Science.gov

Sample records for reward-related brain function

  1. Circadian Misalignment, Reward-Related Brain Function, and Adolescent Alcohol Involvement

    PubMed Central

    Hasler, Brant P.; Clark, Duncan B.

    2013-01-01

    Background Developmental changes in sleep and circadian rhythms that occur during adolescence may contribute to reward-related brain dysfunction, and consequently increase the risk of alcohol use disorders (AUDs). Methods This review (a) describes marked changes in circadian rhythms, reward-related behavior and brain function, and alcohol involvement that occur during adolescence, (b) offers evidence that these parallel developmental changes are associated, and (c) posits a conceptual model by which misalignment between sleep-wake timing and endogenous circadian timing may increase the risk of adolescent AUDs by altering reward-related brain function. Results The timing of sleep shifts later throughout adolescence, in part due to developmental changes in endogenous circadian rhythms, which tend to become more delayed. This tendency for delayed sleep and circadian rhythms is at odds with early school start times during secondary education, leading to misalignment between many adolescents’ sleep-wake schedules and their internal circadian timing. Circadian misalignment is associated with increased alcohol use and other risk-taking behaviors, as well as sleep loss and sleep disturbance. Growing evidence indicates that circadian rhythms modulate the reward system, suggesting that circadian misalignment may impact adolescent alcohol involvement by altering reward-related brain function. Neurocognitive function is also subject to sleep and circadian influence, and thus circadian misalignment may also impair inhibitory control and other cognitive processes relevant to alcohol use. Specifically, circadian misalignment may further exacerbate the cortical-subcortical imbalance within the reward circuit, an imbalance thought to explain increased risk-taking and sensation-seeking during adolescence. Adolescent alcohol use is highly contexualized, however, and thus studies testing this model will also need to consider factors that may influence both circadian misalignment and

  2. Life stress in adolescence predicts early adult reward-related brain function and alcohol dependence

    PubMed Central

    Shaw, Daniel S.; Sitnick, Stephanie L.; Musselman, Samuel C.; Forbes, Erika E.

    2015-01-01

    Stressful life events increase vulnerability to problematic alcohol use, and they may do this by disrupting reward-related neural circuitry. This is particularly relevant for adolescents because alcohol use rises sharply after mid-adolescence and alcohol abuse peaks at age 20. Adolescents also report more stressors compared with children, and neural reward circuitry may be especially vulnerable to stressors during adolescence because of prefrontal cortex remodeling. Using a large sample of male participants in a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study (N = 157), we evaluated whether cumulative stressful life events between the ages of 15 and 18 were associated with reward-related brain function and problematic alcohol use at age 20 years. Higher cumulative stressful life events during adolescence were associated with decreased response in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during monetary reward anticipation and following the receipt of monetary rewards. Stress-related decreases in mPFC response during reward anticipation and following rewarding outcomes were associated with the severity of alcohol dependence. Furthermore, mPFC response mediated the association between stressful life events and later symptoms of alcohol dependence. These data are consistent with neurobiological models of addiction that propose that stressors during adolescence increase risk for problematic alcohol use by disrupting reward circuit function. PMID:24795442

  3. Life stress in adolescence predicts early adult reward-related brain function and alcohol dependence.

    PubMed

    Casement, Melynda D; Shaw, Daniel S; Sitnick, Stephanie L; Musselman, Samuel C; Forbes, Erika E

    2015-03-01

    Stressful life events increase vulnerability to problematic alcohol use, and they may do this by disrupting reward-related neural circuitry. This is particularly relevant for adolescents because alcohol use rises sharply after mid-adolescence and alcohol abuse peaks at age 20. Adolescents also report more stressors compared with children, and neural reward circuitry may be especially vulnerable to stressors during adolescence because of prefrontal cortex remodeling. Using a large sample of male participants in a longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging study (N = 157), we evaluated whether cumulative stressful life events between the ages of 15 and 18 were associated with reward-related brain function and problematic alcohol use at age 20 years. Higher cumulative stressful life events during adolescence were associated with decreased response in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during monetary reward anticipation and following the receipt of monetary rewards. Stress-related decreases in mPFC response during reward anticipation and following rewarding outcomes were associated with the severity of alcohol dependence. Furthermore, mPFC response mediated the association between stressful life events and later symptoms of alcohol dependence. These data are consistent with neurobiological models of addiction that propose that stressors during adolescence increase risk for problematic alcohol use by disrupting reward circuit function.

  4. BDNF Val66Met and reward-related brain function in adolescents: role for early alcohol consumption.

    PubMed

    Nees, F; Witt, S H; Dinu-Biringer, R; Lourdusamy, A; Tzschoppe, J; Vollstädt-Klein, S; Millenet, S; Bach, C; Poustka, L; Banaschewski, T; Barker, G J; Bokde, A L W; Bromberg, U; Büchel, C; Conrod, P J; Frank, J; Frouin, V; Gallinat, J; Garavan, H; Gowland, P; Heinz, A; Ittermann, B; Mann, K; Martinot, J-L; Paus, T; Pausova, Z; Robbins, T W; Smolka, M N; Rietschel, M; Schumann, G; Flor, H

    2015-03-01

    Changes in reward processing have been identified as one important pathogenetic mechanism in alcohol addiction. The nonsynonymous single nucleotide polymorphism in the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene (rs6265/Val66Met) modulates the central nervous system activity of neurotransmitters involved in reward processing such as serotonin, dopamine, and glutamate. It was identified as crucial for alcohol consumption in healthy adults and, in rats, specifically related to the function in the striatum, a region that is commonly involved in reward processing. However, studies in humans on the association of BDNF Val66Met and reward-related brain functions and its role for alcohol consumption, a significant predictor of later alcohol addiction, are missing. Based on an intermediate phenotype approach, we assessed the early orientation toward alcohol and alcohol consumption in 530 healthy adolescents that underwent a monetary incentive delay task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. We found a significantly lower response in the putamen to reward anticipation in adolescent Met carriers with high versus low levels of alcohol consumption. During reward feedback, Met carriers with low putamen reactivity were significantly more likely to orient toward alcohol and to drink alcohol 2 years later. This study indicates a possible effect of BDNF Val66Met on alcohol addiction-related phenotypes in adolescence. PMID:25650137

  5. GLP-1 receptor activation modulates appetite- and reward-related brain areas in humans.

    PubMed

    van Bloemendaal, Liselotte; IJzerman, Richard G; Ten Kulve, Jennifer S; Barkhof, Frederik; Konrad, Robert J; Drent, Madeleine L; Veltman, Dick J; Diamant, Michaela

    2014-12-01

    Gut-derived hormones, such as GLP-1, have been proposed to relay information to the brain to regulate appetite. GLP-1 receptor agonists, currently used for the treatment of type 2 diabetes (T2DM), improve glycemic control and stimulate satiety, leading to decreases in food intake and body weight. We hypothesized that food intake reduction after GLP-1 receptor activation is mediated through appetite- and reward-related brain areas. Obese T2DM patients and normoglycemic obese and lean individuals (n = 48) were studied in a randomized, crossover, placebo-controlled trial. Using functional MRI, we determined the acute effects of intravenous administration of the GLP-1 receptor agonist exenatide, with or without prior GLP-1 receptor blockade using exendin 9-39, on brain responses to food pictures during a somatostatin pancreatic-pituitary clamp. Obese T2DM patients and normoglycemic obese versus lean subjects showed increased brain responses to food pictures in appetite- and reward-related brain regions (insula and amygdala). Exenatide versus placebo decreased food intake and food-related brain responses in T2DM patients and obese subjects (in insula, amygdala, putamen, and orbitofrontal cortex). These effects were largely blocked by prior GLP-1 receptor blockade using exendin 9-39. Our findings provide novel insights into the mechanisms by which GLP-1 regulates food intake and how GLP-1 receptor agonists cause weight loss. PMID:25071023

  6. Cumulative stress in childhood is associated with blunted reward-related brain activity in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jamie L; Albert, Dustin; Iselin, Anne-Marie R; Carré, Justin M; Dodge, Kenneth A; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2016-03-01

    Early life stress (ELS) is strongly associated with negative outcomes in adulthood, including reduced motivation and increased negative mood. The mechanisms mediating these relations, however, are poorly understood. We examined the relation between exposure to ELS and reward-related brain activity, which is known to predict motivation and mood, at age 26, in a sample followed since kindergarten with annual assessments. Using functional neuroimaging, we assayed individual differences in the activity of the ventral striatum (VS) during the processing of monetary rewards associated with a simple card-guessing task, in a sample of 72 male participants. We examined associations between a cumulative measure of ELS exposure and VS activity in adulthood. We found that greater levels of cumulative stress during childhood and adolescence predicted lower reward-related VS activity in adulthood. Extending this general developmental pattern, we found that exposure to stress early in development (between kindergarten and grade 3) was significantly associated with variability in adult VS activity. Our results provide an important demonstration that cumulative life stress, especially during this childhood period, is associated with blunted reward-related VS activity in adulthood. These differences suggest neurobiological pathways through which a history of ELS may contribute to reduced motivation and increased negative mood. PMID:26443679

  7. Cumulative stress in childhood is associated with blunted reward-related brain activity in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Hanson, Jamie L; Albert, Dustin; Iselin, Anne-Marie R; Carré, Justin M; Dodge, Kenneth A; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2016-03-01

    Early life stress (ELS) is strongly associated with negative outcomes in adulthood, including reduced motivation and increased negative mood. The mechanisms mediating these relations, however, are poorly understood. We examined the relation between exposure to ELS and reward-related brain activity, which is known to predict motivation and mood, at age 26, in a sample followed since kindergarten with annual assessments. Using functional neuroimaging, we assayed individual differences in the activity of the ventral striatum (VS) during the processing of monetary rewards associated with a simple card-guessing task, in a sample of 72 male participants. We examined associations between a cumulative measure of ELS exposure and VS activity in adulthood. We found that greater levels of cumulative stress during childhood and adolescence predicted lower reward-related VS activity in adulthood. Extending this general developmental pattern, we found that exposure to stress early in development (between kindergarten and grade 3) was significantly associated with variability in adult VS activity. Our results provide an important demonstration that cumulative life stress, especially during this childhood period, is associated with blunted reward-related VS activity in adulthood. These differences suggest neurobiological pathways through which a history of ELS may contribute to reduced motivation and increased negative mood.

  8. Repeated electrical stimulation of reward-related brain regions affects cocaine but not "natural" reinforcement.

    PubMed

    Levy, Dino; Shabat-Simon, Maytal; Shalev, Uri; Barnea-Ygael, Noam; Cooper, Ayelet; Zangen, Abraham

    2007-12-19

    Drug addiction is associated with long-lasting neuronal adaptations including alterations in dopamine and glutamate receptors in the brain reward system. Treatment strategies for cocaine addiction and especially the prevention of craving and relapse are limited, and their effectiveness is still questionable. We hypothesized that repeated stimulation of the brain reward system can induce localized neuronal adaptations that may either potentiate or reduce addictive behaviors. The present study was designed to test how repeated interference with the brain reward system using localized electrical stimulation of the medial forebrain bundle at the lateral hypothalamus (LH) or the prefrontal cortex (PFC) affects cocaine addiction-associated behaviors and some of the neuronal adaptations induced by repeated exposure to cocaine. Repeated high-frequency stimulation in either site influenced cocaine, but not sucrose reward-related behaviors. Stimulation of the LH reduced cue-induced seeking behavior, whereas stimulation of the PFC reduced both cocaine-seeking behavior and the motivation for its consumption. The behavioral findings were accompanied by glutamate receptor subtype alterations in the nucleus accumbens and the ventral tegmental area, both key structures of the reward system. It is therefore suggested that repeated electrical stimulation of the PFC can become a novel strategy for treating addiction. PMID:18094257

  9. Protracted cocaine withdrawal produces circadian rhythmic alterations of phosphorylated GSK-3β in reward-related brain areas in rats.

    PubMed

    Wei, Yi-ming; Li, Su-xia; Shi, Hai-shui; Ding, Zeng-bo; Luo, Yi-xiao; Xue, Yan-xue; Lu, Lin; Yu, Chang-xi

    2011-03-17

    Protracted cocaine withdrawal can extend for months and contribute to cocaine seeking and relapse. However, no previous studies have reported the manifestation of protracted withdrawal from chronic cocaine in rats. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK-3β) can phosphorylate PER2, CRY2, Rev-erbα, and BMAL1 in mammals. The circadian rhythmic expression of GSK-3β in reward-related brain areas is unclear. We examined rodent behaviors and circadian disturbances of GSK-3β expression during 30 days of protracted cocaine withdrawal. The behavioral tests included open field, elevated plus maze, weight gain, and sucrose preference tests performed 3, 10, and 30 days after stopping cocaine. At these three assessment points, we collected brain samples every 4h for 24h to examine the circadian rhythmic expression of GSK-3β. Decreased locomotor activity, weight loss, decreased sucrose consumption on day 3, and increased time spent in the open arms of the elevated plus maze on day 10 after cocaine administration were found. Blunted circadian rhythms of phosphorylated GFK-3β (pGSK-3β) persisted for at least 30 days in all examined brain areas, with the exception of 10 days in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) and nucleus accumbens (NAc). The expression of pGSK-3β decreased in the SCN and increased in the NAc and ventral tegmental area persisted for at least 30 days, whereas in the prefrontal cortex decreased during withdrawal for 10 days but then reversed to abnormally high levels with protracted withdrawal. These long-lasting changes disrupted circadian rhythms and produced abnormal levels of phosphorylated GSK-3β protein in reward-related brain circuits, which may play a role in protracted cocaine withdrawal and contribute to relapse.

  10. Relation of dietary restraint scores to activation of reward-related brain regions in response to food intake, anticipated intake, and food pictures.

    PubMed

    Burger, Kyle S; Stice, Eric

    2011-03-01

    Prospective studies indicate that individuals with elevated dietary restraint scores are at increased risk for future bulimic symptom onset, suggesting that these individuals may show hyper-responsivity of reward regions to food and food cues. Thus, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the relation of dietary restraint scores to activation of reward-related brain regions in response to receipt and anticipated receipt of chocolate milkshake and exposure to pictures of appetizing foods in 39 female adolescents (mean age=15.5 ± 0.94). Dietary restraint scores were positively correlated with activation in the right orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) and bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) in response to milkshake receipt. However, dietary restraint scores did not correlate with activation in response to anticipated milkshake receipt or exposure to food pictures. Results indicate that individuals who report high dietary restraint have a hyper-responsivity in reward-related brain regions when food intake is occurring, which may increase risk for overeating and binge eating.

  11. Chronic Nicotine Activates Stress/Reward-Related Brain Regions and Facilitates the Transition to Compulsive Alcohol Drinking

    PubMed Central

    Cruz, Fábio C.; Vendruscolo, Leandro F.; de Guglielmo, Giordano; Logrip, Marian L.; Planeta, Cleopatra S.; Hope, Bruce T.; Koob, George F.

    2015-01-01

    Alcohol and nicotine are the two most co-abused drugs in the world. Previous studies have shown that nicotine can increase alcohol drinking in nondependent rats, yet it is unknown whether nicotine facilitates the transition to alcohol dependence. We tested the hypothesis that chronic nicotine will speed up the escalation of alcohol drinking in rats and that this effect will be accompanied by activation of sparsely distributed neurons (neuronal ensembles) throughout the brain that are specifically recruited by the combination of nicotine and alcohol. Rats were trained to respond for alcohol and made dependent using chronic, intermittent exposure to alcohol vapor, while receiving daily nicotine (0.8 mg/kg) injections. Identification of neuronal ensembles was performed after the last operant session, using immunohistochemistry. Nicotine produced an early escalation of alcohol drinking associated with compulsive alcohol drinking in dependent, but not in nondependent rats (air exposed), as measured by increased progressive-ratio responding and increased responding despite adverse consequences. The combination of nicotine and alcohol produced the recruitment of discrete and phenotype-specific neuronal ensembles (∼4–13% of total neuronal population) in the nucleus accumbens core, dorsomedial prefrontal cortex, central nucleus of the amygdala, bed nucleus of stria terminalis, and posterior ventral tegmental area. Blockade of nicotinic receptors using mecamylamine (1 mg/kg) prevented both the behavioral and neuronal effects of nicotine in dependent rats. These results demonstrate that nicotine and activation of nicotinic receptors are critical factors in the development of alcohol dependence through the dysregulation of a set of interconnected neuronal ensembles throughout the brain. PMID:25878294

  12. Electroacupuncture decreases excessive alcohol consumption involving reduction of FosB/ΔFosB levels in reward-related brain regions.

    PubMed

    Li, Jing; Sun, Yanan; Ye, Jiang-Hong

    2012-01-01

    New therapies are needed for alcohol abuse, a major public health problem in the U.S. and worldwide. There are only three FDA-approved drugs for treatment of alcohol abuse (naltrexone, acamprosate and disulfuram). On average these drugs yield only moderate success in reducing long-term alcohol consumption. Electroacupuncture has been shown to alleviate various drugs of abuse, including alcohol. Although previous studies have shown that electroacupuncture reduced alcohol consumption, the underlying mechanisms have not been fully elucidated. ΔFosB and FosB are members of the Fos family of transcription factors implicated in neural plasticity in drug addiction; a connection between electroacupuncture's treatment of alcohol abuse and the Fos family has not been established. In this study, we trained rats to drink large quantities of ethanol in a modified intermittent access two-bottle choice drinking procedure. When rats achieved a stable baseline of ethanol consumption, electroacupuncture (100 Hz or 2 Hz, 30 min each day) was administered at Zusanli (ST36) for 6 consecutive days. The level of FosB/ΔFosB in reward-related brain regions was assessed by immunohistochemistry. We found that the intake of and preference for ethanol in rats under 100 Hz, but not 2 Hz electroacupuncture regiment were sharply reduced. The reduction was maintained for at least 72 hours after the termination of electroacupuncture treatment. Conversely, 100 Hz electroacupuncture did not alter the intake of and preference for the natural rewarding agent sucrose. Additionally, FosB/ΔFosB levels in the prefrontal cortex, striatal region and the posterior region of ventral tegmental area were increased following excessive ethanol consumption, but were reduced after six-day 100 Hz electroacupuncture. Thus, this study demonstrates that six-day 100 Hz electroacupuncture treatment effectively reduces ethanol consumption and preference in rats that chronically drink excessive amount of ethanol. This

  13. Reward-Related Decision-Making in Pediatric Major Depressive Disorder: An fMRI Study

    PubMed Central

    Forbes, Erika E.; May, J. Christopher; Siegle, Greg J.; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Ryan, Neal D.; Carter, Cameron S.; Birmaher, Boris; Axelson, David A.; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2007-01-01

    Background Although reward processing is considered an important part of affective functioning, few studies have investigated reward-related decisions or responses in young people with affective disorders. Depression is postulated to involve decreased activity in reward-related affective systems. Methods Using functional MRI, we examined behavioral and neural responses to reward in young people with depressive disorders using a reward decision-making task. The task involved choices about possible rewards involving varying magnitude and probability of reward. The study design allowed the separation of decision/anticipation and outcome phases of reward processing. Participants were 9–17 years old and had diagnoses of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), anxiety disorders, or no history of psychiatric disorder. Results Participants with MDD exhibited less neural response than control participants in reward-related brain areas during both phases of the task. Group differences did not appear to be a function of anxiety. Depressive and anxiety symptoms were associated with activation in reward-related brain areas. Conclusions Results suggest that depression involves altered reward processing and underscore the need for further investigation of relations among development, affective disorders, and reward processing. PMID:17073982

  14. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide immunoreactivity in feeding- and reward-related brain areas of young OLETF rats.

    PubMed

    Armbruszt, Simon; Abraham, Hajnalka; Figler, Maria; Kozicz, Tamas; Hajnal, Andras

    2013-05-01

    Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide is expressed in brain areas involved in the control of appetite, drug reward and homeostatic regulation and it has an overall anorexigenic effect. Recently, we have shown that CART peptide immunoreactivity was significantly reduced in the rostral part of the nucleus accumbens and in the rostro-medial part of the nucleus of the solitary tract in adult CCK-1 receptor deficient obese diabetic Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats compared to Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) lean controls. It is not clear, however, whether altered CART expression is caused primarily by the deficiency in CCK-1 signaling or whether is related to the obese and diabetic phenotype of the OLETF strain which develops at a later age. Therefore, in the present study, CART-immunoreaction in feeding-related areas of the brain was compared in young, age-matched (6-7 weeks old) non-obese, non-diabetic OLETF rats and in LETO controls. We found that, young, non-diabetic OLETF rats revealed unaltered distribution of CART-peptide expressing neurons and axons throughout the brain when compared to age-matched LETO rats. In contrast to previous results observed in the obese diabetic adult rats, intensity of CART immunoreaction did not differ in the areas related to control of food-intake and reward in the young OLETFs compared to young LETO rats. Our findings suggest that factors secondary to obesity and/or diabetes rather than impaired CCK-1 receptor signaling may contribute to altered CART expression in the OLETF strain. PMID:23545074

  15. Cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) peptide immunoreactivity in feeding- and reward-related brain areas of young OLETF rats

    PubMed Central

    Armbruszt, Simon; Abraham, Hajnalka; Figler, Maria; Kozicz, Tamas; Hajnal, Andras

    2013-01-01

    Cocaine- and amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) peptide is expressed in brain areas involved in the control of appetite, drug reward and homeostatic regulation and it has an overall anorexigenic effect. Recently, we have shown that CART peptide immunoreactivity was significantly reduced in the rostral part of the nucleus accumbens and in the rostro-medial part of the nucleus of the solitary tract in adult CCK-1 receptor deficient obese diabetic Otsuka Long Evans Tokushima Fatty (OLETF) rats compared to Long Evans Tokushima Otsuka (LETO) lean controls. It is not clear, however, whether altered CART expression is caused primarily by the deficiency in CCK-1 signaling or whether is related to the obese and diabetic phenotype of the OLETF strain which develops at a later age. Therefore, in the present study, CART-immunoreaction in feeding-related areas of the brain was compared in young, age-matched (6-7 weeks old) non-obese, non-diabetic OLETF rats and in LETO controls. We found that, young, non-diabetic OLETF rats revealed unaltered distribution of CART-peptide expressing neurons and axons throughout the brain when compared to age-matched LETO rats. In contrast to previous results observed in the obese diabetic adult rats, intensity of CART immunoreaction did not differ in the areas related to control of food-intake and reward in the young OLETFs compared to young LETO rats. Our findings suggest that factors secondary to obesity and/or diabetes rather than impaired CCK-1 receptor signaling may contribute to altered CART expression in the OLETF strain. PMID:23545074

  16. Gender differences in reward-related decision processing under stress

    PubMed Central

    Sakaki, Michiko; Vasunilashorn, Sarinnapha; Nga, Lin; Somayajula, Sangeetha; Chen, Eric Y.; Samii, Nicole; Mather, Mara

    2012-01-01

    Recent research indicates gender differences in the impact of stress on decision behavior, but little is known about the brain mechanisms involved in these gender-specific stress effects. The current study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to determine whether induced stress resulted in gender-specific patterns of brain activation during a decision task involving monetary reward. Specifically, we manipulated physiological stress levels using a cold pressor task, prior to a risky decision making task. Healthy men (n = 24, 12 stressed) and women (n = 23, 11 stressed) completed the decision task after either cold pressor stress or a control task during the period of cortisol response to the cold pressor. Gender differences in behavior were present in stressed participants but not controls, such that stress led to greater reward collection and faster decision speed in males but less reward collection and slower decision speed in females. A gender-by-stress interaction was observed for the dorsal striatum and anterior insula. With cold stress, activation in these regions was increased in males but decreased in females. The findings of this study indicate that the impact of stress on reward-related decision processing differs depending on gender. PMID:21609968

  17. Reward-Related Decision-Making in Pediatric Major Depressive Disorder: An fMRI Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Forbes, Erika E.; Christopher May, J.; Siegle, Greg J.; Ladouceur, Cecile D.; Ryan, Neal D.; Carter, Cameron S.; Birmaher, Boris; Axelson, David A.; Dahl, Ronald E.

    2006-01-01

    Background: Although reward processing is considered an important part of affective functioning, few studies have investigated reward-related decisions or responses in young people with affective disorders. Depression is postulated to involve decreased activity in reward-related affective systems. Methods: Using functional magnetic resonance…

  18. Operant ethanol self-administration increases extracellular-signal regulated protein kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in reward-related brain regions: selective regulation of positive reinforcement in the prefrontal cortex of C57BL/6J mice

    PubMed Central

    Faccidomo, Sara; Salling, Michael C; Galunas, Christina; Hodge, Clyde W

    2015-01-01

    Rationale Extracellular-signal regulated protein kinase (ERK1/2) is activated by ethanol in reward-related brain regions. Accordingly, systemic inhibition of ERK1/2 potentiates ethanol reinforcement. However, the brain region(s) that mediate this effect are unknown. Objective To pharmacologically inhibit ERK1/2 in the medial prefrontal cortex (PFC), nucleus accumbens (NAC) and amygdala (AMY) prior to ethanol or sucrose self-administration, and evaluate effects of operant ethanol self-administration on ERK1/2 phosphorylation (pERK1/2). Methods Male C57BL/6J mice were trained to lever press on a fixed-ratio-4 schedule of 9% ethanol+2% sucrose (ethanol) or 2% sucrose (sucrose) reinforcement. Mice were sacrificed immediately after the 30th self-administration session and pERK1/2 immunoreactivity was quantified in targeted brain regions. Additional groups of mice were injected with SL 327 (0–1.7 μg/side) in PFC, NAC or AMY prior to self-administration. Results pERK1/2 immunoreactivity was significantly increased by operant ethanol (g/kg=1.21 g/kg; BAC=54.9 mg/dl) in the PFC, NAC (core and shell), and AMY (central nucleus) as compared to sucrose. Microinjection of SL 327 (1.7 μg) into the PFC selectively increased ethanol self-administration. Intra-NAC injection of SL 327 had no effect on ethanol- but suppressed sucrose-reinforced responding. Intra-AMY microinjection of SL 327 had no effect on either ethanol- or sucrose-reinforced responding. Locomotor activity was unaffected under all conditions. Conclusions Operant ethanol self-administration increases pERK1/2 activation in the PFC, NAC and AMY. However, ERK1/2 activity only in the PFC mechanistically regulates ethanol self-administration. These data suggest that ethanol-induced activation of ERK1/2 in the PFC is a critical pharmacological effect that mediates the reinforcing properties of the drug. PMID:26123321

  19. Diurnal and circadian regulation of reward-related neurophysiology and behavior.

    PubMed

    Webb, Ian C; Lehman, Michael N; Coolen, Lique M

    2015-05-01

    Here, we review work over the past two decades that has indicated drug reward is modulated by the circadian system that generates daily (i.e., 24h) rhythms in physiology and behavior. Specifically, drug-self administration, psychomotor stimulant-induced conditioned place preference, and locomotor sensitization vary widely across the day in various species. These drug-related behavioral rhythms are associated with rhythmic neural activity and dopaminergic signaling in the mesocorticolimbic pathways, with a tendency toward increased activity during the species typical wake period. While the mechanisms responsible for such cellular rhythmicity remain to be fully identified, circadian clock genes are expressed in these brain areas and can function locally to modulate both dopaminergic neurotransmission and drug-associated behavior. In addition, neural and endocrine inputs to these brain areas contribute to cellular and reward-related behavioral rhythms, with the medial prefrontal cortex playing a pivotal role. Acute or chronic administration of drugs of abuse can also alter clock gene expression in reward-related brain regions. Emerging evidence suggests that drug craving in humans is under a diurnal regulation and that drug reward may be influenced by clock gene polymorphisms. These latter findings, in particular, indicate that the development of therapeutic strategies to modulate the circadian influence on drug reward may prove beneficial in the treatment of substance abuse disorders.

  20. Circadian Mechanisms Underlying Reward-Related Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Parekh, Puja K.; McClung, Colleen A.

    2016-01-01

    Evidence from clinical and preclinical research provides an undeniable link between disruptions in the circadian clock and the development of psychiatric diseases, including mood and substance abuse disorders. The molecular clock, which controls daily patterns of physiological and behavioral activity in living organisms, when desynchronized, may exacerbate or precipitate symptoms of psychiatric illness. One of the outstanding questions remaining in this field is that of cause and effect in the relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disease. Focus has recently turned to uncovering the role of circadian proteins beyond the maintenance of homeostatic systems and outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker region of the brain. In this regard, several groups, including our own, have sought to understand how circadian proteins regulate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter signaling in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, which are known to be critically involved in reward processing and mood. This regulation can come in the form of direct transcriptional control of genes central to mood and reward, including those associated with dopaminergic activity in the midbrain. It can also be seen at the circuit level through indirect connections of mesocorticolimbic regions with the SCN. Circadian misalignment paradigms as well as genetic models of circadian disruption have helped to elucidate some of the complex interactions between these systems and neural activity influencing behavior. In this review, we explore findings that link circadian protein function with synaptic adaptations underlying plasticity as it may contribute to the development of mood disorders and addiction. In light of recent advances in technology and sophisticated methods for molecular and circuit-level interrogation, we propose future directions aimed at teasing apart mechanisms through which the circadian system modulates mood and reward-related

  1. Circadian Mechanisms Underlying Reward-Related Neurophysiology and Synaptic Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Parekh, Puja K; McClung, Colleen A

    2015-01-01

    Evidence from clinical and preclinical research provides an undeniable link between disruptions in the circadian clock and the development of psychiatric diseases, including mood and substance abuse disorders. The molecular clock, which controls daily patterns of physiological and behavioral activity in living organisms, when desynchronized, may exacerbate or precipitate symptoms of psychiatric illness. One of the outstanding questions remaining in this field is that of cause and effect in the relationship between circadian rhythm disruption and psychiatric disease. Focus has recently turned to uncovering the role of circadian proteins beyond the maintenance of homeostatic systems and outside of the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the master pacemaker region of the brain. In this regard, several groups, including our own, have sought to understand how circadian proteins regulate mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and neurotransmitter signaling in mesocorticolimbic brain regions, which are known to be critically involved in reward processing and mood. This regulation can come in the form of direct transcriptional control of genes central to mood and reward, including those associated with dopaminergic activity in the midbrain. It can also be seen at the circuit level through indirect connections of mesocorticolimbic regions with the SCN. Circadian misalignment paradigms as well as genetic models of circadian disruption have helped to elucidate some of the complex interactions between these systems and neural activity influencing behavior. In this review, we explore findings that link circadian protein function with synaptic adaptations underlying plasticity as it may contribute to the development of mood disorders and addiction. In light of recent advances in technology and sophisticated methods for molecular and circuit-level interrogation, we propose future directions aimed at teasing apart mechanisms through which the circadian system modulates mood and reward-related

  2. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. FNDC5/irisin, a molecular target for boosting reward-related learning and motivation.

    PubMed

    Zsuga, Judit; Tajti, Gabor; Papp, Csaba; Juhasz, Bela; Gesztelyi, Rudolf

    2016-05-01

    Interventions focusing on the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases are on rise. In the current article, we propose that dysfunction of the mesocortico-limbic reward system contributes to the emergence of the WHO-identified risk behaviors (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol), behaviors that underlie the evolution of major non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases). Given that dopaminergic neurons of the mesocortico-limbic system are tightly associated with reward-related processes and motivation, their dysfunction may fundamentally influence behavior. While nicotine and alcohol alter dopamine neuron function by influencing some receptors, mesocortico-limbic system dysfunction was associated with elevation of metabolic set-point leading to hedonic over-eating. Although there is some empirical evidence, precise molecular mechanism for linking physical inactivity and mesocortico-limbic dysfunction per se seems to be missing; identification of which may contribute to higher success rates for interventions targeting lifestyle changes pertaining to physical activity. In the current article, we compile evidence in support of a link between exercise and the mesocortico-limbic system by elucidating interactions on the axis of muscle - irisin - brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - and dopaminergic function of the midbrain. Irisin is a contraction-regulated myokine formed primarily in skeletal muscle but also in the brain. Irisin stirred considerable interest, when its ability to induce browning of white adipose tissue parallel to increasing thermogenesis was discovered. Furthermore, it may also play a role in the regulation of behavior given it readily enters the central nervous system, where it induces BDNF expression in several brain areas linked to reward processing, e.g. the ventral tegmental area and the hippocampus. BDNF is a

  4. FNDC5/irisin, a molecular target for boosting reward-related learning and motivation.

    PubMed

    Zsuga, Judit; Tajti, Gabor; Papp, Csaba; Juhasz, Bela; Gesztelyi, Rudolf

    2016-05-01

    Interventions focusing on the prevention and treatment of chronic non-communicable diseases are on rise. In the current article, we propose that dysfunction of the mesocortico-limbic reward system contributes to the emergence of the WHO-identified risk behaviors (tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and harmful use of alcohol), behaviors that underlie the evolution of major non-communicable diseases (e.g. cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases). Given that dopaminergic neurons of the mesocortico-limbic system are tightly associated with reward-related processes and motivation, their dysfunction may fundamentally influence behavior. While nicotine and alcohol alter dopamine neuron function by influencing some receptors, mesocortico-limbic system dysfunction was associated with elevation of metabolic set-point leading to hedonic over-eating. Although there is some empirical evidence, precise molecular mechanism for linking physical inactivity and mesocortico-limbic dysfunction per se seems to be missing; identification of which may contribute to higher success rates for interventions targeting lifestyle changes pertaining to physical activity. In the current article, we compile evidence in support of a link between exercise and the mesocortico-limbic system by elucidating interactions on the axis of muscle - irisin - brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) - and dopaminergic function of the midbrain. Irisin is a contraction-regulated myokine formed primarily in skeletal muscle but also in the brain. Irisin stirred considerable interest, when its ability to induce browning of white adipose tissue parallel to increasing thermogenesis was discovered. Furthermore, it may also play a role in the regulation of behavior given it readily enters the central nervous system, where it induces BDNF expression in several brain areas linked to reward processing, e.g. the ventral tegmental area and the hippocampus. BDNF is a

  5. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  9. Reward-related learning via multiple memory systems

    PubMed Central

    Delgado, Mauricio R.; Dickerson, Kathryn C.

    2013-01-01

    The application of a neuroeconomic approach to the study of reward-related processes has provided significant insights in our understanding of human learning and decision-making. Much of this research has primarily focused on the contributions of the cortico-striatal circuitry, involved in trial and error reward learning. As a result, less consideration has been allotted to the potential influence of different neural mechanisms such as the hippocampus, or to more common ways in human society in which information is acquired and utilized to reach a decision, such as through explicit instruction rather than trial and error learning. This review examines the basic and applied value of examining the individual contributions of multiple learning and memory neural systems and their interactions during human decision-making in normal individuals and neuropsychiatric populations. Specifically, the anatomical and functional connectivity across multiple memory systems are highlighted to suggest that probing the role of the hippocampus and its interactions with the cortico-striatal circuitry via the application of model-based neuroeconomic approaches may provide novel insights into several neuropsychiatric populations who suffer from damage to one of these structures, and as a consequence have deficits in learning, memory, or decision-making. PMID:22365667

  10. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

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

  11. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Cellular Signal Mechanisms of Reward-Related Plasticity in the Hippocampus

    PubMed Central

    Isokawa, Masako

    2012-01-01

    The hippocampus has the extraordinary capacity to process and store information. Consequently, there is an intense interest in the mechanisms that underline learning and memory. Synaptic plasticity has been hypothesized to be the neuronal substrate for learning. Ca2+ and Ca2+-activated kinases control cellular processes of most forms of hippocampal synapse plasticity. In this paper, I aim to integrate our current understanding of Ca2+-mediated synaptic plasticity and metaplasticity in motivational and reward-related learning in the hippocampus. I will introduce two representative neuromodulators that are widely studied in reward-related learning (e.g., ghrelin and endocannabinoids) and show how they might contribute to hippocampal neuron activities and Ca2+-mediated signaling processes in synaptic plasticity. Additionally, I will discuss functional significance of these two systems and their signaling pathways for its relevance to maladaptive reward learning leading to addiction. PMID:23213575

  13. Increased Reward-Related Behaviors during Sleep and Wakefulness in Sleepwalking and Idiopathic Nightmares

    PubMed Central

    Perogamvros, Lampros; Aberg, Kristoffer; Gex-Fabry, Marianne; Perrig, Stephen; Cloninger, C. Robert; Schwartz, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    to reward-related brain functions. They also provide further support to the notion that reward-seeking networks are active during human sleep. PMID:26287974

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

    PubMed

    Massi, Bart; Luhmann, Christian C

    2015-12-01

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

  15. Functional brain mapping of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Honey, G; Fletcher, P; Bullmore, E

    2002-01-01

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

  16. The effects of poor quality sleep on brain function and risk taking in adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Telzer, Eva H.; Fuligni, Andrew J.; Lieberman, Matthew D.; Galván, Adriana

    2013-01-01

    Insufficient sleep and poor quality sleep are pervasive during adolescence and relate to impairments in cognitive control and increased risk taking. However, the neurobiology underlying the association between sleep and adolescent behavior remains elusive. In the current study, we examine how poor sleep quality relates to cognitive control and reward related brain function during risk taking. Forty-six adolescents participated in a functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) scan during which they completed a cognitive control and risk taking task. Behaviorally, adolescents who reported poorer sleep also exhibited greater risk-taking. This association was paralleled by less recruitment of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during cognitive control, greater insula activation during reward processing, and reduced functional coupling between the DLPFC and affective regions including the insula and ventral striatum during reward processing. Collectively, these results suggest that poor sleep may exaggerate the normative imbalance between affective and cognitive control systems, leading to greater risk-taking in adolescents. PMID:23376698

  17. The effects of poor quality sleep on brain function and risk taking in adolescence.

    PubMed

    Telzer, Eva H; Fuligni, Andrew J; Lieberman, Matthew D; Galván, Adriana

    2013-05-01

    Insufficient sleep and poor quality sleep are pervasive during adolescence and relate to impairments in cognitive control and increased risk taking. However, the neurobiology underlying the association between sleep and adolescent behavior remains elusive. In the current study, we examine how poor sleep quality relates to cognitive control and reward related brain function during risk taking. Forty-six adolescents participated in a functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) scan during which they completed a cognitive control and risk taking task. Behaviorally, adolescents who reported poorer sleep also exhibited greater risk-taking. This association was paralleled by less recruitment of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during cognitive control, greater insula activation during reward processing, and reduced functional coupling between the DLPFC and affective regions including the insula and ventral striatum during reward processing. Collectively, these results suggest that poor sleep may exaggerate the normative imbalance between affective and cognitive control systems, leading to greater risk-taking in adolescents.

  18. Behavioral and neural evidence of incentive bias for immediate rewards relative to preference-matched delayed rewards.

    PubMed

    Luo, Shan; Ainslie, George; Giragosian, Lisa; Monterosso, John R

    2009-11-25

    Several theories of self-control [including intertemporal bargaining (Ainslie, 1992) and self-signaling (Bodner and Prelec, 2001)] imply that intertemporal decisions can be more farsighted than would be predicted by the incentive associated with rewards outside a decision context. We examined this hypothesis using behavior and functional neuroimaging. First, subjects expressed preferences between amounts of money delayed by 4 months and smaller amounts available that day. This allowed us to establish "indifference pairs" individualized to each participant: immediate and delayed amounts that were equally preferred. Participants subsequently performed a reaction time functional magnetic resonance imaging task (Knutson et al., 2001a) that provided them with distinct opportunities to win each of the rewards that comprised the indifference pairs. Anatomical region of interest analysis as well as whole-brain analysis indicated greater response recruited by the immediate rewards (relative to the preference-matched delayed rewards) in regions previously implicated as sensitive to incentive value using the same task (including bilateral putamen, bilateral anterior insula, and midbrain). Reaction time to the target was also faster during the immediate relative to delayed reward trials (p < 0.01), and individual differences in reaction time between immediate versus delayed reward trials correlated with variance in magnetic resonance signal in those clusters that responded preferentially to immediate rewards (r = 0.33, p < 0.05). These findings indicate a discrepancy in incentive associated with the immediate versus the preference-matched delayed rewards. This discrepancy may mark the contribution of self-control processes that are recruited during decision-making but that are absent when rewards are individually anticipated. PMID:19940177

  19. Neurotransmitter precursors and brain function.

    PubMed

    Conlay, L A; Zeisel, S H

    1982-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Klein, Eran

    2015-06-01

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

  1. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. Individual differences in the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal predict the reward-related processing

    PubMed Central

    Sai, Liyang; Wang, Sisi; Ward, Anne; Ku, Yixuan; Sang, Biao

    2015-01-01

    Recent studies have shown that instructed cognitive reappraisal can regulate the neural processing of reward. However, it is still unclear whether the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal in everyday life is related to brain activity involved in reward processing. In the present study, participants’ neural responses to reward were measured using electroencephalography (EEG) recorded during a gambling task and their tendency to use cognitive reappraisal was assessed using the Emotion Regulation Questionnaire (ERQ). Event-related potential (ERP) results indicated that losses on the gambling task elicited greater negative reward-related feedback negativity (FN) than gains. The differential FN between losses and gains was significantly correlated with cognitive reappraisal scores across participants such that individuals with a higher tendency to use cognitive reappraisal showed stronger reward processing (i.e., amplified FN difference between losses and gains). This correlation remained significant after controlling for expressive suppression scores. However, expressive suppression per se was not correlated with FN differences. Taken together, these results suggest that the habitual use of cognitive reappraisal is associated with increased neural processing of reward. PMID:26388796

  4. Reactivation of Reward-Related Patterns from Single Past Episodes Supports Memory-Based Decision Making.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, G Elliott; Büchel, Christian

    2016-03-01

    Rewarding experiences exert a strong influence on later decision making. While decades of neuroscience research have shown how reinforcement gradually shapes preferences, decisions are often influenced by single past experiences. Surprisingly, relatively little is known about the influence of single learning episodes. Although recent work has proposed a role for episodes in decision making, it is largely unknown whether and how episodic experiences contribute to value-based decision making and how the values of single episodes are represented in the brain. In multiple behavioral experiments and an fMRI experiment, we tested whether and how rewarding episodes could support later decision making. Participants experienced episodes of high reward or low reward in conjunction with incidental, trial-unique neutral pictures. In a surprise test phase, we found that participants could indeed remember the associated level of reward, as evidenced by accurate source memory for value and preferences to re-engage with rewarded objects. Further, in a separate experiment, we found that high-reward objects shown as primes before a gambling task increased financial risk taking. Neurally, re-exposure to objects in the test phase led to significant reactivation of reward-related patterns. Importantly, individual variability in the strength of reactivation predicted value memory performance. Our results provide a novel demonstration that affect-related neural patterns are reactivated during later experience. Reactivation of value information represents a mechanism by which memory can guide decision making. PMID:26961943

  5. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-11

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

  6. Describing functional diversity of brain regions and brain networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Dietary amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, J D

    1994-01-01

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

  8. Developmental Continuity in Reward-Related Enhancement of Cognitive Control

    PubMed Central

    Strang, Nicole M.; Pollak, Seth D.

    2015-01-01

    Adolescents engage in more risky behavior than children or adults. The most prominent hypothesis for this phenomenon is that brain systems governing reward sensitivity and brain systems governing self-regulation mature at different rates. Those systems governing reward sensitivity mature in advance of those governing self-control. This hypothesis has substantial empirical support, however, the evidence supporting this theory has been exclusively derived from contexts where self-control systems are required to regulate reward sensitivity in order to promote adaptive behavior. In adults, reward promotes a shift to a proactive control strategy and better cognitive control performance. It is unclear whether children and adolescents will respond to reward in the same way. Using fMRI methodology, we explored whether children and adolescents would demonstrate a shift to proactive control in the context of reward. We tested 22 children, 20 adolescents, and 23 adults. In contrast to our hypothesis, children, adolescents, and adults all demonstrated a shift to proactive cognitive control in the context of reward. In light of the results, current neurobiological theories of adolescent behavior need to be refined to reflect that in certain contexts there is continuity in the manner reward and cognitive control systems interact across development. PMID:25160678

  9. Developmental continuity in reward-related enhancement of cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Strang, Nicole M; Pollak, Seth D

    2014-10-01

    Adolescents engage in more risky behavior than children or adults. The most prominent hypothesis for this phenomenon is that brain systems governing reward sensitivity and brain systems governing self-regulation mature at different rates. Those systems governing reward sensitivity mature in advance of those governing self-control. This hypothesis has substantial empirical support, however, the evidence supporting this theory has been exclusively derived from contexts where self-control systems are required to regulate reward sensitivity in order to promote adaptive behavior. In adults, reward promotes a shift to a proactive control strategy and better cognitive control performance. It is unclear whether children and adolescents will respond to reward in the same way. Using fMRI methodology, we explored whether children and adolescents would demonstrate a shift to proactive control in the context of reward. We tested 22 children, 20 adolescents, and 23 adults. In contrast to our hypothesis, children, adolescents, and adults all demonstrated a shift to proactive cognitive control in the context of reward. In light of the results, current neurobiological theories of adolescent behavior need to be refined to reflect that in certain contexts there is continuity in the manner reward and cognitive control systems interact across development.

  10. Developmental continuity in reward-related enhancement of cognitive control.

    PubMed

    Strang, Nicole M; Pollak, Seth D

    2014-10-01

    Adolescents engage in more risky behavior than children or adults. The most prominent hypothesis for this phenomenon is that brain systems governing reward sensitivity and brain systems governing self-regulation mature at different rates. Those systems governing reward sensitivity mature in advance of those governing self-control. This hypothesis has substantial empirical support, however, the evidence supporting this theory has been exclusively derived from contexts where self-control systems are required to regulate reward sensitivity in order to promote adaptive behavior. In adults, reward promotes a shift to a proactive control strategy and better cognitive control performance. It is unclear whether children and adolescents will respond to reward in the same way. Using fMRI methodology, we explored whether children and adolescents would demonstrate a shift to proactive control in the context of reward. We tested 22 children, 20 adolescents, and 23 adults. In contrast to our hypothesis, children, adolescents, and adults all demonstrated a shift to proactive cognitive control in the context of reward. In light of the results, current neurobiological theories of adolescent behavior need to be refined to reflect that in certain contexts there is continuity in the manner reward and cognitive control systems interact across development. PMID:25160678

  11. Promoting motor function by exercising the brain.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

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

  18. Bioengineered functional brain-like cortical tissue

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

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

  20. Hippocampal place cells construct reward related sequences through unexplored space.

    PubMed

    Ólafsdóttir, H Freyja; Barry, Caswell; Saleem, Aman B; Hassabis, Demis; Spiers, Hugo J

    2015-06-26

    Dominant theories of hippocampal function propose that place cell representations are formed during an animal's first encounter with a novel environment and are subsequently replayed during off-line states to support consolidation and future behaviour. Here we report that viewing the delivery of food to an unvisited portion of an environment leads to off-line pre-activation of place cells sequences corresponding to that space. Such 'preplay' was not observed for an unrewarded but otherwise similar portion of the environment. These results suggest that a hippocampal representation of a visible, yet unexplored environment can be formed if the environment is of motivational relevance to the animal. We hypothesise such goal-biased preplay may support preparation for future experiences in novel environments.

  1. Hippocampal place cells construct reward related sequences through unexplored space

    PubMed Central

    Saleem, Aman B

    2015-01-01

    Dominant theories of hippocampal function propose that place cell representations are formed during an animal's first encounter with a novel environment and are subsequently replayed during off-line states to support consolidation and future behaviour. Here we report that viewing the delivery of food to an unvisited portion of an environment leads to off-line pre-activation of place cells sequences corresponding to that space. Such ‘preplay’ was not observed for an unrewarded but otherwise similar portion of the environment. These results suggest that a hippocampal representation of a visible, yet unexplored environment can be formed if the environment is of motivational relevance to the animal. We hypothesise such goal-biased preplay may support preparation for future experiences in novel environments. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06063.001 PMID:26112828

  2. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-10

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

  3. Forthergillian Lecture. Imaging human brain function.

    PubMed

    Frackowiak, R S

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

  4. Genetic Versus Pharmacological Assessment of the Role of Cannabinoid Type 2 Receptors in Alcohol Reward-Related Behaviors

    PubMed Central

    Powers, Matthew S.; Breit, Kristen R.; Chester, Julia A.

    2016-01-01

    Background Emerging evidence suggests that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) is involved in modulating the rewarding effects of abused drugs. Recently, the cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2R) was shown to be expressed in brain reward circuitry and is implicated in modulating the rewarding effects of alcohol. Methods CB2 ligands and CB2R knockout (KO) mice were used to assess CB2R involvement in alcohol reward-related behavior in 2 well-established behavioral models: limited-access 2-bottle choice drinking and conditioned place preference (CPP). For the pharmacological studies, mice received pre-treatments of either vehicle, the CB2R agonist JWH-133 (10 and 20 mg/kg) or the CB2R antagonist AM630 (10 and 20 mg/kg) 30 minutes before behavioral testing. For the genetic studies, CB2R KO mice were compared to wild-type (WT) littermate controls. Results CB2R KO mice displayed increased magnitude of alcohol-induced CPP compared to WT mice. Neither agonism nor antagonism of CB2R affected alcohol intake or the expression of CPP, and antagonism of CB2R during CPP acquisition trials also did not affect CPP. Conclusions The CB2R KO CPP data provide partial support for the hypothesis that CB2Rs are involved in the modulation of alcohol reward-related behaviors. However, pharmacological manipulation of CB2Rs did not alter alcohol’s rewarding effects in the alcohol-seeking models used here. These results highlight the importance of pharmacological validation of effects seen with lifetime KO models. Given the ongoing efforts toward medications development, future studies should continue to explore the role of the CB2R as a potential neurobiological target for the treatment of alcohol use disorders. PMID:26756798

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Modeling of functional brain imaging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    1999-03-01

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

  8. Structure and function of complex brain networks.

    PubMed

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-09-01

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

  9. Scale-Free Brain Functional Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Lead poisoning and brain cell function

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-11-01

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

  11. Metabolism and functions of copper in brain.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  12. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  13. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  14. Entropy changes in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rosso, Osvaldo A

    2007-04-01

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

  15. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  16. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

  18. The Brain Prize 2014: complex human functions.

    PubMed

    Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-11-01

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

  19. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Imaging visual function of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Marg, E.

    1988-10-01

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

  1. Reward-related decision making in eating and weight disorders: A systematic review and meta-analysis of the evidence from neuropsychological studies.

    PubMed

    Wu, Mudan; Brockmeyer, Timo; Hartmann, Mechthild; Skunde, Mandy; Herzog, Wolfgang; Friederich, Hans-Christoph

    2016-02-01

    Eating disorders (EDs) and overweight/obesity (OW/OB) are serious public health concerns that share common neuropsychological features and patterns of disturbed eating. Reward-related decision making as a basic neurocognitive function may trans-diagnostically underlie both pathological overeating and restricted eating. The present meta-analysis synthesizes the evidence from N=82 neuropsychological studies for altered reward-related decision making in all ED subtypes, OW and OB. The overall effect sizes for the differences between currently-ill ED patients and OW/OB people and controls were Hedge's g=-0.49 [CI: -0.63; -0.35], and Hedge's g=-0.39 [CI: -0.53; -0.25], respectively. Decision making was found to be altered to similar degrees in all ED subtypes and OB. Effect sizes, however, diverged for the different measures of decision making. Adolescents appear to be less affected than adults. When foods were used as rewarding stimuli, decision making was found to be intact in OB. The findings support that altered general reward-related decision making is a salient neuropsychological factor across eating and weight disorders in adulthood.

  2. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2014-03-01

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

  3. Progesterone Receptors: Form and Function in Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

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

  6. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

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

  7. Histamine function in brain disorders.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Novoa, L; Cacabelos, R

    2001-10-15

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

  8. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-04

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  12. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. BAZ1B in Nucleus Accumbens Regulates Reward-Related Behaviors in Response to Distinct Emotional Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Sun, HaoSheng; Martin, Jennifer A.; Werner, Craig T.; Wang, Zi-Jun; Damez-Werno, Diane M.; Scobie, Kimberly N.; Shao, Ning-Yi; Dias, Caroline; Rabkin, Jacqui; Koo, Ja Wook; Gancarz, Amy M.; Mouzon, Ezekiell A.; Neve, Rachael L.; Shen, Li; Dietz, David M.

    2016-01-01

    ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling proteins are being implicated increasingly in the regulation of complex behaviors, including models of several psychiatric disorders. Here, we demonstrate that Baz1b, an accessory subunit of the ISWI family of chromatin remodeling complexes, is upregulated in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a key brain reward region, in both chronic cocaine-treated mice and mice that are resilient to chronic social defeat stress. In contrast, no regulation is seen in mice that are susceptible to this chronic stress. Viral-mediated overexpression of Baz1b, along with its associated subunit Smarca5, in mouse NAc is sufficient to potentiate both rewarding responses to cocaine, including cocaine self-administration, and resilience to chronic social defeat stress. However, despite these similar, proreward behavioral effects, genome-wide mapping of BAZ1B in NAc revealed mostly distinct subsets of genes regulated by these chromatin remodeling proteins after chronic exposure to either cocaine or social stress. Together, these findings suggest important roles for BAZ1B and its associated chromatin remodeling complexes in NAc in the regulation of reward behaviors to distinct emotional stimuli and highlight the stimulus-specific nature of the actions of these regulatory proteins. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT We show that BAZ1B, a component of chromatin remodeling complexes, in the nucleus accumbens regulates reward-related behaviors in response to chronic exposure to both rewarding and aversive stimuli by regulating largely distinct subsets of genes. PMID:27053203

  14. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

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

  15. Functional brain asymmetry, handedness and menarcheal age.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, P; Stoyanov, Z; Negrev, N

    1994-12-01

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

  16. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  17. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  20. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function.

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

  1. Inadequate early social experience increases the incentive salience of reward-related cues in adulthood.

    PubMed

    Lomanowska, Anna M; Lovic, Vedran; Rankine, Michael J; Mooney, Skyler J; Robinson, Terry E; Kraemer, Gary W

    2011-06-20

    The mechanisms by which childhood abuse and/or neglect become risk factors for the development of drug addiction, problem gambling, and other disorders of behavioral inhibition are unknown. The loss of behavioral inhibition is often triggered by reward-related cues that acquire incentive salience. This study examined whether inadequate early-life social experience in rats affects the incentive salience of reward-related cues. Rats were deprived of early-life social experience with the mother and litter through artificial-rearing (AR). A group of AR rats (AR+STM) received additional tactile stimulation that mimicked maternal licking, a critical component of rat maternal care. Control rats were maternally reared (MR). The incentive salience attributed to a food cue was measured in adult rats using a conditioned approach task, where a conditional stimulus (CS; lever) was paired with food delivery, and in a conditional reinforcement task. The dependent measures were approach towards the CS (sign-tracking) versus approach towards the place of food delivery (goal-tracking) and instrumental responding for the CS. AR rats made significantly more sign-tracking responses than MR rats. AR rats also made more instrumental responses when reinforced with the CS. AR+STM rats' responses were intermediate to MR and AR rats. Thus, inadequate early-life social experience enhanced the incentive salience of a reward-related cue in adulthood. Replacement of maternal licking partially reversed this effect. These results highlight a potential link between early-life social adversity and susceptibility to disorders of behavioral inhibition. PMID:21277909

  2. Measuring Motivation and Reward-Related Decision Making in the Rodent Operant Touchscreen System.

    PubMed

    Heath, Christopher J; Phillips, Benjamin U; Bussey, Timothy J; Saksida, Lisa M

    2016-01-04

    This unit is designed to facilitate implementation of the fixed and progressive ratio paradigms and the effort-related choice task in the rodent touchscreen apparatus to permit direct measurement of motivation and reward-related decision making in this equipment. These protocols have been optimized for use in the mouse and reliably yield stable performance levels that can be enhanced or suppressed by systemic pharmacological manipulation. Instructions are also provided for the adjustment of task parameters to permit use in mouse models of neurodegenerative disease. These tasks expand the utility of the rodent touchscreen apparatus beyond the currently available battery of cognitive assessment paradigms.

  3. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  4. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Koivuniemi, Andrew; Otto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Functional Brain Networks in Schizophrenia: A Review

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. Perinatal choline influences brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Zeisel, Steven H; Niculescu, Mihai D

    2006-04-01

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

  10. The Big Five default brain: functional evidence.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  11. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on brain functions.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

  12. Clinton Woolsey: Functional Brain Mapping Pioneer

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

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

  14. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  16. Reward-related attentional bias and adolescent substance use: a prognostic relationship?

    PubMed

    van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Oldehinkel, Albertine J

    2015-01-01

    Current cognitive-motivational addiction theories propose that prioritizing appetitive, reward-related information (attentional bias) plays a vital role in substance abuse behavior. Previous cross-sectional research has shown that adolescent substance use is related to reward-related attentional biases. The present study was designed to extend these findings by testing whether these reward biases have predictive value for adolescent substance use at three-year follow-up. Participants (N = 657, mean age = 16.2 yrs at baseline) were a sub-sample of Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a large longitudinal community cohort study. We used a spatial orienting task as a behavioral index of appetitive-related attentional processes at baseline and a substance use questionnaire at both baseline and three years follow-up. Bivariate correlational analyses showed that enhanced attentional engagement with cues that predicted potential reward and nonpunishment was positively associated with substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis) three years later. However, reward bias was not predictive of changes in substance use. A post-hoc analysis in a selection of adolescents who started using illicit drugs (other than cannabis) in the follow-up period demonstrated that stronger baseline attentional engagement toward cues of nonpunishment was related to a higher level of illicit drug use three years later. The finding that reward bias was not predictive for the increase in substance use in adolescents who already started using substances at baseline, but did show prognostic value in adolescents who initiated drug use in between baseline and follow-up suggests that appetitive bias might be especially important in the initiation stages of adolescent substance use. PMID:25816295

  17. Reward-related attentional bias and adolescent substance use: a prognostic relationship?

    PubMed

    van Hemel-Ruiter, Madelon E; de Jong, Peter J; Ostafin, Brian D; Oldehinkel, Albertine J

    2015-01-01

    Current cognitive-motivational addiction theories propose that prioritizing appetitive, reward-related information (attentional bias) plays a vital role in substance abuse behavior. Previous cross-sectional research has shown that adolescent substance use is related to reward-related attentional biases. The present study was designed to extend these findings by testing whether these reward biases have predictive value for adolescent substance use at three-year follow-up. Participants (N = 657, mean age = 16.2 yrs at baseline) were a sub-sample of Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a large longitudinal community cohort study. We used a spatial orienting task as a behavioral index of appetitive-related attentional processes at baseline and a substance use questionnaire at both baseline and three years follow-up. Bivariate correlational analyses showed that enhanced attentional engagement with cues that predicted potential reward and nonpunishment was positively associated with substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis) three years later. However, reward bias was not predictive of changes in substance use. A post-hoc analysis in a selection of adolescents who started using illicit drugs (other than cannabis) in the follow-up period demonstrated that stronger baseline attentional engagement toward cues of nonpunishment was related to a higher level of illicit drug use three years later. The finding that reward bias was not predictive for the increase in substance use in adolescents who already started using substances at baseline, but did show prognostic value in adolescents who initiated drug use in between baseline and follow-up suggests that appetitive bias might be especially important in the initiation stages of adolescent substance use.

  18. Functional brain networks involved in reality monitoring.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  19. Phosphatidylserine in the brain: metabolism and function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  1. Reward-related cortical inputs define a large striatal region in primates that interface with associative cortical connections, providing a substrate for incentive-based learning.

    PubMed

    Haber, Suzanne N; Kim, Ki-Sok; Mailly, Philippe; Calzavara, Roberta

    2006-08-01

    The anterior cingulate and orbital cortices and the ventral striatum process different aspects of reward evaluation, whereas the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the dorsal striatum are involved in cognitive function. Collectively, these areas are critical to decision making. We mapped the striatal area that receives information about reward evaluation. We also explored the extent to which terminals from reward-related cortical areas converge in the striatum with those from cognitive regions. Using three-dimensional-rendered reconstructions of corticostriatal projection fields along with two-dimensional chartings, we demonstrate the reward and cognitive territories in the primate striatum and show the convergence between these cortical inputs. The results show two labeling patterns: a focal projection field that consists of densely distributed terminal patches, and a diffuse projection consisting of clusters of fibers, extending throughout a wide area of the striatum. Together, these projection fields demonstrate a remarkably large, rostral, reward-related striatal territory that reaches into the dorsal striatum. Fibers from different reward-processing and cognitive cortical areas occupy both separate and converging territories. Furthermore, the diffuse projection may serve a separate integrative function by broadly disseminating general cortical activity. These findings show that the rostral striatum is in a unique position to mediate different aspects of incentive learning. Furthermore, areas of convergence may be particularly sensitive to dopamine modulation during decision making and habit formation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

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

  3. Brain microvascular function during cardiopulmonary bypass

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernstrom, J. D.

    1981-01-01

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

  7. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernstrom, John D.

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

  8. Perceived Chronic Stress Exposure Modulates Reward-Related Medial Prefrontal Cortex Responses to Acute Stress in Depression

    PubMed Central

    Kumar, Poornima; Slavich, George M.; Berghorst, Lisa H.; Treadway, Michael T.; Brooks, Nancy H.; Dutra, Sunny J.; Greve, Douglas N.; O'Donovan, Aoife; Bleil, Maria E.; Maninger, Nicole; Pizzagalli, Diego A.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Major depressive disorder (MDD) is often precipitated by life stress and growing evidence suggests that stress-induced alterations in reward processing may contribute to such risk. However, no human imaging studies have examined how recent life stress exposure modulates the neural systems that underlie reward processing in depressed and healthy individuals. Methods In this proof-of-concept study, 12 MDD and 10 psychiatrically healthy individuals were interviewed using the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS) to assess their perceived levels of recent acute and chronic life stress exposure. Additionally, each participant performed a monetary incentive delay task under baseline (no-stress) and stress (social-evaluative) conditions during functional MRI. Results Across groups, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) activation to reward feedback was greater during acute stress versus no-stress conditions in individuals with greater perceived stressor severity. Under acute stress, depressed individuals showed a positive correlation between perceived stressor severity levels and reward-related mPFC activation (r = 0.79, p = 0.004), whereas no effect was found in healthy controls. Moreover, for depressed (but not healthy) individuals, the correlations between the stress (r = 0.79) and no-stress (r = −0.48) conditions were significantly different. Finally, relative to controls, depressed participants showed significantly reduced mPFC grey matter, but functional findings remained when accounting for structural differences. Limitation Small sample size, which warrants replication. Conclusion Depressed individuals experiencing greater recent life stress recruited the mPFC more under stress when processing rewards. Our results represent an initial step toward elucidating mechanisms underlying stress sensitization and recurrence in depression. PMID:25898329

  9. Mapping distributed brain function and networks with diffuse optical tomography

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Eggebrecht, Adam T.; Ferradal, Silvina L.; Robichaux-Viehoever, Amy; Hassanpour, Mahlega S.; Dehghani, Hamid; Snyder, Abraham Z.; Hershey, Tamara; Culver, Joseph P.

    2014-06-01

    Mapping of human brain function has revolutionized systems neuroscience. However, traditional functional neuroimaging by positron emission tomography or functional magnetic resonance imaging cannot be used when applications require portability, or are contraindicated because of ionizing radiation (positron emission tomography) or implanted metal (functional magnetic resonance imaging). Optical neuroimaging offers a non-invasive alternative that is radiation free and compatible with implanted metal and electronic devices (for example, pacemakers). However, optical imaging technology has heretofore lacked the combination of spatial resolution and wide field of view sufficient to map distributed brain functions. Here, we present a high-density diffuse optical tomography imaging array that can map higher-order, distributed brain function. The system was tested by imaging four hierarchical language tasks and multiple resting-state networks including the dorsal attention and default mode networks. Finally, we imaged brain function in patients with Parkinson's disease and implanted deep brain stimulators that preclude functional magnetic resonance imaging.

  10. Reward-related neural dysfunction across depression and impulsivity: A dimensional approach.

    PubMed

    Ait Oumeziane, Belel; Foti, Dan

    2016-08-01

    Recent theoretical models underline reward sensitivity as a potential endophenotype for major depressive disorder. Neural and behavioral evidence reveals depression is associated with reduced reward sensitivity. However, reward dysfunction is not unique to depression, as it is also common across disorders of poor impulse control. We examined the interrelationships of depression (Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale [DASS-21]) and impulsivity (UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale) with reward sensitivity among a large, representative sample (N = 260). ERPs were recorded to isolate two neural indicators of consummatory reward processing: initial evaluation of rewards in the 250-350 ms time window postonset of feedback (reward positivity [RewP]), and salience to monetary outcomes (P3). Significant interactions were observed between depression and impulsivity facets across these two stages of reward processing: depression and positive urgency predicted RewP amplitude to reward outcomes (win vs. loss); depression and one other impulsivity trait, (lack of) premeditation, predicted P3 amplitude to monetary outcomes. Conversely, high symptoms of depression were related to three biobehavioral profiles: (1) blunted RewP in conjunction with high positive urgency, (2) combination of blunted RewP and low (lack of) premeditation, and (3) blunted P3 to monetary wins/losses, in conjunction with low (lack of) premeditation. Findings illustrate that reward-related dysfunctions may be optimally conceptualized when examining the interactions between dimensions of internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. PMID:27193188

  11. Reward-related activity in the medial prefrontal cortex is driven by consumption

    PubMed Central

    Horst, Nicole K.; Laubach, Mark

    2013-01-01

    An emerging literature suggests that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) is crucial for the ability to track behavioral outcomes over time and has a critical role in successful foraging. Here, we examine this issue by analyzing changes in neuronal spike activity and local field potentials in the rat mPFC in relation to the consumption of rewarding stimuli. Using multi-electrode recording methods, we simultaneously recorded from ensembles of neurons and field potentials in the mPFC during the performance of an operant-delayed alternation task and a variable-interval licking procedure. In both tasks, we found that consummatory behavior (licking) activates many mPFC neurons and is associated with theta-band phase locking by mPFC field potentials. Many neurons that were modulated by the delivery of reward were also modulated when rats emitted bouts of licks during the period of consumption. The majority of these licking-modulated neurons were found in the rostral part of the prelimbic cortex, a region that is heavily interconnected with the gustatory insular cortex and projects to subcortical feeding-related centers. Based on the tight coupling between spike activity, theta-band phase locking, and licking behavior, we suggest that reward-related activity in the mPFC is driven by consummatory behavior. PMID:23596384

  12. Mapping brain function in freely moving subjects

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, Daniel P.; Maarek, Jean-Michel I.

    2014-01-01

    Expression of many fundamental mammalian behaviors such as, for example, aggression, mating, foraging or social behaviors, depend on locomotor activity. A central dilemma in the functional neuroimaging of these behaviors has been the fact that conventional neuroimaging techniques generally rely on immobilization of the subject, which extinguishes all but the simplest activity. Ideally, imaging could occur in freely moving subjects, while presenting minimal interference with the subject’s natural behavior. Here we provide an overview of several approaches that have been undertaken in the past to achieve this aim in both tethered and freely moving animals, as well as in nonrestrained human subjects. Applications of specific radiotracers to single photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography are discussed in which brain activation is imaged after completion of the behavioral task and capture of the tracer. Potential applications to clinical neuropsychiatry are discussed, as well as challenges inherent to constraint-free functional neuroimaging. Future applications of these methods promise to increase our understanding of the neural circuits underlying mammalian behavior in health and disease. PMID:15465134

  13. Topographic Brain Mapping: A Window on Brain Function?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

    The article reviews the method of topographic mapping of the brain's electrical activity. Multiple electroencephalogram (EEG) electrodes and computerized analysis of the EEG signal are used to generate maps of frequency and voltage (evoked potential). This relatively new technique holds promise in the evaluation of children with behavioral and…

  14. An animal model of genetic vulnerability to behavioral disinhibition and responsiveness to reward-related cues: implications for addiction.

    PubMed

    Flagel, Shelly B; Robinson, Terry E; Clark, Jeremy J; Clinton, Sarah M; Watson, Stanley J; Seeman, Phillip; Phillips, Paul E M; Akil, Huda

    2010-01-01

    Rats selectively bred based on high or low reactivity to a novel environment were characterized for other behavioral and neurobiological traits thought to be relevant to addiction vulnerability. The two lines of animals, which differ in their propensity to self-administer drugs, also differ in the value they attribute to cues associated with reward, in impulsive behavior, and in their dopamine system. When a cue was paired with food or cocaine reward bred high-responder rats (bHRs) learned to approach the cue, whereas bred low-responder rats (bLRs) learned to approach the location of food delivery, suggesting that bHRs but not bLRs attributed incentive value to the cue. Moreover, although less impulsive on a measure of 'impulsive choice', bHRs were more impulsive on a measure of 'impulsive action'- ie, they had difficulty withholding an action to receive a reward, indicative of 'behavioral disinhibition'. The dopamine agonist quinpirole caused greater psychomotor activation in bHRs relative to bLRs, suggesting dopamine supersensitivity. Indeed, relative to bLRs, bHRs also had a greater proportion of dopamine D2(high) receptors, the functionally active form of the receptor, in the striatum, in spite of lower D2 mRNA levels and comparable total D2 binding. In addition, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry revealed that bHRs had more spontaneous dopamine 'release events' in the core of the nucleus accumbens than bLRs. Thus, bHRs exhibit parallels to 'externalizing disorders' in humans, representing a genetic animal model of addiction vulnerability associated with a propensity to attribute incentive salience to reward-related cues, behavioral disinhibition, and increased dopaminergic 'tone.'

  15. Graph analysis of functional brain networks for cognitive control of action in traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Heitger, Marcus H; Leunissen, Inge; Dhollander, Thijs; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Swinnen, Stephan P

    2012-04-01

    Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly dispersed frontal and parietal activity during performance of cognitive control tasks. We constructed binary and weighted functional networks and calculated their topological properties using a graph theoretical approach. Twenty-three adults with traumatic brain injury and 26 age-matched controls were instructed to switch between coordination modes while making spatially and temporally coupled circular motions with joysticks during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. Results demonstrated that switching performance was significantly lower in patients with traumatic brain injury compared with control subjects. Furthermore, although brain networks of both groups exhibited economical small-world topology, altered functional connectivity was demonstrated in patients with traumatic brain injury. In particular, compared with controls, patients with traumatic brain injury showed increased connectivity degree and strength, and higher values of local efficiency, suggesting adaptive mechanisms in this group. Finally, the degree of increased connectivity was significantly correlated with poorer switching task performance and more severe brain injury. We conclude that analysing the functional brain network connectivity provides new insights into understanding cognitive control changes following brain injury.

  16. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions.

  17. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain.

    PubMed

    Bertolero, Maxwell A; Yeo, B T Thomas; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-12-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules' processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author-topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network's modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules' functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain's modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  18. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

    A proposed special-purpose infrared imaging system would be a compact, portable, less-expensive alternative to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) systems heretofore used to study brain function. Whereas a typical fMRI system fills a large room, and must be magnetically isolated, this system would fit into a bicycle helmet. The system would include an assembly that would be mounted inside the padding in a modified bicycle helmet or other suitable headgear. The assembly would include newly designed infrared photodetectors and data-acquisition circuits on integrated-circuit chips on low-thermal-conductivity supports in evacuated housings (see figure) arranged in multiple rows and columns that would define image coordinates. Each housing would be spring-loaded against the wearer s head. The chips would be cooled by a small Stirling Engine mounted contiguous to, but thermally isolated from, the portions of the assembly in thermal contact with the wearer s head. Flexible wires or cables for transmitting data from the aforementioned chips would be routed to an integrated, multichannel transmitter and thence through the top of the assembly to a patch antenna on the outside of the helmet. The multiple streams of data from the infrared-detector chips would be sent to a remote site, where they would be processed, by software, into a three-dimensional display of evoked potentials that would represent firing neuronal bundles and thereby indicate locations of neuronal activity associated with mental or physical activity. The 3D images will be analogous to current fMRI images. The data would also be made available, in real-time, for comparison with data in local or internationally accessible relational databases that already exist in universities and research centers. Hence, this system could be used in research on, and for the diagnosis of response from the wearer s brain to physiological, psychological, and environmental changes in real time. The images would also be

  19. Brain serotonin and pituitary-adrenal functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vernikos-Danellis, J.; Berger, P.; Barchas, J. D.

    1973-01-01

    It had been concluded by Scapagnini et al. (1971) that brain serotonin (5-HT) was involved in the regulation of the diurnal rhythm of the pituitary-adrenal system but not in the stress response. A study was conducted to investigate these findings further by evaluating the effects of altering brain 5-HT levels on the daily fluctuation of plasma corticosterone and on the response of the pituitary-adrenal system to a stressful or noxious stimulus in the rat. In a number of experiments brain 5-HT synthesis was inhibited with parachlorophenylalanine. In other tests it was tried to raise the level of brain 5-HT with precursors.

  20. Estimating functional brain networks by incorporating a modularity prior.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Lishan; Zhang, Han; Kim, Minjeong; Teng, Shenghua; Zhang, Limei; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-11-01

    Functional brain network analysis has become one principled way of revealing informative organization architectures in healthy brains, and providing sensitive biomarkers for diagnosis of neurological disorders. Prior to any post hoc analysis, however, a natural issue is how to construct "ideal" brain networks given, for example, a set of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) time series associated with different brain regions. Although many methods have been developed, it is currently still an open field to estimate biologically meaningful and statistically robust brain networks due to our limited understanding of the human brain as well as complex noises in the observed data. Motivated by the fact that the brain is organized with modular structures, in this paper, we propose a novel functional brain network modeling scheme by encoding a modularity prior under a matrix-regularized network learning framework, and further formulate it as a sparse low-rank graph learning problem, which can be solved by an efficient optimization algorithm. Then, we apply the learned brain networks to identify patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normal controls. We achieved 89.01% classification accuracy even with a simple feature selection and classification pipeline, which significantly outperforms the conventional brain network construction methods. Moreover, we further explore brain network features that contributed to MCI identification, and discovered potential biomarkers for personalized diagnosis.

  1. Estimating functional brain networks by incorporating a modularity prior.

    PubMed

    Qiao, Lishan; Zhang, Han; Kim, Minjeong; Teng, Shenghua; Zhang, Limei; Shen, Dinggang

    2016-11-01

    Functional brain network analysis has become one principled way of revealing informative organization architectures in healthy brains, and providing sensitive biomarkers for diagnosis of neurological disorders. Prior to any post hoc analysis, however, a natural issue is how to construct "ideal" brain networks given, for example, a set of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) time series associated with different brain regions. Although many methods have been developed, it is currently still an open field to estimate biologically meaningful and statistically robust brain networks due to our limited understanding of the human brain as well as complex noises in the observed data. Motivated by the fact that the brain is organized with modular structures, in this paper, we propose a novel functional brain network modeling scheme by encoding a modularity prior under a matrix-regularized network learning framework, and further formulate it as a sparse low-rank graph learning problem, which can be solved by an efficient optimization algorithm. Then, we apply the learned brain networks to identify patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) from normal controls. We achieved 89.01% classification accuracy even with a simple feature selection and classification pipeline, which significantly outperforms the conventional brain network construction methods. Moreover, we further explore brain network features that contributed to MCI identification, and discovered potential biomarkers for personalized diagnosis. PMID:27485752

  2. Brief Report: Brain Mechanisms in Autism: Functional and Structural Abnormalities.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.

    1996-01-01

    This paper summarizes results of research on functional and structural abnormalities of the brain in autism. The current concept of causation is seen to involve multiple biologic levels. A consistent profile of brain function and dysfunction across methods has been found and specific neuropathologic findings have been found; but some research…

  3. Recovery of cognitive functions following nonprogressive brain injury.

    PubMed

    Wilson, B A

    1998-04-01

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

  4. Sex hormones and brain dopamine functions.

    PubMed

    Sotomayor-Zarate, Ramon; Cruz, Gonzalo; Renard, Georgina M; Espinosa, Pedro; Ramirez, Victor D

    2014-01-01

    Sex hormones exert differential effects on a variety of sensitive tissues like the reproductive tract, gonads, liver, bone and adipose tissue, among others. In the brain, sex hormones act as neuroactive steroids regulating the function of neuroendocrine diencephalic structures like the hypothalamus. In addition, steroids can exert physiological effects upon cortical, limbic and midbrain structures, influencing different behaviors such as memory, learning, mood and reward. In the last three decades, the role of sex hormones on monoamine neurotransmitters in extra-hypothalamic areas related to motivated behaviors, learning and locomotion has been the focus of much research. The purpose of this thematic issue is to present the state of art concerning the effects of sex hormones on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic midbrain areas involved in neurobiological and pathological processes, such as addiction to drugs of abuse. We also discuss evidence of how neonatal exposure to sex hormones or endocrine disrupting chemicals can produce long-term changes on the neurochemical regulation of dopaminergic neurons in the limbic and midbrain areas. PMID:25540983

  5. Wearable sensor network to study laterality of brain functions.

    PubMed

    Postolache, Gabriela B; Girao, Pedro S; Postolache, Octavian A

    2015-08-01

    In the last decade researches on laterality of brain functions have been reinvigorated. New models of lateralization of brain functions were proposed and new methods for understanding mechanisms of asymmetry between right and left brain functions were described. We design a system to study laterality of motor and autonomic nervous system based on wearable sensors network. A mobile application was developed for analysis of upper and lower limbs movements, cardiac and respiratory function. The functionalities and experience gained with deployment of the system are described.

  6. Addiction and reward-related genes show altered expression in the postpartum nucleus accumbens

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Changjiu; Eisinger, Brian Earl; Driessen, Terri M.; Gammie, Stephen C.

    2014-01-01

    Motherhood involves a switch in natural rewards, whereby offspring become highly rewarding. Nucleus accumbens (NAC) is a key CNS region for natural rewards and addictions, but to date no study has evaluated on a large scale the events in NAC that underlie the maternal change in natural rewards. In this study we utilized microarray and bioinformatics approaches to evaluate postpartum NAC gene expression changes in mice. Modular Single-set Enrichment Test (MSET) indicated that postpartum (relative to virgin) NAC gene expression profile was significantly enriched for genes related to addiction and reward in five of five independently curated databases (e.g., Malacards, Phenopedia). Over 100 addiction/reward related genes were identified and these included: Per1, Per2, Arc, Homer2, Creb1, Grm3, Fosb, Gabrb3, Adra2a, Ntrk2, Cry1, Penk, Cartpt, Adcy1, Npy1r, Htr1a, Drd1a, Gria1, and Pdyn. ToppCluster analysis found maternal NAC expression profile to be significantly enriched for genes related to the drug action of nicotine, ketamine, and dronabinol. Pathway analysis indicated postpartum NAC as enriched for RNA processing, CNS development/differentiation, and transcriptional regulation. Weighted Gene Coexpression Network Analysis (WGCNA) identified possible networks for transcription factors, including Nr1d1, Per2, Fosb, Egr1, and Nr4a1. The postpartum state involves increased risk for mental health disorders and MSET analysis indicated postpartum NAC to be enriched for genes related to depression, bipolar disorder (BPD), and schizophrenia. Mental health related genes included: Fabp7, Grm3, Penk, and Nr1d1. We confirmed via quantitative PCR Nr1d1, Per2, Grm3, Penk, Drd1a, and Pdyn. This study indicates for the first time that postpartum NAC involves large scale gene expression alterations linked to addiction and reward. Because the postpartum state also involves decreased response to drugs, the findings could provide insights into how to mitigate addictions. PMID:25414651

  7. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

    ... and Updates News from the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men ... Using functional MRI, researchers have found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in ...

  8. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

    Thaut, M H; Kenyon, G P; Schauer, M L; McIntosh, G C

    1999-01-01

    endeavor with important ramifications for the study of brain function, sensory perception, and motor behavior. One of the most exciting findings in this research, however, may be the evidence that the interaction between auditory rhythm and physical response can be effectively harnessed for specific therapeutic purposes in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders. PMID:10101675

  9. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

    Thaut, M H; Kenyon, G P; Schauer, M L; McIntosh, G C

    1999-01-01

    endeavor with important ramifications for the study of brain function, sensory perception, and motor behavior. One of the most exciting findings in this research, however, may be the evidence that the interaction between auditory rhythm and physical response can be effectively harnessed for specific therapeutic purposes in the rehabilitation of persons with movement disorders.

  10. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Xiao, Hui; Yang, Yang; Xi, Ji-hui; Chen, Zi-qian

    2015-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury survivors often experience cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric symptoms. However, the neurobiological mechanisms underlying specific impairments are not fully understood. Advances in neuroimaging techniques (such as diffusion tensor imaging and functional MRI) have given us new insights on structural and functional connectivity patterns of the human brain in both health and disease. The connectome derived from connectivity maps reflects the entire constellation of distributed brain networks. Using these powerful neuroimaging approaches, changes at the microstructural level can be detected through regional and global properties of neuronal networks. Here we will review recent developments in the study of brain network abnormalities in traumatic brain injury, mainly focusing on structural and functional connectivity. Some connectomic studies have provided interesting insights into the neurological dysfunction that occurs following traumatic brain injury. These techniques could eventually be helpful in developing imaging biomarkers of cognitive and neurobehavioral sequelae, as well as predicting outcome and prognosis. PMID:26889200

  11. Graph Analysis of Functional Brain Networks for Cognitive Control of Action in Traumatic Brain Injury

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Caeyenberghs, Karen; Leemans, Alexander; Heitger, Marcus H.; Leunissen, Inge; Dhollander, Thijs; Sunaert, Stefan; Dupont, Patrick; Swinnen, Stephan P.

    2012-01-01

    Patients with traumatic brain injury show clear impairments in behavioural flexibility and inhibition that often persist beyond the time of injury, affecting independent living and psychosocial functioning. Functional magnetic resonance imaging studies have shown that patients with traumatic brain injury typically show increased and more broadly…

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

    PubMed

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

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

  13. The modular and integrative functional architecture of the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bertolero, Maxwell A.; Yeo, B. T. Thomas; D’Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Network-based analyses of brain imaging data consistently reveal distinct modules and connector nodes with diverse global connectivity across the modules. How discrete the functions of modules are, how dependent the computational load of each module is to the other modules’ processing, and what the precise role of connector nodes is for between-module communication remains underspecified. Here, we use a network model of the brain derived from resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) data and investigate the modular functional architecture of the human brain by analyzing activity at different types of nodes in the network across 9,208 experiments of 77 cognitive tasks in the BrainMap database. Using an author–topic model of cognitive functions, we find a strong spatial correspondence between the cognitive functions and the network’s modules, suggesting that each module performs a discrete cognitive function. Crucially, activity at local nodes within the modules does not increase in tasks that require more cognitive functions, demonstrating the autonomy of modules’ functions. However, connector nodes do exhibit increased activity when more cognitive functions are engaged in a task. Moreover, connector nodes are located where brain activity is associated with many different cognitive functions. Connector nodes potentially play a role in between-module communication that maintains the modular function of the brain. Together, these findings provide a network account of the brain’s modular yet integrated implementation of cognitive functions. PMID:26598686

  14. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Henriksson, Linda; Malinen, Sanna; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-10-01

    People are embedded in social interaction that shapes their brains throughout lifetime. Instead of emerging from lower-level cognitive functions, social interaction could be the default mode via which humans communicate with their environment. Should this hypothesis be true, it would have profound implications on how we think about brain functions and how we dissect and simulate them. We suggest that the research on the brain basis of social cognition and interaction should move from passive spectator science to studies including engaged participants and simultaneous recordings from the brains of the interacting persons.

  15. The Dynamic Dielectric at a Brain Functional Site and an EM Wave Approach to Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    Li, X. P.; Xia, Q.; Qu, D.; Wu, T. C.; Yang, D. G.; Hao, W. D.; Jiang, X.; Li, X. M.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain imaging has tremendous applications. The existing methods for functional brain imaging include functional Magnetic Resonant Imaging (fMRI), scalp electroencephalography (EEG), implanted EEG, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which have been widely and successfully applied to various brain imaging studies. To develop a new method for functional brain imaging, here we show that the dielectric at a brain functional site has a dynamic nature, varying with local neuronal activation as the permittivity of the dielectric varies with the ion concentration of the extracellular fluid surrounding neurons in activation. Therefore, the neuronal activation can be sensed by a radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) wave propagating through the site as the phase change of the EM wave varies with the permittivity. Such a dynamic nature of the dielectric at a brain functional site provides the basis for an RF EM wave approach to detecting and imaging neuronal activation at brain functional sites, leading to an RF EM wave approach to functional brain imaging. PMID:25367217

  16. The dynamic dielectric at a brain functional site and an EM wave approach to functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Li, X P; Xia, Q; Qu, D; Wu, T C; Yang, D G; Hao, W D; Jiang, X; Li, X M

    2014-11-04

    Functional brain imaging has tremendous applications. The existing methods for functional brain imaging include functional Magnetic Resonant Imaging (fMRI), scalp electroencephalography (EEG), implanted EEG, magnetoencephalography (MEG) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET), which have been widely and successfully applied to various brain imaging studies. To develop a new method for functional brain imaging, here we show that the dielectric at a brain functional site has a dynamic nature, varying with local neuronal activation as the permittivity of the dielectric varies with the ion concentration of the extracellular fluid surrounding neurons in activation. Therefore, the neuronal activation can be sensed by a radiofrequency (RF) electromagnetic (EM) wave propagating through the site as the phase change of the EM wave varies with the permittivity. Such a dynamic nature of the dielectric at a brain functional site provides the basis for an RF EM wave approach to detecting and imaging neuronal activation at brain functional sites, leading to an RF EM wave approach to functional brain imaging.

  17. Gut Microbiota and Brain Function: An Evolving Field in Neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Foster, Jane A; Lyte, Mark; Meyer, Emeran; Cryan, John F

    2016-05-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microbiota to health and disease. This has been driven by advances in sequencing technology and recent findings demonstrating the important role of microbiota in common health disorders such as obesity. Moreover, the potential role of gut microbiota in influencing brain function, behavior, and mental health has attracted the attention of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. At the 29(th) International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014, a group of experts presented the symposium, "Gut microbiota and brain function: Relevance to psychiatric disorders" to review the latest findings in how gut microbiota may play a role in brain function, behavior, and disease. The symposium covered a broad range of topics, including gut microbiota and neuroendocrine function, the influence of gut microbiota on behavior, probiotics as regulators of brain and behavior, and imaging the gut-brain axis in humans. This report provides an overview of these presentations. PMID:26438800

  18. PER1 rs3027172 Genotype Interacts with Early Life Stress to Predict Problematic Alcohol Use, but Not Reward-Related Ventral Striatum Activity

    PubMed Central

    Baranger, David A. A.; Ifrah, Chloé; Prather, Aric A.; Carey, Caitlin E.; Corral-Frías, Nadia S.; Drabant Conley, Emily; Hariri, Ahmad R.; Bogdan, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the circadian and stress regulatory systems contribute to alcohol use disorder (AUD) risk, which may partially arise through effects on reward-related neural function. The C allele of the PER1 rs3027172 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) reduces PER1 expression in cells incubated with cortisol and has been associated with increased risk for adult AUD and problematic drinking among adolescents exposed to high levels of familial psychosocial adversity. Using data from undergraduate students who completed the ongoing Duke Neurogenetics Study (DNS) (n = 665), we tested whether exposure to early life stress (ELS; Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) moderates the association between rs3027172 genotype and later problematic alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) as well as ventral striatum (VS) reactivity to reward (card-guessing task while functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired). Initial analyses found that PER1 rs3027172 genotype interacted with ELS to predict both problematic drinking and VS reactivity; minor C allele carriers, who were also exposed to elevated ELS reported greater problematic drinking and exhibited greater ventral striatum reactivity to reward-related stimuli. When gene × covariate and environment × covariate interactions were controlled for, the interaction predicting problematic alcohol use remained significant (p < 0.05, corrected) while the interaction predicting VS reactivity was no longer significant. These results extend our understanding of relationships between PER1 genotype, ELS, and problematic alcohol use, and serve as a cautionary tale on the importance of controlling for potential confounders in studies of moderation including gene × environment interactions. PMID:27065929

  19. PER1 rs3027172 Genotype Interacts with Early Life Stress to Predict Problematic Alcohol Use, but Not Reward-Related Ventral Striatum Activity.

    PubMed

    Baranger, David A A; Ifrah, Chloé; Prather, Aric A; Carey, Caitlin E; Corral-Frías, Nadia S; Drabant Conley, Emily; Hariri, Ahmad R; Bogdan, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Increasing evidence suggests that the circadian and stress regulatory systems contribute to alcohol use disorder (AUD) risk, which may partially arise through effects on reward-related neural function. The C allele of the PER1 rs3027172 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) reduces PER1 expression in cells incubated with cortisol and has been associated with increased risk for adult AUD and problematic drinking among adolescents exposed to high levels of familial psychosocial adversity. Using data from undergraduate students who completed the ongoing Duke Neurogenetics Study (DNS) (n = 665), we tested whether exposure to early life stress (ELS; Childhood Trauma Questionnaire) moderates the association between rs3027172 genotype and later problematic alcohol use (Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test) as well as ventral striatum (VS) reactivity to reward (card-guessing task while functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired). Initial analyses found that PER1 rs3027172 genotype interacted with ELS to predict both problematic drinking and VS reactivity; minor C allele carriers, who were also exposed to elevated ELS reported greater problematic drinking and exhibited greater ventral striatum reactivity to reward-related stimuli. When gene × covariate and environment × covariate interactions were controlled for, the interaction predicting problematic alcohol use remained significant (p < 0.05, corrected) while the interaction predicting VS reactivity was no longer significant. These results extend our understanding of relationships between PER1 genotype, ELS, and problematic alcohol use, and serve as a cautionary tale on the importance of controlling for potential confounders in studies of moderation including gene × environment interactions. PMID:27065929

  20. Beyond localized and distributed accounts of brain functions. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

    Recent evidence in cognitive neuroscience lends support to the idea that network models of brain architecture provide a privileged access to the understanding of the relation between brain organization and cognitive processes [1]. The core perspective holds that cognitive processes depend on the interactions among distributed neuronal populations and brain structures, and that the impact of a given region on behavior largely depends on its pattern of anatomical and functional connectivity [2,3].

  1. The effects of vitamin D on brain development and adult brain function.

    PubMed

    Kesby, James P; Eyles, Darryl W; Burne, Thomas H J; McGrath, John J

    2011-12-01

    A role for vitamin D in brain development and function has been gaining support over the last decade. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that this vitamin is actually a neuroactive steroid that acts on brain development, leading to alterations in brain neurochemistry and adult brain function. Early deficiencies have been linked with neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, and adult deficiencies have been associated with a host of adverse brain outcomes, including Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, depression and cognitive decline. This review summarises the current state of research on the actions of vitamin D in the brain and the consequences of deficiencies in this vitamin. Furthermore, we discuss specific implications of vitamin D status on the neurotransmitter, dopamine. PMID:21664231

  2. Connectivity and functional profiling of abnormal brain structures in pedophilia

    PubMed Central

    Poeppl, Timm B.; Eickhoff, Simon B.; Fox, Peter T.; Laird, Angela R.; Rupprecht, Rainer; Langguth, Berthold; Bzdok, Danilo

    2015-01-01

    Despite its 0.5–1% lifetime prevalence in men and its general societal relevance, neuroimaging investigations in pedophilia are scarce. Preliminary findings indicate abnormal brain structure and function. However, no study has yet linked structural alterations in pedophiles to both connectional and functional properties of the aberrant hotspots. The relationship between morphological alterations and brain function in pedophilia as well as their contribution to its psychopathology thus remain unclear. First, we assessed bimodal connectivity of structurally altered candidate regions using meta-analytic connectivity modeling (MACM) and resting-state correlations employing openly accessible data. We compared the ensuing connectivity maps to the activation likelihood estimation (ALE) maps of a recent quantitative meta-analysis of brain activity during processing of sexual stimuli. Second, we functionally characterized the structurally altered regions employing meta-data of a large-scale neuroimaging database. Candidate regions were functionally connected to key areas for processing of sexual stimuli. Moreover, we found that the functional role of structurally altered brain regions in pedophilia relates to nonsexual emotional as well as neurocognitive and executive functions, previously reported to be impaired in pedophiles. Our results suggest that structural brain alterations affect neural networks for sexual processing by way of disrupted functional connectivity, which may entail abnormal sexual arousal patterns. The findings moreover indicate that structural alterations account for common affective and neurocognitive impairments in pedophilia. The present multi-modal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia. PMID:25733379

  3. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhuo, Zhao; Cai, Shi-Min; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Zhang, Jie

    2011-09-01

    The functional network of the brain is known to demonstrate modular structure over different hierarchical scales. In this paper, we systematically investigated the hierarchical modular organizations of the brain functional networks that are derived from the extent of phase synchronization among high-resolution EEG time series during a visual task. In particular, we compare the modular structure of the functional network from EEG channels with that of the anatomical parcellation of the brain cortex. Our results show that the modular architectures of brain functional networks correspond well to those from the anatomical structures over different levels of hierarchy. Most importantly, we find that the consistency between the modular structures of the functional network and the anatomical network becomes more pronounced in terms of vision, sensory, vision-temporal, motor cortices during the visual task, which implies that the strong modularity in these areas forms the functional basis for the visual task. The structure-function relationship further reveals that the phase synchronization of EEG time series in the same anatomical group is much stronger than that of EEG time series from different anatomical groups during the task and that the hierarchical organization of functional brain network may be a consequence of functional segmentation of the brain cortex.

  4. Can we observe epigenetic effects on human brain function?

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-07-01

    Imaging genetics has identified many contributions of DNA sequence variation to individual differences in brain function, behavior, and risk for psychopathology. Recent studies have extended this work beyond the genome by mapping epigenetic differences, specifically gene methylation in peripherally assessed DNA, onto variability in behaviorally and clinically relevant brain function. These data have generated understandable enthusiasm for the potential of such research to illuminate biological mechanisms of risk. We use our research on the effects of genetic and epigenetic variation in the human serotonin transporter on brain function to generate a guardedly optimistic opinion that the available data encourage continued research in this direction, and suggest strategies to promote faster progress.

  5. Emotion-Induced Topological Changes in Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Park, Chang-Hyun; Lee, Hae-Kook; Kweon, Yong-Sil; Lee, Chung Tai; Kim, Ki-Tae; Kim, Young-Joo; Lee, Kyoung-Uk

    2016-01-01

    In facial expression perception, a distributed network is activated according to stimulus context. We proposed that an interaction between brain activation and stimulus context in response to facial expressions could signify a pattern of interactivity across the whole brain network beyond the face processing network. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were acquired for 19 young healthy subjects who were exposed to either emotionally neutral or negative facial expressions. We constructed group-wise functional brain networks for 12 face processing areas [bilateral inferior occipital gyri (IOG), fusiform gyri (FG), superior temporal sulci (STS), amygdalae (AMG), inferior frontal gyri (IFG), and orbitofrontal cortices (OFC)] and for 73 whole brain areas, based on partial correlation of mean activation across subjects. We compared the topological properties of the networks with respect to functional distance-based measures, global and local efficiency, between the two types of face stimulus. In both face processing and whole brain networks, global efficiency was lower and local efficiency was higher for negative faces relative to neutral faces, indicating that network topology differed according to stimulus context. Particularly in the face processing network, emotion-induced changes in network topology were attributable to interactions between core (bilateral IOG, FG, and STS) and extended (bilateral AMG, IFG, and OFC) systems. These results suggest that changes in brain activation patterns in response to emotional face stimuli could be revealed as changes in the topological properties of functional brain networks for the whole brain as well as for face processing areas.

  6. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2016-07-12

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  7. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life.  How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood.  In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  8. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

    The brain is a complex network of neurons, engaging in spontaneous and evoked activity that is thought to be the main substrate of mental life. How this complex system works together to process information and generate coherent cognitive states, even consciousness, is not yet well understood. In my talk I will review recent studies that have revealed characteristic structural and functional attributes of brain networks, and discuss efforts to build computational models of the brain that are informed by our growing knowledge of brain anatomy and physiology.

  9. Mapping Functional Brain Development: Building a Social Brain through Interactive Specialization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Johnson, Mark H.; Grossmann, Tobias; Kadosh, Kathrin Cohen

    2009-01-01

    The authors review a viewpoint on human functional brain development, interactive specialization (IS), and its application to the emerging network of cortical regions referred to as the "social brain." They advance the IS view in 2 new ways. First, they extend IS into a domain to which it has not previously been applied--the emergence of social…

  10. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

    Recent work has shown that it is possible to take brain images acquired during viewing of a scene and reconstruct an approximation of the scene from those images. Here we show that it is also possible to generate text about the mental content reflected in brain images. We began with images collected as participants read names of concrete items (e.g., “Apartment’’) while also seeing line drawings of the item named. We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. In order to validate this mapping, without accessing information about the items viewed for left-out individual brain images, we were able to generate from each one a collection of semantically pertinent words (e.g., “door,” “window” for “Apartment’’). Furthermore, we show that the ability to generate such words allows us to perform a classification task and thus validate our method quantitatively. PMID:21927602

  11. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

    Uses brain research conducted by Dr. Roger Sperry to show that traditional Native Americans are more dominant in right hemisphere thinking, setting them apart from a modern left hemisphere-oriented society (especially emphasized in schools). Describes some characteristics of Native American thinking that illustrate a right hemisphere orientation…

  12. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Chen, H Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D; Cullen, D Kacy; Wolf, John A; Smith, Douglas H

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  13. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Chen, H. Isaac; Jgamadze, Dennis; Serruya, Mijail D.; Cullen, D. Kacy; Wolf, John A.; Smith, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    Restoring neurological and cognitive function in individuals who have suffered brain damage is one of the principal objectives of modern translational neuroscience. Electrical stimulation approaches, such as deep-brain stimulation, have achieved the most clinical success, but they ultimately may be limited by the computational capacity of the residual cerebral circuitry. An alternative strategy is brain substrate expansion, in which the computational capacity of the brain is augmented through the addition of new processing units and the reconstitution of network connectivity. This latter approach has been explored to some degree using both biological and electronic means but thus far has not demonstrated the ability to reestablish the function of large-scale neuronal networks. In this review, we contend that fulfilling the potential of brain substrate expansion will require a significant shift from current methods that emphasize direct manipulations of the brain (e.g., injections of cellular suspensions and the implantation of multi-electrode arrays) to the generation of more sophisticated neural tissues and neural-electric hybrids in vitro that are subsequently transplanted into the brain. Drawing from neural tissue engineering, stem cell biology, and neural interface technologies, this strategy makes greater use of the manifold techniques available in the laboratory to create biocompatible constructs that recapitulate brain architecture and thus are more easily recognized and utilized by brain networks. PMID:26834579

  14. Hyper-connectivity of functional networks for brain disease diagnosis.

    PubMed

    Jie, Biao; Wee, Chong-Yaw; Shen, Dinggang; Zhang, Daoqiang

    2016-08-01

    Exploring structural and functional interactions among various brain regions enables better understanding of pathological underpinnings of neurological disorders. Brain connectivity network, as a simplified representation of those structural and functional interactions, has been widely used for diagnosis and classification of neurodegenerative diseases, especially for Alzheimer's disease (AD) and its early stage - mild cognitive impairment (MCI). However, the conventional functional connectivity network is usually constructed based on the pairwise correlation among different brain regions and thus ignores their higher-order relationships. Such loss of high-order information could be important for disease diagnosis, since neurologically a brain region predominantly interacts with more than one other brain regions. Accordingly, in this paper, we propose a novel framework for estimating the hyper-connectivity network of brain functions and then use this hyper-network for brain disease diagnosis. Here, the functional connectivity hyper-network denotes a network where each of its edges representing the interactions among multiple brain regions (i.e., an edge can connect with more than two brain regions), which can be naturally represented by a hyper-graph. Specifically, we first construct connectivity hyper-networks from the resting-state fMRI (R-fMRI) time series by using sparse representation. Then, we extract three sets of brain-region specific features from the connectivity hyper-networks, and further exploit a manifold regularized multi-task feature selection method to jointly select the most discriminative features. Finally, we use multi-kernel support vector machine (SVM) for classification. The experimental results on both MCI dataset and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) dataset demonstrate that, compared with the conventional connectivity network-based methods, the proposed method can not only improve the classification performance, but also help

  15. Effects of Chronic Consumption of Sugar-Enriched Diets on Brain Metabolism and Insulin Sensitivity in Adult Yucatan Minipigs

    PubMed Central

    Ochoa, Melissa; Malbert, Charles-Henri; Meurice, Paul; Val-Laillet, David

    2016-01-01

    Excessive sugar intake might increase the risk to develop eating disorders via an altered reward circuitry, but it remains unknown whether different sugar sources induce different neural effects and whether these effects are dependent from body weight. Therefore, we compared the effects of three high-fat and isocaloric diets varying only in their carbohydrate sources on brain activity of reward-related regions, and assessed whether brain activity is dependent on insulin sensitivity. Twenty-four minipigs underwent 18FDG PET brain imaging following 7-month intake of high-fat diets of which 20% in dry matter weight (36.3% of metabolisable energy) was provided by starch, glucose or fructose (n = 8 per diet). Animals were then subjected to a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp to determine peripheral insulin sensitivity. After a 7-month diet treatment, all groups had substantial increases in body weight (from 36.02±0.85 to 63.33±0.81 kg; P<0.0001), regardless of the diet. All groups presented similar insulin sensitivity index (ISI = 1.39±0.10 mL·min-1·μUI·kg). Compared to starch, chronic exposure to fructose and glucose induced bilateral brain activations, i.e. increased basal cerebral glucose metabolism, in several reward-related brain regions including the anterior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, the caudate and putamen. The lack of differences in insulin sensitivity index and body weight suggests that the observed differences in basal brain glucose metabolism are not related to differences in peripheral insulin sensitivity and weight gain. The differences in basal brain metabolism in reward-related brain areas suggest the onset of cerebral functional alterations induced by chronic consumption of dietary sugars. Further studies should explore the underlying mechanisms, such as the availability of intestinal and brain sugar transporter, or the appearance of addictive-like behavioral correlates of these

  16. Effects of Chronic Consumption of Sugar-Enriched Diets on Brain Metabolism and Insulin Sensitivity in Adult Yucatan Minipigs.

    PubMed

    Ochoa, Melissa; Malbert, Charles-Henri; Meurice, Paul; Val-Laillet, David

    2016-01-01

    Excessive sugar intake might increase the risk to develop eating disorders via an altered reward circuitry, but it remains unknown whether different sugar sources induce different neural effects and whether these effects are dependent from body weight. Therefore, we compared the effects of three high-fat and isocaloric diets varying only in their carbohydrate sources on brain activity of reward-related regions, and assessed whether brain activity is dependent on insulin sensitivity. Twenty-four minipigs underwent 18FDG PET brain imaging following 7-month intake of high-fat diets of which 20% in dry matter weight (36.3% of metabolisable energy) was provided by starch, glucose or fructose (n = 8 per diet). Animals were then subjected to a euglycemic hyperinsulinemic clamp to determine peripheral insulin sensitivity. After a 7-month diet treatment, all groups had substantial increases in body weight (from 36.02±0.85 to 63.33±0.81 kg; P<0.0001), regardless of the diet. All groups presented similar insulin sensitivity index (ISI = 1.39±0.10 mL·min-1·μUI·kg). Compared to starch, chronic exposure to fructose and glucose induced bilateral brain activations, i.e. increased basal cerebral glucose metabolism, in several reward-related brain regions including the anterior and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, the orbitofrontal cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex, the caudate and putamen. The lack of differences in insulin sensitivity index and body weight suggests that the observed differences in basal brain glucose metabolism are not related to differences in peripheral insulin sensitivity and weight gain. The differences in basal brain metabolism in reward-related brain areas suggest the onset of cerebral functional alterations induced by chronic consumption of dietary sugars. Further studies should explore the underlying mechanisms, such as the availability of intestinal and brain sugar transporter, or the appearance of addictive-like behavioral correlates of these

  17. [Functions of microglia in the healthy brain: focus on neuroplasticity].

    PubMed

    Tishkina, A O; Stepanichev, M Iu; Aniol, V A; Guliaeva, N V

    2014-01-01

    Microglia is in the center of modern research because it is involved in neuroinflammation processes, which is considered as an important part of pathogenesis of many brain pathologies. On the contrary, normal physiological functions of microglia are less studied. Here we review modern data on functioning of microglia in the healthy brain. We consider involvement of microglia in angiogenesis, neurogenesis, synaptogenesis, long-term potentiation, and the mechanisms of microglia-neuron interaction. We further consider modern concept on active interaction of microglia with neurons in developing and healthy mature brain and the essential role of microglia in neuroplasticity mechanisms at various levels.

  18. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Deng, Lifu; Sun, Junfeng; Cheng, Lin; Tong, Shanbao

    2016-01-01

    Functional connectivity (FC), obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brings insights into the functional organization of the brain. Recently, rich and complex behaviour of brain has been revealed by the dynamic fluctuation of FC, which had previously been regarded as confounding 'noise'. While the dynamics of long-distance, inter-regional FC has been extensively studied, the dynamics of local FC within a few millimetres in space remains largely unexplored. In this study, the local FC was depicted by regional homogeneity (ReHo), and the dynamics of local FC was obtained using sliding windows method. We observed a robust positive correlation between ReHo and its temporal variability, which was shown to be an intrinsic feature of the brain rather than a pure stochastic effect. Furthermore, fluctuation of ReHo was associated with global functional organization: (i) brain regions with higher centrality of inter-regional FC tended to possess higher ReHo variability; (ii) coherence of ReHo fluctuation was higher within brain's functional modules. Finally, we observed alteration of ReHo variability during a motor task compared with resting-state. Our findings associated the temporal fluctuation of ReHo with brain function, opening up the possibility of dynamic local FC study in the future. PMID:27231194

  19. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  20. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  1. EEG-based research on brain functional networks in cognition.

    PubMed

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

    Recently, exploring the cognitive functions of the brain by establishing a network model to understand the working mechanism of the brain has become a popular research topic in the field of neuroscience. In this study, electroencephalography (EEG) was used to collect data from subjects given four different mathematical cognitive tasks: recite numbers clockwise and counter-clockwise, and letters clockwise and counter-clockwise to build a complex brain function network (BFN). By studying the connectivity features and parameters of those brain functional networks, it was found that the average clustering coefficient is much larger than its corresponding random network and the average shortest path length is similar to the corresponding random networks, which clearly shows the characteristics of the small-world network. The brain regions stimulated during the experiment are consistent with traditional cognitive science regarding learning, memory, comprehension, and other rational judgment results. The new method of complex networking involves studying the mathematical cognitive process of reciting, providing an effective research foundation for exploring the relationship between brain cognition and human learning skills and memory. This could help detect memory deficits early in young and mentally handicapped children, and help scientists understand the causes of cognitive brain disorders. PMID:26405867

  2. [Determinism and Freedom of Choice in the Brain Functioning].

    PubMed

    Ivanitsky, A M

    2015-01-01

    The problem is considered whether the brain response is completely determined by the stimulus and the personal experience or in some cases the brain is free to choose its behavioral response to achieve the desired goal. The attempt is made to approach to this important philosophical problem basing on modern knowledge about the brain. The paper consists of four parts. In the first part the theoretical views about the free choice problem solving are considered, including views about the freedom of choice as a useful illusion, the hypothesis on appliance of quantum mechanics laws to the brain functioning and the theory of mentalism. In other tree parts consequently the more complicated brain functions such as choice reaction, thinking and creation are analyzed. The general conclusion is that the possibility of quite unpredictable, but sometimes very effective decisions increases when the brain functions are more and more complicated. This fact can be explained with two factors: increasing stochasticity of the brain processes and the role of top-down determinations from mental to neural levels, according to the theory of mentalism.

  3. Functional brain connectivity phenotypes for schizophrenia drug discovery.

    PubMed

    Dawson, Neil; Morris, Brian J; Pratt, Judith A

    2015-02-01

    While our knowledge of the pathophysiology of schizophrenia has increased dramatically, this has not translated into the development of new and improved drugs to treat this disorder. Human brain imaging and electrophysiological studies have provided dramatic new insight into the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in the disease, with a swathe of recent studies highlighting the differences in functional brain network and neural system connectivity present in the disorder. Only recently has the value of applying these approaches in preclinical rodent models relevant to the disorder started to be recognised. Here we highlight recent findings of altered functional brain connectivity in preclinical rodent models and consider their relevance to those alterations seen in the brains of schizophrenia patients. Furthermore, we highlight the potential translational value of using the paradigm of functional brain connectivity phenotypes in the context of preclinical schizophrenia drug discovery, as a means both to understand the mechanisms of brain dysfunction in the disorder and to reduce the current high attrition rate in schizophrenia drug discovery.

  4. Pericytes control key neurovascular functions and neuronal phenotype in the adult brain and during brain aging

    PubMed Central

    Bell, Robert D.; Winkler, Ethan A.; Sagare, Abhay P.; Singh, Itender; LaRue, Barb; Deane, Rashid; Zlokovic, Berislav V.

    2010-01-01

    SUMMARY Pericytes play a key role in the development of cerebral microcirculation. The exact role of pericytes in the neurovascular unit in the adult brain and during brain aging remains, however, elusive. Using adult viable pericyte-deficient mice, we show that pericyte loss leads to brain vascular damage by two parallel pathways: (1) reduction in brain microcirculation causing diminished brain capillary perfusion, cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood flow responses to brain activation which ultimately mediates chronic perfusion stress and hypoxia, and (2) blood-brain barrier breakdown associated with brain accumulation of serum proteins and several vasculotoxic and/or neurotoxic macromolecules ultimately leading to secondary neuronal degenerative changes. We show that age-dependent vascular damage in pericyte-deficient mice precedes neuronal degenerative changes, learning and memory impairment and the neuroinflammatory response. Thus, pericytes control key neurovascular functions that are necessary for proper neuronal structure and function, and pericytes loss results in a progressive age-dependent vascular-mediated neurodegeneration. PMID:21040844

  5. Human brain functional MRI and DTI visualization with virtual reality.

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

    Magnetic resonance diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and functional MRI (fMRI) are two active research areas in neuroimaging. DTI is sensitive to the anisotropic diffusion of water exerted by its macromolecular environment and has been shown useful in characterizing structures of ordered tissues such as the brain white matter, myocardium, and cartilage. The diffusion tensor provides two new types of information of water diffusion: the magnitude and the spatial orientation of water diffusivity inside the tissue. This information has been used for white matter fiber tracking to review physical neuronal pathways inside the brain. Functional MRI measures brain activations using the hemodynamic response. The statistically derived activation map corresponds to human brain functional activities caused by neuronal activities. The combination of these two methods provides a new way to understand human brain from the anatomical neuronal fiber connectivity to functional activities between different brain regions. In this study, virtual reality (VR) based MR DTI and fMRI visualization with high resolution anatomical image segmentation and registration, ROI definition and neuronal white matter fiber tractography visualization and fMRI activation map integration is proposed. Rationale and methods for producing and distributing stereoscopic videos are also discussed. PMID:23256049

  6. Branched-chain amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, John D

    2005-06-01

    Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) influence brain function by modifying large, neutral amino acid (LNAA) transport at the blood-brain barrier. Transport is shared by several LNAAs, notably the BCAAs and the aromatic amino acids (ArAAs), and is competitive. Consequently, when plasma BCAA concentrations rise, which can occur in response to food ingestion or BCAA administration, or with the onset of certain metabolic diseases (e.g., uncontrolled diabetes), brain BCAA concentrations rise, and ArAA concentrations decline. Such effects occur acutely and chronically. Such reductions in brain ArAA concentrations have functional consequences: biochemically, they reduce the synthesis and the release of neurotransmitters derived from ArAAs, notably serotonin (from tryptophan) and catecholamines (from tyrosine and phenylalanine). The functional effects of such neurochemical changes include altered hormonal function, blood pressure, and affective state. Although the BCAAs thus have biochemical and functional effects in the brain, few attempts have been made to characterize time-course or dose-response relations for such effects. And, no studies have attempted to identify levels of BCAA intake that might produce adverse effects on the brain. The only "model" of very high BCAA exposure is a very rare genetic disorder, maple syrup urine disease, a feature of which is substantial brain dysfunction but that probably cannot serve as a useful model for excessive BCAA intake by normal individuals. Given the known biochemical and functional effects of the BCAAs, it should be a straightforward exercise to design studies to assess dose-response relations for biochemical and functional effects and, in this context, to explore for adverse effect thresholds. PMID:15930466

  7. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain.

  8. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain. PMID:26982717

  9. Brain-Computer Interface Controlled Cyborg: Establishing a Functional Information Transfer Pathway from Human Brain to Cockroach Brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

    An all-chain-wireless brain-to-brain system (BTBS), which enabled motion control of a cyborg cockroach via human brain, was developed in this work. Steady-state visual evoked potential (SSVEP) based brain-computer interface (BCI) was used in this system for recognizing human motion intention and an optimization algorithm was proposed in SSVEP to improve online performance of the BCI. The cyborg cockroach was developed by surgically integrating a portable microstimulator that could generate invasive electrical nerve stimulation. Through Bluetooth communication, specific electrical pulse trains could be triggered from the microstimulator by BCI commands and were sent through the antenna nerve to stimulate the brain of cockroach. Serial experiments were designed and conducted to test overall performance of the BTBS with six human subjects and three cockroaches. The experimental results showed that the online classification accuracy of three-mode BCI increased from 72.86% to 78.56% by 5.70% using the optimization algorithm and the mean response accuracy of the cyborgs using this system reached 89.5%. Moreover, the results also showed that the cyborg could be navigated by the human brain to complete walking along an S-shape track with the success rate of about 20%, suggesting the proposed BTBS established a feasible functional information transfer pathway from the human brain to the cockroach brain. PMID:26982717

  10. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Deng, Lifu; Sun, Junfeng; Cheng, Lin; Tong, Shanbao

    2016-01-01

    Functional connectivity (FC), obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), brings insights into the functional organization of the brain. Recently, rich and complex behaviour of brain has been revealed by the dynamic fluctuation of FC, which had previously been regarded as confounding ‘noise’. While the dynamics of long-distance, inter-regional FC has been extensively studied, the dynamics of local FC within a few millimetres in space remains largely unexplored. In this study, the local FC was depicted by regional homogeneity (ReHo), and the dynamics of local FC was obtained using sliding windows method. We observed a robust positive correlation between ReHo and its temporal variability, which was shown to be an intrinsic feature of the brain rather than a pure stochastic effect. Furthermore, fluctuation of ReHo was associated with global functional organization: (i) brain regions with higher centrality of inter-regional FC tended to possess higher ReHo variability; (ii) coherence of ReHo fluctuation was higher within brain’s functional modules. Finally, we observed alteration of ReHo variability during a motor task compared with resting-state. Our findings associated the temporal fluctuation of ReHo with brain function, opening up the possibility of dynamic local FC study in the future. PMID:27231194

  11. Self-portraits of the brain: cognitive science, data visualization, and communicating brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Goldstone, Robert L; Pestilli, Franco; Börner, Katy

    2015-08-01

    With several large-scale human brain projects currently underway and a range of neuroimaging techniques growing in availability to researchers, the amount and diversity of data relevant for understanding the human brain is increasing rapidly. A complete understanding of the brain must incorporate information about 3D neural location, activity, timing, and task. Data mining, high-performance computing, and visualization can serve as tools that augment human intellect; however, the resulting visualizations must take into account human abilities and limitations to be effective tools for exploration and communication. In this feature review, we discuss key challenges and opportunities that arise when leveraging the sophisticated perceptual and conceptual processing of the human brain to help researchers understand brain structure, function, and behavior.

  12. Functional neuroimaging of traumatic brain injury: advances and clinical utility

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Van Horn, John Darrell

    2015-01-01

    Functional deficits due to traumatic brain injury (TBI) can have significant and enduring consequences upon patients’ life quality and expectancy. Although functional neuroimaging is essential for understanding TBI pathophysiology, an insufficient amount of effort has been dedicated to the task of translating functional neuroimaging findings into information with clinical utility. The purpose of this review is to summarize the use of functional neuroimaging techniques – especially functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, and electroencephalography – for advancing current knowledge of TBI-related brain dysfunction and for improving the rehabilitation of TBI patients. We focus on seven core areas of functional deficits, namely consciousness, motor function, attention, memory, higher cognition, personality, and affect, and, for each of these, we summarize recent findings from neuroimaging studies which have provided substantial insight into brain function changes due to TBI. Recommendations are also provided to aid in setting the direction of future neuroimaging research and for understanding brain function changes after TBI. PMID:26396520

  13. Developing Brain Vital Signs: Initial Framework for Monitoring Brain Function Changes Over Time

    PubMed Central

    Ghosh Hajra, Sujoy; Liu, Careesa C.; Song, Xiaowei; Fickling, Shaun; Liu, Luke E.; Pawlowski, Gabriela; Jorgensen, Janelle K.; Smith, Aynsley M.; Schnaider-Beeri, Michal; Van Den Broek, Rudi; Rizzotti, Rowena; Fisher, Kirk; D'Arcy, Ryan C. N.

    2016-01-01

    Clinical assessment of brain function relies heavily on indirect behavior-based tests. Unfortunately, behavior-based assessments are subjective and therefore susceptible to several confounding factors. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs), derived from electroencephalography (EEG), are often used to provide objective, physiological measures of brain function. Historically, ERPs have been characterized extensively within research settings, with limited but growing clinical applications. Over the past 20 years, we have developed clinical ERP applications for the evaluation of functional status following serious injury and/or disease. This work has identified an important gap: the need for a clinically accessible framework to evaluate ERP measures. Crucially, this enables baseline measures before brain dysfunction occurs, and might enable the routine collection of brain function metrics in the future much like blood pressure measures today. Here, we propose such a framework for extracting specific ERPs as potential “brain vital signs.” This framework enabled the translation/transformation of complex ERP data into accessible metrics of brain function for wider clinical utilization. To formalize the framework, three essential ERPs were selected as initial indicators: (1) the auditory N100 (Auditory sensation); (2) the auditory oddball P300 (Basic attention); and (3) the auditory speech processing N400 (Cognitive processing). First step validation was conducted on healthy younger and older adults (age range: 22–82 years). Results confirmed specific ERPs at the individual level (86.81–98.96%), verified predictable age-related differences (P300 latency delays in older adults, p < 0.05), and demonstrated successful linear transformation into the proposed brain vital sign (BVS) framework (basic attention latency sub-component of BVS framework reflects delays in older adults, p < 0.05). The findings represent an initial critical step in developing, extracting, and

  14. Model of local temperature changes in brain upon functional activation.

    PubMed

    Collins, Christopher M; Smith, Michael B; Turner, Robert

    2004-12-01

    Experimental results for changes in brain temperature during functional activation show large variations. It is, therefore, desirable to develop a careful numerical model for such changes. Here, a three-dimensional model of temperature in the human head using the bioheat equation, which includes effects of metabolism, perfusion, and thermal conduction, is employed to examine potential temperature changes due to functional activation in brain. It is found that, depending on location in brain and corresponding baseline temperature relative to blood temperature, temperature may increase or decrease on activation and concomitant increases in perfusion and rate of metabolism. Changes in perfusion are generally seen to have a greater effect on temperature than are changes in metabolism, and hence active brain is predicted to approach blood temperature from its initial temperature. All calculated changes in temperature for reasonable physiological parameters have magnitudes <0.12 degrees C and are well within the range reported in recent experimental studies involving human subjects.

  15. Magnetic resonance and the human brain: anatomy, function and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Talos, I-F; Mian, A Z; Zou, K H; Hsu, L; Goldberg-Zimring, D; Haker, S; Bhagwat, J G; Mulkern, R V

    2006-05-01

    The introduction and development, over the last three decades, of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR spectroscopy technology for in vivo studies of the human brain represents a truly remarkable achievement, with enormous scientific and clinical ramifications. These effectively non-invasive techniques allow for studies of the anatomy, the function and the metabolism of the living human brain. They have allowed for new understandings of how the healthy brain works and have provided insights into the mechanisms underlying multiple disease processes which affect the brain. Different MR techniques have been developed for studying anatomy, function and metabolism. The primary focus of this review is to describe these different methodologies and to briefly review how they are being employed to more fully appreciate the intricacies associated with the organ, which most distinctly differentiates the human species from the other animal forms on earth.

  16. Magnetic resonance and the human brain: anatomy, function and metabolism.

    PubMed

    Talos, I-F; Mian, A Z; Zou, K H; Hsu, L; Goldberg-Zimring, D; Haker, S; Bhagwat, J G; Mulkern, R V

    2006-05-01

    The introduction and development, over the last three decades, of magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and MR spectroscopy technology for in vivo studies of the human brain represents a truly remarkable achievement, with enormous scientific and clinical ramifications. These effectively non-invasive techniques allow for studies of the anatomy, the function and the metabolism of the living human brain. They have allowed for new understandings of how the healthy brain works and have provided insights into the mechanisms underlying multiple disease processes which affect the brain. Different MR techniques have been developed for studying anatomy, function and metabolism. The primary focus of this review is to describe these different methodologies and to briefly review how they are being employed to more fully appreciate the intricacies associated with the organ, which most distinctly differentiates the human species from the other animal forms on earth. PMID:16568243

  17. Democratic reinforcement: A principle for brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stassinopoulos, Dimitris; Bak, Per

    1995-05-01

    We introduce a simple ``toy'' brain model. The model consists of a set of randomly connected, or layered integrate-and-fire neurons. Inputs to and outputs from the environment are connected randomly to subsets of neurons. The connections between firing neurons are strengthened or weakened according to whether the action was successful or not. Unlike previous reinforcement learning algorithms, the feedback from the environment is democratic: it affects all neurons in the same way, irrespective of their position in the network and independent of the output signal. Thus no unrealistic back propagation or other external computation is needed. This is accomplished by a global threshold regulation which allows the system to self-organize into a highly susceptible, possibly ``critical'' state with low activity and sparse connections between firing neurons. The low activity permits memory in quiescent areas to be conserved since only firing neurons are modified when new information is being taught.

  18. Joint brain connectivity estimation from diffusion and functional MRI data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Shu-Hsien; Lenglet, Christophe; Parhi, Keshab K.

    2015-03-01

    Estimating brain wiring patterns is critical to better understand the brain organization and function. Anatomical brain connectivity models axonal pathways, while the functional brain connectivity characterizes the statistical dependencies and correlation between the activities of various brain regions. The synchronization of brain activity can be inferred through the variation of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal from functional MRI (fMRI) and the neural connections can be estimated using tractography from diffusion MRI (dMRI). Functional connections between brain regions are supported by anatomical connections, and the synchronization of brain activities arises through sharing of information in the form of electro-chemical signals on axon pathways. Jointly modeling fMRI and dMRI data may improve the accuracy in constructing anatomical connectivity as well as functional connectivity. Such an approach may lead to novel multimodal biomarkers potentially able to better capture functional and anatomical connectivity variations. We present a novel brain network model which jointly models the dMRI and fMRI data to improve the anatomical connectivity estimation and extract the anatomical subnetworks associated with specific functional modes by constraining the anatomical connections as structural supports to the functional connections. The key idea is similar to a multi-commodity flow optimization problem that minimizes the cost or maximizes the efficiency for flow configuration and simultaneously fulfills the supply-demand constraint for each commodity. In the proposed network, the nodes represent the grey matter (GM) regions providing brain functionality, and the links represent white matter (WM) fiber bundles connecting those regions and delivering information. The commodities can be thought of as the information corresponding to brain activity patterns as obtained for instance by independent component analysis (ICA) of fMRI data. The concept of information

  19. Joint brain connectivity estimation from diffusion and functional MRI data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chu, Shu-Hsien; Lenglet, Christophe; Parhi, Keshab K.

    2015-03-01

    Estimating brain wiring patterns is critical to better understand the brain organization and function. Anatomical brain connectivity models axonal pathways, while the functional brain connectivity characterizes the statistical dependencies and correlation between the activities of various brain regions. The synchronization of brain activity can be inferred through the variation of blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal from functional MRI (fMRI) and the neural connections can be estimated using tractography from diffusion MRI (dMRI). Functional connections between brain regions are supported by anatomical connections, and the synchronization of brain activities arises through sharing of information in the form of electro-chemical signals on axon pathways. Jointly modeling fMRI and dMRI data may improve the accuracy in constructing anatomical connectivity as well as functional connectivity. Such an approach may lead to novel multimodal biomarkers potentially able to better capture functional and anatomical connectivity variations. We present a novel brain network model which jointly models the dMRI and fMRI data to improve the anatomical connectivity estimation and extract the anatomical subnetworks associated with specific functional modes by constraining the anatomical connections as structural supports to the functional connections. The key idea is similar to a multi-commodity flow optimization problem that minimizes the cost or maximizes the efficiency for flow configuration and simultaneously fulfills the supply-demand constraint for each commodity. In the proposed network, the nodes represent the grey matter (GM) regions providing brain functionality, and the links represent white matter (WM) fiber bundles connecting those regions and delivering information. The commodities can be thought of as the information corresponding to brain activity patterns as obtained for instance by independent component analysis (ICA) of fMRI data. The concept of information

  20. The adolescent brain: Insights from functional neuroimaging research

    PubMed Central

    Ernst, M.; Mueller, S.C.

    2009-01-01

    With the development of functional neuroimaging tools, the past two decades have witnessed an explosion of work examining functional brain maps, mostly in the adult brain. Against this backdrop of work in adults, developmental research begins to gather a substantial body of knowledge about brain maturation. The purpose of this review is to present some of these findings from the perspective of functional neuroimaging. First, a brief survey of available neuroimaging techniques (i.e., fMRI, MRS, MEG, PET, SPECT, and infrared techniques) is provided. Next, the key cognitive, emotional, and social changes taking place during adolescence are outlined. The third section gives examples of how these behavioral changes can be understood from a neuroscience perspective. The conclusion places this functional neuroimaging research in relation to clinical and molecular work, and shows how answers will ultimately come from the combined efforts of these disciplines. PMID:18383544

  1. Reconciling abnormalities of brain network structure and function in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Fornito, Alex; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-02-01

    Schizophrenia is widely regarded as a disorder of abnormal brain connectivity. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) suggests that patients show robust reductions of structural connectivity. However, corresponding changes in functional connectivity do not always follow, with increased functional connectivity being reported in many cases. Here, we consider different methodological and mechanistic accounts that might reconcile these apparently contradictory findings and argue that increased functional connectivity in schizophrenia likely represents a pathophysiological dysregulation of brain activity arising from abnormal neurodevelopmental wiring of structural connections linking putative hub regions of association cortex to other brain areas. Elucidating the pathophysiological significance of connectivity abnormalities in schizophrenia will be contingent on better understanding how network structure shapes and constrains function.

  2. The Bilingual Brain as Revealed by Functional Neuroimaging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Abutalebi, Jubin; Cappa, Stefano F.; Perani, Daniela

    2001-01-01

    Functional neuroimaging of bilinguals and monolinguals used in conjunction with experimental cognitive tasks has been successful in establishing functional specialization as a principle of brain organization in humans. Consistent results show that attained proficiency and possibly language exposure are more important than age of acquisition as a…

  3. Analyzing complex functional brain networks: Fusing statistics and network science to understand the brain*†

    PubMed Central

    Simpson, Sean L.; Bowman, F. DuBois; Laurienti, Paul J.

    2014-01-01

    Complex functional brain network analyses have exploded over the last decade, gaining traction due to their profound clinical implications. The application of network science (an interdisciplinary offshoot of graph theory) has facilitated these analyses and enabled examining the brain as an integrated system that produces complex behaviors. While the field of statistics has been integral in advancing activation analyses and some connectivity analyses in functional neuroimaging research, it has yet to play a commensurate role in complex network analyses. Fusing novel statistical methods with network-based functional neuroimage analysis will engender powerful analytical tools that will aid in our understanding of normal brain function as well as alterations due to various brain disorders. Here we survey widely used statistical and network science tools for analyzing fMRI network data and discuss the challenges faced in filling some of the remaining methodological gaps. When applied and interpreted correctly, the fusion of network scientific and statistical methods has a chance to revolutionize the understanding of brain function. PMID:25309643

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

    PubMed Central

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Stereotactic PET atlas of the human brain: Aid for visual interpretation of functional brain images

    SciTech Connect

    Minoshima, S.; Koeppe, R.A.; Frey, A.; Ishihara, M.; Kuhl, D.E.

    1994-06-01

    In the routine analysis of functional brain images obtained by PET, subjective visual interpretation is often used for anatomic localization. To enhance the accuracy and consistency of the anatomic interpretation, a PET stereotactic atlas and localization approach was designed for functional brain images. The PET atlas was constructed from a high-resolution [{sup 18}F]fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) image set of a normal volunteer (a 41-yr-ld woman). The image set was reoriented stereotactically, according to the intercommissural (anterior and posterior commissures) line and transformed to the standard stereotactic atlas coordinates. Cerebral structures were annotated on the transaxial planes using a proportional grid system and surface-rendered images. The stereotactic localization technique was applied to image sets from patients with Alzheimer`s disease, and areas of functional alteration were localized visually by referring to the PET atlas. Major brain structures were identified on both transaxial planes and surface-rendered images. In the stereotactic system, anatomic correspondence between the PET atlas and stereotactically reoriented individual image sets of patients with Alzheimer`s disease facilitated both indirect and direct localization of the cerebral structures. Because rapid stereotactic alignment methods for PET images are now available for routine use, the PET atlas will serve as an aid for visual interpretation of functional brain images in the stereotactic system. Widespread application of stereotactic localization may be used in functional brain images, not only in the research setting, but also in routine clinical situations. 41 refs., 3 figs.

  6. [Endocrine functions of the brain in adult and developing mammals].

    PubMed

    Ugriumov, M V

    2009-01-01

    The main prerequisite for organism's viability is the maintenance of the internal environment despite changes in the external environment, which is provided by the neuroendocrine control system. The key unit in this system is hypothalamus exerting endocrine effects on certain peripheral organs and anterior pituitary. Physiologically active substances of neuronal origin enter blood vessels in the neurohemal parts of hypothalamus where no blood-brain barrier exists. In other parts of the adult brain, the arrival of physiologically active substances is blocked by the blood-brain barrier. According to the generally accepted concept, the neuroendocrine system formation in ontogeny starts with the maturation of peripheral endocrine glands, which initially function autonomously and then are controlled by the anterior pituitary. The brain is engaged in neuroendocrine control after its maturation completes, which results in a closed control system typical of adult mammals. Since neurons start to secrete physiologically active substances soon after their formation and long before interneuronal connections are formed, these cells are thought to have an effect on brain development as inducers. Considering that there is no blood-brain barrier during this period, we proposed the hypothesis that the developing brain functions as a multipotent endocrine organ. This means that tens of physiologically active substances arrive from the brain to the systemic circulation and have an endocrine effect on the whole body development. Dopamine, serotonin, and gonadotropin-releasing hormone were selected as marker physiologically active substances of cerebral origin to test this hypothesis. In adult animals, they act as neurotransmitters or neuromodulators transmitting information from neuron to neuron as well as neurohormones arriving from the hypothalamus with portal blood to the anterior pituitary. Perinatal rats--before the blood-brain barrier is formed--proved to have equally high

  7. An Adaptive Complex Network Model for Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

    Gomez Portillo, Ignacio J.; Gleiser, Pablo M.

    2009-01-01

    Brain functional networks are graph representations of activity in the brain, where the vertices represent anatomical regions and the edges their functional connectivity. These networks present a robust small world topological structure, characterized by highly integrated modules connected sparsely by long range links. Recent studies showed that other topological properties such as the degree distribution and the presence (or absence) of a hierarchical structure are not robust, and show different intriguing behaviors. In order to understand the basic ingredients necessary for the emergence of these complex network structures we present an adaptive complex network model for human brain functional networks. The microscopic units of the model are dynamical nodes that represent active regions of the brain, whose interaction gives rise to complex network structures. The links between the nodes are chosen following an adaptive algorithm that establishes connections between dynamical elements with similar internal states. We show that the model is able to describe topological characteristics of human brain networks obtained from functional magnetic resonance imaging studies. In particular, when the dynamical rules of the model allow for integrated processing over the entire network scale-free non-hierarchical networks with well defined communities emerge. On the other hand, when the dynamical rules restrict the information to a local neighborhood, communities cluster together into larger ones, giving rise to a hierarchical structure, with a truncated power law degree distribution. PMID:19738902

  8. Gut Microbiota and Brain Function: An Evolving Field in Neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    Lyte, Mark; Meyer, Emeran; Cryan, John F

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing appreciation of the importance of gut microbiota to health and disease. This has been driven by advances in sequencing technology and recent findings demonstrating the important role of microbiota in common health disorders such as obesity. Moreover, the potential role of gut microbiota in influencing brain function, behavior, and mental health has attracted the attention of neuroscientists and psychiatrists. At the 29th International College of Neuropsychopharmacology (CINP) World Congress held in Vancouver, Canada, in June 2014, a group of experts presented the symposium, “Gut microbiota and brain function: Relevance to psychiatric disorders” to review the latest findings in how gut microbiota may play a role in brain function, behavior, and disease. The symposium covered a broad range of topics, including gut microbiota and neuroendocrine function, the influence of gut microbiota on behavior, probiotics as regulators of brain and behavior, and imaging the gut-brain axis in humans. This report provides an overview of these presentations. PMID:26438800

  9. [Functional magnetic resonance imaging of psychopharmacological brain effects: an update].

    PubMed

    Braus, D F; Brassen, S; Weimer, E; Tost, H

    2003-02-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is well established for the examination of functional activity in the living brain. The method permits the development of functional activation maps during perceptual, cognitive and emotional efforts with a high temporal and spatial resolution. As of late there has been growing interest in using this technique to investigate regionally specific brain activity following the administration of drugs such as nicotine, cocaine, lorazepam, scopolamine, antipsychotics or antidepressants. Studies in experimental animals investigate signal changes associated with the administration of psychopharmacological substances in different brain areas using a high magnetising field (> 4 Tesla). FMRI-studies in healthy human volunteers and psychiatric patients focus on cerebral activity following acute drug administration (single challenge) and on adaptive effects of the CNS due to long- term medication. Their results provide insights into brain physiology and neuropharmacological mechanisms which are in turn relevant for preclinical pharmacological studies, responder analyses and for the investigation of pathogenetic models in psychiatric diseases. However, with these new opportunities, additional methodological considerations and limitations emerge. Besides the need of controlling motion artefacts, the influence of interfering psychological variables, an exact specification of the experimental design, a standardised analysis for data adjustment and technical limitations have to be considered. This article provides an overview of the underlying model of brain function, present applications, future possibilities and methodological limitations of fMRI for the understanding of human psychopharmacology. PMID:12579470

  10. The development of social brain functions in infancy.

    PubMed

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-11-01

    One fundamental question in psychology is what makes humans such intensely social beings. Probing the developmental and neural origins of our social capacities is a way of addressing this question. In the last 10 years the field of social-cognitive development has witnessed a surge in studies using neuroscience methods to elucidate the development of social information processing during infancy. While the use of electroencephalography (EEG)/event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) has revealed a great deal about the timing and localization of the cortical processes involved in early social cognition, the principles underpinning the early development of social brain functioning remain largely unexplored. Here I provide a framework that delineates the essential processes implicated in the early development of the social brain. In particular, I argue that the development of social brain functions in infancy is characterized by the following key principles: (a) self-relevance, (b) joint engagement, (c) predictability, (d) categorization, (e) discrimination, and (f) integration. For all of the proposed principles, I provide empirical examples to illustrate when in infancy they emerge. Moreover, I discuss to what extent they are in fact specifically social in nature or share properties with more domain-general developmental principles. Taken together, this article provides a conceptual integration of the existing EEG/ERPs and fNIRS work on infant social brain function and thereby offers the basis for a principle-based approach to studying the neural correlates of early social cognition.

  11. Telomerase deficiency affects normal brain functions in mice.

    PubMed

    Lee, Jaehoon; Jo, Yong Sang; Sung, Young Hoon; Hwang, In Koo; Kim, Hyuk; Kim, Song-Yi; Yi, Sun Shin; Choi, June-Seek; Sun, Woong; Seong, Je Kyung; Lee, Han-Woong

    2010-02-01

    Telomerase maintains telomere structures and chromosome stability, and it is essential for preserving the characteristics of stem and progenitor cells. In the brain, the hippocampus and the olfactory bulbs are continuously supplied with neural stem and progenitor cells that are required for adult neurogenesis throughout the life. Therefore, we examined whether telomerase plays important roles in maintaining normal brain functions in vivo. Telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) expression was observed in the hippocampus, the olfactory bulbs, and the cerebellum, but the telomerase RNA component (TERC) was not detected in hippocampus and olfactory bulbs. Interestingly, TERT-deficient mice exhibited significantly altered anxiety-like behaviors and abnormal olfaction measuring the functions of the hippocampus and the olfactory bulbs, respectively. However, the cerebellum-dependent behavior was not changed in these mutant mice. These results suggest that TERT is constitutively expressed in the hippocampus and the olfactory bulbs, and that it is important for regulating normal brain functions. PMID:19685288

  12. Functional Connectivity Hubs and Networks in the Awake Marmoset Brain

    PubMed Central

    Belcher, Annabelle M.; Yen, Cecil Chern-Chyi; Notardonato, Lucia; Ross, Thomas J.; Volkow, Nora D.; Yang, Yihong; Stein, Elliot A.; Silva, Afonso C.; Tomasi, Dardo

    2016-01-01

    In combination with advances in analytical methods, resting-state fMRI is allowing unprecedented access to a better understanding of the network organization of the brain. Increasing evidence suggests that this architecture may incorporate highly functionally connected nodes, or “hubs”, and we have recently proposed local functional connectivity density (lFCD) mapping to identify highly-connected nodes in the human brain. Here, we imaged awake nonhuman primates to test whether, like the human brain, the marmoset brain contains FC hubs. Ten adult common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) were acclimated to mild, comfortable restraint using individualized helmets. Following restraint training, resting BOLD data were acquired during eight consecutive 10 min scans for each subject. lFCD revealed prominent cortical and subcortical hubs of connectivity across the marmoset brain; specifically, in primary and secondary visual cortices (V1/V2), higher-order visual association areas (A19M/V6[DM]), posterior parietal and posterior cingulate areas (PGM and A23b/A31), thalamus, dorsal and ventral striatal areas (caudate, putamen, lateral septal nucleus, and anterior cingulate cortex (A24a). lFCD hubs were highly connected to widespread areas of the brain, and further revealed significant network-network interactions. These data provide a baseline platform for future investigations in a nonhuman primate model of the brain’s network topology. PMID:26973476

  13. Functional brain regeneration in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis

    PubMed Central

    Sprecher, Simon G.; Bernardo-Garcia, F. Javier; van Giesen, Lena; Hartenstein, Volker; Reichert, Heinrich; Neves, Ricardo; Bailly, Xavier; Martinez, Pedro; Brauchle, Michael

    2015-01-01

    ABSTRACT The ability of some animals to regrow their head and brain after decapitation provides a striking example of the regenerative capacity within the animal kingdom. The acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis can regrow its head, brain and sensory head organs within only a few weeks after decapitation. How rapidly and to what degree it also reacquires its functionality to control behavior however remains unknown. We provide here a neuroanatomical map of the brain neuropils of the adult S. roscoffensis and show that after decapitation a normal neuroanatomical organization of the brain is restored in the majority of animals. By testing different behaviors we further show that functionality of both sensory perception and the underlying brain architecture are restored within weeks after decapitation. Interestingly not all behaviors are restored at the same speed and to the same extent. While we find that phototaxis recovered rapidly, geotaxis is not restored within 7 weeks. Our findings show that regeneration of the head, sensory organs and brain result in the restoration of directed navigation behavior, suggesting a tight coordination in the regeneration of certain sensory organs with that of their underlying neural circuits. Thus, at least in S. roscoffensis, the regenerative capacity of different sensory modalities follows distinct paths. PMID:26581588

  14. Reduction of brain kynurenic acid improves cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Kozak, Rouba; Campbell, Brian M; Strick, Christine A; Horner, Weldon; Hoffmann, William E; Kiss, Tamas; Chapin, Douglas S; McGinnis, Dina; Abbott, Amanda L; Roberts, Brooke M; Fonseca, Kari; Guanowsky, Victor; Young, Damon A; Seymour, Patricia A; Dounay, Amy; Hajos, Mihaly; Williams, Graham V; Castner, Stacy A

    2014-08-01

    The elevation of kynurenic acid (KYNA) observed in schizophrenic patients may contribute to core symptoms arising from glutamate hypofunction, including cognitive impairments. Although increased KYNA levels reduce excitatory neurotransmission, KYNA has been proposed to act as an endogenous antagonist at the glycine site of the glutamate NMDA receptor (NMDAR) and as a negative allosteric modulator at the α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor. Levels of KYNA are elevated in CSF and the postmortem brain of schizophrenia patients, and these elevated levels of KYNA could contribute to NMDAR hypofunction and the cognitive deficits and negative symptoms associated with this disease. However, the impact of endogenously produced KYNA on brain function and behavior is less well understood due to a paucity of pharmacological tools. To address this issue, we identified PF-04859989, a brain-penetrable inhibitor of kynurenine aminotransferase II (KAT II), the enzyme responsible for most brain KYNA synthesis. In rats, systemic administration of PF-04859989 dose-dependently reduced brain KYNA to as little as 28% of basal levels, and prevented amphetamine- and ketamine-induced disruption of auditory gating and improved performance in a sustained attention task. It also prevented ketamine-induced disruption of performance in a working memory task and a spatial memory task in rodents and nonhuman primates, respectively. Together, these findings support the hypotheses that endogenous KYNA impacts cognitive function and that inhibition of KAT II, and consequent lowering of endogenous brain KYNA levels, improves cognitive performance under conditions considered relevant for schizophrenia.

  15. Dynamic functional brain networks involved in simple visual discrimination learning.

    PubMed

    Fidalgo, Camino; Conejo, Nélida María; González-Pardo, Héctor; Arias, Jorge Luis

    2014-10-01

    Visual discrimination tasks have been widely used to evaluate many types of learning and memory processes. However, little is known about the brain regions involved at different stages of visual discrimination learning. We used cytochrome c oxidase histochemistry to evaluate changes in regional brain oxidative metabolism during visual discrimination learning in a water-T maze at different time points during training. As compared with control groups, the results of the present study reveal the gradual activation of cortical (prefrontal and temporal cortices) and subcortical brain regions (including the striatum and the hippocampus) associated to the mastery of a simple visual discrimination task. On the other hand, the brain regions involved and their functional interactions changed progressively over days of training. Regions associated with novelty, emotion, visuo-spatial orientation and motor aspects of the behavioral task seem to be relevant during the earlier phase of training, whereas a brain network comprising the prefrontal cortex was found along the whole learning process. This study highlights the relevance of functional interactions among brain regions to investigate learning and memory processes. PMID:24937013

  16. Estimating brain's functional graph from the structural graph's Laplacian

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abdelnour, F.; Dayan, M.; Devinsky, O.; Thesen, T.; Raj, A.

    2015-09-01

    The interplay between the brain's function and structure has been of immense interest to the neuroscience and connectomics communities. In this work we develop a simple linear model relating the structural network and the functional network. We propose that the two networks are related by the structural network's Laplacian up to a shift. The model is simple to implement and gives accurate prediction of function's eigenvalues at the subject level and its eigenvectors at group level.

  17. Darwin's evolution theory, brain oscillations, and complex brain function in a new "Cartesian view".

    PubMed

    Başar, Erol; Güntekin, Bahar

    2009-01-01

    Comparatively analyses of electrophysiological correlates across species during evolution, alpha activity during brain maturation, and alpha activity in complex cognitive processes are presented to illustrate a new multidimensional "Cartesian System" brain function. The main features are: (1) The growth of the alpha activity during evolution, increase of alpha during cognitive processes, and decrease of the alpha entropy during evolution provide an indicator for evolution of brain cognitive performance. (2) Human children younger than 3 years are unable to produce higher cognitive processes and do not show alpha activity till the age of 3 years. The mature brain can perform higher cognitive processes and demonstrates regular alpha activity. (3) Alpha activity also is significantly associated with highly complex cognitive processes, such as the recognition of facial expressions. The neural activity reflected by these brain oscillations can be considered as constituent "building blocks" for a great number of functions. An overarching statement on the alpha function is presented by extended analyzes with multiple dimensions that constitute a "Cartesian Hyperspace" as the basis for oscillatory function. Theoretical implications are considered. PMID:18805445

  18. Darwin's evolution theory, brain oscillations, and complex brain function in a new "Cartesian view".

    PubMed

    Başar, Erol; Güntekin, Bahar

    2009-01-01

    Comparatively analyses of electrophysiological correlates across species during evolution, alpha activity during brain maturation, and alpha activity in complex cognitive processes are presented to illustrate a new multidimensional "Cartesian System" brain function. The main features are: (1) The growth of the alpha activity during evolution, increase of alpha during cognitive processes, and decrease of the alpha entropy during evolution provide an indicator for evolution of brain cognitive performance. (2) Human children younger than 3 years are unable to produce higher cognitive processes and do not show alpha activity till the age of 3 years. The mature brain can perform higher cognitive processes and demonstrates regular alpha activity. (3) Alpha activity also is significantly associated with highly complex cognitive processes, such as the recognition of facial expressions. The neural activity reflected by these brain oscillations can be considered as constituent "building blocks" for a great number of functions. An overarching statement on the alpha function is presented by extended analyzes with multiple dimensions that constitute a "Cartesian Hyperspace" as the basis for oscillatory function. Theoretical implications are considered.

  19. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves.

    PubMed

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-21

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call 'connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory-inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation-inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness.

  20. Human brain networks function in connectome-specific harmonic waves

    PubMed Central

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

    A key characteristic of human brain activity is coherent, spatially distributed oscillations forming behaviour-dependent brain networks. However, a fundamental principle underlying these networks remains unknown. Here we report that functional networks of the human brain are predicted by harmonic patterns, ubiquitous throughout nature, steered by the anatomy of the human cerebral cortex, the human connectome. We introduce a new technique extending the Fourier basis to the human connectome. In this new frequency-specific representation of cortical activity, that we call ‘connectome harmonics', oscillatory networks of the human brain at rest match harmonic wave patterns of certain frequencies. We demonstrate a neural mechanism behind the self-organization of connectome harmonics with a continuous neural field model of excitatory–inhibitory interactions on the connectome. Remarkably, the critical relation between the neural field patterns and the delicate excitation–inhibition balance fits the neurophysiological changes observed during the loss and recovery of consciousness. PMID:26792267

  1. The microbiota-gut-brain axis in functional gastrointestinal disorders

    PubMed Central

    De Palma, Giada; Collins, Stephen M; Bercik, Premysl

    2014-01-01

    Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) are highly prevalent and pose a significant burden on health care and society, and impact patients’ quality of life. FGIDs comprise a heterogeneous group of disorders, with unclear underlying pathophysiology. They are considered to result from the interaction of altered gut physiology and psychological factors via the gut-brain axis, where brain and gut symptoms are reciprocally influencing each other’s expression. Intestinal microbiota, as a part of the gut-brain axis, plays a central role in FGIDs. Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, a prototype of FGIDs, display altered composition of the gut microbiota compared with healthy controls and benefit, at the gastrointestinal and psychological levels, from the use of probiotics and antibiotics. This review aims to recapitulate the available literature on FGIDs and microbiota-gut-brain axis. PMID:24921926

  2. Hierarchical Organization Unveiled by Functional Connectivity in Complex Brain Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Changsong; Zemanová, Lucia; Zamora, Gorka; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Kurths, Jürgen

    2006-12-01

    How do diverse dynamical patterns arise from the topology of complex networks? We study synchronization dynamics in the cortical brain network of the cat, which displays a hierarchically clustered organization, by modeling each node (cortical area) with a subnetwork of interacting excitable neurons. We find that in the biologically plausible regime the dynamics exhibits a hierarchical modular organization, in particular, revealing functional clusters coinciding with the anatomical communities at different scales. Our results provide insights into the relationship between network topology and functional organization of complex brain networks.

  3. Functional brain network changes associated with maintenance of cognitive function in multiple sclerosis.

    PubMed

    Helekar, Santosh A; Shin, Jae C; Mattson, Brandi J; Bartley, Krystle; Stosic, Milena; Saldana-King, Toni; Montague, P Read; Hutton, George J

    2010-01-01

    In multiple sclerosis (MS) functional changes in connectivity due to cortical reorganization could lead to cognitive impairment (CI), or reflect a re-adjustment to reduce the clinical effects of widespread tissue damage. Such alterations in connectivity could result in changes in neural activation as assayed by executive function tasks. We examined cognitive function in MS patients with mild to moderate CI and age-matched controls. We evaluated brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during the successful performance of the Wisconsin card sorting (WCS) task by MS patients, showing compensatory maintenance of normal function, as measured by response latency and error rate. To assess changes in functional connectivity throughout the brain, we performed a global functional brain network analysis by computing voxel-by-voxel correlations on the fMRI time series data and carrying out a hierarchical cluster analysis. We found that during the WCS task there is a significant reduction in the number of smaller size brain functional networks, and a change in the brain areas representing the nodes of these networks in MS patients compared to age-matched controls. There is also a concomitant increase in the strength of functional connections between brain loci separated at intermediate-scale distances in these patients. These functional alterations might reflect compensatory neuroplastic reorganization underlying maintenance of relatively normal cognitive function in the face of white matter lesions and cortical atrophy produced by MS.

  4. Brain Reward Circuits in Morphine Addiction

    PubMed Central

    Kim, Juhwan; Ham, Suji; Hong, Heeok; Moon, Changjong; Im, Heh-In

    2016-01-01

    Morphine is the most potent analgesic for chronic pain, but its clinical use has been limited by the opiate’s innate tendency to produce tolerance, severe withdrawal symptoms and rewarding properties with a high risk of relapse. To understand the addictive properties of morphine, past studies have focused on relevant molecular and cellular changes in the brain, highlighting the functional roles of reward-related brain regions. Given the accumulated findings, a recent, emerging trend in morphine research is that of examining the dynamics of neuronal interactions in brain reward circuits under the influence of morphine action. In this review, we highlight recent findings on the roles of several reward circuits involved in morphine addiction based on pharmacological, molecular and physiological evidences. PMID:27506251

  5. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input. PMID:26819781

  6. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents.

    PubMed

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input.

  7. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wenjing; Li, Jianhong; Wang, Jieqiong; Zhou, Peng; Wang, Zhenchang; Xian, Junfang; He, Huiguang

    2016-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies suggested structural or functional brain reorganizations occurred in prelingually deaf subjects. However, little is known about the reorganizations of brain network architectures in prelingually deaf adolescents. The present study aims to investigate alterations of whole-brain functional network using resting-state fMRI and graph theory analysis. We recruited 16 prelingually deaf adolescents (10~18 years) and 16 normal controls matched in age and gender. Brain networks were constructed from mean time courses of 90 regions. Widely distributed network was observed in deaf subjects, with increased connectivity between the limbic system and regions involved in visual and language processing, suggesting reinforcement of the processing for the visual and verbal information in deaf adolescents. Decreased connectivity was detected between the visual regions and language regions possibly due to inferior reading or speaking skills in deaf subjects. Using graph theory analysis, we demonstrated small-worldness property did not change in prelingually deaf adolescents relative to normal controls. However, compared with healthy adolescents, eight regions involved in visual, language, and auditory processing were identified as hubs only present in prelingually deaf adolescents. These findings revealed reorganization of brain functional networks occurred in prelingually deaf adolescents to adapt to deficient auditory input. PMID:26819781

  8. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves cognitive functioning after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Liu, Su; Shen, Guangyu; Deng, Shukun; Wang, Xiubin; Wu, Qinfeng; Guo, Aisong

    2013-12-15

    Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been widely applied and recognized in the treatment of brain injury; however, the correlation between the protective effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and changes of metabolites in the brain remains unclear. To investigate the effect and potential mechanism of hyperbaric oxygen therapy on cognitive functioning in rats, we established traumatic brain injury models using Feeney's free falling method. We treated rat models with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 0.2 MPa for 60 minutes per day. The Morris water maze test for spatial navigation showed that the average escape latency was significantly prolonged and cognitive function decreased in rats with brain injury. After treatment with hyperbaric oxygen therapy for 1 and 2 weeks, the rats' spatial learning and memory abilities were improved. Hydrogen proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis showed that the N-acetylaspartate/creatine ratio in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased at 1 week, and the N-acetylaspartate/choline ratio was significantly increased at 2 weeks after hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Nissl staining and immunohistochemical staining showed that the number of nerve cells and Nissl bodies in the hippocampal CA3 region was significantly increased, and glial fibrillary acidic protein positive cells were decreased after a 2-week hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Our findings indicate that hyperbaric oxygen therapy significantly improves cognitive functioning in rats with traumatic brain injury, and the potential mechanism is mediated by metabolic changes and nerve cell restoration in the hippocampal CA3 region.

  9. Effects of Soccer Heading on Brain Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Lasmar, Rodrigo Pace; Caramelli, Paulo

    2016-01-01

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with more than 265 million players worldwide, including professional and amateur ones. Soccer is unique in comparison to other sports, as it is the only sport in which participants purposely use their head to hit the ball. Heading is considered as an offensive or defensive move whereby the player's unprotected head is used to deliberately impact the ball and direct it during play. A soccer player can be subjected to an average of 6-12 incidents of heading the ball per competitive game, where the ball reaches high velocities. Moreover, in practice sessions, heading training, which involves heading the ball repeatedly at low velocities, is common. Although the scientific community, as well as the media, has focused on the effects of concussions in contact sports, the role of subconcussive impacts, as it can occur during heading, has recently gained attention, considering that it may represent an additional mechanism of cumulative brain injury. The purpose of this study is to review the existing literature regarding the effects of soccer heading on brain structure and function. Only in the last years, some investigations have addressed the impact of heading on brain structure, by using neuroimaging techniques. Similarly, there have been some recent studies investigating biochemical markers of brain injury in soccer players. There is evidence of association between heading and abnormal brain structure, but the data are still preliminary. Also, some studies have suggested that subconcussive head impacts, as heading, could cause cognitive impairment, whereas others have not corroborated this finding. Questions persist as to whether or not heading is deleterious to cognitive functioning. Further studies, especially with longitudinal designs, are needed to clarify the clinical significance of heading as a cause of brain injury and to identify risk factors. Such investigations might contribute to the establishment of safety

  10. Effects of Soccer Heading on Brain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Rodrigues, Ana Carolina; Lasmar, Rodrigo Pace; Caramelli, Paulo

    2016-01-01

    Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, with more than 265 million players worldwide, including professional and amateur ones. Soccer is unique in comparison to other sports, as it is the only sport in which participants purposely use their head to hit the ball. Heading is considered as an offensive or defensive move whereby the player’s unprotected head is used to deliberately impact the ball and direct it during play. A soccer player can be subjected to an average of 6–12 incidents of heading the ball per competitive game, where the ball reaches high velocities. Moreover, in practice sessions, heading training, which involves heading the ball repeatedly at low velocities, is common. Although the scientific community, as well as the media, has focused on the effects of concussions in contact sports, the role of subconcussive impacts, as it can occur during heading, has recently gained attention, considering that it may represent an additional mechanism of cumulative brain injury. The purpose of this study is to review the existing literature regarding the effects of soccer heading on brain structure and function. Only in the last years, some investigations have addressed the impact of heading on brain structure, by using neuroimaging techniques. Similarly, there have been some recent studies investigating biochemical markers of brain injury in soccer players. There is evidence of association between heading and abnormal brain structure, but the data are still preliminary. Also, some studies have suggested that subconcussive head impacts, as heading, could cause cognitive impairment, whereas others have not corroborated this finding. Questions persist as to whether or not heading is deleterious to cognitive functioning. Further studies, especially with longitudinal designs, are needed to clarify the clinical significance of heading as a cause of brain injury and to identify risk factors. Such investigations might contribute to the establishment of safety

  11. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Conrado A.; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

    Regardless of major anatomical and neurodevelopmental differences, the vertebrate isocortex shows a remarkably well-conserved organization. In the isocortex, reciprocal connections between excitatory and inhibitory neurons are distributed across multiple layers, encompassing modular, dynamical and recurrent functional networks during information processing. These dynamical brain networks are often organized in neuronal assemblies interacting through rhythmic phase relationships. Accordingly, these oscillatory interactions are observed across multiple brain scale levels, and they are associated with several sensory, motor, and cognitive processes. Most notably, oscillatory interactions are also found in the complete spectrum of vertebrates. Yet, it is unknown why this functional organization is so well conserved in evolution. In this perspective, we propose some ideas about how functional requirements of the isocortex can account for the evolutionary stability observed in microcircuits across vertebrates. We argue that isocortex architectures represent canonical microcircuits resulting from: (i) the early selection of neuronal architectures based on the oscillatory excitatory-inhibitory balance, which lead to the implementation of compartmentalized oscillations and (ii) the subsequent emergence of inferential coding strategies (predictive coding), which are able to expand computational capacities. We also argue that these functional constraints may be the result of several advantages that oscillatory activity contributes to brain network processes, such as information transmission and code reliability. In this manner, similarities in mesoscale brain circuitry and input-output organization between different vertebrate groups may reflect evolutionary constraints imposed by these functional requirements, which may or may not be traceable to a common ancestor. PMID:26388716

  12. Efficiency and cost of economical brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Achard, Sophie; Bullmore, Ed

    2007-02-01

    Brain anatomical networks are sparse, complex, and have economical small-world properties. We investigated the efficiency and cost of human brain functional networks measured using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a factorial design: two groups of healthy old (N = 11; mean age = 66.5 years) and healthy young (N = 15; mean age = 24.7 years) volunteers were each scanned twice in a no-task or "resting" state following placebo or a single dose of a dopamine receptor antagonist (sulpiride 400 mg). Functional connectivity between 90 cortical and subcortical regions was estimated by wavelet correlation analysis, in the frequency interval 0.06-0.11 Hz, and thresholded to construct undirected graphs. These brain functional networks were small-world and economical in the sense of providing high global and local efficiency of parallel information processing for low connection cost. Efficiency was reduced disproportionately to cost in older people, and the detrimental effects of age on efficiency were localised to frontal and temporal cortical and subcortical regions. Dopamine antagonism also impaired global and local efficiency of the network, but this effect was differentially localised and did not interact with the effect of age. Brain functional networks have economical small-world properties-supporting efficient parallel information transfer at relatively low cost-which are differently impaired by normal aging and pharmacological blockade of dopamine transmission.

  13. Brain tumour cells interconnect to a functional and resistant network.

    PubMed

    Osswald, Matthias; Jung, Erik; Sahm, Felix; Solecki, Gergely; Venkataramani, Varun; Blaes, Jonas; Weil, Sophie; Horstmann, Heinz; Wiestler, Benedikt; Syed, Mustafa; Huang, Lulu; Ratliff, Miriam; Karimian Jazi, Kianush; Kurz, Felix T; Schmenger, Torsten; Lemke, Dieter; Gömmel, Miriam; Pauli, Martin; Liao, Yunxiang; Häring, Peter; Pusch, Stefan; Herl, Verena; Steinhäuser, Christian; Krunic, Damir; Jarahian, Mostafa; Miletic, Hrvoje; Berghoff, Anna S; Griesbeck, Oliver; Kalamakis, Georgios; Garaschuk, Olga; Preusser, Matthias; Weiss, Samuel; Liu, Haikun; Heiland, Sabine; Platten, Michael; Huber, Peter E; Kuner, Thomas; von Deimling, Andreas; Wick, Wolfgang; Winkler, Frank

    2015-12-01

    Astrocytic brain tumours, including glioblastomas, are incurable neoplasms characterized by diffusely infiltrative growth. Here we show that many tumour cells in astrocytomas extend ultra-long membrane protrusions, and use these distinct tumour microtubes as routes for brain invasion, proliferation, and to interconnect over long distances. The resulting network allows multicellular communication through microtube-associated gap junctions. When damage to the network occurred, tumour microtubes were used for repair. Moreover, the microtube-connected astrocytoma cells, but not those remaining unconnected throughout tumour progression, were protected from cell death inflicted by radiotherapy. The neuronal growth-associated protein 43 was important for microtube formation and function, and drove microtube-dependent tumour cell invasion, proliferation, interconnection, and radioresistance. Oligodendroglial brain tumours were deficient in this mechanism. In summary, astrocytomas can develop functional multicellular network structures. Disconnection of astrocytoma cells by targeting their tumour microtubes emerges as a new principle to reduce the treatment resistance of this disease.

  14. Structural and functional clusters of complex brain networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemanová, Lucia; Zhou, Changsong; Kurths, Jürgen

    2006-12-01

    Recent research using the complex network approach has revealed a rich and complicated network topology in the cortical connectivity of mammalian brains. It is of importance to understand the implications of such complex network structures in the functional organization of the brain activities. Here we study this problem from the viewpoint of dynamical complex networks. We investigate synchronization dynamics on the corticocortical network of the cat by modeling each node (cortical area) of the network with a sub-network of interacting excitable neurons. We find that the network displays clustered synchronization behavior, and the dynamical clusters coincide with the topological community structures observed in the anatomical network. Our results provide insights into the relationship between the global organization and the functional specialization of the brain cortex.

  15. The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Andrea N.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Rapidly emerging evidence continues to describe an intimate and causal relationship between sleep and emotional brain function. These findings are mirrored by longstanding clinical observations demonstrating that nearly all mood and anxiety disorders co-occur with one or more sleep abnormalities. This review aims to (1) provide a synthesis of recent findings describing the emotional brain and behavioral benefits triggered by sleep, and conversely, the detrimental impairments following a lack of sleep, (2) outline a proposed framework in which sleep, and specifically rapid-eye movement (REM) sleep, supports a process of affective brain homeostasis, optimally preparing the organism for next-day social and emotional functioning, and (3) describe how this hypothesized framework can explain the prevalent relationships between sleep and psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on post-traumatic stress disorder and major depression. PMID:24499013

  16. Netrin 1 regulates blood-brain barrier function and neuroinflammation.

    PubMed

    Podjaski, Cornelia; Alvarez, Jorge I; Bourbonniere, Lyne; Larouche, Sandra; Terouz, Simone; Bin, Jenea M; Lécuyer, Marc-André; Saint-Laurent, Olivia; Larochelle, Catherine; Darlington, Peter J; Arbour, Nathalie; Antel, Jack P; Kennedy, Timothy E; Prat, Alexandre

    2015-06-01

    Blood-brain barrier function is driven by the influence of astrocyte-secreted factors. During neuroinflammatory responses the blood-brain barrier is compromised resulting in central nervous system damage and exacerbated pathology. Here, we identified endothelial netrin 1 induction as a vascular response to astrocyte-derived sonic hedgehog that promotes autocrine barrier properties during homeostasis and increases with inflammation. Netrin 1 supports blood-brain barrier integrity by upregulating endothelial junctional protein expression, while netrin 1 knockout mice display disorganized tight junction protein expression and barrier breakdown. Upon inflammatory conditions, blood-brain barrier endothelial cells significantly upregulated netrin 1 levels in vitro and in situ, which prevented junctional breach and endothelial cell activation. Finally, netrin 1 treatment during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis significantly reduced blood-brain barrier disruption and decreased clinical and pathological indices of disease severity. Our results demonstrate that netrin 1 is an important regulator of blood-brain barrier maintenance that protects the central nervous system against inflammatory conditions such as multiple sclerosis and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.

  17. Disrupted functional brain connectome in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haibo; Fan, Wenliang; Zhao, Xueyan; Li, Jing; Zhang, Wenjuan; Lei, Ping; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Haha; Cheng, Huamao; Shi, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is generally defined as sensorineural hearing loss of 30 dB or greater over at least three contiguous audiometric frequencies and within a three-day period. This hearing loss is usually unilateral and can be associated with tinnitus and vertigo. The pathogenesis of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss is still unknown, and the alterations in the functional connectivity are suspected to involve one possible pathogenesis. Despite scarce findings with respect to alterations in brain functional networks in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the alterations of the whole brain functional connectome and whether these alterations were already in existence in the acute period remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the alterations of brain functional connectome in two large samples of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients and to investigate the correlation between unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss characteristics and changes in the functional network properties. Pure tone audiometry was performed to assess hearing ability. Abnormal changes in the peripheral auditory system were examined using conventional magnetic resonance imaging. The graph theoretical network analysis method was used to detect brain connectome alterations in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Compared with the control groups, both groups of unilateral SSNHL patients exhibited a significantly increased clustering coefficient, global efficiency, and local efficiency but a significantly decreased characteristic path length. In addition, the primary increased nodal strength (e.g., nodal betweenness, hubs) was observed in several regions primarily, including the limbic and paralimbic systems, and in the auditory network brain areas. These findings suggest that the alteration of network organization already exists in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients within the acute period

  18. Disrupted functional brain connectome in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

    PubMed

    Xu, Haibo; Fan, Wenliang; Zhao, Xueyan; Li, Jing; Zhang, Wenjuan; Lei, Ping; Liu, Yuan; Wang, Haha; Cheng, Huamao; Shi, Hong

    2016-05-01

    Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is generally defined as sensorineural hearing loss of 30 dB or greater over at least three contiguous audiometric frequencies and within a three-day period. This hearing loss is usually unilateral and can be associated with tinnitus and vertigo. The pathogenesis of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss is still unknown, and the alterations in the functional connectivity are suspected to involve one possible pathogenesis. Despite scarce findings with respect to alterations in brain functional networks in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the alterations of the whole brain functional connectome and whether these alterations were already in existence in the acute period remains unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the alterations of brain functional connectome in two large samples of unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients and to investigate the correlation between unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss characteristics and changes in the functional network properties. Pure tone audiometry was performed to assess hearing ability. Abnormal changes in the peripheral auditory system were examined using conventional magnetic resonance imaging. The graph theoretical network analysis method was used to detect brain connectome alterations in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss. Compared with the control groups, both groups of unilateral SSNHL patients exhibited a significantly increased clustering coefficient, global efficiency, and local efficiency but a significantly decreased characteristic path length. In addition, the primary increased nodal strength (e.g., nodal betweenness, hubs) was observed in several regions primarily, including the limbic and paralimbic systems, and in the auditory network brain areas. These findings suggest that the alteration of network organization already exists in unilateral sudden sensorineural hearing loss patients within the acute period

  19. Does sleep restore the topology of functional brain networks?

    PubMed

    Koenis, Maria M G; Romeijn, Nico; Piantoni, Giovanni; Verweij, Ilse; Van der Werf, Ysbrand D; Van Someren, Eus J W; Stam, Cornelis J

    2013-02-01

    Previous studies have shown that healthy anatomical as well as functional brain networks have small-world properties and become less optimal with brain disease. During sleep, the functional brain network becomes more small-world-like. Here we test the hypothesis that the functional brain network during wakefulness becomes less optimal after sleep deprivation (SD). Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded five times a day after a night of SD and after a night of normal sleep in eight young healthy subjects, both during eyes-closed and eyes-open resting state. Overall synchronization was determined with the synchronization likelihood (SL) and the phase lag index (PLI). From these coupling strength matrices the normalized clustering coefficient C (a measurement of local clustering) and path length L (a measurement of global integration) were computed. Both measures were normalized by dividing them by their corresponding C-s and L-s values of random control networks. SD reduced alpha band C/C-s and L/L-s and theta band C/C-s during eyes-closed resting state. In contrast, SD increased gamma-band C/C-s and L/L-s during eyes-open resting state. Functional relevance of these changes in network properties was suggested by their association with sleep deprivation-induced performance deficits on a sustained attention simple reaction time task. The findings indicate that SD results in a more random network of alpha-coupling and a more ordered network of gamma-coupling. The present study shows that SD induces frequency-specific changes in the functional network topology of the brain, supporting the idea that sleep plays a role in the maintenance of an optimal functional network.

  20. Aberrant functional brain connectome in people with antisocial personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Long, Jun; Wang, Wei; Liao, Jian; Xie, Hua; Zhao, Guihu; Zhang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterised by a disregard for social obligations and callous unconcern for the feelings of others. Studies have demonstrated that ASPD is associated with abnormalities in brain regions and aberrant functional connectivity. In this paper, topological organisation was examined in resting-state fMRI data obtained from 32 ASPD patients and 32 non-ASPD controls. The frequency-dependent functional networks were constructed using wavelet-based correlations over 90 brain regions. The topology of the functional networks of ASPD subjects was analysed via graph theoretical analysis. Furthermore, the abnormal functional connectivity was determined with a network-based statistic (NBS) approach. Our results revealed that, compared with the controls, the ASPD patients exhibited altered topological configuration of the functional connectome in the frequency interval of 0.016-0.031 Hz, as indicated by the increased clustering coefficient and decreased betweenness centrality in the medial superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, Rolandic operculum, superior parietal gyrus, angular gyrus, and middle temporal pole. In addition, the ASPD patients showed increased functional connectivity mainly located in the default-mode network. The present study reveals an aberrant topological organisation of the functional brain network in individuals with ASPD. Our findings provide novel insight into the neuropathological mechanisms of ASPD.

  1. Aberrant functional brain connectome in people with antisocial personality disorder

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Yan; Long, Jun; Wang, Wei; Liao, Jian; Xie, Hua; Zhao, Guihu; Zhang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterised by a disregard for social obligations and callous unconcern for the feelings of others. Studies have demonstrated that ASPD is associated with abnormalities in brain regions and aberrant functional connectivity. In this paper, topological organisation was examined in resting-state fMRI data obtained from 32 ASPD patients and 32 non-ASPD controls. The frequency-dependent functional networks were constructed using wavelet-based correlations over 90 brain regions. The topology of the functional networks of ASPD subjects was analysed via graph theoretical analysis. Furthermore, the abnormal functional connectivity was determined with a network-based statistic (NBS) approach. Our results revealed that, compared with the controls, the ASPD patients exhibited altered topological configuration of the functional connectome in the frequency interval of 0.016–0.031 Hz, as indicated by the increased clustering coefficient and decreased betweenness centrality in the medial superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, Rolandic operculum, superior parietal gyrus, angular gyrus, and middle temporal pole. In addition, the ASPD patients showed increased functional connectivity mainly located in the default-mode network. The present study reveals an aberrant topological organisation of the functional brain network in individuals with ASPD. Our findings provide novel insight into the neuropathological mechanisms of ASPD. PMID:27257047

  2. Aberrant functional brain connectome in people with antisocial personality disorder.

    PubMed

    Tang, Yan; Long, Jun; Wang, Wei; Liao, Jian; Xie, Hua; Zhao, Guihu; Zhang, Hao

    2016-01-01

    Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is characterised by a disregard for social obligations and callous unconcern for the feelings of others. Studies have demonstrated that ASPD is associated with abnormalities in brain regions and aberrant functional connectivity. In this paper, topological organisation was examined in resting-state fMRI data obtained from 32 ASPD patients and 32 non-ASPD controls. The frequency-dependent functional networks were constructed using wavelet-based correlations over 90 brain regions. The topology of the functional networks of ASPD subjects was analysed via graph theoretical analysis. Furthermore, the abnormal functional connectivity was determined with a network-based statistic (NBS) approach. Our results revealed that, compared with the controls, the ASPD patients exhibited altered topological configuration of the functional connectome in the frequency interval of 0.016-0.031 Hz, as indicated by the increased clustering coefficient and decreased betweenness centrality in the medial superior frontal gyrus, precentral gyrus, Rolandic operculum, superior parietal gyrus, angular gyrus, and middle temporal pole. In addition, the ASPD patients showed increased functional connectivity mainly located in the default-mode network. The present study reveals an aberrant topological organisation of the functional brain network in individuals with ASPD. Our findings provide novel insight into the neuropathological mechanisms of ASPD. PMID:27257047

  3. Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Maternal Brain Circuitry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Brain Functioning: Implications for Curriculum and Instruction in Industrial Arts.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bame, E. Allen; Gatewood, Thomas E.

    1983-01-01

    Following a review of research on hemispheric brain functioning, the authors discuss six program characteristics that can make industrial arts more responsive to the needs of junior high/middle school students: experiential, self-concept clarification, community orientation, interdisciplinary, exploratory, and responsive. (SK)

  5. Brain structure and function correlates of cognitive subtypes in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Geisler, Daniel; Walton, Esther; Naylor, Melissa; Roessner, Veit; Lim, Kelvin O; Charles Schulz, S; Gollub, Randy L; Calhoun, Vince D; Sponheim, Scott R; Ehrlich, Stefan

    2015-10-30

    Stable neuropsychological deficits may provide a reliable basis for identifying etiological subtypes of schizophrenia. The aim of this study was to identify clusters of individuals with schizophrenia based on dimensions of neuropsychological performance, and to characterize their neural correlates. We acquired neuropsychological data as well as structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging from 129 patients with schizophrenia and 165 healthy controls. We derived eight cognitive dimensions and subsequently applied a cluster analysis to identify possible schizophrenia subtypes. Analyses suggested the following four cognitive clusters of schizophrenia: (1) Diminished Verbal Fluency, (2) Diminished Verbal Memory and Poor Motor Control, (3) Diminished Face Memory and Slowed Processing, and (4) Diminished Intellectual Function. The clusters were characterized by a specific pattern of structural brain changes in areas such as Wernicke's area, lingual gyrus and occipital face area, and hippocampus as well as differences in working memory-elicited neural activity in several fronto-parietal brain regions. Separable measures of cognitive function appear to provide a method for deriving cognitive subtypes meaningfully related to brain structure and function. Because the present study identified brain-based neural correlates of the cognitive clusters, the proposed groups of individuals with schizophrenia have some external validity.

  6. The nicotinic cholinergic system function in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Nees, Frauke

    2015-09-01

    Research on the nicotinic cholinergic system function in the brain was previously mainly derived from animal studies, yet, research in humans is growing. Up to date, findings allow significant advances on the understanding of nicotinic cholinergic effects on human cognition, emotion and behavior using a range of functional brain imaging approaches such as pharmacological functional magnetic resonance imaging or positron emission tomography. Studies provided insights across various mechanistic psychological domains using different tasks as well as at rest in both healthy individuals and patient populations, with so far partly mixed results reporting both enhancements and decrements of neural activity related to the nicotinic cholinergic system. Moreover, studies on the relation between brain structure and the nicotinic cholinergic system add important information in this context. The present review summarizes the current status of human brain imaging studies and presents the findings within a theoretical and clinical perspective as they may be useful not only for an advancement of the understanding of basic nicotinic cholinergic-related mechanisms, but also for the development and integration of psychological and pharmacological treatment approaches. Patterns of functional neuroanatomy and neural circuitry across various cognitive and emotional domains may be used as neuropsychological markers of mental disorders such as addiction, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson disease or schizophrenia, where nicotinic cholinergic system changes are characteristic. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'The Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptor: From Molecular Biology to Cognition'.

  7. Ethical issues of brain functional imaging: reading your mind.

    PubMed

    Karanasiou, Irene S; Biniaris, Christos G; Marsh, Andrew J

    2008-01-01

    Neuroimaging practice and research are overviewed in this paper through an ethics lens. The main ethical implications in biomedical research concerning functional brain imaging are discussed with the focus on issues related to imaging of personal information and privacy. Specific norms and guidelines will be eventually formed in the future under the umbrella of the new discipline of Neuroethics.

  8. "Hotheaded": the role OF TRPV1 in brain functions.

    PubMed

    Martins, D; Tavares, I; Morgado, C

    2014-10-01

    The TRPV1 (vanilloid 1) channel is best known for its role in sensory transmission in the nociceptive neurons of the peripheral nervous system. Although first studied in the dorsal root ganglia as the receptor for capsaicin, TRPV1 has been recently recognized to have a broader distribution in the central nervous system, where it is likely to constitute an atypical neurotransmission system involved in several functions through modulation of both neuronal and glial activities. The endovanilloid-activated brain TRPV1 channels seem to be involved in somatosensory, motor and visceral functions. Recent studies suggested that TRPV1 channels also account for more complex functions, as addiction, anxiety, mood and cognition/learning. However, more studies are needed before the relevance of TRPV1 in brain activity can be clearly stated. This review highlights the increasing importance of TRPV1 as a regulator of brain function and discusses possible bases for the future development of new therapeutic approaches that by targeting brain TRPV1 receptors might be used for the treatment of several neurological disorders.

  9. Functional craniology and brain evolution: from paleontology to biomedicine

    PubMed Central

    Bruner, Emiliano; de la Cuétara, José Manuel; Masters, Michael; Amano, Hideki; Ogihara, Naomichi

    2014-01-01

    Anatomical systems are organized through a network of structural and functional relationships among their elements. This network of relationships is the result of evolution, it represents the actual target of selection, and it generates the set of rules orienting and constraining the morphogenetic processes. Understanding the relationship among cranial and cerebral components is necessary to investigate the factors that have influenced and characterized our neuroanatomy, and possible drawbacks associated with the evolution of large brains. The study of the spatial relationships between skull and brain in the human genus has direct relevance in cranial surgery. Geometrical modeling can provide functional perspectives in evolution and brain physiology, like in simulations to investigate metabolic heat production and dissipation in the endocranial form. Analysis of the evolutionary constraints between facial and neural blocks can provide new information on visual impairment. The study of brain form variation in fossil humans can supply a different perspective for interpreting the processes behind neurodegeneration and Alzheimer’s disease. Following these examples, it is apparent that paleontology and biomedicine can exchange relevant information and contribute at the same time to the development of robust evolutionary hypotheses on brain evolution, while offering more comprehensive biological perspectives with regard to the interpretation of pathological processes. PMID:24765064

  10. Functional craniology and brain evolution: from paleontology to biomedicine.

    PubMed

    Bruner, Emiliano; de la Cuétara, José Manuel; Masters, Michael; Amano, Hideki; Ogihara, Naomichi

    2014-01-01

    Anatomical systems are organized through a network of structural and functional relationships among their elements. This network of relationships is the result of evolution, it represents the actual target of selection, and it generates the set of rules orienting and constraining the morphogenetic processes. Understanding the relationship among cranial and cerebral components is necessary to investigate the factors that have influenced and characterized our neuroanatomy, and possible drawbacks associated with the evolution of large brains. The study of the spatial relationships between skull and brain in the human genus has direct relevance in cranial surgery. Geometrical modeling can provide functional perspectives in evolution and brain physiology, like in simulations to investigate metabolic heat production and dissipation in the endocranial form. Analysis of the evolutionary constraints between facial and neural blocks can provide new information on visual impairment. The study of brain form variation in fossil humans can supply a different perspective for interpreting the processes behind neurodegeneration and Alzheimer's disease. Following these examples, it is apparent that paleontology and biomedicine can exchange relevant information and contribute at the same time to the development of robust evolutionary hypotheses on brain evolution, while offering more comprehensive biological perspectives with regard to the interpretation of pathological processes.

  11. Memory Function Before and After Whole Brain Radiotherapy in Patients With and Without Brain Metastases

    SciTech Connect

    Welzel, Grit Fleckenstein, Katharina; Schaefer, Joerg; Hermann, Brigitte; Kraus-Tiefenbacher, Uta; Mai, Sabine K.; Wenz, Frederik

    2008-12-01

    Purpose: To prospectively compare the effect of prophylactic and therapeutic whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) on memory function in patients with and without brain metastases. Methods and Materials: Adult patients with and without brain metastases (n = 44) were prospectively evaluated with serial cognitive testing, before RT (T0), after starting RT (T1), at the end of RT (T2), and 6-8 weeks (T3) after RT completion. Data were obtained from small-cell lung cancer patients treated with prophylactic cranial irradiation, patients with brain metastases treated with therapeutic cranial irradiation (TCI), and breast cancer patients treated with RT to the breast. Results: Before therapy, prophylactic cranial irradiation patients performed worse than TCI patients or than controls on most test scores. During and after WBRT, verbal memory function was influenced by pretreatment cognitive status (p < 0.001) and to a lesser extent by WBRT. Acute (T1) radiation effects on verbal memory function were only observed in TCI patients (p = 0.031). Subacute (T3) radiation effects on verbal memory function were observed in both TCI and prophylactic cranial irradiation patients (p = 0.006). These effects were more pronounced in patients with above-average performance at baseline. Visual memory and attention were not influenced by WBRT. Conclusions: The results of our study have shown that WBRT causes cognitive dysfunction immediately after the beginning of RT in patients with brain metastases only. At 6-8 weeks after the end of WBRT, cognitive dysfunction was seen in patients with and without brain metastases. Because cognitive dysfunction after WBRT is restricted to verbal memory, patients should not avoid WBRT because of a fear of neurocognitive side effects.

  12. The Functional Connectivity Landscape of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Fatima, Zainab; Jonides, John; McIntosh, Anthony R.

    2014-01-01

    Functional brain networks emerge and dissipate over a primarily static anatomical foundation. The dynamic basis of these networks is inter-regional communication involving local and distal regions. It is assumed that inter-regional distances play a pivotal role in modulating network dynamics. Using three different neuroimaging modalities, 6 datasets were evaluated to determine whether experimental manipulations asymmetrically affect functional relationships based on the distance between brain regions in human participants. Contrary to previous assumptions, here we show that short- and long-range connections are equally likely to strengthen or weaken in response to task demands. Additionally, connections between homotopic areas are the most stable and less likely to change compared to any other type of connection. Our results point to a functional connectivity landscape characterized by fluid transitions between local specialization and global integration. This ability to mediate functional properties irrespective of spatial distance may engender a diverse repertoire of cognitive processes when faced with a dynamic environment. PMID:25350370

  13. Pregnancy reduces brain sigma receptor function

    PubMed Central

    Bergeron, Richard; de Montigny, Claude; Debonnel, Guy

    1999-01-01

    Sigma (σ) receptors have recently been cloned, though their endogenous ligand(s) remain unidentified. However, some neuroactive steroids, such as progesterone, have a high affinity for these receptors. Some σ ligands, such as DTG, (+)-pentazocine and DHEA, act as σ ‘agonists' by potentiating the neuronal response to NMDA. Others, such as haloperidol, NE-100 and progesterone, act as σ ‘antagonists' by reversing the potentiations induced by σ ‘agonists'.We compared the effects of σ ‘agonists' in four series of female rats: in controls, at day 18 of pregnancy, at day 5 post-partum, and in ovariectomized rats following a 3-week treatment with a high dose of progesterone.In pregnant rats and following a 3-week treatment with progesterone, 10 fold higher doses of DTG, (+)-pentazocine and DHEA were required to elicit a selective potentiation of the NMDA response comparable to that obtained in control females. Conversely, at day 5 post-partum and following the 3-week treatment with a progesterone and after a 5-day washout, the potentiation of the NMDA response induced by the σ ‘agonist' DTG was greater than in control females.The present data suggest that endogenous progesterone acts as an ‘antagonist' at σ receptors. The resulting changes in the function of σ receptors during pregnancy and post-partum may be implicated in emotional phenomena occurring during these periods. PMID:10482906

  14. Individual Differences in the Attribution of Incentive Salience to a Reward-Related Cue: Influence on Cocaine Sensitization

    PubMed Central

    Flagel, Shelly B.; Watson, Stanley J.; Akil, Huda; Robinson, Terry E.

    2008-01-01

    When a discrete cue (a “sign”) is presented repeatedly in anticipation of a food reward the cue can become imbued with incentive salience, leading some animals to approach and engage it, a phenomenon known as “sign-tracking” (the animals are sign-trackers; STs). In contrast, other animals do not approach the cue, but upon cue presentation go to the location where food will be delivered (the goal). These animals are known as goal-trackers (GTs). It has been hypothesized that individuals who attribute excessive incentive salience to reward-related cues may be especially vulnerable to develop compulsive behavioral disorders, including addiction. We were interested, therefore, in whether individual differences in the propensity to sign-track are associated with differences in responsivity to cocaine. Using an autoshaping procedure in which lever (conditioned stimulus) presentation was immediately followed by the response-independent delivery of a food pellet (unconditioned stimulus), rats were first characterized as STs or GTs and subsequently studied for the acute psychomotor response to cocaine and the propensity for cocaine-induced psychomotor sensitization. We found that GTs were more sensitive than STs to the acute locomotor activating effects of cocaine, but STs showed a greater propensity for psychomotor sensitization upon repeated treatment. These data suggest that individual differences in the tendency to attribute incentive salience to a discrete reward-related cue, and to approach and engage it, are associated with susceptibility to a form of cocaine-induced plasticity that may contribute to the development of addiction. PMID:17719099

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-10-01

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

  16. Complex function in the dynamic brain. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Michael L.

    2014-09-01

    There is much to commend in this excellent overview of the progress we've made toward-and the challenges that remain for-developing an empirical framework for neuroscience that is adequate to the dynamic complexity of the brain [17]. Here I will limit myself first to highlighting the concept of dynamic affiliation, which I take to be the central feature of the functional architecture of the brain, and second to clarifying Pessoa's brief discussion of the ontology of cognition, to be sure readers appreciate this crucial issue.

  17. Left Brain vs. Right Brain: Findings on Visual Spatial Capacities and the Functional Neurology of Giftedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Gillmarten, Charles

    2013-01-01

    As neuroimaging technologies increase their sensitivity to assess the function of the human brain and results from these studies draw the attention of educators, it becomes paramount to identify misconceptions about what these data illustrate and how these findings might be applied to educational contexts. Some of these "neuromyths" have…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. Tesmilifene modifies brain endothelial functions and opens the blood-brain/blood-glioma barrier.

    PubMed

    Walter, Fruzsina R; Veszelka, Szilvia; Pásztói, Mária; Péterfi, Zoltán A; Tóth, András; Rákhely, Gábor; Cervenak, László; Ábrahám, Csongor S; Deli, Mária A

    2015-09-01

    Tesmilifene, a tamoxifen analog with antihistamine action, has chemopotentiating properties in experimental and clinical cancer studies. In our previous works, tesmilifene increased the permeability of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) in animal and culture models. Our aim was to investigate the effects of tesmilifene on brain microvessel permeability in the rat RG2 glioma model and to reveal its mode of action in brain endothelial cells. Tesmilifene significantly increased fluorescein extravasation in the glioma. Short-term treatment with tesmilifene reduced the resistance and increased the permeability for marker molecules in a rat triple co-culture BBB model. Tesmilifene also affected the barrier integrity in brain endothelial cells co-cultured with RG2 glioblastoma cells. Tesmilifene inhibited the activity of P-glycoprotein and multidrug resistance-associated protein-1 efflux pumps and down-regulated the mRNA expression of tight junction proteins, efflux pumps, solute carriers, and metabolic enzymes important for BBB functions. Among the possible signaling pathways that regulate BBB permeability, tesmilifene activated the early nuclear translocation of NFκB. The MAPK/ERK and PI3K/Akt kinase pathways were also involved. We demonstrate for the first time that tesmilifene increases permeability marker molecule extravasation in glioma and inhibits efflux pump activity in brain endothelial cells, which may have therapeutic relevance. Tesmilifene, a chemopotentiator in experimental and clinical cancer studies increases vascular permeability in RG2 glioma in rats and permeability for marker molecules in a culture model of the blood-brain barrier. Tesmilifene inhibits the activity of efflux pumps and down-regulates the mRNA expression of tight junction proteins, transporters, and metabolic enzymes important for the blood-brain barrier functions, which may have therapeutic relevance.

  20. Effects of exercise on brain functions in diabetic animal models

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-01-01

    Human life span has dramatically increased over several decades, and the quality of life has been considered to be equally important. However, diabetes mellitus (DM) characterized by problems related to insulin secretion and recognition has become a serious health problem in recent years that threatens human health by causing decline in brain functions and finally leading to neurodegenerative diseases. Exercise is recognized as an effective therapy for DM without medication administration. Exercise studies using experimental animals are a suitable option to overcome this drawback, and animal studies have improved continuously according to the needs of the experimenters. Since brain health is the most significant factor in human life, it is very important to assess brain functions according to the different exercise conditions using experimental animal models. Generally, there are two types of DM; insulin-dependent type 1 DM and an insulin-independent type 2 DM (T2DM); however, the author will mostly discuss brain functions in T2DM animal models in this review. Additionally, many physiopathologic alterations are caused in the brain by DM such as increased adiposity, inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, uncontrolled hyperphagia, insulin and leptin resistance, and dysregulation of neurotransmitters and declined neurogenesis in the hippocampus and we describe how exercise corrects these alterations in animal models. The results of changes in the brain environment differ according to voluntary, involuntary running exercises and resistance exercise, and gender in the animal studies. These factors have been mentioned in this review, and this review will be a good reference for studying how exercise can be used with therapy for treating DM. PMID:25987956

  1. Effects of exercise on brain functions in diabetic animal models.

    PubMed

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-05-15

    Human life span has dramatically increased over several decades, and the quality of life has been considered to be equally important. However, diabetes mellitus (DM) characterized by problems related to insulin secretion and recognition has become a serious health problem in recent years that threatens human health by causing decline in brain functions and finally leading to neurodegenerative diseases. Exercise is recognized as an effective therapy for DM without medication administration. Exercise studies using experimental animals are a suitable option to overcome this drawback, and animal studies have improved continuously according to the needs of the experimenters. Since brain health is the most significant factor in human life, it is very important to assess brain functions according to the different exercise conditions using experimental animal models. Generally, there are two types of DM; insulin-dependent type 1 DM and an insulin-independent type 2 DM (T2DM); however, the author will mostly discuss brain functions in T2DM animal models in this review. Additionally, many physiopathologic alterations are caused in the brain by DM such as increased adiposity, inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, uncontrolled hyperphagia, insulin and leptin resistance, and dysregulation of neurotransmitters and declined neurogenesis in the hippocampus and we describe how exercise corrects these alterations in animal models. The results of changes in the brain environment differ according to voluntary, involuntary running exercises and resistance exercise, and gender in the animal studies. These factors have been mentioned in this review, and this review will be a good reference for studying how exercise can be used with therapy for treating DM.

  2. Transcriptional Dynamics at Brain Enhancers: from Functional Specialization to Neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Vermunt, Marit W; Creyghton, Menno P

    2016-10-01

    Over the last decade, the noncoding part of the genome has been shown to harbour thousands of cis-regulatory elements, such as enhancers, that activate well-defined gene expression programs. Driven by the development of numerous techniques, many of these elements are now identified in multiple tissues and cell types, and their characteristics as well as importance in development and disease are becoming increasingly clear. Here, we provide an overview of the insights that were gained from the analysis of noncoding gene regulatory elements in the brain and describe their potential contribution to cell type specialization, brain function and neurodegenerative disease.

  3. Transcriptional Dynamics at Brain Enhancers: from Functional Specialization to Neurodegeneration.

    PubMed

    Vermunt, Marit W; Creyghton, Menno P

    2016-10-01

    Over the last decade, the noncoding part of the genome has been shown to harbour thousands of cis-regulatory elements, such as enhancers, that activate well-defined gene expression programs. Driven by the development of numerous techniques, many of these elements are now identified in multiple tissues and cell types, and their characteristics as well as importance in development and disease are becoming increasingly clear. Here, we provide an overview of the insights that were gained from the analysis of noncoding gene regulatory elements in the brain and describe their potential contribution to cell type specialization, brain function and neurodegenerative disease. PMID:27628759

  4. Brain Functional and Structural Predictors of Language Performance.

    PubMed

    Skeide, Michael A; Brauer, Jens; Friederici, Angela D

    2016-05-01

    The relation between brain function and behavior on the one hand and the relation between structural changes and behavior on the other as well as the link between the 2 aspects are core issues in cognitive neuroscience. It is an open question, however, whether brain function or brain structure is the better predictor for age-specific cognitive performance. Here, in a comprehensive set of analyses, we investigated the direct relation between hemodynamic activity in 2 pairs of frontal and temporal cortical areas, 2 long-distance white matter fiber tracts connecting each pair and sentence comprehension performance of 4 age groups, including 3 groups of children between 3 and 10 years as well as young adults. We show that the increasing accuracy of processing complex sentences throughout development is correlated with the blood-oxygen-level-dependent activation of 2 core language processing regions in Broca's area and the posterior portion of the superior temporal gyrus. Moreover, both accuracy and speed of processing are correlated with the maturational status of the arcuate fasciculus, that is, the dorsal white matter fiber bundle connecting these 2 regions. The present data provide compelling evidence for the view that brain function and white matter structure together best predict developing cognitive performance. PMID:25770126

  5. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    De Domenico, Manlio; Sasai, Shuntaro; Arenas, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Typical brain networks consist of many peripheral regions and a few highly central ones, i.e., hubs, playing key functional roles in cerebral inter-regional interactions. Studies have shown that networks, obtained from the analysis of specific frequency components of brain activity, present peculiar architectures with unique profiles of region centrality. However, the identification of hubs in networks built from different frequency bands simultaneously is still a challenging problem, remaining largely unexplored. Here we identify each frequency component with one layer of a multiplex network and face this challenge by exploiting the recent advances in the analysis of multiplex topologies. First, we show that each frequency band carries unique topological information, fundamental to accurately model brain functional networks. We then demonstrate that hubs in the multiplex network, in general different from those ones obtained after discarding or aggregating the measured signals as usual, provide a more accurate map of brain's most important functional regions, allowing to distinguish between healthy and schizophrenic populations better than conventional network approaches. PMID:27471443

  6. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain

    PubMed Central

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the “universal” language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics. PMID:26881224

  7. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks

    PubMed Central

    De Domenico, Manlio; Sasai, Shuntaro; Arenas, Alex

    2016-01-01

    Typical brain networks consist of many peripheral regions and a few highly central ones, i.e., hubs, playing key functional roles in cerebral inter-regional interactions. Studies have shown that networks, obtained from the analysis of specific frequency components of brain activity, present peculiar architectures with unique profiles of region centrality. However, the identification of hubs in networks built from different frequency bands simultaneously is still a challenging problem, remaining largely unexplored. Here we identify each frequency component with one layer of a multiplex network and face this challenge by exploiting the recent advances in the analysis of multiplex topologies. First, we show that each frequency band carries unique topological information, fundamental to accurately model brain functional networks. We then demonstrate that hubs in the multiplex network, in general different from those ones obtained after discarding or aggregating the measured signals as usual, provide a more accurate map of brain's most important functional regions, allowing to distinguish between healthy and schizophrenic populations better than conventional network approaches. PMID:27471443

  8. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain.

    PubMed

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the "universal" language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics. PMID:26881224

  9. Neurolinguistics: Structure, Function, and Connectivity in the Bilingual Brain.

    PubMed

    Wong, Becky; Yin, Bin; O'Brien, Beth

    2016-01-01

    Advances in neuroimaging techniques and analytic methods have led to a proliferation of studies investigating the impact of bilingualism on the cognitive and brain systems in humans. Lately, these findings have attracted much interest and debate in the field, leading to a number of recent commentaries and reviews. Here, we contribute to the ongoing discussion by compiling and interpreting the plethora of findings that relate to the structural, functional, and connective changes in the brain that ensue from bilingualism. In doing so, we integrate theoretical models and empirical findings from linguistics, cognitive/developmental psychology, and neuroscience to examine the following issues: (1) whether the language neural network is different for first (dominant) versus second (nondominant) language processing; (2) the effects of bilinguals' executive functioning on the structure and function of the "universal" language neural network; (3) the differential effects of bilingualism on phonological, lexical-semantic, and syntactic aspects of language processing on the brain; and (4) the effects of age of acquisition and proficiency of the user's second language in the bilingual brain, and how these have implications for future research in neurolinguistics.

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

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

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

  11. Reputation for reciprocity engages the brain reward center

    PubMed Central

    Phan, K. Luan; Sripada, Chandra Sekhar; Angstadt, Mike; McCabe, Kevin

    2010-01-01

    Brain reward circuitry, including ventral striatum and orbitofrontal cortex, has been independently implicated in preferences for fair and cooperative outcomes as well as learning of reputations. Using functional MRI (fMRI) and a “trust game” task involving iterative exchanges with fictive partners who acquire different reputations for reciprocity, we measured brain responses in 36 healthy adults when positive actions (entrust investment to partners) yield positive returns (reciprocity) and how these brain responses are modulated by partner reputation for repayment. Here we show that positive reciprocity robustly engages the ventral striatum and orbitofrontal cortex. Moreover, this signal of reciprocity in the ventral striatum appears selectively in response to partners who have consistently returned the investment (e.g., a reputation for reciprocity) and is absent for partners who lack a reputation for reciprocity. These findings elucidate a fundamental brain mechanism, via reward-related neural substrates, by which human cooperative relationships are initiated and sustained. PMID:20615982

  12. Partial sleep in the context of augmentation of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Pigarev, Ivan N.; Pigareva, Marina L.

    2014-01-01

    Inability to solve complex problems or errors in decision making is often attributed to poor brain processing, and raises the issue of brain augmentation. Investigation of neuronal activity in the cerebral cortex in the sleep-wake cycle offers insights into the mechanisms underlying the reduction in mental abilities for complex problem solving. Some cortical areas may transit into a sleep state while an organism is still awake. Such local sleep would reduce behavioral ability in the tasks for which the sleeping areas are crucial. The studies of this phenomenon have indicated that local sleep develops in high order cortical areas. This is why complex problem solving is mostly affected by local sleep, and prevention of local sleep might be a potential way of augmentation of brain function. For this approach to brain augmentation not to entail negative consequences for the organism, it is necessary to understand the functional role of sleep. Our studies have given an unexpected answer to this question. It was shown that cortical areas that process signals from extero- and proprioreceptors during wakefulness, switch to the processing of interoceptive information during sleep. It became clear that during sleep all “computational power” of the brain is directed to the restoration of the vital functions of internal organs. These results explain the logic behind the initiation of total and local sleep. Indeed, a mismatch between the current parameters of any visceral system and the genetically determined normal range would provide the feeling of tiredness, or sleep pressure. If an environmental situation allows falling asleep, the organism would transit to a normal total sleep in all cortical areas. However, if it is impossible to go to sleep immediately, partial sleep may develop in some cortical areas in the still behaviorally awake organism. This local sleep may reduce both the “intellectual power” and the restorative function of sleep for visceral organs. PMID

  13. Birth Size and Brain Function 75 Years Later

    PubMed Central

    Muller, Majon; Sigurdsson, Sigurdur; Kjartansson, Olafur; Jonsson, Palmi V.; Garcia, Melissa; von Bonsdorff, Mikaela B.; Gunnarsdottir, Ingibjorg; Thorsdottir, Inga; Harris, Tamara B.; van Buchem, Mark; Gudnason, Vilmundur

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: There are several lines of evidence pointing to fetal and other early origins of diseases of the aging brain, but there are no data directly addressing the hypotheses in an older population. We investigated the association of fetal size to late-age measures of brain structure and function in a large cohort of older men and women and explored the modifying effect of education on these associations. METHODS: Within the AGES (Age Gene/Environment Susceptibility)-Reykjavik population-based cohort (born between 1907 and 1935), archived birth records were abstracted for 1254 men and women who ∼75 years later underwent an examination that included brain MRI and extensive cognitive assessment. RESULTS: Adjustment for intracranial volume, demographic and medical history characteristics, and lower Ponderal index at birth (per kg/m3), an indicator of third-trimester fetal wasting, was significantly associated with smaller volumes of total brain and white matter; βs (95% confidence intervals) were −1.0 (−1.9 to −0.0) and −0.5 (−1.0 to −0.0) mL. Furthermore, lower Ponderal index was associated with slower processing speed and reduced executive functioning but only in those with low education (β [95% confidence interval]: −0.136 [−0.235 to −0.036] and −0.077 [−0.153 to −0.001]). CONCLUSIONS: This first study of its kind provides clinical measures suggesting that smaller birth size, as an indicator of a suboptimal intrauterine environment, is associated with late-life alterations in brain tissue volume and function. In addition, it shows that the effects of a suboptimal intrauterine environment on late-life cognitive function were present only in those with lower educational levels. PMID:25180277

  14. Two distinct forms of functional lateralization in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Gotts, Stephen J; Jo, Hang Joon; Wallace, Gregory L; Saad, Ziad S; Cox, Robert W; Martin, Alex

    2013-09-01

    The hemispheric lateralization of certain faculties in the human brain has long been held to be beneficial for functioning. However, quantitative relationships between the degree of lateralization in particular brain regions and the level of functioning have yet to be established. Here we demonstrate that two distinct forms of functional lateralization are present in the left vs. the right cerebral hemisphere, with the left hemisphere showing a preference to interact more exclusively with itself, particularly for cortical regions involved in language and fine motor coordination. In contrast, right-hemisphere cortical regions involved in visuospatial and attentional processing interact in a more integrative fashion with both hemispheres. The degree of lateralization present in these distinct systems selectively predicted behavioral measures of verbal and visuospatial ability, providing direct evidence that lateralization is associated with enhanced cognitive ability.

  15. Prefrontal cortical regulation of brainwide circuit dynamics and reward-related behavior.

    PubMed

    Ferenczi, Emily A; Zalocusky, Kelly A; Liston, Conor; Grosenick, Logan; Warden, Melissa R; Amatya, Debha; Katovich, Kiefer; Mehta, Hershel; Patenaude, Brian; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Kalanithi, Paul; Etkin, Amit; Knutson, Brian; Glover, Gary H; Deisseroth, Karl

    2016-01-01

    Motivation for reward drives adaptive behaviors, whereas impairment of reward perception and experience (anhedonia) can contribute to psychiatric diseases, including depression and schizophrenia. We sought to test the hypothesis that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) controls interactions among specific subcortical regions that govern hedonic responses. By using optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging to locally manipulate but globally visualize neural activity in rats, we found that dopamine neuron stimulation drives striatal activity, whereas locally increased mPFC excitability reduces this striatal response and inhibits the behavioral drive for dopaminergic stimulation. This chronic mPFC overactivity also stably suppresses natural reward-motivated behaviors and induces specific new brainwide functional interactions, which predict the degree of anhedonia in individuals. These findings describe a mechanism by which mPFC modulates expression of reward-seeking behavior, by regulating the dynamical interactions between specific distant subcortical regions. PMID:26722001

  16. Prefrontal cortical regulation of brainwide circuit dynamics and reward-related behavior

    PubMed Central

    Grosenick, Logan; Warden, Melissa R.; Amatya, Debha; Katovich, Kiefer; Mehta, Hershel; Patenaude, Brian; Ramakrishnan, Charu; Kalanithi, Paul; Etkin, Amit; Knutson, Brian; Glover, Gary H.; Deisseroth, Karl

    2016-01-01

    Motivation for reward drives adaptive behaviors, whereas impairment of reward perception and experience (anhedonia) can contribute to psychiatric diseases, including depression and schizophrenia. We sought to test the hypothesis that the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) controls interactions among specific subcortical regions that govern hedonic responses. By using optogenetic functional magnetic resonance imaging to locally manipulate but globally visualize neural activity in rats, we found that dopamine neuron stimulation drives striatal activity, whereas locally increased mPFC excitability reduces this striatal response and inhibits the behavioral drive for dopaminergic stimulation. This chronic mPFC overactivity also stably suppresses natural reward-motivated behaviors and induces specific new brainwide functional interactions, which predict the degree of anhedonia in individuals. These findings describe a mechanism by which mPFC modulates expression of reward-seeking behavior, by regulating the dynamical interactions between specific distant subcortical regions. PMID:26722001

  17. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

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

  18. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

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

  19. Functional Brain Network Classification With Compact Representation of SICE Matrices.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jianjia; Zhou, Luping; Wang, Lei; Li, Wanqing

    2015-06-01

    Recently, a sparse inverse covariance estimation (SICE) technique has been employed to model functional brain connectivity. The inverse covariance matrix (SICE matrix in short) estimated for each subject is used as a representation of brain connectivity to discriminate Alzheimers disease from normal controls. However, we observed that direct use of the SICE matrix does not necessarily give satisfying discrimination, due to its high dimensionality and the scarcity of training subjects. Looking into this problem, we argue that the intrinsic dimensionality of these SICE matrices shall be much lower, considering 1) an SICE matrix resides on a Riemannian manifold of symmetric positive definiteness matrices, and 2) human brains share common patterns of connectivity across subjects. Therefore, we propose to employ manifold-based similarity measures and kernel-based PCA to extract principal connectivity components as a compact representation of brain network. Moreover, to cater for the requirement of both discrimination and interpretation in neuroimage analysis, we develop a novel preimage estimation algorithm to make the obtained connectivity components anatomically interpretable. To verify the efficacy of our method and gain insights into SICE-based brain networks, we conduct extensive experimental study on synthetic data and real rs-fMRI data from the ADNI dataset. Our method outperforms the comparable methods and improves the classification accuracy significantly.

  20. Using Saccadometry with Deep Brain Stimulation to Study Normal and Pathological Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Antoniades, Chrystalina A; FitzGerald, James J

    2016-01-01

    The oculomotor system involves a large number of brain areas including parts of the basal ganglia, and various neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's and Huntington's can disrupt it. People with Parkinson's disease, for example, tend to have increased saccadic latencies. Consequently, the quantitative measurement of saccadic eye movements has received considerable attention as a potential biomarker for neurodegenerative conditions. A lot more can be learned about the brain in both health and disease by observing what happens to eye movements when the function of specific brain areas is perturbed. Deep brain stimulation is a surgical intervention used for the management of a range of neurological conditions including Parkinson's disease, in which stimulating electrodes are placed in specific brain areas including several sites in the basal ganglia. Eye movement measurements can then be made with the stimulator systems both off and on and the results compared. With suitable experimental design, this approach can be used to study the pathophysiology of the disease being treated, the mechanism by which DBS exerts it beneficial effects, and even aspects of normal neurophysiology. PMID:27501123

  1. Thinking, Walking, Talking: Integratory Motor and Cognitive Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Leisman, Gerry; Moustafa, Ahmed A; Shafir, Tal

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we argue that motor and cognitive processes are functionally related and most likely share a similar evolutionary history. This is supported by clinical and neural data showing that some brain regions integrate both motor and cognitive functions. In addition, we also argue that cognitive processes coincide with complex motor output. Further, we also review data that support the converse notion that motor processes can contribute to cognitive function, as found by many rehabilitation and aerobic exercise training programs. Support is provided for motor and cognitive processes possessing dynamic bidirectional influences on each other. PMID:27252937

  2. Thinking, Walking, Talking: Integratory Motor and Cognitive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Leisman, Gerry; Moustafa, Ahmed A.; Shafir, Tal

    2016-01-01

    In this article, we argue that motor and cognitive processes are functionally related and most likely share a similar evolutionary history. This is supported by clinical and neural data showing that some brain regions integrate both motor and cognitive functions. In addition, we also argue that cognitive processes coincide with complex motor output. Further, we also review data that support the converse notion that motor processes can contribute to cognitive function, as found by many rehabilitation and aerobic exercise training programs. Support is provided for motor and cognitive processes possessing dynamic bidirectional influences on each other. PMID:27252937

  3. Meta-analysis of functional brain imaging in specific phobia.

    PubMed

    Ipser, Jonathan C; Singh, Leesha; Stein, Dan J

    2013-07-01

    Although specific phobia is a prevalent anxiety disorder, evidence regarding its underlying functional neuroanatomy is inconsistent. A meta-analysis was undertaken to identify brain regions that were consistently responsive to phobic stimuli, and to characterize changes in brain activation following cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). We searched the PubMed, SCOPUS and PsycINFO databases to identify positron emission tomography and functional magnetic resonance imaging studies comparing brain activation in specific phobia patients and healthy controls. Two raters independently extracted study data from all the eligible studies, and pooled coordinates from these studies using activation likelihood estimation, a quantitative meta-analytic technique. Resulting statistical parametric maps were compared between patients and healthy controls, in response to phobic versus fear-evoking stimuli, and before and after therapy. Thirteen studies were included, comprising 327 participants. Regions that were consistently activated in response to phobic stimuli included the left insula, amygdala, and globus pallidus. Compared to healthy controls, phobic subjects had increased activation in response to phobic stimuli in the left amygdala/globus pallidus, left insula, right thalamus (pulvinar), and cerebellum. Following exposure-based therapy widespread deactivation was observed in the right frontal cortex, limbic cortex, basal ganglia and cerebellum, with increased activation detected in the thalamus. Exposure to phobia-specific stimuli elicits brain activation that is consistent with current understandings of the neuroanatomy of fear conditioning and extinction. There is evidence that the effects of CBT in specific phobia may be mediated through the same underlying neurocircuitry.

  4. Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood–Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    He, Junyun; Hsuchou, Hung; He, Yi; Kastin, Abba J.; Wang, Yuping

    2014-01-01

    The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep. This merits attention not only in neuroscience research but also in public health policy and clinical practice. PMID:25355222

  5. Recruiting specialized macrophages across the borders to restore brain functions

    PubMed Central

    Corraliza, Inés

    2014-01-01

    Although is well accepted that the central nervous system has an immune privilege protected by the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and maintained by the glia, it is also known that in homeostatic conditions, peripheral immune cells are able to penetrate to the deepest regions of brain without altering the structural integrity of the BBB. Nearly all neurological diseases, including degenerative, autoimmune or infectious ones, compromising brain functions, develop with a common pattern of inflammation in which macrophages and microglia activation have been regarded often as the “bad guys.” However, recognizing the huge heterogeneity of macrophage populations and also the different expression properties of microglia, there is increasing evidence of alternative conditions in which these cells, if primed and addressed in the correct direction, could be essential for reparative and regenerative functions. The main proposal of this review is to integrate studies about macrophage’s biology at the brain borders where the ultimate challenge is to penetrate through the BBB and contribute to change or even stop the course of disease. Thanks to the efforts made in the last century, this special wall is currently recognized as a highly regulated cooperative structure, in which their components form neurovascular units. This new scenario prompted us to review the precise cross-talk between the mind and body modes of immune response. PMID:25228859

  6. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function.

    PubMed

    He, Junyun; Hsuchou, Hung; He, Yi; Kastin, Abba J; Wang, Yuping; Pan, Weihong

    2014-10-29

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a large regulatory and exchange interface between the brain and peripheral circulation. We propose that changes of the BBB contribute to many pathophysiological processes in the brain of subjects with chronic sleep restriction (CSR). To achieve CSR that mimics a common pattern of human sleep loss, we quantified a new procedure of sleep disruption in mice by a week of consecutive sleep recording. We then tested the hypothesis that CSR compromises microvascular function. CSR not only diminished endothelial and inducible nitric oxide synthase, endothelin1, and glucose transporter expression in cerebral microvessels of the BBB, but it also decreased 2-deoxy-glucose uptake by the brain. The expression of several tight junction proteins also was decreased, whereas the level of cyclooxygenase-2 increased. This coincided with an increase of paracellular permeability of the BBB to the small tracers sodium fluorescein and biotin. CSR for 6 d was sufficient to impair BBB structure and function, although the increase of paracellular permeability returned to baseline after 24 h of recovery sleep. This merits attention not only in neuroscience research but also in public health policy and clinical practice.

  7. Functional brain networks associated with eating behaviors in obesity

    PubMed Central

    Park, Bo-yong; Seo, Jongbum; Park, Hyunjin

    2016-01-01

    Obesity causes critical health problems including diabetes and hypertension that affect billions of people worldwide. Obesity and eating behaviors are believed to be closely linked but their relationship through brain networks has not been fully explored. We identified functional brain networks associated with obesity and examined how the networks were related to eating behaviors. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained for 82 participants. Data were from an equal number of people of healthy weight (HW) and non-healthy weight (non-HW). Connectivity matrices were computed with spatial maps derived using a group independent component analysis approach. Brain networks and associated connectivity parameters with significant group-wise differences were identified and correlated with scores on a three-factor eating questionnaire (TFEQ) describing restraint, disinhibition, and hunger eating behaviors. Frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups. Frontoparietal network showed a high correlation with TFEQ disinhibition scores. Both frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed a high correlation with body mass index (BMI) scores. Brain networks with significant group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups were identified. Parts of the identified networks showed a high correlation with eating behavior scores. PMID:27030024

  8. Functional brain networks associated with eating behaviors in obesity.

    PubMed

    Park, Bo-Yong; Seo, Jongbum; Park, Hyunjin

    2016-03-31

    Obesity causes critical health problems including diabetes and hypertension that affect billions of people worldwide. Obesity and eating behaviors are believed to be closely linked but their relationship through brain networks has not been fully explored. We identified functional brain networks associated with obesity and examined how the networks were related to eating behaviors. Resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans were obtained for 82 participants. Data were from an equal number of people of healthy weight (HW) and non-healthy weight (non-HW). Connectivity matrices were computed with spatial maps derived using a group independent component analysis approach. Brain networks and associated connectivity parameters with significant group-wise differences were identified and correlated with scores on a three-factor eating questionnaire (TFEQ) describing restraint, disinhibition, and hunger eating behaviors. Frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups. Frontoparietal network showed a high correlation with TFEQ disinhibition scores. Both frontoparietal and cerebellum networks showed a high correlation with body mass index (BMI) scores. Brain networks with significant group-wise differences between HW and non-HW groups were identified. Parts of the identified networks showed a high correlation with eating behavior scores.

  9. Control channels in the brain and their influence on brain executive functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meng, Qinglei; Choa, Fow-Sen; Hong, Elliot; Wang, Zhiguang; Islam, Mohammad

    2014-05-01

    In a computer network there are distinct data channels and control channels where massive amount of visual information are transported through data channels but the information streams are routed and controlled by intelligent algorithm through "control channels". Recent studies on cognition and consciousness have shown that the brain control channels are closely related to the brainwave beta (14-40 Hz) and alpha (7-13 Hz) oscillations. The high-beta wave is used by brain to synchronize local neural activities and the alpha oscillation is for desynchronization. When two sensory inputs are simultaneously presented to a person, the high-beta is used to select one of the inputs and the alpha is used to deselect the other so that only one input will get the attention. In this work we demonstrated that we can scan a person's brain using binaural beats technique and identify the individual's preferred control channels. The identified control channels can then be used to influence the subject's brain executive functions. In the experiment, an EEG measurement system was used to record and identify a subject's control channels. After these channels were identified, the subject was asked to do Stroop tests. Binaural beats was again used to produce these control-channel frequencies on the subject's brain when we recorded the completion time of each test. We found that the high-beta signal indeed speeded up the subject's executive function performance and reduced the time to complete incongruent tests, while the alpha signal didn't seem to be able to slow down the executive function performance.

  10. Developmental changes in brain activation and functional connectivity during response inhibition in the early childhood brain.

    PubMed

    Mehnert, Jan; Akhrif, Atae; Telkemeyer, Silke; Rossi, Sonja; Schmitz, Christoph H; Steinbrink, Jens; Wartenburger, Isabell; Obrig, Hellmuth; Neufang, Susanne

    2013-11-01

    Response inhibition is an attention function which develops relatively early during childhood. Behavioral data suggest that by the age of 3, children master the basic task requirements for the assessment of response inhibition but performance improves substantially until the age of 7. The neuronal mechanisms underlying these developmental processes, however, are not well understood. In this study, we examined brain activation patterns and behavioral performance of children aged between 4 and 6 years compared to adults by applying a go/no-go paradigm during near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) brain imaging. We furthermore applied task-independent functional connectivity measures to the imaging data to identify maturation of intrinsic neural functional networks. We found a significant group×condition related interaction in terms of inhibition-related reduced right fronto-parietal activation in children compared to adults. In contrast, motor-related activation did not differ between age groups. Functional connectivity analysis revealed that in the children's group, short-range coherence within frontal areas was stronger, and long-range coherence between frontal and parietal areas was weaker, compared to adults. Our findings show that in children aged from 4 to 6 years fronto-parietal brain maturation plays a crucial part in the cognitive development of response inhibition. PMID:23265620

  11. Control of Brain Development, Function, and Behavior by the Microbiome

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Timothy R.; Mazmanian, Sarkis K.

    2015-01-01

    Animals share an intimate and life-long partnership with a myriad of resident microbial species, collectively referred to as the microbiota. Symbiotic microbes have been shown to regulate nutrition and metabolism, and are critical for the development and function of the immune system. More recently, studies have suggested that gut bacteria can impact neurological outcomes – altering behavior and potentially affecting the onset and/or severity of nervous system disorders. In this review, we highlight emerging evidence that the microbiome extends its influence to the brain via various pathways connecting the gut to the central nervous system. While understanding and appreciation of a gut microbial impact on neurological function is nascent, unraveling gut-microbiome-brain connections holds the promise of transforming the neurosciences and revealing potentially novel etiologies for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders. PMID:25974299

  12. Control of brain development, function, and behavior by the microbiome.

    PubMed

    Sampson, Timothy R; Mazmanian, Sarkis K

    2015-05-13

    Animals share an intimate and life-long partnership with a myriad of resident microbial species, collectively referred to as the microbiota. Symbiotic microbes have been shown to regulate nutrition and metabolism and are critical for the development and function of the immune system. More recently, studies have suggested that gut bacteria can impact neurological outcomes--altering behavior and potentially affecting the onset and/or severity of nervous system disorders. In this review, we highlight emerging evidence that the microbiome extends its influence to the brain via various pathways connecting the gut to the central nervous system. While understanding and appreciation of a gut microbial impact on neurological function is nascent, unraveling gut-microbiome-brain connections holds the promise of transforming the neurosciences and revealing potentially novel etiologies for psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

  13. Endocannabinoid functions controlling neuronal specification during brain development.

    PubMed

    Harkany, Tibor; Keimpema, Erik; Barabás, Klaudia; Mulder, Jan

    2008-04-16

    Endocannabinoids (eCBs) regulate a broad range of physiological functions in the postnatal brain and are implicated in the neuropathogenesis of psychiatric and metabolic diseases. Accumulating evidence indicates that eCB signaling also serves key functions during neurodevelopment; and is inherently involved in the control of neurogenesis, neural progenitor proliferation, lineage segregation, and the migration and phenotypic specification of immature neurons. Recent advances in developmental biology define fundamental eCB-driven cellular mechanisms that also contribute to our understanding of the molecular substrates of prenatal drug, in particular cannabis, actions. Here, we summarize known organizing principles of eCB-signaling systems in the developing telencephalon, and outline the sequence of decision points and underlying signaling pathways upon CB1 cannabinoid receptor activation that contribute to neuronal diversification in the developing brain. Finally, we discuss how these novel principles affect the formation of complex neuronal networks.

  14. piRNAs and Their Functions in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Zuo, Lingjun; Wang, Zhiren; Tan, Yunlong; Chen, Xiangning; Luo, Xingguang

    2016-01-01

    Piwi-interacting RNAs (piRNAs) are the non-coding RNAs with 24–32 nucleotides (nt). They exhibit stark differences in length, expression pattern, abundance, and genomic organization when compared to micro-RNAs (miRNAs). There are hundreds of thousands unique piRNA sequences in each species. Numerous piRNAs have been identified and deposited in public databases. Since the piRNAs were originally discovered and well-studied in the germline, a few other studies have reported the presence of piRNAs in somatic cells including neurons. This paper reviewed the common features, biogenesis, functions, and distributions of piRNAs and summarized their specific functions in the brain. This review may provide new insights and research direction for brain disorders. PMID:27512315

  15. Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy of human brain function.

    PubMed Central

    Shulman, R G; Blamire, A M; Rothman, D L; McCarthy, G

    1993-01-01

    The techniques of in vivo magnetic resonance (MR) imaging and spectroscopy have been established over the past two decades. Recent applications of these methods to study human brain function have become a rapidly growing area of research. The development of methods using standard MR contrast agents within the cerebral vasculature has allowed measurements of regional cerebral blood volume (rCBV), which are activity dependent. Subsequent investigations linked the MR relaxation properties of brain tissue to blood oxygenation levels which are also modulated by consumption and blood flow (rCBF). These methods have allowed mapping of brain activity in human visual and motor cortex as well as in areas of the frontal lobe involved in language. The methods have high enough spatial and temporal sensitivity to be used in individual subjects. MR spectroscopy of proton and carbon-13 nuclei has been used to measure rates of glucose transport and metabolism in the human brain. The steady-state measurements of brain glucose concentrations can be used to monitor the glycolytic flux, whereas subsequent glucose metabolism--i.e., the flux into the cerebral glutamate pool--can be used to measure tricarboxylic acid cycle flux. Under visual stimulation the concentration of lactate in the visual cortex has been shown to increase by MR spectroscopy. This increase is compatible with an increase of anaerobic glycolysis under these conditions as earlier proposed from positron emission tomography studies. It is shown how MR spectroscopy can extend this understanding of brain metabolism. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 PMID:8475050

  16. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S

    2011-01-01

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing.

  17. Dehydration affects brain structure and function in healthy adolescents.

    PubMed

    Kempton, Matthew J; Ettinger, Ulrich; Foster, Russell; Williams, Steven C R; Calvert, Gemma A; Hampshire, Adam; Zelaya, Fernando O; O'Gorman, Ruth L; McMorris, Terry; Owen, Adrian M; Smith, Marcus S

    2011-01-01

    It was recently observed that dehydration causes shrinkage of brain tissue and an associated increase in ventricular volume. Negative effects of dehydration on cognitive performance have been shown in some but not all studies, and it has also been reported that an increased perceived effort may be required following dehydration. However, the effects of dehydration on brain function are unknown. We investigated this question using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in 10 healthy adolescents (mean age = 16.8, five females). Each subject completed a thermal exercise protocol and nonthermal exercise control condition in a cross-over repeated measures design. Subjects lost more weight via perspiration in the thermal exercise versus the control condition (P < 0.0001), and lateral ventricle enlargement correlated with the reduction in body mass (r = 0.77, P = 0.01). Dehydration following the thermal exercise protocol led to a significantly stronger increase in fronto-parietal blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) response during an executive function task (Tower of London) than the control condition, whereas cerebral perfusion during rest was not affected. The increase in BOLD response after dehydration was not paralleled by a change in cognitive performance, suggesting an inefficient use of brain metabolic activity following dehydration. This pattern indicates that participants exerted a higher level of neuronal activity in order to achieve the same performance level. Given the limited availability of brain metabolic resources, these findings suggest that prolonged states of reduced water intake may adversely impact executive functions such as planning and visuo-spatial processing. PMID:20336685

  18. Global features of functional brain networks change with contextual disorder

    PubMed Central

    Andric, Michael; Hasson, Uri

    2015-01-01

    It is known that features of stimuli in the environment affect the strength of functional connectivity in the human brain. However, investigations to date have not converged in determining whether these also impact functional networks' global features, such as modularity strength, number of modules, partition structure, or degree distributions. We hypothesized that one environmental attribute that may strongly impact global features is the temporal regularity of the environment, as prior work indicates that differences in regularity impact regions involved in sensory, attentional and memory processes. We examined this with an fMRI study, in which participants passively listened to tonal series that had identical physical features and differed only in their regularity, as defined by the strength of transition structure between tones. We found that series-regularity induced systematic changes to global features of functional networks, including modularity strength, number of modules, partition structure, and degree distributions. In tandem, we used a novel node-level analysis to determine the extent to which brain regions maintained their within-module connectivity across experimental conditions. This analysis showed that primary sensory regions and those associated with default-mode processes are most likely to maintain their within-module connectivity across conditions, whereas prefrontal regions are least likely to do so. Our work documents a significant capacity for global-level brain network reorganization as a function of context. These findings suggest that modularity and other core, global features, while likely constrained by white-matter structural brain connections, are not completely determined by them. PMID:25988223

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

  20. Characterizing Resting-State Brain Function Using Arterial Spin Labeling.

    PubMed

    Chen, J Jean; Jann, Kay; Wang, Danny J J

    2015-11-01

    Arterial spin labeling (ASL) is an increasingly established magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique that is finding broader applications in studying the healthy and diseased brain. This review addresses the use of ASL to assess brain function in the resting state. Following a brief technical description, we discuss the use of ASL in the following main categories: (1) resting-state functional connectivity (FC) measurement: the use of ASL-based cerebral blood flow (CBF) measurements as an alternative to the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) technique to assess resting-state FC; (2) the link between network CBF and FC measurements: the use of network CBF as a surrogate of the metabolic activity within corresponding networks; and (3) the study of resting-state dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and cerebral metabolism: the use of dynamic CBF information obtained using ASL to assess dynamic CBF-BOLD coupling and oxidative metabolism in the resting state. In addition, we summarize some future challenges and interesting research directions for ASL, including slice-accelerated (multiband) imaging as well as the effects of motion and other physiological confounds on perfusion-based FC measurement. In summary, this work reviews the state-of-the-art of ASL and establishes it as an increasingly viable MRI technique with high translational value in studying resting-state brain function.

  1. Imaging emotional brain functions: conceptual and methodological issues.

    PubMed

    Peper, Martin

    2006-06-01

    This article reviews the psychophysiological and brain imaging literature on emotional brain function from a methodological point of view. The difficulties in defining, operationalising and measuring emotional activation and, in particular, aversive learning will be considered. Emotion is a response of the organism during an episode of major significance and involves physiological activation, motivational, perceptual, evaluative and learning processes, motor expression, action tendencies and monitoring/subjective feelings. Despite the advances in assessing the physiological correlates of emotional perception and learning processes, a critical appraisal shows that functional neuroimaging approaches encounter methodological difficulties regarding measurement precision (e.g., response scaling and reproducibility) and validity (e.g., response specificity, generalisation to other paradigms, subjects or settings). Since emotional processes are not only the result of localised but also of widely distributed activation, a more representative model of assessment is needed that systematically relates the hierarchy of high- and low-level emotion constructs with the corresponding patterns of activity and functional connectivity of the brain.

  2. Totally Tubular: The Mystery behind Function and Origin of the Brain Ventricular System

    PubMed Central

    Lowery, Laura Anne; Sive, Hazel

    2010-01-01

    Summary A unique feature of the vertebrate brain is the brain ventricular system, a series of connected cavities which are filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and surrounded by neuroepithelium. While CSF is critical for both adult brain function and embryonic brain development, neither development nor function of the brain ventricular system is fully understood. In this review, we discuss the mystery of why vertebrate brains have ventricles, and whence they originate. The brain ventricular system develops from the lumen of the neural tube, as the neuroepithelium undergoes morphogenesis. The molecular mechanisms underlying this ontogeny are described. We discuss possible functions of both adult and embryonic brain ventricles, as well as major brain defects that are associated with CSF and brain ventricular abnormalities. We conclude that vertebrates have taken advantage of their neural tube to form the essential brain ventricular system. PMID:19274662

  3. What is feasible with imaging human brain function and connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Ugurbil, Kamil

    2016-10-01

    When we consider all of the methods we employ to detect brain function, from electrophysiology to optical techniques to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we do not really have a 'golden technique' that meets all of the needs for studying the brain. We have methods, each of which has significant limitations but provide often complimentary information. Clearly, there are many questions that need to be answered about fMRI, which unlike other methods, allows us to study the human brain. However, there are also extraordinary accomplishments or demonstration of the feasibility of reaching new and previously unexpected scales of function in the human brain. This article reviews some of the work we have pursued, often with extensive collaborations with other co-workers, towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of the methodology, defining its limitations, and developing solutions to advance it. No doubt, our knowledge of human brain function has vastly expanded since the introduction of fMRI. However, methods and instrumentation in this dynamic field have evolved to a state that discoveries about the human brain based on fMRI principles, together with information garnered at a much finer spatial and temporal scale through other methods, are poised to significantly accelerate in the next decade.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'. PMID:27574313

  4. What is feasible with imaging human brain function and connectivity using functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Ugurbil, Kamil

    2016-10-01

    When we consider all of the methods we employ to detect brain function, from electrophysiology to optical techniques to functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we do not really have a 'golden technique' that meets all of the needs for studying the brain. We have methods, each of which has significant limitations but provide often complimentary information. Clearly, there are many questions that need to be answered about fMRI, which unlike other methods, allows us to study the human brain. However, there are also extraordinary accomplishments or demonstration of the feasibility of reaching new and previously unexpected scales of function in the human brain. This article reviews some of the work we have pursued, often with extensive collaborations with other co-workers, towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of the methodology, defining its limitations, and developing solutions to advance it. No doubt, our knowledge of human brain function has vastly expanded since the introduction of fMRI. However, methods and instrumentation in this dynamic field have evolved to a state that discoveries about the human brain based on fMRI principles, together with information garnered at a much finer spatial and temporal scale through other methods, are poised to significantly accelerate in the next decade.This article is part of the themed issue 'Interpreting BOLD: a dialogue between cognitive and cellular neuroscience'.

  5. Brain Oscillations and Functional Connectivity during Overt Language Production.

    PubMed

    Ewald, Arne; Aristei, Sabrina; Nolte, Guido; Abdel Rahman, Rasha

    2012-01-01

    In the present study we investigate the communication of different large scale brain sites during an overt language production task with state of the art methods for the estimation of EEG functional connectivity. Participants performed a semantic blocking task in which objects were named in semantically homogeneous blocks of trials consisting of members of a semantic category (e.g., all objects are tools) or in heterogeneous blocks, consisting of unrelated objects. The classic pattern of slower naming times in the homogeneous relative to heterogeneous blocks is assumed to reflect the duration of lexical selection. For the collected data in the homogeneous and heterogeneous conditions the imaginary part of coherency (ImC) was evaluated at different frequencies. The ImC is a measure for detecting the coupling of different brain sites acting on sensor level. Most importantly, the ImC is robust to the artifact of volume conduction. We analyzed the ImC at all pairs of 56 EEG channels across all frequencies. Contrasting the two experimental conditions we found pronounced differences in the theta band at 7 Hz and estimated the most dominant underlying brain sources via a minimum norm inverse solution based on the ImC. As a result of the source localization, we observed connectivity between occipito-temporal and frontal areas, which are well-known to play a major role in lexical-semantic language processes. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of investigating interactive brain activity during overt language production.

  6. Stimulation of functional vision in children with perinatal brain damage.

    PubMed

    Alimović, Sonja; Mejaski-Bosnjak, Vlatka

    2011-01-01

    Cerebral visual impairment (CVI) is one of the most common causes of bilateral visual loss, which frequently occurs due to perinatal brain injury. Vision in early life has great impact on acquisition of basic comprehensions which are fundamental for further development. Therefore, early detection of visual problems and early intervention is necessary. The aim of the present study is to determine specific visual functioning of children with perinatal brain damage and the influence of visual stimulation on development of functional vision at early age of life. We initially assessed 30 children with perinatal brain damage up to 3 years of age, who were reffered to our pediatric low vision cabinet in "Little house" from child neurologists, ophthalmologists Type and degree of visual impairment was determined according to functional vision assessment of each child. On the bases of those assessments different kind of visual stimulations were carried out with children who have been identified to have a certain visual impairment. Through visual stimulation program some of the children were stimulated with light stimulus, some with different materials under the ultraviolet (UV) light, and some with bright color and high contrast materials. Children were also involved in program of early stimulation of overall sensory motor development. Goals and methods of therapy were determined individually, based on observation of child's possibilities and need. After one year of program, reassessment was done. Results for visual functions and functional vision were compared to evaluate the improvement of the vision development. These results have shown that there was significant improvement in functional vision, especially in visual attention and visual communication.

  7. Functional magnetic resonance imaging reflects changes in brain functioning with sedation.

    PubMed

    Starbuck, Victoria N; Kay, Gary G; Platenberg, R. Craig; Lin, Chin-Shoou; Zielinski, Brandon A

    2000-12-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated localized brain activation during cognitive tasks. Brain activation increases with task complexity and decreases with familiarity. This study investigates how sleepiness alters the relationship between brain activation and task familiarity. We hypothesize that sleepiness prevents the reduction in activation associated with practice. Twenty-nine individuals rated their sleepiness using the Stanford Sleepiness Scale before fMRI. During imaging, subjects performed the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test, a continuous mental arithmetic task. A positive correlation was observed between self-rated sleepiness and frontal brain activation. Fourteen subjects participated in phase 2. Sleepiness was induced by evening dosing with chlorpheniramine (CP) (8 mg or 12 mg) and terfenadine (60 mg) in the morning for 3 days before the second fMRI scan. The Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT) was also performed. Results revealed a significant increase in fMRI activation in proportion to the dose of CP. In contrast, for all subjects receiving placebo there was a reduction in brain activation. MSLT revealed significant daytime sleepiness for subjects receiving CP. These findings suggest that sleepiness interferes with efficiency of brain functioning. The sleepy or sedated brain shows increased oxygen utilization during performance of a familiar cognitive task. Thus, the beneficial effect of prior task exposure is lost under conditions of sedation. Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. PMID:12404614

  8. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of the brain: a quick review.

    PubMed

    Vaghela, Viratsinh; Kesavadas, Chandrasekharan; Thomas, Bejoy

    2010-01-01

    Ability to non-invasively map the hemodynamic changes occurring focally in areas of brain involved in various motor, sensory and cognitive functions by functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has revolutionized research in neuroscience in the last two decades. This technique has already gained clinical use especially in pre-surgical evaluation of epilepsy and neurosurgical planning of resection of mass lesions adjacent to eloquent cortex. In this review we attempt to illustrate basic principles and techniques of fMRI, its applications, practical points to consider while performing and evaluating clinical fMRI and its limitations.

  9. Multifaceted Genomic Risk for Brain Function in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jiayu; Calhoun, Vince D.; Pearlson, Godfrey D.; Ehrlich, Stefan; Turner, Jessica A.; Ho, Beng-Choon; Wassink, Thomas H.; Michael, Andrew M; Liu, Jingyu

    2012-01-01

    Recently, deriving candidate endophenotypes from brain imaging data has become a valuable approach to study genetic influences on schizophrenia (SZ), whose pathophysiology remains unclear. In this work we utilized a multivariate approach, parallel independent component analysis, to identify genomic risk components associated with brain function abnormalities in SZ. 5157 candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were derived from genome-wide array based on their possible connections with SZ and further investigated for their associations with brain activations captured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) during a sensorimotor task. Using data from 92 SZ patients and 116 healthy controls, we detected a significant correlation (r= 0.29; p= 2.41×10−5) between one fMRI component and one SNP component, both of which significantly differentiated patients from controls. The fMRI component mainly consisted of precentral and postcentral gyri, the major activated regions in the motor task. On average, higher activation in these regions was observed in participants with higher loadings of the linked SNP component, predominantly contributed to by 253 SNPs. 138 identified SNPs were from known coding regions of 100 unique genes. 31 identified SNPs did not differ between groups, but moderately correlated with some other group-discriminating SNPs, indicating interactions among alleles contributing towards elevated SZ susceptibility. The genes associated with the identified SNPs participated in four neurotransmitter pathways: GABA receptor signaling, dopamine receptor signaling, neuregulin signaling and glutamate receptor signaling. In summary, our work provides further evidence for the complexity of genomic risk to the functional brain abnormality in SZ and suggests a pathological role of interactions between SNPs, genes and multiple neurotransmitter pathways. PMID:22440650

  10. Heart and brain interconnection - clinical implications of changes in brain function during heart failure.

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Seok; Kim, Jae-Joong

    2015-01-01

    Heart failure (HF) is a highly prevalent disorder worldwide and, consequently, a burden on the healthcare systems of many nations. Although the effects of HF are systemic, many therapeutic targets are focused on cardiac dysfunction. The brain is closely related to the heart, but there are few reports on the relationship between these organs. We describe the effects of the brain on HF progression. Specific brain regions control sympathetic drive and neurohumoral factors, which play an important role in disease exacerbation. In addition, we review some of our previous studies on deranged cerebral metabolism and reduced cerebral blood flow during HF. Although the reasons underlying these effects during HF remain uncertain, we propose plausible mechanisms for these phenomena. In addition, the clinical implications of such conditions in terms of predicting prognosis are discussed. Finally, we investigate cognitive impairment in patients with HF. Cognitive impairment through cerebral infarction or hypoperfusion is associated with adverse outcomes, including death. This brief review of brain function during the development of HF should assist with future strategies to better manage patients with this condition.

  11. The relationship between childhood aerobic fitness and brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kamijo, Keita; Takeda, Yuji; Takai, Yohei; Haramura, Miki

    2016-10-01

    Several studies have indicated that higher levels of childhood aerobic fitness is associated with superior cognitive function, and this association is disproportionately observed in tasks requiring greater top-down control. We designed the current study to clarify the relationship between childhood fitness and top-down control in terms of functional connectivity among brain regions, by evaluating phase-locking values (PLVs), which is a measure of frequency-specific phase synchrony between electroencephalographic signals during a visual search task. Lower-fit and higher-fit children performed a visual search task that included feature search and conjunction search conditions. The conjunction search condition required greater top-down control to reduce interference from task-irrelevant distractors that shared a basic feature with the target. Results indicated that higher-fit children exhibited higher response accuracy relative to lower-fit children across search conditions. The results of PLVs showed that higher-fit children had greater functional connectivity for the conjunction relative to the feature search condition, whereas lower-fit children showed no difference in functional connectivity between search conditions. Furthermore, PLVs showed different time courses between groups; that is, higher-fit children sustained upregulation of top-down control throughout the task period, whereas lower-fit children transiently upregulated top-down control after stimulus onset and could not sustain the upregulation. These findings suggest that higher levels of childhood aerobic fitness is related to brain functional connectivity involved in the sustained upregulation of top-down control.

  12. A Multivariate Granger Causality Concept towards Full Brain Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Christoph; Pester, Britta; Schmid-Hertel, Nicole; Witte, Herbert; Wismüller, Axel; Leistritz, Lutz

    2016-01-01

    Detecting changes of spatially high-resolution functional connectivity patterns in the brain is crucial for improving the fundamental understanding of brain function in both health and disease, yet still poses one of the biggest challenges in computational neuroscience. Currently, classical multivariate Granger Causality analyses of directed interactions between single process components in coupled systems are commonly restricted to spatially low- dimensional data, which requires a pre-selection or aggregation of time series as a preprocessing step. In this paper we propose a new fully multivariate Granger Causality approach with embedded dimension reduction that makes it possible to obtain a representation of functional connectivity for spatially high-dimensional data. The resulting functional connectivity networks may consist of several thousand vertices and thus contain more detailed information compared to connectivity networks obtained from approaches based on particular regions of interest. Our large scale Granger Causality approach is applied to synthetic and resting state fMRI data with a focus on how well network community structure, which represents a functional segmentation of the network, is preserved. It is demonstrated that a number of different community detection algorithms, which utilize a variety of algorithmic strategies and exploit topological features differently, reveal meaningful information on the underlying network module structure.

  13. A Multivariate Granger Causality Concept towards Full Brain Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Schmid-Hertel, Nicole; Witte, Herbert; Wismüller, Axel; Leistritz, Lutz

    2016-01-01

    Detecting changes of spatially high-resolution functional connectivity patterns in the brain is crucial for improving the fundamental understanding of brain function in both health and disease, yet still poses one of the biggest challenges in computational neuroscience. Currently, classical multivariate Granger Causality analyses of directed interactions between single process components in coupled systems are commonly restricted to spatially low- dimensional data, which requires a pre-selection or aggregation of time series as a preprocessing step. In this paper we propose a new fully multivariate Granger Causality approach with embedded dimension reduction that makes it possible to obtain a representation of functional connectivity for spatially high-dimensional data. The resulting functional connectivity networks may consist of several thousand vertices and thus contain more detailed information compared to connectivity networks obtained from approaches based on particular regions of interest. Our large scale Granger Causality approach is applied to synthetic and resting state fMRI data with a focus on how well network community structure, which represents a functional segmentation of the network, is preserved. It is demonstrated that a number of different community detection algorithms, which utilize a variety of algorithmic strategies and exploit topological features differently, reveal meaningful information on the underlying network module structure. PMID:27064897

  14. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

    Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L.; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

  15. Abdominal Pain, the Adolescent and Altered Brain Structure and Function.

    PubMed

    Hubbard, Catherine S; Becerra, Lino; Heinz, Nicole; Ludwick, Allison; Rasooly, Tali; Wu, Rina; Johnson, Adriana; Schechter, Neil L; Borsook, David; Nurko, Samuel

    2016-01-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal (GI) disorder of unknown etiology. Although relatively common in children, how this condition affects brain structure and function in a pediatric population remains unclear. Here, we investigate brain changes in adolescents with IBS and healthy controls. Imaging was performed with a Siemens 3 Tesla Trio Tim MRI scanner equipped with a 32-channel head coil. A high-resolution T1-weighted anatomical scan was acquired followed by a T2-weighted functional scan. We used a surface-based morphometric approach along with a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RS-FC) analysis to determine if groups differed in cortical thickness and whether areas showing structural differences also showed abnormal RS-FC patterns. Patients completed the Abdominal Pain Index and the GI Module of the Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory to assess abdominal pain severity and impact of GI symptoms on health-related quality of life (HRQOL). Disease duration and pain intensity were also assessed. Pediatric IBS patients, relative to controls, showed cortical thickening in the posterior cingulate (PCC), whereas cortical thinning in posterior parietal and prefrontal areas were found, including the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In patients, abdominal pain severity was related to cortical thickening in the intra-abdominal area of the primary somatosensory cortex (SI), whereas HRQOL was associated with insular cortical thinning. Disease severity measures correlated with cortical thickness in bilateral DLPFC and orbitofrontal cortex. Patients also showed reduced anti-correlations between PCC and DLPFC compared to controls, a finding that may reflect aberrant connectivity between default mode and cognitive control networks. We are the first to demonstrate concomitant structural and functional brain changes associated with abdominal pain severity, HRQOL related to GI-specific symptoms, and disease-specific measures in

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  17. Heritability of human brain functioning as assessed by electroencephalography

    SciTech Connect

    Beijsterveldt, C.E.M. van; Geus, E.J.C. de; Boomsma, D.I.

    1996-03-01

    To study the genetic and environmental contributions to individual differences in CNS functioning, the electroencephalogram (EEG) was measured in 213 twin pairs age 16 years. EEG was measured in 91 MZ and 122 DZ twins. To quantify sex differences in the genetic architecture, EEG was measured in female and male same-sex twins and in opposite-sex twins. EEG was recorded on 14 scalp positions during quiet resting with eyes closed. Spectral powers were calculated for four frequency bands: delta, theta, alpha, and beta. Twin correlations pointed toward high genetic influences for all these powers and scalp locations. Model fitting confirmed these findings; the largest part of the variance of the EEG is explained by additive genetic factors. The averaged heritabilities for the delta, theta, alpha, and beta frequencies was 76%, 89%, 89%, and 86%, respectively. Multivariate analyses suggested that the same genes for EEG alpha rhythm were expressed in different brain areas in the left and right hemisphere. This study shows that brain functioning, as indexed by rhythmic brain-electrical activity, is one of the most heritable characteristics in humans. 44 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs.

  18. Modularity and Self-Organized Functional Architectures in the Brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iyer, Laxmi; Minai, Ali A.; Doboli, Simona; Brown, Vincent R.

    It is generally believed that cognition involves the self-organization of coherent dy- namic functional networks across several brain regions in response to incoming stimulus and internal modulation. These context-dependent networks arise continually from the spatiotemporally multi-scale structural substrate of the brain configured by evolution, development and previous experience, persisting for 100-200 ms and generating re- sponses such as imagery, recall and motor action. In the current paper, we show that a system of interacting modular attractor networks can use a selective mechanism for assembling functional networks from the modular substrate. We use the approach to develop a model of idea-generation in the brain. Ideas are modeled as combinations of concepts organized in a recurrent network that reflects previous associations between them. The dynamics of this network, resulting in the transient co-activation of concept groups, is seen as a search through the space of ideas, and attractor dynamics is used to "shape" this search. The process is required to encompass both rapid retrieval of old ideas in familiar contexts and efficient search for novel ones in unfamiliar situations (or during brainstorming). The inclusion of an adaptive modulatory mechanism allows the network to balance the competing requirements of exploiting previous learning and exploring new possibilities as needed in different contexts.

  19. kappa-Opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function.

    PubMed

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W

    2009-12-11

    The dynorphin-like peptides have profound effects on the state of the brain reward system and human and animal behavior. The dynorphin-like peptides affect locomotor activity, food intake, sexual behavior, anxiety-like behavior, and drug intake. Stimulation of kappa-opioid receptors, the endogenous receptor for the dynorphin-like peptides, inhibits dopamine release in the striatum (nucleus accumbens and caudate putamen) and induces a negative mood state in humans and animals. The administration of drugs of abuse increases the release of dopamine in the striatum and mediates the concomitant release of dynorphin-like peptides in this brain region. The reviewed studies suggest that chronic drug intake leads to an upregulation of the brain dynorphin system in the striatum and in particular in the dorsal part of the striatum/caudate putamen. This might inhibit drug-induced dopamine release and provide protection against the neurotoxic effects of high dopamine levels. After the discontinuation of chronic drug intake these neuroadaptations remain unopposed which has been suggested to contribute to the negative emotional state associated with drug withdrawal and increased drug intake. kappa-Opioid receptor agonists have also been shown to inhibit calcium channels. Calcium channel inhibitors have antidepressant-like effects and inhibit the release of norepinephrine. This might explain that in some studies kappa-opioid receptor agonists attenuate nicotine and opioid withdrawal symptomatology. A better understanding of the role of dynorphins in the regulation of brain reward function might contribute to the development of novel treatments for mood disorders and other disorders that stem from a dysregulation of the brain reward system.

  20. Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on Autonomic Function.

    PubMed

    Basiago, Adam; Binder, Devin K

    2016-01-01

    Over the course of the development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) into a well-established therapy for Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, its utility as a potential treatment for autonomic dysfunction has emerged. Dysfunction of autonomic processes is common in neurological diseases. Depending on the specific target in the brain, DBS has been shown to raise or lower blood pressure, normalize the baroreflex, to alter the caliber of bronchioles, and eliminate hyperhidrosis, all through modulation of the sympathetic nervous system. It has also been shown to improve cortical control of the bladder, directly induce or inhibit the micturition reflex, and to improve deglutition and gastric emptying. In this review, we will attempt to summarize the relevant available studies describing these effects of DBS on autonomic function, which vary greatly in character and magnitude with respect to stimulation target. PMID:27537920

  1. Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on Autonomic Function

    PubMed Central

    Basiago, Adam; Binder, Devin K.

    2016-01-01

    Over the course of the development of deep brain stimulation (DBS) into a well-established therapy for Parkinson’s disease, essential tremor, and dystonia, its utility as a potential treatment for autonomic dysfunction has emerged. Dysfunction of autonomic processes is common in neurological diseases. Depending on the specific target in the brain, DBS has been shown to raise or lower blood pressure, normalize the baroreflex, to alter the caliber of bronchioles, and eliminate hyperhidrosis, all through modulation of the sympathetic nervous system. It has also been shown to improve cortical control of the bladder, directly induce or inhibit the micturition reflex, and to improve deglutition and gastric emptying. In this review, we will attempt to summarize the relevant available studies describing these effects of DBS on autonomic function, which vary greatly in character and magnitude with respect to stimulation target. PMID:27537920

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

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-09-01

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

  3. Selective oestrogen receptor modulators differentially potentiate brain mitochondrial function.

    PubMed

    Irwin, R W; Yao, J; To, J; Hamilton, R T; Cadenas, E; Brinton, R D

    2012-01-01

    The mitochondrial energy-transducing capacity of the brain is important for long-term neurological health and is influenced by endocrine hormone responsiveness. The present study aimed to determine the role of oestrogen receptor (ER) subtypes in regulating mitochondrial function using selective agonists for ERα (propylpyrazoletriol; PPT) and ERβ (diarylpropionitrile; DPN). Ovariectomised female rats were treated with 17β-oestradiol (E(2) ), PPT, DPN or vehicle control. Both ER selective agonists significantly increased the mitochondrial respiratory control ratio and cytochrome oxidase (COX) activity relative to vehicle. Western blots of purified whole brain mitochondria detected ERα and, to a greater extent, ERβ localisation. Pre-treatment with DPN, an ERβ agonist, significantly increased ERβ association with mitochondria. In the hippocampus, DPN activated mitochondrial DNA-encoded COX I expression, whereas PPT was ineffective, indicating that mechanistically ERβ, and not ERα, activated mitochondrial transcriptional machinery. Both selective ER agonists increased protein expression of nuclear DNA-encoded COX IV, suggesting that activation of ERβ or ERα is sufficient. Selective ER agonists up-regulated a panel of bioenergetic enzymes and antioxidant defence proteins. Up-regulated proteins included pyruvate dehydrogenase, ATP synthase, manganese superoxide dismutase and peroxiredoxin V. In vitro, whole cell metabolism was assessed in live primary cultured hippocampal neurones and mixed glia. The results of analyses conducted in vitro were consistent with data obtained in vivo. Furthermore, lipid peroxides, accumulated as a result of hormone deprivation, were significantly reduced by E(2) , PPT and DPN. These findings suggest that the activation of both ERα and ERβ is differentially required to potentiate mitochondrial function in brain. As active components in hormone therapy, synthetically designed oestrogens as well as natural phyto-oestrogen cocktails

  4. Disrupted Brain Functional Network Architecture in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Yu-Chen; Feng, Yuan; Xu, Jin-Jing; Mao, Cun-Nan; Xia, Wenqing; Ren, Jun; Yin, Xindao

    2016-01-01

    Purpose: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have demonstrated the disruptions of multiple brain networks in tinnitus patients. Nonetheless, several studies found no differences in network processing between tinnitus patients and healthy controls (HCs). Its neural bases are poorly understood. To identify aberrant brain network architecture involved in chronic tinnitus, we compared the resting-state fMRI (rs-fMRI) patterns of tinnitus patients and HCs. Materials and Methods: Chronic tinnitus patients (n = 24) with normal hearing thresholds and age-, sex-, education- and hearing threshold-matched HCs (n = 22) participated in the current study and underwent the rs-fMRI scanning. We used degree centrality (DC) to investigate functional connectivity (FC) strength of the whole-brain network and Granger causality to analyze effective connectivity in order to explore directional aspects involved in tinnitus. Results: Compared to HCs, we found significantly increased network centrality in bilateral superior frontal gyrus (SFG). Unidirectionally, the left SFG revealed increased effective connectivity to the left middle orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), left posterior lobe of cerebellum (PLC), left postcentral gyrus, and right middle occipital gyrus (MOG) while the right SFG exhibited enhanced effective connectivity to the right supplementary motor area (SMA). In addition, the effective connectivity from the bilateral SFG to the OFC and SMA showed positive correlations with tinnitus distress. Conclusions: Rs-fMRI provides a new and novel method for identifying aberrant brain network architecture. Chronic tinnitus patients have disrupted FC strength and causal connectivity mostly in non-auditory regions, especially the prefrontal cortex (PFC). The current findings will provide a new perspective for understanding the neuropathophysiological mechanisms in chronic tinnitus. PMID:27458377

  5. Analytical Operations Relate Structural and Functional Connectivity in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Saggio, Maria Luisa; Ritter, Petra; Jirsa, Viktor K

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state large-scale brain models vary in the amount of biological elements they incorporate and in the way they are being tested. One might expect that the more realistic the model is, the closer it should reproduce real functional data. It has been shown, instead, that when linear correlation across long BOLD fMRI time-series is used as a measure for functional connectivity (FC) to compare simulated and real data, a simple model performs just as well, or even better, than more sophisticated ones. The model in question is a simple linear model, which considers the physiological noise that is pervasively present in our brain while it diffuses across the white-matter connections, that is structural connectivity (SC). We deeply investigate this linear model, providing an analytical solution to straightforwardly compute FC from SC without the need of computationally costly simulations of time-series. We provide a few examples how this analytical solution could be used to perform a fast and detailed parameter exploration or to investigate resting-state non-stationarities. Most importantly, by inverting the analytical solution, we propose a method to retrieve information on the anatomical structure directly from functional data. This simple method can be used to complement or guide DTI/DSI and tractography results, especially for a better assessment of inter-hemispheric connections, or to provide an estimate of SC when only functional data are available. PMID:27536987

  6. Analytical Operations Relate Structural and Functional Connectivity in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Saggio, Maria Luisa; Ritter, Petra; Jirsa, Viktor K.

    2016-01-01

    Resting-state large-scale brain models vary in the amount of biological elements they incorporate and in the way they are being tested. One might expect that the more realistic the model is, the closer it should reproduce real functional data. It has been shown, instead, that when linear correlation across long BOLD fMRI time-series is used as a measure for functional connectivity (FC) to compare simulated and real data, a simple model performs just as well, or even better, than more sophisticated ones. The model in question is a simple linear model, which considers the physiological noise that is pervasively present in our brain while it diffuses across the white-matter connections, that is structural connectivity (SC). We deeply investigate this linear model, providing an analytical solution to straightforwardly compute FC from SC without the need of computationally costly simulations of time-series. We provide a few examples how this analytical solution could be used to perform a fast and detailed parameter exploration or to investigate resting-state non-stationarities. Most importantly, by inverting the analytical solution, we propose a method to retrieve information on the anatomical structure directly from functional data. This simple method can be used to complement or guide DTI/DSI and tractography results, especially for a better assessment of inter-hemispheric connections, or to provide an estimate of SC when only functional data are available. PMID:27536987

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Brain potential and functional MRI evidence for how to handle two languages with one brain.

    PubMed

    Rodriguez-Fornells, Antoni; Rotte, Michael; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Nösselt, Tömme; Münte, Thomas F

    2002-02-28

    Bilingual individuals need effective mechanisms to prevent interference from one language while processing material in the other. Here we show, using event-related brain potentials and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), that words from the non-target language are rejected at an early stage before semantic analysis in bilinguals. Bilingual Spanish/Catalan and monolingual Spanish subjects were instructed to press a button when presented with words in one language, while ignoring words in the other language and pseudowords. The brain potentials of bilingual subjects in response to words of the non-target language were not sensitive to word frequency, indicating that the meaning of non-target words was not accessed in bilinguals. The fMRI activation patterns of bilinguals included a number of areas previously implicated in phonological and pseudoword processing, suggesting that bilinguals use an indirect phonological access route to the lexicon of the target language to avoid interference.

  9. The function of neurocognitive networks. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressler, Steven L.

    2014-09-01

    Pessoa [5] has performed a valuable service by reviewing the extant literature on brain networks and making a number of interesting proposals about their cognitive function. The term function is at the core of understanding the brain networks of cognition, or neurocognitive networks (NCNs) [1]. The great Russian neuropsychologist, Luria [4], defined brain function as the common task executed by a distributed brain network of complex dynamic structures united by the demands of cognition. Casting Luria in a modern light, we can say that function emerges from the interactions of brain regions in NCNs as they dynamically self-organize according to cognitive demands. Pessoa rightly details the mapping between brain function and structure, emphasizing both its pluripotency (one structure having multiple functions) and degeneracy (many structures having the same function). However, he fails to consider the potential importance of a one-to-one mapping between NCNs and function. If NCNs are uniquely composed of specific collections of brain areas, then each NCN has a unique function determined by that composition.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  11. Dynamic reconfiguration of human brain functional networks through neurofeedback.

    PubMed

    Haller, Sven; Kopel, Rotem; Jhooti, Permi; Haas, Tanja; Scharnowski, Frank; Lovblad, Karl-Olof; Scheffler, Klaus; Van De Ville, Dimitri

    2013-11-01

    Recent fMRI studies demonstrated that functional connectivity is altered following cognitive tasks (e.g., learning) or due to various neurological disorders. We tested whether real-time fMRI-based neurofeedback can be a tool to voluntarily reconfigure brain network interactions. To disentangle learning-related from regulation-related effects, we first trained participants to voluntarily regulate activity in the auditory cortex (training phase) and subsequently asked participants to exert learned voluntary self-regulation in the absence of feedback (transfer phase without learning). Using independent component analysis (ICA), we found network reconfigurations (increases in functional network connectivity) during the neurofeedback training phase between the auditory target region and (1) the auditory pathway; (2) visual regions related to visual feedback processing; (3) insula related to introspection and self-regulation and (4) working memory and high-level visual attention areas related to cognitive effort. Interestingly, the auditory target region was identified as the hub of the reconfigured functional networks without a-priori assumptions. During the transfer phase, we again found specific functional connectivity reconfiguration between auditory and attention network confirming the specific effect of self-regulation on functional connectivity. Functional connectivity to working memory related networks was no longer altered consistent with the absent demand on working memory. We demonstrate that neurofeedback learning is mediated by widespread changes in functional connectivity. In contrast, applying learned self-regulation involves more limited and specific network changes in an auditory setup intended as a model for tinnitus. Hence, neurofeedback training might be used to promote recovery from neurological disorders that are linked to abnormal patterns of brain connectivity.

  12. Using computational models to relate structural and functional brain connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Hlinka, Jaroslav; Coombes, Stephen

    2012-01-01

    Modern imaging methods allow a non-invasive assessment of both structural and functional brain connectivity. This has lead to the identification of disease-related alterations affecting functional connectivity. The mechanism of how such alterations in functional connectivity arise in a structured network of interacting neural populations is as yet poorly understood. Here we use a modeling approach to explore the way in which this can arise and to highlight the important role that local population dynamics can have in shaping emergent spatial functional connectivity patterns. The local dynamics for a neural population is taken to be of the Wilson–Cowan type, whilst the structural connectivity patterns used, describing long-range anatomical connections, cover both realistic scenarios (from the CoComac database) and idealized ones that allow for more detailed theoretical study. We have calculated graph–theoretic measures of functional network topology from numerical simulations of model networks. The effect of the form of local dynamics on the observed network state is quantified by examining the correlation between structural and functional connectivity. We document a profound and systematic dependence of the simulated functional connectivity patterns on the parameters controlling the dynamics. Importantly, we show that a weakly coupled oscillator theory explaining these correlations and their variation across parameter space can be developed. This theoretical development provides a novel way to characterize the mechanisms for the breakdown of functional connectivity in diseases through changes in local dynamics. PMID:22805059

  13. Permeabilization of brain tissue in situ enables multiregion analysis of mitochondrial function in a single mouse brain

    PubMed Central

    Herbst, Eric AF; Holloway, Graham P

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Mitochondria function as the core energy providers in the brain and symptoms of neurodegenerative diseases are often attributed to their dysregulation. Assessing mitochondrial function is classically performed in isolated mitochondria; however, this process requires significant isolation time, demand for abundant tissue and disruption of the cooperative mitochondrial reticulum, all of which reduce reliability when attempting to assess in vivo mitochondrial bioenergetics. Here we introduce a method that advances the assessment of mitochondrial respiration in the brain by permeabilizing existing brain tissue to grant direct access to the mitochondrial reticulum in situ. The permeabilized brain preparation allows for instant analysis of mitochondrial function with unaltered mitochondrial morphology using significantly small sample sizes (∼2 mg), which permits the analysis of mitochondrial function in multiple subregions within a single mouse brain. Here this technique was applied to assess regional variation in brain mitochondrial function with acute ischaemia–reperfusion injuries and to determine the role of reactive oxygen species in exacerbating dysfunction through the application of a transgenic mouse model overexpressing catalase within mitochondria. Through creating accessibility to small regions for the investigation of mitochondrial function, the permeabilized brain preparation enhances the capacity for examining regional differences in mitochondrial regulation within the brain, as the majority of genetic models used for unique approaches exist in the mouse model. PMID:25529987

  14. What are the functions of fish brain pallium?

    PubMed

    Vargas, Juan Pedro; López, Juan Carlos; Portavella, Manuel

    2009-08-14

    There is some experimental evidence that the pallial areas of a fish's brain are involved in distincted learning functions. Recently published data suggest that the medial pallium is essential for avoidance learning and the lateral pallium is crucial for spatial learning and is also involved in temporal aspects of the learning processes. This data joined to the proposal of homologies between medial and lateral fish pallia and pallial amygdala and hippocampus respectively, suggest that the pallial areas could have preserved their functions throughout vertebrates' evolution. However, the functional implication of dorsal pallium that has been proposed as homologous to mammalian isocortex and transition cortex is largely unknown. In this study we analyze the role of dorsal pallium in trace and non-trace avoidance learning. Our results show the implication of this area in trace conditioning, but not in non-trace conditioning. This result allows discussion of homology proposals among lateral, dorsal, and medial pallia and hippocampus, isocortex, and pallial amygdala respectively.

  15. Large-Scale Functional Brain Network Reorganization During Taoist Meditation.

    PubMed

    Jao, Tun; Li, Chia-Wei; Vértes, Petra E; Wu, Changwei Wesley; Achard, Sophie; Hsieh, Chao-Hsien; Liou, Chien-Hui; Chen, Jyh-Horng; Bullmore, Edward T

    2016-02-01

    Meditation induces a distinct and reversible mental state that provides insights into brain correlates of consciousness. We explored brain network changes related to meditation by graph theoretical analysis of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data. Eighteen Taoist meditators with varying levels of expertise were scanned using a within-subjects counterbalanced design during resting and meditation states. State-related differences in network topology were measured globally and at the level of individual nodes and edges. Although measures of global network topology, such as small-worldness, were unchanged, meditation was characterized by an extensive and expertise-dependent reorganization of the hubs (highly connected nodes) and edges (functional connections). Areas of sensory cortex, especially the bilateral primary visual and auditory cortices, and the bilateral temporopolar areas, which had the highest degree (or connectivity) during the resting state, showed the biggest decrease during meditation. Conversely, bilateral thalamus and components of the default mode network, mainly the bilateral precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex, had low degree in the resting state but increased degree during meditation. Additionally, these changes in nodal degree were accompanied by reorganization of anatomical orientation of the edges. During meditation, long-distance longitudinal (antero-posterior) edges increased proportionally, whereas orthogonal long-distance transverse (right-left) edges connecting bilaterally homologous cortices decreased. Our findings suggest that transient changes in consciousness associated with meditation introduce convergent changes in the topological and spatial properties of brain functional networks, and the anatomical pattern of integration might be as important as the global level of integration when considering the network basis for human consciousness.

  16. Bisphenol A Interaction With Brain Development and Functions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Brain development is an organized, but constantly adaptive, process in which genetic and epigenetic signals allow neurons to differentiate, to migrate, and to develop correct connections. Gender specific prenatal sex hormone milieu participates in the dimorphic development of many neuronal networks. Environmental cues may interfere with these developmental programs, producing adverse outcomes. Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogenic/antiandrogenic endocrine disruptor widely diffused in the environment, produces adverse effects at levels below the acceptable daily intake. This review analyzes the recent literature on the consequences of perinatal exposure to BPA environmental doses on the development of a dimorphic brain. The BPA interference with the development and function of the neuroendocrine hypothalamus and of the nuclei controlling energy balance, and with the hippocampal memory processing is also discussed. The detrimental action of BPA appears complex, involving different hormonal and epigenetic pathways activated, often in a dimorphic way, within clearcut susceptibility windows. To date, discrepancies in experimental approaches and in related outcomes make unfeasible to translate the available information into clear dose–response models for human risk assessment. Evaluation of BPA brain levels in relation to the appearance of adverse effects in future basic studies will certainly give better definition of the warning threshold for human health. PMID:26672480

  17. Mitochondrial activity and brain functions during cortical depolarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayevsky, Avraham; Sonn, Judith

    2008-12-01

    Cortical depolarization (CD) of the cerebral cortex could be developed under various pathophysiological conditions. In animal models, CD was recorded under partial or complete ischemia as well as when cortical spreading depression (SD) was induced externally or by internal stimulus. The development of CD in patients and the changes in various metabolic parameters, during CD, was rarely reported. Brain metabolic, hemodynamic, ionic and electrical responses to the CD event are dependent upon the O2 balance in the tissue. When the O2 balance is negative (i.e. ischemia), the CD process will be developed due to mitochondrial dysfunction, lack of energy and the inhibition of Na+-K+-ATPase. In contradiction, when oxygen is available (i.e. normoxia) the development of CD after induction of SD will accelerate mitochondrial respiration for retaining ionic homeostasis and normal brain functions. We used the multiparametric monitoring approach that enable real time monitoring of mitochondrial NADH redox state, microcirculatory blood flow and oxygenation, extracellular K+, Ca2+, H+ levels, DC steady potential and electrocorticogram (ECoG). This monitoring approach, provide a unique tool that has a significant value in analyzing the pathophysiology of the brain when SD developed under normoxia, ischemia, or hypoxia. We applied the same monitoring approach to patients suffered from severe head injury or exposed to neurosurgical procedures.

  18. Ouabain Improves Functional Recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Dvela-Levitt, Moran; Ami, Hagit Cohen-Ben; Rosen, Haim; Shohami, Esther

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The cardiac steroid ouabain binds to Na+, K+-ATPase and inhibits its activity. Administration of the compound to animals and humans causes an increase in the force of contraction of heart muscle and stabilizes heart rate. In addition, this steroid promotes the growth of cardiac, vascular, and neuronal cells both in vitro and in vivo. We studied the effects of ouabain on mouse recovery following closed head injury (CHI), a model for traumatic brain injury. We show that chronic (three times a week), but not acute, intraperitoneal administration of a low dose (1 μg/kg) of ouabain significantly improves mouse recovery and functional outcome. The improvement in mouse performance was accompanied by a decrease in lesion size, estimated 43 d following the trauma. In addition, mice that underwent CHI and were treated with ouabain showed an increase in the number of proliferating cells in the subventricular zone and in the area surrounding the site of injury. Determination of the identity of the proliferating cells in the area surrounding the trauma showed that whereas there was no change in the proliferation of endothelial cells or astrocytes, neuronal cell proliferation almost doubled in the ouabain-treated mice in comparison with that of the vehicle animals. These results point to a neuroprotective effects of low doses of ouabain and imply its involvement in brain recovery and neuronal regeneration. This suggests that ouabain and maybe other cardiac steroids may be used for the treatment of traumatic brain injury. PMID:25007121

  19. Diverse functions of 24(S)-hydroxycholesterol in the brain.

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Noriko; Saito, Yoshiro; Urano, Yasuomi

    2014-04-11

    24(S)-hydroxycholesterol (24S-OHC) which is enzymatically produced in the brain plays important physiological roles in maintaining brain cholesterol homeostasis. We found that 24S-OHC at sub-lethal concentrations down-regulated amyloid precursor protein (APP) trafficking via enhancement of the complex formation of APP with up-regulated glucose-regulated protein 78, an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone. In accordance with this mechanism, 24S-OHC suppressed amyloid-β production in human neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. Furthermore, 24S-OHC at sub-lethal concentrations induced adaptive responses via transcriptional activation of the liver X receptor signaling pathway, thereby protecting neuronal cells against the forthcoming oxidative stress induced by 7-ketocholesterol. On the other hand, we found that high concentrations of 24S-OHC induced apoptosis in T-lymphoma Jurkat cells which endogenously expressed caspase-8, and induced necroptosis - a form of programmed necrosis - in neuronal SH-SY5Y cells which expressed no caspase-8. In this Article, we show the diverse functions of 24S-OHC and consider the possible importance of controlling 24S-OHC levels in the brain for preventing neurodegenerative diseases.

  20. Chronic Methamphetamine Effects on Brain Structure and Function in Rats.

    PubMed

    Thanos, Panayotis K; Kim, Ronald; Delis, Foteini; Ananth, Mala; Chachati, George; Rocco, Mark J; Masad, Ihssan; Muniz, Jose A; Grant, Samuel C; Gold, Mark S; Cadet, Jean Lud; Volkow, Nora D

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) addiction is a growing epidemic worldwide. Chronic MA use has been shown to lead to neurotoxicity in rodents and humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in MA users have shown enlarged striatal volumes and positron emission tomography (PET) studies have shown decreased brain glucose metabolism (BGluM) in the striatum of detoxified MA users. The present study examines structural changes of the brain, observes microglial activation, and assesses changes in brain function, in response to chronic MA treatment. Rats were randomly split into three distinct treatment groups and treated daily for four months, via i.p. injection, with saline (controls), or low dose (LD) MA (4 mg/kg), or high dose (HD) MA (8 mg/kg). Sixteen weeks into the treatment period, rats were injected with a glucose analog, [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and their brains were scanned with micro-PET to assess regional BGluM. At the end of MA treatment, magnetic resonance imaging at 21T was performed on perfused rats to determine regional brain volume and in vitro [3H]PK 11195 autoradiography was performed on fresh-frozen brain tissue to measure microglia activation. When compared with controls, chronic HD MA-treated rats had enlarged striatal volumes and increases in [3H]PK 11195 binding in striatum, the nucleus accumbens, frontal cortical areas, the rhinal cortices, and the cerebellar nuclei. FDG microPET imaging showed that LD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in insular and somatosensory cortices, face sensory nucleus of the thalamus, and brainstem reticular formation, while HD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in primary and higher order somatosensory and the retrosplenial cortices, compared with controls. HD and LD MA-treated rats had lower BGluM in the tail of the striatum, rhinal cortex, and subiculum and HD MA also had lower BGluM in hippocampus than controls. These results corroborate clinical findings and help further examine the mechanisms behind MA

  1. Chronic Methamphetamine Effects on Brain Structure and Function in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Thanos, Panayotis K.; Kim, Ronald; Delis, Foteini; Ananth, Mala; Chachati, George; Rocco, Mark J.; Masad, Ihssan; Muniz, Jose A.; Grant, Samuel C.; Gold, Mark S.; Cadet, Jean Lud; Volkow, Nora D.

    2016-01-01

    Methamphetamine (MA) addiction is a growing epidemic worldwide. Chronic MA use has been shown to lead to neurotoxicity in rodents and humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies in MA users have shown enlarged striatal volumes and positron emission tomography (PET) studies have shown decreased brain glucose metabolism (BGluM) in the striatum of detoxified MA users. The present study examines structural changes of the brain, observes microglial activation, and assesses changes in brain function, in response to chronic MA treatment. Rats were randomly split into three distinct treatment groups and treated daily for four months, via i.p. injection, with saline (controls), or low dose (LD) MA (4 mg/kg), or high dose (HD) MA (8 mg/kg). Sixteen weeks into the treatment period, rats were injected with a glucose analog, [18F] fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG), and their brains were scanned with micro-PET to assess regional BGluM. At the end of MA treatment, magnetic resonance imaging at 21T was performed on perfused rats to determine regional brain volume and in vitro [3H]PK 11195 autoradiography was performed on fresh-frozen brain tissue to measure microglia activation. When compared with controls, chronic HD MA-treated rats had enlarged striatal volumes and increases in [3H]PK 11195 binding in striatum, the nucleus accumbens, frontal cortical areas, the rhinal cortices, and the cerebellar nuclei. FDG microPET imaging showed that LD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in insular and somatosensory cortices, face sensory nucleus of the thalamus, and brainstem reticular formation, while HD MA-treated rats had higher BGluM in primary and higher order somatosensory and the retrosplenial cortices, compared with controls. HD and LD MA-treated rats had lower BGluM in the tail of the striatum, rhinal cortex, and subiculum and HD MA also had lower BGluM in hippocampus than controls. These results corroborate clinical findings and help further examine the mechanisms behind MA

  2. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination

    PubMed Central

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A.; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-01-01

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  3. Impact of diabetes on cognitive function and brain structure.

    PubMed

    Moheet, Amir; Mangia, Silvia; Seaquist, Elizabeth R

    2015-09-01

    Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have been associated with reduced performance on multiple domains of cognitive function and with structural abnormalities in the brain. With an aging population and a growing epidemic of diabetes, central nervous system-related complications of diabetes are expected to rise and could have challenging future public health implications. In this review, we will discuss the brain structural and functional changes that have been associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes duration and glycemic control may play important roles in the development of cognitive impairment in diabetes, but the exact underlying pathophysiological mechanisms causing these changes in cognition and structure are not well understood. Future research is needed to better understand the natural history and the underlying mechanisms, as well as to identify risk factors that predict who is at greatest risk of developing cognitive impairment. This information will lead to the development of new strategies to minimize the impact of diabetes on cognitive function.

  4. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders.

  5. Mitochondrial function in the brain links anxiety with social subordination.

    PubMed

    Hollis, Fiona; van der Kooij, Michael A; Zanoletti, Olivia; Lozano, Laura; Cantó, Carles; Sandi, Carmen

    2015-12-15

    Dominance hierarchies are integral aspects of social groups, yet whether personality traits may predispose individuals to a particular rank remains unclear. Here we show that trait anxiety directly influences social dominance in male outbred rats and identify an important mediating role for mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens. High-anxious animals that are prone to become subordinate during a social encounter with a low-anxious rat exhibit reduced mitochondrial complex I and II proteins and respiratory capacity as well as decreased ATP and increased ROS production in the nucleus accumbens. A causal link for these findings is indicated by pharmacological approaches. In a dyadic contest between anxiety-matched animals, microinfusion of specific mitochondrial complex I or II inhibitors into the nucleus accumbens reduced social rank, mimicking the low probability to become dominant observed in high-anxious animals. Conversely, intraaccumbal infusion of nicotinamide, an amide form of vitamin B3 known to enhance brain energy metabolism, prevented the development of a subordinate status in high-anxious individuals. We conclude that mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens is crucial for social hierarchy establishment and is critically involved in the low social competitiveness associated with high anxiety. Our findings highlight a key role for brain energy metabolism in social behavior and point to mitochondrial function in the nucleus accumbens as a potential marker and avenue of treatment for anxiety-related social disorders. PMID:26621716

  6. Cytokine Signaling Modulates Blood-Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

    Pan, Weihong; Stone, Kirsten P.; Hsuchou, Hung; Manda, Vamshi K.; Zhang, Yan; Kastin, Abba J.

    2014-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) provides a vast interface for cytokines to affect CNS function. The BBB is a target for therapeutic intervention. It is essential, therefore, to understand how cytokines interact with each other at the level of the BBB and how secondary signals modulate CNS functions beyond the BBB. The interactions between cytokines and lipids, however, have not been fully addressed at the level of the BBB. Here, we summarize current understanding of the localization of cytokine receptors and transporters in specific membrane microdomains, particularly lipid rafts, on the luminal (apical) surface of the microvascular endothelial cells composing the BBB. We then illustrate the clinical context of cytokine effects on the BBB by neuroendocrine regulation and amplification of inflammatory signals. Two unusual aspects discussed are signaling crosstalk by different classes of cytokines and genetic regulation of drug efflux transporters. We also introduce a novel area of focus on how cytokines may act through nuclear hormone receptors to modulate efflux transporters and other targets. A specific example discussed is the ATP-binding cassette transporter-1 (ABCA-1) that regulates lipid metabolism. Overall, cytokine signaling at the level of the BBB is a crucial feature of the dynamic regulation that can rapidly change BBB function and affect brain health and disease. PMID:21834767

  7. Functional connectivity of the rodent brain using optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Codina, Edgar

    The aim of this thesis is to apply functional connectivity in a variety of animal models, using several optical imaging modalities. Even at rest, the brain shows high metabolic activity: the correlation in slow spontaneous fluctuations identifies remotely connected areas of the brain; hence the term "functional connectivity". Ongoing changes in spontaneous activity may provide insight into the neural processing that takes most of the brain metabolic activity, and so may provide a vast source of disease related changes. Brain hemodynamics may be modified during disease and affect resting-state activity. The thesis aims to better understand these changes in functional connectivity due to disease, using functional optical imaging. The optical imaging techniques explored in the first two contributions of this thesis are Optical Imaging of Intrinsic Signals and Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging, together they can estimate the metabolic rate of oxygen consumption, that closely parallels neural activity. They both have adequate spatial and temporal resolution and are well adapted to image the convexity of the mouse cortex. In the last article, a depth-sensitive modality called photoacoustic tomography was used in the newborn rat. Optical coherence tomography and laminar optical tomography were also part of the array of imaging techniques developed and applied in other collaborations. The first article of this work shows the changes in functional connectivity in an acute murine model of epileptiform activity. Homologous correlations are both increased and decreased with a small dependence on seizure duration. These changes suggest a potential decoupling between the hemodynamic parameters in resting-state networks, underlining the importance to investigate epileptic networks with several independent hemodynamic measures. The second study examines a novel murine model of arterial stiffness: the unilateral calcification of the right carotid. Seed-based connectivity analysis

  8. Functional community analysis of brain: a new approach for EEG-based investigation of the brain pathology.

    PubMed

    Ahmadlou, Mehran; Adeli, Hojjat

    2011-09-15

    Analysis of structure of the brain functional connectivity (SBFC) is a fundamental issue for understanding of the brain cognition as well as the pathology of brain disorders. Analysis of communities among sub-parts of a system is increasingly used for social, ecological, and other networks. This paper presents a new methodology for investigation of the SBFC and understanding of the brain based on graph theory and community pattern analysis of functional connectivity graph of the brain obtained from encephalograms (EEGs). The methodology consists of three main parts: fuzzy synchronization likelihood (FSL), community partitioning, and decisions based on partitions. As an example application, the methodology is applied to analysis of brain of patients with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the problem of discrimination of ADHD EEGs from healthy (non-ADHD) EEGs. PMID:21586331

  9. Crossed-Brain Representation of Verbal and Nonverbal Functions

    PubMed Central

    Matute, Esmeralda; Ardila, Alfredo; Rosselli, Monica; Molina Del Rio, Jahaziel; López Elizalde, Ramiro; López, Manuel; Ontiveros, Angel

    2015-01-01

    A 74-year-old, left-handed man presented with a rapidly evolving loss of strength in his right leg associated with difficulty in walking. MR images disclosed an extensive left hemisphere tumor. A neuropsychological examination revealed that language was broadly normal but that the patient presented with severe nonlinguistic abnormalities, including hemineglect (both somatic and spatial), constructional defects, and general spatial disturbances; symptoms were usually associated with right hemisphere pathologies. No ideomotor apraxia was found. The implications of crossed-brain representations of verbal and nonverbal functions are analyzed. PMID:25802778

  10. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that "there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies" to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only

  11. Highly adaptive tests for group differences in brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that "there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies" to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only

  12. Changes in brain functional network connectivity after stroke.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Li, Yapeng; Zhu, Wenzhen; Chen, Xi

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that functional network connection models can be used to study brain network changes in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, we inferred that these models could also be used to explore functional network connectivity changes in stroke patients. We used independent component analysis to find the motor areas of stroke patients, which is a novel way to determine these areas. In this study, we collected functional magnetic resonance imaging datasets from healthy controls and right-handed stroke patients following their first ever stroke. Using independent component analysis, six spatially independent components highly correlated to the experimental paradigm were extracted. Then, the functional network connectivity of both patients and controls was established to observe the differences between them. The results showed that there were 11 connections in the model in the stroke patients, while there were only four connections in the healthy controls. Further analysis found that some damaged connections may be compensated for by new indirect connections or circuits produced after stroke. These connections may have a direct correlation with the degree of stroke rehabilitation. Our findings suggest that functional network connectivity in stroke patients is more complex than that in hea-lthy controls, and that there is a compensation loop in the functional network following stroke. This implies that functional network reorganization plays a very important role in the process of rehabilitation after stroke. PMID:25206743

  13. Dissociations between behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluations of cognitive function after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Bardin, Jonathan C; Fins, Joseph J; Katz, Douglas I; Hersh, Jennifer; Heier, Linda A; Tabelow, Karsten; Dyke, Jonathan P; Ballon, Douglas J; Schiff, Nicholas D; Voss, Henning U

    2011-03-01

    Functional neuroimaging methods hold promise for the identification of cognitive function and communication capacity in some severely brain-injured patients who may not retain sufficient motor function to demonstrate their abilities. We studied seven severely brain-injured patients and a control group of 14 subjects using a novel hierarchical functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment utilizing mental imagery responses. Whereas the control group showed consistent and accurate (for communication) blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses without exception, the brain-injured subjects showed a wide variation in the correlation of blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses and overt behavioural responses. Specifically, the brain-injured subjects dissociated bedside and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based command following and communication capabilities. These observations reveal significant challenges in developing validated functional magnetic resonance imaging-based methods for clinical use and raise interesting questions about underlying brain function assayed using these methods in brain-injured subjects.

  14. A Self-Study Tutorial using the Allen Brain Explorer and Brain Atlas to Teach Concepts of Mammalian Neuroanatomy and Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Jenks, Bruce G

    2009-01-01

    The Allen Brain Atlas is a repository of neuroanatomical data concerning the mouse brain. The core of the database is a Nissl-stained reference atlas of the brain accompanied by in situ hybridization data for essentially the entire mouse genome. This database is freely available at the Allen Institute for Brain Science website, as is an innovative tool to explore the database, the Brain Explorer. This tool is downloaded and installed on your own computer. I have developed a self-study tutorial, "Explorations with the Allen Brain Explorer", which uses the Brain Explorer and the Brain Atlas to teach fundamentals of mammalian neuroanatomy and brain function. In this tutorial background information and step-by-step exercises on the use of the Brain Explorer are given using PowerPoint as a platform. To do the tutorial both the PowerPoint and the Brain Explorer are opened on the computer and the students switch from one program to the other as they go, in a step-wise fashion, through the various exercises. There are two main groups of exercises, titled "The Basics" and "Explorations", with both groups accessed from a PowerPoint "Start Menu" by clicking on dynamic links to the appropriate exercises. Most exercises have a number of dynamic links to PowerPoint slides where background information for the exercises is given or the neuroanatomical data collected from the Brain Atlas is discussed.

  15. Brain Structure and Executive Functions in Children with Cerebral Palsy: A Systematic Review

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weierink, Lonneke; Vermeulen, R. Jeroen; Boyd, Roslyn N.

    2013-01-01

    This systematic review aimed to establish the current knowledge about brain structure and executive function (EF) in children with cerebral palsy (CP). Five databases were searched (up till July 2012). Six articles met the inclusion criteria, all included structural brain imaging though no functional brain imaging. Study quality was assessed using…

  16. Some Problems for Representations of Brain Organization Based on Activation in Functional Imaging

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sidtis, John J.

    2007-01-01

    Functional brain imaging has overshadowed traditional lesion studies in becoming the dominant approach to the study of brain-behavior relationships. The proponents of functional imaging studies frequently argue that this approach provides an advantage over lesion studies by observing normal brain activity in vivo without the disruptive effects of…

  17. Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuronal Functionality Changes in Sensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Carron, Simone F.; Alwis, Dasuni S.; Rajan, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by direct blows to the head or inertial forces during relative head-brain movement, can result in long-lasting cognitive and motor deficits which can be particularly consequential when they occur in young people with a long life ahead. Much is known of the molecular and anatomical changes produced in TBI but much less is known of the consequences of these changes to neuronal functionality, especially in the cortex. Given that much of our interior and exterior lives are dependent on responsiveness to information from and about the world around us, we have hypothesized that a significant contributor to the cognitive and motor deficits seen after TBI could be changes in sensory processing. To explore this hypothesis, and to develop a model test system of the changes in neuronal functionality caused by TBI, we have examined neuronal encoding of simple and complex sensory input in the rat’s exploratory and discriminative tactile system, the large face macrovibrissae, which feeds to the so-called “barrel cortex” of somatosensory cortex. In this review we describe the short-term and long-term changes in the barrel cortex encoding of whisker motion modeling naturalistic whisker movement undertaken by rats engaged in a variety of tasks. We demonstrate that the most common form of TBI results in persistent neuronal hyperexcitation specifically in the upper cortical layers, likely due to changes in inhibition. We describe the types of cortical inhibitory neurons and their roles and how selective effects on some of these could produce the particular forms of neuronal encoding changes described in TBI, and then generalize to compare the effects on inhibition seen in other forms of brain injury. From these findings we make specific predictions as to how non-invasive extra-cranial electrophysiology can be used to provide the high-precision information needed to monitor and understand the temporal evolution of changes in neuronal

  18. BRAIN STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL CHANGES IN ADOLESCENTS WITH PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS

    PubMed Central

    Miguel-Hidalgo, José Javier

    2013-01-01

    During adolescence hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes geared to ensure reproduction and achieve independence are very likely mediated by growth of neural processes, remodeling of synaptic connections, increased myelination in prefrontal areas, and maturation of connecting subcortical regions. These processes, greatly accelerated in adolescence, follow an asynchronous pattern in different brain areas. Neuroimaging research using functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging has produced most of the insights regarding brain structural and functional neuropathology in adolescent psychiatric disorders. In schizophrenia, first episodes during adolescence are linked to greater-than-normal losses in gray matter density and white matter integrity, and show a divergence of maturational trajectories from normative neural development, in a progression similar to that of adult-onset schizophrenia. Anxiety and mood disorders in adolescence have been linked to abnormally increased activity in the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortical areas, although some data suggest that neural abnormalities in the amygdala and anxiety maybe particularly more frequent in adolescents than in adults. Alcohol misuse in adolescence results in reduced integrity in the white matter and reduced gray matter density that, given the high intensity of adolescent synaptic and myelin remodeling, may result in persistent and profound changes in circuits supporting memory, emotional and appetitive control. Interaction of persistent changes due to prenatal exposure with contemporaneous expression of genetic factors and disturbing environmental exposure may be an important factor in the appearance of psychiatric disorders in adolescence. Further progress in understanding adolescent psychopathology will require postmortem research of molecular and cellular determinants in the adolescent brain. PMID:23828425

  19. Functional specializations for music processing in the human newborn brain.

    PubMed

    Perani, Daniela; Saccuman, Maria Cristina; Scifo, Paola; Spada, Danilo; Andreolli, Guido; Rovelli, Rosanna; Baldoli, Cristina; Koelsch, Stefan

    2010-03-01

    In adults, specific neural systems with right-hemispheric weighting are necessary to process pitch, melody, and harmony as well as structure and meaning emerging from musical sequences. It is not known to what extent the specialization of these systems results from long-term exposure to music or from neurobiological constraints. One way to address this question is to examine how these systems function at birth, when auditory experience is minimal. We used functional MRI to measure brain activity in 1- to 3-day-old newborns while they heard excerpts of Western tonal music and altered versions of the same excerpts. Altered versions either included changes of the tonal key or were permanently dissonant. Music evoked predominantly right-hemispheric activations in primary and higher order auditory cortex. During presentation of the altered excerpts, hemodynamic responses were significantly reduced in the right auditory cortex, and activations emerged in the left inferior frontal cortex and limbic structures. These results demonstrate that the infant brain shows a hemispheric specialization in processing music as early as the first postnatal hours. Results also indicate that the neural architecture underlying music processing in newborns is sensitive to changes in tonal key as well as to differences in consonance and dissonance.

  20. Neurophotonics: non-invasive optical techniques for monitoring brain functions

    PubMed Central

    Torricelli, Alessandro; Contini, Davide; Mora, Alberto Dalla; Pifferi, Antonio; Re, Rebecca; Zucchelli, Lucia; Caffini, Matteo; Farina, Andrea; Spinelli, Lorenzo

    2014-01-01

    Summary The aim of this review is to present the state of the art of neurophotonics, a recently founded discipline lying at the interface between optics and neuroscience. While neurophotonics also includes invasive techniques for animal studies, in this review we focus only on the non-invasive methods that use near infrared light to probe functional activity in the brain, namely the fast optical signal, diffuse correlation spectroscopy, and functional near infrared spectroscopy methods. We also present an overview of the physical principles of light propagation in biological tissues, and of the main physiological sources of signal. Finally, we discuss the open issues in models, instrumentation, data analysis and clinical approaches. PMID:25764252

  1. Impact of Low-Level Thyroid Hormone Disruption Induced by Propylthiouracil on Brain Development and Function.*

    EPA Science Inventory

    The critical role of thyroid hormone (TH) in brain development is well established, severe deficiencies leading to significant neurological dysfunction. Much less information is available on more modest perturbations of TH on brain function. The present study induced varying degr...

  2. Long-term enhancement of brain function and cognition using cognitive training and brain stimulation.

    PubMed

    Snowball, Albert; Tachtsidis, Ilias; Popescu, Tudor; Thompson, Jacqueline; Delazer, Margarete; Zamarian, Laura; Zhu, Tingting; Cohen Kadosh, Roi

    2013-06-01

    Noninvasive brain stimulation has shown considerable promise for enhancing cognitive functions by the long-term manipulation of neuroplasticity. However, the observation of such improvements has been focused at the behavioral level, and enhancements largely restricted to the performance of basic tasks. Here, we investigate whether transcranial random noise stimulation (TRNS) can improve learning and subsequent performance on complex arithmetic tasks. TRNS of the bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a key area in arithmetic, was uniquely coupled with near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measure online hemodynamic responses within the prefrontal cortex. Five consecutive days of TRNS-accompanied cognitive training enhanced the speed of both calculation- and memory-recall-based arithmetic learning. These behavioral improvements were associated with defined hemodynamic responses consistent with more efficient neurovascular coupling within the left DLPFC. Testing 6 months after training revealed long-lasting behavioral and physiological modifications in the stimulated group relative to sham controls for trained and nontrained calculation material. These results demonstrate that, depending on the learning regime, TRNS can induce long-term enhancement of cognitive and brain functions. Such findings have significant implications for basic and translational neuroscience, highlighting TRNS as a viable approach to enhancing learning and high-level cognition by the long-term modulation of neuroplasticity. PMID:23684971

  3. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    PubMed

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine. PMID:23501053

  6. Quetiapine modulates functional connectivity in brain aggression networks.

    PubMed

    Klasen, Martin; Zvyagintsev, Mikhail; Schwenzer, Michael; Mathiak, Krystyna A; Sarkheil, Pegah; Weber, René; Mathiak, Klaus

    2013-07-15

    Aggressive behavior is associated with dysfunctions in an affective regulation network encompassing amygdala and prefrontal areas such as orbitofrontal (OFC), anterior cingulate (ACC), and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). In particular, prefrontal regions have been postulated to control amygdala activity by inhibitory projections, and this process may be disrupted in aggressive individuals. The atypical antipsychotic quetiapine successfully attenuates aggressive behavior in various disorders; the underlying neural processes, however, are unknown. A strengthened functional coupling in the prefrontal-amygdala system may account for these anti-aggressive effects. An inhibition of this network has been reported for virtual aggression in violent video games as well. However, there have been so far no in-vivo observations of pharmacological influences on corticolimbic projections during human aggressive behavior. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, quetiapine and placebo were administered for three successive days prior to an fMRI experiment. In this experiment, functional brain connectivity was assessed during virtual aggressive behavior in a violent video game and an aggression-free control task in a non-violent modification. Quetiapine increased the functional connectivity of ACC and DLPFC with the amygdala during virtual aggression, whereas OFC-amygdala coupling was attenuated. These effects were observed neither for placebo nor for the non-violent control. These results demonstrate for the first time a pharmacological modification of aggression-related human brain networks in a naturalistic setting. The violence-specific modulation of prefrontal-amygdala networks appears to control aggressive behavior and provides a neurobiological model for the anti-aggressive effects of quetiapine.

  7. Estrogen receptor beta in the brain: from form to function.

    PubMed

    Weiser, Michael J; Foradori, Chad D; Handa, Robert J

    2008-03-01

    Estrogens have numerous effects on the brain, both in adulthood and during development. These actions of estrogen are mediated by two distinct estrogen receptor (ER) systems, ER alpha (ERalpha) and ER beta (ERbeta). In brain, ERalpha plays a critical role in regulating reproductive neuroendocrine function and behavior, however, a definitive role for ERbeta in any neurobiological function has been slow in forthcoming. Clues to the function of ERbeta in the central nervous system can be gleaned from the neuroanatomical distribution of ERbeta and the phenotypes of neurons that express ERbeta. ERbeta immunoreactivity has been found in populations of GnRH, CRH, vasopressin, oxytocin and prolactin containing neurons in the hypothalamus. Utilizing subtype-selective estrogen receptor agonists can help determine the roles for ERbeta in non-reproductive behaviors in rat models. ERbeta-selective agonists exert potent anxiolytic activity when animals were tested in a number of behavioral paradigms. Consistent with this, ERbeta-selective agonists also inhibited the ACTH and corticosterone response to stress. In contrast, ERalpha selective agonists were found to be anxiogenic and correspondingly increased the hormonal stress response. Taken together, our studies implicate ERbeta as an important modulator of some non-reproductive neurobiological systems. The molecular and neuroanatomical targets of estrogen that are mediated by ERbeta remain to be determined. A number of splice variants of ERbeta mRNA have been reported in brain tissue. Imaging of eGFP labeled chimeric receptor proteins transfected into cell lines shows that ERbeta splice variation can alter trafficking patterns and function. The originally described ERbeta (herein termed ERbeta1) is characterized by possessing a high affinity for estradiol. Similar to ERalpha, it is localized in the nucleus and is trafficked to nuclear sites termed "hyperspeckles" following ligand binding. In contrast, ERbeta2 contains an 18

  8. Brain functions after sports-related concussion: insights from event-related potentials and functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Gosselin, Nadia; Saluja, Rajeet Singh; Chen, Jen-Kai; Bottari, Carolina; Johnston, Karen; Ptito, Alain

    2010-10-01

    The high incidence of concussions in contact sports and their impact on brain functions are a major cause for concern. To improve our understanding of brain functioning after sports-related concussion, advanced functional assessment techniques, namely event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have been recently used in research studies. Contrary to neuropsychological tests that measure verbal and/or motor responses, ERPs and fMRI assess the neural activities associated with cognitive/behavioral demands, and thus provide access to better comprehension of brain functioning. In fact, ERPs have excellent temporal resolution, and fMRI identifies the involved structures during a task. This article describes ERP and fMRI techniques and reviews the results obtained with these tools in sports-related concussion. Although these techniques are not yet readily available, they offer a unique clinical approach, particularly for complex cases (ie, athletes with multiple concussions, chronic symptoms) and objective measures that provide valuable information to guide management and return-to-play decision making.

  9. Memory Networks in Tinnitus: A Functional Brain Image Study

    PubMed Central

    Laureano, Maura Regina; Onishi, Ektor Tsuneo; Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca; Castiglioni, Mario Luiz Vieira; Batista, Ilza Rosa; Reis, Marilia Alves; Garcia, Michele Vargas; de Andrade, Adriana Neves; de Almeida, Roberta Ribeiro; Garrido, Griselda J.; Jackowski, Andrea Parolin

    2014-01-01

    Tinnitus is characterized by the perception of sound in the absence of an external auditory stimulus. The network connectivity of auditory and non-auditory brain structures associated with emotion, memory and attention are functionally altered in debilitating tinnitus. Current studies suggest that tinnitus results from neuroplastic changes in the frontal and limbic temporal regions. The objective of this study was to use Single-Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) to evaluate changes in the cerebral blood flow in tinnitus patients with normal hearing compared with healthy controls. Methods: Twenty tinnitus patients with normal hearing and 17 healthy controls, matched for sex, age and years of education, were subjected to Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography using the radiotracer ethylenedicysteine diethyl ester, labeled with Technetium 99 m (99 mTc-ECD SPECT). The severity of tinnitus was assessed using the “Tinnitus Handicap Inventory” (THI). The images were processed and analyzed using “Statistical Parametric Mapping” (SPM8). Results: A significant increase in cerebral perfusion in the left parahippocampal gyrus (pFWE <0.05) was observed in patients with tinnitus compared with healthy controls. The average total THI score was 50.8+18.24, classified as moderate tinnitus. Conclusion: It was possible to identify significant changes in the limbic system of the brain perfusion in tinnitus patients with normal hearing, suggesting that central mechanisms, not specific to the auditory pathway, are involved in the pathophysiology of symptoms, even in the absence of clinically diagnosed peripheral changes. PMID:24516567

  10. Selectionist and evolutionary approaches to brain function: a critical appraisal.

    PubMed

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Szathmáry, Eörs; Husbands, Phil

    2012-01-01

    We consider approaches to brain dynamics and function that have been claimed to be Darwinian. These include Edelman's theory of neuronal group selection, Changeux's theory of synaptic selection and selective stabilization of pre-representations, Seung's Darwinian synapse, Loewenstein's synaptic melioration, Adam's selfish synapse, and Calvin's replicating activity patterns. Except for the last two, the proposed mechanisms are selectionist but not truly Darwinian, because no replicators with information transfer to copies and hereditary variation can be identified in them. All of them fit, however, a generalized selectionist framework conforming to the picture of Price's covariance formulation, which deliberately was not specific even to selection in biology, and therefore does not imply an algorithmic picture of biological evolution. Bayesian models and reinforcement learning are formally in agreement with selection dynamics. A classification of search algorithms is shown to include Darwinian replicators (evolutionary units with multiplication, heredity, and variability) as the most powerful mechanism for search in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples are given of cases where parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is more efficient than search without information transfer between units. Finally, we review our recent attempts to construct and analyze simple models of true Darwinian evolutionary units in the brain in terms of connectivity and activity copying of neuronal groups. Although none of the proposed neuronal replicators include miraculous mechanisms, their identification remains a challenge but also a great promise.

  11. Compelling Evidence that Exposure Therapy for PTSD Normalizes Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Roy, Michael J; Costanzo, Michelle E; Blair, James R; Rizzo, Albert A

    2014-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is helping us better understand the neurologic pathways involved in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We previously reported that military service members with PTSD after deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan demonstrated significant improvement, or normalization, in the fMRI-measured activation of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus following exposure therapy for PTSD. However, our original study design did not include repeat scans of control participants, rendering it difficult to discern how much of the observed normalization in brain activity is attributable to treatment, rather than merely a practice effect. Using the same Affective Stroop task paradigm, we now report on a larger sample of PTSD-positive combat veterans that we treated with exposure therapy, as well as a combat-exposed control group of service members who completed repeat scans at 3-4 month intervals. Findings from the treatment group are similar to our prior report. Combat controls showed no significant change on repeat scanning, indicating that the observed differences in the intervention group were in fact due to treatment. We continue to scan additional study participants, in order to determine whether virtual reality exposure therapy has a different impact on regional brain activation than other therapies for PTSD. PMID:24875691

  12. Selectionist and Evolutionary Approaches to Brain Function: A Critical Appraisal

    PubMed Central

    Fernando, Chrisantha; Szathmáry, Eörs; Husbands, Phil

    2012-01-01

    We consider approaches to brain dynamics and function that have been claimed to be Darwinian. These include Edelman’s theory of neuronal group selection, Changeux’s theory of synaptic selection and selective stabilization of pre-representations, Seung’s Darwinian synapse, Loewenstein’s synaptic melioration, Adam’s selfish synapse, and Calvin’s replicating activity patterns. Except for the last two, the proposed mechanisms are selectionist but not truly Darwinian, because no replicators with information transfer to copies and hereditary variation can be identified in them. All of them fit, however, a generalized selectionist framework conforming to the picture of Price’s covariance formulation, which deliberately was not specific even to selection in biology, and therefore does not imply an algorithmic picture of biological evolution. Bayesian models and reinforcement learning are formally in agreement with selection dynamics. A classification of search algorithms is shown to include Darwinian replicators (evolutionary units with multiplication, heredity, and variability) as the most powerful mechanism for search in a sparsely occupied search space. Examples are given of cases where parallel competitive search with information transfer among the units is more efficient than search without information transfer between units. Finally, we review our recent attempts to construct and analyze simple models of true Darwinian evolutionary units in the brain in terms of connectivity and activity copying of neuronal groups. Although none of the proposed neuronal replicators include miraculous mechanisms, their identification remains a challenge but also a great promise. PMID:22557963

  13. Functional brain substrate of quality of life in patients with schizophrenia: A brain SPECT multidimensional analysis.

    PubMed

    Faget-Agius, Catherine; Boyer, Laurent; Richieri, Raphaëlle; Auquier, Pascal; Lançon, Christophe; Guedj, Eric

    2016-03-30

    The aim of this study was to investigate the functional brain substrate of quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Participants comprised 130 right-handed patients with schizophrenia who underwent whole-brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with (99m)Tc-labeled ethylcysteinate dimer ((99m)Tc-ECD) for exploring correlations of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with the eight dimensions score of the Schizophrenia Quality of Life questionnaire (S-QoL 18). A significant positive correlation was found between the global index of the S-QoL 18 and rCBF in the right superior temporal sulcus and between psychological well-being dimension and rCBF in Brodmann area (BA)6, BA8, BA9, and BA10 and between self-esteem dimension and rCBF in striatum and between family relationship dimension and rCBF in BA1, BA2, BA3, BA4, BA8, BA22, BA40, BA42 and BA44 and between relationship with friends dimension and rCBF in BA44 and between physical well-being dimension and rCBF in parahippocampal gyrus, and finally between autonomy dimension and rCBF in cuneus and precuneus. A significant negative correlation was found between resilience dimension and rCBF in precuneus and between sentimental life dimension and rCBF in BA10. Our findings provide neural correlates of QoL. Brain regions involved in cognitions, emotional information processing and social cognition underlie the different QoL dimensions.

  14. Functional brain substrate of quality of life in patients with schizophrenia: A brain SPECT multidimensional analysis.

    PubMed

    Faget-Agius, Catherine; Boyer, Laurent; Richieri, Raphaëlle; Auquier, Pascal; Lançon, Christophe; Guedj, Eric

    2016-03-30

    The aim of this study was to investigate the functional brain substrate of quality of life (QoL) in patients with schizophrenia. Participants comprised 130 right-handed patients with schizophrenia who underwent whole-brain single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) with (99m)Tc-labeled ethylcysteinate dimer ((99m)Tc-ECD) for exploring correlations of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with the eight dimensions score of the Schizophrenia Quality of Life questionnaire (S-QoL 18). A significant positive correlation was found between the global index of the S-QoL 18 and rCBF in the right superior temporal sulcus and between psychological well-being dimension and rCBF in Brodmann area (BA)6, BA8, BA9, and BA10 and between self-esteem dimension and rCBF in striatum and between family relationship dimension and rCBF in BA1, BA2, BA3, BA4, BA8, BA22, BA40, BA42 and BA44 and between relationship with friends dimension and rCBF in BA44 and between physical well-being dimension and rCBF in parahippocampal gyrus, and finally between autonomy dimension and rCBF in cuneus and precuneus. A significant negative correlation was found between resilience dimension and rCBF in precuneus and between sentimental life dimension and rCBF in BA10. Our findings provide neural correlates of QoL. Brain regions involved in cognitions, emotional information processing and social cognition underlie the different QoL dimensions. PMID:27000309

  15. Self-Affirmation Activates the Ventral Striatum: A Possible Reward-Related Mechanism for Self-Affirmation.

    PubMed

    Dutcher, Janine M; Creswell, J David; Pacilio, Laura E; Harris, Peter R; Klein, William M P; Levine, John M; Bower, Julienne E; Muscatell, Keely A; Eisenberger, Naomi I

    2016-04-01

    Self-affirmation (reflecting on important personal values) has been shown to have a range of positive effects; however, the neural basis of self-affirmation is not known. Building on studies showing that thinking about self-preferences activates neural reward pathways, we hypothesized that self-affirmation would activate brain reward circuitry during functional MRI (fMRI) studies. In Study 1, with college students, making judgments about important personal values during self-affirmation activated neural reward regions (i.e., ventral striatum), whereas making preference judgments that were not self-relevant did not. Study 2 replicated these results in a community sample, again showing that self-affirmation activated the ventral striatum. These are among the first fMRI studies to identify neural processes during self-affirmation. The findings extend theory by showing that self-affirmation may be rewarding and may provide a first step toward identifying a neural mechanism by which self-affirmation may produce a wide range of beneficial effects. PMID:26917214

  16. Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... will return after updating. Resources Archived Modules Updates Brain Cerebrum The cerebrum is the part of the ... the outside of the brain and spinal cord. Brain Stem The brain stem is the part of ...

  17. Resting state magnetoencephalography functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Tarapore, Phiroz E.; Findlay, Anne M.; LaHue, Sara C.; Lee, Hana; Honma, Susanne M.; Mizuiri, Danielle; Luks, Tracy L.; Manley, Geoffrey T.; Nagarajan, Srikantan S.; Mukherjee, Pratik

    2014-01-01

    Object Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the leading causes of morbidity worldwide. One mechanism by which blunt head trauma may disrupt normal cognition and behavior is through alteration of functional connectivity between brain regions. In this pilot study, the authors applied a rapid automated resting state magnetoencephalography (MEG) imaging technique suitable for routine clinical use to test the hypothesis that there is decreased functional connectivity in patients with TBI compared with matched controls, even in cases of mild TBI. Furthermore, they posit that these abnormal reductions in MEG functional connectivity can be detected even in TBI patients without specific evidence of traumatic lesions on 3-T MR images. Finally, they hypothesize that the reductions of functional connectivity can improve over time across serial MEG scans during recovery from TBI. Methods Magnetoencephalography maps of functional connectivity in the alpha (8- to 12-Hz) band from 21 patients who sustained a TBI were compared with those from 18 age- and sex-matched controls. Regions of altered functional connectivity in each patient were detected in automated fashion through atlas-based registration to the control database. The extent of reduced functional connectivity in the patient group was tested for correlations with clinical characteristics of the injury as well as with findings on 3-T MRI. Finally, the authors compared initial connectivity maps with 2-year follow-up functional connectivity in a subgroup of 5 patients with TBI. Results Fourteen male and 7 female patients (17–53 years old, median 29 years) were enrolled. By Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) criteria, 11 patients had mild, 1 had moderate, and 3 had severe TBI, and 6 had no GCS score recorded. On 3-T MRI, 16 patients had abnormal findings attributable to the trauma and 5 had findings in the normal range. As a group, the patients with TBI had significantly lower functional connectivity than controls (p < 0.01). Three

  18. Changes in Intrinsic Functional Brain Networks Following Blast-Induced Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Vakhtin, Andrei A.; Calhoun, Vince D.; Jung, Rex E.; Prestopnik, Jill L.; Taylor, Paul A.; Ford, Corey C.

    2016-01-01

    The incidence of blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) has been rising in US veterans due to the widespread use of improvised explosive devices. Blast-injured veterans report cognitive impairments, collectively termed post-concussive syndrome, similar to ones that follow more severe forms of TBI. These are due to diffuse axonal injury, which disrupts the neuronal cytoskeleton and commonly goes undetected by computed tomography and conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We looked for cortical function abnormalities in a group of blast mTBI subjects using independent component analysis of resting state functional MRI data, which may be more sensitive to small differences. Resting state networks of 13 mTBI veterans with moderate post-concussive syndrome and 50 control subjects were compared across 3 fMRI domains: blood oxygenation level-dependent spatial maps, time course spectra, and functional connectivity. The mTBI group exhibited hyperactivity in the temporo-parietal junctions and hypoactivity in the left inferior temporal gyrus. Abnormal frequencies in default-mode (DMN), sensorimotor, attentional, and frontal networks were detected. Functional connectivity was disrupted in 6 network pairs: DMN-basal ganglia, attention-sensorimotor, frontal-DMN, attention-sensorimotor, attention-frontal, and sensorimotor-sensorimotor. The results suggest white matter disruption across certain attentional networks and that the temporo-parietal junctions may be compensating for damage in other cortical regions. PMID:24020442

  19. Evolution of human brain functions: the functional structure of human consciousness.

    PubMed

    Cloninger, C Robert

    2009-11-01

    The functional structure of self-aware consciousness in human beings is described based on the evolution of human brain functions. Prior work on heritable temperament and character traits is extended to account for the quantum-like and holographic properties (i.e. parts elicit wholes) of self-aware consciousness. Cladistic analysis is used to identify the succession of ancestors leading to human beings. The functional capacities that emerge along this lineage of ancestors are described. The ecological context in which each cladogenesis occurred is described to illustrate the shifting balance of evolution as a complex adaptive system. Comparative neuroanatomy is reviewed to identify the brain structures and networks that emerged coincident with the emergent brain functions. Individual differences in human temperament traits were well developed in the common ancestor shared by reptiles and humans. Neocortical development in mammals proceeded in five major transitions: from early reptiles to early mammals, early primates, simians, early Homo, and modern Homo sapiens. These transitions provide the foundation for human self-awareness related to sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality, respectively. The functional structure of human self-aware consciousness is concerned with the regulation of five planes of being: sexuality, materiality, emotionality, intellectuality, and spirituality. Each plane elaborates neocortical functions organized around one of the five special senses. The interactions among these five planes gives rise to a 5 x 5 matrix of subplanes, which are functions that coarsely describe the focus of neocortical regulation. Each of these 25 neocortical functions regulates each of five basic motives or drives that can be measured as temperaments or basic emotions related to fear, anger, disgust, surprise, and happiness/sadness. The resulting 5 x 5 x 5 matrix of human characteristics provides a general and testable model of the

  20. [The brain structures functional activity and aggression patients' multiple sclerosis].

    PubMed

    Reznikova, T N; Seliverstova, N A; Kataeva, G V; Aroev, R A; Il'ves, A G; Kuznetsova, A K

    2015-01-01

    The article is devoted to investigation of unconscious aggression in patients with multiple sclerosis. We carried out comparison of the relative assessments of metabolism speed of glucose (according to positron emission tomography) and indicators of unconscious aggression (in the Hand test). It is shown that an increased tendency to open aggression (unconscious aggression) in patients with multiple sclerosis, is mainly linked with a reduction in the functioning of different departments of the frontal lobes of the brain on the left and with changes of the metabolism speed of glucose in the structures of the limbic system of the left and right hemisphere. With increasing of unconscious aggression we observed decrease of glucose metabolism speed in certain areas of the lower and middle frontal gyrus.

  1. Distributed representations in memory: insights from functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Rissman, Jesse; Wagner, Anthony D

    2012-01-01

    Forging new memories for facts and events, holding critical details in mind on a moment-to-moment basis, and retrieving knowledge in the service of current goals all depend on a complex interplay between neural ensembles throughout the brain. Over the past decade, researchers have increasingly utilized powerful analytical tools (e.g., multivoxel pattern analysis) to decode the information represented within distributed functional magnetic resonance imaging activity patterns. In this review, we discuss how these methods can sensitively index neural representations of perceptual and semantic content and how leverage on the engagement of distributed representations provides unique insights into distinct aspects of memory-guided behavior. We emphasize that, in addition to characterizing the contents of memories, analyses of distributed patterns shed light on the processes that influence how information is encoded, maintained, or retrieved, and thus inform memory theory. We conclude by highlighting open questions about memory that can be addressed through distributed pattern analyses.

  2. Functional brain mapping of the relaxation response and meditation.

    PubMed

    Lazar, S W; Bush, G; Gollub, R L; Fricchione, G L; Khalsa, G; Benson, H

    2000-05-15

    Meditation is a conscious mental process that induces a set of integrated physiologic changes termed the relaxation response. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to identify and characterize the brain regions that are active during a simple form of meditation. Significant (p<10(-7)) signal increases were observed in the group-averaged data in the dorsolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, hippocampus/parahippocampus, temporal lobe, pregenual anterior cingulate cortex, striatum, and pre- and post-central gyri during meditation. Global fMRI signal decreases were also noted, although these were probably secondary to cardiorespiratory changes that often accompany meditation. The results indicate that the practice of meditation activates neural structures involved in attention and control of the autonomic nervous system.

  3. Effects of QiGong on brain function.

    PubMed

    Litscher, G; Wenzel, G; Niederwieser, G; Schwarz, G

    2001-07-01

    QiGong is an ancient and widely practiced Chinese meditation exercise. We studied the effects of QiGong on brain function with modern neuromonitoring tools in two subjects. In a male QiGong master (extremely trained practitioner), the technique induced reproducible changes in transcranial Doppler sonography, EEG, stimulus-induced 40 Hz oscillations, and near-infrared spectroscopy findings. Similar effects were seen after the application of multimodal stimuli and when the master concentrated on intense imagined stimuli (e.g. 22.2% increase in mean blood flow velocity (vm) in the posterior cerebral artery, and a simultaneous 23.1% decrease of vm in the middle cerebral artery). Similar effects were seen in the female subject. Neuromonitoring during QiGong appears able to objectify accompanied cerebral modulations surrounding this old Chinese meditation exercise.

  4. Distributed representations in memory: insights from functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Rissman, Jesse; Wagner, Anthony D

    2012-01-01

    Forging new memories for facts and events, holding critical details in mind on a moment-to-moment basis, and retrieving knowledge in the service of current goals all depend on a complex interplay between neural ensembles throughout the brain. Over the past decade, researchers have increasingly utilized powerful analytical tools (e.g., multivoxel pattern analysis) to decode the information represented within distributed functional magnetic resonance imaging activity patterns. In this review, we discuss how these methods can sensitively index neural representations of perceptual and semantic content and how leverage on the engagement of distributed representations provides unique insights into distinct aspects of memory-guided behavior. We emphasize that, in addition to characterizing the contents of memories, analyses of distributed patterns shed light on the processes that influence how information is encoded, maintained, or retrieved, and thus inform memory theory. We conclude by highlighting open questions about memory that can be addressed through distributed pattern analyses. PMID:21943171

  5. Imaging local brain function with emission computed tomography

    SciTech Connect

    Kuhl, D.E.

    1984-03-01

    Positron emission tomography (PET) using /sup 18/F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) was used to map local cerebral glucose utilization in the study of local cerebral function. This information differs fundamentally from structural assessment by means of computed tomography (CT). In normal human volunteers, the FDG scan was used to determine the cerebral metabolic response to conrolled sensory stimulation and the effects of aging. Cerebral metabolic patterns are distinctive among depressed and demented elderly patients. The FDG scan appears normal in the depressed patient, studded with multiple metabolic defects in patients with multiple infarct dementia, and in the patients with Alzheimer disease, metabolism is particularly reduced in the parietal cortex, but only slightly reduced in the caudate and thalamus. The interictal FDG scan effectively detects hypometabolic brain zones that are sites of onset for seizures in patients with partial epilepsy, even though these zones usually appear normal on CT scans. The future prospects of PET are discussed.

  6. Cognition and Brain Function in Schizotypy: A Selective Review

    PubMed Central

    Ettinger, Ulrich; Mohr, Christine; Gooding, Diane C.; Cohen, Alex S.; Rapp, Alexander; Haenschel, Corinna; Park, Sohee

    2015-01-01

    Schizotypy refers to a set of personality traits thought to reflect the subclinical expression of the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia. Here, we review the cognitive and brain functional profile associated with high questionnaire scores in schizotypy. We discuss empirical evidence from the domains of perception, attention, memory, imagery and representation, language, and motor control. Perceptual deficits occur early and across various modalities. While the neural mechanisms underlying visual impairments may be linked to magnocellular dysfunction, further effects may be seen downstream in higher cognitive functions. Cognitive deficits are observed in inhibitory control, selective and sustained attention, incidental learning, and memory. In concordance with the cognitive nature of many of the aberrations of schizotypy, higher levels of schizotypy are associated with enhanced vividness and better performance on tasks of mental rotation. Language deficits seem most pronounced in higher-level processes. Finally, higher levels of schizotypy are associated with reduced performance on oculomotor tasks, resembling the impairments seen in schizophrenia. Some of these deficits are accompanied by reduced brain activation, akin to the pattern of hypoactivations in schizophrenia spectrum individuals. We conclude that schizotypy is a construct with apparent phenomenological overlap with schizophrenia and stable interindividual differences that covary with performance on a wide range of perceptual, cognitive, and motor tasks known to be impaired in schizophrenia. The importance of these findings lies not only in providing a fine-grained neurocognitive characterization of a personality constellation known to be associated with real-life impairments, but also in generating hypotheses concerning the aetiology of schizophrenia. PMID:25810056

  7. Functional Connectivity’s Degenerate View of Brain Computation

    PubMed Central

    Giron, Alain; Rudrauf, David

    2016-01-01

    Brain computation relies on effective interactions between ensembles of neurons. In neuroimaging, measures of functional connectivity (FC) aim at statistically quantifying such interactions, often to study normal or pathological cognition. Their capacity to reflect a meaningful variety of patterns as expected from neural computation in relation to cognitive processes remains debated. The relative weights of time-varying local neurophysiological dynamics versus static structural connectivity (SC) in the generation of FC as measured remains unsettled. Empirical evidence features mixed results: from little to significant FC variability and correlation with cognitive functions, within and between participants. We used a unified approach combining multivariate analysis, bootstrap and computational modeling to characterize the potential variety of patterns of FC and SC both qualitatively and quantitatively. Empirical data and simulations from generative models with different dynamical behaviors demonstrated, largely irrespective of FC metrics, that a linear subspace with dimension one or two could explain much of the variability across patterns of FC. On the contrary, the variability across BOLD time-courses could not be reduced to such a small subspace. FC appeared to strongly reflect SC and to be partly governed by a Gaussian process. The main differences between simulated and empirical data related to limitations of DWI-based SC estimation (and SC itself could then be estimated from FC). Above and beyond the limited dynamical range of the BOLD signal itself, measures of FC may offer a degenerate representation of brain interactions, with limited access to the underlying complexity. They feature an invariant common core, reflecting the channel capacity of the network as conditioned by SC, with a limited, though perhaps meaningful residual variability. PMID:27736900

  8. Analysis of Functional Pathways Altered after Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Redell, John B.; Moore, Anthony N.; Grill, Raymond J.; Johnson, Daniel; Zhao, Jing; Liu, Yin

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Concussive injury (or mild traumatic brain injury; mTBI) can exhibit features of focal or diffuse injury patterns. We compared and contrasted the cellular and molecular responses after mild controlled cortical impact (mCCI; a focal injury) or fluid percussion injury (FPI; a diffuse injury) in rats. The rationale for this comparative analysis was to investigate the brain's response to mild diffuse versus mild focal injury to identify common molecular changes triggered by these injury modalities and to determine the functional pathways altered after injury that may provide novel targets for therapeutic intervention. Microarrays containing probes against 21,792 unique messenger RNAs (mRNAs) were used to investigate the changes in cortical mRNA expression levels at 3 and 24 h postinjury. Of the 354 mRNAs with significantly altered expression levels after mCCI, over 89% (316 mRNAs) were also contained within the mild FPI (mFPI) data set. However, mFPI initiated a more widespread molecular response, with over 2300 mRNAs differentially expressed. Bioinformatic analysis of annotated Gene Ontology molecular function and biological pathway terms showed a significant overrepresentation of genes belonging to inflammation, stress, and signaling categories in both data sets. We therefore examined changes in the protein levels of a panel of 23 cytokines and chemokines in cortical extracts using a Luminex-based bead immunoassay and detected significant increases in macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α (CCL3), GRO-KC (CXCL1), interleukin (IL)-1α, IL-1β, and IL-6. Immunohistochemical localization of MIP-1α and IL-1β showed marked increases at 3 h postinjury in the cortical vasculature and microglia, respectively, that were largely resolved by 24 h postinjury. Our findings demonstrate that both focal and diffuse mTBI trigger many shared pathobiological processes (e.g., inflammatory responses) that could be targeted for mechanism-based therapeutic interventions

  9. Compensation through Functional Hyperconnectivity: A Longitudinal Connectome Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Iraji, Armin; Chen, Hanbo; Wiseman, Natalie; Welch, Robert D.; O'Neil, Brian J.; Haacke, E. Mark; Liu, Tianming; Kou, Zhifeng

    2016-01-01

    Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is a major public health concern. Functional MRI has reported alterations in several brain networks following mTBI. However, the connectome-scale brain network changes are still unknown. In this study, sixteen mTBI patients were prospectively recruited from an emergency department and followed up at 4–6 weeks after injury. Twenty-four healthy controls were also scanned twice with the same time interval. Three hundred fifty-eight brain landmarks that preserve structural and functional correspondence of brain networks across individuals were used to investigate longitudinal brain connectivity. Network-based statistic (NBS) analysis did not find significant difference in the group-by-time interaction and time effects. However, 258 functional pairs show group differences in which mTBI patients have higher functional connectivity. Meta-analysis showed that “Action” and “Cognition” are the most affected functional domains. Categorization of connectomic signatures using multiview group-wise cluster analysis identified two patterns of functional hyperconnectivity among mTBI patients: (I) between the posterior cingulate cortex and the association areas of the brain and (II) between the occipital and the frontal lobes of the brain. Our results demonstrate that brain concussion renders connectome-scale brain network connectivity changes, and the brain tends to be hyperactivated to compensate the pathophysiological disturbances. PMID:26819765

  10. Neurovascular coupling: in vivo optical techniques for functional brain imaging

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Optical imaging techniques reflect different biochemical processes in the brain, which is closely related with neural activity. Scientists and clinicians employ a variety of optical imaging technologies to visualize and study the relationship between neurons, glial cells and blood vessels. In this paper, we present an overview of the current optical approaches used for the in vivo imaging of neurovascular coupling events in small animal models. These techniques include 2-photon microscopy, laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI), voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDi), functional photoacoustic microscopy (fPAM), functional near-infrared spectroscopy imaging (fNIRS) and multimodal imaging techniques. The basic principles of each technique are described in detail, followed by examples of current applications from cutting-edge studies of cerebral neurovascular coupling functions and metabolic. Moreover, we provide a glimpse of the possible ways in which these techniques might be translated to human studies for clinical investigations of pathophysiology and disease. In vivo optical imaging techniques continue to expand and evolve, allowing us to discover fundamental basis of neurovascular coupling roles in cerebral physiology and pathophysiology. PMID:23631798

  11. Oxytocin enhances brain function in children with autism

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Ilanit; Vander Wyk, Brent C.; Bennett, Randi H.; Cordeaux, Cara; Lucas, Molly V.; Eilbott, Jeffrey A.; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Leckman, James F.; Feldman, Ruth; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    Following intranasal administration of oxytocin (OT), we measured, via functional MRI, changes in brain activity during judgments of socially (Eyes) and nonsocially (Vehicles) meaningful pictures in 17 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). OT increased activity in the striatum, the middle frontal gyrus, the medial prefrontal cortex, the right orbitofrontal cortex, and the left superior temporal sulcus. In the striatum, nucleus accumbens, left posterior superior temporal sulcus, and left premotor cortex, OT increased activity during social judgments and decreased activity during nonsocial judgments. Changes in salivary OT concentrations from baseline to 30 min postadministration were positively associated with increased activity in the right amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex during social vs. nonsocial judgments. OT may thus selectively have an impact on salience and hedonic evaluations of socially meaningful stimuli in children with ASD, and thereby facilitate social attunement. These findings further the development of a neurophysiological systems-level understanding of mechanisms by which OT may enhance social functioning in children with ASD. PMID:24297883

  12. Neurovascular coupling: in vivo optical techniques for functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Liao, Lun-De; Tsytsarev, Vassiliy; Delgado-Martínez, Ignacio; Li, Meng-Lin; Erzurumlu, Reha; Vipin, Ashwati; Orellana, Josue; Lin, Yan-Ren; Lai, Hsin-Yi; Chen, You-Yin; Thakor, Nitish V

    2013-04-30

    Optical imaging techniques reflect different biochemical processes in the brain, which is closely related with neural activity. Scientists and clinicians employ a variety of optical imaging technologies to visualize and study the relationship between neurons, glial cells and blood vessels. In this paper, we present an overview of the current optical approaches used for the in vivo imaging of neurovascular coupling events in small animal models. These techniques include 2-photon microscopy, laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI), voltage-sensitive dye imaging (VSDi), functional photoacoustic microscopy (fPAM), functional near-infrared spectroscopy imaging (fNIRS) and multimodal imaging techniques. The basic principles of each technique are described in detail, followed by examples of current applications from cutting-edge studies of cerebral neurovascular coupling functions and metabolic. Moreover, we provide a glimpse of the possible ways in which these techniques might be translated to human studies for clinical investigations of pathophysiology and disease. In vivo optical imaging techniques continue to expand and evolve, allowing us to discover fundamental basis of neurovascular coupling roles in cerebral physiology and pathophysiology.

  13. Dynamic reorganization of brain functional networks during cognition.

    PubMed

    Bola, Michał; Sabel, Bernhard A

    2015-07-01

    How does cognition emerge from neural dynamics? The dominant hypothesis states that interactions among distributed brain regions through phase synchronization give basis for cognitive processing. Such phase-synchronized networks are transient and dynamic, established on the timescale of milliseconds in order to perform specific cognitive operations. But unlike resting-state networks, the complex organization of transient cognitive networks is typically not characterized within the graph theory framework. Thus, it is not known whether cognitive processing merely changes the strength of functional connections or, conversely, requires qualitatively new topological arrangements of functional networks. To address this question, we recorded high-density EEG while subjects performed a visual discrimination task. We conducted an event-related network analysis (ERNA) where source-space weighted functional networks were characterized with graph measures. ERNA revealed rapid, transient, and frequency-specific reorganization of the network's topology during cognition. Specifically, cognitive networks were characterized by strong clustering, low modularity, and strong interactions between hub-nodes. Our findings suggest that dense and clustered connectivity between the hub nodes belonging to different modules is the "network fingerprint" of cognition. Such reorganization patterns might facilitate global integration of information and provide a substrate for a "global workspace" necessary for cognition and consciousness to occur. Thus, characterizing topology of the event-related networks opens new vistas to interpret cognitive dynamics in the broader conceptual framework of graph theory.

  14. Brain function in obstructive sleep apnea: results from the Brain Resource International Database.

    PubMed

    Wong, Keith K H; Grunstein, Ronald R; Bartlett, Delwyn J; Gordon, Evian

    2006-03-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is expected to impair vigilance and executive functioning, owing to the sensitivity of the prefrontal cortex to the effects of sleep fragmentation and intermittent hypoxia. Studies examining the pattern of cognitive dysfunction show variable results, with the heterogeneity in part due to small sample sizes in current studies and little consistency of the tests used. We examined a group of fifty subjects from the Brain Resource International Database (BRID), predicted to have OSA on the basis of the Multivariable Apnea Prediction Index, and compared them with 200 matched controls. On electrophysiological tests, the OSA group showed reduced eyes closed alpha power, increased auditory oddball N100 and P200 amplitude, but reduced N200 and P300 amplitude. The latency to P300 was not significantly different between groups, but latencies to N200 and P200 were prolonged in the OSA group. Performance testing of the executive function found that verbal interference and the switching of attention were impaired in the OSA group. We have demonstrated that a diagnostic algorithm based on apnea symptoms and demographic factors can be used to select a group with likely OSA manifesting deficits in information processing and executive function.

  15. Brain function in obstructive sleep apnea: results from the Brain Resource International Database.

    PubMed

    Wong, Keith K H; Grunstein, Ronald R; Bartlett, Delwyn J; Gordon, Evian

    2006-03-01

    Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is expected to impair vigilance and executive functioning, owing to the sensitivity of the prefrontal cortex to the effects of sleep fragmentation and intermittent hypoxia. Studies examining the pattern of cognitive dysfunction show variable results, with the heterogeneity in part due to small sample sizes in current studies and little consistency of the tests used. We examined a group of fifty subjects from the Brain Resource International Database (BRID), predicted to have OSA on the basis of the Multivariable Apnea Prediction Index, and compared them with 200 matched controls. On electrophysiological tests, the OSA group showed reduced eyes closed alpha power, increased auditory oddball N100 and P200 amplitude, but reduced N200 and P300 amplitude. The latency to P300 was not significantly different between groups, but latencies to N200 and P200 were prolonged in the OSA group. Performance testing of the executive function found that verbal interference and the switching of attention were impaired in the OSA group. We have demonstrated that a diagnostic algorithm based on apnea symptoms and demographic factors can be used to select a group with likely OSA manifesting deficits in information processing and executive function. PMID:16544369

  16. Functional specificity in the human brain: A window into the functional architecture of the mind

    PubMed Central

    Kanwisher, Nancy

    2010-01-01

    Is the human mind/brain composed of a set of highly specialized components, each carrying out a specific aspect of human cognition, or is it more of a general-purpose device, in which each component participates in a wide variety of cognitive processes? For nearly two centuries, proponents of specialized organs or modules of the mind and brain—from the phrenologists to Broca to Chomsky and Fodor—have jousted with the proponents of distributed cognitive and neural processing—from Flourens to Lashley to McClelland and Rumelhart. I argue here that research using functional MRI is beginning to answer this long-standing question with new clarity and precision by indicating that at least a few specific aspects of cognition are implemented in brain regions that are highly specialized for that process alone. Cortical regions have been identified that are specialized not only for basic sensory and motor processes but also for the high-level perceptual analysis of faces, places, bodies, visually presented words, and even for the very abstract cognitive function of thinking about another person’s thoughts. I further consider the as-yet unanswered questions of how much of the mind and brain are made up of these functionally specialized components and how they arise developmentally. PMID:20484679

  17. Methamphetamine effects on blood-brain barrier structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Northrop, Nicole A.; Yamamoto, Bryan K.

    2015-01-01

    Methamphetamine (Meth) is a widely abuse psychostimulant. Traditionally, studies have focused on the neurotoxic effects of Meth on monoaminergic neurotransmitter terminals. Recently, both in vitro and in vivo studies have investigated the effects of Meth on the BBB and found that Meth produces a decrease in BBB structural proteins and an increase in BBB permeability to various molecules. Moreover, preclinical studies are validated by clinical studies in which human Meth users have increased concentrations of toxins in the brain. Therefore, this review will focus on the structural and functional disruption of the BBB caused by Meth and the mechanisms that contribute to Meth-induced BBB disruption. The review will reveal that the mechanisms by which Meth damages dopamine and serotonin terminals are similar to the mechanisms by which the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is damaged. Furthermore, this review will cover the factors that are known to potentiate the effects of Meth (McCann et al., 1998) on the BBB, such as stress and HIV, both of which are co-morbid conditions associated with Meth abuse. Overall, the goal of this review is to demonstrate that the scope of damage produced by Meth goes beyond damage to monoaminergic neurotransmitter systems to include BBB disruption as well as provide a rationale for investigating therapeutics to treat Meth-induced BBB disruption. Since a breach of the BBB can have a multitude of consequences, therapies directed toward the treatment of BBB disruption may help to ameliorate the long-term neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits produced by Meth and possibly even Meth addiction. PMID:25788874

  18. Subliminal Instrumental Conditioning Demonstrated in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Pessiglione, Mathias; Petrovic, Predrag; Daunizeau, Jean; Palminteri, Stefano; Dolan, Raymond J.; Frith, Chris D.

    2008-01-01

    Summary How the brain uses success and failure to optimize future decisions is a long-standing question in neuroscience. One computational solution involves updating the values of context-action associations in proportion to a reward prediction error. Previous evidence suggests that such computations are expressed in the striatum and, as they are cognitively impenetrable, represent an unconscious learning mechanism. Here, we formally test this by studying instrumental conditioning in a situation where we masked contextual cues, such that they were not consciously perceived. Behavioral data showed that subjects nonetheless developed a significant propensity to choose cues associated with monetary rewards relative to punishments. Functional neuroimaging revealed that during conditioning cue values and prediction errors, generated from a computational model, both correlated with activity in ventral striatum. We conclude that, even without conscious processing of contextual cues, our brain can learn their reward value and use them to provide a bias on decision making. PMID:18760693

  19. Brain and Retinal Pericytes: Origin, Function and Role.

    PubMed

    Trost, Andrea; Lange, Simona; Schroedl, Falk; Bruckner, Daniela; Motloch, Karolina A; Bogner, Barbara; Kaser-Eichberger, Alexandra; Strohmaier, Clemens; Runge, Christian; Aigner, Ludwig; Rivera, Francisco J; Reitsamer, Herbert A

    2016-01-01

    Pericytes are specialized mural cells located at the abluminal surface of capillary blood vessels, embedded within the basement membrane. In the vascular network these multifunctional cells fulfil diverse functions, which are indispensable for proper homoeostasis. They serve as microvascular stabilizers, are potential regulators of microvascular blood flow and have a central role in angiogenesis, as they for example regulate endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, pericytes, as part of the neurovascular unit, are a major component of the blood-retina/brain barrier. CNS pericytes are a heterogenic cell population derived from mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal germ layers acting as modulators of stromal and niche environmental properties. In addition, they display multipotent differentiation potential making them an intriguing target for regenerative therapies. Pericyte-deficiencies can be cause or consequence of many kinds of diseases. In diabetes, for instance, pericyte-loss is a severe pathological process in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with detrimental consequences for eye sight in millions of patients. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of CNS pericyte origin and function, with a special focus on the retina in the healthy and diseased. Finally, we highlight the role of pericytes in de- and regenerative processes. PMID:26869887

  20. Altered balance of functional brain networks in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Todd S; Leong, KaWai; Sanford, Nicole; Tipper, Christine M; Lavigne, Katie M

    2016-02-28

    Activity in dorsal attention (DAN) and frontoparietal (FPN) functional brain networks is linked to allocation of attention to external stimuli, and activity in the default-mode network (DMN) is linked to allocation of attention to internal representations. Tasks requiring attention to external stimuli shift activity to the DAN/FPN and away from the DMN, and optimal task performance depends on balancing DAN/FPN against DMN activity. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study assessed the balance of DAN/FPN and DMN activity in 13 schizophrenia patients and 13 healthy controls while they were engaged in a task switching Stroop paradigm which demanded internally directed attention to task instructions. The typical pattern of reciprocity between the DAN/FPN and DMN was observed for healthy controls but not for patients, suggesting a reduction in the internally focussed thought important for maintenance of instructions and strategies in schizophrenia. The observed alteration in the balance between DAN/FPN and DMN in patients may reflect a general mechanism underlying multiple forms of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, including global processing deficits such as cognitive inefficiency and impaired context processing.

  1. Brain and Retinal Pericytes: Origin, Function and Role

    PubMed Central

    Trost, Andrea; Lange, Simona; Schroedl, Falk; Bruckner, Daniela; Motloch, Karolina A.; Bogner, Barbara; Kaser-Eichberger, Alexandra; Strohmaier, Clemens; Runge, Christian; Aigner, Ludwig; Rivera, Francisco J.; Reitsamer, Herbert A.

    2016-01-01

    Pericytes are specialized mural cells located at the abluminal surface of capillary blood vessels, embedded within the basement membrane. In the vascular network these multifunctional cells fulfil diverse functions, which are indispensable for proper homoeostasis. They serve as microvascular stabilizers, are potential regulators of microvascular blood flow and have a central role in angiogenesis, as they for example regulate endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, pericytes, as part of the neurovascular unit, are a major component of the blood-retina/brain barrier. CNS pericytes are a heterogenic cell population derived from mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal germ layers acting as modulators of stromal and niche environmental properties. In addition, they display multipotent differentiation potential making them an intriguing target for regenerative therapies. Pericyte-deficiencies can be cause or consequence of many kinds of diseases. In diabetes, for instance, pericyte-loss is a severe pathological process in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with detrimental consequences for eye sight in millions of patients. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of CNS pericyte origin and function, with a special focus on the retina in the healthy and diseased. Finally, we highlight the role of pericytes in de- and regenerative processes. PMID:26869887

  2. Altered balance of functional brain networks in Schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Woodward, Todd S; Leong, KaWai; Sanford, Nicole; Tipper, Christine M; Lavigne, Katie M

    2016-02-28

    Activity in dorsal attention (DAN) and frontoparietal (FPN) functional brain networks is linked to allocation of attention to external stimuli, and activity in the default-mode network (DMN) is linked to allocation of attention to internal representations. Tasks requiring attention to external stimuli shift activity to the DAN/FPN and away from the DMN, and optimal task performance depends on balancing DAN/FPN against DMN activity. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study assessed the balance of DAN/FPN and DMN activity in 13 schizophrenia patients and 13 healthy controls while they were engaged in a task switching Stroop paradigm which demanded internally directed attention to task instructions. The typical pattern of reciprocity between the DAN/FPN and DMN was observed for healthy controls but not for patients, suggesting a reduction in the internally focussed thought important for maintenance of instructions and strategies in schizophrenia. The observed alteration in the balance between DAN/FPN and DMN in patients may reflect a general mechanism underlying multiple forms of cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, including global processing deficits such as cognitive inefficiency and impaired context processing. PMID:26786152

  3. Data-driven analysis of functional brain interactions during free listening to music and speech.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jun; Hu, Xintao; Han, Junwei; Jiang, Xi; Zhu, Dajiang; Guo, Lei; Liu, Tianming

    2015-06-01

    Natural stimulus functional magnetic resonance imaging (N-fMRI) such as fMRI acquired when participants were watching video streams or listening to audio streams has been increasingly used to investigate functional mechanisms of the human brain in recent years. One of the fundamental challenges in functional brain mapping based on N-fMRI is to model the brain's functional responses to continuous, naturalistic and dynamic natural stimuli. To address this challenge, in this paper we present a data-driven approach to exploring functional interactions in the human brain during free listening to music and speech streams. Specifically, we model the brain responses using N-fMRI by measuring the functional interactions on large-scale brain networks with intrinsically established structural correspondence, and perform music and speech classification tasks to guide the systematic identification of consistent and discriminative functional interactions when multiple subjects were listening music and speech in multiple categories. The underlying premise is that the functional interactions derived from N-fMRI data of multiple subjects should exhibit both consistency and discriminability. Our experimental results show that a variety of brain systems including attention, memory, auditory/language, emotion, and action networks are among the most relevant brain systems involved in classic music, pop music and speech differentiation. Our study provides an alternative approach to investigating the human brain's mechanism in comprehension of complex natural music and speech. PMID:24526569

  4. Data-driven analysis of functional brain interactions during free listening to music and speech.

    PubMed

    Fang, Jun; Hu, Xintao; Han, Junwei; Jiang, Xi; Zhu, Dajiang; Guo, Lei; Liu, Tianming

    2015-06-01

    Natural stimulus functional magnetic resonance imaging (N-fMRI) such as fMRI acquired when participants were watching video streams or listening to audio streams has been increasingly used to investigate functional mechanisms of the human brain in recent years. One of the fundamental challenges in functional brain mapping based on N-fMRI is to model the brain's functional responses to continuous, naturalistic and dynamic natural stimuli. To address this challenge, in this paper we present a data-driven approach to exploring functional interactions in the human brain during free listening to music and speech streams. Specifically, we model the brain responses using N-fMRI by measuring the functional interactions on large-scale brain networks with intrinsically established structural correspondence, and perform music and speech classification tasks to guide the systematic identification of consistent and discriminative functional interactions when multiple subjects were listening music and speech in multiple categories. The underlying premise is that the functional interactions derived from N-fMRI data of multiple subjects should exhibit both consistency and discriminability. Our experimental results show that a variety of brain systems including attention, memory, auditory/language, emotion, and action networks are among the most relevant brain systems involved in classic music, pop music and speech differentiation. Our study provides an alternative approach to investigating the human brain's mechanism in comprehension of complex natural music and speech.

  5. Graph analysis of functional brain networks: practical issues in translational neuroscience.

    PubMed

    De Vico Fallani, Fabrizio; Richiardi, Jonas; Chavez, Mario; Achard, Sophie

    2014-10-01

    The brain can be regarded as a network: a connected system where nodes, or units, represent different specialized regions and links, or connections, represent communication pathways. From a functional perspective, communication is coded by temporal dependence between the activities of different brain areas. In the last decade, the abstract representation of the brain as a graph has allowed to visualize functional brain networks and describe their non-trivial topological properties in a compact and objective way. Nowadays, the use of graph analysis in translational neuroscience has become essential to quantify brain dysfunctions in terms of aberrant reconfiguration of functional brain networks. Despite its evident impact, graph analysis of functional brain networks is not a simple toolbox that can be blindly applied to brain signals. On the one hand, it requires the know-how of all the methodological steps of the pipeline that manipulate the input brain signals and extract the functional network properties. On the other hand, knowledge of the neural phenomenon under study is required to perform physiologically relevant analysis. The aim of this review is to provide practical indications to make sense of brain network analysis and contrast counterproductive attitudes.

  6. Graph analysis of functional brain networks: practical issues in translational neuroscience

    PubMed Central

    De Vico Fallani, Fabrizio; Richiardi, Jonas; Chavez, Mario; Achard, Sophie

    2014-01-01

    The brain can be regarded as a network: a connected system where nodes, or units, represent different specialized regions and links, or connections, represent communication pathways. From a functional perspective, communication is coded by temporal dependence between the activities of different brain areas. In the last decade, the abstract representation of the brain as a graph has allowed to visualize functional brain networks and describe their non-trivial topological properties in a compact and objective way. Nowadays, the use of graph analysis in translational neuroscience has become essential to quantify brain dysfunctions in terms of aberrant reconfiguration of functional brain networks. Despite its evident impact, graph analysis of functional brain networks is not a simple toolbox that can be blindly applied to brain signals. On the one hand, it requires the know-how of all the methodological steps of the pipeline that manipulate the input brain signals and extract the functional network properties. On the other hand, knowledge of the neural phenomenon under study is required to perform physiologically relevant analysis. The aim of this review is to provide practical indications to make sense of brain network analysis and contrast counterproductive attitudes. PMID:25180301

  7. Cardiovascular risks and brain function: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of executive function in older adults.

    PubMed

    Chuang, Yi-Fang; Eldreth, Dana; Erickson, Kirk I; Varma, Vijay; Harris, Gregory; Fried, Linda P; Rebok, George W; Tanner, Elizabeth K; Carlson, Michelle C

    2014-06-01

    Cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, such as hypertension, diabetes, and hyperlipidemia are associated with cognitive impairment and risk of dementia in older adults. However, the mechanisms linking them are not clear. This study aims to investigate the association between aggregate CV risk, assessed by the Framingham general cardiovascular risk profile, and functional brain activation in a group of community-dwelling older adults. Sixty participants (mean age: 64.6 years) from the Brain Health Study, a nested study of the Baltimore Experience Corps Trial, underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging using the Flanker task. We found that participants with higher CV risk had greater task-related activation in the left inferior parietal region, and this increased activation was associated with poorer task performance. Our results provide insights into the neural systems underlying the relationship between CV risk and executive function. Increased activation of the inferior parietal region may offer a pathway through which CV risk increases risk for cognitive impairment.

  8. Approaches to Modelling the Dynamical Activity of Brain Function Based on the Electroencephalogram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liley, David T. J.; Frascoli, Federico

    The brain is arguably the quintessential complex system as indicated by the patterns of behaviour it produces. Despite many decades of concentrated research efforts, we remain largely ignorant regarding the essential processes that regulate and define its function. While advances in functional neuroimaging have provided welcome windows into the coarse organisation of the neuronal networks that underlie a range of cognitive functions, they have largely ignored the fact that behaviour, and by inference brain function, unfolds dynamically. Modelling the brain's dynamics is therefore a critical step towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of its functioning. To date, models have concentrated on describing the sequential organisation of either abstract mental states (functionalism, hard AI) or the objectively measurable manifestations of the brain's ongoing activity (rCBF, EEG, MEG). While the former types of modelling approach may seem to better characterise brain function, they do so at the expense of not making a definite connection with the actual physical brain. Of the latter, only models of the EEG (or MEG) offer a temporal resolution well matched to the anticipated temporal scales of brain (mental processes) function. This chapter will outline the most pertinent of these modelling approaches, and illustrate, using the electrocortical model of Liley et al, how the detailed application of the methods of nonlinear dynamics and bifurcation theory is central to exploring and characterising their various dynamical features. The rich repertoire of dynamics revealed by such dynamical systems approaches arguably represents a critical step towards an understanding of the complexity of brain function.

  9. A novel pattern mining approach for identifying cognitive activity in EEG based functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Thilaga, M; Vijayalakshmi, R; Nadarajan, R; Nandagopal, D

    2016-06-01

    The complex nature of neuronal interactions of the human brain has posed many challenges to the research community. To explore the underlying mechanisms of neuronal activity of cohesive brain regions during different cognitive activities, many innovative mathematical and computational models are required. This paper presents a novel Common Functional Pattern Mining approach to demonstrate the similar patterns of interactions due to common behavior of certain brain regions. The electrode sites of EEG-based functional brain network are modeled as a set of transactions and node-based complex network measures as itemsets. These itemsets are transformed into a graph data structure called Functional Pattern Graph. By mining this Functional Pattern Graph, the common functional patterns due to specific brain functioning can be identified. The empirical analyses show the efficiency of the proposed approach in identifying the extent to which the electrode sites (transactions) are similar during various cognitive load states. PMID:27401999

  10. A novel pattern mining approach for identifying cognitive activity in EEG based functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Thilaga, M; Vijayalakshmi, R; Nadarajan, R; Nandagopal, D

    2016-06-01

    The complex nature of neuronal interactions of the human brain has posed many challenges to the research community. To explore the underlying mechanisms of neuronal activity of cohesive brain regions during different cognitive activities, many innovative mathematical and computational models are required. This paper presents a novel Common Functional Pattern Mining approach to demonstrate the similar patterns of interactions due to common behavior of certain brain regions. The electrode sites of EEG-based functional brain network are modeled as a set of transactions and node-based complex network measures as itemsets. These itemsets are transformed into a graph data structure called Functional Pattern Graph. By mining this Functional Pattern Graph, the common functional patterns due to specific brain functioning can be identified. The empirical analyses show the efficiency of the proposed approach in identifying the extent to which the electrode sites (transactions) are similar during various cognitive load states.

  11. Beyond sex differences: new approaches for thinking about variation in brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Joel, Daphna; Fausto-Sterling, Anne

    2016-02-19

    In the study of variation in brain structure and function that might relate to sex and gender, language matters because it frames our research questions and methods. In this article, we offer an approach to thinking about variation in brain structure and function that pulls us outside the sex differences formulation. We argue that the existence of differences between the brains of males and females does not unravel the relations between sex and the brain nor is it sufficient to characterize a population of brains. Such characterization is necessary for studying sex effects on the brain as well as for studying brain structure and function in general. Animal studies show that sex interacts with environmental, developmental and genetic factors to affect the brain. Studies of humans further suggest that human brains are better described as belonging to a single heterogeneous population rather than two distinct populations. We discuss the implications of these observations for studies of brain and behaviour in humans and in laboratory animals. We believe that studying sex effects in context and developing or adopting analytical methods that take into account the heterogeneity of the brain are crucial for the advancement of human health and well-being.

  12. Dynamic brain architectures in local brain activity and functional network efficiency associate with efficient reading in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Feng, Gangyi; Chen, Hsuan-Chih; Zhu, Zude; He, Yong; Wang, Suiping

    2015-10-01

    The human brain is organized as a dynamic network, in which both regional brain activity and inter-regional connectivity support high-level cognitive processes, such as reading. However, it is still largely unknown how the functional brain network organizes to enable fast and effortless reading processing in the native language (L1) but not in a non-proficient second language (L2), and whether the mechanisms underlying local activity are associated with connectivity dynamics in large-scale brain networks. In the present study, we combined activation-based and multivariate graph-theory analysis with functional magnetic resonance imaging data to address these questions. Chinese-English unbalanced bilinguals read narratives for comprehension in Chinese (L1) and in English (L2). Compared with L2, reading in L1 evoked greater brain activation and recruited a more globally efficient but less clustered network organization. Regions with both increased network efficiency and enhanced brain activation in L1 reading were mostly located in the fronto-temporal reading-related network (RN), whereas regions with decreased global network efficiency, increased clustering, and more deactivation in L2 reading were identified in the default mode network (DMN). Moreover, functional network efficiency was closely associated with local brain activation, and such associations were also modulated by reading efficiency in the two languages. Our results demonstrate that an economical and integrative brain network topology is associated with efficient reading, and further reveal a dynamic association between network efficiency and local activation for both RN and DMN. These findings underscore the importance of considering interregional connectivity when interpreting local BOLD signal changes in bilingual reading.

  13. An evaluation of the left-brain vs. right-brain hypothesis with resting state functional connectivity magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Jared A; Zielinski, Brandon A; Ferguson, Michael A; Lainhart, Janet E; Anderson, Jeffrey S

    2013-01-01

    Lateralized brain regions subserve functions such as language and visuospatial processing. It has been conjectured that individuals may be left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant based on personality and cognitive style, but neuroimaging data has not provided clear evidence whether such phenotypic differences in the strength of left-dominant or right-dominant networks exist. We evaluated whether strongly lateralized connections covaried within the same individuals. Data were analyzed from publicly available resting state scans for 1011 individuals between the ages of 7 and 29. For each subject, functional lateralization was measured for each pair of 7266 regions covering the gray matter at 5-mm resolution as a difference in correlation before and after inverting images across the midsagittal plane. The difference in gray matter density between homotopic coordinates was used as a regressor to reduce the effect of structural asymmetries on functional lateralization. Nine left- and 11 right-lateralized hubs were identified as peaks in the degree map from the graph of significantly lateralized connections. The left-lateralized hubs included regions from the default mode network (medial prefrontal cortex, posterior cingulate cortex, and temporoparietal junction) and language regions (e.g., Broca Area and Wernicke Area), whereas the right-lateralized hubs included regions from the attention control network (e.g., lateral intraparietal sulcus, anterior insula, area MT, and frontal eye fields). Left- and right-lateralized hubs formed two separable networks of mutually lateralized regions. Connections involving only left- or only right-lateralized hubs showed positive correlation across subjects, but only for connections sharing a node. Lateralization of brain connections appears to be a local rather than global property of brain networks, and our data are not consistent with a whole-brain phenotype of greater "left-brained" or greater "right-brained" network strength

  14. Dynamic brain architectures in local brain activity and functional network efficiency associate with efficient reading in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Feng, Gangyi; Chen, Hsuan-Chih; Zhu, Zude; He, Yong; Wang, Suiping

    2015-10-01

    The human brain is organized as a dynamic network, in which both regional brain activity and inter-regional connectivity support high-level cognitive processes, such as reading. However, it is still largely unknown how the functional brain network organizes to enable fast and effortless reading processing in the native language (L1) but not in a non-proficient second language (L2), and whether the mechanisms underlying local activity are associated with connectivity dynamics in large-scale brain networks. In the present study, we combined activation-based and multivariate graph-theory analysis with functional magnetic resonance imaging data to address these questions. Chinese-English unbalanced bilinguals read narratives for comprehension in Chinese (L1) and in English (L2). Compared with L2, reading in L1 evoked greater brain activation and recruited a more globally efficient but less clustered network organization. Regions with both increased network efficiency and enhanced brain activation in L1 reading were mostly located in the fronto-temporal reading-related network (RN), whereas regions with decreased global network efficiency, increased clustering, and more deactivation in L2 reading were identified in the default mode network (DMN). Moreover, functional network efficiency was closely associated with local brain activation, and such associations were also modulated by reading efficiency in the two languages. Our results demonstrate that an economical and integrative brain network topology is associated with efficient reading, and further reveal a dynamic association between network efficiency and local activation for both RN and DMN. These findings underscore the importance of considering interregional connectivity when interpreting local BOLD signal changes in bilingual reading. PMID:26095088

  15. Mapping Language Function in the Brain: A Review of the Recent Literature.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crafton, Robert E.; Kido, Elissa

    2000-01-01

    Considers the potential importance of brain study for composition instruction, briefly describes functional imaging techniques, and reviews the findings of recent brain-mapping studies investigating the neurocognitive systems involved in language function. Presents a review of the recent literature and considers the possible implications of this…

  16. State-Dependent Changes of Connectivity Patterns and Functional Brain Network Topology in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barttfeld, Pablo; Wicker, Bruno; Cukier, Sebastian; Navarta, Silvana; Lew, Sergio; Leiguarda, Ramon; Sigman, Mariano

    2012-01-01

    Anatomical and functional brain studies have converged to the hypothesis that autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are associated with atypical connectivity. Using a modified resting-state paradigm to drive subjects' attention, we provide evidence of a very marked interaction between ASD brain functional connectivity and cognitive state. We show that…

  17. From the Left to the Right: How the Brain Compensates Progressive Loss of Language Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Thiel, Alexander; Habedank, Birgit; Herholz, Karl; Kessler, Josef; Winhuisen, Lutz; Haupt, Walter F.; Heiss, Wolf-Dieter

    2006-01-01

    In normal right-handed subjects language production usually is a function of the left brain hemisphere. Patients with aphasia following brain damage to the left hemisphere have a considerable potential to compensate for the loss of this function. Sometimes, but not always, areas of the right hemisphere which are homologous to language areas of the…

  18. Astrocytes, Synapses and Brain Function: A Computational Approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nadkarni, Suhita

    2006-03-01

    Modulation of synaptic reliability is one of the leading mechanisms involved in long- term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD) and therefore has implications in information processing in the brain. A recently discovered mechanism for modulating synaptic reliability critically involves recruitments of astrocytes - star- shaped cells that outnumber the neurons in most parts of the central nervous system. Astrocytes until recently were thought to be subordinate cells merely participating in supporting neuronal functions. New evidence, however, made available by advances in imaging technology has changed the way we envision the role of these cells in synaptic transmission and as modulator of neuronal excitability. We put forward a novel mathematical framework based on the biophysics of the bidirectional neuron-astrocyte interactions that quantitatively accounts for two distinct experimental manifestation of recruitment of astrocytes in synaptic transmission: a) transformation of a low fidelity synapse transforms into a high fidelity synapse and b) enhanced postsynaptic spontaneous currents when astrocytes are activated. Such a framework is not only useful for modeling neuronal dynamics in a realistic environment but also provides a conceptual basis for interpreting experiments. Based on this modeling framework, we explore the role of astrocytes for neuronal network behavior such as synchrony and correlations and compare with experimental data from cultured networks.

  19. Functional brain network changes associated with clinical and biochemical measures of the severity of hepatic encephalopathy.

    PubMed

    Jao, Tun; Schröter, Manuel; Chen, Chao-Long; Cheng, Yu-Fan; Lo, Chun-Yi Zac; Chou, Kun-Hsien; Patel, Ameera X; Lin, Wei-Che; Lin, Ching-Po; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-11-15

    Functional properties of the brain may be associated with changes in complex brain networks. However, little is known about how properties of large-scale functional brain networks may be altered stepwise in patients with disturbance of consciousness, e.g., an encephalopathy. We used resting-state fMRI data on patients suffering from various degrees of hepatic encephalopathy (HE) to explore how topological and spatial network properties of functional brain networks changed at different cognitive and consciousness states. Severity of HE was measured clinically and by neuropsychological tests. Fifty-eight non-alcoholic liver cirrhosis patients and 62 normal controls were studied. Patients were subdivided into liver cirrhosis with no outstanding HE (NoHE, n=23), minimal HE with cognitive impairment only detectable by neuropsychological tests (MHE, n=28), and clinically overt HE (OHE, n=7). From the earliest stage, the NoHE, functional brain networks were progressively more random, less clustered, and less modular. Since the intermediate stage (MHE), increased ammonia level was accompanied by concomitant exponential decay of mean connectivity strength, especially in the primary cortical areas and midline brain structures. Finally, at the OHE stage, there were radical reorganization of the topological centrality-i.e., the relative importance-of the hubs and reorientation of functional connections between nodes. In summary, this study illustrated progressively greater abnormalities in functional brain network organization in patients with clinical and biochemical evidence of more severe hepatic encephalopathy. The early-than-expected brain network dysfunction in cirrhotic patients suggests that brain functional connectivity and network analysis may provide useful and complementary biomarkers for more aggressive and earlier intervention of hepatic encephalopathy. Moreover, the stepwise deterioration of functional brain networks in HE patients may suggest that hierarchical

  20. Bilingual brain organization: a functional magnetic resonance adaptation study.

    PubMed

    Klein, Denise; Zatorre, Robert J; Chen, Jen-Kai; Milner, Brenda; Crane, Joelle; Belin, Pascal; Bouffard, Marc

    2006-05-15

    We used functional magnetic resonance adaptation (fMRA) to examine whether intra-voxel functional specificity may be present for first (L1)- and second (L2)-language processing. We examined within- and across-language adaptation for spoken words in English-French bilinguals who had acquired their L2 after the age of 4 years. Subjects listened to words presented binaurally through earphones. In two control conditions (one for each language), six identical words were presented to obtain maximal adaptation. The remaining six conditions each consisted of five words that were identical followed by a sixth word that differed. There were thus a total of eight experimental conditions: no-change (sixth word identical to first five); a change in meaning (different final word in L1); a change in language (final item translated into L2); a change in meaning and language (different final word in L2). The same four conditions were presented in L2. The study also included a silent baseline. At the neural level, within- and across-language word changes resulted in release from adaptation. This was true for separate analyses of L1 and L2. We saw no evidence for greater recovery from adaptation in across-language relative to within-language conditions. While many brain regions were common to L1 and L2, we did observe differences in adaptation for forward translation (L1 to L2) as compared to backward translation (L2 to L1). The results support the idea that, at the lexical level, the neural substrates for L1 and L2 in bilinguals are shared, but with some populations of neurons within these shared regions showing language-specific responses.

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

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Adlakha, Yogita K; Saini, Neeru

    2014-02-21

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

  3. Maternal Smoking During Pregnancy and Offspring Brain Structure and Function: Review and Agenda for Future Research

    PubMed Central

    Bublitz, Margaret H.; Stroud, Laura R.

    2012-01-01

    Introduction: Maternal smoking during pregnancy (MSDP) has been associated with long-term neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits in offspring. Animal models demonstrate alterations in brain structure and function following prenatal nicotine exposure. However, few studies have assessed the relationship between MSDP and brain development in humans. Therefore, the aims of this review are (a) to synthesize findings from the small number of human studies investigating effects of MSDP on offspring brain development and (b) to outline an agenda for future research in this nascent area. Methods: We searched MEDLINE and Psychinfo databases for human studies of MSDP and offspring brain structure and/or function. Results: Eleven studies meeting our search criteria were identified; 6 studies investigated effects of MSDP on brain structure; 5 examined effects on brain function. Across studies, MSDP was associated with decreased volume/thickness of the cerebellum and corpus callosum, increased auditory brainstem responses, and lack of coordination across brain regions during information and auditory processing. Conclusions: Results from the small number of human studies revealed effects of MSDP on brain structure and function, highlighting potential neural pathways linking MSDP and offspring neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits. Given the limited amount of research in this area, we propose an agenda for future research. Gold standard studies would utilize longitudinal designs, integrated biological and maternal report measures of MSDP, and repeated measures of brain structure/function and neurobehavioral deficits across key developmental periods. PMID:22180574

  4. Anti–IL-6 neutralizing antibody modulates blood-brain barrier function in the ovine fetus

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiyong; Sadowska, Grazyna B.; Chen, Xiaodi; Park, Seon Yeong; Kim, Jeong-Eun; Bodge, Courtney A.; Cummings, Erin; Lim, Yow-Pin; Makeyev, Oleksandr; Besio, Walter G.; Gaitanis, John; Banks, William A.; Stonestreet, Barbara S.

    2015-01-01

    Impaired blood-brain barrier function represents an important component of hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in the perinatal period. Proinflammatory cytokines could contribute to ischemia-related blood-brain barrier dysfunction. IL-6 increases vascular endothelial cell monolayer permeability in vitro. However, contributions of IL-6 to blood-brain barrier abnormalities have not been examined in the immature brain in vivo. We generated pharmacologic quantities of ovine-specific neutralizing anti-IL-6 mAbs and systemically infused mAbs into fetal sheep at 126 days of gestation after exposure to brain ischemia. Anti–IL-6 mAbs were measured by ELISA in fetal plasma, cerebral cortex, and cerebrospinal fluid, blood-brain barrier permeability was quantified using the blood-to-brain transfer constant in brain regions, and IL-6, tight junction proteins, and plasmalemma vesicle protein (PLVAP) were detected by Western immunoblot. Anti–IL-6 mAb infusions resulted in increases in mAb (P < 0.05) in plasma, brain parenchyma, and cerebrospinal fluid and decreases in brain IL-6 protein. Twenty-four hours after ischemia, anti–IL-6 mAb infusions attenuated ischemia-related increases in blood-brain barrier permeability and modulated tight junction and PLVAP protein expression in fetal brain. We conclude that inhibiting the effects of IL-6 protein with systemic infusions of neutralizing antibodies attenuates ischemia-related increases in blood-brain barrier permeability by inhibiting IL-6 and modulates tight junction proteins after ischemia.—Zhang, J., Sadowska, G. B., Chen, X., Park, S. Y., Kim, J.-E., Bodge, C. A., Cummings, E., Lim, Y.-P., Makeyev, O., Besio, W. G., Gaitanis, J., Banks, W. A., Stonestreet, B. S. Anti–IL-6 neutralizing antibody modulates blood-brain barrier function in the ovine fetus. PMID:25609424

  5. REM sleep loss and recovery regulates blood-brain barrier function.

    PubMed

    Gómez-González, Beatriz; Hurtado-Alvarado, Gabriela; Esqueda-León, Enrique; Santana-Miranda, Rafael; Rojas-Zamorano, José Ángel; Velázquez-Moctezuma, Javier

    2013-08-01

    The functions of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep have remained elusive since more than 50 years. Previous reports have identified several independent processes affected by the loss and subsequent recovery of REM sleep (hippocampal neurogenesis, brain stem neuronal cell death, and neurotransmitter content in several brain regions); however, a common underlying mechanism has not been found. We propose that altered brain homeostasis secondary to blood-brain barrier breakdown may explain all those changes induced by REM sleep loss. Therefore, the present report aimed to study the consequences of REM sleep restriction upon blood-brain barrier permeability to Evans blue. REM sleep restriction was induced by the multiple platform technique; male rats were REM sleep restricted 20h daily (with 4h sleep opportunity) during 10 days; control groups included large platform and intact rats. To study blood-brain barrier permeability Evans blue was intracardially administered; stained brains were sliced and photographed for optical density quantification. An independent experiment was carried out to elucidate the mechanism of blood-brain breakdown by transmission electron microscopy. REM sleep restriction increased blood-brain barrier permeability to Evans blue in the whole brain as compared to both control groups. Brief periods of sleep recovery rapidly and effectively restored the severe alteration of blood-brain barrier function by reducing blood-to-brain transfer of Evans blue. The mechanism of blood-brain barrier breakdown involved increased caveolae formation at brain endothelial cells. In conclusion, our data suggest that REM sleep regulates the physical barrier properties of the blood-brain barrier.

  6. Exercise to enhance neurocognitive function after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Fogelman, David; Zafonte, Ross

    2012-11-01

    Vigorous exercise has long been associated with improved health in many domains. Results of clinical observation have suggested that neurocognitive performance also is improved by vigorous exercise. Data derived from animal model-based research have been emerging that show molecular and neuroanatomic mechanisms that may explain how exercise improves cognition, particularly after traumatic brain injury. This article will summarize the current state of the basic science and clinical literature regarding exercise as an intervention, both independently and in conjunction with other modalities, for brain injury rehabilitation. A key principle is the factor of timing of the initiation of exercise after mild traumatic brain injury, balancing potentially favorable and detrimental effects on recovery.

  7. Relationship Between Neurocognitive Function and Quality of Life After Whole-Brain Radiotherapy in Patients With Brain Metastasis

    SciTech Connect

    Li Jing; Bentzen, Soren M.; Li Jialiang; Renschler, Markus; Mehta, Minesh P.

    2008-05-01

    Purpose: To examine the relationship between neurocognitive function (NCF) and quality of life (QOL) in patients with brain metastases after whole-brain radiotherapy. Patients and Methods: A total of 208 patients from the whole-brain radiotherapy arm of a Phase III trial (PCI-P120-9801), who underwent regular NCF and QOL (ADL [activities of daily living] and FACT-Br [Functional Assessment of Cancer Therapy-Brain-specific]) testing, were analyzed. Spearman's rank correlation was calculated between NCF and QOL, using each patient's own data, at each time point. To test the hypothesis that NCF declines before QOL changes, the predictive effect of NCF from previous visits on QOL was studied with a linear mixed-effects model. Neurocognitive function or QOL deterioration was defined relative to each patient's own baseline. Lead or lag time, defined as NCF deterioration before or after the date of QOL decline, respectively, was computed. Results: At baseline, all NCF tests showed statistically significant correlations with ADL, which became stronger at 4 months. A similar observation was made with FACT-Br. Neurocognitive function scores from previous visits predicted ADL (p < 0.05 for seven of eight tests) or FACT-Br. Scores on all eight NCF tests deteriorated before ADL decline (net lead time 9-153 days); and scores on six of eight NCF tests deteriorated before FACT-Br (net lead time 9-82 days). Conclusions: Neurocognitive function and QOL are correlated. Neurocognitive function scores from previous visits are predictive of QOL. Neurocognitive function deterioration precedes QOL decline. The sequential association between NCF and QOL decline suggests that delaying NCF deterioration is a worthwhile treatment goal in brain metastases patients.

  8. Impact of prosocial neuropeptides on human brain function.

    PubMed

    Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas

    2008-01-01

    Oxytocin and vasopressin are key effectors of social behaviour (Insel, T. R. and Fernald, R. D. (2004). Annu. Rev. Neurosci., 27: 697-722). Oxytocin effects in humans were recently demonstrated by a behavioural study showing selectively increased trust after hormone administration (Kosfeld, M., et al. (2005). Nature, 435: 673-676). Since this suggested involvement of the amygdala, which is linked to trust (Winston, J. S., et al. (2002). Nat. Neurosci., 5: 277-283) - presumably because of its role in danger monitoring - and highly expresses oxytocin receptors (Huber, D., et al. (2005). Science, 308: 245-248), we studied amygdala circuitry after double-blind crossover intranasal application of placebo or oxytocin (Kirsch, P., et al. (2005). J. Neurosci., 25: 11489-11493). Oxytocin potently reduced amygdala activation and decreased coupling to brainstem regions implicated in autonomic and behavioural manifestations of fear, indicating a neural mechanism for the effects of oxytocin in social cognition in humans and providing a potential therapeutic approach to social anxiety currently being tested in social phobia and autism. Furthermore, these data suggested a translational genetic approach. Preliminary findings (data not presented) from our laboratory using imaging genetics indeed implicate genetic variants for both AVPR1A, encoding the primary receptor of vasopressin in brain, and the oxytocin receptor, OXTR, in amygdala regulation and activation. Taken together, our results indicate neural mechanisms for human social behaviour mediating genetic risk for autism through an impact on amygdala signalling and provide a rationale for exploring therapeutic strategies aimed at abnormal amygdala function in this disorder and in social dysfunction in general.

  9. Mismatch negativity, social cognition, and functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Hui-yan; Li, Qiang; Chen, Xi-ping; Tao, Lu-yang

    2015-01-01

    Mismatch negativity is generated automatically, and is an early monitoring indicator of neuronal integrity impairment and functional abnormality in patients with brain injury, leading to decline of cognitive function. Antipsychotic medication cannot affect mismatch negativity. The present study aimed to explore the relationships of mismatch negativity with neurocognition, daily life and social functional outcomes in patients after brain injury. Twelve patients with traumatic brain injury and 12 healthy controls were recruited in this study. We examined neurocognition with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised China, and daily and social functional outcomes with the Activity of Daily Living Scale and Social Disability Screening Schedule, respectively. Mismatch negativity was analyzed from electroencephalogram recording. The results showed that mismatch negativity amplitudes decreased in patients with traumatic brain injury compared with healthy controls. Mismatch negativity amplitude was negatively correlated with measurements of neurocognition and positively correlated with functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury. Further, the most significant positive correlations were found between mismatch negativity in the fronto-central region and measures of functional outcomes. The most significant positive correlations were also found between mismatch negativity at the FCz electrode and daily living function. Mismatch negativity amplitudes were extremely positively associated with Social Disability Screening Schedule scores at the Fz electrode in brain injury patients. These experimental findings suggest that mismatch negativity might efficiently reflect functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury. PMID:26170824

  10. Mismatch negativity, social cognition, and functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Sun, Hui-Yan; Li, Qiang; Chen, Xi-Ping; Tao, Lu-Yang

    2015-04-01

    Mismatch negativity is generated automatically, and is an early monitoring indicator of neuronal integrity impairment and functional abnormality in patients with brain injury, leading to decline of cognitive function. Antipsychotic medication cannot affect mismatch negativity. The present study aimed to explore the relationships of mismatch negativity with neurocognition, daily life and social functional outcomes in patients after brain injury. Twelve patients with traumatic brain injury and 12 healthy controls were recruited in this study. We examined neurocognition with the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised China, and daily and social functional outcomes with the Activity of Daily Living Scale and Social Disability Screening Schedule, respectively. Mismatch negativity was analyzed from electroencephalogram recording. The results showed that mismatch negativity amplitudes decreased in patients with traumatic brain injury compared with healthy controls. Mismatch negativity amplitude was negatively correlated with measurements of neurocognition and positively correlated with functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury. Further, the most significant positive correlations were found between mismatch negativity in the fronto-central region and measures of functional outcomes. The most significant positive correlations were also found between mismatch negativity at the FCz electrode and daily living function. Mismatch negativity amplitudes were extremely positively associated with Social Disability Screening Schedule scores at the Fz electrode in brain injury patients. These experimental findings suggest that mismatch negativity might efficiently reflect functional outcomes in patients after traumatic brain injury. PMID:26170824

  11. The Effects of Long Duration Bed Rest on Brain Functional Connectivity and Sensorimotor Functioning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cassady, K.; Koppelmans, V.; De Dios, Y.; Stepanyan, V.; Szecsy, D.; Gadd, N.; Wood, S.; Reuter-Lorenz, P.; Castenada, R. Riascos; Kofman, I.; Bloomberg, J.; Mulavara, A; Seidler, R.

    2016-01-01

    Long duration spaceflight has been associated with detrimental alterations in human sensorimotor functioning. Prolonged exposure to a head-down tilt (HDT) position during long duration bed rest can resemble several effects of the microgravity environment such as reduced sensory inputs, body unloading and increased cephalic fluid distribution. The question of whether microgravity affects other central nervous system functions such as brain functional connectivity and its relationship with behavior is largely unknown, but of importance to the health and performance of astronauts both during and post-flight. In the present study, we investigate the effects of prolonged exposure to HDT bed rest on resting state brain functional connectivity and its association with behavioral changes in 17 male participants. To validate that our findings were not due to confounding factors such as time or task practice, we also acquired resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and behavioral measurements from 14 normative control participants at four time points. Bed rest participants remained in bed with their heads tilted down six degrees below their feet for 70 consecutive days. Rs-fMRI and behavioral data were obtained at seven time points averaging around: 12 and 8 days prior to bed rest; 7, 50, and 70 days during bed rest; and 8 and 12 days after bed rest. 70 days of HDT bed rest resulted in significant increases in functional connectivity during bed rest followed by a reversal of changes in the post bed rest recovery period between motor cortical and somatosensory areas of the brain. In contrast, decreases in connectivity were observed between temporoparietal regions. Furthermore, post-hoc correlation analyses revealed a significant relationship between motor-somatosensory network connectivity and standing balance performance changes; participants that exhibited the greatest increases in connectivity strength showed the least deterioration in postural

  12. Fluctuations in Neuronal Activity: Clues to Brain Function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pérez Velazquez, José L.; Guevara, Ramón; Belkas, Jason; Wennberg, Richard; Senjanoviè, Goran; García Dominguez, Luis

    2005-08-01

    Recordings from neuronal preparations, either in vitro or in the intact brain, are characterized by fluctuations, what is commonly considered as "noise". Due to the current recording and analysis methods, it is not feasible to separate what we term noise, from the "meaningful" neuronal activity. We propose that fluctuations serve to maintain brain activity in an optimal state for cognitive processing, not allowing it to fall into long-term periodic behaviour. We have studied fluctuations in magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings from normal subjects and epileptic patients, in electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings from children with impact injury, as well as in intracerebral electrophysiological recordings in freely moving rats. Specifically, we have determined phase locking patterns between brain areas from these recordings, which display fluctuations at different scales. We submit the idea that the variability in phase synchronization affords a more complete search of all possible phase differences in a hypothetical phase-locking state space that contributes to brain information processing. In brain pathologies, like epileptiform activity here studied, different levels of fluctuations in phase synchrony may favour the generation of stable synchronized states that characterize epileptic seizures. While the border between noise and high-dimensional dynamics is fuzzy, the scrutiny of neuronal fluctuations at different levels will provide important insights to the unravelling of the relation between brain and behaviour.

  13. Neurocognitive Function of Patients with Brain Metastasis Who Received Either Whole Brain Radiotherapy Plus Stereotactic Radiosurgery or Radiosurgery Alone

    SciTech Connect

    Aoyama, Hidefumi . E-mail: hao@radi.med.hokudai.ac.jp; Tago, Masao; Kato, Norio; Toyoda, Tatsuya; Kenjyo, Masahiro; Hirota, Saeko; Shioura, Hiroki; Inomata, Taisuke; Kunieda, Etsuo; Hayakawa, Kazushige; Nakagawa, Keiichi; Kobashi, Gen; Shirato, Hiroki

    2007-08-01

    Purpose: To determine how the omission of whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) affects the neurocognitive function of patients with one to four brain metastases who have been treated with stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS). Methods and Materials: In a prospective randomized trial between WBRT+SRS and SRS alone for patients with one to four brain metastases, we assessed the neurocognitive function using the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE). Of the 132 enrolled patients, MMSE scores were available for 110. Results: In the baseline MMSE analyses, statistically significant differences were observed for total tumor volume, extent of tumor edema, age, and Karnofsky performance status. Of the 92 patients who underwent the follow-up MMSE, 39 had a baseline MMSE score of {<=}27 (17 in the WBRT+SRS group and 22 in the SRS-alone group). Improvements of {>=}3 points in the MMSEs of 9 WBRT+SRS patients and 11 SRS-alone patients (p = 0.85) were observed. Of the 82 patients with a baseline MMSE score of {>=}27 or whose baseline MMSE score was {<=}26 but had improved to {>=}27 after the initial brain treatment, the 12-, 24-, and 36-month actuarial free rate of the 3-point drop in the MMSE was 76.1%, 68.5%, and 14.7% in the WBRT+SRS group and 59.3%, 51.9%, and 51.9% in the SRS-alone group, respectively. The average duration until deterioration was 16.5 months in the WBRT+SRS group and 7.6 months in the SRS-alone group (p = 0.05). Conclusion: The results of the present study have revealed that, for most brain metastatic patients, control of the brain tumor is the most important factor for stabilizing neurocognitive function. However, the long-term adverse effects of WBRT on neurocognitive function might not be negligible.

  14. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A.; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M.

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain. PMID:26037235

  15. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function.

    PubMed

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M

    2015-06-03

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain.

  16. Chemotherapy Altered Brain Functional Connectivity in Women with Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Dumas, Julie A.; Makarewicz, Jenna; Schaubhut, Geoffrey J.; Devins, Robert; Albert, Kimberly; Dittus, Kim; Newhouse, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy is associated with improvements in long-term cancer survival. However, reports of cognitive impairment following treatment emphasize the importance of understanding the long-term effects of chemotherapy on brain functioning. Cognitive deficits found in chemotherapy patients suggest a change in brain functioning that affects specific cognitive domains such as attentional processing and executive functioning. This study examined the processes potentially underlying these changes in cognition by examining brain functional connectivity pre- and post-chemotherapy in women with breast cancer. Functional connectivity examines the temporal correlation between spatially remote brain regions in an effort to understand how brain networks support specific cognitive functions. Nine women diagnosed with breast cancer completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session before chemotherapy, one month after, and one year after the completion of chemotherapy. Seed-based functional connectivity analyses were completed using seeds in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to examine connectivity in the dorsal anterior attention network and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) to examine connectivity in the default mode network. Results showed decreased functional connectivity one month after chemotherapy that partially returned to baseline at one year in the dorsal attention network. Decreased connectivity was seen in the default mode network at one month and one year following chemotherapy. In addition, increased subjective memory complaints were noted at one month and one year post-chemotherapy. These findings suggest a detrimental effect of chemotherapy on brain functional connectivity that is potentially related to subjective cognitive assessment. PMID:23852814

  17. Contribution of Neuroimaging Studies to Understanding Development of Human Cognitive Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Humans experience significant physical and mental changes from birth to adulthood, and a variety of perceptual, cognitive and motor functions mature over the course of approximately 20 years following birth. To deeply understand such developmental processes, merely studying behavioral changes is not sufficient; simultaneous investigation of the development of the brain may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging technologies largely contribute to this understanding. Here, it is very important to consider the development of the brain from the perspectives of “structure” and “function” because both structure and function of the human brain mature slowly. In this review, we first discuss the process of structural brain development, i.e., how the structure of the brain, which is crucial when discussing functional brain development, changes with age. Second, we introduce some representative studies and the latest studies related to the functional development of the brain, particularly for visual, facial recognition, and social cognition functions, all of which are important for humans. Finally, we summarize how brain science can contribute to developmental study and discuss the challenges that neuroimaging should address in the future. PMID:27695409

  18. Laser technique for anatomical-functional study of the medial prefrontal cortex of the brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sanchez-Huerta, Laura; Hernandez, Adan; Ayala, Griselda; Marroquin, Javier; Silva, Adriana B.; Khotiaintsev, Konstantin S.; Svirid, Vladimir A.; Flores, Gonzalo; Khotiaintsev, Sergei N.

    1999-05-01

    The brain represents one of the most complex systems that we know yet. In its study, non-destructive methods -- in particular, behavioral studies play an important role. By alteration of brain functioning (e.g. by pharmacological means) and observation of consequent behavior changes an important information on brain organization and functioning is obtained. For inducing local alterations, permanent brain lesions are employed. However, for correct results this technique has to be quasi-non-destructive, i.e. not to affect the normal brain function. Hence, the lesions should be very small, accurate and applied precisely over the structure (e.g. the brain nucleus) of interest. These specifications are difficult to meet with the existing techniques for brain lesions -- specifically, neurotoxical, mechanical and electrical means because they result in too extensive damage. In this paper, we present new laser technique for quasi-non- destructive anatomical-functional mapping in vivo of the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) of the rat. The technique is based on producing of small-size, well-controlled laser- induced lesions over some areas of the MPFC. The anesthetized animals are subjected to stereotactic surgery and certain points of the MPFC are exposed the confined radiation of the 10 W cw CO2 laser. Subsequent behavioral changes observed in neonatal and adult animals as well as histological data prove effectiveness of this technology for anatomical- functional studies of the brain by areas, and as a treatment method for some pathologies.

  19. Contribution of Neuroimaging Studies to Understanding Development of Human Cognitive Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Humans experience significant physical and mental changes from birth to adulthood, and a variety of perceptual, cognitive and motor functions mature over the course of approximately 20 years following birth. To deeply understand such developmental processes, merely studying behavioral changes is not sufficient; simultaneous investigation of the development of the brain may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging technologies largely contribute to this understanding. Here, it is very important to consider the development of the brain from the perspectives of “structure” and “function” because both structure and function of the human brain mature slowly. In this review, we first discuss the process of structural brain development, i.e., how the structure of the brain, which is crucial when discussing functional brain development, changes with age. Second, we introduce some representative studies and the latest studies related to the functional development of the brain, particularly for visual, facial recognition, and social cognition functions, all of which are important for humans. Finally, we summarize how brain science can contribute to developmental study and discuss the challenges that neuroimaging should address in the future.

  20. Changes in functional brain organization and behavioral correlations after rehabilitative therapy using a brain-computer interface.

    PubMed

    Young, Brittany M; Nigogosyan, Zack; Walton, Léo M; Song, Jie; Nair, Veena A; Grogan, Scott W; Tyler, Mitchell E; Edwards, Dorothy F; Caldera, Kristin; Sattin, Justin A; Williams, Justin C; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to examine the changes in task-related brain activity induced by rehabilitative therapy using brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies and whether these changes are relevant to functional gains achieved through the use of these therapies. Stroke patients with persistent upper-extremity motor deficits received interventional rehabilitation therapy using a closed-loop neurofeedback BCI device (n = 8) or no therapy (n = 6). Behavioral assessments using the Stroke Impact Scale, the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) as well as task-based fMRI scans were conducted before, during, after, and 1 month after therapy administration or at analogous intervals in the absence of therapy. Laterality Index (LI) values during finger tapping of each hand were calculated for each time point and assessed for correlation with behavioral outcomes. Brain activity during finger tapping of each hand shifted over the course of BCI therapy, but not in the absence of therapy, to greater involvement of the non-lesioned hemisphere (and lesser involvement of the stroke-lesioned hemisphere) as measured by LI. Moreover, changes from baseline LI values during finger tapping of the impaired hand were correlated with gains in both objective and subjective behavioral measures. These findings suggest that the administration of interventional BCI therapy can induce differential changes in brain activity patterns between the lesioned and non-lesioned hemispheres and that these brain changes are associated with changes in specific motor functions.

  1. Changes in functional brain organization and behavioral correlations after rehabilitative therapy using a brain-computer interface

    PubMed Central

    Young, Brittany M.; Nigogosyan, Zack; Walton, Léo M.; Song, Jie; Nair, Veena A.; Grogan, Scott W.; Tyler, Mitchell E.; Edwards, Dorothy F.; Caldera, Kristin; Sattin, Justin A.; Williams, Justin C.; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2014-01-01

    This study aims to examine the changes in task-related brain activity induced by rehabilitative therapy using brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies and whether these changes are relevant to functional gains achieved through the use of these therapies. Stroke patients with persistent upper-extremity motor deficits received interventional rehabilitation therapy using a closed-loop neurofeedback BCI device (n = 8) or no therapy (n = 6). Behavioral assessments using the Stroke Impact Scale, the Action Research Arm Test (ARAT), and the Nine-Hole Peg Test (9-HPT) as well as task-based fMRI scans were conducted before, during, after, and 1 month after therapy administration or at analogous intervals in the absence of therapy. Laterality Index (LI) values during finger tapping of each hand were calculated for each time point and assessed for correlation with behavioral outcomes. Brain activity during finger tapping of each hand shifted over the course of BCI therapy, but not in the absence of therapy, to greater involvement of the non-lesioned hemisphere (and lesser involvement of the stroke-lesioned hemisphere) as measured by LI. Moreover, changes from baseline LI values during finger tapping of the impaired hand were correlated with gains in both objective and subjective behavioral measures. These findings suggest that the administration of interventional BCI therapy can induce differential changes in brain activity patterns between the lesioned and non-lesioned hemispheres and that these brain changes are associated with changes in specific motor functions. PMID:25076886

  2. Extrahypophysial distribution of corticotropin as a function of brain size.

    PubMed Central

    Moldow, R; Yalow, R S

    1978-01-01

    Determination by radioimmunoassay of corticotropin in the brains of rats, rabbits, dogs, monkeys, and human beings reveals that the dimensions within which the hormone is found is about the same for each of these species but that the anatomical regions in which the hormone is found depends on brain size. Corticotropin is widely distributed in the brain of rats but is found only in the hypothalamic region of the primate brain. The patterns of immunoreactivity observed after Sephadex gel filtration confirm that the molecular forms of corticotropin found in extrahypophysial regions are similar to those in the pituitary of each species. These findings suggest that the mammalian pituitary is the sole site of synthesis of the hormone. The observation of persistence of corticotropin in the brains of commerically hypophysectomized rats has been interpreted by others as suggesting diencephalic as well as pituitary origin for this peptide. However, our studies demonstrate that 8 weeks after hypophysectomy the rats we have received from commerical sources manifest stress-stimulated plasma corticotropin concentrations about 80% of that found in intact rats in spite of the fact that residual pituitary tissue was not found by visual inspection of the sella. Scrapings from the sella revealed a corticotropin content up to 5% that of the average rat pituitary. Images PMID:204943

  3. Nutritional strategies to optimise cognitive function in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Wahl, Devin; Cogger, Victoria C; Solon-Biet, Samantha M; Waern, Rosilene V R; Gokarn, Rahul; Pulpitel, Tamara; Cabo, Rafael de; Mattson, Mark P; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J; Le Couteur, David G

    2016-11-01

    Old age is the greatest risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases. During recent decades there have been major advances in understanding the biology of aging, and the development of nutritional interventions that delay aging including calorie restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF), and chemicals that influence pathways linking nutrition and aging processes. CR influences brain aging in many animal models and recent findings suggest that dietary interventions can influence brain health and dementia in older humans. The role of individual macronutrients in brain aging also has been studied, with conflicting results about the effects of dietary protein and carbohydrates. A new approach known as the Geometric Framework (GF) has been used to unravel the complex interactions between macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) and total energy on outcomes such as aging. These studies have shown that low-protein, high-carbohydrate (LPHC) diets are optimal for lifespan in ad libitum fed animals, while total calories have minimal effect once macronutrients are taken into account. One of the primary purposes of this review is to explore the notion that macronutrients may have a more translational potential than CR and IF in humans, and therefore there is a pressing need to use GF to study the impact of diet on brain aging. Furthermore, given the growing recognition of the role of aging biology in dementia, such studies might provide a new approach for dietary interventions for optimizing brain health and preventing dementia in older people.

  4. A Brain-Wide Study of Age-Related Changes in Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Saliasi, Emi; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2015-07-01

    Aging affects functional connectivity between brain areas, however, a complete picture of how aging affects integration of information within and between functional networks is missing. We used complex network measures, derived from a brain-wide graph, to provide a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in functional connectivity. Functional connectivity in young and older participants was assessed during resting-state fMRI. The results show that aging has a large impact, not only on connectivity within functional networks but also on connectivity between the different functional networks in the brain. Brain networks in the elderly showed decreased modularity (less distinct functional networks) and decreased local efficiency. Connectivity decreased with age within networks supporting higher level cognitive functions, that is, within the default mode, cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal control networks. Conversely, no changes in connectivity within the somatomotor and visual networks, networks implicated in primary information processing, were observed. Connectivity between these networks even increased with age. A brain-wide analysis approach of functional connectivity in the aging brain thus seems fundamental in understanding how age affects integration of information.

  5. Intrinsic functional connectivity pattern-based brain parcellation using normalized cut

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Hewei; Song, Dandan; Wu, Hong; Fan, Yong

    2012-02-01

    In imaging data based brain network analysis, a necessary precursor for constructing meaningful brain networks is to identify functionally homogeneous regions of interest (ROIs) for defining network nodes. For parcellating the brain based on resting state fMRI data, normalized cut is one widely used clustering algorithm which groups voxels according to the similarity of functional signals. Due to low signal to noise ratio (SNR) of resting state fMRI signals, spatial constraint is often applied to functional similarity measures to generate smooth parcellation. However, improper spatial constraint might alter the intrinsic functional connectivity pattern, thus yielding biased parcellation results. To achieve reliable and least biased parcellation of the brain, we propose an optimization method for the spatial constraint to functional similarity measures in normalized cut based brain parcellation. Particularly, we first identify the space of all possible spatial constraints that are able to generate smooth parcellation, then find the spatial constraint that leads to the brain parcellation least biased from the intrinsic function pattern based parcellation, measured by the minimal Ncut value calculated based on the functional similarity measure of original functional signals. The proposed method has been applied to the parcellation of medial superior frontal cortex for 20 subjects based on their resting state fMRI data. The experiment results indicate that our method can generate meaningful parcellation results, consistent with existing functional anatomy knowledge.

  6. Cognitive neuroscience 2.0: building a cumulative science of human brain function

    PubMed Central

    Yarkoni, Tal; Poldrack, Russell A.; Van Essen, David C.; Wager, Tor D.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists increasingly recognize that continued progress in understanding human brain function will require not only the acquisition of new data, but also the synthesis and integration of data across studies and laboratories. Here we review ongoing efforts to develop a more cumulative science of human brain function. We discuss the rationale for an increased focus on formal synthesis of the cognitive neuroscience literature, provide an overview of recently developed tools and platforms designed to facilitate the sharing and integration of neuroimaging data, and conclude with a discussion of several emerging developments that hold even greater promise in advancing the study of human brain function. PMID:20884276

  7. Characterization of anatomical and functional connectivity in the brain: a complex networks perspective.

    PubMed

    Stam, C J

    2010-09-01

    A central question in modern neuroscience is how anatomical and functional connections between brain areas are organized to allow optimal information processing. In particular, both segregation and integration of information have to be dealt with in a single architecture of brain networks. There is strong evidence that synchronization of neural activity, both locally and between distant regions is a crucial code for functional interactions. However, a powerful theoretical framework to describe the structural and functional topology of system-wide brain networks has only become available with the discovery of 'small-world' and 'scale-free' networks in 1998 and 1999. There is now strong evidence that brain networks, ranging from simple nets of interconnected neurons up to macroscopic networks of brain areas display the typical features of complex systems: high clustering, short path lengths (both typical of 'small-world' networks), skewed degree distributions, presence of hubs, assortative mixing and the presence of modules. This has been demonstrated for anatomical and functional networks using neuroanatomical techniques, EEG, MEG and structural and functional MRI, in organisms ranging from C. elegans to man. In addition, network topology has been shown to be highly heritable, and very predictive of cognitive functioning. A short path length, which implies that from any area in the brain any other area can be reached in a small number of steps, is strongly correlated with IQ. Computational models are now beginning to reveal how the complex structure of adult brain networks could arise during development.

  8. Distinct disruptions of resting-state functional brain networks in familial and sporadic schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Zhu, Jiajia; Zhuo, Chuanjun; Liu, Feng; Qin, Wen; Xu, Lixue; Yu, Chunshui

    2016-01-01

    Clinical and brain structural differences have been reported between patients with familial and sporadic schizophrenia; however, little is known about the brain functional differences between the two subtypes of schizophrenia. Twenty-six patients with familial schizophrenia (PFS), 26 patients with sporadic schizophrenia (PSS) and 26 healthy controls (HC) underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The whole-brain functional network was constructed and analyzed using graph theoretical approaches. Topological properties (including global, nodal and edge measures) were compared among the three groups. We found that PFS, PSS and HC exhibited common small-world architecture of the functional brain networks. However, at a global level, only PFS showed significantly lower normalized clustering coefficient, small-worldness, and local efficiency, indicating a randomization shift of their brain networks. At a regional level, PFS and PSS disrupted different neural circuits, consisting of abnormal nodes (increased or decreased nodal centrality) and edges (decreased functional connectivity strength), which were widely distributed throughout the entire brain. Furthermore, some of these altered network measures were significantly correlated with severity of psychotic symptoms. These results suggest that familial and sporadic schizophrenia had segregated disruptions in the topological organization of the intrinsic functional brain network, which may be due to different etiological contributions. PMID:27032817

  9. Some problems for representations of brain organization based on activation in functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Sidtis, John J

    2007-08-01

    Functional brain imaging has overshadowed traditional lesion studies in becoming the dominant approach to the study of brain-behavior relationships. The proponents of functional imaging studies frequently argue that this approach provides an advantage over lesion studies by observing normal brain activity in vivo without the disruptive effects of brain damage. However, the enthusiastic onslaught of brain images, frequently presented as veridical representations of mental function, has sometimes overwhelmed some basic facts about brain organization repeatedly observed over more than a century. In particular, the lateralization of speech and language to the left cerebral hemisphere in over 90% of the right-handed population does not appear to have been taken as a serious constraint in the interpretation of imaging results in studies of these functions. This paper reviews a number of areas in which standard activation assumptions yield results that are at odds with clinical experience. The activation approach will be contrasted with a performance-based analysis of functional image data, which, at least in the case of speech production, yields results in better agreement with lesion data. Functional imaging represents enormous opportunities for understanding brain-behavior relationships, but at the present level of understanding of what is being represented in such images, it is premature to adhere to a single approach based on the strong but questionable assumptions inherent in most activation studies. PMID:16938343

  10. Distinct disruptions of resting-state functional brain networks in familial and sporadic schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Jiajia; Zhuo, Chuanjun; Liu, Feng; Qin, Wen; Xu, Lixue; Yu, Chunshui

    2016-01-01

    Clinical and brain structural differences have been reported between patients with familial and sporadic schizophrenia; however, little is known about the brain functional differences between the two subtypes of schizophrenia. Twenty-six patients with familial schizophrenia (PFS), 26 patients with sporadic schizophrenia (PSS) and 26 healthy controls (HC) underwent a resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging. The whole-brain functional network was constructed and analyzed using graph theoretical approaches. Topological properties (including global, nodal and edge measures) were compared among the three groups. We found that PFS, PSS and HC exhibited common small-world architecture of the functional brain networks. However, at a global level, only PFS showed significantly lower normalized clustering coefficient, small-worldness, and local efficiency, indicating a randomization shift of their brain networks. At a regional level, PFS and PSS disrupted different neural circuits, consisting of abnormal nodes (increased or decreased nodal centrality) and edges (decreased functional connectivity strength), which were widely distributed throughout the entire brain. Furthermore, some of these altered network measures were significantly correlated with severity of psychotic symptoms. These results suggest that familial and sporadic schizophrenia had segregated disruptions in the topological organization of the intrinsic functional brain network, which may be due to different etiological contributions. PMID:27032817

  11. Using Structural Equation Modeling to Assess Functional Connectivity in the Brain: Power and Sample Size Considerations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sideridis, Georgios; Simos, Panagiotis; Papanicolaou, Andrew; Fletcher, Jack

    2014-01-01

    The present study assessed the impact of sample size on the power and fit of structural equation modeling applied to functional brain connectivity hypotheses. The data consisted of time-constrained minimum norm estimates of regional brain activity during performance of a reading task obtained with magnetoencephalography. Power analysis was first…

  12. Young Children's Changing Conceptualizations of Brain Function: Implications for Teaching Neuroscience in Early Elementary Settings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marshall, Peter J.; Comalli, Christina E.

    2012-01-01

    Research Findings: Two exploratory studies explored young children's views of brain function and whether these views can be modified through exposure to a brief classroom intervention. In Study 1, children aged 4-13 years reported that the brain is used for "thinking," although older children were more likely than younger children to also endorse…

  13. Functional Brain Network Abnormalities during Verbal Working Memory Performance in Adolescents and Young Adults with Dyslexia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wolf, Robert Christian; Sambataro, Fabio; Lohr, Christina; Steinbrink, Claudia; Martin, Claudia; Vasic, Nenad

    2010-01-01

    Behavioral and functional neuroimaging studies indicate deficits in verbal working memory (WM) and frontoparietal dysfunction in individuals with dyslexia. Additionally, structural brain abnormalities in dyslexics suggest a dysconnectivity of brain regions associated with phonological processing. However, little is known about the functional…

  14. Changes in Connectivity after Visual Cortical Brain Damage Underlie Altered Visual Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen; Jbabdi, Saad; Cowey, Alan

    2008-01-01

    The full extent of the brain's ability to compensate for damage or changed experience is yet to be established. One question particularly important for evaluating and understanding rehabilitation following brain damage is whether recovery involves new and aberrant neural connections or whether any change in function is due to the functional…

  15. Family-Based Training Program Improves Brain Function, Cognition, and Behavior in Lower Socioeconomic Status Preschoolers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pakulak, Eric; Stevens, Courtney; Bell, Theodore A.; Fanning, Jessica; Klein, Scott; Isbell, Elif; Neville, Helen

    2013-01-01

    Over the course of several years of research, the authors have employed psychophysics, electrophysiological (ERP) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to study the development and neuroplasticity of the human brain. During this time, they observed that different brain systems and related functions display markedly different degrees or…

  16. Individual Differences in General Intelligence Correlate with Brain Function during Nonreasoning Tasks.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haier, Richard J.; White, Nathan S.; Alkire, Michael T.

    2003-01-01

    Administered Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices to 22 adults and measured cerebral glucose activity as subjects viewed videos on 2 occasions. Data provide evidence that individual differences in intelligence correlate with brain function even when the brain is engaged in non-reasoning tasks. (SLD)

  17. Integrating Functional Brain Neuroimaging and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in Child Psychiatry Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

    The use of cognitive neuroscience and functional brain neuroimaging to understand brain dysfunction in pediatric psychiatric disorders is discussed. Results show that bipolar youths demonstrate impairment in affective and cognitive neural systems and in these two circuits' interface. Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric…

  18. Structural and functional correlates of visual field asymmetry in the human brain by diffusion kurtosis MRI and functional MRI.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Caitlin; Ho, Leon C; Murphy, Matthew C; Conner, Ian P; Wollstein, Gadi; Cham, Rakie; Chan, Kevin C

    2016-11-01

    Human visual performance has been observed to show superiority in localized regions of the visual field across many classes of stimuli. However, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to determine whether the visual information processing in the human brain is dependent on the location of stimuli in the visual field and the corresponding neuroarchitecture using blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion kurtosis MRI, respectively, in 15 healthy individuals at 3 T. In fMRI, visual stimulation to the lower hemifield showed stronger brain responses and larger brain activation volumes than the upper hemifield, indicative of the differential sensitivity of the human brain across the visual field. In diffusion kurtosis MRI, the brain regions mapping to the lower visual field showed higher mean kurtosis, but not fractional anisotropy or mean diffusivity compared with the upper visual field. These results suggested the different distributions of microstructural organization across visual field brain representations. There was also a strong positive relationship between diffusion kurtosis and fMRI responses in the lower field brain representations. In summary, this study suggested the structural and functional brain involvements in the asymmetry of visual field responses in humans, and is important to the neurophysiological and psychological understanding of human visual information processing.

  19. Delineating multiple functions of VEGF-A in the adult brain.

    PubMed

    Licht, Tamar; Keshet, Eli

    2013-05-01

    Vascular endothelial growth factor-A (abbreviated throughout this review as VEGF) is mostly known for its angiogenic activity, for its activity as a vascular permeability factor, and for its vascular survival activity [1]. There is a growing body of evidence, however, that VEGF fulfills additional less 'traditional' functions in multiple organs, both during development, as well as homeostatic functions in fully developed organs. This review focuses on the multiple roles of VEGF in the adult brain and is less concerned with the roles played by VEGF during brain development, functions described elsewhere in this review series. Most functions of VEGF that are essential for proper brain development are, in fact, dispensable in the adult brain as was clearly demonstrated using a conditional brain-specific VEGF loss-of-function (LOF) approach. Thus, in contrast to VEGF LOF in the developing brain, a process which is detrimental for the growth and survival of blood vessels and leads to massive neuronal apoptosis [2-4], continued signaling by VEGF in the mature brain is no longer required for maintaining already established cerebral vasculature and its inhibition does not cause appreciable vessel regression, hypoxia or apoptosis [4-7]. Yet, VEGF continues to be expressed in the adult brain in a constitutive manner. Moreover, VEGF is expressed in the adult brain in a region-specific manner and in distinctive spatial patterns incompatible with an angiogenic role (see below), strongly suggesting angiogenesis-independent and possibly also perfusion-independent functions. Here we review current knowledge on some of these 'non-traditional', often unexpected homeostatic VEGF functions, including those unrelated to its effects on the brain vasculature. These effects could be mediated directly (on non-vascular cells expressing cognate VEGF receptors) or indirectly (via the endothelium). Experimental approaches aimed at distinguishing between these possibilities for each particular

  20. Functional brain imaging in 14 patients with dissociative amnesia reveals right inferolateral prefrontal hypometabolism.

    PubMed

    Brand, Matthias; Eggers, Carsten; Reinhold, Nadine; Fujiwara, Esther; Kessler, Josef; Heiss, Wolf-Dieter; Markowitsch, Hans J

    2009-10-30

    Dissociative amnesia is a condition usually characterized by severely impaired retrograde memory functioning in the absence of structural brain damage. Recent case studies nevertheless found functional brain changes in patients suffering from autobiographical-episodic memory loss in the cause of dissociative amnesia. Functional changes were demonstrated in both resting state and memory retrieval conditions. In addition, some but not all cases also showed other neuropsychological impairments beyond retrograde memory deficits. However, there is no group study available that examined potential functional brain abnormalities and accompanying neuropsychological deteriorations in larger samples of patients with dissociative retrograde amnesia. We report functional imaging and neuropsychological data acquired in 14 patients with dissociative amnesia following stressful or traumatic events. All patients suffered from autobiographical memory loss. In addition, approximately half of the patients had deficits in anterograde memory and executive functioning. Accompanying functional brain changes were measured by [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (FDG-PET). Regional glucose utilization of the patients was compared with that of 19 healthy subjects, matched for age and gender. We found significantly decreased glucose utilization in the right inferolateral prefrontal cortex in the patients. Hypometabolism in this brain region, known to be involved in retrieval of autobiographical memories and self-referential processing, may be a functional brain correlate of dissociative amnesia.

  1. Vascular function and brain-derived neurotrophic factor: The functional capacity factor.

    PubMed

    Alomari, Mahmoud A; Khabour, Omar F; Maikano, Abubakar; Alawneh, Khaldoon

    2015-12-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential for neurocognitive function. This study aims at establishing a plausible link between level of serum BDNF, functional capacity (FC), and vascular function in 181 young (age 25.5±9.1 years old), apparently healthy adults. Fasting blood samples were drawn from participants' antecubital veins into plain glass tubes while they were in a sitting position to evaluate serum BDNF using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mercury-in-silastic strain-gauge plethysmography was used to determine arterial function indices, blood flow and vascular resistance at rest and following 5 minutes of arterial ischemia. The 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) test was used to determine FC, according to the American Thoracic Society Committee on Proficiency Standards for Clinical Pulmonary Function Laboratories guidelines. It was conducted in an enclosed corridor on a flat surface with a circular track 33 meters long. The walking course was demarcated with bright colored cones. The 6MWD correlated with BDNF (r=0.3, p=0.000), as well as with forearm blood inflow (r=0.5, p=0.000) and vascular resistance (r = -0.4, p=0.000). Subsequent comparison showed that BDNF and blood inflow were greater (p<0.05) while vascular resistance was less (p<0.05) in participants who achieved a longer 6MWD. Similarly, BDNF correlated with forearm blood inflow (r=0.4, p=0.000) and vascular resistance (r = -0.4, p=0.000). Subsequent comparison showed improved vascular function (p<0.05) in the participants with greater BDNF. In conclusion, these findings might suggest that improved vascular function in individuals with greater FC is mediated, at least partially, by an enhanced serum BDNF level. PMID:26285588

  2. Vascular function and brain-derived neurotrophic factor: The functional capacity factor.

    PubMed

    Alomari, Mahmoud A; Khabour, Omar F; Maikano, Abubakar; Alawneh, Khaldoon

    2015-12-01

    Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is essential for neurocognitive function. This study aims at establishing a plausible link between level of serum BDNF, functional capacity (FC), and vascular function in 181 young (age 25.5±9.1 years old), apparently healthy adults. Fasting blood samples were drawn from participants' antecubital veins into plain glass tubes while they were in a sitting position to evaluate serum BDNF using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Mercury-in-silastic strain-gauge plethysmography was used to determine arterial function indices, blood flow and vascular resistance at rest and following 5 minutes of arterial ischemia. The 6-minute walk distance (6MWD) test was used to determine FC, according to the American Thoracic Society Committee on Proficiency Standards for Clinical Pulmonary Function Laboratories guidelines. It was conducted in an enclosed corridor on a flat surface with a circular track 33 meters long. The walking course was demarcated with bright colored cones. The 6MWD correlated with BDNF (r=0.3, p=0.000), as well as with forearm blood inflow (r=0.5, p=0.000) and vascular resistance (r = -0.4, p=0.000). Subsequent comparison showed that BDNF and blood inflow were greater (p<0.05) while vascular resistance was less (p<0.05) in participants who achieved a longer 6MWD. Similarly, BDNF correlated with forearm blood inflow (r=0.4, p=0.000) and vascular resistance (r = -0.4, p=0.000). Subsequent comparison showed improved vascular function (p<0.05) in the participants with greater BDNF. In conclusion, these findings might suggest that improved vascular function in individuals with greater FC is mediated, at least partially, by an enhanced serum BDNF level.

  3. Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders of Basal Ganglia Origin: Restoring Function or Functionality?

    PubMed

    Wichmann, Thomas; DeLong, Mahlon R

    2016-04-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is highly effective for both hypo- and hyperkinetic movement disorders of basal ganglia origin. The clinical use of DBS is, in part, empiric, based on the experience with prior surgical ablative therapies for these disorders, and, in part, driven by scientific discoveries made decades ago. In this review, we consider anatomical and functional concepts of the basal ganglia relevant to our understanding of DBS mechanisms, as well as our current understanding of the pathophysiology of two of the most commonly DBS-treated conditions, Parkinson's disease and dystonia. Finally, we discuss the proposed mechanism(s) of action of DBS in restoring function in patients with movement disorders. The signs and symptoms of the various disorders appear to result from signature disordered activity in the basal ganglia output, which disrupts the activity in thalamocortical and brainstem networks. The available evidence suggests that the effects of DBS are strongly dependent on targeting sensorimotor portions of specific nodes of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical motor circuit, that is, the subthalamic nucleus and the internal segment of the globus pallidus. There is little evidence to suggest that DBS in patients with movement disorders restores normal basal ganglia functions (e.g., their role in movement or reinforcement learning). Instead, it appears that high-frequency DBS replaces the abnormal basal ganglia output with a more tolerable pattern, which helps to restore the functionality of downstream networks. PMID:26956115

  4. Critical Periods of Brain Growth and Cognitive Function in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gale, Catharine R.; O'Callaghan, Finbar J.; Godfrey, Keith M.; Law, Catherine M.; Martyn, Christopher N.

    2004-01-01

    There is evidence that IQ tends to be higher in those who were heavier at birth or who grew taller in childhood and adolescence. Although these findings imply that growth in both foetal and postnatal life influences cognitive performance, little is known about the relative importance of brain growth during different periods of development. We…

  5. Default mode network functional and structural connectivity after traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Sharp, David J; Beckmann, Christian F; Greenwood, Richard; Kinnunen, Kirsi M; Bonnelle, Valerie; De Boissezon, Xavier; Powell, Jane H; Counsell, Serena J; Patel, Maneesh C; Leech, Robert

    2011-08-01

    Traumatic brain injury often results in cognitive impairments that limit recovery. The underlying pathophysiology of these impairments is uncertain, which restricts clinical assessment and management. Here, we use magnetic resonance imaging to test the hypotheses that: (i) traumatic brain injury results in abnormalities of functional connectivity within key cognitive networks; (ii) these changes are correlated with cognitive performance; and (iii) functional connectivity within these networks is influenced by underlying changes in structural connectivity produced by diffuse axonal injury. We studied 20 patients in the chronic phase after traumatic brain injury compared with age-matched controls. Network function was investigated in detail using functional magnetic resonance imaging to analyse both regional brain activation, and the interaction of brain regions within a network (functional connectivity). We studied patients during performance of a simple choice-reaction task and at 'rest'. Since functional connectivity reflects underlying structural connectivity, diffusion tensor imaging was used to quantify axonal injury, and test whether structural damage correlated with functional change. The patient group showed typical impairments in information processing and attention, when compared with age-matched controls. Patients were able to perform the task accurately, but showed slow and variable responses. Brain regions activated by the task were similar between the groups, but patients showed greater deactivation within the default mode network, in keeping with an increased cognitive load. A multivariate analysis of 'resting' state functional magnetic resonance imaging was then used to investigate whether changes in network function were present in the absence of explicit task performance. Overall, default mode network functional connectivity was increased in the patient group. Patients with the highest functional connectivity had the least cognitive impairment. In

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Characteristics of Brains in Autism Spectrum Disorder: Structure, Function and Connectivity across the Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Ha, Sungji; Sohn, In-Jung; Kim, Namwook; Sim, Hyeon Jeong

    2015-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a highly prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by impaired social communication and restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs). Over the past decade, neuroimaging studies have provided considerable insights underlying neurobiological mechanisms of ASD. In this review, we introduce recent findings from brain imaging studies to characterize the brains of ASD across the human lifespan. Results of structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies dealing with total brain volume, regional brain structure and cortical area are summarized. Using task-based functional MRI (fMRI), many studies have shown dysfunctional activation in critical areas of social communication and RRBs. We also describe several data to show abnormal connectivity in the ASD brains. Finally, we suggest the possible strategies to study ASD brains in the future. PMID:26713076

  9. A multimodal approach for determining brain networks by jointly modeling functional and structural connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Xue, Wenqiong; Bowman, F. DuBois; Pileggi, Anthony V.; Mayer, Andrew R.

    2015-01-01

    Recent innovations in neuroimaging technology have provided opportunities for researchers to investigate connectivity in the human brain by examining the anatomical circuitry as well as functional relationships between brain regions. Existing statistical approaches for connectivity generally examine resting-state or task-related functional connectivity (FC) between brain regions or separately examine structural linkages. As a means to determine brain networks, we present a unified Bayesian framework for analyzing FC utilizing the knowledge of associated structural connections, which e