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Sample records for neurons coding action

  1. Code-specific learning rules improve action selection by populations of spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Friedrich, Johannes; Urbanczik, Robert; Senn, Walter

    2014-08-01

    Population coding is widely regarded as a key mechanism for achieving reliable behavioral decisions. We previously introduced reinforcement learning for population-based decision making by spiking neurons. Here we generalize population reinforcement learning to spike-based plasticity rules that take account of the postsynaptic neural code. We consider spike/no-spike, spike count and spike latency codes. The multi-valued and continuous-valued features in the postsynaptic code allow for a generalization of binary decision making to multi-valued decision making and continuous-valued action selection. We show that code-specific learning rules speed up learning both for the discrete classification and the continuous regression tasks. The suggested learning rules also speed up with increasing population size as opposed to standard reinforcement learning rules. Continuous action selection is further shown to explain realistic learning speeds in the Morris water maze. Finally, we introduce the concept of action perturbation as opposed to the classical weight- or node-perturbation as an exploration mechanism underlying reinforcement learning. Exploration in the action space greatly increases the speed of learning as compared to exploration in the neuron or weight space. PMID:24875790

  2. The neuronal code(s) of the cerebellum.

    PubMed

    Heck, Detlef H; De Zeeuw, Chris I; Jaeger, Dieter; Khodakhah, Kamran; Person, Abigail L

    2013-11-01

    Understanding how neurons encode information in sequences of action potentials is of fundamental importance to neuroscience. The cerebellum is widely recognized for its involvement in the coordination of movements, which requires muscle activation patterns to be controlled with millisecond precision. Understanding how cerebellar neurons accomplish such high temporal precision is critical to understanding cerebellar function. Inhibitory Purkinje cells, the only output neurons of the cerebellar cortex, and their postsynaptic target neurons in the cerebellar nuclei, fire action potentials at high, sustained frequencies, suggesting spike rate modulation as a possible code. Yet, millisecond precise spatiotemporal spike activity patterns in Purkinje cells and inferior olivary neurons have also been observed. These results and ongoing studies suggest that the neuronal code used by cerebellar neurons may span a wide time scale from millisecond precision to slow rate modulations, likely depending on the behavioral context. PMID:24198351

  3. Prospective Coding by Spiking Neurons.

    PubMed

    Brea, Johanni; Gaál, Alexisz Tamás; Urbanczik, Robert; Senn, Walter

    2016-06-01

    Animals learn to make predictions, such as associating the sound of a bell with upcoming feeding or predicting a movement that a motor command is eliciting. How predictions are realized on the neuronal level and what plasticity rule underlies their learning is not well understood. Here we propose a biologically plausible synaptic plasticity rule to learn predictions on a single neuron level on a timescale of seconds. The learning rule allows a spiking two-compartment neuron to match its current firing rate to its own expected future discounted firing rate. For instance, if an originally neutral event is repeatedly followed by an event that elevates the firing rate of a neuron, the originally neutral event will eventually also elevate the neuron's firing rate. The plasticity rule is a form of spike timing dependent plasticity in which a presynaptic spike followed by a postsynaptic spike leads to potentiation. Even if the plasticity window has a width of 20 milliseconds, associations on the time scale of seconds can be learned. We illustrate prospective coding with three examples: learning to predict a time varying input, learning to predict the next stimulus in a delayed paired-associate task and learning with a recurrent network to reproduce a temporally compressed version of a sequence. We discuss the potential role of the learning mechanism in classical trace conditioning. In the special case that the signal to be predicted encodes reward, the neuron learns to predict the discounted future reward and learning is closely related to the temporal difference learning algorithm TD(λ). PMID:27341100

  4. Prospective Coding by Spiking Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Brea, Johanni; Gaál, Alexisz Tamás; Senn, Walter

    2016-01-01

    Animals learn to make predictions, such as associating the sound of a bell with upcoming feeding or predicting a movement that a motor command is eliciting. How predictions are realized on the neuronal level and what plasticity rule underlies their learning is not well understood. Here we propose a biologically plausible synaptic plasticity rule to learn predictions on a single neuron level on a timescale of seconds. The learning rule allows a spiking two-compartment neuron to match its current firing rate to its own expected future discounted firing rate. For instance, if an originally neutral event is repeatedly followed by an event that elevates the firing rate of a neuron, the originally neutral event will eventually also elevate the neuron’s firing rate. The plasticity rule is a form of spike timing dependent plasticity in which a presynaptic spike followed by a postsynaptic spike leads to potentiation. Even if the plasticity window has a width of 20 milliseconds, associations on the time scale of seconds can be learned. We illustrate prospective coding with three examples: learning to predict a time varying input, learning to predict the next stimulus in a delayed paired-associate task and learning with a recurrent network to reproduce a temporally compressed version of a sequence. We discuss the potential role of the learning mechanism in classical trace conditioning. In the special case that the signal to be predicted encodes reward, the neuron learns to predict the discounted future reward and learning is closely related to the temporal difference learning algorithm TD(λ). PMID:27341100

  5. Binding by Asynchrony: The Neuronal Phase Code

    PubMed Central

    Nadasdy, Zoltan

    2010-01-01

    Neurons display continuous subthreshold oscillations and discrete action potentials (APs). When APs are phase-locked to the subthreshold oscillation, we hypothesize they represent two types of information: the presence/absence of a sensory feature and the phase of subthreshold oscillation. If subthreshold oscillation phases are neuron-specific, then the sources of APs can be recovered based on the AP times. If the spatial information about the stimulus is converted to AP phases, then APs from multiple neurons can be combined into a single axon and the spatial configuration reconstructed elsewhere. For the reconstruction to be successful, we introduce two assumptions: that a subthreshold oscillation field has a constant phase gradient and that coincidences between APs and intracellular subthreshold oscillations are neuron-specific as defined by the “interference principle.” Under these assumptions, a phase-coding model enables information transfer between structures and reproduces experimental phenomenons such as phase precession, grid cell architecture, and phase modulation of cortical spikes. This article reviews a recently proposed neuronal algorithm for information encoding and decoding from the phase of APs (Nadasdy, 2009). The focus is given to the principles common across different systems instead of emphasizing system specific differences. PMID:20859525

  6. The Mirror Neuron System and Action Recognition

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buccino, Giovanni; Binkofski, Ferdinand; Riggio, Lucia

    2004-01-01

    Mirror neurons, first described in the rostral part of monkey ventral premotor cortex (area F5), discharge both when the animal performs a goal-directed hand action and when it observes another individual performing the same or a similar action. More recently, in the same area mirror neurons responding to the observation of mouth actions have been…

  7. Spike Code Flow in Cultured Neuronal Networks.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Shinichi; Nishitani, Yoshi; Hosokawa, Chie; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime; Kamimura, Takuya; Yagi, Yasushi; Mizuno-Matsumoto, Yuko; Chen, Yen-Wei

    2016-01-01

    We observed spike trains produced by one-shot electrical stimulation with 8 × 8 multielectrodes in cultured neuronal networks. Each electrode accepted spikes from several neurons. We extracted the short codes from spike trains and obtained a code spectrum with a nominal time accuracy of 1%. We then constructed code flow maps as movies of the electrode array to observe the code flow of "1101" and "1011," which are typical pseudorandom sequence such as that we often encountered in a literature and our experiments. They seemed to flow from one electrode to the neighboring one and maintained their shape to some extent. To quantify the flow, we calculated the "maximum cross-correlations" among neighboring electrodes, to find the direction of maximum flow of the codes with lengths less than 8. Normalized maximum cross-correlations were almost constant irrespective of code. Furthermore, if the spike trains were shuffled in interval orders or in electrodes, they became significantly small. Thus, the analysis suggested that local codes of approximately constant shape propagated and conveyed information across the network. Hence, the codes can serve as visible and trackable marks of propagating spike waves as well as evaluating information flow in the neuronal network. PMID:27217825

  8. Spike Code Flow in Cultured Neuronal Networks.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Shinichi; Nishitani, Yoshi; Hosokawa, Chie; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime; Kamimura, Takuya; Yagi, Yasushi; Mizuno-Matsumoto, Yuko; Chen, Yen-Wei

    2016-01-01

    We observed spike trains produced by one-shot electrical stimulation with 8 × 8 multielectrodes in cultured neuronal networks. Each electrode accepted spikes from several neurons. We extracted the short codes from spike trains and obtained a code spectrum with a nominal time accuracy of 1%. We then constructed code flow maps as movies of the electrode array to observe the code flow of "1101" and "1011," which are typical pseudorandom sequence such as that we often encountered in a literature and our experiments. They seemed to flow from one electrode to the neighboring one and maintained their shape to some extent. To quantify the flow, we calculated the "maximum cross-correlations" among neighboring electrodes, to find the direction of maximum flow of the codes with lengths less than 8. Normalized maximum cross-correlations were almost constant irrespective of code. Furthermore, if the spike trains were shuffled in interval orders or in electrodes, they became significantly small. Thus, the analysis suggested that local codes of approximately constant shape propagated and conveyed information across the network. Hence, the codes can serve as visible and trackable marks of propagating spike waves as well as evaluating information flow in the neuronal network.

  9. Do mirror neurons subserve action understanding?

    PubMed

    Hickok, Gregory

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons were once widely believed to support action understanding via motor simulation of the observed actions. Recent evidence regarding the functional properties of mirror neurons in monkeys as well as much neuropsychological evidence in humans has shown that this is not the case.

  10. Functional differentiation of macaque visual temporal cortical neurons using a parametric action space.

    PubMed

    Vangeneugden, Joris; Pollick, Frank; Vogels, Rufin

    2009-03-01

    Neurons in the rostral superior temporal sulcus (STS) are responsive to displays of body movements. We employed a parametric action space to determine how similarities among actions are represented by visual temporal neurons and how form and motion information contributes to their responses. The stimulus space consisted of a stick-plus-point-light figure performing arm actions and their blends. Multidimensional scaling showed that the responses of temporal neurons represented the ordinal similarity between these actions. Further tests distinguished neurons responding equally strongly to static presentations and to actions ("snapshot" neurons), from those responding much less strongly to static presentations, but responding well when motion was present ("motion" neurons). The "motion" neurons were predominantly found in the upper bank/fundus of the STS, and "snapshot" neurons in the lower bank of the STS and inferior temporal convexity. Most "motion" neurons showed strong response modulation during the course of an action, thus responding to action kinematics. "Motion" neurons displayed a greater average selectivity for these simple arm actions than did "snapshot" neurons. We suggest that the "motion" neurons code for visual kinematics, whereas the "snapshot" neurons code for form/posture, and that both can contribute to action recognition, in agreement with computation models of action recognition.

  11. Block structured dynamics and neuronal coding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    González-Miranda, J. M.

    2005-11-01

    When certain control parameters of nervous cell models are varied, complex bifurcation structures develop in which the dynamical behaviors available appear classified in blocks, according to criteria of dynamical likelihood. This block structured dynamics may be a clue to understand how activated neurons encode information by firing spike trains of their action potentials.

  12. Nonspatial Sequence Coding in CA1 Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Allen, Timothy A.; Salz, Daniel M.; McKenzie, Sam

    2016-01-01

    The hippocampus is critical to the memory for sequences of events, a defining feature of episodic memory. However, the fundamental neuronal mechanisms underlying this capacity remain elusive. While considerable research indicates hippocampal neurons can represent sequences of locations, direct evidence of coding for the memory of sequential relationships among nonspatial events remains lacking. To address this important issue, we recorded neural activity in CA1 as rats performed a hippocampus-dependent sequence-memory task. Briefly, the task involves the presentation of repeated sequences of odors at a single port and requires rats to identify each item as “in sequence” or “out of sequence”. We report that, while the animals' location and behavior remained constant, hippocampal activity differed depending on the temporal context of items—in this case, whether they were presented in or out of sequence. Some neurons showed this effect across items or sequence positions (general sequence cells), while others exhibited selectivity for specific conjunctions of item and sequence position information (conjunctive sequence cells) or for specific probe types (probe-specific sequence cells). We also found that the temporal context of individual trials could be accurately decoded from the activity of neuronal ensembles, that sequence coding at the single-cell and ensemble level was linked to sequence memory performance, and that slow-gamma oscillations (20–40 Hz) were more strongly modulated by temporal context and performance than theta oscillations (4–12 Hz). These findings provide compelling evidence that sequence coding extends beyond the domain of spatial trajectories and is thus a fundamental function of the hippocampus. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The ability to remember the order of life events depends on the hippocampus, but the underlying neural mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here we addressed this issue by recording neural activity in hippocampal

  13. High-Fidelity Coding with Correlated Neurons

    PubMed Central

    da Silveira, Rava Azeredo; Berry, Michael J.

    2014-01-01

    Positive correlations in the activity of neurons are widely observed in the brain. Previous studies have shown these correlations to be detrimental to the fidelity of population codes, or at best marginally favorable compared to independent codes. Here, we show that positive correlations can enhance coding performance by astronomical factors. Specifically, the probability of discrimination error can be suppressed by many orders of magnitude. Likewise, the number of stimuli encoded—the capacity—can be enhanced more than tenfold. These effects do not necessitate unrealistic correlation values, and can occur for populations with a few tens of neurons. We further show that both effects benefit from heterogeneity commonly seen in population activity. Error suppression and capacity enhancement rest upon a pattern of correlation. Tuning of one or several effective parameters can yield a limit of perfect coding: the corresponding pattern of positive correlation leads to a ‘lock-in’ of response probabilities that eliminates variability in the subspace relevant for stimulus discrimination. We discuss the nature of this pattern and we suggest experimental tests to identify it. PMID:25412463

  14. Correlation of action potentials in adjacent neurons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shneider, M. N.; Pekker, M.

    2015-12-01

    A possible mechanism for the synchronization of action potential propagation along a bundle of neurons (ephaptic coupling) is considered. It is shown that this mechanism is similar to the salutatory conduction of the action potential between the nodes of Ranvier in myelinated axons. The proposed model allows us to estimate the scale of the correlation, i.e., the distance between neurons in the nervous tissue, wherein their synchronization becomes possible. The possibility for experimental verification of the proposed model of synchronization is discussed.

  15. Space-dependent representation of objects and other's action in monkey ventral premotor grasping neurons.

    PubMed

    Bonini, Luca; Maranesi, Monica; Livi, Alessandro; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo

    2014-03-12

    The macaque ventral premotor area F5 hosts two types of visuomotor grasping neurons: "canonical" neurons, which respond to visually presented objects and underlie visuomotor transformation for grasping, and "mirror" neurons, which respond during the observation of others' action, likely playing a role in action understanding. Some previous evidence suggested that canonical and mirror neurons could be anatomically segregated in different sectors of area F5. Here we investigated the functional properties of single neurons in the hand field of area F5 using various tasks similar to those originally designed to investigate visual responses to objects and actions. By using linear multielectrode probes, we were able to simultaneously record different types of neurons and to precisely localize their cortical depth. We recorded 464 neurons, of which 243 showed visuomotor properties. Canonical and mirror neurons were often present in the same cortical sites; and, most interestingly, a set of neurons showed both canonical and mirror properties, discharging to object presentation as well as during the observation of experimenter's goal-directed acts (canonical-mirror neurons). Typically, visual responses to objects were constrained to the monkey peripersonal space, whereas action observation responses were less space-selective. Control experiments showed that space-constrained coding of objects mostly relies on an operational (action possibility) rather than metric (absolute distance) reference frame. Interestingly, canonical-mirror neurons appear to code object as target for both one's own and other's action, suggesting that they could play a role in predictive representation of others' impending actions.

  16. A memristive spiking neuron with firing rate coding

    PubMed Central

    Ignatov, Marina; Ziegler, Martin; Hansen, Mirko; Petraru, Adrian; Kohlstedt, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    Perception, decisions, and sensations are all encoded into trains of action potentials in the brain. The relation between stimulus strength and all-or-nothing spiking of neurons is widely believed to be the basis of this coding. This initiated the development of spiking neuron models; one of today's most powerful conceptual tool for the analysis and emulation of neural dynamics. The success of electronic circuit models and their physical realization within silicon field-effect transistor circuits lead to elegant technical approaches. Recently, the spectrum of electronic devices for neural computing has been extended by memristive devices, mainly used to emulate static synaptic functionality. Their capabilities for emulations of neural activity were recently demonstrated using a memristive neuristor circuit, while a memristive neuron circuit has so far been elusive. Here, a spiking neuron model is experimentally realized in a compact circuit comprising memristive and memcapacitive devices based on the strongly correlated electron material vanadium dioxide (VO2) and on the chemical electromigration cell Ag/TiO2−x/Al. The circuit can emulate dynamical spiking patterns in response to an external stimulus including adaptation, which is at the heart of firing rate coding as first observed by E.D. Adrian in 1926. PMID:26539074

  17. A memristive spiking neuron with firing rate coding.

    PubMed

    Ignatov, Marina; Ziegler, Martin; Hansen, Mirko; Petraru, Adrian; Kohlstedt, Hermann

    2015-01-01

    Perception, decisions, and sensations are all encoded into trains of action potentials in the brain. The relation between stimulus strength and all-or-nothing spiking of neurons is widely believed to be the basis of this coding. This initiated the development of spiking neuron models; one of today's most powerful conceptual tool for the analysis and emulation of neural dynamics. The success of electronic circuit models and their physical realization within silicon field-effect transistor circuits lead to elegant technical approaches. Recently, the spectrum of electronic devices for neural computing has been extended by memristive devices, mainly used to emulate static synaptic functionality. Their capabilities for emulations of neural activity were recently demonstrated using a memristive neuristor circuit, while a memristive neuron circuit has so far been elusive. Here, a spiking neuron model is experimentally realized in a compact circuit comprising memristive and memcapacitive devices based on the strongly correlated electron material vanadium dioxide (VO2) and on the chemical electromigration cell Ag/TiO2-x /Al. The circuit can emulate dynamical spiking patterns in response to an external stimulus including adaptation, which is at the heart of firing rate coding as first observed by E.D. Adrian in 1926. PMID:26539074

  18. Behaviorally relevant burst coding in primary sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Sabourin, Patrick; Pollack, Gerald S

    2009-08-01

    Bursts of action potentials in sensory interneurons are believed to signal the occurrence of particularly salient stimulus features. Previous work showed that bursts in an identified, ultrasound-tuned interneuron (AN2) of the cricket Teleogryllus oceanicus code for conspicuous increases in amplitude of an ultrasound stimulus, resulting in behavioral responses that are interpreted as avoidance of echolocating bats. We show that the primary sensory neurons that inform AN2 about high-frequency acoustic stimuli also produce bursts. As is the case for AN2, bursts in sensory neurons perform better as feature detectors than isolated, nonburst, spikes. Bursting is temporally correlated between sensory neurons, suggesting that on occurrence of a salient stimulus feature, AN2 will receive strong synaptic input in the form of coincident bursts, from several sensory neurons, and that this might result in bursting in AN2. Our results show that an important feature of the temporal structure of interneuron spike trains can be established at the earliest possible level of sensory processing, i.e., that of the primary sensory neuron.

  19. Astrocytic Actions on Extrasynaptic Neuronal Currents

    PubMed Central

    Pál, Balázs

    2015-01-01

    In the last few decades, knowledge about astrocytic functions has significantly increased. It was demonstrated that astrocytes are not passive elements of the central nervous system (CNS), but active partners of neurons. There is a growing body of knowledge about the calcium excitability of astrocytes, the actions of different gliotransmitters and their release mechanisms, as well as the participation of astrocytes in the regulation of synaptic functions and their contribution to synaptic plasticity. However, astrocytic functions are even more complex than being a partner of the “tripartite synapse,” as they can influence extrasynaptic neuronal currents either by releasing substances or regulating ambient neurotransmitter levels. Several types of currents or changes of membrane potential with different kinetics and via different mechanisms can be elicited by astrocytic activity. Astrocyte-dependent phasic or tonic, inward or outward currents were described in several brain areas. Such currents, together with the synaptic actions of astrocytes, can contribute to neuromodulatory mechanisms, neurosensory and -secretory processes, cortical oscillatory activity, memory, and learning or overall neuronal excitability. This mini-review is an attempt to give a brief summary of astrocyte-dependent extrasynaptic neuronal currents and their possible functional significance. PMID:26696832

  20. Multiplexed coding by cerebellar Purkinje neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hong, Sungho; Negrello, Mario; Junker, Marc; Smilgin, Aleksandra; Thier, Peter; De Schutter, Erik

    2016-01-01

    Purkinje cells (PC), the sole output neurons of the cerebellar cortex, encode sensorimotor information, but how they do it remains a matter of debate. Here we show that PCs use a multiplexed spike code. Synchrony/spike time and firing rate encode different information in behaving monkeys during saccadic eye motion tasks. Using the local field potential (LFP) as a probe of local network activity, we found that infrequent pause spikes, which initiated or terminated intermittent pauses in simple spike trains, provide a temporally reliable signal for eye motion onset, with strong phase-coupling to the β/γ band LFP. Concurrently, regularly firing, non-pause spikes were weakly correlated with the LFP, but were crucial to linear encoding of eye movement kinematics by firing rate. Therefore, PC spike trains can simultaneously convey information necessary to achieve precision in both timing and continuous control of motion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13810.001 PMID:27458803

  1. Reward prediction error coding in dorsal striatal neurons.

    PubMed

    Oyama, Kei; Hernádi, István; Iijima, Toshio; Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro

    2010-08-25

    In the current theory of learning, the reward prediction error (RPE), the difference between expected and received reward, is thought to be a key factor in reward-based learning, working as a teaching signal. The activity of dopamine neurons is known to code RPE, and the release of dopamine is known to modify the strength of synaptic connectivity in the target neurons. A fundamental interest in current neuroscience concerns the origin of RPE signals in the brain. Here, we show that a group of rat striatal neurons show a clear parametric RPE coding similar to that of dopamine neurons when tested under probabilistic pavlovian conditioning. Together with the fact that striatum and dopamine neurons have strong direct and indirect fiber connections, the result suggests that the striatum plays an important role in coding RPE signal by cooperating with dopamine neurons.

  2. 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

  3. Temporal coding by populations of auditory receptor neurons.

    PubMed

    Sabourin, Patrick; Pollack, Gerald S

    2010-03-01

    Auditory receptor neurons of crickets are most sensitive to either low or high sound frequencies. Earlier work showed that the temporal coding properties of first-order auditory interneurons are matched to the temporal characteristics of natural low- and high-frequency stimuli (cricket songs and bat echolocation calls, respectively). We studied the temporal coding properties of receptor neurons and used modeling to investigate how activity within populations of low- and high-frequency receptors might contribute to the coding properties of interneurons. We confirm earlier findings that individual low-frequency-tuned receptors code stimulus temporal pattern poorly, but show that coding performance of a receptor population increases markedly with population size, due in part to low redundancy among the spike trains of different receptors. By contrast, individual high-frequency-tuned receptors code a stimulus temporal pattern fairly well and, because their spike trains are redundant, there is only a slight increase in coding performance with population size. The coding properties of low- and high-frequency receptor populations resemble those of interneurons in response to low- and high-frequency stimuli, suggesting that coding at the interneuron level is partly determined by the nature and organization of afferent input. Consistent with this, the sound-frequency-specific coding properties of an interneuron, previously demonstrated by analyzing its spike train, are also apparent in the subthreshold fluctuations in membrane potential that are generated by synaptic input from receptor neurons.

  4. Neuronal codes for visual perception and memory.

    PubMed

    Quian Quiroga, Rodrigo

    2016-03-01

    In this review, I describe and contrast the representation of stimuli in visual cortical areas and in the medial temporal lobe (MTL). While cortex is characterized by a distributed and implicit coding that is optimal for recognition and storage of semantic information, the MTL shows a much sparser and explicit coding of specific concepts that is ideal for episodic memory. I will describe the main characteristics of the coding in the MTL by the so-called concept cells and will then propose a model of the formation and recall of episodic memory based on partially overlapping assemblies. PMID:26707718

  5. Population coding in sparsely connected networks of noisy neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tripp, Bryan P.; Orchard, Jeff

    2012-01-01

    This study examines the relationship between population coding and spatial connection statistics in networks of noisy neurons. Encoding of sensory information in the neocortex is thought to require coordinated neural populations, because individual cortical neurons respond to a wide range of stimuli, and exhibit highly variable spiking in response to repeated stimuli. Population coding is rooted in network structure, because cortical neurons receive information only from other neurons, and because the information they encode must be decoded by other neurons, if it is to affect behavior. However, population coding theory has often ignored network structure, or assumed discrete, fully connected populations (in contrast with the sparsely connected, continuous sheet of the cortex). In this study, we modeled a sheet of cortical neurons with sparse, primarily local connections, and found that a network with this structure could encode multiple internal state variables with high signal-to-noise ratio. However, we were unable to create high-fidelity networks by instantiating connections at random according to spatial connection probabilities. In our models, high-fidelity networks required additional structure, with higher cluster factors and correlations between the inputs to nearby neurons. PMID:22586391

  6. Simple models for reading neuronal population codes.

    PubMed Central

    Seung, H S; Sompolinsky, H

    1993-01-01

    In many neural systems, sensory information is distributed throughout a population of neurons. We study simple neural network models for extracting this information. The inputs to the networks are the stochastic responses of a population of sensory neurons tuned to directional stimuli. The performance of each network model in psychophysical tasks is compared with that of the optimal maximum likelihood procedure. As a model of direction estimation in two dimensions, we consider a linear network that computes a population vector. Its performance depends on the width of the population tuning curves and is maximal for width, which increases with the level of background activity. Although for narrowly tuned neurons the performance of the population vector is significantly inferior to that of maximum likelihood estimation, the difference between the two is small when the tuning is broad. For direction discrimination, we consider two models: a perceptron with fully adaptive weights and a network made by adding an adaptive second layer to the population vector network. We calculate the error rates of these networks after exhaustive training to a particular direction. By testing on the full range of possible directions, the extent of transfer of training to novel stimuli can be calculated. It is found that for threshold linear networks the transfer of perceptual learning is nonmonotonic. Although performance deteriorates away from the training stimulus, it peaks again at an intermediate angle. This nonmonotonicity provides an important psychophysical test of these models. PMID:8248166

  7. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses

    PubMed Central

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-01-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it. PMID:26630202

  8. Cerebellar Nuclear Neurons Use Time and Rate Coding to Transmit Purkinje Neuron Pauses.

    PubMed

    Sudhakar, Shyam Kumar; Torben-Nielsen, Benjamin; De Schutter, Erik

    2015-12-01

    Neurons of the cerebellar nuclei convey the final output of the cerebellum to their targets in various parts of the brain. Within the cerebellum their direct upstream connections originate from inhibitory Purkinje neurons. Purkinje neurons have a complex firing pattern of regular spikes interrupted by intermittent pauses of variable length. How can the cerebellar nucleus process this complex input pattern? In this modeling study, we investigate different forms of Purkinje neuron simple spike pause synchrony and its influence on candidate coding strategies in the cerebellar nuclei. That is, we investigate how different alignments of synchronous pauses in synthetic Purkinje neuron spike trains affect either time-locking or rate-changes in the downstream nuclei. We find that Purkinje neuron synchrony is mainly represented by changes in the firing rate of cerebellar nuclei neurons. Pause beginning synchronization produced a unique effect on nuclei neuron firing, while the effect of pause ending and pause overlapping synchronization could not be distinguished from each other. Pause beginning synchronization produced better time-locking of nuclear neurons for short length pauses. We also characterize the effect of pause length and spike jitter on the nuclear neuron firing. Additionally, we find that the rate of rebound responses in nuclear neurons after a synchronous pause is controlled by the firing rate of Purkinje neurons preceding it.

  9. Simulation of Code Spectrum and Code Flow of Cultured Neuronal Networks.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Shinichi; Nishitani, Yoshi; Hosokawa, Chie; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown that, in cultured neuronal networks on a multielectrode, pseudorandom-like sequences (codes) are detected, and they flow with some spatial decay constant. Each cultured neuronal network is characterized by a specific spectrum curve. That is, we may consider the spectrum curve as a "signature" of its associated neuronal network that is dependent on the characteristics of neurons and network configuration, including the weight distribution. In the present study, we used an integrate-and-fire model of neurons with intrinsic and instantaneous fluctuations of characteristics for performing a simulation of a code spectrum from multielectrodes on a 2D mesh neural network. We showed that it is possible to estimate the characteristics of neurons such as the distribution of number of neurons around each electrode and their refractory periods. Although this process is a reverse problem and theoretically the solutions are not sufficiently guaranteed, the parameters seem to be consistent with those of neurons. That is, the proposed neural network model may adequately reflect the behavior of a cultured neuronal network. Furthermore, such prospect is discussed that code analysis will provide a base of communication within a neural network that will also create a base of natural intelligence. PMID:27239189

  10. Simulation of Code Spectrum and Code Flow of Cultured Neuronal Networks.

    PubMed

    Tamura, Shinichi; Nishitani, Yoshi; Hosokawa, Chie; Miyoshi, Tomomitsu; Sawai, Hajime

    2016-01-01

    It has been shown that, in cultured neuronal networks on a multielectrode, pseudorandom-like sequences (codes) are detected, and they flow with some spatial decay constant. Each cultured neuronal network is characterized by a specific spectrum curve. That is, we may consider the spectrum curve as a "signature" of its associated neuronal network that is dependent on the characteristics of neurons and network configuration, including the weight distribution. In the present study, we used an integrate-and-fire model of neurons with intrinsic and instantaneous fluctuations of characteristics for performing a simulation of a code spectrum from multielectrodes on a 2D mesh neural network. We showed that it is possible to estimate the characteristics of neurons such as the distribution of number of neurons around each electrode and their refractory periods. Although this process is a reverse problem and theoretically the solutions are not sufficiently guaranteed, the parameters seem to be consistent with those of neurons. That is, the proposed neural network model may adequately reflect the behavior of a cultured neuronal network. Furthermore, such prospect is discussed that code analysis will provide a base of communication within a neural network that will also create a base of natural intelligence.

  11. Subjective neuronal coding of reward: temporal value discounting and risk.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2010-06-01

    A key question in the neurobiology of reward relates to the nature of coding. Rewards are objects that are advantageous or necessary for the survival of individuals in a variety of environmental situations. Thus reward appears to depend on the individual and its environment. The question arises whether neuronal systems in humans and monkeys code reward in subjective terms, objective terms or both. The present review addresses this issue by dealing with two important reward processes, namely the individual discounting of reward value across temporal delays, and the processing of information about risky rewards that depends on individual risk attitudes. The subjective value of rewards decreases with the temporal distance to the reward. In experiments using neurophysiology and brain imaging, dopamine neurons and striatal systems discount reward value across temporal delays of a few seconds, despite unchanged objective reward value, suggesting subjective value coding. The subjective values of risky outcomes depend on the risk attitude of individual decision makers; these values decrease for risk-avoiders and increase for risk-seekers. The signal for risk and the signal for the value of risky reward covary with individual risk attitudes in regions of the human prefrontal cortex, suggesting subjective rather than objective coding of risk and risky value. These data demonstrate that important parameters of reward are coded in a subjective manner in key reward structures of the brain. However, these data do not rule out that other neurons or brain structures may code reward according to its objective value and risk. PMID:20497474

  12. The Drosophila Shaker gene codes for a distinctive K+ current in a subset of neurons.

    PubMed

    Baker, K; Salkoff, L

    1990-01-01

    A transient K+ current coded by the Shaker gene was identified in muscle and expressed in Xenopus oocytes by injecting cRNA transcribed from a cloned cDNA. The Shaker current has not previously been identified in neurons. Mutational analysis now reveals that in neurons, Shaker is required for expression of a very rapidly inactivating K+ current with a depolarized steady-state inactivation curve. Together, these properties distinguish the Shaker-coded current from similar fast transient K+ currents coded by other genes. The Sh5 mutation further enhanced the depolarization of the Shaker current steady-state inactivation curve. Deletion of the Shaker gene completely removes the transient K+ current from a small percentage of neurons (15%) in a mixed population, and removes a portion of the whole-cell current in about 35% of neurons. The remaining 50% of neurons were apparently unaffected by deletion of the Shaker gene. The unique combination of rapid inactivation and depolarized steady-state inactivation of the Shaker current may reflect a unique functional role for this current in the nervous system such as the rapid repolarization of action potentials.

  13. Cracking Taste Codes by Tapping into Sensory Neuron Impulse Traffic

    PubMed Central

    Frank, Marion E.; Lundy, Robert F.; Contreras, Robert J.

    2008-01-01

    Insights into the biological basis for mammalian taste quality coding began with electrophysiological recordings from “taste” nerves and this technique continues to produce essential information today. Chorda tympani (geniculate ganglion) neurons, which are particularly involved in taste quality discrimination, are specialists or generalists. Specialists respond to stimuli characterized by a single taste quality as defined by behavioral cross-generalization in conditioned taste tests. Generalists respond to electrolytes that elicit multiple aversive qualities. Na+-salt (N) specialists in rodents and sweet-stimulus (S) specialists in multiple orders of mammals are well-characterized. Specialists are associated with species’ nutritional needs and their activation is known to be malleable by internal physiological conditions and contaminated external caloric sources. S specialists, associated with the heterodimeric G-protein coupled receptor: T1R, and N specialists, associated with the epithelial sodium channel: ENaC, are consistent with labeled line coding from taste bud to afferent neuron. Yet, S-specialist neurons and behavior are less specific thanT1R2-3 in encompassing glutamate and E generalist neurons are much less specific than a candidate, PDK TRP channel, sour receptor in encompassing salts and bitter stimuli. Specialist labeled lines for nutrients and generalist patterns for aversive electrolytes may be transmitting taste information to the brain side by side. However, specific roles of generalists in taste quality coding may be resolved by selecting stimuli and stimulus levels found in natural situations. T2Rs, participating in reflexes via the glossopharynygeal nerve, became highly diversified in mammalian phylogenesis as they evolved to deal with dangerous substances within specific environmental niches. Establishing the information afferent neurons traffic to the brain about natural taste stimuli imbedded in dynamic complex mixtures will

  14. Energy coding in neural network with inhibitory neurons.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ziyin; Wang, Rubin; Fang, Ruiyan

    2015-04-01

    This paper aimed at assessing and comparing the effects of the inhibitory neurons in the neural network on the neural energy distribution, and the network activities in the absence of the inhibitory neurons to understand the nature of neural energy distribution and neural energy coding. Stimulus, synchronous oscillation has significant difference between neural networks with and without inhibitory neurons, and this difference can be quantitatively evaluated by the characteristic energy distribution. In addition, the synchronous oscillation difference of the neural activity can be quantitatively described by change of the energy distribution if the network parameters are gradually adjusted. Compared with traditional method of correlation coefficient analysis, the quantitative indicators based on nervous energy distribution characteristics are more effective in reflecting the dynamic features of the neural network activities. Meanwhile, this neural coding method from a global perspective of neural activity effectively avoids the current defects of neural encoding and decoding theory and enormous difficulties encountered. Our studies have shown that neural energy coding is a new coding theory with high efficiency and great potential.

  15. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action.

    PubMed

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A; Thier, Peter

    2012-07-17

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer.

  16. Mirror neurons encode the subjective value of an observed action

    PubMed Central

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Casile, Antonino; Giese, Martin A.; Thier, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Objects grasped by an agent have a value not only for the acting agent, but also for an individual observing the grasping act. The value that the observer attributes to the object that is grasped can be pivotal for selecting a possible behavioral response. Mirror neurons in area F5 of the monkey premotor cortex have been suggested to play a crucial role in the understanding of action goals. However, it has not been addressed if these neurons are also involved in representing the value of the grasped object. Here we report that observation-related neuronal responses of F5 mirror neurons are indeed modulated by the value that the monkey associates with the grasped object. These findings suggest that during action observation F5 mirror neurons have access to key information needed to shape the behavioral responses of the observer. PMID:22753471

  17. Extra-coding RNAs regulate neuronal DNA methylation dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Savell, Katherine E.; Gallus, Nancy V. N.; Simon, Rhiana C.; Brown, Jordan A.; Revanna, Jasmin S.; Osborn, Mary Katherine; Song, Esther Y.; O'Malley, John J.; Stackhouse, Christian T.; Norvil, Allison; Gowher, Humaira; Sweatt, J. David; Day, Jeremy J.

    2016-01-01

    Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation are essential regulators of the function and information storage capacity of neurons. DNA methylation is highly dynamic in the developing and adult brain, and is actively regulated by neuronal activity and behavioural experiences. However, it is presently unclear how methylation status at individual genes is targeted for modification. Here, we report that extra-coding RNAs (ecRNAs) interact with DNA methyltransferases and regulate neuronal DNA methylation. Expression of ecRNA species is associated with gene promoter hypomethylation, is altered by neuronal activity, and is overrepresented at genes involved in neuronal function. Knockdown of the Fos ecRNA locus results in gene hypermethylation and mRNA silencing, and hippocampal expression of Fos ecRNA is required for long-term fear memory formation in rats. These results suggest that ecRNAs are fundamental regulators of DNA methylation patterns in neuronal systems, and reveal a promising avenue for therapeutic targeting in neuropsychiatric disease states. PMID:27384705

  18. Evolutionarily conserved coding properties of auditory neurons across grasshopper species

    PubMed Central

    Neuhofer, Daniela; Wohlgemuth, Sandra; Stumpner, Andreas; Ronacher, Bernhard

    2008-01-01

    We investigated encoding properties of identified auditory interneurons in two not closely related grasshopper species (Acrididae). The neurons can be homologized on the basis of their similar morphologies and physiologies. As test stimuli, we used the species-specific stridulation signals of Chorthippus biguttulus, which evidently are not relevant for the other species, Locusta migratoria. We recorded spike trains produced in response to these signals from several neuron types at the first levels of the auditory pathway in both species. Using a spike train metric to quantify differences between neuronal responses, we found a high similarity in the responses of homologous neurons: interspecific differences between the responses of homologous neurons in the two species were not significantly larger than intraspecific differences (between several specimens of a neuron in one species). These results suggest that the elements of the thoracic auditory pathway have been strongly conserved during the evolutionary divergence of these species. According to the ‘efficient coding’ hypothesis, an adaptation of the thoracic auditory pathway to the specific needs of acoustic communication could be expected. We conclude that there must have been stabilizing selective forces at work that conserved coding characteristics and prevented such an adaptation. PMID:18505715

  19. Bursts and Isolated Spikes Code for Opposite Movement Directions in Midbrain Electrosensory Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Khosravi-Hashemi, Navid; Chacron, Maurice J.

    2012-01-01

    Directional selectivity, in which neurons respond strongly to an object moving in a given direction but weakly or not at all to the same object moving in the opposite direction, is a crucial computation that is thought to provide a neural correlate of motion perception. However, directional selectivity has been traditionally quantified by using the full spike train, which does not take into account particular action potential patterns. We investigated how different action potential patterns, namely bursts (i.e. packets of action potentials followed by quiescence) and isolated spikes, contribute to movement direction coding in a mathematical model of midbrain electrosensory neurons. We found that bursts and isolated spikes could be selectively elicited when the same object moved in opposite directions. In particular, it was possible to find parameter values for which our model neuron did not display directional selectivity when the full spike train was considered but displayed strong directional selectivity when bursts or isolated spikes were instead considered. Further analysis of our model revealed that an intrinsic burst mechanism based on subthreshold T-type calcium channels was not required to observe parameter regimes for which bursts and isolated spikes code for opposite movement directions. However, this burst mechanism enhanced the range of parameter values for which such regimes were observed. Experimental recordings from midbrain neurons confirmed our modeling prediction that bursts and isolated spikes can indeed code for opposite movement directions. Finally, we quantified the performance of a plausible neural circuit and found that it could respond more or less selectively to isolated spikes for a wide range of parameter values when compared with an interspike interval threshold. Our results thus show for the first time that different action potential patterns can differentially encode movement and that traditional measures of directional selectivity

  20. A neuronal learning rule for sub-millisecond temporal coding

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gerstner, Wulfram; Kempter, Richard; van Hemmen, J. Leo; Wagner, Hermann

    1996-09-01

    A PARADOX that exists in auditory and electrosensory neural systems1,2 is that they encode behaviourally relevant signals in the range of a few microseconds with neurons that are at least one order of magnitude slower. The importance of temporal coding in neural information processing is not clear yet3-8. A central question is whether neuronal firing can be more precise than the time constants of the neuronal processes involved9. Here we address this problem using the auditory system of the barn owl as an example. We present a modelling study based on computer simulations of a neuron in the laminar nucleus. Three observations explain the paradox. First, spiking of an 'integrate-and-fire' neuron driven by excitatory postsynaptic potentials with a width at half-maximum height of 250 μs, has an accuracy of 25 μs if the presynaptic signals arrive coherently. Second, the necessary degree of coherence in the signal arrival times can be attained during ontogenetic development by virtue of an unsupervised hebbian learning rule. Learning selects connections with matching delays from a broad distribution of axons with random delays. Third, the learning rule also selects the correct delays from two independent groups of inputs, for example, from the left and right ear.

  1. Representation of others' action by neurons in monkey medial frontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Yoshida, Kyoko; Saito, Nobuhito; Iriki, Atsushi; Isoda, Masaki

    2011-02-01

    Successful social interaction depends on not only the ability to identify with others but also the ability to distinguish between aspects of self and others. Although there is considerable knowledge of a shared neural substrate between self-action and others' action, it remains unknown where and how in the brain the action of others is uniquely represented. Exploring such agent-specific neural codes is important because one's action and intention can differ between individuals. Moreover, the assignment of social agency breaks down in a range of mental disorders. Here, using two monkeys monitoring each other's action for adaptive behavioral planning, we show that the medial frontal cortex (MFC) contains a group of neurons that selectively encode others' action. These neurons, observed in both dominant and submissive monkeys, were significantly more prevalent in the dorsomedial convexity region of the MFC including the pre-supplementary motor area than in the cingulate sulcus region of the MFC including the rostral cingulate motor area. Further tests revealed that the difference in neuronal activity was not due to gaze direction or muscular activity. We suggest that the MFC is involved in self-other differentiation in the domain of motor action and provides a fundamental neural signal for social learning. PMID:21256015

  2. Sparse and dense coding of natural stimuli by distinct midbrain neuron subpopulations in weakly electric fish

    PubMed Central

    Vonderschen, Katrin; Chacron, Maurice J.

    2015-01-01

    While peripheral sensory neurons respond to natural stimuli with a broad range of spatiotemporal frequencies, central neurons instead respond sparsely to specific features in general. The nonlinear transformations leading to this emergent selectivity are not well understood. Here we characterized how the neural representation of stimuli changes across successive brain areas, using the electrosensory system of weakly electric fish as a model system. We found that midbrain torus semicircularis (TS) neurons were on average more selective in their responses than hindbrain electrosensory lateral line lobe (ELL) neurons. Further analysis revealed two categories of TS neurons: dense coding TS neurons that were ELL-like and sparse coding TS neurons that displayed selective responses. These neurons in general responded to preferred stimuli with few spikes and were mostly silent for other stimuli. We further investigated whether information about stimulus attributes was contained in the activities of ELL and TS neurons. To do so, we used a spike train metric to quantify how well stimuli could be discriminated based on spiking responses. We found that sparse coding TS neurons performed poorly even when their activities were combined compared with ELL and dense coding TS neurons. In contrast, combining the activities of as few as 12 dense coding TS neurons could lead to optimal discrimination. On the other hand, sparse coding TS neurons were better detectors of whether their preferred stimulus occurred compared with either dense coding TS or ELL neurons. Our results therefore suggest that the TS implements parallel detection and estimation of sensory input. PMID:21940609

  3. Interpreting actions: the goal behind mirror neuron function.

    PubMed

    Ocampo, Brenda; Kritikos, Ada

    2011-06-24

    Crucial to our everyday social functioning is an ability to interpret the behaviors of others. This process involves a rapid understanding of what a given action is not only in a physical sense (e.g., a precision grip around the stem of a wine glass) but also in a semantic sense (e.g., an invitation to "cheers"). The functional properties of fronto-parietal mirror neurons (MNs), which respond to both observed and executed actions, have been a topic of much debate in the cognitive neuroscience literature. The controversy surrounds the role of the "mirror neuron system" in action understanding: do MNs allow us to comprehend others' actions by allowing us to internally represent their behaviors or do they simply activate a direct motor representation of the perceived act without recourse to its meaning? This review outlines evidence from both human and primate literatures, indicating the importance of end-goals in action representations within the motor system and their predominance in influencing action plans. We integrate this evidence with recent views regarding the complex and dynamic nature of the mirror neuron system and its ability to respond to broad motor outcomes.

  4. The Mirror Neuron System: Grasping Others' Actions from Birth?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lepage, Jean-Francois; Theoret, Hugo

    2007-01-01

    In the adult human brain, the presence of a system matching the observation and the execution of actions is well established. This mechanism is thought to rely primarily on the contribution of so-called "mirror neurons", cells that are active when a specific gesture is executed as well as when it is seen or heard. Despite the wealth of evidence…

  5. Action-space coding in social contexts

    PubMed Central

    Ciardo, Francesca; Lugli, Luisa; Nicoletti, Roberto; Rubichi, Sandro; Iani, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    In two behavioural experiments we tested whether performing a spatial task along with another agent changes space representation by rendering some reference frames more/less salient than others. To this end, we used a Simon task in which stimuli were presented in four horizontal locations thus allowing for spatial coding according to multiple frames of reference. In Experiment 1 participants performed a go/no-go Simon task along another agent, each being in charge of one response. In Experiment 2 they performed a two-choice Simon task along another agent, each being in charge of two responses. Results showed that when participants were in charge of only one response, stimulus position was coded only with reference to the centre of the screen hence suggesting that the co-actor’s response, or the position of the co-actor, was represented and used as a reference for spatial coding. Differently, when participants were in charge of two responses, no effect of the social context emerged and spatial coding relied on multiple frames of reference, similarly to when the Simon task is performed individually. These findings provide insights on the influence played by the interaction between the social context (i.e. the presence of others) and task features on individual performance. PMID:26940396

  6. Action-space coding in social contexts.

    PubMed

    Ciardo, Francesca; Lugli, Luisa; Nicoletti, Roberto; Rubichi, Sandro; Iani, Cristina

    2016-01-01

    In two behavioural experiments we tested whether performing a spatial task along with another agent changes space representation by rendering some reference frames more/less salient than others. To this end, we used a Simon task in which stimuli were presented in four horizontal locations thus allowing for spatial coding according to multiple frames of reference. In Experiment 1 participants performed a go/no-go Simon task along another agent, each being in charge of one response. In Experiment 2 they performed a two-choice Simon task along another agent, each being in charge of two responses. Results showed that when participants were in charge of only one response, stimulus position was coded only with reference to the centre of the screen hence suggesting that the co-actor's response, or the position of the co-actor, was represented and used as a reference for spatial coding. Differently, when participants were in charge of two responses, no effect of the social context emerged and spatial coding relied on multiple frames of reference, similarly to when the Simon task is performed individually. These findings provide insights on the influence played by the interaction between the social context (i.e. the presence of others) and task features on individual performance. PMID:26940396

  7. Position and locality constrained soft coding for human action recognition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Bin; Liu, Yu; Xiao, Wenhua; Xu, Wei; Zhang, Maojun

    2013-10-01

    Although the traditional bag-of-words model has shown promising results for human action recognition, in the feature coding phase, the ambiguous features from different body parts are still difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, it also suffers from serious representation error. We propose an innovative coding strategy called position and locality constrained soft coding (PLSC) to overcome these limitations. PLSC uses the feature position in a human oriented region of interest (ROI) to distinguish the ambiguous features. We first construct a subdictionary for each feature by selecting the bases from their spatial neighbor in human ROI. Then, a modified soft coding with locality constraint is adopted to alleviate the quantization error and preserve the manifold structure of features. This novel coding algorithm increases both the representation accuracy and discriminative power with low computational cost. The human action recognition experimental results on KTH, Weizmann, and UCF sports datasets show that PLSC can achieve a better performance than previous competing feature coding methods.

  8. User's manual to the ACTION computer code

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kamat, M. P.

    1980-01-01

    The form and interpretation of input and output data are defined. The Analysis of Crash Transients in Inelastic and Geometrically Nonlinear structures program (ACTION) performs nonlinear transient response analysis of structures subjected to time varying loads, allowing for nonlinear, time independent material properties and large geometry changes.

  9. Effects of Action Relations on the Configural Coding between Objects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riddoch, M. J.; Pippard, B.; Booth, L.; Rickell, J.; Summers, J.; Brownson, A.; Humphreys, G. W.

    2011-01-01

    Configural coding is known to take place between the parts of individual objects but has never been shown between separate objects. We provide novel evidence here for configural coding between separate objects through a study of the effects of action relations between objects on extinction. Patients showing visual extinction were presented with…

  10. Optophysiological Approach to Resolve Neuronal Action Potentials with High Spatial and Temporal Resolution in Cultured Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Pagès, Stéphane; Côté, Daniel; De Koninck, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Cell to cell communication in the central nervous system is encoded into transient and local membrane potential changes (ΔVm). Deciphering the rules that govern synaptic transmission and plasticity entails to be able to perform Vm recordings throughout the entire neuronal arborization. Classical electrophysiology is, in most cases, not able to do so within small and fragile neuronal subcompartments. Thus, optical techniques based on the use of fluorescent voltage-sensitive dyes (VSDs) have been developed. However, reporting spontaneous or small ΔVm from neuronal ramifications has been challenging, in part due to the limited sensitivity and phototoxicity of VSD-based optical measurements. Here we demonstrate the use of water soluble VSD, ANNINE-6plus, with laser-scanning microscopy to optically record ΔVm in cultured neurons. We show that the sensitivity (>10% of fluorescence change for 100 mV depolarization) and time response (sub millisecond) of the dye allows the robust detection of action potentials (APs) even without averaging, allowing the measurement of spontaneous neuronal firing patterns. In addition, we show that back-propagating APs can be recorded, along distinct dendritic sites and within dendritic spines. Importantly, our approach does not induce any detectable phototoxic effect on cultured neurons. This optophysiological approach provides a simple, minimally invasive, and versatile optical method to measure electrical activity in cultured neurons with high temporal (ms) resolution and high spatial (μm) resolution. PMID:22016723

  11. Temporal coding of odor mixtures in an olfactory receptor neuron

    PubMed Central

    Su, Chih-Ying; Martelli, Carlotta; Emonet, Thierry; Carlson, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Most natural odors are mixtures and often elicit percepts distinct from those elicited by their constituents. This emergence of a unique odor quality has long been attributed to central processing. Here we show that sophisticated integration of olfactory information begins in olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) in Drosophila. Odor mixtures are encoded in the temporal dynamics as well as in the magnitudes of ORN responses. ORNs can respond to an inhibitory odorant with different durations depending on the level of background excitation. ORNs respond to mixtures with distinctive temporal dynamics that reflect the physicochemical properties of the constituent odorants. The insect repellent DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide), which attenuates odor responses of multiple ORNs, differs from an ORN-specific inhibitor in its effects on temporal dynamics. Our analysis reveals a means by which integration of information from odor mixtures begins in ORNs and provides insight into the contribution of inhibitory stimuli to sensory coding. PMID:21383179

  12. Economic risk coding by single neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    O'Neill, Martin; Schultz, Wolfram

    2015-01-01

    Risk is a ubiquitous feature of the environment for all organisms. Very few things in life are achieved with absolute certainty. Therefore, it is essential that organisms process risky information efficiently to promote adaptive behaviour and enhance survival. Here we outline a clear definition of economic risk derived from economic theory and focus on two experiments in which we have shown subpopulations of single neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex of rhesus macaques that code either economic risk per se or an error-related risk signal, namely a risk prediction error. These biological risk signals are essential for processing and updating risky information in the environment to contribute to efficient decision making and adaptive behaviour.

  13. Action potential initiation and propagation in rat neocortical pyramidal neurons.

    PubMed

    Stuart, G; Schiller, J; Sakmann, B

    1997-12-15

    1. Initiation and propagation of action potentials evoked by extracellular synaptic stimulation was studied using simultaneous dual and triple patch pipette recordings from different locations on neocortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons in brain slices from 4-week-old rats (P26-30) at physiological temperatures. 2. Simultaneous cell-attached and whole-cell voltage recordings from the apical trunk (up to 700 microns distal to the soma) and the soma indicated that proximal synaptic stimulation (layer 4) initiated action potentials first at the soma, whereas distal stimulation (upper layer 2/3) could initiate dendritic regenerative potentials prior to somatic action potentials following stimulation at higher intensity. 3. Somatic action potentials, once initiated, propagated back into the apical dendrites in a decremented manner which was frequency dependent. The half-width of back propagating action potentials increased and their maximum rate of rise decreased with distance from the soma, with the peak of these action potentials propagating with a conduction velocity of approximately 0.5 m s-1. 4. Back-propagation of action potentials into the dendritic tree was associated with dendritic calcium electrogenesis, which was particularly prominent during bursts of somatic action potentials. 5. When dendritic regenerative potentials were evoked prior to somatic action potentials, the more distal the dendritic recording was made from the soma the longer the time between the onset of the dendritic regenerative potential relative to somatic action potential. This suggested that dendritic regenerative potentials were initiated in the distal apical dendrites, possibly in the apical tuft. 6. At any one stimulus intensity, the initiation of dendritic regenerative potentials prior to somatic action potentials could fluctuate, and was modulated by depolarizing somatic or hyperpolarizing dendritic current injection. 7. Dendritic regenerative potentials could be initiated prior to

  14. Functional properties of parietal hand manipulation-related neurons and mirror neurons responding to vision of own hand action.

    PubMed

    Maeda, Kazutaka; Ishida, Hiroaki; Nakajima, Katsumi; Inase, Masahiko; Murata, Akira

    2015-03-01

    Parietofrontal pathways play an important role in visually guided motor control. In this pathway, hand manipulation-related neurons in the inferior parietal lobule represent 3-D properties of an object and motor patterns to grasp it. Furthermore, mirror neurons show visual responses that are concerned with the actions of others and motor-related activity during execution of the same grasping action. Because both of these categories of neurons integrate visual and motor signals, these neurons may play a role in motor control based on visual feedback signals. The aim of this study was to investigate whether these neurons in inferior parietal lobule including the anterior intraparietal area and PFG of macaques represent visual images of the monkey's own hand during a self-generated grasping action. We recorded 235 neurons related to hand manipulation tasks. Of these, 54 responded to video clips of the monkey's own hand action, the same as visual feedback during that action or clips of the experimenter's hand action in a lateral view. Of these 54 neurons, 25 responded to video clips of the monkey's own hand, even without an image of the target object. We designated these 25 neurons as "hand-type." Thirty-three of 54 neurons that were defined as mirror neurons showed visual responses to the experimenter's action and motor responses. Thirteen of these mirror neurons were classified as hand-type. These results suggest that activity of hand manipulation-related and mirror neurons in anterior intraparietal/PFG plays a fundamental role in monitoring one's own body state based on visual feedback.

  15. Nicotine excites cardiac vagal neurons via three sites of action.

    PubMed

    Mendelowitz, D

    1998-06-01

    1. Nicotine is involved in many cardio-respiratory diseases, including hypertension and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is the most common cause of death in infants between 1 month and 1 year of age. While the aetiology of SIDS remains largely unknown, recent clinical studies suggest maternal cigarette smoking is a major risk factor in SIDS and an abnormality of cardio-respiratory control, particularly a centrally mediated slowing of the heart that precedes or accompanies apnoea, is involved. 2. Because the sites, mechanisms of action and diverse receptor types of nicotine within the central nervous system are controversial and poorly understood, in the present study we examined the effects of nicotine on specific brainstem neurons that control heart rate. Cardiac vagal neurons were identified in an in vitro slice preparation using a retrograde fluorescent tracer and were studied using both whole-cell and perforated patch-clamp electrophysiological techniques. 3. We have found there are different pre- and post-synaptic nicotinic receptors that have dramatic effects on glutamatergic neurotransmission as well as directly activating vagal cardio-inhibitory neurons.

  16. Action of modafinil through histaminergic and orexinergic neurons.

    PubMed

    Ishizuka, Tomoko; Murotani, Tomotaka; Yamatodani, Atsushi

    2012-01-01

    Modafinil is a wake-promoting drug used for the treatment of excessive daytime sleepiness due to narcolepsy as well as excessive sleepiness associated with obstructive sleep apnea and shift work disorder. Although the wake-promoting effect of modafinil is expressed through the dopaminergic and the norepinephrinergic systems similar to that of classical psychostimulants, the mechanism of action is distinct from those compounds in terms of the involvement of the histaminergic and the orexinergic systems. Modafinil activates the histaminergic system in an indirect manner, presumably via attenuation of the inhibitory GABAergic input to the histaminergic neurons. The orexinergic system controls arousal through the histaminergic system, and the modafinil-induced increment of histamine release is abolished in orexin neuron-ablated mice, suggesting that modafinil increases histaminergic tone via orexinergic neurons. Clinical and experimental investigations have suggested less importance of the orexinergic system in the wake-promoting effect of modafinil, but the orexinergic system is considered to be involved in modafinil-induced alertness or synaptic plasticity.

  17. A dynamic code for economic object valuation in prefrontal cortex neurons

    PubMed Central

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Kobayashi, Shunsuke; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal reward valuations provide the physiological basis for economic behaviour. Yet, how such valuations are converted to economic decisions remains unclear. Here we show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) implements a flexible value code based on object-specific valuations by single neurons. As monkeys perform a reward-based foraging task, individual DLPFC neurons signal the value of specific choice objects derived from recent experience. These neuronal object values satisfy principles of competitive choice mechanisms, track performance fluctuations and follow predictions of a classical behavioural model (Herrnstein's matching law). Individual neurons dynamically encode both, the updating of object values from recently experienced rewards, and their subsequent conversion to object choices during decision-making. Decoding from unselected populations enables a read-out of motivational and decision variables not emphasized by individual neurons. These findings suggest a dynamic single-neuron and population value code in DLPFC that advances from reward experiences to economic object values and future choices. PMID:27618960

  18. A dynamic code for economic object valuation in prefrontal cortex neurons.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Kobayashi, Shunsuke; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal reward valuations provide the physiological basis for economic behaviour. Yet, how such valuations are converted to economic decisions remains unclear. Here we show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) implements a flexible value code based on object-specific valuations by single neurons. As monkeys perform a reward-based foraging task, individual DLPFC neurons signal the value of specific choice objects derived from recent experience. These neuronal object values satisfy principles of competitive choice mechanisms, track performance fluctuations and follow predictions of a classical behavioural model (Herrnstein's matching law). Individual neurons dynamically encode both, the updating of object values from recently experienced rewards, and their subsequent conversion to object choices during decision-making. Decoding from unselected populations enables a read-out of motivational and decision variables not emphasized by individual neurons. These findings suggest a dynamic single-neuron and population value code in DLPFC that advances from reward experiences to economic object values and future choices. PMID:27618960

  19. A dynamic code for economic object valuation in prefrontal cortex neurons.

    PubMed

    Tsutsui, Ken-Ichiro; Grabenhorst, Fabian; Kobayashi, Shunsuke; Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-09-13

    Neuronal reward valuations provide the physiological basis for economic behaviour. Yet, how such valuations are converted to economic decisions remains unclear. Here we show that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) implements a flexible value code based on object-specific valuations by single neurons. As monkeys perform a reward-based foraging task, individual DLPFC neurons signal the value of specific choice objects derived from recent experience. These neuronal object values satisfy principles of competitive choice mechanisms, track performance fluctuations and follow predictions of a classical behavioural model (Herrnstein's matching law). Individual neurons dynamically encode both, the updating of object values from recently experienced rewards, and their subsequent conversion to object choices during decision-making. Decoding from unselected populations enables a read-out of motivational and decision variables not emphasized by individual neurons. These findings suggest a dynamic single-neuron and population value code in DLPFC that advances from reward experiences to economic object values and future choices.

  20. Interpersonal predictive coding, not action perception, is impaired in autism.

    PubMed

    von der Lühe, T; Manera, V; Barisic, I; Becchio, C; Vogeley, K; Schilbach, L

    2016-05-01

    This study was conducted to examine interpersonal predictive coding in individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA). Healthy and HFA participants observed point-light displays of two agents (A and B) performing separate actions. In the 'communicative' condition, the action performed by agent B responded to a communicative gesture performed by agent A. In the 'individual' condition, agent A's communicative action was substituted by a non-communicative action. Using a simultaneous masking-detection task, we demonstrate that observing agent A's communicative gesture enhanced visual discrimination of agent B for healthy controls, but not for participants with HFA. These results were not explained by differences in attentional factors as measured via eye-tracking, or by differences in the recognition of the point-light actions employed. Our findings, therefore, suggest that individuals with HFA are impaired in the use of social information to predict others' actions and provide behavioural evidence that such deficits could be closely related to impairments of predictive coding. PMID:27069050

  1. Interpersonal predictive coding, not action perception, is impaired in autism

    PubMed Central

    von der Lühe, T.; Manera, V.; Barisic, I.; Becchio, C.; Vogeley, K.

    2016-01-01

    This study was conducted to examine interpersonal predictive coding in individuals with high-functioning autism (HFA). Healthy and HFA participants observed point-light displays of two agents (A and B) performing separate actions. In the ‘communicative’ condition, the action performed by agent B responded to a communicative gesture performed by agent A. In the ‘individual’ condition, agent A's communicative action was substituted by a non-communicative action. Using a simultaneous masking-detection task, we demonstrate that observing agent A's communicative gesture enhanced visual discrimination of agent B for healthy controls, but not for participants with HFA. These results were not explained by differences in attentional factors as measured via eye-tracking, or by differences in the recognition of the point-light actions employed. Our findings, therefore, suggest that individuals with HFA are impaired in the use of social information to predict others' actions and provide behavioural evidence that such deficits could be closely related to impairments of predictive coding. PMID:27069050

  2. Ca(2+)-BK channel clusters in olfactory receptor neurons and their role in odour coding.

    PubMed

    Bao, Guobin; de Jong, Daniëlle; Alevra, Mihai; Schild, Detlev

    2015-12-01

    Olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) have high-voltage-gated Ca(2+) channels whose physiological impact has remained enigmatic since the voltage-gated conductances in this cell type were first described in the 1980s. Here we show that in ORN somata of Xenopus laevis tadpoles these channels are clustered and co-expressed with large-conductance potassium (BK) channels. We found approximately five clusters per ORN and twelve Ca(2+) channels per cluster. The action potential-triggered activation of BK channels accelerates the repolarization of action potentials and shortens interspike intervals during odour responses. This increases the sensitivity of individual ORNs to odorants. At the level of mitral cells of the olfactory bulb, odour qualities have been shown to be coded by first-spike-latency patterns. The system of Ca(2+) and BK channels in ORNs appears to be important for correct odour coding because the blockage of BK channels not only affects ORN spiking patterns but also changes the latency pattern representation of odours in the olfactory bulb.

  3. Energy-efficient population coding constrains network size of a neuronal array system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yu, Lianchun; Zhang, Chi; Liu, Liwei; Yu, Yuguo

    2016-01-01

    We consider the open issue of how the energy efficiency of the neural information transmission process, in a general neuronal array, constrains the network size, and how well this network size ensures the reliable transmission of neural information in a noisy environment. By direct mathematical analysis, we have obtained general solutions proving that there exists an optimal number of neurons in the network, where the average coding energy cost (defined as energy consumption divided by mutual information) per neuron passes through a global minimum for both subthreshold and superthreshold signals. With increases in background noise intensity, the optimal neuronal number decreases for subthreshold signals and increases for suprathreshold signals. The existence of an optimal number of neurons in an array network reveals a general rule for population coding that states that the neuronal number should be large enough to ensure reliable information transmission that is robust to the noisy environment but small enough to minimize energy cost.

  4. Leptin modulates nutrient reward via inhibitory galanin action on orexin neurons

    PubMed Central

    Laque, Amanda; Yu, Sangho; Qualls-Creekmore, Emily; Gettys, Sarah; Schwartzenburg, Candice; Bui, Kelly; Rhodes, Christopher; Berthoud, Hans-Rudolf; Morrison, Christopher D.; Richards, Brenda K.; Münzberg, Heike

    2015-01-01

    Objective Leptin modulates food reward via central leptin receptor (LepRb) expressing neurons. Food reward requires stimulation of midbrain dopamine neurons and is modulated by central leptin action, but the exact central mechanisms remain unclear. Stimulatory and inhibitory leptin actions on dopamine neurons have been reported, e.g. by indirect actions on orexin neurons or via direct innervation of dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Methods We showed earlier that LepRb neurons in the lateral hypothalamus (LHA) co-express the inhibitory acting neuropeptide galanin (GAL-LepRb neurons). We studied the involvement of GAL-LepRb neurons to regulate nutrient reward in mice with selective LepRb deletion from galanin neurons (GAL-LepRbKO mice). Results We found that the rewarding value and preference for sucrose over fat was increased in GAL-LepRbKO mice compared to controls. LHA GAL-LepRb neurons innervate orexin neurons, but not the VTA. Further, expression of galanin and its receptor GalR1 are decreased in the LHA of GAL-LepRbKO mice, resulting in increased activation of orexin neurons. Conclusion We suggest galanin as an important mediator of leptin action to modulate nutrient reward by inhibiting orexin neurons. PMID:26500842

  5. Dipole characterization of single neurons from their extracellular action potentials

    PubMed Central

    Victor, Jonathan D.

    2011-01-01

    The spatial variation of the extracellular action potentials (EAP) of a single neuron contains information about the size and location of the dominant current source of its action potential generator, which is typically in the vicinity of the soma. Using this dependence in reverse in a three-component realistic probe + brain + source model, we solved the inverse problem of characterizing the equivalent current source of an isolated neuron from the EAP data sampled by an extracellular probe at multiple independent recording locations. We used a dipole for the model source because there is extensive evidence it accurately captures the spatial roll-off of the EAP amplitude, and because, as we show, dipole localization, beyond a minimum cell-probe distance, is a more accurate alternative to approaches based on monopole source models. Dipole characterization is separable into a linear dipole moment optimization where the dipole location is fixed, and a second, nonlinear, global optimization of the source location. We solved the linear optimization on a discrete grid via the lead fields of the probe, which can be calculated for any realistic probe + brain model by the finite element method. The global source location was optimized by means of Tikhonov regularization that jointly minimizes model error and dipole size. The particular strategy chosen reflects the fact that the dipole model is used in the near field, in contrast to the typical prior applications of dipole models to EKG and EEG source analysis. We applied dipole localization to data collected with stepped tetrodes whose detailed geometry was measured via scanning electron microscopy. The optimal dipole could account for 96% of the power in the spatial variation of the EAP amplitude. Among various model error contributions to the residual, we address especially the error in probe geometry, and the extent to which it biases estimates of dipole parameters. This dipole characterization method can be applied to

  6. Spatio-temporal Laplacian pyramid coding for action recognition.

    PubMed

    Shao, Ling; Zhen, Xiantong; Tao, Dacheng; Li, Xuelong

    2014-06-01

    We present a novel descriptor, called spatio-temporal Laplacian pyramid coding (STLPC), for holistic representation of human actions. In contrast to sparse representations based on detected local interest points, STLPC regards a video sequence as a whole with spatio-temporal features directly extracted from it, which prevents the loss of information in sparse representations. Through decomposing each sequence into a set of band-pass-filtered components, the proposed pyramid model localizes features residing at different scales, and therefore is able to effectively encode the motion information of actions. To make features further invariant and resistant to distortions as well as noise, a bank of 3-D Gabor filters is applied to each level of the Laplacian pyramid, followed by max pooling within filter bands and over spatio-temporal neighborhoods. Since the convolving and pooling are performed spatio-temporally, the coding model can capture structural and motion information simultaneously and provide an informative representation of actions. The proposed method achieves superb recognition rates on the KTH, the multiview IXMAS, the challenging UCF Sports, and the newly released HMDB51 datasets. It outperforms state of the art methods showing its great potential on action recognition.

  7. Geometric constraints on neuronal connectivity facilitate a concise synaptic adhesive code.

    PubMed

    Itzkovitz, Shalev; Baruch, Leehod; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-07-01

    The nervous system contains trillions of neurons, each forming thousands of synaptic connections. It has been suggested that this complex connectivity is determined by a synaptic "adhesive code," where connections are dictated by a variable set of cell surface proteins, combinations of which form neuronal addresses. The estimated number of neuronal addresses is orders of magnitude smaller than the number of neurons. Here, we show that the limited number of addresses dictates constraints on the possible neuronal network topologies. We show that to encode arbitrary networks, in which each neuron can potentially connect to any other neuron, the number of neuronal addresses needed scales linearly with network size. In contrast, the number of addresses needed to encode the wiring of geometric networks grows only as the square root of network size. The more efficient encoding in geometric networks is achieved through the reutilization of the same addresses in physically independent portions of the network. We also find that ordered geometric networks, in which the same connectivity patterns are iterated throughout the network, further reduce the required number of addresses. We demonstrate our findings using simulated networks and the C. elegans neuronal network. Geometric neuronal connectivity with recurring connectivity patterns have been suggested to confer an evolutionary advantage by saving biochemical resources on the one hand and reutilizing functionally efficient neuronal circuits. Our study suggests an additional advantage of these prominent topological features--the facilitation of the ability to genetically encode neuronal networks given constraints on the number of addresses. PMID:18583478

  8. Geometric constraints on neuronal connectivity facilitate a concise synaptic adhesive code

    PubMed Central

    Itzkovitz, Shalev; Baruch, Leehod; Shapiro, Ehud; Segal, Eran

    2008-01-01

    The nervous system contains trillions of neurons, each forming thousands of synaptic connections. It has been suggested that this complex connectivity is determined by a synaptic “adhesive code,” where connections are dictated by a variable set of cell surface proteins, combinations of which form neuronal addresses. The estimated number of neuronal addresses is orders of magnitude smaller than the number of neurons. Here, we show that the limited number of addresses dictates constraints on the possible neuronal network topologies. We show that to encode arbitrary networks, in which each neuron can potentially connect to any other neuron, the number of neuronal addresses needed scales linearly with network size. In contrast, the number of addresses needed to encode the wiring of geometric networks grows only as the square root of network size. The more efficient encoding in geometric networks is achieved through the reutilization of the same addresses in physically independent portions of the network. We also find that ordered geometric networks, in which the same connectivity patterns are iterated throughout the network, further reduce the required number of addresses. We demonstrate our findings using simulated networks and the C. elegans neuronal network. Geometric neuronal connectivity with recurring connectivity patterns have been suggested to confer an evolutionary advantage by saving biochemical resources on the one hand and reutilizing functionally efficient neuronal circuits. Our study suggests an additional advantage of these prominent topological features—the facilitation of the ability to genetically encode neuronal networks given constraints on the number of addresses. PMID:18583478

  9. Stimulus features coded by single neurons of a macaque body category selective patch

    PubMed Central

    Popivanov, Ivo D.; Schyns, Philippe G.; Vogels, Rufin

    2016-01-01

    Body category-selective regions of the primate temporal cortex respond to images of bodies, but it is unclear which fragments of such images drive single neurons’ responses in these regions. Here we applied the Bubbles technique to the responses of single macaque middle superior temporal sulcus (midSTS) body patch neurons to reveal the image fragments the neurons respond to. We found that local image fragments such as extremities (limbs), curved boundaries, and parts of the torso drove the large majority of neurons. Bubbles revealed the whole body in only a few neurons. Neurons coded the features in a manner that was tolerant to translation and scale changes. Most image fragments were excitatory but for a few neurons both inhibitory and excitatory fragments (opponent coding) were present in the same image. The fragments we reveal here in the body patch with Bubbles differ from those suggested in previous studies of face-selective neurons in face patches. Together, our data indicate that the majority of body patch neurons respond to local image fragments that occur frequently, but not exclusively, in bodies, with a coding that is tolerant to translation and scale. Overall, the data suggest that the body category selectivity of the midSTS body patch depends more on the feature statistics of bodies (e.g., extensions occur more frequently in bodies) than on semantics (bodies as an abstract category). PMID:27071095

  10. Adaptation reduces variability of the neuronal population code

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Farkhooi, Farzad; Muller, Eilif; Nawrot, Martin P.

    2011-05-01

    Sequences of events in noise-driven excitable systems with slow variables often show serial correlations among their intervals of events. Here, we employ a master equation for generalized non-renewal processes to calculate the interval and count statistics of superimposed processes governed by a slow adaptation variable. For an ensemble of neurons with spike-frequency adaptation, this results in the regularization of the population activity and an enhanced postsynaptic signal decoding. We confirm our theoretical results in a population of cortical neurons recorded in vivo.

  11. Molecular codes for neuronal individuality and cell assembly in the brain.

    PubMed

    Yagi, Takeshi

    2012-01-01

    The brain contains an enormous, but finite, number of neurons. The ability of this limited number of neurons to produce nearly limitless neural information over a lifetime is typically explained by combinatorial explosion; that is, by the exponential amplification of each neuron's contribution through its incorporation into "cell assemblies" and neural networks. In development, each neuron expresses diverse cellular recognition molecules that permit the formation of the appropriate neural cell assemblies to elicit various brain functions. The mechanism for generating neuronal assemblies and networks must involve molecular codes that give neurons individuality and allow them to recognize one another and join appropriate networks. The extensive molecular diversity of cell-surface proteins on neurons is likely to contribute to their individual identities. The clustered protocadherins (Pcdh) is a large subfamily within the diverse cadherin superfamily. The clustered Pcdh genes are encoded in tandem by three gene clusters, and are present in all known vertebrate genomes. The set of clustered Pcdh genes is expressed in a random and combinatorial manner in each neuron. In addition, cis-tetramers composed of heteromultimeric clustered Pcdh isoforms represent selective binding units for cell-cell interactions. Here I present the mathematical probabilities for neuronal individuality based on the random and combinatorial expression of clustered Pcdh isoforms and their formation of cis-tetramers in each neuron. Notably, clustered Pcdh gene products are known to play crucial roles in correct axonal projections, synaptic formation, and neuronal survival. Their molecular and biological features induce a hypothesis that the diverse clustered Pcdh molecules provide the molecular code by which neuronal individuality and cell assembly permit the combinatorial explosion of networks that supports enormous processing capability and plasticity of the brain.

  12. Molecular codes for neuronal individuality and cell assembly in the brain.

    PubMed

    Yagi, Takeshi

    2012-01-01

    The brain contains an enormous, but finite, number of neurons. The ability of this limited number of neurons to produce nearly limitless neural information over a lifetime is typically explained by combinatorial explosion; that is, by the exponential amplification of each neuron's contribution through its incorporation into "cell assemblies" and neural networks. In development, each neuron expresses diverse cellular recognition molecules that permit the formation of the appropriate neural cell assemblies to elicit various brain functions. The mechanism for generating neuronal assemblies and networks must involve molecular codes that give neurons individuality and allow them to recognize one another and join appropriate networks. The extensive molecular diversity of cell-surface proteins on neurons is likely to contribute to their individual identities. The clustered protocadherins (Pcdh) is a large subfamily within the diverse cadherin superfamily. The clustered Pcdh genes are encoded in tandem by three gene clusters, and are present in all known vertebrate genomes. The set of clustered Pcdh genes is expressed in a random and combinatorial manner in each neuron. In addition, cis-tetramers composed of heteromultimeric clustered Pcdh isoforms represent selective binding units for cell-cell interactions. Here I present the mathematical probabilities for neuronal individuality based on the random and combinatorial expression of clustered Pcdh isoforms and their formation of cis-tetramers in each neuron. Notably, clustered Pcdh gene products are known to play crucial roles in correct axonal projections, synaptic formation, and neuronal survival. Their molecular and biological features induce a hypothesis that the diverse clustered Pcdh molecules provide the molecular code by which neuronal individuality and cell assembly permit the combinatorial explosion of networks that supports enormous processing capability and plasticity of the brain. PMID:22518100

  13. Modulation of spike coding by subthreshold extracellular electric fields and neuronal morphology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wei, Xile; Li, Bingjie; Lu, Meili; Yi, Guosheng; Wang, Jiang

    2015-07-01

    We use a two-compartment model, which includes soma and dendrite, to explore how extracellular subthreshold sinusoidal electric fields (EFs) influence the spike coding of an active neuron. By changing the intensity and the frequency of subthreshold EFs, we find that subthreshold EFs indeed affect neuronal coding remarkably within several stimulus frequency windows where the field effects on spike timing are stronger than that on spiking rate. The field effects are maximized at several harmonics of the intrinsic spiking frequency of an active neuron. Our findings implicate the potential resonance mechanism underlying subthreshold field effects. We also discuss how neuronal morphologic properties constrain subthreshold EF effects on spike timing. The morphologic properties are represented by two parameters, gc and p, where gc is the internal conductance between soma and dendrite and geometric factor p characterizes the proportion of area occupied by soma. We find that the contribution to field effects from the variation of p is stronger than that from gc, which suggests that neuronal geometric features play a crucial role in subthreshold field effects. Theoretically, these insights into how subthreshold sinusoidal EFs modulate ongoing neuron behaviors could contribute to uncovering the relevant mechanism of subthreshold sinusoidal EFs effects on neuronal coding. Furthermore, they are useful in rationally designing noninvasive brain stimulation strategies and developing electromagnetic stimulus techniques.

  14. The effect of correlated neuronal firing and neuronal heterogeneity on population coding accuracy in guinea pig inferior colliculus.

    PubMed

    Zohar, Oran; Shackleton, Trevor M; Palmer, Alan R; Shamir, Maoz

    2013-01-01

    It has been suggested that the considerable noise in single-cell responses to a stimulus can be overcome by pooling information from a large population. Theoretical studies indicated that correlations in trial-to-trial fluctuations in the responses of different neurons may limit the improvement due to pooling. Subsequent theoretical studies have suggested that inherent neuronal diversity, i.e., the heterogeneity of tuning curves and other response properties of neurons preferentially tuned to the same stimulus, can provide a means to overcome this limit. Here we study the effect of spike-count correlations and the inherent neuronal heterogeneity on the ability to extract information from large neural populations. We use electrophysiological data from the guinea pig Inferior-Colliculus to capture inherent neuronal heterogeneity and single cell statistics, and introduce response correlations artificially. To this end, we generate pseudo-population responses, based on single-cell recording of neurons responding to auditory stimuli with varying binaural correlations. Typically, when pseudo-populations are generated from single cell data, the responses within the population are statistically independent. As a result, the information content of the population will increase indefinitely with its size. In contrast, here we apply a simple algorithm that enables us to generate pseudo-population responses with variable spike-count correlations. This enables us to study the effect of neuronal correlations on the accuracy of conventional rate codes. We show that in a homogenous population, in the presence of even low-level correlations, information content is bounded. In contrast, utilizing a simple linear readout, that takes into account the natural heterogeneity, even of neurons preferentially tuned to the same stimulus, within the neural population, one can overcome the correlated noise and obtain a readout whose accuracy grows linearly with the size of the population. PMID

  15. All optical experimental design for neuron excitation, inhibition, and action potential detection

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walsh, Alex J.; Tolstykh, Gleb; Martens, Stacey; Sedelnikova, Anna; Ibey, Bennett L.; Beier, Hope T.

    2016-03-01

    Recently, infrared light has been shown to both stimulate and inhibit excitatory cells. However, studies of infrared light for excitatory cell inhibition have been constrained by the use of invasive and cumbersome electrodes for cell excitation and action potential recording. Here, we present an all optical experimental design for neuronal excitation, inhibition, and action potential detection. Primary rat neurons were transfected with plasmids containing the light sensitive ion channel CheRiff. CheRiff has a peak excitation around 450 nm, allowing excitation of transfected neurons with pulsed blue light. Additionally, primary neurons were transfected with QuasAr2, a fast and sensitive fluorescent voltage indicator. QuasAr2 is excited with yellow or red light and therefore does not spectrally overlap CheRiff, enabling imaging and action potential activation, simultaneously. Using an optic fiber, neurons were exposed to blue light sequentially to generate controlled action potentials. A second optic fiber delivered a single pulse of 1869nm light to the neuron causing inhibition of the evoked action potentials (by the blue light). When used in concert, these optical techniques enable electrode free neuron excitation, inhibition, and action potential recording, allowing research into neuronal behaviors with high spatial fidelity.

  16. M1 corticospinal mirror neurons and their role in movement suppression during action observation.

    PubMed

    Vigneswaran, Ganesh; Philipp, Roland; Lemon, Roger N; Kraskov, Alexander

    2013-02-01

    Evidence is accumulating that neurons in primary motor cortex (M1) respond during action observation, a property first shown for mirror neurons in monkey premotor cortex. We now show for the first time that the discharge of a major class of M1 output neuron, the pyramidal tract neuron (PTN), is modulated during observation of precision grip by a human experimenter. We recorded 132 PTNs in the hand area of two adult macaques, of which 65 (49%) showed mirror-like activity. Many (38 of 65) increased their discharge during observation (facilitation-type mirror neuron), but a substantial number (27 of 65) exhibited reduced discharge or stopped firing (suppression-type). Simultaneous recordings from arm, hand, and digit muscles confirmed the complete absence of detectable muscle activity during observation. We compared the discharge of the same population of neurons during active grasp by the monkeys. We found that facilitation neurons were only half as active for action observation as for action execution, and that suppression neurons reversed their activity pattern and were actually facilitated during execution. Thus, although many M1 output neurons are active during action observation, M1 direct input to spinal circuitry is either reduced or abolished and may not be sufficient to produce overt muscle activity.

  17. Optical magnetic detection of single-neuron action potentials using NV-diamond

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, Matthew; Barry, John; Schloss, Jennifer; Glenn, David; Walsworth, Ron

    2016-05-01

    A key challenge for neuroscience is noninvasive, label-free sensing of action potential dynamics in whole organisms with single-neuron resolution. Here, we report a new approach to this problem: using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond to measure the time-dependent magnetic fields produced by single-neuron action potentials. We demonstrate our method using excised single neurons from two invertebrate species, marine worm and squid; and then by single-neuron action potential magnetic sensing exterior to whole, live, opaque marine worms for extended periods with no adverse effect. The results lay the groundwork for real-time, noninvasive 3D magnetic mapping of functional mammalian neuronal networks.

  18. EquiFACS: The Equine Facial Action Coding System

    PubMed Central

    Wathan, Jen; Burrows, Anne M.; Waller, Bridget M.; McComb, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Although previous studies of horses have investigated their facial expressions in specific contexts, e.g. pain, until now there has been no methodology available that documents all the possible facial movements of the horse and provides a way to record all potential facial configurations. This is essential for an objective description of horse facial expressions across a range of contexts that reflect different emotional states. Facial Action Coding Systems (FACS) provide a systematic methodology of identifying and coding facial expressions on the basis of underlying facial musculature and muscle movement. FACS are anatomically based and document all possible facial movements rather than a configuration of movements associated with a particular situation. Consequently, FACS can be applied as a tool for a wide range of research questions. We developed FACS for the domestic horse (Equus caballus) through anatomical investigation of the underlying musculature and subsequent analysis of naturally occurring behaviour captured on high quality video. Discrete facial movements were identified and described in terms of the underlying muscle contractions, in correspondence with previous FACS systems. The reliability of others to be able to learn this system (EquiFACS) and consistently code behavioural sequences was high—and this included people with no previous experience of horses. A wide range of facial movements were identified, including many that are also seen in primates and other domestic animals (dogs and cats). EquiFACS provides a method that can now be used to document the facial movements associated with different social contexts and thus to address questions relevant to understanding social cognition and comparative psychology, as well as informing current veterinary and animal welfare practices. PMID:26244573

  19. EquiFACS: The Equine Facial Action Coding System.

    PubMed

    Wathan, Jen; Burrows, Anne M; Waller, Bridget M; McComb, Karen

    2015-01-01

    Although previous studies of horses have investigated their facial expressions in specific contexts, e.g. pain, until now there has been no methodology available that documents all the possible facial movements of the horse and provides a way to record all potential facial configurations. This is essential for an objective description of horse facial expressions across a range of contexts that reflect different emotional states. Facial Action Coding Systems (FACS) provide a systematic methodology of identifying and coding facial expressions on the basis of underlying facial musculature and muscle movement. FACS are anatomically based and document all possible facial movements rather than a configuration of movements associated with a particular situation. Consequently, FACS can be applied as a tool for a wide range of research questions. We developed FACS for the domestic horse (Equus caballus) through anatomical investigation of the underlying musculature and subsequent analysis of naturally occurring behaviour captured on high quality video. Discrete facial movements were identified and described in terms of the underlying muscle contractions, in correspondence with previous FACS systems. The reliability of others to be able to learn this system (EquiFACS) and consistently code behavioural sequences was high--and this included people with no previous experience of horses. A wide range of facial movements were identified, including many that are also seen in primates and other domestic animals (dogs and cats). EquiFACS provides a method that can now be used to document the facial movements associated with different social contexts and thus to address questions relevant to understanding social cognition and comparative psychology, as well as informing current veterinary and animal welfare practices.

  20. Properties of Neurons in External Globus Pallidus Can Support Optimal Action Selection

    PubMed Central

    Bogacz, Rafal; Martin Moraud, Eduardo; Abdi, Azzedine; Magill, Peter J.; Baufreton, Jérôme

    2016-01-01

    The external globus pallidus (GPe) is a key nucleus within basal ganglia circuits that are thought to be involved in action selection. A class of computational models assumes that, during action selection, the basal ganglia compute for all actions available in a given context the probabilities that they should be selected. These models suggest that a network of GPe and subthalamic nucleus (STN) neurons computes the normalization term in Bayes’ equation. In order to perform such computation, the GPe needs to send feedback to the STN equal to a particular function of the activity of STN neurons. However, the complex form of this function makes it unlikely that individual GPe neurons, or even a single GPe cell type, could compute it. Here, we demonstrate how this function could be computed within a network containing two types of GABAergic GPe projection neuron, so-called ‘prototypic’ and ‘arkypallidal’ neurons, that have different response properties in vivo and distinct connections. We compare our model predictions with the experimentally-reported connectivity and input-output functions (f-I curves) of the two populations of GPe neurons. We show that, together, these dichotomous cell types fulfil the requirements necessary to compute the function needed for optimal action selection. We conclude that, by virtue of their distinct response properties and connectivities, a network of arkypallidal and prototypic GPe neurons comprises a neural substrate capable of supporting the computation of the posterior probabilities of actions. PMID:27389780

  1. Multimodal stimulus coding by a gustatory sensory neuron in Drosophila larvae

    PubMed Central

    van Giesen, Lena; Hernandez-Nunez, Luis; Delasoie-Baranek, Sophie; Colombo, Martino; Renaud, Philippe; Bruggmann, Rémy; Benton, Richard; Samuel, Aravinthan D. T.; Sprecher, Simon G.

    2016-01-01

    Accurate perception of taste information is crucial for animal survival. In adult Drosophila, gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) perceive chemical stimuli of one specific gustatory modality associated with a stereotyped behavioural response, such as aversion or attraction. We show that GRNs of Drosophila larvae employ a surprisingly different mode of gustatory information coding. Using a novel method for calcium imaging in the larval gustatory system, we identify a multimodal GRN that responds to chemicals of different taste modalities with opposing valence, such as sweet sucrose and bitter denatonium, reliant on different sensory receptors. This multimodal neuron is essential for bitter compound avoidance, and its artificial activation is sufficient to mediate aversion. However, the neuron is also essential for the integration of taste blends. Our findings support a model for taste coding in larvae, in which distinct receptor proteins mediate different responses within the same, multimodal GRN. PMID:26864722

  2. Multimodal stimulus coding by a gustatory sensory neuron in Drosophila larvae.

    PubMed

    van Giesen, Lena; Hernandez-Nunez, Luis; Delasoie-Baranek, Sophie; Colombo, Martino; Renaud, Philippe; Bruggmann, Rémy; Benton, Richard; Samuel, Aravinthan D T; Sprecher, Simon G

    2016-01-01

    Accurate perception of taste information is crucial for animal survival. In adult Drosophila, gustatory receptor neurons (GRNs) perceive chemical stimuli of one specific gustatory modality associated with a stereotyped behavioural response, such as aversion or attraction. We show that GRNs of Drosophila larvae employ a surprisingly different mode of gustatory information coding. Using a novel method for calcium imaging in the larval gustatory system, we identify a multimodal GRN that responds to chemicals of different taste modalities with opposing valence, such as sweet sucrose and bitter denatonium, reliant on different sensory receptors. This multimodal neuron is essential for bitter compound avoidance, and its artificial activation is sufficient to mediate aversion. However, the neuron is also essential for the integration of taste blends. Our findings support a model for taste coding in larvae, in which distinct receptor proteins mediate different responses within the same, multimodal GRN. PMID:26864722

  3. Widespread Differential Expression of Coding Region and 3' UTR Sequences in Neurons and Other Tissues.

    PubMed

    Kocabas, Arif; Duarte, Terence; Kumar, Saranya; Hynes, Mary A

    2015-12-16

    Mature messenger RNAs (mRNAs) consist of coding sequence (CDS) and 5' and 3' UTRs, typically expected to show similar abundance within a given neuron. Examining mRNA from defined neurons, we unexpectedly show extremely common unbalanced expression of cognate 3' UTR and CDS sequences; many genes show high 3' UTR relative to CDS, others show high CDS to 3' UTR. In situ hybridization (19 of 19 genes) shows a broad range of 3' UTR-to-CDS expression ratios across neurons and tissues. Ratios may be spatially graded or change with developmental age but are consistent across animals. Further, for two genes examined, a 3' UTR-to-CDS ratio above a particular threshold in any given neuron correlated with reduced or undetectable protein expression. Our findings raise questions about the role of isolated 3' UTR sequences in regulation of protein expression and highlight the importance of separately examining 3' UTR and CDS sequences in gene expression analyses.

  4. Specification of individual adult motor neuron morphologies by combinatorial transcription factor codes

    PubMed Central

    Enriquez, Jonathan; Venkatasubramanian, Lalanti; Baek, Myungin; Peterson, Meredith; Aghayeva, Ulkar; Mann, Richard S.

    2015-01-01

    Summary How the highly stereotyped morphologies of individual neurons are genetically specified is not well understood. We identify six transcription factors (TFs) expressed in a combinatorial manner in seven post-mitotic adult leg motor neurons (MNs) that are derived from a single neuroblast in Drosophila. Unlike TFs expressed in mitotically active neuroblasts, these TFs do not regulate each other's expression. Removing the activity of a single TF resulted in specific morphological defects, including muscle targeting and dendritic arborization, and in a highly specific walking defect in adult flies. In contrast, when the expression of multiple TFs was modified nearly complete transformations in MN morphologies were generated. These results show that the morphological characteristics of a single neuron are dictated by a combinatorial code of morphology TFs (mTFs). mTFs function at a previously unidentified regulatory tier downstream of factors acting in the NB, but independently of factors that act in terminally differentiated neurons. PMID:25959734

  5. What type of action understanding is subserved by mirror neurons?

    PubMed

    Sinigaglia, Corrado

    2013-04-12

    The role of the mirror mechanism in cognition remains an intriguing and hotly debated topic in cognitive neuroscience. Since its discovery in the monkey and human brain, many have claimed that the mirror mechanism is critically involved in understanding action. But what does understand mean here? What kind of action understanding, if any, can be ascribed to the mirror mechanism? The aim of the paper is to face these questions by providing a refined notion of both action and action understanding.

  6. Coding of predicted reward omission by dopamine neurons in a conditioned inhibition paradigm.

    PubMed

    Tobler, Philippe N; Dickinson, Anthony; Schultz, Wolfram

    2003-11-12

    Animals learn not only about stimuli that predict reward but also about those that signal the omission of an expected reward. We used a conditioned inhibition paradigm derived from animal learning theory to train a discrimination between a visual stimulus that predicted reward (conditioned excitor) and a second stimulus that predicted the omission of reward (conditioned inhibitor). Performing the discrimination required attention to both the conditioned excitor and the inhibitor; however, dopamine neurons showed very different responses to the two classes of stimuli. Conditioned inhibitors elicited considerable depressions in 48 of 69 neurons (median of 35% below baseline) and minor activations in 29 of 69 neurons (69% above baseline), whereas reward-predicting excitors induced pure activations in all 69 neurons tested (242% above baseline), thereby demonstrating that the neurons discriminated between conditioned stimuli predicting reward versus nonreward. The discriminative responses to stimuli with differential reward-predicting but common attentional functions indicate differential neural coding of reward prediction and attention. The neuronal responses appear to reflect reward prediction errors, thus suggesting an extension of the correspondence between learning theory and activity of single dopamine neurons to the prediction of nonreward.

  7. Strategies to unravel molecular codes essential for the development of meso-diencephalic dopaminergic neurons

    PubMed Central

    Jacobs, F M J; Smits, S M; Hornman, K J M; Burbach, J P H; Smidt, M P

    2006-01-01

    Understanding the development of neuronal systems has become an important asset in the attempt to solve complex questions about neuropathology as found in Parkinson's disease, schizophrenia and other complex neuronal diseases. The development of anatomical and functional divergent structures in the brain is achieved by a combination of early anatomical patterning and highly coordinated neuronal migration and differentiation events. Fundamental to the existence of divergent structures in the brain is the early region-specific molecular programming. Neuronal progenitors located along the neural tube can still adapt many different identities. Their exact position in the developing brain, however, determines early molecular specification by region-specific signalling molecules. These signals determine time and region-specific expression of early regulatory genes, leading to neuronal differentiation. Here, we focus on a well-described neuronal group, the meso-diencephalic dopaminergic neurons, of which heterogeneity based on anatomical position could account for the difference in vulnerability of specific subgroups as observed in Parkinson's disease. The knowledge of their molecular coding helps us to understand how the meso-diencephalic dopaminergic system is built and could provide clues that unravel mechanisms associated with the neuropathology in complex diseases such as Parkinson's disease. PMID:16809365

  8. Prefrontal cortex gates acute morphine action on dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Liu, Changliang; Fang, Xing; Wu, Qianqian; Jin, Guozhang; Zhen, Xuechu

    2015-08-01

    Morphine excites dopamine (DA) neurons in the ventral tegmental area (VTA), an effect mediated by both local and systemic mechanisms. While the importance of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) - VTA circuit in opiate addiction is well established, little is known about how the PFC regulates the activity of VTA DA neurons upon morphine stimulation. One major challenge is that VTA DA neurons are highly heterogeneous in terms of projection and regulation, making their responses to PFC manipulations variable. Our previous work has identified a subgroup of VTA DA neurons exhibiting significant slow oscillation in their firing sequence, and demonstrated that most of these neurons are functionally connected with the PFC. In the present study, we focus our efforts only on VTA DA neurons expressing strong slow oscillation, and report that blocking the neuronal activity in the PFC remarkably attenuates the morphine-induced excitation of these neurons. Using in vivo microdialysis, we find that inactivation of the PFC also reduces the morphine-induced elevation of DA levels in the nucleus accumbens (NAc). Furthermore, 24 h after only single morphine exposure, PFC-inactivation failed to prevent subsequent morphine challenge from exciting VTA DA neurons, which is paralleled by altered response of PFC pyramidal neurons to morphine stimulation. Our results indicate that the PFC gates acute morphine action on a subset of VTA DA neurons, which is highly plastic and can be functionally remodeled by morphine exposure.

  9. Hebbian learning and predictive mirror neurons for actions, sensations and emotions

    PubMed Central

    Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria

    2014-01-01

    Spike-timing-dependent plasticity is considered the neurophysiological basis of Hebbian learning and has been shown to be sensitive to both contingency and contiguity between pre- and postsynaptic activity. Here, we will examine how applying this Hebbian learning rule to a system of interconnected neurons in the presence of direct or indirect re-afference (e.g. seeing/hearing one's own actions) predicts the emergence of mirror neurons with predictive properties. In this framework, we analyse how mirror neurons become a dynamic system that performs active inferences about the actions of others and allows joint actions despite sensorimotor delays. We explore how this system performs a projection of the self onto others, with egocentric biases to contribute to mind-reading. Finally, we argue that Hebbian learning predicts mirror-like neurons for sensations and emotions and review evidence for the presence of such vicarious activations outside the motor system. PMID:24778372

  10. Hebbian learning and predictive mirror neurons for actions, sensations and emotions.

    PubMed

    Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria

    2014-01-01

    Spike-timing-dependent plasticity is considered the neurophysiological basis of Hebbian learning and has been shown to be sensitive to both contingency and contiguity between pre- and postsynaptic activity. Here, we will examine how applying this Hebbian learning rule to a system of interconnected neurons in the presence of direct or indirect re-afference (e.g. seeing/hearing one's own actions) predicts the emergence of mirror neurons with predictive properties. In this framework, we analyse how mirror neurons become a dynamic system that performs active inferences about the actions of others and allows joint actions despite sensorimotor delays. We explore how this system performs a projection of the self onto others, with egocentric biases to contribute to mind-reading. Finally, we argue that Hebbian learning predicts mirror-like neurons for sensations and emotions and review evidence for the presence of such vicarious activations outside the motor system.

  11. Visual coding with a population of direction-selective neurons.

    PubMed

    Fiscella, Michele; Franke, Felix; Farrow, Karl; Müller, Jan; Roska, Botond; da Silveira, Rava Azeredo; Hierlemann, Andreas

    2015-10-01

    The brain decodes the visual scene from the action potentials of ∼20 retinal ganglion cell types. Among the retinal ganglion cells, direction-selective ganglion cells (DSGCs) encode motion direction. Several studies have focused on the encoding or decoding of motion direction by recording multiunit activity, mainly in the visual cortex. In this study, we simultaneously recorded from all four types of ON-OFF DSGCs of the rabbit retina using a microelectronics-based high-density microelectrode array (HDMEA) and decoded their concerted activity using probabilistic and linear decoders. Furthermore, we investigated how the modification of stimulus parameters (velocity, size, angle of moving object) and the use of different tuning curve fits influenced decoding precision. Finally, we simulated ON-OFF DSGC activity, based on real data, in order to understand how tuning curve widths and the angular distribution of the cells' preferred directions influence decoding performance. We found that probabilistic decoding strategies outperformed, on average, linear methods and that decoding precision was robust to changes in stimulus parameters such as velocity. The removal of noise correlations among cells, by random shuffling trials, caused a drop in decoding precision. Moreover, we found that tuning curves are broad in order to minimize large errors at the expense of a higher average error, and that the retinal direction-selective system would not substantially benefit, on average, from having more than four types of ON-OFF DSGCs or from a perfect alignment of the cells' preferred directions.

  12. Head direction is coded more strongly than movement direction in a population of entorhinal neurons.

    PubMed

    Raudies, Florian; Brandon, Mark P; Chapman, G William; Hasselmo, Michael E

    2015-09-24

    The spatial firing pattern of entorhinal grid cells may be important for navigation. Many different computational models of grid cell firing use path integration based on movement direction and the associated movement speed to drive grid cells. However, the response of neurons to movement direction has rarely been tested, in contrast to multiple studies showing responses of neurons to head direction. Here, we analyzed the difference between head direction and movement direction during rat movement and analyzed cells recorded from entorhinal cortex for their tuning to movement direction. During foraging behavior, movement direction differs significantly from head direction. The analysis of neuron responses shows that only 5 out of 758 medial entorhinal cells show significant coding for both movement direction and head direction when evaluating periods of rat behavior with speeds above 10 cm/s and ±30° angular difference between movement and head direction. None of the cells coded movement direction alone. In contrast, 21 cells in this population coded only head direction during behavioral epochs with these constraints, indicating much stronger coding of head direction in this population. This suggests that the movement direction signal required by most grid cell models may arise from other brain structures than the medial entorhinal cortex. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Brain and Memory.

  13. Additivity of Pyrethroid Actions on Sodium Influx in Cortical Neurons in Cerebrocortical Neurons in Primary Culture

    EPA Science Inventory

    BACKGROUND: Pyrethroid insecticides bind to voltage-gated sodium channels and modify their gating kinetics, thereby disrupting neuronal function. Although previous work has tested the additivity of pyrethroids in vivo, this has not been assessed directly at the primary molecular ...

  14. A θ-γ oscillation code for neuronal coordination during motor behavior.

    PubMed

    Igarashi, Jun; Isomura, Yoshikazu; Arai, Kensuke; Harukuni, Rie; Fukai, Tomoki

    2013-11-20

    Sequential motor behavior requires a progression of discrete preparation and execution states. However, the organization of state-dependent activity in neuronal ensembles of motor cortex is poorly understood. Here, we recorded neuronal spiking and local field potential activity from rat motor cortex during reward-motivated movement and observed robust behavioral state-dependent coordination between neuronal spiking, γ oscillations, and θ oscillations. Slow and fast γ oscillations appeared during distinct movement states and entrained neuronal firing. γ oscillations, in turn, were coupled to θ oscillations, and neurons encoding different behavioral states fired at distinct phases of θ in a highly layer-dependent manner. These findings indicate that θ and nested dual band γ oscillations serve as the temporal structure for the selection of a conserved set of functional channels in motor cortical layer activity during animal movement. Furthermore, these results also suggest that cross-frequency couplings between oscillatory neuronal ensemble activities are part of the general coding mechanism in cortex.

  15. The role of action potentials in determining neuron-type-specific responses to nitric oxide.

    PubMed

    Estes, Stephen; Zhong, Lei Ray; Artinian, Liana; Tornieri, Karine; Rehder, Vincent

    2015-05-01

    The electrical activity in developing and mature neurons determines the intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)]i), which in turn is translated into biochemical activities through various signaling cascades. Electrical activity is under control of neuromodulators, which can alter neuronal responses to incoming signals and increase the fidelity of neuronal communication. Conversely, the effects of neuromodulators can depend on the ongoing electrical activity within target neurons; however, these activity-dependent effects of neuromodulators are less well understood. Here, we present evidence that the neuronal firing frequency and intrinsic properties of the action potential (AP) waveform set the [Ca(2+)]i in growth cones and determine how neurons respond to the neuromodulator nitric oxide (NO). We used two well-characterized neurons from the freshwater snail Helisoma trivolvis that show different growth cone morphological responses to NO: B5 neurons elongate filopodia, while those of B19 neurons do not. Combining whole-cell patch clamp recordings with simultaneous calcium imaging, we show that the duration of an AP contributes to neuron-specific differences in [Ca(2+)]i, with shorter APs in B19 neurons yielding lower growth cone [Ca(2+)]i. Through the partial inhibition of voltage-gated K(+) channels, we increased the B19 AP duration resulting in a significant increase in [Ca(2+)]i that was then sufficient to cause filopodial elongation following NO treatment. Our results demonstrate a neuron-type specific correlation between AP shape, [Ca(2+)]i, and growth cone motility, providing an explanation to how growth cone responses to guidance cues depend on intrinsic electrical properties and helping explain the diverse effects of NO across neuronal populations.

  16. A biologically plausible mechanism for neuronal coding organized by the phase of alpha oscillations.

    PubMed

    Gips, Bart; van der Eerden, Jan P J M; Jensen, Ole

    2016-08-01

    The visual system receives a wealth of sensory information of which only little is relevant for behaviour. We present a mechanism in which alpha oscillations serve to prioritize different components of visual information. By way of simulated neuronal networks, we show that inhibitory modulation in the alpha range (~ 10 Hz) can serve to temporally segment the visual information to prevent information overload. Coupled excitatory and inhibitory neurons generate a gamma rhythm in which information is segmented and sorted according to excitability in each alpha cycle. Further details are coded by distributed neuronal firing patterns within each gamma cycle. The network model produces coupling between alpha phase and gamma (40-100 Hz) amplitude in the simulated local field potential similar to that observed experimentally in human and animal recordings. PMID:27320148

  17. Neural coding in a single sensory neuron controlling opposite seeking behaviours in Caenorhabditis elegans

    PubMed Central

    Kuhara, Atsushi; Ohnishi, Noriyuki; Shimowada, Tomoyasu; Mori, Ikue

    2011-01-01

    Unveiling the neural codes for intricate behaviours is a major challenge in neuroscience. The neural circuit for the temperature-seeking behaviour of Caenorhabditis elegans is an ideal system to dissect how neurons encode sensory information for the execution of behavioural output. Here we show that the temperature-sensing neuron AFD transmits both stimulatory and inhibitory neural signals to a single interneuron AIY. In this circuit, a calcium concentration threshold in AFD acts as a switch for opposing neural signals that direct the opposite behaviours. Remote control of AFD activity, using a light-driven ion pump and channel, reveals that diverse reduction levels of AFD activity can generate warm- or cold-seeking behaviour. Calcium imaging shows that AFD uses either stimulatory or inhibitory neuronal signalling onto AIY, depending on the calcium concentration threshold in AFD. Thus, dual neural regulation in opposite directions is directly coupled to behavioural inversion in the simple neural circuit. PMID:21673676

  18. Regulatory consequences of neuronal ELAV-like protein binding to coding and non-coding RNAs in human brain.

    PubMed

    Scheckel, Claudia; Drapeau, Elodie; Frias, Maria A; Park, Christopher Y; Fak, John; Zucker-Scharff, Ilana; Kou, Yan; Haroutunian, Vahram; Ma'ayan, Avi; Buxbaum, Joseph D; Darnell, Robert B

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal ELAV-like (nELAVL) RNA binding proteins have been linked to numerous neurological disorders. We performed crosslinking-immunoprecipitation and RNAseq on human brain, and identified nELAVL binding sites on 8681 transcripts. Using knockout mice and RNAi in human neuroblastoma cells, we showed that nELAVL intronic and 3' UTR binding regulates human RNA splicing and abundance. We validated hundreds of nELAVL targets among which were important neuronal and disease-associated transcripts, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) transcripts. We therefore investigated RNA regulation in AD brain, and observed differential splicing of 150 transcripts, which in some cases correlated with differential nELAVL binding. Unexpectedly, the most significant change of nELAVL binding was evident on non-coding Y RNAs. nELAVL/Y RNA complexes were specifically remodeled in AD and after acute UV stress in neuroblastoma cells. We propose that the increased nELAVL/Y RNA association during stress may lead to nELAVL sequestration, redistribution of nELAVL target binding, and altered neuronal RNA splicing. PMID:26894958

  19. Regulatory consequences of neuronal ELAV-like protein binding to coding and non-coding RNAs in human brain

    PubMed Central

    Scheckel, Claudia; Drapeau, Elodie; Frias, Maria A; Park, Christopher Y; Fak, John; Zucker-Scharff, Ilana; Kou, Yan; Haroutunian, Vahram; Ma'ayan, Avi

    2016-01-01

    Neuronal ELAV-like (nELAVL) RNA binding proteins have been linked to numerous neurological disorders. We performed crosslinking-immunoprecipitation and RNAseq on human brain, and identified nELAVL binding sites on 8681 transcripts. Using knockout mice and RNAi in human neuroblastoma cells, we showed that nELAVL intronic and 3' UTR binding regulates human RNA splicing and abundance. We validated hundreds of nELAVL targets among which were important neuronal and disease-associated transcripts, including Alzheimer's disease (AD) transcripts. We therefore investigated RNA regulation in AD brain, and observed differential splicing of 150 transcripts, which in some cases correlated with differential nELAVL binding. Unexpectedly, the most significant change of nELAVL binding was evident on non-coding Y RNAs. nELAVL/Y RNA complexes were specifically remodeled in AD and after acute UV stress in neuroblastoma cells. We propose that the increased nELAVL/Y RNA association during stress may lead to nELAVL sequestration, redistribution of nELAVL target binding, and altered neuronal RNA splicing. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10421.001 PMID:26894958

  20. The anthropomorphic brain: the mirror neuron system responds to human and robotic actions.

    PubMed

    Gazzola, V; Rizzolatti, G; Wicker, B; Keysers, C

    2007-05-01

    In humans and monkeys the mirror neuron system transforms seen actions into our inner representation of these actions. Here we asked if this system responds also if we see an industrial robot perform similar actions. We localised the motor areas involved in the execution of hand actions, presented the same subjects blocks of movies of humans or robots perform a variety of actions. The mirror system was activated strongly by the sight of both human and robotic actions, with no significant differences between these two agents. Finally we observed that seeing a robot perform a single action repeatedly within a block failed to activate the mirror system. This latter finding suggests that previous studies may have failed to find mirror activations to robotic actions because of the repetitiveness of the presented actions. Our findings suggest that the mirror neuron system could contribute to the understanding of a wider range of actions than previously assumed, and that the goal of an action might be more important for mirror activations than the way in which the action is performed.

  1. Intrinsic choroidal neurons in the chicken eye: chemical coding and synaptic input

    PubMed Central

    Stübinger, Karin; Brehmer, Axel; Neuhuber, Winfried L.; Reitsamer, Herbert; Nickla, Debora

    2016-01-01

    Intrinsic choroidal neurons (ICNs) exist in some primates and bird species. They may act on both vascular and non-vascular smooth muscle cells, potentially influencing choroidal blood flow. Here, we report on the chemical coding of ICNs and eye-related cranial ganglia in the chicken, an important model in myopia research, and further to determine synaptic input onto ICN. Chicken choroid, ciliary, superior cervical, pterygopalatine, and trigeminal ganglia were prepared for double or triple immunohistochemistry of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), dopamine-β-hydroxylase, galanin (GAL), neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS), somatostatin (SOM), tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), vesicular monoamine-transporter 2 (VMAT2), and α-smooth muscle actin. For documentation, light, fluorescence, and confocal laser scanning microscopy were used. Chicken ICNs express nNOS/VIP/GAL and do not express ChAT and SOM. ICNs are approached by TH/VMAT2-, CGRP-, and ChAT-positive nerve fibers. About 50% of the pterygopalatine ganglion neurons and about 9% of the superior cervical ganglion neurons share the same chemical code as ICN. SOM-positive neurons in the ciliary ganglion are GAL/NOS negative. CGRP-positive neurons in the trigeminal ganglion lack GAL/SOM. The neurochemical phenotype and synaptic input of ICNs in chicken resemble that of other bird and primate species. Because ICNs lack cholinergic markers, they cannot be readily incorporated into current concepts of the autonomic nervous system. The data obtained provide the basis for the interpretation of future functional experiments to clarify the role of these cells in achieving ocular homeostasis. PMID:20607273

  2. Neural coding of nociceptive stimuli-from rat spinal neurones to human perception.

    PubMed

    Sikandar, Shafaq; Ronga, Irene; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Dickenson, Anthony H

    2013-08-01

    Translational studies are key to furthering our understanding of nociceptive signalling and bridging the gaps between molecules and pathways to the patients. This requires use of appropriate preclinical models that accurately depict outcome measures used in humans. Whereas behavioural animal studies classically involve reports related to nociceptive thresholds of, for example, withdrawal, electrophysiological recordings of spinal neurones that receive convergent input from primary afferents permits investigation of suprathreshold events and exploration of the full-range coding of different stimuli. We explored the central processing of nociceptive inputs in a novel parallel investigation between rats and humans. Using radiant laser pulses, we first compared the electrophysiological responses of deep wide dynamic range and superficial nociceptive-specific neurones in the rat dorsal horn with human psychophysics and cortical responses. Secondly, we explored the effects of spatial summation using laser pulses of identical energy and different size. We observed 3 main findings. Firstly, both rodent and human data confirmed that neodymium-yttrium aluminium perovskite laser stimulation is a nociceptive-selective stimulus that never activates Aβ afferents. Secondly, graded laser stimulation elicited similarly graded electrophysiological and behavioural responses in both species. Thirdly, there was a significant degree of spatial summation of laser nociceptive input. The remarkable similarity in rodent and human coding indicates that responses of rat dorsal horn neurones can translate to human nociceptive processing. These findings suggest that recordings of spinal neuronal activity elicited by laser stimuli could be a valuable predictive measure of human pain perception. PMID:23719576

  3. Neural coding of nociceptive stimuli-from rat spinal neurones to human perception.

    PubMed

    Sikandar, Shafaq; Ronga, Irene; Iannetti, Gian Domenico; Dickenson, Anthony H

    2013-08-01

    Translational studies are key to furthering our understanding of nociceptive signalling and bridging the gaps between molecules and pathways to the patients. This requires use of appropriate preclinical models that accurately depict outcome measures used in humans. Whereas behavioural animal studies classically involve reports related to nociceptive thresholds of, for example, withdrawal, electrophysiological recordings of spinal neurones that receive convergent input from primary afferents permits investigation of suprathreshold events and exploration of the full-range coding of different stimuli. We explored the central processing of nociceptive inputs in a novel parallel investigation between rats and humans. Using radiant laser pulses, we first compared the electrophysiological responses of deep wide dynamic range and superficial nociceptive-specific neurones in the rat dorsal horn with human psychophysics and cortical responses. Secondly, we explored the effects of spatial summation using laser pulses of identical energy and different size. We observed 3 main findings. Firstly, both rodent and human data confirmed that neodymium-yttrium aluminium perovskite laser stimulation is a nociceptive-selective stimulus that never activates Aβ afferents. Secondly, graded laser stimulation elicited similarly graded electrophysiological and behavioural responses in both species. Thirdly, there was a significant degree of spatial summation of laser nociceptive input. The remarkable similarity in rodent and human coding indicates that responses of rat dorsal horn neurones can translate to human nociceptive processing. These findings suggest that recordings of spinal neuronal activity elicited by laser stimuli could be a valuable predictive measure of human pain perception.

  4. NEURONAL ACTION ON THE DEVELOPING BLOOD VESSEL PATTERN

    PubMed Central

    James, Jennifer M.; Mukouyama, Yoh-suke

    2011-01-01

    The nervous system relies on a highly specialized network of blood vessels for development and neuronal survival. Recent evidence suggests that both the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS and PNS) employ multiple mechanisms to shape the vascular tree to meet its specific metabolic demands, such as promoting nerve-artery alignment in the PNS or the development the blood brain barrier in the CNS. In this article we discuss how the nervous system directly influences blood vessel patterning resulting in neuro-vascular congruence that is maintained throughout development and in the adult. PMID:21978864

  5. Adhesion to carbon nanotube conductive scaffolds forces action-potential appearance in immature rat spinal neurons.

    PubMed

    Fabbro, Alessandra; Sucapane, Antonietta; Toma, Francesca Maria; Calura, Enrica; Rizzetto, Lisa; Carrieri, Claudia; Roncaglia, Paola; Martinelli, Valentina; Scaini, Denis; Masten, Lara; Turco, Antonio; Gustincich, Stefano; Prato, Maurizio; Ballerini, Laura

    2013-01-01

    In the last decade, carbon nanotube growth substrates have been used to investigate neurons and neuronal networks formation in vitro when guided by artificial nano-scaled cues. Besides, nanotube-based interfaces are being developed, such as prosthesis for monitoring brain activity. We recently described how carbon nanotube substrates alter the electrophysiological and synaptic responses of hippocampal neurons in culture. This observation highlighted the exceptional ability of this material in interfering with nerve tissue growth. Here we test the hypothesis that carbon nanotube scaffolds promote the development of immature neurons isolated from the neonatal rat spinal cord, and maintained in vitro. To address this issue we performed electrophysiological studies associated to gene expression analysis. Our results indicate that spinal neurons plated on electro-conductive carbon nanotubes show a facilitated development. Spinal neurons anticipate the expression of functional markers of maturation, such as the generation of voltage dependent currents or action potentials. These changes are accompanied by a selective modulation of gene expression, involving neuronal and non-neuronal components. Our microarray experiments suggest that carbon nanotube platforms trigger reparative activities involving microglia, in the absence of reactive gliosis. Hence, future tissue scaffolds blended with conductive nanotubes may be exploited to promote cell differentiation and reparative pathways in neural regeneration strategies.

  6. Identification of long non-coding RNAs involved in neuronal development and intellectual disability

    PubMed Central

    D’haene, Eva; Jacobs, Eva Z.; Volders, Pieter-Jan; De Meyer, Tim; Menten, Björn; Vergult, Sarah

    2016-01-01

    Recently, exome sequencing led to the identification of causal mutations in 16–31% of patients with intellectual disability (ID), leaving the underlying cause for many patients unidentified. In this context, the noncoding part of the human genome remains largely unexplored. For many long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) a crucial role in neurodevelopment and hence the human brain is anticipated. Here we aimed at identifying lncRNAs associated with neuronal development and ID. Therefore, we applied an integrated genomics approach, harnessing several public epigenetic datasets. We found that the presence of neuron-specific H3K4me3 confers the highest specificity for genes involved in neurodevelopment and ID. Based on the presence of this feature and GWAS hits for CNS disorders, we identified 53 candidate lncRNA genes. Extensive expression profiling on human brain samples and other tissues, followed by Gene Set Enrichment Analysis indicates that at least 24 of these lncRNAs are indeed implicated in processes such as synaptic transmission, nervous system development and neurogenesis. The bidirectional or antisense overlapping orientation relative to multiple coding genes involved in neuronal processes supports these results. In conclusion, we identified several lncRNA genes putatively involved in neurodevelopment and CNS disorders, providing a resource for functional studies. PMID:27319317

  7. Differential action potentials and firing patterns in injured and uninjured small dorsal root ganglion neurons after nerve injury.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xu-Feng; Zhu, Chang Z; Thimmapaya, Rama; Choi, Won S; Honore, Prisca; Scott, Victoria E; Kroeger, Paul E; Sullivan, James P; Faltynek, Connie R; Gopalakrishnan, Murali; Shieh, Char-Chang

    2004-05-29

    The profile of tetrodotoxin sensitive (TTX-S) and resistant (TTX-R) Na(+) channels and their contribution to action potentials and firing patterns were studied in isolated small dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons after L5/L6 spinal nerve ligation (SNL). Total TTX-R Na(+) currents and Na(v) 1.8 mRNA were reduced in injured L5 DRG neurons 14 days after SNL. In contrast, TTX-R Na(+)currents and Na(v) 1.8 mRNA were upregulated in uninjured L4 DRG neurons after SNL. Voltage-dependent inactivation of TTX-R Na(+) channels in these neurons was shifted to hyperpolarized potentials by 4 mV. Two types of neurons were identified in injured L5 DRG neurons after SNL. Type I neurons (57%) had significantly lower threshold but exhibited normal resting membrane potential (RMP) and action potential amplitude. Type II neurons (43%) had significantly smaller action potential amplitude but retained similar RMP and threshold to those from sham rats. None of the injured neurons could generate repetitive firing. In the presence of TTX, only 26% of injured neurons could generate action potentials that had smaller amplitude, higher threshold, and higher rheobase compared with sham rats. In contrast, action potentials and firing patterns in uninjured L4 DRG neurons after SNL, in the presence or absence of TTX, were not affected. These results suggest that TTX-R Na(+) channels play important roles in regulating action potentials and firing patterns in small DRG neurons and that downregulation in injured neurons and upregulation in uninjured neurons confer differential roles in shaping electrogenesis, and perhaps pain transmission, in these neurons. PMID:15120592

  8. Acetylsalicylic acid-induced changes in the chemical coding of extrinsic sensory neurons supplying the prepyloric area of the porcine stomach.

    PubMed

    Rytel, L; Calka, J

    2016-03-23

    Acetylsalicylic acid is a popular drug that is commonly used to treat fever and inflammation, but which can also negativity affect the mucosal layer of the stomach, although knowledge concerning its influence on gastric innervation is very scarce. Thus, the aim of the present study was to study the influence of prolonged acetylsalicylic acid supplementation on the extrinsic primary sensory neurons supplying the porcine stomach prepyloric region. Fast Blue (FB) was injected into the above-mentioned region of the stomach. Acetylsalicylic acid was then given orally to the experimental gilts from the seventh day after FB injection to the 27th day of the experiment. After euthanasia, the nodose ganglia (NG) and dorsal root ganglia (DRG) were collected. Sections of these ganglia were processed for routine double-labelling immunofluorescence technique for substance P (SP), calcitonine gene related peptide (CGRP), galanin (GAL), neuronal isoform of nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). Under physiological conditions within the nodose ganglia, the percentage of the FB-labeled neurons immunoreactive to particular substances ranged between 17.9 ± 2.7% (VIP-like immunoreactive (LI) neurons in the right NG) and 60.4 ± 1.7% (SP-LI cells within the left NG). Acetylsalicylic acid supplementation caused a considerable increase in the expression of all active substances studied within both left and right NG and the percentage of neurons positive to particular substances fluctuated from 47.2 ± 3.6% (GAL-LI neurons in the right NG) to 67.2 ± 2.0% (cells immunoreactive to SP in the left NG). All studied substances were also observed in DRG neurons supplying the prepyloric region of the stomach, but the number of immunoreactive neurons was too small to conduct a statistical analysis. The obtained results show that ASA may influence chemical coding of the sensory neurons supplying the porcine stomach, but the exact mechanisms of this action still

  9. Differential Sensitivity of Specific Neuronal Populations of the Rat Hypothalamus to Prolactin Action

    PubMed Central

    Sapsford, Tony J.; Kokay, Ilona C.; Östberg, Lovisa; Bridges, Robert S.; Grattan, David R.

    2014-01-01

    Prolactin stimulates dopamine release from neuroendocrine dopaminergic (NEDA) neurons in the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARC) to maintain low levels of serum prolactin. Elevated prolactin levels during pregnancy and lactation may mediate actions in other hypothalamic regions such as the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and rostral preoptic area (rPOA). We predicted that NEDA neurons would be more sensitive prolactin targets than neurons in other regions because they are required to regulate basal prolactin secretion. Moreover, differences in the accessibility of the ARC to prolactin in blood may influence the responsiveness of this population. Therefore, we compared prolactin-induced signaling in different hypothalamic neuronal populations following either systemic or intracerebroventricular (icv) prolactin administration. Phosphorylation of the signal transduction factor, STAT5 (pSTAT5), was used to identify prolactin-responsive neurons. In response to systemic prolactin, pSTAT5-labeled cells were widely observed in the ARC but absent from the rPOA and PVN. Many of these responsive cells in the ARC were identified as NEDA neurons. The lowest icv prolactin dose (10 ng) induced pSTAT5 in the ARC, but with higher doses (>500 ng) pSTAT5 was detected in numerous regions, including the rPOA and PVN. NEDA neurons were maximally labeled with nuclear pSTAT5 in response to 500 ng prolactin and appeared to be more sensitive than dopaminergic neurons in the rPOA. Subpopulations of oxytocin neurons in the hypothalamus were also found to be differentially sensitive to prolactin. These data suggest that differences in the accessibility of the arcuate nucleus to prolactin, together with intrinsic differences in the NEDA neurons, may facilitate homeostatic feedback regulation of prolactin release. PMID:21953590

  10. Conversion of phase information into a spike-count code by bursting neurons.

    PubMed

    Samengo, Inés; Montemurro, Marcelo A

    2010-03-12

    Single neurons in the cerebral cortex are immersed in a fluctuating electric field, the local field potential (LFP), which mainly originates from synchronous synaptic input into the local neural neighborhood. As shown by recent studies in visual and auditory cortices, the angular phase of the LFP at the time of spike generation adds significant extra information about the external world, beyond the one contained in the firing rate alone. However, no biologically plausible mechanism has yet been suggested that allows downstream neurons to infer the phase of the LFP at the soma of their pre-synaptic afferents. Therefore, so far there is no evidence that the nervous system can process phase information. Here we study a model of a bursting pyramidal neuron, driven by a time-dependent stimulus. We show that the number of spikes per burst varies systematically with the phase of the fluctuating input at the time of burst onset. The mapping between input phase and number of spikes per burst is a robust response feature for a broad range of stimulus statistics. Our results suggest that cortical bursting neurons could play a crucial role in translating LFP phase information into an easily decodable spike count code.

  11. Generalized rate-code model for neuron ensembles with finite populations

    SciTech Connect

    Hasegawa, Hideo

    2007-05-15

    We have proposed a generalized Langevin-type rate-code model subjected to multiplicative noise, in order to study stationary and dynamical properties of an ensemble containing a finite number N of neurons. Calculations using the Fokker-Planck equation have shown that, owing to the multiplicative noise, our rate model yields various kinds of stationary non-Gaussian distributions such as {gamma}, inverse-Gaussian-like, and log-normal-like distributions, which have been experimentally observed. The dynamical properties of the rate model have been studied with the use of the augmented moment method (AMM), which was previously proposed by the author from a macroscopic point of view for finite-unit stochastic systems. In the AMM, the original N-dimensional stochastic differential equations (DEs) are transformed into three-dimensional deterministic DEs for the means and fluctuations of local and global variables. The dynamical responses of the neuron ensemble to pulse and sinusoidal inputs calculated by the AMM are in good agreement with those obtained by direct simulation. The synchronization in the neuronal ensemble is discussed. The variabilities of the firing rate and of the interspike interval are shown to increase with increasing magnitude of multiplicative noise, which may be a conceivable origin of the observed large variability in cortical neurons.

  12. Distribution and chemical coding of intramural neurons in the porcine ileum during proliferative enteropathy.

    PubMed

    Pidsudko, Z; Kaleczyc, J; Wasowicz, K; Sienkiewicz, W; Majewski, M; Zajac, W; Lakomy, M

    2008-01-01

    Enteric neurons are highly adaptive in their response to various pathological processes including inflammation, so the aim of this study was to describe the chemical coding of neurons in the ileal intramural ganglia in porcine proliferative enteropathy (PPE). Accordingly, juvenile Large White Polish pigs with clinically diagnosed Lawsonia intracellularis infection (PPE; n=3) and a group of uninfected controls (C; n=3) were studied. Ileal tissue from each animal was processed for dual-labelling immunofluorescence using antiserum specific for protein gene product 9.5 (PGP 9.5) in combination with antiserum to one of: vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), substance P (SP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), somatostatin (SOM), neuropeptide Y (NPY) or galanin (GAL). In infected pigs, enteric neurons were found in ganglia located within three intramural plexuses: inner submucosal (ISP), outer submucosal (OSP) and myenteric (MP). Immunofluorescence labelling revealed increases in the number of neurons containing GAL, SOM, VIP and CGRP in pigs with PPE. Neuropeptides may therefore have an important role in the function of porcine enteric local nerve circuits under pathological conditions, when the nervous system is stressed, challenged or afflicted by disease such as PPE. However, further studies are required to determine the exact physiological relevance of the observed adaptive changes. PMID:18061202

  13. Corticospinal neurons in macaque ventral premotor cortex with mirror properties: a potential mechanism for action suppression?

    PubMed

    Kraskov, Alexander; Dancause, Numa; Quallo, Marsha M; Shepherd, Samantha; Lemon, Roger N

    2009-12-24

    The discovery of "mirror neurons" in area F5 of the ventral premotor cortex has prompted many theories as to their possible function. However, the identity of mirror neurons remains unknown. Here, we investigated whether identified pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) in area F5 of two adult macaques exhibited "mirror-like" activity. About half of the 64 PTNs tested showed significant modulation of their activity while monkeys observed precision grip of an object carried out by an experimenter, with somewhat fewer showing modulation during precision grip without an object or grasping concealed from the monkey. Therefore, mirror-like activity can be transmitted directly to the spinal cord via PTNs. A novel finding is that many PTNs (17/64) showed complete suppression of discharge during action observation, while firing actively when the monkey grasped food rewards. We speculate that this suppression of PTN discharge might be involved in the inhibition of self-movement during action observation.

  14. Electrical Identification and Selective Microstimulation of Neuronal Compartments Based on Features of Extracellular Action Potentials

    PubMed Central

    Radivojevic, Milos; Jäckel, David; Altermatt, Michael; Müller, Jan; Viswam, Vijay; Hierlemann, Andreas; Bakkum, Douglas J.

    2016-01-01

    A detailed, high-spatiotemporal-resolution characterization of neuronal responses to local electrical fields and the capability of precise extracellular microstimulation of selected neurons are pivotal for studying and manipulating neuronal activity and circuits in networks and for developing neural prosthetics. Here, we studied cultured neocortical neurons by using high-density microelectrode arrays and optical imaging, complemented by the patch-clamp technique, and with the aim to correlate morphological and electrical features of neuronal compartments with their responsiveness to extracellular stimulation. We developed strategies to electrically identify any neuron in the network, while subcellular spatial resolution recording of extracellular action potential (AP) traces enabled their assignment to the axon initial segment (AIS), axonal arbor and proximal somatodendritic compartments. Stimulation at the AIS required low voltages and provided immediate, selective and reliable neuronal activation, whereas stimulation at the soma required high voltages and produced delayed and unreliable responses. Subthreshold stimulation at the soma depolarized the somatic membrane potential without eliciting APs. PMID:27510732

  15. Electrical Identification and Selective Microstimulation of Neuronal Compartments Based on Features of Extracellular Action Potentials.

    PubMed

    Radivojevic, Milos; Jäckel, David; Altermatt, Michael; Müller, Jan; Viswam, Vijay; Hierlemann, Andreas; Bakkum, Douglas J

    2016-01-01

    A detailed, high-spatiotemporal-resolution characterization of neuronal responses to local electrical fields and the capability of precise extracellular microstimulation of selected neurons are pivotal for studying and manipulating neuronal activity and circuits in networks and for developing neural prosthetics. Here, we studied cultured neocortical neurons by using high-density microelectrode arrays and optical imaging, complemented by the patch-clamp technique, and with the aim to correlate morphological and electrical features of neuronal compartments with their responsiveness to extracellular stimulation. We developed strategies to electrically identify any neuron in the network, while subcellular spatial resolution recording of extracellular action potential (AP) traces enabled their assignment to the axon initial segment (AIS), axonal arbor and proximal somatodendritic compartments. Stimulation at the AIS required low voltages and provided immediate, selective and reliable neuronal activation, whereas stimulation at the soma required high voltages and produced delayed and unreliable responses. Subthreshold stimulation at the soma depolarized the somatic membrane potential without eliciting APs. PMID:27510732

  16. M-type potassium conductance controls the emergence of neural phase codes: a combined experimental and neuron modelling study.

    PubMed

    Kwag, Jeehyun; Jang, Hyun Jae; Kim, Mincheol; Lee, Sujeong

    2014-10-01

    Rate and phase codes are believed to be important in neural information processing. Hippocampal place cells provide a good example where both coding schemes coexist during spatial information processing. Spike rate increases in the place field, whereas spike phase precesses relative to the ongoing theta oscillation. However, what intrinsic mechanism allows for a single neuron to generate spike output patterns that contain both neural codes is unknown. Using dynamic clamp, we simulate an in vivo-like subthreshold dynamics of place cells to in vitro CA1 pyramidal neurons to establish an in vitro model of spike phase precession. Using this in vitro model, we show that membrane potential oscillation (MPO) dynamics is important in the emergence of spike phase codes: blocking the slowly activating, non-inactivating K+ current (IM), which is known to control subthreshold MPO, disrupts MPO and abolishes spike phase precession. We verify the importance of adaptive IM in the generation of phase codes using both an adaptive integrate-and-fire and a Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) neuron model. Especially, using the HH model, we further show that it is the perisomatically located IM with slow activation kinetics that is crucial for the generation of phase codes. These results suggest an important functional role of IM in single neuron computation, where IM serves as an intrinsic mechanism allowing for dual rate and phase coding in single neurons.

  17. Long Non-coding RNA in Neurons: New Players in Early Response to BDNF Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Aliperti, Vincenza; Donizetti, Aldo

    2016-01-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is a neurotrophin family member that is highly expressed and widely distributed in the brain. BDNF is critical for neural survival and plasticity both during development and in adulthood, and dysfunction in its signaling may contribute to a number of neurodegenerative disorders. Deep understanding of the BDNF-activated molecular cascade may thus help to find new biomarkers and therapeutic targets. One interesting direction is related to the early phase of BDNF-dependent gene expression regulation, which is responsible for the activation of selective gene programs that lead to stable functional and structural remodeling of neurons. Immediate-early coding genes activated by BDNF are under investigation, but the involvement of the non-coding RNAs is largely unexplored, especially the long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs). lncRNAs are emerging as key regulators that can orchestrate different aspects of nervous system development, homeostasis, and plasticity, making them attractive candidate markers and therapeutic targets for brain diseases. We used microarray technology to identify differentially expressed lncRNAs in the immediate response phase of BDNF stimulation in a neuronal cell model. Our observations on the putative functional role of lncRNAs provide clues to their involvement as master regulators of gene expression cascade triggered by BDNF. PMID:26973456

  18. Effect of GABAergic inhibition on odorant concentration coding in mushroom body intrinsic neurons of the honeybee.

    PubMed

    Froese, Anja; Szyszka, Paul; Menzel, Randolf

    2014-03-01

    Kenyon cells, the intrinsic neurons of the insect mushroom body, have the intriguing property of responding in a sparse way to odorants. Sparse neuronal codes are often invariant to changes in stimulus intensity and duration, and sparse coding often depends on global inhibition. We tested if this is the case for honeybees' Kenyon cells, too, and used in vivo Ca²⁺ imaging to record their responses to different odorant concentrations. Kenyon cells responded not only to the onset of odorant stimuli (ON responses), but also to their termination (OFF responses). Both, ON and OFF responses increased with increasing odorant concentration. ON responses were phasic and invariant to the duration of odorant stimuli, while OFF responses increased with increasing odorant duration. Pharmacological blocking of GABA receptors in the brain revealed that ionotropic GABA(A) and metabotropic GABA(B) receptors attenuate Kenyon cells' ON responses without changing their OFF responses. Ionotropic GABA(A) receptors attenuated Kenyon cell ON responses more strongly than metabotropic GABA(B) receptors. However, the response dynamic, temporal resolution and paired-pulse depression did not depend on GABA(A) transmission. These data are discussed in the context of mechanisms leading to sparse coding in Kenyon cells.

  19. Robust conjunctive item-place coding by hippocampal neurons parallels learning what happens where.

    PubMed

    Komorowski, Robert W; Manns, Joseph R; Eichenbaum, Howard

    2009-08-01

    Previous research indicates a critical role of the hippocampus in memory for events in the context in which they occur. However, studies to date have not provided compelling evidence that hippocampal neurons encode event-context conjunctions directly associated with this kind of learning. Here we report that, as animals learn different meanings for items in distinct contexts, individual hippocampal neurons develop responses to specific stimuli in the places where they have differential significance. Furthermore, this conjunctive coding evolves in the form of enhanced item-specific responses within a subset of the preexisting spatial representation. These findings support the view that conjunctive representations in the hippocampus underlie the acquisition of context-specific memories.

  20. [Hardware Implementation of Numerical Simulation Function of Hodgkin-Huxley Model Neurons Action Potential Based on Field Programmable Gate Array].

    PubMed

    Wang, Jinlong; Lu, Mai; Hu, Yanwen; Chen, Xiaoqiang; Pan, Qiangqiang

    2015-12-01

    Neuron is the basic unit of the biological neural system. The Hodgkin-Huxley (HH) model is one of the most realistic neuron models on the electrophysiological characteristic description of neuron. Hardware implementation of neuron could provide new research ideas to clinical treatment of spinal cord injury, bionics and artificial intelligence. Based on the HH model neuron and the DSP Builder technology, in the present study, a single HH model neuron hardware implementation was completed in Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA). The neuron implemented in FPGA was stimulated by different types of current, the action potential response characteristics were analyzed, and the correlation coefficient between numerical simulation result and hardware implementation result were calculated. The results showed that neuronal action potential response of FPGA was highly consistent with numerical simulation result. This work lays the foundation for hardware implementation of neural network. PMID:27079105

  1. Understanding the role of mirror neurons in action understanding will require more than a domain-general account.

    PubMed

    Martin, Alia; Santos, Laurie R

    2014-04-01

    Cook et al. propose that mirror neurons emerge developmentally through a domain-general associative mechanism. We argue that experience-sensitivity does not rule out an adaptive or genetic argument for mirror neuron function, and that current evidence suggests that mirror neurons are more specialized than the authors' account would predict. We propose that future work integrate behavioral and neurophysiological techniques used with primates to examine the proposed functions of mirror neurons in action understanding.

  2. Direct inhibition of arcuate proopiomelanocortin neurons: a potential mechanism for the orexigenic actions of dynorphin

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaobing; van den Pol, Anthony N

    2013-01-01

    Dynorphin, an endogenous ligand of kappa (κ) opioid receptors, has multiple roles in the brain, and plays a positive role in energy balance and food intake. However, the mechanism for this is unclear. With immunocytochemistry, we find that axonal dynorphin immunoreactivity in the arcuate nucleus is strong, and that a large number of dynorphin-immunoreactive boutons terminate on or near anorexigenic proopiomelanocortin (POMC) cells. Here we provide evidence from whole-cell patch-clamp recording that dynorphin-A (Dyn-A) directly and dose-dependently inhibits arcuate nucleus POMC neurons. Dyn-A inhibition was eliminated by the κ opioid receptor antagonist nor-BNI, but not by the μ receptor antagonist CTAP. The inhibitory effect was mimicked by the κ2 receptor agonist GR89696, but not by the κ1 receptor agonist U69593. No presynaptic effect of κ2 agonists was found. These results suggest that Dyn-A inhibits POMC neurons through activation of the κ2 opioid receptor. In whole-cell voltage clamp, Dyn-A opened G-protein-coupled inwardly rectifying potassium (GIRK)-like channels on POMC neurons. Dynorphin attenuated glutamate and GABA neurotransmission to POMC neurons. In contrast to the strong inhibition of POMC neurons by Dyn-A, we found a weaker direct inhibitory effect of Dyn-A on arcuate nucleus neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons mediated by both κ1 and κ2 receptors. Taken together, these results indicate a direct inhibitory effect of Dyn-A on POMC neurons through activation of the κ2 opioid receptor and GIRK channels. A number of orexigenic hypothalamic neurons release dynorphin along with other neuropeptides. The inhibition of anorexigenic POMC neurons may be one mechanism underlying the orexigenic actions of dynorphin. PMID:23318874

  3. Neuritin produces antidepressant actions and blocks the neuronal and behavioral deficits caused by chronic stress.

    PubMed

    Son, Hyeon; Banasr, Mounira; Choi, Miyeon; Chae, Seung Yeon; Licznerski, Pawel; Lee, Boyoung; Voleti, Bhavya; Li, Nanxin; Lepack, Ashley; Fournier, Neil M; Lee, Ka Rim; Lee, In Young; Kim, Juhyun; Kim, Joung-Hun; Kim, Yong Ho; Jung, Sung Jun; Duman, Ronald S

    2012-07-10

    Decreased neuronal dendrite branching and plasticity of the hippocampus, a limbic structure implicated in mood disorders, is thought to contribute to the symptoms of depression. However, the mechanisms underlying this effect, as well as the actions of antidepressant treatment, remain poorly characterized. Here, we show that hippocampal expression of neuritin, an activity-dependent gene that regulates neuronal plasticity, is decreased by chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) and that antidepressant treatment reverses this effect. We also show that viral-mediated expression of neuritin in the hippocampus produces antidepressant actions and prevents the atrophy of dendrites and spines, as well as depressive and anxiety behaviors caused by CUS. Conversely, neuritin knockdown produces depressive-like behaviors, similar to CUS exposure. The ability of neuritin to increase neuroplasticity is confirmed in models of learning and memory. Our results reveal a unique action of neuritin in models of stress and depression, and demonstrate a role for neuroplasticity in antidepressant treatment response and related behaviors. PMID:22733766

  4. Mirror neurons in monkey area F5 do not adapt to the observation of repeated actions.

    PubMed

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Pomper, Joern K; Fleischer, Falk; Fogassi, Leonardo; Giese, Martin; Thier, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Repetitive presentation of the same visual stimulus entails a response decrease in the action potential discharge of neurons in various areas of the monkey visual cortex. It is still unclear whether this repetition suppression effect is also present in single neurons in cortical premotor areas responding to visual stimuli, as suggested by the human functional magnetic resonance imaging literature. Here we report the responses of 'mirror neurons' in monkey area F5 to the repeated presentation of action movies. We find that most single neurons and the population at large do not show a significant decrease of the firing rate. On the other hand, simultaneously recorded local field potentials exhibit repetition suppression. As local field potentials are believed to be better linked to the blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) signal exploited by functional magnetic resonance imaging, these findings suggest caution when trying to derive conclusions on the spiking activity of neurons in a given area based on the observation of BOLD repetition suppression.

  5. Visual-Action Code Processing by Deaf and Hearing Children.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Todman, John; Seedhouse, Elizabeth

    1994-01-01

    Studied 18 deaf and 18 hearing childrens' (aged 6.8 to 16.6 years) performance on short-term memory tasks involving production of action responses to previously paired visual stimuli. Deaf children showed superior performance on the simultaneous presentation-free recall task and inferior performance on the serial presentation-serial recall task.…

  6. Contribution of Na(v)1.8 sodium channels to action potential electrogenesis in DRG neurons.

    PubMed

    Renganathan, M; Cummins, T R; Waxman, S G

    2001-08-01

    C-type dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons can generate tetrodotoxin-resistant (TTX-R) sodium-dependent action potentials. However, multiple sodium channels are expressed in these neurons, and the molecular identity of the TTX-R sodium channels that contribute to action potential production in these neurons has not been established. In this study, we used current-clamp recordings to compare action potential electrogenesis in Na(v)1.8 (+/+) and (-/-) small DRG neurons maintained for 2-8 h in vitro to examine the role of sodium channel Na(v)1.8 (alpha-SNS) in action potential electrogenesis. Although there was no significant difference in resting membrane potential, input resistance, current threshold, or voltage threshold in Na(v)1.8 (+/+) and (-/-) DRG neurons, there were significant differences in action potential electrogenesis. Most Na(v)1.8 (+/+) neurons generate all-or-none action potentials, whereas most of Na(v)1.8 (-/-) neurons produce smaller graded responses. The peak of the response was significantly reduced in Na(v)1.8 (-/-) neurons [31.5 +/- 2.2 (SE) mV] compared with Na(v)1.8 (+/+) neurons (55.0 +/- 4.3 mV). The maximum rise slope was 84.7 +/- 11.2 mV/ms in Na(v)1.8 (+/+) neurons, significantly faster than in Na(v)1.8 (-/-) neurons where it was 47.2 +/- 1.3 mV/ms. Calculations based on the action potential overshoot in Na(v)1.8 (+/+) and (-/-) neurons, following blockade of Ca(2+) currents, indicate that Na(v)1.8 contributes a substantial fraction (80-90%) of the inward membrane current that flows during the rising phase of the action potential. We found that fast TTX-sensitive Na(+) channels can produce all-or-none action potentials in some Na(v)1.8 (-/-) neurons but, presumably as a result of steady-state inactivation of these channels, electrogenesis in Na(v)1.8 (-/-) neurons is more sensitive to membrane depolarization than in Na(v)1.8 (+/+) neurons, and, in the absence of Na(v)1.8, is attenuated with even modest depolarization. These observations

  7. FUS regulates genes coding for RNA-binding proteins in neurons by binding to their highly conserved introns

    PubMed Central

    Nakaya, Tadashi; Alexiou, Panagiotis; Maragkakis, Manolis; Chang, Alexandra; Mourelatos, Zissimos

    2013-01-01

    Dominant mutations and mislocalization or aggregation of Fused in Sarcoma (FUS), an RNA-binding protein (RBP), cause neuronal degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration (FTLD), two incurable neurological diseases. However, the function of FUS in neurons is not well understood. To uncover the impact of FUS in the neuronal transcriptome, we used high-throughput sequencing of immunoprecipitated and cross-linked RNA (HITS–CLIP) of FUS in human brains and mouse neurons differentiated from embryonic stem cells, coupled with RNA-seq and FUS knockdowns. We report conserved neuronal RNA targets and networks that are regulated by FUS. We find that FUS regulates splicing of genes coding for RBPs by binding to their highly conserved introns. Our findings have important implications for understanding the impact of FUS in neurodegenerative diseases and suggest that perturbations of FUS can impact the neuronal transcriptome via perturbations of RBP transcripts. PMID:23389473

  8. Long non-coding RNA-dependent transcriptional regulation in neuronal development and disease

    PubMed Central

    Clark, Brian S.; Blackshaw, Seth

    2014-01-01

    Comprehensive analysis of the mammalian transcriptome has revealed that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) may make up a large fraction of cellular transcripts. Recent years have seen a surge of studies aimed at functionally characterizing the role of lncRNAs in development and disease. In this review, we discuss new findings implicating lncRNAs in controlling development of the central nervous system (CNS). The evolution of the higher vertebrate brain has been accompanied by an increase in the levels and complexities of lncRNAs expressed within the developing nervous system. Although a limited number of CNS-expressed lncRNAs are now known to modulate the activity of proteins important for neuronal differentiation, the function of the vast majority of neuronal-expressed lncRNAs is still unknown. Topics of intense current interest include the mechanism by which CNS-expressed lncRNAs might function in epigenetic and transcriptional regulation during neuronal development, and how gain and loss of function of individual lncRNAs contribute to neurological diseases. PMID:24936207

  9. Different mRNAs code for dopa decarboxylase in tissues of neuronal and nonneuronal origin

    SciTech Connect

    Krieger, M.; Coge, F.; Gros, F.; Thibault, J. )

    1991-03-15

    A cDNA clone for dopa decarboxylase has been isolated from a rat pheochromocytoma cDNA library and the cDNA sequence has been determined. It corresponds to an mRNA of 2094 nucleotides. The length of the mRNA was measured by primer-extension of rat pheochromocytoma RNA and the 5{prime} end of the sequence of the mRNA was confirmed by the PCR. A probe spanning the translation initiation site of the mRNA was used to hybridize with mRNAs from various organs of the rat. S1 nuclease digestion of the mRNAs annealed with this probe revealed two classes of mRNAs. The comparison of the cDNA sequence and published sequences for rat liver, human pheochromocytoma, and Droxophila dopa decarboxylase supported the conclusion that two mRNAs are produced: one is specific for tissue of neuronal origin and the other is specific for tissues of nonneuronal (mesodermal or endodermal) origin. The neuronal mRNA contains a 5{prime} untranslated sequence that is highly conserved between human and rat pheochromocytoma including a GA stretch. The coding sequence and the 3{prime} untranslated sequence of mRNAs from rat liver and pheochromocytoma are identical. The rat mRNA differs only in the 5{prime} untranslated region. Thus a unique gene codes for dopa decarboxylase and this gene gives rise to at least two transcripts presumably in response to different signals during development.

  10. Burst analysis tool for developing neuronal networks exhibiting highly varying action potential dynamics.

    PubMed

    Kapucu, Fikret E; Tanskanen, Jarno M A; Mikkonen, Jarno E; Ylä-Outinen, Laura; Narkilahti, Susanna; Hyttinen, Jari A K

    2012-01-01

    In this paper we propose a firing statistics based neuronal network burst detection algorithm for neuronal networks exhibiting highly variable action potential dynamics. Electrical activity of neuronal networks is generally analyzed by the occurrences of spikes and bursts both in time and space. Commonly accepted analysis tools employ burst detection algorithms based on predefined criteria. However, maturing neuronal networks, such as those originating from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), exhibit highly variable network structure and time-varying dynamics. To explore the developing burst/spike activities of such networks, we propose a burst detection algorithm which utilizes the firing statistics based on interspike interval (ISI) histograms. Moreover, the algorithm calculates ISI thresholds for burst spikes as well as for pre-burst spikes and burst tails by evaluating the cumulative moving average (CMA) and skewness of the ISI histogram. Because of the adaptive nature of the proposed algorithm, its analysis power is not limited by the type of neuronal cell network at hand. We demonstrate the functionality of our algorithm with two different types of microelectrode array (MEA) data recorded from spontaneously active hESC-derived neuronal cell networks. The same data was also analyzed by two commonly employed burst detection algorithms and the differences in burst detection results are illustrated. The results demonstrate that our method is both adaptive to the firing statistics of the network and yields successful burst detection from the data. In conclusion, the proposed method is a potential tool for analyzing of hESC-derived neuronal cell networks and thus can be utilized in studies aiming to understand the development and functioning of human neuronal networks and as an analysis tool for in vitro drug screening and neurotoxicity assays.

  11. Actions of motor neurons and leg muscles in jumping by planthopper insects (hemiptera, issidae).

    PubMed

    Burrows, Malcolm; Bräunig, Peter

    2010-04-15

    To understand the catapult mechanism that propels jumping in a planthopper insect, the innervation and action of key muscles were analyzed. The large trochanteral depressor muscle, M133b,c, is innervated by two motor neurons and by two dorsal unpaired median (DUM) neurons, all with axons in N3C. A smaller depressor muscle, M133a, is innervated by two neurons, one with a large-diameter cell body, a large, blind-ending dendrite, and a giant ovoid, axon measuring 50 microm by 30 microm in nerve N5A. The trochanteral levator muscles (M132) and (M131) are innervated by N4 and N3B, respectively. The actions of these muscles in a restrained jump were divisible into a three-phase pattern. First, both hind legs were moved into a cocked position by high-frequency bursts of spikes in the levator muscles lasting about 0.5 seconds. Second, and once both legs were cocked, M133b,c received a long continuous sequence of motor spikes, but the two levators spiked only sporadically. The spikes in the two motor neurons to M133b,c on one side were closely coupled to each other and to the spikes on the other side. If one hind leg was cocked then the spikes only occurred in motor neurons to that side. The final phase was the jump movement itself, which occurred when the depressor spikes ceased and which lasted 1 ms. Muscles 133b,c activated synchronously on both sides, are responsible for generating the power, and M133a and its giant neuron may play a role in triggering the release of a jump. PMID:20151364

  12. Plasticity-driven individualization of olfactory coding in mushroom body output neurons

    PubMed Central

    Hige, Toshihide; Aso, Yoshinori; Rubin, Gerald M.; Turner, Glenn C.

    2015-01-01

    Although all sensory circuits ascend to higher brain areas where stimuli are represented in sparse, stimulus-specific activity patterns, relatively little is known about sensory coding on the descending side of neural circuits, as a network converges. In insects, mushroom bodies (MBs) have been an important model system for studying sparse coding in the olfactory system1–3, where this format is important for accurate memory formation4–6. In Drosophila, it has recently been shown that the 2000 Kenyon cells (KCs) of the MB converge onto a population of only 35 MB output neurons (MBONs), that fall into 22 anatomically distinct cell types7,8. Here we provide the first comprehensive view of olfactory representations at the fourth layer of the circuit, where we find a clear transition in the principles of sensory coding. We show that MBON tuning curves are highly correlated with one another. This is in sharp contrast to the process of progressive decorrelation of tuning in the earlier layers of the circuit2,9. Instead, at the population level, odor representations are reformatted so that positive and negative correlations arise between representations of different odors. At the single-cell level, we show that uniquely identifiable MBONs display profoundly different tuning across different animals, but tuning of the same neuron across the two hemispheres of an individual fly was nearly identical. Thus, individualized coordination of tuning arises at this level of the olfactory circuit. Furthermore, we find that this individualization is an active process that requires a learning-related gene, rutabaga. Ultimately, neural circuits have to flexibly map highly stimulus-specific information in sparse layers onto a limited number of different motor outputs. The reformatting of sensory representations we observe here may mark the beginning of this sensory-motor transition in the olfactory system. PMID:26416731

  13. Plasticity-driven individualization of olfactory coding in mushroom body output neurons.

    PubMed

    Hige, Toshihide; Aso, Yoshinori; Rubin, Gerald M; Turner, Glenn C

    2015-10-01

    Although all sensory circuits ascend to higher brain areas where stimuli are represented in sparse, stimulus-specific activity patterns, relatively little is known about sensory coding on the descending side of neural circuits, as a network converges. In insects, mushroom bodies have been an important model system for studying sparse coding in the olfactory system, where this format is important for accurate memory formation. In Drosophila, it has recently been shown that the 2,000 Kenyon cells of the mushroom body converge onto a population of only 34 mushroom body output neurons (MBONs), which fall into 21 anatomically distinct cell types. Here we provide the first, to our knowledge, comprehensive view of olfactory representations at the fourth layer of the circuit, where we find a clear transition in the principles of sensory coding. We show that MBON tuning curves are highly correlated with one another. This is in sharp contrast to the process of progressive decorrelation of tuning in the earlier layers of the circuit. Instead, at the population level, odour representations are reformatted so that positive and negative correlations arise between representations of different odours. At the single-cell level, we show that uniquely identifiable MBONs display profoundly different tuning across different animals, but that tuning of the same neuron across the two hemispheres of an individual fly was nearly identical. Thus, individualized coordination of tuning arises at this level of the olfactory circuit. Furthermore, we find that this individualization is an active process that requires a learning-related gene, rutabaga. Ultimately, neural circuits have to flexibly map highly stimulus-specific information in sparse layers onto a limited number of different motor outputs. The reformatting of sensory representations we observe here may mark the beginning of this sensory-motor transition in the olfactory system.

  14. Sensitivity of locus ceruleus neurons to reward value for goal-directed actions.

    PubMed

    Bouret, Sebastien; Richmond, Barry J

    2015-03-01

    The noradrenergic nucleus locus ceruleus (LC) is associated classically with arousal and attention. Recent data suggest that it might also play a role in motivation. To study how LC neuronal responses are related to motivational intensity, we recorded 121 single neurons from two monkeys while reward size (one, two, or four drops) and the manner of obtaining reward (passive vs active) were both manipulated. The monkeys received reward under three conditions: (1) releasing a bar when a visual target changed color; (2) passively holding a bar; or (3) touching and releasing a bar. In the first two conditions, a visual cue indicated the size of the upcoming reward, and, in the third, the reward was constant through each block of 25 trials. Performance levels and lipping intensity (an appetitive behavior) both showed that the monkeys' motivation in the task was related to the predicted reward size. In conditions 1 and 2, LC neurons were activated phasically in relation to cue onset, and this activation strengthened with increasing expected reward size. In conditions 1 and 3, LC neurons were activated before the bar-release action, and the activation weakened with increasing expected reward size but only in task 1. These effects evolved as monkeys progressed through behavioral sessions, because increasing fatigue and satiety presumably progressively decreased the value of the upcoming reward. These data indicate that LC neurons integrate motivationally relevant information: both external cues and internal drives. The LC might provide the impetus to act when the predicted outcome value is low. PMID:25740528

  15. Distribution and chemical coding of calretinin- and calbindin-expressing enteric neurons in the duodenum of the sheep.

    PubMed

    Arciszewski, M B; Całka, J; Wasowicz, K; Majewski, M

    2009-01-01

    Recent decades has brought significant advances in our knowledge of the chemical coding and function of enteric neurons. Calcium ions are important second messenger involved in many aspects of neuron physiology. In the present study, we analyzed immunohistochemically the presence of calcium binding proteins (calretinin and calbindin) in various subpopulations of enteric neurons from the ovine duodenum. Ten percent of submucous neurons were immunoreactive (IR) to calretinin. The presence of calretinin was not detected in myenteric neurons. Calretinin-expressing nerve fibres were found in both myenteric and submucous ganglia, between the circular and longitudinal smooth muscle layers and in the lamina muscularis mucosae. Calretinin-IR submucous neurons did not exhibit the presence of SP, NPY and VIP. Co-localization of calretinin and serotonin was found only in a small number of submucous neurons. Calbindin was expressed in 35% of myenteric neurons and in 60% of submucous neurons. Nerve fibres containing calbindin were localized in myenteric and submucous ganglia where they frequently formed basket-like formations. Calbindin-positive nerve fibres emerging from myenteric ganglia ran between the circular and longitudinal smooth muscle layers. Immunoreactivity to calbindin was also visualized in the lamina muscularis mucosae, around mucosal glands and blood vessels. None of calbindin-IR myenteric neurons revealed immunoreactivity to SP, NPY, VIP and serotonin. Virtually all calbindin-expressing submucous neurons were SP-positive. In moderate numbers of submucous perikarya, co-incidence of calbindin and NPY, calbindin and VIP or calbindin and serotonin was observed. We conclude that in the ovine duodenum, the expression of calretinin and calbindin is species specific. Co-localization studies and distribution patterns indicate that in the duodenum of the sheep, calretinin and calbindin may be present in several functional subclasses of enteric neurons. PMID:20169914

  16. Ionic differences between somatic and axonal action potentials in snail giant neurones

    PubMed Central

    Wald, Flora

    1972-01-01

    1. The ionic requirements of the somatic and axonal action potentials of `H' neurones of the snail Cryptomphallus aspersa were studied using intracellular micro-electrodes. 2. The overshoot of the somatic action potential increased by 10 mV for a tenfold increase in [Ca2+]o. In calcium-free media the action potential decreased gradually to values of 50 to 90% of the control and they could be completely eliminated with 2 mM-EGTA. The maximum rate of rise also varied with [Ca2+]o. 3. After 2 hr in sodium-free solution the somatic action potential decreased 6% in overshoot and 24% in rate of rise. 4. The somatic action potential was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml. Procaine, 18 mM, reduced its rate of rise but did not eliminate it whereas 30 mM-CoCl2 did. 5. The size of the axonal action potential increased with increased [Na+]o, but decreased with an increase in [Ca2+]o. 6. Procaine, 18 mM, abolished the axonal action potential whereas it was not affected by TTX, 5 × 10-6 g/ml., nor, usually, by 30 mM-CoCl2. 7. The results obtained by studying the compound action potential of the nerves were similar to those from axonal action potentials. 8. The possibility that the somatic action potential is mainly calcium dependent while the axonal action potential is mainly produced by sodium is discussed. PMID:5014099

  17. Synaptic diversity enables temporal coding of coincident multi-sensory inputs in single neurons

    PubMed Central

    Chabrol, François P.; Arenz, Alexander; Wiechert, Martin T.; Margrie, Troy W.; DiGregorio, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The ability of the brain to rapidly process information from multiple pathways is critical for reliable execution of complex sensory-motor behaviors, yet the cellular mechanisms underlying a neuronal representation of multimodal stimuli are poorly understood. Here we explored the possibility that the physiological diversity of mossy fiber (MF) to granule cell (GC) synapses within the mouse vestibulocerebellum may contribute to the processing of coincident multisensory information at the level of individual GCs. We found that the strength and short-term dynamics of individual MF-GC synapses can act as biophysical signatures for primary vestibular, secondary vestibular and visual input pathways. The majority of GCs receive inputs from different modalities, which when co-activated, produced enhanced GC firing rates and distinct first spike latencies. Thus, pathway-specific synaptic response properties permit temporal coding of correlated multisensory input by single GCs, thereby enriching sensory representation and facilitating pattern separation. PMID:25821914

  18. Developmental changes in the inward current of the action potential of Rohon-Beard neurones

    PubMed Central

    Baccaglini, Paola I.; Spitzer, Nicholas C.

    1977-01-01

    1. Rohon-Beard cells in the spinal cord of Xenopus tadpoles have been studied in animals from early neural tube to free-swimming larval stages. The onset and further development of electrical excitability of these neurones has been investigated in different ionic environments, to determine the ionic species carrying the inward current of the action potential. 2. The cells appear inexcitable at early stages (Nieuwkoop & Faber stages 18-20) and do not give action potentials to depolarizing current pulses. 3. The action potential is first recorded at stage 20. (A) The inward current is carried by Ca2+ at stages 20-25, since it is blocked by mm quantitites of La3+, Co2+ or Mn2+ and is unaffected by removal of Na+ or the addition of tetrodotoxin (TTX). (B) The action potential is an elevated plateau of long duration (mean 190 msec at stages 20-22). The duration decreases exponentially with repetitive stimulation. (C) The specific Ca2+ conductance (gCa) at the onset of the plateau of the action potential is 2·6 × 10-4 mho/cm2. Calculations show that a single action potential raises [Ca2+]1 by more than 100-fold. 4. At later times (stages 25-40), the inward current of the action potential is carried by both Na+ and Ca2+: the action potential has two components, an initial spike which is blocked by removal of Na+ or addition of TTX, followed by a plateau which is blocked by La3+, Co2+ or Mn2+. 5. Finally (stages 40-51), the inward current is primarily carried by Na+, since the action potential is blocked only by removal of Na+ or addition of TTX, and the overshoot agrees with the prediction of the Nernst equation for a Na-selective membrane. When the outward current channel is blocked and cells exposed to Na-free solutions, 67% of cells at the latest stages studied were incapable of producing action potentials in which the inward current is carried by divalent cations. 6. The duration of the action potential decreases from a maximum of about 1000 msec to about 1 msec

  19. Vibrotactile discrimination in the rat whisker system is based on neuronal coding of instantaneous kinematic cues.

    PubMed

    Waiblinger, Christian; Brugger, Dominik; Schwarz, Cornelius

    2015-04-01

    Which physical parameter of vibrissa deflections is extracted by the rodent tactile system for discrimination? Particularly, it remains unclear whether perception has access to instantaneous kinematic parameters (i.e., the details of the trajectory) or relies on temporally integration of the movement trajectory such as frequency (e.g., spectral information) and intensity (e.g., mean speed). Here, we use a novel detection of change paradigm in head-fixed rats, which presents pulsatile vibrissa stimuli in seamless sequence for discrimination. This procedure ensures that processes of decision making can directly tap into sensory signals (no memory functions involved). We find that discrimination performance based on instantaneous kinematic cues far exceeds the ones provided by frequency and intensity. Neuronal modeling based on barrel cortex single units shows that small populations of sensitive neurons provide a transient signal that optimally fits the characteristic of the subject's perception. The present study is the first to show that perceptual read-out is superior in situations allowing the subject to base perception on detailed trajectory cues, that is, instantaneous kinematic variables. A possible impact of this finding on tactile systems of other species is suggested by evidence for instantaneous coding also in primates.

  20. Analysis of the chemical coding of neurons in the intermediate thoracic ganglion of the pig.

    PubMed

    NouriNezhad, J; Wasowicz, K; Bukowski, R; Skobowiat, C

    2010-01-01

    The pig has been widely used as a model in cardiovascular research. A unique feature of the porcine extrinsic sympathetic cardiac nerves is that they arise from intermediate ganglia in the thoracic cavity. The localization and pattern of distribution of nerve cell bodies and fibers containing tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine B-hydroxylase (DBH), neuropeptide Y (NPY), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), somatostatin (SOM), galanin (GAL), methionine-enkephalin (MET) as well as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), substance P (SP) and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP) was studied with immunohistochemistry. Almost all the neurons showed immunoreactivity to TH. Immunoreactivity to NPY, VIP, SOM, GAL, MET and PACAP was displayed by nerve cell bodies while nerve fibers exhibited immunoreactivity to all the neuropeptides studied. Therefore, it seems that the chemical coding of neurons and especially nerve fibers in the porcine intermediate ganglion share general similarities (with certain neurochemical variability), with porcine prevertebral ganglia (e.g., celiacomesenteric and caudal mesenteric ganglia). PMID:21033570

  1. A coding-independent function of an alternative Ube3a transcript during neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Valluy, Jeremy; Bicker, Silvia; Aksoy-Aksel, Ayla; Lackinger, Martin; Sumer, Simon; Fiore, Roberto; Wüst, Tatjana; Seffer, Dominik; Metge, Franziska; Dieterich, Christoph; Wöhr, Markus; Schwarting, Rainer; Schratt, Gerhard

    2015-05-01

    The E3 ubiquitin ligase Ube3a is an important regulator of activity-dependent synapse development and plasticity. Ube3a mutations cause Angelman syndrome and have been associated with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, the biological significance of alternative Ube3a transcripts generated in mammalian neurons remains unknown. We report here that Ube3a1 RNA, a transcript that encodes a truncated Ube3a protein lacking catalytic activity, prevents exuberant dendrite growth and promotes spine maturation in rat hippocampal neurons. Surprisingly, Ube3a1 RNA function was independent of its coding sequence but instead required a unique 3' untranslated region and an intact microRNA pathway. Ube3a1 RNA knockdown increased activity of the plasticity-regulating miR-134, suggesting that Ube3a1 RNA acts as a dendritic competing endogenous RNA. Accordingly, the dendrite-growth-promoting effect of Ube3a1 RNA knockdown in vivo is abolished in mice lacking miR-134. Taken together, our results define a noncoding function of an alternative Ube3a transcript in dendritic protein synthesis, with potential implications for Angelman syndrome and ASD. PMID:25867122

  2. Noise Enhances Action Potential Generation in Mouse Sensory Neurons via Stochastic Resonance

    PubMed Central

    Onorato, Irene; D'Alessandro, Giuseppina; Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Renzi, Massimiliano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; Musarò, Antonio; Salvetti, Marco; Limatola, Cristina; Crisanti, Andrea; Grassi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Noise can enhance perception of tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by stochastic resonance processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this general phenomenon remain to be characterized. Here we studied how externally applied noise influences action potential firing in mouse primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia, modelling a basic process in sensory perception. Since noisy mechanical stimuli may cause stochastic fluctuations in receptor potential, we examined the effects of sub-threshold depolarizing current steps with superimposed random fluctuations. We performed whole cell patch clamp recordings in cultured neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia. Noise was added either before and during the step, or during the depolarizing step only, to focus onto the specific effects of external noise on action potential generation. In both cases, step + noise stimuli triggered significantly more action potentials than steps alone. The normalized power norm had a clear peak at intermediate noise levels, demonstrating that the phenomenon is driven by stochastic resonance. Spikes evoked in step + noise trials occur earlier and show faster rise time as compared to the occasional ones elicited by steps alone. These data suggest that external noise enhances, via stochastic resonance, the recruitment of transient voltage-gated Na channels, responsible for action potential firing in response to rapid step-wise depolarizing currents. PMID:27525414

  3. Noise Enhances Action Potential Generation in Mouse Sensory Neurons via Stochastic Resonance.

    PubMed

    Onorato, Irene; D'Alessandro, Giuseppina; Di Castro, Maria Amalia; Renzi, Massimiliano; Dobrowolny, Gabriella; Musarò, Antonio; Salvetti, Marco; Limatola, Cristina; Crisanti, Andrea; Grassi, Francesca

    2016-01-01

    Noise can enhance perception of tactile and proprioceptive stimuli by stochastic resonance processes. However, the mechanisms underlying this general phenomenon remain to be characterized. Here we studied how externally applied noise influences action potential firing in mouse primary sensory neurons of dorsal root ganglia, modelling a basic process in sensory perception. Since noisy mechanical stimuli may cause stochastic fluctuations in receptor potential, we examined the effects of sub-threshold depolarizing current steps with superimposed random fluctuations. We performed whole cell patch clamp recordings in cultured neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia. Noise was added either before and during the step, or during the depolarizing step only, to focus onto the specific effects of external noise on action potential generation. In both cases, step + noise stimuli triggered significantly more action potentials than steps alone. The normalized power norm had a clear peak at intermediate noise levels, demonstrating that the phenomenon is driven by stochastic resonance. Spikes evoked in step + noise trials occur earlier and show faster rise time as compared to the occasional ones elicited by steps alone. These data suggest that external noise enhances, via stochastic resonance, the recruitment of transient voltage-gated Na channels, responsible for action potential firing in response to rapid step-wise depolarizing currents. PMID:27525414

  4. Effect of knockout of α2δ-1 on action potentials in mouse sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Margas, Wojciech; Ferron, Laurent; Nieto-Rostro, Manuela; Schwartz, Arnold; Dolphin, Annette C.

    2016-01-01

    Gene deletion of the voltage-gated calcium channel auxiliary subunit α2δ-1 has been shown previously to have a cardiovascular phenotype, and a reduction in mechano- and cold sensitivity, coupled with delayed development of neuropathic allodynia. We have also previously shown that dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron calcium channel currents were significantly reduced in α2δ-1 knockout mice. To extend our findings in these sensory neurons, we have examined here the properties of action potentials (APs) in DRG neurons from α2δ-1 knockout mice in comparison to their wild-type (WT) littermates, in order to dissect how the calcium channels that are affected by α2δ-1 knockout are involved in setting the duration of individual APs and their firing frequency. Our main findings are that there is reduced Ca2+ entry on single AP stimulation, particularly in the axon proximal segment, reduced AP duration and reduced firing frequency to a 400 ms stimulation in α2δ-1 knockout neurons, consistent with the expected role of voltage-gated calcium channels in these events. Furthermore, lower intracellular Ca2+ buffering also resulted in reduced AP duration, and a lower frequency of AP firing in WT neurons, mimicking the effect of α2δ-1 knockout. By contrast, we did not obtain any consistent evidence for the involvement of Ca2+-activation of large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) and small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels in these events. In conclusion, the reduced Ca2+ elevation as a result of single AP stimulation is likely to result from the reduced duration of the AP in α2δ-1 knockout sensory neurons. This article is part of the themed issue ‘Evolution brings Ca2+ and ATP together to control life and death’. PMID:27377724

  5. Effect of knockout of α2δ-1 on action potentials in mouse sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Margas, Wojciech; Ferron, Laurent; Nieto-Rostro, Manuela; Schwartz, Arnold; Dolphin, Annette C

    2016-08-01

    Gene deletion of the voltage-gated calcium channel auxiliary subunit α2δ-1 has been shown previously to have a cardiovascular phenotype, and a reduction in mechano- and cold sensitivity, coupled with delayed development of neuropathic allodynia. We have also previously shown that dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neuron calcium channel currents were significantly reduced in α2δ-1 knockout mice. To extend our findings in these sensory neurons, we have examined here the properties of action potentials (APs) in DRG neurons from α2δ-1 knockout mice in comparison to their wild-type (WT) littermates, in order to dissect how the calcium channels that are affected by α2δ-1 knockout are involved in setting the duration of individual APs and their firing frequency. Our main findings are that there is reduced Ca(2+) entry on single AP stimulation, particularly in the axon proximal segment, reduced AP duration and reduced firing frequency to a 400 ms stimulation in α2δ-1 knockout neurons, consistent with the expected role of voltage-gated calcium channels in these events. Furthermore, lower intracellular Ca(2+) buffering also resulted in reduced AP duration, and a lower frequency of AP firing in WT neurons, mimicking the effect of α2δ-1 knockout. By contrast, we did not obtain any consistent evidence for the involvement of Ca(2+)-activation of large conductance calcium-activated potassium (BK) and small conductance calcium-activated potassium (SK) channels in these events. In conclusion, the reduced Ca(2+) elevation as a result of single AP stimulation is likely to result from the reduced duration of the AP in α2δ-1 knockout sensory neurons.This article is part of the themed issue 'Evolution brings Ca(2+) and ATP together to control life and death'. PMID:27377724

  6. [Correlative interconnections between impulse activity of aminergic neurons of the brainstem and spectral components of electroencephalogram during action of bemitil].

    PubMed

    Kolotilova, O I; Pavlenko, V B; Koreniuk, I I; Kulychenko, O M; Fokina, Iu O

    2007-01-01

    Correlative interconnections between frequency of impulse activity of aminergic neurons and neocortex electrical activity during action of bemitil (50 mg/kg) were investigated in 5 cats. It was shown that bemitil affects correlations between frequency of impulses of aminergic neurons and electrical activity of neocortex.

  7. In vivo neuronal action potential recordings via three-dimensional microscale needle-electrode arrays

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fujishiro, Akifumi; Kaneko, Hidekazu; Kawashima, Takahiro; Ishida, Makoto; Kawano, Takeshi

    2014-05-01

    Very fine needle-electrode arrays potentially offer both low invasiveness and high spatial resolution of electrophysiological neuronal recordings in vivo. Herein we report the penetrating and recording capabilities of silicon-growth-based three-dimensional microscale-diameter needle-electrodes arrays. The fabricated needles exhibit a circular-cone shape with a 3-μm-diameter tip and a 210-μm length. Due to the microscale diameter, our silicon needles are more flexible than other microfabricated silicon needles with larger diameters. Coating the microscale-needle-tip with platinum black results in an impedance of ~600 kΩ in saline with output/input signal amplitude ratios of more than 90% at 40 Hz-10 kHz. The needles can penetrate into the whisker barrel area of a rat's cerebral cortex, and the action potentials recorded from some neurons exhibit peak-to-peak amplitudes of ~300 μVpp. These results demonstrate the feasibility of in vivo neuronal action potential recordings with a microscale needle-electrode array fabricated using silicon growth technology.

  8. Forebrain glutamatergic neurons mediate leptin action on depression-like behaviors and synaptic depression.

    PubMed

    Guo, Ming; Lu, Yuan; Garza, Jacob C; Li, Yuqing; Chua, Streamson C; Zhang, Wei; Lu, Bai; Lu, Xin-Yun

    2012-01-01

    The glutamatergic system has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression and the mechanism of action of antidepressants. Leptin, an adipocyte-derived hormone, has antidepressant-like properties. However, the functional role of leptin receptor (Lepr) signaling in glutamatergic neurons remains to be elucidated. In this study, we generated conditional knockout mice in which the long form of Lepr was ablated selectively in glutamatergic neurons located in the forebrain structures, including the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (Lepr cKO). Lepr cKO mice exhibit normal growth and body weight. Behavioral characterization of Lepr cKO mice reveals depression-like behavioral deficits, including anhedonia, behavioral despair, enhanced learned helplessness and social withdrawal, with no evident signs of anxiety. In addition, loss of Lepr in forebrain glutamatergic neurons facilitates NMDA-induced hippocampal long-term synaptic depression (LTD), whereas conventional LTD or long-term potentiation (LTP) was not affected. The facilitated LTD induction requires activation of the GluN2B subunit as it was completely blocked by a selective GluN2B antagonist. Moreover, Lepr cKO mice are highly sensitive to the antidepressant-like behavioral effects of the GluN2B antagonist but resistant to leptin. These results support important roles for Lepr signaling in glutamatergic neurons in regulating depression-related behaviors and modulating excitatory synaptic strength, suggesting a possible association between synaptic depression and behavioral manifestations of depression.

  9. Action Potential Energy Efficiency Varies Among Neuron Types in Vertebrates and Invertebrates

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Stemmler, Martin; Laughlin, Simon B.; Niven, Jeremy E.

    2010-01-01

    The initiation and propagation of action potentials (APs) places high demands on the energetic resources of neural tissue. Each AP forces ATP-driven ion pumps to work harder to restore the ionic concentration gradients, thus consuming more energy. Here, we ask whether the ionic currents underlying the AP can be predicted theoretically from the principle of minimum energy consumption. A long-held supposition that APs are energetically wasteful, based on theoretical analysis of the squid giant axon AP, has recently been overturned by studies that measured the currents contributing to the AP in several mammalian neurons. In the single compartment models studied here, AP energy consumption varies greatly among vertebrate and invertebrate neurons, with several mammalian neuron models using close to the capacitive minimum of energy needed. Strikingly, energy consumption can increase by more than ten-fold simply by changing the overlap of the Na+ and K+ currents during the AP without changing the APs shape. As a consequence, the height and width of the AP are poor predictors of energy consumption. In the Hodgkin–Huxley model of the squid axon, optimizing the kinetics or number of Na+ and K+ channels can whittle down the number of ATP molecules needed for each AP by a factor of four. In contrast to the squid AP, the temporal profile of the currents underlying APs of some mammalian neurons are nearly perfectly matched to the optimized properties of ionic conductances so as to minimize the ATP cost. PMID:20617202

  10. Mesolimbic dopamine neurons in the brain reward circuit mediate susceptibility to social defeat and antidepressant action

    PubMed Central

    Cao, Jun-Li; Covington, Herbert E; Friedman, Allyson K; Wilkinson, Matthew B; Walsh, Jessica J; Cooper, Donald C; Nestler, Eric J; Han, Ming-Hu

    2010-01-01

    We previously reported that the activity of mesolimbic dopamine neurons of the ventral tegmental area (VTA) is a key determinant of behavioral susceptibility vs. resilience to chronic social defeat stress. However, this was based solely on ex vivo measurements, and the in vivo firing properties of VTA dopamine neurons in susceptible and resilient mice, as well as the effects of antidepressant treatments, remain completely unknown. Here, we show that chronic (10-day) social defeat stress significantly increased the in vivo spontaneous firing rates and bursting events in susceptible mice but not in the resilient subgroup. Both the firing rates and bursting events were significantly negatively correlated with social avoidance behavior, a key behavioral abnormality induced by chronic social defeat stress. Moreover, the increased firing rates, bursting events, and avoidance behavior in susceptible mice were completely reversed by chronic (2-week), but not acute (single dose), treatments with the antidepressant medication, fluoxetine (20 mg/Kg). Chronic social defeat stress increased hyperpolarization-activated cation current (Ih) in VTA dopamine neurons, an effect which was also normalized by chronic treatment with fluoxetine. As well, local infusion of Ih inhibitors ZD7288 (0.1 μg) or DK- AH 269 (0.6 μg) into the VTA exerted antidepressant-like behavioral effects. Together, these data suggest that the firing patterns of mesolimbic dopamine neurons in vivo mediate an individual’s responses to chronic stress and antidepressant action. PMID:21147984

  11. Postsynaptic mechanisms underlying the excitatory action of histamine on medial vestibular nucleus neurons in rats

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiao-Yang; Yu, Lei; Zhuang, Qian-Xing; Peng, Shi-Yu; Zhu, Jing-Ning; Wang, Jian-Jun

    2013-01-01

    Background and Purpose Anti-histaminergic drugs have been widely used in the clinical treatment of vestibular disorders and most studies concentrate on their presynaptic actions. The present study investigated the postsynaptic effect of histamine on medial vestibular nucleus (MVN) neurons and the underlying mechanisms. Experimental Approach Histamine-induced postsynaptic actions on MVN neurons and the corresponding receptor and ionic mechanisms were detected by whole-cell patch-clamp recordings on rat brain slices. The distribution of postsynaptic histamine H1, H2 and H4 receptors was mapped by double and single immunostaining. Furthermore, the expression of mRNAs for H1, H2 and H4 receptors and for subtypes of Na+–Ca2+ exchangers (NCXs) and hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channels was assessed by quantitative real-time RT-PCR. Key Results A marked postsynaptic excitatory effect, co-mediated by histamine H1 and H2 receptors, was involved in the histamine-induced depolarization of MVN neurons. Postsynaptic H1 and H2 rather than H4 receptors were co-localized in the same MVN neurons. NCXs contributed to the inward current mediated by H1 receptors, whereas HCN channels were responsible for excitation induced by activation of H2 receptors. Moreover, NCX1 and NCX3 rather than NCX2, and HCN1 rather than HCN2-4 mRNAs, were abundantly expressed in MVN. Conclusion and Implications NCXs coupled to H1 receptors and HCN channels linked to H2 receptors co-mediate the strong postsynaptic excitatory action of histamine on MVN neurons. These results highlight an active role of postsynaptic mechanisms in the modulation by central histaminergic systems of vestibular functions and suggest potential targets for clinical treatment of vestibular disorders. Linked Articles This article is part of a themed issue on Histamine Pharmacology Update. To view the other articles in this issue visit http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bph.2013.170.issue-1 PMID:23713466

  12. Action potentials and amphetamine release antipsychotic drug from dopamine neuron synaptic VMAT vesicles.

    PubMed

    Tucker, Kristal R; Block, Ethan R; Levitan, Edwin S

    2015-08-11

    Based on lysotracker red imaging in cultured hippocampal neurons, antipsychotic drugs (APDs) were proposed to accumulate in synaptic vesicles by acidic trapping and to be released in response to action potentials. Because many APDs are dopamine (DA) D2 receptor (D2R) antagonists, such a mechanism would be particularly interesting if it operated in midbrain DA neurons. Here, the APD cyamemazine (CYAM) is visualized directly by two-photon microscopy in substantia nigra and striatum brain slices. CYAM accumulated slowly into puncta based on vacuolar H(+)-ATPase activity and dispersed rapidly upon dissipating organelle pH gradients. Thus, CYAM is subject to acidic trapping and released upon deprotonation. In the striatum, Ca(2+)-dependent reduction of the CYAM punctate signal was induced by depolarization or action potentials. Striatal CYAM overlapped with the dopamine transporter (DAT). Furthermore, parachloroamphetamine (pCA), acting via vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT), and a charged VMAT, substrate 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+)), reduced striatal CYAM. In vivo CYAM administration and in vitro experiments confirmed that clinically relevant CYAM concentrations result in vesicular accumulation and pCA-dependent release. These results show that some CYAM is in DA neuron VMAT vesicles and suggests a new drug interaction in which amphetamine induces CYAM deprotonation and release as a consequence of the H(+) countertransport by VMAT that accompanies vesicular uptake, but not by inducing exchange or acting as a weak base. Therefore, in the striatum, APDs are released with DA in response to action potentials and an amphetamine. This synaptic corelease is expected to enhance APD antagonism of D2Rs where and when dopaminergic transmission occurs.

  13. Action potentials and amphetamine release antipsychotic drug from dopamine neuron synaptic VMAT vesicles

    PubMed Central

    Tucker, Kristal R.; Block, Ethan R.; Levitan, Edwin S.

    2015-01-01

    Based on lysotracker red imaging in cultured hippocampal neurons, antipsychotic drugs (APDs) were proposed to accumulate in synaptic vesicles by acidic trapping and to be released in response to action potentials. Because many APDs are dopamine (DA) D2 receptor (D2R) antagonists, such a mechanism would be particularly interesting if it operated in midbrain DA neurons. Here, the APD cyamemazine (CYAM) is visualized directly by two-photon microscopy in substantia nigra and striatum brain slices. CYAM accumulated slowly into puncta based on vacuolar H+-ATPase activity and dispersed rapidly upon dissipating organelle pH gradients. Thus, CYAM is subject to acidic trapping and released upon deprotonation. In the striatum, Ca2+-dependent reduction of the CYAM punctate signal was induced by depolarization or action potentials. Striatal CYAM overlapped with the dopamine transporter (DAT). Furthermore, parachloroamphetamine (pCA), acting via vesicular monoamine transporter (VMAT), and a charged VMAT, substrate 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP+), reduced striatal CYAM. In vivo CYAM administration and in vitro experiments confirmed that clinically relevant CYAM concentrations result in vesicular accumulation and pCA-dependent release. These results show that some CYAM is in DA neuron VMAT vesicles and suggests a new drug interaction in which amphetamine induces CYAM deprotonation and release as a consequence of the H+ countertransport by VMAT that accompanies vesicular uptake, but not by inducing exchange or acting as a weak base. Therefore, in the striatum, APDs are released with DA in response to action potentials and an amphetamine. This synaptic corelease is expected to enhance APD antagonism of D2Rs where and when dopaminergic transmission occurs. PMID:26216995

  14. Morphological Characterization of the Action Potential Initiation Segment in GnRH Neuron Dendrites and Axons of Male Mice.

    PubMed

    Herde, Michel K; Herbison, Allan E

    2015-11-01

    GnRH neurons are the final output neurons of the hypothalamic network controlling fertility in mammals. In the present study, we used ankyrin G immunohistochemistry and neurobiotin filling of live GnRH neurons in brain slices from GnRH-green fluorescent protein transgenic male mice to examine in detail the location of action potential initiation in GnRH neurons with somata residing at different locations in the basal forebrain. We found that the vast majority of GnRH neurons are bipolar in morphology, elaborating a thick (primary) and thinner (secondary) dendrite from opposite poles of the soma. In addition, an axon-like process arising predominantly from a proximal dendrite was observed in a subpopulation of GnRH neurons. Ankyrin G immunohistochemistry revealed the presence of a single action potential initiation zone ∼27 μm in length primarily in the secondary dendrite of GnRH neurons and located 30 to 140 μm distant from the cell soma, depending on the type of process and location of the cell body. In addition to dendrites, the GnRH neurons with cell bodies located close to hypothalamic circumventricular organs often elaborated ankyrin G-positive axon-like structures. Almost all GnRH neurons (>90%) had their action potential initiation site in a process that initially, or ultimately after a hairpin loop, was coursing in the direction of the median eminence. These studies indicate that action potentials are initiated in different dendritic and axonal compartments of the GnRH neuron in a manner that is dependent partly on the neuroanatomical location of the cell body.

  15. Do monkey F5 mirror neurons show changes in firing rate during repeated observation of natural actions?

    PubMed Central

    Kraskov, A.; Lemon, R. N.

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons were first discovered in area F5 of macaque monkeys. In humans, noninvasive studies have demonstrated an increased blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in homologous motor areas during action observation. One approach to demonstrating that this indicates the existence of mirror neurons in humans has been to employ functional (f)MRI adaptation to test whether the same population of neurons is active during both observation and execution conditions. Although a number of human studies have reported fMRI adaptation in these areas, a recent study has shown that macaque mirror neurons do not attenuate their firing rate with two repetitions. Here we investigated whether mirror neurons modulate their firing rate when monkeys observed the same repeated natural action multiple times. We recorded from 67 mirror neurons in area F5 of two macaque monkeys while they observed an experimenter perform a reach-to-grasp action on a small food reward using a precision grip. Although no changes were detectable for the first two repetitions, we show that both the firing rate and the latency at which mirror neurons discharged during observation were subtly modulated by the repetition of the observed action over 7–10 trials. Significant adaption was mostly found in the period immediately before the grasp was performed. We also found that the local field potential activity in F5 (beta-frequency range, 16–23 Hz), which is attenuated during action observation, also showed systematic changes with repeated observation. These LFP changes occurred well in advance of the mirror neuron adaptation. We conclude that macaque mirror neurons can show intra-modal adaptation, but whether this is related to fMRI adaptation of the BOLD signal requires further investigation. PMID:24371289

  16. Do monkey F5 mirror neurons show changes in firing rate during repeated observation of natural actions?

    PubMed

    Kilner, J M; Kraskov, A; Lemon, R N

    2014-03-01

    Mirror neurons were first discovered in area F5 of macaque monkeys. In humans, noninvasive studies have demonstrated an increased blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal in homologous motor areas during action observation. One approach to demonstrating that this indicates the existence of mirror neurons in humans has been to employ functional (f)MRI adaptation to test whether the same population of neurons is active during both observation and execution conditions. Although a number of human studies have reported fMRI adaptation in these areas, a recent study has shown that macaque mirror neurons do not attenuate their firing rate with two repetitions. Here we investigated whether mirror neurons modulate their firing rate when monkeys observed the same repeated natural action multiple times. We recorded from 67 mirror neurons in area F5 of two macaque monkeys while they observed an experimenter perform a reach-to-grasp action on a small food reward using a precision grip. Although no changes were detectable for the first two repetitions, we show that both the firing rate and the latency at which mirror neurons discharged during observation were subtly modulated by the repetition of the observed action over 7-10 trials. Significant adaption was mostly found in the period immediately before the grasp was performed. We also found that the local field potential activity in F5 (beta-frequency range, 16-23 Hz), which is attenuated during action observation, also showed systematic changes with repeated observation. These LFP changes occurred well in advance of the mirror neuron adaptation. We conclude that macaque mirror neurons can show intra-modal adaptation, but whether this is related to fMRI adaptation of the BOLD signal requires further investigation.

  17. Rapid local synchronization of action potentials: toward computation with coupled integrate-and-fire neurons.

    PubMed Central

    Hopfield, J J; Herz, A V

    1995-01-01

    The collective behavior of interconnected spiking nerve cells is investigated. It is shown that a variety of model systems exhibit the same short-time behavior and rapidly converge to (approximately) periodic firing patterns with locally synchronized action potentials. The dynamics of one model can be described by a downhill motion on an abstract energy landscape. Since an energy landscape makes it possible to understand and program computation done by an attractor network, the results will extend our understanding of collective computation from models based on a firing-rate description to biologically more realistic systems with integrate-and-fire neurons. Images Fig. 2 PMID:7624307

  18. Multi-Scale Locality-Constrained Spatiotemporal Coding for Local Feature Based Human Action Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Yu; Wang, Wei; Xu, Wei; Zhang, Maojun

    2013-01-01

    We propose a Multiscale Locality-Constrained Spatiotemporal Coding (MLSC) method to improve the traditional bag of features (BoF) algorithm which ignores the spatiotemporal relationship of local features for human action recognition in video. To model this spatiotemporal relationship, MLSC involves the spatiotemporal position of local feature into feature coding processing. It projects local features into a sub space-time-volume (sub-STV) and encodes them with a locality-constrained linear coding. A group of sub-STV features obtained from one video with MLSC and max-pooling are used to classify this video. In classification stage, the Locality-Constrained Group Sparse Representation (LGSR) is adopted to utilize the intrinsic group information of these sub-STV features. The experimental results on KTH, Weizmann, and UCF sports datasets show that our method achieves better performance than the competing local spatiotemporal feature-based human action recognition methods. PMID:24194681

  19. Action of ethanol on responses to nicotine from cerebellar Purkinje neurons: relationship to methyllycaconitine (MLA) inhibition of nicotine responses.

    PubMed

    Yang, X; Criswell, H E; Breese, G R

    1999-08-01

    The effect of ethanol on responses to nicotine from rat cerebellar Purkinje neurons was investigated using extracellular single-unit recording. Systemic administration of ethanol initially enhanced the nicotine-induced inhibition from 50% of the Purkinje neurons. However, irrespective of whether there was an initial enhancement, systemic administration of ethanol antagonized the response to nicotine from the majority of Purkinje neurons. When varying ethanol concentrations were electro-osmotically applied to this neuronal cell type, the responses to nicotine (6/8) were enhanced when a low concentration of ethanol (40 mM) was in the pipette, whereas the majority of nicotine responses (10/11) were antagonized when a higher concentration of ethanol (160 mM) was applied to Purkinje neurons. Thus, the concentration of ethanol presented to the neuron seemed to explain the biphasic consequence of systemically administered ethanol on responses to nicotine. In order to determine whether ethanol affected a specific nACh receptor subtype containing the alpha-7 subunit, it was initially established that the nicotinic antagonists, alpha-bungarotoxin (alpha-BTX) and methyllycaconitine (MLA), which are associated with this subunit, had identical actions on responses to nicotine from Purkinje neurons. When MLA was tested against responses to nicotine from this cell type, MLA antagonized the response to nicotine from 45% (9/20) of the neurons tested. In a direct comparison of the action of ethanol to inhibit responses to nicotine with the action of MLA on the same Purkinje neuron, ethanol inhibited responses to nicotine on all neurons sensitive to MLA. However, ethanol also affected nicotine-induced neural changes from some Purkinje neurons not sensitive to MLA antagonism of nicotine. These data support the supposition that ethanol affects a nACh receptor subtype which has an alpha-7 subunit as well as other nACh receptor subtypes without this specific subunit.

  20. Modulation in the mirror neuron system when action prediction is not satisfied.

    PubMed

    Plata Bello, Julio; Modroño, Cristián; Marcano, Francisco; González-Mora, José Luis

    2015-04-01

    The ability to understand competitive games is closely connected to the mirror neuron system (MNS). This network is activated not only when an action is performed, but also when it is observed. Apart from allowing the understanding of actions performed by others, the MNS has been implicated in predicting subsequent actions. However, the results concerning the modulation of this network by the final outcome of these predictions are contradictory. These contradictions may be related to the use of complex experimental conditions. The aim of this research is to identify changes in the activity of the MNS when the predictions are or are not satisfied in a simple intransitive action-based game. An event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging study was conducted. It consisted of the observation of videos with two actors playing the well-known rock-paper-scissors game. The participants were asked to predict the response of the second actor when the first actor performed one of the three possible actions. In some videos (congruents) the prediction was satisfied, but in the rest of the videos (incongruents) the prediction was not satisfied. When the result was shown, higher activity in the MNS was observed in the congruent videos than in the incongruent ones. Therefore, the observation of a simple manual game leads to a significant activation of the MNS, and this activity seems to be modulated by the final outcome of a prediction, and when predictions are satisfied the activity is higher.

  1. A common coding framework in self-other interaction: evidence from joint action task.

    PubMed

    Tsai, Chia-Chin; Kuo, Wen-Jui; Jing, Jung-Tai; Hung, Daisy L; Tzeng, Ovid J-L

    2006-11-01

    Many of our actions are influenced by the social context. Traditional approach attributes the influence of the social context to arousal state changes in a socially promotive way. The ideomotor approach, which postulates common coding between perceived events and intended actions, uses a conceptual scheme of ideomotor compatibility to explain self-other interaction. In this study, we recorded reaction times (RTs) and event-related potentials in a Go/NoGo task with stimulus-response (S-R) compatibility arrangement to examine how the social context affects self-other interaction. Although the social facilitation theory predicted that RTs would be faster when acting together with audience rather than acting alone, the ideomotor theory predicted S-R compatibility effects only for the joint condition. The results revealed S-R compatibility on the RTs, lateralized readiness potential of the Go trials, and P3 of the NoGo trials in the joint condition, which were in line with the predictions of the ideomotor theory. Owing to the anticipation of other's actions, self and other's actions are internally and unintentionally coded at the representational level and their functional equivalency can be realized through a common coding framework between perception and action systems. Social facilitation theory was not supported, because we found no significant data differences depending on the setting. PMID:16799815

  2. Consequences of Converting Graded to Action Potentials upon Neural Information Coding and Energy Efficiency

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Laughlin, Simon Barry; Niven, Jeremy Edward

    2014-01-01

    Information is encoded in neural circuits using both graded and action potentials, converting between them within single neurons and successive processing layers. This conversion is accompanied by information loss and a drop in energy efficiency. We investigate the biophysical causes of this loss of information and efficiency by comparing spiking neuron models, containing stochastic voltage-gated Na+ and K+ channels, with generator potential and graded potential models lacking voltage-gated Na+ channels. We identify three causes of information loss in the generator potential that are the by-product of action potential generation: (1) the voltage-gated Na+ channels necessary for action potential generation increase intrinsic noise and (2) introduce non-linearities, and (3) the finite duration of the action potential creates a ‘footprint’ in the generator potential that obscures incoming signals. These three processes reduce information rates by ∼50% in generator potentials, to ∼3 times that of spike trains. Both generator potentials and graded potentials consume almost an order of magnitude less energy per second than spike trains. Because of the lower information rates of generator potentials they are substantially less energy efficient than graded potentials. However, both are an order of magnitude more efficient than spike trains due to the higher energy costs and low information content of spikes, emphasizing that there is a two-fold cost of converting analogue to digital; information loss and cost inflation. PMID:24465197

  3. Consequences of converting graded to action potentials upon neural information coding and energy efficiency.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Biswa; Laughlin, Simon Barry; Niven, Jeremy Edward

    2014-01-01

    Information is encoded in neural circuits using both graded and action potentials, converting between them within single neurons and successive processing layers. This conversion is accompanied by information loss and a drop in energy efficiency. We investigate the biophysical causes of this loss of information and efficiency by comparing spiking neuron models, containing stochastic voltage-gated Na(+) and K(+) channels, with generator potential and graded potential models lacking voltage-gated Na(+) channels. We identify three causes of information loss in the generator potential that are the by-product of action potential generation: (1) the voltage-gated Na(+) channels necessary for action potential generation increase intrinsic noise and (2) introduce non-linearities, and (3) the finite duration of the action potential creates a 'footprint' in the generator potential that obscures incoming signals. These three processes reduce information rates by ∼50% in generator potentials, to ∼3 times that of spike trains. Both generator potentials and graded potentials consume almost an order of magnitude less energy per second than spike trains. Because of the lower information rates of generator potentials they are substantially less energy efficient than graded potentials. However, both are an order of magnitude more efficient than spike trains due to the higher energy costs and low information content of spikes, emphasizing that there is a two-fold cost of converting analogue to digital; information loss and cost inflation.

  4. Optimal size of stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley neuronal systems for maximal energy efficiency in coding pulse signals.

    PubMed

    Yu, Lianchun; Liu, Liwei

    2014-03-01

    The generation and conduction of action potentials (APs) represents a fundamental means of communication in the nervous system and is a metabolically expensive process. In this paper, we investigate the energy efficiency of neural systems in transferring pulse signals with APs. By analytically solving a bistable neuron model that mimics the AP generation with a particle crossing the barrier of a double well, we find the optimal number of ion channels that maximizes the energy efficiency of a neuron. We also investigate the energy efficiency of a neuron population in which the input pulse signals are represented with synchronized spikes and read out with a downstream coincidence detector neuron. We find an optimal number of neurons in neuron population, as well as the number of ion channels in each neuron that maximizes the energy efficiency. The energy efficiency also depends on the characters of the input signals, e.g., the pulse strength and the interpulse intervals. These results are confirmed by computer simulation of the stochastic Hodgkin-Huxley model with a detailed description of the ion channel random gating. We argue that the tradeoff between signal transmission reliability and energy cost may influence the size of the neural systems when energy use is constrained.

  5. The tactile motion aftereffect suggests an intensive code for speed in neurons sensitive to both speed and direction of motion.

    PubMed

    McIntyre, S; Birznieks, I; Vickery, R M; Holcombe, A O; Seizova-Cajic, T

    2016-03-01

    Neurophysiological studies in primates have found that direction-sensitive neurons in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI) generally increase their response rate with increasing speed of object motion across the skin and show little evidence of speed tuning. We employed psychophysics to determine whether human perception of motion direction could be explained by features of such neurons and whether evidence can be found for a speed-tuned process. After adaptation to motion across the skin, a subsequently presented dynamic test stimulus yields an impression of motion in the opposite direction. We measured the strength of this tactile motion aftereffect (tMAE) induced with different combinations of adapting and test speeds. Distal-to-proximal or proximal-to-distal adapting motion was applied to participants' index fingers using a tactile array, after which participants reported the perceived direction of a bidirectional test stimulus. An intensive code for speed, like that observed in SI neurons, predicts greater adaptation (and a stronger tMAE) the faster the adapting speed, regardless of the test speed. In contrast, speed tuning of direction-sensitive neurons predicts the greatest tMAE when the adapting and test stimuli have matching speeds. We found that the strength of the tMAE increased monotonically with adapting speed, regardless of the test speed, showing no evidence of speed tuning. Our data are consistent with neurophysiological findings that suggest an intensive code for speed along the motion processing pathways comprising neurons sensitive both to speed and direction of motion. PMID:26823511

  6. Action of thymol on spontaneous excitatory transmission in adult rat spinal substantia gelatinosa neurons.

    PubMed

    Xu, Zhi-Hao; Wang, Chong; Fujita, Tsugumi; Jiang, Chang-Yu; Kumamoto, Eiichi

    2015-10-01

    Thymol, which is contained in thyme essential oil, has various actions including antinociception and nerve conduction inhibition. Although thymol activates transient receptor potential (TRP) channels expressed in heterologous cells, it remains to be examined whether this is so in native neurons. It has not yet been examined how thymol affects synaptic transmission. In order to know how thymol modulates excitatory transmission with a focus on TRP activation, we investigated its effect on glutamatergic spontaneous excitatory transmission in lamina II (substantia gelatinosa; SG) neurons with which nerve terminals expressing TRP channels make synaptic contacts. The experiment was performed by using the blind whole-cell patch-clamp technique in adult rat spinal cord slices. Superfusing thymol (1 mM) for 3 min reversibly increased the frequency of spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic current (sEPSC) with a minimal increase in its amplitude in all neurons examined. Seventy-seven% of the neurons produced an outward current at a holding potential of -70 mV. The sEPSC frequency increase and outward current produced by thymol were concentration-dependent with almost the same half-maximal effective concentration (EC50) values of 0.18 and 0.14 mM, respectively. These activities were repeated at a time interval of 30 min, although the sEPSC frequency increase but not outward current recovered with a slow time course. Voltage-gated Na(+)-channel blocker tetrodotoxin did not affect the thymol activities. The sEPSC frequency increase was inhibited by TRPA1 antagonist HC-030031 but not TRPV1 and TRPM8 antagonist (capsazepine and BCTC, respectively), while these antagonists had no effect on the outward current. This was so, albeit the two thymol activities had similar EC50 values. It is concluded that thymol increases the spontaneous release of L-glutamate onto SG neurons by activating TRPA1 channels while producing an outward current without TRP activation. Considering that the SG

  7. Opening/blocking actions of pyruvate kinase antibodies on neuronal and muscular KATP channels.

    PubMed

    Mele, Antonietta; Buttiglione, Maura; Cannone, Gianluigi; Vitiello, Francesco; Camerino, Diana Conte; Tricarico, Domenico

    2012-11-01

    ATP-sensitive-K(+) (KATP) channels couple metabolism to the electrical activity of the cells. This channel is associated with glycolytic enzymes to form complexes regulating the channel activity in various tissues. The pyruvate-kinase (PK) enzyme is an antigen in the Paediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated Streptococcal infection known as PANDAS which is characterized by an abnormal production of auto-antibodies against PK. Here, the effects of the anti-pyruvate kinase antibody (anti-PK-ab) on the muscle and neuronal KATP channels were investigated in native rat skeletal muscle fibres and human neuroblastoma cell-line (SH-SY5Y), respectively. Furthermore, the interaction of PK with the inwardly rectifier potassium channel (Kir6.1/Kir6.2) subunits of the KATP channels was investigated by co-immunoprecipitation experiments in mouse brain using the anti-PK-ab. Patch-clamp experiments showed that the short-term incubation (1h) of the fibres with the anti-PK-ab at the dilutions of 1:500 and 1:300 enhanced the KATP current of 19.6% and 33.5%, respectively. As opposite, the long-term incubation (24h) of the fibres with the anti-PK-ab at the dilutions of 1:500 and 1:300 reduced the KATP current of 16% and 24%, respectively, reducing the diameter with atrophy. The direct application of the anti-PK-ab to the excised patches in the absence of intracellular ATP caused channel block, while in the presence of nucleotide channel opened. In neuronal cell line, in the short-term the anti-PK-ab potentiated KATP currents without affecting survival, while in the long-term the anti-PK-ab reduced KATP currents inducing neuronal death. Opening/blocking actions of the anti-PK antibodies on the KATP channels were observed, the blocking action causes fibre atrophy and neuronal death. We demonstrated that PK and Kir subunits are physically/functionally coupled in neurons. The KATP/PK complex can be proposed a novel target in the autoimmune diseases associated with anti

  8. Slow Cholinergic Modulation of Spike Probability in Ultra-Fast Time-Coding Sensory Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Goyer, David; Kurth, Stefanie; Rübsamen, Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Sensory processing in the lower auditory pathway is generally considered to be rigid and thus less subject to modulation than central processing. However, in addition to the powerful bottom-up excitation by auditory nerve fibers, the ventral cochlear nucleus also receives efferent cholinergic innervation from both auditory and nonauditory top–down sources. We thus tested the influence of cholinergic modulation on highly precise time-coding neurons in the cochlear nucleus of the Mongolian gerbil. By combining electrophysiological recordings with pharmacological application in vitro and in vivo, we found 55–72% of spherical bushy cells (SBCs) to be depolarized by carbachol on two time scales, ranging from hundreds of milliseconds to minutes. These effects were mediated by nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, respectively. Pharmacological block of muscarinic receptors hyperpolarized the resting membrane potential, suggesting a novel mechanism of setting the resting membrane potential for SBC. The cholinergic depolarization led to an increase of spike probability in SBCs without compromising the temporal precision of the SBC output in vitro. In vivo, iontophoretic application of carbachol resulted in an increase in spontaneous SBC activity. The inclusion of cholinergic modulation in an SBC model predicted an expansion of the dynamic range of sound responses and increased temporal acuity. Our results thus suggest of a top–down modulatory system mediated by acetylcholine which influences temporally precise information processing in the lower auditory pathway. PMID:27699207

  9. Distinct Neuronal Coding Schemes in Memory Revealed by Selective Erasure of Fast Synchronous Synaptic Transmission

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Wei; Morishita, Wade; Buckmaster, Paul S.; Pang, Zhiping P.; Malenka, Robert C.; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2012-01-01

    Neurons encode information by firing spikes in isolation or bursts, and propagate information by spike-triggered neurotransmitter release that initiates synaptic transmission. Isolated spikes trigger neurotransmitter release unreliably but with high temporal precision, whereas bursts of spikes boost transmission fidelity by overcoming the unreliability of spike-triggered release but are temporally imprecise. However, the relative physiological importance of different spike firing modes remains unclear. Here, we show that knockdown of synaptotagmin-1, the major Ca2+-sensor for neurotransmitter release, abrogated neurotransmission evoked by isolated spikes, but only delayed without abolishing neurotransmission evoked by bursts of spikes. Nevertheless, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the hippocampal CA1 region did not impede acquisition of recent contextual fear memories, although it did impair the precision of such memories. In contrast, knockdown of synaptotagmin-1 in the prefrontal cortex impaired all remote fear memories. These results indicate that different brain circuits and types of memory employ distinct spike-coding schemes to encode and transmit information. PMID:22405208

  10. Slow Cholinergic Modulation of Spike Probability in Ultra-Fast Time-Coding Sensory Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Goyer, David; Kurth, Stefanie; Rübsamen, Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Sensory processing in the lower auditory pathway is generally considered to be rigid and thus less subject to modulation than central processing. However, in addition to the powerful bottom-up excitation by auditory nerve fibers, the ventral cochlear nucleus also receives efferent cholinergic innervation from both auditory and nonauditory top–down sources. We thus tested the influence of cholinergic modulation on highly precise time-coding neurons in the cochlear nucleus of the Mongolian gerbil. By combining electrophysiological recordings with pharmacological application in vitro and in vivo, we found 55–72% of spherical bushy cells (SBCs) to be depolarized by carbachol on two time scales, ranging from hundreds of milliseconds to minutes. These effects were mediated by nicotinic and muscarinic acetylcholine receptors, respectively. Pharmacological block of muscarinic receptors hyperpolarized the resting membrane potential, suggesting a novel mechanism of setting the resting membrane potential for SBC. The cholinergic depolarization led to an increase of spike probability in SBCs without compromising the temporal precision of the SBC output in vitro. In vivo, iontophoretic application of carbachol resulted in an increase in spontaneous SBC activity. The inclusion of cholinergic modulation in an SBC model predicted an expansion of the dynamic range of sound responses and increased temporal acuity. Our results thus suggest of a top–down modulatory system mediated by acetylcholine which influences temporally precise information processing in the lower auditory pathway.

  11. Asymmetry of Neuronal Combinatorial Codes Arises from Minimizing Synaptic Weight Change.

    PubMed

    Leibold, Christian; Monsalve-Mercado, Mauro M

    2016-08-01

    Synaptic change is a costly resource, particularly for brain structures that have a high demand of synaptic plasticity. For example, building memories of object positions requires efficient use of plasticity resources since objects can easily change their location in space and yet we can memorize object locations. But how should a neural circuit ideally be set up to integrate two input streams (object location and identity) in case the overall synaptic changes should be minimized during ongoing learning? This letter provides a theoretical framework on how the two input pathways should ideally be specified. Generally the model predicts that the information-rich pathway should be plastic and encoded sparsely, whereas the pathway conveying less information should be encoded densely and undergo learning only if a neuronal representation of a novel object has to be established. As an example, we consider hippocampal area CA1, which combines place and object information. The model thereby provides a normative account of hippocampal rate remapping, that is, modulations of place field activity by changes of local cues. It may as well be applicable to other brain areas (such as neocortical layer V) that learn combinatorial codes from multiple input streams. PMID:27348595

  12. Possible sources and sites of action of the nitric oxide involved in synaptic plasticity at spinal lamina I projection neurons.

    PubMed

    Ruscheweyh, R; Goralczyk, A; Wunderbaldinger, G; Schober, A; Sandkühler, J

    2006-08-25

    The synaptic long-term potentiation between primary afferent C-fibers and spinal lamina I projection neurons is a cellular model for hyperalgesia [Ikeda H, Heinke B, Ruscheweyh R, Sandkühler J (2003) Synaptic plasticity in spinal lamina I projection neurons that mediate hyperalgesia. Science 299:1237-1240]. In lamina I neurons with a projection to the periaqueductal gray, this long-term potentiation is dependent on nitric oxide. In the present study, we used immunohistochemistry to detect possible sources and sites of action of the nitric oxide necessary for the long-term potentiation at lamina I spino-periaqueductal gray neurons in rats. None of the three isoforms of the nitric oxide synthase was expressed in a significant number of lamina I spino-periaqueductal gray neurons or primary afferent C-fibers (as evaluated by staining of their cell bodies in the dorsal root ganglia). However, endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase were found throughout the spinal cord vasculature and neuronal nitric oxide synthase was present in a number of neurons in laminae II and III. The nitric oxide target soluble guanylyl cyclase was detected in most lamina I spino-periaqueductal gray neurons and in approximately 12% of the dorsal root ganglion neurons, all of them nociceptive as evaluated by coexpression of substance P. Synthesis of cyclic 3',5'-guanosine monophosphate upon stimulation by a nitric oxide donor confirmed the presence of active guanylyl cyclase in at least a portion of the spino-periaqueductal gray neuronal cell bodies. We therefore propose that nitric oxide generated in neighboring neurons or blood vessels acts on the spino-periaqueductal gray neuron and/or the primary afferent C-fiber to enable long-term potentiation. Lamina I spino-parabrachial neurons were stained for comparison and yielded similar results.

  13. Non-coding RNA interact to regulate neuronal development and function

    PubMed Central

    Iyengar, Bharat R.; Choudhary, Ashwani; Sarangdhar, Mayuresh A.; Venkatesh, K. V.; Gadgil, Chetan J.; Pillai, Beena

    2014-01-01

    The human brain is one of the most complex biological systems, and the cognitive abilities have greatly expanded compared to invertebrates without much expansion in the number of protein coding genes. This suggests that gene regulation plays a very important role in the development and function of nervous system, by acting at multiple levels such as transcription and translation. In this article we discuss the regulatory roles of three classes of non-protein coding RNAs (ncRNAs)—microRNAs (miRNAs), piwi-interacting RNA (piRNAs) and long-non-coding RNA (lncRNA), in the process of neurogenesis and nervous function including control of synaptic plasticity and potential roles in neurodegenerative diseases. miRNAs are involved in diverse processes including neurogenesis where they channelize the cellular physiology toward neuronal differentiation. miRNAs can also indirectly influence neurogenesis by regulating the proliferation and self renewal of neural stem cells and are dysregulated in several neurodegenerative diseases. miRNAs are also known to regulate synaptic plasticity and are usually found to be co-expressed with their targets. The dynamics of gene regulation is thus dependent on the local architecture of the gene regulatory network (GRN) around the miRNA and its targets. piRNAs had been classically known to regulate transposons in the germ cells. However, piRNAs have been, recently, found to be expressed in the brain and possibly function by imparting epigenetic changes by DNA methylation. piRNAs are known to be maternally inherited and we assume that they may play a role in early development. We also explore the possible function of piRNAs in regulating the expansion of transposons in the brain. Brain is known to express several lncRNA but functional roles in brain development are attributed to a few lncRNA while functions of most of the them remain unknown. We review the roles of some known lncRNA and explore the other possible functions of lnc

  14. Emotional Actions Are Coded via Two Mechanisms: With and without Identity Representation

    PubMed Central

    Wincenciak, Joanna; Ingham, Jennie; Jellema, Tjeerd; Barraclough, Nick E.

    2016-01-01

    Accurate perception of an individual's identity and emotion derived from their actions and behavior is essential for successful social functioning. Here we determined the role of identity in the representation of emotional whole-body actions using visual adaptation paradigms. Participants adapted to actors performing different whole-body actions in a happy and sad fashion. Following adaptation subsequent neutral actions appeared to convey the opposite emotion. We demonstrate two different emotional action aftereffects showing distinctive adaptation characteristics. For one short-lived aftereffect, adaptation to the emotion expressed by an individual resulted in biases in the perception of the expression of emotion by other individuals, indicating an identity-independent representation of emotional actions. A second, longer lasting, aftereffect was observed where adaptation to the emotion expressed by an individual resulted in longer-term biases in the perception of the expressions of emotion only by the same individual; this indicated an additional identity-dependent representation of emotional actions. Together, the presence of these two aftereffects indicates the existence of two mechanisms for coding emotional actions, only one of which takes into account the actor's identity. The results that we observe might parallel processing of emotion from face and voice. PMID:27242606

  15. Reconfiguration of multiple motor networks by short- and long-term actions of an identified modulatory neuron.

    PubMed

    Faumont, Serge; Combes, Denis; Meyrand, Pierre; Simmers, John

    2005-11-01

    The pyloric and gastric motor pattern-generating networks in the stomatogastric ganglion of the lobster Homarus gammarus are reconfigured into a new functional circuit by burst discharge in an identified pair of modulatory projection interneurons, originally named the pyloric suppressor (PS) neurons because of their inhibitory effects on pyloric network activity. Here we elucidate the actions of the PS neurons on individual members of the neighbouring gastric circuit, as well as describing their ability to alter synaptic coupling between the two networks. PS neuron firing has two distinct effects on gastric network activity: an initial short-lasting action mediated by transient inhibition of most gastric motoneurons, followed by a long-lasting circuit activation associated with a prolonged PS-evoked depolarization of the medial gastric (MG) motoneuron and the single network interneuron, Int1. These long-lasting effects are voltage-dependent, and experiments with hyperpolarizing current injection and photoablation suggest that excitation of both the MG neuron and Int1 is critical for PS-elicited gastric network rhythmicity. In parallel, PS neuron discharge persistently (lasting several minutes) enhances the strength of an inhibitory synaptic influence of the MG neuron on the pyloric dilator (PD)-anterior burster (AB) pacemaker neurons, thereby facilitating operational fusion of the two networks. Therefore, a single modulatory neuron may influence disparate populations of neurons via a range of very different and highly target-specific mechanisms: conventional transient synaptic drive and up- or down-modulation of membrane properties and synaptic efficacy. Moreover, distinctly different time courses of these actions allow different circuit configurations to be specified sequentially by a given modulatory input. PMID:16307592

  16. Temporal coding in a silicon network of integrate-and-fire neurons.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shih-Chii; Douglas, Rodney

    2004-09-01

    Spatio-temporal processing of spike trains by neuronal networks depends on a variety of mechanisms distributed across synapses, dendrites, and somata. In natural systems, the spike trains and the processing mechanisms cohere though their common physical instantiation. This coherence is lost when the natural system is encoded for simulation on a general purpose computer. By contrast, analog VLSI circuits are, like neurons, inherently related by their real-time physics, and so, could provide a useful substrate for exploring neuronlike event-based processing. Here, we describe a hybrid analog-digital VLSI chip comprising a set of integrate-and-fire neurons and short-term dynamical synapses that can be configured into simple network architectures with some properties of neocortical neuronal circuits. We show that, despite considerable fabrication variance in the properties of individual neurons, the chip offers a viable substrate for exploring real-time spike-based processing in networks of neurons.

  17. Theta-Gamma Coding Meets Communication-through-Coherence: Neuronal Oscillatory Multiplexing Theories Reconciled

    PubMed Central

    VanRullen, Rufin

    2016-01-01

    Several theories have been advanced to explain how cross-frequency coupling, the interaction of neuronal oscillations at different frequencies, could enable item multiplexing in neural systems. The communication-through-coherence theory proposes that phase-matching of gamma oscillations between areas enables selective processing of a single item at a time, and a later refinement of the theory includes a theta-frequency oscillation that provides a periodic reset of the system. Alternatively, the theta-gamma neural code theory proposes that a sequence of items is processed, one per gamma cycle, and that this sequence is repeated or updated across theta cycles. In short, both theories serve to segregate representations via the temporal domain, but differ on the number of objects concurrently represented. In this study, we set out to test whether each of these theories is actually physiologically plausible, by implementing them within a single model inspired by physiological data. Using a spiking network model of visual processing, we show that each of these theories is physiologically plausible and computationally useful. Both theories were implemented within a single network architecture, with two areas connected in a feedforward manner, and gamma oscillations generated by feedback inhibition within areas. Simply increasing the amplitude of global inhibition in the lower area, equivalent to an increase in the spatial scope of the gamma oscillation, yielded a switch from one mode to the other. Thus, these different processing modes may co-exist in the brain, enabling dynamic switching between exploratory and selective modes of attention. PMID:27741229

  18. Ensemble codes involving hippocampal neurons are at risk during delayed performance tests.

    PubMed

    Hampson, R E; Deadwyler, S A

    1996-11-26

    Multielectrode recording techniques were used to record ensemble activity from 10 to 16 simultaneously active CA1 and CA3 neurons in the rat hippocampus during performance of a spatial delayed-nonmatch-to-sample task. Extracted sources of variance were used to assess the nature of two different types of errors that accounted for 30% of total trials. The two types of errors included ensemble "miscodes" of sample phase information and errors associated with delay-dependent corruption or disappearance of sample information at the time of the nonmatch response. Statistical assessment of trial sequences and associated "strength" of hippocampal ensemble codes revealed that miscoded error trials always followed delay-dependent error trials in which encoding was "weak," indicating that the two types of errors were "linked." It was determined that the occurrence of weakly encoded, delay-dependent error trials initiated an ensemble encoding "strategy" that increased the chances of being correct on the next trial and avoided the occurrence of further delay-dependent errors. Unexpectedly, the strategy involved "strongly" encoding response position information from the prior (delay-dependent) error trial and carrying it forward to the sample phase of the next trial. This produced a miscode type error on trials in which the "carried over" information obliterated encoding of the sample phase response on the next trial. Application of this strategy, irrespective of outcome, was sufficient to reorient the animal to the proper between trial sequence of response contingencies (nonmatch-to-sample) and boost performance to 73% correct on subsequent trials. The capacity for ensemble analyses of strength of information encoding combined with statistical assessment of trial sequences therefore provided unique insight into the "dynamic" nature of the role hippocampus plays in delay type memory tasks.

  19. Multifocal fluorescence microscope for fast optical recordings of neuronal action potentials.

    PubMed

    Shtrahman, Matthew; Aharoni, Daniel B; Hardy, Nicholas F; Buonomano, Dean V; Arisaka, Katsushi; Otis, Thomas S

    2015-02-01

    In recent years, optical sensors for tracking neural activity have been developed and offer great utility. However, developing microscopy techniques that have several kHz bandwidth necessary to reliably capture optically reported action potentials (APs) at multiple locations in parallel remains a significant challenge. To our knowledge, we describe a novel microscope optimized to measure spatially distributed optical signals with submillisecond and near diffraction-limit resolution. Our design uses a spatial light modulator to generate patterned illumination to simultaneously excite multiple user-defined targets. A galvanometer driven mirror in the emission path streaks the fluorescence emanating from each excitation point during the camera exposure, using unused camera pixels to capture time varying fluorescence at rates that are ∼1000 times faster than the camera's native frame rate. We demonstrate that this approach is capable of recording Ca(2+) transients resulting from APs in neurons labeled with the Ca(2+) sensor Oregon Green Bapta-1 (OGB-1), and can localize the timing of these events with millisecond resolution. Furthermore, optically reported APs can be detected with the voltage sensitive dye DiO-DPA in multiple locations within a neuron with a signal/noise ratio up to ∼40, resolving delays in arrival time along dendrites. Thus, the microscope provides a powerful tool for photometric measurements of dynamics requiring submillisecond sampling at multiple locations.

  20. Dopamine Regulation of Lateral Inhibition between Striatal Neurons Gates the Stimulant Actions of Cocaine.

    PubMed

    Dobbs, Lauren K; Kaplan, Alanna R; Lemos, Julia C; Matsui, Aya; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Alvarez, Veronica A

    2016-06-01

    Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) form inhibitory synapses on neighboring striatal neurons through axon collaterals. The functional relevance of this lateral inhibition and its regulation by dopamine remains elusive. We show that synchronized stimulation of collateral transmission from multiple indirect-pathway MSNs (iMSNs) potently inhibits action potentials in direct-pathway MSNs (dMSNs) in the nucleus accumbens. Dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) suppress lateral inhibition from iMSNs to disinhibit dMSNs, which are known to facilitate locomotion. Surprisingly, D2R inhibition of synaptic transmission was larger at axon collaterals from iMSNs than their projections to the ventral pallidum. Targeted deletion of D2Rs from iMSNs impaired cocaine's ability to suppress lateral inhibition and increase locomotion. These impairments were rescued by chemogenetic activation of Gi-signaling in iMSNs. These findings shed light on the functional significance of lateral inhibition between MSNs and offer a novel synaptic mechanism by which dopamine gates locomotion and cocaine exerts its canonical stimulant response. VIDEO ABSTRACT. PMID:27181061

  1. Dopamine Regulation of Lateral Inhibition between Striatal Neurons Gates the Stimulant Actions of Cocaine.

    PubMed

    Dobbs, Lauren K; Kaplan, Alanna R; Lemos, Julia C; Matsui, Aya; Rubinstein, Marcelo; Alvarez, Veronica A

    2016-06-01

    Striatal medium spiny neurons (MSNs) form inhibitory synapses on neighboring striatal neurons through axon collaterals. The functional relevance of this lateral inhibition and its regulation by dopamine remains elusive. We show that synchronized stimulation of collateral transmission from multiple indirect-pathway MSNs (iMSNs) potently inhibits action potentials in direct-pathway MSNs (dMSNs) in the nucleus accumbens. Dopamine D2 receptors (D2Rs) suppress lateral inhibition from iMSNs to disinhibit dMSNs, which are known to facilitate locomotion. Surprisingly, D2R inhibition of synaptic transmission was larger at axon collaterals from iMSNs than their projections to the ventral pallidum. Targeted deletion of D2Rs from iMSNs impaired cocaine's ability to suppress lateral inhibition and increase locomotion. These impairments were rescued by chemogenetic activation of Gi-signaling in iMSNs. These findings shed light on the functional significance of lateral inhibition between MSNs and offer a novel synaptic mechanism by which dopamine gates locomotion and cocaine exerts its canonical stimulant response. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

  2. Multifocal fluorescence microscope for fast optical recordings of neuronal action potentials.

    PubMed

    Shtrahman, Matthew; Aharoni, Daniel B; Hardy, Nicholas F; Buonomano, Dean V; Arisaka, Katsushi; Otis, Thomas S

    2015-02-01

    In recent years, optical sensors for tracking neural activity have been developed and offer great utility. However, developing microscopy techniques that have several kHz bandwidth necessary to reliably capture optically reported action potentials (APs) at multiple locations in parallel remains a significant challenge. To our knowledge, we describe a novel microscope optimized to measure spatially distributed optical signals with submillisecond and near diffraction-limit resolution. Our design uses a spatial light modulator to generate patterned illumination to simultaneously excite multiple user-defined targets. A galvanometer driven mirror in the emission path streaks the fluorescence emanating from each excitation point during the camera exposure, using unused camera pixels to capture time varying fluorescence at rates that are ∼1000 times faster than the camera's native frame rate. We demonstrate that this approach is capable of recording Ca(2+) transients resulting from APs in neurons labeled with the Ca(2+) sensor Oregon Green Bapta-1 (OGB-1), and can localize the timing of these events with millisecond resolution. Furthermore, optically reported APs can be detected with the voltage sensitive dye DiO-DPA in multiple locations within a neuron with a signal/noise ratio up to ∼40, resolving delays in arrival time along dendrites. Thus, the microscope provides a powerful tool for photometric measurements of dynamics requiring submillisecond sampling at multiple locations. PMID:25650920

  3. Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Aso, Yoshinori; Sitaraman, Divya; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Kaun, Karla R; Vogt, Katrin; Belliart-Guérin, Ghislain; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Robie, Alice A; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schnaitmann, Christopher; Rowell, William J; Johnston, Rebecca M; Ngo, Teri-T B; Chen, Nan; Korff, Wyatt; Nitabach, Michael N; Heberlein, Ulrike; Preat, Thomas; Branson, Kristin M; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Rubin, Gerald M

    2014-12-23

    Animals discriminate stimuli, learn their predictive value and use this knowledge to modify their behavior. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) plays a key role in these processes. Sensory stimuli are sparsely represented by ∼2000 Kenyon cells, which converge onto 34 output neurons (MBONs) of 21 types. We studied the role of MBONs in several associative learning tasks and in sleep regulation, revealing the extent to which information flow is segregated into distinct channels and suggesting possible roles for the multi-layered MBON network. We also show that optogenetic activation of MBONs can, depending on cell type, induce repulsion or attraction in flies. The behavioral effects of MBON perturbation are combinatorial, suggesting that the MBON ensemble collectively represents valence. We propose that local, stimulus-specific dopaminergic modulation selectively alters the balance within the MBON network for those stimuli. Our results suggest that valence encoded by the MBON ensemble biases memory-based action selection.

  4. Acute actions of marine toxin latrunculin A on the electrophysiological properties of cultured dorsal root ganglion neurones.

    PubMed

    Houssen, Wael E; Jaspars, Marcel; Wease, Kerrie N; Scott, Roderick H

    2006-01-01

    The effects of latrunculin A, isolated from the nudibranch Chromodoris sp., on the excitability of neonatal rat cultured dorsal root ganglion neurones were investigated using patch-clamp recording and Ca(2+) imaging techniques. Under current-clamp conditions, acute application of latrunculin A (100 microM) reversibly induced multiple action potential firing and significantly increased action potential duration. No significant effects on action potential peak amplitude, threshold of action potential firing, resting membrane potential and input resistance were observed. Under voltage-clamp conditions, significant and dose-dependent suppression of K(+) current was seen with 10-100 microM latrunculin A. Additionally, a significant difference between inhibition of the current measured at the peak and the end of a 100 ms voltage step was seen with 100 microM latrunculin A. Fura-2 fluorescence Ca(2+) imaging revealed that latrunculin A (100 microM) significantly inhibited Ca(2+) transients evoked by KCl-induced depolarisation in all neurones. In 36% of DRG neurones, latrunculin A alone had no effect on intracellular Ca(2+). In 64% of neurones, latrunculin A alone evoked a transient rise in intracellular Ca(2+). Moreover, latrunculin A (10-100 microM) significantly inhibited the mean high voltage-activated Ca(2+) current. The effects of latrunculin A on action potential firing and K(+) currents were attenuated by intracellular phalloidin, an indication that these effects are mediated through actin disruption. PMID:16280258

  5. Rapid Sensitization of Physiological, Neuronal, and Locomotor Effects of Nicotine: Critical Role of Peripheral Drug Actions

    PubMed Central

    Lenoir, Magalie; Tang, Jeremy S.; Woods, Amina S.

    2013-01-01

    Repeated exposure to nicotine and other psychostimulant drugs produces persistent increases in their psychomotor and physiological effects (sensitization), a phenomenon related to the drugs' reinforcing properties and abuse potential. Here we examined the role of peripheral actions of nicotine in nicotine-induced sensitization of centrally mediated physiological parameters (brain, muscle, and skin temperatures), cortical and VTA EEG, neck EMG activity, and locomotion in freely moving rats. Repeated injections of intravenous nicotine (30 μg/kg) induced sensitization of the drug's effects on all these measures. In contrast, repeated injections of the peripherally acting analog of nicotine, nicotine pyrrolidine methiodide (nicotinePM, 30 μg/kg, i.v.) resulted in habituation (tolerance) of the same physiological, neuronal, and behavioral measures. However, after repeated nicotine exposure, acute nicotinePM injections induced nicotine-like physiological responses: powerful cortical and VTA EEG desynchronization, EMG activation, a large brain temperature increase, but weaker hyperlocomotion. Additionally, both the acute locomotor response to nicotine and nicotine-induced locomotor sensitization were attenuated by blockade of peripheral nicotinic receptors by hexamethonium (3 mg/kg, i.v.). These data suggest that the peripheral actions of nicotine, which precede its direct central actions, serve as a conditioned interoceptive cue capable of eliciting nicotine-like physiological and neural responses after repeated nicotine exposure. Thus, by providing a neural signal to the CNS that is repeatedly paired with the direct central effects of nicotine, the drug's peripheral actions play a critical role in the development of nicotine-induced physiological, neural, and behavioral sensitization. PMID:23761889

  6. Is automatic imitation based on goal coding or movement coding? A comparison of goal-directed and goal-less actions.

    PubMed

    Chiavarino, Claudia; Bugiani, Stefano; Grandi, Elisa; Colle, Livia

    2013-01-01

    A key issue for research on automatic imitation is whether it occurs primarily at the level of movements, that is, by automatically activating a representation of the movement/effector involved in the execution of the observed action, or at the level of goals, that is, by triggering a representation of the action goal, irrespective of how the motor act is physically instantiated. The present study presents two experiments aimed at investigating the contribution of movement coding and goal coding to automatic imitation, by assessing participants' performance in a spatial compatibility task where the observed stimuli were goal-directed and goal-less actions, which have been demonstrated to elicit, respectively, goal and movement coding. We found a significant automatic imitation effect both when the stimuli were goal-less actions and when they were actions directed toward a goal. However, the effect was stronger for the goal-less actions, even after controlling for saliency effects. These results suggest that goal coding contributes to automatic imitation, but to a lesser degree compared to movement coding. The implications of these results for theory and research on automatic imitation are discussed. PMID:23422654

  7. Is automatic imitation based on goal coding or movement coding? A comparison of goal-directed and goal-less actions.

    PubMed

    Chiavarino, Claudia; Bugiani, Stefano; Grandi, Elisa; Colle, Livia

    2013-01-01

    A key issue for research on automatic imitation is whether it occurs primarily at the level of movements, that is, by automatically activating a representation of the movement/effector involved in the execution of the observed action, or at the level of goals, that is, by triggering a representation of the action goal, irrespective of how the motor act is physically instantiated. The present study presents two experiments aimed at investigating the contribution of movement coding and goal coding to automatic imitation, by assessing participants' performance in a spatial compatibility task where the observed stimuli were goal-directed and goal-less actions, which have been demonstrated to elicit, respectively, goal and movement coding. We found a significant automatic imitation effect both when the stimuli were goal-less actions and when they were actions directed toward a goal. However, the effect was stronger for the goal-less actions, even after controlling for saliency effects. These results suggest that goal coding contributes to automatic imitation, but to a lesser degree compared to movement coding. The implications of these results for theory and research on automatic imitation are discussed.

  8. Ventral tegmental area neurons are either excited or inhibited by cocaine’s actions in the peripheral nervous system

    PubMed Central

    Mejías-Aponte, Carlos A.; Kiyatkin, Eugene A.

    2012-01-01

    Cocaine’s multiple pharmacological substrates are ubiquitously present in the peripheral and central nervous system. Thus, upon its administration, cocaine acts in the periphery before directly acting in the brain. We determined whether cocaine alters ventral tegmental area (VTA) neuronal activity via peripheral actions, and whether this precedes its central actions. In urethane-anesthetized rats, we recorded VTA neurons responses to intravenous injections of two cocaine analogs: cocaine-hydrochloride (HCl, 0.25 mg/kg) that readily cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and cocaine-methiodide (MI, 0.33 mg/kg) that does not cross the BBB. Both cocaine analogs produced sustained changes in discharge rates that began 5s after the initiation of a 10s drug infusion. Within the first 90s post-injection the magnitudes of neuronal responsive of both cocaine analogs were comparable, but later in time the effects of cocaine-HCl were stronger and persisted longer than those of cocaine-MI. The proportion of neurons responsive to cocaine-HCl was twice to that of cocaine-MI (74% and 35% respectively). Both analogs also differed in the response onsets. Cocaine-MI rarely evoked responses after 1 min whereas cocaine-HCl continued to evoke responses within 3 min post-injection. VTA neurons were either excited or inhibited by both cocaine analogs. Most units responsive to cocaine-MI, regardless of excitation or inhibition, had electrophysiological characteristics of putative DA neurons. Units inhibited by cocaine-HCl also had characteristic of DA neurons whereas excited neurons had widely varying action potential durations and discharge rates. Cocaine-MI and cocaine-HCl each produced changes in VTA neuron activity under full DA receptor blockade. However, the duration of inhibition was shortened, the number of excitations increased, and they occurred with an earlier onset during DA receptor blockade. These findings indicate that cocaine acts peripherally with a short latency and

  9. Central action of FGF19 reduces hypothalamic AGRP/NPY neuron activity and improves glucose metabolism.

    PubMed

    Marcelin, Geneviève; Jo, Young-Hwan; Li, Xiaosong; Schwartz, Gary J; Zhang, Ying; Dun, Nae J; Lyu, Rong-Ming; Blouet, Clémence; Chang, Jaw K; Chua, Streamson

    2014-02-01

    Tight control of glucose excursions has been a long-standing goal of treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus in order to ameliorate the morbidity and mortality associated with hyperglycemia. Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 19 is a hormone-like enterokine released postprandially that emerged as a potential therapeutic agent for metabolic disorders, including diabetes and obesity. Remarkably, FGF19 treatment has hypoglycemic actions that remain potent in models of genetic and acquired insulin resistance. Here, we provided evidence that the central nervous system responds to FGF19 administered in the periphery. Then, in two mouse models of insulin resistance, leptin-deficiency and high-fat diet feeding, third intra-cerebro-ventricular infusions of FGF19 improved glycemic status, reduced insulin resistance and potentiated insulin signaling in the periphery. In addition, our study highlights a new mechanism of central FGF19 action, involving the suppression of AGRP/NPY neuronal activity. Overall, our work unveils novel regulatory pathways induced by FGF19 that will be useful in the design of novel strategies to control diabetes in obesity. PMID:24567901

  10. Reactive species modify NaV1.8 channels and affect action potentials in murine dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Schink, Martin; Leipold, Enrico; Schirmeyer, Jana; Schönherr, Roland; Hoshi, Toshinori; Heinemann, Stefan H

    2016-01-01

    Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are important relay stations between the periphery and the central nervous system and are essential for somatosensory signaling. Reactive species are produced in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological conditions and are known to alter electric signaling. Here we studied the influence of reactive species on the electrical properties of DRG neurons from mice with the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Even mild stress induced by either low concentrations of chloramine-T (10 μM) or low-intensity blue light irradiation profoundly diminished action potential frequency but prolonged single action potentials in wild-type neurons. The impact on evoked action potentials was much smaller in neurons deficient of the tetrodotoxin (TTX)-resistant voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.8 (NaV1.8(-/-)), the channel most important for the action potential upstroke in DRG neurons. Low concentrations of chloramine-T caused a significant reduction of NaV1.8 peak current and, at higher concentrations, progressively slowed down inactivation. Blue light had a smaller effect on amplitude but slowed down NaV1.8 channel inactivation. The observed effects were less apparent for TTX-sensitive NaV channels. NaV1.8 is an important reactive-species-sensitive component in the electrical signaling of DRG neurons, potentially giving rise to loss-of-function and gain-of-function phenomena depending on the type of reactive species and their effective concentration and time of exposure. PMID:26383867

  11. Reactive species modify NaV1.8 channels and affect action potentials in murine dorsal root ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Schink, Martin; Leipold, Enrico; Schirmeyer, Jana; Schönherr, Roland; Hoshi, Toshinori; Heinemann, Stefan H

    2016-01-01

    Dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons are important relay stations between the periphery and the central nervous system and are essential for somatosensory signaling. Reactive species are produced in a variety of physiological and pathophysiological conditions and are known to alter electric signaling. Here we studied the influence of reactive species on the electrical properties of DRG neurons from mice with the whole-cell patch-clamp method. Even mild stress induced by either low concentrations of chloramine-T (10 μM) or low-intensity blue light irradiation profoundly diminished action potential frequency but prolonged single action potentials in wild-type neurons. The impact on evoked action potentials was much smaller in neurons deficient of the tetrodotoxin (TTX)-resistant voltage-gated sodium channel NaV1.8 (NaV1.8(-/-)), the channel most important for the action potential upstroke in DRG neurons. Low concentrations of chloramine-T caused a significant reduction of NaV1.8 peak current and, at higher concentrations, progressively slowed down inactivation. Blue light had a smaller effect on amplitude but slowed down NaV1.8 channel inactivation. The observed effects were less apparent for TTX-sensitive NaV channels. NaV1.8 is an important reactive-species-sensitive component in the electrical signaling of DRG neurons, potentially giving rise to loss-of-function and gain-of-function phenomena depending on the type of reactive species and their effective concentration and time of exposure.

  12. Two primate-specific small non-protein-coding RNAs in transgenic mice: neuronal expression, subcellular localization and binding partners

    PubMed Central

    Khanam, Tasneem; Rozhdestvensky, Timofey S.; Bundman, Marsha; Galiveti, Chenna R.; Handel, Sergej; Sukonina, Valentina; Jordan, Ursula; Brosius, Jürgen; Skryabin, Boris V.

    2007-01-01

    In a rare occasion a single chromosomal locus was targeted twice by independent Alu-related retroposon insertions, and in both cases supported neuronal expression of the respective inserted genes encoding small non-protein coding RNAs (npcRNAs): BC200 RNA in anthropoid primates and G22 RNA in the Lorisoidea branch of prosimians. To avoid primate experimentation, we generated transgenic mice to study neuronal expression and protein binding partners for BC200 and G22 npcRNAs. The BC200 gene, with sufficient upstream flanking sequences, is expressed in transgenic mouse brain areas comparable to those in human brain, and G22 gene, with upstream flanks, has a similar expression pattern. However, when all upstream regions of the G22 gene were removed, expression was completely abolished, despite the presence of intact internal RNA polymerase III promoter elements. Transgenic BC200 RNA is transported into neuronal dendrites as it is in human brain. G22 RNA, almost twice as large as BC200 RNA, has a similar subcellular localization. Both transgenically expressed npcRNAs formed RNP complexes with poly(A) binding protein and the heterodimer SRP9/14, as does BC200 RNA in human. These observations strongly support the possibility that the independently exapted npcRNAs have similar functions, perhaps in translational regulation of dendritic protein biosynthesis in neurons of the respective primates. PMID:17175535

  13. Design of time-pulse coded optoelectronic neuronal elements for nonlinear transformation and integration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krasilenko, Vladimir G.; Nikolsky, Alexander I.; Lazarev, Alexander A.; Lazareva, Maria V.

    2008-03-01

    In the paper the actuality of neurophysiologically motivated neuron arrays with flexibly programmable functions and operations with possibility to select required accuracy and type of nonlinear transformation and learning are shown. We consider neurons design and simulation results of multichannel spatio-time algebraic accumulation - integration of optical signals. Advantages for nonlinear transformation and summation - integration are shown. The offered circuits are simple and can have intellectual properties such as learning and adaptation. The integrator-neuron is based on CMOS current mirrors and comparators. The performance: consumable power - 100...500 μW, signal period- 0.1...1ms, input optical signals power - 0.2...20 μW time delays - less 1μs, the number of optical signals - 2...10, integration time - 10...100 of signal periods, accuracy or integration error - about 1%. Various modifications of the neuron-integrators with improved performance and for different applications are considered in the paper.

  14. The interactions between potassium and sodium currents in generating action potentials in the rat sympathetic neurone.

    PubMed Central

    Belluzzi, O; Sacchi, O

    1988-01-01

    V, indicating that at these membrane potentials the IA current mainly, if not exclusively, contributes to the action potential falling phase. 5. The basic features of the sympathetic neurone action potential were reconstructed by simulations based on present and previous voltage-clamp characterization of the IA, IK(V) and INa conductances.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS) PMID:2457694

  15. Differential presynaptic actions of pyrethroid insecticides on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus.

    PubMed

    Hossain, Muhammad Mubarak; Suzuki, Tadahiko; Unno, Toshihiro; Komori, Seiichi; Kobayashi, Haruo

    2008-01-14

    This study was designed to investigate the effects of several pyrethroids on the extracellular level of glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the hippocampus of rats measured using microdialysis following systemic (i.p.) administration. Pyrethroids, allethrin (type I), cyhalothrin (type II) and deltamethrin (type II), were found to have differential effects on glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons in the hippocampus. Allethrin had an interesting dual effect, increasing glutamate release with low doses (10 and 20mg/kg) to about 175-150% and decreasing glutamate release with high dose (60 mg/kg) to about 50% of baseline. Cyhalothrin (10, 20 and 60 mg/kg) inhibited the release of glutamate dose-dependently to about 60-30% of baseline. The extracellular level of GABA was decreased to about 50% of baseline by 10 and 20mg/kg allethrin. The high dose of allethrin (60 mg/kg) and all doses of cyhalothrin (10, 20 and 60 mg/kg) increased the extracellular level of GABA while decreasing the level of glutamate. Deltamethrin dose-dependently increased extracellular glutamate levels to about 190-275% of baseline while decreasing the level of GABA. Local infusion of TTX (1 microM), a Na(+) channel blocker, completely prevented the effect of allethrin (10, 20 and 60 mg/kg), cyhalothrin (20 and 60 mg/kg) and deltamethrin (20mg/kg) on glutamate and GABA release, but only partially blocked the effects of 60 mg/kg deltamethrin. The effect of deltamethrin (60 mg/kg) on glutamate release was completely prevented by local infusion of nimodipine (10 microM), an L-type Ca(2+) channel blocker. Collectively, results from this study suggest that the excitatory glutamatergic neurons in the hippocampus are modulated by inhibitory GABA-releasing interneurons and that other mechanisms, beside sodium channels, may be involved with the neurotoxic action of pyrethroids.

  16. Neurons in the primate superior colliculus coding for arm movements in gaze-related coordinates.

    PubMed

    Stuphorn, V; Bauswein, E; Hoffmann, K P

    2000-03-01

    In the intermediate and deep layers of the superior colliculus (SC), a well-established oculomotor structure, a substantial population of cells is involved in the control of arm movements. To examine the reference frame of these neurons, we recorded in two rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) the discharges of 331 neurons in the SC and the underlying mesencephalic reticular formation (MRF) while monkeys reached to the same target location during different gaze orientations. For 65 reach-related cells with sufficient data and for simultaneously recorded electromyograms (EMGs) of 11 arm muscles, we calculated an ANOVA (factors: target position, gaze angle) and a gaze-dependency (GD) index. EMGs and the activity of many (60%) of the reach-related neurons were not influenced by the target representation on the retina or eye position. We refer to these as "gaze-independent" reach neurons. For 40%, however, the GD fell outside the range of the muscle modulation, and the ANOVA showed a significant influence of gaze. These "gaze-related" reach neurons discharge only when the monkey reaches for targets having specific coordinates in relation to the gaze axis, i.e., for targets in a gaze-related "reach movement field" (RMF). Neuronal activity was not modulated by the specific path of the arm movement, the muscle pattern that is necessary for its realization or the arm that was used for the reach. In each SC we found gaze-related neurons with RMFs both in the contralateral and in the ipsilateral hemifield. The topographical organization of the gaze-related reach neurons in the SC could not be matched with the well-known visual and oculomotor maps. Gaze-related neurons were more modulated in their strength of activity with different directions of arm movements than were gaze-independent reach neurons. Gaze-related reach neurons were recorded at a median depth of 2.03 mm below SC surface in the intermediate layers, where they overlap with saccade-related burst neurons (median depth

  17. MT neurons combine visual motion with a smooth eye movement signal to code depth sign from motion parallax

    PubMed Central

    Nadler, Jacob W.; Nawrot, Mark; Angelaki, Dora E.; DeAngelis, Gregory C.

    2009-01-01

    The capacity to perceive depth is critical for an observer to interact with their surroundings. During observer movement, information about depth can be extracted from the resulting patterns of image motion on the retina (motion parallax). Without extra-retinal signals related to observer movement, however, depth sign (near vs. far) from motion parallax can be ambiguous. We previously demonstrated that MT neurons combine visual motion with extra-retinal signals to code depth sign from motion parallax in the absence of other depth cues. In that study, head translations were always accompanied by compensatory tracking eye movements, allowing for at least two potential sources of extra-retinal input. We now show that smooth eye movement signals provide the critical extra-retinal input to MT neurons for computing depth sign from motion parallax. Our findings demonstrate a powerful modulation of MT activity by eye movements, as predicted by human studies of depth perception from motion parallax. PMID:19709633

  18. Two-dimensional spatiotemporal coding of linear acceleration in vestibular nuclei neurons

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Angelaki, D. E.; Bush, G. A.; Perachio, A. A.

    1993-01-01

    Response properties of vertical (VC) and horizontal (HC) canal/otolith-convergent vestibular nuclei neurons were studied in decerebrate rats during stimulation with sinusoidal linear accelerations (0.2-1.4 Hz) along different directions in the head horizontal plane. A novel characteristic of the majority of tested neurons was the nonzero response often elicited during stimulation along the "null" direction (i.e., the direction perpendicular to the maximum sensitivity vector, Smax). The tuning ratio (Smin gain/Smax gain), a measure of the two-dimensional spatial sensitivity, depended on stimulus frequency. For most vestibular nuclei neurons, the tuning ratio was small at the lowest stimulus frequencies and progressively increased with frequency. Specifically, HC neurons were characterized by a flat Smax gain and an approximately 10-fold increase of Smin gain per frequency decade. Thus, these neurons encode linear acceleration when stimulated along their maximum sensitivity direction, and the rate of change of linear acceleration (jerk) when stimulated along their minimum sensitivity direction. While the Smax vectors were distributed throughout the horizontal plane, the Smin vectors were concentrated mainly ipsilaterally with respect to head acceleration and clustered around the naso-occipital head axis. The properties of VC neurons were distinctly different from those of HC cells. The majority of VC cells showed decreasing Smax gains and small, relatively flat, Smin gains as a function of frequency. The Smax vectors were distributed ipsilaterally relative to the induced (apparent) head tilt. In type I anterior or posterior VC neurons, Smax vectors were clustered around the projection of the respective ipsilateral canal plane onto the horizontal head plane. These distinct spatial and temporal properties of HC and VC neurons during linear acceleration are compatible with the spatiotemporal organization of the horizontal and the vertical/torsional ocular responses

  19. Global and fine information coded by single neurons in the temporal visual cortex

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sugase, Yasuko; Yamane, Shigeru; Ueno, Shoogo; Kawano, Kenji

    1999-08-01

    When we see a person's face, we can easily recognize their species, individual identity and emotional state. How does the brain represent such complex information? A substantial number of neurons in the macaque temporal cortex respond to faces. However, the neuronal mechanisms underlying the processing ofcomplex information are not yet clear. Here we recorded the activity of single neurons in the temporal cortex of macaque monkeys while presenting visual stimuli consisting of geometric shapes, and monkey and human faces with various expressions. Information theory was used to investigate how well the neuronal responses could categorize the stimuli. We found that single neurons conveyed two different scales of facial information intheir firing patterns, starting at different latencies. Global information, categorizing stimuli as monkey faces, human faces or shapes, was conveyed in the earliest part of the responses. Fineinformation about identity or expression was conveyed later,beginning on average 51ms after global information. We speculate that global information could be used as a `header' to prepare destination areas for receiving more detailed information.

  20. Mirror-neuron system recruitment by action observation: effects of focal brain damage on mu suppression.

    PubMed

    Frenkel-Toledo, Silvi; Bentin, Shlomo; Perry, Anat; Liebermann, Dario G; Soroker, Nachum

    2014-02-15

    Mu suppression is the attenuation of EEG power in the alpha frequency range (8-12 Hz), recorded over the sensorimotor cortex during execution and observation of motor actions. Based on this dual characteristic mu suppression is thought to signalize activation of a human analogue of the mirror neuron system (MNS) found in macaque monkeys. However, much uncertainty remains concerning its specificity and full significance. To further explore the hypothesized relationship between mu suppression and MNS activation, we investigated how it is affected by damage to cortical regions, including areas where the MNS is thought to reside. EEG was recorded in 33 first-event stroke patients during observation of video clips showing reaching and grasping hand movements. We examined the modulation of EEG oscillations at central and occipital sites, and analyzed separately the lower (8-10 Hz) and higher (10-12 Hz) segments of the alpha/mu range. Suppression was determined relative to observation of a non-biological movement. Normalized lesion data were used to investigate how damage to regions of the fronto-parietal cortex affects the pattern of suppression. The magnitude of mu suppression during action observation was significantly reduced in the affected hemisphere compared to the unaffected hemisphere. Differences between the hemispheres were significant at central (sensorimotor) sites but not at occipital (visual) sites. Total hemispheric volume loss did not correlate with mu suppression. Suppression in the lower mu range in the unaffected hemisphere (C3) correlated with lesion extent within the right inferior parietal cortex. Our lesion study supports the role of mu suppression as a marker of MNS activation, confirming previous studies in normal subjects.

  1. Decoupling kinematics and mechanics reveals coding properties of trigeminal ganglion neurons in the rat vibrissal system.

    PubMed

    Bush, Nicholas E; Schroeder, Christopher L; Hobbs, Jennifer A; Yang, Anne Et; Huet, Lucie A; Solla, Sara A; Hartmann, Mitra Jz

    2016-06-27

    Tactile information available to the rat vibrissal system begins as external forces that cause whisker deformations, which in turn excite mechanoreceptors in the follicle. Despite the fundamental mechanical origin of tactile information, primary sensory neurons in the trigeminal ganglion (Vg) have often been described as encoding the kinematics (geometry) of object contact. Here we aimed to determine the extent to which Vg neurons encode the kinematics vs. mechanics of contact. We used models of whisker bending to quantify mechanical signals (forces and moments) at the whisker base while simultaneously monitoring whisker kinematics and recording single Vg units in both anesthetized rats and awake, body restrained rats. We employed a novel manual stimulation technique to deflect whiskers in a way that decouples kinematics from mechanics, and used Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) to show that Vg neurons more directly encode mechanical signals when the whisker is deflected in this decoupled stimulus space.

  2. Mushroom body output neurons encode valence and guide memory-based action selection in Drosophila

    PubMed Central

    Aso, Yoshinori; Sitaraman, Divya; Ichinose, Toshiharu; Kaun, Karla R; Vogt, Katrin; Belliart-Guérin, Ghislain; Plaçais, Pierre-Yves; Robie, Alice A; Yamagata, Nobuhiro; Schnaitmann, Christopher; Rowell, William J; Johnston, Rebecca M; Ngo, Teri-T B; Chen, Nan; Korff, Wyatt; Nitabach, Michael N; Heberlein, Ulrike; Preat, Thomas; Branson, Kristin M; Tanimoto, Hiromu; Rubin, Gerald M

    2014-01-01

    Animals discriminate stimuli, learn their predictive value and use this knowledge to modify their behavior. In Drosophila, the mushroom body (MB) plays a key role in these processes. Sensory stimuli are sparsely represented by ∼2000 Kenyon cells, which converge onto 34 output neurons (MBONs) of 21 types. We studied the role of MBONs in several associative learning tasks and in sleep regulation, revealing the extent to which information flow is segregated into distinct channels and suggesting possible roles for the multi-layered MBON network. We also show that optogenetic activation of MBONs can, depending on cell type, induce repulsion or attraction in flies. The behavioral effects of MBON perturbation are combinatorial, suggesting that the MBON ensemble collectively represents valence. We propose that local, stimulus-specific dopaminergic modulation selectively alters the balance within the MBON network for those stimuli. Our results suggest that valence encoded by the MBON ensemble biases memory-based action selection. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.04580.001 PMID:25535794

  3. Pattern Separation, Pattern Completion, and New Neuronal Codes within a Continuous CA3 Map

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leutgeb, Stefan; Leutgeb, Jill K.

    2007-01-01

    The hippocampal CA3 subregion is critical for rapidly encoding new memories, which suggests that neuronal computations are implemented in its circuitry that cannot be performed elsewhere in the hippocampus or in the neocortex. Recording studies show that CA3 cells are bound to a large degree to a spatial coordinate system, while CA1 cells can…

  4. Dendritic Na(+) spikes enable cortical input to drive action potential output from hippocampal CA2 pyramidal neurons.

    PubMed

    Sun, Qian; Srinivas, Kalyan V; Sotayo, Alaba; Siegelbaum, Steven A

    2014-01-01

    Synaptic inputs from different brain areas are often targeted to distinct regions of neuronal dendritic arbors. Inputs to proximal dendrites usually produce large somatic EPSPs that efficiently trigger action potential (AP) output, whereas inputs to distal dendrites are greatly attenuated and may largely modulate AP output. In contrast to most other cortical and hippocampal neurons, hippocampal CA2 pyramidal neurons show unusually strong excitation by their distal dendritic inputs from entorhinal cortex (EC). In this study, we demonstrate that the ability of these EC inputs to drive CA2 AP output requires the firing of local dendritic Na(+) spikes. Furthermore, we find that CA2 dendritic geometry contributes to the efficient coupling of dendritic Na(+) spikes to AP output. These results provide a striking example of how dendritic spikes enable direct cortical inputs to overcome unfavorable distal synaptic locale to trigger axonal AP output and thereby enable efficient cortico-hippocampal information flow.

  5. Actions of single sensory fibres on cat dorsal column nuclei neurones: vibratory signalling in a one-to-one linkage.

    PubMed Central

    Ferrington, D G; Rowe, M J; Tarvin, R P

    1987-01-01

    1. The synaptic linkage between single, identified sensory fibres associated with Pacinian corpuscle (P.c.) receptors and central neurones of the dorsal column nuclei was examined in decerebrate or anaesthetized cats. Paired recordings were made from individual neurones in the gracile division of the dorsal column nuclei and from the hind-limb interosseous nerve in which it is possible to identify and monitor the activity of each P.c. fibre activated when recording from the intact nerve with a platinum hook electrode. Individual P.c. fibres were activated by vibration delivered with an 0.2 mm diameter probe to the interosseous P.c. receptors. 2. Thirty-five P.c. fibre-gracile neurone pairs were isolated in which activity in the single, identified P.c. fibre evoked suprathreshold responses (mean latency +/- S.D., 10.3 +/- 1.5 ms) in the gracile neurone. A single impulse arriving over one P.c. fibre could generate pairs or triplets of output spikes from several target neurones thus revealing a potent synaptic organization within the dorsal column nuclei for the transmission and amplification of weak sensory signals. 3. The potency of the linkage for some pairs resulted in post-synaptic response levels of up to 400 impulses s-1 when a single input fibre was discharging one impulse on each vibration cycle at 200-400 Hz. 4. Gracile neurones driven by single P.c. fibres had phase-locked responses to vibration at frequencies of up to 400-500 Hz. However, the responses displayed much greater phase dispersion than those of P.c. fibres, indicating that a major component of phase dispersion in the vibration-induced responses of dorsal column nuclei neurones is attributable to the properties of the synaptic linkage between an individual fibre and the target neurone. 5. The potent actions of single, identified P.c. fibres on their target neurones are consistent with the hypothesis that phase-locked responses in dorsal column nuclei neurones to vibration at 100-400 Hz may

  6. Involvement of G Protein-Coupled Receptor 30 (GPR30) in Rapid Action of Estrogen in Primate LHRH Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Noel, Sekoni D.; Keen, Kim L.; Baumann, David I.; Filardo, Edward J.; Terasawa, Ei

    2009-01-01

    Previously, we have reported that 17β-estradiol (E2) induces an increase in firing activity of primate LH-releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons. The present study investigates whether E2 alters LHRH release as well as the pattern of intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) oscillations and whether G protein-coupled receptor 30 (GPR30) plays a role in mediating the rapid E2 action in primate LHRH neurons. Results are summarized: 1) E2, the nuclear membrane-impermeable estrogen, estrogen-dendrimer conjugate, and the plasma membrane-impermeable estrogen, E2-BSA conjugate, all stimulated LHRH release within 10 min of exposure; 2) whereas the estrogen receptor antagonist, ICI 182,780, did not block the E2-induced LHRH release, E2 application to cells treated with pertussis toxin failed to induce LHRH release; 3) GPR30 mRNA was expressed in olfactory placode cultures, and GPR30 protein was expressed in a subset of LHRH neurons; 4) pertussis toxin treatment blocked the E2-induced increase in [Ca2+]i oscillations; 5) knockdown of GPR30 in primate LHRH neurons by transfection with small interfering RNA (siRNA) for GPR30 completely abrogated the E2-induced changes in [Ca2+]i oscillations, whereas transfection with control siRNA did not; 6) the estrogen-dendrimer conjugate-induced increase in [Ca2+]i oscillations also did not occur in LHRH neurons transfected with GPR30 siRNA; and 7) G1, a GPR30 agonist, resulted in changes in [Ca2+]i oscillations, similar to those observed with E2. Collectively, E2 induces a rapid excitatory effect on primate LHRH neurons, and this rapid action of E2 appears to be mediated, in part, through GPR30. PMID:19131510

  7. Protective Actions of 17β-Estradiol and Progesterone on Oxidative Neuronal Injury Induced by Organometallic Compounds

    PubMed Central

    Ishihara, Yasuhiro; Takemoto, Takuya; Yamazaki, Takeshi

    2015-01-01

    Steroid hormones synthesized in and secreted from peripheral endocrine glands pass through the blood-brain barrier and play a role in the central nervous system. In addition, the brain possesses an inherent endocrine system and synthesizes steroid hormones known as neurosteroids. Increasing evidence shows that neuroactive steroids protect the central nervous system from various harmful stimuli. Reports show that the neuroprotective actions of steroid hormones attenuate oxidative stress. In this review, we summarize the antioxidative effects of neuroactive steroids, especially 17β-estradiol and progesterone, on neuronal injury in the central nervous system under various pathological conditions, and then describe our recent findings concerning the neuroprotective actions of 17β-estradiol and progesterone on oxidative neuronal injury induced by organometallic compounds, tributyltin, and methylmercury. PMID:25815107

  8. View-based encoding of actions in mirror neurons of area f5 in macaque premotor cortex.

    PubMed

    Caggiano, Vittorio; Fogassi, Leonardo; Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Pomper, Joern K; Thier, Peter; Giese, Martin A; Casile, Antonino

    2011-01-25

    Converging experimental evidence indicates that mirror neurons in the monkey premotor area F5 encode the goals of observed motor acts [1-3]. However, it is unknown whether they also contribute to encoding the perspective from which the motor acts of others are seen. In order to address this issue, we recorded the visual responses of mirror neurons of monkey area F5 by using a novel experimental paradigm based on the presentation of movies showing grasping motor acts from different visual perspectives. We found that the majority of the tested mirror neurons (74%) exhibited view-dependent activity with responses tuned to specific points of view. A minority of the tested mirror neurons (26%) exhibited view-independent responses. We conclude that view-independent mirror neurons encode action goals irrespective of the details of the observed motor acts, whereas the view-dependent ones might either form an intermediate step in the formation of view independence or contribute to a modulation of view-dependent representations in higher-level visual areas, potentially linking the goals of observed motor acts with their pictorial aspects.

  9. Conditional deletion of L1CAM in human neurons impairs both axonal and dendritic arborization and action potential generation.

    PubMed

    Patzke, Christopher; Acuna, Claudio; Giam, Louise R; Wernig, Marius; Südhof, Thomas C

    2016-04-01

    Hundreds of L1CAM gene mutations have been shown to be associated with congenital hydrocephalus, severe intellectual disability, aphasia, and motor symptoms. How such mutations impair neuronal function, however, remains unclear. Here, we generated human embryonic stem (ES) cells carrying a conditional L1CAM loss-of-function mutation and produced precisely matching control and L1CAM-deficient neurons from these ES cells. In analyzing two independent conditionally mutant ES cell clones, we found that deletion of L1CAM dramatically impaired axonal elongation and, to a lesser extent, dendritic arborization. Unexpectedly, we also detected an ∼20-50% and ∼20-30% decrease, respectively, in the levels of ankyrinG and ankyrinB protein, and observed that the size and intensity of ankyrinG staining in the axon initial segment was significantly reduced. Overexpression of wild-type L1CAM, but not of the L1CAM point mutants R1166X and S1224L, rescued the decrease in ankyrin levels. Importantly, we found that the L1CAM mutation selectively decreased activity-dependent Na(+)-currents, altered neuronal excitability, and caused impairments in action potential (AP) generation. Thus, our results suggest that the clinical presentations of L1CAM mutations in human patients could be accounted for, at least in part, by cell-autonomous changes in the functional development of neurons, such that neurons are unable to develop normal axons and dendrites and to generate normal APs. PMID:27001749

  10. Conditional deletion of L1CAM in human neurons impairs both axonal and dendritic arborization and action potential generation

    PubMed Central

    Acuna, Claudio; Giam, Louise R.; Wernig, Marius; Südhof, Thomas C.

    2016-01-01

    Hundreds of L1CAM gene mutations have been shown to be associated with congenital hydrocephalus, severe intellectual disability, aphasia, and motor symptoms. How such mutations impair neuronal function, however, remains unclear. Here, we generated human embryonic stem (ES) cells carrying a conditional L1CAM loss-of-function mutation and produced precisely matching control and L1CAM-deficient neurons from these ES cells. In analyzing two independent conditionally mutant ES cell clones, we found that deletion of L1CAM dramatically impaired axonal elongation and, to a lesser extent, dendritic arborization. Unexpectedly, we also detected an ∼20–50% and ∼20–30% decrease, respectively, in the levels of ankyrinG and ankyrinB protein, and observed that the size and intensity of ankyrinG staining in the axon initial segment was significantly reduced. Overexpression of wild-type L1CAM, but not of the L1CAM point mutants R1166X and S1224L, rescued the decrease in ankyrin levels. Importantly, we found that the L1CAM mutation selectively decreased activity-dependent Na+-currents, altered neuronal excitability, and caused impairments in action potential (AP) generation. Thus, our results suggest that the clinical presentations of L1CAM mutations in human patients could be accounted for, at least in part, by cell-autonomous changes in the functional development of neurons, such that neurons are unable to develop normal axons and dendrites and to generate normal APs. PMID:27001749

  11. Causative role of left aIPS in coding shared goals during human–avatar complementary joint actions

    PubMed Central

    Sacheli, Lucia M.; Candidi, Matteo; Era, Vanessa; Aglioti, Salvatore M.

    2015-01-01

    Successful motor interactions require agents to anticipate what a partner is doing in order to predictively adjust their own movements. Although the neural underpinnings of the ability to predict others' action goals have been well explored during passive action observation, no study has yet clarified any critical neural substrate supporting interpersonal coordination during active, non-imitative (complementary) interactions. Here, we combine non-invasive inhibitory brain stimulation (continuous Theta Burst Stimulation) with a novel human–avatar interaction task to investigate a causal role for higher-order motor cortical regions in supporting the ability to predict and adapt to others' actions. We demonstrate that inhibition of left anterior intraparietal sulcus (aIPS), but not ventral premotor cortex, selectively impaired individuals' performance during complementary interactions. Thus, in addition to coding observed and executed action goals, aIPS is crucial in coding ‘shared goals', that is, integrating predictions about one's and others' complementary actions. PMID:26154706

  12. [Pain assessment using the Facial Action Coding System. A systematic review].

    PubMed

    Rojo, Rosa; Prados-Frutos, Juan Carlos; López-Valverde, Antonio

    2015-10-21

    Self-reporting is the most widely used pain measurement tool, although it may not be useful in patients with loss or deficit in communication skills. The aim of this paper was to undertake a systematic review of the literature of pain assessment through the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). The initial search found 4,335 references and, within the restriction «FACS», these were reduced to 40 (after exclusion of duplicates). Finally, only 26 articles meeting the inclusion criteria were included. Methodological quality was assessed using the GRADE system. Most patients were adults and elderly health conditions, or cognitive deficits and/or chronic pain. Our conclusion is that FACS is a reliable and objective tool in the detection and quantification of pain in all patients.

  13. Decoupling kinematics and mechanics reveals coding properties of trigeminal ganglion neurons in the rat vibrissal system

    PubMed Central

    Bush, Nicholas E; Schroeder, Christopher L; Hobbs, Jennifer A; Yang, Anne ET; Huet, Lucie A; Solla, Sara A; Hartmann, Mitra JZ

    2016-01-01

    Tactile information available to the rat vibrissal system begins as external forces that cause whisker deformations, which in turn excite mechanoreceptors in the follicle. Despite the fundamental mechanical origin of tactile information, primary sensory neurons in the trigeminal ganglion (Vg) have often been described as encoding the kinematics (geometry) of object contact. Here we aimed to determine the extent to which Vg neurons encode the kinematics vs. mechanics of contact. We used models of whisker bending to quantify mechanical signals (forces and moments) at the whisker base while simultaneously monitoring whisker kinematics and recording single Vg units in both anesthetized rats and awake, body restrained rats. We employed a novel manual stimulation technique to deflect whiskers in a way that decouples kinematics from mechanics, and used Generalized Linear Models (GLMs) to show that Vg neurons more directly encode mechanical signals when the whisker is deflected in this decoupled stimulus space. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.13969.001 PMID:27348221

  14. Diarrhetic effect of okadaic acid could be related with its neuronal action: Changes in neuropeptide Y.

    PubMed

    Louzao, M Carmen; Fernández, Diego A; Abal, Paula; Fraga, Maria; Vilariño, Natalia; Vieytes, Mercedes R; Botana, Luis M

    2015-09-01

    Okadaic acid (OA) and dinophysistoxins (DTXs) are a group of marine toxins that cause diarrheic shellfish poisoning (DSP) in humans and animals. These compounds are produced by dinoflagellates of the Prorocentrum and Dinophysis genera and can accumulate in filter-feeding bivalves, posing a serious health risk for shellfish consumers. The enteric nervous system (ENS) plays a crucial role in the regulation of the gastrointestinal tract. In addition, neuropeptides produced by ENS affects the epithelial barrier functions. In the present work we used a two-compartment human coculture model containing the SH-SY5Y neuroblastoma cell line and polarized colonic epithelial monolayers (Caco-2) to study the OA intestinal permeability. First, we have determined OA cytotoxicity and we have found that OA reduces the viability of SH-SY5Y in a dose-dependent way, even though DTX1 is 4 to 5 times more potent than OA. Besides DTX1 is 15 to 18 orders of magnitude more potent than OA in decreasing transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of caco-2 cells without inducing cytotoxicity. Permeability assays indicate that OA cross the monolayer and modulates the neuropeptide Y (NPY) secretion by neuroblastoma cells. This NPY also affects the permeability of OA. This offers a novel approach to establish the influence of OA neuronal action on their diarrheic effects through a cross talk between ENS and intestine via OA induced NPY secretion. Therefore, the OA mechanisms of toxicity that were long attributed only to the inhibition of protein phosphatases, would require a reevaluation.

  15. The Body Action Coding System II: muscle activations during the perception and expression of emotion

    PubMed Central

    Huis In ‘t Veld, Elisabeth M. J.; van Boxtel, Geert J. M.; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2014-01-01

    Research into the expression and perception of emotions has mostly focused on facial expressions. Recently, body postures have become increasingly important in research, but knowledge on muscle activity during the perception or expression of emotion is lacking. The current study continues the development of a Body Action Coding System (BACS), which was initiated in a previous study, and described the involvement of muscles in the neck, shoulders and arms during expression of fear and anger. The current study expands the BACS by assessing the activity patterns of three additional muscles. Surface electromyography of muscles in the neck (upper trapezius descendens), forearms (extensor carpi ulnaris), lower back (erector spinae longissimus) and calves (peroneus longus) were measured during active expression and passive viewing of fearful and angry body expressions. The muscles in the forearm were strongly active for anger expression and to a lesser extent for fear expression. In contrast, muscles in the calves were recruited slightly more for fearful expressions. It was also found that muscles automatically responded to the perception of emotion, without any overt movement. The observer's forearms responded to the perception of fear, while the muscles used for leaning backwards were activated when faced with an angry adversary. Lastly, the calf responded immediately when a fearful person was seen, but responded slower to anger. There is increasing interest in developing systems that are able to create or recognize emotional body language for the development of avatars, robots, and online environments. To that end, multiple coding systems have been developed that can either interpret or create bodily expressions based on static postures, motion capture data or videos. However, the BACS is the first coding system based on muscle activity. PMID:25294993

  16. The Body Action Coding System II: muscle activations during the perception and expression of emotion.

    PubMed

    Huis In 't Veld, Elisabeth M J; van Boxtel, Geert J M; de Gelder, Beatrice

    2014-01-01

    Research into the expression and perception of emotions has mostly focused on facial expressions. Recently, body postures have become increasingly important in research, but knowledge on muscle activity during the perception or expression of emotion is lacking. The current study continues the development of a Body Action Coding System (BACS), which was initiated in a previous study, and described the involvement of muscles in the neck, shoulders and arms during expression of fear and anger. The current study expands the BACS by assessing the activity patterns of three additional muscles. Surface electromyography of muscles in the neck (upper trapezius descendens), forearms (extensor carpi ulnaris), lower back (erector spinae longissimus) and calves (peroneus longus) were measured during active expression and passive viewing of fearful and angry body expressions. The muscles in the forearm were strongly active for anger expression and to a lesser extent for fear expression. In contrast, muscles in the calves were recruited slightly more for fearful expressions. It was also found that muscles automatically responded to the perception of emotion, without any overt movement. The observer's forearms responded to the perception of fear, while the muscles used for leaning backwards were activated when faced with an angry adversary. Lastly, the calf responded immediately when a fearful person was seen, but responded slower to anger. There is increasing interest in developing systems that are able to create or recognize emotional body language for the development of avatars, robots, and online environments. To that end, multiple coding systems have been developed that can either interpret or create bodily expressions based on static postures, motion capture data or videos. However, the BACS is the first coding system based on muscle activity.

  17. Automated Facial Action Coding System for dynamic analysis of facial expressions in neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Hamm, Jihun; Kohler, Christian G; Gur, Ruben C; Verma, Ragini

    2011-09-15

    Facial expression is widely used to evaluate emotional impairment in neuropsychiatric disorders. Ekman and Friesen's Facial Action Coding System (FACS) encodes movements of individual facial muscles from distinct momentary changes in facial appearance. Unlike facial expression ratings based on categorization of expressions into prototypical emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, etc.), FACS can encode ambiguous and subtle expressions, and therefore is potentially more suitable for analyzing the small differences in facial affect. However, FACS rating requires extensive training, and is time consuming and subjective thus prone to bias. To overcome these limitations, we developed an automated FACS based on advanced computer science technology. The system automatically tracks faces in a video, extracts geometric and texture features, and produces temporal profiles of each facial muscle movement. These profiles are quantified to compute frequencies of single and combined Action Units (AUs) in videos, and they can facilitate a statistical study of large populations in disorders known to impact facial expression. We derived quantitative measures of flat and inappropriate facial affect automatically from temporal AU profiles. Applicability of the automated FACS was illustrated in a pilot study, by applying it to data of videos from eight schizophrenia patients and controls. We created temporal AU profiles that provided rich information on the dynamics of facial muscle movements for each subject. The quantitative measures of flatness and inappropriateness showed clear differences between patients and the controls, highlighting their potential in automatic and objective quantification of symptom severity.

  18. Actions of cytochalasins on the organization of actin filaments and microtubules in a neuronal growth cone

    PubMed Central

    1988-01-01

    Actions of cytochalasin B (CB) on cytoskeletons and motility of growth cones from cultured Aplysia neurons were studied using a rapid flow perfusion chamber and digital video light microscopy. Living growth cones were observed using differential interference contrast optics and were also fixed at various time points to assay actin filament (F- actin) and microtubule distributions. Treatment with CB reversibly blocked motility and eliminated most of the phalloidin-stainable F- actin from the leading lamella. The loss of F-actin was nearly complete within 2-3 min of CB application and was largely reversed within 5-6 min of CB removal. The loss and recovery of F-actin were found to occur with a very distinctive spatial organization. Within 20-30 s of CB application, F-actin networks receded from the entire peripheral margin of the lamella forming a band devoid of F-actin. This band widened as F- actin receded at rates of 3-6 microns/min. Upon removal of CB, F-actin began to reappear within 20-30 s. The initial reappearance of F-actin took two forms: a coarse isotropic matrix of F-actin bundles throughout the lamella, and a denser matrix along the peripheral margin. The denser peripheral matrix then expanded in width, extending centrally to replace the coarse matrix at rates again between 3-6 microns/min. These results suggest that actin normally polymerizes at the leading edge and then flows rearward at a rate between 3-6 microns/min. CB treatment was also observed to alter the distribution of microtubules, assayed by antitubulin antibody staining. Normally, microtubules are restricted to the neurite shaft and a central growth cone domain. Within approximately 5 min after CB application, however, microtubules began extending into the lamellar region, often reaching the peripheral margin. Upon removal of CB, the microtubules were restored to their former central localization. The timing of these microtubule redistributions is consistent with their being secondary to

  19. Spontaneous miniature hyperpolarizations affect threshold for action potential generation in mudpuppy cardiac neurons.

    PubMed

    Parsons, Rodney L; Barstow, Karen L; Scornik, Fabiana S

    2002-09-01

    Mudpuppy parasympathetic neurons exhibit spontaneous miniature hyperpolarizations (SMHs) that are generated by potassium currents, which are spontaneous miniature outward currents (SMOCs), flowing through clusters of large conductance voltage- and calcium (Ca(2+))-activated potassium (BK) channels. The underlying SMOCs are initiated by a Ca(2+)-induced Ca(2+) release (CICR) mechanism. Perforated-patch whole cell voltage recordings were used to determine whether activation of SMHs contributed to action potential (AP) repolarization or affected the latency to AP generation. Blockade of BK channels by iberiotoxin (IBX, 100 nM) slowed AP repolarization and increased AP duration. Treatment with omega-conotoxin GVIA (3 microM) or nifedipine (10 microM) to inhibit Ca(2+) influx through N- or L-type voltage-dependent calcium channels (VDCCs), respectively, also decreased the rate of AP repolarization and increased AP duration. Elimination of CICR by treatment with either thapsigargin (1 microM) or ryanodine (10 microM) produced no significant change in AP repolarization or duration. Blockade of BK channels with IBX and inhibition of N-type VDCCs with omega-conotoxin GVIA, but not inhibition of L-type VDCCs with nifedipine, decreased the latency of AP generation. A decrease in latency to AP generation occurred with elimination of SMHs by inhibition of CICR following treatment with thapsigargin. Ryanodine treatment decreased AP latency in three of six cells. Apamin (100 nM) had no affect on AP repolarization, duration, or latency to AP generation, but did decrease the hyperpolarizing afterpotential (HAP). Inhibition of L-type VDCCs by nifedipine also decreased HAP amplitude. Inhibition of CICR by either thapsigargin or ryanodine treatment increased the number of APs generated with long depolarizing current pulses, whereas exposure to IBX or omega-conotoxin GVIA depressed excitability. We conclude that CICR, the process responsible for SMH generation, represents a unique

  20. STX, a novel nonsteroidal estrogenic compound, induces rapid action in primate GnRH neuronal calcium dynamics and peptide release.

    PubMed

    Kenealy, B P; Keen, K L; Rønnekleiv, O K; Terasawa, E

    2011-08-01

    Previously, we reported that 1 nM 17ß-estradiol (E(2)) induces a rapid action, which is, in part, mediated through the G protein-coupled receptor GPR30 in primate GnRH neurons. Because it has been reported that the diphenylacrylamide compound, STX, causes estrogenic action in the mouse and guinea pig hypothalamus, the present study examined effects of STX in primate GnRH neurons and whether there is an action independent of GPR30. Results are summarized as follows. STX (10 nM) exposure increased 1) the oscillation frequency of intracellular calcium concentration ([Ca(2+)](i)), 2) the percentage of cells stimulated, and 3) the synchronization frequency of [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations. STX (10-100 nM) also stimulated GnRH release. The effects of STX on both [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations and GnRH release were similar to those caused by E(2) (1 nM), although with less magnitude. STX (10 nM)-induced changes in [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations were not altered by GPR30 small interfering RNA transfection, indicating that STX-sensitive receptors differ from GPR30. Finally, a higher dose of E(2) (10 nM) induced a larger change in [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations than that with a smaller dose of E(2) (1 nM), and the effects of 10 nM E(2) were reduced but not completely blocked by GPR30 small interfering RNA transfection, indicating that the effects of 10 nM E(2) in primate GnRH neurons are mediated by multiple membrane receptors, including GPR30 and STX-sensitive receptors. Collectively, the rapid action of E(2) mediated through GPR30 differs from that mediated through STX-sensitive receptors. The molecular structure of the STX-sensitive receptor remains to be identified.

  1. Retroviral induction of GSK-3β expression blocks the stimulatory action of physical exercise on the maturation of newborn neurons.

    PubMed

    Llorens-Martín, María; Teixeira, Catia M; Jurado-Arjona, Jerónimo; Rakwal, Randeep; Shibato, Junko; Soya, Hideaki; Ávila, Jesús

    2016-09-01

    Adult hippocampal neurogenesis (AHN) is a key process for certain types of hippocampal-dependent learning. Alzheimer's disease (AD) is accompanied by memory deficits related to alterations in AHN. Given that the increased activity of GSK-3β has been related to alterations in the population of hippocampal granule neurons in AD patients, we designed a novel methodology by which to induce selective GSK-3β overexpression exclusively in newborn granule neurons. To this end, we injected an rtTA-IRES-EGFP-expressing retrovirus into the hippocampus of tTO-GSK-3β mice. Using this novel retroviral strategy, we found that GSK-3β caused a cell-autonomous impairment of the morphological and synaptic maturation of newborn neurons. In addition, we examined whether GSK-3β overexpression in newborn neurons limits the effects of physical activity. While physical exercise increased the number of dendritic spines, the percentage of mushroom spines, and the head diameter of the same in tet-OFF cells, these effects were not triggered in tet-ON cells. This observation suggests that GSK-3β blocks the stimulatory actions of exercise. Given that the activity of GSK-3β is increased in the brains of individuals with AD, these data may be relevant for non-pharmacological therapies for AD. PMID:27010990

  2. Biogenesis and Mechanism of Action of Small Non-Coding RNAs: Insights from the Point of View of Structural Biology

    PubMed Central

    Costa, Marina C.; Leitão, Ana Lúcia; Enguita, Francisco J.

    2012-01-01

    Non-coding RNAs are dominant in the genomic output of the higher organisms being not simply occasional transcripts with idiosyncratic functions, but constituting an extensive regulatory network. Among all the species of non-coding RNAs, small non-coding RNAs (miRNAs, siRNAs and piRNAs) have been shown to be in the core of the regulatory machinery of all the genomic output in eukaryotic cells. Small non-coding RNAs are produced by several pathways containing specialized enzymes that process RNA transcripts. The mechanism of action of these molecules is also ensured by a group of effector proteins that are commonly engaged within high molecular weight protein-RNA complexes. In the last decade, the contribution of structural biology has been essential to the dissection of the molecular mechanisms involved in the biosynthesis and function of small non-coding RNAs. PMID:22949860

  3. Automated and objective action coding of facial expressions in patients with acute facial palsy.

    PubMed

    Haase, Daniel; Minnigerode, Laura; Volk, Gerd Fabian; Denzler, Joachim; Guntinas-Lichius, Orlando

    2015-05-01

    Aim of the present observational single center study was to objectively assess facial function in patients with idiopathic facial palsy with a new computer-based system that automatically recognizes action units (AUs) defined by the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). Still photographs using posed facial expressions of 28 healthy subjects and of 299 patients with acute facial palsy were automatically analyzed for bilateral AU expression profiles. All palsies were graded with the House-Brackmann (HB) grading system and with the Stennert Index (SI). Changes of the AU profiles during follow-up were analyzed for 77 patients. The initial HB grading of all patients was 3.3 ± 1.2. SI at rest was 1.86 ± 1.3 and during motion 3.79 ± 4.3. Healthy subjects showed a significant AU asymmetry score of 21 ± 11 % and there was no significant difference to patients (p = 0.128). At initial examination of patients, the number of activated AUs was significantly lower on the paralyzed side than on the healthy side (p < 0.0001). The final examination for patients took place 4 ± 6 months post baseline. The number of activated AUs and the ratio between affected and healthy side increased significantly between baseline and final examination (both p < 0.0001). The asymmetry score decreased between baseline and final examination (p < 0.0001). The number of activated AUs on the healthy side did not change significantly (p = 0.779). Radical rethinking in facial grading is worthwhile: automated FACS delivers fast and objective global and regional data on facial motor function for use in clinical routine and clinical trials.

  4. Phosphoinositide 3-kinase dependent inhibition as a broad basis for opponent coding in Mammalian olfactory receptor neurons.

    PubMed

    Ukhanov, Kirill; Corey, Elizabeth A; Ache, Barry W

    2013-01-01

    Phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling has been implicated in mediating inhibitory odorant input to mammalian olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs). To better understand the breadth of such inhibition in odor coding, we screened a panel of odorants representing different chemical classes, as well as odorants known to occur in a natural odor object (tomato), for their ability to rapidly activate PI3K-dependent inhibitory signaling. Odorants were screened on dissociated native rat ORNs before and after pre-incubation with the PI3K-isoform specific blockers AS252424 and TGX221. Many different odorants increased their excitatory strength for particular ORNs following PI3K blockade in a manner consistent with activating PI3K-dependent inhibitory signaling in those cells. The PI3K-dependent inhibitory odorants overlapped with conventional excitatory odorants, but did not share the same bias, indicating partial partitioning of the odor space. Finding that PI3K-dependent inhibition can be activated by a wide range of otherwise conventional excitatory odorants strongly implies PI3K-dependent inhibition provides a broad basis for opponent coding in mammalian ORNs. PMID:23585911

  5. Comparative study of action mechanisms of dimebon and memantine on AMPA- and NMDA-subtypes glutamate receptors in rat cerebral neurons.

    PubMed

    Grigorev, V V; Dranyi, O A; Bachurin, S O

    2003-11-01

    Dimebon in low concentrations potentiated activity of AMPA-receptors in rat cerebellar Purkinje neurons, while memantine produced only an insignificant potentiation in a small group of these cells. In cortical neurons of rat brain memantine efficiently blocked NMDA-induced currents in dimebon-insensitive neurons. By contrast, its effect was far weaker in neurons, where the blocking action of dimebon on NMDA-receptors was most pronounced. It was hypothesized that the differences in the effects of memantine and dimebon are determined by their interaction with different sites of NMDA-receptors.

  6. Sex recognition and neuronal coding of electric organ discharge waveform in the pulse-type weakly electric fish, Hypopomus occidentalis.

    PubMed

    Shumway, C A; Zelick, R D

    1988-08-01

    1. Hypopomus occidentalis, a weakly electric gymnotiform fish with a pulse-type discharge, has a sexually dimorphic electric organ discharge (Hagedorn 1983). The electric organ discharges (EODs) of males in the breeding season are longer in duration and have a lower peak-power frequency than the EODs of females. We tested reproductively mature fish in the field by presenting electronically generated stimuli in which the only cue for sex recognition was the waveshape of individual EOD-like pulses in a train. We found that gravid females could readily discriminate male-like from female-like EOD waveshapes, and we conclude that this feature of the electric signal is sufficient for sex recognition. 2. To understand the possible neural bases for discrimination of male and female EODs by H . occidentalis, we conducted a neurophysiological examination of both peripheral and central neurons. Our studies show that there are sets of neurons in this species which can discriminate male or female EODs by coding either temporal or spectral features of the EOD. 3. Temporal encoding of stimulus duration was observed in evoked field potential recordings from the magnocellular nucleus of the midbrain torus semicircularis. This nucleus indirectly receives pulse marker electroreceptor information. The field potentials suggest that comparison is possible between pulse marker activity on opposite sides of the body. 4. From standard frequency-threshold curves, spectral encoding of stimulus peak-power frequency was measured in burst duration coder electroreceptor afferents. In both male and female fish, the best frequencies of the narrow-band population of electroreceptors were lower than the peak-power frequency of the EOD. Based on this observation, and the presence of a population of wide-band receptors which can serve as a frequency-independent amplitude reference, a slope-detection model of frequency discrimination is advanced. 5. Spectral discrimination of EOD peak-power frequency

  7. Cannabinoid receptor-independent actions of the aminoalkylindole WIN 55,212-2 on trigeminal sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    Price, Theodore J; Patwardhan, Amol; Akopian, Armen N; Hargreaves, Kenneth M; Flores, Christopher M

    2004-01-01

    The prototypical aminoalkylindole cannabinoid WIN 55,212-2 (WIN-2) has been shown to produce antihyperalgesia through a peripheral mechanism of action. However, it is not known whether WIN-2 exerts this action directly via cannabinoid receptors located on primary afferents or if other, perhaps indirect or noncannabinoid, mechanisms are involved. To address this question, we have examined the specific actions of WIN-2 on trigeminal ganglion (TG) neurons in vitro by quantifying its ability to modulate the evoked secretion of the proinflammatory neuropeptide CGRP as well as the inflammatory mediator-induced generation of cAMP. WIN-2 evoked CGRP release from TG neurons in vitro (EC50=26 μM) in a concentration- and calcium-dependent manner, which was mimicked by the cannabinoid receptor-inactive enantiomer WIN 55,212-3 (WIN-3). Moreover, WIN-2-evoked CGRP release was attenuated by the nonselective cation channel blocker ruthenium red but not by the vanilloid receptor type 1 (TRPV1) antagonist capsazepine, suggesting that, unlike certain endogenous and synthetic cannabinoids, WIN-2 is not a TRPV1 agonist but rather acts at an as yet unidentified cation channel. The inhibitory effects of WIN-2 on TG neurons were also examined. WIN-2 neither inhibited capsaicin-evoked CGRP release nor did it inhibit forskolin-, isoproteranol- or prostaglandin E2-stimulated cAMP accumulation. On the other hand, WIN-2 significantly inhibited (EC50=1.7 μM) 50 mM K+-evoked CGRP release by approximately 70%. WIN-2 inhibition of 50 mM K+-evoked CGRP release was not reversed by antagonists of cannabinoid type 1 (CB1) receptor, but was mimicked in magnitude and potency (EC50=2.7 μM) by its cannabinoid-inactive enantiomer WIN-3. These findings indicate that WIN-2 exerts both excitatory and inhibitory effects on TG neurons, neither of which appear to be mediated by CB1, CB2 or TRPV1 receptors, but by a novel calcium-dependent mechanism. The ramifications of these results are discussed in relation

  8. fMRI Adaptation between Action Observation and Action Execution Reveals Cortical Areas with Mirror Neuron Properties in Human BA 44/45

    PubMed Central

    de la Rosa, Stephan; Schillinger, Frieder L.; Bülthoff, Heinrich H.; Schultz, Johannes; Uludag, Kamil

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons (MNs) are considered to be the supporting neural mechanism for action understanding. MNs have been identified in monkey’s area F5. The identification of MNs in the human homolog of monkeys’ area F5 Broadmann Area 44/45 (BA 44/45) has been proven methodologically difficult. Cross-modal functional MRI (fMRI) adaptation studies supporting the existence of MNs restricted their analysis to a priori candidate regions, whereas studies that failed to find evidence used non-object-directed (NDA) actions. We tackled these limitations by using object-directed actions (ODAs) differing only in terms of their object directedness in combination with a cross-modal adaptation paradigm and a whole-brain analysis. Additionally, we tested voxels’ blood oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) response patterns for several properties previously reported as typical MN response properties. Our results revealed 52 voxels in left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG; particularly BA 44/45), which respond to both motor and visual stimulation and exhibit cross-modal adaptation between the execution and observation of the same action. These results demonstrate that part of human IFG, specifically BA 44/45, has BOLD response characteristics very similar to monkey’s area F5. PMID:26973496

  9. Visual Stimuli Evoked Action Potentials Trigger Rapidly Propagating Dendritic Calcium Transients in the Frog Optic Tectum Layer 6 Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Svirskis, Gytis; Baranauskas, Gytis; Svirskiene, Natasa; Tkatch, Tatiana

    2015-01-01

    The superior colliculus in mammals or the optic tectum in amphibians is a major visual information processing center responsible for generation of orientating responses such as saccades in monkeys or prey catching avoidance behavior in frogs. The conserved structure function of the superior colliculus the optic tectum across distant species such as frogs, birds monkeys permits to draw rather general conclusions after studying a single species. We chose the frog optic tectum because we are able to perform whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings fluorescence imaging of tectal neurons while they respond to a visual stimulus. In the optic tectum of amphibians most visual information is processed by pear-shaped neurons possessing long dendritic branches, which receive the majority of synapses originating from the retinal ganglion cells. Since the first step of the retinal input integration is performed on these dendrites, it is important to know whether this integration is enhanced by active dendritic properties. We demonstrate that rapid calcium transients coinciding with the visual stimulus evoked action potentials in the somatic recordings can be readily detected up to the fine branches of these dendrites. These transients were blocked by calcium channel blockers nifedipine CdCl2 indicating that calcium entered dendrites via voltage-activated L-type calcium channels. The high speed of calcium transient propagation, >300 μm in <10 ms, is consistent with the notion that action potentials, actively propagating along dendrites, open voltage-gated L-type calcium channels causing rapid calcium concentration transients in the dendrites. We conclude that such activation by somatic action potentials of the dendritic voltage gated calcium channels in the close vicinity to the synapses formed by axons of the retinal ganglion cells may facilitate visual information processing in the principal neurons of the frog optic tectum. PMID:26414356

  10. Action Processing and Mirror Neuron Function in Patients with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Jelsone-Swain, Laura; Persad, Carol; Burkard, David; Welsh, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. It has been suggested that social cognition may be affected, such as impairment in theory of mind (ToM) ability. Despite these findings, research in this area is scarce and the investigation of neural mechanisms behind such impairment is absent. Nineteen patients with ALS and eighteen healthy controls participated in this study. Because the mirror neuron system (MNS) is thought to be involved in theory of mind, we first implemented a straightforward action-execution and observation task to assess basic MNS function. Second, we examined the social-cognitive ability to understand actions of others, which is a component of ToM. We used fMRI to assess BOLD activity differences between groups during both experiments. Theory of mind was also measured behaviorally using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RME). ALS patients displayed greater BOLD activity during the action-execution and observation task, especially throughout right anterior cortical regions. These areas included the right inferior operculum, premotor and primary motor regions, and left inferior parietal lobe. A conjunction analysis showed significantly more co-activated voxels during both the observation and action-execution conditions in the patient group throughout MNS regions. These results support a compensatory response in the MNS during action processing. In the action understanding experiment, healthy controls performed better behaviorally and subsequently recruited greater regions of activity throughout the prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus. Lastly, action understanding performance was able to cluster patients with ALS into high and lower performing groups, which then differentiated RME performance. Collectively, these data suggest that social cognition, particularly theory of mind, may be affected in a subset of patients with ALS. This impairment may be related to functioning of

  11. Action processing and mirror neuron function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Jelsone-Swain, Laura; Persad, Carol; Burkard, David; Welsh, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. It has been suggested that social cognition may be affected, such as impairment in theory of mind (ToM) ability. Despite these findings, research in this area is scarce and the investigation of neural mechanisms behind such impairment is absent. Nineteen patients with ALS and eighteen healthy controls participated in this study. Because the mirror neuron system (MNS) is thought to be involved in theory of mind, we first implemented a straightforward action-execution and observation task to assess basic MNS function. Second, we examined the social-cognitive ability to understand actions of others, which is a component of ToM. We used fMRI to assess BOLD activity differences between groups during both experiments. Theory of mind was also measured behaviorally using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RME). ALS patients displayed greater BOLD activity during the action-execution and observation task, especially throughout right anterior cortical regions. These areas included the right inferior operculum, premotor and primary motor regions, and left inferior parietal lobe. A conjunction analysis showed significantly more co-activated voxels during both the observation and action-execution conditions in the patient group throughout MNS regions. These results support a compensatory response in the MNS during action processing. In the action understanding experiment, healthy controls performed better behaviorally and subsequently recruited greater regions of activity throughout the prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus. Lastly, action understanding performance was able to cluster patients with ALS into high and lower performing groups, which then differentiated RME performance. Collectively, these data suggest that social cognition, particularly theory of mind, may be affected in a subset of patients with ALS. This impairment may be related to functioning of

  12. Action processing and mirror neuron function in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Jelsone-Swain, Laura; Persad, Carol; Burkard, David; Welsh, Robert C

    2015-01-01

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a highly debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. It has been suggested that social cognition may be affected, such as impairment in theory of mind (ToM) ability. Despite these findings, research in this area is scarce and the investigation of neural mechanisms behind such impairment is absent. Nineteen patients with ALS and eighteen healthy controls participated in this study. Because the mirror neuron system (MNS) is thought to be involved in theory of mind, we first implemented a straightforward action-execution and observation task to assess basic MNS function. Second, we examined the social-cognitive ability to understand actions of others, which is a component of ToM. We used fMRI to assess BOLD activity differences between groups during both experiments. Theory of mind was also measured behaviorally using the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test (RME). ALS patients displayed greater BOLD activity during the action-execution and observation task, especially throughout right anterior cortical regions. These areas included the right inferior operculum, premotor and primary motor regions, and left inferior parietal lobe. A conjunction analysis showed significantly more co-activated voxels during both the observation and action-execution conditions in the patient group throughout MNS regions. These results support a compensatory response in the MNS during action processing. In the action understanding experiment, healthy controls performed better behaviorally and subsequently recruited greater regions of activity throughout the prefrontal cortex and middle temporal gyrus. Lastly, action understanding performance was able to cluster patients with ALS into high and lower performing groups, which then differentiated RME performance. Collectively, these data suggest that social cognition, particularly theory of mind, may be affected in a subset of patients with ALS. This impairment may be related to functioning of

  13. Object visibility alters the relative contribution of ventral visual stream and mirror neuron system to goal anticipation during action observation.

    PubMed

    Thioux, Marc; Keysers, Christian

    2015-01-15

    We used fMRI to study the effect of hiding the target of a grasping action on the cerebral activity of an observer whose task was to anticipate the size of the object being grasped. Activity in the putative mirror neuron system (pMNS) was higher when the target was concealed from the view of the observer and anticipating the size of the object being grasped requested paying attention to the hand kinematics. In contrast, activity in ventral visual areas outside the pMNS increased when the target was fully visible, and the performance improved in this condition. A repetition suppression analysis demonstrated that in full view, the size of the object being grasped by the actor was encoded in the ventral visual stream. Dynamic causal modeling showed that monitoring a grasping action increased the coupling between the parietal and ventral premotor nodes of the pMNS. The modulation of the functional connectivity between these nodes was correlated with the subject's capability to detect the size of hidden objects. In full view, synaptic activity increased within the ventral visual stream, and the connectivity with the pMNS was diminished. The re-enactment of observed actions in the pMNS is crucial when interpreting others' actions requires paying attention to the body kinematics. However, when the context permits, visual-spatial information processing may complement pMNS computations for improved action anticipation accuracy.

  14. Direct action and modulating effect of (+)- and (-)-nicotine on ion channels expressed in trigeminal sensory neurons.

    PubMed

    Schreiner, Benjamin S P; Lehmann, Ramona; Thiel, Ulrike; Ziemba, Paul M; Beltrán, Leopoldo R; Sherkheli, Muhammad A; Jeanbourquin, Philippe; Hugi, Alain; Werner, Markus; Gisselmann, Günter; Hatt, Hanns

    2014-04-01

    Nicotine sensory perception is generally thought to be mediated by nicotinic acetylcholine (nACh) receptors. However, recent data strongly support the idea that other receptors (e.g., transient receptor potential A1 channel, TRPA1) and other pathways contribute to the detection mechanisms underlying the olfactory and trigeminal cell response to nicotine flavor. This is in accordance with the reported ability of humans to discriminate between (+)- and (-)- nicotine enantiomers. To get a more detailed understanding of the molecular and cellular basis underlying the sensory perception of nicotine, we studied the activity of (+)- and (-)-nicotine on cultured murine trigeminal sensory neurons and on a range of heterologously expressed receptors. The human TRPA1 channel is activated by (-)-nicotine. In this work, we show that (+)-nicotine is also an activator of this channel. Pharmacological experiments using nicotinic acetylcholine receptors and transient receptor potential blockers revealed that trigeminal neurons express one or more unidentified receptors that are sensitive to (+)- and/or (-)-nicotine. Results also indicate that the presence of extracellular calcium ions is required to elicit trigeminal neuron responses to (+)- and (-)-nicotine. Results also show that both (+)-nicotine and (-)-nicotine can block 5-hydroxytryptamine type 3 (5-HT3) receptor-mediated responses in recombinant expression systems and in cultured trigeminal neurons expressing 5-HT3 receptors. Our investigations broaden the spectra of receptors that are targets for nicotine enantiomers and give new insights into the physiological role of nicotine. PMID:24512725

  15. Electrophysiological actions of alfentanil: intracellular studies in the rat locus coeruleus neurones.

    PubMed Central

    Chiu, T. H.; Yeh, M. H.; Tsai, S. K.; Mok, M. S.

    1993-01-01

    1. The electrophysiological effects of alfentanil on 156 neurones of the rat locus coeruleus were investigated by use of intracellular recordings from the in vitro brain slice preparation. 2. Bath application of alfentanil (5-100 nM) reversibly decreased the firing rate of all neurones tested in a dose-dependent manner, with an IC50 4.1.nM. 3. Based on inhibition of the spontaneous firing rate, alfentanil was 22 times more potent than morphine. 4. At 100 nM, alfentanil produced a complete inhibition of firing of all neurones tested (n = 62); the inhibition was accompanied by a membrane hyperpolarization 17.0 +/- 0.8 mV (range 6.1-30.3 mV, n = 62) and a reduction in input resistance 26.4 +/- 1.7% (range 6.5-53%, n = 51). 5. The effects of alfentanil were antagonized by naloxone, with a dissociation equilibrium constant of 2.7 +/- 0.4 nM (n = 6). 6. The reversal potential for the alfentanil-induced hyperpolarization was -110 +/- 2 mV (n = 9), which is approximately the potassium equilibrium potential. 7. The alfentanil-induced hyperpolarization was blocked by caesium chloride and barium chloride. 8. These results indicate that alfentanil binds to mu-opioid receptors on the cell membrane of neurones of the locus coeruleus. This leads to opening of the inward-going rectification potassium channels, resulting in the observed hyperpolarization of the membrane. PMID:8242265

  16. Two cold-sensitive neurons within one sensillum code for different parameters of the thermal environment in the ant Camponotus rufipes.

    PubMed

    Nagel, Manuel; Kleineidam, Christoph J

    2015-01-01

    Ants show high sensitivity when responding to minute temperature changes and are able to track preferred temperatures with amazing precision. As social insects, they have to detect and cope with thermal fluctuations not only for their individual benefit but also for the developmental benefit of the colony and its brood. In this study we investigate the sensory basis for the fine-tuned, temperature guided behaviors found in ants, specifically what information about their thermal environment they can assess. We describe the dose-response curves of two cold-sensitive neurons, associated with the sensillum coelocapitulum on the antenna of the carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes.One cold-sensitive neuron codes for temperature changes, thus functioning as a thermal flux-detector. Neurons of such type continuously provide the ant with information about temperature transients (TT-neuron). The TT-neurons are able to resolve a relative change of 37% in stimulus intensity (ΔT) and antennal scanning of the thermal environment may aid the ant's ability to use temperature differences for orientation.The second cold-sensitive neuron in the S. coelocapitulum responds to temperature only within a narrow temperature range. A temperature difference of 1.6°C can be resolved by this neuron type. Since the working range matches the preferred temperature range for brood care of Camponotus rufipes, we hypothesize that this temperature sensor can function as a thermal switch to trigger brood care behavior, based on absolute (steady state) temperature.

  17. Two cold-sensitive neurons within one sensillum code for different parameters of the thermal environment in the ant Camponotus rufipes

    PubMed Central

    Nagel, Manuel; Kleineidam, Christoph J.

    2015-01-01

    Ants show high sensitivity when responding to minute temperature changes and are able to track preferred temperatures with amazing precision. As social insects, they have to detect and cope with thermal fluctuations not only for their individual benefit but also for the developmental benefit of the colony and its brood. In this study we investigate the sensory basis for the fine-tuned, temperature guided behaviors found in ants, specifically what information about their thermal environment they can assess. We describe the dose-response curves of two cold-sensitive neurons, associated with the sensillum coelocapitulum on the antenna of the carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes.One cold-sensitive neuron codes for temperature changes, thus functioning as a thermal flux-detector. Neurons of such type continuously provide the ant with information about temperature transients (TT-neuron). The TT-neurons are able to resolve a relative change of 37% in stimulus intensity (ΔT) and antennal scanning of the thermal environment may aid the ant’s ability to use temperature differences for orientation.The second cold-sensitive neuron in the S. coelocapitulum responds to temperature only within a narrow temperature range. A temperature difference of 1.6°C can be resolved by this neuron type. Since the working range matches the preferred temperature range for brood care of Camponotus rufipes, we hypothesize that this temperature sensor can function as a thermal switch to trigger brood care behavior, based on absolute (steady state) temperature. PMID:26388753

  18. Two cold-sensitive neurons within one sensillum code for different parameters of the thermal environment in the ant Camponotus rufipes.

    PubMed

    Nagel, Manuel; Kleineidam, Christoph J

    2015-01-01

    Ants show high sensitivity when responding to minute temperature changes and are able to track preferred temperatures with amazing precision. As social insects, they have to detect and cope with thermal fluctuations not only for their individual benefit but also for the developmental benefit of the colony and its brood. In this study we investigate the sensory basis for the fine-tuned, temperature guided behaviors found in ants, specifically what information about their thermal environment they can assess. We describe the dose-response curves of two cold-sensitive neurons, associated with the sensillum coelocapitulum on the antenna of the carpenter ant Camponotus rufipes.One cold-sensitive neuron codes for temperature changes, thus functioning as a thermal flux-detector. Neurons of such type continuously provide the ant with information about temperature transients (TT-neuron). The TT-neurons are able to resolve a relative change of 37% in stimulus intensity (ΔT) and antennal scanning of the thermal environment may aid the ant's ability to use temperature differences for orientation.The second cold-sensitive neuron in the S. coelocapitulum responds to temperature only within a narrow temperature range. A temperature difference of 1.6°C can be resolved by this neuron type. Since the working range matches the preferred temperature range for brood care of Camponotus rufipes, we hypothesize that this temperature sensor can function as a thermal switch to trigger brood care behavior, based on absolute (steady state) temperature. PMID:26388753

  19. In-mold patterning and actionable axo-somatic compartmentalization for on-chip neuron culture.

    PubMed

    Yamada, Ayako; Vignes, Maéva; Bureau, Cécile; Mamane, Alexandre; Venzac, Bastien; Descroix, Stéphanie; Viovy, Jean-Louis; Villard, Catherine; Peyrin, Jean-Michel; Malaquin, Laurent

    2016-05-24

    Oriented neuronal networks with controlled connectivity are required for many applications ranging from studies of neurodegeneration to neuronal computation. To build such networks in vitro, an efficient, directed and long lasting guidance of axons toward their target is a pre-requisite. The best guidance achieved so far, however, relies on confining axons in enclosed microchannels, making them poorly accessible for further investigation. Here we describe a method providing accessible and highly regular arrays of axons, emanating from somas positioned in distinct compartments. This method combines the use of a novel removable partition, allowing soma positioning outside of the axon guidance patterns, and in-mold patterning (iMP), a hybrid method combining chemical and mechanical cell positioning clues applied here for the first time to neurons. The axon guidance efficiency of iMP is compared to that of conventional patterning methods, e.g. micro-contact printing (chemical constraints by a poly-l-lysine motif) and micro-grooves (physical constraints by homogeneously coated microstructures), using guiding tracks of different widths and spacing. We show that iMP provides a gain of 10 to 100 in axon confinement efficiency on the tracks, yielding mm-long, highly regular, and fully accessible on-chip axon arrays. iMP also allows well-defined axon guidance from small populations of several neurons confined at predefined positions in μm-sized wells. iMP will thus open new routes for the construction of complex and accurately controlled neuronal networks. PMID:27170212

  20. Behavioral and TMS Markers of Action Observation Might Reflect Distinct Neuronal Processes.

    PubMed

    Hétu, Sébastien; Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Jackson, Philip L; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that observing an action induces muscle-specific changes in corticospinal excitability. From a signal detection theory standpoint, this pattern can be related to sensitivity, which here would measure the capacity to distinguish between two action observation conditions. In parallel to these TMS studies, action observation has also been linked to behavioral effects such as motor priming and interference. It has been hypothesized that behavioral markers of action observation could be related to TMS markers and thus represent a potentially cost-effective mean of assessing the functioning of the action-perception system. However, very few studies have looked at possible relationships between these two measures. The aim of this study was to investigate if individual differences in sensitivity to action observation could be related to the behavioral motor priming and interference effects produced by action observation. To this end, 14 healthy participants observed index and little finger movements during a TMS task and a stimulus-response compatibility task. Index muscle displayed sensitivity to action observation, and action observation resulted in significant motor priming+interference, while no significant effect was observed for the little finger in both task. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the sensitivity measured in TMS was not related to the behavioral changes measured in the stimulus-response compatibility task. Contrary to a widespread assumption, the current results indicate that individual differences in physiological and behavioral markers of action observation may be unrelated. This could have important impacts on the potential use of behavioral markers in place of more costly physiological markers of action observation in clinical settings.

  1. Behavioral and TMS Markers of Action Observation Might Reflect Distinct Neuronal Processes.

    PubMed

    Hétu, Sébastien; Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Jackson, Philip L; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that observing an action induces muscle-specific changes in corticospinal excitability. From a signal detection theory standpoint, this pattern can be related to sensitivity, which here would measure the capacity to distinguish between two action observation conditions. In parallel to these TMS studies, action observation has also been linked to behavioral effects such as motor priming and interference. It has been hypothesized that behavioral markers of action observation could be related to TMS markers and thus represent a potentially cost-effective mean of assessing the functioning of the action-perception system. However, very few studies have looked at possible relationships between these two measures. The aim of this study was to investigate if individual differences in sensitivity to action observation could be related to the behavioral motor priming and interference effects produced by action observation. To this end, 14 healthy participants observed index and little finger movements during a TMS task and a stimulus-response compatibility task. Index muscle displayed sensitivity to action observation, and action observation resulted in significant motor priming+interference, while no significant effect was observed for the little finger in both task. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the sensitivity measured in TMS was not related to the behavioral changes measured in the stimulus-response compatibility task. Contrary to a widespread assumption, the current results indicate that individual differences in physiological and behavioral markers of action observation may be unrelated. This could have important impacts on the potential use of behavioral markers in place of more costly physiological markers of action observation in clinical settings. PMID:27683548

  2. Behavioral and TMS Markers of Action Observation Might Reflect Distinct Neuronal Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hétu, Sébastien; Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Jackson, Philip L.; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that observing an action induces muscle-specific changes in corticospinal excitability. From a signal detection theory standpoint, this pattern can be related to sensitivity, which here would measure the capacity to distinguish between two action observation conditions. In parallel to these TMS studies, action observation has also been linked to behavioral effects such as motor priming and interference. It has been hypothesized that behavioral markers of action observation could be related to TMS markers and thus represent a potentially cost-effective mean of assessing the functioning of the action-perception system. However, very few studies have looked at possible relationships between these two measures. The aim of this study was to investigate if individual differences in sensitivity to action observation could be related to the behavioral motor priming and interference effects produced by action observation. To this end, 14 healthy participants observed index and little finger movements during a TMS task and a stimulus–response compatibility task. Index muscle displayed sensitivity to action observation, and action observation resulted in significant motor priming+interference, while no significant effect was observed for the little finger in both task. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the sensitivity measured in TMS was not related to the behavioral changes measured in the stimulus–response compatibility task. Contrary to a widespread assumption, the current results indicate that individual differences in physiological and behavioral markers of action observation may be unrelated. This could have important impacts on the potential use of behavioral markers in place of more costly physiological markers of action observation in clinical settings. PMID:27683548

  3. Behavioral and TMS Markers of Action Observation Might Reflect Distinct Neuronal Processes

    PubMed Central

    Hétu, Sébastien; Taschereau-Dumouchel, Vincent; Meziane, Hadj Boumediene; Jackson, Philip L.; Mercier, Catherine

    2016-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) studies have shown that observing an action induces muscle-specific changes in corticospinal excitability. From a signal detection theory standpoint, this pattern can be related to sensitivity, which here would measure the capacity to distinguish between two action observation conditions. In parallel to these TMS studies, action observation has also been linked to behavioral effects such as motor priming and interference. It has been hypothesized that behavioral markers of action observation could be related to TMS markers and thus represent a potentially cost-effective mean of assessing the functioning of the action-perception system. However, very few studies have looked at possible relationships between these two measures. The aim of this study was to investigate if individual differences in sensitivity to action observation could be related to the behavioral motor priming and interference effects produced by action observation. To this end, 14 healthy participants observed index and little finger movements during a TMS task and a stimulus–response compatibility task. Index muscle displayed sensitivity to action observation, and action observation resulted in significant motor priming+interference, while no significant effect was observed for the little finger in both task. Nevertheless, our results indicate that the sensitivity measured in TMS was not related to the behavioral changes measured in the stimulus–response compatibility task. Contrary to a widespread assumption, the current results indicate that individual differences in physiological and behavioral markers of action observation may be unrelated. This could have important impacts on the potential use of behavioral markers in place of more costly physiological markers of action observation in clinical settings.

  4. Agonist action of taurine on glycine receptors in rat supraoptic magnocellular neurones: possible role in osmoregulation.

    PubMed

    Hussy, N; Deleuze, C; Pantaloni, A; Desarménien, M G; Moos, F

    1997-08-01

    1. To evaluate the implication of taurine in the physiology of supraoptic neurones, we (i) investigated the agonist properties of taurine on glycine and GABAA receptors of supraoptic magnocellular neurones acutely dissociated from adult rats, using whole-cell voltage clamp, (ii) studied the effects of taurine and strychnine in vivo by extracellular recordings of supraoptic vasopressin neurones in anaesthetized rats, and (iii) measured the osmolarity-dependent release of endogenous taurine from isolated supraoptic nuclei by HPLC. 2. GABA, glycine and taurine evoked rapidly activating currents that all reversed close to the equilibrium potential for Cl-, indicating activation of Cl(-)-selective channels. Glycine-activated currents were reversibly blocked by strychnine (IC50 of 35 nM with 100 microM glycine), but were unaffected by the GABAA antagonist gabazine (1-3 microM). GABA-activated currents were reversibly antagonized by 3 microM gabazine, but not by strychnine (up to 1 microM). 3. Responses to 1 mM taurine were blocked by strychnine but not by gabazine and showed no additivity with glycine-induced currents, indicating selective activation of glycine receptors. Responses to 10 mM taurine were partially antagonized by gabazine, the residual current being blocked by strychnine. Thus, taurine is also a weak agonist of GABAA receptors. 4. In the presence of gabazine, taurine activated glycine receptors with an EC50 of 406 microM. Taurine activated at most 70% of maximal glycine currents, suggesting that it is a partial agonist of glycine receptors. 5. In vivo, locally applied strychnine (300 nM) increased and taurine (1 mM) decreased the basal electrical activity of vasopressin neurones in normally hydrated rats. The effect of strychnine was markedly more pronounced in water-loaded rats. 6. Taurine, which is concentrated in supraoptic glial cells, could be released from isolated supraoptic nuclei upon hyposmotic stimulation. Decreases in osmolarity of 15 and 30

  5. The spatio-temporal characteristics of action potential initiation in layer 5 pyramidal neurons: a voltage imaging study

    PubMed Central

    Popovic, Marko A; Foust, Amanda J; McCormick, David A; Zecevic, Dejan

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The spatial pattern of Na+ channel clustering in the axon initial segment (AIS) plays a critical role in tuning neuronal computations, and changes in Na+ channel distribution have been shown to mediate novel forms of neuronal plasticity in the axon. However, immunocytochemical data on channel distribution may not directly predict spatio-temporal characteristics of action potential initiation, and prior electrophysiological measures are either indirect (extracellular) or lack sufficient spatial resolution (intracellular) to directly characterize the spike trigger zone (TZ). We took advantage of a critical methodological improvement in the high sensitivity membrane potential imaging (Vm imaging) technique to directly determine the location and length of the spike TZ as defined in functional terms. The results show that in mature axons of mouse cortical layer 5 pyramidal cells, action potentials initiate in a region ∼20 μm in length centred between 20 and 40 μm from the soma. From this region, the AP depolarizing wave invades initial nodes of Ranvier within a fraction of a millisecond and propagates in a saltatory fashion into axonal collaterals without failure at all physiologically relevant frequencies. We further demonstrate that, in contrast to the saltatory conduction in mature axons, AP propagation is non-saltatory (monotonic) in immature axons prior to myelination. PMID:21669974

  6. Overcoming photodamage in second-harmonic generation microscopy: real-time optical recording of neuronal action potentials.

    PubMed

    Sacconi, L; Dombeck, D A; Webb, W W

    2006-02-28

    Second-harmonic generation (SHG) has proven essential for the highest-resolution optical recording of membrane potential (Vm) in intact specimens. Here, we demonstrate single-trial SHG recordings of neuronal somatic action potentials and quantitative recordings of their decay with averaging at multiple sites during propagation along branched neurites at distances up to 350 mum from the soma. We realized these advances by quantifying, analyzing, and thereby minimizing the dynamics of photodamage (PD), a frequent limiting factor in the optical imaging of biological preparations. The optical signal and the PD during SHG imaging of stained cultured Aplysia neurons were examined with intracellular electrode recordings monitoring the resting Vm variations induced by laser-scanning illumination. We found that the PD increased linearly with the dye concentration but grew with the cube of illumination intensity, leading to unanticipated optimization procedures to minimize PD. The addition of appropriate antioxidants in conjunction with an observed Vm recovery after termination of laser scanning further refined the imaging criteria for minimization and control of PD during SHG recording of action potentials. With these advances, the potential of SHG as an effective optical tool for neuroscience investigations is being realized.

  7. Signed language and human action processing: evidence for functional constraints on the human mirror-neuron system.

    PubMed

    Corina, David P; Knapp, Heather Patterson

    2008-12-01

    In the quest to further understand the neural underpinning of human communication, researchers have turned to studies of naturally occurring signed languages used in Deaf communities. The comparison of the commonalities and differences between spoken and signed languages provides an opportunity to determine core neural systems responsible for linguistic communication independent of the modality in which a language is expressed. The present article examines such studies, and in addition asks what we can learn about human languages by contrasting formal visual-gestural linguistic systems (signed languages) with more general human action perception. To understand visual language perception, it is important to distinguish the demands of general human motion processing from the highly task-dependent demands associated with extracting linguistic meaning from arbitrary, conventionalized gestures. This endeavor is particularly important because theorists have suggested close homologies between perception and production of actions and functions of human language and social communication. We review recent behavioral, functional imaging, and neuropsychological studies that explore dissociations between the processing of human actions and signed languages. These data suggest incomplete overlap between the mirror-neuron systems proposed to mediate human action and language.

  8. Cl− uptake promoting depolarizing GABA actions in immature rat neocortical neurones is mediated by NKCC1

    PubMed Central

    Yamada, Junko; Okabe, Akihito; Toyoda, Hiroki; Kilb, Werner; Luhmann, Heiko J; Fukuda, Atsuo

    2004-01-01

    GABA is the principal inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mature brain, but during early postnatal development the elevated [Cl−]i in immature neocortical neurones causes GABAA receptor activation to be depolarizing. The molecular mechanisms underlying this intracellular Cl− accumulation remain controversial. Therefore, the GABA reversal potential (EGABA) or [Cl−]i in early postnatal rat neocortical neurones was measured by the gramicidin-perforated patch-clamp method, and the relative expression levels of the cation−Cl− cotransporter mRNAs (in the same cells) were examined by semiquantitative single-cell multiplex RT-PCR to look for statistical correlations with [Cl−]i. The mRNA expression levels were positively (the Cl− accumulating Na+,K+−2Cl− cotransporter NKCC1) or negatively (the Cl− extruding K+−Cl− cotransporter KCC2) correlated with [Cl−]i. NKCC1 mRNA expression was high in early postnatal days, but decreased during postnatal development, whereas KCC2 mRNA expression displayed the opposite pattern. [Cl−]i and NKCC1 mRNA expression were each higher in cortical plate (CP) neurones than in the presumably older layer V/VI pyramidal neurones in a given slice. The pharmacological effects of bumetanide on EGABA were consistent with the different expression levels of NKCC1 mRNA. These data suggest that NKCC1 may play a pivotal role in the generation of GABA-mediated depolarization in immature CP cells, while KCC2 promotes the later maturation of GABAergic inhibition in the rat neocortex. PMID:15090604

  9. Protective action of erythropoietin on neuronal damage induced by activated microglia.

    PubMed

    Wenker, Shirley D; Chamorro, María E; Vittori, Daniela C; Nesse, Alcira B

    2013-04-01

    Inflammation is a physiological defense response, but may also represent a potential pathological process in neurological diseases. In this regard, microglia have a crucial role in either progression or amelioration of degenerative neuronal damage. Because of the role of hypoxia in pro-inflammatory mechanisms in the nervous system, and the potential anti-inflammatory protective effect of erythropoietin (Epo), we focused our investigation on the role of this factor on activation of microglia and neuroprotection. Activation of microglial cells (EOC-2) was achieved by chemical hypoxia induced by cobalt chloride (CoCl2 ) and characterized by increased levels of nitrite, tumor necrosis factor-α and reactive oxygen species production, as well as up-regulation of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression. Under these conditions, cell proliferation data and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) staining demonstrated a mitogenic effect of chemical hypoxia. Even though pre-treatment with Epo did not prevent nitrite production, inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression or tumor necrosis factor-α secretion, it prevented the oxidative stress induced by CoCl2 as well as cell proliferation. Neuronal cells (SH-SY5Y) cultured in the presence of conditioned medium from activated EOC-2 cells or macrophages (RAW 264.7) developed significant apoptosis, an effect that was abolished by Epo via Epo/Epo receptor activation. The results show that even though Epo did not exert a direct anti-inflammatory effect on microglia activation, it did increase the resistance of neurons to subsequent damage from pro-inflammatory agents. In addition to its anti-apoptotic ability, the Epo antioxidant effect may have an indirect influence on neuronal survival by modulation of the pro-inflammatory environment. PMID:23384249

  10. Global control of motor neuron topography mediated by the repressive actions of a single hox gene.

    PubMed

    Jung, Heekyung; Lacombe, Julie; Mazzoni, Esteban O; Liem, Karel F; Grinstein, Jonathan; Mahony, Shaun; Mukhopadhyay, Debnath; Gifford, David K; Young, Richard A; Anderson, Kathryn V; Wichterle, Hynek; Dasen, Jeremy S

    2010-09-01

    In the developing spinal cord, regional and combinatorial activities of Hox transcription factors are critical in controlling motor neuron fates along the rostrocaudal axis, exemplified by the precise pattern of limb innervation by more than fifty Hox-dependent motor pools. The mechanisms by which motor neuron diversity is constrained to limb levels are, however, not well understood. We show that a single Hox gene, Hoxc9, has an essential role in organizing the motor system through global repressive activities. Hoxc9 is required for the generation of thoracic motor columns, and in its absence, neurons acquire the fates of limb-innervating populations. Unexpectedly, multiple Hox genes are derepressed in Hoxc9 mutants, leading to motor pool disorganization and alterations in the connections by thoracic and forelimb-level subtypes. Genome-wide analysis of Hoxc9 binding suggests that this mode of repression is mediated by direct interactions with Hox regulatory elements, independent of chromatin marks typically associated with repressed Hox genes.

  11. Granularity within the mirror system is not informative on action perception. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio et al.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cattaneo, Luigi

    2015-03-01

    The present work [1] reviews a part of the now vast literature on visuomotor stimulus-response associations in the domain of action observation, commonly referred to as mirror mechanism or mirror system. The aim of the study is to propose a solution to a currently debated problem, namely in what frame of reference are mirror neurons coding movement. The solution proposed here is that, if the mirror system is part of the motor system, then the motor responses to action observation must be in the same frames of reference as that generally observed in the production of voluntary actions. This idea is part of the very first conceptualizations of the mirror system ("Each time an individual sees an action done by another individual, neurons that represent that action are activated in the observer's premotor cortex. This automatically induced, motor representation of the observed action corresponds to that which is spontaneously generated during active action and whose outcome is known to the acting individual" [2]) and has been explicitly proposed earlier [3] in the attempt of reconciling the very different findings in the literature on the mirror system's frames of reference. The novelty of the present approach is the explicit reference to the 'motor synergy' theory of voluntary hand movements. This theory states that the high number of degrees of freedom intrinsic to hand anatomy is reduced by the motor system to few principal components named motor synergies that are the building blocks of voluntary behavior [4]. I am enthusiastic about two points proposed by D'Ausilio in the present review and I am skeptical about some other points.

  12. The distribution and chemical coding of intramural neurons supplying the porcine stomach - the study on normal pigs and on animals suffering from swine dysentery.

    PubMed

    Kaleczyc, J; Klimczuk, M; Franke-Radowiecka, A; Sienkiewicz, W; Majewski, M; Łakomy, M

    2007-06-01

    The present study was designed to investigate the expression of biologically active substances by intramural neurons supplying the stomach in normal (control) pigs and in pigs suffering from dysentery. Eight juvenile female pigs were used. Both dysenteric (n = 4; inoculated with Brachyspira hyodysenteriae) and control (n = 4) animals were deeply anaesthetized, transcardially perfused with buffered paraformalehyde, and tissue samples comprising all layers of the wall of the ventricular fundus were collected. The cryostat sections were processed for double-labelling immunofluorescence to study the distribution of the intramural nerve structures (visualized with antibodies against protein gene-product 9.5) and their chemical coding using antibodies against vesicular acetylcholine (ACh) transporter (VAChT), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), galanin (GAL), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), somatostatin (SOM), Leu(5)-enkephalin (LENK), substance P (SP) and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). In both inner and outer submucosal plexuses of the control pigs, the majority of neurons were SP (55% and 58%, respectively)- or VAChT (54%)-positive. Many neurons stained also for CGRP (43 and 45%) or GAL (20% and 18%) and solitary perikarya were NOS-, SOM- or VIP-positive. The myenteric plexus neurons stained for NOS (20%), VAChT (15%), GAL (10%), VIP (7%), SP (6%) or CGRP (solitary neurons), but they were SOM-negative. No intramural neurons immunoreactive to LENK were found. The most remarkable difference in the chemical coding of enteric neurons between the control and dysenteric pigs was a very increased number of GAL- and VAChT-positive nerve cells (up to 61% and 85%, respectively) in submucosal plexuses of the infected animals. The present results suggest that GAL and ACh have a specific role in local neural circuits of the inflamed porcine stomach in the course of swine dysentery.

  13. Anion-selective channelrhodopsin expressed in neuronal cell culture and in vivo in murine brain: Light-induced inhibition of generation of action potentials.

    PubMed

    Dolgikh, D A; Malyshev, A Yu; Salozhin, S V; Nekrasova, O V; Petrovskaya, L E; Roshchin, M V; Borodinova, A A; Feldman, T B; Balaban, P M; Kirpichnikov, M P; Ostrovsky, M A

    2015-01-01

    Anionic channelrhodopsin slow ChloC was expressed in the culture of nerve cells and in vivo in mouse brain. We demonstrated ability of slow ChloC to suppress effectively the activity of the neuron in response to the illumination with the visible light. It has been shown for a first time that slow ChloC works equally efficiently in both neuronal culture and in the whole brain being expressed in vivo. Thus, slow ChloC could be considered as an effective optogenetic tool capable in response to light stimulation to inhibit the generation of action potentials in the neuron.

  14. Neuronal ensembles sufficient for recovery sleep and the sedative actions of α2 adrenergic agonists.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhe; Ferretti, Valentina; Güntan, İlke; Moro, Alessandro; Steinberg, Eleonora A; Ye, Zhiwen; Zecharia, Anna Y; Yu, Xiao; Vyssotski, Alexei L; Brickley, Stephen G; Yustos, Raquel; Pillidge, Zoe E; Harding, Edward C; Wisden, William; Franks, Nicholas P

    2015-04-01

    Do sedatives engage natural sleep pathways? It is usually assumed that anesthetic-induced sedation and loss of righting reflex (LORR) arise by influencing the same circuitry to lesser or greater extents. For the α2 adrenergic receptor agonist dexmedetomidine, we found that sedation and LORR were in fact distinct states, requiring different brain areas: the preoptic hypothalamic area and locus coeruleus (LC), respectively. Selective knockdown of α2A adrenergic receptors from the LC abolished dexmedetomidine-induced LORR, but not sedation. Instead, we found that dexmedetomidine-induced sedation resembled the deep recovery sleep that follows sleep deprivation. We used TetTag pharmacogenetics in mice to functionally mark neurons activated in the preoptic hypothalamus during dexmedetomidine-induced sedation or recovery sleep. The neuronal ensembles could then be selectively reactivated. In both cases, non-rapid eye movement sleep, with the accompanying drop in body temperature, was recapitulated. Thus, α2 adrenergic receptor-induced sedation and recovery sleep share hypothalamic circuitry sufficient for producing these behavioral states.

  15. Physiological approaches to understanding molecular actions on dorsolateral prefrontal cortical neurons underlying higher cognitive processing

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Min; ARNSTEN, Amy F.T.

    2015-01-01

    Revealing how molecular mechanisms influence higher brain circuits in primates will be essential for understanding how genetic insults lead to increased risk of cognitive disorders. Traditionally, modulatory influences on higher cortical circuits have been examined using lesion techniques, where a brain region is depleted of a particular transmitter to determine how its loss impacts cognitive function. For example, depletion of catecholamines or acetylcholine from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex produces striking deficits in working memory abilities. More directed techniques have utilized direct infusions of drug into a specific cortical site to try to circumvent compensatory changes that are common following transmitter depletion. The effects of drug on neuronal firing patterns are often studied using iontophoresis, where a minute amount of drug is moved into the brain using a tiny electrical current, thus minimizing the fluid flow that generally disrupts neuronal recordings. All of these approaches can be compared to systemic drug administration, which remains a key arena for the development of effective therapeutics for human cognitive disorders. Most recently, viral techniques are being developed to be able to manipulate proteins for which there is no developed pharmacology, and to allow optogenetic manipulations in primate cortex. As the association cortices greatly expand in brain evolution, research in nonhuman primates is particularly important for understanding the modulatory regulation of our highest order cognitive operations. PMID:26646567

  16. Physiological approaches to understanding molecular actions on dorsolateral prefrontal cortical neurons underlying higher cognitive processing.

    PubMed

    Wang, Min; Arnsten, Amy F T

    2015-11-18

    Revealing how molecular mechanisms influence higher brain circuits in primates will be essential for understanding how genetic insults lead to increased risk of cognitive disorders. Traditionally, modulatory influences on higher cortical circuits have been examined using lesion techniques, where a brain region is depleted of a particular transmitter to determine how its loss impacts cognitive function. For example, depletion of catecholamines or acetylcholine from the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex produces striking deficits in working memory abilities. More directed techniques have utilized direct infusions of drug into a specific cortical site to try to circumvent compensatory changes that are common following transmitter depletion. The effects of drug on neuronal firing patterns are often studied using iontophoresis, where a minute amount of drug is moved into the brain using a tiny electrical current, thus minimizing the fluid flow that generally disrupts neuronal recordings. All of these approaches can be compared to systemic drug administration, which remains a key arena for the development of effective therapeutics for human cognitive disorders. Most recently, viral techniques are being developed to be able to manipulate proteins for which there is no developed pharmacology, and to allow optogenetic manipulations in primate cortex. As the association cortices greatly expand in brain evolution, research in nonhuman primates is particularly important for understanding the modulatory regulation of our highest order cognitive operations. PMID:26646567

  17. Neuronal ensembles sufficient for recovery sleep and the sedative actions of α2 adrenergic agonists

    PubMed Central

    Güntan, İlke; Moro, Alessandro; Steinberg, Eleonora A.; Ye, Zhiwen; Zecharia, Anna Y.; Yu, Xiao; Vyssotski, Alexei L.; Brickley, Stephen G.; Yustos, Raquel; Pillidge, Zoe E.; Harding, Edward C.; Wisden, William; Franks, Nicholas P.

    2015-01-01

    Do sedatives engage natural sleep pathways? It is usually assumed that anesthetic-induced sedation and loss-of-righting-reflex (LORR) arise by influencing the same circuitry to lesser or greater extents. For the α2 adrenergic receptor agonist dexmedetomidine, we find that sedation and LORR are in fact distinct states, requiring different brain areas, the preoptic hypothalamic area and locus coeruleus (LC) respectively. Selective knockdown of α2A adrenergic receptors from the LC abolished dexmedetomidine-induced LORR, but not sedation. Instead, we found that dexmedetomidine-induced sedation resembles the deep recovery sleep that follows sleep deprivation. We used TetTag-pharmacogenetics in mice to functionally mark neurons activated in the preoptic hypothalamus during dexmedetomidine-induced sedation or recovery sleep. The neuronal ensembles could then be selectively reactivated. In both cases NREM sleep, with the accompanying drop in body temperature, was recapitulated. Thus α2 adrenergic receptor-induced sedation and recovery sleep share hypothalamic circuitry sufficient for producing these behavioral states. PMID:25706476

  18. Key role of salsolinol in ethanol actions on dopamine neuronal activity of the posterior ventral tegmental area.

    PubMed

    Melis, Miriam; Carboni, Ezio; Caboni, Pierluigi; Acquas, Elio

    2015-01-01

    Ethanol excites dopamine (DA) neurons in the posterior ventral tegmental area (pVTA). This effect is responsible for ethanol's motivational properties and may contribute to alcoholism. Evidence indicates that catalase-mediated conversion of ethanol into acetaldehyde in pVTA plays a critical role in this effect. Acetaldehyde, in the presence of DA, condensates with it to generate salsolinol. Salsolinol, when administered in pVTA, excites pVTA DA cells, elicits DA transmission in nucleus accumbens and sustains its self-administration in pVTA. Here we show, by using ex vivo electrophysiology, that ethanol and acetaldehyde, but not salsolinol, failed to stimulate pVTA DA cell activity in mice administered α-methyl-p-tyrosine, a DA biosynthesis inhibitor that reduces somatodendritic DA release. This effect was specific for ethanol and acetaldehyde since morphine, similarly to salsolinol, was able to excite pVTA DA cells in α-methyl-p-tyrosine-treated mice. However, when DA was bath applied in slices from α-methyl-p-tyrosine-treated mice, ethanol-induced excitation of pVTA DA neurons was restored. This effect requires ethanol oxidation into acetaldehyde given that, when H2 O2 -catalase system was impaired by either 3-amino-1,2,4-triazole or in vivo administration of α-lipoic acid, ethanol did not enhance DA cell activity. Finally, high performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry analysis of bath medium detected salsolinol only after co-application of ethanol and DA in α-methyl-p-tyrosine-treated mice. These results demonstrate the relationship between ethanol and salsolinol effects on pVTA DA neurons, help to untangle the mechanism(s) of action of ethanol in this area and contribute to an exciting research avenue prosperous of theoretical and practical consequences.

  19. Role of neurons and glia in the CNS actions of the renin-angiotensin system in cardiovascular control

    PubMed Central

    de Kloet, Annette D.; Liu, Meng; Rodríguez, Vermalí; Krause, Eric G.

    2015-01-01

    Despite tremendous research efforts, hypertension remains an epidemic health concern, leading often to the development of cardiovascular disease. It is well established that in many instances, the brain plays an important role in the onset and progression of hypertension via activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Further, the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and of glial cell-mediated proinflammatory processes have independently been linked to this neural control and are, as a consequence, both attractive targets for the development of antihypertensive therapeutics. Although it is clear that the predominant effector peptide of the RAS, ANG II, activates its type-1 receptor on neurons to mediate some of its hypertensive actions, additional nuances of this brain RAS control of blood pressure are constantly being uncovered. One of these complexities is that the RAS is now thought to impact cardiovascular control, in part, via facilitating a glial cell-dependent proinflammatory milieu within cardiovascular control centers. Another complexity is that the newly characterized antihypertensive limbs of the RAS are now recognized to, in many cases, antagonize the prohypertensive ANG II type 1 receptor (AT1R)-mediated effects. That being said, the mechanism by which the RAS, glia, and neurons interact to regulate blood pressure is an active area of ongoing research. Here, we review the current understanding of these interactions and present a hypothetical model of how these exchanges may ultimately regulate cardiovascular function. PMID:26084692

  20. Role of neurons and glia in the CNS actions of the renin-angiotensin system in cardiovascular control.

    PubMed

    de Kloet, Annette D; Liu, Meng; Rodríguez, Vermalí; Krause, Eric G; Sumners, Colin

    2015-09-01

    Despite tremendous research efforts, hypertension remains an epidemic health concern, leading often to the development of cardiovascular disease. It is well established that in many instances, the brain plays an important role in the onset and progression of hypertension via activation of the sympathetic nervous system. Further, the activity of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and of glial cell-mediated proinflammatory processes have independently been linked to this neural control and are, as a consequence, both attractive targets for the development of antihypertensive therapeutics. Although it is clear that the predominant effector peptide of the RAS, ANG II, activates its type-1 receptor on neurons to mediate some of its hypertensive actions, additional nuances of this brain RAS control of blood pressure are constantly being uncovered. One of these complexities is that the RAS is now thought to impact cardiovascular control, in part, via facilitating a glial cell-dependent proinflammatory milieu within cardiovascular control centers. Another complexity is that the newly characterized antihypertensive limbs of the RAS are now recognized to, in many cases, antagonize the prohypertensive ANG II type 1 receptor (AT1R)-mediated effects. That being said, the mechanism by which the RAS, glia, and neurons interact to regulate blood pressure is an active area of ongoing research. Here, we review the current understanding of these interactions and present a hypothetical model of how these exchanges may ultimately regulate cardiovascular function.

  1. Knockout of Slo2.2 enhances itch, abolishes KNa current, and increases action potential firing frequency in DRG neurons

    PubMed Central

    Martinez-Espinosa, Pedro L; Wu, Jianping; Yang, Chengtao; Gonzalez-Perez, Vivian; Zhou, Huifang; Liang, Hongwu; Xia, Xiao-Ming; Lingle, Christopher J

    2015-01-01

    Two mammalian genes, Kcnt1 and Kcnt2, encode pore-forming subunits of Na+-dependent K+ (KNa) channels. Progress in understanding KNa channels has been hampered by the absence of specific tools and methods for rigorous KNa identification in native cells. Here, we report the genetic disruption of both Kcnt1 and Kcnt2, confirm the loss of Slo2.2 and Slo2.1 protein, respectively, in KO animals, and define tissues enriched in Slo2 expression. Noting the prevalence of Slo2.2 in dorsal root ganglion, we find that KO of Slo2.2, but not Slo2.1, results in enhanced itch and pain responses. In dissociated small diameter DRG neurons, KO of Slo2.2, but not Slo2.1, abolishes KNa current. Utilizing isolectin B4+ neurons, the absence of KNa current results in an increase in action potential (AP) firing and a decrease in AP threshold. Activation of KNa acts as a brake to initiation of the first depolarization-elicited AP with no discernible effect on afterhyperpolarizations. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10013.001 PMID:26559620

  2. Measuring the quality of neuronal identification in ensemble recordings.

    PubMed

    Neymotin, Samuel A; Lytton, William W; Olypher, Andrey V; Fenton, André A

    2011-11-01

    Technological advances in electrode construction and digital signal processing now allow recording simultaneous extracellular action potential discharges from many single neurons, with the potential to revolutionize understanding of the neural codes for sensory, motor, and cognitive variables. Such studies have revealed the importance of ensemble neural codes, encoding information in the dynamic relationships among the action potential spike trains of multiple single neurons. Although the success of this research depends on the accurate classification of extracellular action potentials to individual neurons, there are no widely used quantitative methods for assessing the quality of the classifications. Here we describe information theoretic measures of action potential waveform isolation applicable to any dataset that have an intuitive, universal interpretation, that are not dependent on the methods or choice of parameters for single-unit isolation, and that have been validated using a dataset of simultaneous intracellular and extracellular neuronal recordings from Sprague Dawley rats.

  3. NOpiates: Novel Dual Action Neuronal Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors with μ-Opioid Agonist Activity

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    A novel series of benzimidazole designed multiple ligands (DMLs) with activity at the neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) enzyme and the μ-opioid receptor was developed. Targeting of the structurally dissimilar heme-containing enzyme and the μ-opioid GPCR was predicated on the modulatory role of nitric oxide on μ-opioid receptor function. Structure–activity relationship studies yielded lead compound 24 with excellent nNOS inhibitory activity (IC50 = 0.44 μM), selectivity over both endothelial nitric oxide synthase (10-fold) and inducible nitric oxide synthase (125-fold), and potent μ-opioid binding affinity, Ki = 5.4 nM. The functional activity as measured in the cyclic adenosine monosphospate secondary messenger assay resulted in full agonist activity (EC50 = 0.34 μM). This work represents a novel approach in the development of new analgesics for the treatment of pain. PMID:24900459

  4. A survey of the effective factors in students' adherence to university dress code policy, using the theory of reasoned action

    PubMed Central

    KAVEH, MOHAMMAD HOSSEIN; MORADI, LEILA; HESAMPOUR, MARYAM; HASAN ZADEH, JAFAR

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Recognizing the determinants of behavior plays a major role in identification and application of effective strategies for encouraging individuals to follow the intended pattern of behavior. The present study aimed to analyze the university students’ behaviors regarding the amenability to dress code, using the theory of reasoned action (TRA). Methods In this cross sectional study, 472 students were selected through multi-stage random sampling. The data were collected using a researcher-made questionnaire whose validity was confirmed by specialists. Besides, its reliability was confirmed by conducting a pilot study revealing Cronbach’s alpha coefficients of 0.93 for attitude, 0.83 for subjective norms, 0.94 for behavioral intention and 0.77 for behavior. The data were entered into the SPSS statistical software and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics (Mann-Whitney, correlation and regression analysis). Results Based on the students’ self-reports, conformity of clothes to the university’s dress code was below the expected level in 28.87% of the female students and 28.55% of the male ones. The mean scores of attitude, subjective norms, and behavioral intention to comply with dress code policy were 28.78±10.08, 28.51±8.25 and 11.12±3.84, respectively. The students of different colleges were different from each other concerning TRA constructs. Yet, subjective norms played a more critical role in explaining the variance of dress code behavior among the students. Conclusion Theory of reasoned action explained the students’ dress code behaviors relatively well. The study results suggest paying attention to appropriate approaches in educational, cultural activities, including promotion of student-teacher communication. PMID:26269790

  5. Neuronal interactions between mentalising and action systems during indirect request processing.

    PubMed

    van Ackeren, Markus J; Smaragdi, Areti; Rueschemeyer, Shirley-Ann

    2016-09-01

    Human communication relies on the ability to process linguistic structure and to map words and utterances onto our environment. Furthermore, as what we communicate is often not directly encoded in our language (e.g. in the case of irony, jokes or indirect requests), we need to extract additional cues to infer the beliefs and desires of our conversational partners. Although the functional interplay between language and the ability to mentalise has been discussed in theoretical accounts in the past, the neurobiological underpinnings of these dynamics are currently not well understood. Here, we address this issue using functional imaging (fMRI). Participants listened to question-reply dialogues. In these dialogues, a reply is interpreted as a direct reply, an indirect reply or a request for action, depending on the question. We show that inferring meaning from indirect replies engages parts of the mentalising network (mPFC) while requests for action also activate the cortical motor system (IPL). Subsequent connectivity analysis using Dynamic Causal Modelling (DCM) revealed that this pattern of activation is best explained by an increase in effective connectivity from the mentalising network (mPFC) to the action system (IPL). These results are an important step towards a more integrative understanding of the neurobiological basis of indirect speech processing. PMID:27131039

  6. Prefrontal Neurons Encode Actions and Outcomes in Conjunction with Spatial Location in Rats Performing a Dynamic Delayed Non-Match to Position Task

    PubMed Central

    Wormwood, Benjamin A.; Miller, Rikki L. A.; Gibson, Brett M.; Mair, Robert G.

    2016-01-01

    To respond adaptively to change organisms must utilize information about recent events and environmental context to select actions that are likely to produce favorable outcomes. We developed a dynamic delayed nonmatching to position task to study the influence of spatial context on event-related activity of medial prefrontal cortex neurons during reinforcement-guided decision-making. We found neurons with responses related to preparation, movement, lever press responses, reinforcement, and memory delays. Combined event-related and video tracking analyses revealed variability in spatial tuning of neurons with similar event-related activity. While all correlated neurons exhibited spatial tuning broadly consistent with relevant task events, for instance reinforcement-related activity concentrated in locations where reinforcement was delivered, some had elevated activity in more specific locations, for instance reinforcement-related activity in one of several locations where reinforcement was delivered. Timing analyses revealed a limited set of distinct response types with activity time-locked to critical behavioral events that represent the temporal organization of dDNMTP trials. Our results suggest that reinforcement-guided decision-making emerges from discrete populations of medial prefrontal neurons that encode information related to planned or ongoing movements and actions and anticipated or actual action-outcomes in conjunction with information about spatial context. PMID:26848579

  7. Prefrontal Neurons Encode Actions and Outcomes in Conjunction with Spatial Location in Rats Performing a Dynamic Delayed Non-Match to Position Task.

    PubMed

    Onos, Kristen D; Francoeur, Miranda J; Wormwood, Benjamin A; Miller, Rikki L A; Gibson, Brett M; Mair, Robert G

    2016-01-01

    To respond adaptively to change organisms must utilize information about recent events and environmental context to select actions that are likely to produce favorable outcomes. We developed a dynamic delayed nonmatching to position task to study the influence of spatial context on event-related activity of medial prefrontal cortex neurons during reinforcement-guided decision-making. We found neurons with responses related to preparation, movement, lever press responses, reinforcement, and memory delays. Combined event-related and video tracking analyses revealed variability in spatial tuning of neurons with similar event-related activity. While all correlated neurons exhibited spatial tuning broadly consistent with relevant task events, for instance reinforcement-related activity concentrated in locations where reinforcement was delivered, some had elevated activity in more specific locations, for instance reinforcement-related activity in one of several locations where reinforcement was delivered. Timing analyses revealed a limited set of distinct response types with activity time-locked to critical behavioral events that represent the temporal organization of dDNMTP trials. Our results suggest that reinforcement-guided decision-making emerges from discrete populations of medial prefrontal neurons that encode information related to planned or ongoing movements and actions and anticipated or actual action-outcomes in conjunction with information about spatial context. PMID:26848579

  8. Cholinergic Neurons in the Basal Forebrain Promote Wakefulness by Actions on Neighboring Non-Cholinergic Neurons: An Opto-Dialysis Study

    PubMed Central

    Zant, Janneke C.; Kim, Tae; Prokai, Laszlo; Szarka, Szabolcs; McNally, James; McKenna, James T.; Shukla, Charu; Yang, Chun; Kalinchuk, Anna V.; McCarley, Robert W.; Brown, Ritchie E.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the control of sleep–wake states by the basal forebrain (BF) poses a challenge due to the intermingled presence of cholinergic, GABAergic, and glutamatergic neurons. All three BF neuronal subtypes project to the cortex and are implicated in cortical arousal and sleep–wake control. Thus, nonspecific stimulation or inhibition studies do not reveal the roles of these different neuronal types. Recent studies using optogenetics have shown that “selective” stimulation of BF cholinergic neurons increases transitions between NREM sleep and wakefulness, implicating cholinergic projections to cortex in wake promotion. However, the interpretation of these optogenetic experiments is complicated by interactions that may occur within the BF. For instance, a recent in vitro study from our group found that cholinergic neurons strongly excite neighboring GABAergic neurons, including the subset of cortically projecting neurons, which contain the calcium-binding protein, parvalbumin (PV) (Yang et al., 2014). Thus, the wake-promoting effect of “selective” optogenetic stimulation of BF cholinergic neurons could be mediated by local excitation of GABA/PV or other non-cholinergic BF neurons. In this study, using a newly designed opto-dialysis probe to couple selective optical stimulation with simultaneous in vivo microdialysis, we demonstrated that optical stimulation of cholinergic neurons locally increased acetylcholine levels and increased wakefulness in mice. Surprisingly, the enhanced wakefulness caused by cholinergic stimulation was abolished by simultaneous reverse microdialysis of cholinergic receptor antagonists into BF. Thus, our data suggest that the wake-promoting effect of cholinergic stimulation requires local release of acetylcholine in the basal forebrain and activation of cortically projecting, non-cholinergic neurons, including the GABAergic/PV neurons. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Optogenetics is a revolutionary tool to assess the roles of

  9. Amniotic Fluid or Its Fatty Acids Produce Actions Similar to Diazepam on Lateral Septal Neurons Firing Rate

    PubMed Central

    Gutiérrez-García, Ana G.; Vásquez-Hernández, Diana Idania

    2013-01-01

    Human amniotic fluid (AF) contains eight fatty acids (FATs), and both produce anxiolytic-like effects in adult rats and appetitive responses in human newborns. The medial amygdala and lateral septal nucleus function are related to social behavior, but the action of AF or its FATs in this circuit is known. We obtained 267 single-unit extracellular recordings in Wistar rats treated with vehicle (1 mL, s.c.; n = 12), human AF (1 mL, s.c.; n = 12), a FAT mixture (1 mL, s.c.; n = 13), diazepam (1 mg/kg, i.p.; n = 11), and fluoxetine (1 mg/kg, p.o.; n = 12). Compared with the vehicle group, the spontaneous septal firing rate in the AF, FAT mixture, and diazepam groups was the lowest and in the fluoxetine group the highest. Cumulative peristimulus histograms indicated that the significant change in septal firing occurred only in the AF and FAT mixture groups and exclusively in those neurons that increased their firing rate during amygdala stimulation. We conclude that human AF and its FATs produce actions comparable to anxiolytic drugs and are able to modify the responsivity of a circuit involved in social behavior, suggesting facilitation of social recognition processes by maternal-fetal fluids. PMID:23864826

  10. Neuronal Rap1 Regulates Energy Balance, Glucose Homeostasis, and Leptin Actions.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Kentaro; Xu, Pingwen; Cordonier, Elizabeth L; Chen, Siyu S; Ng, Amy; Xu, Yong; Morozov, Alexei; Fukuda, Makoto

    2016-09-13

    The CNS contributes to obesity and metabolic disease; however, the underlying neurobiological pathways remain to be fully established. Here, we show that the small GTPase Rap1 is expressed in multiple hypothalamic nuclei that control whole-body metabolism and is activated in high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity. Genetic ablation of CNS Rap1 protects mice from dietary obesity, glucose imbalance, and insulin resistance in the periphery and from HFD-induced neuropathological changes in the hypothalamus, including diminished cellular leptin sensitivity and increased endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and inflammation. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of CNS Rap1 signaling normalizes hypothalamic ER stress and inflammation, improves cellular leptin sensitivity, and reduces body weight in mice with dietary obesity. We also demonstrate that Rap1 mediates leptin resistance via interplay with ER stress. Thus, neuronal Rap1 critically regulates leptin sensitivity and mediates HFD-induced obesity and hypothalamic pathology and may represent a potential therapeutic target for obesity treatment. PMID:27626668

  11. MaqFACS (Macaque Facial Action Coding System) can be used to document facial movements in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus)

    PubMed Central

    Julle-Danière, Églantine; Whitehouse, Jamie; Joly, Marine; Gass, Carolin; Burrows, Anne M.; Waller, Bridget M.

    2015-01-01

    Human and non-human primates exhibit facial movements or displays to communicate with one another. The evolution of form and function of those displays could be better understood through multispecies comparisons. Anatomically based coding systems (Facial Action Coding Systems: FACS) are developed to enable such comparisons because they are standardized and systematic and aid identification of homologous expressions underpinned by similar muscle contractions. To date, FACS has been developed for humans, and subsequently modified for chimpanzees, rhesus macaques, orangutans, hylobatids, dogs, and cats. Here, we wanted to test whether the MaqFACS system developed in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) could be used to code facial movements in Barbary macaques (M. sylvanus), a species phylogenetically close to the rhesus macaques. The findings show that the facial movement capacity of Barbary macaques can be reliably coded using the MaqFACS. We found differences in use and form of some movements, most likely due to specializations in the communicative repertoire of each species, rather than morphological differences. PMID:26401458

  12. MaqFACS (Macaque Facial Action Coding System) can be used to document facial movements in Barbary macaques (Macaca sylvanus).

    PubMed

    Julle-Danière, Églantine; Micheletta, Jérôme; Whitehouse, Jamie; Joly, Marine; Gass, Carolin; Burrows, Anne M; Waller, Bridget M

    2015-01-01

    Human and non-human primates exhibit facial movements or displays to communicate with one another. The evolution of form and function of those displays could be better understood through multispecies comparisons. Anatomically based coding systems (Facial Action Coding Systems: FACS) are developed to enable such comparisons because they are standardized and systematic and aid identification of homologous expressions underpinned by similar muscle contractions. To date, FACS has been developed for humans, and subsequently modified for chimpanzees, rhesus macaques, orangutans, hylobatids, dogs, and cats. Here, we wanted to test whether the MaqFACS system developed in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) could be used to code facial movements in Barbary macaques (M. sylvanus), a species phylogenetically close to the rhesus macaques. The findings show that the facial movement capacity of Barbary macaques can be reliably coded using the MaqFACS. We found differences in use and form of some movements, most likely due to specializations in the communicative repertoire of each species, rather than morphological differences.

  13. Intense isolectin-B4 binding in rat dorsal root ganglion neurons distinguishes C-fiber nociceptors with broad action potentials and high Nav1.9 expression.

    PubMed

    Fang, Xin; Djouhri, Laiche; McMullan, Simon; Berry, Carol; Waxman, Stephen G; Okuse, Kenji; Lawson, Sally N

    2006-07-01

    Binding to isolectin-B4 (IB4) and expression of tyrosine kinase A (trkA) (the high-affinity NGF receptor) have been used to define two different subgroups of nociceptive small dorsal root ganglion (DRG) neurons. We previously showed that only nociceptors have high trkA levels. However, information about sensory and electrophysiological properties in vivo of single identified IB4-binding neurons, and about their trkA expression levels, is lacking. IB4-positive (IB4+) and small dark neurons had similar size distributions. We examined IB4-binding levels in >120 dye-injected DRG neurons with sensory and electrophysiological properties recorded in vivo. Relative immunointensities for trkA and two TTX-resistant sodium channels (Nav1.8 and Nav1.9) were also measured in these neurons. IB4+ neurons were classified as strongly or weakly IB4+. All strongly IB4+ neurons were C-nociceptor type (C-fiber nociceptive or unresponsive). Of 32 C-nociceptor-type neurons examined, approximately 50% were strongly IB4+, approximately 20% were weakly IB4+ and approximately 30% were IB4-. Adelta low-threshold mechanoreceptive (LTM) neurons were weakly IB4+ or IB4-. All 33 A-fiber nociceptors and all 44 Aalpha/beta-LTM neurons examined were IB4-. IB4+ compared with IB4- C-nociceptor-type neurons had longer somatic action potential durations and rise times, slower conduction velocities, more negative membrane potentials, and greater immunointensities for Nav1.9 but not Nav1.8. Immunointensities of IB4 binding in C-neurons were positively correlated with those of Nav1.9 but not Nav1.8. Of 23 C-neurons tested for both trkA and IB4, approximately 35% were trkA+/IB4+ but with negatively correlated immunointensities; 26% were IB4+/trkA-, and 35% were IB4-/trkA+. We conclude that strongly IB4+ DRG neurons are exclusively C-nociceptor type and that high Nav1.9 expression may contribute to their distinct membrane properties. PMID:16822986

  14. Neuronal and immunological basis of action of antidepressants in chronic pain - clinical and experimental studies.

    PubMed

    Mika, Joanna; Zychowska, Magdalena; Makuch, Wioletta; Rojewska, Ewelina; Przewlocka, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    The current knowledge of the pharmacological actions of the tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) has slowly evolved through their over 40-year history. Chronic pain represents one of the most important public health problems, and antidepressants are an essential part of the therapeutic strategy in addition to classical analgesics. This article reviews the available evidence on the efficacy and safety of antidepressants in chronic pain conditions; namely, headaches, low back pain, fibromyalgia, cancer pain and especially neuropathic pain. TCAs are traditionally the main type of depression medication used to treat chronic pain. Recently, new antidepressants were introduced into clinical use, with a significant reduction in side effects and equivalent efficacy on mood disorders. These new drugs that are effective for chronic pain belong to the tetracyclic antidepressants (TeCAs) group (amoxapine, maprotiline), the serotonin and noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) group (duloxetine, venlafaxine, milnacipran) and the atypical antidepressants group (bupropion, trazodone, mirtazapine, nefazodone). In this review, we present the available publications on TCAs (amitriptyline, doxepin, imipramine, desipramine, nortriptyline), TeCAs (amoxapine, maprotiline), selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (citalopram, fluoxetine, paroxetine), SNRIs (duloxetine, venlafaxine, milnacipran) and atypical antidepressants (bupropion) for the treatment of neuropathic pain. We also review analgesics acting as both opioid receptor agonists and also acting as aminergic reuptake inhibitors. Existing data are insufficient to conclude which of these new classes of antidepressants has the best clinical profile and will be the most effective in the treatment of neuropathic pain; in addition, a lower incidence of side effects should be considered. Increased experimental and translational research is a key for further improvement of the treatment of chronic pain with antidepressants. However

  15. Novel description of ionic currents recorded with the action potential clamp technique: application to excitatory currents in suprachiasmatic nucleus neurons.

    PubMed

    Clay, John R

    2015-07-01

    The traditional method of recording ionic currents in neurons has been with voltage-clamp steps. Other waveforms such as action potentials (APs) can be used. The AP clamp method reveals contributions of ionic currents that underlie excitability during an AP (Bean BP. Nat Rev Neurosci 8: 451-465, 2007). A novel usage of the method is described in this report. An experimental recording of an AP from the literature is digitized and applied computationally to models of ionic currents. These results are compared with experimental AP-clamp recordings for model verification or, if need be, alterations to the model. The method is applied to the tetrodotoxin-sensitive sodium ion current, INa, and the calcium ion current, ICa, from suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) neurons (Jackson AC, Yao GL, Bean BP. J Neurosci 24: 7985-7998, 2004). The latter group reported voltage-step and AP-clamp results for both components. A model of INa is constructed from their voltage-step results. The AP clamp computational methodology applied to that model compares favorably with experiment, other than a modest discrepancy close to the peak of the AP that has not yet been resolved. A model of ICa was constructed from both voltage-step and AP-clamp results of this component. The model employs the Goldman-Hodgkin-Katz equation for the current-voltage relation rather than the traditional linear dependence of this aspect of the model on the Ca(2+) driving force. The long-term goal of this work is a mathematical model of the SCN AP. The method is general. It can be applied to any excitable cell.

  16. Nitrous oxide directly inhibits action potential-dependent neurotransmission from single presynaptic boutons adhering to rat hippocampal CA3 neurons.

    PubMed

    Wakita, Masahito; Kotani, Naoki; Yamaga, Toshitaka; Akaike, Norio

    2015-09-01

    We evaluated the effects of N2O on synaptic transmission using a preparation of mechanically dissociated rat hippocampal CA3 neurons that allowed assays of single bouton responses evoked from native functional nerve endings. We studied the effects of N2O on GABAA, glutamate, AMPA and NMDA receptor-mediated currents (IGABA, IGlu, IAMPA and INMDA) elicited by exogenous application of GABA, glutamate, (S)-AMPA, and NMDA and spontaneous, miniature, and evoked GABAergic inhibitory and glutamatergic excitatory postsynaptic current (sIPSC, mIPSC, eIPSC, sEPSC, mEPSC and eEPSC) in mechanically dissociated CA3 neurons. eIPSC and eEPSC were evoked by focal electrical stimulation of a single bouton. Administration of 70% N2O altered neither IGABA nor the frequency and amplitude of both sIPSCs and mIPSCs. In contrast, N2O decreased the amplitude of eIPSCs, while increasing failure rates (Rf) and paired-pulse ratios (PPR) in a concentration-dependent manner. On the other hand, N2O decreased IGlu, IAMPA and INMDA. Again N2O did not change the frequency and amplitude of either sEPSCs of mEPSCs. N2O also decreased amplitudes of eEPSCs with increased Rf and PPR. The decay phases of all synaptic responses were unchanged. The present results indicated that N2O inhibits the activation of AMPA/KA and NMDA receptors and also that N2O preferentially depress the action potential-dependent GABA and glutamate releases but had little effects on spontaneous and miniature releases. PMID:26343381

  17. Assessing the Electrode-Neuron Interface with the Electrically Evoked Compound Action Potential, Electrode Position, and Behavioral Thresholds.

    PubMed

    DeVries, Lindsay; Scheperle, Rachel; Bierer, Julie Arenberg

    2016-06-01

    Variability in speech perception scores among cochlear implant listeners may largely reflect the variable efficacy of implant electrodes to convey stimulus information to the auditory nerve. In the present study, three metrics were applied to assess the quality of the electrode-neuron interface of individual cochlear implant channels: the electrically evoked compound action potential (ECAP), the estimation of electrode position using computerized tomography (CT), and behavioral thresholds using focused stimulation. The primary motivation of this approach is to evaluate the ECAP as a site-specific measure of the electrode-neuron interface in the context of two peripheral factors that likely contribute to degraded perception: large electrode-to-modiolus distance and reduced neural density. Ten unilaterally implanted adults with Advanced Bionics HiRes90k devices participated. ECAPs were elicited with monopolar stimulation within a forward-masking paradigm to construct channel interaction functions (CIF), behavioral thresholds were obtained with quadrupolar (sQP) stimulation, and data from imaging provided estimates of electrode-to-modiolus distance and scalar location (scala tympani (ST), intermediate, or scala vestibuli (SV)) for each electrode. The width of the ECAP CIF was positively correlated with electrode-to-modiolus distance; both of these measures were also influenced by scalar position. The ECAP peak amplitude was negatively correlated with behavioral thresholds. Moreover, subjects with low behavioral thresholds and large ECAP amplitudes, averaged across electrodes, tended to have higher speech perception scores. These results suggest a potential clinical role for the ECAP in the objective assessment of individual cochlear implant channels, with the potential to improve speech perception outcomes. PMID:26926152

  18. Excitability and Burst Generation of AVPV Kisspeptin Neurons Are Regulated by the Estrous Cycle Via Multiple Conductances Modulated by Estradiol Action123

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Luhong

    2016-01-01

    Abstract The preovulatory secretory surge of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is crucial for fertility and is regulated by a switch of estradiol feedback action from negative to positive. GnRH neurons likely receive estradiol feedback signals via ERα-expressing afferents. Kisspeptin neurons in anteroventral periventricular nucleus (AVPV) are thought to be critical for estradiol-positive feedback induction of the GnRH surge. We examined the electrophysiological properties of GFP-identified AVPV kisspeptin neurons in brain slices from mice on the afternoon of diestrus (negative feedback) and proestrus (positive feedback, time of surge). Extracellular recordings revealed increased firing frequency and action potential bursts on proestrus versus diestrus. Whole-cell recordings were used to study the intrinsic mechanisms of bursting. Upon depolarization, AVPV kisspeptin neurons exhibited tonic firing or depolarization-induced bursts (DIB). Both tonic and DIB cells exhibited bursts induced by rebound from hyperpolarization. DIB occurred similarly on both cycle stages, but rebound bursts were observed more often on proestrus. DIB and rebound bursts were both sensitive to Ni2+, suggesting that T-type Ca2+ currents (ITs) are involved. IT current density was greater on proestrus versus diestrus. In addition to IT, persistent sodium current (INaP) facilitated rebound bursting. On diestrus, 4-aminopyridine-sensitive potassium currents contributed to reduced rebound bursts in both tonic and DIB cells. Manipulation of specific sex steroids suggests that estradiol induces the changes that enhance AVPV kisspeptin neuron excitability on proestrus. These observations indicate cycle-driven changes in circulating estradiol increased overall action potential generation and burst firing in AVPV kisspeptin neurons on proestrus versus diestrus by regulating multiple intrinsic currents. PMID:27280155

  19. The involvement of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in antiepileptic action of alpha-asarone on pentylenetetrazol molding rats.

    PubMed

    Su, Jing; Zhu, Wenting; Liu, Jing; Yin, Jian; Qin, Wei; Jiang, Changbin

    2014-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to research the role of nitric oxide (NO) as a mediator of alpha (α)-asarone effect at the pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-induced epileptiform discharge in rat. α-Asarone that was injected intraperitoneally twenty minutes before PTZ injection suppressed the clonic discharge effectively and the significant actions lasted for 30 min with no change of clonic amplitude. Administration of α-asarone did not influence interictal discharge. Four kinds of NO regulators were administered, including non-selective NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME), selective neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) inhibitor, 7-nitroindazole (7-NI), inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS) inhibitor, aminoguanidine (AG) and NO substrate, L-arginine (ARG) and their influence on the actions of α-asarone were studied, and all of the regulators were administered fifteen minutes before α-asarone injection. L-NAME and 7-NI reversed the anticlonic activity of α-asarone, and a significant increase of clonic activity was induced by L-NAME later in L-NAME +.α-asarone + PTZ group. There were no significant differences between AG + α-asarone + PTZ and α-asarone + PTZ group. L-ARG played a dual role in this study. It aggravated clonic discharge in the early stage but relieved interictal discharge in the late stage compared with PTZ group alone, and the beneficial effect of α-asarone was also reversed. All the above results suggest that nNOS/NO pathway mediates the anticonvulsant effect of α-asarone, and NO played a biphasic role in PTZ modeling process, while iNOS was unrelated to the inhibition effect of α-asarone on PTZ induced epileptiform activity. PMID:25227079

  20. From muscles synergies and individual goals to interpersonal synergies and shared goals: Mirror neurons and interpersonal action hierarchies. Comment on "Grasping synergies: A motor-control approach to the mirror neuron mechanism" by D'Ausilio et al.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Candidi, Matteo; Sacheli, Lucia Maria; Aglioti, Salvatore Maria

    2015-03-01

    D'Ausilio et al. [28] must be praised for bringing attention to the important question of how human Mirror Neurons (MNs) may contribute to action perception, prediction and understanding [1] and for linking their role with the granularity of the motor system as conceptualized in the domain of action control theories. Although we think that the Authors are right in saying that the granularity of the motor system constrains the granularity of the MN system, we speculate that the contribution of MNs to action perception, prediction and understanding is also constrained by the connections between MNs and other cortical and subcortical regions, and by the identity of MNs, i.e. whether they are interneurons or pyramidal cells [2]. In other words, the functional contribution of MS depends on whether they are connected to sensory, emotional and cognitive networks for the service of action perception, prediction and understanding.

  1. Prolonged acetylsalicylic-acid-supplementation-induced gastritis affects the chemical coding of the stomach innervating vagal efferent neurons in the porcine dorsal motor vagal nucleus (DMX).

    PubMed

    Gańko, Marta; Całka, Jarosław

    2014-01-01

    The main goal of our research was to study the possible alterations of the chemical coding of the dorsal motor vagal nucleus (DMX) neurons projecting to the porcine stomach prepyloric region following prolonged acetylsalicylic acid supplementation. Fast Blue (FB) was injected into the studied area of the stomach. Since the seventh day following the FB injection, acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was given orally to the experimental gilts. All animals were euthanized on the 28th day after FB injection. Medulla oblongata sections were then processed for double-labeling immunofluorescence for choline acetyltransferase (ChAT), pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide (PACAP), vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), nitric oxide synthase (NOS), galanin (GAL), substance P (SP), leu enkephalin (LENK), and cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART). In the control DMX, only PACAP was observed in 30.08 ± 1.97 % of the FB-positive neurons, while VIP, NOS, GAL, SP, LENK, and CART were found exclusively in neuronal processes running between FB-labeled perikarya. In the ASA DMX, PACAP was revealed in 49.53 ± 5.73 % of traced vagal perikarya. Moreover, we found de novo expression of VIP in 40.32 ± 7.84 %, NOS in 25.02 ± 6.08 %, and GAL in 3.37 ± 0.85 % of the FB-labeled neurons. Our results suggest that neuronal PACAP, VIP, NOS, and GAL are mediators of neural response to aspirin-induced stomach inflammatory state.

  2. Allopregnanolone reduces immobility in the forced swimming test and increases the firing rate of lateral septal neurons through actions on the GABAA receptor in the rat.

    PubMed

    Rodrìguez-Landa, Juan Francisco; Contreras, Carlos M; Bernal-Morales, Blandina; Gutièrrez-Garcìa, Ana G; Saavedra, Margarita

    2007-01-01

    Since allopregnanolone reduces the total time of immobility in rats submitted to the forced swimming test, we decided to explore whether this neuroactive steroid shares other antidepressant-like actions, such as increasing the neuronal firing rate in the lateral septal nucleus (LSN). In order to discard the influence of the oestrous cycle on immobility and on the firing rate of LSN neurons, all Wistar rats used in the study underwent ovariectomy before treatments. A group of rats received different doses of allopregnanolone (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 mg/kg, i.p.) 1 hour before being forced to swim in order to identify the minimum effective dose diminishing immobility. None of the tested doses of allopregnanolone produced significant changes in motor activity in the open-field test. The minimum dose of allopregnanolone producing a significant reduction in the total time of immobility (p<0.05) against the vehicle was 1.0 mg/kg, while 2.0 mg/kg and above also increased the latency to the first period of immobility (p<0.05). The minimum effective dose of allopregnanolone reducing immobility in the forced swimming test (1.0 mg/kg) significantly (p <0.05) produced a higher (twofold) neuronal firing rate in LSN neurons, but did not produce any change in septofimbrial nucleus neurons, which fired at a rate similar to that of vehicle-treated rats. The pretreatment with the non-competitive GABAA receptor antagonist, picrotoxin (1.0 mg/kg), blocked the aforementioned actions of allopregnanolone on both immobility and LSN firing rate. In conclusion, allopregnanolone produces an antidepressant-like effect in the forced swimming test, associated with an increase in the LSN neuronal firing rate, seemingly mediated by the GABAA receptor.

  3. Cellular actions of opioids on periaqueductal grey neurons from C57B16/J mice and mutant mice lacking MOR-1.

    PubMed

    Vaughan, Christopher W; Bagley, Elena E; Drew, Geoffrey M; Schuller, Alwin; Pintar, John E; Hack, Stephen P; Christie, MacDonald J

    2003-05-01

    1 Patch clamp recordings were made from periaqueductal grey (PAG) neurons in vitro to investigate the cellular actions of opioids in wild-type C57B16/J mice and mutant mice lacking the first exon of the micro -opioid (MOP) receptor. 2 In wild-type mice, the kappa-(KOP) agonist U-69593 (300 nM) and the mixed micro /delta-opioid agonist met-enkephalin (10 micro M), but not the delta-(DOP) agonist deltorphin (300 nM), reduced the amplitude of evoked GABA(A)-mediated inhibitory postsynaptic currents (IPSCs). Met-enkephalin and U-69593 also reduced the rate of spontaneous miniature IPSCs, but had no effect on their amplitude and kinetics. In micro -receptor-deleted mice, only U-69593 (300 nM) reduced the amplitude of evoked IPSCs. 3 In wild-type mice, the MOP agonist DAMGO (3 micro M) produced an outward current in 76% of the neurons. Deltorphin and U-69593 produced outward currents in 24 and 32% of the neurons, respectively. In micro -receptor-deleted mice, deltorphin and U-69593 produced similar outward currents in 32 and 27% of the neurons, respectively, while DAMGO was without effect. All neurons in both the wild-type and micro -receptor-deleted mice responded with similar outward currents to either the GABA(B) receptor agonist baclofen (10 micro M), or the opioid-like receptor ORL1 (NOP) agonist nociceptin (300 nM). 4 The DAMGO-, deltorphin-, U-69593-, baclofen- and nociceptin-induced currents displayed inward rectification and reversed polarity at -109 to -116 mV. 5 These findings indicate that micro -, delta- and kappa-opioid receptor activation has complex pre- and postsynaptic actions within the mouse PAG. This differs to the rat PAG where only micro -opioid receptor actions have been observed.

  4. THE TWO-LEVEL THEORY OF VERB MEANING: AN APPROACH TO INTEGRATING THE SEMANTICS OF ACTION WITH THE MIRROR NEURON SYSTEM

    PubMed Central

    Kemmerer, David; Castillo, Javier Gonzalez

    2010-01-01

    Verbs have two separate levels of meaning. One level reflects the uniqueness of every verb and is called the “root.” The other level consists of a more austere representation that is shared by all the verbs in a given class and is called the “event structure template.” We explore the following hypotheses about how, with specific reference to the motor features of action verbs, these two distinct levels of semantic representation might correspond to two distinct levels of the mirror neuron system. Hypothesis 1: Root-level motor features of verb meaning are partially subserved by somatotopically mapped mirror neurons in the left primary motor and/or premotor cortices. Hypothesis 2: Template-level motor features of verb meaning are partially subserved by representationally more schematic mirror neurons in Brodmann area 44 of the left inferior frontal gyrus. Evidence has been accumulating in support of the general neuroanatomical claims made by these two hypotheses—namely, that each level of verb meaning is associated with the designated cortical areas. However, as yet no studies have satisfied all the criteria necessary to support the more specific neurobiological claims made by the two hypotheses—namely, that each level of verb meaning is associated with mirror neurons in the pertinent brain regions. This would require demonstrating that within those regions the same neuronal populations are engaged during (a) the linguistic processing of particular motor features of verb meaning, (b) the execution of actions with the corresponding motor features, and (c) the observation of actions with the corresponding motor features. PMID:18996582

  5. Differential actions of orexin receptors in brainstem cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons revealed by receptor knockouts: implications for orexinergic signaling in arousal and narcolepsy

    PubMed Central

    Kohlmeier, Kristi A.; Tyler, Christopher J.; Kalogiannis, Mike; Ishibashi, Masaru; Kristensen, Morten P.; Gumenchuk, Iryna; Chemelli, Richard M.; Kisanuki, Yaz Y.; Yanagisawa, Masashi; Leonard, Christopher S.

    2013-01-01

    Orexin neuropeptides influence multiple homeostatic functions and play an essential role in the expression of normal sleep-wake behavior. While their two known receptors (OX1 and OX2) are targets for novel pharmacotherapeutics, the actions mediated by each receptor remain largely unexplored. Using brain slices from mice constitutively lacking either receptor, we used whole-cell and Ca2+ imaging methods to delineate the cellular actions of each receptor within cholinergic [laterodorsal tegmental nucleus (LDT)] and monoaminergic [dorsal raphe (DR) and locus coeruleus (LC)] brainstem nuclei—where orexins promote arousal and suppress REM sleep. In slices from OX−/−2 mice, orexin-A (300 nM) elicited wild-type responses in LDT, DR, and LC neurons consisting of a depolarizing current and augmented voltage-dependent Ca2+ transients. In slices from OX−/−1 mice, the depolarizing current was absent in LDT and LC neurons and was attenuated in DR neurons, although Ca2+-transients were still augmented. Since orexin-A produced neither of these actions in slices lacking both receptors, our findings suggest that orexin-mediated depolarization is mediated by both receptors in DR, but is exclusively mediated by OX1 in LDT and LC neurons, even though OX2 is present and OX2 mRNA appears elevated in brainstems from OX−/−1 mice. Considering published behavioral data, these findings support a model in which orexin-mediated excitation of mesopontine cholinergic and monoaminergic neurons contributes little to stabilizing spontaneous waking and sleep bouts, but functions in context-dependent arousal and helps restrict muscle atonia to REM sleep. The augmented Ca2+ transients produced by both receptors appeared mediated by influx via L-type Ca2+ channels, which is often linked to transcriptional signaling. This could provide an adaptive signal to compensate for receptor loss or prolonged antagonism and may contribute to the reduced severity of narcolepsy in single receptor

  6. Action!

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Senese, Joseph

    1998-01-01

    A small group of teachers at one Illinois high school is helping to effect and promote change. Through the Action Research Laboratory (ARL), teams of teachers conduct collaborative action research to improve classroom practices. Data from the first two years of the ARL indicate that teachers are eager to participate in, and have thrived in, their…

  7. Interneuronal Transfer and Distal Action of Tetanus Toxin and Botulinum Neurotoxins A and D in Central Neurons.

    PubMed

    Bomba-Warczak, Ewa; Vevea, Jason D; Brittain, Joel M; Figueroa-Bernier, Annette; Tepp, William H; Johnson, Eric A; Yeh, Felix L; Chapman, Edwin R

    2016-08-16

    Recent reports suggest that botulinum neurotoxin (BoNT) A, which is widely used clinically to inhibit neurotransmission, can spread within networks of neurons to have distal effects, but this remains controversial. Moreover, it is not known whether other members of this toxin family are transferred between neurons. Here, we investigate the potential distal effects of BoNT/A, BoNT/D, and tetanus toxin (TeNT), using central neurons grown in microfluidic devices. Toxins acted upon the neurons that mediated initial entry, but all three toxins were also taken up, via an alternative pathway, into non-acidified organelles that mediated retrograde transport to the somato-dendritic compartment. Toxins were then released into the media, where they entered and exerted their effects upon upstream neurons. These findings directly demonstrate that these agents undergo transcytosis and interneuronal transfer in an active form, resulting in long-distance effects. PMID:27498860

  8. Distribution pattern and chemical coding of neurons of the sympathetic chain ganglia supplying the descending colon in the pig.

    PubMed

    Skobowiat, Cezary; Calka, Jarosław; Wasowicz, Krzysztof; Majewski, Mariusz

    2010-06-01

    Sympathetic chain ganglia (SChG) neurons projecting to the descending colon of the pig were studied by means of retrograde tracing (Fast Blue, FB) and double-labelling immunofluorescence methods. FB was injected into the gut wall and after three weeks survival time the animals were transcardially perfused with paraformaldehyde and the bilateral sympathetic trunks were collected. The FB-positive neurons were localised only in the lumbar (L(1)-L(5)) ganglia of the sympathetic trunk and appeared either as small (30-50 microm in diameter) round-shaped perikarya forming clusters localised in caudal-ventral area or, rarely, as bigger (50-80 microm) and dispersed solitary irregular perikarya. Immunohistochemical staining revealed the catecholaminergic (tyrosine hydroxylase-/dopamine beta-hydroxylase-immunoreactive) character of the great majority of FB-positive neurons which preferentially co-expressed neuropeptide Y. In addition, none of the FB-positive perikarya was immunopositive to galanin, somatostatin, choline acetyltransferase, vasoactive intestinal peptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide, leu(5)-enkephalin, nitric oxide synthase, substance P and calcitonin-generelated peptide. PMID:20460218

  9. Auditory distance coding in rabbit midbrain neurons and human perception: monaural amplitude modulation depth as a cue.

    PubMed

    Kim, Duck O; Zahorik, Pavel; Carney, Laurel H; Bishop, Brian B; Kuwada, Shigeyuki

    2015-04-01

    Mechanisms underlying sound source distance localization are not well understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that a novel mechanism can create monaural distance sensitivity: a combination of auditory midbrain neurons' sensitivity to amplitude modulation (AM) depth and distance-dependent loss of AM in reverberation. We used virtual auditory space (VAS) methods for sounds at various distances in anechoic and reverberant environments. Stimulus level was constant across distance. With increasing modulation depth, some rabbit inferior colliculus neurons increased firing rates whereas others decreased. These neurons exhibited monotonic relationships between firing rates and distance for monaurally presented noise when two conditions were met: (1) the sound had AM, and (2) the environment was reverberant. The firing rates as a function of distance remained approximately constant without AM in either environment and, in an anechoic condition, even with AM. We corroborated this finding by reproducing the distance sensitivity using a neural model. We also conducted a human psychophysical study using similar methods. Normal-hearing listeners reported perceived distance in response to monaural 1 octave 4 kHz noise source sounds presented at distances of 35-200 cm. We found parallels between the rabbit neural and human responses. In both, sound distance could be discriminated only if the monaural sound in reverberation had AM. These observations support the hypothesis. When other cues are available (e.g., in binaural hearing), how much the auditory system actually uses the AM as a distance cue remains to be determined.

  10. Auditory Distance Coding in Rabbit Midbrain Neurons and Human Perception: Monaural Amplitude Modulation Depth as a Cue

    PubMed Central

    Zahorik, Pavel; Carney, Laurel H.; Bishop, Brian B.; Kuwada, Shigeyuki

    2015-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying sound source distance localization are not well understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that a novel mechanism can create monaural distance sensitivity: a combination of auditory midbrain neurons' sensitivity to amplitude modulation (AM) depth and distance-dependent loss of AM in reverberation. We used virtual auditory space (VAS) methods for sounds at various distances in anechoic and reverberant environments. Stimulus level was constant across distance. With increasing modulation depth, some rabbit inferior colliculus neurons increased firing rates whereas others decreased. These neurons exhibited monotonic relationships between firing rates and distance for monaurally presented noise when two conditions were met: (1) the sound had AM, and (2) the environment was reverberant. The firing rates as a function of distance remained approximately constant without AM in either environment and, in an anechoic condition, even with AM. We corroborated this finding by reproducing the distance sensitivity using a neural model. We also conducted a human psychophysical study using similar methods. Normal-hearing listeners reported perceived distance in response to monaural 1 octave 4 kHz noise source sounds presented at distances of 35–200 cm. We found parallels between the rabbit neural and human responses. In both, sound distance could be discriminated only if the monaural sound in reverberation had AM. These observations support the hypothesis. When other cues are available (e.g., in binaural hearing), how much the auditory system actually uses the AM as a distance cue remains to be determined. PMID:25834060

  11. Low-intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation lowers action potential threshold and increases spike firing in layer 5 pyramidal neurons in vitro.

    PubMed

    Tang, Alexander D; Hong, Ivan; Boddington, Laura J; Garrett, Andrew R; Etherington, Sarah; Reynolds, John N J; Rodger, Jennifer

    2016-10-29

    Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has become a popular method of modulating neural plasticity in humans. Clinically, rTMS is delivered at high intensities to modulate neuronal excitability. While the high-intensity magnetic field can be targeted to stimulate specific cortical regions, areas adjacent to the targeted area receive stimulation at a lower intensity and may contribute to the overall plasticity induced by rTMS. We have previously shown that low-intensity rTMS induces molecular and structural plasticity in vivo, but the effects on membrane properties and neural excitability have not been investigated. Here we investigated the acute effect of low-intensity repetitive magnetic stimulation (LI-rMS) on neuronal excitability and potential changes on the passive and active electrophysiological properties of layer 5 pyramidal neurons in vitro. Whole-cell current clamp recordings were made at baseline prior to subthreshold LI-rMS (600 pulses of iTBS, n=9 cells from 7 animals) or sham (n=10 cells from 9 animals), immediately after stimulation, as well as 10 and 20min post-stimulation. Our results show that LI-rMS does not alter passive membrane properties (resting membrane potential and input resistance) but hyperpolarises action potential threshold and increases evoked spike-firing frequency. Increases in spike firing frequency were present throughout the 20min post-stimulation whereas action potential (AP) threshold hyperpolarization was present immediately after stimulation and at 20min post-stimulation. These results provide evidence that LI-rMS alters neuronal excitability of excitatory neurons. We suggest that regions outside the targeted region of high-intensity rTMS are susceptible to neuromodulation and may contribute to rTMS-induced plasticity. PMID:27568058

  12. Ethanol directly depresses AMPA and NMDA glutamate currents in spinal cord motor neurons independent of actions on GABAA or glycine receptors.

    PubMed

    Wang, M Y; Rampil, I J; Kendig, J J

    1999-07-01

    Ethanol is a general anesthetic agent as defined by abolition of movement in response to noxious stimulation. This anesthetic endpoint is due to spinal anesthetic actions. This study was designed to test the hypothesis that ethanol acts directly on motor neurons to inhibit excitatory synaptic transmission at glutamate receptors. Whole cell recordings were made in visually identified motor neurons in spinal cord slices from 14- to 23-day-old rats. Currents were evoked by stimulating a dorsal root fragment or by brief pulses of glutamate. Ethanol at general anesthetic concentrations (50-200 mM) depressed both responses. Ethanol also depressed glutamate-evoked responses in the presence of tetrodotoxin (300 nM), showing that its actions are postsynaptic. Block of inhibitory gamma-aminobutyric acidA and glycine receptors by bicuculline (50 microM) and strychnine (5 microM), respectively, did not significantly reduce the effects of ethanol on glutamate currents. Ethanol also depressed glutamate-evoked currents when the inhibitory receptors were blocked and either D, L-2-amino-5-phosphonopentanoic acid (40 microM) or 6-cyano-7-nitroquinoxaline-2,3-dione disodium (10 microM) were applied to block N-methyl-D-aspartate or alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid/kainate receptors, respectively. The results show that ethanol exerts direct depressant effects on both alpha-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate glutamate currents in motor neurons. Enhancement of gamma-aminobutyric acidA and glycine inhibition is not required for this effect. Direct depression of glutamatergic excitatory transmission by a postsynaptic action on motor neurons thus may contribute to general anesthesia as defined by immobility in response to a noxious stimulus. PMID:10381800

  13. Shift from depolarizing to hyperpolarizing glycine action in rat auditory neurones is due to age-dependent Cl− regulation

    PubMed Central

    Ehrlich, Ingrid; Löhrke, Stefan; Friauf, Eckhard

    1999-01-01

    The inhibitory neurotransmitter glycine can elicit depolarizing responses in immature neurones. We investigated the changes in glycine responses and their ionic mechanism in developing neurones of the rat lateral superior olive (LSO), an auditory brainstem nucleus involved in sound localization. Whole-cell and gramicidin perforated-patch recordings were performed from visually identified LSO neurones in brain slices and glycine was pressure applied for 3–100 ms to the soma. Glycine-evoked currents were reversibly blocked by strychnine. They were mostly monophasic, but biphasic responses occurred in ∼30% of P8-11 neurones in perforated-patch recordings. In whole-cell recordings from P2-11 neurones, the reversal potential of glycine-evoked currents (EGly) was determined by the transmembranous Cl− gradient and corresponded closely to the Nernst potential for Cl−, regardless of age. This indicates that Cl− is the principle ion permeating glycine receptors, but is also consistent with a low relative (10–20%) permeability for HCO3−. The Cl− gradient also determined the polarity and amplitude of glycine-evoked membrane potential changes. Leaving the native intracellular [Cl−] undisturbed with gramicidin perforated-patch recordings, we found a highly significant, age-dependent change of EGly from −46.8 ± 1.8 mV (P1-4, n = 28) to −67.6 ± 3.3 mV (P5-8, n = 10) to −82.2 ± 4.1 mV (P9–11, n = 18). The majority of P1–4 neurones were depolarized by glycine (∼80%) and spikes were evoked in ∼30%. In contrast, P9–11 neurones were hyperpolarized. In perforated-patch recordings, EGly was influenced by the voltage protocol and the glycine application interval; it could be shifted in the positive and negative direction. For a given application interval, these shifts were always larger in P1–4 than in P8–11 neurones, pointing to less effective Cl− regulation mechanisms in younger neurones. Furosemide (frusemide), a blocker of cation

  14. Differential Regulation of Action Potential Shape and Burst-Frequency Firing by BK and Kv2 Channels in Substantia Nigra Dopaminergic Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Kimm, Tilia; Khaliq, Zayd M.

    2015-01-01

    Little is known about the voltage-dependent potassium currents underlying spike repolarization in midbrain dopaminergic neurons. Studying mouse substantia nigra pars compacta dopaminergic neurons both in brain slice and after acute dissociation, we found that BK calcium-activated potassium channels and Kv2 channels both make major contributions to the depolarization-activated potassium current. Inhibiting Kv2 or BK channels had very different effects on spike shape and evoked firing. Inhibiting Kv2 channels increased spike width and decreased the afterhyperpolarization, as expected for loss of an action potential-activated potassium conductance. BK inhibition also increased spike width but paradoxically increased the afterhyperpolarization. Kv2 channel inhibition steeply increased the slope of the frequency–current (f–I) relationship, whereas BK channel inhibition had little effect on the f–I slope or decreased it, sometimes resulting in slowed firing. Action potential clamp experiments showed that both BK and Kv2 current flow during spike repolarization but with very different kinetics, with Kv2 current activating later and deactivating more slowly. Further experiments revealed that inhibiting either BK or Kv2 alone leads to recruitment of additional current through the other channel type during the action potential as a consequence of changes in spike shape. Enhancement of slowly deactivating Kv2 current can account for the increased afterhyperpolarization produced by BK inhibition and likely underlies the very different effects on the f–I relationship. The cross-regulation of BK and Kv2 activation illustrates that the functional role of a channel cannot be defined in isolation but depends critically on the context of the other conductances in the cell. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT This work shows that BK calcium-activated potassium channels and Kv2 voltage-activated potassium channels both regulate action potentials in dopamine neurons of the substantia nigra

  15. [Aqueous and salt solutions of quinine of low concentrations: self-organization, physicochemical properties and actions on the electrical characteristics of neurons].

    PubMed

    Murtazina, L I; Ryzhkina, I S; Mishina, O A; Andrianov, V V; Bogodvid, T Kh; Gaĭnutdinov, Kh L; Muranova, L N; Konovalov, A I

    2014-01-01

    Self-organization, the physicochemical properties of aqueous and salt solutions of quinine and the effects of salt quinine solutions in a wide range of concentrations (1 x 10(-22) - 1 x 10(-3) M) on the electrical characteristics of the edible snail's identified neurons were studied. Similar non-monotonic concentration dependencies of physicochemical properties of aqueous and salt quinine solutions at low concentrations are obtained. This allows of predicting the occurrence of biological effects at low concentrations of quinine solutions. Intrinsic (within 5% of the interval) changes in membrane potential, the amplitude and duration of the neuron action potential under the influence of quinine salt solutions at concentrations of quinine of 1 x 10(-20), 1 x 10(-18), 1 x 10(-10) M are found. For these concentrations the extreme values of specific conductivity and pH are shown.

  16. Action Research of a Color-Coded, Onset-Rime Decoding Intervention: Examining the Effects with First Grade Students Identified as at Risk

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wall, Candace A.; Rafferty, Lisa A.; Camizzi, Mariya A.; Max, Caroline A.; Van Blargan, David M.

    2016-01-01

    Many students who struggle to obtain the alphabetic principle are at risk for being identified as having a reading disability and would benefit from additional explicit phonics instruction as a remedial measure. In this action research case study, the research team conducted two experiments to investigate the effects of a color-coded, onset-rime,…

  17. Serotonin acts through 5-HT1 and 5-HT2 receptors to exert biphasic actions on GnRH neuron excitability in the mouse.

    PubMed

    Bhattarai, Janardhan P; Roa, Juan; Herbison, Allan E; Han, Seong Kyu

    2014-02-01

    The effect of serotonin (5-HT) on the electrical excitability of GnRH neurons was examined using gramicidin perforated-patch electrophysiology in transgenic GnRH-green fluorescent protein mice. In diestrous female, the predominant effect of 5-HT was inhibition (70%) with 50% of these cells also exhibiting a late-onset excitation. Responses were dose dependent (EC(50) = 1.2μM) and persisted in the presence of amino acid receptor antagonists and tetrodotoxin, indicating a predominant postsynaptic action of 5-HT. Studies in neonatal, juvenile, peripubertal, and adult mice revealed that 5-HT exerted less potent responses from GnRH neurons with advancing postnatal age in both sexes. In adult male mice, 5-HT exerted less potent hyperpolarizing responses with more excitations compared with females. In addition, adult proestrous female GnRH neurons exhibited reduced inhibition and a complete absence of biphasic hyperpolarization-excitation responses. Studies using 5-HT receptor antagonists demonstrated that the activation of 5-HT(1A) receptors mediated the inhibitory responses, whereas the excitation was mediated by the activation of 5-HT(2A) receptors. The 5-HT-mediated hyperpolarization involved both potassium channels and adenylate cyclase activation, whereas the 5-HT excitation was dependent on protein kinase C. The effects of exogenous 5-HT were replicated using fluoxetine, which enhances endogenous 5-HT levels. These studies demonstrate that 5-HT exerts a biphasic action on most GnRH neurons whereby a fast 5HT(1A)-mediated inhibition occurs alongside a slow 5-HT(2A) excitation. The balance of 5-HT-evoked inhibition vs excitation is developmentally regulated, sexually differentiated, and variable across the estrous cycle and may play a role in regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis throughout postnatal development.

  18. A-272651, a nonpeptidic blocker of large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channels, modulates bladder smooth muscle contractility and neuronal action potentials

    PubMed Central

    Shieh, C-C; Turner, S C; Zhang, X-F; Milicic, I; Parihar, A; Jinkerson, T; Wilkins, J; Buckner, S A; Gopalakrishnan, M

    2007-01-01

    Background and Purpose: The large-conductance Ca2+-activated K+ channel (BKCa, KCa1.1) links membrane excitability with intracellular Ca2+ signaling and plays important roles in smooth muscle contraction, neuronal firing, and neuroendocrine secretion. This study reports the characterization of a novel BKCa channel blocker, 2,4-dimethoxy-N-naphthalen-2-yl-benzamide (A-272651). Experimental Approach: 86Rb+ efflux in HEK-293 cells expressing BKCa was measured. Effects of A-272651 on BKCa α- and BKCa αβ1-mediated currents were evaluated by patch-clamp. Effects on contractility were assessed using low-frequency electrical field stimulated pig detrusor and spontaneously contracting guinea pig detrusor. Effects of A-272651 on neuronal activity were determined in rat small diameter dorsal root ganglia (DRG). Key Results: A-272651 (10 μM) inhibited 86Rb+ efflux evoked by NS-1608 in HEK-293 cells expressing BKCa currents. A-272651 concentration-dependently inhibited BKCa currents with IC50 values of 4.59 μM (Hill coefficient 1.04, measured at +40 mV), and 2.82 μM (Hill coefficient 0.89), respectively, for BKCa α and BKCa αβ1-mediated currents. Like iberiotoxin, A-272651 enhanced field stimulated twitch responses in pig detrusor and spontaneous contractions in guinea pig detrusor with EC50 values of 4.05±0.05 and 37.95±0.12 μM, respectively. In capsaicin-sensitive DRG neurons, application of A-272651 increased action potential firing and prolonged action potential duration. Conclusions and Implications: These data demonstrate that A-272651 modulates smooth muscle contractility and neuronal firing properties. Unlike previously reported peptide BKCa blockers, A-272651 represents one of the first small molecule BKCa channel blockers that could serve as a useful tool for further characterization of BKCa channels in physiological and pathological states. PMID:17519951

  19. WNK1-regulated inhibitory phosphorylation of the KCC2 cotransporter maintains the depolarizing action of GABA in immature neurons.

    PubMed

    Friedel, Perrine; Kahle, Kristopher T; Zhang, Jinwei; Hertz, Nicholas; Pisella, Lucie I; Buhler, Emmanuelle; Schaller, Fabienne; Duan, JingJing; Khanna, Arjun R; Bishop, Paul N; Shokat, Kevan M; Medina, Igor

    2015-06-30

    Activation of Cl(-)-permeable γ-aminobutyric acid type A (GABAA) receptors elicits synaptic inhibition in mature neurons but excitation in immature neurons. This developmental "switch" in the GABA function depends on a postnatal decrease in intraneuronal Cl(-) concentration mediated by KCC2, a Cl(-)-extruding K(+)-Cl(-) cotransporter. We showed that the serine-threonine kinase WNK1 [with no lysine (K)] forms a physical complex with KCC2 in the developing mouse brain. Dominant-negative mutation, genetic depletion, or chemical inhibition of WNK1 in immature neurons triggered a hyperpolarizing shift in GABA activity by enhancing KCC2-mediated Cl(-) extrusion. This increase in KCC2 activity resulted from reduced inhibitory phosphorylation of KCC2 at two C-terminal threonines, Thr(906) and Thr(1007). Phosphorylation of both Thr(906) and Thr(1007) was increased in immature versus mature neurons. Together, these data provide insight into the mechanism regulating Cl(-) homeostasis in immature neurons, and suggest that WNK1-regulated changes in KCC2 phosphorylation contribute to the developmental excitatory-to-inhibitory GABA sequence. PMID:26126716

  20. Optimal discrimination and classification of neuronal action potential waveforms from multiunit, multichannel recordings using software-based linear filters.

    PubMed

    Gozani, S N; Miller, J P

    1994-04-01

    We describe advanced protocols for the discrimination and classification of neuronal spike waveforms within multichannel electrophysiological recordings. The programs are capable of detecting and classifying the spikes from multiple, simultaneously active neurons, even in situations where there is a high degree of spike waveform superposition on the recording channels. The protocols are based on the derivation of an optimal linear filter for each individual neuron. Each filter is tuned to selectively respond to the spike waveform generated by the corresponding neuron, and to attenuate noise and the spike waveforms from all other neurons. The protocol is essentially an extension of earlier work [1], [13], [18]. However, the protocols extend the power and utility of the original implementations in two significant respects. First, a general single-pass automatic template estimation algorithm was derived and implemented. Second, the filters were implemented within a software environment providing a greatly enhanced functional organization and user interface. The utility of the analysis approach was demonstrated on samples of multiunit electrophysiological recordings from the cricket abdominal nerve cord.

  1. Multineuronal codes in retinal signaling.

    PubMed Central

    Meister, M

    1996-01-01

    The visual world is presented to the brain through patterns of action potentials in the population of optic nerve fibers. Single-neuron recordings show that each retinal ganglion cell has a spatially restricted receptive field, a limited integration time, and a characteristic spectral sensitivity. Collectively, these response properties define the visual message conveyed by that neuron's action potentials. Since the size of the optic nerve is strictly constrained, one expects the retina to generate a highly efficient representation of the visual scene. By contrast, the receptive fields of nearby ganglion cells often overlap, suggesting great redundancy among the retinal output signals. Recent multineuron recordings may help resolve this paradox. They reveal concerted firing patterns among ganglion cells, in which small groups of nearby neurons fire synchronously with delays of only a few milliseconds. As there are many more such firing patterns than ganglion cells, such a distributed code might allow the retina to compress a large number of distinct visual messages into a small number of optic nerve fibers. This paper will review the evidence for a distributed coding scheme in the retinal output. The performance limits of such codes are analyzed with simple examples, illustrating that they allow a powerful trade-off between spatial and temporal resolution. PMID:8570603

  2. Action-Effect Codes in and before the Central Bottleneck: Evidence from the Psychological Refractory Period Paradigm

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Paelecke, Marko; Kunde, Wilfried

    2007-01-01

    Voluntary motor actions aim at and are thus governed by predictable action effects. Therefore, representations of an action's effects normally must become activated prior to the action itself. In 5 psychological refractory period experiments the authors investigated whether the activation of such effect representations coincides with the response…

  3. Neuronal cholesterol metabolism increases dendritic outgrowth and synaptic markers via a concerted action of GGTase-I and Trk.

    PubMed

    Moutinho, Miguel; Nunes, Maria João; Correia, Jorge C; Gama, Maria João; Castro-Caldas, Margarida; Cedazo-Minguez, Angel; Rodrigues, Cecília M P; Björkhem, Ingemar; Ruas, Jorge L; Rodrigues, Elsa

    2016-01-01

    Cholesterol 24-hydroxylase (CYP46A1) is responsible for brain cholesterol elimination and therefore plays a crucial role in the control of brain cholesterol homeostasis. Altered CYP46A1 expression has been associated with several neurodegenerative diseases and changes in cognition. Since CYP46A1 activates small guanosine triphosphate-binding proteins (sGTPases), we hypothesized that CYP46A1 might be affecting neuronal development and function by activating tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) receptors and promoting geranylgeranyl transferase-I (GGTase-I) prenylation activity. Our results show that CYP46A1 triggers an increase in neuronal dendritic outgrowth and dendritic protrusion density, and elicits an increase of synaptic proteins in the crude synaptosomal fraction. Strikingly, all of these effects are abolished by pharmacological inhibition of GGTase-I activity. Furthermore, CYP46A1 increases Trk phosphorylation, its interaction with GGTase-I, and the activity of GGTase-I, which is crucial for the enhanced dendritic outgrowth. Cholesterol supplementation studies indicate that cholesterol reduction by CYP46A1 is the necessary trigger for these effects. These results were confirmed in vivo, with a significant increase of p-Trk, pre- and postsynaptic proteins, Rac1, and decreased cholesterol levels, in crude synaptosomal fractions prepared from CYP46A1 transgenic mouse cortex. This work describes the molecular mechanisms by which neuronal cholesterol metabolism effectively modulates neuronal outgrowth and synaptic markers. PMID:27491694

  4. A long non-coding RNA, BC048612 and a microRNA, miR-203 coordinate the gene expression of neuronal growth regulator 1 (NEGR1) adhesion protein.

    PubMed

    Kaur, Prameet; Tan, Jun Rong; Karolina, Dwi Setyowati; Sepramaniam, Sugunavathi; Armugam, Arunmozhiarasi; Wong, Peter T-H; Jeyaseelan, Kandiah

    2016-04-01

    The regulatory roles for non-coding RNAs, the long non-coding RNAs and microRNAs, are emerging as crucial determinants of central nervous system development and function. Neuronal growth regulator 1 (NEGR1) is a cell adhesion molecule that has been shown to play an important role in neurite outgrowth during neuronal development. Precise expression of the Negr1 gene is crucial for proper brain development and is dysregulated during brain injury. Hence, we attempted to elucidate the non-coding RNAs that control Negr1 gene expression. A long non-coding RNA, BC048612, transcribed from the bidirectional GC-rich Negr1 gene promoter was found to influence Negr1 mRNA expression. In vitro knockdown of the long non-coding RNA resulted in significant down-regulation of Negr1 mRNA expression, NEGR1 protein levels and neurite length whereas over-expression enhanced Negr1 mRNA expression, NEGR1 protein levels and increased neurite length. Meanwhile, another non-coding RNA, microRNA-203, was found to target the 3' untranslated region of the Negr1 mRNA. Inhibition of microRNA-203 led to increased expression of Negr1 mRNA, elevated NEGR1 protein levels and increased neurite length. Conversely, microRNA-203 over-expression decreased the level of Negr1 mRNA, NEGR1 protein and neurite length. Neither microRNA-203 nor the long non-coding RNA, BC048612 could influence each other's expression. Hence, the long non-coding RNA, BC048612, and microRNA-203 were determined to be positive and negative regulators of Negr1 gene expression respectively. These processes have a direct effect on NEGR1 protein levels and neurite length, thus highlighting the importance of the regulatory non-coding RNAs in modulating Negr1 gene expression for precise neuronal development. PMID:26723899

  5. A Mouse Model of Visual Perceptual Learning Reveals Alterations in Neuronal Coding and Dendritic Spine Density in the Visual Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yan; Wu, Wei; Zhang, Xian; Hu, Xu; Li, Yue; Lou, Shihao; Ma, Xiao; An, Xu; Liu, Hui; Peng, Jing; Ma, Danyi; Zhou, Yifeng; Yang, Yupeng

    2016-01-01

    Visual perceptual learning (VPL) can improve spatial vision in normally sighted and visually impaired individuals. Although previous studies of humans and large animals have explored the neural basis of VPL, elucidation of the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remains a challenge. Owing to the advantages of molecular genetic and optogenetic manipulations, the mouse is a promising model for providing a mechanistic understanding of VPL. Here, we thoroughly evaluated the effects and properties of VPL on spatial vision in C57BL/6J mice using a two-alternative, forced-choice visual water task. Briefly, the mice underwent prolonged training at near the individual threshold of contrast or spatial frequency (SF) for pattern discrimination or visual detection for 35 consecutive days. Following training, the contrast-threshold trained mice showed an 87% improvement in contrast sensitivity (CS) and a 55% gain in visual acuity (VA). Similarly, the SF-threshold trained mice exhibited comparable and long-lasting improvements in VA and significant gains in CS over a wide range of SFs. Furthermore, learning largely transferred across eyes and stimulus orientations. Interestingly, learning could transfer from a pattern discrimination task to a visual detection task, but not vice versa. We validated that this VPL fully restored VA in adult amblyopic mice and old mice. Taken together, these data indicate that mice, as a species, exhibit reliable VPL. Intrinsic signal optical imaging revealed that mice with perceptual training had higher cut-off SFs in primary visual cortex (V1) than those without perceptual training. Moreover, perceptual training induced an increase in the dendritic spine density in layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of V1. These results indicated functional and structural alterations in V1 during VPL. Overall, our VPL mouse model will provide a platform for investigating the neurobiological basis of VPL. PMID:27014004

  6. The Smoke around Mirror Neurons: Goals as Sociocultural and Emotional Organizers of Perception and Action in Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Immordino-Yang, Mary Helen

    2008-01-01

    From the pragmatists to the neo-Piagetians, development has been understood to involve cycles of perception and action--the internalization of interactions with the world and the construction of skills for acting in the world. From a neurobiological standpoint, new evidence suggests that neural activities related to action and perception converge…

  7. Histamine H3 receptor activation decreases kainate-induced hippocampal gamma oscillations in vitro by action potential desynchronization in pyramidal neurons

    PubMed Central

    Andersson, Richard; Lindskog, Maria; Fisahn, André

    2010-01-01

    The study of rhythmic electrical activity in slice preparations has generated important insights into neural network function. While the synaptic mechanisms involved in the generation of in vitro network oscillations have been studied widely, little is known about the modulatory influence exerted on rhythmic activity in neuronal networks by neuropeptides and biogenic amines. Gamma oscillations play an important role in cognitive processes and are altered or disrupted in disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) and schizophrenia. Given the importance of gamma oscillations for learning, memory and cognition processes as well as the recent interest in histamine H3 receptors in the development of pro-cognitive drugs to treat disorders such as AD and schizophrenia, it is relevant to study the impact of histaminergic mechanisms on network gamma oscillations. Here we show for the first time a modulation of gamma oscillation by histaminergic mechanisms. Selective activation of the H3 receptor by R-α-methylhistamine significantly reduces the power of kainate-induced gamma oscillations, but not carbachol-induced gamma oscillations, in the rat hippocampal slice preparation without affecting oscillation frequency. This effect is neither caused by a decrease in excitatory or inhibitory postsynaptic currents, nor a decrease in cellular excitability. Instead, we find that the decrease in oscillation power following H3 receptor activation results from a desynchronization of pyramidal neuron action potential firing with regard to the local field potential oscillation cycle. Our data provide a possible mechanism of action for histamine in regulating gamma oscillations in the hippocampal network. PMID:20156850

  8. Direct Actions of Kisspeptins on GnRH Neurons Permit Attainment of Fertility but are Insufficient to Fully Preserve Gonadotropic Axis Activity

    PubMed Central

    León, Silvia; Barroso, Alexia; Vázquez, María J.; García-Galiano, David; Manfredi-Lozano, María; Ruiz-Pino, Francisco; Heras, Violeta; Romero-Ruiz, Antonio; Roa, Juan; Schutz, Günther; Kirilov, Milen; Gaytan, Francisco; Pinilla, Leonor; Tena-Sempere, Manuel

    2016-01-01

    Kisspeptins, ligands of the receptor, Gpr54, are potent stimulators of puberty and fertility. Yet, whether direct kisspeptin actions on GnRH neurons are sufficient for the whole repertoire of their reproductive effects remains debatable. To dissect out direct vs. indirect effects of kisspeptins on GnRH neurons in vivo, we report herein the detailed reproductive/gonadotropic characterization of a Gpr54 null mouse line with selective re-introduction of Gpr54 expression only in GnRH cells (Gpr54−/−Tg; rescued). Despite preserved fertility, adult rescued mice displayed abnormalities in gonadal microstructure, with signs of precocious ageing in females and elevated LH levels with normal-to-low testosterone secretion in males. Gpr54−/−Tg rescued mice showed also altered gonadotropin responses to negative feedback withdrawal, while luteinizing hormone responses to various gonadotropic regulators were variably affected, with partially blunted relative (but not absolute) responses to kisspeptin-10, NMDA and the agonist of tachykinin receptors, NK2R. Our data confirm that direct effects of kisspeptins on GnRH cells are sufficient to attain fertility. Yet, such direct actions appear to be insufficient to completely preserve proper functionality of gonadotropic axis, suggesting a role of kisspeptin signaling outside GnRH cells. PMID:26755241

  9. Actions of a hydrogen sulfide donor (NaHS) on transient sodium, persistent sodium, and voltage-gated calcium currents in neurons of the subfornical organ

    PubMed Central

    Kuksis, Markus

    2015-01-01

    Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is an endogenously found gasotransmitter that has been implicated in a variety of beneficial physiological functions. This study was performed to investigate the cellular mechanisms underlying actions of H2S previously observed in subfornical organ (SFO), where H2S acts to regulate blood pressure through a depolarization of the membrane and an overall increase in the excitability of SFO neurons. We used whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology in the voltage-clamp configuration to analyze the effect of 1 mM NaHS, an H2S donor, on voltage-gated potassium, sodium, and calcium currents. We observed no effect of NaHS on potassium currents; however, both voltage-gated sodium currents (persistent and transient) and the N-type calcium current had a depolarized activation curve and an enhanced peak-induced current in response to a series of voltage-step and ramp protocols run in the control and NaHS conditions. These effects were not responsible for the previously observed depolarization of the membrane potential, as depolarizing effects of H2S were still observed following block of these conductances with tetrodotoxin (5 μM) and ω-conotoxin-GVIA (100 nM). Our studies are the first to investigate the effect of H2S on a variety of voltage-gated conductances in a single brain area, and although they do not explain mechanisms underlying the depolarizing actions of H2S on SFO neurons, they provide evidence of potential mechanisms through which this gasotransmitter influences the excitability of neurons in this important brain area as a consequence of the modulation of multiple ion channels. PMID:26180118

  10. The neuroprotective action of pyrroloquinoline quinone against glutamate-induced apoptosis in hippocampal neurons is mediated through the activation of PI3K/Akt pathway

    SciTech Connect

    Zhang Qi; Shen Mi; Ding Mei; Shen Dingding; Ding Fei

    2011-04-01

    Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ), a cofactor in several enzyme-catalyzed redox reactions, possesses a potential capability of scavenging reactive oxygen species (ROS) and inhibiting cell apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the effects of PQQ on glutamate-induced cell death in primary cultured hippocampal neurons and the possible underlying mechanisms. We found that glutamate-induced apoptosis in cultured hippocampal neurons was significantly attenuated by the ensuing PQQ treatment, which also inhibited the glutamate-induced increase in Ca2+ influx, caspase-3 activity, and ROS production, and reversed the glutamate-induced decrease in Bcl-2/Bax ratio. The examination of signaling pathways revealed that PQQ treatment activated the phosphorylation of Akt and suppressed the glutamate-induced phosphorylation of c-Jun N-terminal protein kinase (JNK). And inhibition of phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt cascade by LY294002 and wortmannin significantly blocked the protective effects of PQQ, and alleviated the increase in Bcl-2/Bax ratio. Taken together, our results indicated that PQQ could protect primary cultured hippocampal neurons against glutamate-induced cell damage by scavenging ROS, reducing Ca2+ influx, and caspase-3 activity, and suggested that PQQ-activated PI3K/Akt signaling might be responsible for its neuroprotective action through modulation of glutamate-induced imbalance between Bcl-2 and Bax. - Research Highlights: >PQQ attenuated glutamate-induced cell apoptosis of cultured hippocampal neurons. >PQQ inhibited glutamate-induced Ca{sup 2+} influx and caspase-3 activity. >PQQ reduced glutamate-induced increase in ROS production. >PQQ affected phosphorylation of Akt and JNK signalings after glutamate injury. >PI3K/Akt was required for neuroprotection of PQQ by modulating Bcl-2/Bax ratio.

  11. Synergistic action of dendritic mitochondria and creatine kinase maintains ATP homeostasis and actin dynamics in growing neuronal dendrites.

    PubMed

    Fukumitsu, Kansai; Fujishima, Kazuto; Yoshimura, Azumi; Wu, You Kure; Heuser, John; Kengaku, Mineko

    2015-04-01

    The distribution of mitochondria within mature, differentiated neurons is clearly adapted to their regional physiological needs and can be perturbed under various pathological conditions, but the function of mitochondria in developing neurons has been less well studied. We have studied mitochondrial distribution within developing mouse cerebellar Purkinje cells and have found that active delivery of mitochondria into their dendrites is a prerequisite for proper dendritic outgrowth. Even when mitochondria in the Purkinje cell bodies are functioning normally, interrupting the transport of mitochondria into their dendrites severely disturbs dendritic growth. Additionally, we find that the growth of atrophic dendrites lacking mitochondria can be rescued by activating ATP-phosphocreatine exchange mediated by creatine kinase (CK). Conversely, inhibiting cytosolic CKs decreases dendritic ATP levels and also disrupts dendrite development. Mechanistically, this energy depletion appears to perturb normal actin dynamics and enhance the aggregation of cofilin within growing dendrites, reminiscent of what occurs in neurons overexpressing the dephosphorylated form of cofilin. These results suggest that local ATP synthesis by dendritic mitochondria and ATP-phosphocreatine exchange act synergistically to sustain the cytoskeletal dynamics necessary for dendritic development.

  12. GRP78 clustering at the cell surface of neurons transduces the action of exogenous alpha-synuclein

    PubMed Central

    Bellani, S; Mescola, A; Ronzitti, G; Tsushima, H; Tilve, S; Canale, C; Valtorta, F; Chieregatti, E

    2014-01-01

    Mutation or multiplication of the alpha-synuclein (Syn)-encoding gene is frequent cause of early onset Parkinson's disease (PD). Recent evidences point to the pathogenic role of excess Syn also in sporadic PD. Syn is a cytosolic protein, which has been shown to be released from neurons. Here we provide evidence that extracellular Syn induces an increase in surface-exposed glucose-related protein of 78 kDa (GRP78), which becomes clustered in microdomains of the neuronal plasma membrane. Upon interacting with Syn, GRP78 activates a signaling cascade leading to cofilin 1 inactivation and stabilization of microfilaments, thus affecting morphology and dynamics of actin cytoskeleton in cultured neurons. Downregulation of GRP78 abolishes the activity of exogenous Syn, indicating that it is the primary target of Syn. Inactivation of cofilin 1 and stabilization of actin cytoskeleton are present also in fibroblasts derived from genetic PD patients, which show a dramatic increase in stress fibers. Similar changes are displayed by control cells incubated with the medium of PD fibroblasts, only when Syn is present. The accumulation of Syn in the extracellular milieu, its interaction with the plasma membrane and Syn-driven clustering of GRP78 appear, therefore, responsible for the dysregulation of actin turnover, leading to early deficits in synaptic function that precede neurodegeneration. PMID:25124556

  13. Uplink Coding

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pollara, Fabrizio; Hamkins, Jon; Dolinar, Sam; Andrews, Ken; Divsalar, Dariush

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews uplink coding. The purpose and goals of the briefing are (1) Show a plan for using uplink coding and describe benefits (2) Define possible solutions and their applicability to different types of uplink, including emergency uplink (3) Concur with our conclusions so we can embark on a plan to use proposed uplink system (4) Identify the need for the development of appropriate technology and infusion in the DSN (5) Gain advocacy to implement uplink coding in flight projects Action Item EMB04-1-14 -- Show a plan for using uplink coding, including showing where it is useful or not (include discussion of emergency uplink coding).

  14. Exploring neuronal activity with photons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourdieu, Laurent; Léger, Jean-François

    2015-10-01

    The following sections are included: * Introduction * Information coding * Optical recordings of neuronal activity * Functional organization of the cortex at the level of a cortical column * Microarchitecture of a cortical column * Dynamics of neuronal populations * Outlook * Bibliography

  15. [Mirror neurons].

    PubMed

    Rubia Vila, Francisco José

    2011-01-01

    Mirror neurons were recently discovered in frontal brain areas of the monkey. They are activated when the animal makes a specific movement, but also when the animal observes the same movement in another animal. Some of them also respond to the emotional expression of other animals of the same species. These mirror neurons have also been found in humans. They respond to or "reflect" actions of other individuals in the brain and are thought to represent the basis for imitation and empathy and hence the neurobiological substrate for "theory of mind", the potential origin of language and the so-called moral instinct.

  16. Tonic Inhibition of Accumbal Spiny Neurons by Extrasynaptic α4βδ GABAA Receptors Modulates the Actions of Psychostimulants

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Edward P.; Macpherson, Tom; Swinny, Jerome D.; Dixon, Claire I.; Herd, Murray B.; Belelli, Delia; Stephens, David N.

    2014-01-01

    Within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), synaptic GABAA receptors (GABAARs) mediate phasic inhibition of medium spiny neurons (MSNs) and influence behavioral responses to cocaine. We demonstrate that both dopamine D1- and D2-receptor-expressing MSNs (D-MSNs) additionally harbor extrasynaptic GABAARs incorporating α4, β, and δ subunits that mediate tonic inhibition, thereby influencing neuronal excitability. Both the selective δ-GABAAR agonist THIP and DS2, a selective positive allosteric modulator, greatly increased the tonic current of all MSNs from wild-type (WT), but not from δ−/− or α4−/− mice. Coupling dopamine and tonic inhibition, the acute activation of D1 receptors (by a selective agonist or indirectly by amphetamine) greatly enhanced tonic inhibition in D1-MSNs but not D2-MSNs. In contrast, prolonged D2 receptor activation modestly reduced the tonic conductance of D2-MSNs. Behaviorally, WT and constitutive α4−/− mice did not differ in their expression of cocaine-conditioned place preference (CPP). Importantly, however, mice with the α4 deletion specific to D1-expressing neurons (α4D1−/−) showed increased CPP. Furthermore, THIP administered systemically or directly into the NAc of WT, but not α4−/− or α4D1−/− mice, blocked cocaine enhancement of CPP. In comparison, α4D2−/− mice exhibited normal CPP, but no cocaine enhancement. In conclusion, dopamine modulation of GABAergic tonic inhibition of D1- and D2-MSNs provides an intrinsic mechanism to differentially affect their excitability in response to psychostimulants and thereby influence their ability to potentiate conditioned reward. Therefore, α4βδ GABAARs may represent a viable target for the development of novel therapeutics to better understand and influence addictive behaviors. PMID:24431441

  17. Utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to understand the actions of estrogens in human neurons.

    PubMed

    Shum, Carole; Macedo, Sara C; Warre-Cornish, Katherine; Cocks, Graham; Price, Jack; Srivastava, Deepak P

    2015-08-01

    This article is part of a Special Issue "Estradiol and Cognition". Over recent years tremendous progress has been made towards understanding the molecular and cellular mechanism by which estrogens exert enhancing effects on cognition, and how they act as a neuroprotective or neurotrophic agent in disease. Currently, much of this work has been carried out in animal models with only a limited number of studies using native human tissue or cells. Recent advances in stem cell technology now make it possible to reprogram somatic cells from humans into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can subsequently be differentiated into neurons of specific lineages. Importantly, the reprogramming of cells allows for the generation of iPSCs that retain the genetic "makeup" of the donor. Therefore, it is possible to generate iPSC-derived neurons from patients diagnosed with specific diseases, that harbor the complex genetic background associated with the disorder. Here, we review the iPSC technology and how it's currently being used to model neural development and neurological diseases. Furthermore, we explore whether this cellular system could be used to understand the role of estrogens in human neurons, and present preliminary data in support of this. We further suggest that the use of iPSC technology offers a novel system to not only further understand estrogens' effects in human cells, but also to investigate the mechanism by which estrogens are beneficial in disease. Developing a greater understanding of these mechanisms in native human cells will also aid in the development of safer and more effective estrogen-based therapeutics. PMID:26143621

  18. Temporal Uncertainty and Temporal Estimation Errors Affect Insular Activity and the Frontostriatal Indirect Pathway during Action Update: A Predictive Coding Study

    PubMed Central

    Limongi, Roberto; Pérez, Francisco J.; Modroño, Cristián; González-Mora, José L.

    2016-01-01

    Action update, substituting a prepotent behavior with a new action, allows the organism to counteract surprising environmental demands. However, action update fails when the organism is uncertain about when to release the substituting behavior, when it faces temporal uncertainty. Predictive coding states that accurate perception demands minimization of precise prediction errors. Activity of the right anterior insula (rAI) is associated with temporal uncertainty. Therefore, we hypothesize that temporal uncertainty during action update would cause the AI to decrease the sensitivity to ascending prediction errors. Moreover, action update requires response inhibition which recruits the frontostriatal indirect pathway associated with motor control. Therefore, we also hypothesize that temporal estimation errors modulate frontostriatal connections. To test these hypotheses, we collected fMRI data when participants performed an action-update paradigm within the context of temporal estimation. We fit dynamic causal models to the imaging data. Competing models comprised the inferior occipital gyrus (IOG), right supramarginal gyrus (rSMG), rAI, right presupplementary motor area (rPreSMA), and the right striatum (rSTR). The winning model showed that temporal uncertainty drove activity into the rAI and decreased insular sensitivity to ascending prediction errors, as shown by weak connectivity strength of rSMG→rAI connections. Moreover, temporal estimation errors weakened rPreSMA→rSTR connections and also modulated rAI→rSTR connections, causing the disruption of action update. Results provide information about the neurophysiological implementation of the so-called horse-race model of action control. We suggest that, contrary to what might be believed, unsuccessful action update could be a homeostatic process that represents a Bayes optimal encoding of uncertainty. PMID:27445737

  19. Opposing actions of androgen and estrogen on in vitro firing frequency of neuronal oscillators in the electromotor system.

    PubMed

    Schaefer, J e; Zakon, H H

    1996-04-15

    The South American knifefish (Apteronotus leptorhynchus), or brown ghost, produces a high-frequency (600-1000 Hz) sinusoidal electric organ discharge (EOD) with males discharging at higher frequencies than females. In addition, each fish has a unique EOD frequency within the frequency range of its gender. The electromotor circuit responsible for EOD production consists of a medullary pacemaker nucleus (PMN) and spinal electromotor neurons (EMNs). In vitro spinal slice recording showed that, similar to the PMN, EMNs fire spontaneously at rates near the EOD frequency of each fish. The persistence of firing 2 weeks after high spinal transaction demonstrated that spontaneous firing rate was intrinsic to the EMNs and was not dependent on presynaptic input. We confirmed that 11-ketotestosterone (11 kT) raised and 17-beta-estradiol (E2) lowered the EOD frequency of intact fish. Because electromotor cells fire spontaneously near EOD, frequency, we investigated whether these steroids affect endogenous firing rates. Steroid implants were made in normal or spinally transected fish. Two weeks later, PMNs of normal fish and EMNs of transected fish were recorded in vitro. 11 kT increased and E2 decreased the intrinsic firing rate of neurons in the PMN and the EMNS. Hormones shifted the intrinsic firing rates of EMNS, although they were synaptically isolated during the hormone exposure. PMID:8786459

  20. Reciprocal actions of NCAM and tPA via a Ras-dependent MAPK activation in rat hippocampal neurons.

    PubMed

    Son, Hyeon; Seuk Kim, Jin; Mogg Kim, Jung; Lee, Sang-Hun; Lee, Yong-Sung

    2002-10-25

    In an attempt to identify the functions of neural cell adhesion molecule (NCAM) and tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) in hippocampal synaptic plasticity, we investigated the relationship between the two molecules by focusing on mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), an essential enzyme in this process. NCAM clustering in cultured hippocampal neurons transiently induced MAPK within 10min. Moreover, soluble NCAM also induced a Ras-dependent MAPK activation. Conversely, MAPK activation led to an increase in the expressions of all three isoforms of NCAM. Treatment of neurons with tPA and plasminogen induced a Ras-dependent MAPK activation and tPA-plasmin degradation of NCAM was mediated in a MAPK-dependent manner. Soluble NCAM transiently inhibited tPA mRNA expression levels in a MAPK-dependent manner, while stimulation of MAPK alone induced tPA reduction in cells. These results collectively indicate that NCAM and tPA reciprocally act as important regulators in the modulation of synaptic plasticity via a Ras-MAPK-involved signaling pathway. In turn, MAPK activation may cause tPA degradation or a decrease in expression to promote synaptic plasticity.

  1. Dopamine Modulates Spike Timing-Dependent Plasticity and Action Potential Properties in CA1 Pyramidal Neurons of Acute Rat Hippocampal Slices

    PubMed Central

    Edelmann, Elke; Lessmann, Volkmar

    2011-01-01

    Spike timing-dependent plasticity (STDP) is a cellular model of Hebbian synaptic plasticity which is believed to underlie memory formation. In an attempt to establish a STDP paradigm in CA1 of acute hippocampal slices from juvenile rats (P15–20), we found that changes in excitability resulting from different slice preparation protocols correlate with the success of STDP induction. Slice preparation with sucrose containing ACSF prolonged rise time, reduced frequency adaptation, and decreased latency of action potentials in CA1 pyramidal neurons compared to preparation in conventional ASCF, while other basal electrophysiological parameters remained unaffected. Whereas we observed prominent timing-dependent long-term potentiation (t-LTP) to 171 ± 10% of controls in conventional ACSF, STDP was absent in sucrose prepared slices. This sucrose-induced STDP deficit could not be rescued by stronger STDP paradigms, applying either more pre- and/or postsynaptic stimuli, or by a higher stimulation frequency. Importantly, slice preparation with sucrose containing ACSF did not eliminate theta-burst stimulation induced LTP in CA1 in field potential recordings in our rat hippocampal slices. Application of dopamine (for 10–20 min) to sucrose prepared slices completely rescued t-LTP and recovered action potential properties back to levels observed in ACSF prepared slices. Conversely, acute inhibition of D1 receptor signaling impaired t-LTP in ACSF prepared slices. No similar restoring effect for STDP as seen with dopamine was observed in response to the β-adrenergic agonist isoproterenol. ELISA measurements demonstrated a significant reduction of endogenous dopamine levels (to 61.9 ± 6.9% of ACSF values) in sucrose prepared slices. These results suggest that dopamine signaling is involved in regulating the efficiency to elicit STDP in CA1 pyramidal neurons. PMID:22065958

  2. Circular RNAs: Novel Regulators of Neuronal Development.

    PubMed

    van Rossum, Daniëlle; Verheijen, Bert M; Pasterkamp, R Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are highly stable, circularized long non-coding RNAs. circRNAs are conserved across species and appear to be specifically enriched in the nervous system. Recent studies show that many circRNAs are expressed in a tissue- and developmental-stage-specific manner, reveal a striking regulation of circRNAs during neuronal development, and detect their presence at synaptic sites. The exact functions of circRNAs remain poorly understood, but evidence from analysis of some circRNA molecules suggests that they could substantially contribute to the regulation of gene expression, particularly in architecturally complex and polarized cells such as neurons. Emerging evidence also indicates that circRNAs are involved in the development and progression of various neurological disorders. In this review, we summarize the molecular characteristics of circRNAs and discuss their proposed functions and mechanism-of-action in developing neurons. PMID:27616979

  3. Circular RNAs: Novel Regulators of Neuronal Development

    PubMed Central

    van Rossum, Daniëlle; Verheijen, Bert M.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are highly stable, circularized long non-coding RNAs. circRNAs are conserved across species and appear to be specifically enriched in the nervous system. Recent studies show that many circRNAs are expressed in a tissue- and developmental-stage-specific manner, reveal a striking regulation of circRNAs during neuronal development, and detect their presence at synaptic sites. The exact functions of circRNAs remain poorly understood, but evidence from analysis of some circRNA molecules suggests that they could substantially contribute to the regulation of gene expression, particularly in architecturally complex and polarized cells such as neurons. Emerging evidence also indicates that circRNAs are involved in the development and progression of various neurological disorders. In this review, we summarize the molecular characteristics of circRNAs and discuss their proposed functions and mechanism-of-action in developing neurons. PMID:27616979

  4. Circular RNAs: Novel Regulators of Neuronal Development

    PubMed Central

    van Rossum, Daniëlle; Verheijen, Bert M.; Pasterkamp, R. Jeroen

    2016-01-01

    Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are highly stable, circularized long non-coding RNAs. circRNAs are conserved across species and appear to be specifically enriched in the nervous system. Recent studies show that many circRNAs are expressed in a tissue- and developmental-stage-specific manner, reveal a striking regulation of circRNAs during neuronal development, and detect their presence at synaptic sites. The exact functions of circRNAs remain poorly understood, but evidence from analysis of some circRNA molecules suggests that they could substantially contribute to the regulation of gene expression, particularly in architecturally complex and polarized cells such as neurons. Emerging evidence also indicates that circRNAs are involved in the development and progression of various neurological disorders. In this review, we summarize the molecular characteristics of circRNAs and discuss their proposed functions and mechanism-of-action in developing neurons.

  5. Hybrid Markov-mass action law model for cell activation by rare binding events: Application to calcium induced vesicular release at neuronal synapses

    PubMed Central

    Guerrier, Claire; Holcman, David

    2016-01-01

    Binding of molecules, ions or proteins to small target sites is a generic step of cell activation. This process relies on rare stochastic events where a particle located in a large bulk has to find small and often hidden targets. We present here a hybrid discrete-continuum model that takes into account a stochastic regime governed by rare events and a continuous regime in the bulk. The rare discrete binding events are modeled by a Markov chain for the encounter of small targets by few Brownian particles, for which the arrival time is Poissonian. The large ensemble of particles is described by mass action laws. We use this novel model to predict the time distribution of vesicular release at neuronal synapses. Vesicular release is triggered by the binding of few calcium ions that can originate either from the synaptic bulk or from the entry through calcium channels. We report here that the distribution of release time is bimodal although it is triggered by a single fast action potential. While the first peak follows a stimulation, the second corresponds to the random arrival over much longer time of ions located in the synaptic terminal to small binding vesicular targets. To conclude, the present multiscale stochastic modeling approach allows studying cellular events based on integrating discrete molecular events over several time scales. PMID:27752087

  6. The involvement of neuronal nitric oxide synthase in the anti-epileptic action of curcumin on pentylenetetrazol-kindled rats.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Wenting; Su, Jing; Liu, Jing; Jiang, Changbin

    2015-01-01

    In this study, it was investigated whether a NO signaling pathway is involved in the anti-epileptic effect of curcumin on pentylenetetrazol (PTZ)-kindled rats. PTZ-kindled rats received different doses of curcumin that were administered intraperitoneally for 24 days. Either a non-selective inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) (N-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME)), a selective inhibitor of neuronal NOS (7-Nitroindazole (7-NI)), a selective inhibitor of inducible NOS (aminoguanidine (AG)), or a NO precursor (L-arginine (L-ARG)) was administered chronically to evaluate the role of NO in curcumin's anti-seizure effect. A chronic administration of curcumin (200 mg/kg) was most effective for decreasing the mean frequency of epileptiform discharge. Furthermore, a pretreatment with L-NAME or 7-NI augmented the anti-epileptic effect of curcumin. In contrast, AG failed to significantly alter the anti-epileptic effect of curcumin. A pretreatment with L-ARG temporally reversed the anti-epileptic effect of curcumin in the early stage, but in the late stage, it potentiated curcumin's anti-epileptic effect. These findings suggest that the L-arginine-nitric oxide pathway may be involved in the anti-epileptic properties of curcumin, and that the role of nNOS (and not iNOS) is prominent in this neuroprotective feature. PMID:26406082

  7. Feedback Codes and Action Plans: Building the Capacity of First-Year Students to Apply Feedback to a Scientific Report

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bird, Fiona L.; Yucel, Robyn

    2015-01-01

    Effective feedback can build self-assessment skills in students so that they become more competent and confident to identify and self-correct weaknesses in their work. In this study, we trialled a feedback code as part of an integrated programme of formative and summative assessment tasks, which provided feedback to first-year students on their…

  8. Neuroprotective action of group I metabotropic glutamate receptor agonists against oxygen-glucose deprivation-induced neuronal death.

    PubMed

    Kalda, A; Kaasik, A; Vassiljev, V; Pokk, P; Zharkovsky, A

    2000-01-24

    The metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) non-selective agonist (1S,3R)-1-aminocycloheptane-trans-1,3-dicarboxylic acid [(1S, 3R)ACPD] and group I selective receptor agonist 3, 5-dihydrophenylglycine (DHPG) effectively attenuated oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-induced death of the cultured cerebellar granule cells. Furthermore, (1S,3R)ACPD (100 microM) reduced the number of apoptotic cells. Antiapoptotic action of (1S,3R)ACPD was prevented by the group I selective antagonist (RS)-1-aminoindan-1, 5-dicarboxylic acid (AIDA, 100 microM) and protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitor bisindolylmaleimide (BMI, 1 microM).

  9. Neuronal Reward and Decision Signals: From Theories to Data.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2015-07-01

    Rewards are crucial objects that induce learning, approach behavior, choices, and emotions. Whereas emotions are difficult to investigate in animals, the learning function is mediated by neuronal reward prediction error signals which implement basic constructs of reinforcement learning theory. These signals are found in dopamine neurons, which emit a global reward signal to striatum and frontal cortex, and in specific neurons in striatum, amygdala, and frontal cortex projecting to select neuronal populations. The approach and choice functions involve subjective value, which is objectively assessed by behavioral choices eliciting internal, subjective reward preferences. Utility is the formal mathematical characterization of subjective value and a prime decision variable in economic choice theory. It is coded as utility prediction error by phasic dopamine responses. Utility can incorporate various influences, including risk, delay, effort, and social interaction. Appropriate for formal decision mechanisms, rewards are coded as object value, action value, difference value, and chosen value by specific neurons. Although all reward, reinforcement, and decision variables are theoretical constructs, their neuronal signals constitute measurable physical implementations and as such confirm the validity of these concepts. The neuronal reward signals provide guidance for behavior while constraining the free will to act. PMID:26109341

  10. Neuronal Reward and Decision Signals: From Theories to Data.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2015-07-01

    Rewards are crucial objects that induce learning, approach behavior, choices, and emotions. Whereas emotions are difficult to investigate in animals, the learning function is mediated by neuronal reward prediction error signals which implement basic constructs of reinforcement learning theory. These signals are found in dopamine neurons, which emit a global reward signal to striatum and frontal cortex, and in specific neurons in striatum, amygdala, and frontal cortex projecting to select neuronal populations. The approach and choice functions involve subjective value, which is objectively assessed by behavioral choices eliciting internal, subjective reward preferences. Utility is the formal mathematical characterization of subjective value and a prime decision variable in economic choice theory. It is coded as utility prediction error by phasic dopamine responses. Utility can incorporate various influences, including risk, delay, effort, and social interaction. Appropriate for formal decision mechanisms, rewards are coded as object value, action value, difference value, and chosen value by specific neurons. Although all reward, reinforcement, and decision variables are theoretical constructs, their neuronal signals constitute measurable physical implementations and as such confirm the validity of these concepts. The neuronal reward signals provide guidance for behavior while constraining the free will to act.

  11. Neuronal Reward and Decision Signals: From Theories to Data

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2015-01-01

    Rewards are crucial objects that induce learning, approach behavior, choices, and emotions. Whereas emotions are difficult to investigate in animals, the learning function is mediated by neuronal reward prediction error signals which implement basic constructs of reinforcement learning theory. These signals are found in dopamine neurons, which emit a global reward signal to striatum and frontal cortex, and in specific neurons in striatum, amygdala, and frontal cortex projecting to select neuronal populations. The approach and choice functions involve subjective value, which is objectively assessed by behavioral choices eliciting internal, subjective reward preferences. Utility is the formal mathematical characterization of subjective value and a prime decision variable in economic choice theory. It is coded as utility prediction error by phasic dopamine responses. Utility can incorporate various influences, including risk, delay, effort, and social interaction. Appropriate for formal decision mechanisms, rewards are coded as object value, action value, difference value, and chosen value by specific neurons. Although all reward, reinforcement, and decision variables are theoretical constructs, their neuronal signals constitute measurable physical implementations and as such confirm the validity of these concepts. The neuronal reward signals provide guidance for behavior while constraining the free will to act. PMID:26109341

  12. Coding Controlled and Triggered Cursor Movements as Action Effects: Influences on the Auditory Simon Effect for Wheel-Rotation Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wang, Dong-Yuan Debbie; Procter, Robert W.; Pick, David F.

    2007-01-01

    Four experiments investigated influences of irrelevant action effects on response selection in Simon tasks for which tone pitch was relevant and location irrelevant, and responses were clockwise-counterclockwise wheel rotations. When the wheel controlled left-right movement of a cursor in a direction opposite an instructed left-right hand-movement…

  13. A ligand-specific action of chelated copper on hypothalamic neurons: stimulation of the release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone from median eminence explants.

    PubMed Central

    Barnea, A; Colombani-Vidal, M

    1984-01-01

    We have previously shown that chelated copper stimulates the release of luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) from isolated hypothalamic granules. In this study, we wished to ascertain if chelated copper acts on hypothalamic neurons to stimulate LHRH release and, if so, what is the ligand specificity of this interaction. An in vitro system of explants of the median eminence area (MEA) was established and characterized. MEA explants were exposed for 15 min to 50 microM copper, and then they were incubated for 75 min in copper-free medium. Copper led to a transient increase in the rate of LHRH release; the maximal rate was attained 15 min after transfer of the MEA to copper-free medium. In addition, we found that copper complexed to histidine (Cu-His), but not ionic copper, stimulated LHRH release, the magnitude of which was dependent on the dose of Cu-His. The chelator specificity for Cu complex action was such that Cu-His stimulated LHRH release 4.9-fold and Cu-Cys stimulated release 2.5-fold, whereas neither Cu-Thr, Cu-Gly-His-Lys, Cu-bovine serum albumin, nor ceruloplasmin stimulated LHRH release. Based on these results and those of others indicating that the concentration of copper in hypothalamic axonal terminals is 1-2 orders of magnitude greater than plasma, we propose that copper released in the vicinity of the LHRH neurons interacts with specific sites on the LHRH axonal terminals, which leads to release of the peptide. PMID:6390443

  14. Mirror neurons and their clinical relevance.

    PubMed

    Rizzolatti, Giacomo; Fabbri-Destro, Maddalena; Cattaneo, Luigi

    2009-01-01

    One of the most exciting events in neurosciences over the past few years has been the discovery of a mechanism that unifies action perception and action execution. The essence of this 'mirror' mechanism is as follows: whenever individuals observe an action being done by someone else, a set of neurons that code for that action is activated in the observers' motor system. Since the observers are aware of the outcome of their motor acts, they also understand what the other individual is doing without the need for intermediate cognitive mediation. In this Review, after discussing the most pertinent data concerning the mirror mechanism, we examine the clinical relevance of this mechanism. We first discuss the relationship between mirror mechanism impairment and some core symptoms of autism. We then outline the theoretical principles of neurorehabilitation strategies based on the mirror mechanism. We conclude by examining the relationship between the mirror mechanism and some features of the environmental dependency syndromes.

  15. A Cross-species Comparison of Facial Morphology and Movement in Humans and Chimpanzees Using the Facial Action Coding System (FACS).

    PubMed

    Vick, Sarah-Jane; Waller, Bridget M; Parr, Lisa A; Smith Pasqualini, Marcia C; Bard, Kim A

    2007-03-01

    A comparative perspective has remained central to the study of human facial expressions since Darwin's [(1872/1998). The expression of the emotions in man and animals (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press] insightful observations on the presence and significance of cross-species continuities and species-unique phenomena. However, cross-species comparisons are often difficult to draw due to methodological limitations. We report the application of a common methodology, the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) to examine facial movement across two species of hominoids, namely humans and chimpanzees. FACS [Ekman & Friesen (1978). Facial action coding system. CA: Consulting Psychology Press] has been employed to identify the repertoire of human facial movements. We demonstrate that FACS can be applied to other species, but highlight that any modifications must be based on both underlying anatomy and detailed observational analysis of movements. Here we describe the ChimpFACS and use it to compare the repertoire of facial movement in chimpanzees and humans. While the underlying mimetic musculature shows minimal differences, important differences in facial morphology impact upon the identification and detection of related surface appearance changes across these two species.

  16. A novel action of quinine and quinidine on the membrane conductance of neurons from the vertebrate retina.

    PubMed

    Malchow, R P; Qian, H; Ripps, H

    1994-12-01

    The cinchona alkaloids quinine and quinidine have been shown to block a broad range of voltage-gated membrane conductances in a variety of excitable tissues. Using the whole-cell version of the patch clamp technique, we examined the effects of these compounds on voltage-dependent currents from horizontal cells dissociated enzymatically from the all-rod retina of the skate. We report here a novel and unexpected action of quinine and quinidine on isolated horizontal cells. In addition to blocking several of the voltage-activated currents of these cells, the introduction of the alkaloids evoked a large outward current when the cells were held at depolarized potentials. Using tail current analysis, the reversal potential of the outward current was close to O mV, and the current was markedly suppressed by extracellularly applied cobalt, acetate, and halothane. Depolarization in the presence of quinine also permitted entry into the cells of extracellularly applied Lucifer yellow (MW = 443 D), whereas a 3-kD fluorescein-dextran complex was excluded. These findings suggest that the large, apparently nonselective conductance induced by quinine and quinidine results from the opening of hemi-gap junctional channels. PMID:7535344

  17. Inhibition of recombinant N-type and native high voltage-gated neuronal Ca{sup 2+} channels by AdGABA: Mechanism of action studies

    SciTech Connect

    Martinez-Hernandez, Elizabeth; Sandoval, Alejandro; Gonzalez-Ramirez, Ricardo; Zoidis, Grigoris; Felix, Ricardo

    2011-02-01

    High-voltage activated Ca{sup 2+} (Ca{sub V}) channels play a key role in the regulation of numerous physiological events by causing transient changes in the intracellular Ca{sup 2+} concentration. These channels consist of a pore-forming Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 1} protein and three auxiliary subunits (Ca{sub V}{beta}, Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} and Ca{sub V}{gamma}). Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} is an important component of Ca{sub V} channels in many tissues and of great interest as a drug target. It is well known that anticonvulsant agent gabapentin (GBP) binds to Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} and reduces Ca{sup 2+} currents by modulating the expression and/or function of the Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 1} subunit. Recently, we showed that an adamantane derivative of GABA, AdGABA, has also inhibitory effects on Ca{sub V} channels. However, the importance of the interaction of AdGABA with the Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} subunit has not been conclusively demonstrated and the mechanism of action of the drug has yet to be elucidated. Here, we describe studies on the mechanism of action of AdGABA. Using a combined approach of patch-clamp recordings and molecular biology we show that AdGABA inhibits Ca{sup 2+} currents acting on Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} only when applied chronically, both in a heterologous expression system and in dorsal root-ganglion neurons. AdGABA seems to require uptake and be acting intracellularly given that its effects are prevented by an inhibitor of the L-amino acid transport system. Interestingly, a mutation in the Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} that abolishes GBP binding did not affect AdGABA actions, revealing that its mechanism of action is similar but not identical to that of GBP. These results indicate that AdGABA is an important Ca{sub V}{alpha}{sub 2}{delta} ligand that regulates Ca{sub V} channels.

  18. Rational modulation of neuronal processing with applied electric fields.

    PubMed

    Bikson, Marom; Radman, Thomas; Datta, Abhishek

    2006-01-01

    Traditional approaches to electrical stimulation, using trains of supra-threshold pulses to trigger action potentials, may be replaced or augmented by using 'rational' sub-threshold stimulation protocols that incorporate knowledge of single neuron geometry, inhomogeneous tissue properties, and nervous system information coding. Sub-threshold stimulation, at intensities (well) below those sufficient to trigger action potentials, may none-the-less exert a profound effect on brain function through modulation of concomitant neuronal activity. For example, small DC fields may coherently polarize a network of neurons and thus modulate the simultaneous processing of afferent synaptic input as well as resulting changes in synaptic plasticity. Through 'activity-dependent plasticity', sub-threshold fields may allow specific targeting of pathological networks and are thus particularly suitable to overcome the poor anatomical focus of noninvasive (transcranial) electrical stimulation. Additional approaches to improve targeting in transcranial stimulation using novel electrode configurations are also introduced.

  19. General anesthetic action at an internal protein site involving the S4-S5 cytoplasmic loop of a neuronal K(+) channel.

    PubMed

    Harris, T; Shahidullah, M; Ellingson, J S; Covarrubias, M

    2000-02-18

    The structural bases of general anesthetic action on a neuronal K(+) channel were investigated using the series of homologous 1-alkanols, electrophysiology, and mutational analysis. Domain swapping between dShaw2 (alkanol-sensitive) and hKv3.4 (alkanol-resistant) and site-directed mutagenesis demonstrated that a 13-amino acid cytoplasmic loop (S4-S5) determines the selective inhibition of native dShaw2 channels by 1-alkanols. The S4-S5 loop may contribute to a receptor for both 1-alkanols and the inactivation particle, because the enhanced 1-alkanol sensitivity of hKv3.4 channels hosting S4-S5 mutations correlates directly with disrupted channel inactivation. Evidence of a discrete protein site was also obtained from the analysis of the relationship between potency and alkyl chain length, which begins to level off after 1-hexanol. Rapid application to the cytoplasmic side of inside-out membrane patches shows that the interaction between dShaw2 channels and 1-alkanols equilibrates in <200 ms. By contrast, the equilibration time is >1000-fold slower when the drug is applied externally to outside-out membrane patches. The data strongly favor a mechanism of inhibition involving a discrete internal site for 1-alkanols in dShaw2 K(+) channels. A new working hypothesis proposes that 1-alkanols lock dShaw2 channels in their closed conformation by a direct interaction at a crevice formed by the S4-S5 loop.

  20. Increased excitability and altered action potential waveform in cerebellar granule neurons of the Ts65Dn mouse model of Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Usowicz, Maria M; Garden, Claire L P

    2012-07-17

    Down syndrome (DS) is characterized by intellectual disability and impaired motor control. Lack of coordinated movement, poor balance, and unclear speech imply dysfunction of the cerebellum, which is known to be reduced in volume in DS. The principal cause of the smaller cerebellum is a diminished number of granule cells (GCs). These neurons form the 'input layer' of the cerebellar cortex, where sensorimotor information carried by incoming mossy fibers is transformed before it is conveyed to Purkinje cells and inhibitory interneurons. However, it is not known how processing of this information is affected in the hypogranular cerebellum that characterizes DS. Here we explore the possibility that the electrical properties of the surviving GCs are changed. We find that in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS, GCs have a higher input resistance at voltages approaching the threshold for firing, which causes them to be more excitable. In addition, they fire narrower and larger amplitude action potentials. These subtly modified electrical properties may result in atypical transfer of information at the input layer of the cerebellum.

  1. fMRI adaptation reveals mirror neurons in human inferior parietal cortex.

    PubMed

    Chong, Trevor T-J; Cunnington, Ross; Williams, Mark A; Kanwisher, Nancy; Mattingley, Jason B

    2008-10-28

    Mirror neurons, as originally described in the macaque, have two defining properties [1, 2]: They respond specifically to a particular action (e.g., bringing an object to the mouth), and they produce their action-specific responses independent of whether the monkey executes the action or passively observes a conspecific performing the same action. In humans, action observation and action execution engage a network of frontal, parietal, and temporal areas. However, it is unclear whether these responses reflect the activity of a single population that represents both observed and executed actions in a common neural code or the activity of distinct but overlapping populations of exclusively perceptual and motor neurons [3]. Here, we used fMRI adaptation to show that the right inferior parietal lobe (IPL) responds independently to specific actions regardless of whether they are observed or executed. Specifically, responses in the right IPL were attenuated when participants observed a recently executed action relative to one that had not previously been performed. This adaptation across action and perception demonstrates that the right IPL responds selectively to the motoric and perceptual representations of actions and is the first evidence for a neural response in humans that shows both defining properties of mirror neurons.

  2. Tonic synaptic inhibition modulates neuronal output pattern and spatiotemporal synaptic integration.

    PubMed

    Häusser, M; Clark, B A

    1997-09-01

    Irregular firing patterns are observed in most central neurons in vivo, but their origin is controversial. Here, we show that two types of inhibitory neurons in the cerebellar cortex fire spontaneously and regularly in the absence of synaptic input but generate an irregular firing pattern in the presence of tonic synaptic inhibition. Paired recordings between synaptically connected neurons revealed that single action potentials in inhibitory interneurons cause highly variable delays in action potential firing in their postsynaptic cells. Activity in single and multiple inhibitory interneurons also significantly reduces postsynaptic membrane time constant and input resistance. These findings suggest that the time window for synaptic integration is a dynamic variable modulated by the level of tonic inhibition, and that rate coding and temporal coding strategies may be used in parallel in the same cell type. PMID:9331356

  3. Ca(2+)-antagonistic action of bevantolol on hypothalamic neurons in vitro: its comparison with those of other beta-adrenoceptor antagonists, a local anesthetic and a Ca(2+)-antagonist.

    PubMed

    Omura, T; Kobayashi, T; Nishioka, K; Miyake, N; Akaike, N

    1996-01-15

    The Ca(2+)-antagonistic action of bevantolol, a beta 1-adrenoceptor antagonist, on high- and low-voltage activated Ca2+ currents (HVA- and LVA-ICa) was examined on neurons dissociated from rat brain. Bevantolol (10(-6) to 10(-4) M) inhibited concentration-dependently both ICa. The IC50 value of bevantolol for LVA-ICa was 4 x 10(-5) M, while bevantolol at 10(-4) M inhibited HVA-ICa by 28.5 +/- 7.7%. The potency of bevantolol in inhibiting both ICa was greater than those of propranolol, labetalol and lidocaine, while the inhibitory action of bevantolol on voltage-activated Na+ current was weakest among them. Bevantolol may possess Ca(2+)-antagonistic action that is independent from local anesthetic action.

  4. Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-mediated Ca2+ release evoked by metabotropic agonists and backpropagating action potentials in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, T; Nakamura, K; Lasser-Ross, N; Barbara, J G; Sandler, V M; Ross, W N

    2000-11-15

    We examined the properties of [Ca(2+)](i) changes that were evoked by backpropagating action potentials in pyramidal neurons in hippocampal slices from the rat. In the presence of the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) agonists t-ACPD, DHPG, or CHPG, spikes caused Ca(2+) waves that initiated in the proximal apical dendrites and spread over this region and in the soma. Consistent with previously described synaptic responses (Nakamura et al., 1999a), pharmacological experiments established that the waves were attributable to Ca(2+) release from internal stores mediated by the synergistic effect of receptor-mobilized inositol 1,4, 5-trisphosphate (IP(3)) and spike-evoked Ca(2+). The amplitude of the changes reached several micromoles per liter when detected with the low-affinity indicators fura-6F, fura-2-FF, or furaptra. Repetitive brief spike trains at 30-60 sec intervals generated increases of constant amplitude. However, trains at intervals of 10-20 sec evoked smaller increases, suggesting that the stores take 20-30 sec to refill. Release evoked by mGluR agonists was blocked by MCPG, AIDA, 4-CPG, MPEP, and LY367385, a profile consistent with the primacy of group I receptors. At threshold agonist concentrations the release was evoked only in the dendrites; threshold antagonist concentrations were effective only in the soma. Carbachol and 5-HT evoked release with the same spatial distribution as t-ACPD, suggesting that the distribution of neurotransmitter receptors was not responsible for the restricted range of regenerative release. Intracellular BAPTA and EGTA were approximately equally effective in blocking release. Extracellular Cd(2+) blocked release, but no single selective Ca(2+) channel blocker prevented release. These results suggest that IP(3) receptors are not associated closely with specific Ca(2+) channels and are not close to each other.

  5. The modulation of action potential generation by calcium-induced calcium release is enhanced by mitochondrial inhibitors in mudpuppy parasympathetic neurons.

    PubMed

    Barstow, K L; Locknar, S A; Merriam, L A; Parsons, R L

    2004-01-01

    Previously, we demonstrated that outward currents activated by calcium-induced calcium release (CICR) opposed depolarization-induced action potential (AP) generation in dissociated mudpuppy parasympathetic neurons [J Neurophysiol 88 (2002) 1119]. In the present study, we tested whether AP generation by depolarizing current ramps could be altered by dissipating the mitochondrial membrane potential and thus interrupting mitochondrial Ca2+ buffering. Exposure to the protonophore carbonyl cyanide m-chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP; 2 microM) alone or in combination with the mitochondrial ATP synthase inhibitor oligomycin (8 microg/ml), increased the latency to AP generation. Exposure to the electron transport chain inhibitor rotenone (10 microM) alone or in combination with oligomycin (8 microg/ml) similarly increased the latency to AP generation. CCCP and oligomycin or rotenone and oligomycin treatment caused rhodamine 123 loss from mitochondria within a few minutes, confirming that the mitochondrial membrane potential was dissipated during drug exposure. Oligomycin alone had no effect on the latency to AP generation and did not cause loss of rhodamine 123 from mitochondria. The increase in latency induced by CCCP and oligomycin was similar when recordings were made with either the perforated patch or standard whole cell patch recording configuration. Exposure to the endoplasmic reticulum Ca-ATPase inhibitor thapsigargin (1 microM), decreased the latency to AP generation. In cells pretreated with thapsigargin to eliminate CICR, CCCP and oligomycin had no effect on AP latency. Pretreatment with iberiotoxin (IBX; 100 nM), an inhibitor of large conductance, calcium- and voltage-activated potassium channels, reduced the extent of the CCCP- and oligomycin-induced increase in latency to AP generation. These results indicate that treatment with CCCP or rotenone to dissipate the mitochondrial membrane potential, a condition which should minimize sequestration of Ca2+ by

  6. Imitation and Action Understanding in Autistic Spectrum Disorders: How Valid Is the Hypothesis of a Deficit in the Mirror Neuron System?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hamilton, Antonia F. de C.; Brindley, Rachel M.; Frith, Uta

    2007-01-01

    The motor mirror neuron system supports imitation and goal understanding in typical adults. Recently, it has been proposed that a deficit in this mirror neuron system might contribute to poor imitation performance in children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) and might be a cause of poor social abilities in these children. We aimed to test…

  7. Upregulation of transmitter release probability improves a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into neuronal digital spikes

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Action potentials at the neurons and graded signals at the synapses are primary codes in the brain. In terms of their functional interaction, the studies were focused on the influence of presynaptic spike patterns on synaptic activities. How the synapse dynamics quantitatively regulates the encoding of postsynaptic digital spikes remains unclear. We investigated this question at unitary glutamatergic synapses on cortical GABAergic neurons, especially the quantitative influences of release probability on synapse dynamics and neuronal encoding. Glutamate release probability and synaptic strength are proportionally upregulated by presynaptic sequential spikes. The upregulation of release probability and the efficiency of probability-driven synaptic facilitation are strengthened by elevating presynaptic spike frequency and Ca2+. The upregulation of release probability improves spike capacity and timing precision at postsynaptic neuron. These results suggest that the upregulation of presynaptic glutamate release facilitates a conversion of synaptic analogue signals into digital spikes in postsynaptic neurons, i.e., a functional compatibility between presynaptic and postsynaptic partners. PMID:22852823

  8. Corticospinal mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Kraskov, A; Philipp, R; Waldert, S; Vigneswaran, G; Quallo, M M; Lemon, R N

    2014-01-01

    Here, we report the properties of neurons with mirror-like characteristics that were identified as pyramidal tract neurons (PTNs) and recorded in the ventral premotor cortex (area F5) and primary motor cortex (M1) of three macaque monkeys. We analysed the neurons' discharge while the monkeys performed active grasp of either food or an object, and also while they observed an experimenter carrying out a similar range of grasps. A considerable proportion of tested PTNs showed clear mirror-like properties (52% F5 and 58% M1). Some PTNs exhibited 'classical' mirror neuron properties, increasing activity for both execution and observation, while others decreased their discharge during observation ('suppression mirror-neurons'). These experiments not only demonstrate the existence of PTNs as mirror neurons in M1, but also reveal some interesting differences between M1 and F5 mirror PTNs. Although observation-related changes in the discharge of PTNs must reach the spinal cord and will include some direct projections to motoneurons supplying grasping muscles, there was no EMG activity in these muscles during action observation. We suggest that the mirror neuron system is involved in the withholding of unwanted movement during action observation. Mirror neurons are differentially recruited in the behaviour that switches rapidly between making your own movements and observing those of others.

  9. Vestibular Neuronitis

    MedlinePlus

    ... Prevent Painful Swimmer's Ear Additional Content Medical News Vestibular Neuronitis By Lawrence R. Lustig, MD NOTE: This ... Drugs Herpes Zoster Oticus Meniere Disease Purulent Labyrinthitis Vestibular Neuronitis Vestibular neuronitis is a disorder characterized by ...

  10. Effects of the action of microwave-frequency electromagnetic radiation on the spike activity of neurons in the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus in rats.

    PubMed

    Minasyan, S M; Grigoryan, G Yu; Saakyan, S G; Akhumyan, A A; Kalantaryan, V P

    2007-02-01

    Acute experiments on white rats anesthetized with Nembutal (40 mg/kg, i.p.) were performed with extracellular recording and analysis of background spike activity from neurons in the supraoptic nucleus of the hypothalamus after exposure to electromagnetic radiation in the millimeter range. The distribution of neurons was determined in terms of the degree of regularity, the nature of the dynamics of neural streams, and the modalities of histograms of interspike intervals; the mean neuron spike frequency was calculated, along with the coefficient of variation of interspike intervals. These studies demonstrated changes in the background spike activity, predominantly affecting the internal structure of the spike streams recorded. The major changes were in the duration of interspike intervals and the degree of regularity of spike activity. Statistically significant changes in the mean spike frequencies of neuron populations in individual frequency ranges were also seen.

  11. Effects of perinatal protein malnutrition and fenfluramine action on food intake and neuronal activation in the hypothalamus and raphe nuclei of neonate rats.

    PubMed

    Ferro Cavalcante, Taisy Cinthia; Marcelino da Silva, Amanda Alves; Amaral Almeida, Larissa Cavalcanti do; Tavares, Gabriel Araújo; de Farias Campina, Renata Cristinny; do Nascimento, Elizabeth; Lopes de Souza, Sandra

    2016-10-15

    In neonatal rats, hunger and satiety responses occur particularly via dehydration and gastric distention, respectively. The control of food intake in newborns is yet to be fully consolidated, particularly with respect to the participation of the hypothalamic nuclei and their relationship with the serotonergic pathway. Moreover, it is unclear how the environmental stressors in early life, like undernutrition, interfere in these events. Therefore, this study examined the serotonin-system's impact on food intake in rat neonates at postnatal day (P) 10 and P18 and the manner in which protein undernutrition during pregnancy and lactation interferes in this behavior. To accomplish this, Wistar rats were used, nutritionally manipulated by a diet having two protein levels, (8% and 17%) during pregnancy and lactation, to form the Control (n=10) and Low protein groups (n=10). At 10 and 18 postnatal days pups received an acute dose of fenfluramine (3mg/kg) or saline (0.9% NaCl) and subjected to milk consumption testing and then perfused to obtain the brains for the analysis of cell activation of the immunoreactive c-Fos in the hypothalamic and raphe nuclei. At 10days a reduction in weight gain was observed in both groups. On comparison of the neuronal activation for the paraventricular nucleus, an increased activation in response to fenfluramine was observed. At 18days, the weight gain percentage differed between the groups according to the nutritional manipulation, in which the control animals had no significant change while the undernourished presented increased weight gain with the use of fenfluramine. The marking of c-Fos in response to fenfluramine in the hypothalamic and raphe nuclei revealed, an especially lower activation of the PVN, MnR and DR compared intra-group. However when evaluating the effect of undernutrition, marking activation was observed to increase in all the nuclei analyzed, in the hypothalamus and raphe. Data from this study indicate that the action of

  12. Predictive reward signal of dopamine neurons.

    PubMed

    Schultz, W

    1998-07-01

    The effects of lesions, receptor blocking, electrical self-stimulation, and drugs of abuse suggest that midbrain dopamine systems are involved in processing reward information and learning approach behavior. Most dopamine neurons show phasic activations after primary liquid and food rewards and conditioned, reward-predicting visual and auditory stimuli. They show biphasic, activation-depression responses after stimuli that resemble reward-predicting stimuli or are novel or particularly salient. However, only few phasic activations follow aversive stimuli. Thus dopamine neurons label environmental stimuli with appetitive value, predict and detect rewards and signal alerting and motivating events. By failing to discriminate between different rewards, dopamine neurons appear to emit an alerting message about the surprising presence or absence of rewards. All responses to rewards and reward-predicting stimuli depend on event predictability. Dopamine neurons are activated by rewarding events that are better than predicted, remain uninfluenced by events that are as good as predicted, and are depressed by events that are worse than predicted. By signaling rewards according to a prediction error, dopamine responses have the formal characteristics of a teaching signal postulated by reinforcement learning theories. Dopamine responses transfer during learning from primary rewards to reward-predicting stimuli. This may contribute to neuronal mechanisms underlying the retrograde action of rewards, one of the main puzzles in reinforcement learning. The impulse response releases a short pulse of dopamine onto many dendrites, thus broadcasting a rather global reinforcement signal to postsynaptic neurons. This signal may improve approach behavior by providing advance reward information before the behavior occurs, and may contribute to learning by modifying synaptic transmission. The dopamine reward signal is supplemented by activity in neurons in striatum, frontal cortex, and

  13. The cortical modulation of stimulus-specific adaptation in the auditory midbrain and thalamus: a potential neuronal correlate for predictive coding

    PubMed Central

    Malmierca, Manuel S.; Anderson, Lucy A.; Antunes, Flora M.

    2015-01-01

    To follow an ever-changing auditory scene, the auditory brain is continuously creating a representation of the past to form expectations about the future. Unexpected events will produce an error in the predictions that should “trigger” the network’s response. Indeed, neurons in the auditory midbrain, thalamus and cortex, respond to rarely occurring sounds while adapting to frequently repeated ones, i.e., they exhibit stimulus specific adaptation (SSA). SSA cannot be explained solely by intrinsic membrane properties, but likely involves the participation of the network. Thus, SSA is envisaged as a high order form of adaptation that requires the influence of cortical areas. However, present research supports the hypothesis that SSA, at least in its simplest form (i.e., to frequency deviants), can be transmitted in a bottom-up manner through the auditory pathway. Here, we briefly review the underlying neuroanatomy of the corticofugal projections before discussing state of the art studies which demonstrate that SSA present in the medial geniculate body (MGB) and inferior colliculus (IC) is not inherited from the cortex but can be modulated by the cortex via the corticofugal pathways. By modulating the gain of neurons in the thalamus and midbrain, the auditory cortex (AC) would refine SSA subcortically, preventing irrelevant information from reaching the cortex. PMID:25805974

  14. Central action of ELABELA reduces food intake and activates arginine vasopressin and corticotropin-releasing hormone neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.

    PubMed

    Santoso, Putra; Maejima, Yuko; Kumamoto, Kensuke; Takenoshita, Seiichi; Shimomura, Kenju

    2015-09-30

    ELABELA (ELA) is a novel hormone consisting of 32 amino acid peptides found in humans as well as other vertebrates and is considered to play an important role in the circulatory system through the apelin receptor (APJ). However, whether ELA also acts in the central nervous system remains unknown. Here, we show that ELA functions as an anorexigenic hormone in adult mouse brain. An intracerebroventricular injection of ELA reduces food intake and activates arginine vasopressin (AVP) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), a hypothalamic region that regulates food intake. Cytosolic calcium ([Ca]i) measurement shows that ELA dose dependently increases [Ca]i in single AVP and CRH-immunoreactive neurons isolated from the PVN. Our data suggest that ELA functions as an anorexigenic hormone through activation of AVP and CRH neurons in the PVN.

  15. Neuronal beacon.

    PubMed

    Black, B; Mondal, A; Kim, Y; Mohanty, S K

    2013-07-01

    The controlled navigation of the axonal growth cone of a neuron toward the dendrite of its synaptic partner neuron is the fundamental process in forming neuronal circuitry. While a number of technologies have been pursued for axonal guidance over the past decades, they are either invasive or not controllable with high spatial and temporal resolution and are often limited by low guidance efficacy. Here, we report a neuronal beacon based on light for highly efficient and controlled guidance of cortical primary neurons.

  16. Primary cortical representation of sounds by the coordination of action-potential timing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decharms, R. Christopher; Merzenich, Michael M.

    1996-06-01

    CORTICAL population coding could in principle rely on either the mean rate of neuronal action potentials, or the relative timing of action potentials, or both. When a single sensory stimulus drives many neurons to fire at elevated rates, the spikes of these neurons become tightly synchronized1,2, which could be involved in 'binding' together individual firing-rate feature representations into a unified object percept3. Here we demonstrate that the relative timing of cortical action potentials can signal stimulus features themselves, a function even more basic than feature grouping. Populations of neurons in the primary auditory cortex can coordinate the relative timing of their action potentials such that spikes occur closer together in time during continuous stimuli. In this way cortical neurons can signal stimuli even when their firing rates do not change. Population coding based on relative spike timing can systematically signal stimulus features, it is topographically mapped, and it follows the stimulus time course even where mean firing rate does not.

  17. Synaptic mechanisms underlying sparse coding of active touch.

    PubMed

    Crochet, Sylvain; Poulet, James F A; Kremer, Yves; Petersen, Carl C H

    2011-03-24

    Sensory information is actively gathered by animals, but the synaptic mechanisms driving neuronal circuit function during active sensory processing are poorly understood. Here, we investigated the synaptically driven membrane potential dynamics during active whisker sensation using whole-cell recordings from layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons in the primary somatosensory barrel cortex of behaving mice. Although whisker contact with an object evoked rapid depolarization in all neurons, these touch responses only drove action potentials in ∼10% of the cells. Such sparse coding was ensured by cell-specific reversal potentials of the touch-evoked response that were hyperpolarized relative to action potential threshold for most neurons. Intercontact interval profoundly influenced touch-evoked postsynaptic potentials, interestingly without affecting the peak membrane potential of the touch response. Dual whole-cell recordings indicated highly correlated membrane potential dynamics during active touch. Sparse action potential firing within synchronized cortical layer 2/3 microcircuits therefore appears to robustly signal each active touch response.

  18. A Natural Variant of Obestatin, Q90L, Inhibits Ghrelin's Action on Food Intake and GH Secretion and Targets NPY and GHRH Neurons in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Hassouna, Rim; Zizzari, Philippe; Viltart, Odile; Yang, Seung-Kwon; Gardette, Robert; Videau, Catherine; Badoer, Emilio; Epelbaum, Jacques; Tolle, Virginie

    2012-01-01

    Background Ghrelin and obestatin are two gut-derived peptides originating from the same ghrelin/obestatin prepropeptide gene (GHRL). While ghrelin stimulates growth hormone (GH) secretion and food intake and inhibits γ-aminobutyric-acid synaptic transmission onto GHRH (Growth Hormone Releasing Hormone) neurons, obestatin blocks these effects. In Humans, GHRL gene polymorphisms have been associated with pathologies linked to an unbalanced energy homeostasis. We hypothesized that one polymorphism located in the obestatin sequence (Q to L substitution in position 90 of the ghrelin/obestatin prepropeptide, rs4684677) may impact on the function of obestatin. In the present study, we tested the activity of native and Q90L obestatin to modulate ghrelin-induced food intake, GH secretion, cFos activity in GHRH and Neuropeptide Y (NPY) neurons and γ-aminobutyric-acid activity onto GHRH neurons. Methodology/Principal findings Food intake, GH secretion and electrophysiological recordings were assessed in C57BL/6 mice. cFos activity was measured in NPY-Renilla-GFP and GHRH-eGFP mice. Mice received saline, ghrelin or ghrelin combined to native or Q90L obestatin (30 nmol each) in the early light phase. Ghrelin stimulation of food intake and GH secretion varied considerably among individual mice with 59–77% eliciting a robust response. In these high-responders, ghrelin-induced food intake and GH secretion were reduced equally by native and Q90L obestatin. In contrast to in vivo observations, Q90L was slightly more efficient than native obestatin in inhibiting ghrelin-induced cFos activation within the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus and the nucleus tractus solitarius of the brainstem. After ghrelin injection, 26% of NPY neurons in the arcuate nucleus expressed cFos protein and this number was significantly reduced by co-administration of Q90L obestatin. Q90L was also more potent that native obestatin in reducing ghrelin-induced inhibition of γ-aminobutyric-acid synaptic

  19. 26 CFR 301.7433-2 - Civil cause of action for violation of section 362 or 524 of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-04-01

    ... of the willful actions of the officer or employee; and (ii) Costs of the action. (2) An action under... individual injured by a willful violation of the stay). However, any administrative or litigation costs in...) Litigation costs and administrative costs not recoverable as actual, direct economic damages....

  20. Axonal Filtering Allows Reliable Output during Dendritic Plateau-Driven Complex Spiking in CA1 Neurons.

    PubMed

    Apostolides, Pierre F; Milstein, Aaron D; Grienberger, Christine; Bittner, Katie C; Magee, Jeffrey C

    2016-02-17

    In CA1 pyramidal neurons, correlated inputs trigger dendritic plateau potentials that drive neuronal plasticity and firing rate modulation. Given the strong electrotonic coupling between soma and axon, the >25 mV depolarization associated with the plateau could propagate through the axon to influence action potential initiation, propagation, and neurotransmitter release. We examined this issue in brain slices, awake mice, and a computational model. Despite profoundly inactivating somatic and proximal axon Na(+) channels, plateaus evoked action potentials that recovered to full amplitude in the distal axon (>150 μm) and triggered neurotransmitter release similar to regular spiking. This effect was due to strong attenuation of plateau depolarizations by axonal K(+) channels, allowing full axon repolarization and Na(+) channel deinactivation. High-pass filtering of dendritic plateaus by axonal K(+) channels should thus enable accurate transmission of gain-modulated firing rates, allowing neuronal firing to be efficiently read out by downstream regions as a simple rate code. PMID:26833135

  1. Information theory of adaptation in neurons, behavior, and mood

    PubMed Central

    Sharpee, Tatyana O.; Calhoun, Adam J.; Chalasani, Sreekanth H.

    2014-01-01

    The ability to make accurate predictions of future stimuli and consequences of one’s actions are crucial for the survival and appropriate decision-making. These predictions are constantly being made at different levels of the nervous system. This is evidenced by adaptation to stimulus parameters in sensory coding, and in learning of an up-to-date model of the environment at the behavioral level. This review will discuss recent findings that actions of neurons and animals are selected based on detailed stimulus history in such a way as to maximize information for achieving the task at hand. Information maximization dictates not only how sensory coding should adapt to various statistical aspects of stimuli, but also that reward function should adapt to match the predictive information from past to future. PMID:24709600

  2. Pre & Postsynaptic Tuning of Action Potential Timing by Spontaneous GABAergic Activity

    PubMed Central

    Caillard, Olivier

    2011-01-01

    Frequency and timing of action potential discharge are key elements for coding and transfer of information between neurons. The nature and location of the synaptic contacts, the biophysical parameters of the receptor-operated channels and their kinetics of activation are major determinants of the firing behaviour of each individual neuron. Ultimately the intrinsic excitability of each neuron determines the input-output function. Here we evaluate the influence of spontaneous GABAergic synaptic activity on the timing of action potentials in Layer 2/3 pyramidal neurones in acute brain slices from the somatosensory cortex of young rats. Somatic dynamic current injection to mimic synaptic input events was employed, together with a simple computational model that reproduce subthreshold membrane properties. Besides the well-documented control of neuronal excitability, spontaneous background GABAergic activity has a major detrimental effect on spike timing. In fact, GABAA receptors tune the relationship between the excitability and fidelity of pyramidal neurons via a postsynaptic (the reversal potential for GABAA activity) and a presynaptic (the frequency of spontaneous activity) mechanism. GABAergic activity can decrease or increase the excitability of pyramidal neurones, depending on the difference between the reversal potential for GABAA receptors and the threshold for action potential. In contrast, spike time jitter can only be increased proportionally to the difference between these two membrane potentials. Changes in excitability by background GABAergic activity can therefore only be associated with deterioration of the reliability of spike timing. PMID:21789249

  3. Cooperative action of JNK and AKT/mTOR in 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium-induced autophagy of neuronal PC12 cells.

    PubMed

    Rodríguez-Blanco, Jezabel; Martín, Vanesa; García-Santos, Guillermo; Herrera, Federico; Casado-Zapico, Sara; Antolín, Isaac; Rodriguez, Carmen

    2012-09-01

    Parkinson's disease has been widely related to both apoptosis and oxidative stress. Many publications relate the loss of mitochondrial potential to an apoptosis-mediated cell death in different in vivo and in vitro models of this pathology. The present study used the dopaminegic specific neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium (MPP(+) ) on neuron-like PC12 cells, which is a well-accepted model of Parkinson's disease. Results showed an early increase in oxidants, which drives the modulation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) and AKT/mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathways, mimicking peroxide treatment. However, the cell death found in neuronal PC12 cells treated with MPP(+) was not a caspase-associated apoptosis. Electron microscopic images illustrated autophagic cell death, which was confirmed by a Beclin-1 and ATG expression increase, accumulation of acidic vesicles, and rescue by an autophagy inhibitor. In conclusion, the boost in oxidants from MPP(+) treatment in neuronal PC12 is modulating both survival (AKT/mTOR) and death (JNK) pathways, which are the perpetrators of an autophagic cell death.

  4. 26 CFR 301.7433-2 - Civil cause of action for violation of section 362 or 524 of the Bankruptcy Code.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-04-01

    ... 362 or 524 of the Bankruptcy Code. 301.7433-2 Section 301.7433-2 Internal Revenue INTERNAL REVENUE... section 362 or 524 of the Bankruptcy Code. (a) In general. (1) If, in connection with the collection of a... may file a petition for damages against the United States in Federal bankruptcy court. The...

  5. The Mechanism of Long Non-coding RNA MEG3 for Neurons Apoptosis Caused by Hypoxia: Mediated by miR-181b-12/15-LOX Signaling Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaomin; Hou, Lijing; Huang, Weiwei; Gao, Yuan; Lv, Xin; Tang, Jiyou

    2016-01-01

    Objective: lncRNAs are recently thought to play a significant role in cellular homeostasis during pathological process of diseases by competing inhibiting miRNA function. The aim of present study was to assess the function of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) MEG3 and its functional interaction with microRNA-181b in cerebral ischemic infarct of mice and hypoxia-induced neurons apoptosis. Methods: To address this question, we performed the experiments with in vivo middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) mice model and in vitro oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-cultured neuronal HT22 cell line. Relative expression of MEG3, miR-181b, and 12/15-LOX (lipoxygenase) mRNA was determined using quantitative RT-PCR. Western blot was used to evaluate 12/15-LOX protein expression. TUNEL assay was performed to assess cell apoptosis. Results: In both MCAO mice and OGD-cultured HT22 cell, ischemia, or hypoxia treatment results in a time-dependent increase in MEG3 and 12/15-LOX expression and decrease in miR-181b expression. Knockdown of MEG3 contributes to attenuation of hypoxia-induced apoptosis of HT22 cell. Also, expression level of MEG3 negatively correlated with miR-181b expression and positively correlated with 12/15-LOX expression. In contrary to MEG3, miR-181b overexpression attenuated hypoxia-induced HT22 cell apoptosis, as well as suppressed hypoxia-induced increase in 12/15-LOX expression. By luciferase reporter assay, we concluded that miR-181b directly binds to 12/15-LOX 3′-UTR, thereby negatively regulates 12/15-LOX expression. Conclusion: Our data suggested that long non-coding RNA MEG3 functions as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-181b to regulate 12/15-LOX expression in middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced ischemic infarct of brain nerve cells.

  6. The Mechanism of Long Non-coding RNA MEG3 for Neurons Apoptosis Caused by Hypoxia: Mediated by miR-181b-12/15-LOX Signaling Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiaomin; Hou, Lijing; Huang, Weiwei; Gao, Yuan; Lv, Xin; Tang, Jiyou

    2016-01-01

    Objective: lncRNAs are recently thought to play a significant role in cellular homeostasis during pathological process of diseases by competing inhibiting miRNA function. The aim of present study was to assess the function of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) MEG3 and its functional interaction with microRNA-181b in cerebral ischemic infarct of mice and hypoxia-induced neurons apoptosis. Methods: To address this question, we performed the experiments with in vivo middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) mice model and in vitro oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD)-cultured neuronal HT22 cell line. Relative expression of MEG3, miR-181b, and 12/15-LOX (lipoxygenase) mRNA was determined using quantitative RT-PCR. Western blot was used to evaluate 12/15-LOX protein expression. TUNEL assay was performed to assess cell apoptosis. Results: In both MCAO mice and OGD-cultured HT22 cell, ischemia, or hypoxia treatment results in a time-dependent increase in MEG3 and 12/15-LOX expression and decrease in miR-181b expression. Knockdown of MEG3 contributes to attenuation of hypoxia-induced apoptosis of HT22 cell. Also, expression level of MEG3 negatively correlated with miR-181b expression and positively correlated with 12/15-LOX expression. In contrary to MEG3, miR-181b overexpression attenuated hypoxia-induced HT22 cell apoptosis, as well as suppressed hypoxia-induced increase in 12/15-LOX expression. By luciferase reporter assay, we concluded that miR-181b directly binds to 12/15-LOX 3′-UTR, thereby negatively regulates 12/15-LOX expression. Conclusion: Our data suggested that long non-coding RNA MEG3 functions as a competing endogenous RNA for miR-181b to regulate 12/15-LOX expression in middle cerebral artery occlusion-induced ischemic infarct of brain nerve cells. PMID:27642276

  7. Self-other relations in social development and autism: multiple roles for mirror neurons and other brain bases.

    PubMed

    Williams, Justin H G

    2008-04-01

    Mirror neuron system dysfunction may underlie a self-other matching impairment, which has previously been suggested to account for autism. Embodied Cognition Theory, which proposes that action provides a foundation for cognition has lent further credence to these ideas. The hypotheses of a self-other matching deficit and impaired mirror neuron function in autism have now been well supported by studies employing a range of methodologies. However, underlying mechanisms require further exploration to explain how mirror neurons may be involved in attentional and mentalizing processes. Impairments in self-other matching and mirror neuron function are not necessarily inextricably linked and it seems possible that different sub-populations of mirror neurons, located in several regions, contribute differentially to social cognitive functions. It is hypothesized that mirror neuron coding for action-direction may be required for developing attentional sensitivity to self-directed actions, and consequently for person-oriented, stimulus-driven attention. Mirror neuron networks may vary for different types of social learning such as "automatic" imitation and imitation learning. Imitation learning may be more reliant on self-other comparison processes (based on mirror neurons) that identify differences as well as similarities between actions. Differential connectivity with the amygdala-orbitofrontal system may also be important. This could have implications for developing "theory of mind," with intentional self-other comparison being relevant to meta-representational abilities, and "automatic" imitation being more relevant to empathy. While it seems clear that autism is associated with impaired development of embodied aspects of cognition, the ways that mirror neurons contribute to these brain-behavior links are likely to be complex. PMID:19360654

  8. Self-other relations in social development and autism: multiple roles for mirror neurons and other brain bases.

    PubMed

    Williams, Justin H G

    2008-04-01

    Mirror neuron system dysfunction may underlie a self-other matching impairment, which has previously been suggested to account for autism. Embodied Cognition Theory, which proposes that action provides a foundation for cognition has lent further credence to these ideas. The hypotheses of a self-other matching deficit and impaired mirror neuron function in autism have now been well supported by studies employing a range of methodologies. However, underlying mechanisms require further exploration to explain how mirror neurons may be involved in attentional and mentalizing processes. Impairments in self-other matching and mirror neuron function are not necessarily inextricably linked and it seems possible that different sub-populations of mirror neurons, located in several regions, contribute differentially to social cognitive functions. It is hypothesized that mirror neuron coding for action-direction may be required for developing attentional sensitivity to self-directed actions, and consequently for person-oriented, stimulus-driven attention. Mirror neuron networks may vary for different types of social learning such as "automatic" imitation and imitation learning. Imitation learning may be more reliant on self-other comparison processes (based on mirror neurons) that identify differences as well as similarities between actions. Differential connectivity with the amygdala-orbitofrontal system may also be important. This could have implications for developing "theory of mind," with intentional self-other comparison being relevant to meta-representational abilities, and "automatic" imitation being more relevant to empathy. While it seems clear that autism is associated with impaired development of embodied aspects of cognition, the ways that mirror neurons contribute to these brain-behavior links are likely to be complex.

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-01-20

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

  10. Differences in the emergent coding properties of cortical and striatal ensembles

    PubMed Central

    Ma, L.; Hyman, J.M.; Lindsay, A.J.; Phillips, A.G.; Seamans, J.K.

    2016-01-01

    The function of a given brain region is often defined by the coding properties of its individual neurons, yet how this information is combined at the ensemble level is an equally important consideration. In the present study, multiple neurons from the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the dorsal striatum (DS) were recorded simultaneously as rats performed different sequences of the same three actions. Sequence and lever decoding was remarkably similar on a per-neuron basis in the two regions. At the ensemble level, sequence-specific representations in the DS appeared synchronously but transiently along with the representation of lever location, while these two streams of information appeared independently and asynchronously in the ACC. As a result the ACC achieved superior ensemble decoding accuracy overall. Thus, the manner in which information was combined across neurons in an ensemble determined the functional separation of the ACC and DS on this task. PMID:24974796

  11. [The ontogeny of the mirror neuron system].

    PubMed

    Myowa-Yamakoshi, Masako

    2014-06-01

    Abstract Humans utilize the mirror neuron system to understand and predict others' actions. However, the ontogeny of the mirror neuron system remains unknown. Whether mirror neuron function is an innate trait or whether mirror neurons acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically remains to be clarified. In this paper, I review the ontogenetic theory of the mirror neuron system. I then discuss the functioning of the mirror neuron system in the context of social cognitive abilities, which are unique to humans. Recently, some researchers argue that it is too early to interpret the function of mirror neurons as an understanding of the underlying psychological states of others. They imply that such functioning would require inferential cognitive processes that are known to involve areas outside the mirror neuron system. Filling in this missing link may be the key to elucidating the unique ability of humans to understand others' actions.

  12. Effects of fractal gating of potassium channels on neuronal behaviours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, De-Jiang; Zeng, Shang-You; Zhang, Zheng-Zhen

    2010-10-01

    The classical model of voltage-gated ion channels assumes that according to a Markov process ion channels switch among a small number of states without memory, but a bunch of experimental papers show that some ion channels exhibit significant memory effects, and this memory effects can take the form of kinetic rate constant that is fractal. Obviously the gating character of ion channels will affect generation and propagation of action potentials, furthermore, affect generation, coding and propagation of neural information. However, there is little previous research on this series of interesting issues. This paper investigates effects of fractal gating of potassium channel subunits switching from closed state to open state on neuronal behaviours. The obtained results show that fractal gating of potassium channel subunits switching from closed state to open state has important effects on neuronal behaviours, increases excitability, rest potential and spiking frequency of the neuronal membrane, and decreases threshold voltage and threshold injected current of the neuronal membrane. So fractal gating of potassium channel subunits switching from closed state to open state can improve the sensitivity of the neuronal membrane, and enlarge the encoded strength of neural information.

  13. Oscillation and coding in a formal neural network considered as a guide for plausible simulations of the insect olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Horcholle-Bossavit, Ginette; Quenet, Brigitte; Foucart, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    For the analysis of coding mechanisms in the insect olfactory system, a fully connected network of synchronously updated McCulloch and Pitts neurons (MC-P type) was developed [Quenet, B., Horn, D., 2003. The dynamic neural filter: a binary model of spatio-temporal coding. Neural Comput. 15 (2), 309-329]. Considering the update time as an intrinsic clock, this "Dynamic Neural Filter" (DNF), which maps regions of input space into spatio-temporal sequences of neuronal activity, is able to produce exact binary codes extracted from the synchronized activities recorded at the level of projection neurons (PN) in the locust antennal lobe (AL) in response to different odors [Wehr, M., Laurent, G., 1996. Odor encoding by temporal sequences of firing in oscillating neural assemblies. Nature 384, 162-166]. Here, in a first step, we separate the populations of PN and local inhibitory neurons (LN) and use the DNF as a guide for simulations based on biological plausible neurons (Hodgkin-Huxley: H-H type). We show that a parsimonious network of 10 H-H neurons generates action potentials whose timing represents the required codes. In a second step, we construct a new type of DNF in order to study the population dynamics when different delays are taken into account. We find synaptic matrices which lead to both the emergence of robust oscillations and spatio-temporal patterns, using a formal criterion, based on a Normalized Euclidian Distance (NED), in order to measure the use of the temporal dimension as a coding dimension by the DNF. Similarly to biological PN, the activity of excitatory neurons in the model can be both phase-locked to different cycles of oscillations which remind local field potential (LFP), and nevertheless exhibit dynamic behavior complex enough to be the basis of spatio-temporal codes.

  14. Interplay between low threshold voltage-gated K(+) channels and synaptic inhibition in neurons of the chicken nucleus laminaris along its frequency axis.

    PubMed

    Hamlet, William R; Liu, Yu-Wei; Tang, Zheng-Quan; Lu, Yong

    2014-01-01

    Central auditory neurons that localize sound in horizontal space have specialized intrinsic and synaptic cellular mechanisms to tightly control the threshold and timing for action potential generation. However, the critical interplay between intrinsic voltage-gated conductances and extrinsic synaptic conductances in determining neuronal output are not well understood. In chicken, neurons in the nucleus laminaris (NL) encode sound location using interaural time difference (ITD) as a cue. Along the tonotopic axis of NL, there exist robust differences among low, middle, and high frequency (LF, MF, and HF, respectively) neurons in a variety of neuronal properties such as low threshold voltage-gated K(+) (LTK) channels and depolarizing inhibition. This establishes NL as an ideal model to examine the interactions between LTK currents and synaptic inhibition across the tonotopic axis. Using whole-cell patch clamp recordings prepared from chicken embryos (E17-E18), we found that LTK currents were larger in MF and HF neurons than in LF neurons. Kinetic analysis revealed that LTK currents in MF neurons activated at lower voltages than in LF and HF neurons, whereas the inactivation of the currents was similar across the tonotopic axis. Surprisingly, blockade of LTK currents using dendrotoxin-I (DTX) tended to broaden the duration and increase the amplitude of the depolarizing inhibitory postsynaptic potentials (IPSPs) in NL neurons without dependence on coding frequency regions. Analyses of the effects of DTX on inhibitory postsynaptic currents led us to interpret this unexpected observation as a result of primarily postsynaptic effects of LTK currents on MF and HF neurons, and combined presynaptic and postsynaptic effects in LF neurons. Furthermore, DTX transferred subthreshold IPSPs to spikes. Taken together, the results suggest a critical role for LTK currents in regulating inhibitory synaptic strength in ITD-coding neurons at various frequencies.

  15. Experience-dependent specialization of receptive field surround for selective coding of natural scenes.

    PubMed

    Pecka, Michael; Han, Yunyun; Sader, Elie; Mrsic-Flogel, Thomas D

    2014-10-22

    At eye opening, neurons in primary visual cortex (V1) are selective for stimulus features, but circuits continue to refine in an experience-dependent manner for some weeks thereafter. How these changes contribute to the coding of visual features embedded in complex natural scenes remains unknown. Here we show that normal visual experience after eye opening is required for V1 neurons to develop a sensitivity for the statistical structure of natural stimuli extending beyond the boundaries of their receptive fields (RFs), which leads to improvements in coding efficiency for full-field natural scenes (increased selectivity and information rate). These improvements are mediated by an experience-dependent increase in the effectiveness of natural surround stimuli to hyperpolarize the membrane potential specifically during RF-stimulus epochs triggering action potentials. We suggest that neural circuits underlying surround modulation are shaped by the statistical structure of visual input, which leads to more selective coding of features in natural scenes. PMID:25263755

  16. Neuronal polarization.

    PubMed

    Takano, Tetsuya; Xu, Chundi; Funahashi, Yasuhiro; Namba, Takashi; Kaibuchi, Kozo

    2015-06-15

    Neurons are highly polarized cells with structurally and functionally distinct processes called axons and dendrites. This polarization underlies the directional flow of information in the central nervous system, so the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarization is crucial for correct development and function. Great progress in our understanding of how neurons establish their polarity has been made through the use of cultured hippocampal neurons, while recent technological advances have enabled in vivo analysis of axon specification and elongation. This short review and accompanying poster highlight recent advances in this fascinating field, with an emphasis on the signaling mechanisms underlying axon and dendrite specification in vitro and in vivo.

  17. Habit learning by naïve macaques is marked by response sharpening of striatal neurons representing the cost and outcome of acquired action sequences

    PubMed Central

    Desrochers, Theresa M.; Amemori, Ken-ichi; Graybiel, Ann M.

    2015-01-01

    SUMMARY Over a century of scientific work has focused on defining the factors motivating behavioral learning. Observations in animals and humans trained on a wide range of tasks support reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms as accounting for the learning. Still unknown, however, are the signals that drive learning in naïve, untrained subjects. Here, we capitalized on a sequential saccade task in which macaque monkeys acquired repetitive scanning sequences without instruction. We found that spike activity in the caudate nucleus after each trial corresponded to an integrated cost-benefit signal that was highly correlated with the degree of naturalistic untutored learning by the monkeys. Across learning, neurons encoding both cost and outcome gradually acquired increasingly sharp phasic trial-end responses that paralleled the development of the habit-like, repetitive saccade sequences. Our findings demonstrate a novel integrated cost-benefit signal by which RL and its neural correlates could drive naturalistic behaviors in freely behaving primates. PMID:26291166

  18. Habit Learning by Naive Macaques Is Marked by Response Sharpening of Striatal Neurons Representing the Cost and Outcome of Acquired Action Sequences.

    PubMed

    Desrochers, Theresa M; Amemori, Ken-ichi; Graybiel, Ann M

    2015-08-19

    Over a century of scientific work has focused on defining the factors motivating behavioral learning. Observations in animals and humans trained on a wide range of tasks support reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms as accounting for the learning. Still unknown, however, are the signals that drive learning in naive, untrained subjects. Here, we capitalized on a sequential saccade task in which macaque monkeys acquired repetitive scanning sequences without instruction. We found that spike activity in the caudate nucleus after each trial corresponded to an integrated cost-benefit signal that was highly correlated with the degree of naturalistic untutored learning by the monkeys. Across learning, neurons encoding both cost and outcome gradually acquired increasingly sharp phasic trial-end responses that paralleled the development of the habit-like, repetitive saccade sequences. Our findings demonstrate an integrated cost-benefit signal by which RL and its neural correlates could drive naturalistic behaviors in freely behaving primates. PMID:26291166

  19. Potent activity of nobiletin-rich Citrus reticulata peel extract to facilitate cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB signaling associated with learning and memory in cultured hippocampal neurons: identification of the substances responsible for the pharmacological action.

    PubMed

    Kawahata, Ichiro; Yoshida, Masaaki; Sun, Wen; Nakajima, Akira; Lai, Yanxin; Osaka, Naoya; Matsuzaki, Kentaro; Yokosuka, Akihito; Mimaki, Yoshihiro; Naganuma, Akira; Tomioka, Yoshihisa; Yamakuni, Tohru

    2013-10-01

    cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB signaling linked to CRE-mediated transcription is crucial for learning and memory. We originally found nobiletin as a natural compound that stimulates this intracellular signaling and exhibits anti-dementia action in animals. Citrus reticulata or C. unshiu peels are employed as "chinpi" and include a small amount of nobiletin. We here provide the first evidence for beneficial pharmacological actions on the cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB cascade of extracts from nobiletin-rich C.reticulata peels designated as Nchinpi, the nobiletin content of which was 0.83 ± 0.13% of the dry weight or 16-fold higher than that of standard chinpi extracts. Nchinpi extracts potently facilitated CRE-mediated transcription in cultured hippocampal neurons, whereas the standard chinpi extracts showed no such activity. Also, the Nchinpi extract, but not the standard chinpi extract, stimulated PKA/ERK/CREB signaling. Interestingly, treatment with the Nchinpi extract at the concentration corresponding to approximately 5 μM nobiletin more potently facilitated CRE-mediated transcriptional activity than did 30 μM nobiletin alone. Consistently, sinensetin, tangeretin, 6-demethoxynobiletin, and 6-demethoxytangeretin were also identified as bioactive substances in Nchinpi that facilitated the CRE-mediated transcription. Purified sinensetin enhanced the transcription to a greater degree than nobiletin. Furthermore, samples reconstituted with the four purified compounds and nobiletin in the ratio of each constituent's content in the extract showed activity almost equal to that of the Nchinpi extract to stimulate CRE-mediated transcription. These findings suggest that above four compounds and nobiletin in the Nchinpi extract mainly cooperated to facilitate potently CRE-mediated transcription linked to the upstream cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB pathway in hippocampal neurons.

  20. Potent activity of nobiletin-rich Citrus reticulata peel extract to facilitate cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB signaling associated with learning and memory in cultured hippocampal neurons: identification of the substances responsible for the pharmacological action.

    PubMed

    Kawahata, Ichiro; Yoshida, Masaaki; Sun, Wen; Nakajima, Akira; Lai, Yanxin; Osaka, Naoya; Matsuzaki, Kentaro; Yokosuka, Akihito; Mimaki, Yoshihiro; Naganuma, Akira; Tomioka, Yoshihisa; Yamakuni, Tohru

    2013-10-01

    cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB signaling linked to CRE-mediated transcription is crucial for learning and memory. We originally found nobiletin as a natural compound that stimulates this intracellular signaling and exhibits anti-dementia action in animals. Citrus reticulata or C. unshiu peels are employed as "chinpi" and include a small amount of nobiletin. We here provide the first evidence for beneficial pharmacological actions on the cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB cascade of extracts from nobiletin-rich C.reticulata peels designated as Nchinpi, the nobiletin content of which was 0.83 ± 0.13% of the dry weight or 16-fold higher than that of standard chinpi extracts. Nchinpi extracts potently facilitated CRE-mediated transcription in cultured hippocampal neurons, whereas the standard chinpi extracts showed no such activity. Also, the Nchinpi extract, but not the standard chinpi extract, stimulated PKA/ERK/CREB signaling. Interestingly, treatment with the Nchinpi extract at the concentration corresponding to approximately 5 μM nobiletin more potently facilitated CRE-mediated transcriptional activity than did 30 μM nobiletin alone. Consistently, sinensetin, tangeretin, 6-demethoxynobiletin, and 6-demethoxytangeretin were also identified as bioactive substances in Nchinpi that facilitated the CRE-mediated transcription. Purified sinensetin enhanced the transcription to a greater degree than nobiletin. Furthermore, samples reconstituted with the four purified compounds and nobiletin in the ratio of each constituent's content in the extract showed activity almost equal to that of the Nchinpi extract to stimulate CRE-mediated transcription. These findings suggest that above four compounds and nobiletin in the Nchinpi extract mainly cooperated to facilitate potently CRE-mediated transcription linked to the upstream cAMP/PKA/ERK/CREB pathway in hippocampal neurons. PMID:23588349

  1. Why Neurons Have Thousands of Synapses, a Theory of Sequence Memory in Neocortex

    PubMed Central

    Hawkins, Jeff; Ahmad, Subutai

    2016-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons represent the majority of excitatory neurons in the neocortex. Each pyramidal neuron receives input from thousands of excitatory synapses that are segregated onto dendritic branches. The dendrites themselves are segregated into apical, basal, and proximal integration zones, which have different properties. It is a mystery how pyramidal neurons integrate the input from thousands of synapses, what role the different dendrites play in this integration, and what kind of network behavior this enables in cortical tissue. It has been previously proposed that non-linear properties of dendrites enable cortical neurons to recognize multiple independent patterns. In this paper we extend this idea in multiple ways. First we show that a neuron with several thousand synapses segregated on active dendrites can recognize hundreds of independent patterns of cellular activity even in the presence of large amounts of noise and pattern variation. We then propose a neuron model where patterns detected on proximal dendrites lead to action potentials, defining the classic receptive field of the neuron, and patterns detected on basal and apical dendrites act as predictions by slightly depolarizing the neuron without generating an action potential. By this mechanism, a neuron can predict its activation in hundreds of independent contexts. We then present a network model based on neurons with these properties that learns time-based sequences. The network relies on fast local inhibition to preferentially activate neurons that are slightly depolarized. Through simulation we show that the network scales well and operates robustly over a wide range of parameters as long as the network uses a sparse distributed code of cellular activations. We contrast the properties of the new network model with several other neural network models to illustrate the relative capabilities of each. We conclude that pyramidal neurons with thousands of synapses, active dendrites, and multiple

  2. Why Neurons Have Thousands of Synapses, a Theory of Sequence Memory in Neocortex.

    PubMed

    Hawkins, Jeff; Ahmad, Subutai

    2016-01-01

    Pyramidal neurons represent the majority of excitatory neurons in the neocortex. Each pyramidal neuron receives input from thousands of excitatory synapses that are segregated onto dendritic branches. The dendrites themselves are segregated into apical, basal, and proximal integration zones, which have different properties. It is a mystery how pyramidal neurons integrate the input from thousands of synapses, what role the different dendrites play in this integration, and what kind of network behavior this enables in cortical tissue. It has been previously proposed that non-linear properties of dendrites enable cortical neurons to recognize multiple independent patterns. In this paper we extend this idea in multiple ways. First we show that a neuron with several thousand synapses segregated on active dendrites can recognize hundreds of independent patterns of cellular activity even in the presence of large amounts of noise and pattern variation. We then propose a neuron model where patterns detected on proximal dendrites lead to action potentials, defining the classic receptive field of the neuron, and patterns detected on basal and apical dendrites act as predictions by slightly depolarizing the neuron without generating an action potential. By this mechanism, a neuron can predict its activation in hundreds of independent contexts. We then present a network model based on neurons with these properties that learns time-based sequences. The network relies on fast local inhibition to preferentially activate neurons that are slightly depolarized. Through simulation we show that the network scales well and operates robustly over a wide range of parameters as long as the network uses a sparse distributed code of cellular activations. We contrast the properties of the new network model with several other neural network models to illustrate the relative capabilities of each. We conclude that pyramidal neurons with thousands of synapses, active dendrites, and multiple

  3. Spike firing allometry in avian intrapulmonary chemoreceptors: matching neural code to body size.

    PubMed

    Hempleman, S C; Kilgore, D L; Colby, C; Bavis, R W; Powell, F L

    2005-08-01

    Biological rates in small animals are usually higher than those in large animals, yet the maximal rate of action potential (spike) generation in sensory neurons encoding rate functions is similar in all animals, due to the conserved genetics of voltage-gated ion channels. Therefore, sensory signals that vary at rates approaching maximal spike generation rate, as might occur in animals of diminished body size, may require specialized spike coding to convey this information. To test whether spike coding scales allometrically in sensory neurons monitoring signals that change frequency with body size, we recorded action potentials from 70 avian intrapulmonary chemoreceptors (IPC), respiratory neurons that detect lung CO2 changes during breathing, in five different avian species ranging in size from body mass Mb=0.045 kg (lovebirds) to 5.23 kg (geese). Since breathing frequency scales approximately to Mb-1/4 (higher in small birds, lower in large birds), we reasoned that IPC discharge frequencies may also scale to maintain spike information transmission within each breath. We found that phasic action potential discharge pattern, as quantified by the peak discharge rate and the magnitude of spike frequency adaptation, scaled between Mb-0.22 and Mb-0.26, like breathing rate (P<0.05). Previously published values of peak discharge rate in IPC also fit this allometric relationship. We suggest that mass-dependent scaling of neural coding may be necessary for preserving information transmission with decreasing body size. PMID:16081605

  4. [What mirror neurons have revealed: revisited].

    PubMed

    Murata, Akira; Maeda, Kazutaka

    2014-06-01

    The first paper on mirror neurons was published in 1992. In the span of over two decades since then, much knowledge about the relationship between social cognitive function and the motor control system has been accumulated. Direct matching of visual actions and their corresponding motor representations is the most important functional property of mirror neuron. Many studies have emphasized intrinsic simulation as a core concept for mirror neurons. Mirror neurons are thought to play a role in social cognitive function. However, the function of mirror neurons in the macaque remains unclear, because such cognitive functions are limited or lacking in macaque monkeys. It is therefore important to discuss these neurons in the context of motor function. Rizzolatti and colleagues have stressed that the most important function of mirror neurons in macaques is recognition of actions performed by other individuals. I suggest that mirror neurons in the Macaque inferior pariental lobule might be correlated with body schema. In the parieto-premotor network, matching of corollary discharge and actual sensory feedback is an essential neuronal operation. Recently, neurons showing mirror properties were found in some cortical areas outside the mirror neuron system. The current work would revisit the outcomes of mirror neuron studies to discuss the function of mirror neurons in the monkey.

  5. Encoding for computation: Recognizing brief dynamical patterns by exploiting effects of weak rhythms on action-potential timing

    PubMed Central

    Hopfield, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    Many stimuli have meaning only as patterns over time. Most auditory and many visual stimuli are of this nature and can be described as multidimensional, time-dependent vectors. A simple neuron can encode a single component of the vector in a firing rate. The addition of a small subthreshold oscillatory current perturbs the action-potential timing, encoding the signal also in a timing relationship, with little effect on the coexisting firing rate representation. When the subthreshold signal is common to a group of neurons, the timing-based information is significant to neurons receiving inputs from the group. This information encoding allows simple implementation of computations not readily done with rate coding. These ideas are examined by using speech to provide a realistic input signal to a biologically inspired model network of spiking neurons. The output neurons of the two-layer system are shown to specifically encode short linguistic elements of speech. PMID:15075391

  6. Blockade by ifenprodil of high voltage-activated Ca2+ channels in rat and mouse cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurones: comparison with N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist actions.

    PubMed Central

    Church, J; Fletcher, E J; Baxter, K; MacDonald, J F

    1994-01-01

    1. The block by ifenprodil of voltage-activated Ca2+ channels was investigated in intracellular free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) evoked by 50 mM K+ (high-[K+]o) in Fura-2-loaded rat hippocampal pyramidal neurones in culture and on currents carried by Ba2+ ions (IBa) through Ca2+ channels in mouse cultured hippocampal neurones under whole-cell voltage-clamp. The effects of ifenprodil on voltage-activated Ca2+ channels were compared with its antagonist actions on N-methyl-D-aspartate- (NMDA) evoked responses in the same neuronal preparations. 2. Rises in [Ca2+]i evoked by transient exposure to high-[K+]o in our preparation of rat cultured hippocampal pyramidal neurones are mediated predominantly by Ca2+ flux through nifedipine-sensitive Ca2+ channels, with smaller contributions from nifedipine-resistant, omega-conotoxin GVIA-sensitive Ca2+ channels and Ca2+ channels sensitive to crude funnel-web spider venom (Church et al., 1994). Ifenprodil (0.1-200 microM) reversibly attenuated high-[K+]o-evoked rises in [Ca2+]i with an IC50 value of 17 +/- 3 microM, compared with an IC50 value of 0.7 +/- 0.1 microM for the reduction of rises in [Ca2+]i evoked by 20 microM NMDA. Tested in the presence of nifedipine 10 microM, ifenprodil (1-50 microM) produced a concentration-dependent reduction of the dihydropyridine-resistant high-[K+]o-evoked rise in [Ca2+]i with an IC50 value of 13 +/- 4 microM. The results suggest that ifenprodil blocks Ca2+ flux through multiple subtypes of high voltage-activated Ca2+ channels. 3. Application of the polyamine, spermine (0.25-5 mM), produced a concentration-dependent reduction of rises in [Ca2+]i evoked by high-[K+]o.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS) PMID:7834201

  7. Hyperexcitability and reduced low threshold potassium currents in auditory neurons of mice lacking the channel subunit Kv1.1

    PubMed Central

    Brew, Helen M; Hallows, Janice L; Tempel, Bruce L

    2003-01-01

    A low voltage-activated potassium current, IKL, is found in auditory neuron types that have low excitability and precisely preserve the temporal pattern of activity present in their presynaptic inputs. The gene Kcnal codes for Kv1.1 potassium channel subunits, which combine in expression systems to produce channel tetramers with properties similar to those of IKL, including sensitivity to dendrotoxin (DTX). Kv1.1 is strongly expressed in neurons with IKL, including auditory neurons of the medial nucleus of the trapezoid body (MNTB). We therefore decided to investigate how the absence of Kv1.1 affected channel properties and function in MNTB neurons from mice lacking Kcnal. We used the whole cell version of the patch clamp technique to record from MNTB neurons in brainstem slices from Kcnal-null (−/−) mice and their wild-type (+/+) and heterozygous (+/−) littermates. There was an IKL in voltage-clamped −/− MNTB neurons, but it was about half the amplitude of the IKL in +/+ neurons, with otherwise similar properties. Consistent with this, −/− MNTB neurons were more excitable than their +/+ counterparts; they fired more than twice as many action potentials (APs) during current steps, and the threshold current amplitude required to generate an AP was roughly halved. +/− MNTB neurons had excitability and IKL amplitudes identical to the +/+ neurons. The IKL remaining in −/− neurons was blocked by DTX, suggesting the underlying channels contained subunits Kv1.2 and/or Kv1.6 (also DTX-sensitive). DTX increased excitability further in the already hyperexcitable −/− MNTB neurons, suggesting that −/−IKL limited excitability despite its reduced amplitude in the absence of Kv1.1 subunits. PMID:12611922

  8. Structural coding versus free-energy predictive coding.

    PubMed

    van der Helm, Peter A

    2016-06-01

    Focusing on visual perceptual organization, this article contrasts the free-energy (FE) version of predictive coding (a recent Bayesian approach) to structural coding (a long-standing representational approach). Both use free-energy minimization as metaphor for processing in the brain, but their formal elaborations of this metaphor are fundamentally different. FE predictive coding formalizes it by minimization of prediction errors, whereas structural coding formalizes it by minimization of the descriptive complexity of predictions. Here, both sides are evaluated. A conclusion regarding competence is that FE predictive coding uses a powerful modeling technique, but that structural coding has more explanatory power. A conclusion regarding performance is that FE predictive coding-though more detailed in its account of neurophysiological data-provides a less compelling cognitive architecture than that of structural coding, which, for instance, supplies formal support for the computationally powerful role it attributes to neuronal synchronization.

  9. Isomer-nonspecific action of dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane on aryl hydrocarbon receptor and G-protein-coupled receptor 30 intracellular signaling in apoptotic neuronal cells.

    PubMed

    Kajta, M; Litwa, E; Rzemieniec, J; Wnuk, A; Lason, W; Zelek-Molik, A; Nalepa, I; Grzegorzewska-Hiczwa, M; Tokarski, K; Golas, A; Guzik, E; Grochowalski, A; Szychowski, K A; Wojtowicz, A K

    2014-07-01

    Extended residual persistence of the pesticide dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) raises concerns about its long-term neurotoxic effects. Little is known, however, about DDT toxicity during the early stages of neural development. This study demonstrated that DDT-induced apoptosis of mouse embryonic neuronal cells is a caspase-9-, caspase-3-, and GSK-3β-dependent process, which involves p,p'-DDT-specific impairment of classical ERs. It also provided evidence for DDT-isomer-nonspecific alterations of AhR- and GPR30-mediated intracellular signaling, including changes in the levels of the receptor and receptor-regulated mRNAs, and also changes in the protein levels of the receptors. DDT-induced stimulation of AhR-signaling and reduction of GPR30-signaling were verified using selective ligands and specific siRNAs. Co-localization of the receptors was demonstrated with confocal microscopy, and the presence of functional GPR30 was detected by electrophysiology. This study demonstrates that stimulation of AhR-signaling and impairment of GPR30-signaling play important roles in the propagation of DDT-induced apoptosis during the early stages of neural development.

  10. A fish on the hunt, observed neuron by neuron

    SciTech Connect

    2010-01-01

    This three-dimensional microscopy image reveals an output neuron of the optic tectum lighting up in response to visual information from the retina. The scientists used this state-of-the-art imaging technology to learn how neurons in the optic tectum take visual information and convert it into an output that drives action. More information: http://newscenter.lbl.gov/feature-stories/2010/10/29/zebrafish-vision/

  11. Evidence of mirror neurons in human inferior frontal gyrus.

    PubMed

    Kilner, James M; Neal, Alice; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Friston, Karl J; Frith, Chris D

    2009-08-12

    There is much current debate about the existence of mirror neurons in humans. To identify mirror neurons in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of humans, we used a repetition suppression paradigm while measuring neural activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects either executed or observed a series of actions. Here we show that in the IFG, responses were suppressed both when an executed action was followed by the same rather than a different observed action and when an observed action was followed by the same rather than a different executed action. This pattern of responses is consistent with that predicted by mirror neurons and is evidence of mirror neurons in the human IFG.

  12. Characterization of cutaneous and articular sensory neurons

    PubMed Central

    da Silva Serra, Ines; Husson, Zoé; Bartlett, Jonathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Background A wide range of stimuli can activate sensory neurons and neurons innervating specific tissues often have distinct properties. Here, we used retrograde tracing to identify sensory neurons innervating the hind paw skin (cutaneous) and ankle/knee joints (articular), and combined immunohistochemistry and electrophysiology analysis to determine the neurochemical phenotype of cutaneous and articular neurons, as well as their electrical and chemical excitability. Results Immunohistochemistry analysis using RetroBeads as a retrograde tracer confirmed previous data that cutaneous and articular neurons are a mixture of myelinated and unmyelinated neurons, and the majority of both populations are peptidergic. In whole-cell patch-clamp recordings from cultured dorsal root ganglion neurons, voltage-gated inward currents and action potential parameters were largely similar between articular and cutaneous neurons, although cutaneous neuron action potentials had a longer half-peak duration (HPD). An assessment of chemical sensitivity showed that all neurons responded to a pH 5.0 solution, but that acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC) currents, determined by inhibition with the nonselective acid-sensing ion channel antagonist benzamil, were of a greater magnitude in cutaneous compared to articular neurons. Forty to fifty percent of cutaneous and articular neurons responded to capsaicin, cinnamaldehyde, and menthol, indicating similar expression levels of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1), transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), and transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8), respectively. By contrast, significantly more articular neurons responded to ATP than cutaneous neurons. Conclusion This work makes a detailed characterization of cutaneous and articular sensory neurons and highlights the importance of making recordings from identified neuronal populations: sensory neurons innervating different tissues have subtly different properties

  13. Long non-coding RNA C2dat1 regulates CaMKIIδ expression to promote neuronal survival through the NF-κB signaling pathway following cerebral ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Q; Deng, F; Xing, Z; Wu, Z; Cen, B; Xu, S; Zhao, Z; Nepomuceno, R; Bhuiyan, M I H; Sun, D; Wang, Q J; Ji, A

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence has demonstrated a significant role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in diverse biological processes. However, their functions in cerebral ischemia remain largely unknown. Through an lncRNA array analysis in a rat model of focal cerebral ischemia/reperfusion (I/R), we have identified CAMK2D-associated transcript 1 (C2dat1) as a novel I/R-induced lncRNA that regulated the expression of CaMKIIδ in murine models of focal cerebral ischemia. C2dat1 mRNA was upregulated in a time-dependent manner in mouse cortical penumbra after focal ischemic brain injury, which was accompanied by increased expression of CaMKIIδ at transcript and protein levels. The expression patterns of C2dat1 and CAMK2D were confirmed in mouse Neuro-2a cells in response to in vitro ischemia (oxygen-glucose deprivation/reoxygenation, OGD/R). Knockdown of C2dat1 resulted in a significant blockade of CaMKIIδ expression, and potentiated OGD/R-induced cell death. Mechanistically, reduced CaMKIIδ expression upon silencing C2dat1 inhibited OGD/R-induced activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway. Further analysis showed that the downregulation of IKKα and IKKβ expression and phosphorylation, and subsequent inhibition of IκBα degradation accounted for the inhibition of the NF-κB signaling activity caused by silencing C2dat1. In summary, we discovered a novel I/R-induced lncRNA C2dat1 that modulates the expression of CaMKIIδ to impact neuronal survival, and may be a potential target for therapeutic intervention of ischemic brain injury. PMID:27031970

  14. More questions for mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Borg, Emma

    2013-09-01

    The mirror neuron system is widely held to provide direct access to the motor goals of others. This paper critically investigates this idea, focusing on the so-called 'intentional worry'. I explore two answers to the intentional worry: first that the worry is premised on too limited an understanding of mirror neuron behaviour (Sections 2 and 3), second that the appeal made to mirror neurons can be refined in such a way as to avoid the worry (Section 4). I argue that the first response requires an account of the mechanism by which small-scale gestures are supposedly mapped to larger chains of actions but that none of the extant accounts of this mechanism are plausible. Section 4 then briefly examines refinements of the mirror neuron-mindreading hypothesis which avoid the intentional worry. I conclude that these refinements may well be plausible but that they undermine many of the claims standardly made for mirror neurons.

  15. Analysis of Five Gene Sets in Chimpanzees Suggests Decoupling between the Action of Selection on Protein-Coding and on Noncoding Elements

    PubMed Central

    Santpere, Gabriel; Carnero-Montoro, Elena; Petit, Natalia; Serra, François; Hvilsom, Christina; Rambla, Jordi; Heredia-Genestar, Jose Maria; Halligan, Daniel L.; Dopazo, Hernan; Navarro, Arcadi; Bosch, Elena

    2015-01-01

    We set out to investigate potential differences and similarities between the selective forces acting upon the coding and noncoding regions of five different sets of genes defined according to functional and evolutionary criteria: 1) two reference gene sets presenting accelerated and slow rates of protein evolution (the Complement and Actin pathways); 2) a set of genes with evidence of accelerated evolution in at least one of their introns; and 3) two gene sets related to neurological function (Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases). To that effect, we combine human–chimpanzee divergence patterns with polymorphism data obtained from target resequencing 20 central chimpanzees, our closest relatives with largest long-term effective population size. By using the distribution of fitness effect-alpha extension of the McDonald–Kreitman test, we reproduce inferences of rates of evolution previously based only on divergence data on both coding and intronic sequences and also obtain inferences for other classes of genomic elements (untranslated regions, promoters, and conserved noncoding sequences). Our results suggest that 1) the distribution of fitness effect-alpha method successfully helps distinguishing different scenarios of accelerated divergence (adaptation or relaxed selective constraints) and 2) the adaptive history of coding and noncoding sequences within the gene sets analyzed is decoupled. PMID:25977458

  16. Analysis of Five Gene Sets in Chimpanzees Suggests Decoupling between the Action of Selection on Protein-Coding and on Noncoding Elements.

    PubMed

    Santpere, Gabriel; Carnero-Montoro, Elena; Petit, Natalia; Serra, François; Hvilsom, Christina; Rambla, Jordi; Heredia-Genestar, Jose Maria; Halligan, Daniel L; Dopazo, Hernan; Navarro, Arcadi; Bosch, Elena

    2015-05-14

    We set out to investigate potential differences and similarities between the selective forces acting upon the coding and noncoding regions of five different sets of genes defined according to functional and evolutionary criteria: 1) two reference gene sets presenting accelerated and slow rates of protein evolution (the Complement and Actin pathways); 2) a set of genes with evidence of accelerated evolution in at least one of their introns; and 3) two gene sets related to neurological function (Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases). To that effect, we combine human-chimpanzee divergence patterns with polymorphism data obtained from target resequencing 20 central chimpanzees, our closest relatives with largest long-term effective population size. By using the distribution of fitness effect-alpha extension of the McDonald-Kreitman test, we reproduce inferences of rates of evolution previously based only on divergence data on both coding and intronic sequences and also obtain inferences for other classes of genomic elements (untranslated regions, promoters, and conserved noncoding sequences). Our results suggest that 1) the distribution of fitness effect-alpha method successfully helps distinguishing different scenarios of accelerated divergence (adaptation or relaxed selective constraints) and 2) the adaptive history of coding and noncoding sequences within the gene sets analyzed is decoupled.

  17. Dopamine reward prediction error coding.

    PubMed

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-03-01

    Reward prediction errors consist of the differences between received and predicted rewards. They are crucial for basic forms of learning about rewards and make us strive for more rewards-an evolutionary beneficial trait. Most dopamine neurons in the midbrain of humans, monkeys, and rodents signal a reward prediction error; they are activated by more reward than predicted (positive prediction error), remain at baseline activity for fully predicted rewards, and show depressed activity with less reward than predicted (negative prediction error). The dopamine signal increases nonlinearly with reward value and codes formal economic utility. Drugs of addiction generate, hijack, and amplify the dopamine reward signal and induce exaggerated, uncontrolled dopamine effects on neuronal plasticity. The striatum, amygdala, and frontal cortex also show reward prediction error coding, but only in subpopulations of neurons. Thus, the important concept of reward prediction errors is implemented in neuronal hardware.

  18. Dopamine reward prediction error coding

    PubMed Central

    Schultz, Wolfram

    2016-01-01

    Reward prediction errors consist of the differences between received and predicted rewards. They are crucial for basic forms of learning about rewards and make us strive for more rewards—an evolutionary beneficial trait. Most dopamine neurons in the midbrain of humans, monkeys, and rodents signal a reward prediction error; they are activated by more reward than predicted (positive prediction error), remain at baseline activity for fully predicted rewards, and show depressed activity with less reward than predicted (negative prediction error). The dopamine signal increases nonlinearly with reward value and codes formal economic utility. Drugs of addiction generate, hijack, and amplify the dopamine reward signal and induce exaggerated, uncontrolled dopamine effects on neuronal plasticity. The striatum, amygdala, and frontal cortex also show reward prediction error coding, but only in subpopulations of neurons. Thus, the important concept of reward prediction errors is implemented in neuronal hardware. PMID:27069377

  19. Learning to understand others' actions

    PubMed Central

    Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia; Kilner, James M.

    2011-01-01

    Despite nearly two decades of research on mirror neurons, there is still much debate about what they do. The most enduring hypothesis is that they enable ‘action understanding’. However, recent critical reviews have failed to find compelling evidence in favour of this view. Instead, these authors argue that mirror neurons are produced by associative learning and therefore that they cannot contribute to action understanding. The present opinion piece suggests that this argument is flawed. We argue that mirror neurons may both develop through associative learning and contribute to inferences about the actions of others. PMID:21084333

  20. Mirror neurons: Enigma of the metaphysical modular brain.

    PubMed

    Acharya, Sourya; Shukla, Samarth

    2012-07-01

    Mirror neurons are one of the most important discoveries in the last decade of neuroscience. These are a variety of visuospatial neurons which indicate fundamentally about human social interaction. Essentially, mirror neurons respond to actions that we observe in others. The interesting part is that mirror neurons fire in the same way when we actually recreate that action ourselves. Apart from imitation, they are responsible for myriad of other sophisticated human behavior and thought processes. Defects in the mirror neuron system are being linked to disorders like autism. This review is a brief introduction to the neurons that shaped our civilization.

  1. Long-term increases in BK potassium channel underlie increased action potential firing in dentate granule neurons following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus in rats.

    PubMed

    Mehranfard, Nasrin; Gholamipour-Badie, Hamid; Motamedi, Fereshteh; Janahmadi, Mahyar; Naderi, Nima

    2015-01-12

    Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) is the most common form of acquired epilepsy in adult. Since dentate gyrus granule cells (GCs) play a critical role in hippocampal seizure generation, it is, therefore, important to understand changes in intrinsic properties of GCs in TLE. In this study, the electrophysiological properties of GCs obtained from epileptic rates were compared with the control group using whole cell patch-clamp recording. Results indicated a significant increase in the number of action potentials (APs) in depolarizing currents of 150 pA, 200 pA, and 250 pA. In addition, there was a significant decrease in AP half-width of GCs. The amplitude of fast afterhyperpolarization (fAHP) in epileptic group significantly decreased compared to control group. Blockade of large conductance calcium activated potassium channel (BK), channels with paxilline and iberiotoxin reversed pilocarpine-induced changes in electrophysiological properties of GCs in epileptic group. These results suggest that the BK channel blockers by reversing the firing properties of GCs might have beneficial preventative effects on pilocarpine-induced electrophysiological changes.

  2. Single-neuron and genetic correlates of autistic behavior in macaque

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Kyoko; Go, Yasuhiro; Kushima, Itaru; Toyoda, Atsushi; Fujiyama, Asao; Imai, Hiroo; Saito, Nobuhito; Iriki, Atsushi; Ozaki, Norio; Isoda, Masaki

    2016-01-01

    Atypical neurodevelopment in autism spectrum disorder is a mystery, defying explanation despite increasing attention. We report on a Japanese macaque that spontaneously exhibited autistic traits, namely, impaired social ability as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors, along with our single-neuron and genomic analyses. Its social ability was measured in a turn-taking task, where two monkeys monitor each other’s actions for adaptive behavioral planning. In its brain, the medial frontal neurons responding to others’ actions, abundant in the controls, were almost nonexistent. In its genes, whole-exome sequencing and copy number variation analyses identified rare coding variants linked to human neuropsychiatric disorders in 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) receptor 2C (HTR2C) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)–binding cassette subfamily A13 (ABCA13). This combination of systems neuroscience and cognitive genomics in macaques suggests a new, phenotype-to-genotype approach to studying mental disorders. PMID:27679817

  3. Single-neuron and genetic correlates of autistic behavior in macaque

    PubMed Central

    Yoshida, Kyoko; Go, Yasuhiro; Kushima, Itaru; Toyoda, Atsushi; Fujiyama, Asao; Imai, Hiroo; Saito, Nobuhito; Iriki, Atsushi; Ozaki, Norio; Isoda, Masaki

    2016-01-01

    Atypical neurodevelopment in autism spectrum disorder is a mystery, defying explanation despite increasing attention. We report on a Japanese macaque that spontaneously exhibited autistic traits, namely, impaired social ability as well as restricted and repetitive behaviors, along with our single-neuron and genomic analyses. Its social ability was measured in a turn-taking task, where two monkeys monitor each other’s actions for adaptive behavioral planning. In its brain, the medial frontal neurons responding to others’ actions, abundant in the controls, were almost nonexistent. In its genes, whole-exome sequencing and copy number variation analyses identified rare coding variants linked to human neuropsychiatric disorders in 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin) receptor 2C (HTR2C) and adenosine triphosphate (ATP)–binding cassette subfamily A13 (ABCA13). This combination of systems neuroscience and cognitive genomics in macaques suggests a new, phenotype-to-genotype approach to studying mental disorders.

  4. Prefrontal Goal Codes Emerge as Latent States in Probabilistic Value Learning.

    PubMed

    Stoianov, Ivilin; Genovesio, Aldo; Pezzulo, Giovanni

    2016-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex (PFC) supports goal-directed actions and exerts cognitive control over behavior, but the underlying coding and mechanism are heavily debated. We present evidence for the role of goal coding in PFC from two converging perspectives: computational modeling and neuronal-level analysis of monkey data. We show that neural representations of prospective goals emerge by combining a categorization process that extracts relevant behavioral abstractions from the input data and a reward-driven process that selects candidate categories depending on their adaptive value; both forms of learning have a plausible neural implementation in PFC. Our analyses demonstrate a fundamental principle: goal coding represents an efficient solution to cognitive control problems, analogous to efficient coding principles in other (e.g., visual) brain areas. The novel analytical-computational approach is of general interest because it applies to a variety of neurophysiological studies. PMID:26439267

  5. Reflections on mirror neurons and speech perception.

    PubMed

    Lotto, Andrew J; Hickok, Gregory S; Holt, Lori L

    2009-03-01

    The discovery of mirror neurons, a class of neurons that respond when a monkey performs an action and also when the monkey observes others producing the same action, has promoted a renaissance for the Motor Theory (MT) of speech perception. This is because mirror neurons seem to accomplish the same kind of one to one mapping between perception and action that MT theorizes to be the basis of human speech communication. However, this seeming correspondence is superficial, and there are theoretical and empirical reasons to temper enthusiasm about the explanatory role mirror neurons might have for speech perception. In fact, rather than providing support for MT, mirror neurons are actually inconsistent with the central tenets of MT.

  6. Neuron Model with Simplified Memristive Ionic Channels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hegab, Almoatazbellah M.; Salem, Noha M.; Radwan, Ahmed G.; Chua, Leon

    2015-06-01

    A simplified neuron model is introduced to mimic the action potential generated by the famous Hodgkin-Huxley equations by using the genetic optimization algorithm. Comparison with different neuron models is investigated, and it is confirmed that the sodium and potassium channels in our simplified neuron model are made out of memristors. In addition, the channel equations in the simplified model may be adjusted to introduce a simplified memristor model that is in accordance with the theoretical conditions of the memristive systems.

  7. Role of miR-211 in Neuronal Differentiation and Viability: Implications to Pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Chunying; Wu, Qi; Ye, Xiaoyang; Luo, Hongxue; Yan, Dongdong; Xiong, Yi; Zhu, Haili; Diao, Yarui; Zhang, Wei; Wan, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is an age-related irreversible neurodegenerative disorder characterized by extracellular β Amyloid(Aβ) deposition, intracellular neurofibrillary tangles and neuronal loss. The dysfunction of neurogenesis and increased degeneration of neurons contribute to the pathogenesis of AD. We now report that miR-211-5p, a small non-coding RNA, can impair neurite differentiation by directly targeting NUAK1, decrease neuronal viability and accelerate the progression of Aβ-induced pathologies. In this study, we observed that during embryonic development, the expression levels of miR-211-5p were down-regulated in the normal cerebral cortexes of mice. However, in APPswe/PS1ΔE9 double transgenic adult mice, it was up-regulated from 9 months of age compared to that of the age-matched wild type mice. Studies in primary cortical neuron cultures demonstrated that miR-211-5p can inhibit neurite growth and branching via NUAK1 repression and decrease mature neuron viability. The impairments were more obvious under the action of Aβ. Our data showed that miR-211-5p could inhibit cortical neuron differentiation and survival, which may contribute to the synaptic failure, neuronal loss and cognitive dysfunction in AD. PMID:27458373

  8. Efficient codes and balanced networks.

    PubMed

    Denève, Sophie; Machens, Christian K

    2016-03-01

    Recent years have seen a growing interest in inhibitory interneurons and their circuits. A striking property of cortical inhibition is how tightly it balances excitation. Inhibitory currents not only match excitatory currents on average, but track them on a millisecond time scale, whether they are caused by external stimuli or spontaneous fluctuations. We review, together with experimental evidence, recent theoretical approaches that investigate the advantages of such tight balance for coding and computation. These studies suggest a possible revision of the dominant view that neurons represent information with firing rates corrupted by Poisson noise. Instead, tight excitatory/inhibitory balance may be a signature of a highly cooperative code, orders of magnitude more precise than a Poisson rate code. Moreover, tight balance may provide a template that allows cortical neurons to construct high-dimensional population codes and learn complex functions of their inputs.

  9. Social neuroscience: mirror neurons recorded in humans.

    PubMed

    Keysers, Christian; Gazzola, Valeria

    2010-04-27

    New single-cell recordings show that humans do have mirror neurons, and in more brain regions than previously suspected. Some action-execution neurons were seen to be inhibited during observation, possibly preventing imitation and helping self/other discrimination.

  10. Reliability of neuronal information conveyed by unreliable neuristor-based leaky integrate-and-fire neurons: a model study

    PubMed Central

    Lim, Hyungkwang; Kornijcuk, Vladimir; Seok, Jun Yeong; Kim, Seong Keun; Kim, Inho; Hwang, Cheol Seong; Jeong, Doo Seok

    2015-01-01

    We conducted simulations on the neuronal behavior of neuristor-based leaky integrate-and-fire (NLIF) neurons. The phase-plane analysis on the NLIF neuron highlights its spiking dynamics – determined by two nullclines conditional on the variables on the plane. Particular emphasis was placed on the operational noise arising from the variability of the threshold switching behavior in the neuron on each switching event. As a consequence, we found that the NLIF neuron exhibits a Poisson-like noise in spiking, delimiting the reliability of the information conveyed by individual NLIF neurons. To highlight neuronal information coding at a higher level, a population of noisy NLIF neurons was analyzed in regard to probability of successful information decoding given the Poisson-like noise of each neuron. The result demonstrates highly probable success in decoding in spite of large variability – due to the variability of the threshold switching behavior – of individual neurons. PMID:25966658

  11. Robust Nonlinear Neural Codes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Qianli; Pitkow, Xaq

    2015-03-01

    Most interesting natural sensory stimuli are encoded in the brain in a form that can only be decoded nonlinearly. But despite being a core function of the brain, nonlinear population codes are rarely studied and poorly understood. Interestingly, the few existing models of nonlinear codes are inconsistent with known architectural features of the brain. In particular, these codes have information content that scales with the size of the cortical population, even if that violates the data processing inequality by exceeding the amount of information entering the sensory system. Here we provide a valid theory of nonlinear population codes by generalizing recent work on information-limiting correlations in linear population codes. Although these generalized, nonlinear information-limiting correlations bound the performance of any decoder, they also make decoding more robust to suboptimal computation, allowing many suboptimal decoders to achieve nearly the same efficiency as an optimal decoder. Although these correlations are extremely difficult to measure directly, particularly for nonlinear codes, we provide a simple, practical test by which one can use choice-related activity in small populations of neurons to determine whether decoding is suboptimal or optimal and limited by correlated noise. We conclude by describing an example computation in the vestibular system where this theory applies. QY and XP was supported by a grant from the McNair foundation.

  12. Calcium, iron and neuronal function.

    PubMed

    Hidalgo, Cecilia; Núñez, Marco T

    2007-01-01

    Calcium and iron play dual roles in neuronal function: they are both essential but when present in excess they cause neuronal damage and may even induce neuronal death. Calcium signals are required for synaptic plasticity, a neuronal process that entails gene expression and which is presumably the cellular counterpart of cognitive brain functions such as learning and memory. Neuronal activity generates cytoplasmic and nuclear calcium signals that in turn stimulate pathways that promote the transcription of genes known to participate in synaptic plasticity. In addition, evidence discussed in this article shows that iron deficiency causes learning and memory impairments that persist following iron repletion, indicating that iron is necessary for normal development of cognitive functions. Recent results from our group indicate that iron is required for long-term potentiation in hippocampal CA1 neurons and that iron stimulates ryanodine receptor-mediated calcium release through ROS produced via the Fenton reaction leading to stimulation of the ERK signaling pathway. These combined results support a coordinated action between iron and calcium in synaptic plasticity and raise the possibility that elevated iron levels may contribute to neuronal degeneration through excessive intracellular calcium increase caused by iron-induced oxidative stress. PMID:17505966

  13. Action-specific remapping of peripersonal space.

    PubMed

    Brozzoli, C; Cardinali, L; Pavani, F; Farnè, A

    2010-02-01

    Peripersonal space processing in monkeys' brain relies on visuo-tactile neurons activated by objects near, not touching, the animal's skin. Multisensory interplay in peripersonal space is now well documented also in humans, in brain damaged patients presenting cross-modal extinction as well as in healthy subjects and typically takes the form of stronger visuo-tactile interactions in peripersonal than far space. We recently showed in healthy humans the existence of a functional link between voluntary object-oriented actions (Grasping) and the multisensory coding of the space around us (as indexed by visual-tactile interaction). Here, we investigated whether performing different actions towards the same object implies differential modulations of peripersonal space. Healthy subjects were asked to either grasp or point towards a target object. In addition, they discriminated whether tactile stimuli were delivered on their right index finger (up), or thumb (down), while ignoring visual distractors. Visuo-tactile interaction was probed in baseline Static conditions (before the movement) and in dynamic conditions (action onset and execution). Results showed that, compared to the Static baseline both actions similarly strengthened visuo-tactile interaction at the action onset, when Grasping and Pointing were kinematically indistinguishable. Crucially, Grasping induced further enhancement than Pointing in the execution phase, i.e., when the two actions kinematically diverged. These findings reveal that performing actions induce a continuous remapping of the multisensory peripersonal space as a function of on-line sensory-motor requirements, thus supporting the hypothesis of a role for peripersonal space in the motor control of voluntary actions. PMID:19837102

  14. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... called upper motor neurons ) are transmitted to nerve cells in the brain stem and spinal cord (called lower motor neurons ) and from them to particular muscles. Upper motor neurons direct the lower motor neurons ...

  15. Motor Neuron Diseases

    MedlinePlus

    ... Enhancing Diversity Find People About NINDS NINDS Motor Neuron Diseases Information Page Condensed from Motor Neuron Diseases ... and Information Publicaciones en Español What are Motor Neuron Diseases? The motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are a ...

  16. Gustatory neural coding in the monkey cortex: stimulus quality.

    PubMed

    Smith-Swintosky, V L; Plata-Salaman, C R; Scott, T R

    1991-10-01

    1. Extracellular action potentials were recorded from 50 single neurons in the insular-opercular cortex of two alert cynomolgus monkeys during gustatory stimulation of the tongue and palate. 2. Sixteen stimuli, including salts, sugars, acids, alkaloids, monosodium glutamate, and aspartame, were chosen to represent a wide range of taste qualities. Concentrations were selected to elicit a moderate gustatory response, as determined by reference to previous electrophysiological data or to the human psychophysical literature. 3. The cortical region over which taste-evoked activity could be recorded included the frontal operculum and anterior insula, an area of approximately 75 mm3. Taste-responsive cells constituted 50 (2.7%) of the 1,863 neurons tested. Nongustatory cells responded to mouth movement (20.7%), somatosensory stimulation of the tongue (9.6%), stimulus approach or anticipation (1.7%), and tongue extension (0.6%). The sensitivities of 64.6% of these cortical neurons could not be identified by our stimulation techniques. 4. Taste cells had low spontaneous activity levels (3.7 +/- 3.0 spikes/s, mean +/- SD) and showed little inhibition. They were moderately broadly tuned, with a mean entropy coefficient of 0.76 +/- 0.17. Excitatory responses were typically not robust. 5. Hierarchical cluster analysis was used to determine whether neurons could be divided into discrete types, as defined by their response profiles to the entire stimulus array. There was an apparent division of response profiles into four general categories, with primary sensitivities to sodium (n = 18), glucose (n = 15), quinine (n = 12), and acid (n = 5). However, these categories were not statistically independent. Therefore the notion of functionally distinct neuron types was not supported by an analysis of the distribution of response profiles. It was the case, however, that neurons in the sodium category could be distinguished from other neurons by their relative specificity. 6. The

  17. Mirror Neurons of Ventral Premotor Cortex Are Modulated by Social Cues Provided by Others' Gaze

    PubMed Central

    Festante, Fabrizia; Cilia, Adriana; Loiacono, Veronica; Bimbi, Marco; Fogassi, Leonardo; Ferrari, Pier Francesco

    2016-01-01

    Mirror neurons (MNs) in the inferior parietal lobule and ventral premotor cortex (PMv) can code the intentions of other individuals using contextual cues. Gaze direction is an important social cue that can be used for understanding the meaning of actions made by other individuals. Here we addressed the issue of whether PMv MNs are influenced by the gaze direction of another individual. We recorded single-unit activity in macaque PMv while the monkey was observing an experimenter performing a grasping action and orienting his gaze either toward (congruent gaze condition) or away (incongruent gaze condition) from a target object. The results showed that one-half of the recorded MNs were modulated by the gaze direction of the human agent. These gaze-modulated neurons were evenly distributed between those preferring a gaze direction congruent with the direction where the grasping action was performed and the others that preferred an incongruent gaze. Whereas the presence of congruent responses is in line with the usual coupling of hand and gaze in both executed and observed actions, the incongruent responses can be explained by the long exposure of the monkeys to this condition. Our results reveal that the representation of observed actions in PMv is influenced by contextual information not only extracted from physical cues, but also from cues endowed with biological or social value. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT In this study, we present the first evidence showing that social cues modulate MNs in the monkey ventral premotor cortex. These data suggest that there is an integrated representation of other's hand actions and gaze direction at the single neuron level in the ventral premotor cortex, and support the hypothesis of a functional role of MNs in decoding actions and understanding motor intentions. PMID:26985026

  18. Mirror neurons: functions, mechanisms and models.

    PubMed

    Oztop, Erhan; Kawato, Mitsuo; Arbib, Michael A

    2013-04-12

    Mirror neurons for manipulation fire both when the animal manipulates an object in a specific way and when it sees another animal (or the experimenter) perform an action that is more or less similar. Such neurons were originally found in macaque monkeys, in the ventral premotor cortex, area F5 and later also in the inferior parietal lobule. Recent neuroimaging data indicate that the adult human brain is endowed with a "mirror neuron system," putatively containing mirror neurons and other neurons, for matching the observation and execution of actions. Mirror neurons may serve action recognition in monkeys as well as humans, whereas their putative role in imitation and language may be realized in human but not in monkey. This article shows the important role of computational models in providing sufficient and causal explanations for the observed phenomena involving mirror systems and the learning processes which form them, and underlines the need for additional circuitry to lift up the monkey mirror neuron circuit to sustain the posited cognitive functions attributed to the human mirror neuron system.

  19. The ontogenetic origins of mirror neurons: evidence from 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard

    2012-10-23

    Since their discovery, mirror neurons--units in the macaque brain that discharge both during action observation and execution--have attracted considerable interest. Whether mirror neurons are an innate endowment or acquire their sensorimotor matching properties ontogenetically has been the subject of intense debate. It is widely believed that these units are an innate trait; that we are born with a set of mature mirror neurons because their matching properties conveyed upon our ancestors an evolutionary advantage. However, an alternative view is that mirror neurons acquire their matching properties during ontogeny, through correlated experience of observing and performing actions. The present article re-examines frequently overlooked neurophysiological reports of 'tool-use' and 'audiovisual' mirror neurons within the context of this debate. It is argued that these findings represent compelling evidence that mirror neurons are a product of sensorimotor experience, and not an innate endowment.

  20. Operant conditioning of primate prefrontal neurons.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Shunsuke; Schultz, Wolfram; Sakagami, Masamichi

    2010-04-01

    An operant is a behavioral act that has an impact on the environment to produce an outcome, constituting an important component of voluntary behavior. Because the environment can be volatile, the same action may cause different consequences. Thus to obtain an optimal outcome, it is crucial to detect action-outcome relationships and adapt the behavior accordingly. Although prefrontal neurons are known to change activity depending on expected reward, it remains unknown whether prefrontal activity contributes to obtaining reward. We investigated this issue by setting variable relationships between levels of single-neuron activity and rewarding outcomes. Lateral prefrontal neurons changed their spiking activity according to the specific requirements for gaining reward, without the animals making a motor response. Thus spiking activity constituted an operant response. Data from a control task suggested that these changes were unlikely to reflect simple reward predictions. These data demonstrate a remarkable capacity of prefrontal neurons to adapt to specific operant requirements at the single-neuron level.

  1. Mirror neurons: their implications for group psychotherapy.

    PubMed

    Schermer, Victor L

    2010-10-01

    Recently discovered mirror neurons in the motor cortex of the brain register the actions and intentions of both the organism and others in the environment. As such, they may play a significant role in social behavior and groups. This paper considers the potential implications of mirror neurons and related neural networks for group therapists, proposing that mirror neurons and mirror systems provide "hard-wired" support for the group therapist's belief in the centrality of relationships in the treatment process and exploring their value in accounting for group-as-a-whole phenomena. Mirror neurons further confirm the holistic, social nature of perception, action, and intention as distinct from a stimulus-response behaviorism. The implications of mirror neurons and mirroring processes for the group therapist role, interventions, and training are also discussed.

  2. Computational Model of Primary Visual Cortex Combining Visual Attention for Action Recognition.

    PubMed

    Shu, Na; Gao, Zhiyong; Chen, Xiangan; Liu, Haihua

    2015-01-01

    Humans can easily understand other people's actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1), and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model. PMID:26132270

  3. Computational Model of Primary Visual Cortex Combining Visual Attention for Action Recognition

    PubMed Central

    Shu, Na; Gao, Zhiyong; Chen, Xiangan; Liu, Haihua

    2015-01-01

    Humans can easily understand other people’s actions through visual systems, while computers cannot. Therefore, a new bio-inspired computational model is proposed in this paper aiming for automatic action recognition. The model focuses on dynamic properties of neurons and neural networks in the primary visual cortex (V1), and simulates the procedure of information processing in V1, which consists of visual perception, visual attention and representation of human action. In our model, a family of the three-dimensional spatial-temporal correlative Gabor filters is used to model the dynamic properties of the classical receptive field of V1 simple cell tuned to different speeds and orientations in time for detection of spatiotemporal information from video sequences. Based on the inhibitory effect of stimuli outside the classical receptive field caused by lateral connections of spiking neuron networks in V1, we propose surround suppressive operator to further process spatiotemporal information. Visual attention model based on perceptual grouping is integrated into our model to filter and group different regions. Moreover, in order to represent the human action, we consider the characteristic of the neural code: mean motion map based on analysis of spike trains generated by spiking neurons. The experimental evaluation on some publicly available action datasets and comparison with the state-of-the-art approaches demonstrate the superior performance of the proposed model. PMID:26132270

  4. A new framework for cortico-striatal plasticity: behavioural theory meets in vitro data at the reinforcement-action interface.

    PubMed

    Gurney, Kevin N; Humphries, Mark D; Redgrave, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Operant learning requires that reinforcement signals interact with action representations at a suitable neural interface. Much evidence suggests that this occurs when phasic dopamine, acting as a reinforcement prediction error, gates plasticity at cortico-striatal synapses, and thereby changes the future likelihood of selecting the action(s) coded by striatal neurons. But this hypothesis faces serious challenges. First, cortico-striatal plasticity is inexplicably complex, depending on spike timing, dopamine level, and dopamine receptor type. Second, there is a credit assignment problem-action selection signals occur long before the consequent dopamine reinforcement signal. Third, the two types of striatal output neuron have apparently opposite effects on action selection. Whether these factors rule out the interface hypothesis and how they interact to produce reinforcement learning is unknown. We present a computational framework that addresses these challenges. We first predict the expected activity changes over an operant task for both types of action-coding striatal neuron, and show they co-operate to promote action selection in learning and compete to promote action suppression in extinction. Separately, we derive a complete model of dopamine and spike-timing dependent cortico-striatal plasticity from in vitro data. We then show this model produces the predicted activity changes necessary for learning and extinction in an operant task, a remarkable convergence of a bottom-up data-driven plasticity model with the top-down behavioural requirements of learning theory. Moreover, we show the complex dependencies of cortico-striatal plasticity are not only sufficient but necessary for learning and extinction. Validating the model, we show it can account for behavioural data describing extinction, renewal, and reacquisition, and replicate in vitro experimental data on cortico-striatal plasticity. By bridging the levels between the single synapse and behaviour, our

  5. A new framework for cortico-striatal plasticity: behavioural theory meets in vitro data at the reinforcement-action interface.

    PubMed

    Gurney, Kevin N; Humphries, Mark D; Redgrave, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Operant learning requires that reinforcement signals interact with action representations at a suitable neural interface. Much evidence suggests that this occurs when phasic dopamine, acting as a reinforcement prediction error, gates plasticity at cortico-striatal synapses, and thereby changes the future likelihood of selecting the action(s) coded by striatal neurons. But this hypothesis faces serious challenges. First, cortico-striatal plasticity is inexplicably complex, depending on spike timing, dopamine level, and dopamine receptor type. Second, there is a credit assignment problem-action selection signals occur long before the consequent dopamine reinforcement signal. Third, the two types of striatal output neuron have apparently opposite effects on action selection. Whether these factors rule out the interface hypothesis and how they interact to produce reinforcement learning is unknown. We present a computational framework that addresses these challenges. We first predict the expected activity changes over an operant task for both types of action-coding striatal neuron, and show they co-operate to promote action selection in learning and compete to promote action suppression in extinction. Separately, we derive a complete model of dopamine and spike-timing dependent cortico-striatal plasticity from in vitro data. We then show this model produces the predicted activity changes necessary for learning and extinction in an operant task, a remarkable convergence of a bottom-up data-driven plasticity model with the top-down behavioural requirements of learning theory. Moreover, we show the complex dependencies of cortico-striatal plasticity are not only sufficient but necessary for learning and extinction. Validating the model, we show it can account for behavioural data describing extinction, renewal, and reacquisition, and replicate in vitro experimental data on cortico-striatal plasticity. By bridging the levels between the single synapse and behaviour, our

  6. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation. PMID:24775147

  7. Mirror neurons: from origin to function.

    PubMed

    Cook, Richard; Bird, Geoffrey; Catmur, Caroline; Press, Clare; Heyes, Cecilia

    2014-04-01

    This article argues that mirror neurons originate in sensorimotor associative learning and therefore a new approach is needed to investigate their functions. Mirror neurons were discovered about 20 years ago in the monkey brain, and there is now evidence that they are also present in the human brain. The intriguing feature of many mirror neurons is that they fire not only when the animal is performing an action, such as grasping an object using a power grip, but also when the animal passively observes a similar action performed by another agent. It is widely believed that mirror neurons are a genetic adaptation for action understanding; that they were designed by evolution to fulfill a specific socio-cognitive function. In contrast, we argue that mirror neurons are forged by domain-general processes of associative learning in the course of individual development, and, although they may have psychological functions, they do not necessarily have a specific evolutionary purpose or adaptive function. The evidence supporting this view shows that (1) mirror neurons do not consistently encode action "goals"; (2) the contingency- and context-sensitive nature of associative learning explains the full range of mirror neuron properties; (3) human infants receive enough sensorimotor experience to support associative learning of mirror neurons ("wealth of the stimulus"); and (4) mirror neurons can be changed in radical ways by sensorimotor training. The associative account implies that reliable information about the function of mirror neurons can be obtained only by research based on developmental history, system-level theory, and careful experimentation.

  8. Characteristics of sodium currents in rat geniculate ganglion neurons.

    PubMed

    Nakamura, Shiro; Bradley, Robert M

    2011-12-01

    Geniculate ganglion (GG) cell bodies of chorda tympani (CT), greater superficial petrosal (GSP), and posterior auricular (PA) nerves transmit orofacial sensory information to the rostral nucleus of the solitary tract. We have used whole cell recording to investigate the characteristics of the Na(+) channels in isolated Fluorogold-labeled GG neurons that innervate different peripheral receptive fields. GG neurons expressed two classes of Na(+) channels, TTX sensitive (TTX-S) and TTX resistant (TTX-R). The majority of GG neurons expressed TTX-R currents of different amplitudes. TTX-R currents were relatively small in 60% of the neurons but were large in 12% of the sampled population. In a further 28% of the neurons, TTX completely abolished all Na(+) currents. Application of TTX completely inhibited action potential generation in all CT and PA neurons but had little effect on the generation of action potentials in 40% of GSP neurons. Most CT, GSP, and PA neurons stained positively with IB(4), and 27% of the GSP neurons were capsaicin sensitive. The majority of IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with large TTX-R Na(+) currents responded to capsaicin, whereas IB(4)-positive GSP neurons with small TTX-R Na(+) currents were capsaicin insensitive. These data demonstrate the heterogeneity of GG neurons and indicate the existence of a subset of GSP neurons sensitive to capsaicin, usually associated with nociceptors. Since there are no reports of nociceptors in the GSP receptive field, the role of these capsaicin-sensitive neurons is not clear.

  9. The WLC principle for action-oriented perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arena, Paolo; Fortuna, Luigi; Lombardo, Davide; Patané, Luca; Velarde, Manuel G.

    2007-05-01

    In this paper a new methodology for action-oriented perception will be introduced. It is based on a previous method that used Turing Patterns in CNNs for the arousal of "perceptual states" as representation of the environmental condition. The emerging patterns were associated to codes which gave rise to learnable actions on a moving robot. Recently the new paradigm of Winnerless Competition (WLC) was taken into consideration to represent a suitable, bioinspired and efficient method to generate sequences of neural activations, strictly related to the spatial-temporal activity of input sensors. This fascinating property was recently peculiarly measured in the olfactory system, in particular in groups of neurons belonging to the insects' Antennal Lobe and to the mammalians' Olfactory Bulb. Taking inspiration from these experimental results and from the analytical model of the WLC, a cellular nonlinear model generating sequences of cell activation, representing the input pattern at the sensory level, will be used in an action-oriented perception framework. In fact simulation results showed the potentiality of the WLC approach to design dynamic networks for discrimination and classification, with a potentially huge memory capacity. In the present manuscript the WLC principle, implemented in a network of FitzHugh Nagumo neurons will be used within the whole framework for action-oriented perception, and the results will be applied to a roving robot.

  10. PYRETHROID MODULATION OF SPONTANEOUS NEURONAL EXCITABILITY AND NEUROTRANSMISSION IN HIPPOCAMPAL NEURONS IN CULTURE

    EPA Science Inventory

    Pyrethroid insecticides have potent actions on voltage-gated sodium channels, inhibiting inactivation and increasing channel open times. These are thought to underlie, at least in part, the clinical symptoms of pyrethroid intoxication. However, disruption of neuronal activity at ...

  11. Glial control of neuronal development.

    PubMed

    Lemke, G

    2001-01-01

    Reciprocal interactions between differentiating glial cells and neurons define the course of nervous system development even before the point at which these two cell types become definitively recognizable. Glial cells control the survival of associated neurons in both Drosophila and mammals, but this control is dependent on the prior neuronal triggering of glial cell fate commitment and trophic factor expression. In mammals, the growth factor neuregulin-1 and its receptors of the ErbB family play crucial roles in both events. Similarly, early differentiating neurons and their associated glia rely on reciprocal signaling to establish the basic axon scaffolds from which neuronal connections evolve. The importance of this interactive signaling is illustrated by the action of glial transcription factors and of glial axon guidance cues such as netrin and slit, which together regulate the commissural crossing of pioneer axons at the neural midline. In these and related events, the defining principle is one of mutually reinforced and mutually dependent signaling that occurs in a network of developing neurons and glia.

  12. Correlations and Neuronal Population Information.

    PubMed

    Kohn, Adam; Coen-Cagli, Ruben; Kanitscheider, Ingmar; Pouget, Alexandre

    2016-07-01

    Brain function involves the activity of neuronal populations. Much recent effort has been devoted to measuring the activity of neuronal populations in different parts of the brain under various experimental conditions. Population activity patterns contain rich structure, yet many studies have focused on measuring pairwise relationships between members of a larger population-termed noise correlations. Here we review recent progress in understanding how these correlations affect population information, how information should be quantified, and what mechanisms may give rise to correlations. As population coding theory has improved, it has made clear that some forms of correlation are more important for information than others. We argue that this is a critical lesson for those interested in neuronal population responses more generally: Descriptions of population responses should be motivated by and linked to well-specified function. Within this context, we offer suggestions of where current theoretical frameworks fall short.

  13. A Hebbian learning rule gives rise to mirror neurons and links them to control theoretic inverse models.

    PubMed

    Hanuschkin, A; Ganguli, S; Hahnloser, R H R

    2013-01-01

    Mirror neurons are neurons whose responses to the observation of a motor act resemble responses measured during production of that act. Computationally, mirror neurons have been viewed as evidence for the existence of internal inverse models. Such models, rooted within control theory, map-desired sensory targets onto the motor commands required to generate those targets. To jointly explore both the formation of mirrored responses and their functional contribution to inverse models, we develop a correlation-based theory of interactions between a sensory and a motor area. We show that a simple eligibility-weighted Hebbian learning rule, operating within a sensorimotor loop during motor explorations and stabilized by heterosynaptic competition, naturally gives rise to mirror neurons as well as control theoretic inverse models encoded in the synaptic weights from sensory to motor neurons. Crucially, we find that the correlational structure or stereotypy of the neural code underlying motor explorations determines the nature of the learned inverse model: random motor codes lead to causal inverses that map sensory activity patterns to their motor causes; such inverses are maximally useful, by allowing the imitation of arbitrary sensory target sequences. By contrast, stereotyped motor codes lead to less useful predictive inverses that map sensory activity to future motor actions. Our theory generalizes previous work on inverse models by showing that such models can be learned in a simple Hebbian framework without the need for error signals or backpropagation, and it makes new conceptual connections between the causal nature of inverse models, the statistical structure of motor variability, and the time-lag between sensory and motor responses of mirror neurons. Applied to bird song learning, our theory can account for puzzling aspects of the song system, including necessity of sensorimotor gating and selectivity of auditory responses to bird's own song (BOS) stimuli.

  14. Heterogeneity and Convergence of Olfactory First-Order Neurons Account for the High Speed and Sensitivity of Second-Order Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Rospars, Jean-Pierre; Grémiaux, Alexandre; Jarriault, David; Chaffiol, Antoine; Monsempes, Christelle; Deisig, Nina; Anton, Sylvia; Lucas, Philippe; Martinez, Dominique

    2014-01-01

    In the olfactory system of male moths, a specialized subset of neurons detects and processes the main component of the sex pheromone emitted by females. It is composed of several thousand first-order olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs), all expressing the same pheromone receptor, that contact synaptically a few tens of second-order projection neurons (PNs) within a single restricted brain area. The functional simplicity of this system makes it a favorable model for studying the factors that contribute to its exquisite sensitivity and speed. Sensory information—primarily the identity and intensity of the stimulus—is encoded as the firing rate of the action potentials, and possibly as the latency of the neuron response. We found that over all their dynamic range, PNs respond with a shorter latency and a higher firing rate than most ORNs. Modelling showed that the increased sensitivity of PNs can be explained by the ORN-to-PN convergent architecture alone, whereas their faster response also requires cell-to-cell heterogeneity of the ORN population. So, far from being detrimental to signal detection, the ORN heterogeneity is exploited by PNs, and results in two different schemes of population coding based either on the response of a few extreme neurons (latency) or on the average response of many (firing rate). Moreover, ORN-to-PN transformations are linear for latency and nonlinear for firing rate, suggesting that latency could be involved in concentration-invariant coding of the pheromone blend and that sensitivity at low concentrations is achieved at the expense of precise encoding at high concentrations. PMID:25474026

  15. Sharing code.

    PubMed

    Kubilius, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    Sharing code is becoming increasingly important in the wake of Open Science. In this review I describe and compare two popular code-sharing utilities, GitHub and Open Science Framework (OSF). GitHub is a mature, industry-standard tool but lacks focus towards researchers. In comparison, OSF offers a one-stop solution for researchers but a lot of functionality is still under development. I conclude by listing alternative lesser-known tools for code and materials sharing.

  16. Modeling Neuronal Response to Simultaneous and Sequential Multi-Site Synaptic Stimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnston, David; Mekhail, Simon Peter; Go, Mary Ann; Daria, Vincent R.

    The flow of information in the brain theorizes that each neuron in a network receives synaptic inputs and sends off its processed signals to neighboring neurons. Here, we model these synaptic inputs to understand how each neuron processes these inputs and transmits neurotransmitters to neighboring neurons. We use the NEURON simulation package to stimulate a neuron at multiple synaptic locations along its dendritic tree. Accumulation of multiple synaptic inputs causes changes in the neuron's membrane potential leading to firing of an action potential. Our simulations show that simultaneous synaptic stimulation approaches firing of an action potential at lesser inputs compared to sequential stimulation at multiple sites distributed along several dendritic branches.

  17. Input-output relation and energy efficiency in the neuron with different spike threshold dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Guo-Sheng; Wang, Jiang; Tsang, Kai-Ming; Wei, Xi-Le; Deng, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Neuron encodes and transmits information through generating sequences of output spikes, which is a high energy-consuming process. The spike is initiated when membrane depolarization reaches a threshold voltage. In many neurons, threshold is dynamic and depends on the rate of membrane depolarization (dV/dt) preceding a spike. Identifying the metabolic energy involved in neural coding and their relationship to threshold dynamic is critical to understanding neuronal function and evolution. Here, we use a modified Morris-Lecar model to investigate neuronal input-output property and energy efficiency associated with different spike threshold dynamics. We find that the neurons with dynamic threshold sensitive to dV/dt generate discontinuous frequency-current curve and type II phase response curve (PRC) through Hopf bifurcation, and weak noise could prohibit spiking when bifurcation just occurs. The threshold that is insensitive to dV/dt, instead, results in a continuous frequency-current curve, a type I PRC and a saddle-node on invariant circle bifurcation, and simultaneously weak noise cannot inhibit spiking. It is also shown that the bifurcation, frequency-current curve and PRC type associated with different threshold dynamics arise from the distinct subthreshold interactions of membrane currents. Further, we observe that the energy consumption of the neuron is related to its firing characteristics. The depolarization of spike threshold improves neuronal energy efficiency by reducing the overlap of Na+ and K+ currents during an action potential. The high energy efficiency is achieved at more depolarized spike threshold and high stimulus current. These results provide a fundamental biophysical connection that links spike threshold dynamics, input-output relation, energetics and spike initiation, which could contribute to uncover neural encoding mechanism. PMID:26074810

  18. Input-output relation and energy efficiency in the neuron with different spike threshold dynamics.

    PubMed

    Yi, Guo-Sheng; Wang, Jiang; Tsang, Kai-Ming; Wei, Xi-Le; Deng, Bin

    2015-01-01

    Neuron encodes and transmits information through generating sequences of output spikes, which is a high energy-consuming process. The spike is initiated when membrane depolarization reaches a threshold voltage. In many neurons, threshold is dynamic and depends on the rate of membrane depolarization (dV/dt) preceding a spike. Identifying the metabolic energy involved in neural coding and their relationship to threshold dynamic is critical to understanding neuronal function and evolution. Here, we use a modified Morris-Lecar model to investigate neuronal input-output property and energy efficiency associated with different spike threshold dynamics. We find that the neurons with dynamic threshold sensitive to dV/dt generate discontinuous frequency-current curve and type II phase response curve (PRC) through Hopf bifurcation, and weak noise could prohibit spiking when bifurcation just occurs. The threshold that is insensitive to dV/dt, instead, results in a continuous frequency-current curve, a type I PRC and a saddle-node on invariant circle bifurcation, and simultaneously weak noise cannot inhibit spiking. It is also shown that the bifurcation, frequency-current curve and PRC type associated with different threshold dynamics arise from the distinct subthreshold interactions of membrane currents. Further, we observe that the energy consumption of the neuron is related to its firing characteristics. The depolarization of spike threshold improves neuronal energy efficiency by reducing the overlap of Na(+) and K(+) currents during an action potential. The high energy efficiency is achieved at more depolarized spike threshold and high stimulus current. These results provide a fundamental biophysical connection that links spike threshold dynamics, input-output relation, energetics and spike initiation, which could contribute to uncover neural encoding mechanism.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  20. Efficient coding and the neural representation of value.

    PubMed

    Louie, Kenway; Glimcher, Paul W

    2012-03-01

    To survive in a dynamic environment, an organism must be able to effectively learn, store, and recall the expected benefits and costs of potential actions. The nature of the valuation and decision processes is thus of fundamental interest to researchers at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience, and economics. Although normative theories of choice have outlined the theoretical structure of these valuations, recent experiments have begun to reveal how value is instantiated in the activity of neurons and neural circuits. Here, we review the various forms of value coding that have been observed in different brain systems and examine the implications of these value representations for both neural circuits and behavior. In particular, we focus on emerging evidence that value coding in a number of brain areas is context dependent, varying as a function of both the current choice set and previously experienced values. Similar contextual modulation occurs widely in the sensory system, and efficient coding principles derived in the sensory domain suggest a new framework for understanding the neural coding of value. PMID:22694213

  1. Where do mirror neurons come from?

    PubMed

    Heyes, Cecilia

    2010-03-01

    Debates about the evolution of the 'mirror neuron system' imply that it is an adaptation for action understanding. Alternatively, mirror neurons may be a byproduct of associative learning. Here I argue that the adaptation and associative hypotheses both offer plausible accounts of the origin of mirror neurons, but the associative hypothesis has three advantages. First, it provides a straightforward, testable explanation for the differences between monkeys and humans that have led some researchers to question the existence of a mirror neuron system. Second, it is consistent with emerging evidence that mirror neurons contribute to a range of social cognitive functions, but do not play a dominant, specialised role in action understanding. Finally, the associative hypothesis is supported by recent data showing that, even in adulthood, the mirror neuron system can be transformed by sensorimotor learning. The associative account implies that mirror neurons come from sensorimotor experience, and that much of this experience is obtained through interaction with others. Therefore, if the associative account is correct, the mirror neuron system is a product, as well as a process, of social interaction.

  2. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory

    PubMed Central

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K.; Douglas, Pamela K.; Friston, Karl J.

    2016-01-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics—based on approximate Bayesian inference—has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  3. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K; Douglas, Pamela K; Friston, Karl J

    2016-03-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics--based on approximate Bayesian inference--has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception. PMID:26953636

  4. Towards a Neuronal Gauge Theory.

    PubMed

    Sengupta, Biswa; Tozzi, Arturo; Cooray, Gerald K; Douglas, Pamela K; Friston, Karl J

    2016-03-01

    Given the amount of knowledge and data accruing in the neurosciences, is it time to formulate a general principle for neuronal dynamics that holds at evolutionary, developmental, and perceptual timescales? In this paper, we propose that the brain (and other self-organised biological systems) can be characterised via the mathematical apparatus of a gauge theory. The picture that emerges from this approach suggests that any biological system (from a neuron to an organism) can be cast as resolving uncertainty about its external milieu, either by changing its internal states or its relationship to the environment. Using formal arguments, we show that a gauge theory for neuronal dynamics--based on approximate Bayesian inference--has the potential to shed new light on phenomena that have thus far eluded a formal description, such as attention and the link between action and perception.

  5. Two-photon imaging of spatially extended neuronal network dynamics with high temporal resolution

    PubMed Central

    Lillis, Kyle P.; Eng, Alfred; White, John A.; Mertz, Jerome

    2008-01-01

    We describe a simple two-photon fluorescence imaging strategy, called targeted path scanning (TPS), to monitor the dynamics of spatially extended neuronal networks with high spatiotemporal resolution. Our strategy combines the advantages of mirror-based scanning, minimized dead time, ease of implementation, and compatibility with high-resolution low-magnification objectives. To demonstrate the performance of TPS, we monitor the calcium dynamics distributed across an entire juvenile rat hippocampus (>1.5mm), at scan rates of 100Hz, with single cell resolution and single action potential sensitivity. Our strategy for fast, efficient two-photon microscopy over spatially extended regions provides a particularly attractive solution for monitoring neuronal population activity in thick tissue, without sacrificing the signal to noise ratio or high spatial resolution associated with standard two-photon microscopy. Finally, we provide the code to make our technique generally available. PMID:18539336

  6. Fast sigmoidal networks via spiking neurons.

    PubMed

    Maass, W

    1997-02-15

    We show that networks of relatively realistic mathematical models for biological neurons in principle can simulate arbitrary feedforward sigmoidal neural nets in a way that has previously not been considered. This new approach is based on temporal coding by single spikes (respectively by the timing of synchronous firing in pools of neurons) rather than on the traditional interpretation of analog variables in terms of firing rates. The resulting new simulation is substantially faster and hence more consistent with experimental results about the maximal speed of information processing in cortical neural systems. As a consequence we can show that networks of noisy spiking neurons are "universal approximators" in the sense that they can approximate with regard to temporal coding any given continuous function of several variables. This result holds for a fairly large class of schemes for coding analog variables by firing times of spiking neurons. This new proposal for the possible organization of computations in networks of spiking neurons systems has some interesting consequences for the type of learning rules that would be needed to explain the self-organization of such networks. Finally, the fast and noise-robust implementation of sigmoidal neural nets by temporal coding points to possible new ways of implementing feedforward and recurrent sigmoidal neural nets with pulse stream VLSI.

  7. Norepinephrine Modulates Coding of Complex Vocalizations in the Songbird Auditory Cortex Independent of Local Neuroestrogen Synthesis

    PubMed Central

    Ikeda, Maaya Z.; Jeon, Sung David; Cowell, Rosemary A.

    2015-01-01

    The catecholamine norepinephrine plays a significant role in auditory processing. Most studies to date have examined the effects of norepinephrine on the neuronal response to relatively simple stimuli, such as tones and calls. It is less clear how norepinephrine shapes the detection of complex syntactical sounds, as well as the coding properties of sensory neurons. Songbirds provide an opportunity to understand how auditory neurons encode complex, learned vocalizations, and the potential role of norepinephrine in modulating the neuronal computations for acoustic communication. Here, we infused norepinephrine into the zebra finch auditory cortex and performed extracellular recordings to study the modulation of song representations in single neurons. Consistent with its proposed role in enhancing signal detection, norepinephrine decreased spontaneous activity and firing during stimuli, yet it significantly enhanced the auditory signal-to-noise ratio. These effects were all mimicked by clonidine, an α-2 receptor agonist. Moreover, a pattern classifier analysis indicated that norepinephrine enhanced the ability of single neurons to accurately encode complex auditory stimuli. Because neuroestrogens are also known to enhance auditory processing in the songbird brain, we tested the hypothesis that norepinephrine actions depend on local estrogen synthesis. Neither norepinephrine nor adrenergic receptor antagonist infusion into the auditory cortex had detectable effects on local estradiol levels. Moreover, pretreatment with fadrozole, a specific aromatase inhibitor, did not block norepinephrine's neuromodulatory effects. Together, these findings indicate that norepinephrine enhances signal detection and information encoding for complex auditory stimuli by suppressing spontaneous “noise” activity and that these actions are independent of local neuroestrogen synthesis. PMID:26109659

  8. Neuron Morphology Influences Axon Initial Segment Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Gulledge, Allan T; Bravo, Jaime J

    2016-01-01

    In most vertebrate neurons, action potentials are initiated in the axon initial segment (AIS), a specialized region of the axon containing a high density of voltage-gated sodium and potassium channels. It has recently been proposed that neurons use plasticity of AIS length and/or location to regulate their intrinsic excitability. Here we quantify the impact of neuron morphology on AIS plasticity using computational models of simplified and realistic somatodendritic morphologies. In small neurons (e.g., dentate granule neurons), excitability was highest when the AIS was of intermediate length and located adjacent to the soma. Conversely, neurons having larger dendritic trees (e.g., pyramidal neurons) were most excitable when the AIS was longer and/or located away from the soma. For any given somatodendritic morphology, increasing dendritic membrane capacitance and/or conductance favored a longer and more distally located AIS. Overall, changes to AIS length, with corresponding changes in total sodium conductance, were far more effective in regulating neuron excitability than were changes in AIS location, while dendritic capacitance had a larger impact on AIS performance than did dendritic conductance. The somatodendritic influence on AIS performance reflects modest soma-to-AIS voltage attenuation combined with neuron size-dependent changes in AIS input resistance, effective membrane time constant, and isolation from somatodendritic capacitance. We conclude that the impact of AIS plasticity on neuron excitability will depend largely on somatodendritic morphology, and that, in some neurons, a shorter or more distally located AIS may promote, rather than limit, action potential generation.

  9. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error

    PubMed Central

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-01-01

    Dopamine neurons are thought to signal reward prediction error, or the difference between actual and predicted reward. How dopamine neurons jointly encode this information, however, remains unclear. One possibility is that different neurons specialize in different aspects of prediction error; another is that each neuron calculates prediction error in the same way. We recorded from optogenetically-identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area (VTA) while mice performed classical conditioning tasks. Our tasks allowed us to determine the full prediction error functions of dopamine neurons and compare them to each other. We found striking homogeneity among individual dopamine neurons: their responses to both unexpected and expected rewards followed the same function, just scaled up or down. As a result, we could describe both individual and population responses using just two parameters. Such uniformity ensures robust information coding, allowing each dopamine neuron to contribute fully to the prediction error signal. PMID:26854803

  10. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error.

    PubMed

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-03-01

    Dopamine neurons are thought to signal reward prediction error, or the difference between actual and predicted reward. How dopamine neurons jointly encode this information, however, remains unclear. One possibility is that different neurons specialize in different aspects of prediction error; another is that each neuron calculates prediction error in the same way. We recorded from optogenetically identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area (VTA) while mice performed classical conditioning tasks. Our tasks allowed us to determine the full prediction error functions of dopamine neurons and compare them to each other. We found marked homogeneity among individual dopamine neurons: their responses to both unexpected and expected rewards followed the same function, just scaled up or down. As a result, we were able to describe both individual and population responses using just two parameters. Such uniformity ensures robust information coding, allowing each dopamine neuron to contribute fully to the prediction error signal. PMID:26854803

  11. Dopamine neurons share common response function for reward prediction error.

    PubMed

    Eshel, Neir; Tian, Ju; Bukwich, Michael; Uchida, Naoshige

    2016-03-01

    Dopamine neurons are thought to signal reward prediction error, or the difference between actual and predicted reward. How dopamine neurons jointly encode this information, however, remains unclear. One possibility is that different neurons specialize in different aspects of prediction error; another is that each neuron calculates prediction error in the same way. We recorded from optogenetically identified dopamine neurons in the lateral ventral tegmental area (VTA) while mice performed classical conditioning tasks. Our tasks allowed us to determine the full prediction error functions of dopamine neurons and compare them to each other. We found marked homogeneity among individual dopamine neurons: their responses to both unexpected and expected rewards followed the same function, just scaled up or down. As a result, we were able to describe both individual and population responses using just two parameters. Such uniformity ensures robust information coding, allowing each dopamine neuron to contribute fully to the prediction error signal.

  12. The new Code of Professional Conduct.

    PubMed

    Semple, Martin; Cable, Stuart

    The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) has approved a new Code of Professional Conduct (NMC 2002a). This article discusses the main elements of the new code, examines the implications for the profession and encourages you to think about the implications for your own nursing practice. It identifies actions that you should take to comply with the code.

  13. Multiplexed coding in the human basal ganglia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andres, D. S.; Cerquetti, D.; Merello, M.

    2016-04-01

    A classic controversy in neuroscience is whether information carried by spike trains is encoded by a time averaged measure (e.g. a rate code), or by complex time patterns (i.e. a time code). Here we apply a tool to quantitatively analyze the neural code. We make use of an algorithm based on the calculation of the temporal structure function, which permits to distinguish what scales of a signal are dominated by a complex temporal organization or a randomly generated process. In terms of the neural code, this kind of analysis makes it possible to detect temporal scales at which a time patterns coding scheme or alternatively a rate code are present. Additionally, finding the temporal scale at which the correlation between interspike intervals fades, the length of the basic information unit of the code can be established, and hence the word length of the code can be found. We apply this algorithm to neuronal recordings obtained from the Globus Pallidus pars interna from a human patient with Parkinson’s disease, and show that a time pattern coding and a rate coding scheme co-exist at different temporal scales, offering a new example of multiplexed neuronal coding.

  14. Reaching activity in parietal area V6A of macaque: eye influence on arm activity or retinocentric coding of reaching movements?

    PubMed Central

    Marzocchi, Nicoletta; Breveglieri, Rossella; Galletti, Claudio; Fattori, Patrizia

    2008-01-01

    Parietal area V6A contains neurons modulated by the direction of gaze as well as neurons able to code the direction of arm movement. The present study was aimed to disentangle the gaze effect from the effect of reaching activity upon single V6A neurons. To this purpose, we used a visuomotor task in which the direction of arm movement remained constant while the animal changed the direction of gaze. Gaze direction modulated reach-related activity in about two-thirds of tested neurons. In several cases, modulations were not due to the eye-position signal per se, the apparent eye-position modulation being just an epiphenomenon. The real modulating factor was the location of reaching target with respect to the point gazed by the animal, that is, the retinotopic coordinates towards which the action of reaching occurred. Comparison of neural discharge of the same cell during execution of foveated and non-foveated reaching movements, performed towards the same or different spatial locations, confirmed that in a part of V6A neurons reaching activity is coded retinocentrically. In other neurons, reaching activity is coded spatially, depending on the direction of reaching movement regardless of where the animal was looking at. The majority of V6A reaching neurons use a system that encompasses both of these reference frames. These results are in line with the view of a progressive visuomotor transformation in the dorsal visual stream, that changes the frame of reference from the retinocentric one, typically used by the visual system, to the arm-centred one, typically used by the motor system. PMID:18279330

  15. Intrinsic and integrative properties of substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Fu-Ming; Lee, Christian R.

    2011-01-01

    The GABA projection neurons of the substantia nigra pars reticulata (SNr) are output neurons for the basal ganglia and thus critical for movement control. Their most striking neurophysiological feature is sustained, spontaneous high frequency spike firing. A fundamental question is: what are the key ion channels supporting the remarkable firing capability in these neurons? Recent studies indicate that these neurons express tonically active TRPC3 channels that conduct a Na-dependent inward current even at hyperpolarized membrane potentials. When the membrane potential reaches −60 mV, a voltage-gated persistent sodium current (INaP) starts to activate, further depolarizing the membrane potential. At or slightly below −50 mV, the large transient voltage-activated sodium current (INaT) starts to activate and eventually triggers the rapid rising phase of action potentials. SNr GABA neurons have a higher density of (INaT), contributing to the faster rise and larger amplitude of action potentials, compared with the slow-spiking dopamine neurons. INaT also recovers from inactivation more quickly in SNr GABA neurons than in nigral dopamine neurons. In SNr GABA neurons, the rising phase of the action potential triggers the activation of high-threshold, inactivation-resistant Kv3-like channels that can rapidly repolarize the membrane. These intrinsic ion channels provide SNr GABA neurons with the ability to fire spontaneous and sustained high frequency spikes. Additionally, robust GABA inputs from direct pathway medium spiny neurons in the striatum and GABA neurons in the globus pallidus may inhibit and silence SNr GABA neurons, whereas glutamate synaptic input from the subthalamic nucleus may induce burst firing in SNr GABA neurons. Thus, afferent GABA and glutamate synaptic inputs sculpt the tonic high frequency firing of SNr GABA neurons and the consequent inhibition of their targets into an integrated motor control signal that is further fine-tuned by neuromodulators

  16. A hybrid bioorganic interface for neuronal photoactivation.

    PubMed

    Ghezzi, Diego; Antognazza, Maria Rosa; Dal Maschio, Marco; Lanzarini, Erica; Benfenati, Fabio; Lanzani, Guglielmo

    2011-01-25

    A key issue in the realization of retinal prosthetic devices is reliable transduction of information carried by light into specific patterns of electrical activity in visual information processing networks. Soft organic materials can be used to couple artificial sensors with neuronal tissues. Here, we interface a network of primary neurons with an organic blend. We show that primary neurons can be successfully grown onto the polymer layer without affecting the optoelectronic properties of the active material or the biological functionality of neuronal network. Moreover, action potentials can be triggered in a temporally reliable and spatially selective manner with short pulses of visible light. Our results may lead to new neuronal communication and photo manipulation techniques, thus paving way to the development of artificial retinas and other neuroprosthetic interfaces based on organic photodetectors.

  17. A computational model of motor neuron degeneration.

    PubMed

    Le Masson, Gwendal; Przedborski, Serge; Abbott, L F

    2014-08-20

    To explore the link between bioenergetics and motor neuron degeneration, we used a computational model in which detailed morphology and ion conductance are paired with intracellular ATP production and consumption. We found that reduced ATP availability increases the metabolic cost of a single action potential and disrupts K+/Na+ homeostasis, resulting in a chronic depolarization. The magnitude of the ATP shortage at which this ionic instability occurs depends on the morphology and intrinsic conductance characteristic of the neuron. If ATP shortage is confined to the distal part of the axon, the ensuing local ionic instability eventually spreads to the whole neuron and involves fasciculation-like spiking events. A shortage of ATP also causes a rise in intracellular calcium. Our modeling work supports the notion that mitochondrial dysfunction can account for salient features of the paralytic disorder amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, including motor neuron hyperexcitability, fasciculation, and differential vulnerability of motor neuron subpopulations.

  18. Neuron's function revealed

    SciTech Connect

    2009-01-01

    There's a new way to explore biologys secrets. With a flash of light, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energys Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley zeroed in on the type of neural cell that controls swimming in larval zebrafish. Using innovative light-activated proteins and gene expression techniques, the scientists zapped several zebrafish with a pulse of light, and initiated a swimming action in a subset of fish that was traced back to the type of neuron that drives the side-to-side motion of their tail fins. The technique behind this needle-in-haystack search for the neural roots of a specific behavior could become a powerful way to learn how any biological system works. http://newscenter.lbl.gov/press-releases/2009/09/16/light-activated-protein/

  19. Optimal Stimulus Shapes for Neuronal Excitation

    PubMed Central

    Forger, Daniel B.; Paydarfar, David; Clay, John R.

    2011-01-01

    An important problem in neuronal computation is to discern how features of stimuli control the timing of action potentials. One aspect of this problem is to determine how an action potential, or spike, can be elicited with the least energy cost, e.g., a minimal amount of applied current. Here we show in the Hodgkin & Huxley model of the action potential and in experiments on squid giant axons that: 1) spike generation in a neuron can be highly discriminatory for stimulus shape and 2) the optimal stimulus shape is dependent upon inputs to the neuron. We show how polarity and time course of post-synaptic currents determine which of these optimal stimulus shapes best excites the neuron. These results are obtained mathematically using the calculus of variations and experimentally using a stochastic search methodology. Our findings reveal a surprising complexity of computation at the single cell level that may be relevant for understanding optimization of signaling in neurons and neuronal networks. PMID:21760759

  20. [Neuronal network].

    PubMed

    Langmeier, M; Maresová, D

    2005-01-01

    Function of the central nervous system is based on mutual relations among the nerve cells. Description of nerve cells and their processes, including their contacts was enabled by improvement of optical features of the microscope and by the development of impregnation techniques. It is associated with the name of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723), J. Ev. Purkyne (1787-1869), Camillo Golgi (1843-1926), and Ramón y Cajal (1852-1934). Principal units of the neuronal network are the synapses. The term synapse was introduced into neurophysiology by Charles Scott Sherrington (1857-1952). Majority of the interactions between nerve cells is mediated by neurotransmitters acting at the receptors of the postsynaptic membrane or at the autoreceptors of the presynaptic part of the synapse. Attachment of the vesicles to the presynaptic membrane and the release of the neurotransmitter into the synaptic cleft depend on the intracellular calcium concentration and on the presence of several proteins in the presynaptic element.

  1. Coding and transformations in the olfactory system.

    PubMed

    Uchida, Naoshige; Poo, Cindy; Haddad, Rafi

    2014-01-01

    How is sensory information represented in the brain? A long-standing debate in neural coding is whether and how timing of spikes conveys information to downstream neurons. Although we know that neurons in the olfactory bulb (OB) exhibit rich temporal dynamics, the functional relevance of temporal coding remains hotly debated. Recent recording experiments in awake behaving animals have elucidated highly organized temporal structures of activity in the OB. In addition, the analysis of neural circuits in the piriform cortex (PC) demonstrated the importance of not only OB afferent inputs but also intrinsic PC neural circuits in shaping odor responses. Furthermore, new experiments involving stimulation of the OB with specific temporal patterns allowed for testing the relevance of temporal codes. Together, these studies suggest that the relative timing of neuronal activity in the OB conveys odor information and that neural circuits in the PC possess various mechanisms to decode temporal patterns of OB input.

  2. Evidence of Mirror Neurons in Human Inferior Frontal Gyrus

    PubMed Central

    Kilner, James M.; Neal, Alice; Weiskopf, Nikolaus; Friston, Karl J.; Frith, Chris D.

    2009-01-01

    There is much current debate about the existence of mirror neurons in humans. To identify mirror neurons in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) of humans we employed a repetition suppression paradigm while measuring neural activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Subjects either executed or observed a series of actions. Here we show that in the IFG, responses were suppressed both when an executed action was followed by the same rather than a different observed action and when an observed action was followed by the same rather than a different executed action. This pattern of responses is consistent with that predicted by mirror neurons and is evidence of mirror neurons in the human IFG. PMID:19675249

  3. Using Mu Rhythm Desynchronization to Measure Mirror Neuron Activity in Infants

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nystrom, Par; Ljunghammar, Therese; Rosander, Kerstin; von Hofsten, Claes

    2011-01-01

    The Mirror Neuron System hypothesis stating that observed actions are projected onto the observer's own action system assigns an important role to development, because only actions mastered by the observer can be mirrored. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether there is evidence of a functioning mirror neuron system (MNS) in…