner, Peter F.; Liguore, Salvatore L.; Drouin, Donald

    1998-06-01

    The adaptive neural control of aeroelastic response (ANCAR) and the affordable loads and dynamics independent research and development (IRAD) programs at the Boeing Company jointly examined using neural network based active control technology for alleviating undesirable vibration and aeroelastic response in a scale model aircraft vertical tail. The potential benefits of adaptive control includes reducing aeroelastic response associated with buffet and atmospheric turbulence, increasing flutter margins, and reducing response associated with nonlinear phenomenon like limit cycle oscillations. By reducing vibration levels and thus loads, aircraft structures can have lower acquisition cost, reduced maintenance, and extended lifetimes. Wind tunnel tests were undertaken on a rigid 15% scale aircraft in Boeing's mini-speed wind tunnel, which is used for testing at very low air speeds up to 80 mph. The model included a dynamically scaled flexible fail consisting of an aluminum spar with balsa wood cross sections with a hydraulically powered rudder. Neural predictive control was used to actuate the vertical tail rudder in response to strain gauge feedback to alleviate buffeting effects. First mode RMS strain reduction of 50% was achieved. The neural predictive control system was developed and implemented by the Boeing Company to provide an intelligent, adaptive control architecture for smart structures applications with automated synthesis, self-optimization, real-time adaptation, nonlinear control, and fault tolerance capabilities. It is designed to solve complex control problems though a process of automated synthesis, eliminating costly control design and surpassing it in many instances by accounting for real world non-linearities.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Neural Activity When People Solve Verbal Problems with Insight

    PubMed Central

    2004-01-01

    People sometimes solve problems with a unique process called insight, accompanied by an “Aha!” experience. It has long been unclear whether different cognitive and neural processes lead to insight versus noninsight solutions, or if solutions differ only in subsequent subjective feeling. Recent behavioral studies indicate distinct patterns of performance and suggest differential hemispheric involvement for insight and noninsight solutions. Subjects solved verbal problems, and after each correct solution indicated whether they solved with or without insight. We observed two objective neural correlates of insight. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (Experiment 1) revealed increased activity in the right hemisphere anterior superior temporal gyrus for insight relative to noninsight solutions. The same region was active during initial solving efforts. Scalp electroencephalogram recordings (Experiment 2) revealed a sudden burst of high-frequency (gamma-band) neural activity in the same area beginning 0.3 s prior to insight solutions. This right anterior temporal area is associated with making connections across distantly related information during comprehension. Although all problem solving relies on a largely shared cortical network, the sudden flash of insight occurs when solvers engage distinct neural and cognitive processes that allow them to see connections that previously eluded them. PMID:15094802

  7. Relational Neural Evolution Approach to Bank Failure Prediction

    SciTech Connect

    Abudu, Bolanle; Markose, Sheri

    2007-12-26

    Relational neural networks as a concept offers a unique opportunity for improving classification accuracy by exploiting relational structure in data. The premise is that a relational classification technique, which uses information implicit in relationships, should classify more accurately than techniques that only examine objects in isolation. In this paper, we study the use of relational neural networks for predicting bank failure. Alongside classical financial ratios normally used as predictor variables, we introduced new relational variables for the network. The relational neural network structure, specified as a combination of feed forward and recurrent neural networks, is determined by bank data through neuro-evolution. We discuss empirical results comparing performance of the relational approach to standard propositional methods used for bank failure prediction.

  8. Relational Neural Evolution Approach to Bank Failure Prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abudu, Bolanle; Markose, Sheri

    2007-12-01

    Relational neural networks as a concept offers a unique opportunity for improving classification accuracy by exploiting relational structure in data. The premise is that a relational classification technique, which uses information implicit in relationships, should classify more accurately than techniques that only examine objects in isolation. In this paper, we study the use of relational neural networks for predicting bank failure. Alongside classical financial ratios normally used as predictor variables, we introduced new relational variables for the network. The relational neural network structure, specified as a combination of feed forward and recurrent neural networks, is determined by bank data through neuro-evolution. We discuss empirical results comparing performance of the relational approach to standard propositional methods used for bank failure prediction.

  9. Fast ventral stream neural activity enables rapid visual categorization.

    PubMed

    Cauchoix, Maxime; Crouzet, Sébastien M; Fize, Denis; Serre, Thomas

    2016-01-15

    Primates can recognize objects embedded in complex natural scenes in a glimpse. Rapid categorization paradigms have been extensively used to study our core perceptual abilities when the visual system is forced to operate under strong time constraints. However, the neural underpinning of rapid categorization remains to be understood, and the incredible speed of sight has yet to be reconciled with modern ventral stream cortical theories of object recognition. Here we recorded multichannel subdural electrocorticogram (ECoG) signals from intermediate areas (V4/PIT) of the ventral stream of the visual cortex while monkeys were actively engaged in a rapid animal/non-animal categorization task. A traditional event-related potential (ERP) analysis revealed short visual latencies (<50-70ms) followed by a rapidly developing visual selectivity (within ~20-30ms) for most electrodes. A multi-variate pattern analysis (MVPA) technique further confirmed that reliable animal/non-animal category information was possible from this initial ventral stream neural activity (within ~90-100ms). Furthermore, this early category-selective neural activity was (a) unaffected by the presentation of a backward (pattern) mask, (b) generalized to novel (unfamiliar) stimuli and (c) co-varied with behavioral responses (both accuracy and reaction times). Despite the strong prevalence of task-related information on the neural signal, task-irrelevant visual information could still be decoded independently of monkey behavior. Monkey behavioral responses were also found to correlate significantly with human behavioral responses for the same set of stimuli. Together, the present study establishes that rapid ventral stream neural activity induces a visually selective signal subsequently used to drive rapid visual categorization and that this visual strategy may be shared between human and non-human primates. PMID:26477655

  10. Neural activations correlated with reading speed during reading novels.

    PubMed

    Fujimaki, Norio; Munetsuna, Shinji; Sasaki, Toyofumi; Hayakawa, Tomoe; Ihara, Aya; Wei, Qiang; Terazono, Yasushi; Murata, Tsutomu

    2009-12-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure neural activations in subjects instructed to silently read novels at ordinary and rapid speeds. Among the 19 subjects, 8 were experts in a rapid reading technique. Subjects pressed a button to turn pages during reading, and the interval between turning pages was recorded to evaluate the reading speed. For each subject, we evaluated activations in 14 areas and at 2 instructed reading speeds. Neural activations decreased with increasing reading speed in the left middle and posterior superior temporal area, left inferior frontal area, left precentral area, and the anterior temporal areas of both hemispheres, which have been reported to be active for linguistic processes, while neural activation increased with increasing reading speed in the right intraparietal sulcus, which is considered to reflect visuo-spatial processes. Despite the considerable reading speed differences, correlation analysis showed no significant difference in activation dependence on reading speed with respect to the subject groups and instructed reading speeds. The activation reduction with speed increase in language-related areas was opposite to the previous reports for low reading speeds. The present results suggest that subjects reduced linguistic processes with reading speed increase from ordinary to rapid speed.

  11. The effects of gratitude expression on neural activity.

    PubMed

    Kini, Prathik; Wong, Joel; McInnis, Sydney; Gabana, Nicole; Brown, Joshua W

    2016-03-01

    Gratitude is a common aspect of social interaction, yet relatively little is known about the neural bases of gratitude expression, nor how gratitude expression may lead to longer-term effects on brain activity. To address these twin issues, we recruited subjects who coincidentally were entering psychotherapy for depression and/or anxiety. One group participated in a gratitude writing intervention, which required them to write letters expressing gratitude. The therapy-as-usual control group did not perform a writing intervention. After three months, subjects performed a "Pay It Forward" task in the fMRI scanner. In the task, subjects were repeatedly endowed with a monetary gift and then asked to pass it on to a charitable cause to the extent they felt grateful for the gift. Operationalizing gratitude as monetary gifts allowed us to engage the subjects and quantify the gratitude expression for subsequent analyses. We measured brain activity and found regions where activity correlated with self-reported gratitude experience during the task, even including related constructs such as guilt motivation and desire to help as statistical controls. These were mostly distinct from brain regions activated by empathy or theory of mind. Also, our between groups cross-sectional study found that a simple gratitude writing intervention was associated with significantly greater and lasting neural sensitivity to gratitude - subjects who participated in gratitude letter writing showed both behavioral increases in gratitude and significantly greater neural modulation by gratitude in the medial prefrontal cortex three months later.

  12. A neural network model for olfactory glomerular activity prediction

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Soh, Zu; Tsuji, Toshio; Takiguchi, Noboru; Ohtake, Hisao

    2012-12-01

    Recently, the importance of odors and methods for their evaluation have seen increased emphasis, especially in the fragrance and food industries. Although odors can be characterized by their odorant components, their chemical information cannot be directly related to the flavors we perceive. Biological research has revealed that neuronal activity related to glomeruli (which form part of the olfactory system) is closely connected to odor qualities. Here we report on a neural network model of the olfactory system that can predict glomerular activity from odorant molecule structures. We also report on the learning and prediction ability of the proposed model.

  13. Dynamic neural activity during stress signals resilient coping.

    PubMed

    Sinha, Rajita; Lacadie, Cheryl M; Constable, R Todd; Seo, Dongju

    2016-08-01

    Active coping underlies a healthy stress response, but neural processes supporting such resilient coping are not well-known. Using a brief, sustained exposure paradigm contrasting highly stressful, threatening, and violent stimuli versus nonaversive neutral visual stimuli in a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, we show significant subjective, physiologic, and endocrine increases and temporally related dynamically distinct patterns of neural activation in brain circuits underlying the stress response. First, stress-specific sustained increases in the amygdala, striatum, hypothalamus, midbrain, right insula, and right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) regions supported the stress processing and reactivity circuit. Second, dynamic neural activation during stress versus neutral runs, showing early increases followed by later reduced activation in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (VLPFC), dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC), left DLPFC, hippocampus, and left insula, suggested a stress adaptation response network. Finally, dynamic stress-specific mobilization of the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VmPFC), marked by initial hypoactivity followed by increased VmPFC activation, pointed to the VmPFC as a key locus of the emotional and behavioral control network. Consistent with this finding, greater neural flexibility signals in the VmPFC during stress correlated with active coping ratings whereas lower dynamic activity in the VmPFC also predicted a higher level of maladaptive coping behaviors in real life, including binge alcohol intake, emotional eating, and frequency of arguments and fights. These findings demonstrate acute functional neuroplasticity during stress, with distinct and separable brain networks that underlie critical components of the stress response, and a specific role for VmPFC neuroflexibility in stress-resilient coping. PMID:27432990

  14. Decoding Ventromedial Hypothalamic Neural Activity during Male Mouse Aggression

    PubMed Central

    Dollar, Piotr; Perona, Pietro

    2014-01-01

    The ventromedial hypothalamus, ventrolateral area (VMHvl) was identified recently as a critical locus for inter-male aggression. Optogenetic stimulation of VMHvl in male mice evokes attack toward conspecifics and inactivation of the region inhibits natural aggression, yet very little is known about its underlying neural activity. To understand its role in promoting aggression, we recorded and analyzed neural activity in the VMHvl in response to a wide range of social and nonsocial stimuli. Although response profiles of VMHvl neurons are complex and heterogeneous, we identified a subpopulation of neurons that respond maximally during investigation and attack of male conspecific mice and during investigation of a source of male mouse urine. These “male responsive” neurons in the VMHvl are tuned to both the inter-male distance and the animal's velocity during attack. Additionally, VMHvl activity predicts several parameters of future aggressive action, including the latency and duration of the next attack. Linear regression analysis further demonstrates that aggression-specific parameters, such as distance, movement velocity, and attack latency, can model ongoing VMHvl activity fluctuation during inter-male encounters. These results represent the first effort to understand the hypothalamic neural activity during social behaviors using quantitative tools and suggest an important role for the VMHvl in encoding movement, sensory, and motivation-related signals. PMID:24760856

  15. Peripheral neural activity recording and stimulation system.

    PubMed

    Loi, D; Carboni, C; Angius, G; Angotzi, G N; Barbaro, M; Raffo, L; Raspopovic, S; Navarro, X

    2011-08-01

    This paper presents a portable, embedded, microcontroller-based system for bidirectional communication (recording and stimulation) between an electrode, implanted in the peripheral nervous system, and a host computer. The device is able to record and digitize spontaneous and/or evoked neural activities and store them in data files on a PC. In addition, the system has the capability of providing electrical stimulation of peripheral nerves, injecting biphasic current pulses with programmable duration, intensity, and frequency. The recording system provides a highly selective band-pass filter from 800 Hz to 3 kHz, with a gain of 56 dB. The amplification range can be further extended to 96 dB with a variable gain amplifier. The proposed acquisition/stimulation circuitry has been successfully tested through in vivo measurements, implanting a tf-LIFE electrode in the sciatic nerve of a rat. Once implanted, the device showed an input referred noise of 0.83 μVrms, was capable of recording signals below 10 μ V, and generated muscle responses to injected stimuli. The results demonstrate the capability of processing and transmitting neural signals with very low distortion and with a power consumption lower than 1 W. A graphic, user-friendly interface has been developed to facilitate the configuration of the entire system, providing the possibility to activate stimulation and monitor recordings in real time.

  16. Can simple interactions capture complex features of neural activity underlying behavior in a virtual reality environment?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meshulam, Leenoy; Gauthier, Jeffrey; Brody, Carlos; Tank, David; Bialek, William

    The complex neural interactions which are abundant in most recordings of neural activity are relatively poorly understood. A prime example of such interactions can be found in the in vivo neural activity which underlies complex behaviors of mice, imaged in brain regions such as hippocampus and parietal cortex. Experimental techniques now allow us to accurately follow these neural interactions in the simultaneous activity of large neuronal populations of awake behaving animals. Here, we demonstrate that pairwise maximum entropy models can predict a surprising number of properties of the neural activity. The models, that are constrained with activity rates and interactions between pairs of neurons, are well fit to the activity `states' in the hippocampus and cortex of mice performing cognitive tasks while navigating in a virtual reality environment.

  17. Compensatory Neural Activity in Response to Cognitive Fatigue

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Chao; Trongnetrpunya, Amy; Samuel, Immanuel Babu Henry; Ding, Mingzhou

    2016-01-01

    Prolonged continuous performance of a cognitively demanding task induces cognitive fatigue and is associated with a time-related deterioration of objective performance, the degree of which is referred to cognitive fatigability. Although the neural underpinnings of cognitive fatigue are poorly understood, prior studies report changes in neural activity consistent with deterioration of task-related networks over time. While compensatory brain activity is reported to maintain motor task performance in the face of motor fatigue and cognitive performance in the face of other stressors (e.g., aging) and structural changes, there are no studies to date demonstrating compensatory activity for cognitive fatigue. High-density electroencephalography was recorded from human subjects during a 160 min continuous performance of a cognitive control task. While most time-varying neural activity showed a linear decline over time, we identified an evoked potential over the anterior frontal region which demonstrated an inverted U-shaped time-on-task profile. This evoked brain activity peaked between 60 and 100 min into the task and was positively associated with better behavioral performance only during this interval. Following the peak and during subsequent decline of this anterior frontal activity, the rate of performance decline also accelerated. These findings demonstrate that this anterior frontal brain activity, which is not part of the primary task-related activity at baseline, is recruited to compensate for fatigue-induced impairments in the primary task-related network, and that this compensation terminates as cognitive fatigue further progresses. These findings may be relevant to understanding individual differences in cognitive fatigability and developing interventions for clinical conditions afflicted by fatigue. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Fatigue refers to changes in objective performance and subjective effort induced by continuous task performance. We examined the neural

  18. Active voltammetric microsensors with neural signal processing.

    SciTech Connect

    Vogt, M. C.

    1998-12-11

    Many industrial and environmental processes, including bioremediation, would benefit from the feedback and control information provided by a local multi-analyte chemical sensor. For most processes, such a sensor would need to be rugged enough to be placed in situ for long-term remote monitoring, and inexpensive enough to be fielded in useful numbers. The multi-analyte capability is difficult to obtain from common passive sensors, but can be provided by an active device that produces a spectrum-type response. Such new active gas microsensor technology has been developed at Argonne National Laboratory. The technology couples an electrocatalytic ceramic-metallic (cermet) microsensor with a voltammetric measurement technique and advanced neural signal processing. It has been demonstrated to be flexible, rugged, and very economical to produce and deploy. Both narrow interest detectors and wide spectrum instruments have been developed around this technology. Much of this technology's strength lies in the active measurement technique employed. The technique involves applying voltammetry to a miniature electrocatalytic cell to produce unique chemical ''signatures'' from the analytes. These signatures are processed with neural pattern recognition algorithms to identify and quantify the components in the analyte. The neural signal processing allows for innovative sampling and analysis strategies to be employed with the microsensor. In most situations, the whole response signature from the voltammogram can be used to identify, classify, and quantify an analyte, without dissecting it into component parts. This allows an instrument to be calibrated once for a specific gas or mixture of gases by simple exposure to a multi-component standard rather than by a series of individual gases. The sampled unknown analytes can vary in composition or in concentration, the calibration, sensing, and processing methods of these active voltammetric microsensors can detect, recognize, and

  19. Volitional control of neural activity: implications for brain–computer interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Fetz, Eberhard E

    2007-01-01

    Successful operation of brain–computer interfaces (BCI) and brain–machine interfaces (BMI) depends significantly on the degree to which neural activity can be volitionally controlled. This paper reviews evidence for such volitional control in a variety of neural signals, with particular emphasis on the activity of cortical neurons. Some evidence comes from conventional experiments that reveal volitional modulation in neural activity related to behaviours, including real and imagined movements, cognitive imagery and shifts of attention. More direct evidence comes from studies on operant conditioning of neural activity using biofeedback, and from BCI/BMI studies in which neural activity controls cursors or peripheral devices. Limits in the degree of accuracy of control in the latter studies can be attributed to several possible factors. Some of these factors, particularly limited practice time, can be addressed with long-term implanted BCIs. Preliminary observations with implanted circuits implementing recurrent BCIs are summarized. PMID:17234689

  20. Understanding the brain by controlling neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Kristine; Salzman, C. Daniel; Waddell, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Causal methods to interrogate brain function have been employed since the advent of modern neuroscience in the nineteenth century. Initially, randomly placed electrodes and stimulation of parts of the living brain were used to localize specific functions to these areas. Recent technical developments have rejuvenated this approach by providing more precise tools to dissect the neural circuits underlying behaviour, perception and cognition. Carefully controlled behavioural experiments have been combined with electrical devices, targeted genetically encoded tools and neurochemical approaches to manipulate information processing in the brain. The ability to control brain activity in these ways not only deepens our understanding of brain function but also provides new avenues for clinical intervention, particularly in conditions where brain processing has gone awry. PMID:26240417

  1. An Activity for Demonstrating the Concept of a Neural Circuit

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kreiner, David S.

    2012-01-01

    College students in two sections of a general psychology course participated in a demonstration of a simple neural circuit. The activity was based on a neural circuit that Jeffress proposed for localizing sounds. Students in one section responded to a questionnaire prior to participating in the activity, while students in the other section…

  2. Neural activation during successful and unsuccessful verbal learning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Heinze, Sibylle; Sartory, Gudrun; Müller, Bernhard W; de Greiff, Armin; Forsting, Michael; Jüptner, Markus

    2006-04-01

    Successful and unsuccessful intention to learn words was assessed by means of event-related functional MRI. Eighteen patients with schizophrenia and 15 healthy control participants were scanned while being given two word lists to read and another seven to learn with immediate recall. Neural activation patterns were segregated according to whether words were subsequently recalled or forgotten and these conditions were contrasted with each other and reading. Compared to controls, patients with schizophrenia showed deficits with regard to neural recruitment of right hippocampus and of cerebellar structures during successful verbal learning. Furthermore, a reversal of activated structures was evident in the two groups: Controls showed activation of right frontal and left middle temporal structures during the unsuccessful intention to learn. During successful learning, there was additional activation of right superior parietal lobule. In contrast, patients showed activation of right superior parietal lobule during unsuccessful and successful intention to learn. There were additional frontal and left middle temporal lobe activations during successful learning. We conclude that increased parietal activity may reflect a mechanism which compensates for the lack of hippocampal and cerebellar contributions to verbal learning in schizophrenia.

  3. Transient and sustained neural responses to death-related linguistic cues.

    PubMed

    Shi, Zhenhao; Han, Shihui

    2013-06-01

    Recent research showed that perception of death-related vs death-unrelated linguistic cues produced increased frontoparietal activity but decreased insular activity. This study investigated (i) whether the increased frontoparietal and decreased insular activities are, respectively, associated with transient trial-specific processes of death-related linguistic cues and sustained death-related thought during death-relevance judgments on linguistic cues and (ii) whether the neural activity underlying death-related thought can predict individuals' dispositional death anxiety. Participants were presented with death-related/unrelated words, life-related/unrelated words, and negative-valence/neutral words in separate sessions. Participants were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing death-relevance, life-relevance, and valence judgments on the words, respectively. The contrast of death-related vs death-unrelated words during death-relevance judgments revealed transient increased activity in the left inferior parietal lobule, the right frontal eye field, and the right superior parietal lobule. The contrast of death-relevance judgments vs life-relevance/valence judgments showed decreased activity in the bilateral insula. The sustained insular activity was correlated with dispositional death anxiety, but only in those with weak transient frontoparietal responses to death-related words. Our results dissociate the transient and sustained neural responses to death-related linguistic cues and suggest that the combination of the transient and sustained neural activities can predict dispositional death anxiety.

  4. Spatiotemporal dynamics of neural activity related to auditory induction in the core and belt fields of guinea-pig auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Michinori; Miyamoto, Akihiro; Hosokawa, Yutaka; Sugimoto, Shunji; Horikawa, Junsei

    2012-05-30

    Auditory induction is a continuity illusion in which missing sounds are perceived under appropriate conditions, for example, when noise is inserted during silent gaps in the sound. To elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying auditory induction, neural responses to tones interrupted by a silent gap or noise were examined in the core and belt fields of the auditory cortex using real-time optical imaging with a voltage-sensitive dye. Tone stimuli interrupted by a silent gap elicited responses to the second tone following the gap as well as early phasic responses to the first tone. Tone stimuli interrupted by broad-band noise (BN), considered to cause auditory induction, considerably reduced or eliminated responses to the tone following the noise. This reduction was stronger in the dorsocaudal field (field DC) and belt fields compared with the anterior field (the primary auditory cortex of guinea pig). Tone stimuli interrupted by notched (band-stopped) noise centered at the tone frequency, considered to decrease the strength of auditory induction, partially restored the second responses from the suppression caused by BN. These results suggest that substantial changes between responses to silent gap-inserted tones and those to BN-inserted tones emerged in field DC and belt fields. Moreover, the findings indicate that field DC is the first area in which these changes emerge, suggesting that it may be an important region for auditory induction of simple sounds. PMID:22473291

  5. Spatiotemporal dynamics of neural activity related to auditory induction in the core and belt fields of guinea-pig auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Michinori; Miyamoto, Akihiro; Hosokawa, Yutaka; Sugimoto, Shunji; Horikawa, Junsei

    2012-05-30

    Auditory induction is a continuity illusion in which missing sounds are perceived under appropriate conditions, for example, when noise is inserted during silent gaps in the sound. To elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying auditory induction, neural responses to tones interrupted by a silent gap or noise were examined in the core and belt fields of the auditory cortex using real-time optical imaging with a voltage-sensitive dye. Tone stimuli interrupted by a silent gap elicited responses to the second tone following the gap as well as early phasic responses to the first tone. Tone stimuli interrupted by broad-band noise (BN), considered to cause auditory induction, considerably reduced or eliminated responses to the tone following the noise. This reduction was stronger in the dorsocaudal field (field DC) and belt fields compared with the anterior field (the primary auditory cortex of guinea pig). Tone stimuli interrupted by notched (band-stopped) noise centered at the tone frequency, considered to decrease the strength of auditory induction, partially restored the second responses from the suppression caused by BN. These results suggest that substantial changes between responses to silent gap-inserted tones and those to BN-inserted tones emerged in field DC and belt fields. Moreover, the findings indicate that field DC is the first area in which these changes emerge, suggesting that it may be an important region for auditory induction of simple sounds.

  6. Supervised learning for neural manifold using spatiotemporal brain activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuo, Po-Chih; Chen, Yong-Sheng; Chen, Li-Fen

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Determining the means by which perceived stimuli are compactly represented in the human brain is a difficult task. This study aimed to develop techniques for the construction of the neural manifold as a representation of visual stimuli. Approach. We propose a supervised locally linear embedding method to construct the embedded manifold from brain activity, taking into account similarities between corresponding stimuli. In our experiments, photographic portraits were used as visual stimuli and brain activity was calculated from magnetoencephalographic data using a source localization method. Main results. The results of 10 × 10-fold cross-validation revealed a strong correlation between manifolds of brain activity and the orientation of faces in the presented images, suggesting that high-level information related to image content can be revealed in the brain responses represented in the manifold. Significance. Our experiments demonstrate that the proposed method is applicable to investigation into the inherent patterns of brain activity.

  7. Fluctuation-response relation unifies dynamical behaviors in neural fields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fung, C. C. Alan; Wong, K. Y. Michael; Mao, Hongzi; Wu, Si

    2015-08-01

    Anticipation is a strategy used by neural fields to compensate for transmission and processing delays during the tracking of dynamical information and can be achieved by slow, localized, inhibitory feedback mechanisms such as short-term synaptic depression, spike-frequency adaptation, or inhibitory feedback from other layers. Based on the translational symmetry of the mobile network states, we derive generic fluctuation-response relations, providing unified predictions that link their tracking behaviors in the presence of external stimuli to the intrinsic dynamics of the neural fields in their absence.

  8. Neural network with formed dynamics of activity

    SciTech Connect

    Dunin-Barkovskii, V.L.; Osovets, N.B.

    1995-03-01

    The problem of developing a neural network with a given pattern of the state sequence is considered. A neural network structure and an algorithm, of forming its bond matrix which lead to an approximate but robust solution of the problem are proposed and discussed. Limiting characteristics of the serviceability of the proposed structure are studied. Various methods of visualizing dynamic processes in a neural network are compared. Possible applications of the results obtained for interpretation of neurophysiological data and in neuroinformatics systems are discussed.

  9. SNW1 is a critical regulator of spatial BMP activity, neural plate border formation, and neural crest specification in vertebrate embryos.

    PubMed

    Wu, Mary Y; Ramel, Marie-Christine; Howell, Michael; Hill, Caroline S

    2011-01-01

    Bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) gradients provide positional information to direct cell fate specification, such as patterning of the vertebrate ectoderm into neural, neural crest, and epidermal tissues, with precise borders segregating these domains. However, little is known about how BMP activity is regulated spatially and temporally during vertebrate development to contribute to embryonic patterning, and more specifically to neural crest formation. Through a large-scale in vivo functional screen in Xenopus for neural crest fate, we identified an essential regulator of BMP activity, SNW1. SNW1 is a nuclear protein known to regulate gene expression. Using antisense morpholinos to deplete SNW1 protein in both Xenopus and zebrafish embryos, we demonstrate that dorsally expressed SNW1 is required for neural crest specification, and this is independent of mesoderm formation and gastrulation morphogenetic movements. By exploiting a combination of immunostaining for phosphorylated Smad1 in Xenopus embryos and a BMP-dependent reporter transgenic zebrafish line, we show that SNW1 regulates a specific domain of BMP activity in the dorsal ectoderm at the neural plate border at post-gastrula stages. We use double in situ hybridizations and immunofluorescence to show how this domain of BMP activity is spatially positioned relative to the neural crest domain and that of SNW1 expression. Further in vivo and in vitro assays using cell culture and tissue explants allow us to conclude that SNW1 acts upstream of the BMP receptors. Finally, we show that the requirement of SNW1 for neural crest specification is through its ability to regulate BMP activity, as we demonstrate that targeted overexpression of BMP to the neural plate border is sufficient to restore neural crest formation in Xenopus SNW1 morphants. We conclude that through its ability to regulate a specific domain of BMP activity in the vertebrate embryo, SNW1 is a critical regulator of neural plate border formation and

  10. Graphene microelectrode arrays for neural activity detection.

    PubMed

    Du, Xiaowei; Wu, Lei; Cheng, Ji; Huang, Shanluo; Cai, Qi; Jin, Qinghui; Zhao, Jianlong

    2015-09-01

    We demonstrate a method to fabricate graphene microelectrode arrays (MEAs) using a simple and inexpensive method to solve the problem of opaque electrode positions in traditional MEAs, while keeping good biocompatibility. To study the interface differences between graphene-electrolyte and gold-electrolyte, graphene and gold electrodes with a large area were fabricated. According to the simulation results of electrochemical impedances, the gold-electrolyte interface can be described as a classical double-layer structure, while the graphene-electrolyte interface can be explained by a modified double-layer theory. Furthermore, using graphene MEAs, we detected the neural activities of neurons dissociated from Wistar rats (embryonic day 18). The signal-to-noise ratio of the detected signal was 10.31 ± 1.2, which is comparable to those of MEAs made with other materials. The long-term stability of the MEAs is demonstrated by comparing differences in Bode diagrams taken before and after cell culturing. PMID:25712492

  11. NATAS: neural activity trace aware saliency.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Guokang; Wang, Qi; Yuan, Yuan

    2014-07-01

    Saliency detection has raised much interest in computer vision recently. Many visual saliency models have been developed for individual images, video clips, and image pairs. However, image sequence, one most general occasion in the real world, is not explored yet. A general image sequence is different from video clips whose temporal continuity is maintained and image pairs where common objects exist. It might contain some similar low-level properties while completely distinct contents. Traditional saliency detection methods will fail on these general sequences. Based on this consideration, this paper investigates the shortcomings of the classical saliency detection methods, which significantly limit their advantages: 1) inability to capture the natural connections among sequential images, 2) over-reliance on motion cues, and 3) restriction to image pairs/videos with common objects. In order to address these problems, we propose a framework that performs the following contributions: 1) construct an image data set as benchmark through a rigorously designed behavioral experiment, 2) propose a neural activity trace aware saliency model to capture the general connections among images, and 3) design a novel measure to handle the low-level clues contained among sequential images. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed saliency model is associated with a tremendous advancement compared with traditional methods when dealing with the general image sequence.

  12. Manipulating neural activity in physiologically classified neurons: triumphs and challenges.

    PubMed

    Gore, Felicity; Schwartz, Edmund C; Salzman, C Daniel

    2015-09-19

    Understanding brain function requires knowing both how neural activity encodes information and how this activity generates appropriate responses. Electrophysiological, imaging and immediate early gene immunostaining studies have been instrumental in identifying and characterizing neurons that respond to different sensory stimuli, events and motor actions. Here we highlight approaches that have manipulated the activity of physiologically classified neurons to determine their role in the generation of behavioural responses. Previous experiments have often exploited the functional architecture observed in many cortical areas, where clusters of neurons share response properties. However, many brain structures do not exhibit such functional architecture. Instead, neurons with different response properties are anatomically intermingled. Emerging genetic approaches have enabled the identification and manipulation of neurons that respond to specific stimuli despite the lack of discernable anatomical organization. These approaches have advanced understanding of the circuits mediating sensory perception, learning and memory, and the generation of behavioural responses by providing causal evidence linking neural response properties to appropriate behavioural output. However, significant challenges remain for understanding cognitive processes that are probably mediated by neurons with more complex physiological response properties. Currently available strategies may prove inadequate for determining how activity in these neurons is causally related to cognitive behaviour.

  13. Manipulating neural activity in physiologically classified neurons: triumphs and challenges

    PubMed Central

    Gore, Felicity; Schwartz, Edmund C.; Salzman, C. Daniel

    2015-01-01

    Understanding brain function requires knowing both how neural activity encodes information and how this activity generates appropriate responses. Electrophysiological, imaging and immediate early gene immunostaining studies have been instrumental in identifying and characterizing neurons that respond to different sensory stimuli, events and motor actions. Here we highlight approaches that have manipulated the activity of physiologically classified neurons to determine their role in the generation of behavioural responses. Previous experiments have often exploited the functional architecture observed in many cortical areas, where clusters of neurons share response properties. However, many brain structures do not exhibit such functional architecture. Instead, neurons with different response properties are anatomically intermingled. Emerging genetic approaches have enabled the identification and manipulation of neurons that respond to specific stimuli despite the lack of discernable anatomical organization. These approaches have advanced understanding of the circuits mediating sensory perception, learning and memory, and the generation of behavioural responses by providing causal evidence linking neural response properties to appropriate behavioural output. However, significant challenges remain for understanding cognitive processes that are probably mediated by neurons with more complex physiological response properties. Currently available strategies may prove inadequate for determining how activity in these neurons is causally related to cognitive behaviour. PMID:26240431

  14. Large-scale multielectrode recording and stimulation of neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sher, A.; Chichilnisky, E. J.; Dabrowski, W.; Grillo, A. A.; Grivich, M.; Gunning, D.; Hottowy, P.; Kachiguine, S.; Litke, A. M.; Mathieson, K.; Petrusca, D.

    2007-09-01

    Large circuits of neurons are employed by the brain to encode and process information. How this encoding and processing is carried out is one of the central questions in neuroscience. Since individual neurons communicate with each other through electrical signals (action potentials), the recording of neural activity with arrays of extracellular electrodes is uniquely suited for the investigation of this question. Such recordings provide the combination of the best spatial (individual neurons) and temporal (individual action-potentials) resolutions compared to other large-scale imaging methods. Electrical stimulation of neural activity in turn has two very important applications: it enhances our understanding of neural circuits by allowing active interactions with them, and it is a basis for a large variety of neural prosthetic devices. Until recently, the state-of-the-art in neural activity recording systems consisted of several dozen electrodes with inter-electrode spacing ranging from tens to hundreds of microns. Using silicon microstrip detector expertise acquired in the field of high-energy physics, we created a unique neural activity readout and stimulation framework that consists of high-density electrode arrays, multi-channel custom-designed integrated circuits, a data acquisition system, and data-processing software. Using this framework we developed a number of neural readout and stimulation systems: (1) a 512-electrode system for recording the simultaneous activity of as many as hundreds of neurons, (2) a 61-electrode system for electrical stimulation and readout of neural activity in retinas and brain-tissue slices, and (3) a system with telemetry capabilities for recording neural activity in the intact brain of awake, naturally behaving animals. We will report on these systems, their various applications to the field of neurobiology, and novel scientific results obtained with some of them. We will also outline future directions.

  15. Temporal dynamics of a homeostatic pathway controlling neural network activity

    PubMed Central

    Bateup, Helen S.; Denefrio, Cassandra L.; Johnson, Caroline A.; Saulnier, Jessica L.; Sabatini, Bernardo L.

    2013-01-01

    Neurons use a variety of mechanisms to homeostatically regulate neural network activity in order to maintain firing in a bounded range. One such process involves the bi-directional modulation of excitatory synaptic drive in response to chronic changes in network activity. Down-scaling of excitatory synapses in response to high activity requires Arc-dependent endocytosis of glutamate receptors. However, the temporal dynamics and signaling pathways regulating Arc during homeostatic plasticity are not well understood. Here we determine the relative contribution of transcriptional and translational control in the regulation of Arc, the signaling pathways responsible for the activity-dependent production of Arc, and the time course of these signaling events as they relate to the homeostatic adjustment of network activity in hippocampal neurons. We find that an ERK1/2-dependent transcriptional pathway active within 1–2 h of up-regulated network activity induces Arc leading to a restoration of network spiking rates within 12 h. Under basal and low activity conditions, specialized mechanisms are in place to rapidly degrade Arc mRNA and protein such that they have half-lives of less than 1 h. In addition, we find that while mTOR signaling is regulated by network activity on a similar time scale, mTOR-dependent translational control is not a major regulator of Arc production or degradation suggesting that the signaling pathways underlying homeostatic plasticity are distinct from those mediating synapse-specific forms of synaptic depression. PMID:24065881

  16. Mesoscopic Patterns of Neural Activity Support Songbird Cortical Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Guitchounts, Grigori; Velho, Tarciso; Lois, Carlos; Gardner, Timothy J.

    2015-01-01

    Time-locked sequences of neural activity can be found throughout the vertebrate forebrain in various species and behavioral contexts. From “time cells” in the hippocampus of rodents to cortical activity controlling movement, temporal sequence generation is integral to many forms of learned behavior. However, the mechanisms underlying sequence generation are not well known. Here, we describe a spatial and temporal organization of the songbird premotor cortical microcircuit that supports sparse sequences of neural activity. Multi-channel electrophysiology and calcium imaging reveal that neural activity in premotor cortex is correlated with a length scale of 100 µm. Within this length scale, basal-ganglia–projecting excitatory neurons, on average, fire at a specific phase of a local 30 Hz network rhythm. These results show that premotor cortical activity is inhomogeneous in time and space, and that a mesoscopic dynamical pattern underlies the generation of the neural sequences controlling song. PMID:26039895

  17. Neural Alterations in Acquired Age-Related Hearing Loss

    PubMed Central

    Mudar, Raksha A.; Husain, Fatima T.

    2016-01-01

    Hearing loss is one of the most prevalent chronic health conditions in older adults. Growing evidence suggests that hearing loss is associated with reduced cognitive functioning and incident dementia. In this mini-review, we briefly examine literature on anatomical and functional alterations in the brains of adults with acquired age-associated hearing loss, which may underlie the cognitive consequences observed in this population, focusing on studies that have used structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, and event-related electroencephalography. We discuss structural and functional alterations observed in the temporal and frontal cortices and the limbic system. These neural alterations are discussed in the context of common cause, information-degradation, and sensory-deprivation hypotheses, and we suggest possible rehabilitation strategies. Although, we are beginning to learn more about changes in neural architecture and functionality related to age-associated hearing loss, much work remains to be done. Understanding the neural alterations will provide objective markers for early identification of neural consequences of age-associated hearing loss and for evaluating benefits of intervention approaches. PMID:27313556

  18. The Role of Personal Experience in the Neural Processing of Action-Related Language

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lyons, Ian M.; Mattarella-Micke, Andrew; Cieslak, Matthew; Nusbaum, Howard C.; Small, Steven L.; Beilock, Sian L.

    2010-01-01

    We investigated how auditory language processing is modified by a listener's previous experience with the specific activities mentioned in the speech. In particular, we asked whether neural responses related to language processing depend on one's experience with the action-based content of this language. Ice-hockey players and novices passively…

  19. Neural progenitor cells regulate microglia functions and activity.

    PubMed

    Mosher, Kira I; Andres, Robert H; Fukuhara, Takeshi; Bieri, Gregor; Hasegawa-Moriyama, Maiko; He, Yingbo; Guzman, Raphael; Wyss-Coray, Tony

    2012-11-01

    We found mouse neural progenitor cells (NPCs) to have a secretory protein profile distinct from other brain cells and to modulate microglial activation, proliferation and phagocytosis. NPC-derived vascular endothelial growth factor was necessary and sufficient to exert at least some of these effects in mice. Thus, neural precursor cells may not only be shaped by microglia, but also regulate microglia functions and activity.

  20. The neural basis of the bystander effect--the influence of group size on neural activity when witnessing an emergency.

    PubMed

    Hortensius, Ruud; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2014-06-01

    Naturalistic observation and experimental studies in humans and other primates show that observing an individual in need automatically triggers helping behavior. The aim of the present study is to clarify the neurofunctional basis of social influences on individual helping behavior. We investigate whether when participants witness an emergency, while performing an unrelated color-naming task in an fMRI scanner, the number of bystanders present at the emergency influences neural activity in regions related to action preparation. The results show a decrease in activity with the increase in group size in the left pre- and postcentral gyri and left medial frontal gyrus. In contrast, regions related to visual perception and attention show an increase in activity. These results demonstrate the neural mechanisms of social influence on automatic action preparation that is at the core of helping behavior when witnessing an emergency.

  1. Technologies for imaging neural activity in large volumes.

    PubMed

    Ji, Na; Freeman, Jeremy; Smith, Spencer L

    2016-08-26

    Neural circuitry has evolved to form distributed networks that act dynamically across large volumes. Conventional microscopy collects data from individual planes and cannot sample circuitry across large volumes at the temporal resolution relevant to neural circuit function and behaviors. Here we review emerging technologies for rapid volume imaging of neural circuitry. We focus on two critical challenges: the inertia of optical systems, which limits image speed, and aberrations, which restrict the image volume. Optical sampling time must be long enough to ensure high-fidelity measurements, but optimized sampling strategies and point-spread function engineering can facilitate rapid volume imaging of neural activity within this constraint. We also discuss new computational strategies for processing and analyzing volume imaging data of increasing size and complexity. Together, optical and computational advances are providing a broader view of neural circuit dynamics and helping elucidate how brain regions work in concert to support behavior. PMID:27571194

  2. OCT detection of neural activity in American cockroach nervous system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gorczyńska, Iwona; Wyszkowska, Joanna; Bukowska, Danuta; Ruminski, Daniel; Karnowski, Karol; Stankiewicz, Maria; Wojtkowski, Maciej

    2013-03-01

    We show results of a project which focuses on detection of activity in neural tissue with Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) methods. Experiments were performed in neural cords dissected from the American cockroach (Periplaneta americana L.). Functional OCT imaging was performed with ultrahigh resolution spectral / Fourier domain OCT system (axial resolution 2.5 μm). Electrical stimulation (voltage pulses) was applied to the sensory cercal nerve of the neural cord. Optical detection of functional activation of the sample was performed in the connective between the terminal abdominal ganglion and the fifth abdominal ganglion. Functional OCT data were collected over time with the OCT beam illuminating selected single point in the connectives (i.e. OCT M-scans were acquired). Phase changes of the OCT signal were analyzed to visualize occurrence of activation in the neural cord. Electrophysiology recordings (microelectrode method) were also performed as a reference method to demonstrate electrical response of the sample to stimulation.

  3. Neural activity in the hippocampus during conflict resolution.

    PubMed

    Sakimoto, Yuya; Okada, Kana; Hattori, Minoru; Takeda, Kozue; Sakata, Shogo

    2013-01-15

    This study examined configural association theory and conflict resolution models in relation to hippocampal neural activity during positive patterning tasks. According to configural association theory, the hippocampus is important for responses to compound stimuli in positive patterning tasks. In contrast, according to the conflict resolution model, the hippocampus is important for responses to single stimuli in positive patterning tasks. We hypothesized that if configural association theory is applicable, and not the conflict resolution model, the hippocampal theta power should be increased when compound stimuli are presented. If, on the other hand, the conflict resolution model is applicable, but not configural association theory, then the hippocampal theta power should be increased when single stimuli are presented. If both models are valid and applicable in the positive patterning task, we predict that the hippocampal theta power should be increased by presentation of both compound and single stimuli during the positive patterning task. To examine our hypotheses, we measured hippocampal theta power in rats during a positive patterning task. The results showed that hippocampal theta power increased during the presentation of a single stimulus, but did not increase during the presentation of a compound stimulus. This finding suggests that the conflict resolution model is more applicable than the configural association theory for describing neural activity during positive patterning tasks. PMID:22985685

  4. Neural activity in the hippocampus during conflict resolution.

    PubMed

    Sakimoto, Yuya; Okada, Kana; Hattori, Minoru; Takeda, Kozue; Sakata, Shogo

    2013-01-15

    This study examined configural association theory and conflict resolution models in relation to hippocampal neural activity during positive patterning tasks. According to configural association theory, the hippocampus is important for responses to compound stimuli in positive patterning tasks. In contrast, according to the conflict resolution model, the hippocampus is important for responses to single stimuli in positive patterning tasks. We hypothesized that if configural association theory is applicable, and not the conflict resolution model, the hippocampal theta power should be increased when compound stimuli are presented. If, on the other hand, the conflict resolution model is applicable, but not configural association theory, then the hippocampal theta power should be increased when single stimuli are presented. If both models are valid and applicable in the positive patterning task, we predict that the hippocampal theta power should be increased by presentation of both compound and single stimuli during the positive patterning task. To examine our hypotheses, we measured hippocampal theta power in rats during a positive patterning task. The results showed that hippocampal theta power increased during the presentation of a single stimulus, but did not increase during the presentation of a compound stimulus. This finding suggests that the conflict resolution model is more applicable than the configural association theory for describing neural activity during positive patterning tasks.

  5. Active Sampling in Evolving Neural Networks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parisi, Domenico

    1997-01-01

    Comments on Raftopoulos article (PS 528 649) on facilitative effect of cognitive limitation in development and connectionist models. Argues that the use of neural networks within an "Artificial Life" perspective can more effectively contribute to the study of the role of cognitive limitations in development and their genetic basis than can using…

  6. Brain calculus: neural integration and persistent activity.

    PubMed

    McCormick, D A

    2001-02-01

    Tank and colleagues make in vivo cellular recordings from neurons in a "neural integrator" of the goldfish involved in maintaining eye position. In this circuit, "working" memory may be the result of persistent changes in the state of the local network.

  7. Independent Components of Neural Activity Carry Information on Individual Populations

    PubMed Central

    Głąbska, Helena; Potworowski, Jan; Łęski, Szymon; Wójcik, Daniel K.

    2014-01-01

    Local field potential (LFP), the low-frequency part of the potential recorded extracellularly in the brain, reflects neural activity at the population level. The interpretation of LFP is complicated because it can mix activity from remote cells, on the order of millimeters from the electrode. To understand better the relation between the recordings and the local activity of cells we used a large-scale network thalamocortical model to compute simultaneous LFP, transmembrane currents, and spiking activity. We used this model to study the information contained in independent components obtained from the reconstructed Current Source Density (CSD), which smooths transmembrane currents, decomposed further with Independent Component Analysis (ICA). We found that the three most robust components matched well the activity of two dominating cell populations: superior pyramidal cells in layer 2/3 (rhythmic spiking) and tufted pyramids from layer 5 (intrinsically bursting). The pyramidal population from layer 2/3 could not be well described as a product of spatial profile and temporal activation, but by a sum of two such products which we recovered in two of the ICA components in our analysis, which correspond to the two first principal components of PCA decomposition of layer 2/3 population activity. At low noise one more cell population could be discerned but it is unlikely that it could be recovered in experiment given typical noise ranges. PMID:25153730

  8. Lag Synchronization of Switched Neural Networks via Neural Activation Function and Applications in Image Encryption.

    PubMed

    Wen, Shiping; Zeng, Zhigang; Huang, Tingwen; Meng, Qinggang; Yao, Wei

    2015-07-01

    This paper investigates the problem of global exponential lag synchronization of a class of switched neural networks with time-varying delays via neural activation function and applications in image encryption. The controller is dependent on the output of the system in the case of packed circuits, since it is hard to measure the inner state of the circuits. Thus, it is critical to design the controller based on the neuron activation function. Comparing the results, in this paper, with the existing ones shows that we improve and generalize the results derived in the previous literature. Several examples are also given to illustrate the effectiveness and potential applications in image encryption.

  9. Neural net forecasting for geomagnetic activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hernandez, J. V.; Tajima, T.; Horton, W.

    1993-01-01

    We use neural nets to construct nonlinear models to forecast the AL index given solar wind and interplanetary magnetic field (IMF) data. We follow two approaches: (1) the state space reconstruction approach, which is a nonlinear generalization of autoregressive-moving average models (ARMA) and (2) the nonlinear filter approach, which reduces to a moving average model (MA) in the linear limit. The database used here is that of Bargatze et al. (1985).

  10. Neurometabolic coupling between neural activity, glucose, and lactate in activated visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Li, Baowang; Freeman, Ralph D

    2015-11-01

    Neural activity is closely coupled with energy metabolism but details of the association remain to be identified. One basic area involves the relationships between neural activity and the main supportive substrates of glucose and lactate. This is of fundamental significance for the interpretation of non-invasive neural imaging. Here, we use microelectrodes with high spatial and temporal resolution to determine simultaneous co-localized changes in glucose, lactate, and neural activity during visual activation of the cerebral cortex in the cat. Tissue glucose and lactate concentration levels are measured with electrochemical microelectrodes while neural spiking activity and local field potentials are sampled by a microelectrode. These measurements are performed simultaneously while neurons are activated by visual stimuli of different contrast levels, orientations, and sizes. We find immediate decreases in tissue glucose concentration and simultaneous increases in lactate during neural activation. Both glucose and lactate signals return to their baseline levels instantly as neurons cease firing. No sustained changes or initial dips in glucose or lactate signals are elicited by visual stimulation. However, co-localized measurements of cerebral blood flow and neural activity demonstrate a clear delay in the cerebral blood flow signal such that it does not correlate temporally with the neural response. These results provide direct real-time evidence regarding the coupling between co-localized energy metabolism and neural activity during physiological stimulation. They are also relevant to a current question regarding the role of lactate in energy metabolism in the brain during neural activation. Dynamic changes in energy metabolites can be measured directly with high spatial and temporal resolution by use of enzyme-based microelectrodes. Here, to examine neuro-metabolic coupling during brain activation, we use combined microelectrodes to simultaneously measure

  11. Optical imaging of neural and hemodynamic brain activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schei, Jennifer Lynn

    Optical imaging technologies can be used to record neural and hemodynamic activity. Neural activity elicits physiological changes that alter the optical tissue properties. Specifically, changes in polarized light are concomitant with neural depolarization. We measured polarization changes from an isolated lobster nerve during action potential propagation using both reflected and transmitted light. In transmission mode, polarization changes were largest throughout the center of the nerve, suggesting that most of the optical signal arose from the inner nerve bundle. In reflection mode, polarization changes were largest near the edges, suggesting that most of the optical signal arose from the outer sheath. To overcome irregular cell orientation found in the brain, we measured polarization changes from a nerve tied in a knot. Our results show that neural activation produces polarization changes that can be imaged even without regular cell orientations. Neural activation expends energy resources and elicits metabolic delivery through blood vessel dilation, increasing blood flow and volume. We used spectroscopic imaging techniques combined with electrophysiological measurements to record evoked neural and hemodynamic responses from the auditory cortex of the rat. By using implantable optics, we measured responses across natural wake and sleep states, as well as responses following different amounts of sleep deprivation. During quiet sleep, evoked metabolic responses were larger compared to wake, perhaps because blood vessels were more compliant. When animals were sleep deprived, evoked hemodynamic responses were smaller following longer periods of deprivation. These results suggest that prolonged neural activity through sleep deprivation may diminish vascular compliance as indicated by the blunted vascular response. Subsequent sleep may allow vessels to relax, restoring their ability to deliver blood. These results also suggest that severe sleep deprivation or chronic

  12. Neural correlates of choice behavior related to impulsivity and venturesomeness.

    PubMed

    Hinvest, Neal S; Elliott, R; McKie, S; Anderson, Ian M

    2011-07-01

    Impulsivity has been associated with several psychiatric disorders including drug addiction and gambling. Impulsive subjects typically have a preference for short-term over long-term rewards and make risky choices. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates of self-rated impulsivity and venturesomeness during tasks involving delayed and risky choice. A broader sampling approach was taken by recruiting participants with behaviors that have been linked to impulsivity (gambling N=15, and recreational drug use N=10) and those without these behaviors (N=9). Selection between delayed or probabilistic rewards was associated with activation in fronto-parietal regions in line with previous research. When selecting between delayed rewards, activity within the pregenual anterior cingulate cortex and ventrolateral prefrontal cortex correlated positively with impulsivity scores while activity within the orbitofrontal cortex, subgenual anterior cingulate cortex and caudate correlated positively with venturesomeness scores. Selection between probabilistic rewards revealed no correlation between scores and regional activations. The results from this study provide targets for future research investigating the neural substrates of impulsivity. They also provide targets for the further investigation into the pathophysiology of addiction and impulse-control disorders.

  13. Neural dissociation of food- and money-related reward processing using an abstract incentive delay task.

    PubMed

    Simon, Joe J; Skunde, Mandy; Wu, Mudan; Schnell, Knut; Herpertz, Sabine C; Bendszus, Martin; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph

    2015-08-01

    Food is an innate reward stimulus related to energy homeostasis and survival, whereas money is considered a more general reward stimulus that gains a rewarding value through learning experiences. Although the underlying neural processing for both modalities of reward has been investigated independently from one another, a more detailed investigation of neural similarities and/or differences between food and monetary reward is still missing. Here, we investigated the neural processing of food compared with monetary-related rewards in 27 healthy, normal-weight women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We developed a task distinguishing between the anticipation and the receipt of either abstract food or monetary reward. Both tasks activated the ventral striatum during the expectation of a reward. Compared with money, greater food-related activations were observed in prefrontal, parietal and central midline structures during the anticipation and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) during the receipt of food reward. Furthermore, during the receipt of food reward, brain activation in the secondary taste cortex was positively related to the body mass index. These results indicate that food-dependent activations encompass to a greater extent brain regions involved in self-control and self-reflection during the anticipation and phylogenetically older parts of the lOFC during the receipt of reward.

  14. Neural dissociation of food- and money-related reward processing using an abstract incentive delay task

    PubMed Central

    Skunde, Mandy; Wu, Mudan; Schnell, Knut; Herpertz, Sabine C.; Bendszus, Martin; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph

    2015-01-01

    Food is an innate reward stimulus related to energy homeostasis and survival, whereas money is considered a more general reward stimulus that gains a rewarding value through learning experiences. Although the underlying neural processing for both modalities of reward has been investigated independently from one another, a more detailed investigation of neural similarities and/or differences between food and monetary reward is still missing. Here, we investigated the neural processing of food compared with monetary-related rewards in 27 healthy, normal-weight women using functional magnetic resonance imaging. We developed a task distinguishing between the anticipation and the receipt of either abstract food or monetary reward. Both tasks activated the ventral striatum during the expectation of a reward. Compared with money, greater food-related activations were observed in prefrontal, parietal and central midline structures during the anticipation and lateral orbitofrontal cortex (lOFC) during the receipt of food reward. Furthermore, during the receipt of food reward, brain activation in the secondary taste cortex was positively related to the body mass index. These results indicate that food-dependent activations encompass to a greater extent brain regions involved in self-control and self-reflection during the anticipation and phylogenetically older parts of the lOFC during the receipt of reward. PMID:25552570

  15. Optogenetic feedback control of neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Newman, Jonathan P; Fong, Ming-fai; Millard, Daniel C; Whitmire, Clarissa J; Stanley, Garrett B; Potter, Steve M

    2015-01-01

    Optogenetic techniques enable precise excitation and inhibition of firing in specified neuronal populations and artifact-free recording of firing activity. Several studies have suggested that optical stimulation provides the precision and dynamic range requisite for closed-loop neuronal control, but no approach yet permits feedback control of neuronal firing. Here we present the ‘optoclamp’, a feedback control technology that provides continuous, real-time adjustments of bidirectional optical stimulation in order to lock spiking activity at specified targets over timescales ranging from seconds to days. We demonstrate how this system can be used to decouple neuronal firing levels from ongoing changes in network excitability due to multi-hour periods of glutamatergic or GABAergic neurotransmission blockade in vitro as well as impinging vibrissal sensory drive in vivo. This technology enables continuous, precise optical control of firing in neuronal populations in order to disentangle causally related variables of circuit activation in a physiologically and ethologically relevant manner. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.07192.001 PMID:26140329

  16. Coupling of total hemoglobin concentration, oxygenation, and neural activity in rat somatosensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Devor, Anna; Dunn, Andrew K; Andermann, Mark L; Ulbert, Istvan; Boas, David A; Dale, Anders M

    2003-07-17

    Recent advances in brain imaging techniques, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), offer great promise for noninvasive mapping of brain function. However, the indirect nature of the imaging signals to the underlying neural activity limits the interpretation of the resulting maps. The present report represents the first systematic study with sufficient statistical power to quantitatively characterize the relationship between changes in blood oxygen content and the neural spiking and synaptic activity. Using two-dimensional optical measurements of hemodynamic signals, simultaneous recordings of neural activity, and an event-related stimulus paradigm, we demonstrate that (1) there is a strongly nonlinear relationship between electrophysiological measures of neuronal activity and the hemodynamic response, (2) the hemodynamic response continues to grow beyond the saturation of electrical activity, and (3) the initial increase in deoxyhemoglobin that precedes an increase in blood volume is counterbalanced by an equal initial decrease in oxyhemoglobin. PMID:12873390

  17. A neural networks study of quinone compounds with trypanocidal activity.

    PubMed

    de Molfetta, Fábio Alberto; Angelotti, Wagner Fernando Delfino; Romero, Roseli Aparecida Francelin; Montanari, Carlos Alberto; da Silva, Albérico Borges Ferreira

    2008-10-01

    This work investigates neural network models for predicting the trypanocidal activity of 28 quinone compounds. Artificial neural networks (ANN), such as multilayer perceptrons (MLP) and Kohonen models, were employed with the aim of modeling the nonlinear relationship between quantum and molecular descriptors and trypanocidal activity. The calculated descriptors and the principal components were used as input to train neural network models to verify the behavior of the nets. The best model for both network models (MLP and Kohonen) was obtained with four descriptors as input. The descriptors were T5 (torsion angle), QTS1 (sum of absolute values of the atomic charges), VOLS2 (volume of the substituent at region B) and HOMO-1 (energy of the molecular orbital below HOMO). These descriptors provide information on the kind of interaction that occurs between the compounds and the biological receptor. Both neural network models used here can predict the trypanocidal activity of the quinone compounds with good agreement, with low errors in the testing set and a high correctness rate. Thanks to the nonlinear model obtained from the neural network models, we can conclude that electronic and structural properties are important factors in the interaction between quinone compounds that exhibit trypanocidal activity and their biological receptors. The final ANN models should be useful in the design of novel trypanocidal quinones having improved potency.

  18. Internal models for interpreting neural population activity during sensorimotor control.

    PubMed

    Golub, Matthew D; Yu, Byron M; Chase, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    To successfully guide limb movements, the brain takes in sensory information about the limb, internally tracks the state of the limb, and produces appropriate motor commands. It is widely believed that this process uses an internal model, which describes our prior beliefs about how the limb responds to motor commands. Here, we leveraged a brain-machine interface (BMI) paradigm in rhesus monkeys and novel statistical analyses of neural population activity to gain insight into moment-by-moment internal model computations. We discovered that a mismatch between subjects' internal models and the actual BMI explains roughly 65% of movement errors, as well as long-standing deficiencies in BMI speed control. We then used the internal models to characterize how the neural population activity changes during BMI learning. More broadly, this work provides an approach for interpreting neural population activity in the context of how prior beliefs guide the transformation of sensory input to motor output.

  19. ["Osteo-neural" related factors - bridge over bone homeostasis].

    PubMed

    Sato, Tsuyoshi

    2016-08-01

    Bone tissues including bone marrow are comprised of various cells. A growing body of evidence suggests that nerve cells which exist in and around bone such as periosteal and bone marrow build a close relationship with bone cells. Namely, it was revealed that central nervous system governs bone tissues via peripheral nervous system and neurotransmitters or cytokines play a role for the communication between bone and nerve in the last decade. In this paper, I would like to review "osteo-neural" related factors which has been well-documented so far. PMID:27461495

  20. Predicting hand orientation in reach-to-grasp tasks using neural activities from primary motor cortex.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Peng; Ma, Xuan; Huang, Hailong; He, Jiping

    2014-01-01

    Hand orientation is an important control parameter during reach-to-grasp task. In this paper, we presented a study for predicting hand orientation of non-human primate by decoding neural activities from primary motor cortex (M1). A non-human primate subject was guided to do reaching and grasping tasks meanwhile neural activities were acquired by chronically implanted microelectrode arrays. A Support Vector Machines (SVMs) classifier has been trained for predicting three different hand orientations using these M1 neural activities. Different number of neurons were selected and analyzed; the classifying accuracy was 94.1% with 2 neurons and was 100% with 8 neurons. Data from highly event related neuron units contribute a lot to the accuracy of hand orientation prediction. These results indicate that three different hand orientations can be predicted accurately and effectively before the actual movements occurring with a small number of related neurons in M1.

  1. Encapsulating Elastically Stretchable Neural Interfaces: Yield, Resolution, and Recording/Stimulation of Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Morrison, Barclay; Goletiani, Cezar; Yu, Zhe; Wagner, Sigurd

    2013-01-01

    A high resolution elastically stretchable microelectrode array (SMEA) to interface with neural tissue is described. The SMEA consists of an elastomeric substrate, such as poly(dimethylsiloxane) (PDMS), elastically stretchable gold conductors, and an electrically insulating encapsulating layer in which contact holes are opened. We demonstrate the feasibility of producing contact holes with 40 µm × 40 µm openings, show why the adhesion of the encapsulation layer to the underlying silicone substrate is weakened during contact hole fabrication, and provide remedies. These improvements result in greatly increased fabrication yield and reproducibility. An SMEA with 28 microelectrodes was fabricated. The contact holes (100 µm × 100 µm) in the encapsulation layer are only ~10% the size of the previous generation, allowing a larger number of microelectrodes per unit area, thus affording the capability to interface with a smaller neural population per electrode. This new SMEA is used to record spontaneous and evoked activity in organotypic hippocampal tissue slices at 0% strain before stretching, at 5 % and 10 % equibiaxial strain, and again at 0% strain after relaxation. The noise of the recordings increases with increasing strain. The frequency of spontaneous neural activity also increases when the SMEA is stretched. Upon relaxation, the noise returns to pre-stretch levels, while the frequency of neural activity remains elevated. Stimulus-response curves at each strain level are measured. The SMEA shows excellent biocompatibility for at least two weeks. PMID:24093006

  2. Asteroseismic stellar activity relations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonanno, A.; Corsaro, E.; Karoff, C.

    2014-11-01

    Context. In asteroseismology an important diagnostic of the evolutionary status of a star is the small frequency separation which is sensitive to the gradient of the mean molecular weight in the stellar interior. It is thus interesting to discuss the classical age-activity relations in terms of this quantity. Moreover, as the photospheric magnetic field tends to suppress the amplitudes of acoustic oscillations, it is important to quantify the importance of this effect by considering various activity indicators. Aims: We propose a new class of age-activity relations that connects the Mt. Wilson S index and the average scatter in the light curve with the small frequency separation and the amplitude of the p-mode oscillations. Methods: We used a Bayesian inference to compute the posterior probability of various empirical laws for a sample of 19 solar-like active stars observed by the Kepler telescope. Results: We demonstrate the presence of a clear correlation between the Mt. Wilson S index and the relative age of the stars as indicated by the small frequency separation, as well as an anti-correlation between the S index and the oscillation amplitudes. We argue that the average activity level of the stars shows a stronger correlation with the small frequency separation than with the absolute age that is often considered in the literature. Conclusions: The phenomenological laws discovered in this paper have the potential to become new important diagnostics to link stellar evolution theory with the dynamics of global magnetic fields. In particular we argue that the relation between the Mt. Wilson S index and the oscillation amplitudes is in good agreement with the findings of direct numerical simulations of magneto-convection.

  3. Fairness influences early signatures of reward-related neural processing.

    PubMed

    Massi, Bart; Luhmann, Christian C

    2015-12-01

    Many humans exhibit a strong preference for fairness during decision-making. Although there is evidence that social factors influence reward-related and affective neural processing, it is unclear if this effect is mediated by compulsory outcome evaluation processes or results from slower deliberate cognition. Here we show that the feedback-related negativity (FRN) and late positive potential (LPP), two signatures of early hedonic processing, are modulated by the fairness of rewards during a passive rating task. We find that unfair payouts elicit larger FRNs than fair payouts, whereas fair payouts elicit larger LPPs than unfair payouts. This is true both in the time-domain, where the FRN and LPP are related, and in the time-frequency domain, where the two signals are largely independent. Ultimately, this work demonstrates that fairness affects the early stages of reward and affective processing, suggesting a common biological mechanism for social and personal reward evaluation.

  4. Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: An event-related fMRI study

    PubMed Central

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Bischof, Gérard N.; Goh, Joshua O.; Park, Denise C.

    2012-01-01

    In this event-related fMRI study, we investigated age-related differences in brain activity associated with conceptual repetition priming in young and older adults. Participants performed a speeded “living/non-living” classification task with three repetitions of familiar objects. Both young and older adults showed a similar magnitude of behavioral priming to repeated objects and evidencing repetition-related activation reductions in fusiform gyrus, superior occipital, middle and inferior temporal cortex, as well as inferior frontal and insula regions. The neural priming effect in young adults was extensive and continued through both the second and third stimulus repetitions, whereas neural priming in older adults was markedly attenuated and reached floor at the second repetition. In young adults, greater neural priming in multiple brain regions correlated with greater behavioral facilitation whereas in older adults, only activation reduction in the left inferior frontal correlated with faster behavioral responses. These findings provide evidence for altered neural priming in older adults despite preserved behavioral priming, and suggest the possibility that age-invariant behavioral priming is observed as a result of more sustained neural processing of stimuli in older adults which may be a form of compensatory neural activity. PMID:23102512

  5. Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Bischof, Gérard N; Goh, Joshua O; Park, Denise C

    2013-04-01

    In this event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated age-related differences in brain activity associated with conceptual repetition priming in young and older adults. Participants performed a speeded "living/nonliving" classification task with 3 repetitions of familiar objects. Both young and older adults showed a similar magnitude of behavioral priming to repeated objects and evidenced repetition-related activation reductions in fusiform gyrus, superior occipital, middle, and inferior temporal cortex, and inferior frontal and insula regions. The neural priming effect in young adults was extensive and continued through both the second and third stimulus repetitions, and neural priming in older adults was markedly attenuated and reached floor at the second repetition. In young adults, greater neural priming in multiple brain regions correlated with greater behavioral facilitation and in older adults, only activation reduction in the left inferior frontal correlated with faster behavioral responses. These findings provide evidence for altered neural priming in older adults despite preserved behavioral priming, and suggest the possibility that age-invariant behavioral priming is observed as a result of more sustained neural processing of stimuli in older adults which might be a form of compensatory neural activity.

  6. Neural correlates of conceptual object priming in young and older adults: an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Ballesteros, Soledad; Bischof, Gérard N; Goh, Joshua O; Park, Denise C

    2013-04-01

    In this event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we investigated age-related differences in brain activity associated with conceptual repetition priming in young and older adults. Participants performed a speeded "living/nonliving" classification task with 3 repetitions of familiar objects. Both young and older adults showed a similar magnitude of behavioral priming to repeated objects and evidenced repetition-related activation reductions in fusiform gyrus, superior occipital, middle, and inferior temporal cortex, and inferior frontal and insula regions. The neural priming effect in young adults was extensive and continued through both the second and third stimulus repetitions, and neural priming in older adults was markedly attenuated and reached floor at the second repetition. In young adults, greater neural priming in multiple brain regions correlated with greater behavioral facilitation and in older adults, only activation reduction in the left inferior frontal correlated with faster behavioral responses. These findings provide evidence for altered neural priming in older adults despite preserved behavioral priming, and suggest the possibility that age-invariant behavioral priming is observed as a result of more sustained neural processing of stimuli in older adults which might be a form of compensatory neural activity. PMID:23102512

  7. Robust state estimation for neural networks with discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoyang; Cao, Jinde

    2010-12-01

    Discontinuous dynamical systems, particularly neural networks with discontinuous activation functions, arise in a number of applications and have received considerable research attention in recent years. In this paper, the robust state estimation problem is investigated for uncertain neural networks with discontinuous activations and time-varying delays, where the neuron-dependent nonlinear disturbance on the network outputs are only assumed to satisfy the local Lipschitz condition. Based on the theory of differential inclusions and nonsmooth analysis, several criteria are presented to guarantee the existence of the desired robust state estimator for the discontinuous neural networks. It is shown that the design of the state estimator for such networks can be achieved by solving some linear matrix inequalities, which are dependent on the size of the time derivative of the time-varying delays. Finally, numerical examples are given to illustrate the theoretical results.

  8. NrCAM regulating neural systems and addiction related behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Ishiguro, Hiroki; Hall, Frank S.; Horiuchi, Yasue; Sakurai, Takeshi; Hishimoto, Akitoyo; Grumet, Martin; Uhl, George R.; Onaivi, Emmanuel S.; Arinami, Tadao

    2012-01-01

    We have previously shown that a haplotype associated with decreased NrCAM expression in brain is protective against addiction vulnerability for polysubstance abuse in humans and that Nrcam knockout mice do not develop conditioned place preferences for morphine, cocaine, or amphetamine. In order to gain insight into NrCAM involvement in addiction vulnerability, which may involve specific neural circuits underlying behavioral characteristics relevant to addiction, we evaluated several behavioral phenotypes in Nrcam knockout mice. Consistent with a potential general reduction in motivational function, Nrcam knockout mice demonstrated less curiosity for novel objects and for an unfamiliar conspecific, showed also less anxiety in the zero maze. Nrcam heterozygote knockout mice reduced alcohol preference and buried fewer marbles in home cage. These observations provide further support for a role of NrCAM in substance abuse including alcoholism vulnerability, possibly through its effects on behavioral traits that may affect addiction vulnerability, including novelty seeking, obsessive compulsion and responses to aversive or anxiety-provoking stimuli. Additionally, in order to prove glutamate homeostasis hypothesis of addiction, we analyzed glutamatergic molecules regulated by NRCAM. Glutaminase appears to be involved in NrCAM-related molecular pathway in two different tissues from human and mouse. An inhibitor of the enzyme, PLG, treatment produced, at least, some of the phenotypes of mice shown in alcohol preference and in anxiety-like behavior. Thus, NrCAM could affect addiction-related behaviors via at least partial modulation of some glutamatargic pathways and neural function in brain. PMID:22780223

  9. [Structure and function of neural plasticity-related gene products].

    PubMed

    Yamagata, K; Sugiura, H; Suzuki, K

    1998-08-01

    We have isolated novel immediate early genes (IEGs) from the hippocampus by differential cloning techniques. These mRNAs are induced by synaptic activity and translated into proteins that may affect neural function. We have analyzed a variety of "effector" immediate early genes. These mRNAs encode: 1) cytoplasmic proteins, such as cyclooxygenase-2, a small G protein, Rheb, and a cytoskeleton-associated protein, Arc; 2) membrane-bound proteins, such as the cell adhesion protein Arcadlin, and a neurite-outgrowth protein, Neuritin; and 3) a secreted protein, Narp. We hypothesize that physiological stimulation induces "effector" proteins that might strengthen synaptic connections of activated synapses. In contrast, pathological conditions such as epilepsy or drug addiction may accelerate overproduction of these gene products, which cause abnormal synapse formation. Gene targeting and in vivo gene transfer techniques are required to prove this hypothesis. PMID:9866829

  10. Topographic organization of Hebbian neural connections by synchronous wave activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mihaliuk, Eugene; Wackerbauer, Renate; Showalter, Kenneth

    2001-03-01

    Experimental studies have revealed that the refinement of early, imprecise connections in the developing visual system involves activity in the retina before the onset of vision. We study the evolution of initially random unidirectional connections between two excitable layers of FitzHugh-Nagumo neurons with simulated spontaneous activity in the input layer. Lateral coupling within the layers yields synchronous neural wave activity that serves as a template for the Hebbian learning process, which establishes topographically precise interlayer connections.

  11. Altered Neural Activity Associated with Mindfulness during Nociception: A Systematic Review of Functional MRI

    PubMed Central

    Bilevicius, Elena; Kolesar, Tiffany A.; Kornelsen, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To assess the neural activity associated with mindfulness-based alterations of pain perception. Methods: The Cochrane Central, EMBASE, Ovid Medline, PsycINFO, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were searched on 2 February 2016. Titles, abstracts, and full-text articles were independently screened by two reviewers. Data were independently extracted from records that included topics of functional neuroimaging, pain, and mindfulness interventions. Results: The literature search produced 946 total records, of which five met the inclusion criteria. Records reported pain in terms of anticipation (n = 2), unpleasantness (n = 5), and intensity (n = 5), and how mindfulness conditions altered the neural activity during noxious stimulation accordingly. Conclusions: Although the studies were inconsistent in relating pain components to neural activity, in general, mindfulness was able to reduce pain anticipation and unpleasantness ratings, as well as alter the corresponding neural activity. The major neural underpinnings of mindfulness-based pain reduction consisted of altered activity in the anterior cingulate cortex, insula, and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex. PMID:27104572

  12. The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-07-01

    During hearing, acoustic signals travel up the ascending auditory pathway from the cochlea to auditory cortex; efferent connections provide descending feedback. In human listeners, although auditory and cognitive processing have sometimes been viewed as separate domains, a growing body of work suggests they are intimately coupled. Here, we review the effects of hearing loss on neural systems supporting spoken language comprehension, beginning with age-related physiological decline. We suggest that listeners recruit domain general executive systems to maintain successful communication when the auditory signal is degraded, but that this compensatory processing has behavioral consequences: even relatively mild levels of hearing loss can lead to cascading cognitive effects that impact perception, comprehension, and memory, leading to increased listening effort during speech comprehension. PMID:27262177

  13. The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss.

    PubMed

    Peelle, Jonathan E; Wingfield, Arthur

    2016-07-01

    During hearing, acoustic signals travel up the ascending auditory pathway from the cochlea to auditory cortex; efferent connections provide descending feedback. In human listeners, although auditory and cognitive processing have sometimes been viewed as separate domains, a growing body of work suggests they are intimately coupled. Here, we review the effects of hearing loss on neural systems supporting spoken language comprehension, beginning with age-related physiological decline. We suggest that listeners recruit domain general executive systems to maintain successful communication when the auditory signal is degraded, but that this compensatory processing has behavioral consequences: even relatively mild levels of hearing loss can lead to cascading cognitive effects that impact perception, comprehension, and memory, leading to increased listening effort during speech comprehension.

  14. Controlling neural activity in Caenorhabditis elegans to evoke chemotactic behavior

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kocabas, Askin; Shen, Ching-Han; Guo, Zengcai V.; Ramanathan, Sharad

    2013-03-01

    Animals locate and track chemoattractive gradients in the environment to find food. With its simple nervous system, Caenorhabditis elegans is a good model system in which to understand how the dynamics of neural activity control this search behavior. To understand how the activity in its interneurons coordinate different motor programs to lead the animal to food, here we used optogenetics and new optical tools to manipulate neural activity directly in freely moving animals to evoke chemotactic behavior. By deducing the classes of activity patterns triggered during chemotaxis and exciting individual neurons with these patterns, we identified interneurons that control the essential locomotory programs for this behavior. Notably, we discovered that controlling the dynamics of activity in just one interneuron pair was sufficient to force the animal to locate, turn towards and track virtual light gradients.

  15. Percolation transition in active neural networks with adaptive geometry

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iudin, F. D.; Iudin, D. I.; Kazantsev, V. B.

    2015-02-01

    A mathematical model has been proposed for a neural network whose morphological structure varies dynamically depending on activity. This is the property of the so-called structural plasticity typical of developed neural systems of a brain. It has been shown that the spontaneous generation and propagation of a signal in such networks correspond to a percolation transition and the appearance of the connectivity component covering the entire system. Furthermore, adaptive change in the geometric structure of a network results in the clustering of cells and in the reduction of the effective percolation threshold, which corresponds to experimental neurobiological observations.

  16. Using Perfusion fMRI to Measure Continuous Changes in Neural Activity with Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Ingrid R.; Rao, Hengyi; Moore, Katherine Sledge; Wang, Jiongjiong; Detre, John A.; Aguirre, Geoffrey K.

    2006-01-01

    In this study, we examine the suitability of a relatively new imaging technique, "arterial spin labeled perfusion imaging," for the study of continuous, gradual changes in neural activity. Unlike BOLD imaging, the perfusion signal is stable over long time-scales, allowing for accurate assessment of continuous performance. In addition, perfusion…

  17. Neural activity predicts attitude change in cognitive dissonance.

    PubMed

    van Veen, Vincent; Krug, Marie K; Schooler, Jonathan W; Carter, Cameron S

    2009-11-01

    When our actions conflict with our prior attitudes, we often change our attitudes to be more consistent with our actions. This phenomenon, known as cognitive dissonance, is considered to be one of the most influential theories in psychology. However, the neural basis of this phenomenon is unknown. Using a Solomon four-group design, we scanned participants with functional MRI while they argued that the uncomfortable scanner environment was nevertheless a pleasant experience. We found that cognitive dissonance engaged the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex and anterior insula; furthermore, we found that the activation of these regions tightly predicted participants' subsequent attitude change. These effects were not observed in a control group. Our findings elucidate the neural representation of cognitive dissonance, and support the role of the anterior cingulate cortex in detecting cognitive conflict and the neural prediction of attitude change.

  18. Sex-related similarities and differences in the neural correlates of beauty.

    PubMed

    Cela-Conde, Camilo J; Ayala, Francisco J; Munar, Enric; Maestú, Fernando; Nadal, Marcos; Capó, Miguel A; del Río, David; López-Ibor, Juan J; Ortiz, Tomás; Mirasso, Claudio; Marty, Gisèle

    2009-03-10

    The capacity to appreciate beauty is one of our species' most remarkable traits. Although knowledge about its neural correlates is growing, little is known about any gender-related differences. We have explored possible differences between men and women's neural correlates of aesthetic preference. We have used magnetoencephalography to record the brain activity of 10 male and 10 female participants while they decided whether or not they considered examples of artistic and natural visual stimuli to be beautiful. Our results reveal significantly different activity between the sexes in parietal regions when participants judged the stimuli as beautiful. Activity in this region was bilateral in women, whereas it was lateralized to the right hemisphere in men. It is known that the dorsal visual processing stream, which encompasses the superior parietal areas, has been significantly modified throughout human evolution. We posit that the observed gender-related differences are the result of evolutionary processes that occurred after the splitting of the human and chimpanzee lineages. In view of previous results on gender differences with respect to the neural correlates of coordinate and categorical spatial strategies, we infer that the different strategies used by men and women in assessing aesthetic preference may reflect differences in the strategies associated with the division of labor between our male and female hunter-gatherer hominin ancestors.

  19. Sex-related similarities and differences in the neural correlates of beauty

    PubMed Central

    Cela-Conde, Camilo J.; Ayala, Francisco J.; Munar, Enric; Maestú, Fernando; Nadal, Marcos; Capó, Miguel A.; del Río, David; López-Ibor, Juan J.; Ortiz, Tomás; Mirasso, Claudio; Marty, Gisèle

    2009-01-01

    The capacity to appreciate beauty is one of our species' most remarkable traits. Although knowledge about its neural correlates is growing, little is known about any gender-related differences. We have explored possible differences between men and women's neural correlates of aesthetic preference. We have used magnetoencephalography to record the brain activity of 10 male and 10 female participants while they decided whether or not they considered examples of artistic and natural visual stimuli to be beautiful. Our results reveal significantly different activity between the sexes in parietal regions when participants judged the stimuli as beautiful. Activity in this region was bilateral in women, whereas it was lateralized to the right hemisphere in men. It is known that the dorsal visual processing stream, which encompasses the superior parietal areas, has been significantly modified throughout human evolution. We posit that the observed gender-related differences are the result of evolutionary processes that occurred after the splitting of the human and chimpanzee lineages. In view of previous results on gender differences with respect to the neural correlates of coordinate and categorical spatial strategies, we infer that the different strategies used by men and women in assessing aesthetic preference may reflect differences in the strategies associated with the division of labor between our male and female hunter-gatherer hominin ancestors. PMID:19237562

  20. Genetic influences on composite neural activations supporting visual target identification.

    PubMed

    Ethridge, Lauren E; Malone, Stephen M; Iacono, William G; Clementz, Brett A

    2013-02-01

    Behavior genetic studies of brain activity associated with complex cognitive operations may further elucidate the genetic and physiological underpinnings of basic and complex neural processing. In the present project, monozygotic (N=51 pairs) and dizygotic (N=48 pairs) twins performed a visual oddball task with dense-array EEG. Using spatial PCA, two principal components each were retained for targets and standards; wavelets were used to obtain time-frequency maps of eigenvalue-weighted event-related oscillations for each individual. Distribution of inter-trial phase coherence (ITC) and single trial power (STP) over time indicated that the early principal component was primarily associated with ITC while the later component was associated with a mixture of ITC and STP. Spatial PCA on point-by-point broad sense heritability matrices revealed data-derived frequency bands similar to those well established in EEG literature. Biometric models of eigenvalue-weighted time-frequency data suggest a link between physiology of oscillatory brain activity and patterns of genetic influence. PMID:23201034

  1. Distinct neural correlates of the preference-related valuation of supraliminally and subliminally presented faces.

    PubMed

    Ito, Ayahito; Abe, Nobuhito; Kawachi, Yousuke; Kawasaki, Iori; Ueno, Aya; Yoshida, Kazuki; Sakai, Shinya; Matsue, Yoshihiko; Fujii, Toshikatsu

    2015-08-01

    Recent neuroimaging studies have investigated the neural substrates involved in the valuation of supraliminally presented targets and the subsequent preference decisions. However, the neural mechanisms of the valuation of subliminally presented targets, which can guide subsequent preference decisions, remain to be explored. In the present study, we determined whether the neural systems associated with the valuation of supraliminally presented faces are involved in the valuation of subliminally presented faces. The subjects were supraliminally and subliminally presented with faces during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Following fMRI, the subjects were presented with pairs of faces and were asked to choose which face they preferred. We analyzed brain activation by back-sorting the fMRI data according to the subjects' choices. The present study yielded two main findings. First, the ventral striatum and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex predict preferences only for supraliminally presented faces. Second, the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex may predict preferences for subliminally presented faces. These findings indicate that neural correlates of the preference-related valuation of faces are dissociable, contingent upon whether the subjects consciously perceive the faces. PMID:25880023

  2. Transient and selective suppression of neural activity with infrared light

    PubMed Central

    Duke, Austin R.; Jenkins, Michael W.; Lu, Hui; McManus, Jeffrey M.; Chiel, Hillel J.; Jansen, E. Duco

    2013-01-01

    Analysis and control of neural circuitry requires the ability to selectively activate or inhibit neurons. Previous work showed that infrared laser light selectively excited neural activity in endogenous unmyelinated and myelinated axons. However, inhibition of neuronal firing with infrared light was only observed in limited cases, is not well understood and was not precisely controlled. Using an experimentally tractable unmyelinated preparation for detailed investigation and a myelinated preparation for validation, we report that it is possible to selectively and transiently inhibit electrically-initiated axonal activation, as well as to both block or enhance the propagation of action potentials of specific motor neurons. Thus, in addition to previously shown excitation, we demonstrate an optical method of suppressing components of the nervous system with functional spatiotemporal precision. We believe this technique is well-suited for non-invasive investigations of diverse excitable tissues and may ultimately be applied for treating neurological disorders. PMID:24009039

  3. Using near-infrared spectroscopy to assess neural activation during object processing in infants.

    PubMed

    Wilcox, Teresa; Bortfeld, Heather; Woods, Rebecca; Wruck, Eric; Boas, David A

    2005-01-01

    The capacity to represent the world in terms of numerically distinct objects (i.e., object individuation) is a milestone in early cognitive development and forms the foundation for more complex thought and behavior. Over the past 10 to 15 yr, infant researchers have expended a great deal of effort to identify the origins and development of this capacity. In contrast, relatively little is known about the neural mechanisms that underlie the ability to individuate objects, in large part because there are a limited number of noninvasive techniques available to measure brain functioning in human infants. Recent research suggests that near-IR spectroscopy (NIRS), an optical imaging technique that uses relative changes in total hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation as an indicator of neural activation, may be a viable procedure for assessing the relation between object processing and brain function in human infants. We examine the extent to which increased neural activation, as measured by NIRS, could be observed in two neural areas known to be involved in object processing, the primary visual cortex and the inferior temporal cortex, during an object processing task. Infants aged 6.5 months are presented with a visual event in which two featurally distinct objects emerge successively to opposite sides of an occluder and neuroimaging data are collected. As predicted, increased neural activation is observed in both the primary visual and inferior cortex during the visual event, suggesting that these neural areas support object processing in the young infant. The outcome has important implications for research in cognitive development, developmental neuroscience, and optical imaging. PMID:15847576

  4. Implications of the Dependence of Neuronal Activity on Neural Network States for the Design of Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Panzeri, Stefano; Safaai, Houman; De Feo, Vito; Vato, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can improve the quality of life of patients with sensory and motor disabilities by both decoding motor intentions expressed by neural activity, and by encoding artificially sensed information into patterns of neural activity elicited by causal interventions on the neural tissue. Yet, current BMIs can exchange relatively small amounts of information with the brain. This problem has proved difficult to overcome by simply increasing the number of recording or stimulating electrodes, because trial-to-trial variability of neural activity partly arises from intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation, and so is shared among neurons. Here we review recent progress in characterizing the state dependence of neural responses, and in particular of how neural responses depend on endogenous slow fluctuations of network excitability. We then elaborate on how this knowledge may be used to increase the amount of information that BMIs exchange with brain. Knowledge of network state can be used to fine-tune the stimulation pattern that should reliably elicit a target neural response used to encode information in the brain, and to discount part of the trial-by-trial variability of neural responses, so that they can be decoded more accurately.

  5. Implications of the Dependence of Neuronal Activity on Neural Network States for the Design of Brain-Machine Interfaces

    PubMed Central

    Panzeri, Stefano; Safaai, Houman; De Feo, Vito; Vato, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can improve the quality of life of patients with sensory and motor disabilities by both decoding motor intentions expressed by neural activity, and by encoding artificially sensed information into patterns of neural activity elicited by causal interventions on the neural tissue. Yet, current BMIs can exchange relatively small amounts of information with the brain. This problem has proved difficult to overcome by simply increasing the number of recording or stimulating electrodes, because trial-to-trial variability of neural activity partly arises from intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation, and so is shared among neurons. Here we review recent progress in characterizing the state dependence of neural responses, and in particular of how neural responses depend on endogenous slow fluctuations of network excitability. We then elaborate on how this knowledge may be used to increase the amount of information that BMIs exchange with brain. Knowledge of network state can be used to fine-tune the stimulation pattern that should reliably elicit a target neural response used to encode information in the brain, and to discount part of the trial-by-trial variability of neural responses, so that they can be decoded more accurately. PMID:27147955

  6. Implications of the Dependence of Neuronal Activity on Neural Network States for the Design of Brain-Machine Interfaces.

    PubMed

    Panzeri, Stefano; Safaai, Houman; De Feo, Vito; Vato, Alessandro

    2016-01-01

    Brain-machine interfaces (BMIs) can improve the quality of life of patients with sensory and motor disabilities by both decoding motor intentions expressed by neural activity, and by encoding artificially sensed information into patterns of neural activity elicited by causal interventions on the neural tissue. Yet, current BMIs can exchange relatively small amounts of information with the brain. This problem has proved difficult to overcome by simply increasing the number of recording or stimulating electrodes, because trial-to-trial variability of neural activity partly arises from intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation, and so is shared among neurons. Here we review recent progress in characterizing the state dependence of neural responses, and in particular of how neural responses depend on endogenous slow fluctuations of network excitability. We then elaborate on how this knowledge may be used to increase the amount of information that BMIs exchange with brain. Knowledge of network state can be used to fine-tune the stimulation pattern that should reliably elicit a target neural response used to encode information in the brain, and to discount part of the trial-by-trial variability of neural responses, so that they can be decoded more accurately. PMID:27147955

  7. Power to Punish Norm Violations Affects the Neural Processes of Fairness-Related Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Cheng, Xuemei; Zheng, Li; Li, Lin; Guo, Xiuyan; Wang, Qianfeng; Lord, Anton; Hu, Zengxi; Yang, Guang

    2015-01-01

    Punishing norm violations is considered an important motive during rejection of unfair offers in the ultimatum game (UG). The present study investigates the impact of the power to punish norm violations on people's responses to unfairness and associated neural correlates. In the UG condition participants had the power to punish norm violations, while an alternate condition, the impunity game (IG), was presented where participants had no power to punish norm violations since rejection only reduced the responder's income to zero. Results showed that unfair offers were rejected more often in UG compared to IG. At the neural level, anterior insula and dorsal anterior cingulate cortex were more active when participants received and rejected unfair offers in both UG and IG. Moreover, greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex activity was observed when participants rejected than accepted unfair offers in UG but not in IG. Ventromedial prefrontal cortex activation was higher in UG than IG when unfair offers were accepted as well as when rejecting unfair offers in IG as opposed to UG. Taken together, our results demonstrate that the power to punish norm violations affects not only people's behavioral responses to unfairness but also the neural correlates of the fairness-related social decision-making process.

  8. Cortical Neural Synchronization Underlies Primary Visual Consciousness of Qualia: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Babiloni, Claudio; Marzano, Nicola; Soricelli, Andrea; Cordone, Susanna; Millán-Calenti, José Carlos; Del Percio, Claudio; Buján, Ana

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews three experiments on event-related potentials (ERPs) testing the hypothesis that primary visual consciousness (stimulus self-report) is related to enhanced cortical neural synchronization as a function of stimulus features. ERP peak latency and sources were compared between “seen” trials and “not seen” trials, respectively related and unrelated to the primary visual consciousness. Three salient features of visual stimuli were considered (visuospatial, emotional face expression, and written words). Results showed the typical visual ERP components in both “seen” and “not seen” trials. There was no statistical difference in the ERP peak latencies between the “seen” and “not seen” trials, suggesting a similar timing of the cortical neural synchronization regardless the primary visual consciousness. In contrast, ERP sources showed differences between “seen” and “not seen” trials. For the visuospatial stimuli, the primary consciousness was related to higher activity in dorsal occipital and parietal sources at about 400 ms post-stimulus. For the emotional face expressions, there was greater activity in parietal and frontal sources at about 180 ms post-stimulus. For the written letters, there was higher activity in occipital, parietal and temporal sources at about 230 ms post-stimulus. These results hint that primary visual consciousness is associated with an enhanced cortical neural synchronization having entirely different spatiotemporal characteristics as a function of the features of the visual stimuli and possibly, the relative qualia (i.e., visuospatial, face expression, and words). In this framework, the dorsal visual stream may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of visuospatial and emotional face contents. Analogously, both dorsal and ventral visual streams may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of linguistic contents. In this line of reasoning, the ensemble

  9. Cortical Neural Synchronization Underlies Primary Visual Consciousness of Qualia: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Marzano, Nicola; Soricelli, Andrea; Cordone, Susanna; Millán-Calenti, José Carlos; Del Percio, Claudio; Buján, Ana

    2016-01-01

    This article reviews three experiments on event-related potentials (ERPs) testing the hypothesis that primary visual consciousness (stimulus self-report) is related to enhanced cortical neural synchronization as a function of stimulus features. ERP peak latency and sources were compared between "seen" trials and "not seen" trials, respectively related and unrelated to the primary visual consciousness. Three salient features of visual stimuli were considered (visuospatial, emotional face expression, and written words). Results showed the typical visual ERP components in both "seen" and "not seen" trials. There was no statistical difference in the ERP peak latencies between the "seen" and "not seen" trials, suggesting a similar timing of the cortical neural synchronization regardless the primary visual consciousness. In contrast, ERP sources showed differences between "seen" and "not seen" trials. For the visuospatial stimuli, the primary consciousness was related to higher activity in dorsal occipital and parietal sources at about 400 ms post-stimulus. For the emotional face expressions, there was greater activity in parietal and frontal sources at about 180 ms post-stimulus. For the written letters, there was higher activity in occipital, parietal and temporal sources at about 230 ms post-stimulus. These results hint that primary visual consciousness is associated with an enhanced cortical neural synchronization having entirely different spatiotemporal characteristics as a function of the features of the visual stimuli and possibly, the relative qualia (i.e., visuospatial, face expression, and words). In this framework, the dorsal visual stream may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of visuospatial and emotional face contents. Analogously, both dorsal and ventral visual streams may be synchronized in association with the primary consciousness of linguistic contents. In this line of reasoning, the ensemble of the cortical neural networks

  10. Monitoring activity in neural circuits with genetically encoded indicators

    PubMed Central

    Broussard, Gerard J.; Liang, Ruqiang; Tian, Lin

    2014-01-01

    Recent developments in genetically encoded indicators of neural activity (GINAs) have greatly advanced the field of systems neuroscience. As they are encoded by DNA, GINAs can be targeted to genetically defined cellular populations. Combined with fluorescence microscopy, most notably multi-photon imaging, GINAs allow chronic simultaneous optical recordings from large populations of neurons or glial cells in awake, behaving mammals, particularly rodents. This large-scale recording of neural activity at multiple temporal and spatial scales has greatly advanced our understanding of the dynamics of neural circuitry underlying behavior—a critical first step toward understanding the complexities of brain function, such as sensorimotor integration and learning. Here, we summarize the recent development and applications of the major classes of GINAs. In particular, we take an in-depth look at the design of available GINA families with a particular focus on genetically encoded calcium indicators (GCaMPs), sensors probing synaptic activity, and genetically encoded voltage indicators. Using the family of the GCaMP as an example, we review established sensor optimization pipelines. We also discuss practical considerations for end users of GINAs about experimental methods including approaches for gene delivery, imaging system requirements, and data analysis techniques. With the growing toolbox of GINAs and with new microscopy techniques pushing beyond their current limits, the age of light can finally achieve the goal of broad and dense sampling of neuronal activity across time and brain structures to obtain a dynamic picture of brain function. PMID:25538558

  11. Neural representation of orientation relative to gravity in the macaque cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Laurens, Jean; Meng, Hui; Angelaki, Dora E

    2013-12-18

    A fundamental challenge for maintaining spatial orientation and interacting with the world is knowledge of our orientation relative to gravity, i.e., head tilt. Sensing gravity is complicated because of Einstein's equivalence principle, in which gravitational and translational accelerations are physically indistinguishable. Theory has proposed that this ambiguity is solved by tracking head tilt through multisensory integration. Here we identify a group of Purkinje cells in the caudal cerebellar vermis with responses that reflect an estimate of head tilt. These tilt-selective cells are complementary to translation-selective Purkinje cells, such that their population activities sum to the net gravitoinertial acceleration encoded by the otolith organs, as predicted by theory. These findings reflect the remarkable ability of the cerebellum for neural computation and provide quantitative evidence for a neural representation of gravity, whose calculation relies on long-postulated theoretical concepts such as internal models and Bayesian priors.

  12. Static torque-angle relation of human elbow joint estimated with artificial neural network technique.

    PubMed

    Uchiyama, T; Bessho, T; Akazawa, K

    1998-06-01

    Static relations between elbow joint angle and torque at constant muscle activity in normal volunteers were investigated with the aid of an artificial neural network technique. A subject sat on a chair and moved his upper- and forearm in a horizontal plane at the height of his shoulder. The subject was instructed to maintain the elbow joint at a pre-determined angle. The wrist was then pulled to extend the elbow joint by the gravitational force of a weight hanging from a pulley. Integrated electromyograms (IEMGs), elbow and shoulder joint angles and elbow joint torque were measured. Then the relation among IEMGs, joint angles and torque was modeled with the aid of the artificial neural network, where IEMGs and joint angles were the inputs and torque was the output. After back propagation learning, we presented various combinations of IEMGs, shoulder and elbow joint angles to the model and estimated the elbow joint torque to obtain the torque-angle relation for constant muscle activation. The elbow joint torque increased and then decreased with extension of the elbow joint. This suggests that if the forearm is displaced from an equilibrium point, the torque angle relation would not act like a simple spring. In a view of the musculoskeletal structure of the elbow joint, the relation between the elbow joint angle and the moment arm of the elbow flexor muscles seems to have a dominant effect on the torque-angle relation. PMID:9755039

  13. Model-based choices involve prospective neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Doll, Bradley B.; Duncan, Katherine D.; Simon, Dylan A.; Shohamy, Daphna; Daw, Nathaniel D.

    2015-01-01

    Decisions may arise via “model-free” repetition of previously reinforced actions, or by “model-based” evaluation, which is widely thought to follow from prospective anticipation of action consequences using a learned map or model. While choices and neural correlates of decision variables sometimes reflect knowledge of their consequences, it remains unclear whether this actually arises from prospective evaluation. Using functional MRI and a sequential reward-learning task in which paths contained decodable object categories, we found that humans’ model-based choices were associated with neural signatures of future paths observed at decision time, suggesting a prospective mechanism for choice. Prospection also covaried with the degree of model-based influences on neural correlates of decision variables, and was inversely related to prediction error signals thought to underlie model-free learning. These results dissociate separate mechanisms underlying model-based and model-free evaluation and support the hypothesis that model-based influences on choices and neural decision variables result from prospection. PMID:25799041

  14. Internal models for interpreting neural population activity during sensorimotor control

    PubMed Central

    Golub, Matthew D; Yu, Byron M; Chase, Steven M

    2015-01-01

    To successfully guide limb movements, the brain takes in sensory information about the limb, internally tracks the state of the limb, and produces appropriate motor commands. It is widely believed that this process uses an internal model, which describes our prior beliefs about how the limb responds to motor commands. Here, we leveraged a brain-machine interface (BMI) paradigm in rhesus monkeys and novel statistical analyses of neural population activity to gain insight into moment-by-moment internal model computations. We discovered that a mismatch between subjects’ internal models and the actual BMI explains roughly 65% of movement errors, as well as long-standing deficiencies in BMI speed control. We then used the internal models to characterize how the neural population activity changes during BMI learning. More broadly, this work provides an approach for interpreting neural population activity in the context of how prior beliefs guide the transformation of sensory input to motor output. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10015.001 PMID:26646183

  15. Does compensatory neural activity survive old-old age?

    PubMed

    Daffner, Kirk R; Sun, Xue; Tarbi, Elise C; Rentz, Dorene M; Holcomb, Phillip J; Riis, Jenna L

    2011-01-01

    One mechanism that may allow older adults to continue to successfully perform certain cognitive tasks is to allocate more resources than their younger counterparts. Most prior studies have not included individuals beyond their 70s. Here, we investigated whether compensatory increases in neural activity previously observed in cognitively high-performing young-old adults would continue into old-old age. Event-related potentials were recorded from 72 cognitively high performing subjects, aged 18 to 96 years old, while they participated in a subject-controlled novelty oddball paradigm in which they determined viewing duration of standard, target, and novel visual stimuli. Compared to young and middle-aged subjects, both young-old and old-old subjects exhibited an impairment of preliminary mismatch/match detection operations, indexed by an attenuated anterior N2 component. This may have placed a greater burden on the subsequent controlled decision-making process, indexed by the P3, necessitating the allocation of more resources. The relationship between age and resource allocation, as measured by P3 amplitude, from midlife to very old age (45-96 years old) followed an inverted u-shaped curve (quadratic function). It peaked between the late 60s and early 70s. Thereafter, there was an inverse relationship between age and resource appropriation. This relationship remained significant after controlling for differences in task performance and MMSE. Examining the size of the P3 component across different age groups suggests that although cognitively high performing adults in their early 80s exhibit a reduction in P3 amplitude, they have a relatively well-preserved capacity to appropriate resources. However, by the late 80s, there is a robust decline (relative to young-old adults) in the size of the P3. Our results indicate that when carrying out controlled processing linked to directing attention to salient events, cognitively high performers reach the boundary of their

  16. Common and Segregated Neural Substrates for Automatic Conceptual and Affective Priming as Revealed by Event-Related Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Liu, Hongyan; Hu, Zhiguo; Peng, Danling; Yang, Yanhui; Li, Kuncheng

    2010-01-01

    The brain activity associated with automatic semantic priming has been extensively studied. Thus far there has been no prior study that directly contrasts the neural mechanisms of semantic and affective priming. The present study employed event-related fMRI to examine the common and distinct neural bases underlying conceptual and affective priming…

  17. Endogenous testosterone levels are associated with neural activity in men with schizophrenia during facial emotion processing.

    PubMed

    Ji, Ellen; Weickert, Cynthia Shannon; Lenroot, Rhoshel; Catts, Stanley V; Vercammen, Ans; White, Christopher; Gur, Raquel E; Weickert, Thomas W

    2015-06-01

    Growing evidence suggests that testosterone may play a role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia given that testosterone has been linked to cognition and negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Here, we determine the extent to which serum testosterone levels are related to neural activity in affective processing circuitry in men with schizophrenia. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to measure blood-oxygen-level-dependent signal changes as 32 healthy controls and 26 people with schizophrenia performed a facial emotion identification task. Whole brain analyses were performed to determine regions of differential activity between groups during processing of angry versus non-threatening faces. A follow-up ROI analysis using a regression model in a subset of 16 healthy men and 16 men with schizophrenia was used to determine the extent to which serum testosterone levels were related to neural activity. Healthy controls displayed significantly greater activation than people with schizophrenia in the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). There was no significant difference in circulating testosterone levels between healthy men and men with schizophrenia. Regression analyses between activation in the IFG and circulating testosterone levels revealed a significant positive correlation in men with schizophrenia (r=.63, p=.01) and no significant relationship in healthy men. This study provides the first evidence that circulating serum testosterone levels are related to IFG activation during emotion face processing in men with schizophrenia but not in healthy men, which suggests that testosterone levels modulate neural processes relevant to facial emotion processing that may interfere with social functioning in men with schizophrenia.

  18. Long-range neural activity evoked by premotor cortex stimulation: a TMS/EEG co-registration study

    PubMed Central

    Zanon, Marco; Battaglini, Piero P.; Jarmolowska, Joanna; Pizzolato, Gilberto; Busan, Pierpaolo

    2013-01-01

    The premotor cortex is one of the fundamental structures composing the neural networks of the human brain. It is implicated in many behaviors and cognitive tasks, ranging from movement to attention and eye-related activity. Therefore, neural circuits that are related to premotor cortex have been studied to clarify their connectivity and/or role in different tasks. In the present work, we aimed to investigate the propagation of the neural activity evoked in the dorsal premotor cortex using transcranial magnetic stimulation/electroencephalography (TMS/EEG). Toward this end, interest was focused on the neural dynamics elicited in long-ranging temporal and spatial networks. Twelve healthy volunteers underwent a single-pulse TMS protocol in a resting condition with eyes closed, and the evoked activity, measured by EEG, was compared to a sham condition in a time window ranging from 45 ms to about 200 ms after TMS. Spatial and temporal investigations were carried out with sLORETA. TMS was found to induce propagation of neural activity mainly in the contralateral sensorimotor and frontal cortices, at about 130 ms after delivery of the stimulus. Different types of analyses showed propagated activity also in posterior, mainly visual, regions, in a time window between 70 and 130 ms. Finally, a likely “rebounding” activation of the sensorimotor and frontal regions, was observed in various time ranges. Taken together, the present findings further characterize the neural circuits that are driven by dorsal premotor cortex activation in healthy humans. PMID:24324426

  19. Efficient Universal Computing Architectures for Decoding Neural Activity

    PubMed Central

    Rapoport, Benjamin I.; Turicchia, Lorenzo; Wattanapanitch, Woradorn; Davidson, Thomas J.; Sarpeshkar, Rahul

    2012-01-01

    The ability to decode neural activity into meaningful control signals for prosthetic devices is critical to the development of clinically useful brain– machine interfaces (BMIs). Such systems require input from tens to hundreds of brain-implanted recording electrodes in order to deliver robust and accurate performance; in serving that primary function they should also minimize power dissipation in order to avoid damaging neural tissue; and they should transmit data wirelessly in order to minimize the risk of infection associated with chronic, transcutaneous implants. Electronic architectures for brain– machine interfaces must therefore minimize size and power consumption, while maximizing the ability to compress data to be transmitted over limited-bandwidth wireless channels. Here we present a system of extremely low computational complexity, designed for real-time decoding of neural signals, and suited for highly scalable implantable systems. Our programmable architecture is an explicit implementation of a universal computing machine emulating the dynamics of a network of integrate-and-fire neurons; it requires no arithmetic operations except for counting, and decodes neural signals using only computationally inexpensive logic operations. The simplicity of this architecture does not compromise its ability to compress raw neural data by factors greater than . We describe a set of decoding algorithms based on this computational architecture, one designed to operate within an implanted system, minimizing its power consumption and data transmission bandwidth; and a complementary set of algorithms for learning, programming the decoder, and postprocessing the decoded output, designed to operate in an external, nonimplanted unit. The implementation of the implantable portion is estimated to require fewer than 5000 operations per second. A proof-of-concept, 32-channel field-programmable gate array (FPGA) implementation of this portion is consequently energy efficient

  20. Neural correlates of obsessive-compulsive related dysfunctional beliefs.

    PubMed

    Alonso, Pino; Orbegozo, Arantxa; Pujol, Jesús; López-Solà, Clara; Fullana, Miquel Àngel; Segalàs, Cinto; Real, Eva; Subirà, Marta; Martínez-Zalacaín, Ignacio; Menchón, José M; Harrison, Ben J; Cardoner, Narcís; Soriano-Mas, Carles

    2013-12-01

    There have been few attempts to integrate neurobiological and cognitive models of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), although this might constitute a key approach to clarify the complex etiology of the disorder. Our study aimed to explore the neural correlates underlying dysfunctional beliefs hypothesized by cognitive models to be involved in the development and maintenance of OCD. We obtained a high-resolution magnetic resonance image from fifty OCD patients and 30 healthy controls, and correlated them, voxel-wise, with the severity of OC-related dysfunctional beliefs assessed by the Obsessive Beliefs Questionnaire-44. In healthy controls, significant negative correlations were observed between anterior temporal lobe (ATL) volume and scores on perfectionism/intolerance of uncertainty and overimportance/need to control thoughts. No significant correlations between OBQ-44 domains and regional gray matter volumes were observed in OCD patients. A post-hoc region-of-interest analysis detected that the ATLs was bilaterally smaller in OCD patients. On splitting subjects into high- and low-belief subgroups, we observed that such brain structural differences between OCD patients and healthy controls were explained by significantly larger ATL volumes among healthy subjects from the low-belief subgroup. Our results suggest a significant correlation between OC-related dysfunctional beliefs and morphometric variability in the anterior temporal lobe, a brain structure related to socio-emotional processing. Future studies should address the interaction of these correlations with environmental factors to fully characterize the bases of OC-related dysfunctional beliefs and to advance in the integration of biological and cognitive models of OCD.

  1. Consequences of Post-Weaning Social Isolation on Anxiety Behavior and Related Neural Circuits in Rodents

    PubMed Central

    Lukkes, Jodi L.; Watt, Michael J.; Lowry, Christopher A.; Forster, Gina L.

    2009-01-01

    Exposure to adverse experiences in early-life is implicated in the later vulnerability to development of psychiatric disorders, including anxiety and affective disorders in humans. Adverse early-life experiences likely impart their long-term consequences on mental health by disrupting the normal development of neural systems involved in stress responses, emotional behavior and emotional states. Neural systems utilizing the neurotransmitters serotonin, dopamine and the neuropeptide corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) are implicated in mediating emotive behaviors, and dysfunction of these neurochemical systems is associated with mood/anxiety disorders. These neural systems continue maturing until early or mid-adolescence in humans, thus alterations to their development are likely to contribute to the long-term consequences of adverse early-life experiences. A large body of literature suggests that post-weaning isolation rearing of rodents models the behavioral consequences of adverse early-life experiences in humans. Overall, the majority findings suggest that post-weaning social isolation that encompasses pre-adolescence produces long-lasting alterations to anxiety behavior, while measures of monoaminergic activity in various limbic regions during social isolation suggest alterations to dopamine and serotonin systems. The goal of this review is to evaluate and integrate findings from post-weaning social isolation studies specifically related to altered fear and anxiety behaviors and associated changes in neuroendocrine function and the activity of monoaminergic systems. PMID:19738931

  2. Can Neural Activity Propagate by Endogenous Electrical Field?

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Chen; Shivacharan, Rajat S.; Zhang, Mingming

    2015-01-01

    It is widely accepted that synaptic transmissions and gap junctions are the major governing mechanisms for signal traveling in the neural system. Yet, a group of neural waves, either physiological or pathological, share the same speed of ∼0.1 m/s without synaptic transmission or gap junctions, and this speed is not consistent with axonal conduction or ionic diffusion. The only explanation left is an electrical field effect. We tested the hypothesis that endogenous electric fields are sufficient to explain the propagation with in silico and in vitro experiments. Simulation results show that field effects alone can indeed mediate propagation across layers of neurons with speeds of 0.12 ± 0.09 m/s with pathological kinetics, and 0.11 ± 0.03 m/s with physiologic kinetics, both generating weak field amplitudes of ∼2–6 mV/mm. Further, the model predicted that propagation speed values are inversely proportional to the cell-to-cell distances, but do not significantly change with extracellular resistivity, membrane capacitance, or membrane resistance. In vitro recordings in mice hippocampi produced similar speeds (0.10 ± 0.03 m/s) and field amplitudes (2.5–5 mV/mm), and by applying a blocking field, the propagation speed was greatly reduced. Finally, osmolarity experiments confirmed the model's prediction that cell-to-cell distance inversely affects propagation speed. Together, these results show that despite their weak amplitude, electric fields can be solely responsible for spike propagation at ∼0.1 m/s. This phenomenon could be important to explain the slow propagation of epileptic activity and other normal propagations at similar speeds. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Neural activity (waves or spikes) can propagate using well documented mechanisms such as synaptic transmission, gap junctions, or diffusion. However, the purpose of this paper is to provide an explanation for experimental data showing that neural signals can propagate by means other than synaptic

  3. The generation effect: activating broad neural circuits during memory encoding.

    PubMed

    Rosner, Zachary A; Elman, Jeremy A; Shimamura, Arthur P

    2013-01-01

    The generation effect is a robust memory phenomenon in which actively producing material during encoding acts to improve later memory performance. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) analysis, we explored the neural basis of this effect. During encoding, participants generated synonyms from word-fragment cues (e.g., GARBAGE-W_ST_) or read other synonym pairs (e.g., GARBAGE-WASTE). Compared to simply reading target words, generating target words significantly improved later recognition memory performance. During encoding, this benefit was associated with a broad neural network that involved both prefrontal (inferior frontal gyrus, middle frontal gyrus) and posterior cortex (inferior temporal gyrus, lateral occipital cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, ventral posterior parietal cortex). These findings define the prefrontal-posterior cortical dynamics associated with the mnemonic benefits underlying the generation effect.

  4. Functional activity of mitochondria in cultured neural precursor cells.

    PubMed

    Plotnikov, E Yu; Marei, M V; Podgornyi, O V; Aleksandrova, M A; Zorov, D B; Sukhikh, G T

    2006-01-01

    We studied mitochondrial transmembrane potential of neural precursor cells forming neurospheres in culture. Uneven energization of mitochondria in neurosphere cells was detected. Heterogeneity of cells by the mitochondrial potential increased with neurosphere enlargement during culturing. Decrease in the mitochondrial potential in the central cells in large spheres, presumably caused by insufficient diffusion of oxygen and nutrients, can provoke their damage and death. Population of cells with high mitochondrial potential responded to addition of the nuclear dye by a decrease in mitochondrial potential, which can indicate functioning of ABCG2 complex in these cells, characteristic of undifferentiated stem cells. These data will help to create optimum conditions for culturing of neural stem cells for the maintenance of their maximum functional and proliferative activity. PMID:16929986

  5. Neural sensing of electrical activity with stretchable microelectrode arrays.

    PubMed

    Yu, Zhe; Graudejus, Oliver; Lacour, Stéphanie P; Wagner, Sigurd; Morrison, Barclay

    2009-01-01

    Sensing neural activity within mechanically active tissues poses particular hurdles because most electrodes are much stiffer than biological tissues. As the tissue deforms, the rigid electrodes may damage the surrounding tissue. The problem is exacerbated when sensing neural activity in experimental models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) which is caused by the rapid and large deformation of brain tissue. We have developed a stretchable microelectrode array (SMEA) that can withstand large elastic deformations (>5% biaxial strain) while continuing to function. The SMEA were fabricated from thin metal conductors patterned on polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) and encapsulated with a photo-patternable silicone. SMEA were used to record spontaneous activity from brain slice cultures, as well as evoked activity after stimulating through SMEA electrodes. Slices of brain tissue were grown on SMEA in long-term culture and then mechanically injured with our well-characterized in vitro injury model by stretching the SMEA and the adherent culture, which was confirmed by image analysis. Because brain tissue was grown on the substrate-integrated SMEA, post-injury changes in electrophysiological function were normalized to pre-injury function since the SMEA deformed with the tissue and remained in place during mechanical stimulation. The combination of our injury model and SMEA could help elucidate mechanisms responsible for post-traumatic neuronal dysfunction in the quest for TBI therapies. The SMEA may have additional sensing applications in other mechanically active tissues such as peripheral nerve and heart. PMID:19964344

  6. Human intracranial high-frequency activity during memory processing: neural oscillations or stochastic volatility?

    PubMed Central

    Burke, John F.; Ramayya, Ashwin G.; Kahana, Michael J.

    2015-01-01

    Intracranial high-frequency activity (HFA), which refers to fast fluctuations in electrophysiological recordings, increases during memory processing. Two views have emerged to explain this effect: (1) HFA reflects a synchronous signal, related to underlying gamma oscillations, that plays a mechanistic role in human memory and (2) HFA reflects an asynchronous signal that is a nonspecific marker of brain activation. Here, we review recent data supporting each of these views and conclude that HFA during memory processing is more consistent with an asynchronous signal. Memory-related HFA is therefore best conceptualized as a biomarker of neural activation that can functionally map memory with unprecedented spatial and temporal precision. PMID:25279772

  7. Neural correlates of mindfulness meditation-related anxiety relief.

    PubMed

    Zeidan, Fadel; Martucci, Katherine T; Kraft, Robert A; McHaffie, John G; Coghill, Robert C

    2014-06-01

    Anxiety is the cognitive state related to the inability to control emotional responses to perceived threats. Anxiety is inversely related to brain activity associated with the cognitive regulation of emotions. Mindfulness meditation has been found to regulate anxiety. However, the brain mechanisms involved in meditation-related anxiety relief are largely unknown. We employed pulsed arterial spin labeling MRI to compare the effects of distraction in the form of attending to the breath (ATB; before meditation training) to mindfulness meditation (after meditation training) on state anxiety across the same subjects. Fifteen healthy subjects, with no prior meditation experience, participated in 4 d of mindfulness meditation training. ATB did not reduce state anxiety, but state anxiety was significantly reduced in every session that subjects meditated. Meditation-related anxiety relief was associated with activation of the anterior cingulate cortex, ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior insula. Meditation-related activation in these regions exhibited a strong relationship to anxiety relief when compared to ATB. During meditation, those who exhibited greater default-related activity (i.e. posterior cingulate cortex) reported greater anxiety, possibly reflecting an inability to control self-referential thoughts. These findings provide evidence that mindfulness meditation attenuates anxiety through mechanisms involved in the regulation of self-referential thought processes.

  8. Quantitative analysis of cardiovascular modulation in respiratory neural activity.

    PubMed

    Dick, Thomas E; Morris, Kendall F

    2004-05-01

    We propose the 'delta(2)-statistic' for assessing the magnitude and statistical significance of arterial pulse-modulated activity of single neurones and present the results of applying this tool to medullary respiratory-modulated units. This analytical tool is a modification of the eta(2)-statistic and, consequently, based on the analysis of variance. The eta(2)-statistic reflects the consistency of respiratory-modulated activity on a cycle-by-cycle basis. However, directly applying this test to activity during the cardiac cycle proved ineffective because subjects-by-treatments matrices did not contain enough 'information'. We increased information by dividing the cardiac cycle into fewer bins, excluding cycles without activity and summing activity over multiple cycles. The analysed neuronal activity was an existing data set examining the neural control of respiration and cough. Neurones were recorded in the nuclei of the solitary tracts, and in the rostral and caudal ventral respiratory groups of decerebrate, neuromuscularly blocked, ventilated cats (n= 19). Two hundred of 246 spike trains were respiratory modulated; of these 53% were inspiratory (I), 36.5% expiratory (E), 6% IE phase spanning and 4.5% EI phase spanning and responsive to airway stimulation. Nearly half (n= 96/200) of the respiratory-modulated units were significantly pulse modulated and 13 were highly modulated with delta(2) values exceeding 0.3. In 10 of these highly modulated units, eta(2) values were greater than 0.3 and all 13 had, at least, a portion of their activity during expiration. We conclude that cardiorespiratory interaction is reciprocal; in addition to respiratory-modulated activity in a subset of neuronal activity patterns controlling the cardiovascular system, pulse-modulated activity exists in a subset of neuronal activity patterns controlling the respiratory system. Thus, cardio-ventilatory coupling apparent in respiratory motor output is evident and, perhaps, derived from the

  9. A BOLD Perspective on Age-Related Neurometabolic-Flow Coupling and Neural Efficiency Changes in Human Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Hutchison, Joanna Lynn; Shokri-Kojori, Ehsan; Lu, Hanzhang; Rypma, Bart

    2013-01-01

    Age-related performance declines in visual tasks have been attributed to reductions in processing efficiency. The neural basis of these declines has been explored by comparing the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) index of neural activity in older and younger adults during visual task performance. However, neural activity is one of many factors that change with age and lead to BOLD signal differences. We investigated the origin of age-related BOLD changes by comparing blood flow and oxygen metabolic constituents of BOLD signal. Subjects periodically viewed flickering annuli and pressed a button when detecting luminance changes in a central fixation cross. Using magnetic resonance dual-echo arterial spin labeling and CO2 ingestion, we observed age-equivalent (i.e., similar in older and younger groups) fractional cerebral blood flow (ΔCBF) in the presence of age-related increases in fractional cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (ΔCMRO2). Reductions in ΔCBF responsiveness to increased ΔCMRO2 in elderly led to paradoxical age-related BOLD decreases. Age-related ΔCBF/ΔCMRO2 ratio decreases were associated with reaction times, suggesting that age-related slowing resulted from less efficient neural activity. We hypothesized that reduced vascular responsiveness to neural metabolic demand would lead to a reduction in ΔCBF/ΔCMRO2. A simulation of BOLD relative to ΔCMRO2 for lower and higher neurometabolic-flow coupling ratios (approximating those for old and young, respectively) indicated less BOLD signal change in old than young in relatively lower CMRO2 ranges, as well as greater BOLD signal change in young compared to old in relatively higher CMRO2 ranges. These results suggest that age-comparative studies relying on BOLD signal might be misinterpreted, as age-related BOLD changes do not merely reflect neural activity changes. Age-related declines in neurometabolic-flow coupling might lead to neural efficiency reductions that can adversely affect visual task

  10. Neural activity associated with enhanced facial attractiveness by cosmetics use.

    PubMed

    Ueno, Aya; Ito, Ayahito; Kawasaki, Iori; Kawachi, Yousuke; Yoshida, Kazuki; Murakami, Yui; Sakai, Shinya; Iijima, Toshio; Matsue, Yoshihiko; Fujii, Toshikatsu

    2014-04-30

    Previous psychological studies have shown that make-up enhances facial attractiveness. Although neuroimaging evidence indicates that the orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) shows greater activity for faces of attractive people than for those of unattractive people, there is no direct evidence that the OFC also shows greater activity for the face of an individual wearing make-up than for the same face without make-up. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated neural activity while subjects viewed 144 photographs of the same faces with and without make-up (48 with make-up, 48 without make-up, and 48 scrambled photographs) and assigned these faces an attractiveness rating. The behavioral data showed that the faces with make-up were rated as more attractive than those without make-up. The imaging data revealed that the left OFC and the right hippocampus showed greater activity for faces with make-up than for those without make-up. Furthermore, the activities of the right anterior cingulate cortex, left hippocampus, and left OFC increased with increasing facial attractiveness resulting from cosmetics use. These results provide direct evidence of the neural underpinnings of cosmetically enhanced facial attractiveness.

  11. Neural correlates of active avoidance behavior in superior colliculus

    PubMed Central

    Cohen, Jeremy D.; Castro-Alamancos, Manuel A.

    2010-01-01

    Active avoidance of harmful situations seems highly adaptive, but the underlying neural mechanisms are largely unknown. Rats can effectively use the superior colliculus during active avoidance to detect a salient whisker conditioned stimulus (WCS) that signals an aversive event. Here, we recorded unit and field potential activity in the intermediate layers of the superior colliculus of rats during active avoidance behavior. During the period preceding the onset of the WCS, avoids are associated with a higher firing rate than escapes (unsuccessful avoids), indicating that a prepared superior colliculus is more likely to detect the WCS and lead to an avoid. Moreover, during the WCS, a robust ramping up of overall firing rate is observed for trials leading to avoids. The firing rate ramping is not due to shuttling, and may serve to drive downstream circuits to avoid. Therefore, a robust neural correlate of active avoidance behavior is found in the superior colliculus, emphasizing its role in the detection of salient sensory signals that require immediate action. PMID:20573897

  12. Automatic Neural Processing of Disorder-Related Stimuli in Social Anxiety Disorder: Faces and More

    PubMed Central

    Schulz, Claudia; Mothes-Lasch, Martin; Straube, Thomas

    2013-01-01

    It has been proposed that social anxiety disorder (SAD) is associated with automatic information processing biases resulting in hypersensitivity to signals of social threat such as negative facial expressions. However, the nature and extent of automatic processes in SAD on the behavioral and neural level is not entirely clear yet. The present review summarizes neuroscientific findings on automatic processing of facial threat but also other disorder-related stimuli such as emotional prosody or negative words in SAD. We review initial evidence for automatic activation of the amygdala, insula, and sensory cortices as well as for automatic early electrophysiological components. However, findings vary depending on tasks, stimuli, and neuroscientific methods. Only few studies set out to examine automatic neural processes directly and systematic attempts are as yet lacking. We suggest that future studies should: (1) use different stimulus modalities, (2) examine different emotional expressions, (3) compare findings in SAD with other anxiety disorders, (4) use more sophisticated experimental designs to investigate features of automaticity systematically, and (5) combine different neuroscientific methods (such as functional neuroimaging and electrophysiology). Finally, the understanding of neural automatic processes could also provide hints for therapeutic approaches. PMID:23745116

  13. Neural Activation During Submaximal Contractions Seems More Reflective of Neuromuscular Ageing than Maximal Voluntary Activation

    PubMed Central

    Scaglioni, Gil; Narici, Marco V.; Martin, Alain

    2016-01-01

    This study aimed at testing the hypothesis that differences in neural activation strategy during submaximal but not maximal plantarflexions exist between young and older men. Eleven young men (YM, 26 ± 4 years) and thirteen old men (OM, 76 ± 3 years) volunteered for the investigation. Maximal voluntary torque (MVT) was 38.2%, lower (p < 0.001) in OM than in YM, while voluntary activation was equivalent (~97%). The relationship between the interpolated twitch-torque and the voluntary torque (IT-VT relationship) was composite (curvilinear + exponential) for both age-groups. However, the OM showed accentuated concavity, as attested by the occurrence of the deviation from linearity at a lower contraction intensity (OM: 54.9 vs. YM: 71.9% MVT). In conclusion, ageing does not affect the capacity to fully activate the plantar flexors during maximal performances, but it alters the activation pattern for submaximal levels of effort. The greater age-related concavity of the IT-VT relationship suggests that, during submaximal contractions, OM need to reach a level of activation higher than YM to develop an equivalent relative torque. PMID:26941638

  14. Examining the neural correlates of emergent equivalence relations in Fragile X syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Klabunde, Megan; Saggar, Manish; Hustyi, Kristin M.; Kelley, Ryan G.; Reiss, Allan L.; Hall, Scott S.

    2015-01-01

    The neural mechanisms underlying the formation of stimulus equivalence relations are poorly understood, particularly in individuals with specific learning impairments. As part of a larger study, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while participants with fragile X syndrome (FXS), and age- and IQ-matched controls with intellectual disability, were required to form new equivalence relations in the scanner. Following intensive training on matching fractions to pie charts (A=B relations) and pie charts to decimals (B=C relations) outside the scanner over a 2-day period, participants were tested on the trained (A=B, B=C) relations, as well as emergent symmetry (i.e., B=A and C=B) and transitivity/equivalence (i.e., A=C and C=A) relations inside the scanner. Eight participants with FXS (6 female, 2 male) and 10 controls, aged 10 to 23 years, were able to obtain at least 66.7% correct on the trained relations in the scanner and were included in the fMRI analyses. Across both groups, results showed that the emergence of symmetry relations was correlated with increased brain activation in the left inferior parietal lobule, left postcentral gyrus, and left insula, broadly supporting previous investigations of stimulus equivalence research in neurotypical populations. On the test of emergent transitivity/equivalence relations, activation was significantly greater in individuals with FXS compared with controls in the right middle temporal gyrus, left superior frontal gyrus and left precuneus. These data indicate that neural execution was significantly different in individuals with FXS than in age- and IQ-matched controls during stimulus equivalence formation. Further research concerning how gene-brain-behavior interactions may influence the emergence of stimulus equivalence in individuals with intellectual disabilities is needed. PMID:26250852

  15. Age-related changes to the neural correlates of working memory which emerge after midlife

    PubMed Central

    Macpherson, Helen N.; White, David J.; Ellis, Kathryn A.; Stough, Con; Camfield, David; Silberstein, Richard; Pipingas, Andrew

    2014-01-01

    Previous research has indicated that the neural processes which underlie working memory change with age. Both age-related increases and decreases to cortical activity have been reported. This study investigated which stages of working memory are most vulnerable to age-related changes after midlife. To do this we examined age-differences in the 13 Hz steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) associated with a spatial working memory delayed response task. Participants were 130 healthy adults separated into a midlife (40–60 years) and an older group (61–82 years). Relative to the midlife group, older adults demonstrated greater bilateral frontal activity during encoding and this pattern of activity was related to better working memory performance. In contrast, evidence of age-related under activation was identified over left frontal regions during retrieval. Findings from this study suggest that after midlife, under-activation of frontal regions during retrieval contributes to age-related decline in working memory performance. PMID:24795625

  16. Neural mechanisms underlying ecstasy-related attentional bias.

    PubMed

    Roberts, Gloria M P; Garavan, Hugh

    2013-08-30

    Conditioned responses to cues associated with drug taking play a pivotal role in a number of theories of drug addiction. This study examined whether attentional biases towards drug-related cues exist in recreational drug users who predominantly used ecstasy (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). Experiment 1 compared 30 ecstasy users, 25 cannabis users, and 30 controls in an attentional distraction task in which neutral, evocative, and ecstasy-related pictures were presented within a coloured border, requiring participants to respond as quickly as possible to the border colour. Experiment 2 employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the attentional distraction task and tested 20 ecstasy users and 20 controls. Experiment 1 revealed significant response speed interference by the ecstasy-related pictures in the ecstasy users only. Experiment 2 revealed increased prefrontal and occipital activity in ecstasy users in all conditions. Activations in response to the ecstasy stimuli in these regions showed an apparent antagonism whereby ecstasy users, relative to controls, showed increased occipital but decreased right prefrontal activation. These results are interpreted to reflect increased visual processing of, and decreased prefrontal control over, the irrelevant but salient ecstasy-related stimuli. These results suggest that right inferior frontal cortex may play an important role in controlling drug-related attentional biases and may thus play an important role in mediating control over drug usage.

  17. Infrared neural stimulation fails to evoke neural activity in the deaf guinea pig cochlea.

    PubMed

    Thompson, Alexander C; Fallon, James B; Wise, Andrew K; Wade, Scott A; Shepherd, Robert K; Stoddart, Paul R

    2015-06-01

    At present there is some debate as to the processes by which infrared neural stimulation (INS) activates neurons in the cochlea, as the lasers used for INS can potentially generate a range of secondary stimuli e.g. an acoustic stimulus is produced when the light is absorbed by water. To clarify whether INS in the cochlea requires functioning hair cells and to explore the potential relevance to cochlear implants, experiments using INS were performed in the cochleae of both normal hearing and profoundly deaf guinea pigs. A response to laser stimulation was readily evoked in normal hearing cochlea. However, no response was evoked in any profoundly deaf cochleae, for either acute or chronic deafening, contrary to previous work where a response was observed after acute deafening with ototoxic drugs. A neural response to electrical stimulation was readily evoked in all cochleae after deafening. The absence of a response from optical stimuli in profoundly deaf cochleae suggests that the response from INS in the cochlea is hair cell mediated. PMID:25796297

  18. Estimation of spatiotemporal neural activity using radial basis function networks.

    PubMed

    Anderson, R W; Das, S; Keller, E L

    1998-12-01

    We report a method using radial basis function (RBF) networks to estimate the time evolution of population activity in topologically organized neural structures from single-neuron recordings. This is an important problem in neuroscience research, as such estimates may provide insights into systems-level function of these structures. Since single-unit neural data tends to be unevenly sampled and highly variable under similar behavioral conditions, obtaining such estimates is a difficult task. In particular, a class of cells in the superior colliculus called buildup neurons can have very narrow regions of saccade vectors for which they discharge at high rates but very large surround regions over which they discharge at low, but not zero, levels. Estimating the dynamic movement fields for these cells for two spatial dimensions at closely spaced timed intervals is a difficult problem, and no general method has been described that can be applied to all buildup cells. Estimation of individual collicular cells' spatiotemporal movement fields is a prerequisite for obtaining reliable two-dimensional estimates of the population activity on the collicular motor map during saccades. Therefore, we have developed several computational-geometry-based algorithms that regularize the data before computing a surface estimation using RBF networks. The method is then expanded to the problem of estimating simultaneous spatiotemporal activity occurring across the superior colliculus during a single movement (the inverse problem). In principle, this methodology could be applied to any neural structure with a regular, two-dimensional organization, provided a sufficient spatial distribution of sampled neurons is available.

  19. Evaluating a Genetically Encoded Optical Sensor of Neural Activity Using Electrophysiology in Intact Adult Fruit Flies

    PubMed Central

    Jayaraman, Vivek; Laurent, Gilles

    2007-01-01

    Genetically encoded optical indicators hold the promise of enabling non-invasive monitoring of activity in identified neurons in behaving organisms. However, the interpretation of images of brain activity produced using such sensors is not straightforward. Several recent studies of sensory coding used G-CaMP 1.3—a calcium sensor—as an indicator of neural activity; some of these studies characterized the imaged neurons as having narrow tuning curves, a conclusion not always supported by parallel electrophysiological studies. To better understand the possible cause of these conflicting results, we performed simultaneous in vivo 2-photon imaging and electrophysiological recording of G-CaMP 1.3 expressing neurons in the antennal lobe (AL) of intact fruitflies. We find that G-CaMP has a relatively high threshold, that its signal often fails to capture spiking response kinetics, and that it can miss even high instantaneous rates of activity if those are not sustained. While G-CaMP can be misleading, it is clearly useful for the identification of promising neural targets: when electrical activity is well above the sensor's detection threshold, its signal is fairly well correlated with mean firing rate and G-CaMP does not appear to alter significantly the responses of neurons that express it. The methods we present should enable any genetically encoded sensor, activator, or silencer to be evaluated in an intact neural circuit in vivo in Drosophila. PMID:18946545

  20. Mechanisms of cortical neural synchronization related to healthy and impaired consciousness: evidence by quantitative electroencephalographic studies.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Vecchio, Fabrizio; Buffo, Paola; Iacoboni, Marco; Pistoia, Francesca; Sacco, Simona; Sara, Marco; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2014-01-01

    In this paper, we review the contribution of our research group to the study of human consciousness by quantitative electroencephalographic (EEG) techniques. We posit that EEG techniques can be extremely useful for a direct measurement of brain electrophysiological activity related to human consciousness for their unsurpassable high temporal resolution (milliseconds). This activity can be expressed in terms of event-related potentials as well as changes of EEG rhythms of interest, for example the dominant alpha rhythms (about 8-12 Hz). The results of our studies, and those of several independent groups, lead support to the hypothesis that these techniques provide important insights about the neurophysiologic mechanisms underlying cortical neural synchronization/desynchronization and the regulation of neuromodulatory systems (e.g. dopaminergic, noradrenergic, cholinergic, etc.) at the basis of brain arousal and consciousness in healthy subjects and in patients with impairment of the consciousness. A possible interaction of these mechanisms and the drugs administered to patients with consciousness disorders is discussed.

  1. Tools for resolving functional activity and connectivity within intact neural circuits.

    PubMed

    Jennings, Joshua H; Stuber, Garret D

    2014-01-01

    Mammalian neural circuits are sophisticated biological systems that choreograph behavioral processes vital for survival. While the inherent complexity of discrete neural circuits has proven difficult to decipher, many parallel methodological developments promise to help delineate the function and connectivity of molecularly defined neural circuits. Here, we review recent technological advances designed to precisely monitor and manipulate neural circuit activity. We propose a holistic, multifaceted approach for unraveling how behavioral states are manifested through the cooperative interactions between discrete neurocircuit elements.

  2. Multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis of optogenetic modulation of neural activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, S.; Gu, L.; Ghosh, N.; Mohanty, S. K.

    2013-02-01

    Here, we introduce a computational procedure to examine whether optogenetically activated neuronal firing recordings could be characterized as multifractal series. Optogenetics is emerging as a valuable experimental tool and a promising approach for studying a variety of neurological disorders in animal models. The spiking patterns from cortical region of the brain of optogenetically-stimulated transgenic mice were analyzed using a sophisticated fluctuation analysis method known as multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MFDFA). We observed that the optogenetically-stimulated neural firings are consistent with a multifractal process. Further, we used MFDFA to monitor the effect of chemically induced pain (formalin injection) and optogenetic treatment used to relieve the pain. In this case, dramatic changes in parameters characterizing a multifractal series were observed. Both the generalized Hurst exponent and width of singularity spectrum effectively differentiates the neural activities during control and pain induction phases. The quantitative nature of the analysis equips us with better measures to quantify pain. Further, it provided a measure for effectiveness of the optogenetic stimulation in inhibiting pain. MFDFA-analysis of spiking data from other deep regions of the brain also turned out to be multifractal in nature, with subtle differences in the parameters during pain-induction by formalin injection and inhibition by optogenetic stimulation. Characterization of neuronal firing patterns using MFDFA will lead to better understanding of neuronal response to optogenetic activation and overall circuitry involved in the process.

  3. Artificial neural network prediction of antisense oligodeoxynucleotide activity.

    PubMed

    Giddings, Michael C; Shah, Atul A; Freier, Sue; Atkins, John F; Gesteland, Raymond F; Matveeva, Olga V

    2002-10-01

    An mRNA transcript contains many potential antisense oligodeoxynucleotide target sites. Identification of the most efficacious targets remains an important and challenging problem. Building on separate work that revealed a strong correlation between the inclusion of short sequence motifs and the activity level of an oligo, we have developed a predictive artificial neural network system for mapping tetranucleotide motif content to antisense oligo activity. Trained for high-specificity prediction, the system has been cross-validated against a database of 348 oligos from the literature and a larger proprietary database of 908 oligos. In cross- validation tests the system identified effective oligos (i.e. oligos capable of reducing target mRNA expression to <25% that of the control) with 53% accuracy, in contrast to the <10% success rates commonly reported for trial-and-error oligo selection, suggesting a possible 5-fold reduction in the in vivo screening required to find an active oligo. We have implemented a web interface to a trained neural network. Given an RNA transcript as input, the system identifies the most likely oligo targets and provides estimates of the probabilities that oligos targeted against these sites will be effective. PMID:12364609

  4. Oxytocin reduces neural activity in the pain circuitry when seeing pain in others

    PubMed Central

    Hermans, Erno J.; Keysers, Christian; van Honk, Jack

    2015-01-01

    Our empathetic abilities allow us to feel the pain of others. This phenomenon of vicarious feeling arises because the neural circuitry of feeling pain and seeing pain in others is shared. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is considered a robust facilitator of empathy, as intranasal OXT studies have repeatedly been shown to improve cognitive empathy (e.g. mind reading and emotion recognition). However, OXT has not yet been shown to increase neural empathic responses to pain in others, a core aspect of affective empathy. Effects of OXT on empathy for pain are difficult to predict, because OXT evidently has pain-reducing properties. Accordingly, OXT might paradoxically decrease empathy for pain. Here, using functional neuroimaging we show robust activation in the neural circuitry of pain (insula and sensorimotor regions) when subjects observe pain in others. Crucially, this empathy-related activation in the neural circuitry of pain is strongly reduced after intranasal OXT, specifically in the left insula. OXT on the basis of our neuroimaging data thus remarkably decreases empathy for pain, but further research including behavioral measures are necessary to draw definite conclusions. PMID:25818690

  5. Oxytocin reduces neural activity in the pain circuitry when seeing pain in others.

    PubMed

    Bos, Peter A; Montoya, Estrella R; Hermans, Erno J; Keysers, Christian; van Honk, Jack

    2015-06-01

    Our empathetic abilities allow us to feel the pain of others. This phenomenon of vicarious feeling arises because the neural circuitry of feeling pain and seeing pain in others is shared. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OXT) is considered a robust facilitator of empathy, as intranasal OXT studies have repeatedly been shown to improve cognitive empathy (e.g. mind reading and emotion recognition). However, OXT has not yet been shown to increase neural empathic responses to pain in others, a core aspect of affective empathy. Effects of OXT on empathy for pain are difficult to predict, because OXT evidently has pain-reducing properties. Accordingly, OXT might paradoxically decrease empathy for pain. Here, using functional neuroimaging we show robust activation in the neural circuitry of pain (insula and sensorimotor regions) when subjects observe pain in others. Crucially, this empathy-related activation in the neural circuitry of pain is strongly reduced after intranasal OXT, specifically in the left insula. OXT on the basis of our neuroimaging data thus remarkably decreases empathy for pain, but further research including behavioral measures is necessary to draw definite conclusions. PMID:25818690

  6. Neural stem cells could serve as a therapeutic material for age-related neurodegenerative diseases.

    PubMed

    Suksuphew, Sarawut; Noisa, Parinya

    2015-03-26

    Progressively loss of neural and glial cells is the key event that leads to nervous system dysfunctions and diseases. Several neurodegenerative diseases, for instance Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, are associated to aging and suggested to be a consequence of deficiency of neural stem cell pool in the affected brain regions. Endogenous neural stem cells exist throughout life and are found in specific niches of human brain. These neural stem cells are responsible for the regeneration of new neurons to restore, in the normal circumstance, the functions of the brain. Endogenous neural stem cells can be isolated, propagated, and, notably, differentiated to most cell types of the brain. On the other hand, other types of stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells, embryonic stem cells, and induced pluripotent stem cells can also serve as a source for neural stem cell production, that hold a great promise for regeneration of the brain. The replacement of neural stem cells, either endogenous or stem cell-derived neural stem cells, into impaired brain is highly expected as a possible therapeutic mean for neurodegenerative diseases. In this review, clinical features and current routinely treatments of age-related neurodegenerative diseases are documented. Noteworthy, we presented the promising evidence of neural stem cells and their derivatives in curing such diseases, together with the remaining challenges to achieve the best outcome for patients.

  7. Age-related neural changes in autobiographical remembering and imagining.

    PubMed

    Addis, Donna Rose; Roberts, Reece P; Schacter, Daniel L

    2011-11-01

    Numerous neuroimaging studies have revealed that in young adults, remembering the past and imagining the future engage a common core network. Although it has been observed that older adults engage a similar network during these tasks, it is unclear whether or not they activate this network in a similar manner to young adults. Young and older participants completed two autobiographical tasks (imagining future events and recalling past events) in addition to a semantic-visuospatial control task. Spatiotemporal Partial Least Squares analyses examined whole brain patterns of activity across both the construction and elaboration of autobiographical events. These analyses revealed that that both age groups activated a similar network during the autobiographical tasks. However, some key age-related differences in the activation of this network emerged. During the construction of autobiographical events, older adults showed less activation relative to younger adults, in regions supporting episodic detail such as the medial temporal lobes and the precuneus. Later in the trial, older adults showed differential recruitment of medial and lateral temporal regions supporting the elaboration of autobiographical events, and possibly reflecting an increased role of conceptual information when older adults describe their pasts and their futures.

  8. Neural Responses During Social Reflection in Relatives of Schizophrenia Patients: Relationship to Subclinical Delusions

    PubMed Central

    Brent, Benjamin K.; Seidman, Larry J.; Coombs, Garth; Keshavan, Matcheri S.; Moran, Joseph M.; Holt, Daphne J.

    2014-01-01

    Background Deficits in the capacity to reflect about the self and others (“social reflection” [SR]) have been identified in schizophrenia, as well as in people with a genetic or clinical risk for the disorder. However, the neural underpinnings of these abnormalities are incompletely understood. Methods Responses of a network of brain regions known to be involved in self and other processing (e.g., medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and superior temporal gyrus (STG)) were measured during SR in 16 first-degree, non-psychotic relatives (RELS) of schizophrenia patients and 16 healthy controls (CONS). Because of prior evidence linking dysfunction in this network and delusions, associations between SR-related responses of this network and subclinical delusions (measured using the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory) were also examined. Results Compared with CONS, RELS showed significantly less SR-related activity of the right and left PCC and STG. Moreover, response magnitudes were negatively correlated with levels of delusional thinking across both groups. Conclusions These findings suggest that aberrant function of the neural circuitry underpinning SR is associated with the genetic liability to schizophrenia and confers vulnerability to delusional beliefs. PMID:24951401

  9. Copper is an endogenous modulator of neural circuit spontaneous activity

    PubMed Central

    Dodani, Sheel C.; Firl, Alana; Chan, Jefferson; Nam, Christine I.; Aron, Allegra T.; Onak, Carl S.; Ramos-Torres, Karla M.; Paek, Jaeho; Webster, Corey M.; Feller, Marla B.; Chang, Christopher J.

    2014-01-01

    For reasons that remain insufficiently understood, the brain requires among the highest levels of metals in the body for normal function. The traditional paradigm for this organ and others is that fluxes of alkali and alkaline earth metals are required for signaling, but transition metals are maintained in static, tightly bound reservoirs for metabolism and protection against oxidative stress. Here we show that copper is an endogenous modulator of spontaneous activity, a property of functional neural circuitry. Using Copper Fluor-3 (CF3), a new fluorescent Cu+ sensor for one- and two-photon imaging, we show that neurons and neural tissue maintain basal stores of loosely bound copper that can be attenuated by chelation, which define a labile copper pool. Targeted disruption of these labile copper stores by acute chelation or genetic knockdown of the CTR1 (copper transporter 1) copper channel alters the spatiotemporal properties of spontaneous activity in developing hippocampal and retinal circuits. The data identify an essential role for copper neuronal function and suggest broader contributions of this transition metal to cell signaling. PMID:25378701

  10. Copper is an endogenous modulator of neural circuit spontaneous activity.

    PubMed

    Dodani, Sheel C; Firl, Alana; Chan, Jefferson; Nam, Christine I; Aron, Allegra T; Onak, Carl S; Ramos-Torres, Karla M; Paek, Jaeho; Webster, Corey M; Feller, Marla B; Chang, Christopher J

    2014-11-18

    For reasons that remain insufficiently understood, the brain requires among the highest levels of metals in the body for normal function. The traditional paradigm for this organ and others is that fluxes of alkali and alkaline earth metals are required for signaling, but transition metals are maintained in static, tightly bound reservoirs for metabolism and protection against oxidative stress. Here we show that copper is an endogenous modulator of spontaneous activity, a property of functional neural circuitry. Using Copper Fluor-3 (CF3), a new fluorescent Cu(+) sensor for one- and two-photon imaging, we show that neurons and neural tissue maintain basal stores of loosely bound copper that can be attenuated by chelation, which define a labile copper pool. Targeted disruption of these labile copper stores by acute chelation or genetic knockdown of the CTR1 (copper transporter 1) copper channel alters the spatiotemporal properties of spontaneous activity in developing hippocampal and retinal circuits. The data identify an essential role for copper neuronal function and suggest broader contributions of this transition metal to cell signaling.

  11. Thermal dependence of neural activity in the hamster hippocampal slice preparation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horowitz, J. M.; Thomas, M. P.; Eckerman, P.

    1987-01-01

    1. Neural activity was recorded in an in vitro hamster hippocampal slice preparation while the temperature of the Ringer's solution bathing in the slice was controlled at selected levels. 2. The amplitude of the population spike (action potentials from a group of pyramidal cells) was measured as bath temperature was lowered from 35 degrees C to temperatures where a response could not be evoked. 3. Plots of population spike amplitude versus temperature have bell-shaped curves. The population spikes increased in amplitude as temperature was lowered from 35 degrees C, reached a peak amplitude between 25 and 20 degrees C, and then decreased until a response could not be evoked when temperature was further lowered. 4. These in vitro results obtained in the slice preparation are related to in vivo hippocampal studies. Results are interpreted as consistent with the proposal reviewed here that neural activity in the hippocampus plays a role at specific stages of entrance into and arousal from hibernation.

  12. Fast calcium sensor proteins for monitoring neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Badura, Aleksandra; Sun, Xiaonan Richard; Giovannucci, Andrea; Lynch, Laura A.; Wang, Samuel S.-H.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract. A major goal of the BRAIN Initiative is the development of technologies to monitor neuronal network activity during active information processing. Toward this goal, genetically encoded calcium indicator proteins have become widely used for reporting activity in preparations ranging from invertebrates to awake mammals. However, slow response times, the narrow sensitivity range of Ca2+ and in some cases, poor signal-to-noise ratio still limit their usefulness. Here, we review recent improvements in the field of neural activity-sensitive probe design with a focus on the GCaMP family of calcium indicator proteins. In this context, we present our newly developed Fast-GCaMPs, which have up to 4-fold accelerated off-responses compared with the next-fastest GCaMP, GCaMP6f. Fast-GCaMPs were designed by destabilizing the association of the hydrophobic pocket of calcium-bound calmodulin with the RS20 binding domain, an intramolecular interaction that protects the green fluorescent protein chromophore. Fast-GCaMP6f-RS06 and Fast-GCaMP6f-RS09 have rapid off-responses in stopped-flow fluorimetry, in neocortical brain slices, and in the intact cerebellum in vivo. Fast-GCaMP6f variants should be useful for tracking action potentials closely spaced in time, and for following neural activity in fast-changing compartments, such as axons and dendrites. Finally, we discuss strategies that may allow tracking of a wider range of neuronal firing rates and improve spike detection. PMID:25558464

  13. The Neural Bases of Taxonomic and Thematic Conceptual Relations: An MEG Study

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Gwyneth A.; Poeppel, David; Murphy, Gregory L.

    2015-01-01

    Converging evidence from behavioral and neuroimaging studies of human concepts indicate distinct neural systems for taxonomic and thematic knowledge. A recent study of naming in aphasia found involvement of the anterior temporal lobe (ATL) during taxonomic (feature-based) processing, and involvement of the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) during thematic (function-based) processing. We conducted an online magnetoencephalography (MEG) study to examine the spatio-temporal nature of taxonomic and thematic relations. We measured participants’ brain responses to words preceded by either a taxonomically or thematically related item (e.g., cottage→castle, king→castle). In a separate experiment we collected relatedness ratings of the word pairs from participants. We examined effects of relatedness and relation type on activation in ATL and TPJ regions of interest (ROIs) using permutation t-tests to identify differences in ROI activation between conditions as well as single-trial correlational analyses to examine the millisecond-by-millisecond influence of the stimulus variables on the ROIs. Taxonomic relations strongly predicted ATL activation, and both kinds of relations influenced the TPJ. Our results further strengthen the view of the ATL's importance to taxonomic knowledge. Moreover, they provide a nuanced view of thematic relations as involving taxonomic knowledge. PMID:25582406

  14. Generalization characteristics of complex-valued feedforward neural networks in relation to signal coherence.

    PubMed

    Hirose, Akira; Yoshida, Shotaro

    2012-04-01

    Applications of complex-valued neural networks (CVNNs) have expanded widely in recent years-in particular in radar and coherent imaging systems. In general, the most important merit of neural networks lies in their generalization ability. This paper compares the generalization characteristics of complex-valued and real-valued feedforward neural networks in terms of the coherence of the signals to be dealt with. We assume a task of function approximation such as interpolation of temporal signals. Simulation and real-world experiments demonstrate that CVNNs with amplitude-phase-type activation function show smaller generalization error than real-valued networks, such as bivariate and dual-univariate real-valued neural networks. Based on the results, we discuss how the generalization characteristics are influenced by the coherence of the signals depending on the degree of freedom in the learning and on the circularity in neural dynamics.

  15. Visualization and Manipulation of Neural Activity in the Developing Vertebrate Nervous System

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiayi; Ackman, James B.; Dhande, Onkar S.; Crair, Michael C.

    2011-01-01

    Neural activity during vertebrate development has been unambiguously shown to play a critical role in sculpting circuit formation and function. Patterned neural activity in various parts of the developing nervous system is thought to modulate neurite outgrowth, axon targeting, and synapse refinement. The nature and role of patterned neural activity during development has been classically studied with in vitro preparations using pharmacological manipulations. In this review we discuss newly available and developing molecular–genetic tools for the visualization and manipulation of neural activity patterns specifically during development. PMID:22121343

  16. Distinct neural activity associated with focused-attention meditation and loving-kindness meditation.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tatia M C; Leung, Mei-Kei; Hou, Wai-Kai; Tang, Joey C Y; Yin, Jing; So, Kwok-Fai; Lee, Chack-Fan; Chan, Chetwyn C H

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the dissociable neural effects of ānāpānasati (focused-attention meditation, FAM) and mettā (loving-kindness meditation, LKM) on BOLD signals during cognitive (continuous performance test, CPT) and affective (emotion-processing task, EPT, in which participants viewed affective pictures) processing. Twenty-two male Chinese expert meditators (11 FAM experts, 11 LKM experts) and 22 male Chinese novice meditators (11 FAM novices, 11 LKM novices) had their brain activity monitored by a 3T MRI scanner while performing the cognitive and affective tasks in both meditation and baseline states. We examined the interaction between state (meditation vs. baseline) and expertise (expert vs. novice) separately during LKM and FAM, using a conjunction approach to reveal common regions sensitive to the expert meditative state. Additionally, exclusive masking techniques revealed distinct interactions between state and group during LKM and FAM. Specifically, we demonstrated that the practice of FAM was associated with expertise-related behavioral improvements and neural activation differences in attention task performance. However, the effect of state LKM meditation did not carry over to attention task performance. On the other hand, both FAM and LKM practice appeared to affect the neural responses to affective pictures. For viewing sad faces, the regions activated for FAM practitioners were consistent with attention-related processing; whereas responses of LKM experts to sad pictures were more in line with differentiating emotional contagion from compassion/emotional regulation processes. Our findings provide the first report of distinct neural activity associated with forms of meditation during sustained attention and emotion processing.

  17. Conditions of activity bubble uniqueness in dynamic neural fields.

    PubMed

    Mikhailova, Inna; Goerick, Christian

    2005-02-01

    Dynamic neural fields (DNFs) offer a rich spectrum of dynamic properties like hysteresis, spatiotemporal information integration, and coexistence of multiple attractors. These properties make DNFs more and more popular in implementations of sensorimotor loops for autonomous systems. Applications often imply that DNFs should have only one compact region of firing neurons (activity bubble), whereas the rest of the field should not fire (e.g., if the field represents motor commands). In this article we prove the conditions of activity bubble uniqueness in the case of locally symmetric input bubbles. The qualitative condition on inhomogeneous inputs used in earlier work on DNFs is transfered to a quantitative condition of a balance between the internal dynamics and the input. The mathematical analysis is carried out for the two-dimensional case with methods that can be extended to more than two dimensions. The article concludes with an example of how our theoretical results facilitate the practical use of DNFs. PMID:15685393

  18. Neural oscillations: beta band activity across motor networks.

    PubMed

    Khanna, Preeya; Carmena, Jose M

    2015-06-01

    Local field potential (LFP) activity in motor cortical and basal ganglia regions exhibits prominent beta (15-40Hz) oscillations during reaching and grasping, muscular contraction, and attention tasks. While in vitro and computational work has revealed specific mechanisms that may give rise to the frequency and duration of this oscillation, there is still controversy about what behavioral processes ultimately drive it. Here, simultaneous behavioral and large-scale neural recording experiments from non-human primate and human subjects are reviewed in the context of specific hypotheses about how beta band activity is generated. Finally, a new experimental paradigm utilizing operant conditioning combined with motor tasks is proposed as a way to further investigate this oscillation. PMID:25528615

  19. Dopamine-induced dissociation of BOLD and neural activity in macaque visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Zaldivar, Daniel; Rauch, Alexander; Whittingstall, Kevin; Logothetis, Nikos K; Goense, Jozien

    2014-12-01

    Neuromodulators determine how neural circuits process information during cognitive states such as wakefulness, attention, learning, and memory. fMRI can provide insight into their function and dynamics, but their exact effect on BOLD responses remains unclear, limiting our ability to interpret the effects of changes in behavioral state using fMRI. Here, we investigated the effects of dopamine (DA) injections on neural responses and haemodynamic signals in macaque primary visual cortex (V1) using fMRI (7T) and intracortical electrophysiology. Aside from DA's involvement in diseases such as Parkinson's and schizophrenia, it also plays a role in visual perception. We mimicked DAergic neuromodulation by systemic injection of L-DOPA and Carbidopa (LDC) or by local application of DA in V1 and found that systemic application of LDC increased the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and amplitude of the visually evoked neural responses in V1. However, visually induced BOLD responses decreased, whereas cerebral blood flow (CBF) responses increased. This dissociation of BOLD and CBF suggests that dopamine increases energy metabolism by a disproportionate amount relative to the CBF response, causing the reduced BOLD response. Local application of DA in V1 had no effect on neural activity, suggesting that the dopaminergic effects are mediated by long-range interactions. The combination of BOLD-based and CBF-based fMRI can provide a signature of dopaminergic neuromodulation, indicating that the application of multimodal methods can improve our ability to distinguish sensory processing from neuromodulatory effects. PMID:25456449

  20. Neural correlates of fixation duration in natural reading: Evidence from fixation-related fMRI.

    PubMed

    Henderson, John M; Choi, Wonil; Luke, Steven G; Desai, Rutvik H

    2015-10-01

    A key assumption of current theories of natural reading is that fixation duration reflects underlying attentional, language, and cognitive processes associated with text comprehension. The neurocognitive correlates of this relationship are currently unknown. To investigate this relationship, we compared neural activation associated with fixation duration in passage reading and a pseudo-reading control condition. The results showed that fixation duration was associated with activation in oculomotor and language areas during text reading. Fixation duration during pseudo-reading, on the other hand, showed greater involvement of frontal control regions, suggesting flexibility and task dependency of the eye movement network. Consistent with current models, these results provide support for the hypothesis that fixation duration in reading reflects attentional engagement and language processing. The results also demonstrate that fixation-related fMRI provides a method for investigating the neurocognitive bases of natural reading.

  1. Neural correlates of fixation duration in natural reading: Evidence from fixation-related fMRI.

    PubMed

    Henderson, John M; Choi, Wonil; Luke, Steven G; Desai, Rutvik H

    2015-10-01

    A key assumption of current theories of natural reading is that fixation duration reflects underlying attentional, language, and cognitive processes associated with text comprehension. The neurocognitive correlates of this relationship are currently unknown. To investigate this relationship, we compared neural activation associated with fixation duration in passage reading and a pseudo-reading control condition. The results showed that fixation duration was associated with activation in oculomotor and language areas during text reading. Fixation duration during pseudo-reading, on the other hand, showed greater involvement of frontal control regions, suggesting flexibility and task dependency of the eye movement network. Consistent with current models, these results provide support for the hypothesis that fixation duration in reading reflects attentional engagement and language processing. The results also demonstrate that fixation-related fMRI provides a method for investigating the neurocognitive bases of natural reading. PMID:26151101

  2. Water-Related Teaching Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Coon, Herbert L.; Price, Charles L.

    This publication is designed to provide interested teachers with teaching activities for all grade levels and subject areas that can be used to help students learn about water resources. For each activity, the purpose, level, subject, and concept are given. Activities are organized by grade level. Most of these water related learning activities…

  3. Differences in neural activity when processing emotional arousal and valence in autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Tseng, Angela; Wang, Zhishun; Huo, Yuankai; Goh, Suzanne; Russell, James A; Peterson, Bradley S

    2016-02-01

    Individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) often have difficulty recognizing and interpreting facial expressions of emotion, which may impair their ability to navigate and communicate successfully in their social, interpersonal environments. Characterizing specific differences between individuals with ASD and their typically developing (TD) counterparts in the neural activity subserving their experience of emotional faces may provide distinct targets for ASD interventions. Thus we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a parametric experimental design to identify brain regions in which neural activity correlated with ratings of arousal and valence for a broad range of emotional faces. Participants (51 ASD, 84 TD) were group-matched by age, sex, IQ, race, and socioeconomic status. Using task-related change in blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI signal as a measure, and covarying for age, sex, FSIQ, and ADOS scores, we detected significant differences across diagnostic groups in the neural activity subserving the dimension of arousal but not valence. BOLD-signal in TD participants correlated inversely with ratings of arousal in regions associated primarily with attentional functions, whereas BOLD-signal in ASD participants correlated positively with arousal ratings in regions commonly associated with impulse control and default-mode activity. Only minor differences were detected between groups in the BOLD signal correlates of valence ratings. Our findings provide unique insight into the emotional experiences of individuals with ASD. Although behavioral responses to face-stimuli were comparable across diagnostic groups, the corresponding neural activity for our ASD and TD groups differed dramatically. The near absence of group differences for valence correlates and the presence of strong group differences for arousal correlates suggest that individuals with ASD are not atypical in all aspects of emotion-processing. Studying these similarities

  4. Disentangling the neural mechanisms involved in Hinduism- and Buddhism-related meditations.

    PubMed

    Tomasino, Barbara; Chiesa, Alberto; Fabbro, Franco

    2014-10-01

    The most diffuse forms of meditation derive from Hinduism and Buddhism spiritual traditions. Different cognitive processes are set in place to reach these meditation states. According to an historical-philological hypothesis (Wynne, 2009) the two forms of meditation could be disentangled. While mindfulness is the focus of Buddhist meditation reached by focusing sustained attention on the body, on breathing and on the content of the thoughts, reaching an ineffable state of nothigness accompanied by a loss of sense of self and duality (Samadhi) is the main focus of Hinduism-inspired meditation. It is possible that these different practices activate separate brain networks. We tested this hypothesis by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. The network related to Buddhism-inspired meditation (16 experiments, 263 subjects, and 96 activation foci) included activations in some frontal lobe structures associated with executive attention, possibly confirming the fundamental role of mindfulness shared by many Buddhist meditations. By contrast, the network related to Hinduism-inspired meditation (8 experiments, 54 activation foci and 66 subjects) triggered a left lateralized network of areas including the postcentral gyrus, the superior parietal lobe, the hippocampus and the right middle cingulate cortex. The dissociation between anterior and posterior networks support the notion that different meditation styles and traditions are characterized by different patterns of neural activation.

  5. Disentangling the neural mechanisms involved in Hinduism- and Buddhism-related meditations.

    PubMed

    Tomasino, Barbara; Chiesa, Alberto; Fabbro, Franco

    2014-10-01

    The most diffuse forms of meditation derive from Hinduism and Buddhism spiritual traditions. Different cognitive processes are set in place to reach these meditation states. According to an historical-philological hypothesis (Wynne, 2009) the two forms of meditation could be disentangled. While mindfulness is the focus of Buddhist meditation reached by focusing sustained attention on the body, on breathing and on the content of the thoughts, reaching an ineffable state of nothigness accompanied by a loss of sense of self and duality (Samadhi) is the main focus of Hinduism-inspired meditation. It is possible that these different practices activate separate brain networks. We tested this hypothesis by conducting an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. The network related to Buddhism-inspired meditation (16 experiments, 263 subjects, and 96 activation foci) included activations in some frontal lobe structures associated with executive attention, possibly confirming the fundamental role of mindfulness shared by many Buddhist meditations. By contrast, the network related to Hinduism-inspired meditation (8 experiments, 54 activation foci and 66 subjects) triggered a left lateralized network of areas including the postcentral gyrus, the superior parietal lobe, the hippocampus and the right middle cingulate cortex. The dissociation between anterior and posterior networks support the notion that different meditation styles and traditions are characterized by different patterns of neural activation. PMID:24975229

  6. Rejuvenation of MPTP-induced human neural precursor cell senescence by activating autophagy

    SciTech Connect

    Zhu, Liang; Dong, Chuanming; Sun, Chenxi; Ma, Rongjie; Yang, Danjing; Zhu, Hongwen; Xu, Jun

    2015-08-21

    Aging of neural stem cell, which can affect brain homeostasis, may be caused by many cellular mechanisms. Autophagy dysfunction was found in aged and neurodegenerative brains. However, little is known about the relationship between autophagy and human neural stem cell (hNSC) aging. The present study used 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to treat neural precursor cells (NPCs) derived from human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line H9 and investigate related molecular mechanisms involved in this process. MPTP-treated NPCs were found to undergo premature senescence [determined by increased senescence-associated-β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity, elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species level, and decreased proliferation] and were associated with impaired autophagy. Additionally, the cellular senescence phenotypes were manifested at the molecular level by a significant increase in p21 and p53 expression, a decrease in SOD2 expression, and a decrease in expression of some key autophagy-related genes such as Atg5, Atg7, Atg12, and Beclin 1. Furthermore, we found that the senescence-like phenotype of MPTP-treated hNPCs was rejuvenated through treatment with a well-known autophagy enhancer rapamycin, which was blocked by suppression of essential autophagy gene Beclin 1. Taken together, these findings reveal the critical role of autophagy in the process of hNSC aging, and this process can be reversed by activating autophagy. - Highlights: • We successfully establish hESC-derived neural precursor cells. • MPTP treatment induced senescence-like state in hESC-derived NPCs. • MPTP treatment induced impaired autophagy of hESC-derived NPCs. • MPTP-induced hESC-derived NPC senescence was rejuvenated by activating autophagy.

  7. Neural activation associated with the cognitive emotion regulation of sadness in healthy children.

    PubMed

    Belden, Andy C; Luby, Joan L; Pagliaccio, David; Barch, Deanna M

    2014-07-01

    When used effectively, cognitive reappraisal of distressing events is a highly adaptive cognitive emotion regulation (CER) strategy, with impairments in cognitive reappraisal associated with greater risk for psychopathology. Despite extensive literature examining the neural correlates of cognitive reappraisal in healthy and psychiatrically ill adults, there is a dearth of data to inform the neural bases of CER in children, a key gap in the literature necessary to map the developmental trajectory of cognitive reappraisal. In this fMRI study, psychiatrically healthy schoolchildren were instructed to use cognitive reappraisal to modulate their emotional reactions and responses of negative affect after viewing sad photos. Consistent with the adult literature, when actively engaged in reappraisal compared to passively viewing sad photos, children showed increased activation in the vlPFC, dlPFC, and dmPFC as well as in parietal and temporal lobe regions. When children used cognitive reappraisal to minimize their experience of negative affect after viewing sad stimuli they exhibited dampened amygdala responses. Results are discussed in relation to the importance of identifying and characterizing neural processes underlying adaptive CER strategies in typically developing children in order to understand how these systems go awry and relate to the risk and occurrence of affective disorders.

  8. Rejuvenation of MPTP-induced human neural precursor cell senescence by activating autophagy.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Liang; Dong, Chuanming; Sun, Chenxi; Ma, Rongjie; Yang, Danjing; Zhu, Hongwen; Xu, Jun

    2015-08-21

    Aging of neural stem cell, which can affect brain homeostasis, may be caused by many cellular mechanisms. Autophagy dysfunction was found in aged and neurodegenerative brains. However, little is known about the relationship between autophagy and human neural stem cell (hNSC) aging. The present study used 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) to treat neural precursor cells (NPCs) derived from human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line H9 and investigate related molecular mechanisms involved in this process. MPTP-treated NPCs were found to undergo premature senescence [determined by increased senescence-associated-β-galactosidase (SA-β-gal) activity, elevated intracellular reactive oxygen species level, and decreased proliferation] and were associated with impaired autophagy. Additionally, the cellular senescence phenotypes were manifested at the molecular level by a significant increase in p21 and p53 expression, a decrease in SOD2 expression, and a decrease in expression of some key autophagy-related genes such as Atg5, Atg7, Atg12, and Beclin 1. Furthermore, we found that the senescence-like phenotype of MPTP-treated hNPCs was rejuvenated through treatment with a well-known autophagy enhancer rapamycin, which was blocked by suppression of essential autophagy gene Beclin 1. Taken together, these findings reveal the critical role of autophagy in the process of hNSC aging, and this process can be reversed by activating autophagy. PMID:26159917

  9. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Imaging Neural Activity in the Human Brain: The Annual Progress

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Shengyong; Li, Xiaoli

    2012-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is recently developed and applied to measure the hemodynamic response related to neural activity. The fMRI can not only noninvasively record brain signals without risks of ionising radiation inherent in other scanning methods, such as CT or PET scans, but also record signal from all regions of the brain, unlike EEG/MEG which are biased towards the cortical surface. This paper introduces the fundamental principles and summarizes the research progress of the last year for imaging neural activity in the human brain. Aims of functional analysis of neural activity from fMRI include biological findings, functional connectivity, vision and hearing research, emotional research, neurosurgical planning, pain management, and many others. Besides formulations and basic processing methods, models and strategies of processing technology are introduced, including general linear model, nonlinear model, generative model, spatial pattern analysis, statistical analysis, correlation analysis, and multimodal combination. This paper provides readers the most recent representative contributions in the area. PMID:22319550

  10. Functional magnetic resonance imaging for imaging neural activity in the human brain: the annual progress.

    PubMed

    Chen, Shengyong; Li, Xiaoli

    2012-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is recently developed and applied to measure the hemodynamic response related to neural activity. The fMRI can not only noninvasively record brain signals without risks of ionising radiation inherent in other scanning methods, such as CT or PET scans, but also record signal from all regions of the brain, unlike EEG/MEG which are biased towards the cortical surface. This paper introduces the fundamental principles and summarizes the research progress of the last year for imaging neural activity in the human brain. Aims of functional analysis of neural activity from fMRI include biological findings, functional connectivity, vision and hearing research, emotional research, neurosurgical planning, pain management, and many others. Besides formulations and basic processing methods, models and strategies of processing technology are introduced, including general linear model, nonlinear model, generative model, spatial pattern analysis, statistical analysis, correlation analysis, and multimodal combination. This paper provides readers the most recent representative contributions in the area.

  11. Altered spontaneous neural activity in the occipital face area reflects behavioral deficits in developmental prosopagnosia.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Yuanfang; Li, Jingguang; Liu, Xiqin; Song, Yiying; Wang, Ruosi; Yang, Zetian; Liu, Jia

    2016-08-01

    Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) exhibit severe difficulties in recognizing faces and to a lesser extent, also exhibit difficulties in recognizing non-face objects. We used fMRI to investigate whether these behavioral deficits could be accounted for by altered spontaneous neural activity. Two aspects of spontaneous neural activity were measured: the intensity of neural activity in a voxel indexed by the fractional amplitude of spontaneous low-frequency fluctuations (fALFF), and the connectivity of a voxel to neighboring voxels indexed by regional homogeneity (ReHo). Compared with normal adults, both the fALFF and ReHo values within the right occipital face area (rOFA) were significantly reduced in DP subjects. Follow-up studies on the normal adults revealed that these two measures indicated further functional division of labor within the rOFA. The fALFF in the rOFA was positively correlated with behavioral performance in recognition of non-face objects, whereas ReHo in the rOFA was positively correlated with processing of faces. When considered together, the altered fALFF and ReHo within the same region (rOFA) may account for the comorbid deficits in both face and object recognition in DPs, whereas the functional division of labor in these two measures helps to explain the relative independency of deficits in face recognition and object recognition in DP. PMID:27475965

  12. Activation of endogenous neural stem cells for multiple sclerosis therapy.

    PubMed

    Michailidou, Iliana; de Vries, Helga E; Hol, Elly M; van Strien, Miriam E

    2014-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, leading to severe neurological deficits. Current MS treatment regimens, consist of immunomodulatory agents aiming to reduce the rate of relapses. However, these agents are usually insufficient to treat chronic neurological disability. A promising perspective for future therapy of MS is the regeneration of lesions with replacement of the damaged oligodendrocytes or neurons. Therapies targeting to the enhancement of endogenous remyelination, aim to promote the activation of either the parenchymal oligodendrocyte progenitor cells or the subventricular zone-derived neural stem cells (NSCs). Less studied but highly potent, is the strategy of neuronal regeneration with endogenous NSCs that although being linked to numerous limitations, is anticipated to ameliorate cognitive disability in MS. Focusing on the forebrain, this review highlights the role of NSCs in the regeneration of MS lesions.

  13. Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity.

    PubMed

    Latifi, Shahrzad; Tamayol, Ali; Habibey, Rouhollah; Sabzevari, Reza; Kahn, Cyril; Geny, David; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Annabi, Nasim; Blau, Axel; Linder, Michel; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira

    2016-05-27

    Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called "essential" fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications.

  14. Natural lecithin promotes neural network complexity and activity

    PubMed Central

    Latifi, Shahrzad; Tamayol, Ali; Habibey, Rouhollah; Sabzevari, Reza; Kahn, Cyril; Geny, David; Eftekharpour, Eftekhar; Annabi, Nasim; Blau, Axel; Linder, Michel; Arab-Tehrany, Elmira

    2016-01-01

    Phospholipids in the brain cell membranes contain different polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which are critical to nervous system function and structure. In particular, brain function critically depends on the uptake of the so-called “essential” fatty acids such as omega-3 (n-3) and omega-6 (n-6) PUFAs that cannot be readily synthesized by the human body. We extracted natural lecithin rich in various PUFAs from a marine source and transformed it into nanoliposomes. These nanoliposomes increased neurite outgrowth, network complexity and neural activity of cortical rat neurons in vitro. We also observed an upregulation of synapsin I (SYN1), which supports the positive role of lecithin in synaptogenesis, synaptic development and maturation. These findings suggest that lecithin nanoliposomes enhance neuronal development, which may have an impact on devising new lecithin delivery strategies for therapeutic applications. PMID:27228907

  15. Activation of endogenous neural stem cells for multiple sclerosis therapy

    PubMed Central

    Michailidou, Iliana; de Vries, Helga E.; Hol, Elly M.; van Strien, Miriam E.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system, leading to severe neurological deficits. Current MS treatment regimens, consist of immunomodulatory agents aiming to reduce the rate of relapses. However, these agents are usually insufficient to treat chronic neurological disability. A promising perspective for future therapy of MS is the regeneration of lesions with replacement of the damaged oligodendrocytes or neurons. Therapies targeting to the enhancement of endogenous remyelination, aim to promote the activation of either the parenchymal oligodendrocyte progenitor cells or the subventricular zone-derived neural stem cells (NSCs). Less studied but highly potent, is the strategy of neuronal regeneration with endogenous NSCs that although being linked to numerous limitations, is anticipated to ameliorate cognitive disability in MS. Focusing on the forebrain, this review highlights the role of NSCs in the regeneration of MS lesions. PMID:25653584

  16. Effects of Near-Infrared Laser on Neural Cell Activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mochizuki-Oda, Noriko; Kataoka, Yosky; Yamada, Hisao; Awazu, Kunio

    2004-08-01

    Near-infrared laser has been used to relieve patients from various kinds of pain caused by postherpetic neuralgesia, myofascial dysfunction, surgical and traumatic wound, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinically, He-Ne (λ=632.8 nm, 780 nm) and Ga-Al-As (805 ± 25 nm) lasers are used to irradiate trigger points or nerve ganglion. However the precise mechanisms of such biological actions of the laser have not yet been resolved. Since laser therapy is often effective to suppress the pain caused by hyperactive excitation of sensory neurons, interactions with laser light and neural cells are suggested. As neural excitation requires large amount of energy liberated from adenosine triphosphate (ATP), we examined the effect of 830-nm laser irradiation on the energy metabolism of the rat central nervous system and isolated mitochondria from brain. The diode laser was applied for 15 min with irradiance of 4.8 W/cm2 on a 2 mm-diameter spot at the brain surface. Tissue ATP content of the irradiated area in the cerebral cortex was 19 % higher than that of the non-treated area (opposite side of the cortex), whereas the ADP content showed no significant difference. Irradiation at another wavelength (652 nm) had no effect on either ATP or ADP contents. The temperature of the brain tissue was increased 4.5 - 5.0 °C during the irradiation of both 830-nm and 652-nm laser light. Direct irradiation of the mitochondrial suspension did not show any wavelength-dependent acceleration of respiration rate nor ATP synthesis. These results suggest that the increase in tissue ATP content did not result from the thermal effect, but from specific effect of the laser operated at 830 nm. Electrophysiological studies showed the hyperpolarization of membrane potential of isolated neurons and decrease in membrane resistance with irradiation of the laser, suggesting an activation of potassium channels. Intracellular ATP is reported to regulate some kinds of potassium channels. Possible mechanisms

  17. Studying modulation on simultaneously activated SSVEP neural networks by a cognitive task.

    PubMed

    Wu, Zhenghua

    2014-01-01

    Since the discovery of steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP), it has been used in many fields. Numerous studies suggest that there exist three SSVEP neural networks in different frequency bands. An obvious phenomenon has been observed, that the amplitude and phase of SSVEP can be modulated by a cognitive task. Previous works have studied this modulation on separately activated SSVEP neural networks by a cognitive task. If two or more SSVEP neural networks are activated simultaneously in the process of a cognitive task, is the modulation on different SSVEP neural networks the same? In this study, two different SSVEP neural networks were activated simultaneously by two different frequency flickers, with a working memory task irrelevant to the flickers being conducted at the same time. The modulated SSVEP waves were compared with each other and to those only under one flicker in previous studies. The comparison results show that the cognitive task can modulate different SSVEP neural networks with a similar style.

  18. Decorrelation of Neural-Network Activity by Inhibitory Feedback

    PubMed Central

    Einevoll, Gaute T.; Diesmann, Markus

    2012-01-01

    Correlations in spike-train ensembles can seriously impair the encoding of information by their spatio-temporal structure. An inevitable source of correlation in finite neural networks is common presynaptic input to pairs of neurons. Recent studies demonstrate that spike correlations in recurrent neural networks are considerably smaller than expected based on the amount of shared presynaptic input. Here, we explain this observation by means of a linear network model and simulations of networks of leaky integrate-and-fire neurons. We show that inhibitory feedback efficiently suppresses pairwise correlations and, hence, population-rate fluctuations, thereby assigning inhibitory neurons the new role of active decorrelation. We quantify this decorrelation by comparing the responses of the intact recurrent network (feedback system) and systems where the statistics of the feedback channel is perturbed (feedforward system). Manipulations of the feedback statistics can lead to a significant increase in the power and coherence of the population response. In particular, neglecting correlations within the ensemble of feedback channels or between the external stimulus and the feedback amplifies population-rate fluctuations by orders of magnitude. The fluctuation suppression in homogeneous inhibitory networks is explained by a negative feedback loop in the one-dimensional dynamics of the compound activity. Similarly, a change of coordinates exposes an effective negative feedback loop in the compound dynamics of stable excitatory-inhibitory networks. The suppression of input correlations in finite networks is explained by the population averaged correlations in the linear network model: In purely inhibitory networks, shared-input correlations are canceled by negative spike-train correlations. In excitatory-inhibitory networks, spike-train correlations are typically positive. Here, the suppression of input correlations is not a result of the mere existence of correlations between

  19. Uniformity and nonuniformity of neural activities correlated to different insight problem solving.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Q; Li, Y; Shang, X; Zhou, Z; Han, L

    2014-06-13

    Previous studies on the neural basis of insight reflected weak consistency except for the anterior cingulate cortex. The present work adopted the semantic and homophonic punny riddle to explore the uniformity and nonuniformity of neural activities correlated to different insight problem solving. Results showed that in the early period of insight solving, the semantic and homophonic punny riddles induced a common N350-500 over the central scalp. However, during -400 to 0 ms before the riddles were solved, the semantic punny riddles induced a positive event-related potential (ERP) deflection over the temporal cortex for retrieving the extensive semantic information, while the homophonic punny riddles induced a positive ERP deflection over the temporal cortex and a negative one in the left frontal cortex which might reflect the semantic and phonological information processing respectively. Our study indicated that different insight problem solving should have the same cognitive process of detecting cognitive conflicts, but have different ways to solve the conflicts.

  20. The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Influences Reading Ability and Patterns of Neural Activation in Children

    PubMed Central

    Jasińska, Kaja K.; Molfese, Peter J.; Kornilov, Sergey A.; Mencl, W. Einar; Frost, Stephen J.; Lee, Maria; Pugh, Kenneth R.; Grigorenko, Elena L.; Landi, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how genes impact the brain’s functional activation for learning and cognition during development remains limited. We asked whether a common genetic variant in the BDNF gene (the Val66Met polymorphism) modulates neural activation in the young brain during a critical period for the emergence and maturation of the neural circuitry for reading. In animal models, the bdnf variation has been shown to be associated with the structure and function of the developing brain and in humans it has been associated with multiple aspects of cognition, particularly memory, which are relevant for the development of skilled reading. Yet, little is known about the impact of the Val66Met polymorphism on functional brain activation in development, either in animal models or in humans. Here, we examined whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (dbSNP rs6265) is associated with children’s (age 6–10) neural activation patterns during a reading task (n = 81) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), genotyping, and standardized behavioral assessments of cognitive and reading development. Children homozygous for the Val allele at the SNP rs6265 of the BDNF gene outperformed Met allele carriers on reading comprehension and phonological memory, tasks that have a strong memory component. Consistent with these behavioral findings, Met allele carriers showed greater activation in reading–related brain regions including the fusiform gyrus, the left inferior frontal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus as well as greater activation in the hippocampus during a word and pseudoword reading task. Increased engagement of memory and spoken language regions for Met allele carriers relative to Val/Val homozygotes during reading suggests that Met carriers have to exert greater effort required to retrieve phonological codes. PMID:27551971

  1. The BDNF Val66Met Polymorphism Influences Reading Ability and Patterns of Neural Activation in Children.

    PubMed

    Jasińska, Kaja K; Molfese, Peter J; Kornilov, Sergey A; Mencl, W Einar; Frost, Stephen J; Lee, Maria; Pugh, Kenneth R; Grigorenko, Elena L; Landi, Nicole

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how genes impact the brain's functional activation for learning and cognition during development remains limited. We asked whether a common genetic variant in the BDNF gene (the Val66Met polymorphism) modulates neural activation in the young brain during a critical period for the emergence and maturation of the neural circuitry for reading. In animal models, the bdnf variation has been shown to be associated with the structure and function of the developing brain and in humans it has been associated with multiple aspects of cognition, particularly memory, which are relevant for the development of skilled reading. Yet, little is known about the impact of the Val66Met polymorphism on functional brain activation in development, either in animal models or in humans. Here, we examined whether the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism (dbSNP rs6265) is associated with children's (age 6-10) neural activation patterns during a reading task (n = 81) using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), genotyping, and standardized behavioral assessments of cognitive and reading development. Children homozygous for the Val allele at the SNP rs6265 of the BDNF gene outperformed Met allele carriers on reading comprehension and phonological memory, tasks that have a strong memory component. Consistent with these behavioral findings, Met allele carriers showed greater activation in reading-related brain regions including the fusiform gyrus, the left inferior frontal gyrus and left superior temporal gyrus as well as greater activation in the hippocampus during a word and pseudoword reading task. Increased engagement of memory and spoken language regions for Met allele carriers relative to Val/Val homozygotes during reading suggests that Met carriers have to exert greater effort required to retrieve phonological codes. PMID:27551971

  2. Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Swallowing and Neural Activation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Heather; Lazarus, Cathy; Arvedson, Joan; Schooling, Tracy; Frymark, Tobi

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To systematically review the literature examining the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on swallowing and neural activation. The review was conducted as part of a series examining the effects of oral motor exercises (OMEs) on speech, swallowing, and neural activation. Method: A systematic search was conducted to…

  3. Neural activity tied to reading predicts individual differences in extended-text comprehension.

    PubMed

    Mossbridge, Julia A; Grabowecky, Marcia; Paller, Ken A; Suzuki, Satoru

    2013-01-01

    Reading comprehension depends on neural processes supporting the access, understanding, and storage of words over time. Examinations of the neural activity correlated with reading have contributed to our understanding of reading comprehension, especially for the comprehension of sentences and short passages. However, the neural activity associated with comprehending an extended text is not well-understood. Here we describe a current-source-density (CSD) index that predicts individual differences in the comprehension of an extended text. The index is the difference in CSD-transformed event-related potentials (ERPs) to a target word between two conditions: a comprehension condition with words from a story presented in their original order, and a scrambled condition with the same words presented in a randomized order. In both conditions participants responded to the target word, and in the comprehension condition they also tried to follow the story in preparation for a comprehension test. We reasoned that the spatiotemporal pattern of difference-CSDs would reflect comprehension-related processes beyond word-level processing. We used a pattern-classification method to identify the component of the difference-CSDs that accurately (88%) discriminated good from poor comprehenders. The critical CSD index was focused at a frontal-midline scalp site, occurred 400-500 ms after target-word onset, and was strongly correlated with comprehension performance. Behavioral data indicated that group differences in effort or motor preparation could not explain these results. Further, our CSD index appears to be distinct from the well-known P300 and N400 components, and CSD transformation seems to be crucial for distinguishing good from poor comprehenders using our experimental paradigm. Once our CSD index is fully characterized, this neural signature of individual differences in extended-text comprehension may aid the diagnosis and remediation of reading comprehension deficits.

  4. Neural activity tied to reading predicts individual differences in extended-text comprehension

    PubMed Central

    Mossbridge, Julia A.; Grabowecky, Marcia; Paller, Ken A.; Suzuki, Satoru

    2013-01-01

    Reading comprehension depends on neural processes supporting the access, understanding, and storage of words over time. Examinations of the neural activity correlated with reading have contributed to our understanding of reading comprehension, especially for the comprehension of sentences and short passages. However, the neural activity associated with comprehending an extended text is not well-understood. Here we describe a current-source-density (CSD) index that predicts individual differences in the comprehension of an extended text. The index is the difference in CSD-transformed event-related potentials (ERPs) to a target word between two conditions: a comprehension condition with words from a story presented in their original order, and a scrambled condition with the same words presented in a randomized order. In both conditions participants responded to the target word, and in the comprehension condition they also tried to follow the story in preparation for a comprehension test. We reasoned that the spatiotemporal pattern of difference-CSDs would reflect comprehension-related processes beyond word-level processing. We used a pattern-classification method to identify the component of the difference-CSDs that accurately (88%) discriminated good from poor comprehenders. The critical CSD index was focused at a frontal-midline scalp site, occurred 400–500 ms after target-word onset, and was strongly correlated with comprehension performance. Behavioral data indicated that group differences in effort or motor preparation could not explain these results. Further, our CSD index appears to be distinct from the well-known P300 and N400 components, and CSD transformation seems to be crucial for distinguishing good from poor comprehenders using our experimental paradigm. Once our CSD index is fully characterized, this neural signature of individual differences in extended-text comprehension may aid the diagnosis and remediation of reading comprehension deficits. PMID

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-12

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

  6. Data on the impact of SSRIs and depression symptoms on the neural activities in obsessive-compulsive disorder at rest.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yunhui; Juhas, Michal; Greenshaw, Andrew J; Hu, Qiang; Meng, Xin; Cui, Hongsheng; Ding, Yongzhuo; Kang, Lu; Zhang, Yubo; Wang, Yuhua; Cui, Guangcheng; Li, Ping

    2016-09-01

    The data provided here related to our research article (Chen et al., 2016) [1]. We provide whole-brain intrinsic functional connectivity patterns in obsessive-compulsive disorder at resting-state [1]. This article also provides supplementary information to our research article, i.e., between - group comparisons of the effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and combined depression symptoms on resting-state neural activities in obsessive-compulsive disorder. The data presented here provide novel insights into the effect of SSRIs and combined depression symptoms on the neural activities at rest. PMID:27504477

  7. Noise influence on spike activation in a Hindmarsh-Rose small-world neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhe, Sun; Micheletto, Ruggero

    2016-07-01

    We studied the role of noise in neural networks, especially focusing on its relation to the propagation of spike activity in a small sized system. We set up a source of information using a single neuron that is constantly spiking. This element called initiator x o feeds spikes to the rest of the network that is initially quiescent and subsequently reacts with vigorous spiking after a transitional period of time. We found that noise quickly suppresses the initiator’s influence and favors spontaneous spike activity and, using a decibel representation of noise intensity, we established a linear relationship between noise amplitude and the interval from the initiator’s first spike and the rest of the network activation. We studied the same process with networks of different sizes (number of neurons) and found that the initiator x o has a measurable influence on small networks, but as the network grows in size, spontaneous spiking emerges disrupting its effects on networks of more than about N = 100 neurons. This suggests that the mechanism of internal noise generation allows information transmission within a small neural neighborhood, but decays for bigger network domains. We also analyzed the Fourier spectrum of the whole network membrane potential and verified that noise provokes the reduction of main θ and α peaks before transitioning into chaotic spiking. However, network size does not reproduce a similar phenomena; instead we recorded a reduction in peaks’ amplitude, a better sharpness and definition of Fourier peaks, but not the evident degeneration to chaos observed with increasing external noise. This work aims to contribute to the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of propagation of spontaneous spiking in neural networks and gives a quantitative assessment of how noise can be used to control and modulate this phenomenon in Hindmarsh-Rose (H-R) neural networks.

  8. Noise influence on spike activation in a Hindmarsh–Rose small-world neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhe, Sun; Micheletto, Ruggero

    2016-07-01

    We studied the role of noise in neural networks, especially focusing on its relation to the propagation of spike activity in a small sized system. We set up a source of information using a single neuron that is constantly spiking. This element called initiator x o feeds spikes to the rest of the network that is initially quiescent and subsequently reacts with vigorous spiking after a transitional period of time. We found that noise quickly suppresses the initiator’s influence and favors spontaneous spike activity and, using a decibel representation of noise intensity, we established a linear relationship between noise amplitude and the interval from the initiator’s first spike and the rest of the network activation. We studied the same process with networks of different sizes (number of neurons) and found that the initiator x o has a measurable influence on small networks, but as the network grows in size, spontaneous spiking emerges disrupting its effects on networks of more than about N = 100 neurons. This suggests that the mechanism of internal noise generation allows information transmission within a small neural neighborhood, but decays for bigger network domains. We also analyzed the Fourier spectrum of the whole network membrane potential and verified that noise provokes the reduction of main θ and α peaks before transitioning into chaotic spiking. However, network size does not reproduce a similar phenomena; instead we recorded a reduction in peaks’ amplitude, a better sharpness and definition of Fourier peaks, but not the evident degeneration to chaos observed with increasing external noise. This work aims to contribute to the understanding of the fundamental mechanisms of propagation of spontaneous spiking in neural networks and gives a quantitative assessment of how noise can be used to control and modulate this phenomenon in Hindmarsh‑Rose (H‑R) neural networks.

  9. Integration of active devices on smart polymers for neural interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Avendano-Bolivar, Adrian Emmanuel

    The increasing ability to ever more precisely identify and measure neural interactions and other phenomena in the central and peripheral nervous systems is revolutionizing our understanding of the human body and brain. To facilitate further understanding, more sophisticated neural devices, perhaps using microelectronics processing, must be fabricated. Materials often used in these neural interfaces, while compatible with these fabrication processes, are not optimized for long-term use in the body and are often orders of magnitude stiffer than the tissue with which they interact. Using the smart polymer substrates described in this work, suitability for processing as well as chronic implantation is demonstrated. We explore how to integrate reliable circuitry onto these flexible, biocompatible substrates that can withstand the aggressive environment of the body. To increase the capabilities of these devices beyond individual channel sensing and stimulation, active electronics must also be included onto our systems. In order to add this functionality to these substrates and explore the limits of these devices, we developed a process to fabricate single organic thin film transistors with mobilities up to 0.4 cm2/Vs and threshold voltages close to 0V. A process for fabricating organic light emitting diodes on flexible substrates is also addressed. We have set a foundation and demonstrated initial feasibility for integrating multiple transistors onto thin-film flexible devices to create new applications, such as matrix addressable functionalized electrodes and organic light emitting diodes. A brief description on how to integrate waveguides for their use in optogenetics is addressed. We have built understanding about device constraints on mechanical, electrical and in vivo reliability and how various conditions affect the electronics' lifetime. We use a bi-layer gate dielectric using an inorganic material such as HfO 2 combined with organic Parylene-c. A study of

  10. Hippocampal representation of related and opposing memories develop within distinct, hierarchically organized neural schemas.

    PubMed

    McKenzie, Sam; Frank, Andrea J; Kinsky, Nathaniel R; Porter, Blake; Rivière, Pamela D; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2014-07-01

    Recent evidence suggests that the hippocampus may integrate overlapping memories into relational representations, or schemas, that link indirectly related events and support flexible memory expression. Here we explored the nature of hippocampal neural population representations for multiple features of events and the locations and contexts in which they occurred. Hippocampal networks developed hierarchical organizations of associated elements of related but separately acquired memories within a context, and distinct organizations for memories where the contexts differentiated object-reward associations. These findings reveal neural mechanisms for the development and organization of relational representations.

  11. Neural Correlates to Food-Related Behavior in Normal-Weight and Overweight/Obese Participants

    PubMed Central

    Ho, Alan; Kennedy, James; Dimitropoulos, Anastasia

    2012-01-01

    Two thirds of US adults are either obese or overweight and this rate is rising. Although the etiology of obesity is not yet fully understood, neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that the central nervous system has a principal role in regulating eating behavior. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging and survey data were evaluated for correlations between food-related problem behaviors and the neural regions underlying responses to visual food cues before and after eating in normal-weight individuals and overweight/obese individuals. In normal-weight individuals, activity in the left amygdala in response to high-calorie food vs. nonfood object cues was positively correlated with impaired satiety scores during fasting, suggesting that those with impaired satiety scores may have an abnormal anticipatory reward response. In overweight/obese individuals, activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in response to low-calorie food cues was negatively correlated with impaired satiety during fasting, suggesting that individuals scoring lower in satiety impairment were more likely to activate the DLPFC inhibitory system. After eating, activity in both the putamen and the amygdala was positively correlated with impaired satiety scores among obese/overweight participants. While these individuals may volitionally suggest they are full, their functional response to food cues suggests food continues to be salient. These findings suggest brain regions involved in the evaluation of visual food cues may be mediated by satiety-related problems, dependent on calorie content, state of satiation, and body mass index. PMID:23028988

  12. Neural substrates related to auditory working memory comparisons in dyslexia: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Conway, Tim; Heilman, Kenneth M; Gopinath, Kaundinya; Peck, Kyung; Bauer, Russell; Briggs, Richard W; Torgesen, Joseph K; Crosson, Bruce

    2008-07-01

    Adult readers with developmental phonological dyslexia exhibit significant difficulty comparing pseudowords and pure tones in auditory working memory (AWM). This suggests deficient AWM skills for adults diagnosed with dyslexia. Despite behavioral differences, it is unknown whether neural substrates of AWM differ between adults diagnosed with dyslexia and normal readers. Prior neuroimaging of adults diagnosed with dyslexia and normal readers, and post-mortem findings of neural structural anomalies in adults diagnosed with dyslexia support the hypothesis of atypical neural activity in temporoparietal and inferior frontal regions during AWM tasks in adults diagnosed with dyslexia. We used fMRI during two binaural AWM tasks (pseudowords or pure tones comparisons) in adults diagnosed with dyslexia (n = 11) and normal readers (n = 11). For both AWM tasks, adults diagnosed with dyslexia exhibited greater activity in left posterior superior temporal (BA 22) and inferior parietal regions (BA 40) than normal readers. Comparing neural activity between groups and between stimuli contrasts (pseudowords vs. tones), adults diagnosed with dyslexia showed greater primary auditory cortex activity (BA 42; tones > pseudowords) than normal readers. Thus, greater activity in primary auditory, posterior superior temporal, and inferior parietal cortices during linguistic and non-linguistic AWM tasks for adults diagnosed with dyslexia compared to normal readers indicate differences in neural substrates of AWM comparison tasks. PMID:18577292

  13. Sociocultural patterning of neural activity during self-reflection.

    PubMed

    Ma, Yina; Bang, Dan; Wang, Chenbo; Allen, Micah; Frith, Chris; Roepstorff, Andreas; Han, Shihui

    2014-01-01

    Western cultures encourage self-construals independent of social contexts, whereas East Asian cultures foster interdependent self-construals that rely on how others perceive the self. How are culturally specific self-construals mediated by the human brain? Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we monitored neural responses from adults in East Asian (Chinese) and Western (Danish) cultural contexts during judgments of social, mental and physical attributes of themselves and public figures to assess cultural influences on self-referential processing of personal attributes in different dimensions. We found that judgments of self vs a public figure elicited greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) in Danish than in Chinese participants regardless of attribute dimensions for judgments. However, self-judgments of social attributes induced greater activity in the temporoparietal junction (TPJ) in Chinese than in Danish participants. Moreover, the group difference in TPJ activity was mediated by a measure of a cultural value (i.e. interdependence of self-construal). Our findings suggest that individuals in different sociocultural contexts may learn and/or adopt distinct strategies for self-reflection by changing the weight of the mPFC and TPJ in the social brain network.

  14. Thinking about the thoughts of others; temporal and spatial neural activation during false belief reasoning.

    PubMed

    Mossad, Sarah I; AuCoin-Power, Michelle; Urbain, Charline; Smith, Mary Lou; Pang, Elizabeth W; Taylor, Margot J

    2016-07-01

    Theory of Mind (ToM) is the ability to understand the perspectives, mental states and beliefs of others in order to anticipate their behaviour and is therefore crucial to social interactions. Although fMRI has been widely used to establish the neural networks implicated in ToM, little is known about the timing of ToM-related brain activity. We used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to measure the neural processes underlying ToM, as MEG provides very accurate timing and excellent spatial localization of brain processes. We recorded MEG activity during a false belief task, a reliable measure of ToM, in twenty young adults (10 females). MEG data were recorded in a 151 sensor CTF system (MISL, Coquitlam, BC) and data were co-registered to each participant's MRI (Siemens 3T) for source reconstruction. We found stronger right temporoparietal junction (rTPJ) activations in the false belief condition from 150ms to 225ms, in the right precuneus from 275ms to 375ms, in the right inferior frontal gyrus from 200ms to 300ms and the superior frontal gyrus from 300ms to 400ms. Our findings extend the literature by demonstrating the timing and duration of neural activity in the main regions involved in the "mentalizing" network, showing that activations related to false belief in adults are predominantly right lateralized and onset around 100ms. The sensitivity of MEG will allow us to determine spatial and temporal differences in the brain processes in ToM in younger populations or those who demonstrate deficits in this ability. PMID:27039146

  15. The neural coding of expected and unexpected monetary performance outcomes: dissociations between active and observational learning.

    PubMed

    Bellebaum, C; Jokisch, D; Gizewski, E R; Forsting, M; Daum, I

    2012-02-01

    Successful adaptation to the environment requires the learning of stimulus-response-outcome associations. Such associations can be learned actively by trial and error or by observing the behaviour and accompanying outcomes in other persons. The present study investigated similarities and differences in the neural mechanisms of active and observational learning from monetary feedback using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Two groups of 15 subjects each - active and observational learners - participated in the experiment. On every trial, active learners chose between two stimuli and received monetary feedback. Each observational learner observed the choices and outcomes of one active learner. Learning performance as assessed via active test trials without feedback was comparable between groups. Different activation patterns were observed for the processing of unexpected vs. expected monetary feedback in active and observational learners, particularly for positive outcomes. Activity for unexpected vs. expected reward was stronger in the right striatum in active learning, while activity in the hippocampus was bilaterally enhanced in observational and reduced in active learning. Modulation of activity by prediction error (PE) magnitude was observed in the right putamen in both types of learning, whereas PE related activations in the right anterior caudate nucleus and in the medial orbitofrontal cortex were stronger for active learning. The striatum and orbitofrontal cortex thus appear to link reward stimuli to own behavioural reactions and are less strongly involved when the behavioural outcome refers to another person's action. Alternative explanations such as differences in reward value between active and observational learning are also discussed.

  16. Can Neural Activity Propagate by Endogenous Electrical Field?

    PubMed

    Qiu, Chen; Shivacharan, Rajat S; Zhang, Mingming; Durand, Dominique M

    2015-12-01

    It is widely accepted that synaptic transmissions and gap junctions are the major governing mechanisms for signal traveling in the neural system. Yet, a group of neural waves, either physiological or pathological, share the same speed of ∼0.1 m/s without synaptic transmission or gap junctions, and this speed is not consistent with axonal conduction or ionic diffusion. The only explanation left is an electrical field effect. We tested the hypothesis that endogenous electric fields are sufficient to explain the propagation with in silico and in vitro experiments. Simulation results show that field effects alone can indeed mediate propagation across layers of neurons with speeds of 0.12 ± 0.09 m/s with pathological kinetics, and 0.11 ± 0.03 m/s with physiologic kinetics, both generating weak field amplitudes of ∼2-6 mV/mm. Further, the model predicted that propagation speed values are inversely proportional to the cell-to-cell distances, but do not significantly change with extracellular resistivity, membrane capacitance, or membrane resistance. In vitro recordings in mice hippocampi produced similar speeds (0.10 ± 0.03 m/s) and field amplitudes (2.5-5 mV/mm), and by applying a blocking field, the propagation speed was greatly reduced. Finally, osmolarity experiments confirmed the model's prediction that cell-to-cell distance inversely affects propagation speed. Together, these results show that despite their weak amplitude, electric fields can be solely responsible for spike propagation at ∼0.1 m/s. This phenomenon could be important to explain the slow propagation of epileptic activity and other normal propagations at similar speeds.

  17. The Effects of Simulated Stuttering and Prolonged Speech on the Neural Activation Patterns of Stuttering and Nonstuttering Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De Nil, Luc F.; Beal, Deryk S.; Lafaille, Sophie J.; Kroll, Robert M.; Crawley, Adrian P.; Gracco, Vincent L.

    2008-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to investigate the neural correlates of passive listening, habitual speech and two modified speech patterns (simulated stuttering and prolonged speech) in stuttering and nonstuttering adults. Within-group comparisons revealed increased right hemisphere biased activation of speech-related regions…

  18. Neural activation for conceptual identification of correct versus incorrect tool-object pairs.

    PubMed

    Mizelle, J C; Wheaton, Lewis A

    2010-10-01

    Appropriate tool-object pairing is a natural part of our lives. When preparing to clean our teeth, we know that a toothbrush is useful, but not a screwdriver. The neural correlates of this pairing process remain unclear. We recorded 64-channel electroencephalography to determine neural correlates of identification of tool-object matches and mismatches. Subjects were shown a target tool (e.g. spoon) later paired with an object that was either a conceptual match (e.g. bowl) or mismatch (e.g. wood). To verify that activity was not related to general concept of match-mismatch, in a second condition subjects saw non-tool environmental items (e.g. bird) later paired with a conceptual match (e.g. nest) or mismatch (e.g. spider web). Analysis was focused on time bins after each picture, using standardized low-resolution brain electromagnetic tomography (sLORETA). Tool-object match versus mismatch revealed significant differences in the posterior cingulate, precuneus, left insula and superior temporal gyrus. These patterns were not present for environmental match versus mismatch. This work suggests a specific network in comprehending tool-based pairings, but not extensive to other pairings. The posterior cingulate, precuneus, insula and superior temporal gyrus preferentially differentiates tool-object matching and mismatching, identifying a potential locus related to impairments in comprehending appropriate and inappropriate tool-object relationships that arise after neural injury.

  19. Age-Related Neural Oscillation Patterns During the Processing of Temporally Manipulated Speech.

    PubMed

    Rufener, Katharina S; Oechslin, Mathias S; Wöstmann, Malte; Dellwo, Volker; Meyer, Martin

    2016-05-01

    This EEG-study aims to investigate age-related differences in the neural oscillation patterns during the processing of temporally modulated speech. Viewing from a lifespan perspective, we recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) data of three age samples: young adults, middle-aged adults and older adults. Stimuli consisted of temporally degraded sentences in Swedish-a language unfamiliar to all participants. We found age-related differences in phonetic pattern matching when participants were presented with envelope-degraded sentences, whereas no such age-effect was observed in the processing of fine-structure-degraded sentences. Irrespective of age, during speech processing the EEG data revealed a relationship between envelope information and the theta band (4-8 Hz) activity. Additionally, an association between fine-structure information and the gamma band (30-48 Hz) activity was found. No interaction, however, was found between acoustic manipulation of stimuli and age. Importantly, our main finding was paralleled by an overall enhanced power in older adults in high frequencies (gamma: 30-48 Hz). This occurred irrespective of condition. For the most part, this result is in line with the Asymmetric Sampling in Time framework (Poeppel in Speech Commun 41:245-255, 2003), which assumes an isomorphic correspondence between frequency modulations in neurophysiological patterns and acoustic oscillations in spoken language. We conclude that speech-specific neural networks show strong stability over adulthood, despite initial processes of cortical degeneration indicated by enhanced gamma power. The results of our study therefore confirm the concept that sensory and cognitive processes undergo multidirectional trajectories within the context of healthy aging.

  20. Age-Related Neural Oscillation Patterns During the Processing of Temporally Manipulated Speech.

    PubMed

    Rufener, Katharina S; Oechslin, Mathias S; Wöstmann, Malte; Dellwo, Volker; Meyer, Martin

    2016-05-01

    This EEG-study aims to investigate age-related differences in the neural oscillation patterns during the processing of temporally modulated speech. Viewing from a lifespan perspective, we recorded the electroencephalogram (EEG) data of three age samples: young adults, middle-aged adults and older adults. Stimuli consisted of temporally degraded sentences in Swedish-a language unfamiliar to all participants. We found age-related differences in phonetic pattern matching when participants were presented with envelope-degraded sentences, whereas no such age-effect was observed in the processing of fine-structure-degraded sentences. Irrespective of age, during speech processing the EEG data revealed a relationship between envelope information and the theta band (4-8 Hz) activity. Additionally, an association between fine-structure information and the gamma band (30-48 Hz) activity was found. No interaction, however, was found between acoustic manipulation of stimuli and age. Importantly, our main finding was paralleled by an overall enhanced power in older adults in high frequencies (gamma: 30-48 Hz). This occurred irrespective of condition. For the most part, this result is in line with the Asymmetric Sampling in Time framework (Poeppel in Speech Commun 41:245-255, 2003), which assumes an isomorphic correspondence between frequency modulations in neurophysiological patterns and acoustic oscillations in spoken language. We conclude that speech-specific neural networks show strong stability over adulthood, despite initial processes of cortical degeneration indicated by enhanced gamma power. The results of our study therefore confirm the concept that sensory and cognitive processes undergo multidirectional trajectories within the context of healthy aging. PMID:26613726

  1. Protective Effect of Puerarin Against Oxidative Stress Injury of Neural Cells and Related Mechanisms

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Yuan; Leng, Wei; Zhang, Jingshu

    2016-01-01

    Background Parkinson’s disease (PD) is manifested as degeneration of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra compacta. The mitochondrial dysfunction induced by oxidative stress is believed to a major cause of PD. Puerarin has been widely applied due to its estrogen nature and anti-oxidative function. This study thus investigated the protective role of puerarin against oxidative stress injury on PC12 neural cells, in addition to related mechanisms. Material/Methods PC12 cells were pre-treated with gradient concentrations of puerarin, followed by the induction of 0.5 mM H2O2. MTT assay was used to detect cell viability. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) was employed to detect intracellular level of superoxide dismutase (SOD), malondialdehyde (MDA), and glutathione (GSH). Cell apoptosis was determined by Annexin-V/7-AAD double labelling. Reactive oxidative species (ROS) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activities were then measured. Cellular levels of caspase-3 and caspase-9 were also determined. Results The pre-treatment using puerarin significantly reversed H2O2-induced oxidative stress injury, as it can increase proliferation, SOD and GSH activities, decrease MDA activity, suppress apoptosis of PC12 cells, and decrease ROS and LDH production (p<0.05 in all cases). Further assays showed depressed up-regulation of caspase-3 and caspase-9 after puerarin pretreatment. Conclusions Puerarin pretreatment can decrease activity of caspase-3 and caspase-9 activity in PC12 cells, thus protecting cells from oxidative injury. PMID:27074962

  2. Marine Biology Activities. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pauls, John

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  3. Telencephalic neural activation following passive avoidance learning in a terrestrial toad.

    PubMed

    Puddington, Martín M; Daneri, M Florencia; Papini, Mauricio R; Muzio, Rubén N

    2016-12-15

    The present study explores passive avoidance learning and its neural basis in toads (Rhinella arenarum). In Experiment 1, two groups of toads learned to move from a lighted compartment into a dark compartment. After responding, animals in the experimental condition were exposed to an 800-mM strongly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to weight loss. Control animals received exposure to a 300-mM slightly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to neither weight gain nor loss. After 10 daily acquisition trials, animals in the experimental group showed significantly longer latency to enter the dark compartment. Additionally, 10 daily trials in which both groups received the 300-mM NaCl solution after responding eliminated this group effect. Thus, experimental animals showed gradual acquisition and extinction of a passive avoidance respond. Experiment 2 replicated the gradual acquisition effect, but, after the last trial, animals were sacrificed and neural activation was assessed in five brain regions using AgNOR staining for nucleoli-an index of brain activity. Higher activation in the experimental animals, relative to controls, was observed in the amygdala and striatum. Group differences in two other regions, lateral pallium and septum, were borderline, but nonsignificant, whereas group differences in the medial pallium were nonsignificant. These preliminary results suggest that a striatal-amygdala activation could be a key component of the brain circuit controlling passive avoidance learning in amphibians. The results are discussed in relation to the results of analogous experiments with other vertebrates.

  4. Adult Palatum as a Novel Source of Neural Crest-Related Stem Cells

    PubMed Central

    Widera, Darius; Zander, Christin; Heidbreder, Meike; Kasperek, Yvonne; Noll, Thomas; Seitz, Oliver; Saldamli, Belma; Sudhoff, Holger; Sader, Robert; Kaltschmidt, Christian; Kaltschmidt, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Somatic neural and neural crest stem cells are promising sources for cellular therapy of several neurodegenerative diseases. However, because of practical considerations such as inadequate accessibility of the source material, the application of neural crest stem cells is strictly limited. The secondary palate is a highly regenerative and heavily innervated tissue, which develops embryonically under direct contribution of neural crest cells. Here, we describe for the first time the presence of nestin-positive neural crest-related stem cells within Meissner corpuscles and Merkel cell-neurite complexes located in the hard palate of adult Wistar rats. After isolation, palatal neural crest-related stem cells (pNC-SCs) were cultivated in the presence of epidermal growth factor and fibroblast growth factor under serum-free conditions, resulting in large amounts of neurospheres. We used immunocytochemical techniques and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction to assess the expression profile of pNC-SCs. In addition to the expression of neural crest stem cell markers such as Nestin, Sox2, and p75, we detected the expression of Klf4, Oct4, and c-Myc. pNC-SCs differentiated efficiently into neuronal and glial cells. Finally, we investigated the potential expression of stemness markers within the human palate. We identified expression of stem cell markers nestin and CD133 and the transcription factors needed for reprogramming of somatic cells into pluripotent cells: Sox2, Oct4, Klf4, and c-Myc. These data show that cells isolated from palatal rugae form neurospheres, are highly plastic, and express neural crest stem cell markers. In addition, pNC-SCs may have the ability to differentiate into functional neurons and glial cells, serving as a starting point for therapeutic studies. Stem Cells 2009;27:1899–1910 PMID:19544446

  5. Sensitive red protein calcium indicators for imaging neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Dana, Hod; Mohar, Boaz; Sun, Yi; Narayan, Sujatha; Gordus, Andrew; Hasseman, Jeremy P; Tsegaye, Getahun; Holt, Graham T; Hu, Amy; Walpita, Deepika; Patel, Ronak; Macklin, John J; Bargmann, Cornelia I; Ahrens, Misha B; Schreiter, Eric R; Jayaraman, Vivek; Looger, Loren L; Svoboda, Karel; Kim, Douglas S

    2016-01-01

    Genetically encoded calcium indicators (GECIs) allow measurement of activity in large populations of neurons and in small neuronal compartments, over times of milliseconds to months. Although GFP-based GECIs are widely used for in vivo neurophysiology, GECIs with red-shifted excitation and emission spectra have advantages for in vivo imaging because of reduced scattering and absorption in tissue, and a consequent reduction in phototoxicity. However, current red GECIs are inferior to the state-of-the-art GFP-based GCaMP6 indicators for detecting and quantifying neural activity. Here we present improved red GECIs based on mRuby (jRCaMP1a, b) and mApple (jRGECO1a), with sensitivity comparable to GCaMP6. We characterized the performance of the new red GECIs in cultured neurons and in mouse, Drosophila, zebrafish and C. elegans in vivo. Red GECIs facilitate deep-tissue imaging, dual-color imaging together with GFP-based reporters, and the use of optogenetics in combination with calcium imaging. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12727.001 PMID:27011354

  6. Multisynaptic activity in a pyramidal neuron model and neural code.

    PubMed

    Ventriglia, Francesco; Di Maio, Vito

    2006-01-01

    The highly irregular firing of mammalian cortical pyramidal neurons is one of the most striking observation of the brain activity. This result affects greatly the discussion on the neural code, i.e. how the brain codes information transmitted along the different cortical stages. In fact it seems to be in favor of one of the two main hypotheses about this issue, named the rate code. But the supporters of the contrasting hypothesis, the temporal code, consider this evidence inconclusive. We discuss here a leaky integrate-and-fire model of a hippocampal pyramidal neuron intended to be biologically sound to investigate the genesis of the irregular pyramidal firing and to give useful information about the coding problem. To this aim, the complete set of excitatory and inhibitory synapses impinging on such a neuron has been taken into account. The firing activity of the neuron model has been studied by computer simulation both in basic conditions and allowing brief periods of over-stimulation in specific regions of its synaptic constellation. Our results show neuronal firing conditions similar to those observed in experimental investigations on pyramidal cortical neurons. In particular, the variation coefficient (CV) computed from the inter-spike intervals (ISIs) in our simulations for basic conditions is close to the unity as that computed from experimental data. Our simulation shows also different behaviors in firing sequences for different frequencies of stimulation. PMID:16870323

  7. Neural activity during emotion recognition after combined cognitive plus social cognitive training in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Hooker, Christine I; Bruce, Lori; Fisher, Melissa; Verosky, Sara C; Miyakawa, Asako; Vinogradov, Sophia

    2012-08-01

    Cognitive remediation training has been shown to improve both cognitive and social cognitive deficits in people with schizophrenia, but the mechanisms that support this behavioral improvement are largely unknown. One hypothesis is that intensive behavioral training in cognition and/or social cognition restores the underlying neural mechanisms that support targeted skills. However, there is little research on the neural effects of cognitive remediation training. This study investigated whether a 50 h (10-week) remediation intervention which included both cognitive and social cognitive training would influence neural function in regions that support social cognition. Twenty-two stable, outpatient schizophrenia participants were randomized to a treatment condition consisting of auditory-based cognitive training (AT) [Brain Fitness Program/auditory module ~60 min/day] plus social cognition training (SCT) which was focused on emotion recognition [~5-15 min per day] or a placebo condition of non-specific computer games (CG) for an equal amount of time. Pre and post intervention assessments included an fMRI task of positive and negative facial emotion recognition, and standard behavioral assessments of cognition, emotion processing, and functional outcome. There were no significant intervention-related improvements in general cognition or functional outcome. fMRI results showed the predicted group-by-time interaction. Specifically, in comparison to CG, AT+SCT participants had a greater pre-to-post intervention increase in postcentral gyrus activity during emotion recognition of both positive and negative emotions. Furthermore, among all participants, the increase in postcentral gyrus activity predicted behavioral improvement on a standardized test of emotion processing (MSCEIT: Perceiving Emotions). Results indicate that combined cognition and social cognition training impacts neural mechanisms that support social cognition skills. PMID:22695257

  8. From Neuromuscular Activation to End-point Locomotion: An Artificial Neural Network-based Technique for Neural Prostheses

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Chia-Lin; Jin, Zhanpeng; Chang, Hou-Cheng; Cheng, Allen C.

    2009-01-01

    Neuroprostheses, implantable or non-invasive ones, are promising techniques to enable paralyzed individuals with conditions, such as spinal cord injury or spina bifida (SB), to control their limbs voluntarily. Direct cortical control of invasive neuroprosthetic devices and robotic arms have recently become feasible for primates. However, little is known about designing non-invasive, closed-loop neuromuscular control strategies for neural prostheses. Our goal was to investigate if an Artificial Neural Network-based (ANN-based) model for closed-loop controlled neural prostheses could use neuromuscular activation recorded from individuals with impaired spinal cord to predict their end-point gait parameters (such as stride length and step width). We recruited 12 persons with SB (5 females and 7 males) and collected their neuromuscular activation and end-point gait parameters during overground walking. Our results show that the proposed ANN-based technique can achieve a highly accurate prediction (e.g., R-values of 0.92 – 0.97, ANN (tansig+tansig) for single composition of data sets) for altered end-point locomotion. Compared to traditional robust regression, this technique can provide up to 80% more accurate prediction. Our results suggest that more precise control of complex neural prostheses during locomotion can be achieved by engaging neuromuscular activity as intrinsic feedback to generate end-point leg movement. This ANN-based model allows a seamless incorporation of neuromuscular activity, detected from paralyzed individuals, to adaptively predict their altered gait patterns, which can be employed to provide closed-loop feedback information for neural prostheses. PMID:19389678

  9. A systematic review of the neural bases of psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Samantha J; Stein, Dan J

    2015-09-01

    Brain imaging studies over two decades have delineated the neural circuitry of anxiety and related disorders, particularly regions involved in fear processing and in obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The neural circuitry of fear processing involves the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and insular cortex, while cortico-striatal-thalamic circuitry plays a key role in obsessive-compulsive disorder. More recently, neuroimaging studies have examined how psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders impacts on these neural circuits. Here we conduct a systematic review of the findings of such work, which yielded 19 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies examining the neural bases of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in 509 patients with anxiety and related disorders. We conclude that, although each of these related disorders is mediated by somewhat different neural circuitry, CBT may act in a similar way to increase prefrontal control of subcortical structures. These findings are consistent with an emphasis in cognitive-affective neuroscience on the potential therapeutic value of enhancing emotional regulation in various psychiatric conditions.

  10. A systematic review of the neural bases of psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders.

    PubMed

    Brooks, Samantha J; Stein, Dan J

    2015-09-01

    Brain imaging studies over two decades have delineated the neural circuitry of anxiety and related disorders, particularly regions involved in fear processing and in obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The neural circuitry of fear processing involves the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and insular cortex, while cortico-striatal-thalamic circuitry plays a key role in obsessive-compulsive disorder. More recently, neuroimaging studies have examined how psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders impacts on these neural circuits. Here we conduct a systematic review of the findings of such work, which yielded 19 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies examining the neural bases of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in 509 patients with anxiety and related disorders. We conclude that, although each of these related disorders is mediated by somewhat different neural circuitry, CBT may act in a similar way to increase prefrontal control of subcortical structures. These findings are consistent with an emphasis in cognitive-affective neuroscience on the potential therapeutic value of enhancing emotional regulation in various psychiatric conditions. PMID:26487807

  11. A systematic review of the neural bases of psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders

    PubMed Central

    Brooks, Samantha J.; Stein, Dan J.

    2015-01-01

    Brain imaging studies over two decades have delineated the neural circuitry of anxiety and related disorders, particularly regions involved in fear processing and in obsessive-compulsive symptoms. The neural circuitry of fear processing involves the amygdala, anterior cingulate, and insular cortex, while cortico-striatal-thalamic circuitry plays a key role in obsessive-compulsive disorder. More recently, neuroimaging studies have examined how psychotherapy for anxiety and related disorders impacts on these neural circuits. Here we conduct a systematic review of the findings of such work, which yielded 19 functional magnetic resonance imaging studies examining the neural bases of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in 509 patients with anxiety and related disorders. We conclude that, although each of these related disorders is mediated by somewhat different neural circuitry, CBT may act in a similar way to increase prefrontal control of subcortical structures. These findings are consistent with an emphasis in cognitive-affective neuroscience on the potential therapeutic value of enhancing emotional regulation in various psychiatric conditions. PMID:26487807

  12. Selective neural activation in a histologically derived model of peripheral nerve

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Butson, Christopher R.; Miller, Ian O.; Normann, Richard A.; Clark, Gregory A.

    2011-06-01

    Functional electrical stimulation (FES) is a general term for therapeutic methods that use electrical stimulation to aid or replace lost ability. For FES systems that communicate with the nervous system, one critical component is the electrode interface through which the machine-body information transfer must occur. In this paper, we examine the influence of inhomogeneous tissue conductivities and positions of nodes of Ranvier on activation of myelinated axons for neuromuscular control as a function of electrode configuration. To evaluate these effects, we developed a high-resolution bioelectric model of a fascicle from a stained cross-section of cat sciatic nerve. The model was constructed by digitizing a fixed specimen of peripheral nerve, extruding the image along the axis of the nerve, and assigning each anatomical component to one of several different tissue types. Electrodes were represented by current sources in monopolar, transverse bipolar, and longitudinal bipolar configurations; neural activation was determined using coupled field-neuron simulations with myelinated axon cable models. We found that the use of an isotropic tissue medium overestimated neural activation thresholds compared with the use of physiologically based, inhomogeneous tissue medium, even after controlling for mean impedance levels. Additionally, the positions of the cathodic sources relative to the nodes of Ranvier had substantial effects on activation, and these effects were modulated by the electrode configuration. Our results indicate that physiologically based tissue properties cause considerable variability in the neural response, and the inclusion of these properties is an important component in accurately predicting activation. The results are used to suggest new electrode designs to enable selective stimulation of small diameter fibers.

  13. Touching moments: desire modulates the neural anticipation of active romantic caress

    PubMed Central

    Ebisch, Sjoerd J.; Ferri, Francesca; Gallese, Vittorio

    2014-01-01

    A romantic caress is a basic expression of affiliative behavior and a primary reinforcer. Given its inherent affective valence, its performance also would imply the prediction of reward values. For example, touching a person for whom one has strong passionate feelings likely is motivated by a strong desire for physical contact and associated with the anticipation of hedonic experiences. The present study aims at investigating how the anticipatory neural processes of active romantic caress are modulated by the intensity of the desire for affective contact as reflected by passionate feelings for the other. Functional magnetic resonance imaging scanning was performed in romantically involved partners using a paradigm that allowed to isolate the specific anticipatory representations of active romantic caress, compared with control caress, while testing for the relationship between neural activity and measures of feelings of passionate love for the other. The results demonstrated that right posterior insula activity in anticipation of romantic caress significantly co-varied with the intensity of desire for union with the other. This effect was independent of the sensory-affective properties of the performed touch, like its pleasantness. Furthermore, functional connectivity analysis showed that the same posterior insula cluster interacted with brain regions related to sensory-motor functions as well as to the processing and anticipation of reward. The findings provide insight on the neural substrate mediating between the desire for and the performance of romantic caress. In particular, we propose that anticipatory activity patterns in posterior insula may modulate subsequent sensory-affective processing of skin-to-skin contact. PMID:24616676

  14. Sensory Entrainment Mechanisms in Auditory Perception: Neural Synchronization Cortico-Striatal Activation.

    PubMed

    Sameiro-Barbosa, Catia M; Geiser, Eveline

    2016-01-01

    The auditory system displays modulations in sensitivity that can align with the temporal structure of the acoustic environment. This sensory entrainment can facilitate sensory perception and is particularly relevant for audition. Systems neuroscience is slowly uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying the behaviorally observed sensory entrainment effects in the human sensory system. The present article summarizes the prominent behavioral effects of sensory entrainment and reviews our current understanding of the neural basis of sensory entrainment, such as synchronized neural oscillations, and potentially, neural activation in the cortico-striatal system. PMID:27559306

  15. Sensory Entrainment Mechanisms in Auditory Perception: Neural Synchronization Cortico-Striatal Activation

    PubMed Central

    Sameiro-Barbosa, Catia M.; Geiser, Eveline

    2016-01-01

    The auditory system displays modulations in sensitivity that can align with the temporal structure of the acoustic environment. This sensory entrainment can facilitate sensory perception and is particularly relevant for audition. Systems neuroscience is slowly uncovering the neural mechanisms underlying the behaviorally observed sensory entrainment effects in the human sensory system. The present article summarizes the prominent behavioral effects of sensory entrainment and reviews our current understanding of the neural basis of sensory entrainment, such as synchronized neural oscillations, and potentially, neural activation in the cortico-striatal system. PMID:27559306

  16. Long-Range Temporal Correlations, Multifractality, and the Causal Relation between Neural Inputs and Movements

    PubMed Central

    Hu, Jing; Zheng, Yi; Gao, Jianbo

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the causal relation between neural inputs and movements is very important for the success of brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). In this study, we analyze 104 neurons’ firings using statistical, information theoretic, and fractal analysis. The latter include Fano factor analysis, multifractal adaptive fractal analysis (MF-AFA), and wavelet multifractal analysis. We find neuronal firings are highly non-stationary, and Fano factor analysis always indicates long-range correlations in neuronal firings, irrespective of whether those firings are correlated with movement trajectory or not, and thus does not reveal any actual correlations between neural inputs and movements. On the other hand, MF-AFA and wavelet multifractal analysis clearly indicate that when neuronal firings are not well correlated with movement trajectory, they do not have or only have weak temporal correlations. When neuronal firings are well correlated with movements, they are characterized by very strong temporal correlations, up to a time scale comparable to the average time between two successive reaching tasks. This suggests that neurons well correlated with hand trajectory experienced a “re-setting” effect at the start of each reaching task, in the sense that within the movement correlated neurons the spike trains’ long-range dependences persisted about the length of time the monkey used to switch between task executions. A new task execution re-sets their activity, making them only weakly correlated with their prior activities on longer time scales. We further discuss the significance of the coalition of those important neurons in executing cortical control of prostheses. PMID:24130549

  17. Causal estimation of neural and overall baroreflex sensitivity in relation to carotid artery stiffness.

    PubMed

    Lipponen, Jukka A; Tarvainen, Mika P; Laitinen, Tomi; Karjalainen, Pasi A; Vanninen, Joonas; Koponen, Timo; Laitinen, Tiina M

    2013-12-01

    Continuous electrocardiogram, blood pressure and carotid artery ultrasound video were analyzed from 15 diabetics and 28 healthy controls. By using these measurements artery elasticity, overall baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) assessed between RR and systolic blood pressure variation, and neural BRS assessed between RR and artery diameter variation were estimated. In addition, BRS was estimated using traditional and causal methods which enable separation of feedforward and feedback variation. The aim of this study was to analyze overall and neural BRS in relation to artery stiffness and to validate the causal BRS estimation method in assessing these two types of BRS within the study population. The most significant difference between the healthy and diabetic groups (p < 0.0007) was found for the overall BRS estimated using the causal method. The difference between the groups was also significant for neural BRS (p < 0.0018). However neural BRS was normal in some old diabetics, which indicates normal functioning of autonomic nervous system (ANS), even though the elasticity in arteries of these subjects was reduced. The noncausal method overestimated neural BRS in low BRS values when compared to causal BRS. In conclusion, neural BRS estimated using the causal method is proposed as the best marker of ANS functioning. PMID:24168896

  18. Neural basis of psychosis-related behaviour in the infection model of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Urs; Feldon, Joram

    2009-12-01

    Maternal infection during pregnancy is a notable risk factor for the offspring to develop severe neuropsychiatric disorders, including schizophrenia. One prevalent hypothesis suggests that infection-induced disruption of early prenatal brain development predisposes the organism for long-lasting structural and functional brain abnormalities, leading to the emergence of psychopathological behaviour in adulthood. The feasibility of this causal link has received considerable support from several experimental models established in both rats and mice. In this review, we provide an integrative summary of the long-term neuropathological consequences of prenatal exposure to infection and/or inflammation as identified in various experimental models of prenatal immune challenge. In addition, we highlight how abnormalities in distinct brain areas and neurotransmitter systems following prenatal immune activation may provide a neural basis for the emergence of specific forms of psychosis-related behaviour. Specifically, we suggest that prenatal infection-induced imbalances in the mesolimibic and mesocortical dopamine pathways may constitute critical neural mechanisms for disturbances in sensorimotor gating, abnormalities in selective associative learning and hypersensitivity to psychostimulant drugs. On the other hand, the emergence of working memory deficiency following prenatal immune challenge may be crucially linked to the concomitant disruption of GABAergic and glutamatergic functions in prefrontal cortical and hippocampal structures. Notably, many of the identified neuronal abnormalities are directly implicated in the neuropathology of schizophrenia. The findings from prenatal infection models of schizophrenia thus provide considerable experimental evidence for the assumption that prenatal exposure to infection and/or inflammation is a relevant environmental link to specific neuronal abnormalities underlying psychosis-related behaviour in humans. PMID:19154759

  19. Neural Activities Underlying the Feedback Express Salience Prediction Errors for Appetitive and Aversive Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Gu, Yan; Hu, Xueping; Pan, Weigang; Yang, Chun; Wang, Lijun; Li, Yiyuan; Chen, Antao

    2016-01-01

    Feedback information is essential for us to adapt appropriately to the environment. The feedback-related negativity (FRN), a frontocentral negative deflection after the delivery of feedback, has been found to be larger for outcomes that are worse than expected, and it reflects a reward prediction error derived from the midbrain dopaminergic projections to the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), as stated in reinforcement learning theory. In contrast, the prediction of response-outcome (PRO) model claims that the neural activity in the mediofrontal cortex (mPFC), especially the ACC, is sensitive to the violation of expectancy, irrespective of the valence of feedback. Additionally, increasing evidence has demonstrated significant activities in the striatum, anterior insula and occipital lobe for unexpected outcomes independently of their valence. Thus, the neural mechanism of the feedback remains under dispute. Here, we investigated the feedback with monetary reward and electrical pain shock in one task via functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results revealed significant prediction-error-related activities in the bilateral fusiform gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus and left cingulate gyrus for both money and pain. This implies that some regions underlying the feedback may signal a salience prediction error rather than a reward prediction error. PMID:27694920

  20. Beaches. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marrett, Andrea

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  1. Whales. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jones, Claire

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  2. Tides. Ocean Related Curriculum Activities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marrett, Andrea

    The ocean affects all of our lives. Therefore, awareness of and information about the interconnections between humans and oceans are prerequisites to making sound decisions for the future. Project ORCA (Ocean Related Curriculum Activities) has developed interdisciplinary curriculum materials designed to meet the needs of students and teachers…

  3. Neural activation in speech production and reading aloud in native and non-native languages.

    PubMed

    Berken, Jonathan A; Gracco, Vincent L; Chen, Jen-Kai; Soles, Jennika; Watkins, Kate E; Baum, Shari; Callahan, Megan; Klein, Denise

    2015-05-15

    We used fMRI to investigate neural activation in reading aloud in bilinguals differing in age of acquisition. Three groups were compared: French-English bilinguals who acquired two languages from birth (simultaneous), French-English bilinguals who learned their L2 after the age of 5 years (sequential), and English-speaking monolinguals. While the bilingual groups contrasted in age of acquisition, they were matched for language proficiency, although sequential bilinguals produced speech with a less native-like accent in their L2 than in their L1. Simultaneous bilinguals activated similar brain regions to an equivalent degree when reading in their two languages. In contrast, sequential bilinguals more strongly activated areas related to speech-motor control and orthographic to phonological mapping, the left inferior frontal gyrus, left premotor cortex, and left fusiform gyrus, when reading aloud in L2 compared to L1. In addition, the activity in these regions showed a significant positive correlation with age of acquisition. The results provide evidence for the engagement of overlapping neural substrates for processing two languages when acquired in native context from birth. However, it appears that the maturation of certain brain regions for both speech production and phonological encoding is limited by a sensitive period for L2 acquisition regardless of language proficiency.

  4. Where’s the Noise? Key Features of Spontaneous Activity and Neural Variability Arise through Learning in a Deterministic Network

    PubMed Central

    Hartmann, Christoph; Lazar, Andreea; Nessler, Bernhard; Triesch, Jochen

    2015-01-01

    Even in the absence of sensory stimulation the brain is spontaneously active. This background “noise” seems to be the dominant cause of the notoriously high trial-to-trial variability of neural recordings. Recent experimental observations have extended our knowledge of trial-to-trial variability and spontaneous activity in several directions: 1. Trial-to-trial variability systematically decreases following the onset of a sensory stimulus or the start of a motor act. 2. Spontaneous activity states in sensory cortex outline the region of evoked sensory responses. 3. Across development, spontaneous activity aligns itself with typical evoked activity patterns. 4. The spontaneous brain activity prior to the presentation of an ambiguous stimulus predicts how the stimulus will be interpreted. At present it is unclear how these observations relate to each other and how they arise in cortical circuits. Here we demonstrate that all of these phenomena can be accounted for by a deterministic self-organizing recurrent neural network model (SORN), which learns a predictive model of its sensory environment. The SORN comprises recurrently coupled populations of excitatory and inhibitory threshold units and learns via a combination of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms. Similar to balanced network architectures, units in the network show irregular activity and variable responses to inputs. Additionally, however, the SORN exhibits sequence learning abilities matching recent findings from visual cortex and the network’s spontaneous activity reproduces the experimental findings mentioned above. Intriguingly, the network’s behaviour is reminiscent of sampling-based probabilistic inference, suggesting that correlates of sampling-based inference can develop from the interaction of STDP and homeostasis in deterministic networks. We conclude that key observations on spontaneous brain activity and the variability of neural responses can be

  5. Where's the Noise? Key Features of Spontaneous Activity and Neural Variability Arise through Learning in a Deterministic Network.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Christoph; Lazar, Andreea; Nessler, Bernhard; Triesch, Jochen

    2015-12-01

    Even in the absence of sensory stimulation the brain is spontaneously active. This background "noise" seems to be the dominant cause of the notoriously high trial-to-trial variability of neural recordings. Recent experimental observations have extended our knowledge of trial-to-trial variability and spontaneous activity in several directions: 1. Trial-to-trial variability systematically decreases following the onset of a sensory stimulus or the start of a motor act. 2. Spontaneous activity states in sensory cortex outline the region of evoked sensory responses. 3. Across development, spontaneous activity aligns itself with typical evoked activity patterns. 4. The spontaneous brain activity prior to the presentation of an ambiguous stimulus predicts how the stimulus will be interpreted. At present it is unclear how these observations relate to each other and how they arise in cortical circuits. Here we demonstrate that all of these phenomena can be accounted for by a deterministic self-organizing recurrent neural network model (SORN), which learns a predictive model of its sensory environment. The SORN comprises recurrently coupled populations of excitatory and inhibitory threshold units and learns via a combination of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms. Similar to balanced network architectures, units in the network show irregular activity and variable responses to inputs. Additionally, however, the SORN exhibits sequence learning abilities matching recent findings from visual cortex and the network's spontaneous activity reproduces the experimental findings mentioned above. Intriguingly, the network's behaviour is reminiscent of sampling-based probabilistic inference, suggesting that correlates of sampling-based inference can develop from the interaction of STDP and homeostasis in deterministic networks. We conclude that key observations on spontaneous brain activity and the variability of neural responses can be

  6. Where's the Noise? Key Features of Spontaneous Activity and Neural Variability Arise through Learning in a Deterministic Network.

    PubMed

    Hartmann, Christoph; Lazar, Andreea; Nessler, Bernhard; Triesch, Jochen

    2015-12-01

    Even in the absence of sensory stimulation the brain is spontaneously active. This background "noise" seems to be the dominant cause of the notoriously high trial-to-trial variability of neural recordings. Recent experimental observations have extended our knowledge of trial-to-trial variability and spontaneous activity in several directions: 1. Trial-to-trial variability systematically decreases following the onset of a sensory stimulus or the start of a motor act. 2. Spontaneous activity states in sensory cortex outline the region of evoked sensory responses. 3. Across development, spontaneous activity aligns itself with typical evoked activity patterns. 4. The spontaneous brain activity prior to the presentation of an ambiguous stimulus predicts how the stimulus will be interpreted. At present it is unclear how these observations relate to each other and how they arise in cortical circuits. Here we demonstrate that all of these phenomena can be accounted for by a deterministic self-organizing recurrent neural network model (SORN), which learns a predictive model of its sensory environment. The SORN comprises recurrently coupled populations of excitatory and inhibitory threshold units and learns via a combination of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) and homeostatic plasticity mechanisms. Similar to balanced network architectures, units in the network show irregular activity and variable responses to inputs. Additionally, however, the SORN exhibits sequence learning abilities matching recent findings from visual cortex and the network's spontaneous activity reproduces the experimental findings mentioned above. Intriguingly, the network's behaviour is reminiscent of sampling-based probabilistic inference, suggesting that correlates of sampling-based inference can develop from the interaction of STDP and homeostasis in deterministic networks. We conclude that key observations on spontaneous brain activity and the variability of neural responses can be

  7. A tensor-product-kernel framework for multiscale neural activity decoding and control.

    PubMed

    Li, Lin; Brockmeier, Austin J; Choi, John S; Francis, Joseph T; Sanchez, Justin C; Príncipe, José C

    2014-01-01

    Brain machine interfaces (BMIs) have attracted intense attention as a promising technology for directly interfacing computers or prostheses with the brain's motor and sensory areas, thereby bypassing the body. The availability of multiscale neural recordings including spike trains and local field potentials (LFPs) brings potential opportunities to enhance computational modeling by enriching the characterization of the neural system state. However, heterogeneity on data type (spike timing versus continuous amplitude signals) and spatiotemporal scale complicates the model integration of multiscale neural activity. In this paper, we propose a tensor-product-kernel-based framework to integrate the multiscale activity and exploit the complementary information available in multiscale neural activity. This provides a common mathematical framework for incorporating signals from different domains. The approach is applied to the problem of neural decoding and control. For neural decoding, the framework is able to identify the nonlinear functional relationship between the multiscale neural responses and the stimuli using general purpose kernel adaptive filtering. In a sensory stimulation experiment, the tensor-product-kernel decoder outperforms decoders that use only a single neural data type. In addition, an adaptive inverse controller for delivering electrical microstimulation patterns that utilizes the tensor-product kernel achieves promising results in emulating the responses to natural stimulation. PMID:24829569

  8. Age and experience shape developmental changes in the neural basis of language-related learning

    PubMed Central

    McNealy, Kristin; Mazziotta, John C.; Dapretto, Mirella

    2013-01-01

    Very little is known about the neural underpinnings of language learning across the lifespan and how these might be modified by maturational and experiential factors. Building on behavioral research highlighting the importance of early word segmentation (i.e. the detection of word boundaries in continuous speech) for subsequent language learning, here we characterize developmental changes in brain activity as this process occurs online, using data collected in a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal design. One hundred and fifty-six participants, ranging from age 5 to adulthood, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while listening to three novel streams of continuous speech, which contained either strong statistical regularities, strong statistical regularities and speech cues, or weak statistical regularities providing minimal cues to word boundaries. All age groups displayed significant signal increases over time in temporal cortices for the streams with high statistical regularities; however, we observed a significant right-to-left shift in the laterality of these learning-related increases with age. Interestingly, only the 5- to 10-year-old children displayed significant signal increases for the stream with low statistical regularities, suggesting an age-related decrease in sensitivity to more subtle statistical cues. Further, in a sample of 78 10-year-olds, we examined the impact of proficiency in a second language and level of pubertal development on learning-related signal increases, showing that the brain regions involved in language learning are influenced by both experiential and maturational factors. PMID:22010887

  9. Age and experience shape developmental changes in the neural basis of language-related learning.

    PubMed

    McNealy, Kristin; Mazziotta, John C; Dapretto, Mirella

    2011-11-01

    Very little is known about the neural underpinnings of language learning across the lifespan and how these might be modified by maturational and experiential factors. Building on behavioral research highlighting the importance of early word segmentation (i.e. the detection of word boundaries in continuous speech) for subsequent language learning, here we characterize developmental changes in brain activity as this process occurs online, using data collected in a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal design. One hundred and fifty-six participants, ranging from age 5 to adulthood, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while listening to three novel streams of continuous speech, which contained either strong statistical regularities, strong statistical regularities and speech cues, or weak statistical regularities providing minimal cues to word boundaries. All age groups displayed significant signal increases over time in temporal cortices for the streams with high statistical regularities; however, we observed a significant right-to-left shift in the laterality of these learning-related increases with age. Interestingly, only the 5- to 10-year-old children displayed significant signal increases for the stream with low statistical regularities, suggesting an age-related decrease in sensitivity to more subtle statistical cues. Further, in a sample of 78 10-year-olds, we examined the impact of proficiency in a second language and level of pubertal development on learning-related signal increases, showing that the brain regions involved in language learning are influenced by both experiential and maturational factors.

  10. Age and experience shape developmental changes in the neural basis of language-related learning.

    PubMed

    McNealy, Kristin; Mazziotta, John C; Dapretto, Mirella

    2011-11-01

    Very little is known about the neural underpinnings of language learning across the lifespan and how these might be modified by maturational and experiential factors. Building on behavioral research highlighting the importance of early word segmentation (i.e. the detection of word boundaries in continuous speech) for subsequent language learning, here we characterize developmental changes in brain activity as this process occurs online, using data collected in a mixed cross-sectional and longitudinal design. One hundred and fifty-six participants, ranging from age 5 to adulthood, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) while listening to three novel streams of continuous speech, which contained either strong statistical regularities, strong statistical regularities and speech cues, or weak statistical regularities providing minimal cues to word boundaries. All age groups displayed significant signal increases over time in temporal cortices for the streams with high statistical regularities; however, we observed a significant right-to-left shift in the laterality of these learning-related increases with age. Interestingly, only the 5- to 10-year-old children displayed significant signal increases for the stream with low statistical regularities, suggesting an age-related decrease in sensitivity to more subtle statistical cues. Further, in a sample of 78 10-year-olds, we examined the impact of proficiency in a second language and level of pubertal development on learning-related signal increases, showing that the brain regions involved in language learning are influenced by both experiential and maturational factors. PMID:22010887

  11. Neural correlates of age-related decline and compensation in visual attention capacity.

    PubMed

    Wiegand, Iris; Töllner, Thomas; Dyrholm, Mads; Müller, Hermann J; Bundesen, Claus; Finke, Kathrin

    2014-09-01

    We identified neural correlates of declined and preserved basic visual attention functions in aging individuals based on Bundesen "Theory of Visual Attention". In an interindividual difference approach, we contrasted electrophysiology of higher- and lower-performing younger and older participants. In both age groups, the same distinct components indexed performance levels of parameters visual processing speed C and visual short-term memory storage capacity K. The posterior N1 marked interindividual differences in C and the contralateral delay activity marked interindividual differences in K. Moreover, both parameters were selectively related to 2 further event-related potential waves in older age. The anterior N1 was reduced for older participants with lower processing speed, indicating that age-related loss of attentional resources slows encoding. An enhanced right-central positivity was found only for older participants with high storage capacity, suggesting compensatory recruitment for retaining visual short-term memory performance. Together, our results demonstrate that attentional capacity in older age depends on both preservation and successful reorganization of the underlying brain circuits.

  12. Common neural systems associated with the recognition of famous faces and names: an event-related fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Nielson, Kristy A; Seidenberg, Michael; Woodard, John L; Durgerian, Sally; Zhang, Qi; Gross, William L; Gander, Amelia; Guidotti, Leslie M; Antuono, Piero; Rao, Stephen M

    2010-04-01

    Person recognition can be accomplished through several modalities (face, name, voice). Lesion, neurophysiology and neuroimaging studies have been conducted in an attempt to determine the similarities and differences in the neural networks associated with person identity via different modality inputs. The current study used event-related functional-MRI in 17 healthy participants to directly compare activation in response to randomly presented famous and non-famous names and faces (25 stimuli in each of the four categories). Findings indicated distinct areas of activation that differed for faces and names in regions typically associated with pre-semantic perceptual processes. In contrast, overlapping brain regions were activated in areas associated with the retrieval of biographical knowledge and associated social affective features. Specifically, activation for famous faces was primarily right lateralized and famous names were left-lateralized. However, for both stimuli, similar areas of bilateral activity were observed in the early phases of perceptual processing. Activation for fame, irrespective of stimulus modality, activated an extensive left hemisphere network, with bilateral activity observed in the hippocampi, posterior cingulate, and middle temporal gyri. Findings are discussed within the framework of recent proposals concerning the neural network of person identification. PMID:20167415

  13. Adaptations of motor neural structures' activity to lapses in attention.

    PubMed

    Derosière, Gérard; Billot, Maxime; Ward, E Tomas; Perrey, Stéphane

    2015-01-01

    Sustained attention is fundamental for cognition and when impaired, impacts negatively on important contemporary living skills. Degradation in sustained attention is characterized by the time-on-task (TOT) effect, which manifests as a gradual increase in reaction time (RT). The TOT effect is accompanied by changes in relative brain activity patterns in attention-related areas, most noticeably in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and the right parietal areas. However, activity changes in task-relevant motor structures have not been confirmed to date. This article describes an investigation of such motor-related activity changes as measured with 1) the time course of corticospinal excitability (CSE) through single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation; and 2) the changes in activity of premotor (PMC), primary motor (M1), PFC, and right parietal areas by means of near-infrared spectroscopy, during a sustained attention RT task exhibiting the TOT effect. Our results corroborate established findings such as a significant increase (P < 0.05) in lateral prefrontal and right parietal areas activity after the emergence of the TOT effect but also reveal adaptations in the form of motor activity changes--in particular, a significant increase in CSE (P < 0.01) and in primary motor area (M1) activity (P < 0.05).

  14. Physical methods for generating and decoding neural activity in Hirudo verbana

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Migliori, Benjamin John

    The interface between living nervous systems and hardware is an excellent proving ground for precision experimental methods and information classification systems. Nervous systems are complex (104 -- 10 15(!) connections), fragile, and highly active in intricate, constantly evolving patterns. However, despite the conveniently electrical nature of neural transmission, the interface between nervous systems and hardware poses significant experimental difficulties. As the desire for direct interfaces with neural signals continues to expand, the need for methods of generating and measuring neural activity with high spatiotemporal precision has become increasingly critical. In this thesis, I describe advances I have made in the ability to modify, generate, measure, and understand neural signals both in- and ex-vivo. I focus on methods developed for transmitting and extracting signals in the intact nervous system of Hirudo verbana (the medicinal leech), an animal with a minimally complex nervous system (10000 neurons distributed in packets along a nerve cord) that exhibits a diverse array of behaviors. To introduce artificial activity patterns, I developed a photothermal activation system in which a highly focused laser is used to irradiate carbon microparticles in contact with target neurons. The resulting local temperature increase generates an electrical current that forces the target neuron to fire neural signals, thereby providing a unique neural input mechanism. These neural signals can potentially be used to alter behavioral choice or generate specific behavioral output, and can be used endogenously in many animal models. I also describe new tools developed to expand the application of this method. In complement to this input system, I describe a new method of analyzing neural output signals involved in long-range coordination of behaviors. Leech behavioral signals are propagated between neural packets as electrical pulses in the nerve connective, a bundle of

  15. Neural activity in the suprachiasmatic circadian clock of nocturnal mice anticipating a daytime meal.

    PubMed

    Dattolo, T; Coomans, C P; van Diepen, H C; Patton, D F; Power, S; Antle, M C; Meijer, J H; Mistlberger, R E

    2016-02-19

    Circadian rhythms in mammals are regulated by a system of circadian oscillators that includes a light-entrainable pacemaker in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and food-entrainable oscillators (FEOs) elsewhere in the brain and body. In nocturnal rodents, the SCN promotes sleep in the day and wake at night, while FEOs promote an active state in anticipation of a predictable daily meal. For nocturnal animals to anticipate a daytime meal, wake-promoting signals from FEOs must compete with sleep-promoting signals from the SCN pacemaker. One hypothesis is that FEOs impose a daily rhythm of inhibition on SCN output that is timed to permit the expression of activity prior to a daytime meal. This hypothesis predicts that SCN activity should decrease prior to the onset of anticipatory activity and remain suppressed through the scheduled mealtime. To assess the hypothesis, neural activity in the SCN of mice anticipating a 4-5-h daily meal in the light period was measured using FOS immunohistochemistry and in vivo multiple unit electrophysiology. SCN FOS, quantified by optical density, was significantly reduced at the expected mealtime in food-anticipating mice with access to a running disk, compared to ad libitum-fed and acutely fasted controls. Group differences were not significant when FOS was quantified by other methods, or in mice without running disks. SCN electrical activity was markedly decreased during locomotion in some mice but increased in others. Changes in either direction were concurrent with locomotion, were not specific to food anticipation, and were not sustained during longer pauses. Reduced FOS indicates a net suppression of SCN activity that may depend on the intensity or duration of locomotion. The timing of changes in SCN activity relative to locomotion suggests that any effect of FEOs on SCN output is mediated indirectly, by feedback from neural or systemic correlates of locomotion. PMID:26701294

  16. Dynamic reorganization of neural activity in motor cortex during new sequence production.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaofeng; Ashe, James

    2015-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that primary motor cortex (M1) neurons are modulated during the performance of a sequence of movements, it is not known how this neural activity in the M1 reorganizes during new learning of sequence-dependent motor skills. Here we trained monkeys to move to each of four spatial targets to produce multiple distinct sequences of movements in which the spatial organization of the targets determined uniquely the serial order of the movements. After the monkeys memorized the sequences, we changed one element of these over-practised sequences and the subjects were required to learn the new sequence through trial and error. When one element in an over-learned four-element sequence was changed, the sequence-specific neural activity was totally disrupted, but relatively minor changes in the direction-specific activity were observed. The data suggest that sequential motor skills are represented within M1 in the context of the complete sequential behavior rather than as a series of single consecutive movements; and sequence-specific neurons in the M1 are involved in new learning of sequence by using memorized knowledge to acquire complex motor skill efficiently.

  17. Co-speech gestures influence neural activity in brain regions associated with processing semantic information.

    PubMed

    Dick, Anthony Steven; Goldin-Meadow, Susan; Hasson, Uri; Skipper, Jeremy I; Small, Steven L

    2009-11-01

    Everyday communication is accompanied by visual information from several sources, including co-speech gestures, which provide semantic information listeners use to help disambiguate the speaker's message. Using fMRI, we examined how gestures influence neural activity in brain regions associated with processing semantic information. The BOLD response was recorded while participants listened to stories under three audiovisual conditions and one auditory-only (speech alone) condition. In the first audiovisual condition, the storyteller produced gestures that naturally accompany speech. In the second, the storyteller made semantically unrelated hand movements. In the third, the storyteller kept her hands still. In addition to inferior parietal and posterior superior and middle temporal regions, bilateral posterior superior temporal sulcus and left anterior inferior frontal gyrus responded more strongly to speech when it was further accompanied by gesture, regardless of the semantic relation to speech. However, the right inferior frontal gyrus was sensitive to the semantic import of the hand movements, demonstrating more activity when hand movements were semantically unrelated to the accompanying speech. These findings show that perceiving hand movements during speech modulates the distributed pattern of neural activation involved in both biological motion perception and discourse comprehension, suggesting listeners attempt to find meaning, not only in the words speakers produce, but also in the hand movements that accompany speech. PMID:19384890

  18. Dynamic reorganization of neural activity in motor cortex during new sequence production.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xiaofeng; Ashe, James

    2015-09-01

    Although previous studies have shown that primary motor cortex (M1) neurons are modulated during the performance of a sequence of movements, it is not known how this neural activity in the M1 reorganizes during new learning of sequence-dependent motor skills. Here we trained monkeys to move to each of four spatial targets to produce multiple distinct sequences of movements in which the spatial organization of the targets determined uniquely the serial order of the movements. After the monkeys memorized the sequences, we changed one element of these over-practised sequences and the subjects were required to learn the new sequence through trial and error. When one element in an over-learned four-element sequence was changed, the sequence-specific neural activity was totally disrupted, but relatively minor changes in the direction-specific activity were observed. The data suggest that sequential motor skills are represented within M1 in the context of the complete sequential behavior rather than as a series of single consecutive movements; and sequence-specific neurons in the M1 are involved in new learning of sequence by using memorized knowledge to acquire complex motor skill efficiently. PMID:26202600

  19. Shaping prestimulus neural activity with auditory rhythmic stimulation improves the temporal allocation of attention

    PubMed Central

    Pincham, Hannah L.; Cristoforetti, Giulia; Facoetti, Andrea; Szűcs, Dénes

    2016-01-01

    Human attention fluctuates across time, and even when stimuli have identical physical characteristics and the task demands are the same, relevant information is sometimes consciously perceived and at other times not. A typical example of this phenomenon is the attentional blink, where participants show a robust deficit in reporting the second of two targets (T2) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) stream. Previous electroencephalographical (EEG) studies showed that neural correlates of correct T2 report are not limited to the RSVP period, but extend before visual stimulation begins. In particular, reduced oscillatory neural activity in the alpha band (8-12 Hz) before the onset of the RSVP has been linked to lower T2 accuracy. We therefore examined whether auditory rhythmic stimuli presented at a rate of 10 Hz (within the alpha band) could increase oscillatory alpha-band activity and improve T2 performance in the attentional blink time window. Behaviourally, the auditory rhythmic stimulation worked to enhance T2 accuracy. This enhanced perception was associated with increases in the posterior T2-evoked N2 component of the event-related potentials and this effect was observed selectively at lag 3. Frontal and posterior oscillatory alpha-band activity was also enhanced during auditory stimulation in the pre-RSVP period and positively correlated with T2 accuracy. These findings suggest that ongoing fluctuations can be shaped by sensorial events to improve the allocation of attention in time. PMID:26986506

  20. Neural Encoding of Odors during Active Sampling and in Turbulent Plumes.

    PubMed

    Huston, Stephen J; Stopfer, Mark; Cassenaer, Stijn; Aldworth, Zane N; Laurent, Gilles

    2015-10-21

    Sensory inputs are often fluctuating and intermittent, yet animals reliably utilize them to direct behavior. Here we ask how natural stimulus fluctuations influence the dynamic neural encoding of odors. Using the locust olfactory system, we isolated two main causes of odor intermittency: chaotic odor plumes and active sampling behaviors. Despite their irregularity, chaotic odor plumes still drove dynamic neural response features including the synchronization, temporal patterning, and short-term plasticity of spiking in projection neurons, enabling classifier-based stimulus identification and activating downstream decoders (Kenyon cells). Locusts can also impose odor intermittency through active sampling movements with their unrestrained antennae. Odors triggered immediate, spatially targeted antennal scanning that, paradoxically, weakened individual neural responses. However, these frequent but weaker responses were highly informative about stimulus location. Thus, not only are odor-elicited dynamic neural responses compatible with natural stimulus fluctuations and important for stimulus identification, but locusts actively increase intermittency, possibly to improve stimulus localization. PMID:26456047

  1. Neural encoding of odors during active sampling and in turbulent plumes

    PubMed Central

    Huston, Stephen J.; Stopfer, Mark; Cassenaer, Stijn; Aldworth, Zane N.; Laurent, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Summary Sensory inputs are often fluctuating and intermittent, yet animals reliably utilize them to direct behavior. Here we ask how natural stimulus fluctuations influence the dynamic neural encoding of odors. Using the locust olfactory system, we isolated two main causes of odor intermittency: chaotic odor plumes and active sampling behaviors. Despite their irregularity, chaotic odor plumes still drove dynamic neural response features including the synchronization, temporal patterning, and short-term plasticity of spiking in projection neurons, enabling classifier-based stimulus identification and activating downstream decoders (Kenyon cells). Locusts can also impose odor intermittency through active sampling movements with their unrestrained antennae. Odors triggered immediate, spatially-targeted antennal scanning that, paradoxically, weakened individual neural responses. However, these frequent but weaker responses were highly informative about stimulus location. Thus, not only are odor-elicited dynamic neural responses compatible with natural stimulus fluctuations and important for stimulus identification, but locusts actively increase intermittency, possibly to improve stimulus localization. PMID:26456047

  2. Motivated cognitive control: Reward incentives modulate preparatory neural activity during task-switching

    PubMed Central

    Savine, Adam C.; Braver, Todd S.

    2010-01-01

    It is increasingly appreciated that executive control processes need to be understood in terms of motivational as well as cognitive mechanisms. The current study examined the impact of performance-contingent reward incentives (monetary bonuses) on neural activity dynamics during cued task-switching performance. Behavioral measures indicated that performance was improved and task-switch costs selectively reduced on incentive trials. Trial-by-trial fluctuations in incentive value were associated with activation in reward-related brain regions (dopaminergic midbrain, paracingulate cortex) and also modulated the dynamics of switch-selective activation in the brain cognitive control network in both an additive (posterior PFC) and interactive way (dorsolateral PFC, dorsomedial PFC, and inferior parietal cortex). In dorsolateral PFC, incentive-modulation of activation predicted task-switching behavioral performance effects in a hemispherically specialized manner. Further, in left dorsolateral PFC, incentive modulation specifically enhanced task-cue related activation, and this activation in turn predicted that the trial would be subsequently rewarded (due to optimal performance). The results suggest that motivational incentives have a selective effect on brain regions that subserve cognitive control processes during task-switching, and moreover, that one mechanism of effect might be the enhancement of cue-related task preparation within left dorsolateral PFC. PMID:20685974

  3. Dissociation of Neural Networks for Predisposition and for Training-Related Plasticity in Auditory-Motor Learning.

    PubMed

    Herholz, Sibylle C; Coffey, Emily B J; Pantev, Christo; Zatorre, Robert J

    2016-07-01

    Skill learning results in changes to brain function, but at the same time individuals strongly differ in their abilities to learn specific skills. Using a 6-week piano-training protocol and pre- and post-fMRI of melody perception and imagery in adults, we dissociate learning-related patterns of neural activity from pre-training activity that predicts learning rates. Fronto-parietal and cerebellar areas related to storage of newly learned auditory-motor associations increased their response following training; in contrast, pre-training activity in areas related to stimulus encoding and motor control, including right auditory cortex, hippocampus, and caudate nuclei, was predictive of subsequent learning rate. We discuss the implications of these results for models of perceptual and of motor learning. These findings highlight the importance of considering individual predisposition in plasticity research and applications. PMID:26139842

  4. Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity

    PubMed Central

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; deBettencourt, Megan T.; Kopperman, Rebecca; Banasiak, Meredith; Roberts, Joshua M.; Halavi, Maryam

    2013-01-01

    Constructivist learning theory contends that we construct knowledge by experience and that environmental context influences learning. To explore this principle, we examined the cognitive process relational complexity (RC), defined as the number of visual dimensions considered during problem solving on a matrix reasoning task and a well-documented measure of mature reasoning capacity. We sought to determine how the visual environment influences RC by examining the influence of color and visual contrast on RC in a neuroimaging task. To specify the contributions of sensory demand and relational integration to reasoning, our participants performed a non-verbal matrix task comprised of color, no-color line, or black-white visual contrast conditions parametrically varied by complexity (relations 0, 1, 2). The use of matrix reasoning is ecologically valid for its psychometric relevance and for its potential to link the processing of psychophysically specific visual properties with various levels of RC during reasoning. The role of these elements is important because matrix tests assess intellectual aptitude based on these seemingly context-less exercises. This experiment is a first step toward examining the psychophysical underpinnings of performance on these types of problems. The importance of this is increased in light of recent evidence that intelligence can be linked to visual discrimination. We submit three main findings. First, color and black-white visual contrast (BWVC) add demand at a basic sensory level, but contributions from color and from BWVC are dissociable in cortex such that color engages a “reasoning heuristic” and BWVC engages a “sensory heuristic.” Second, color supports contextual sense-making by boosting salience resulting in faster problem solving. Lastly, when visual complexity reaches 2-relations, color and visual contrast relinquish salience to other dimensions of problem solving. PMID:24133465

  5. Environmental influences on neural systems of relational complexity.

    PubMed

    Kalbfleisch, M Layne; Debettencourt, Megan T; Kopperman, Rebecca; Banasiak, Meredith; Roberts, Joshua M; Halavi, Maryam

    2013-01-01

    Constructivist learning theory contends that we construct knowledge by experience and that environmental context influences learning. To explore this principle, we examined the cognitive process relational complexity (RC), defined as the number of visual dimensions considered during problem solving on a matrix reasoning task and a well-documented measure of mature reasoning capacity. We sought to determine how the visual environment influences RC by examining the influence of color and visual contrast on RC in a neuroimaging task. To specify the contributions of sensory demand and relational integration to reasoning, our participants performed a non-verbal matrix task comprised of color, no-color line, or black-white visual contrast conditions parametrically varied by complexity (relations 0, 1, 2). The use of matrix reasoning is ecologically valid for its psychometric relevance and for its potential to link the processing of psychophysically specific visual properties with various levels of RC during reasoning. The role of these elements is important because matrix tests assess intellectual aptitude based on these seemingly context-less exercises. This experiment is a first step toward examining the psychophysical underpinnings of performance on these types of problems. The importance of this is increased in light of recent evidence that intelligence can be linked to visual discrimination. We submit three main findings. First, color and black-white visual contrast (BWVC) add demand at a basic sensory level, but contributions from color and from BWVC are dissociable in cortex such that color engages a "reasoning heuristic" and BWVC engages a "sensory heuristic." Second, color supports contextual sense-making by boosting salience resulting in faster problem solving. Lastly, when visual complexity reaches 2-relations, color and visual contrast relinquish salience to other dimensions of problem solving. PMID:24133465

  6. Age-related alterations in the neural coding of envelope periodicities.

    PubMed

    Walton, Joseph P; Simon, Henry; Frisina, Robert D

    2002-08-01

    This research was guided by the working hypothesis that the aging auditory system progressively loses its ability to process rapid acoustic transients efficiently, and in elderly listeners, this results in difficulties in speech perception. Neural correlates of age-related deficits in temporal processing were investigated by recording from inferior colliculus (IC) neurons from young adult and old CBA mice. Single-unit responses were recorded to sinusoidally amplitude-modulated (SAM) noise carriers, presented at 65-80 dB SPL, having modulation frequencies (MFs) that ranged from 10 to 800 Hz. Because phasic-type temporal response patterns dominate responses to tone and noise in mammalian IC, we limited our analyses to only phasic units. Modulation transfer functions (MTF) for both rate (rMTF) and synchronization (sMTF) measures were used to derive respective best modulation frequencies (rBMF and sBMF). The main age-related finding was that there was an overall increase in response rate to SAM noise carriers and a decrease in the median upper cutoff frequency in units from old mice. At rBMF, the median spike count from units from old animals was 1.63 times greater, and at the sBMF, the median spike count was 2.29 times greater than the young adult sample. We explored whether the increase in driven activity was due to a change in the transient (first cycle response) or periodic (remaining response) component of the response to SAM noise. Median spike counts of the transient component decreased with increasing MF for both young adult and old units, with median counts consistently greater in the old sample as compared with young. Median spike counts for the periodic response remained relatively constant as a function of MF; however, there was a significantly greater (3 times) response for older units in a restricted range of MFs. The greater median spike counts found for the transient and periodic response was also evident when we analyzed the cycle-by-cycle response

  7. Evaluation of neural reflex activation as a mode of action for the acute respiratory effects of ozone.

    PubMed

    Prueitt, Robyn L; Goodman, Julie E

    2016-09-01

    Exposure to elevated levels of ozone has been associated with a variety of respiratory-related health endpoints in both epidemiology and controlled human exposure studies, including lung function decrements and airway inflammation. A mode of action (MoA) for these effects has not been established, but it has been proposed that they may occur through ozone-induced activation of neural reflexes. We critically reviewed experimental studies of ozone exposure and neural reflex activation and applied the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) mode-of-action/human relevance framework to evaluate the biological plausibility and human relevance of this proposed MoA. Based on the currently available experimental data, we found that the proposed MoA of neural reflex activation is biologically plausible for the endpoint of ozone-induced lung function decrements at high ozone exposures, but further studies are needed to fill important data gaps regarding the relevance of this MoA at lower exposures. A role for the proposed MoA in ozone-induced airway inflammation is less plausible, as the evidence is conflicting and is also of unclear relevance given the lack of studies conducted at lower exposures. The evidence suggests a different MoA for ozone-induced inflammation that may still be linked to the key events in the proposed MoA, such that neural reflex activation may have some degree of involvement in modulating ozone-induced neutrophil influx, even if it is not a direct role. PMID:27569521

  8. Intentional attunement: mirror neurons and the neural underpinnings of interpersonal relations.

    PubMed

    Gallese, Vittorio; Eagle, Morris N; Migone, Paolo

    2007-01-01

    The neural circuits activated in a person carrying out actions, expressing emotions, and experiencing sensations are activated also, automatically via a mirror neuron system, in the observer of those actions, emotions, and sensations. It is proposed that this finding of shared activation suggests a functional mechanism of "embodied simulation" that consists of the automatic, unconscious, and noninferential simulation in the observer of actions, emotions, and sensations carried out and experienced by the observed. It is proposed also that the shared neural activation pattern and the accompanying embodied simulation constitute a fundamental biological basis for understanding another's mind. The implications of this perspective for psychoanalysis are discussed, particularly regarding unconscious communication, projective identification, attunement, empathy, autism, therapeutic action, and transference-countertransference interactions.

  9. “What” Precedes “Which”: Developmental Neural Tuning in Face- and Place-Related Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Luna, Beatriz; Avidan, Galia; Behrmann, Marlene

    2011-01-01

    Although category-specific activation for faces in the ventral visual pathway appears adult-like in adolescence, recognition abilities for individual faces are still immature. We investigated how the ability to represent “individual” faces and houses develops at the neural level. Category-selective regions of interest (ROIs) for faces in the fusiform gyrus (FG) and for places in the parahippocampal place area (PPA) were identified individually in children, adolescents, and adults. Then, using an functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation paradigm, we measured category selectivity and individual-level adaptation for faces and houses in each ROI. Only adults exhibited both category selectivity and individual-level adaptation bilaterally for faces in the FG and for houses in the PPA. Adolescents showed category selectivity bilaterally for faces in the FG and houses in the PPA. Despite this profile of category selectivity, adolescents only exhibited individual-level adaptation for houses bilaterally in the PPA and for faces in the “left” FG. Children only showed category-selective responses for houses in the PPA, and they failed to exhibit category-selective responses for faces in the FG and individual-level adaptation effects anywhere in the brain. These results indicate that category-level neural tuning develops prior to individual-level neural tuning and that face-related cortex is disproportionately slower in this developmental transition than is place-related cortex. PMID:21257673

  10. Tracing ‘driver’ versus ‘modulator’ information flow throughout large-scale, task-related neural circuitry

    PubMed Central

    2009-01-01

    Primary objective To determine the relative uses of neural action potential (‘spike’) data versus local field potentials (LFPs) for modeling information flow through complex brain networks. Hypothesis The common use of LFP data, which are continuous and therefore more mathematically suited for spectral information-flow modeling techniques such as Granger causality analysis, can lead to spurious inferences about whether a given brain area ‘drives’ the spiking in a downstream area. Experiment We recorded spikes and LFPs from the forelimb motor cortex (M1) and the magnocellular red nucleus (mRN), which receives axon collaterals from M1 projection cells onto its distal dendrites, but not onto its perisomatic regions, as rats performed a skilled reaching task. Results and implications As predicted, Granger causality analysis on the LFPs—which are mainly composed of vector-summed dendritic currents—produced results that if conventionally interpreted would suggest that the M1 cells drove spike firing in the mRN, whereas analyses of spiking in the two recorded regions revealed no significant correlations. These results suggest that mathematical models of information flow should treat the sampled dendritic activity as more likely to reflect intrinsic dendritic and input-related processing in neural networks, whereas spikes are more likely to provide information about the output of neural network processing. PMID:19768125

  11. Cognitive-affective neural plasticity following active-controlled mindfulness intervention.

    PubMed

    Allen, Micah; Dietz, Martin; Blair, Karina S; van Beek, Martijn; Rees, Geraint; Vestergaard-Poulsen, Peter; Lutz, Antoine; Roepstorff, Andreas

    2012-10-31

    Mindfulness meditation is a set of attention-based, regulatory, and self-inquiry training regimes. Although the impact of mindfulness training (MT) on self-regulation is well established, the neural mechanisms supporting such plasticity are poorly understood. MT is thought to act through interoceptive salience and attentional control mechanisms, but until now conflicting evidence from behavioral and neural measures renders difficult distinguishing their respective roles. To resolve this question we conducted a fully randomized 6 week longitudinal trial of MT, explicitly controlling for cognitive and treatment effects with an active-control group. We measured behavioral metacognition and whole-brain blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signals using functional MRI during an affective Stroop task before and after intervention in healthy human subjects. Although both groups improved significantly on a response-inhibition task, only the MT group showed reduced affective Stroop conflict. Moreover, the MT group displayed greater dorsolateral prefrontal cortex responses during executive processing, consistent with increased recruitment of top-down mechanisms to resolve conflict. In contrast, we did not observe overall group-by-time interactions on negative affect-related reaction times or BOLD responses. However, only participants with the greatest amount of MT practice showed improvements in response inhibition and increased recruitment of dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, medial prefrontal cortex, and right anterior insula during negative valence processing. Our findings highlight the importance of active control in MT research, indicate unique neural mechanisms for progressive stages of mindfulness training, and suggest that optimal application of MT may differ depending on context, contrary to a one-size-fits-all approach.

  12. Neural networks related to dysfunctional face processing in autism spectrum disorder

    PubMed Central

    Nickl-Jockschat, Thomas; Rottschy, Claudia; Thommes, Johanna; Schneider, Frank; Laird, Angela R.; Fox, Peter T.; Eickhoff, Simon B.

    2016-01-01

    One of the most consistent neuropsychological findings in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is a reduced interest in and impaired processing of human faces. We conducted an activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis on 14 functional imaging studies on neural correlates of face processing enrolling a total of 164 ASD patients. Subsequently, normative whole-brain functional connectivity maps for the identified regions of significant convergence were computed for the task-independent (resting-state) and task-dependent (co-activations) state in healthy subjects. Quantitative functional decoding was performed by reference to the BrainMap database. Finally, we examined the overlap of the delineated network with the results of a previous meta-analysis on structural abnormalities in ASD as well as with brain regions involved in human action observation/imitation. We found a single cluster in the left fusiform gyrus showing significantly reduced activation during face processing in ASD across all studies. Both task-dependent and task-independent analyses indicated significant functional connectivity of this region with the temporo-occipital and lateral occipital cortex, the inferior frontal and parietal cortices, the thalamus and the amygdala. Quantitative reverse inference then indicated an association of these regions mainly with face processing, affective processing, and language-related tasks. Moreover, we found that the cortex in the region of right area V5 displaying structural changes in ASD patients showed consistent connectivity with the region showing aberrant responses in the context of face processing. Finally, this network was also implicated in the human action observation/imitation network. In summary, our findings thus suggest a functionally and structurally disturbed network of occipital regions related primarily to face (but potentially also language) processing, which interact with inferior frontal as well as limbic regions and may be the core of

  13. Age-related modifications in neural cardiovascular control.

    PubMed

    Ferrari, A U

    1992-09-01

    Integrated cardiovascular responses to a range of different stimuli, as well as the overall, spontaneously occurring variability in blood pressure and heart rate, undergo complex changes with aging. A general trend is that homeostatic control mechanisms lose part of their ability to modulate heart rate and to buffer the concomitant blood pressure variations; the two phenomena are possibly linked by a cause-effect relationship. A detailed analysis of the age-related changes in the major reflex systems reveals a clear-cut impairment in arterial baroreceptor control of the heart rate, but much less pronounced changes in its control of blood pressure, on the other hand, both the hemodynamic and humoral components of the cardiopulmonary reflex appear to be markedly attenuated. The experimental evidence of the mechanisms underlying these changes is still largely incomplete, and it appears that the gaps will have to be filled by a systematic, detailed analysis, i.e., that no generalizations or extrapolations will be possible. Indeed, the data available so far indicate that the age-related alterations are highly non-uniform, some functions undergoing a definite impairment but others being much better preserved and some being even enhanced; thus aging is by no means associated with a generalized decline in cardiovascular functions and should instead be viewed as a complex, highly selective process. These peculiar biological features of the aging phenomena merit further investigation in both the cardiovascular and the other organ systems, in order to verify the possibility that currently unrecognized homeostatic potentials in the elderly subject may be exploited to advance his/her clinical management in health and disease.

  14. Functionally integrated neural processing of linguistic and talker information: An event-related fMRI and ERP study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Caicai; Pugh, Kenneth R; Mencl, W Einar; Molfese, Peter J; Frost, Stephen J; Magnuson, James S; Peng, Gang; Wang, William S-Y

    2016-01-01

    Speech signals contain information of both linguistic content and a talker's voice. Conventionally, linguistic and talker processing are thought to be mediated by distinct neural systems in the left and right hemispheres respectively, but there is growing evidence that linguistic and talker processing interact in many ways. Previous studies suggest that talker-related vocal tract changes are processed integrally with phonetic changes in the bilateral posterior superior temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus (STG/STS), because the vocal tract parameter influences the perception of phonetic information. It is yet unclear whether the bilateral STG is also activated by the integral processing of another parameter - pitch, which influences the perception of lexical tone information and is related to talker differences in tone languages. In this study, we conducted separate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potential (ERP) experiments to examine the spatial and temporal loci of interactions of lexical tone and talker-related pitch processing in Cantonese. We found that the STG was activated bilaterally during the processing of talker changes when listeners attended to lexical tone changes in the stimuli and during the processing of lexical tone changes when listeners attended to talker changes, suggesting that lexical tone and talker processing are functionally integrated in the bilateral STG. It extends the previous study, providing evidence for a general neural mechanism of integral phonetic and talker processing in the bilateral STG. The ERP results show interactions of lexical tone and talker processing 500-800ms after auditory word onset (a simultaneous posterior P3b and a frontal negativity). Moreover, there is some asymmetry in the interaction, such that unattended talker changes affect linguistic processing more than vice versa, which may be related to the ambiguity that talker changes cause in speech perception and/or attention bias

  15. Functionally integrated neural processing of linguistic and talker information: An event-related fMRI and ERP study.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Caicai; Pugh, Kenneth R; Mencl, W Einar; Molfese, Peter J; Frost, Stephen J; Magnuson, James S; Peng, Gang; Wang, William S-Y

    2016-01-01

    Speech signals contain information of both linguistic content and a talker's voice. Conventionally, linguistic and talker processing are thought to be mediated by distinct neural systems in the left and right hemispheres respectively, but there is growing evidence that linguistic and talker processing interact in many ways. Previous studies suggest that talker-related vocal tract changes are processed integrally with phonetic changes in the bilateral posterior superior temporal gyrus/superior temporal sulcus (STG/STS), because the vocal tract parameter influences the perception of phonetic information. It is yet unclear whether the bilateral STG is also activated by the integral processing of another parameter - pitch, which influences the perception of lexical tone information and is related to talker differences in tone languages. In this study, we conducted separate functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and event-related potential (ERP) experiments to examine the spatial and temporal loci of interactions of lexical tone and talker-related pitch processing in Cantonese. We found that the STG was activated bilaterally during the processing of talker changes when listeners attended to lexical tone changes in the stimuli and during the processing of lexical tone changes when listeners attended to talker changes, suggesting that lexical tone and talker processing are functionally integrated in the bilateral STG. It extends the previous study, providing evidence for a general neural mechanism of integral phonetic and talker processing in the bilateral STG. The ERP results show interactions of lexical tone and talker processing 500-800ms after auditory word onset (a simultaneous posterior P3b and a frontal negativity). Moreover, there is some asymmetry in the interaction, such that unattended talker changes affect linguistic processing more than vice versa, which may be related to the ambiguity that talker changes cause in speech perception and/or attention bias

  16. Connecting mean field models of neural activity to EEG and fMRI data.

    PubMed

    Bojak, Ingo; Oostendorp, Thom F; Reid, Andrew T; Kötter, Rolf

    2010-06-01

    Progress in functional neuroimaging of the brain increasingly relies on the integration of data from complementary imaging modalities in order to improve spatiotemporal resolution and interpretability. However, the usefulness of merely statistical combinations is limited, since neural signal sources differ between modalities and are related non-trivially. We demonstrate here that a mean field model of brain activity can simultaneously predict EEG and fMRI BOLD with proper signal generation and expression. Simulations are shown using a realistic head model based on structural MRI, which includes both dense short-range background connectivity and long-range specific connectivity between brain regions. The distribution of modeled neural masses is comparable to the spatial resolution of fMRI BOLD, and the temporal resolution of the modeled dynamics, importantly including activity conduction, matches the fastest known EEG phenomena. The creation of a cortical mean field model with anatomically sound geometry, extensive connectivity, and proper signal expression is an important first step towards the model-based integration of multimodal neuroimages.

  17. The fiber-optic imaging and manipulation of neural activity during animal behavior.

    PubMed

    Miyamoto, Daisuke; Murayama, Masanori

    2016-02-01

    Recent progress with optogenetic probes for imaging and manipulating neural activity has further increased the relevance of fiber-optic systems for neural circuitry research. Optical fibers, which bi-directionally transmit light between separate sites (even at a distance of several meters), can be used for either optical imaging or manipulating neural activity relevant to behavioral circuitry mechanisms. The method's flexibility and the specifications of the light structure are well suited for following the behavior of freely moving animals. Furthermore, thin optical fibers allow researchers to monitor neural activity from not only the cortical surface but also deep brain regions, including the hippocampus and amygdala. Such regions are difficult to target with two-photon microscopes. Optogenetic manipulation of neural activity with an optical fiber has the advantage of being selective for both cell-types and projections as compared to conventional electrophysiological brain tissue stimulation. It is difficult to extract any data regarding changes in neural activity solely from a fiber-optic manipulation device; however, the readout of data is made possible by combining manipulation with electrophysiological recording, or the simultaneous application of optical imaging and manipulation using a bundle-fiber. The present review introduces recent progress in fiber-optic imaging and manipulation methods, while also discussing fiber-optic system designs that are suitable for a given experimental protocol.

  18. Recognition of distantly related protein sequences using conserved motifs and neural networks.

    PubMed

    Frishman, D; Argos, P

    1992-12-01

    A sensitive technique for protein sequence motif recognition based on neural networks has been developed. It involves three major steps. (1) At each appropriate alignment position of a set of N matched sequences, a set of N aligned oligopeptides is specified with preselected window length. N neural nets are subsequently and successively trained on N-1 amino acid spans after eliminating each ith oligopeptide. A test for recognition of each of the ith spans is performed. The average neural net recognition over N such trials is used as a measure of conservation for the particular windowed region of the multiple alignment. This process is repeated for all possible spans of given length in the multiple alignment. (2) The M most conserved regions are regarded as motifs and the oligopeptides within each are used to train intensively M individual neural networks. (3) The M networks are then applied in a search for related primary structures in a databank of known protein sequences. The oligopeptide spans in the database sequence with strongest neural net output for each of the M networks are saved and then scored according to the output signals and the proper combination that follows the expected N- to C-terminal sequence order. The motifs from the database with highest similarity scores can then be used to retrain the M neural nets, which can be subsequently utilized for further searches in the databank, thus providing even greater sensitivity to recognize distant familial proteins. This technique was successfully applied to the integrase, DNA-polymerase and immunoglobulin families.

  19. Telencephalic neural activation following passive avoidance learning in a terrestrial toad.

    PubMed

    Puddington, Martín M; Daneri, M Florencia; Papini, Mauricio R; Muzio, Rubén N

    2016-12-15

    The present study explores passive avoidance learning and its neural basis in toads (Rhinella arenarum). In Experiment 1, two groups of toads learned to move from a lighted compartment into a dark compartment. After responding, animals in the experimental condition were exposed to an 800-mM strongly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to weight loss. Control animals received exposure to a 300-mM slightly hypertonic NaCl solution that leads to neither weight gain nor loss. After 10 daily acquisition trials, animals in the experimental group showed significantly longer latency to enter the dark compartment. Additionally, 10 daily trials in which both groups received the 300-mM NaCl solution after responding eliminated this group effect. Thus, experimental animals showed gradual acquisition and extinction of a passive avoidance respond. Experiment 2 replicated the gradual acquisition effect, but, after the last trial, animals were sacrificed and neural activation was assessed in five brain regions using AgNOR staining for nucleoli-an index of brain activity. Higher activation in the experimental animals, relative to controls, was observed in the amygdala and striatum. Group differences in two other regions, lateral pallium and septum, were borderline, but nonsignificant, whereas group differences in the medial pallium were nonsignificant. These preliminary results suggest that a striatal-amygdala activation could be a key component of the brain circuit controlling passive avoidance learning in amphibians. The results are discussed in relation to the results of analogous experiments with other vertebrates. PMID:27498147

  20. Neuritin: a gene induced by neural activity and neurotrophins that promotes neuritogenesis.

    PubMed

    Naeve, G S; Ramakrishnan, M; Kramer, R; Hevroni, D; Citri, Y; Theill, L E

    1997-03-18

    Neural activity and neurotrophins induce synaptic remodeling in part by altering gene expression. A cDNA encoding a glycosylphoshatidylinositol-anchored protein was identified by screening for hippocampal genes that are induced by neural activity. This molecule, named neuritin, is expressed in postmitotic-differentiating neurons of the developing nervous system and neuronal structures associated with plasticity in the adult. Neuritin message is induced by neuronal activity and by the activity-regulated neurotrophins BDNF and NT-3. Purified recombinant neuritin promotes neurite outgrowth and arborization in primary embryonic hippocampal and cortical cultures. These data implicate neuritin as a downstream effector of activity-induced neurite outgrowth. PMID:9122250

  1. Difficulty-related changes in inter-regional neural synchrony are dissociated between target and non-target processing.

    PubMed

    Choi, Jeong Woo; Cha, Kwang Su; Choi, Jong Doo; Jung, Ki-Young; Kim, Kyung Hwan

    2015-04-01

    The major purpose of this study was to explore the changes in the local/global gamma-band neural synchronies during target/non-target processing due to task difficulty under an auditory three-stimulus oddball paradigm. Multichannel event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded from fifteen healthy participants during the oddball task. In addition to the conventional ERP analysis, we investigated the modulations in gamma-band activity (GBA) and inter-regional gamma-band phase synchrony (GBPS) for infrequent target and non-target processing due to task difficulty. The most notable finding was that the difficulty-related changes in inter-regional GBPS (33-35 Hz) at P300 epoch (350-600 ms) completely differed for target and non-target processing. As task difficulty increased, the GBPS significantly reduced for target processing but increased for non-target processing. This result contrasts with the local neural synchrony in gamma-bands, which was not affected by task difficulty. Another major finding was that the spatial patterns of functional connectivity were dissociated for target and non-target processing with regard to the difficult task. The spatial pattern for target processing was compatible with the top-down attention network, whereas that for the non-target corresponded to the bottom-up attention network. Overall, we found that the inter-regional gamma-band neural synchronies during target/non-target processing change significantly with task difficulty and that this change is dissociated between target and non-target processing. Our results indicate that large-scale neural synchrony is more relevant for the difference in information processing between target and non-target stimuli.

  2. Brooding Is Related to Neural Alterations during Autobiographical Memory Retrieval in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Sophia; Brassen, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Brooding rumination is considered a central aspect of depression in midlife. As older people tend to review their past, rumination tendency might be particularly crucial in late life since it might hinder older adults to adequately evaluate previous events. We scanned 22 non-depressed older adults with varying degrees of brooding tendency with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they performed the construction and elaboration of autobiographical memories. Behavioral findings demonstrate that brooders reported lower mood states, needed more time for memory construction and rated their memories as less detailed and less positive. On the neural level, brooding tendency was related to increased amygdala activation during the search for specific memories and reduced engagement of cortical networks during elaboration. Moreover, coupling patterns of the subgenual cingulate cortex with the hippocampus (HC) and the amygdala predicted details and less positive valence of memories in brooders. Our findings support the hypothesis that ruminative thinking interferes with the search for specific memories while facilitating the uncontrolled retrieval of negatively biased self-schemes. The observed neurobehavioral dysfunctions might put older people with brooding tendency at high risk for becoming depressed when reviewing their past. Training of autobiographical memory ability might therefore be a promising approach to increase resilience against depression in late-life. PMID:27695414

  3. Music training relates to the development of neural mechanisms of selective auditory attention.

    PubMed

    Strait, Dana L; Slater, Jessica; O'Connell, Samantha; Kraus, Nina

    2015-04-01

    Selective attention decreases trial-to-trial variability in cortical auditory-evoked activity. This effect increases over the course of maturation, potentially reflecting the gradual development of selective attention and inhibitory control. Work in adults indicates that music training may alter the development of this neural response characteristic, especially over brain regions associated with executive control: in adult musicians, attention decreases variability in auditory-evoked responses recorded over prefrontal cortex to a greater extent than in nonmusicians. We aimed to determine whether this musician-associated effect emerges during childhood, when selective attention and inhibitory control are under development. We compared cortical auditory-evoked variability to attended and ignored speech streams in musicians and nonmusicians across three age groups: preschoolers, school-aged children and young adults. Results reveal that childhood music training is associated with reduced auditory-evoked response variability recorded over prefrontal cortex during selective auditory attention in school-aged child and adult musicians. Preschoolers, on the other hand, demonstrate no impact of selective attention on cortical response variability and no musician distinctions. This finding is consistent with the gradual emergence of attention during this period and may suggest no pre-existing differences in this attention-related cortical metric between children who undergo music training and those who do not.

  4. Brooding Is Related to Neural Alterations during Autobiographical Memory Retrieval in Aging

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Sophia; Brassen, Stefanie

    2016-01-01

    Brooding rumination is considered a central aspect of depression in midlife. As older people tend to review their past, rumination tendency might be particularly crucial in late life since it might hinder older adults to adequately evaluate previous events. We scanned 22 non-depressed older adults with varying degrees of brooding tendency with functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) while they performed the construction and elaboration of autobiographical memories. Behavioral findings demonstrate that brooders reported lower mood states, needed more time for memory construction and rated their memories as less detailed and less positive. On the neural level, brooding tendency was related to increased amygdala activation during the search for specific memories and reduced engagement of cortical networks during elaboration. Moreover, coupling patterns of the subgenual cingulate cortex with the hippocampus (HC) and the amygdala predicted details and less positive valence of memories in brooders. Our findings support the hypothesis that ruminative thinking interferes with the search for specific memories while facilitating the uncontrolled retrieval of negatively biased self-schemes. The observed neurobehavioral dysfunctions might put older people with brooding tendency at high risk for becoming depressed when reviewing their past. Training of autobiographical memory ability might therefore be a promising approach to increase resilience against depression in late-life.

  5. Improving quantitative structure-activity relationship models using Artificial Neural Networks trained with dropout.

    PubMed

    Mendenhall, Jeffrey; Meiler, Jens

    2016-02-01

    Dropout is an Artificial Neural Network (ANN) training technique that has been shown to improve ANN performance across canonical machine learning (ML) datasets. Quantitative Structure Activity Relationship (QSAR) datasets used to relate chemical structure to biological activity in Ligand-Based Computer-Aided Drug Discovery pose unique challenges for ML techniques, such as heavily biased dataset composition, and relatively large number of descriptors relative to the number of actives. To test the hypothesis that dropout also improves QSAR ANNs, we conduct a benchmark on nine large QSAR datasets. Use of dropout improved both enrichment false positive rate and log-scaled area under the receiver-operating characteristic curve (logAUC) by 22-46 % over conventional ANN implementations. Optimal dropout rates are found to be a function of the signal-to-noise ratio of the descriptor set, and relatively independent of the dataset. Dropout ANNs with 2D and 3D autocorrelation descriptors outperform conventional ANNs as well as optimized fingerprint similarity search methods.

  6. The transcription factor Pou3f1 promotes neural fate commitment via activation of neural lineage genes and inhibition of external signaling pathways.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qingqing; Song, Lu; Peng, Guangdun; Sun, Na; Chen, Jun; Zhang, Ting; Sheng, Nengyin; Tang, Wei; Qian, Cheng; Qiao, Yunbo; Tang, Ke; Han, Jing-Dong Jackie; Li, Jinsong; Jing, Naihe

    2014-01-01

    The neural fate commitment of pluripotent stem cells requires the repression of extrinsic inhibitory signals and the activation of intrinsic positive transcription factors. However, how these two events are integrated to ensure appropriate neural conversion remains unclear. In this study, we showed that Pou3f1 is essential for the neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs), specifically during the transition from epiblast stem cells (EpiSCs) to neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Chimeric analysis showed that Pou3f1 knockdown leads to a markedly decreased incorporation of ESCs in the neuroectoderm. By contrast, Pou3f1-overexpressing ESC derivatives preferentially contribute to the neuroectoderm. Genome-wide ChIP-seq and RNA-seq analyses indicated that Pou3f1 is an upstream activator of neural lineage genes, and also is a repressor of BMP and Wnt signaling. Our results established that Pou3f1 promotes the neural fate commitment of pluripotent stem cells through a dual role, activating internal neural induction programs and antagonizing extrinsic neural inhibitory signals.

  7. Neural activity in the posterior superior temporal region during eye contact perception correlates with autistic traits.

    PubMed

    Hasegawa, Naoya; Kitamura, Hideaki; Murakami, Hiroatsu; Kameyama, Shigeki; Sasagawa, Mutsuo; Egawa, Jun; Endo, Taro; Someya, Toshiyuki

    2013-08-01

    The present study investigated the relationship between neural activity associated with gaze processing and autistic traits in typically developed subjects using magnetoencephalography. Autistic traits in 24 typically developed college students with normal intelligence were assessed using the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ). The Minimum Current Estimates method was applied to estimate the cortical sources of magnetic responses to gaze stimuli. These stimuli consisted of apparent motion of the eyes, displaying direct or averted gaze motion. Results revealed gaze-related brain activations in the 150-250 ms time window in the right posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), and in the 150-450 ms time window in medial prefrontal regions. In addition, the mean amplitude in the 150-250 ms time window in the right pSTS region was modulated by gaze direction, and its activity in response to direct gaze stimuli correlated with AQ score. pSTS activation in response to direct gaze is thought to be related to higher-order social processes. Thus, these results suggest that brain activity linking eye contact and social signals is associated with autistic traits in a typical population.

  8. Music Training Enhances Rapid Neural Plasticity of N1 and P2 Source Activation for Unattended Sounds

    PubMed Central

    Seppänen, Miia; Hämäläinen, Jarmo; Pesonen, Anu-Katriina; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2012-01-01

    Neurocognitive studies have demonstrated that long-term music training enhances the processing of unattended sounds. It is not clear, however, whether music training also modulates rapid (within tens of minutes) neural plasticity for sound encoding. To study this phenomenon, we examined whether adult musicians display enhanced rapid neural plasticity compared to non-musicians. More specifically, we compared the modulation of P1, N1, and P2 responses to standard sounds between four unattended passive blocks. Among the standard sounds, infrequently presented deviant sounds were presented (the so-called oddball paradigm). In the middle of the experiment (after two blocks), an active task was presented. Source analysis for event-related potentials (ERPs) showed that N1 and P2 source activation was selectively decreased in musicians after 15 min of passive exposure to sounds and that P2 source activation was found to be re-enhanced after the active task in musicians. Additionally, ERP analysis revealed that in both musicians and non-musicians, P2 ERP amplitude was enhanced after 15 min of passive exposure but only at the frontal electrodes. Furthermore, in musicians, the N1 ERP was enhanced after the active discrimination task but only at the parietal electrodes. Musical training modulates the rapid neural plasticity reflected in N1 and P2 source activation for unattended regular standard sounds. Enhanced rapid plasticity of N1 and P2 is likely to reflect faster auditory perceptual learning in musicians. PMID:22435057

  9. Explorative data analysis for changes in neural activity.

    PubMed

    Blythe, Duncan A J; Meinecke, Frank C; von Bünau, Paul; Müller, Klaus-Robert

    2013-04-01

    Neural recordings are non-stationary time series, i.e. their properties typically change over time. Identifying specific changes, e.g., those induced by a learning task, can shed light on the underlying neural processes. However, such changes of interest are often masked by strong unrelated changes, which can be of physiological origin or due to measurement artifacts. We propose a novel algorithm for disentangling such different causes of non-stationarity and in this manner enable better neurophysiological interpretation for a wider set of experimental paradigms. A key ingredient is the repeated application of Stationary Subspace Analysis (SSA) using different temporal scales. The usefulness of our explorative approach is demonstrated in simulations, theory and EEG experiments with 80 brain-computer interfacing subjects.

  10. Neural Networks

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, Patrick I.

    2003-09-23

    Physicists use large detectors to measure particles created in high-energy collisions at particle accelerators. These detectors typically produce signals indicating either where ionization occurs along the path of the particle, or where energy is deposited by the particle. The data produced by these signals is fed into pattern recognition programs to try to identify what particles were produced, and to measure the energy and direction of these particles. Ideally, there are many techniques used in this pattern recognition software. One technique, neural networks, is particularly suitable for identifying what type of particle caused by a set of energy deposits. Neural networks can derive meaning from complicated or imprecise data, extract patterns, and detect trends that are too complex to be noticed by either humans or other computer related processes. To assist in the advancement of this technology, Physicists use a tool kit to experiment with several neural network techniques. The goal of this research is interface a neural network tool kit into Java Analysis Studio (JAS3), an application that allows data to be analyzed from any experiment. As the final result, a physicist will have the ability to train, test, and implement a neural network with the desired output while using JAS3 to analyze the results or output. Before an implementation of a neural network can take place, a firm understanding of what a neural network is and how it works is beneficial. A neural network is an artificial representation of the human brain that tries to simulate the learning process [5]. It is also important to think of the word artificial in that definition as computer programs that use calculations during the learning process. In short, a neural network learns by representative examples. Perhaps the easiest way to describe the way neural networks learn is to explain how the human brain functions. The human brain contains billions of neural cells that are responsible for processing

  11. Neural Basis of Intrinsic Motivation: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Jin, Jia; Yu, Liping; Ma, Qingguo

    2015-01-01

    Human intrinsic motivation is of great importance in human behavior. However, although researchers have focused on this topic for decades, its neural basis was still unclear. The current study employed event-related potentials to investigate the neural disparity between an interesting stop-watch (SW) task and a boring watch-stop task (WS) to understand the neural mechanisms of intrinsic motivation. Our data showed that, in the cue priming stage, the cue of the SW task elicited smaller N2 amplitude than that of the WS task. Furthermore, in the outcome feedback stage, the outcome of the SW task induced smaller FRN amplitude and larger P300 amplitude than that of the WS task. These results suggested that human intrinsic motivation did exist and that it can be detected at the neural level. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation could be quantitatively indexed by the amplitude of ERP components, such as N2, FRN, and P300, in the cue priming stage or feedback stage. Quantitative measurements would also be convenient for intrinsic motivation to be added as a candidate social factor in the construction of a machine learning model. PMID:26491430

  12. Neural Basis of Intrinsic Motivation: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials.

    PubMed

    Jin, Jia; Yu, Liping; Ma, Qingguo

    2015-01-01

    Human intrinsic motivation is of great importance in human behavior. However, although researchers have focused on this topic for decades, its neural basis was still unclear. The current study employed event-related potentials to investigate the neural disparity between an interesting stop-watch (SW) task and a boring watch-stop task (WS) to understand the neural mechanisms of intrinsic motivation. Our data showed that, in the cue priming stage, the cue of the SW task elicited smaller N2 amplitude than that of the WS task. Furthermore, in the outcome feedback stage, the outcome of the SW task induced smaller FRN amplitude and larger P300 amplitude than that of the WS task. These results suggested that human intrinsic motivation did exist and that it can be detected at the neural level. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation could be quantitatively indexed by the amplitude of ERP components, such as N2, FRN, and P300, in the cue priming stage or feedback stage. Quantitative measurements would also be convenient for intrinsic motivation to be added as a candidate social factor in the construction of a machine learning model. PMID:26491430

  13. A role for correlated spontaneous activity in the assembly of neural circuits

    PubMed Central

    Kirkby, Lowry; Sack, Georgeann; Firl, Alana; Feller, Marla B.

    2015-01-01

    Before the onset of sensory transduction, developing neural circuits spontaneously generate correlated activity in distinct spatial and temporal patterns. During this period of patterned activity, sensory maps develop and initial coarse connections are refined, which are critical steps in the establishment of adult neural circuits. Over the last decade there has been substantial evidence that altering the pattern of spontaneous activity disrupts refinement, but the mechanistic understanding of this process remains incomplete. In this review, we discuss recent experimental and theoretical progress towards the process of activity-dependent refinement, focusing on circuits in the visual, auditory and motor systems. While many outstanding questions remain, the combination of several novel approaches have brought us closer to a comprehensive understanding of how complex neural circuits are established by patterned spontaneous activity during development. PMID:24314725

  14. Active control of vibration using a neural network.

    PubMed

    Snyder, S D; Tanaka, N

    1995-01-01

    Feedforward control of sound and vibration using a neural network-based control system is considered, with the aim being to derive an architecture/algorithm combination which is capable of supplanting the commonly used finite impulse response filter/filtered-x least mean square (LMS) linear arrangement for certain nonlinear problems. An adaptive algorithm is derived which enables stable adaptation of the neural controller for this purpose, while providing the capacity to maintain causality within the control scheme. The algorithm is shown to be simply a generalization of the linear filtered-x LMS algorithm. Experiments are undertaken which demonstrate the utility of the proposed arrangement, showing that it performs as well as a linear control system for a linear control problem and better for a nonlinear control problem. The experiments also lead to the conclusion that more work is required to improve the predictability and consistency of the performance before the neural network controller becomes a practical alternative to the current linear feedforward systems.

  15. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder☆

    PubMed Central

    Leung, Rachel C.; Pang, Elizabeth W.; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A.; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J.

    2014-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  16. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Leung, Rachel C; Pang, Elizabeth W; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2015-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD. PMID:25610782

  17. Early neural activation during facial affect processing in adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Leung, Rachel C; Pang, Elizabeth W; Cassel, Daniel; Brian, Jessica A; Smith, Mary Lou; Taylor, Margot J

    2015-01-01

    Impaired social interaction is one of the hallmarks of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Emotional faces are arguably the most critical visual social stimuli and the ability to perceive, recognize, and interpret emotions is central to social interaction and communication, and subsequently healthy social development. However, our understanding of the neural and cognitive mechanisms underlying emotional face processing in adolescents with ASD is limited. We recruited 48 adolescents, 24 with high functioning ASD and 24 typically developing controls. Participants completed an implicit emotional face processing task in the MEG. We examined spatiotemporal differences in neural activation between the groups during implicit angry and happy face processing. While there were no differences in response latencies between groups across emotions, adolescents with ASD had lower accuracy on the implicit emotional face processing task when the trials included angry faces. MEG data showed atypical neural activity in adolescents with ASD during angry and happy face processing, which included atypical activity in the insula, anterior and posterior cingulate and temporal and orbitofrontal regions. Our findings demonstrate differences in neural activity during happy and angry face processing between adolescents with and without ASD. These differences in activation in social cognitive regions may index the difficulties in face processing and in comprehension of social reward and punishment in the ASD group. Thus, our results suggest that atypical neural activation contributes to impaired affect processing, and thus social cognition, in adolescents with ASD.

  18. Dynamical Behaviors of Multiple Equilibria in Competitive Neural Networks With Discontinuous Nonmonotonic Piecewise Linear Activation Functions.

    PubMed

    Nie, Xiaobing; Zheng, Wei Xing

    2016-03-01

    This paper addresses the problem of coexistence and dynamical behaviors of multiple equilibria for competitive neural networks. First, a general class of discontinuous nonmonotonic piecewise linear activation functions is introduced for competitive neural networks. Then based on the fixed point theorem and theory of strict diagonal dominance matrix, it is shown that under some conditions, such n -neuron competitive neural networks can have 5(n) equilibria, among which 3(n) equilibria are locally stable and the others are unstable. More importantly, it is revealed that the neural networks with the discontinuous activation functions introduced in this paper can have both more total equilibria and locally stable equilibria than the ones with other activation functions, such as the continuous Mexican-hat-type activation function and discontinuous two-level activation function. Furthermore, the 3(n) locally stable equilibria given in this paper are located in not only saturated regions, but also unsaturated regions, which is different from the existing results on multistability of neural networks with multiple level activation functions. A simulation example is provided to illustrate and validate the theoretical findings.

  19. Uniformity and nonuniformity of neural activities correlated to different insight problem solving.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Q; Li, Y; Shang, X; Zhou, Z; Han, L

    2014-06-13

    Previous studies on the neural basis of insight reflected weak consistency except for the anterior cingulate cortex. The present work adopted the semantic and homophonic punny riddle to explore the uniformity and nonuniformity of neural activities correlated to different insight problem solving. Results showed that in the early period of insight solving, the semantic and homophonic punny riddles induced a common N350-500 over the central scalp. However, during -400 to 0 ms before the riddles were solved, the semantic punny riddles induced a positive event-related potential (ERP) deflection over the temporal cortex for retrieving the extensive semantic information, while the homophonic punny riddles induced a positive ERP deflection over the temporal cortex and a negative one in the left frontal cortex which might reflect the semantic and phonological information processing respectively. Our study indicated that different insight problem solving should have the same cognitive process of detecting cognitive conflicts, but have different ways to solve the conflicts. PMID:24759773

  20. Real-time Neural Network predictions of geomagnetic activity indices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bala, R.; Reiff, P. H.

    2009-12-01

    The Boyle potential or the Boyle Index (BI), Φ (kV)=10-4 (V/(km/s))2 + 11.7 (B/nT) sin3(θ/2), is an empirically-derived formula that can characterize the Earth's polar cap potential, which is readily derivable in real time using the solar wind data from ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer). The BI has a simplistic form that utilizes a non-magnetic "viscous" and a magnetic "merging" component to characterize the magnetospheric behavior in response to the solar wind. We have investigated its correlation with two of conventional geomagnetic activity indices in Kp and the AE index. We have shown that the logarithms of both 3-hr and 1-hr averages of the BI correlate well with the subsequent Kp: Kp = 8.93 log10(BI) - 12.55 along with 1-hr BI correlating with the subsequent log10(AE): log10(AE) = 1.78 log10(BI) - 3.6. We have developed a new set of algorithms based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) suitable for short term space weather forecasts with an enhanced lead-time and better accuracy in predicting Kp and AE over some leading models; the algorithms omit the time history of its targets to utilize only the solar wind data. Inputs to our ANN models benefit from the BI and its proven record as a forecasting parameter since its initiation in October, 2003. We have also performed time-sensitivity tests using cross-correlation analysis to demonstrate that our models are as efficient as those that incorporates the time history of the target indices in their inputs. Our algorithms can predict the upcoming full 3-hr Kp, purely from the solar wind data and achieve a linear correlation coefficient of 0.840, which means that it predicts the upcoming Kp value on average to within 1.3 step, which is approximately the resolution of the real-time Kp estimate. Our success in predicting Kp during a recent unexpected event (22 July ’09) is shown in the figure. Also, when predicting an equivalent "one hour Kp'', the correlation coefficient is 0.86, meaning on average a prediction

  1. Attentional Dissociation in Hypnosis And Neural Connectivity: Preliminary Evidence from Bilateral Electrodermal Activity.

    PubMed

    Bob, Petr; Siroka, Ivana

    2016-01-01

    According to recent findings, interhemispheric interactions and information connectivity represent crucial mechanisms used in processing information across various sensory modalities. To study these interactions, the authors measured bilateral electrodermal activity (EDA) in 33 psychiatric outpatients. The results show that, during congruent Stroop stimuli in hypnosis, the patients with higher hypnotizability manifest a decreased level of interhemispheric information transfer measured by pointwise transinformation (PTI) that was calculated from left and right EDA records. These results show that specific shifts of attentional focus during hypnosis are related to changes of interhemispheric interactions that may be reflected in neural connectivity calculated from the bilateral EDA measurement. This attentional shift may cause dissociated attentional control disturbing integrative functions of consciousness and contextual experiences. PMID:27267677

  2. Neural Substrates Underlying the Passive Observation and Active Control of Translational Egomotion

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Ching-fu; Sereno, Martin I.

    2015-01-01

    Moving or static obstacles often get in the way while walking in daily life. Avoiding obstacles involves both perceptual processing of motion information and controlling appropriate defensive movements. Several higher-level motion areas, including the ventral intraparietal area (VIP), medial superior temporal area, parieto-insular vestibular cortex (PIVC), areas V6 and V6A, and cingulate sulcus visual area, have been identified in humans by passive viewing of optic flow patterns that simulate egomotion and object motion. However, the roles of these areas in the active control of egomotion in the real world remain unclear. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to map the neural substrates underlying the passive observation and active control of translational egomotion in humans. A wide-field virtual reality environment simulated a daily scenario where doors randomly swing outward while walking in a hallway. The stimuli of door-dodging events were essentially the same in two event-related fMRI experiments, which compared passive and active dodges in response to swinging doors. Passive dodges were controlled by a computer program, while active dodges were controlled by the subject. Passive dodges activated several higher-level areas distributed across three dorsal motion streams in the temporal, parietal, and cingulate cortex. Active dodges most strongly activated the temporal–vestibular stream, with peak activation located in the right PIVC. Other higher-level motion areas including VIP showed weaker to no activation in active dodges. These results suggest that PIVC plays an active role in sensing and guiding translational egomotion that moves an observer aside from impending obstacles. PMID:25762672

  3. Multistability and Instability of Neural Networks With Discontinuous Nonmonotonic Piecewise Linear Activation Functions.

    PubMed

    Nie, Xiaobing; Zheng, Wei Xing

    2015-11-01

    In this paper, we discuss the coexistence and dynamical behaviors of multiple equilibrium points for recurrent neural networks with a class of discontinuous nonmonotonic piecewise linear activation functions. It is proved that under some conditions, such n -neuron neural networks can have at least 5(n) equilibrium points, 3(n) of which are locally stable and the others are unstable, based on the contraction mapping theorem and the theory of strict diagonal dominance matrix. The investigation shows that the neural networks with the discontinuous activation functions introduced in this paper can have both more total equilibrium points and more locally stable equilibrium points than the ones with continuous Mexican-hat-type activation function or discontinuous two-level activation functions. An illustrative example with computer simulations is presented to verify the theoretical analysis.

  4. Fast fMRI can detect oscillatory neural activity in humans

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, Laura D.; Setsompop, Kawin; Rosen, Bruce R.; Polimeni, Jonathan R.

    2016-01-01

    Oscillatory neural dynamics play an important role in the coordination of large-scale brain networks. High-level cognitive processes depend on dynamics evolving over hundreds of milliseconds, so measuring neural activity in this frequency range is important for cognitive neuroscience. However, current noninvasive neuroimaging methods are not able to precisely localize oscillatory neural activity above 0.2 Hz. Electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography have limited spatial resolution, whereas fMRI has limited temporal resolution because it measures vascular responses rather than directly recording neural activity. We hypothesized that the recent development of fast fMRI techniques, combined with the extra sensitivity afforded by ultra-high-field systems, could enable precise localization of neural oscillations. We tested whether fMRI can detect neural oscillations using human visual cortex as a model system. We detected small oscillatory fMRI signals in response to stimuli oscillating at up to 0.75 Hz within single scan sessions, and these responses were an order of magnitude larger than predicted by canonical linear models. Simultaneous EEG–fMRI and simulations based on a biophysical model of the hemodynamic response to neuronal activity suggested that the blood oxygen level-dependent response becomes faster for rapidly varying stimuli, enabling the detection of higher frequencies than expected. Accounting for phase delays across voxels further improved detection, demonstrating that identifying vascular delays will be of increasing importance with higher-frequency activity. These results challenge the assumption that the hemodynamic response is slow, and demonstrate that fMRI has the potential to map neural oscillations directly throughout the brain. PMID:27729529

  5. Neural Connectivity and Immunocytochemical Studies of Anatomical Sites Related to Nauseogenic and Emetic Reflexes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fox, Robert A. (Principal Investigator)

    1992-01-01

    The studies conducted in this research project examined several aspects of neuroanatomical structures and neurochemical processes related to motion sickness in animal models. A principle objective of these studies was to investigate neurochemical changes in the central nervous system that are related to motion sickness with the objective of defining neural mechanisms important to this malady. For purposes of exposition, the studies and research finding have been classified into five categories. These are: immunoreactivity in the brainstem, vasopressin effects, lesion studies of area postrema, role of the vagus nerve, and central nervous system structure related to adaptation to microgravity.

  6. New stability and stabilization criteria for fuzzy neural networks with various activation functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mathiyalagan, K.; Sakthivel, R.; Anthoni, S. Marshal

    2011-07-01

    In this paper, the stability analysis and control design of Takagi-Sugeno (TS) fuzzy neural networks with various activation functions and continuously distributed time delays are addressed. By implementing the delay-fractioning technique together with the linear matrix inequality (LMI) approach , a new set of sufficient conditions is derived in terms of linear matrix inequalities, which ensure the stability of the considered fuzzy neural networks. Further, based on the above-mentioned techniques, a control law with an appropriate gain control matrix is derived to achieve stabilization of the fuzzy neural networks. In addition, the results are extended to the study of the stability and stabilization results for TS fuzzy uncertain neural networks with parameter uncertainties. The stabilization criteria are obtained in terms LMIs and hence the gain control matrix can be easily determined by the MATLAB LMI control toolbox. Two numerical examples with simulation results are given to illustrate the effectiveness of the obtained result.

  7. Is Neural Activity Detected by ERP-Based Brain-Computer Interfaces Task Specific?

    PubMed Central

    Wenzel, Markus A.; Almeida, Inês; Blankertz, Benjamin

    2016-01-01

    Objective Brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) that are based on event-related potentials (ERPs) can estimate to which stimulus a user pays particular attention. In typical BCIs, the user silently counts the selected stimulus (which is repeatedly presented among other stimuli) in order to focus the attention. The stimulus of interest is then inferred from the electroencephalogram (EEG). Detecting attention allocation implicitly could be also beneficial for human-computer interaction (HCI), because it would allow software to adapt to the user’s interest. However, a counting task would be inappropriate for the envisaged implicit application in HCI. Therefore, the question was addressed if the detectable neural activity is specific for silent counting, or if it can be evoked also by other tasks that direct the attention to certain stimuli. Approach Thirteen people performed a silent counting, an arithmetic and a memory task. The tasks required the subjects to pay particular attention to target stimuli of a random color. The stimulus presentation was the same in all three tasks, which allowed a direct comparison of the experimental conditions. Results Classifiers that were trained to detect the targets in one task, according to patterns present in the EEG signal, could detect targets in all other tasks (irrespective of some task-related differences in the EEG). Significance The neural activity detected by the classifiers is not strictly task specific but can be generalized over tasks and is presumably a result of the attention allocation or of the augmented workload. The results may hold promise for the transfer of classification algorithms from BCI research to implicit relevance detection in HCI. PMID:27792781

  8. Individual differences in attentional bias associated with cocaine dependence are related to varying engagement of neural processing networks.

    PubMed

    Kilts, Clint D; Kennedy, Ashley; Elton, Amanda L; Tripathi, Shanti Prakash; Young, Jonathan; Cisler, Josh M; James, G Andrew

    2014-04-01

    Cocaine and other drug dependencies are associated with significant attentional bias for drug use stimuli that represents a candidate cognitive marker of drug dependence and treatment outcomes. We explored, using fMRI, the role of discrete neural processing networks in the representation of individual differences in the drug attentional bias effect associated with cocaine dependence (AB-coc) using a word counting Stroop task with personalized cocaine use stimuli (cocStroop). The cocStroop behavioral and neural responses were further compared with those associated with a negative emotional word Stroop task (eStroop) and a neutral word counting Stroop task (cStroop). Brain-behavior correlations were explored using both network-level correlation analysis following independent component analysis (ICA) and voxel-level, brain-wide univariate correlation analysis. Variation in the attentional bias effect for cocaine use stimuli among cocaine-dependent men and women was related to the recruitment of two separate neural processing networks related to stimulus attention and salience attribution (inferior frontal-parietal-ventral insula), and the processing of the negative affective properties of cocaine stimuli (frontal-temporal-cingulate). Recruitment of a sensory-motor-dorsal insula network was negatively correlated with AB-coc and suggested a regulatory role related to the sensorimotor processing of cocaine stimuli. The attentional bias effect for cocaine stimuli and for negative affective word stimuli were significantly correlated across individuals, and both were correlated with the activity of the frontal-temporal-cingulate network. Functional connectivity for a single prefrontal-striatal-occipital network correlated with variation in general cognitive control (cStroop) that was unrelated to behavioral or neural network correlates of cocStroop- or eStroop-related attentional bias. A brain-wide mass univariate analysis demonstrated the significant correlation of

  9. Chronic Social Stress in Puberty Alters Appetitive Male Sexual Behavior and Neural Metabolic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Bastida, Christel C.; Puga, Frank; Gonzalez-Lima, Francisco; Jennings, Kimberly J.; Wommack, Joel C.; Delville, Yvon

    2014-01-01

    Repeated social subjugation in early puberty lowers testosterone levels. We used hamsters to investigate the effects of social subjugation on male sexual behavior and metabolic activity within neural systems controlling social and motivational behaviors. Subjugated animals were exposed daily to aggressive adult males in early puberty for postnatal days 28 to 42, while control animals were placed in empty clean cages. On postnatal day 45, they were tested for male sexual behavior in the presence of receptive female. Alternatively, they were tested for mate choice after placement at the base of a Y-maze containing a sexually receptive female in one tip of the maze and an ovariectomized one on the other. Social subjugation did not affect the capacity to mate with receptive females. Although control animals were fast to approach females and preferred ovariectomized individuals, subjugated animals stayed away from them and showed no preference. Cytochrome oxidase activity was reduced within the preoptic area and ventral tegmental area in subjugated hamsters. In addition, the correlation of metabolic activity of these areas with the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and anterior parietal cortex changed significantly from positive in controls to negative in subjugated animals. These data show that at mid-puberty, while male hamsters are capable of mating, their appetitive sexual behavior is not fully mature and this aspect of male sexual behavior is responsive to social subjugation. Furthermore, metabolic activity and coordination of activity in brain areas related to sexual behavior and motivation was altered by social subjugation. PMID:24852486

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-05-15

    Motivation has been demonstrated to affect individuals' response strategies in economic decision-making, however, little is known about how motivation influences perceptual decision-making behavior or its related neural activity. Given the important role motivation plays in shaping our behavior, a better understanding of this relationship is needed. A block-design, continuous performance, perceptual decision-making task where participants were asked to detect a picture of an animal among distractors was used during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The effect of positive and negative motivation on sustained activity within regions of the brain thought to underlie decision-making was examined by altering the monetary contingency associated with the task. In addition, signal detection theory was used to investigate the effect of motivation on detection sensitivity, response bias and response time. While both positive and negative motivation resulted in increased sustained activation in the ventral striatum, fusiform gyrus, left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex, only negative motivation resulted in the adoption of a more liberal, closer to optimal response bias. This shift toward a liberal response bias correlated with increased activation in the left DLPFC, but did not result in improved task performance. The present findings suggest that motivation alters aspects of the way perceptual decisions are made. Further, this altered response behavior is reflected in a change in left DLPFC activation, a region involved in the computation of perceptual decisions.

  11. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation.

  12. Environmental layout complexity affects neural activity during navigation in humans.

    PubMed

    Slone, Edward; Burles, Ford; Iaria, Giuseppe

    2016-05-01

    Navigating large-scale surroundings is a fundamental ability. In humans, it is commonly assumed that navigational performance is affected by individual differences, such as age, sex, and cognitive strategies adopted for orientation. We recently showed that the layout of the environment itself also influences how well people are able to find their way within it, yet it remains unclear whether differences in environmental complexity are associated with changes in brain activity during navigation. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate how the brain responds to a change in environmental complexity by asking participants to perform a navigation task in two large-scale virtual environments that differed solely in interconnection density, a measure of complexity defined as the average number of directional choices at decision points. The results showed that navigation in the simpler, less interconnected environment was faster and more accurate relative to the complex environment, and such performance was associated with increased activity in a number of brain areas (i.e. precuneus, retrosplenial cortex, and hippocampus) known to be involved in mental imagery, navigation, and memory. These findings provide novel evidence that environmental complexity not only affects navigational behaviour, but also modulates activity in brain regions that are important for successful orientation and navigation. PMID:26990572

  13. Folate-related gene variants in Irish families affected by neural tube defects

    PubMed Central

    Fisk Green, Ridgely; Byrne, Julianne; Crider, Krista S.; Gallagher, Margaret; Koontz, Deborah; Berry, Robert J.

    2013-01-01

    Periconceptional folic acid use can often prevent neural tube defects (NTDs). Variants of genes involved in folate metabolism in mothers and children have been associated with occurrence of NTDs. We identified Irish families with individuals affected by neural tube defects. In these families, we observed that neural tube defects and birth defects overall occurred at a higher rate in the maternal lineage compared with the paternal lineage. The goal of this study was to look for evidence for genetic effects that could explain the discrepancy in the occurrence of these birth defects in the maternal vs. paternal lineage. We genotyped blood samples from 322 individuals from NTD-affected Irish families, identified through their membership in spina bifida associations. We looked for differences in distribution in maternal vs. paternal lineages of five genetic polymorphisms: the DHFR 19 bp deletion, MTHFD1 1958G>A, MTHFR 1298A>C, MTHFR 677C>T, and SLC19A1 80A>G. In addition to looking at genotypes individually, we determined the number of genotypes associated with decreased folate metabolism in each relative (“risk genotypes”) and compared the distribution of these genotypes in maternal vs. paternal relatives. Overall, maternal relatives had a higher number of genotypes associated with lower folate metabolism than paternal relatives (p = 0.017). We expected that relatives would share the same risk genotype as the individuals with NTDs and/or their mothers. However, we observed that maternal relatives had an over-abundance of any risk genotype, rather than one specific genotype. The observed genetic effects suggest an epigenetic mechanism in which decreased folate metabolism results in epigenetic alterations related to the increased rate of NTDs and other birth defects seen in the maternal lineage. Future studies on the etiology of NTDs and other birth defects could benefit from including multigenerational extended families, in order to explore potential epigenetic

  14. Neural mechanisms of the testosterone-aggression relation: the role of orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Pranjal H; Beer, Jennifer

    2010-10-01

    Testosterone plays a role in aggressive behavior, but the mechanisms remain unclear. The present study tested the hypothesis that testosterone influences aggression through the OFC, a region implicated in self-regulation and impulse control. In a decision-making paradigm in which people chose between aggression and monetary reward (the ultimatum game), testosterone was associated with increased aggression following social provocation (rejecting unfair offers). The effect of testosterone on aggression was explained by reduced activity in the medial OFC. The findings suggest that testosterone increases the propensity toward aggression because of reduced activation of the neural circuitry of impulse control and self-regulation. PMID:19925198

  15. Epigenetic activation of Sox2 gene in the developing vertebrate neural plate

    PubMed Central

    Bouzas, Santiago O.; Marini, Melisa S.; Torres Zelada, Eliana; Buzzi, Ailín L.; Morales Vicente, David A.; Strobl-Mazzulla, Pablo H.

    2016-01-01

    One of the earliest manifestations of neural induction is onset of expression of the neural marker Sox2, mediated by the activation of the enhancers N1 and N2. By using loss and gain of function, we find that Sox2 expression requires the activity of JmjD2A and the Msk1 kinase, which can respectively demethylate the repressive H3K9me3 mark and phosphorylate the activating H3S10 (H3S10ph) mark. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation reveals that the adaptor protein 14-3-3, known to bind to H3S10ph, interacts with JMJD2A and may be involved in its recruitment to regulatory regions of the Sox2 gene. Chromatin immunoprecipitation reveals dynamic binding of JMJD2A to the Sox2 promoter and N-1 enhancer at the time of neural plate induction. Finally, we show a clear temporal antagonism on the occupancy of H3K9me3 and H3S10ph modifications at the promoter of the Sox2 locus before and after the neural plate induction. Taken together, our results propose a series of epigenetic events necessary for the early activation of the Sox2 gene in neural progenitor cells. PMID:27099369

  16. Feasibility of Neural Stimulation With Floating-Light-Activated Microelectrical Stimulators

    PubMed Central

    Abdo, Ammar; Sahin, Mesut

    2011-01-01

    Neural microstimulation is becoming a powerful tool for the restoration of impaired functions in the central nervous system. Microelectrode arrays with fine wire interconnects have traditionally been used in the development of these neural prosthetic devices. However, these interconnects are usually the most vulnerable part of the neuroprosthetic implant that can eventually cause the device to fail. In this paper, we investigate the feasibility of floating-light-activated microelectrical stimulators (FLAMES) for wireless neural stimulation. A computer model was developed to simulate the micro stimulators for typical requirements of neural activation in the human white and gray matters. First, the photon densities due to a circular laser beam were simulated in the neural tissue at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Temperature elevation in the tissue was calculated and the laser power was retrospectively adjusted to 325 and 250 mW/cm2 in the gray and white matters, respectively, to limit ΔT to 0.5 °C. Total device area of the FLAMES increased with all parameters considered but decreased with the output voltage. We conclude that the number of series photodiodes in the device can be used as a free parameter to minimize the device size. The results suggest that floating, optically activated stimulators are feasible at submillimeter sizes for the activation of the brain cortex or the spinal cord. PMID:21552457

  17. Strategies influence neural activity for feedback learning across child and adolescent development.

    PubMed

    Peters, Sabine; Koolschijn, P Cédric M P; Crone, Eveline A; Van Duijvenvoorde, Anna C K; Raijmakers, Maartje E J

    2014-09-01

    Learning from feedback is an important aspect of executive functioning that shows profound improvements during childhood and adolescence. This is accompanied by neural changes in the feedback-learning network, which includes pre-supplementary motor area (pre- SMA)/anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), superior parietal cortex (SPC), and the basal ganglia. However, there can be considerable differences within age ranges in performance that are ascribed to differences in strategy use. This is problematic for traditional approaches of analyzing developmental data, in which age groups are assumed to be homogenous in strategy use. In this study, we used latent variable models to investigate if underlying strategy groups could be detected for a feedback-learning task and whether there were differences in neural activation patterns between strategies. In a sample of 268 participants between ages 8 to 25 years, we observed four underlying strategy groups, which were cut across age groups and varied in the optimality of executive functioning. These strategy groups also differed in neural activity during learning; especially the most optimal performing group showed more activity in DLPFC, SPC and pre-SMA/ACC compared to the other groups. However, age differences remained an important contributor to neural activation, even when correcting for strategy. These findings contribute to the debate of age versus performance predictors of neural development, and highlight the importance of studying individual differences in strategy use when studying development.

  18. Neural Activation Underlying Cognitive Control in the Context of Neutral and Affectively Charged Pictures in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lamm, Connie; White, Lauren K.; McDermott, Jennifer Martin; Fox, Nathan A.

    2012-01-01

    The neural correlates of cognitive control for typically developing 9-year-old children were examined using dense-array ERPs and estimates of cortical activation (LORETA) during a go/no-go task with two conditions: a neutral picture condition and an affectively charged picture condition. Activation was estimated for the entire cortex after which…

  19. Modeling of relative intensity noise and terminal electrical noise of semiconductor lasers using artificial neural network

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rezaei, A.; Noori, L.

    2016-06-01

    In this paper, artificial neural network (ANN) is used to predict the source laser's relative intensity noise (RIN) and the terminal electrical noise (TEN) of semiconductor lasers. For this purpose, the multi-layer perceptron (MLP) neural network trained with the back propagation algorithm is used. To develop this model, the normalized bias current and frequency are selected as the input parameters and the RIN and TEN of semiconductor lasers are selected as the output parameters. The obtained results show that the proposed ANN model is in a good agreement with the numerical method, and a small error between the predicted values and the numerical solution is obtained. Therefore, the proposed ANN model is a useful, reliable, fast and cheap tool to predict the RIN and TEN of semiconductor lasers.

  20. New exponential synchronization criteria for time-varying delayed neural networks with discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Cai, Zuowei; Huang, Lihong; Zhang, Lingling

    2015-05-01

    This paper investigates the problem of exponential synchronization of time-varying delayed neural networks with discontinuous neuron activations. Under the extended Filippov differential inclusion framework, by designing discontinuous state-feedback controller and using some analytic techniques, new testable algebraic criteria are obtained to realize two different kinds of global exponential synchronization of the drive-response system. Moreover, we give the estimated rate of exponential synchronization which depends on the delays and system parameters. The obtained results extend some previous works on synchronization of delayed neural networks not only with continuous activations but also with discontinuous activations. Finally, numerical examples are provided to show the correctness of our analysis via computer simulations. Our method and theoretical results have a leading significance in the design of synchronized neural network circuits involving discontinuous factors and time-varying delays.

  1. Abnormal Neural Activation to Faces in the Parents of Children with Autism.

    PubMed

    Yucel, G H; Belger, A; Bizzell, J; Parlier, M; Adolphs, R; Piven, J

    2015-12-01

    Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show subtle deficits in aspects of social behavior and face processing, which resemble those seen in ASD, referred to as the "Broad Autism Phenotype " (BAP). While abnormal activation in ASD has been reported in several brain structures linked to social cognition, little is known regarding patterns in the BAP. We compared autism parents with control parents with no family history of ASD using 2 well-validated face-processing tasks. Results indicated increased activation in the autism parents to faces in the amygdala (AMY) and the fusiform gyrus (FG), 2 core face-processing regions. Exploratory analyses revealed hyper-activation of lateral occipital cortex (LOC) bilaterally in autism parents with aloof personality ("BAP+"). Findings suggest that abnormalities of the AMY and FG are related to underlying genetic liability for ASD, whereas abnormalities in the LOC and right FG are more specific to behavioral features of the BAP. Results extend our knowledge of neural circuitry underlying abnormal face processing beyond those previously reported in ASD to individuals with shared genetic liability for autism and a subset of genetically related individuals with the BAP.

  2. Abnormal Neural Activation to Faces in the Parents of Children with Autism.

    PubMed

    Yucel, G H; Belger, A; Bizzell, J; Parlier, M; Adolphs, R; Piven, J

    2015-12-01

    Parents of children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) show subtle deficits in aspects of social behavior and face processing, which resemble those seen in ASD, referred to as the "Broad Autism Phenotype " (BAP). While abnormal activation in ASD has been reported in several brain structures linked to social cognition, little is known regarding patterns in the BAP. We compared autism parents with control parents with no family history of ASD using 2 well-validated face-processing tasks. Results indicated increased activation in the autism parents to faces in the amygdala (AMY) and the fusiform gyrus (FG), 2 core face-processing regions. Exploratory analyses revealed hyper-activation of lateral occipital cortex (LOC) bilaterally in autism parents with aloof personality ("BAP+"). Findings suggest that abnormalities of the AMY and FG are related to underlying genetic liability for ASD, whereas abnormalities in the LOC and right FG are more specific to behavioral features of the BAP. Results extend our knowledge of neural circuitry underlying abnormal face processing beyond those previously reported in ASD to individuals with shared genetic liability for autism and a subset of genetically related individuals with the BAP. PMID:25056573

  3. Neural activation during risky decision-making in youth at high risk for substance use disorders.

    PubMed

    Hulvershorn, Leslie A; Hummer, Tom A; Fukunaga, Rena; Leibenluft, Ellen; Finn, Peter; Cyders, Melissa A; Anand, Amit; Overhage, Lauren; Dir, Allyson; Brown, Joshua

    2015-08-30

    Risky decision-making, particularly in the context of reward-seeking behavior, is strongly associated with the presence of substance use disorders (SUDs). However, there has been little research on the neural substrates underlying reward-related decision-making in drug-naïve youth who are at elevated risk for SUDs. Participants comprised 23 high-risk (HR) youth with a well-established SUD risk phenotype and 27 low-risk healthy comparison (HC) youth, aged 10-14. Participants completed the balloon analog risk task (BART), a task designed to examine risky decision-making, during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The HR group had faster reaction times, but otherwise showed no behavioral differences from the HC group. HR youth experienced greater activation when processing outcome, as the chances of balloon explosion increased, relative to HC youth, in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). As explosion probability increased, group-by-condition interactions in the ventral striatum/anterior cingulate and the anterior insula showed increasing activation in HR youth, specifically on trials when explosions occurred. Thus, atypical activation increased with increasing risk of negative outcome (i.e., balloon explosion) in a cortico-striatal network in the HR group. These findings identify candidate neurobiological markers of addiction risk in youth at high familial and phenotypic risk for SUDs.

  4. Neural Activation During Risky Decision-Making in Youth at High Risk for Substance Use Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Hulvershorn, Leslie A.; Hummer, Tom A.; Fukunaga, Rena; Leibenluft, Ellen; Finn, Peter; Cyders, Melissa A.; Anand, Amit; Overhage, Lauren; Dir, Allyson; Brown, Joshua

    2015-01-01

    Risky decision-making, particularly in the context of reward-seeking behavior, is strongly associated with the presence of substance use disorders (SUDs). However, there has been little research on the neural substrates underlying reward-related decision-making in drug-naïve youth who are at elevated risk for SUDs. Participants comprised 23 high-risk (HR) youth with a well-established SUD risk phenotype and 27 low-risk healthy comparison (HC) youth, aged 10–14. Participants completed the balloon analog risk task (BART), a task designed to examine risky decision-making, during functional magnetic resonance imaging. The HR group had faster reaction times, but otherwise showed no behavioral differences from the HC group. HR youth experienced greater activation when processing outcome, as the chances of balloon explosion increased, relative to HC youth, in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC). As explosion probability increased, group-by-condition interactions in the ventral striatum/anterior cingulate and the anterior insula showed increasing activation in HR youth, specifically on trials when explosions occurred. Thus, atypical activation increased with increasing risk of negative outcome (i.e., balloon explosion) in a cortico-striatal network in the HR group. These findings identify candidate neurobiological markers of addiction risk in youth at high familial and phenotypic risk for SUDs. PMID:26071624

  5. Increased Neural Activation during Picture Encoding and Retrieval in 60-Year-Olds Compared to 20-Year-Olds

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burgmans, S.; van Boxtel, M. P. J.; Vuurman, E. F. P. M.; Evers, E. A. T.; Jolles, J.

    2010-01-01

    Brain aging has been associated with both reduced and increased neural activity during task execution. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether increased neural activation during memory encoding and retrieval is already present at the age of 60 as well as to obtain more insight into the mechanism behind increased activity.…

  6. Solar energetic particle flux enhancement as a predictor of geomagnetic activity in a neural network-based model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valach, F.; Revallo, M.; Bochníček, J.; Hejda, P.

    2009-04-01

    Coronal mass ejections (CMEs) are believed to be the principal cause of increased geomagnetic activity. They are regarded as being in context of a series of related solar energetic events, such as X-ray flares (XRAs) accompanied by solar radio bursts (RSPs) and also by solar energetic particle (SEP) flux. Two types of the RSP events are known to be geoeffective, namely, the RSP of type II, interpreted as the signature of shock initiation in the solar corona, and type IV, representing material moving upward in the corona. The SEP events causing geomagnetic response are known to be produced by CME-driven shocks. In this paper, we use the method of the artificial neural network in order to quantify the geomagnetic response of particular solar events. The data concerning XRAs and RSPs II and/or IV together with their heliographic positions are taken as the input for the neural network. There is a key question posed in our study: can the successfulness of the neural network prediction scheme based solely on the solar disc observations (XRA and RSP) be improved by additional information concerning the SEP flux? To resolve this problem, we chose the SEP events possessing significant enhancement in the 10-h window, commencing 12 h after the generation of XRAs. In particular, we consider the flux of high-energy protons with energies over 10 MeV. We have used a chi-square test to demonstrate that supplying such extra input data improves the neural network prediction scheme.

  7. Neural activity to intense positive versus negative stimuli can help differentiate bipolar disorder from unipolar major depressive disorder in depressed adolescents: a pilot fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Diler, Rasim Somer; de Almeida, Jorge Renner Cardoso; Ladouceur, Cecile; Birmaher, Boris; Axelson, David; Phillips, Mary

    2013-12-30

    Failure to distinguish bipolar depression (BDd) from the unipolar depression of major depressive disorder (UDd) in adolescents has significant clinical consequences. We aimed to identify differential patterns of functional neural activity in BDd versus UDd and employed two (fearful and happy) facial expression/ gender labeling functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiments to study emotion processing in 10 BDd (8 females, mean age=15.1 ± 1.1) compared to age- and gender-matched 10 UDd and 10 healthy control (HC) adolescents who were age- and gender-matched to the BDd group. BDd adolescents, relative to UDd, showed significantly lower activity to both intense happy (e.g., insula and temporal cortex) and intense fearful faces (e.g., frontal precentral cortex). Although the neural regions recruited in each group were not the same, both BDd and UDd adolescents, relative to HC, showed significantly lower neural activity to intense happy and mild happy faces, but elevated neural activity to mild fearful faces. Our results indicated that patterns of neural activity to intense positive and negative emotional stimuli can help differentiate BDd from UDd in adolescents.

  8. Neural portraits of perception: reconstructing face images from evoked brain activity.

    PubMed

    Cowen, Alan S; Chun, Marvin M; Kuhl, Brice A

    2014-07-01

    Recent neuroimaging advances have allowed visual experience to be reconstructed from patterns of brain activity. While neural reconstructions have ranged in complexity, they have relied almost exclusively on retinotopic mappings between visual input and activity in early visual cortex. However, subjective perceptual information is tied more closely to higher-level cortical regions that have not yet been used as the primary basis for neural reconstructions. Furthermore, no reconstruction studies to date have reported reconstructions of face images, which activate a highly distributed cortical network. Thus, we investigated (a) whether individual face images could be accurately reconstructed from distributed patterns of neural activity, and (b) whether this could be achieved even when excluding activity within occipital cortex. Our approach involved four steps. (1) Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify components that efficiently represented a set of training faces. (2) The identified components were then mapped, using a machine learning algorithm, to fMRI activity collected during viewing of the training faces. (3) Based on activity elicited by a new set of test faces, the algorithm predicted associated component scores. (4) Finally, these scores were transformed into reconstructed images. Using both objective and subjective validation measures, we show that our methods yield strikingly accurate neural reconstructions of faces even when excluding occipital cortex. This methodology not only represents a novel and promising approach for investigating face perception, but also suggests avenues for reconstructing 'offline' visual experiences-including dreams, memories, and imagination-which are chiefly represented in higher-level cortical areas.

  9. Cell cycle-related genes p57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

    PubMed

    Li, Xinjun; Yang, Zhong; Zeng, Yi; Xu, Hong; Li, Hongli; Han, Yangyun; Long, Xiaodong; You, Chao

    2013-07-15

    In the field of developmental neurobiology, accurate and ordered regulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis are crucial factors contributing to the normal formation of the neural tube. Preliminary studies identified several genes involved in the development of neural tube defects. In this study, we established a model of developmental neural tube defects by administration of retinoic acid to pregnant rats. Gene chip hybridization analysis showed that genes related to the cell cycle and apoptosis, signal transduction, transcription and translation regulation, energy and metabolism, heat shock, and matrix and cytoskeletal proteins were all involved in the formation of developmental neural tube defects. Among these, cell cycle-related genes were predominant. Retinoic acid ment caused differential expression of three cell cycle-related genes p57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin, the expression levels of which were downregulated by retinoic acid and upregulated during normal neural tube formation. The results of this study indicate that cell cycle-related genes play an important role in the formation of neural tube defects. P57kip2, Cdk5 and Spin may be critical genes in the pathogenesis of neural tube defects.

  10. Initial evaluation of an active/passive structural neural system for health monitoring of composite materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kirikera, G. R.; Lee, J. W.; Schulz, M. J.; Ghoshal, A.; Sundaresan, M. J.; Allemang, R. J.; Shanov, V. N.; Westheider, H.

    2006-10-01

    Structural health monitoring is an underlying technology that can help to ensure safe operation and provide cost effective maintenance of advanced composite structures. While several general methods of health monitoring have evolved in recent years, there is still the goal of reducing the overall cost of applying health monitoring to large structures. Data acquisition hardware typically consumes most of the investment in a structural monitoring system. On a conventional system based on acoustic emission monitoring, a separate high sampling rate data acquisition channel is needed for each sensor to convert analog signals to digital signals to locate damage. Other methods of damage detection are likewise complicated, and require many sensors and actuators, auxiliary signal processing, and data storage instrumentation. This paper proposes a structural neural system that uses firing of sensor neurons to reduce the number of data acquisition channels needed for damage detection. The neural system can perform passive acoustic emission sensing or active wave propagation monitoring. A prototype structural neural system with four sensor inputs was built and tested, and experimental results are presented in the paper. One signal output from the structural neural system is used to predict the location of damage. A second signal provides the time domain response of the sensors. Therefore, passive and active health monitoring can be performed using two channels of data acquisition. The structural neural system significantly reduces the data acquisition hardware required for health monitoring, and combines some of the advantages that exist individually for passive and active health monitoring.

  11. Information content of neural networks with self-control and variable activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollé, D.; Amari, S. I.; Dominguez Carreta, D. R. C.; Massolo, G.

    2001-02-01

    A self-control mechanism for the dynamics of neural networks with variable activity is discussed using a recursive scheme for the time evolution of the local field. It is based upon the introduction of a self-adapting time-dependent threshold as a function of both the neural and pattern activity in the network. This mechanism leads to an improvement of the information content of the network as well as an increase of the storage capacity and the basins of attraction. Different architectures are considered and the results are compared with numerical simulations.

  12. Neural activity patterns evoked by a spouse's incongruent emotional reactions when recalling marriage-relevant experiences.

    PubMed

    Petrican, Raluca; Rosenbaum, Rachel Shayna; Grady, Cheryl

    2015-10-01

    Resonance with the inner states of another social actor is regarded as a hallmark of emotional closeness. Nevertheless, sensitivity to potential incongruities between one's own and an intimate partner's subjective experience is reportedly also important for close relationship quality. Here, we tested whether perceivers show greater neurobehavioral responsiveness to a spouse's positive (rather than negative) context-incongruent emotions, and whether this effect is influenced by the perceiver's satisfaction with the relationship. Thus, we used fMRI to scan older long-term married female perceivers while they judged either their spouse's or a stranger's affect, based on incongruent nonverbal and verbal cues. The verbal cues were selected to evoke strongly polarized affective responses. Higher perceiver marital satisfaction predicted greater neural processing of the spouse's (rather than the strangers) nonverbal cues. Nevertheless, across all perceivers, greater neural processing of a spouse's (rather than a stranger's) nonverbal behavior was reliably observed only when the behavior was positive and the context was negative. The spouse's positive (rather than negative) nonverbal behavior evoked greater activity in putative mirror neuron areas, such as the bilateral inferior parietal lobule (IPL). This effect was related to a stronger inhibitory influence of cognitive control areas on mirror system activity in response to a spouse's negative nonverbal cues, an effect that strengthened with increasing perceiver marital satisfaction. Our valence-asymmetric findings imply that neurobehavioral responsiveness to a close other's emotions may depend, at least partly, on cognitive control resources, which are used to support the perceiver's interpersonal goals (here, goals that are relevant to relationship stability).

  13. False memory for face in short-term memory and neural activity in human amygdala.

    PubMed

    Iidaka, Tetsuya; Harada, Tokiko; Sadato, Norihiro

    2014-12-01

    Human memory is often inaccurate. Similar to words and figures, new faces are often recognized as seen or studied items in long- and short-term memory tests; however, the neural mechanisms underlying this false memory remain elusive. In a previous fMRI study using morphed faces and a standard false memory paradigm, we found that there was a U-shaped response curve of the amygdala to old, new, and lure items. This indicates that the amygdala is more active in response to items that are salient (hit and correct rejection) compared to items that are less salient (false alarm), in terms of memory retrieval. In the present fMRI study, we determined whether the false memory for faces occurs within the short-term memory range (a few seconds), and assessed which neural correlates are involved in veridical and illusory memories. Nineteen healthy participants were scanned by 3T MRI during a short-term memory task using morphed faces. The behavioral results indicated that the occurrence of false memories was within the short-term range. We found that the amygdala displayed a U-shaped response curve to memory items, similar to those observed in our previous study. These results suggest that the amygdala plays a common role in both long- and short-term false memory for faces. We made the following conclusions: First, the amygdala is involved in detecting the saliency of items, in addition to fear, and supports goal-oriented behavior by modulating memory. Second, amygdala activity and response time might be related with a subject's response criterion for similar faces.

  14. Model Of Neural Network With Creative Dynamics

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zak, Michail; Barhen, Jacob

    1993-01-01

    Paper presents analysis of mathematical model of one-neuron/one-synapse neural network featuring coupled activation and learning dynamics and parametrical periodic excitation. Demonstrates self-programming, partly random behavior of suitable designed neural network; believed to be related to spontaneity and creativity of biological neural networks.

  15. Mapping neural circuits with activity-dependent nuclear import of a transcription factor.

    PubMed

    Masuyama, Kaoru; Zhang, Yi; Rao, Yi; Wang, Jing W

    2012-03-01

    Abstract: Nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is a calcium-responsive transcription factor. We describe here an NFAT-based neural tracing method-CaLexA (calcium-dependent nuclear import of LexA)-for labeling active neurons in behaving animals. In this system, sustained neural activity induces nuclear import of the chimeric transcription factor LexA-VP16-NFAT, which in turn drives green fluorescent protein (GFP) reporter expression only in active neurons. We tested this system in Drosophila and found that volatile sex pheromones excite specific neurons in the olfactory circuit. Furthermore, complex courtship behavior associated with multi-modal sensory inputs activated neurons in the ventral nerve cord. This method harnessing the mechanism of activity-dependent nuclear import of a transcription factor can be used to identify active neurons in specific neuronal population in behaving animals. PMID:22236090

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  17. 12-Deoxyphorbols Promote Adult Neurogenesis by Inducing Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation via PKC Activation

    PubMed Central

    Geribaldi-Doldán, Noelia; Flores-Giubi, Eugenia; Murillo-Carretero, Maribel; García-Bernal, Francisco; Carrasco, Manuel; Macías-Sánchez, Antonio J.; Domínguez-Riscart, Jesús; Verástegui, Cristina; Hernández-Galán, Rosario

    2016-01-01

    Background: Neuropsychiatric and neurological disorders frequently occur after brain insults associated with neuronal loss. Strategies aimed to facilitate neuronal renewal by promoting neurogenesis constitute a promising therapeutic option to treat neuronal death-associated disorders. In the adult brain, generation of new neurons occurs physiologically throughout the entire life controlled by extracellular molecules coupled to intracellular signaling cascades. Proteins participating in these cascades within neurogenic regions constitute potential pharmacological targets to promote neuronal regeneration of injured areas of the central nervous system. Methodology: We have performed in vitro and in vivo approaches to determine neural progenitor cell proliferation to understand whether activation of kinases of the protein kinase C family facilitates neurogenesis in the adult brain. Results: We have demonstrated that protein kinase C activation by phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate induces neural progenitor cell proliferation in vitro. We also show that the nontumorogenic protein kinase C activator prostratin exerts a proliferative effect on neural progenitor cells in vitro. This effect can be reverted by addition of the protein kinase C inhibitor G06850, demonstrating that the effect of prostratin is mediated by protein kinase C activation. Additionally, we show that prostratin treatment in vivo induces proliferation of neural progenitor cells within the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus and the subventricular zone. Finally, we describe a library of diterpenes with a 12-deoxyphorbol structure similar to that of prostratin that induces a stronger effect than prostratin on neural progenitor cell proliferation both in vitro and in vivo. Conclusions: This work suggests that protein kinase C activation is a promising strategy to expand the endogenous neural progenitor cell population to promote neurogenesis and highlights the potential of 12-deoxyphorbols as pharmaceutical

  18. Transient Global Amnesia following Neural and Cardiac Angiography May Be Related to Ischemia.

    PubMed

    Duan, Hongzhou; Li, Liang; Zhang, Yang; Zhang, Jiayong; Chen, Ming; Bao, Shengde

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Transient global amnesia (TGA) following angiography is rare, and the pathogenesis has not been illustrated clearly till now. The aim of this research is to explore the pathogenesis of TGA following angiography by analyzing our data and reviewing the literature. Methods. We retrospectively studied 20836 cases with angiography in our hospital between 2007 and 2015 and found 9 cases with TGA following angiography. The data of these 9 cases were analyzed. Results. We found all 9 cases with TGA following neural angiography (5 in 4360) or cardiac angiography (4 in 8817) and no case with TGA following peripheral angiography (0 in 7659). Statistical difference was found when comparing the neural and cardiac angiography group with peripheral group (p = 0.022). Two cases with TGA were confirmed with small acute infarctions in hippocampus after angiography. This might be related to the microemboli which were rushed into vertebral artery following blood flow during neural angiography or cardiac angiography. There was no statistical difference when comparing the different approaches for angiography (p = 0.82) and different contrast agents (p = 0.619). Conclusion. Based on the positive findings of imaging study and our analysis, we speculate that ischemia in the medial temporal lobe with the involvement of the hippocampus might be an important reason of TGA following angiography. PMID:27419129

  19. Dopamine neurons modulate neural encoding and expression of depression-related behaviour.

    PubMed

    Tye, Kay M; Mirzabekov, Julie J; Warden, Melissa R; Ferenczi, Emily A; Tsai, Hsing-Chen; Finkelstein, Joel; Kim, Sung-Yon; Adhikari, Avishek; Thompson, Kimberly R; Andalman, Aaron S; Gunaydin, Lisa A; Witten, Ilana B; Deisseroth, Karl

    2013-01-24

    Major depression is characterized by diverse debilitating symptoms that include hopelessness and anhedonia. Dopamine neurons involved in reward and motivation are among many neural populations that have been hypothesized to be relevant, and certain antidepressant treatments, including medications and brain stimulation therapies, can influence the complex dopamine system. Until now it has not been possible to test this hypothesis directly, even in animal models, as existing therapeutic interventions are unable to specifically target dopamine neurons. Here we investigated directly the causal contributions of defined dopamine neurons to multidimensional depression-like phenotypes induced by chronic mild stress, by integrating behavioural, pharmacological, optogenetic and electrophysiological methods in freely moving rodents. We found that bidirectional control (inhibition or excitation) of specified midbrain dopamine neurons immediately and bidirectionally modulates (induces or relieves) multiple independent depression symptoms caused by chronic stress. By probing the circuit implementation of these effects, we observed that optogenetic recruitment of these dopamine neurons potently alters the neural encoding of depression-related behaviours in the downstream nucleus accumbens of freely moving rodents, suggesting that processes affecting depression symptoms may involve alterations in the neural encoding of action in limbic circuitry.

  20. Transient Global Amnesia following Neural and Cardiac Angiography May Be Related to Ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yang; Chen, Ming; Bao, Shengde

    2016-01-01

    Introduction. Transient global amnesia (TGA) following angiography is rare, and the pathogenesis has not been illustrated clearly till now. The aim of this research is to explore the pathogenesis of TGA following angiography by analyzing our data and reviewing the literature. Methods. We retrospectively studied 20836 cases with angiography in our hospital between 2007 and 2015 and found 9 cases with TGA following angiography. The data of these 9 cases were analyzed. Results. We found all 9 cases with TGA following neural angiography (5 in 4360) or cardiac angiography (4 in 8817) and no case with TGA following peripheral angiography (0 in 7659). Statistical difference was found when comparing the neural and cardiac angiography group with peripheral group (p = 0.022). Two cases with TGA were confirmed with small acute infarctions in hippocampus after angiography. This might be related to the microemboli which were rushed into vertebral artery following blood flow during neural angiography or cardiac angiography. There was no statistical difference when comparing the different approaches for angiography (p = 0.82) and different contrast agents (p = 0.619). Conclusion. Based on the positive findings of imaging study and our analysis, we speculate that ischemia in the medial temporal lobe with the involvement of the hippocampus might be an important reason of TGA following angiography. PMID:27419129

  1. Dopamine neurons modulate neural encoding and expression of depression-related behaviour

    PubMed Central

    Ferenczi, Emily A.; Tsai, Hsing-Chen; Finkelstein, Joel; Kim, Sung-Yon; Adhikari, Avishek; Thompson, Kimberly R.; Andalman, Aaron S.; Gunaydin, Lisa A.; Witten, Ilana B.; Deisseroth, Karl

    2014-01-01

    Major depression is characterized by diverse debilitating symptoms that include hopelessness and anhedonia1. Dopamine neurons involved in reward and motivation2–9 are among many neural populations that have been hypothesized to be relevant10, and certain antidepressant treatments, including medications and brain stimulation therapies, can influence the complex dopamine system. Until now it has not been possible to test this hypothesis directly, even in animal models, as existing therapeutic interventions are unable to specifically target dopamine neurons. Here we investigated directly the causal contributions of defined dopamine neurons to multidimensional depression-like phenotypes induced by chronic mild stress, by integrating behavioural, pharmacological, optogenetic and electrophysiological methods in freely moving rodents. We found that bidirectional control (inhibition or excitation) of specified midbrain dopamine neurons immediately and bidirectionally modulates (induces or relieves) multiple independent depression symptoms caused by chronic stress. By probing the circuit implementation of these effects, we observed that optogenetic recruitment of these dopamine neurons potently alters the neural encoding of depression-related behaviours in the downstream nucleus accumbens of freely moving rodents, suggesting that processes affecting depression symptoms may involve alterations in the neural encoding of action in limbic circuitry. PMID:23235822

  2. Patterns of neural activity associated with honest and dishonest moral decisions

    PubMed Central

    Greene, Joshua D.; Paxton, Joseph M.

    2009-01-01

    What makes people behave honestly when confronted with opportunities for dishonest gain? Research on the interplay between controlled and automatic processes in decision making suggests 2 hypotheses: According to the “Will” hypothesis, honesty results from the active resistance of temptation, comparable to the controlled cognitive processes that enable the delay of reward. According to the “Grace” hypothesis, honesty results from the absence of temptation, consistent with research emphasizing the determination of behavior by the presence or absence of automatic processes. To test these hypotheses, we examined neural activity in individuals confronted with opportunities for dishonest gain. Subjects undergoing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) gained money by accurately predicting the outcomes of computerized coin-flips. In some trials, subjects recorded their predictions in advance. In other trials, subjects were rewarded based on self-reported accuracy, allowing them to gain money dishonestly by lying about the accuracy of their predictions. Many subjects behaved dishonestly, as indicated by improbable levels of “accuracy.” Our findings support the Grace hypothesis. Individuals who behaved honestly exhibited no additional control-related activity (or other kind of activity) when choosing to behave honestly, as compared with a control condition in which there was no opportunity for dishonest gain. In contrast, individuals who behaved dishonestly exhibited increased activity in control-related regions of prefrontal cortex, both when choosing to behave dishonestly and on occasions when they refrained from dishonesty. Levels of activity in these regions correlated with the frequency of dishonesty in individuals. PMID:19622733

  3. AN INITIAL STUDY OF NEURAL RESPONSES TO MONETARY INCENTIVES AS RELATED TO TREATMENT OUTCOME IN COCAINE DEPENDENCE

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Zhiru; Worhunsky, Patrick D.; Carroll, Kathleen M.; Rounsaville, Bruce J.; Stevens, Michael C.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Potenza, Marc N.

    2011-01-01

    Background Although cocaine dependence involves abnormalities in drug-related reward-based decision-making, it is not well understood whether these abnormalities generalize to non-drug-related cues and rewards, and how neural functions underlying reward processing in cocaine abusers relate to treatment outcome. Methods Twenty cocaine dependent (CD) patients before treatment and 20 matched healthy control (HC) subjects participated in fMRI while performing a Monetary Incentive Delay Task (MIDT). Outcomes through eight weeks were assessed via percent cocaine-negative urine toxicology, self-reported cocaine abstinence, and treatment retention. Results Amongst the whole sample, anticipation of working for monetary reward (i.e., reward anticipation) was associated with activation in the ventral striatum (VS), medial frontal gyrus, thalamus, right subcallosal gyrus, right insula, and left amygdala. CD as compared with HC participants exhibited greater activation during notification of rewarding outcome (i.e., reward receipt) in left and right VS, right caudate, and right insula. In CD participants during reward anticipation, activation in left and right thalamus and right caudate correlated negatively with percent cocaine-negative urine toxicology, activation in thalamus bilaterally correlated negatively with self-reported abstinence measures, and activation in left amygdala and parahippocampal gyrus correlated negatively with treatment retention. During reward notification, activation in right thalamus, right VS and left culmen correlated negatively with abstinence and with urine toxicology. Conclusions These findings suggest that in treatment-seeking CD participants, cortico-limbic reward circuitry is relatively over-activated during MIDT performance and specific regional activations related to reward processing may predict aspects of treatment outcome and represent important targets for treatment development in CD. PMID:21704307

  4. Towards Pro-active Embodied Agents: On the Importance of Neural Mechanisms Suitable to Process Time Information

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Croon, G.; Nolfi, S.; Postma, E. O.

    In Embodied Cognitive Science, many studies have focused on reactive agents, i.e. agents that have no internal state and always respond in the same way to the same stimulus. However, this particular focus is not due to a rejection of the importance of internal states. Rather, it is due to the difficulty of developing pro-active embodied and situated agents, that is agents able to: (a) extract internal states by integrating sensorymotor information through time and, (b) later use these internal states to modulate their motor behaviour according to the current environmental circumstances. In this chapter we will focus on how pro-active agents can be developed and, more specifically, on which are the neural mechanisms that might favour the development of pro-active agents. By comparing the results of five sets of evolutionary experiments in which simulated robots are provided with different types of recurrent neural networks, we gain insight into the relation between the robots` capabilities and the characteristics of their neural controllers. We show how special mechanisms for processing information in time facilitate the exploitation of internal states.

  5. Familial risk and ADHD-specific neural activity revealed by case-control, discordant twin pair design.

    PubMed

    Godinez, Detre A; Willcutt, Erik G; Burgess, Gregory C; Depue, Brendan E; Andrews-Hanna, Jessica R; Banich, Marie T

    2015-09-30

    Individuals with ADHD, as well as their family members who do not meet clinical criteria, have shown deficits in executive function. However, it remains unclear whether underlying neural alterations are familial or ADHD-specific. To investigate this issue, neural activation underlying executive function was assessed using functional magnetic resonance imaging during performance of a Stroop task in three groups of individuals: 20 young adults who were diagnosed with ADHD in childhood, their 20 dizygotic co-twins without ADHD in childhood, and 20 unrelated controls selected from dizygotic twin pairs in which neither twin had ADHD in childhood (total n=60). Implicating the frontoparietal network as a location of effects specific to ADHD, activation in the superior frontal (Brodmann's Area - BA 6) and parietal regions (BA 40) was significantly reduced in twins with childhood ADHD compared to both their control co-twins and unrelated control twins. Consistent with familial influences, activity in the anterior cingulate and insula was significantly reduced in both the twins with ADHD and their co-twins compared to the unrelated controls. These results show that both ADHD-specific and familial influences related to an ADHD diagnosis impact neural systems underlying executive function. PMID:26256128

  6. Reduced Specificity of Hippocampal and Posterior Ventrolateral Prefrontal Activity during Relational Retrieval in Normal Aging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Giovanello, Kelly S.; Schacter, Daniel L.

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of episodic memory in young adults demonstrate greater functional neural activity in ventrolateral pFC and hippocampus during retrieval of relational information as compared with item information. We tested the hypothesis that healthy older adults--individuals who exhibit behavioral declines in relational memory--would show…

  7. Nonsmooth finite-time stabilization of neural networks with discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaoyang; Park, Ju H; Jiang, Nan; Cao, Jinde

    2014-04-01

    This paper is concerned with the finite-time stabilization for a class of neural networks (NNs) with discontinuous activations. The purpose of the addressed problem is to design a discontinuous controller to stabilize the states of such neural networks in finite time. Unlike the previous works, such stabilization objective will be realized for neural networks when the activations and controllers are both discontinuous. Based on the famous finite-time stability theorem of nonlinear systems and nonsmooth analysis in mathematics, sufficient conditions are established to ensure the finite-time stability of the dynamics of NNs. Then, the upper bound of the settling time for stabilization can be estimated in two forms due to two different methods of proof. Finally, two numerical examples are given to illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed design method.

  8. Application of neural networks with orthogonal activation functions in control of dynamical systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nikolić, Saša S.; Antić, Dragan S.; Milojković, Marko T.; Milovanović, Miroslav B.; Perić, Staniša Lj.; Mitić, Darko B.

    2016-04-01

    In this article, we present a new method for the synthesis of almost and quasi-orthogonal polynomials of arbitrary order. Filters designed on the bases of these functions are generators of generalised quasi-orthogonal signals for which we derived and presented necessary mathematical background. Based on theoretical results, we designed and practically implemented generalised first-order (k = 1) quasi-orthogonal filter and proved its quasi-orthogonality via performed experiments. Designed filters can be applied in many scientific areas. In this article, generated functions were successfully implemented in Nonlinear Auto Regressive eXogenous (NARX) neural network as activation functions. One practical application of the designed orthogonal neural network is demonstrated through the example of control of the complex technical non-linear system - laboratory magnetic levitation system. Obtained results were compared with neural networks with standard activation functions and orthogonal functions of trigonometric shape. The proposed network demonstrated superiority over existing solutions in the sense of system performances.

  9. Enhanced neural activity in frontal and cerebellar circuits after cognitive training in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

    PubMed

    Hoekzema, Elseline; Carmona, Susanna; Tremols, Virginia; Gispert, Joan Domingo; Guitart, Marc; Fauquet, Jordi; Rovira, Mariana; Bielsa, Anna; Soliva, Juan Carlos; Tomas, Xavier; Bulbena, Antonio; Ramos-Quiroga, Antoni; Casas, Miguel; Tobeña, Adolf; Vilarroya, Oscar

    2010-12-01

    The brain is a plastic entity that can undergo dynamic changes throughout the lifespan as a result of training. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is commonly treated with psychostimulant medication, and the prevalence of ADHD medication prescription is a topic of heated scientific debate. In addition, cognitive training is frequently provided to patients with ADHD. Although psychostimulant effects have been thoroughly investigated, no previous studies have assessed the neural effects of cognitive training in ADHD. We applied fMRI-paradigms of response inhibition and selective attention to chart the effects of a 10-day cognitive training program in 19 unmedicated ADHD children receiving either cognitive or control training. The two resulting longitudinal datasets were analyzed using whole-brain random-effects general linear models. Although we observed no increases of activity in the control group, both fMRI-datasets revealed enhanced activity after cognitive training in neural structures closely related to ADHD pathophysiology. On the inhibition paradigm, our results indicated increases in orbitofrontal, superior frontal, middle temporal, and inferior frontal cortex. The attentional task was characterized by increased activity in the cerebellum, which correlated with improvement on in-scanner measures of attention. Our findings provide preliminary evidence that cognitive training enhances activity in neural structures typically affected by the disorder. Similar results have been obtained following methylphenidate administration, suggesting that training of cognitive functions may mimic the effects of psychostimulant medication on the brain. These findings postulate a neural account for the potency of cognitive training in ADHD, and hold clinical implications, supporting the inclusion of training programs in standard ADHD-treatment. PMID:20336653

  10. Neural correlates of consciousness.

    PubMed

    Rees, Geraint

    2013-08-01

    Jon Driver's scientific work was characterized by an innovative combination of new methods for studying mental processes in the human brain in an integrative manner. In our collaborative work, he applied this approach to the study of attention and awareness, and their relationship to neural activity in the human brain. Here I review Jon's scientific work that relates to the neural basis of human consciousness, relating our collaborative work to a broader scientific context. I seek to show how his insights led to a deeper understanding of the causal connections between distant brain structures that are now believed to characterize the neural underpinnings of human consciousness.

  11. Differential Neural Activity during Search of Specific and General Autobiographical Memories elicited by Musical Cues

    PubMed Central

    Ford, Jaclyn Hennessey; Addis, Donna Rose; Giovanello, Kelly S.

    2011-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies that have examined autobiographical memory specificity have utilized retrieval cues associated with prior searches of the event, potentially changing the retrieval processes being investigated. In the current study, musical cues were used to naturally elicit memories from multiple levels of specificity (i.e., lifetime period, general event, and event-specific). Sixteen young adults participated in a neuroimaging study in which they retrieved autobiographical memories associated with musical cues. These musical cues led to the retrieval of highly emotional memories that had low levels of prior retrieval. Retrieval of all autobiographical memory levels was associated with activity in regions in the autobiographical memory network, specifically the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate, and right medial temporal lobe. Owing to the use of music, memories from varying levels of specificity were retrieved, allowing for comparison of event memory and abstract personal knowledge, as well as comparison of specific and general event memory. Dorsolateral and dorsomedial prefrontal regions were engaged during event retrieval relative to personal knowledge retrieval, and retrieval of specific event memories was associated with increased activity in the bilateral medial temporal lobe and dorsomedial prefrontal cortex relative to retrieval of general event memories. These results suggest that the initial search processes for memories of different specificity levels preferentially engage different components of the autobiographical memory network. The potential underlying causes of these neural differences are discussed. PMID:21600227

  12. Multichannel 5 × 5-Site 3-Dimensional Si Microprobe Electrode Array for Neural Activity Recording System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kawano, Takeshi; Takao, Hidekuni; Sawada, Kazuaki; Ishida, Makoto

    2003-04-01

    Multichannel 5 × 5-site Si microprobe electrode array has been developed for neural activity recording. Si microprobes were fabricated successfully at predetermined sites on a chip using Au dots and Si2H6 gas source molecular beam epitaxy (GS-MBE), a method based on vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth. Selective VLS Si growth allowed the design of three-dimensional (3D) microprobes with 40 μm spacing in a 5 × 5 array. The diameter and the length of the Si probe can be widely changed by changing the Au dot size and the Si growth time, respectively. In addition, the circular-cone-shaped Si probe has a shape suitable for penetration into neural tissues, and can be realized by increasing growth pressure. The mechanical strength of the Si probe was evaluated with observation of its bending and penetration into a gelatin membrane, which indicated that the Si probes are strong enough to withstand the application. Signal recording with the same amplitude as neural activity was also performed using the fabricated Si probe array chip. These results confirm that high-density neural signals from neural tissues can be obtained with the multichannel 3D VLS Si microprobe array chip.

  13. Neural speech recognition: continuous phoneme decoding using spatiotemporal representations of human cortical activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moses, David A.; Mesgarani, Nima; Leonard, Matthew K.; Chang, Edward F.

    2016-10-01

    Objective. The superior temporal gyrus (STG) and neighboring brain regions play a key role in human language processing. Previous studies have attempted to reconstruct speech information from brain activity in the STG, but few of them incorporate the probabilistic framework and engineering methodology used in modern speech recognition systems. In this work, we describe the initial efforts toward the design of a neural speech recognition (NSR) system that performs continuous phoneme recognition on English stimuli with arbitrary vocabulary sizes using the high gamma band power of local field potentials in the STG and neighboring cortical areas obtained via electrocorticography. Approach. The system implements a Viterbi decoder that incorporates phoneme likelihood estimates from a linear discriminant analysis model and transition probabilities from an n-gram phonemic language model. Grid searches were used in an attempt to determine optimal parameterizations of the feature vectors and Viterbi decoder. Main results. The performance of the system was significantly improved by using spatiotemporal representations of the neural activity (as opposed to purely spatial representations) and by including language modeling and Viterbi decoding in the NSR system. Significance. These results emphasize the importance of modeling the temporal dynamics of neural responses when analyzing their variations with respect to varying stimuli and demonstrate that speech recognition techniques can be successfully leveraged when decoding speech from neural signals. Guided by the results detailed in this work, further development of the NSR system could have applications in the fields of automatic speech recognition and neural prosthetics.

  14. Neural correlates of reduced awareness in instrumental activities of daily living in frontotemporal dementia.

    PubMed

    Amanzio, Martina; D'Agata, Federico; Palermo, Sara; Rubino, Elisa; Zucca, Milena; Galati, Antonello; Pinessi, Lorenzo; Castellano, Giancarlo; Rainero, Innocenzo

    2016-10-01

    A decline in instrumental activities of daily living has been described as the earliest functional deficit in patients with neurodegenerative disease. It embraces specific competencies such as: "recalling the date and telephone calls, orienting to new places, remembering the location of objects at home, understanding conversation and the plot of a movie, keeping belongings in order, doing mental calculations and handling money, remembering appointments and shopping lists and performing clerical work". Since changes in instrumental daily living activities are one of the descriptors of behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia, we decided to investigate the neural correlates of a reduced awareness in this specific domain in twenty-three consecutive behavioural-variant frontotemporal dementia patients. Gray matter volume changes associated with a reduced awareness for the instrumental domain, assessed using a validated caregiver-patient discrepancy questionnaire, were examined. Interestingly, we found disabilities in instrumental daily living activities and a reduced awareness of these to be related to medial prefrontal cortex atrophy, where the mid-cingulate cortices, dorsal anterior insula and cuneous play an important role. Importantly, if the executive system does not function correctly, the comparator mechanism of action self-monitoring does not detect mismatches between the current and previous performance states stored in the personal database, and produces a reduced awareness for the instrumental domain. PMID:27534380

  15. Neural correlates of inhibition and contextual cue processing related to treatment response in PTSD.

    PubMed

    van Rooij, Sanne J H; Geuze, Elbert; Kennis, Mitzy; Rademaker, Arthur R; Vink, Matthijs

    2015-02-01

    Thirty to fifty percent of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) patients do not respond to treatment. Understanding the neural mechanisms underlying treatment response could contribute to improve response rates. PTSD is often associated with decreased inhibition of fear responses in a safe environment. Importantly, the mechanism of effective treatment (psychotherapy) relies on inhibition and so-called contextual cue processing. Therefore, we investigate inhibition and contextual cue processing in the context of treatment. Forty-one male war veterans with PTSD and 22 healthy male war veterans (combat controls) were scanned twice with a 6- to 8-month interval, in which PTSD patients received treatment (psychotherapy). We distinguished treatment responders from nonresponders on the base of percentage symptom decrease. Inhibition and contextual cue processing were assessed with the stop-signal anticipation task. Behavioral and functional MRI measures were compared between PTSD patients and combat controls, and between responders and nonresponders using repeated measures analyses. PTSD patients showed behavioral and neural deficits in inhibition and contextual cue processing at both time points compared with combat controls. These deficits were unaffected by treatment; therefore, they likely represent vulnerability factors or scar aspects of PTSD. Second, responders showed increased pretreatment activation of the left inferior parietal lobe (IPL) during contextual cue processing compared with nonresponders. Moreover, left IPL activation predicted percentage symptom improvement. The IPL has an important role in contextual cue processing, and may therefore facilitate the effect of psychotherapy. Hence, increased left IPL activation may represent a potential predictive biomarker for PTSD treatment response.

  16. Optical imaging of neural activity: from neuron to brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qingming; Zeng, Shaoqun; Gong, Hui

    2003-12-01

    This paper introduces the optical imaging approaches at three levels in cognitive neuroscience in the Key Laboratory of Biomedical Photonics of Ministry of Education of China. In molecular and cellular level, the advances in microscopy, molecular optical marker, and sample preparations have made possible studies that characterize the form and function of neurons in unprecedented detail. The development of two-photon excitation has enabled fluorescent imaging of small structures in the midst of highly scattering media with little photodamage. The combination of MPE and multi-electrode array provides a powerful approach for neuronal networks imaging. Intrinsic signal imaging (ISI) and laser speckle imaging (LSI) are effective approaches for intrinsic signal imaging at a given cortical site. No alternative imaging technique for the visualization of functional organization in the living brain provides a comparable spatial resolution. It is this level of resolution that reveals where processing is performed - a necessary step for the understanding of the neural code at the population level. Completely noninvasive optical imaging through the intact human skull, such as functional near infrared imaging may provide an imaging tool offering both the spatial and the temporal resolutions required to expand our knowledge of the principles underlying the remarkable performance of the human cerebral cortex.

  17. Extraction of Neural Activity from In Vivo Optical Recordings Using Multiple Independent Component Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoshida, Takamasa; Sakagami, Masanori; Yamazaki, Kyoko; Katura, Takusige; Iwamoto, Mitsumasa; Tanaka, Naoki

    A multiple independent component analysis (ICA) method based on the noisy time-delayed decorrelation algorithm is described that overcomes the problems and improves the usefulness of conventional ICA, which is commonly used for extracting the actual neural activity from data measured using optical recording with a voltage-sensitive dye to visualize neural activities in cortical areas as two-dimensional images. The problems with conventional ICA extraction include the lack of an a priori guarantee that the solution will be appropriate, the linear mixing of mutually independent random variables although the mixtures are not random variables but time signals in many applications, and the general requirement for repetitive calculation of large matrices. Application of multiple ICA to the extraction of neural activities in the guinea pig auditory cortex evoked by both click sounds and pure tones from optical recordings made using a voltage sensitive dye demonstrated that it effectively removes pulsatile and respiratory components from the measurement data and extracts neural activities from the optical recordings.

  18. Specific and Nonspecific Neural Activity during Selective Processing of Visual Representations in Working Memory

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Oh, Hwamee; Leung, Hoi-Chung

    2010-01-01

    In this fMRI study, we investigated prefrontal cortex (PFC) and visual association regions during selective information processing. We recorded behavioral responses and neural activity during a delayed recognition task with a cue presented during the delay period. A specific cue ("Face" or "Scene") was used to indicate which one of the two…

  19. Differences in neural activation as a function of risk-taking task parameters.

    PubMed

    Congdon, Eliza; Bato, Angelica A; Schonberg, Tom; Mumford, Jeanette A; Karlsgodt, Katherine H; Sabb, Fred W; London, Edythe D; Cannon, Tyrone D; Bilder, Robert M; Poldrack, Russell A

    2013-01-01

    Despite evidence supporting a relationship between impulsivity and naturalistic risk-taking, the relationship of impulsivity with laboratory-based measures of risky decision-making remains unclear. One factor contributing to this gap in our understanding is the degree to which different risky decision-making tasks vary in their details. We conducted an fMRI investigation of the Angling Risk Task (ART), which is an improved behavioral measure of risky decision-making. In order to examine whether the observed pattern of neural activation was specific to the ART or generalizable, we also examined correlates of the Balloon Analog Risk Taking (BART) task in the same sample of 23 healthy adults. Exploratory analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between neural activation, performance, impulsivity and self-reported risk-taking. While activation in a valuation network was associated with reward tracking during the ART but not the BART, increased fronto-cingulate activation was seen during risky choice trials in the BART as compared to the ART. Thus, neural activation during risky decision-making trials differed between the two tasks, and this observation was likely driven by differences in task parameters, namely the absence vs. presence of ambiguity and/or stationary vs. increasing probability of loss on the ART and BART, respectively. Exploratory association analyses suggest that sensitivity of neural response to the magnitude of potential reward during the ART was associated with a suboptimal performance strategy, higher scores on a scale of dysfunctional impulsivity (DI) and a greater likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors, while this pattern was not seen for the BART. Our results suggest that the ART is decomposable and associated with distinct patterns of neural activation; this represents a preliminary step toward characterizing a behavioral measure of risky decision-making that may support a better understanding of naturalistic risk-taking.

  20. Handedness is related to neural mechanisms underlying hemispheric lateralization of face processing

    PubMed Central

    Frässle, Stefan; Krach, Sören; Paulus, Frieder Michel; Jansen, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    While the right-hemispheric lateralization of the face perception network is well established, recent evidence suggests that handedness affects the cerebral lateralization of face processing at the hierarchical level of the fusiform face area (FFA). However, the neural mechanisms underlying differential hemispheric lateralization of face perception in right- and left-handers are largely unknown. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) for fMRI, we aimed to unravel the putative processes that mediate handedness-related differences by investigating the effective connectivity in the bilateral core face perception network. Our results reveal an enhanced recruitment of the left FFA in left-handers compared to right-handers, as evidenced by more pronounced face-specific modulatory influences on both intra- and interhemispheric connections. As structural and physiological correlates of handedness-related differences in face processing, right- and left-handers varied with regard to their gray matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus and their pupil responses to face stimuli. Overall, these results describe how handedness is related to the lateralization of the core face perception network, and point to different neural mechanisms underlying face processing in right- and left-handers. In a wider context, this demonstrates the entanglement of structurally and functionally remote brain networks, suggesting a broader underlying process regulating brain lateralization. PMID:27250879

  1. Handedness is related to neural mechanisms underlying hemispheric lateralization of face processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frässle, Stefan; Krach, Sören; Paulus, Frieder Michel; Jansen, Andreas

    2016-06-01

    While the right-hemispheric lateralization of the face perception network is well established, recent evidence suggests that handedness affects the cerebral lateralization of face processing at the hierarchical level of the fusiform face area (FFA). However, the neural mechanisms underlying differential hemispheric lateralization of face perception in right- and left-handers are largely unknown. Using dynamic causal modeling (DCM) for fMRI, we aimed to unravel the putative processes that mediate handedness-related differences by investigating the effective connectivity in the bilateral core face perception network. Our results reveal an enhanced recruitment of the left FFA in left-handers compared to right-handers, as evidenced by more pronounced face-specific modulatory influences on both intra- and interhemispheric connections. As structural and physiological correlates of handedness-related differences in face processing, right- and left-handers varied with regard to their gray matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus and their pupil responses to face stimuli. Overall, these results describe how handedness is related to the lateralization of the core face perception network, and point to different neural mechanisms underlying face processing in right- and left-handers. In a wider context, this demonstrates the entanglement of structurally and functionally remote brain networks, suggesting a broader underlying process regulating brain lateralization.

  2. Neural mechanisms regulating different forms of risk-related decision-making: Insights from animal models.

    PubMed

    Orsini, Caitlin A; Moorman, David E; Young, Jared W; Setlow, Barry; Floresco, Stan B

    2015-11-01

    Over the past 20 years there has been a growing interest in the neural underpinnings of cost/benefit decision-making. Recent studies with animal models have made considerable advances in our understanding of how different prefrontal, striatal, limbic and monoaminergic circuits interact to promote efficient risk/reward decision-making, and how dysfunction in these circuits underlies aberrant decision-making observed in numerous psychiatric disorders. This review will highlight recent findings from studies exploring these questions using a variety of behavioral assays, as well as molecular, pharmacological, neurophysiological, and translational approaches. We begin with a discussion of how neural systems related to decision subcomponents may interact to generate more complex decisions involving risk and uncertainty. This is followed by an overview of interactions between prefrontal-amygdala-dopamine and habenular circuits in regulating choice between certain and uncertain rewards and how different modes of dopamine transmission may contribute to these processes. These data will be compared with results from other studies investigating the contribution of some of these systems to guiding decision-making related to rewards vs. punishment. Lastly, we provide a brief summary of impairments in risk-related decision-making associated with psychiatric disorders, highlighting recent translational studies in laboratory animals.

  3. Neural networks involved in adolescent reward processing: An activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Silverman, Merav H; Jedd, Kelly; Luciana, Monica

    2015-11-15

    Behavioral responses to, and the neural processing of, rewards change dramatically during adolescence and may contribute to observed increases in risk-taking during this developmental period. Functional MRI (fMRI) studies suggest differences between adolescents and adults in neural activation during reward processing, but findings are contradictory, and effects have been found in non-predicted directions. The current study uses an activation likelihood estimation (ALE) approach for quantitative meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging studies to: (1) confirm the network of brain regions involved in adolescents' reward processing, (2) identify regions involved in specific stages (anticipation, outcome) and valence (positive, negative) of reward processing, and (3) identify differences in activation likelihood between adolescent and adult reward-related brain activation. Results reveal a subcortical network of brain regions involved in adolescent reward processing similar to that found in adults with major hubs including the ventral and dorsal striatum, insula, and posterior cingulate cortex (PCC). Contrast analyses find that adolescents exhibit greater likelihood of activation in the insula while processing anticipation relative to outcome and greater likelihood of activation in the putamen and amygdala during outcome relative to anticipation. While processing positive compared to negative valence, adolescents show increased likelihood for activation in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and ventral striatum. Contrasting adolescent reward processing with the existing ALE of adult reward processing reveals increased likelihood for activation in limbic, frontolimbic, and striatal regions in adolescents compared with adults. Unlike adolescents, adults also activate executive control regions of the frontal and parietal lobes. These findings support hypothesized elevations in motivated activity during adolescence. PMID:26254587

  4. Global robust dissipativity of interval recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Huang, Lihong; Guo, Zhenyuan

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, the problems of robust dissipativity and robust exponential dissipativity are discussed for a class of recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations. We extend an invariance principle for the study of the dissipativity problem of delay systems to the discontinuous case. Based on the developed theory, some novel criteria for checking the global robust dissipativity and global robust exponential dissipativity of the addressed neural network model are established by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functionals and employing the theory of Filippov systems and matrix inequality techniques. The effectiveness of the theoretical results is shown by two examples with numerical simulations. PMID:27475061

  5. Global robust dissipativity of interval recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations.

    PubMed

    Duan, Lian; Huang, Lihong; Guo, Zhenyuan

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, the problems of robust dissipativity and robust exponential dissipativity are discussed for a class of recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations. We extend an invariance principle for the study of the dissipativity problem of delay systems to the discontinuous case. Based on the developed theory, some novel criteria for checking the global robust dissipativity and global robust exponential dissipativity of the addressed neural network model are established by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functionals and employing the theory of Filippov systems and matrix inequality techniques. The effectiveness of the theoretical results is shown by two examples with numerical simulations.

  6. Global robust dissipativity of interval recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Lian; Huang, Lihong; Guo, Zhenyuan

    2016-07-01

    In this paper, the problems of robust dissipativity and robust exponential dissipativity are discussed for a class of recurrent neural networks with time-varying delay and discontinuous activations. We extend an invariance principle for the study of the dissipativity problem of delay systems to the discontinuous case. Based on the developed theory, some novel criteria for checking the global robust dissipativity and global robust exponential dissipativity of the addressed neural network model are established by constructing appropriate Lyapunov functionals and employing the theory of Filippov systems and matrix inequality techniques. The effectiveness of the theoretical results is shown by two examples with numerical simulations.

  7. Alterations in brain activation during cognitive empathy are related to social functioning in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Smith, Matthew J; Schroeder, Matthew P; Abram, Samantha V; Goldman, Morris B; Parrish, Todd B; Wang, Xue; Derntl, Birgit; Habel, Ute; Decety, Jean; Reilly, James L; Csernansky, John G; Breiter, Hans C

    2015-01-01

    Impaired cognitive empathy (ie, understanding the emotional experiences of others) is associated with poor social functioning in schizophrenia. However, it is unclear whether the neural activity underlying cognitive empathy relates to social functioning. This study examined the neural activation supporting cognitive empathy performance and whether empathy-related activation during correctly performed trials was associated with self-reported cognitive empathy and measures of social functioning. Thirty schizophrenia outpatients and 24 controls completed a cognitive empathy paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neural activity corresponding to correct judgments about the expected emotional expression in a social interaction was compared in schizophrenia subjects relative to control subjects. Participants also completed a self-report measure of empathy and 2 social functioning measures (social competence and social attainment). Schizophrenia subjects demonstrated significantly lower accuracy in task performance and were characterized by hypoactivation in empathy-related frontal, temporal, and parietal regions as well as hyperactivation in occipital regions compared with control subjects during accurate cognitive empathy trials. A cluster with peak activation in the supplementary motor area (SMA) extending to the anterior midcingulate cortex (aMCC) correlated with social competence and social attainment in schizophrenia subjects but not controls. These results suggest that neural correlates of cognitive empathy may be promising targets for interventions aiming to improve social functioning and that brain activation in the SMA/aMCC region could be used as a biomarker for monitoring treatment response.

  8. [Experimental skeletal teratogenesis: a disturbance of relative osteo-neural growth].

    PubMed

    Roth, M

    1976-01-01

    The previously suggested concept of the closest growth relations existing between the bony and the nervous tissue at the organ level of the spinal cord and the peripheral (including the facial) nervous trunks is experimentally buttressed. It is shown that the normal gross-morphological features of the vertebrae as well as of the tubular bones (viz., their length, physiological curvatures and terminal expansions) result from the adaptation of the bone growth to the slower proceeding and vulnerable neural extensive growth, viz., from a physiological osteo-neural growth disproportion. The more or less conspicuous growth in length of the facial skeleton depends upon the phylogenetically established, more or less evolved extensive-growth potentially of the facial nervous trunks as well. The growth relation existing between the developing brain and its bony case applies essentially even for the axial organ, the extremities as well as for the facial skeleton. The experimental findings speak in favour of the theoretical expectation that the typical teratogenic deformities of the extremities (micromelia), of the spine (scoliosis, defects of the vertebrae and of the ribs) as well as of the beak (jaws) which may be produced by a great number of most diverse teratogens, result from the adaptation of the bone growth to the growth-insufficient nervous trunks, viz., from the pathologically enhanced osteo-neural growth disproportion. The cleft palate and the digital defects (syndactylia, oligodactylia) may be readily explained by the growth-inhibition of the palatal and digital nervous structures as well. The vertebrate body may be thus conceived as composed of 2 growth types, viz., the neural-extensive and the cellular-divisional (mitotic). The former is represented by an extremely dense feltwork of nerve fibers and trunks (the DONALDSON'S "nervous skeleton") which is "stuffed" with the other, mostly mitotically growing tissues. The 2 growth types are closely related partly at

  9. Where does brain neural activation in aesthetic responses to visual art occur? Meta-analytic evidence from neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M; Barbetti, S; Piccardi, L; Guariglia, C; Ferlazzo, F; Giannini, A M; Zaidel, D W

    2016-01-01

    Here we aimed at finding the neural correlates of the general aspect of visual aesthetic experience (VAE) and those more strictly correlated with the content of the artworks. We applied a general activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis to 47 fMRI experiments described in 14 published studies. We also performed four separate ALE analyses in order to identify the neural substrates of reactions to specific categories of artworks, namely portraits, representation of real-world-visual-scenes, abstract paintings, and body sculptures. The general ALE revealed that VAE relies on a bilateral network of areas, and the individual ALE analyses revealed different maximal activation for the artworks' categories as function of their content. Specifically, different content-dependent areas of the ventral visual stream are involved in VAE, but a few additional brain areas are involved as well. Thus, aesthetic-related neural responses to art recruit widely distributed networks in both hemispheres including content-dependent brain areas of the ventral visual stream. Together, the results suggest that aesthetic responses are not independent of sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes.

  10. Where does brain neural activation in aesthetic responses to visual art occur? Meta-analytic evidence from neuroimaging studies.

    PubMed

    Boccia, M; Barbetti, S; Piccardi, L; Guariglia, C; Ferlazzo, F; Giannini, A M; Zaidel, D W

    2016-01-01

    Here we aimed at finding the neural correlates of the general aspect of visual aesthetic experience (VAE) and those more strictly correlated with the content of the artworks. We applied a general activation likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis to 47 fMRI experiments described in 14 published studies. We also performed four separate ALE analyses in order to identify the neural substrates of reactions to specific categories of artworks, namely portraits, representation of real-world-visual-scenes, abstract paintings, and body sculptures. The general ALE revealed that VAE relies on a bilateral network of areas, and the individual ALE analyses revealed different maximal activation for the artworks' categories as function of their content. Specifically, different content-dependent areas of the ventral visual stream are involved in VAE, but a few additional brain areas are involved as well. Thus, aesthetic-related neural responses to art recruit widely distributed networks in both hemispheres including content-dependent brain areas of the ventral visual stream. Together, the results suggest that aesthetic responses are not independent of sensory, perceptual, and cognitive processes. PMID:26619805

  11. Chromatin Remodeling Inactivates Activity Genes and Regulates Neural Coding

    PubMed Central

    Hill, Kelly K.; Hemberg, Martin; Reddy, Naveen C.; Cho, Ha Y.; Guthrie, Arden N.; Oldenborg, Anna; Heiney, Shane A.; Ohmae, Shogo; Medina, Javier F.; Holy, Timothy E.; Bonni, Azad

    2016-01-01

    Activity-dependent transcription influences neuronal connectivity, but the roles and mechanisms of inactivation of activity-dependent genes have remained poorly understood. Genome-wide analyses in the mouse cerebellum revealed that the nucleosome remodeling and deacetylase (NuRD) complex deposits the histone variant H2A.z at promoters of activity-dependent genes, thereby triggering their inactivation. Purification of translating mRNAs from synchronously developing granule neurons (Sync-TRAP) showed that conditional knockout of the core NuRD subunit Chd4 impairs inactivation of activity-dependent genes when neurons undergo dendrite pruning. Chd4 knockout or expression of NuRD-regulated activity genes impairs dendrite pruning. Imaging of behaving mice revealed hyperresponsivity of granule neurons to sensorimotor stimuli upon Chd4 knockout. Our findings define an epigenetic mechanism that inactivates activity-dependent transcription and regulates dendrite patterning and sensorimotor encoding in the brain. PMID:27418512

  12. Mode of Effective Connectivity within a Putative Neural Network Differentiates Moral Cognitions Related to Care and Justice Ethics

    PubMed Central

    Cáceda, Ricardo; James, G. Andrew; Ely, Timothy D.; Snarey, John; Kilts, Clinton D.

    2011-01-01

    Background Moral sensitivity refers to the interpretive awareness of moral conflict and can be justice or care oriented. Justice ethics is associated primarily with human rights and the application of moral rules, whereas care ethics is related to human needs and a situational approach involving social emotions. Among the core brain regions involved in moral issue processing are: medial prefrontal cortex, anterior (ACC) and posterior (PCC) cingulate cortex, posterior superior temporal sulcus (pSTS), insula and amygdala. This study sought to inform the long standing debate of whether care and justice moral ethics represent one or two different forms of cognition. Methodology/Principal Findings Model-free and model-based connectivity analysis were used to identify functional neural networks underlying care and justice ethics for a moral sensitivity task. In addition to modest differences in patterns of associated neural activity, distinct modes of functional and effective connectivity were observed for moral sensitivity for care and justice issues that were modulated by individual variation in moral ability. Conclusions/Significance These results support a neurobiological differentiation between care and justice ethics and suggest that human moral behavior reflects the outcome of integrating opposing rule-based, self-other perspectives, and emotional responses. PMID:21364916

  13. Neural correlates of psychological resilience and their relation to life satisfaction in a sample of healthy young adults.

    PubMed

    Kong, Feng; Wang, Xu; Hu, Siyuan; Liu, Jia

    2015-12-01

    Psychological resilience refers to the ability to thrive in the face of risk and adversity, which is crucial for individuals' mental and physical health. However, its precise neural correlates are still largely unknown. Here we used resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to identify the brain regions underlying this construct by correlating individuals' psychological resilience scores with the regional homogeneity (ReHo) and then examined how these resilience-related regions predicted life satisfaction in a sample of healthy young adults. We found that the ReHo in the bilateral insula, right dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and right rostral ACC (rACC) negatively predicted individual differences in psychological resilience, revealing the critical role of the salience network (SN) in psychological resilience. Crucially, the ReHo in the dACC within the SN mediated the effects of psychological resilience on life satisfaction. In summary, these findings suggest that spontaneous activity of the human brain reflect the efficiency of psychological resilience and highlight the dACC within the SN as a neural substrate linking psychological resilience and life satisfaction.

  14. Functional magnetic resonance signal changes in neural structures to baroreceptor reflex activation.

    PubMed

    Henderson, Luke A; Richard, Chris A; Macey, Paul M; Runquist, Matthew L; Yu, Pearl L; Galons, Jean-Philippe; Harper, Ronald M

    2004-02-01

    The sequence of neural responses to exogenous arterial pressure manipulation remains unclear, especially for extramedullary sites. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging procedures to visualize neural responses during pressor (phenylephrine) and depressor (sodium nitroprusside) challenges in seven isoflurane-anesthetized adult cats. Depressor challenges produced signal-intensity declines in multiple cardiovascular-related sites in the medulla, including the nucleus tractus solitarius, and caudal and rostral ventrolateral medulla. Signal decreases also emerged in the cerebellar vermis, inferior olive, dorsolateral pons, and right insula. Rostral sites, such as the amygdala and hypothalamus, increased signal intensity as arterial pressure declined. In contrast, arterial pressure elevation elicited smaller signal increases in medullary regions, the dorsolateral pons, and the right insula and signal declines in regions of the hypothalamus, with no change in deep cerebellar areas. Responses to both pressor and depressor challenges were typically lateralized. In a subset of animals, barodenervation resulted in rises and falls of blood pressure that were comparable to these resulting from the pharmacological challenges but different regional neural responses, indicating that the regional signal intensity responses did not derive from global perfusion effects but from baroreceptor mediation of central mechanisms. The findings demonstrate widespread lateralized distribution of neural sites responsive to blood pressure manipulation. The distribution and time course of neural responses follow patterns associated with early and late compensatory reactions. PMID:14565965

  15. Wide-field optical mapping of neural activity and brain haemodynamics: considerations and novel approaches

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Ying; Shaik, Mohammed A.; Kozberg, Mariel G.; Thibodeaux, David N.; Zhao, Hanzhi T.; Yu, Hang

    2016-01-01

    Although modern techniques such as two-photon microscopy can now provide cellular-level three-dimensional imaging of the intact living brain, the speed and fields of view of these techniques remain limited. Conversely, two-dimensional wide-field optical mapping (WFOM), a simpler technique that uses a camera to observe large areas of the exposed cortex under visible light, can detect changes in both neural activity and haemodynamics at very high speeds. Although WFOM may not provide single-neuron or capillary-level resolution, it is an attractive and accessible approach to imaging large areas of the brain in awake, behaving mammals at speeds fast enough to observe widespread neural firing events, as well as their dynamic coupling to haemodynamics. Although such wide-field optical imaging techniques have a long history, the advent of genetically encoded fluorophores that can report neural activity with high sensitivity, as well as modern technologies such as light emitting diodes and sensitive and high-speed digital cameras have driven renewed interest in WFOM. To facilitate the wider adoption and standardization of WFOM approaches for neuroscience and neurovascular coupling research, we provide here an overview of the basic principles of WFOM, considerations for implementation of wide-field fluorescence imaging of neural activity, spectroscopic analysis and interpretation of results. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience’. PMID:27574312

  16. Wide-field optical mapping of neural activity and brain haemodynamics: considerations and novel approaches.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Shaik, Mohammed A; Kim, Sharon H; Kozberg, Mariel G; Thibodeaux, David N; Zhao, Hanzhi T; Yu, Hang; Hillman, Elizabeth M C

    2016-10-01

    Although modern techniques such as two-photon microscopy can now provide cellular-level three-dimensional imaging of the intact living brain, the speed and fields of view of these techniques remain limited. Conversely, two-dimensional wide-field optical mapping (WFOM), a simpler technique that uses a camera to observe large areas of the exposed cortex under visible light, can detect changes in both neural activity and haemodynamics at very high speeds. Although WFOM may not provide single-neuron or capillary-level resolution, it is an attractive and accessible approach to imaging large areas of the brain in awake, behaving mammals at speeds fast enough to observe widespread neural firing events, as well as their dynamic coupling to haemodynamics. Although such wide-field optical imaging techniques have a long history, the advent of genetically encoded fluorophores that can report neural activity with high sensitivity, as well as modern technologies such as light emitting diodes and sensitive and high-speed digital cameras have driven renewed interest in WFOM. To facilitate the wider adoption and standardization of WFOM approaches for neuroscience and neurovascular coupling research, we provide here an overview of the basic principles of WFOM, considerations for implementation of wide-field fluorescence imaging of neural activity, spectroscopic analysis and interpretation of results.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574312

  17. Wide-field optical mapping of neural activity and brain haemodynamics: considerations and novel approaches.

    PubMed

    Ma, Ying; Shaik, Mohammed A; Kim, Sharon H; Kozberg, Mariel G; Thibodeaux, David N; Zhao, Hanzhi T; Yu, Hang; Hillman, Elizabeth M C

    2016-10-01

    Although modern techniques such as two-photon microscopy can now provide cellular-level three-dimensional imaging of the intact living brain, the speed and fields of view of these techniques remain limited. Conversely, two-dimensional wide-field optical mapping (WFOM), a simpler technique that uses a camera to observe large areas of the exposed cortex under visible light, can detect changes in both neural activity and haemodynamics at very high speeds. Although WFOM may not provide single-neuron or capillary-level resolution, it is an attractive and accessible approach to imaging large areas of the brain in awake, behaving mammals at speeds fast enough to observe widespread neural firing events, as well as their dynamic coupling to haemodynamics. Although such wide-field optical imaging techniques have a long history, the advent of genetically encoded fluorophores that can report neural activity with high sensitivity, as well as modern technologies such as light emitting diodes and sensitive and high-speed digital cameras have driven renewed interest in WFOM. To facilitate the wider adoption and standardization of WFOM approaches for neuroscience and neurovascular coupling research, we provide here an overview of the basic principles of WFOM, considerations for implementation of wide-field fluorescence imaging of neural activity, spectroscopic analysis and interpretation of results.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'.

  18. Genetic dyslexia risk variant is related to neural connectivity patterns underlying phonological awareness in children.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Kirsten, Holger; Kraft, Indra; Schaadt, Gesa; Müller, Bent; Neef, Nicole; Brauer, Jens; Wilcke, Arndt; Emmrich, Frank; Boltze, Johannes; Friederici, Angela D

    2015-09-01

    Phonological awareness is the best-validated predictor of reading and spelling skill and therefore highly relevant for developmental dyslexia. Prior imaging genetics studies link several dyslexia risk genes to either brain-functional or brain-structural factors of phonological deficits. However, coherent evidence for genetic associations with both functional and structural neural phenotypes underlying variation in phonological awareness has not yet been provided. Here we demonstrate that rs11100040, a reported modifier of SLC2A3, is related to the functional connectivity of left fronto-temporal phonological processing areas at resting state in a sample of 9- to 12-year-old children. Furthermore, we provide evidence that rs11100040 is related to the fractional anisotropy of the arcuate fasciculus, which forms the structural connection between these areas. This structural connectivity phenotype is associated with phonological awareness, which is in turn associated with the individual retrospective risk scores in an early dyslexia screening as well as to spelling. These results suggest a link between a dyslexia risk genotype and a functional as well as a structural neural phenotype, which is associated with a phonological awareness phenotype. The present study goes beyond previous work by integrating genetic, brain-functional and brain-structural aspects of phonological awareness within a single approach. These combined findings might be another step towards a multimodal biomarker for developmental dyslexia.

  19. Reward-related neural dysfunction across depression and impulsivity: A dimensional approach.

    PubMed

    Ait Oumeziane, Belel; Foti, Dan

    2016-08-01

    Recent theoretical models underline reward sensitivity as a potential endophenotype for major depressive disorder. Neural and behavioral evidence reveals depression is associated with reduced reward sensitivity. However, reward dysfunction is not unique to depression, as it is also common across disorders of poor impulse control. We examined the interrelationships of depression (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale [DASS-21]) and impulsivity (UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale) with reward sensitivity among a large, representative sample (N = 260). ERPs were recorded to isolate two neural indicators of consummatory reward processing: initial evaluation of rewards in the 250-350 ms time window postonset of feedback (reward positivity [RewP]), and salience to monetary outcomes (P3). Significant interactions were observed between depression and impulsivity facets across these two stages of reward processing: depression and positive urgency predicted RewP amplitude to reward outcomes (win vs. loss); depression and one other impulsivity trait, (lack of) premeditation, predicted P3 amplitude to monetary outcomes. Conversely, high symptoms of depression were related to three biobehavioral profiles: (1) blunted RewP in conjunction with high positive urgency, (2) combination of blunted RewP and low (lack of) premeditation, and (3) blunted P3 to monetary wins/losses, in conjunction with low (lack of) premeditation. Findings illustrate that reward-related dysfunctions may be optimally conceptualized when examining the interactions between dimensions of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. PMID:27193188

  20. Modeling spontaneous activity across an excitable epithelium: Support for a coordination scenario of early neural evolution

    PubMed Central

    de Wiljes, Oltman O.; van Elburg, Ronald A. J.; Biehl, Michael; Keijzer, Fred A.

    2015-01-01

    Internal coordination models hold that early nervous systems evolved in the first place to coordinate internal activity at a multicellular level, most notably the use of multicellular contractility as an effector for motility. A recent example of such a model, the skin brain thesis, suggests that excitable epithelia using chemical signaling are a potential candidate as a nervous system precursor. We developed a computational model and a measure for whole body coordination to investigate the coordinative properties of such excitable epithelia. Using this measure we show that excitable epithelia can spontaneously exhibit body-scale patterns of activation. Relevant factors determining the extent of patterning are the noise level for exocytosis, relative body dimensions, and body size. In smaller bodies whole-body coordination emerges from cellular excitability and bidirectional excitatory transmission alone. Our results show that basic internal coordination as proposed by the skin brain thesis could have arisen in this potential nervous system precursor, supporting that this configuration may have played a role as a proto-neural system and requires further investigation. PMID:26441620

  1. Disentangling cognitive processes from neural activation and psychic mechanisms: the example of empathy.

    PubMed

    Guilé, Jean-Marc

    2010-12-01

    Empathy processes can be explored within a three-level model distinguishing neuronal, cognitive and intra-psychic operating levels. Cognitive and intra-psychic processes need not to be collapsed. Neural systems involved in empathy are described through neuroimaging and event-related potential (ERP) studies. On the cognitive level, empathy is threefold: procedural, semantic and biographical. Automatically activated since birth, procedural empathy processes are deeply enrooted in visuo-motor response capacities and responsible for automatic mimicry. These processes might rely on a prior sensori-motor contagion system. Semantic empathy parallels language development and expresses connexion between words, meaning and emotion. Biographical emerges later in life and corresponds to the interweaving of personal experience with feelings and words, together with a capacity to bridge with the others' experiences. On the intra-psychic level, defence mechanisms as well as identification processes, depicted from a subjective and interpersonal standpoint, are corresponding, without being similar, to empathetic processes described in cognitive neuroscience studies. Studies on semantic empathy need to control for the participants biographical information and concomitant memory activation. The interface between cognitive and intra-psychic processes needs to be further investigated.

  2. Cannabis abstinence during treatment and one-year follow-up: relationship to neural activity in men.

    PubMed

    Kober, Hedy; DeVito, Elise E; DeLeone, Cameron M; Carroll, Kathleen M; Potenza, Marc N

    2014-09-01

    Cannabis is among the most frequently abused substances in the United States. Cognitive control is a contributory factor in the maintenance of substance-use disorders and may relate to treatment response. Therefore, we assessed whether cognitive-control-related neural activity before treatment differs between treatment-seeking cannabis-dependent and healthy individuals and relates to cannabis-abstinence measures during treatment and 1-year follow-up. Cannabis-dependent males (N=20) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) cognitive-control (Stroop) task before a 12-week randomized controlled trial of cognitive-behavioral therapy and/or contingency management. A healthy-comparison group (N=20) also completed the fMRI task. Cannabis use was assessed by urine toxicology and self-report during treatment, and by self-report across a 1-year follow-up period (N=18). The cannabis-dependent group displayed diminished Stroop-related neural activity relative to the healthy-comparison group in multiple regions, including those strongly implicated in cognitive-control and addiction-related processes (eg, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum). The groups did not differ significantly in response times (cannabis-dependent, N=12; healthy-comparison, N=14). Within the cannabis-dependent group, greater Stroop-related activity in regions including the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex was associated with less cannabis use during treatment. Greater activity in regions including the ventral striatum was associated with less cannabis use during 1-year posttreatment follow-up. These data suggest that lower cognitive-control-related neural activity in classic 'control' regions (eg, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and dorsal anterior cingulate) and classic 'salience/reward/learning' regions (eg, ventral striatum) differentiates cannabis-dependent individuals from healthy individuals and relates to less abstinence within-treatment and during long-term follow

  3. An fMRI comparison of neural activity associated with recognition of familiar melodies in younger and older adults.

    PubMed

    Sikka, Ritu; Cuddy, Lola L; Johnsrude, Ingrid S; Vanstone, Ashley D

    2015-01-01

    Several studies of semantic memory in non-musical domains involving recognition of items from long-term memory have shown an age-related shift from the medial temporal lobe structures to the frontal lobe. However, the effects of aging on musical semantic memory remain unexamined. We compared activation associated with recognition of familiar melodies in younger and older adults. Recognition follows successful retrieval from the musical lexicon that comprises a lifetime of learned musical phrases. We used the sparse-sampling technique in fMRI to determine the neural correlates of melody recognition by comparing activation when listening to familiar vs. unfamiliar melodies, and to identify age differences. Recognition-related cortical activation was detected in the right superior temporal, bilateral inferior and superior frontal, left middle orbitofrontal, bilateral precentral, and left supramarginal gyri. Region-of-interest analysis showed greater activation for younger adults in the left superior temporal gyrus and for older adults in the left superior frontal, left angular, and bilateral superior parietal regions. Our study provides powerful evidence for these musical memory networks due to a large sample (N = 40) that includes older adults. This study is the first to investigate the neural basis of melody recognition in older adults and to compare the findings to younger adults. PMID:26500480

  4. An fMRI comparison of neural activity associated with recognition of familiar melodies in younger and older adults

    PubMed Central

    Sikka, Ritu; Cuddy, Lola L.; Johnsrude, Ingrid S.; Vanstone, Ashley D.

    2015-01-01

    Several studies of semantic memory in non-musical domains involving recognition of items from long-term memory have shown an age-related shift from the medial temporal lobe structures to the frontal lobe. However, the effects of aging on musical semantic memory remain unexamined. We compared activation associated with recognition of familiar melodies in younger and older adults. Recognition follows successful retrieval from the musical lexicon that comprises a lifetime of learned musical phrases. We used the sparse-sampling technique in fMRI to determine the neural correlates of melody recognition by comparing activation when listening to familiar vs. unfamiliar melodies, and to identify age differences. Recognition-related cortical activation was detected in the right superior temporal, bilateral inferior and superior frontal, left middle orbitofrontal, bilateral precentral, and left supramarginal gyri. Region-of-interest analysis showed greater activation for younger adults in the left superior temporal gyrus and for older adults in the left superior frontal, left angular, and bilateral superior parietal regions. Our study provides powerful evidence for these musical memory networks due to a large sample (N = 40) that includes older adults. This study is the first to investigate the neural basis of melody recognition in older adults and to compare the findings to younger adults. PMID:26500480

  5. An fMRI comparison of neural activity associated with recognition of familiar melodies in younger and older adults.

    PubMed

    Sikka, Ritu; Cuddy, Lola L; Johnsrude, Ingrid S; Vanstone, Ashley D

    2015-01-01

    Several studies of semantic memory in non-musical domains involving recognition of items from long-term memory have shown an age-related shift from the medial temporal lobe structures to the frontal lobe. However, the effects of aging on musical semantic memory remain unexamined. We compared activation associated with recognition of familiar melodies in younger and older adults. Recognition follows successful retrieval from the musical lexicon that comprises a lifetime of learned musical phrases. We used the sparse-sampling technique in fMRI to determine the neural correlates of melody recognition by comparing activation when listening to familiar vs. unfamiliar melodies, and to identify age differences. Recognition-related cortical activation was detected in the right superior temporal, bilateral inferior and superior frontal, left middle orbitofrontal, bilateral precentral, and left supramarginal gyri. Region-of-interest analysis showed greater activation for younger adults in the left superior temporal gyrus and for older adults in the left superior frontal, left angular, and bilateral superior parietal regions. Our study provides powerful evidence for these musical memory networks due to a large sample (N = 40) that includes older adults. This study is the first to investigate the neural basis of melody recognition in older adults and to compare the findings to younger adults.

  6. When your pain signifies my gain: neural activity while evaluating outcomes based on another person's pain.

    PubMed

    Cui, Fang; Zhu, Xiangru; Gu, Ruolei; Luo, Yue-Jia

    2016-01-01

    The overlap between pain and reward processing pathways leds researchers to hypothesize that there are interactions between them in the human brain. Two hypotheses have been proposed. The "competition hypothesis" posits that reward can reduce pain-related neural activity and vice versa. The "salience hypothesis" suggests that the motivational salience of pain and reward can be mutually reinforced. However, no study has tested these two hypotheses from temporal perspective as we know. In the present study, pictures depicted other people in painful or non-painful situations were used to indicate the valence of outcomes in a gambling task. The event-related potential results revealed an interaction between another person's pain and outcome valence in multiple time stages. Specifically, the amplitudes of the N1 and P3 were enhanced in the win condition compared with the loss condition when the outcome was indicated by painful picture. This interactions between pain and reward support the salience hypothesis but not the competition hypothesis. The present results provide evidence from human subjects that support the salience hypothesis, which claims that observing other people's pain can enhance the salience of reward. PMID:27193060

  7. Critical branching neural networks.

    PubMed

    Kello, Christopher T

    2013-01-01

    It is now well-established that intrinsic variations in human neural and behavioral activity tend to exhibit scaling laws in their fluctuations and distributions. The meaning of these scaling laws is an ongoing matter of debate between isolable causes versus pervasive causes. A spiking neural network model is presented that self-tunes to critical branching and, in doing so, simulates observed scaling laws as pervasive to neural and behavioral activity. These scaling laws are related to neural and cognitive functions, in that critical branching is shown to yield spiking activity with maximal memory and encoding capacities when analyzed using reservoir computing techniques. The model is also shown to account for findings of pervasive 1/f scaling in speech and cued response behaviors that are difficult to explain by isolable causes. Issues and questions raised by the model and its results are discussed from the perspectives of physics, neuroscience, computer and information sciences, and psychological and cognitive sciences.

  8. Role of Electrical Activity in Promoting Neural Repair

    PubMed Central

    Goldberg, Jeffrey L.

    2012-01-01

    The nervous system communicates in a language of electrical activities. The motivation to replace function lost through injury or disease through electrical prostheses has gained traction through steady advances in basic and translational science addressing the interface between electrical prostheses and the nervous system. Recent experiments suggest that electrical activity, signaling through specific molecular pathways, promotes neuronal survival and regeneration. Such data suggests that electrical prostheses, in addition to replacing lost function, may slow underlying degenerative disease or induce regenerative response. Here we review these data with a focus on retinal neurons, and discuss current efforts to translate this effect of electrical activity into clinically applicable treatments. PMID:22342908

  9. Constructive feedforward neural networks using hermite polynomial activation functions.

    PubMed

    Ma, Liying; Khorasani, K

    2005-07-01

    In this paper, a constructive one-hidden-layer network is introduced where each hidden unit employs a polynomial function for its activation function that is different from other units. Specifically, both a structure level as well as a function level adaptation methodologies are utilized in constructing the network. The functional level adaptation scheme ensures that the "growing" or constructive network has different activation functions for each neuron such that the network may be able to capture the underlying input-output map more effectively. The activation functions considered consist of orthonormal Hermite polynomials. It is shown through extensive simulations that the proposed network yields improved performance when compared to networks having identical sigmoidal activation functions.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Neural constraints on learning

    PubMed Central

    Sadtler, Patrick T.; Quick, Kristin M.; Golub, Matthew D.; Chase, Steven M.; Ryu, Stephen I.; Tyler-Kabara, Elizabeth C.; Yu, Byron M.; Batista, Aaron P.

    2014-01-01

    Motor, sensory, and cognitive learning require networks of neurons to generate new activity patterns. Because some behaviors are easier to learn than others1,2, we wondered if some neural activity patterns are easier to generate than others. We asked whether the existing network constrains the patterns that a subset of its neurons is capable of exhibiting, and if so, what principles define the constraint. We employed a closed-loop intracortical brain-computer interface (BCI) learning paradigm in which Rhesus monkeys controlled a computer cursor by modulating neural activity patterns in primary motor cortex. Using the BCI paradigm, we could specify and alter how neural activity mapped to cursor velocity. At the start of each session, we observed the characteristic activity patterns of the recorded neural population. These patterns comprise a low-dimensional space (termed the intrinsic manifold, or IM) within the high-dimensional neural firing rate space. They presumably reflect constraints imposed by the underlying neural circuitry. We found that the animals could readily learn to proficiently control the cursor using neural activity patterns that were within the IM. However, animals were less able to learn to proficiently control the cursor using activity patterns that were outside of the IM. This result suggests that the existing structure of a network can shape learning. On the timescale of hours, it appears to be difficult to learn to generate neural activity patterns that are not consistent with the existing network structure. These findings offer a network-level explanation for the observation that we are more readily able to learn new skills when they are related to the skills that we already possess3,4. PMID:25164754

  13. Disentangling the attention network test: behavioral, event related potentials, and neural source analyses

    PubMed Central

    Galvao-Carmona, Alejandro; González-Rosa, Javier J.; Hidalgo-Muñoz, Antonio R.; Páramo, Dolores; Benítez, María L.; Izquierdo, Guillermo; Vázquez-Marrufo, Manuel

    2014-01-01

    Background: The study of the attentional system remains a challenge for current neuroscience. The “Attention Network Test” (ANT) was designed to study simultaneously three different attentional networks (alerting, orienting, and executive) based in subtraction of different experimental conditions. However, some studies recommend caution with these calculations due to the interactions between the attentional networks. In particular, it is highly relevant that several interpretations about attentional impairment have arisen from these calculations in diverse pathologies. Event related potentials (ERPs) and neural source analysis can be applied to disentangle the relationships between these attentional networks not specifically shown by behavioral measures. Results: This study shows that there is a basic level of alerting (tonic alerting) in the no cue (NC) condition, represented by a slow negative trend in the ERP trace prior to the onset of the target stimuli. A progressive increase in the CNV amplitude related to the amount of information provided by the cue conditions is also shown. Neural source analysis reveals specific modulations of the CNV related to a task-related expectancy presented in the NC condition; a late modulation triggered by the central cue (CC) condition and probably representing a generic motor preparation; and an early and late modulation for spatial cue (SC) condition suggesting specific motor and sensory preactivation. Finally, the first component in the information processing of the target stimuli modulated by the interaction between orienting network and the executive system can be represented by N1. Conclusions: The ANT is useful as a paradigm to study specific attentional mechanisms and their interactions. However, calculation of network effects is based in subtractions with non-comparable experimental conditions, as evidenced by the present data, which can induce misinterpretations in the study of the attentional capacity in human

  14. Notch Activity Modulates the Responsiveness of Neural Progenitors to Sonic Hedgehog Signaling

    PubMed Central

    Kong, Jennifer H.; Yang, Linlin; Dessaud, Eric; Chuang, Katherine; Moore, Destaye M.; Rohatgi, Rajat; Briscoe, James; Novitch, Bennett G.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Throughout the developing nervous system, neural stem and progenitor cells give rise to diverse classes of neurons and glia in a spatially and temporally coordinated manner. In the ventral spinal cord, much of this diversity emerges through the morphogen actions of Sonic hedgehog (Shh). Interpretation of the Shh gradient depends on both the amount of ligand and duration of exposure, but the mechanisms permitting prolonged responses to Shh are not well understood. We demonstrate that Notch signaling plays an essential role in this process, enabling neural progenitors to attain sufficiently high levels of Shh pathway activity needed to direct the ventral-most cell fates. Notch activity regulates subcellular localization of the Shh receptor Patched1, gating the translocation of the key effector Smoothened to primary cilia and its downstream signaling activities. These data reveal an unexpected role for Notch shaping the interpretation of the Shh morphogen gradient and influencing cell fate determination. PMID:25936505

  15. Investigating the correlation between the neural activity and task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test.

    PubMed

    Hu, Zhongze; Sun, Yu; Lim, Julian; Thakor, Nitish; Bezerianos, Anastasios

    2015-01-01

    Neural activity is known to correlate with decrements in task performance as individuals enter the state of mental fatigue which might lead to lowered productivity and increased safety risks. Incorporating a passive brain computer interface (BCI) technique that detects changes in subject's neural activity and predicts the behavioral performance when the subject is underperforming might be a promising approach to reduce human error in real-world situations. Here, we developed a reliable model using EEG power spectrum to estimate time-on-task performance in a psychomotor vigilance test (PVT) which can fit across individuals. High correlation between the estimated and actual reaction time was achieved. Hence, our results illustrate the feasibility for modeling time-on-task decrements in performance among different individuals from their brainwave activity, with potential applications in several domains, including traffic and industrial safety. PMID:26737349

  16. Video-based convolutional neural networks for activity recognition from robot-centric videos

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryoo, M. S.; Matthies, Larry

    2016-05-01

    In this evaluation paper, we discuss convolutional neural network (CNN)-based approaches for human activity recognition. In particular, we investigate CNN architectures designed to capture temporal information in videos and their applications to the human activity recognition problem. There have been multiple previous works to use CNN-features for videos. These include CNNs using 3-D XYT convolutional filters, CNNs using pooling operations on top of per-frame image-based CNN descriptors, and recurrent neural networks to learn temporal changes in per-frame CNN descriptors. We experimentally compare some of these different representatives CNNs while using first-person human activity videos. We especially focus on videos from a robots viewpoint, captured during its operations and human-robot interactions.

  17. Dampened neural activity and abolition of epileptic-like activity in cortical slices by active ingredients of spices.

    PubMed

    Pezzoli, Maurizio; Elhamdani, Abdeladim; Camacho, Susana; Meystre, Julie; González, Stephanie Michlig; le Coutre, Johannes; Markram, Henry

    2014-10-31

    Active ingredients of spices (AIS) modulate neural response in the peripheral nervous system, mainly through interaction with TRP channel/receptors. The present study explores how different AIS modulate neural response in layer 5 pyramidal neurons of S1 neocortex. The AIS tested are agonists of TRPV1/3, TRPM8 or TRPA1. Our results demonstrate that capsaicin, eugenol, menthol, icilin and cinnamaldehyde, but not AITC dampen the generation of APs in a voltage- and time-dependent manner. This effect was further tested for the TRPM8 ligands in the presence of a TRPM8 blocker (BCTC) and on TRPM8 KO mice. The observable effect was still present. Finally, the influence of the selected AIS was tested on in vitro gabazine-induced seizures. Results coincide with the above observations: except for cinnamaldehyde, the same AIS were able to reduce the number, duration of the AP bursts and increase the concentration of gabazine needed to elicit them. In conclusion, our data suggests that some of these AIS can modulate glutamatergic neurons in the brain through a TRP-independent pathway, regardless of whether the neurons are stimulated intracellularly or by hyperactive microcircuitry.

  18. Global familiarity of visual stimuli affects repetition-related neural plasticity but not repetition priming

    PubMed Central

    Soldan, Anja; Zarahn, Eric; Hilton, H. John; Stern, Yaakov

    2007-01-01

    In this study we tested the prediction of the component process model of priming (Henson, 2003) that repetition priming of familiar and unfamiliar objects produces qualitatively different neural repetition effects. In an fMRI study, subjects viewed four repetitions of familiar objects and globally unfamiliar objects with familiar components. Reliable behavioral priming occurred for both item types across the four presentations and was of a similar magnitude for both stimulus types. The imaging data was analyzed using multivariate linear modeling, which permits explicit testing of the hypothesis that the repetition effects for familiar and unfamiliar objects are qualitatively different (i.e., non-scaled versions of one another). The results showed the presence of two qualitatively different latent spatial patterns of repetition effects from presenation one to presentation four for familiar and unfamilar objects, indicating that familiarity with an object’s global structural, semantic, or lexical features is an important factor in priming-related neural plasticity. The first latent spatial pattern strongly weighted regions with a similar repetition effect for both item types. The second pattern strongly weighted regions contributing a repetition suppression effect for the familiar objects and repetition enhancement for the unfamiliar objects, particularly the posterior insula, superior temporal gyrus, precentral gyrus, and cingulate cortex. This differential repetition effect might reflect the formation of novel memory representations for the unfamiliar items, which already exist for the familiar objects, consistent with the component-process model of priming. PMID:17913513

  19. Neural correlates of abstract rule learning: an event-related potential study.

    PubMed

    Sun, Fang; Hoshi-Shiba, Reiko; Abla, Dilshat; Okanoya, Kazuo

    2012-09-01

    Abstract rule learning is a fundamental aspect of human cognition, and is essential for language acquisition. However, despite its importance, the neural mechanisms underlying abstract rule learning are still largely unclear. In this study, we investigated the neural correlates of abstract rule learning by recording auditory event-related potentials (ERPs). Participants were first presented with artificial three-syllable sequences containing ABA or ABB abstract rules for learning. They were then tested on sequences of novel syllables following the ABA or ABB abstract rules, half of which were inconsistent with the rule previously learned. Grand-averaged ERPs revealed significant decreases in positivity at 200-260ms in response to consistent sequences during the earlier session of the test phase, and increased negativity at around 400ms in response to inconsistent sequences in the later session. The potentials exhibited a left anterior-dominant distribution. The appearance of the N400-like negativity in the later session suggests that temporal ERP changes occurred with the abstract rule learning process, and that the N400-like negativity is associated with the acquisition of abstract rules.

  20. Changes in music tempo entrain movement related brain activity.

    PubMed

    Daly, Ian; Hallowell, James; Hwang, Faustina; Kirke, Alexis; Malik, Asad; Roesch, Etienne; Weaver, James; Williams, Duncan; Miranda, Eduardo; Nasuto, Slawomir J

    2014-01-01

    The neural mechanisms of music listening and appreciation are not yet completely understood. Based on the apparent relationship between the beats per minute (tempo) of music and the desire to move (for example feet tapping) induced while listening to that music it is hypothesised that musical tempo may evoke movement related activity in the brain. Participants are instructed to listen, without moving, to a large range of musical pieces spanning a range of styles and tempos during an electroencephalogram (EEG) experiment. Event-related desynchronisation (ERD) in the EEG is observed to correlate significantly with the variance of the tempo of the musical stimuli. This suggests that the dynamics of the beat of the music may induce movement related brain activity in the motor cortex. Furthermore, significant correlations are observed between EEG activity in the alpha band over the motor cortex and the bandpower of the music in the same frequency band over time. This relationship is observed to correlate with the strength of the ERD, suggesting entrainment of motor cortical activity relates to increased ERD strength. PMID:25571015

  1. Changes in music tempo entrain movement related brain activity.

    PubMed

    Daly, Ian; Hallowell, James; Hwang, Faustina; Kirke, Alexis; Malik, Asad; Roesch, Etienne; Weaver, James; Williams, Duncan; Miranda, Eduardo; Nasuto, Slawomir J

    2014-01-01

    The neural mechanisms of music listening and appreciation are not yet completely understood. Based on the apparent relationship between the beats per minute (tempo) of music and the desire to move (for example feet tapping) induced while listening to that music it is hypothesised that musical tempo may evoke movement related activity in the brain. Participants are instructed to listen, without moving, to a large range of musical pieces spanning a range of styles and tempos during an electroencephalogram (EEG) experiment. Event-related desynchronisation (ERD) in the EEG is observed to correlate significantly with the variance of the tempo of the musical stimuli. This suggests that the dynamics of the beat of the music may induce movement related brain activity in the motor cortex. Furthermore, significant correlations are observed between EEG activity in the alpha band over the motor cortex and the bandpower of the music in the same frequency band over time. This relationship is observed to correlate with the strength of the ERD, suggesting entrainment of motor cortical activity relates to increased ERD strength.

  2. Inferential Bridging Relations Reveal Distinct Neural Mechanisms: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Potentials

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burkhardt, Petra

    2006-01-01

    This study investigates the online comprehension of Determiner Phrases (DPs) as a function of the given-new distinction in two-sentence texts in German and further focuses on DPs whose interpretation depends on inferential information (so-called "bridging relations"). Previous reaction time studies report an advantage of given over new…

  3. Optogenetics and thermogenetics: technologies for controlling the activity of targeted cells within intact neural circuits

    PubMed Central

    Bernstein, Jacob G.; Garrity, Paul A.; Boyden, Edward S.

    2011-01-01

    In recent years, interest has grown in the ability to manipulate, in a temporally precise fashion, the electrical activity of specific neurons embedded within densely wired brain circuits, in order to reveal how specific neurons subserve behaviors and neural computations, and to open up new horizons on the clinical treatment of brain disorders. Technologies that enable temporally precise control of electrical activity of specific neurons, and not these neurons ’ neighbors – whose cell bodies or processes might be just tens to hundreds of nanometers away – must involve two components. First, they require as a trigger a transient pulse of energy that supports the temporal precision of the control. Second, they require a molecular sensitizer that can be expressed in specific neurons and which renders those neurons specifically responsive to the triggering energy delivered. Optogenetic tools, such as microbial opsins, can be used to activate or silence neural activity with brief pulses of light. Thermogenetic tools, such as thermosensitive TRP channels, can be used to drive neural activity downstream of increases or decreases in temperature. We here discuss the principles underlying the operation of these two recently developed, but widely used, toolboxes, as well as the directions being taken in the use and improvement of these toolboxes. PMID:22119320

  4. Average activity of excitatory and inhibitory neural populations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roulet, Javier; Mindlin, Gabriel B.

    2016-09-01

    We develop an extension of the Ott-Antonsen method [E. Ott and T. M. Antonsen, Chaos 18(3), 037113 (2008)] that allows obtaining the mean activity (spiking rate) of a population of excitable units. By means of the Ott-Antonsen method, equations for the dynamics of the order parameters of coupled excitatory and inhibitory populations of excitable units are obtained, and their mean activities are computed. Two different excitable systems are studied: Adler units and theta neurons. The resulting bifurcation diagrams are compared with those obtained from studying the phenomenological Wilson-Cowan model in some regions of the parameter space. Compatible behaviors, as well as higher dimensional chaotic solutions, are observed. We study numerical simulations to further validate the equations.

  5. Optimal Recognition Method of Human Activities Using Artificial Neural Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oniga, Stefan; József, Sütő

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this research is an exhaustive analysis of the various factors that may influence the recognition rate of the human activity using wearable sensors data. We made a total of 1674 simulations on a publically released human activity database by a group of researcher from the University of California at Berkeley. In a previous research, we analyzed the influence of the number of sensors and their placement. In the present research we have examined the influence of the number of sensor nodes, the type of sensor node, preprocessing algorithms, type of classifier and its parameters. The final purpose is to find the optimal setup for best recognition rates with lowest hardware and software costs.

  6. Model predictions of features in microsaccade-related neural responses in a feedforward network with short-term synaptic depression

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Jian-Fang; Yuan, Wu-Jie; Zhou, Zhao; Zhou, Changsong

    2016-02-01

    Recently, the significant microsaccade-induced neural responses have been extensively observed in experiments. To explore the underlying mechanisms of the observed neural responses, a feedforward network model with short-term synaptic depression has been proposed [Yuan, W.-J., Dimigen, O., Sommer, W. and Zhou, C. Front. Comput. Neurosci. 7, 47 (2013)]. The depression model not only gave an explanation for microsaccades in counteracting visual fading, but also successfully reproduced several microsaccade-related features in experimental findings. These results strongly suggest that, the depression model is very useful to investigate microsaccade-related neural responses. In this paper, by using the model, we extensively study and predict the dependance of microsaccade-related neural responses on several key parameters, which could be tuned in experiments. Particularly, we provide a significant prediction that microsaccade-related neural response also complies with the property “sharper is better” observed in many contexts in neuroscience. Importantly, the property exhibits a power-law relationship between the width of input signal and the responsive effectiveness, which is robust against many parameters in the model. By using mean field theory, we analytically investigate the robust power-law property. Our predictions would give theoretical guidance for further experimental investigations of the functional role of microsaccades in visual information processing.

  7. Placebo-Activated Neural Systems are Linked to Antidepressant Responses

    PubMed Central

    Peciña, Marta; Bohnert, Amy S. B.; Sikora, Magdalena; Avery, Erich T.; Langenecker, Scott A.; Mickey, Brian J.; Zubieta, Jon-Kar

    2016-01-01

    Importance High placebo responses have been observed across a wide range of pathologies, severely impacting drug development. Objective Here we examined neurochemical mechanisms underlying the formation of placebo effects in patients with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Participants Thirty-five medication-free MDD patients. Design and Intervention We performed a single-blinded two-week cross-over randomized controlled trial of two identical oral placebos (described as having either “active” or “inactive” fast-acting antidepressant-like effects) followed by a 10-week open-label treatment with a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) or in some cases, another agent as clinically indicated. The volunteers were studied with PET and the μ-opioid receptor (MOR)-selective radiotracer [11C]carfentanil after each 1-week “inactive” and “active” oral placebo treatment. In addition, 1 mL of isotonic saline was administered intravenously (i.v.) within sight of the volunteer during PET scanning every 4 min over 20 min only after the 1-week active placebo treatment, with instructions that the compound may be associated with the activation of brain systems involved in mood improvement. This challenge stimulus was utilized to test the individual capacity to acutely activate endogenous opioid neurotransmision under expectations of antidepressant effect. Setting A University Health System. Main Outcomes and Measures Changes in depressive symptoms in response to “active” placebo and antidepressant. Baseline and activation measures of MOR binding. Results Higher baseline MOR binding in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) was associated with better response to antidepressant treatment (r=0.48; p=0.02). Reductions in depressive symptoms after 1-week of “active” placebo treatment, compared to the “inactive”, were associated with increased placebo-induced μ-opioid neurotransmission in a network of regions implicated in emotion, stress regulation, and the

  8. Enhanced Neural Processing of Goal-directed Actions After Active Training in 4-Month-Old Infants.

    PubMed

    Bakker, Marta; Sommerville, Jessica A; Gredebäck, Gustaf

    2016-03-01

    The current study explores the neural correlates of action perception and its relation to infants' active experience performing goal-directed actions. Study 1 provided active training with sticky mittens that enables grasping and object manipulation in prereaching 4-month-olds. After training, EEG was recorded while infants observed images of hands grasping toward (congruent) or away from (incongruent) objects. We demonstrate that brief active training facilitates social perception as indexed by larger amplitude of the P400 ERP component to congruent compared with incongruent trials. Study 2 presented 4-month-old infants with passive training in which they observed an experimenter perform goal-directed reaching actions, followed by an identical ERP session to that used in Study 1. The second study did not demonstrate any differentiation between congruent and incongruent trials. These results suggest that (1) active experience alters the brains' response to goal-directed actions performed by others and (2) visual exposure alone is not sufficient in developing the neural networks subserving goal processing during action observation in infancy.

  9. Estimating nonnegative matrix model activations with deep neural networks to increase perceptual speech quality.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Donald S; Wang, Yuxuan; Wang, DeLiang

    2015-09-01

    As a means of speech separation, time-frequency masking applies a gain function to the time-frequency representation of noisy speech. On the other hand, nonnegative matrix factorization (NMF) addresses separation by linearly combining basis vectors from speech and noise models to approximate noisy speech. This paper presents an approach for improving the perceptual quality of speech separated from background noise at low signal-to-noise ratios. An ideal ratio mask is estimated, which separates speech from noise with reasonable sound quality. A deep neural network then approximates clean speech by estimating activation weights from the ratio-masked speech, where the weights linearly combine elements from a NMF speech model. Systematic comparisons using objective metrics, including the perceptual evaluation of speech quality, show that the proposed algorithm achieves higher speech quality than related masking and NMF methods. In addition, a listening test was performed and its results show that the output of the proposed algorithm is preferred over the comparison systems in terms of speech quality. PMID:26428778

  10. Brain-wide mapping of neural activity controlling zebrafish exploratory locomotion

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Timothy W; Mu, Yu; Narayan, Sujatha; Randlett, Owen; Naumann, Eva A; Yang, Chao-Tsung; Schier, Alexander F

    2016-01-01

    In the absence of salient sensory cues to guide behavior, animals must still execute sequences of motor actions in order to forage and explore. How such successive motor actions are coordinated to form global locomotion trajectories is unknown. We mapped the structure of larval zebrafish swim trajectories in homogeneous environments and found that trajectories were characterized by alternating sequences of repeated turns to the left and to the right. Using whole-brain light-sheet imaging, we identified activity relating to the behavior in specific neural populations that we termed the anterior rhombencephalic turning region (ARTR). ARTR perturbations biased swim direction and reduced the dependence of turn direction on turn history, indicating that the ARTR is part of a network generating the temporal correlations in turn direction. We also find suggestive evidence for ARTR mutual inhibition and ARTR projections to premotor neurons. Finally, simulations suggest the observed turn sequences may underlie efficient exploration of local environments. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.12741.001 PMID:27003593

  11. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement.

  12. Model for a flexible motor memory based on a self-active recurrent neural network.

    PubMed

    Boström, Kim Joris; Wagner, Heiko; Prieske, Markus; de Lussanet, Marc

    2013-10-01

    Using recent recurrent network architecture based on the reservoir computing approach, we propose and numerically simulate a model that is focused on the aspects of a flexible motor memory for the storage of elementary movement patterns into the synaptic weights of a neural network, so that the patterns can be retrieved at any time by simple static commands. The resulting motor memory is flexible in that it is capable to continuously modulate the stored patterns. The modulation consists in an approximately linear inter- and extrapolation, generating a large space of possible movements that have not been learned before. A recurrent network of thousand neurons is trained in a manner that corresponds to a realistic exercising scenario, with experimentally measured muscular activations and with kinetic data representing proprioceptive feedback. The network is "self-active" in that it maintains recurrent flow of activation even in the absence of input, a feature that resembles the "resting-state activity" found in the human and animal brain. The model involves the concept of "neural outsourcing" which amounts to the permanent shifting of computational load from higher to lower-level neural structures, which might help to explain why humans are able to execute learned skills in a fluent and flexible manner without the need for attention to the details of the movement. PMID:24120277

  13. Neural activity in the parietal eye of a lizard.

    PubMed

    MILLER, W H; WOLBARSHT, M L

    1962-01-26

    Electrical signs of activity in response to illumination of the parietal eye of the American chameleon, Anolis carolinensis, have been investigated. The responses were of two types. Under conditions of direct-coupled amplification, with glass pipette electrodes recording extracellularly from the retinal surface, the response consisted of an increase in negativity maintained throughout prolonged illumination. With capacitance-coupled amplification and metal electrodes, brisk mass discharges of nerve impulses were detected at the onset and cessation of illumination. During illumination a less vigorous maintained discharge was observed.

  14. Parental Socioeconomic Status and the Neural Basis of Arithmetic: Differential Relations to Verbal and Visuo-Spatial Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Demir, Özlem Ece; Prado, Jérôme; Booth, James R.

    2015-01-01

    We examined the relation of parental socioeconomic status (SES) to the neural bases of subtraction in school-age children (9- to 12-year-olds). We independently localized brain regions subserving verbal versus visuo-spatial representations to determine whether the parental SES-related differences in children's reliance on these neural…

  15. Neural activity during interoceptive awareness and its associations with alexithymia—An fMRI study in major depressive disorder and non-psychiatric controls

    PubMed Central

    Wiebking, Christine; Northoff, Georg

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Alexithymia relates to difficulties recognizing and describing emotions. It has been linked to subjectively increased interoceptive awareness (IA) and to psychiatric illnesses such as major depressive disorder (MDD) and somatization. MDD in turn is characterized by aberrant emotion processing and IA on the subjective as well as on the neural level. However, a link between neural activity in response to IA and alexithymic traits in health and depression remains unclear. Methods: A well-established fMRI task was used to investigate neural activity during IA (heartbeat counting) and exteroceptive awareness (tone counting) in non-psychiatric controls (NC) and MDD. Firstly, comparing MDD and NC, a linear relationship between IA-related activity and scores of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS) was investigated through whole-brain regression. Secondly, NC were divided by median-split of TAS scores into groups showing low (NC-low) or high (NC-high) alexithymia. MDD and NC-high showed equally high TAS scores. Subsequently, IA-related neural activity was compared on a whole-brain level between the three independent samples (MDD, NC-low, NC-high). Results: Whole-brain regressions between MDD and NC revealed neural differences during IA as a function of TAS-DD (subscale difficulty describing feelings) in the supragenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC; BA 24/32), which were due to negative associations between TAS-DD and IA-related activity in NC. Contrasting NC subgroups after median-split on a whole-brain level, high TAS scores were associated with decreased neural activity during IA in the sACC and increased insula activity. Though having equally high alexithymia scores, NC-high showed increased insula activity during IA compared to MDD, whilst both groups showed decreased activity in the sACC. Conclusions: Within the context of decreased sACC activity during IA in alexithymia (NC-high and MDD), increased insula activity might mirror a compensatory mechanism in

  16. Category-based induction from similarity of neural activation.

    PubMed

    Weber, Matthew J; Osherson, Daniel

    2014-03-01

    The idea that similarity might be an engine of inductive inference dates back at least as far as David Hume. However, Hume's thesis is difficult to test without begging the question, since judgments of similarity may be infected by inferential processes. We present a one-parameter model of category-based induction that generates predictions about arbitrary statements of conditional probability over a predicate and a set of items. The prediction is based on the unconditional probabilities and similarities that characterize that predicate and those items. To test Hume's thesis, we collected brain activation from various regions of the ventral visual stream during a categorization task that did not invite comparison of categories. We then calculated the similarity of those activation patterns using a simple measure of vectorwise similarity and supplied those similarities to the model. The model's outputs correlated well with subjects' judgments of conditional probability. Our results represent a promising first step toward confirming Hume's thesis; similarity, assessed without reference to induction, may well drive inductive inference.

  17. Deep neural nets as a method for quantitative structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junshui; Sheridan, Robert P; Liaw, Andy; Dahl, George E; Svetnik, Vladimir

    2015-02-23

    Neural networks were widely used for quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) in the 1990s. Because of various practical issues (e.g., slow on large problems, difficult to train, prone to overfitting, etc.), they were superseded by more robust methods like support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF), which arose in the early 2000s. The last 10 years has witnessed a revival of neural networks in the machine learning community thanks to new methods for preventing overfitting, more efficient training algorithms, and advancements in computer hardware. In particular, deep neural nets (DNNs), i.e. neural nets with more than one hidden layer, have found great successes in many applications, such as computer vision and natural language processing. Here we show that DNNs can routinely make better prospective predictions than RF on a set of large diverse QSAR data sets that are taken from Merck's drug discovery effort. The number of adjustable parameters needed for DNNs is fairly large, but our results show that it is not necessary to optimize them for individual data sets, and a single set of recommended parameters can achieve better performance than RF for most of the data sets we studied. The usefulness of the parameters is demonstrated on additional data sets not used in the calibration. Although training DNNs is still computationally intensive, using graphical processing units (GPUs) can make this issue manageable.

  18. Deep neural nets as a method for quantitative structure-activity relationships.

    PubMed

    Ma, Junshui; Sheridan, Robert P; Liaw, Andy; Dahl, George E; Svetnik, Vladimir

    2015-02-23

    Neural networks were widely used for quantitative structure-activity relationships (QSAR) in the 1990s. Because of various practical issues (e.g., slow on large problems, difficult to train, prone to overfitting, etc.), they were superseded by more robust methods like support vector machine (SVM) and random forest (RF), which arose in the early 2000s. The last 10 years has witnessed a revival of neural networks in the machine learning community thanks to new methods for preventing overfitting, more efficient training algorithms, and advancements in computer hardware. In particular, deep neural nets (DNNs), i.e. neural nets with more than one hidden layer, have found great successes in many applications, such as computer vision and natural language processing. Here we show that DNNs can routinely make better prospective predictions than RF on a set of large diverse QSAR data sets that are taken from Merck's drug discovery effort. The number of adjustable parameters needed for DNNs is fairly large, but our results show that it is not necessary to optimize them for individual data sets, and a single set of recommended parameters can achieve better performance than RF for most of the data sets we studied. The usefulness of the parameters is demonstrated on additional data sets not used in the calibration. Although training DNNs is still computationally intensive, using graphical processing units (GPUs) can make this issue manageable. PMID:25635324

  19. Cough-related neural processing in the brain: a roadmap for cough dysfunction?

    PubMed

    Ando, Ayaka; Farrell, Michael J; Mazzone, Stuart B

    2014-11-01

    Cough is a complex respiratory behavior essential for airway protection, consisting of sensory, motor, affective and cognitive attributes. Accordingly, the cough neural circuitry extends beyond a simple pontomedullary reflex arc to incorporate a network of neurons that are also widely distributed throughout the subcortical and cortical brain. Studies have described discrete regional responses in the brain that likely give rise to sensory discriminative processes, voluntary and urge-related cough control mechanisms and aspects of the emotive responses following airways irritation and coughing. Data from these studies highlight the central nervous system as a plausible target for therapeutic intervention and, consistent with this, a careful appraisal of the many and varied clinical disorders of coughing control would argue that more diversified therapies are needed to treat patients with cough dysfunction. In this paper we explore these concepts in detail to highlight unanswered questions and stimulate discussion for potential research of cough in the future.