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Sample records for sensory cortical processing

  1. Sensory cortical processing and the biological basis of personality.

    PubMed

    Hegerl, U; Gallinat, J; Mrowinski, D

    1995-04-01

    Action-oriented personality traits such as sensation seeking, extraversion, and impulsivity have been related to a pronounced amplitude increase of auditory evoked scalp potentials with increasing stimulus intensity. Dipole source analysis represents a crucial methodological progress in this context, because overlapping subcomponents of the scalp potentials can be separated and can be related to their generating cortical structures. In a study on 40 healthy subjects, it was found that sensation seeking is clearly related to the auditory evoked response pattern (N1/P2-component, stimulus intensities: 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 dB SPL) of the superior temporal plane including primary auditory cortex, but not to that of secondary auditory areas in the lateral temporal cortex. These results support the concept that the serotonergic brain system, which is supposed to modulate sensory processing in primary auditory cortices, is an important factor underlying individual differences in sensation seeking.

  2. Exploring the cortical evidence of a sensory-discrimination process.

    PubMed Central

    Romo, Ranulfo; Hernández, Adrián; Zainos, Antonio; Brody, Carlos; Salinas, Emilio

    2002-01-01

    Humans and monkeys have similar abilities to discriminate the difference in frequency between two consecutive mechanical vibrations applied to their fingertips. This task can be conceived as a chain of neural operations: encoding the two consecutive stimuli, maintaining the first stimulus in working memory, comparing the second stimulus with the memory trace left by the first stimulus and communicating the result of the comparison to the motor apparatus. We studied this chain of neural operations by recording and manipulating neurons from different areas of the cerebral cortex while monkeys performed the task. The results indicate that neurons of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) generate a neural representation of vibrotactile stimuli which correlates closely with psychophysical performance. Discrimination based on microstimulation patterns injected into clusters of S1 neurons is indistinguishable from that produced by natural stimuli. Neurons from the secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), prefrontal cortex and medial premotor cortex (MPC) display at different times the trace of the first stimulus during the working-memory component of the task. Neurons from S2 and MPC appear to show the comparison between the two stimuli and correlate with the behavioural decisions. These neural operations may contribute to the sensory-discrimination process studied here. PMID:12217172

  3. Awake vs. anesthetized: layer-specific sensory processing in visual cortex and functional connectivity between cortical areas.

    PubMed

    Sellers, Kristin K; Bennett, Davis V; Hutt, Axel; Williams, James H; Fröhlich, Flavio

    2015-06-01

    During general anesthesia, global brain activity and behavioral state are profoundly altered. Yet it remains mostly unknown how anesthetics alter sensory processing across cortical layers and modulate functional cortico-cortical connectivity. To address this gap in knowledge of the micro- and mesoscale effects of anesthetics on sensory processing in the cortical microcircuit, we recorded multiunit activity and local field potential in awake and anesthetized ferrets (Mustela putoris furo) during sensory stimulation. To understand how anesthetics alter sensory processing in a primary sensory area and the representation of sensory input in higher-order association areas, we studied the local sensory responses and long-range functional connectivity of primary visual cortex (V1) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Isoflurane combined with xylazine provided general anesthesia for all anesthetized recordings. We found that anesthetics altered the duration of sensory-evoked responses, disrupted the response dynamics across cortical layers, suppressed both multimodal interactions in V1 and sensory responses in PFC, and reduced functional cortico-cortical connectivity between V1 and PFC. Together, the present findings demonstrate altered sensory responses and impaired functional network connectivity during anesthesia at the level of multiunit activity and local field potential across cortical layers.

  4. Awake vs. anesthetized: layer-specific sensory processing in visual cortex and functional connectivity between cortical areas

    PubMed Central

    Sellers, Kristin K.; Bennett, Davis V.; Hutt, Axel; Williams, James H.

    2015-01-01

    During general anesthesia, global brain activity and behavioral state are profoundly altered. Yet it remains mostly unknown how anesthetics alter sensory processing across cortical layers and modulate functional cortico-cortical connectivity. To address this gap in knowledge of the micro- and mesoscale effects of anesthetics on sensory processing in the cortical microcircuit, we recorded multiunit activity and local field potential in awake and anesthetized ferrets (Mustela putoris furo) during sensory stimulation. To understand how anesthetics alter sensory processing in a primary sensory area and the representation of sensory input in higher-order association areas, we studied the local sensory responses and long-range functional connectivity of primary visual cortex (V1) and prefrontal cortex (PFC). Isoflurane combined with xylazine provided general anesthesia for all anesthetized recordings. We found that anesthetics altered the duration of sensory-evoked responses, disrupted the response dynamics across cortical layers, suppressed both multimodal interactions in V1 and sensory responses in PFC, and reduced functional cortico-cortical connectivity between V1 and PFC. Together, the present findings demonstrate altered sensory responses and impaired functional network connectivity during anesthesia at the level of multiunit activity and local field potential across cortical layers. PMID:25833839

  5. A magnetoencephalography study of multi-modal processing of pain anticipation in primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Gopalakrishnan, R; Burgess, R C; Plow, E B; Floden, D P; Machado, A G

    2015-09-24

    Pain anticipation plays a critical role in pain chronification and results in disability due to pain avoidance. It is important to understand how different sensory modalities (auditory, visual or tactile) may influence pain anticipation as different strategies could be applied to mitigate anticipatory phenomena and chronification. In this study, using a countdown paradigm, we evaluated with magnetoencephalography the neural networks associated with pain anticipation elicited by different sensory modalities in normal volunteers. When encountered with well-established cues that signaled pain, visual and somatosensory cortices engaged the pain neuromatrix areas early during the countdown process, whereas the auditory cortex displayed delayed processing. In addition, during pain anticipation, the visual cortex displayed independent processing capabilities after learning the contextual meaning of cues from associative and limbic areas. Interestingly, cross-modal activation was also evident and strong when visual and tactile cues signaled upcoming pain. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and mid-cingulate cortex showed significant activity during pain anticipation regardless of modality. Our results show pain anticipation is processed with great time efficiency by a highly specialized and hierarchical network. The highest degree of higher-order processing is modulated by context (pain) rather than content (modality) and rests within the associative limbic regions, corroborating their intrinsic role in chronification.

  6. A magnetoencephalography study of multi-modal processing of pain anticipation in primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Gopalakrishnan, R; Burgess, R C; Plow, E B; Floden, D P; Machado, A G

    2015-09-24

    Pain anticipation plays a critical role in pain chronification and results in disability due to pain avoidance. It is important to understand how different sensory modalities (auditory, visual or tactile) may influence pain anticipation as different strategies could be applied to mitigate anticipatory phenomena and chronification. In this study, using a countdown paradigm, we evaluated with magnetoencephalography the neural networks associated with pain anticipation elicited by different sensory modalities in normal volunteers. When encountered with well-established cues that signaled pain, visual and somatosensory cortices engaged the pain neuromatrix areas early during the countdown process, whereas the auditory cortex displayed delayed processing. In addition, during pain anticipation, the visual cortex displayed independent processing capabilities after learning the contextual meaning of cues from associative and limbic areas. Interestingly, cross-modal activation was also evident and strong when visual and tactile cues signaled upcoming pain. Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and mid-cingulate cortex showed significant activity during pain anticipation regardless of modality. Our results show pain anticipation is processed with great time efficiency by a highly specialized and hierarchical network. The highest degree of higher-order processing is modulated by context (pain) rather than content (modality) and rests within the associative limbic regions, corroborating their intrinsic role in chronification. PMID:26210576

  7. Possible anatomical pathways for short-latency multisensory integration processes in primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Henschke, Julia U; Noesselt, Tömme; Scheich, Henning; Budinger, Eike

    2015-03-01

    Multisensory integration does not only recruit higher-level association cortex, but also low-level and even primary sensory cortices. Here, we will describe and quantify two types of anatomical pathways, a thalamocortical and a corticocortical that possibly underlie short-latency multisensory integration processes in the primary auditory (A1), somatosensory (S1), and visual cortex (V1). Results were obtained from Mongolian gerbils, a common model-species in neuroscience, using simultaneous injections of different retrograde tracers into A1, S1, and V1. Several auditory, visual, and somatosensory thalamic nuclei project not only to the primary sensory area of their own (matched) but also to areas of other (non-matched) modalities. The crossmodal output ratios of these nuclei, belonging to both core and non-core sensory pathways, vary between 0.4 and 63.5 % of the labeled neurons. Approximately 0.3 % of the sensory thalamic input to A1, 5.0 % to S1, and 2.1 % to V1 arise from non-matched nuclei. V1 has most crossmodal corticocortical connections, projecting strongest to S1 and receiving a similar amount of moderate inputs from A1 and S1. S1 is mainly interconnected with V1. A1 has slightly more projections to V1 than S1, but gets just faint inputs from there. Concerning the layer-specific distribution of the retrogradely labeled somata in cortex, V1 provides the most pronounced feedforward-type outputs and receives (together with S1) most pronounced feedback-type inputs. In contrast, A1 has most pronounced feedback-type outputs and feedforward-type inputs in this network. Functionally, the different sets of thalamocortical and corticocortical connections could underlie distinctive types of integration mechanisms for different modality pairings. PMID:24384580

  8. Cross-modal sensory processing in the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices.

    PubMed

    Laurienti, Paul J; Wallace, Mark T; Maldjian, Joseph A; Susi, Christina M; Stein, Barry E; Burdette, Jonathan H

    2003-08-01

    One of the principal functions of the nervous system is to synthesize information from multiple sensory channels into a coherent behavioral and perceptual gestalt. A critical feature of this multisensory synthesis is the sorting and coupling of information derived from the same event. One of the singular features of stimuli conveying such information is their contextual or semantic congruence. Illustrating this fact, subjects are typically faster and more accurate when performing tasks that include congruent compared to incongruent cross-modal stimuli. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrate that activity in select brain areas is sensitive to the contextual congruence among cross-modal cues and to task difficulty. The anterior cingulate gyrus and adjacent medial prefrontal cortices showed significantly greater activity when visual and auditory stimuli were contextually congruent (i.e., matching) than when they were nonmatching. Although activity in these regions was also dependent on task difficulty, showing decreased activity with decreasing task difficulty, the activity changes associated with stimulus congruence predominated. PMID:12874776

  9. Cross-modal sensory processing in the anterior cingulate and medial prefrontal cortices.

    PubMed

    Laurienti, Paul J; Wallace, Mark T; Maldjian, Joseph A; Susi, Christina M; Stein, Barry E; Burdette, Jonathan H

    2003-08-01

    One of the principal functions of the nervous system is to synthesize information from multiple sensory channels into a coherent behavioral and perceptual gestalt. A critical feature of this multisensory synthesis is the sorting and coupling of information derived from the same event. One of the singular features of stimuli conveying such information is their contextual or semantic congruence. Illustrating this fact, subjects are typically faster and more accurate when performing tasks that include congruent compared to incongruent cross-modal stimuli. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we demonstrate that activity in select brain areas is sensitive to the contextual congruence among cross-modal cues and to task difficulty. The anterior cingulate gyrus and adjacent medial prefrontal cortices showed significantly greater activity when visual and auditory stimuli were contextually congruent (i.e., matching) than when they were nonmatching. Although activity in these regions was also dependent on task difficulty, showing decreased activity with decreasing task difficulty, the activity changes associated with stimulus congruence predominated.

  10. Discontinuity of cortical gradients reflects sensory impairment

    PubMed Central

    Saadon-Grosman, Noam; Tal, Zohar; Itshayek, Eyal; Amedi, Amir; Arzy, Shahar

    2015-01-01

    Topographic maps and their continuity constitute a fundamental principle of brain organization. In the somatosensory system, whole-body sensory impairment may be reflected either in cortical signal reduction or disorganization of the somatotopic map, such as disturbed continuity. Here we investigated the role of continuity in pathological states. We studied whole-body cortical representations in response to continuous sensory stimulation under functional MRI (fMRI) in two unique patient populations—patients with cervical sensory Brown-Séquard syndrome (injury to one side of the spinal cord) and patients before and after surgical repair of cervical disk protrusion—enabling us to compare whole-body representations in the same study subjects. We quantified the spatial gradient of cortical activation and evaluated the divergence from a continuous pattern. Gradient continuity was found to be disturbed at the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the supplementary motor area (SMA), in both patient populations: contralateral to the disturbed body side in the Brown-Séquard group and before repair in the surgical group, which was further improved after intervention. Results corresponding to the nondisturbed body side and after surgical repair were comparable with control subjects. No difference was found in the fMRI signal power between the different conditions in the two groups, as well as with respect to control subjects. These results suggest that decreased sensation in our patients is related to gradient discontinuity rather than signal reduction. Gradient continuity may be crucial for somatotopic and other topographical organization, and its disruption may characterize pathological processing. PMID:26655739

  11. Discontinuity of cortical gradients reflects sensory impairment.

    PubMed

    Saadon-Grosman, Noam; Tal, Zohar; Itshayek, Eyal; Amedi, Amir; Arzy, Shahar

    2015-12-29

    Topographic maps and their continuity constitute a fundamental principle of brain organization. In the somatosensory system, whole-body sensory impairment may be reflected either in cortical signal reduction or disorganization of the somatotopic map, such as disturbed continuity. Here we investigated the role of continuity in pathological states. We studied whole-body cortical representations in response to continuous sensory stimulation under functional MRI (fMRI) in two unique patient populations-patients with cervical sensory Brown-Séquard syndrome (injury to one side of the spinal cord) and patients before and after surgical repair of cervical disk protrusion-enabling us to compare whole-body representations in the same study subjects. We quantified the spatial gradient of cortical activation and evaluated the divergence from a continuous pattern. Gradient continuity was found to be disturbed at the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and the supplementary motor area (SMA), in both patient populations: contralateral to the disturbed body side in the Brown-Séquard group and before repair in the surgical group, which was further improved after intervention. Results corresponding to the nondisturbed body side and after surgical repair were comparable with control subjects. No difference was found in the fMRI signal power between the different conditions in the two groups, as well as with respect to control subjects. These results suggest that decreased sensation in our patients is related to gradient discontinuity rather than signal reduction. Gradient continuity may be crucial for somatotopic and other topographical organization, and its disruption may characterize pathological processing. PMID:26655739

  12. Bidirectional plasticity of cortical pattern recognition and behavioral sensory acuity

    PubMed Central

    Chapuis, Julie; Wilson, Donald A.

    2011-01-01

    Learning to adapt to a complex and fluctuating environment requires the ability to adjust neural representations of sensory stimuli. Through pattern completion processes, cortical networks can reconstruct familiar patterns from degraded input patterns, while pattern separation processes allow discrimination of even highly overlapping inputs. Here we show that the balance between pattern separation and completion is experience-dependent. Rats given extensive training with overlapping complex odorant mixtures show improved behavioral discrimination ability and enhanced cortical ensemble pattern separation. In contrast, behavioral training to disregard normally detectable differences between overlapping mixtures results in impaired cortical ensemble pattern separation (enhanced pattern completion) and impaired discrimination. This bidirectional effect was not found in the olfactory bulb, and may be due to plasticity within olfactory cortex itself. Thus pattern recognition, and the balance between pattern separation and completion, is highly malleable based on task demands and occurs in concert with changes in perceptual performance. PMID:22101640

  13. Cortical dynamics of visual change detection based on sensory memory.

    PubMed

    Urakawa, Tomokazu; Inui, Koji; Yamashiro, Koya; Tanaka, Emi; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2010-08-01

    Detecting a visual change was suggested to relate closely to the visual sensory memory formed by visual stimuli before the occurrence of the change, because change detection involves identifying a difference between ongoing and preceding sensory conditions. Previous neuroimaging studies showed that an abrupt visual change activates the middle occipital gyrus (MOG). However, it still remains to be elucidated whether the MOG is related to visual change detection based on sensory memory. Here we tried to settle this issue using a new method of stimulation with blue and red LEDs to emphasize a memory-based change detection process. There were two stimuli, a standard trial stimulus and a deviant trial stimulus. The former was a red light lasting 500 ms, and the latter was a red light lasting 250 ms immediately followed by a blue light lasting 250 ms. Effects of the trial-trial interval, 250 approximately 2000 ms, were investigated to know how cortical responses to the abrupt change (from red to blue) were affected by preceding conditions. The brain response to the deviant trial stimulus was recorded by magnetoencephalography. Results of a multi-dipole analysis showed that the activity in the MOG, peaking at around 150 ms after the change onset, decreased in amplitude as the interval increased, but the earlier activity in BA 17/18 was not affected by the interval. These results suggested that the MOG is an important cortical area relating to the sensory memory-based visual change-detecting system.

  14. Cortical network reorganization guided by sensory input features.

    PubMed

    Kilgard, Michael P; Pandya, Pritesh K; Engineer, Navzer D; Moucha, Raluca

    2002-12-01

    Sensory experience alters the functional organization of cortical networks. Previous studies using behavioral training motivated by aversive or rewarding stimuli have demonstrated that cortical plasticity is specific to salient inputs in the sensory environment. Sensory experience associated with electrical activation of the basal forebrain (BasF) generates similar input specific plasticity. By directly engaging plasticity mechanisms and avoiding extensive behavioral training, BasF stimulation makes it possible to efficiently explore how specific sensory features contribute to cortical plasticity. This review summarizes our observations that cortical networks employ a variety of strategies to improve the representation of the sensory environment. Different combinations of receptive-field, temporal, and spectrotemporal plasticity were generated in primary auditory cortex neurons depending on the pitch, modulation rate, and order of sounds paired with BasF stimulation. Simple tones led to map expansion, while modulated tones altered the maximum cortical following rate. Exposure to complex acoustic sequences led to the development of combination-sensitive responses. This remodeling of cortical response characteristics may reflect changes in intrinsic cellular mechanisms, synaptic efficacy, and local neuronal connectivity. The intricate relationship between the pattern of sensory activation and cortical plasticity suggests that network-level rules alter the functional organization of the cortex to generate the most behaviorally useful representation of the sensory environment.

  15. Multilaminar networks of cortical neurons integrate common inputs from sensory thalamus.

    PubMed

    Morgenstern, Nicolás A; Bourg, Jacques; Petreanu, Leopoldo

    2016-08-01

    Neurons in the thalamorecipient layers of sensory cortices integrate thalamic and recurrent cortical input. Cortical neurons form fine-scale, functionally cotuned networks, but whether interconnected cortical neurons within a column process common thalamocortical inputs is unknown. We tested how local and thalamocortical connectivity relate to each other by analyzing cofluctuations of evoked responses in cortical neurons after photostimulation of thalamocortical axons. We found that connected pairs of pyramidal neurons in layer (L) 4 of mouse visual cortex share more inputs from the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus than nonconnected pairs. Vertically aligned connected pairs of L4 and L2/3 neurons were also preferentially contacted by the same thalamocortical axons. Our results provide a circuit mechanism for the observed amplification of sensory responses by L4 circuits. They also show that sensory information is concurrently processed in L4 and L2/3 by columnar networks of interconnected neurons contacted by the same thalamocortical axons.

  16. Efficient sensory cortical coding optimizes pursuit eye movements

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Bing; Macellaio, Matthew V.; Osborne, Leslie C.

    2016-01-01

    In the natural world, the statistics of sensory stimuli fluctuate across a wide range. In theory, the brain could maximize information recovery if sensory neurons adaptively rescale their sensitivity to the current range of inputs. Such adaptive coding has been observed in a variety of systems, but the premise that adaptation optimizes behaviour has not been tested. Here we show that adaptation in cortical sensory neurons maximizes information about visual motion in pursuit eye movements guided by that cortical activity. We find that gain adaptation drives a rapid (<100 ms) recovery of information after shifts in motion variance, because the neurons and behaviour rescale their sensitivity to motion fluctuations. Both neurons and pursuit rapidly adopt a response gain that maximizes motion information and minimizes tracking errors. Thus, efficient sensory coding is not simply an ideal standard but a description of real sensory computation that manifests in improved behavioural performance. PMID:27611214

  17. Efficient sensory cortical coding optimizes pursuit eye movements.

    PubMed

    Liu, Bing; Macellaio, Matthew V; Osborne, Leslie C

    2016-01-01

    In the natural world, the statistics of sensory stimuli fluctuate across a wide range. In theory, the brain could maximize information recovery if sensory neurons adaptively rescale their sensitivity to the current range of inputs. Such adaptive coding has been observed in a variety of systems, but the premise that adaptation optimizes behaviour has not been tested. Here we show that adaptation in cortical sensory neurons maximizes information about visual motion in pursuit eye movements guided by that cortical activity. We find that gain adaptation drives a rapid (<100 ms) recovery of information after shifts in motion variance, because the neurons and behaviour rescale their sensitivity to motion fluctuations. Both neurons and pursuit rapidly adopt a response gain that maximizes motion information and minimizes tracking errors. Thus, efficient sensory coding is not simply an ideal standard but a description of real sensory computation that manifests in improved behavioural performance. PMID:27611214

  18. Role of secondary sensory cortices in emotional memory storage and retrieval in rats.

    PubMed

    Sacco, Tiziana; Sacchetti, Benedetto

    2010-08-01

    Visual, acoustic, and olfactory stimuli associated with a highly charged emotional situation take on the affective qualities of that situation. Where the emotional meaning of a given sensory experience is stored is a matter of debate. We found that excitotoxic lesions of auditory, visual, or olfactory secondary sensory cortices impaired remote, but not recent, fear memories in rats. Amnesia was modality-specific and not due to an interference with sensory or emotional processes. In these sites, memory persistence was dependent on ongoing protein kinase Mzeta activity and was associated with an increased activity of layers II-IV, thus suggesting a synaptic strengthening of corticocortical connections. Lesions of the same areas left intact the memory of sensory stimuli not associated with any emotional charge. We propose that secondary sensory cortices support memory storage and retrieval of sensory stimuli that have acquired a behavioral salience with the experience.

  19. Instabilities in sensory processes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balakrishnan, J.

    2014-07-01

    In any organism there are different kinds of sensory receptors for detecting the various, distinct stimuli through which its external environment may impinge upon it. These receptors convey these stimuli in different ways to an organism's information processing region enabling it to distinctly perceive the varied sensations and to respond to them. The behavior of cells and their response to stimuli may be captured through simple mathematical models employing regulatory feedback mechanisms. We argue that the sensory processes such as olfaction function optimally by operating in the close proximity of dynamical instabilities. In the case of coupled neurons, we point out that random disturbances and fluctuations can move their operating point close to certain dynamical instabilities triggering synchronous activity.

  20. Long-term modification of cortical synapses improves sensory perception

    PubMed Central

    Froemke, Robert C.; Carcea, Ioana; Barker, Alison J.; Yuan, Kexin; Seybold, Bryan; Martins, Ana Raquel O.; Zaika, Natalya; Bernstein, Hannah; Wachs, Megan; Levis, Philip A.; Polley, Daniel B.; Merzenich, Michael M.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2013-01-01

    Synapses and receptive fields of the cerebral cortex are plastic. However, changes to specific inputs must be coordinated within neural networks to ensure that excitability and feature selectivity are appropriately configured for perception of the sensory environment. Long-lasting enhancements and decrements to rat primary auditory cortical excitatory synaptic strength were induced by pairing acoustic stimuli with activation of the nucleus basalis neuromodulatory system. Here we report that these synaptic modifications were approximately balanced across individual receptive fields, conserving mean excitation while reducing overall response variability. Decreased response variability should increase detection and recognition of near-threshold or previously imperceptible stimuli, as we found in behaving animals. Thus, modification of cortical inputs leads to wide-scale synaptic changes, which are related to improved sensory perception and enhanced behavioral performance. PMID:23178974

  1. Cortical organization in insectivora: the parallel evolution of the sensory periphery and the brain.

    PubMed

    Catania, K C

    2000-06-01

    Insectivores are traditionally described as a primitive group that has not changed much in the course of mammalian evolution. In contrast, recent studies reveal a great diversity of sensorimotor specializations among insectivores adapted to a number of different ecological niches, indicating that there has been significant diversification and change in the course of their evolution. Here the organization of sensory cortex is compared in the African hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), the masked shrew (Sorex cinereus), the eastern mole (Scalopus aquaticus), and the star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata). Each of these four closely related species lives in a unique ecological niche, exhibits a different repertoire of behaviors, and has a different configuration of peripheral sensory receptors. Corresponding specializations of cortical sensory areas reveal a number of ways in which the cortex has evolved in parallel with changes to the sensory periphery. These specializations include expansion of cortical representations (cortical magnification), the addition or loss of cortical areas in the processing network, and the subdivision of areas into modules (barrels and stripes).

  2. Correlation between Cortical State and Locus Coeruleus Activity: Implications for Sensory Coding in Rat Barrel Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Fazlali, Zeinab; Ranjbar-Slamloo, Yadollah; Adibi, Mehdi; Arabzadeh, Ehsan

    2016-01-01

    Cortical state modulates the background activity of cortical neurons, and their evoked response to sensory stimulation. Multiple mechanisms are involved in switching between cortical states including various neuromodulatory systems. Locus Coeruleus (LC) is one of the major neuromodulatory nuclei in the brainstem with widespread projections throughout the brain and modulates the activity of cells and networks. Here, we quantified the link between the LC spontaneous activity, cortical state and sensory processing in the rat vibrissal somatosensory “barrel” cortex (BC). We simultaneously recorded unit activity from LC and BC along with prefrontal electroencephalogram (EEG) while presenting brief whisker deflections under urethane anesthesia. The ratio of low to high frequency components of EEG (referred to as the L/H ratio) was employed to identify cortical state. We found that the spontaneous activity of LC units exhibited a negative correlation with the L/H ratio. Cross-correlation analysis revealed that changes in LC firing preceded changes in the cortical state: the correlation of the LC firing profile with the L/H ratio was maximal at an average lag of −1.2 s. We further quantified BC neuronal responses to whisker stimulation during the synchronized and desynchronized states. In the desynchronized state, BC neurons showed lower stimulus detection threshold, higher response fidelity, and shorter response latency. The most prominent change was observed in the late phase of BC evoked activity (100–400 ms post stimulus onset): almost every BC unit exhibited a greater late response during the desynchronized state. Categorization of the BC evoked responses based on LC activity (into high and low LC discharge rates) resulted in highly similar response profiles compared to categorization based on the cortical state (low and high L/H ratios). These findings provide evidence for the involvement of the LC neuromodulatory system in desynchronization of cortical state

  3. Remodeling sensory cortical maps implants specific behavioral memory.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, K M; Miasnikov, A A; Weinberger, N M

    2013-08-29

    Neural mechanisms underlying the capacity of memory to be rich in sensory detail are largely unknown. A candidate mechanism is learning-induced plasticity that remodels the adult sensory cortex. Here, expansion in the primary auditory cortical (A1) tonotopic map of rats was induced by pairing a 3.66-kHz tone with activation of the nucleus basalis, mimicking the effects of natural associative learning. Remodeling of A1 produced de novo specific behavioral memory, but neither memory nor plasticity was consistently at the frequency of the paired tone, which typically decreased in A1 representation. Rather, there was a specific match between individual subjects' area of expansion and the tone that was strongest in each animal's memory, as determined by post-training frequency generalization gradients. These findings provide the first demonstration of a match between the artificial induction of specific neural representational plasticity and artificial induction of behavioral memory. As such, together with prior and present findings for detection, correlation and mimicry of plasticity with the acquisition of memory, they satisfy a key criterion for neural substrates of memory. This demonstrates that directly remodeling sensory cortical maps is sufficient for the specificity of memory formation.

  4. Flexibility and Stability in Sensory Processing Revealed Using Visual-to-Auditory Sensory Substitution

    PubMed Central

    Hertz, Uri; Amedi, Amir

    2015-01-01

    The classical view of sensory processing involves independent processing in sensory cortices and multisensory integration in associative areas. This hierarchical structure has been challenged by evidence of multisensory responses in sensory areas, and dynamic weighting of sensory inputs in associative areas, thus far reported independently. Here, we used a visual-to-auditory sensory substitution algorithm (SSA) to manipulate the information conveyed by sensory inputs while keeping the stimuli intact. During scan sessions before and after SSA learning, subjects were presented with visual images and auditory soundscapes. The findings reveal 2 dynamic processes. First, crossmodal attenuation of sensory cortices changed direction after SSA learning from visual attenuations of the auditory cortex to auditory attenuations of the visual cortex. Secondly, associative areas changed their sensory response profile from strongest response for visual to that for auditory. The interaction between these phenomena may play an important role in multisensory processing. Consistent features were also found in the sensory dominance in sensory areas and audiovisual convergence in associative area Middle Temporal Gyrus. These 2 factors allow for both stability and a fast, dynamic tuning of the system when required. PMID:24518756

  5. Maximizing Sensory Dynamic Range by Tuning the Cortical State to Criticality.

    PubMed

    Gautam, Shree Hari; Hoang, Thanh T; McClanahan, Kylie; Grady, Stephen K; Shew, Woodrow L

    2015-12-01

    Modulation of interactions among neurons can manifest as dramatic changes in the state of population dynamics in cerebral cortex. How such transitions in cortical state impact the information processing performed by cortical circuits is not clear. Here we performed experiments and computational modeling to determine how somatosensory dynamic range depends on cortical state. We used microelectrode arrays to record ongoing and whisker stimulus-evoked population spiking activity in somatosensory cortex of urethane anesthetized rats. We observed a continuum of different cortical states; at one extreme population activity exhibited small scale variability and was weakly correlated, the other extreme had large scale fluctuations and strong correlations. In experiments, shifts along the continuum often occurred naturally, without direct manipulation. In addition, in both the experiment and the model we directly tuned the cortical state by manipulating inhibitory synaptic interactions. Our principal finding was that somatosensory dynamic range was maximized in a specific cortical state, called criticality, near the tipping point midway between the ends of the continuum. The optimal cortical state was uniquely characterized by scale-free ongoing population dynamics and moderate correlations, in line with theoretical predictions about criticality. However, to reproduce our experimental findings, we found that existing theory required modifications which account for activity-dependent depression. In conclusion, our experiments indicate that in vivo sensory dynamic range is maximized near criticality and our model revealed an unanticipated role for activity-dependent depression in this basic principle of cortical function. PMID:26623645

  6. Effects of aging and sensory loss on glial cells in mouse visual and auditory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Tremblay, Marie-Ève; Zettel, Martha L.; Ison, James R.; Allen, Paul D.; Majewska, Ania K.

    2011-01-01

    Normal aging is often accompanied by a progressive loss of receptor sensitivity in hearing and vision, whose consequences on cellular function in cortical sensory areas have remained largely unknown. By examining the primary auditory (A1) and visual (V1) cortices in two inbred strains of mice undergoing either age-related loss of audition (C57BL/6J) or vision (CBA/CaJ), we were able to describe cellular and subcellular changes that were associated with normal aging (occurring in A1 and V1 of both strains) or specifically with age-related sensory loss (only in A1 of C57BL/6J or V1 of CBA/CaJ), using immunocytochemical electron microscopy and light microscopy. While the changes were subtle in neurons, glial cells and especially microglia were transformed in aged animals. Microglia became more numerous and irregularly distributed, displayed more variable cell body and process morphologies, occupied smaller territories, and accumulated phagocytic inclusions that often displayed ultrastructural features of synaptic elements. Additionally, evidence of myelination defects were observed, and aged oligodendrocytes became more numerous and were more often encountered in contiguous pairs. Most of these effects were profoundly exacerbated by age-related sensory loss. Together, our results suggest that the age-related alteration of glial cells in sensory cortical areas can be accelerated by activity-driven central mechanisms that result from an age-related loss of peripheral sensitivity. In light of our observations, these age-related changes in sensory function should be considered when investigating cellular, cortical and behavioral functions throughout the lifespan in these commonly used C57BL/6J and CBA/CaJ mouse models. PMID:22223464

  7. Rate and timing of cortical responses driven by separate sensory channels

    PubMed Central

    Saal, Hannes P; Harvey, Michael A; Bensmaia, Sliman J

    2015-01-01

    The sense of touch comprises multiple sensory channels that each conveys characteristic signals during interactions with objects. These neural signals must then be integrated in such a way that behaviorally relevant information about the objects is preserved. To understand the process of integration, we implement a simple computational model that describes how the responses of neurons in somatosensory cortex—recorded from awake, behaving monkeys—are shaped by the peripheral input, reconstructed using simulations of neuronal populations that reproduce natural spiking responses in the nerve with millisecond precision. First, we find that the strength of cortical responses is driven by one population of nerve fibers (rapidly adapting) whereas the timing of cortical responses is shaped by the other (Pacinian). Second, we show that input from these sensory channels is integrated in an optimal fashion that exploits the disparate response behaviors of different fiber types. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.10450.001 PMID:26650354

  8. Prefrontal cortex and sensory cortices during working memory: quantity and quality.

    PubMed

    Ku, Yixuan; Bodner, Mark; Zhou, Yong-Di

    2015-04-01

    The activity in sensory cortices and the prefrontal cortex (PFC) throughout the delay interval of working memory (WM) tasks reflect two aspects of WM-quality and quantity, respectively. The delay activity in sensory cortices is fine-tuned to sensory information and forms the neural basis of the precision of WM storage, while the delay activity in the PFC appears to represent behavioral goals and filters out irrelevant distractions, forming the neural basis of the quantity of task-relevant information in WM. The PFC and sensory cortices interact through different frequency bands of neuronal oscillation (theta, alpha, and gamma) to fulfill goal-directed behaviors.

  9. Patterns of brain activity distinguishing free and forced actions: contribution from sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Kostelecki, Wojciech; Mei, Ye; Garcia Dominguez, Luis; Pérez Velázquez, José L.

    2012-01-01

    The neural basis of decision-making is extremely complex due to the large number of factors that contribute to the outcome of even the most basic actions as well as the range of appropriate responses within many behavioral contexts. To better understand the neural processes underlying basic forms of decision-making, this study utilized an experiment that required a choice about whether to press a button with the right or left hand. These instances of decision-making were compared to identical button presses that were experimentally specified rather than selected by the subject. Magnetoencephalography (MEG) was used to record neural activity during these—what are being termed—free and forced actions and differences in the MEG signal between these two conditions were attributed to the distinct forms of neural activity required to carry out the two types of actions. To produce instances of free and forced behavior, cued button-pressing experiments were performed that use visual, aural, and memorized cues to instruct experimental subjects of the expected outcome of individual trials. Classification analysis of the trials revealed that cortical regions that allowed for the most accurate classification of free and forced actions primarily handle sensory input for the modality used to cue the trials: occipital cortex for visually cued trials, temporal cortex for aurally cued trials, and minor non-localized differences in MEG activity for trials initiated from memory. The differential roles of visual and auditory sensory cortices during free and forced actions provided insight into the neural processing steps that were engaged to initiate cued actions. Specifically, it suggested that detectable differences exist in the activity of sensory cortices and their target sites when subjects performed free and forced actions in response to sensory cues. PMID:23060760

  10. Local and thalamic origins of correlated ongoing and sensory-evoked cortical activities

    PubMed Central

    Cohen-Kashi Malina, Katayun; Mohar, Boaz; Rappaport, Akiva N.; Lampl, Ilan

    2016-01-01

    Thalamic inputs of cells in sensory cortices are outnumbered by local connections. Thus, it was suggested that robust sensory response in layer 4 emerges due to synchronized thalamic activity. To investigate the role of both inputs in the generation of correlated cortical activities, we isolated the thalamic excitatory inputs of cortical cells by optogenetically silencing cortical firing. In anaesthetized mice, we measured the correlation between isolated thalamic synaptic inputs of simultaneously patched nearby layer 4 cells of the barrel cortex. Here we report that in contrast to correlated activity of excitatory synaptic inputs in the intact cortex, isolated thalamic inputs exhibit lower variability and asynchronous spontaneous and sensory-evoked inputs. These results are further supported in awake mice when we recorded the excitatory inputs of individual cortical cells simultaneously with the local field potential in a nearby site. Our results therefore indicate that cortical synchronization emerges by intracortical coupling. PMID:27615520

  11. Sensory Cortical Plasticity Participates in the Epigenetic Regulation of Robust Memory Formation.

    PubMed

    Phan, Mimi L; Bieszczad, Kasia M

    2016-01-01

    Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded.

  12. Sensory Cortical Plasticity Participates in the Epigenetic Regulation of Robust Memory Formation

    PubMed Central

    Phan, Mimi L.; Bieszczad, Kasia M.

    2016-01-01

    Neuroplasticity remodels sensory cortex across the lifespan. A function of adult sensory cortical plasticity may be capturing available information during perception for memory formation. The degree of experience-dependent remodeling in sensory cortex appears to determine memory strength and specificity for important sensory signals. A key open question is how plasticity is engaged to induce different degrees of sensory cortical remodeling. Neural plasticity for long-term memory requires the expression of genes underlying stable changes in neuronal function, structure, connectivity, and, ultimately, behavior. Lasting changes in transcriptional activity may depend on epigenetic mechanisms; some of the best studied in behavioral neuroscience are DNA methylation and histone acetylation and deacetylation, which, respectively, promote and repress gene expression. One purpose of this review is to propose epigenetic regulation of sensory cortical remodeling as a mechanism enabling the transformation of significant information from experiences into content-rich memories of those experiences. Recent evidence suggests how epigenetic mechanisms regulate highly specific reorganization of sensory cortical representations that establish a widespread network for memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms could initiate events to establish exceptionally persistent and robust memories at a systems-wide level by engaging sensory cortical plasticity for gating what and how much information becomes encoded. PMID:26881129

  13. Chronic imaging of cortical sensory map dynamics using a genetically encoded calcium indicator.

    PubMed

    Minderer, Matthias; Liu, Wenrui; Sumanovski, Lazar T; Kügler, Sebastian; Helmchen, Fritjof; Margolis, David J

    2012-01-01

    In vivo optical imaging can reveal the dynamics of large-scale cortical activity, but methods for chronic recording are limited. Here we present a technique for long-term investigation of cortical map dynamics using wide-field ratiometric fluorescence imaging of the genetically encoded calcium indicator (GECI) Yellow Cameleon 3.60. We find that wide-field GECI signals report sensory-evoked activity in anaesthetized mouse somatosensory cortex with high sensitivity and spatiotemporal precision, and furthermore, can be measured repeatedly in separate imaging sessions over multiple weeks. This method opens new possibilities for the longitudinal study of stability and plasticity of cortical sensory representations.

  14. Hierarchical organization of macaque and cat cortical sensory systems explored with a novel network processor.

    PubMed Central

    Hilgetag, C C; O'Neill, M A; Young, M P

    2000-01-01

    Neuroanatomists have described a large number of connections between the various structures of monkey and cat cortical sensory systems. Because of the complexity of the connection data, analysis is required to unravel what principles of organization they imply. To date, analysis of laminar origin and termination connection data to reveal hierarchical relationships between the cortical areas has been the most widely acknowledged approach. We programmed a network processor that searches for optimal hierarchical orderings of cortical areas given known hierarchical constraints and rules for their interpretation. For all cortical systems and all cost functions, the processor found a multitude of equally low-cost hierarchies. Laminar hierarchical constraints that are presently available in the anatomical literature were therefore insufficient to constrain a unique ordering for any of the sensory systems we analysed. Hierarchical orderings of the monkey visual system that have been widely reported, but which were derived by hand, were not among the optimal orderings. All the cortical systems we studied displayed a significant degree of hierarchical organization, and the anatomical constraints from the monkey visual and somato-motor systems were satisfied with very few constraint violations in the optimal hierarchies. The visual and somato-motor systems in that animal were therefore surprisingly strictly hierarchical. Most inconsistencies between the constraints and the hierarchical relationships in the optimal structures for the visual system were related to connections of area FST (fundus of superior temporal sulcus). We found that the hierarchical solutions could be further improved by assuming that FST consists of two areas, which differ in the nature of their projections. Indeed, we found that perfect hierarchical arrangements of the primate visual system, without any violation of anatomical constraints, could be obtained under two reasonable conditions, namely the

  15. Distinct Computational Principles Govern Multisensory Integration in Primary Sensory and Association Cortices.

    PubMed

    Rohe, Tim; Noppeney, Uta

    2016-02-22

    Human observers typically integrate sensory signals in a statistically optimal fashion into a coherent percept by weighting them in proportion to their reliabilities. An emerging debate in neuroscience is to which extent multisensory integration emerges already in primary sensory areas or is deferred to higher-order association areas. This fMRI study used multivariate pattern decoding to characterize the computational principles that define how auditory and visual signals are integrated into spatial representations across the cortical hierarchy. Our results reveal small multisensory influences that were limited to a spatial window of integration in primary sensory areas. By contrast, parietal cortices integrated signals weighted by their sensory reliabilities and task relevance in line with behavioral performance and principles of statistical optimality. Intriguingly, audiovisual integration in parietal cortices was attenuated for large spatial disparities when signals were unlikely to originate from a common source. Our results demonstrate that multisensory interactions in primary and association cortices are governed by distinct computational principles. In primary visual cortices, spatial disparity controlled the influence of non-visual signals on the formation of spatial representations, whereas in parietal cortices, it determined the influence of task-irrelevant signals. Critically, only parietal cortices integrated signals weighted by their bottom-up reliabilities and top-down task relevance into multisensory spatial priority maps to guide spatial orienting.

  16. Cortical Plasticity, Excitatory–Inhibitory Balance, and Sensory Perception

    PubMed Central

    Carcea, Ioana; Froemke, Robert C.

    2015-01-01

    Experience shapes the central nervous system throughout life. Structural and functional plasticity confers a remarkable ability on the brain, allowing neural circuits to adequately adapt to dynamic environments. This process can require selective adjustment of many excitatory and inhibitory synapses in an organized manner, in such a way as to enhance representations of behaviorally important sensory stimuli while preserving overall network excitability. The rules and mechanisms that orchestrated these changes across different synapses and throughout neuronal ensembles are beginning to be understood. Here, we review the evidence connecting synaptic plasticity to functional plasticity and perceptual learning, focusing on the roles of various neuromodulatory systems in enabling plasticity of adult neural circuits. However, the challenge remains to appropriately leverage these systems and forms of plasticity to persistently improve perceptual abilities and behavioral performance. PMID:24309251

  17. Attention as reward-driven optimization of sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Chalk, Matthew; Murray, Iain; Seriès, Peggy

    2013-11-01

    Attention causes diverse changes to visual neuron responses, including alterations in receptive field structure, and firing rates. A common theoretical approach to investigate why sensory neurons behave as they do is based on the efficient coding hypothesis: that sensory processing is optimized toward the statistics of the received input. We extend this approach to account for the influence of task demands, hypothesizing that the brain learns a probabilistic model of both the sensory input and reward received for performing different actions. Attention-dependent changes to neural responses reflect optimization of this internal model to deal with changes in the sensory environment (stimulus statistics) and behavioral demands (reward statistics). We use this framework to construct a simple model of visual processing that is able to replicate a number of attention-dependent changes to the responses of neurons in the midlevel visual cortices. The model is consistent with and provides a normative explanation for recent divisive normalization models of attention (Reynolds & Heeger, 2009).

  18. Negative BOLD in sensory cortices during verbal memory: a component in generating internal representations?

    PubMed

    Azulay, Haim; Striem, Ella; Amedi, Amir

    2009-05-01

    People tend to close their eyes when trying to retrieve an event or a visual image from memory. However the brain mechanisms behind this phenomenon remain poorly understood. Recently, we showed that during visual mental imagery, auditory areas show a much more robust deactivation than during visual perception. Here we ask whether this is a special case of a more general phenomenon involving retrieval of intrinsic, internally stored information, which would result in crossmodal deactivations in other sensory cortices which are irrelevant to the task at hand. To test this hypothesis, a group of 9 sighted individuals were scanned while performing a memory retrieval task for highly abstract words (i.e., with low imaginability scores). We also scanned a group of 10 congenitally blind, which by definition do not have any visual imagery per se. In sighted subjects, both auditory and visual areas were robustly deactivated during memory retrieval, whereas in the blind the auditory cortex was deactivated while visual areas, shown previously to be relevant for this task, presented a positive BOLD signal. These results suggest that deactivation may be most prominent in task-irrelevant sensory cortices whenever there is a need for retrieval or manipulation of internally stored representations. Thus, there is a task-dependent balance of activation and deactivation that might allow maximization of resources and filtering out of non relevant information to enable allocation of attention to the required task. Furthermore, these results suggest that the balance between positive and negative BOLD might be crucial to our understanding of a large variety of intrinsic and extrinsic tasks including high-level cognitive functions, sensory processing and multisensory integration.

  19. Cortically-Controlled Population Stochastic Facilitation as a Plausible Substrate for Guiding Sensory Transfer across the Thalamic Gateway

    PubMed Central

    Béhuret, Sébastien; Deleuze, Charlotte; Gomez, Leonel; Frégnac, Yves; Bal, Thierry

    2013-01-01

    The thalamus is the primary gateway that relays sensory information to the cerebral cortex. While a single recipient cortical cell receives the convergence of many principal relay cells of the thalamus, each thalamic cell in turn integrates a dense and distributed synaptic feedback from the cortex. During sensory processing, the influence of this functional loop remains largely ignored. Using dynamic-clamp techniques in thalamic slices in vitro, we combined theoretical and experimental approaches to implement a realistic hybrid retino-thalamo-cortical pathway mixing biological cells and simulated circuits. The synaptic bombardment of cortical origin was mimicked through the injection of a stochastic mixture of excitatory and inhibitory conductances, resulting in a gradable correlation level of afferent activity shared by thalamic cells. The study of the impact of the simulated cortical input on the global retinocortical signal transfer efficiency revealed a novel control mechanism resulting from the collective resonance of all thalamic relay neurons. We show here that the transfer efficiency of sensory input transmission depends on three key features: i) the number of thalamocortical cells involved in the many-to-one convergence from thalamus to cortex, ii) the statistics of the corticothalamic synaptic bombardment and iii) the level of correlation imposed between converging thalamic relay cells. In particular, our results demonstrate counterintuitively that the retinocortical signal transfer efficiency increases when the level of correlation across thalamic cells decreases. This suggests that the transfer efficiency of relay cells could be selectively amplified when they become simultaneously desynchronized by the cortical feedback. When applied to the intact brain, this network regulation mechanism could direct an attentional focus to specific thalamic subassemblies and select the appropriate input lines to the cortex according to the descending influence of

  20. Do Gravity-Related Sensory Information Enable the Enhancement of Cortical Proprioceptive Inputs When Planning a Step in Microgravity?

    PubMed Central

    Saradjian, Anahid H.; Paleressompoulle, Dany; Louber, Didier; Coyle, Thelma; Blouin, Jean; Mouchnino, Laurence

    2014-01-01

    We recently found that the cortical response to proprioceptive stimulation was greater when participants were planning a step than when they stood still, and that this sensory facilitation was suppressed in microgravity. The aim of the present study was to test whether the absence of gravity-related sensory afferents during movement planning in microgravity prevented the proprioceptive cortical processing to be enhanced. We reestablished a reference frame in microgravity by providing and translating a horizontal support on which the participants were standing and verified whether this procedure restored the proprioceptive facilitation. The slight translation of the base of support (lateral direction), which occurred prior to step initiation, stimulated at least cutaneous and vestibular receptors. The sensitivity to proprioceptive stimulation was assessed by measuring the amplitude of the cortical somatosensory-evoked potential (SEP, over the Cz electrode) following the vibration of the leg muscle. The vibration lasted 1 s and the participants were asked to either initiate a step at the vibration offset or to remain still. We found that the early SEP (90–160 ms) was smaller when the platform was translated than when it remained stationary, revealing the existence of an interference phenomenon (i.e., when proprioceptive stimulation is preceded by the stimulation of different sensory modalities evoked by the platform translation). By contrast, the late SEP (550 ms post proprioceptive stimulation onset) was greater when the translation preceded the vibration compared to a condition without pre-stimulation (i.e., no translation). This suggests that restoring a body reference system which is impaired in microgravity allowed a greater proprioceptive cortical processing. Importantly, however, the late SEP was similarly increased when participants either produced a step or remained still. We propose that the absence of step-induced facilitation of proprioceptive cortical

  1. Do gravity-related sensory information enable the enhancement of cortical proprioceptive inputs when planning a step in microgravity?

    PubMed

    Saradjian, Anahid H; Paleressompoulle, Dany; Louber, Didier; Coyle, Thelma; Blouin, Jean; Mouchnino, Laurence

    2014-01-01

    We recently found that the cortical response to proprioceptive stimulation was greater when participants were planning a step than when they stood still, and that this sensory facilitation was suppressed in microgravity. The aim of the present study was to test whether the absence of gravity-related sensory afferents during movement planning in microgravity prevented the proprioceptive cortical processing to be enhanced. We reestablished a reference frame in microgravity by providing and translating a horizontal support on which the participants were standing and verified whether this procedure restored the proprioceptive facilitation. The slight translation of the base of support (lateral direction), which occurred prior to step initiation, stimulated at least cutaneous and vestibular receptors. The sensitivity to proprioceptive stimulation was assessed by measuring the amplitude of the cortical somatosensory-evoked potential (SEP, over the Cz electrode) following the vibration of the leg muscle. The vibration lasted 1 s and the participants were asked to either initiate a step at the vibration offset or to remain still. We found that the early SEP (90-160 ms) was smaller when the platform was translated than when it remained stationary, revealing the existence of an interference phenomenon (i.e., when proprioceptive stimulation is preceded by the stimulation of different sensory modalities evoked by the platform translation). By contrast, the late SEP (550 ms post proprioceptive stimulation onset) was greater when the translation preceded the vibration compared to a condition without pre-stimulation (i.e., no translation). This suggests that restoring a body reference system which is impaired in microgravity allowed a greater proprioceptive cortical processing. Importantly, however, the late SEP was similarly increased when participants either produced a step or remained still. We propose that the absence of step-induced facilitation of proprioceptive cortical

  2. Cortical network architecture for context processing in primate brain

    PubMed Central

    Chao, Zenas C; Nagasaka, Yasuo; Fujii, Naotaka

    2015-01-01

    Context is information linked to a situation that can guide behavior. In the brain, context is encoded by sensory processing and can later be retrieved from memory. How context is communicated within the cortical network in sensory and mnemonic forms is unknown due to the lack of methods for high-resolution, brain-wide neuronal recording and analysis. Here, we report the comprehensive architecture of a cortical network for context processing. Using hemisphere-wide, high-density electrocorticography, we measured large-scale neuronal activity from monkeys observing videos of agents interacting in situations with different contexts. We extracted five context-related network structures including a bottom-up network during encoding and, seconds later, cue-dependent retrieval of the same network with the opposite top-down connectivity. These findings show that context is represented in the cortical network as distributed communication structures with dynamic information flows. This study provides a general methodology for recording and analyzing cortical network neuronal communication during cognition. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.06121.001 PMID:26416139

  3. Cortical Variability in the Sensory-Evoked Response in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haigh, Sarah M.; Heeger, David J.; Dinstein, Ilan; Minshew, Nancy; Behrmann, Marlene

    2015-01-01

    Previous findings have shown that individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) evince greater intra-individual variability (IIV) in their sensory-evoked fMRI responses compared to typical control participants. We explore the robustness of this finding with a new sample of high-functioning adults with autism. Participants were presented with…

  4. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice.

    PubMed

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  5. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice

    PubMed Central

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  6. Modulation of Specific Sensory Cortical Areas by Segregated Basal Forebrain Cholinergic Neurons Demonstrated by Neuronal Tracing and Optogenetic Stimulation in Mice.

    PubMed

    Chaves-Coira, Irene; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Rodrigo-Angulo, Margarita; Núñez, Ángel

    2016-01-01

    Neocortical cholinergic activity plays a fundamental role in sensory processing and cognitive functions. Previous results have suggested a refined anatomical and functional topographical organization of basal forebrain (BF) projections that may control cortical sensory processing in a specific manner. We have used retrograde anatomical procedures to demonstrate the existence of specific neuronal groups in the BF involved in the control of specific sensory cortices. Fluoro-Gold (FlGo) and Fast Blue (FB) fluorescent retrograde tracers were deposited into the primary somatosensory (S1) and primary auditory (A1) cortices in mice. Our results revealed that the BF is a heterogeneous area in which neurons projecting to different cortical areas are segregated into different neuronal groups. Most of the neurons located in the horizontal limb of the diagonal band of Broca (HDB) projected to the S1 cortex, indicating that this area is specialized in the sensory processing of tactile stimuli. However, the nucleus basalis magnocellularis (B) nucleus shows a similar number of cells projecting to the S1 as to the A1 cortices. In addition, we analyzed the cholinergic effects on the S1 and A1 cortical sensory responses by optogenetic stimulation of the BF neurons in urethane-anesthetized transgenic mice. We used transgenic mice expressing the light-activated cation channel, channelrhodopsin-2, tagged with a fluorescent protein (ChR2-YFP) under the control of the choline-acetyl transferase promoter (ChAT). Cortical evoked potentials were induced by whisker deflections or by auditory clicks. According to the anatomical results, optogenetic HDB stimulation induced more extensive facilitation of tactile evoked potentials in S1 than auditory evoked potentials in A1, while optogenetic stimulation of the B nucleus facilitated either tactile or auditory evoked potentials equally. Consequently, our results suggest that cholinergic projections to the cortex are organized into segregated

  7. Between molecules and experience: role of early patterns of coordinated activity for the development of cortical maps and sensory abilities.

    PubMed

    Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L

    2010-09-01

    Sensory systems processing information from the environment rely on precisely formed and refined neuronal networks that build maps of sensory receptor epithelia at different subcortical and cortical levels. These sensory maps share similar principles of function and emerge according to developmental processes common in visual, somatosensory and auditory systems. Whereas molecular cues set the coarse organization of cortico-subcortical topography, its refinement is known to succeed under the influence of experience-dependent electrical activity during critical periods. However, coordinated patterns of activity synchronize the cortico-subcortical networks long before the meaningful impact of environmental inputs on sensory maps. Recent studies elucidated the cellular and network mechanisms underlying the generation of these early patterns of activity and highlighted their similarities across species. Moreover, the experience-independent activity appears to act as a functional template for the maturation of sensory networks and cortico-subcortical maps. A major goal for future research will be to analyze how this early activity interacts with the molecular cues and to determine whether it is permissive or rather supporting for the establishment of sensory topography. PMID:20381527

  8. Progression to deep sleep is characterized by changes to BOLD dynamics in sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Ben; Tagliazucchi, Enzo; Jovicich, Jorge; Laufs, Helmut; Hasson, Uri

    2016-01-01

    Sleep has been shown to subtly disrupt the spatial organization of functional connectivity networks in the brain, but in a way that largely preserves the connectivity within sensory cortices. Here we evaluated the hypothesis that sleep does impact sensory cortices, but through alteration of activity dynamics. We therefore examined the impact of sleep on hemodynamics using a method for quantifying non-random, high frequency signatures of the blood-oxygen-level dependent (BOLD) signal (amplitude variance asymmetry; AVA). We found that sleep was associated with the elimination of these dynamics in a manner that is restricted to auditory, motor and visual cortices. This elimination was concurrent with increased variance of activity in these regions. Functional connectivity between regions showing AVA during wakefulness maintained a relatively consistent hierarchical structure during wakefulness and N1 and N2 sleep, despite a gradual reduction of connectivity strength as sleep progressed. Thus, sleep is related to elimination of high frequency non-random activity signatures in sensory cortices that are robust during wakefulness. The elimination of these AVA signatures conjointly with preservation of the structure of functional connectivity patterns may be linked to the need to suppress sensory inputs during sleep while still maintaining the capacity to react quickly to complex multimodal inputs. PMID:26724779

  9. Sensory processing abilities of children with ADHD

    PubMed Central

    Shimizu, Vitoria T.; Bueno, Orlando F. A.; Miranda, Mônica C.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To assess and compare the sensory processing abilities of children with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and children without disabilities, and to analyze the relationship between sensory processing difficulties and behavioural symptoms presented by children with ADHD. METHOD : Thirty-seven children with ADHD were compared with thirty-seven controls using a translated and adapted version of the "Sensory Profile" answered by the parents/caregivers. For the ADHD group, Sensory Profile scores were correlated to behavioural symptoms assessed using the Child Behaviour Check List (CBCL) and the Behavioural Teacher Rating Scale (EACI-P). The statistical analyses were conducted using the Mann Whitney test and Pearson correlation coefficients. RESULTS : Children with ADHD showed significant impairments compared to the control group in sensory processing and modulation, as well as in behavioural and emotional responses as observed in 11 out of 14 sections and 6 out of 9 factors. Differences in all Sensory Profile response patterns were also observed between the two groups of children. Sensory Profile scores showed a moderately negative correlation with CBCL and EACI-P scores in the ADHD group. CONCLUSION : These results indicate that children with ADHD may present sensory processing impairments, which may contribute to the inappropriate behavioural and learning responses displayed by children with ADHD. It also suggests the importance of understanding the sensory processing difficulties and its possible contribution to the ADHD symptomatology. PMID:25076000

  10. Distinct recurrent versus afferent dynamics in cortical visual processing.

    PubMed

    Reinhold, Kimberly; Lien, Anthony D; Scanziani, Massimo

    2015-12-01

    How intracortical recurrent circuits in mammalian sensory cortex influence dynamics of sensory representation is not understood. Previous methods could not distinguish the relative contributions of recurrent circuits and thalamic afferents to cortical dynamics. We accomplish this by optogenetically manipulating thalamus and cortex. Over the initial 40 ms of visual stimulation, excitation from recurrent circuits in visual cortex progressively increased to exceed direct thalamocortical excitation. Even when recurrent excitation exceeded thalamic excitation, upon silencing thalamus, sensory-evoked activity in cortex decayed rapidly, with a time constant of 10 ms, which is similar to a neuron's integration time window. In awake mice, this cortical decay function predicted the time-locking of cortical activity to thalamic input at frequencies <15 Hz and attenuation of the cortical response to higher frequencies. Under anesthesia, depression at thalamocortical synapses disrupted the fidelity of sensory transmission. Thus, we determine dynamics intrinsic to cortical recurrent circuits that transform afferent input in time.

  11. Sensory experience regulates cortical inhibition by inducing IGF1 in VIP neurons.

    PubMed

    Mardinly, A R; Spiegel, I; Patrizi, A; Centofante, E; Bazinet, J E; Tzeng, C P; Mandel-Brehm, C; Harmin, D A; Adesnik, H; Fagiolini, M; Greenberg, M E

    2016-03-17

    Inhibitory neurons regulate the adaptation of neural circuits to sensory experience, but the molecular mechanisms by which experience controls the connectivity between different types of inhibitory neuron to regulate cortical plasticity are largely unknown. Here we show that exposure of dark-housed mice to light induces a gene program in cortical vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-expressing neurons that is markedly distinct from that induced in excitatory neurons and other subtypes of inhibitory neuron. We identify Igf1 as one of several activity-regulated genes that are specific to VIP neurons, and demonstrate that IGF1 functions cell-autonomously in VIP neurons to increase inhibitory synaptic input onto these neurons. Our findings further suggest that in cortical VIP neurons, experience-dependent gene transcription regulates visual acuity by activating the expression of IGF1, thus promoting the inhibition of disinhibitory neurons and affecting inhibition onto cortical pyramidal neurons.

  12. Motor and sensory cortical reorganization after bilateral forearm transplantation: Four-year follow-up fMRI case study.

    PubMed

    Hernandez-Castillo, Carlos R; Aguilar-Castañeda, Erika; Iglesias, Martin; Fernandez-Ruiz, Juan

    2016-05-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize the cortical activity pattern of one patient who received bilateral forearm transplants. Using fMRI we acquired motor and sensory brain activity every year after surgery and during three consecutive years while the patient underwent physical rehabilitation. The motor related cortical activity evaluated during the first year showed a sparse pattern involving several brain regions. Over time, the analysis showed a progressive delimitation of the motor-related areas that had significant activity. The results also showed continuous size reductions of the activated cluster in the motor cortex. The activation in the sensory cortex showed significant increases in cluster size over time. The intensity of both motor and sensory cortical activations correlated with the Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire. Our results show significant cortical reorganization of motor and sensory cortices after transplantation of bilateral forearm transplantation over a four-year period.

  13. Control of Somatosensory Cortical Processing by Thalamic Posterior Medial Nucleus: A New Role of Thalamus in Cortical Function.

    PubMed

    Castejon, Carlos; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

    Current knowledge of thalamocortical interaction comes mainly from studying lemniscal thalamic systems. Less is known about paralemniscal thalamic nuclei function. In the vibrissae system, the posterior medial nucleus (POm) is the corresponding paralemniscal nucleus. POm neurons project to L1 and L5A of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat brain. It is known that L1 modifies sensory-evoked responses through control of intracortical excitability suggesting that L1 exerts an influence on whisker responses. Therefore, thalamocortical pathways targeting L1 could modulate cortical firing. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology and pharmacology in vivo, we have sought to determine how POm influences cortical processing. In our experiments, single unit recordings performed in urethane-anesthetized rats showed that POm imposes precise control on the magnitude and duration of supra- and infragranular barrel cortex whisker responses. Our findings demonstrated that L1 inputs from POm imposed a time and intensity dependent regulation on cortical sensory processing. Moreover, we found that blocking L1 GABAergic inhibition or blocking P/Q-type Ca2+ channels in L1 prevents POm adjustment of whisker responses in the barrel cortex. Additionally, we found that POm was also controlling the sensory processing in S2 and this regulation was modulated by corticofugal activity from L5 in S1. Taken together, our data demonstrate the determinant role exerted by the POm in the adjustment of somatosensory cortical processing and in the regulation of cortical processing between S1 and S2. We propose that this adjustment could be a thalamocortical gain regulation mechanism also present in the processing of information between cortical areas.

  14. Control of Somatosensory Cortical Processing by Thalamic Posterior Medial Nucleus: A New Role of Thalamus in Cortical Function

    PubMed Central

    Castejon, Carlos; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

    Current knowledge of thalamocortical interaction comes mainly from studying lemniscal thalamic systems. Less is known about paralemniscal thalamic nuclei function. In the vibrissae system, the posterior medial nucleus (POm) is the corresponding paralemniscal nucleus. POm neurons project to L1 and L5A of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat brain. It is known that L1 modifies sensory-evoked responses through control of intracortical excitability suggesting that L1 exerts an influence on whisker responses. Therefore, thalamocortical pathways targeting L1 could modulate cortical firing. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology and pharmacology in vivo, we have sought to determine how POm influences cortical processing. In our experiments, single unit recordings performed in urethane-anesthetized rats showed that POm imposes precise control on the magnitude and duration of supra- and infragranular barrel cortex whisker responses. Our findings demonstrated that L1 inputs from POm imposed a time and intensity dependent regulation on cortical sensory processing. Moreover, we found that blocking L1 GABAergic inhibition or blocking P/Q-type Ca2+ channels in L1 prevents POm adjustment of whisker responses in the barrel cortex. Additionally, we found that POm was also controlling the sensory processing in S2 and this regulation was modulated by corticofugal activity from L5 in S1. Taken together, our data demonstrate the determinant role exerted by the POm in the adjustment of somatosensory cortical processing and in the regulation of cortical processing between S1 and S2. We propose that this adjustment could be a thalamocortical gain regulation mechanism also present in the processing of information between cortical areas. PMID:26820514

  15. Control of Somatosensory Cortical Processing by Thalamic Posterior Medial Nucleus: A New Role of Thalamus in Cortical Function.

    PubMed

    Castejon, Carlos; Barros-Zulaica, Natali; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

    Current knowledge of thalamocortical interaction comes mainly from studying lemniscal thalamic systems. Less is known about paralemniscal thalamic nuclei function. In the vibrissae system, the posterior medial nucleus (POm) is the corresponding paralemniscal nucleus. POm neurons project to L1 and L5A of the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) in the rat brain. It is known that L1 modifies sensory-evoked responses through control of intracortical excitability suggesting that L1 exerts an influence on whisker responses. Therefore, thalamocortical pathways targeting L1 could modulate cortical firing. Here, using a combination of electrophysiology and pharmacology in vivo, we have sought to determine how POm influences cortical processing. In our experiments, single unit recordings performed in urethane-anesthetized rats showed that POm imposes precise control on the magnitude and duration of supra- and infragranular barrel cortex whisker responses. Our findings demonstrated that L1 inputs from POm imposed a time and intensity dependent regulation on cortical sensory processing. Moreover, we found that blocking L1 GABAergic inhibition or blocking P/Q-type Ca2+ channels in L1 prevents POm adjustment of whisker responses in the barrel cortex. Additionally, we found that POm was also controlling the sensory processing in S2 and this regulation was modulated by corticofugal activity from L5 in S1. Taken together, our data demonstrate the determinant role exerted by the POm in the adjustment of somatosensory cortical processing and in the regulation of cortical processing between S1 and S2. We propose that this adjustment could be a thalamocortical gain regulation mechanism also present in the processing of information between cortical areas. PMID:26820514

  16. Imprinting of idiosyncratic experience in cortical sensory maps: neural substrates of representational remodeling and correlative perceptual changes.

    PubMed

    Xerri, Christian

    2008-09-01

    Over the past 30 years, extensive research has been conducted in the field of cortical plasticity, under the impetus of seminal studies showing that the mature brain retains a capacity to reorganize the morphological and functional architecture of its neural circuits in order to adapt to environmental changes and mediate functional recovery following injury. Much effort has been focused on determining how idiosyncratic experience translates into molecular, structural and physiological changes in the sensory and motor representations embedded within cortical networks. The wealth of data generated by a broad spectrum of experimental manipulations has allowed unprecedented progress in our understanding of the physiological processes and neuroplasticity mechanisms underlying cortical representational remodeling. The objective of the present review is to put various facets of cortical map plasticity into perspective so as to examine possible links between changes occurring at multiple scales of the neural organization of the mature brain. The main focus is on neural substrates that mediate the instructive influence of experience and behavioral context on cortical reorganization, and perceptual correlates of representational remodeling. PMID:18423904

  17. Sensory stimuli reduce the dimensionality of cortical activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mazzucato, Luca; Fontanini, Alfredo; La Camera, Giancarlo

    Neural ensembles in alert animals generate complex patterns of activity. Although cortical activity unfolds in a space whose dimension is equal to the number of neurons, it is often restricted to a lower dimensional subspace. Dimensionality is the minimal number of dimensions that accurately capture neural dynamics, and may be related to the computational tasks supported by the neural circuit. Here, we investigate the dimensionality of neural ensembles from the insular cortex of alert rats during periods of `ongoing' (spontaneous) and stimulus-evoked activity. We find that the dimensionality grows with ensemble size, and does so significantly faster during ongoing compared to evoked activity. We explain both results using a recurrent spiking network with clustered architecture, and obtain analytical results on the dependence of dimensionality on ensemble size, number of clusters, and pair-wise noise correlations. The theory predicts a characteristic scaling with ensemble size and the existence of an upper bound on dimensionality, which grows with the number of clusters and decreases with the amount of noise correlations. To our knowledge, this is the first mechanistic model of neural dimensionality in cortex during both spontaneous and evoked activity.

  18. Sensory and decision-related activity propagate in a cortical feedback loop during touch perception.

    PubMed

    Kwon, Sung Eun; Yang, Hongdian; Minamisawa, Genki; O'Connor, Daniel H

    2016-09-01

    The brain transforms physical sensory stimuli into meaningful perceptions. In animals making choices about sensory stimuli, neuronal activity in successive cortical stages reflects a progression from sensation to decision. Feedforward and feedback pathways connecting cortical areas are critical for this transformation. However, the computational functions of these pathways are poorly understood because pathway-specific activity has rarely been monitored during a perceptual task. Using cellular-resolution, pathway-specific imaging, we measured neuronal activity across primary (S1) and secondary (S2) somatosensory cortices of mice performing a tactile detection task. S1 encoded the stimulus better than S2, while S2 activity more strongly reflected perceptual choice. S1 neurons projecting to S2 fed forward activity that predicted choice. Activity encoding touch and choice propagated in an S1-S2 loop along feedforward and feedback axons. Our results suggest that sensory inputs converge into a perceptual outcome as feedforward computations are reinforced in a feedback loop. PMID:27437910

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Storing maternal memories: Hypothesizing an interaction of experience and estrogen on sensory cortical plasticity to learn infant cues

    PubMed Central

    Banerjee, Sunayana B.; Liu, Robert C.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the literature on maternal behavior has focused on the role of infant experience and hormones in a canonical subcortical circuit for maternal motivation and maternal memory. Although early studies demonstrated that the cerebral cortex also plays a significant role in maternal behaviors, little has been done to explore what that role may be. Recent work though has provided evidence that the cortex, particularly sensory cortices, contains correlates of sensory memories of infant cues, consistent with classical studies of experience-dependent sensory cortical plasticity in non-maternal paradigms. By reviewing the literature from both the maternal behavior and sensory cortical plasticity fields, focusing on the auditory modality, we hypothesize that maternal hormones (predominantly estrogen) may act to prime auditory cortical neurons for a longer-lasting neural trace of infant vocal cues, thereby facilitating recognition and discrimination. This could then more efficiently activate the subcortical circuit to elicit and sustain maternal behavior. PMID:23916405

  1. Histone Deacetylase Inhibition via RGFP966 Releases the Brakes on Sensory Cortical Plasticity and the Specificity of Memory Formation.

    PubMed

    Bieszczad, Kasia M; Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M; McGaugh, James L; Wood, Marcelo A

    2015-09-23

    Research over the past decade indicates a novel role for epigenetic mechanisms in memory formation. Of particular interest is chromatin modification by histone deacetylases (HDACs), which, in general, negatively regulate transcription. HDAC deletion or inhibition facilitates transcription during memory consolidation and enhances long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and long-term memory. A key open question remains: How does blocking HDAC activity lead to memory enhancements? To address this question, we tested whether a normal function of HDACs is to gate information processing during memory formation. We used a class I HDAC inhibitor, RGFP966 (C21H19FN4O), to test the role of HDAC inhibition for information processing in an auditory memory model of learning-induced cortical plasticity. HDAC inhibition may act beyond memory enhancement per se to instead regulate information in ways that lead to encoding more vivid sensory details into memory. Indeed, we found that RGFP966 controls memory induction for acoustic details of sound-to-reward learning. Rats treated with RGFP966 while learning to associate sound with reward had stronger memory and additional information encoded into memory for highly specific features of sounds associated with reward. Moreover, behavioral effects occurred with unusually specific plasticity in primary auditory cortex (A1). Class I HDAC inhibition appears to engage A1 plasticity that enables additional acoustic features to become encoded in memory. Thus, epigenetic mechanisms act to regulate sensory cortical plasticity, which offers an information processing mechanism for gating what and how much is encoded to produce exceptionally persistent and vivid memories. Significance statement: Here we provide evidence of an epigenetic mechanism for information processing. The study reveals that a class I HDAC inhibitor (Malvaez et al., 2013; Rumbaugh et al., 2015; RGFP966, chemical formula C21H19FN4O) alters the formation of auditory memory by

  2. Cortical long-range interactions embed statistical knowledge of natural sensory input: a voltage-sensitive dye imaging study.

    PubMed

    Onat, Selim; Jancke, Dirk; König, Peter

    2013-01-01

    How is contextual processing as demonstrated with simplified stimuli, cortically enacted in response to ecologically relevant complex and dynamic stimuli? Using voltage-sensitive dye imaging, we captured mesoscopic population dynamics across several square millimeters of cat primary visual cortex. By presenting natural movies locally through either one or two adjacent apertures, we show that simultaneous presentation leads to mutual facilitation of activity. These synergistic effects were most effective when both movie patches originated from the same natural movie, thus forming a coherent stimulus in which the inherent spatio-temporal structure of natural movies were preserved in accord with Gestalt principles of perceptual organization. These results suggest that natural sensory input triggers cooperative mechanisms that are imprinted into the cortical functional architecture as early as in primary visual cortex.

  3. Genetic mechanisms control the linear scaling between related cortical primary and higher order sensory areas

    PubMed Central

    Zembrzycki, Andreas; Stocker, Adam M; Leingärtner, Axel; Sahara, Setsuko; Chou, Shen-Ju; Kalatsky, Valery; May, Scott R; Stryker, Michael P; O'Leary, Dennis DM

    2015-01-01

    In mammals, the neocortical layout consists of few modality-specific primary sensory areas and a multitude of higher order ones. Abnormal layout of cortical areas may disrupt sensory function and behavior. Developmental genetic mechanisms specify primary areas, but mechanisms influencing higher order area properties are unknown. By exploiting gain-of and loss-of function mouse models of the transcription factor Emx2, we have generated bi-directional changes in primary visual cortex size in vivo and have used it as a model to show a novel and prominent function for genetic mechanisms regulating primary visual area size and also proportionally dictating the sizes of surrounding higher order visual areas. This finding redefines the role for intrinsic genetic mechanisms to concomitantly specify and scale primary and related higher order sensory areas in a linear fashion. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.11416.001 PMID:26705332

  4. Looking for the roots of cortical sensory computation in three-layered cortices

    PubMed Central

    Fournier, Julien; Müller, Christian M.; Laurent, Gilles

    2016-01-01

    Despite considerable effort over a century and the benefit of remarkable technical advances in the past few decades, we are still far from understanding mammalian cerebral cortex. With its six layers, modular architecture, canonical circuits, innumerable cell types, and computational complexity, isocortex remains a challenging mystery. In this review, we argue that identifying the structural and functional similarities between mammalian piriform cortex and reptilian dorsal cortex could help reveal common organizational and computational principles and by extension, some of the most primordial computations carried out in cortical networks. PMID:25291080

  5. Balancing bilateral sensory activity: callosal processing modulates sensory transmission through the contralateral thalamus by altering the response threshold.

    PubMed

    Li, Lu; Ebner, Ford F

    2006-07-01

    Rats tactually explore a nearly spherical space field around their heads with their whiskers. The information sampled by the two sets of whiskers is integrated bilaterally at the cortical level in an activity dependent manner via the corpus callosum. We have recently shown that sensory activity in one barrel field cortex (BFC) modulates the processing of incoming sensory information to the other BFC. Whether interhemispheric integration is dynamically linked with corticothalamic modulation of incoming sensory activity is an important hypothesis to test, since subcortical relay neurons are directly modulated by cortical neurons through top-down processes. In the present study, we compared the direct sensory responses of single thalamic relay neurons under urethane anesthesia before and after inactivating the BFC contralateral to a thalamic neuron. The data show that silencing one BFC reduces response magnitude in contralateral thalamic relay neurons, significantly and reversibly, in response to test stimuli applied to the principal whisker at two times response threshold (2T) intensity for each unit. Neurons in the ventral posterior medial (VPM) nucleus and the medial division of the posterior nucleus (POm) react in a similar manner, although POm neurons are more profoundly depressed by inactivation of the contralateral BFC than VPM neurons. The results support the novel idea that the subcortical relay of sensory information to one hemisphere is strongly modulated by activity levels in the contralateral as well as in the ipsilateral SI cortex. The mechanism of the modulation appears to be based on shifting the stimulus-response curves of thalamic neurons, thereby rendering them more or less sensitive to sensory stimuli. We conclude that global sensory processing is created by combining activity in each cerebral hemisphere and continually balancing the flow of information to cortex by adjusting the responsiveness of ascending sensory pathways.

  6. Molecular Correlates of Cortical Network Modulation by Long-Term Sensory Experience in the Adult Rat Barrel Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vallès, Astrid; Granic, Ivica; De Weerd, Peter; Martens, Gerard J. M.

    2014-01-01

    Modulation of cortical network connectivity is crucial for an adaptive response to experience. In the rat barrel cortex, long-term sensory stimulation induces cortical network modifications and neuronal response changes of which the molecular basis is unknown. Here, we show that long-term somatosensory stimulation by enriched environment…

  7. Hyperactivation balances sensory processing deficits during mood induction in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Dyck, Miriam; Loughead, James; Gur, Ruben C; Schneider, Frank; Mathiak, Klaus

    2014-02-01

    While impairments in emotion recognition are consistently reported in schizophrenia, there is some debate on the experience of emotion. Only few studies investigated neural correlates of emotional experience in schizophrenia. The present functional magnetic resonance imaging study compared a standard visual mood induction paradigm with an audiovisual method aimed at eliciting emotions more automatically. To investigate the interplay of sensory, cognitive and emotional mechanisms during emotion experience, we examined connectivity patterns between brain areas. Sixteen schizophrenia patients and sixteen healthy subjects participated in two different mood inductions (visual and audiovisual) that were administered for different emotions (happiness, sadness and neutral). Confirming the dissociation of behavioral and neural correlates of emotion experience, patients rated their mood similarly to healthy subjects but showed differences in neural activations. Sensory brain areas were activated less, increased activity emerged in higher cortical areas, particularly during audiovisual stimulation. Connectivity was increased between primary and secondary sensory processing areas in schizophrenia. These findings support the hypothesis of a deficit in filtering and processing sensory information alongside increased higher-order cognitive effort compensating for perception deficits in the affective domain. This may suffice to recover emotion experience in ratings of clinically stable patients but may fail during acute psychosis.

  8. Laminar Analysis of Excitatory Local Circuits in Vibrissal Motor and Sensory Cortical Areas

    PubMed Central

    Hooks, B. M.; Hires, S. Andrew; Zhang, Ying-Xin; Huber, Daniel; Petreanu, Leopoldo; Svoboda, Karel; Shepherd, Gordon M. G.

    2011-01-01

    Rodents move their whiskers to locate and identify objects. Cortical areas involved in vibrissal somatosensation and sensorimotor integration include the vibrissal area of the primary motor cortex (vM1), primary somatosensory cortex (vS1; barrel cortex), and secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). We mapped local excitatory pathways in each area across all cortical layers using glutamate uncaging and laser scanning photostimulation. We analyzed these maps to derive laminar connectivity matrices describing the average strengths of pathways between individual neurons in different layers and between entire cortical layers. In vM1, the strongest projection was L2/3→L5. In vS1, strong projections were L2/3→L5 and L4→L3. L6 input and output were weak in both areas. In S2, L2/3→L5 exceeded the strength of the ascending L4→L3 projection, and local input to L6 was prominent. The most conserved pathways were L2/3→L5, and the most variable were L4→L2/3 and pathways involving L6. Local excitatory circuits in different cortical areas are organized around a prominent descending pathway from L2/3→L5, suggesting that sensory cortices are elaborations on a basic motor cortex-like plan. PMID:21245906

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

    PubMed

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

    2005-08-01

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

  10. Emergence of cortical inhibition by coordinated sensory-driven plasticity at distinct synaptic loci.

    PubMed

    Chittajallu, Ramesh; Isaac, John T R

    2010-10-01

    Feedforward GABAergic inhibition sets the dendritic integration window, thereby controlling timing and output in cortical circuits. However, the manner in which feedforward inhibitory circuits emerge is unclear, despite this being a critical step for neocortical development and function. We found that sensory experience drove plasticity of the feedforward inhibitory circuit in mouse layer 4 somatosensory barrel cortex in the second postnatal week via two distinct mechanisms. First, sensory experience selectively strengthened thalamocortical-to-feedforward interneuron inputs via a presynaptic mechanism but did not regulate other inhibitory circuit components. Second, experience drove a postsynaptic mechanism in which a downregulation of a prominent thalamocortical NMDA excitatory postsynaptic potential in stellate cells regulated the final expression of functional feedforward inhibitory input. Thus, experience is required for specific, coordinated changes at thalamocortical synapses onto both inhibitory and excitatory neurons, producing a circuit plasticity that results in maturation of functional feedforward inhibition in layer 4. PMID:20871602

  11. Role of cortical N-methyl-D-aspartate receptors in auditory sensory memory and mismatch negativity generation: implications for schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

    Javitt, D C; Steinschneider, M; Schroeder, C E; Arezzo, J C

    1996-01-01

    Working memory refers to the ability of the brain to store and manipulate information over brief time periods, ranging from seconds to minutes. As opposed to long-term memory, which is critically dependent upon hippocampal processing, critical substrates for working memory are distributed in a modality-specific fashion throughout cortex. N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors play a crucial role in the initiation of long-term memory. Neurochemical mechanisms underlying the transient memory storage required for working memory, however, remain obscure. Auditory sensory memory, which refers to the ability of the brain to retain transient representations of the physical features (e.g., pitch) of simple auditory stimuli for periods of up to approximately 30 sec, represents one of the simplest components of the brain working memory system. Functioning of the auditory sensory memory system is indexed by the generation of a well-defined event-related potential, termed mismatch negativity (MMN). MMN can thus be used as an objective index of auditory sensory memory functioning and a probe for investigating underlying neurochemical mechanisms. Monkeys generate cortical activity in response to deviant stimuli that closely resembles human MMN. This study uses a combination of intracortical recording and pharmacological micromanipulations in awake monkeys to demonstrate that both competitive and noncompetitive NMDA antagonists block the generation of MMN without affecting prior obligatory activity in primary auditory cortex. These findings suggest that, on a neurophysiological level, MMN represents selective current flow through open, unblocked NMDA channels. Furthermore, they suggest a crucial role of cortical NMDA receptors in the assessment of stimulus familiarity/unfamiliarity, which is a key process underlying working memory performance. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 4 PMID:8876245

  12. A point process analysis of sensory encoding.

    PubMed

    Stanley, Garrett B; Webber, Roxanna M

    2003-01-01

    Nowhere is the sparse nature of neuronal coding more evident than in the sensory cortex, where neuronal response becomes increasingly tuned to specific features of the sensory environment. For such situations, where rate modulation schemes do not accurately describe the neuronal response to sensory stimuli, statistical descriptions based on point process events are particularly appropriate. Here, intensity measures derived from experimental data in the rat somatosensory cortex enable the direct analysis of statistical structure within spike trains, as well as inter-relationships between tactile stimuli and neuronal response. Intensity measures capture structure in spontaneous as well as driven activity, reflecting the interplay between excitatory and suppressive influences on neuronal firing. Second-order intensity estimates reveal strong dependencies upon patterns of tactile stimulation, which define the neuronal response characteristics to temporally structured stimuli.

  13. Idiopathic toe walking and sensory processing dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background It is generally understood that toe walking involves the absence or limitation of heel strike in the contact phase of the gait cycle. Toe walking has been identified as a symptom of disease processes, trauma and/or neurogenic influences. When there is no obvious cause of the gait pattern, a diagnosis of idiopathic toe walking (ITW) is made. Although there has been limited research into the pathophysiology of ITW, there has been an increasing number of contemporary texts and practitioner debates proposing that this gait pattern is linked to a sensory processing dysfunction (SPD). The purpose of this paper is to examine the literature and provide a summary of what is known about the relationship between toe walking and SPD. Method Forty-nine articles were reviewed, predominantly sourced from peer reviewed journals. Five contemporary texts were also reviewed. The literature styles consisted of author opinion pieces, letters to the editor, clinical trials, case studies, classification studies, poster/conference abstracts and narrative literature reviews. Literature was assessed and graded according to level of evidence. Results Only one small prospective, descriptive study without control has been conducted in relation to idiopathic toe walking and sensory processing. A cross-sectional study into the prevalence of idiopathic toe walking proposed sensory processing as being a reason for the difference. A proposed link between ITW and sensory processing was found within four contemporary texts and one conference abstract. Conclusion Based on the limited conclusive evidence available, the relationship between ITW and sensory processing has not been confirmed. Given the limited number and types of studies together with the growing body of anecdotal evidence it is proposed that further investigation of this relationship would be advantageous. PMID:20712877

  14. Variance predicts salience in central sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Hermundstad, Ann M; Briguglio, John J; Conte, Mary M; Victor, Jonathan D; Balasubramanian, Vijay; Tkačik, Gašper

    2014-01-01

    Information processing in the sensory periphery is shaped by natural stimulus statistics. In the periphery, a transmission bottleneck constrains performance; thus efficient coding implies that natural signal components with a predictably wider range should be compressed. In a different regime—when sampling limitations constrain performance—efficient coding implies that more resources should be allocated to informative features that are more variable. We propose that this regime is relevant for sensory cortex when it extracts complex features from limited numbers of sensory samples. To test this prediction, we use central visual processing as a model: we show that visual sensitivity for local multi-point spatial correlations, described by dozens of independently-measured parameters, can be quantitatively predicted from the structure of natural images. This suggests that efficient coding applies centrally, where it extends to higher-order sensory features and operates in a regime in which sensitivity increases with feature variability. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.03722.001 PMID:25396297

  15. Cortical membrane potential signature of optimal states for sensory signal detection

    PubMed Central

    McGinley, Matthew J.; David, Stephen V.; McCormick, David A.

    2015-01-01

    The neural correlates of optimal states for signal detection task performance are largely unknown. One hypothesis holds that optimal states exhibit tonically depolarized cortical neurons with enhanced spiking activity, such as occur during movement. We recorded membrane potentials of auditory cortical neurons in mice trained on a challenging tone-in-noise detection task while assessing arousal with simultaneous pupillometry and hippocampal recordings. Arousal measures accurately predicted multiple modes of membrane potential activity, including: rhythmic slow oscillations at low arousal, stable hyperpolarization at intermediate arousal, and depolarization during phasic or tonic periods of hyper-arousal. Walking always occurred during hyper-arousal. Optimal signal detection behavior and sound-evoked responses, at both sub-threshold and spiking levels, occurred at intermediate arousal when pre-decision membrane potentials were stably hyperpolarized. These results reveal a cortical physiological signature of the classically-observed inverted-U relationship between task performance and arousal, and that optimal detection exhibits enhanced sensory-evoked responses and reduced background synaptic activity. PMID:26074005

  16. [Hemicape-like sensory disturbance caused by cortical infarction in the postcentral gyrus].

    PubMed

    Yamashita, Chikara; Kawamura, Nobutoshi; Torii, Takako; Ohyagi, Yasumasa; Kira, Jun-ichi

    2012-01-01

    We report a case of a small cortical infarction in the postcentral gyrus that presented an isolated hemicape-like sensory disturbance. A 47-year-old man suddenly developed numbness and paresthesia in the left neck, shoulder, arm, and upper trunk. Examination revealed hypoesthesia to touch and pain in these areas along with a hemicape-like distribution. The sensitivity to cold and vibration was normal, and two-point discrimination and graphesthesia were preserved. The patient had a normal visual field, muscle strength, and reflexes, and there were no neuropsychological deficits. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) demonstrated a fresh, small cerebral infarction in the right postcentral gyrus, which was superior medial to the precentral knob. The area of infarction in this patient corresponds well with the area of the upper trunk, neck, head, shoulder, and arm in the sensory homunculus drawn by Penfield and Rassumussen. The spinal MRI was normal. Transesophageal echocardiography disclosed a patent foramen ovale with a right-to-left-shunt. The patient was diagnosed as having acute cerebral infarction, probably due to paradoxical embolism, and was treated with warfarin. A small localized infarct in the postcentral gyrus can present an isolated sensory disturbance with an atypical hemicape-like distribution.

  17. Sensory cortical re-mapping following upper-limb amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation: A case report.

    PubMed

    Yao, Jun; Chen, Albert; Kuiken, Todd; Carmona, Carolina; Dewald, Julius

    2015-01-01

    This case study demonstrates the change of sensory cortical representations of the residual parts of the arm in an individual who underwent a trans-humeral amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR). As a relatively new surgical technique, TR restores a direct neural connection from amputated sensorimotor nerves to specific target muscles. This method has been successfully applied to upper-limb and lower-limb amputees, and has shown effectiveness in regaining control signals via the newly re-innervated muscles. Correspondingly, recent study results have shown that motor representations for the missing limb move closer to their original locations following TR. Besides regaining motor control signals, TR also restores the sensation in the re-innervated skin areas. We therefore hypothesize that TR causes analogous cortical sensory remapping that may return closer to their original locations. In order to test this hypothesis, cortical activity in response to sensory-level electrical stimulation in different parts of the arm was studied longitudinally in one amputated individual before and up to 2 years after TR. Our results showed that 1) before TR, the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain; and 2) 2 years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve reorganized, showing predominant activity over the contralateral S1 hand area as well as moderate activity over the ipsilateral S1. Therefore, this work provides new evidence for long-term sensory cortical plasticity in the human brain after TR. PMID:26106558

  18. Sensory cortical re-mapping following upper-limb amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation: A case report.

    PubMed

    Yao, Jun; Chen, Albert; Kuiken, Todd; Carmona, Carolina; Dewald, Julius

    2015-01-01

    This case study demonstrates the change of sensory cortical representations of the residual parts of the arm in an individual who underwent a trans-humeral amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR). As a relatively new surgical technique, TR restores a direct neural connection from amputated sensorimotor nerves to specific target muscles. This method has been successfully applied to upper-limb and lower-limb amputees, and has shown effectiveness in regaining control signals via the newly re-innervated muscles. Correspondingly, recent study results have shown that motor representations for the missing limb move closer to their original locations following TR. Besides regaining motor control signals, TR also restores the sensation in the re-innervated skin areas. We therefore hypothesize that TR causes analogous cortical sensory remapping that may return closer to their original locations. In order to test this hypothesis, cortical activity in response to sensory-level electrical stimulation in different parts of the arm was studied longitudinally in one amputated individual before and up to 2 years after TR. Our results showed that 1) before TR, the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain; and 2) 2 years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve reorganized, showing predominant activity over the contralateral S1 hand area as well as moderate activity over the ipsilateral S1. Therefore, this work provides new evidence for long-term sensory cortical plasticity in the human brain after TR.

  19. Sensory Processing Subtypes in Autism: Association with Adaptive Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lane, Alison E.; Young, Robyn L.; Baker, Amy E. Z.; Angley, Manya T.

    2010-01-01

    Children with autism are frequently observed to experience difficulties in sensory processing. This study examined specific patterns of sensory processing in 54 children with autistic disorder and their association with adaptive behavior. Model-based cluster analysis revealed three distinct sensory processing subtypes in autism. These subtypes…

  20. Qualia Could Arise from Information Processing in Local Cortical Networks

    PubMed Central

    Orpwood, Roger

    2013-01-01

    Re-entrant feedback, either within sensory cortex or arising from prefrontal areas, has been strongly linked to the emergence of consciousness, both in theoretical and experimental work. This idea, together with evidence for local micro-consciousness, suggests the generation of qualia could in some way result from local network activity under re-entrant activation. This paper explores the possibility by examining the processing of information by local cortical networks. It highlights the difference between the information structure (how the information is physically embodied), and the information message (what the information is about). It focuses on the network’s ability to recognize information structures amongst its inputs under conditions of extensive local feedback, and to then assign information messages to those structures. It is shown that if the re-entrant feedback enables the network to achieve an attractor state, then the message assigned in any given pass of information through the network is a representation of the message assigned in the previous pass-through of information. Based on this ability the paper argues that as information is repeatedly cycled through the network, the information message that is assigned evolves from a recognition of what the input structure is, to what it is like, to how it appears, to how it seems. It could enable individual networks to be the site of qualia generation. The paper goes on to show networks in cortical layers 2/3 and 5a have the connectivity required for the behavior proposed, and reviews some evidence for a link between such local cortical cyclic activity and conscious percepts. It concludes with some predictions based on the theory discussed. PMID:23504586

  1. A Neural Circuit That Controls Cortical State, Plasticity, and the Gain of Sensory Responses in Mouse

    PubMed Central

    Stryker, Michael P.

    2015-01-01

    Neurons in the visual cortex were first found to be exquisitely selective for particular properties of visual stimuli in anesthetized animals, including mice. Studies of alert mice in an apparatus that allowed them to stand or run revealed that locomotion causes a change in cortical state that dramatically increases the magnitude of responses in neurons of the visual cortex without altering selectivity, effectively changing the gain of sensory responses. Locomotion also dramatically enhances adult plasticity in the recovery from long-term visual deprivation. We have studied the elements and operation of the neural circuit responsible for the enhancement of activity and shown that it enhances plasticity even in mice not free to run. The circuit consists of projections ascending from the midbrain locomotor region (MLR) to the basal forebrain, activating cholinergic and perhaps other projections to excite inhibitory interneurons expressing vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the visual cortex. VIP cells activated by locomotion inhibit interneurons that express somatostatin (SST), thereby disinhibiting the excitatory principal neurons and allowing them to respond more strongly to effective visual stimuli. These findings reveal in alert animals how the ascending reticular activating system described in anesthetized animals 50 years ago operates to control cortical state. PMID:25948638

  2. Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crane, Laura; Goddard, Lorna; Pring, Linda

    2009-01-01

    Unusual sensory processing has been widely reported in autism spectrum disorders (ASDs); however, the majority of research in this area has focused on children. The present study assessed sensory processing in adults with ASD using the Adult/Adolescent Sensory Profile (AASP), a 60-item self-report questionnaire assessing levels of sensory…

  3. Sensory cortical re-mapping following upper-limb amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation: a case report.

    PubMed

    Yao, Jun; Carmona, Carolina; Chen, Albert; Kuiken, Todd; Dewald, Julius

    2011-01-01

    This case study demonstrates the ability of sensory cortical representations to remap following arm amputation and subsequent targeted reinnervation (TR). Previous human studies have demonstrated functional plasticity in the primary sensory cortex months or years after amputation of the upper arm, forearm, the hand or a single finger, or after subsequent replantation. Targeted reinnervation, a surgical procedure that re-routes inactive, residual sensorimotor nerves previously responsible for innervating the missing limb to alternative muscle groups and skin areas [1-3], has shown the ability to restore a subject's sensation in the reinnervated skin areas. Whether this new technique causes analogous cortical remapping in a similar timeframe as following hand replantation is still unknown. In order to answer this question, high-density electroencephalography was used to study whether the original sensory cortical territory was regained after TR. Before TR, we found that the cortical response to sensory electrical stimulation in the residual limb showed a diffuse bilateral pattern without a clear focus in either the time or spatial domain, Two years after TR, the sensory map of the reinnervated median nerve shifted back to a close-to-normal, predominantly contralateral pattern. The overall trend of TR-induced sensory remapping is similar to previous reports related to hand replantation but occurs over a slower timeframe. This relatively slower progress after TR as compared to after hand replantation could be because TR is performed months or even years after amputation, while hand replantation was performed immediately after the injury. This work provides new evidence for long term plasticity in the human brain.

  4. Sensory integration dynamics in a hierarchical network explains choice probabilities in cortical area MT

    PubMed Central

    Wimmer, Klaus; Compte, Albert; Roxin, Alex; Peixoto, Diogo; Renart, Alfonso; de la Rocha, Jaime

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal variability in sensory cortex predicts perceptual decisions. This relationship, termed choice probability (CP), can arise from sensory variability biasing behaviour and from top-down signals reflecting behaviour. To investigate the interaction of these mechanisms during the decision-making process, we use a hierarchical network model composed of reciprocally connected sensory and integration circuits. Consistent with monkey behaviour in a fixed-duration motion discrimination task, the model integrates sensory evidence transiently, giving rise to a decaying bottom-up CP component. However, the dynamics of the hierarchical loop recruits a concurrently rising top-down component, resulting in sustained CP. We compute the CP time-course of neurons in the medial temporal area (MT) and find an early transient component and a separate late contribution reflecting decision build-up. The stability of individual CPs and the dynamics of noise correlations further support this decomposition. Our model provides a unified understanding of the circuit dynamics linking neural and behavioural variability. PMID:25649611

  5. Sensory processing dysfunction in the personal experience and neuronal machinery of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Javitt, Daniel C; Freedman, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Sensory processing deficits, first investigated by Kraepelin and Bleuler as possible pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia, are now being recharacterized in the context of our current understanding of the molecular and neurobiological brain mechanisms involved. The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria position these deficits as intermediaries between molecular and cellular mechanisms and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia, such as hallucinations. The prepulse inhibition of startle responses by a weaker preceding tone, the inhibitory gating of response to paired sensory stimuli characterized using the auditory P50 evoked response, and the detection of slight deviations in patterns of sensory stimulation eliciting the cortical mismatch negativity potential demonstrate deficits in early sensory processing mechanisms, whose molecular and neurobiological bases are increasingly well understood. Deficits in sensory processing underlie more complex cognitive dysfunction and are in turn affected by higher-level cognitive difficulties. These deficits are now being used to identify genes involved in familial transmission of schizophrenia and to monitor potentially therapeutic drug effects for both treatment and prevention. This research also provides a clinical reminder that patients' sensory perception of the surrounding world, even during treatment sessions, may differ considerably from others' perceptions. A person's ability to understand and interact effectively with the surrounding world ultimately depends on an underlying sensory experience of it.

  6. Mild sensory stimulation re-establishes cortical function during the acute phase of ischemia

    PubMed Central

    Lay, Christopher C.; Davis, Melissa F.; Chen-Bee, Cynthia H.; Frostig, Ron D.

    2011-01-01

    When delivered within 1 and in most cases 2 hours of permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO), mild sensory stimulation (intermittent single whisker stimulation) was shown to be completely neuroprotective according to assessment with multiple techniques 24 hours after pMCAO in a rodent model of ischemic stroke (Lay et al., 2010). The acute effect of stimulation treatment on the ischemic cortex however, had yet to be reported. Here we characterize cortical function and perfusion during the 120 minute whisker stimulation period in four experimental groups with treatment initiated 0, 1, 2 hours (protected groups) or 3 hours post-pMCAO (unprotected group) using multiple techniques. According to functional imaging, a gradual return of evoked whisker functional representation to baseline levels was initiated with treatment onset and completed within the treatment period. Evoked neuronal activity and reperfusion to the ischemic area also showed a gradual recovery in protected animals. Surprisingly, a similar recovery profile was observed in response to treatment in all protected animals, irrespective of treatment onset time. Non-stimulated pMCAO control group data demonstrate that reperfusion is not spontaneous. This makes the complete protection observed in the majority of animals stimulated at 2 hours post-pMCAO even more surprising as these animals recovered despite having been in this severely ischemic state for two full hours. In summary, when delivered within a 2 hour window post- pMCAO, whisker stimulation treatment initiated reperfusion and a gradual recovery of cortical function that was completed or nearly completed within the treatment period. PMID:21832179

  7. The role of sensory experience in presynaptic development is cortical area specific

    PubMed Central

    Cheetham, Claire E J; Fox, Kevin

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The postsynaptic response to a stimulus is dependent on the history of previous activity at that synapse. This short-term plasticity (STP) is a key determinant of neural network function. During postnatal development, many excitatory intracortical synapses switch from strong depression during early postnatal life, to weaker depression and in some cases facilitation in adulthood. However, it is not known whether this developmental switch is an innate feature of synaptic maturation, or whether it requires activity. We investigated this question in the barrel and visual cortex, two widely studied models of experience-dependent plasticity. We have previously defined the time course over which presynaptic development occurs in these two cortical areas, enabling us to make the first direct comparison of the role of sensory experience during synaptic development. We found that maturation of STP in visual cortex was unaffected by dark rearing from before eye opening. In marked contrast, total whisker deprivation completely blocked the developmental decrease in presynaptic release probability (Pr), and the concomitant increase in paired pulse ratio (PPR), which occur in barrel cortex during the third and fourth postnatal weeks. However, the developmental increase in the steady state response to a train of stimuli was unaffected by whisker deprivation. This supports a mechanistic link between Pr and the PPR, but dissociates Pr from the steady state amplitude during repetitive stimulation. Our findings indicate that sensory experience plays a greater role in presynaptic development at L4 to L2/3 excitatory synapses in the barrel cortex than in the visual cortex. PMID:21946850

  8. Dynamic modulation of shared sensory and motor cortical rhythms mediates speech and non-speech discrimination performance

    PubMed Central

    Bowers, Andrew L.; Saltuklaroglu, Tim; Harkrider, Ashley; Wilson, Matt; Toner, Mary A.

    2014-01-01

    Oscillatory models of speech processing have proposed that rhythmic cortical oscillations in sensory and motor regions modulate speech sound processing from the bottom-up via phase reset at low frequencies (3–10 Hz) and from the top-down via the disinhibition of alpha/beta rhythms (8–30 Hz). To investigate how the proposed rhythms mediate perceptual performance, electroencephalographic (EEG) was recorded while participants passively listened to or actively identified speech and tone-sweeps in a two-force choice in noise discrimination task presented at high and low signal-to-noise ratios. EEG data were decomposed using independent component analysis and clustered across participants using principle component methods in EEGLAB. Left and right hemisphere sensorimotor and posterior temporal lobe clusters were identified. Alpha and beta suppression was associated with active tasks only in sensorimotor and temporal clusters. In posterior temporal clusters, increases in phase reset at low frequencies were driven by the quality of bottom-up acoustic information for speech and non-speech stimuli, whereas phase reset in sensorimotor clusters was associated with top-down active task demands. A comparison of correct discrimination trials to those identified at chance showed an earlier performance related effect for the left sensorimotor cluster relative to the left-temporal lobe cluster during the syllable discrimination task only. The right sensorimotor cluster was associated with performance related differences for tone–sweep stimuli only. Findings are consistent with internal model accounts suggesting that early efferent sensorimotor models transmitted along alpha and beta channels reflect a release from inhibition related to active attention to auditory discrimination. Results are discussed in the broader context of dynamic, oscillatory models of cognition proposing that top-down internally generated states interact with bottom-up sensory processing to enhance task

  9. Sensory Cortical Population Dynamics Uniquely Track Behavior across Learning and Extinction

    PubMed Central

    Katz, Donald B.

    2014-01-01

    Neural responses in many cortical regions encode information relevant to behavior: information that necessarily changes as that behavior changes with learning. Although such responses are reasonably theorized to be related to behavior causation, the true nature of that relationship cannot be clarified by simple learning studies, which show primarily that responses change with experience. Neural activity that truly tracks behavior (as opposed to simply changing with experience) will not only change with learning but also change back when that learning is extinguished. Here, we directly probed for this pattern, recording the activity of ensembles of gustatory cortical single neurons as rats that normally consumed sucrose avidly were trained first to reject it (i.e., conditioned taste aversion learning) and then to enjoy it again (i.e., extinction), all within 49 h. Both learning and extinction altered cortical responses, consistent with the suggestion (based on indirect evidence) that extinction is a novel form of learning. But despite the fact that, as expected, postextinction single-neuron responses did not resemble “naive responses,” ensemble response dynamics changed with learning and reverted with extinction: both the speed of stimulus processing and the relationships among ensemble responses to the different stimuli tracked behavioral relevance. These data suggest that population coding is linked to behavior with a fidelity that single-neuron coding is not. PMID:24453316

  10. The cortical sensory representation of genitalia in women and men: a systematic review

    PubMed Central

    Cazala, Fadwa; Vienney, Nicolas; Stoléru, Serge

    2015-01-01

    Background Although genital sensations are an essential aspect of sexual behavior, the cortical somatosensory representation of genitalia in women and men remain poorly known and contradictory results have been reported. Objective To conduct a systematic review of studies based on electrophysiological and functional neuroimaging studies, with the aim to identify insights brought by modern methods since the early descriptions of the sensory homunculus in the primary somatosensory cortex (SI). Results The review supports the interpretation that there are two distinct representations of genital sensations in SI, one on the medial surface and the other on the lateral surface. In addition, the review suggests that the secondary somatosensory cortex and the posterior insula support a representation of the affective aspects of genital sensation. Conclusion In view of the erogenous character of sensations originating in the genitalia, future studies on this topic should systematically assess qualitatively as well as quantitatively the sexually stimulating and/or sexually pleasurable characteristics of sensations felt by subjects in response to experimental stimuli. PMID:25766001

  11. Pairing broadband noise with cortical stimulation induces extensive suppression of ascending sensory activity

    PubMed Central

    Markovitz, Craig D.; Hogan, Patrick S.; Wesen, Kyle A.; Lim, Hubert H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective The corticofugal system can alter coding along the ascending sensory pathway. Within the auditory system, electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex (AC) paired with a pure tone can cause egocentric shifts in the tuning of auditory neurons, making them more sensitive to the pure tone frequency. Since tinnitus has been linked with hyperactivity across auditory neurons, we sought to develop a new neuromodulation approach that could suppress a wide range of neurons rather than enhance specific frequency-tuned neurons. Approach We performed experiments in the guinea pig to assess the effects of cortical stimulation paired with broadband noise (PN-Stim) on ascending auditory activity within the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (CNIC), a widely studied region for AC stimulation paradigms. Main results All eight stimulated AC regions induced extensive suppression of activity across the CNIC that was not possible with noise stimulation alone. This suppression built up over time and remained after the PN-Stim paradigm. Significance We propose that the corticofugal system is designed to decrease the brain’s input gain to irrelevant stimuli and PN-Stim is able to artificially amplify this effect to suppress neural firing across the auditory system. The PN-Stim concept may have potential for treating tinnitus and other neurological disorders. PMID:25686163

  12. Pairing broadband noise with cortical stimulation induces extensive suppression of ascending sensory activity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Markovitz, Craig D.; Hogan, Patrick S.; Wesen, Kyle A.; Lim, Hubert H.

    2015-04-01

    Objective. The corticofugal system can alter coding along the ascending sensory pathway. Within the auditory system, electrical stimulation of the auditory cortex (AC) paired with a pure tone can cause egocentric shifts in the tuning of auditory neurons, making them more sensitive to the pure tone frequency. Since tinnitus has been linked with hyperactivity across auditory neurons, we sought to develop a new neuromodulation approach that could suppress a wide range of neurons rather than enhance specific frequency-tuned neurons. Approach. We performed experiments in the guinea pig to assess the effects of cortical stimulation paired with broadband noise (PN-Stim) on ascending auditory activity within the central nucleus of the inferior colliculus (CNIC), a widely studied region for AC stimulation paradigms. Main results. All eight stimulated AC subregions induced extensive suppression of activity across the CNIC that was not possible with noise stimulation alone. This suppression built up over time and remained after the PN-Stim paradigm. Significance. We propose that the corticofugal system is designed to decrease the brain’s input gain to irrelevant stimuli and PN-Stim is able to artificially amplify this effect to suppress neural firing across the auditory system. The PN-Stim concept may have potential for treating tinnitus and other neurological disorders.

  13. Natural Ensembles and Sensory Signal Processing.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ruderman, Daniel Lee

    In this thesis we explore the idea that sensory systems in biology are well matched to the natural signals they encode. This would imply that the optimal design of a sensory system depends on the statistical structure of its stimuli. Further, the interpretation of sensory data is a statistically defined task: The best signal reconstruction algorithm relies on the statistics of the stimuli and of the noise. We discuss a few instances from the broad class of statistical problems in sensory signal processing which depend on the statistics of natural stimuli. In formalizing these problems, we find that the methods of statistical mechanics are ideally suited toward their solution. First, we demonstrate the importance of prior statistical knowledge in signal reconstruction from an array of noisy detectors. Reconstruction error due to "aliasing," in which two or more Fourier components become confounded, is reduced when knowledge of the ensemble statistics is applied. Next, we consider which design of the visual system encodes the most information about natural images. Since information is a statistical concept, the structure of natural scenes plays a central role in the optimal visual system's design. To lowest order in the signal-to-noise ratio, the only important statistic is the ensemble power spectrum of natural scenes. The optimal linear visual filter is found to solve a Schroedinger equation whose potential is the power spectrum. We find that many of the qualitative features found in mammalian visual systems fall out of a simple linear model: multi -scale processing, orientation selectivity, and the qualitative change in filter shape as a function of signal-to-noise ratio. Finally, we explore the statistics of natural scenes themselves. For an ensemble we gather images from the woods in springtime. We find that they possess a very salient form of scale-invariance: the power spectrum is a power-law, and histograms of local quantities of a given length scale retain

  14. Persistence of Functional Sensory Maps in the Absence of Cortical Layers in the Somsatosensory Cortex of Reeler Mice.

    PubMed

    Guy, Julien; Wagener, Robin J; Möck, Martin; Staiger, Jochen F

    2015-09-01

    In rodents, layer IV of the primary somatosensory cortex contains the barrel field, where individual, large facial whiskers are represented as a dense cluster of cells. In the reeler mouse, a model of disturbed cortical development characterized by a loss of cortical lamination, the barrel field exists in a distorted manner. Little is known about the consequences of such a highly disturbed lamination on cortical function in this model. We used in vivo intrinsic signal optical imaging together with piezo-controlled whisker stimulation to explore sensory map organization and stimulus representation in the barrel field. We found that the loss of cortical layers in reeler mice had surprisingly little incidence on these properties. The overall topological order of whisker representations is highly preserved and the functional activation of individual whisker representations is similar in size and strength to wild-type controls. Because intrinsic imaging measures hemodynamic signals, we furthermore investigated the cortical blood vessel pattern of both genotypes, where we also did not detect major differences. In summary, the loss of the reelin protein results in a widespread disturbance of cortical development which compromises neither the establishment nor the function of an ordered, somatotopic map of the facial whiskers. PMID:24759695

  15. Persistence of Functional Sensory Maps in the Absence of Cortical Layers in the Somsatosensory Cortex of Reeler Mice

    PubMed Central

    Guy, Julien; Wagener, Robin J.; Möck, Martin; Staiger, Jochen F.

    2015-01-01

    In rodents, layer IV of the primary somatosensory cortex contains the barrel field, where individual, large facial whiskers are represented as a dense cluster of cells. In the reeler mouse, a model of disturbed cortical development characterized by a loss of cortical lamination, the barrel field exists in a distorted manner. Little is known about the consequences of such a highly disturbed lamination on cortical function in this model. We used in vivo intrinsic signal optical imaging together with piezo-controlled whisker stimulation to explore sensory map organization and stimulus representation in the barrel field. We found that the loss of cortical layers in reeler mice had surprisingly little incidence on these properties. The overall topological order of whisker representations is highly preserved and the functional activation of individual whisker representations is similar in size and strength to wild-type controls. Because intrinsic imaging measures hemodynamic signals, we furthermore investigated the cortical blood vessel pattern of both genotypes, where we also did not detect major differences. In summary, the loss of the reelin protein results in a widespread disturbance of cortical development which compromises neither the establishment nor the function of an ordered, somatotopic map of the facial whiskers. PMID:24759695

  16. The Applicability of the Short Sensory Profile for Screening Sensory Processing Disorders among Israeli Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel-Yeger, Batya

    2010-01-01

    The objective of this study was to examine the applicability of the short sensory profile (SSP) for screening sensory processing disorders (SPDs) among typical children in Israel, and to evaluate the relationship between SPDs and socio-demographic parameters. Participants were 395 Israeli children, aged 3 years to 10 years 11 months, with typical…

  17. Double dissociating effects of sensory stimulation and cocaine on serotonin activity in the occipital and temporal cortices.

    PubMed

    Müller, Christian P; De Souza Silva, Maria A; Huston, Joseph P

    2007-03-01

    Visual cues that become associated with the consumption of psychostimulant drugs energize craving and the intake of the drug by mechanisms of which little is known. In two experiments using in vivo microdialysis in freely moving rats we compared the effects of visual and auditory stimulation with that of cocaine (0, 5, 10, 20mg/kg; i.p.) on the extracellular serotonin (5-HT) activity in the occipital and temporal cortices in relation to behavior. Visual stimulation increased 5-HT in the occipital, but not temporal cortex, parallel to an increase in locomotion. Auditory stimulation decreased 5-HT in the auditory, but not occipital cortex, thus, showing a double dissociated 5-HT response. These data suggest that a locally restricted 5-HT response to sensory stimulation may gate behavioral activity sense-modality selectively. Cocaine affected 5-HT in the occipital cortex and behavioral activity in the same direction as visual stimulation, but in an amplified and prolonged way. In the temporal cortex cocaine also caused an increase in 5-HT. The findings demonstrate common effects of visual stimulation and cocaine on 5-HT activity in the occipital cortex in relation to locomotor activity. The results suggest that concepts of how neutral visual cues become powerful energizers of addiction-related behaviors should be expanded to incorporate not only an acute enhancement of reward processing mechanisms, but, in parallel, also an amplified processing of visual stimuli in the occipital cortex. PMID:17116310

  18. Sensory Processing Dysfunction in the Personal Experience and Neuronal Machinery of Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Javitt, Daniel C.; Freedman, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Sensory processing deficits, first investigated by Kraeplin and Bleuler as possible pathophysiological mechanisms in schizophrenia, are now being re-characterized in the context of modern understanding of the involved molecular and neurobiological brain mechanisms. The National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria position these deficits as intermediaries between molecular and cellular mechanisms and clinical symptoms of schizophrenia such as hallucinations. The pre-pulse inhibition of startle responses by a weaker preceding tone, the inhibitory gating of response to paired sensory stimuli characterized using the auditory P50 evoked response, and the detection of slightly different stimuli that elicits the cortical Mismatch Negativity potential demonstrate deficits in early sensory processing mechanisms, whose molecular and neurobiological bases are increasingly well understood. Deficits in sensory processing underlie more complex cognitive dysfunction and, vice versa, are affected by higher-level cognitive difficulties. These deficits are now being used to identify genes involved in familial transmission of the illness and to monitor potentially therapeutic drug effects for both treatment and prevention. This research also provides a clinical reminder that patients’ sensory perception of the surrounding world, even during treatment sessions, may differ considerable from others’ perceptions. A person’s ability to understand and interact effectively with surrounding world ultimately depends upon an underlying sensory experience of it. PMID:25553496

  19. Perspectives on Sensory Processing Disorder: A Call for Translational Research

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Lucy J.; Nielsen, Darci M.; Schoen, Sarah A.; Brett-Green, Barbara A.

    2009-01-01

    This article explores the convergence of two fields, which have similar theoretical origins: a clinical field originally known as sensory integration and a branch of neuroscience that conducts research in an area also called sensory integration. Clinically, the term was used to identify a pattern of dysfunction in children and adults, as well as a related theory, assessment, and treatment method for children who have atypical responses to ordinary sensory stimulation. Currently the term for the disorder is sensory processing disorder (SPD). In neuroscience, the term sensory integration refers to converging information in the brain from one or more sensory domains. A recent subspecialty in neuroscience labeled multisensory integration (MSI) refers to the neural process that occurs when sensory input from two or more different sensory modalities converge. Understanding the specific meanings of the term sensory integration intended by the clinical and neuroscience fields and the term MSI in neuroscience is critical. A translational research approach would improve exploration of crucial research questions in both the basic science and clinical science. Refinement of the conceptual model of the disorder and the related treatment approach would help prioritize which specific hypotheses should be studied in both the clinical and neuroscience fields. The issue is how we can facilitate a translational approach between researchers in the two fields. Multidisciplinary, collaborative studies would increase knowledge of brain function and could make a significant contribution to alleviating the impairments of individuals with SPD and their families. PMID:19826493

  20. Neural Mechanisms of Cortical Motion Computation Based on a Neuromorphic Sensory System

    PubMed Central

    Abdul-Kreem, Luma Issa; Neumann, Heiko

    2015-01-01

    The visual cortex analyzes motion information along hierarchically arranged visual areas that interact through bidirectional interconnections. This work suggests a bio-inspired visual model focusing on the interactions of the cortical areas in which a new mechanism of feedforward and feedback processing are introduced. The model uses a neuromorphic vision sensor (silicon retina) that simulates the spike-generation functionality of the biological retina. Our model takes into account two main model visual areas, namely V1 and MT, with different feature selectivities. The initial motion is estimated in model area V1 using spatiotemporal filters to locally detect the direction of motion. Here, we adapt the filtering scheme originally suggested by Adelson and Bergen to make it consistent with the spike representation of the DVS. The responses of area V1 are weighted and pooled by area MT cells which are selective to different velocities, i.e. direction and speed. Such feature selectivity is here derived from compositions of activities in the spatio-temporal domain and integrating over larger space-time regions (receptive fields). In order to account for the bidirectional coupling of cortical areas we match properties of the feature selectivity in both areas for feedback processing. For such linkage we integrate the responses over different speeds along a particular preferred direction. Normalization of activities is carried out over the spatial as well as the feature domains to balance the activities of individual neurons in model areas V1 and MT. Our model was tested using different stimuli that moved in different directions. The results reveal that the error margin between the estimated motion and synthetic ground truth is decreased in area MT comparing with the initial estimation of area V1. In addition, the modulated V1 cell activations shows an enhancement of the initial motion estimation that is steered by feedback signals from MT cells. PMID:26554589

  1. Reported Sensory Processing of Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bruni, Maryanne; Cameron, Debra; Dua, Shelly; Noy, Sarah

    2010-01-01

    Investigators have identified delays and differences in cognitive, language, motor, and sensory development in children with Down syndrome (DS). The purpose of this study was to determine the parent-reported frequency of sensory processing issues in children with DS aged 3-10 years, and the parent-reported functional impact of those sensory…

  2. Fast Synaptic Inhibition in Spinal Sensory Processing and Pain Control

    PubMed Central

    Zeilhofer, Hanns Ulrich; Wildner, Hendrik; Yevenes, Gonzalo E.

    2013-01-01

    The two amino acids γ-amino butyric acid (GABA) and glycine mediate fast inhibitory neurotransmission in different CNS areas and serve pivotal roles in the spinal sensory processing. Under healthy conditions, they limit the excitability of spinal terminals of primary sensory nerve fibers and of intrinsic dorsal horn neurons through pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms, and thereby facilitate the spatial and temporal discrimination of sensory stimuli. Removal of fast inhibition not only reduces the fidelity of normal sensory processing but also provokes symptoms very much reminiscent of pathological and chronic pain syndromes. This review summarizes our knowledge of the molecular bases of spinal inhibitory neurotransmission and its organization in dorsal horn sensory circuits. Particular emphasis is placed on the role and mechanisms of spinal inhibitory malfunction in inflammatory and neuropathic chronic pain syndromes. PMID:22298656

  3. Strain differences of the effect of enucleation and anophthalmia on the size and growth of sensory cortices in mice.

    PubMed

    Massé, Ian O; Guillemette, Sonia; Laramée, Marie-Eve; Bronchti, Gilles; Boire, Denis

    2014-11-01

    Anophthalmia is a condition in which the eye does not develop from the early embryonic period. Early blindness induces cross-modal plastic modifications in the brain such as auditory and haptic activations of the visual cortex and also leads to a greater solicitation of the somatosensory and auditory cortices. The visual cortex is activated by auditory stimuli in anophthalmic mice and activity is known to alter the growth pattern of the cerebral cortex. The size of the primary visual, auditory and somatosensory cortices and of the corresponding specific sensory thalamic nuclei were measured in intact and enucleated C57Bl/6J mice and in ZRDCT anophthalmic mice (ZRDCT/An) to evaluate the contribution of cross-modal activity on the growth of the cerebral cortex. In addition, the size of these structures were compared in intact, enucleated and anophthalmic fourth generation backcrossed hybrid C57Bl/6J×ZRDCT/An mice to parse out the effects of mouse strains and of the different visual deprivations. The visual cortex was smaller in the anophthalmic ZRDCT/An than in the intact and enucleated C57Bl/6J mice. Also the auditory cortex was larger and the somatosensory cortex smaller in the ZRDCT/An than in the intact and enucleated C57Bl/6J mice. The size differences of sensory cortices between the enucleated and anophthalmic mice were no longer present in the hybrid mice, showing specific genetic differences between C57Bl/6J and ZRDCT mice. The post natal size increase of the visual cortex was less in the enucleated than in the anophthalmic and intact hybrid mice. This suggests differences in the activity of the visual cortex between enucleated and anophthalmic mice and that early in-utero spontaneous neural activity in the visual system contributes to the shaping of functional properties of cortical networks.

  4. Sensory processing and world modeling for an active ranging device

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hong, Tsai-Hong; Wu, Angela Y.

    1991-01-01

    In this project, we studied world modeling and sensory processing for laser range data. World Model data representation and operation were defined. Sensory processing algorithms for point processing and linear feature detection were designed and implemented. The interface between world modeling and sensory processing in the Servo and Primitive levels was investigated and implemented. In the primitive level, linear features detectors for edges were also implemented, analyzed and compared. The existing world model representations is surveyed. Also presented is the design and implementation of the Y-frame model, a hierarchical world model. The interfaces between the world model module and the sensory processing module are discussed as well as the linear feature detectors that were designed and implemented.

  5. Heteromodal connections supporting multisensory integration at low levels of cortical processing in the monkey.

    PubMed

    Cappe, Céline; Barone, Pascal

    2005-12-01

    While multisensory integration is thought to occur in higher hierarchical cortical areas, recent studies in man and monkey have revealed plurisensory modulations of activity in areas previously thought to be unimodal. To determine the cortical network involved in multisensory interactions, we performed multiple injections of different retrograde tracers in unimodal auditory (core), somatosensory (1/3b) and visual (V2 and MT) cortical areas of the marmoset. We found three types of heteromodal connections linking unimodal sensory areas. Visuo-somatosensory projections were observed originating from visual areas [probably the ventral and dorsal fundus of the superior temporal area (FSTv and FSTd), and middle temporal crescent (MTc)] toward areas 1/3b. Somatosensory projections to the auditory cortex were present from S2 and the anterior bank of the lateral sulcus. Finally, a visuo-auditory projection arises from an area anterior to the superior temporal sulcus (STS) toward the auditory core. Injections in different sensory regions allow us to define the frontal convexity and the temporal opercular caudal cortex as putative polysensory areas. A quantitative analysis of the laminar distribution of projecting neurons showed that heteromodal connections could be either feedback or feedforward. Taken together, our results provide the anatomical pathway for multisensory integration at low levels of information processing in the primate and argue against a strict hierarchical model.

  6. Physiological and Behavioral Differences in Sensory Processing: A Comparison of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Modulation Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Schoen, Sarah A.; Miller, Lucy J.; Brett-Green, Barbara A.; Nielsen, Darci M.

    2009-01-01

    A high incidence of sensory processing difficulties exists in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and children with Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD). This is the first study to directly compare and contrast these clinical disorders. Sympathetic nervous system markers of arousal and reactivity were utilized in a laboratory paradigm that administered a series of sensory challenges across five sensory domains. The Short Sensory Profile, a standardized parent-report measure, provided a measure of sensory-related behaviors. Physiological arousal and sensory reactivity were lower in children with ASD whereas reactivity after each sensory stimulus was higher in SMD, particularly to the first stimulus in each sensory domain. Both clinical groups had significantly more sensory-related behaviors than typically developing children, with contrasting profiles. The ASD group had more taste/smell sensitivity and sensory under-responsivity while the SMD group had more atypical sensory seeking behavior. This study provides preliminary evidence distinguishing sympathetic nervous system functions and sensory-related behaviors in Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sensory Modulation Disorder. Differentiating the physiology and sensory symptoms in clinical groups is essential to the provision of appropriate interventions. PMID:19915733

  7. Computational models of cortical visual processing.

    PubMed Central

    Heeger, D J; Simoncelli, E P; Movshon, J A

    1996-01-01

    The visual responses of neurons in the cerebral cortex were first adequately characterized in the 1960s by D. H. Hubel and T. N. Wiesel [(1962) J. Physiol. (London) 160, 106-154; (1968) J. Physiol. (London) 195, 215-243] using qualitative analyses based on simple geometric visual targets. Over the past 30 years, it has become common to consider the properties of these neurons by attempting to make formal descriptions of these transformations they execute on the visual image. Most such models have their roots in linear-systems approaches pioneered in the retina by C. Enroth-Cugell and J. R. Robson [(1966) J. Physiol. (London) 187, 517-552], but it is clear that purely linear models of cortical neurons are inadequate. We present two related models: one designed to account for the responses of simple cells in primary visual cortex (V1) and one designed to account for the responses of pattern direction selective cells in MT (or V5), an extrastriate visual area thought to be involved in the analysis of visual motion. These models share a common structure that operates in the same way on different kinds of input, and instantiate the widely held view that computational strategies are similar throughout the cerebral cortex. Implementations of these models for Macintosh microcomputers are available and can be used to explore the models' properties. PMID:8570605

  8. Sensory Processing in Schizophrenia: Neither Simple nor Intact

    PubMed Central

    Javitt, Daniel C.

    2009-01-01

    This special issue focuses on the theme of sensory processing dysfunction in schizophrenia. For more than 50 years, from approximately the time of Bleuler until the early 1960s, sensory function was considered one of the few preserved functions in schizophrenia (Javitt1). Fortunately, the last several decades have brought a renewed and accelerating interest in this topic. The articles included in the issue range from those addressing fundamental bases of sensory dysfunction (Brenner, Yoon, and Turetsky) to those that examine how elementary deficits in sensory processing affect the sensory experience of individuals with schizophrenia (Butler, Kantrowitz, and Coleman) to the question of how sensory-based treatments may lead to improvement in remediation strategies (Adcock). Although addressing only a small portion of the current complex and burgeoning literature on sensory impairments across modalities, the present articles provide a cross-section of the issues currently under investigation. These studies also underscore the severe challenges that individuals with schizophrenia face when trying to decode the complex world around them. PMID:19833806

  9. Reversal of interlaminar signal between sensory and memory processing in monkey temporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Takeuchi, Daigo; Hirabayashi, Toshiyuki; Tamura, Keita; Miyashita, Yasushi

    2011-03-18

    The primate temporal cortex implements visual long-term memory. However, how its interlaminar circuitry executes cognitive computations is poorly understood. Using linear-array multicontact electrodes, we simultaneously recorded unit activities across cortical layers in the perirhinal cortex of macaques performing a pair-association memory task. Cortical layers were estimated on the basis of current source density profiles with histological verifications, and the interlaminar signal flow was determined with cross-correlation analysis between spike trains. During the cue period, canonical "feed-forward" signals flowed from granular to supragranular layers and from supragranular to infragranular layers. During the delay period, however, the signal flow reversed to the "feed-back" direction: from infragranular to supragranular layers. This reversal of signal flow highlights how the temporal cortex differentially recruits its laminar circuits for sensory and mnemonic processing.

  10. Experimental and Computational Studies of Cortical Neural Network Properties Through Signal Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clawson, Wesley Patrick

    Previous studies, both theoretical and experimental, of network level dynamics in the cerebral cortex show evidence for a statistical phenomenon called criticality; a phenomenon originally studied in the context of phase transitions in physical systems and that is associated with favorable information processing in the context of the brain. The focus of this thesis is to expand upon past results with new experimentation and modeling to show a relationship between criticality and the ability to detect and discriminate sensory input. A line of theoretical work predicts maximal sensory discrimination as a functional benefit of criticality, which can then be characterized using mutual information between sensory input, visual stimulus, and neural response,. The primary finding of our experiments in the visual cortex in turtles and neuronal network modeling confirms this theoretical prediction. We show that sensory discrimination is maximized when visual cortex operates near criticality. In addition to presenting this primary finding in detail, this thesis will also address our preliminary results on change-point-detection in experimentally measured cortical dynamics.

  11. Complementary control of sensory adaptation by two types of cortical interneurons

    PubMed Central

    Natan, Ryan G; Briguglio, John J; Mwilambwe-Tshilobo, Laetitia; Jones, Sara I; Aizenberg, Mark; Goldberg, Ethan M; Geffen, Maria Neimark

    2015-01-01

    Reliably detecting unexpected sounds is important for environmental awareness and survival. By selectively reducing responses to frequently, but not rarely, occurring sounds, auditory cortical neurons are thought to enhance the brain's ability to detect unexpected events through stimulus-specific adaptation (SSA). The majority of neurons in the primary auditory cortex exhibit SSA, yet little is known about the underlying cortical circuits. We found that two types of cortical interneurons differentially amplify SSA in putative excitatory neurons. Parvalbumin-positive interneurons (PVs) amplify SSA by providing non-specific inhibition: optogenetic suppression of PVs led to an equal increase in responses to frequent and rare tones. In contrast, somatostatin-positive interneurons (SOMs) selectively reduce excitatory responses to frequent tones: suppression of SOMs led to an increase in responses to frequent, but not to rare tones. A mutually coupled excitatory-inhibitory network model accounts for distinct mechanisms by which cortical inhibitory neurons enhance the brain's sensitivity to unexpected sounds. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.09868.001 PMID:26460542

  12. Dissociating sensory from decision processes in human perceptual decision making

    PubMed Central

    Mostert, Pim; Kok, Peter; de Lange, Floris P.

    2015-01-01

    A key question within systems neuroscience is how the brain translates physical stimulation into a behavioral response: perceptual decision making. To answer this question, it is important to dissociate the neural activity underlying the encoding of sensory information from the activity underlying the subsequent temporal integration into a decision variable. Here, we adopted a decoding approach to empirically assess this dissociation in human magnetoencephalography recordings. We used a functional localizer to identify the neural signature that reflects sensory-specific processes, and subsequently traced this signature while subjects were engaged in a perceptual decision making task. Our results revealed a temporal dissociation in which sensory processing was limited to an early time window and consistent with occipital areas, whereas decision-related processing became increasingly pronounced over time, and involved parietal and frontal areas. We found that the sensory processing accurately reflected the physical stimulus, irrespective of the eventual decision. Moreover, the sensory representation was stable and maintained over time when it was required for a subsequent decision, but unstable and variable over time when it was task-irrelevant. In contrast, decision-related activity displayed long-lasting sustained components. Together, our approach dissects neuro-anatomically and functionally distinct contributions to perceptual decisions. PMID:26666393

  13. Differences in early sensory-perceptual processing in synesthesia: a visual evoked potential study.

    PubMed

    Barnett, Kylie J; Foxe, John J; Molholm, Sophie; Kelly, Simon P; Shalgi, Shani; Mitchell, Kevin J; Newell, Fiona N

    2008-11-15

    Synesthesia is a condition where stimulation of a single sensory modality or processing stream elicits an idiosyncratic, yet reliable perception in one or more other modalities or streams. Various models have been proposed to explain synesthesia, which have in common aberrant cross-activation of one cortical area by another. This has been observed directly in cases of linguistic-color synesthesia as cross-activation of the 'color area', V4, by stimulation of the grapheme area. The underlying neural substrates that mediate cross-activations in synesthesia are not well understood, however. In addition, the overall integrity of the visual system has never been assessed and it is not known whether wider differences in sensory-perceptual processing are associated with the condition. To assess whether fundamental differences in perceptual processing exist in synesthesia, we utilised high-density 128-channel electroencephalography (EEG) to measure sensory-perceptual processing using stimuli that differentially bias activation of the magnocellular and parvocellular pathways of the visual system. High and low spatial frequency gratings and luminance-contrast squares were presented to 15 synesthetes and 15 controls. We report, for the first time, early sensory-perceptual differences in synesthetes relative to non-synesthete controls in response to simple stimuli that do not elicit synesthetic color experiences. The differences are manifested in the early sensory components of the visual evoked potential (VEP) to stimuli that bias both magnocellular and parvocellular responses, but are opposite in direction, suggesting a differential effect on these two pathways. We discuss our results with reference to widespread connectivity differences as a broader phenotype of synesthesia.

  14. Helping Children with Sensory Processing Disorders: The Role of Occupational Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sweet, Margarita

    2010-01-01

    Normally functioning sensory systems develop through sensory experiences. Children are stimulated through their senses in many different ways. Even though a person's sensory system is intact, he or she may have a sensory processing disorder (SPD), also known as sensory integration dysfunction. This means the person's brain does not correctly…

  15. An Internal Model Architecture for Novelty Detection: Implications for Cerebellar and Collicular Roles in Sensory Processing

    PubMed Central

    Anderson, Sean R.; Porrill, John; Pearson, Martin J.; Pipe, Anthony G.; Prescott, Tony J.; Dean, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The cerebellum is thought to implement internal models for sensory prediction, but details of the underlying circuitry are currently obscure. We therefore investigated a specific example of internal-model based sensory prediction, namely detection of whisker contacts during whisking. Inputs from the vibrissae in rats can be affected by signals generated by whisker movement, a phenomenon also observable in whisking robots. Robot novelty-detection can be improved by adaptive noise-cancellation, in which an adaptive filter learns a forward model of the whisker plant that allows the sensory effects of whisking to be predicted and thus subtracted from the noisy sensory input. However, the forward model only uses information from an efference copy of the whisking commands. Here we show that the addition of sensory information from the whiskers allows the adaptive filter to learn a more complex internal model that performs more robustly than the forward model, particularly when the whisking-induced interference has a periodic structure. We then propose a neural equivalent of the circuitry required for adaptive novelty-detection in the robot, in which the role of the adaptive filter is carried out by the cerebellum, with the comparison of its output (an estimate of the self-induced interference) and the original vibrissal signal occurring in the superior colliculus, a structure noted for its central role in novelty detection. This proposal makes a specific prediction concerning the whisker-related functions of a region in cerebellar cortical zone A2 that in rats receives climbing fibre input from the superior colliculus (via the inferior olive). This region has not been observed in non-whisking animals such as cats and primates, and its functional role in vibrissal processing has hitherto remained mysterious. Further investigation of this system may throw light on how cerebellar-based internal models could be used in broader sensory, motor and cognitive contexts. PMID

  16. Thalamic Circuit Mechanisms Link Sensory Processing in Sleep and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Zhe; Wimmer, Ralf D.; Wilson, Matthew A.; Halassa, Michael M.

    2016-01-01

    The correlation between sleep integrity and attentional performance is normally interpreted as poor sleep causing impaired attention. Here, we provide an alternative explanation for this correlation: common thalamic circuits regulate sensory processing across sleep and attention, and their disruption may lead to correlated dysfunction. Using multi-electrode recordings in mice, we find that rate and rhythmicity of thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN) neurons are predictive of their functional organization in sleep and suggestive of their participation in sensory processing across states. Surprisingly, TRN neurons associated with spindles in sleep are also associated with alpha oscillations during attention. As such, we propose that common thalamic circuit principles regulate sensory processing in a state-invariant manner and that in certain disorders, targeting these circuits may be a more viable therapeutic strategy than considering individual states in isolation. PMID:26778969

  17. Dynamics of sensory thalamocortical synaptic networks during information processing states.

    PubMed

    Castro-Alamancos, Manuel A

    2004-11-01

    The thalamocortical network consists of the pathways that interconnect the thalamus and neocortex, including thalamic sensory afferents, corticothalamic and thalamocortical pathways. These pathways are essential to acquire, analyze, store and retrieve sensory information. However, sensory information processing mostly occurs during behavioral arousal, when activity in thalamus and neocortex consists of an electrographic sign of low amplitude fast activity, known as activation, which is caused by several neuromodulator systems that project to the thalamocortical network. Logically, in order to understand how the thalamocortical network processes sensory information it is essential to study its response properties during states of activation. This paper reviews the temporal and spatial response properties of synaptic pathways in the whisker thalamocortical network of rodents during activated states as compared to quiescent (non-activated) states. The evidence shows that these pathways are differentially regulated via the effects of neuromodulators as behavioral contingencies demand. Thus, during activated states, the temporal and spatial response properties of pathways in the thalamocortical network are transformed to allow the processing of sensory information.

  18. Learning strategy refinement reverses early sensory cortical map expansion but not behavior: Support for a theory of directed cortical substrates of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Elias, Gabriel A; Bieszczad, Kasia M; Weinberger, Norman M

    2015-12-01

    Primary sensory cortical fields develop highly specific associative representational plasticity, notably enlarged area of representation of reinforced signal stimuli within their topographic maps. However, overtraining subjects after they have solved an instrumental task can reduce or eliminate the expansion while the successful behavior remains. As the development of this plasticity depends on the learning strategy used to solve a task, we asked whether the loss of expansion is due to the strategy used during overtraining. Adult male rats were trained in a three-tone auditory discrimination task to bar-press to the CS+ for water reward and refrain from doing so during the CS- tones and silent intertrial intervals; errors were punished by a flashing light and time-out penalty. Groups acquired this task to a criterion within seven training sessions by relying on a strategy that was "bar-press from tone-onset-to-error signal" ("TOTE"). Three groups then received different levels of overtraining: Group ST, none; Group RT, one week; Group OT, three weeks. Post-training mapping of their primary auditory fields (A1) showed that Groups ST and RT had developed significantly expanded representational areas, specifically restricted to the frequency band of the CS+ tone. In contrast, the A1 of Group OT was no different from naïve controls. Analysis of learning strategy revealed this group had shifted strategy to a refinement of TOTE in which they self-terminated bar-presses before making an error ("iTOTE"). Across all animals, the greater the use of iTOTE, the smaller was the representation of the CS+ in A1. Thus, the loss of cortical expansion is attributable to a shift or refinement in strategy. This reversal of expansion was considered in light of a novel theoretical framework (CONCERTO) highlighting four basic principles of brain function that resolve anomalous findings and explaining why even a minor change in strategy would involve concomitant shifts of involved brain

  19. Learning strategy refinement reverses early sensory cortical map expansion but not behavior: Support for a theory of directed cortical substrates of learning and memory.

    PubMed

    Elias, Gabriel A; Bieszczad, Kasia M; Weinberger, Norman M

    2015-12-01

    Primary sensory cortical fields develop highly specific associative representational plasticity, notably enlarged area of representation of reinforced signal stimuli within their topographic maps. However, overtraining subjects after they have solved an instrumental task can reduce or eliminate the expansion while the successful behavior remains. As the development of this plasticity depends on the learning strategy used to solve a task, we asked whether the loss of expansion is due to the strategy used during overtraining. Adult male rats were trained in a three-tone auditory discrimination task to bar-press to the CS+ for water reward and refrain from doing so during the CS- tones and silent intertrial intervals; errors were punished by a flashing light and time-out penalty. Groups acquired this task to a criterion within seven training sessions by relying on a strategy that was "bar-press from tone-onset-to-error signal" ("TOTE"). Three groups then received different levels of overtraining: Group ST, none; Group RT, one week; Group OT, three weeks. Post-training mapping of their primary auditory fields (A1) showed that Groups ST and RT had developed significantly expanded representational areas, specifically restricted to the frequency band of the CS+ tone. In contrast, the A1 of Group OT was no different from naïve controls. Analysis of learning strategy revealed this group had shifted strategy to a refinement of TOTE in which they self-terminated bar-presses before making an error ("iTOTE"). Across all animals, the greater the use of iTOTE, the smaller was the representation of the CS+ in A1. Thus, the loss of cortical expansion is attributable to a shift or refinement in strategy. This reversal of expansion was considered in light of a novel theoretical framework (CONCERTO) highlighting four basic principles of brain function that resolve anomalous findings and explaining why even a minor change in strategy would involve concomitant shifts of involved brain

  20. Correlated activity supports efficient cortical processing

    PubMed Central

    Hung, Chou P.; Cui, Ding; Chen, Yueh-peng; Lin, Chia-pei; Levine, Matthew R.

    2015-01-01

    Visual recognition is a computational challenge that is thought to occur via efficient coding. An important concept is sparseness, a measure of coding efficiency. The prevailing view is that sparseness supports efficiency by minimizing redundancy and correlations in spiking populations. Yet, we recently reported that “choristers”, neurons that behave more similarly (have correlated stimulus preferences and spontaneous coincident spiking), carry more generalizable object information than uncorrelated neurons (“soloists”) in macaque inferior temporal (IT) cortex. The rarity of choristers (as low as 6% of IT neurons) indicates that they were likely missed in previous studies. Here, we report that correlation strength is distinct from sparseness (choristers are not simply broadly tuned neurons), that choristers are located in non-granular output layers, and that correlated activity predicts human visual search efficiency. These counterintuitive results suggest that a redundant correlational structure supports efficient processing and behavior. PMID:25610392

  1. Reduced Sensory Oscillatory Activity during Rapid Auditory Processing as a Correlate of Language-Learning Impairment

    PubMed Central

    Heim, Sabine; Friedman, Jennifer Thomas; Keil, Andreas; Benasich, April A.

    2010-01-01

    Successful language acquisition has been hypothesized to involve the ability to integrate rapidly presented, brief acoustic cues in sensory cortex. A body of work has suggested that this ability is compromised in language-learning impairment (LLI). The present research aimed to examine sensory integration during rapid auditory processing by means of electrophysiological measures of oscillatory brain activity using data from a larger longitudinal study. Twenty-nine children with LLI and control participants with typical language development (n=18) listened to tone doublets presented at a temporal interval that is essential for accurate speech processing (70-ms interstimulus interval). The children performed a deviant (pitch change of second tone) detection task, or listened passively. The electroencephalogram was recorded from 64 electrodes. Data were source-projected to the auditory cortices and submitted to wavelet analysis, resulting in time-frequency representations of electrocortical activity. Results show significantly reduced amplitude and phase-locking of early (45–75 ms) oscillations in the gamma-band range (29–52 Hz), specifically in the LLI group, for the second stimulus of the tone doublet. This suggests altered temporal organization of sensory oscillatory activity in LLI when processing rapid sequences. PMID:21822356

  2. Individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum show sensory processing differences as measured by the Sensory Profile

    PubMed Central

    Dunn, Winnie; Strominger, Zoe; Sherr, Elliott H.; Marco, Elysa

    2015-01-01

    Objective Given reports of high pain thresholds and reduced auditory response in individuals with Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (AgCC), this study investigated whether affected participants report atypical experiences and behaviors on a well-established sensory processing measure. Methods Fourteen participants with AgCC (ages 11-59) completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (Brown & Dunn, 2001). Sensory profile scales were classified as “Atypical” if they were more than one standard deviation from the mean. Results Fifty-seven percent of participants with AgCC reported reduced sensory registration as compared to an expected 16% of the normative sample. Similarly, 50% of the AgCC participants reported atypically increased auditory processing difficulties. Conclusions Using a well-established sensory processing questionnaire, participants with AgCC reported measurable differences in multiple aspects of sensory processing. The most notable difference was in the quadrant of low sensory registration, suggesting that individuals with AgCC may require sensory information to be presented more slowly or at a higher intensity for adequate processing. The sensory modality that was most affected was the auditory system, which is consistent with increased rates of language disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders in this population. Understanding sensory processing in individuals with AgCC can both elucidate the role of inter-hemispheric transfer in the development of intact sensory processing as well as contribute to our knowledge of the role of the corpus callosum in a range of disorders in which sensory processes are impacted. PMID:25528608

  3. Propofol disrupts functional interactions between sensory and high-order processing of auditory verbal memory.

    PubMed

    Liu, Xiaolin; Lauer, Kathryn K; Ward, Barney D; Rao, Stephen M; Li, Shi-Jiang; Hudetz, Anthony G

    2012-10-01

    Current theories suggest that disrupting cortical information integration may account for the mechanism of general anesthesia in suppressing consciousness. Human cognitive operations take place in hierarchically structured neural organizations in the brain. The process of low-order neural representation of sensory stimuli becoming integrated in high-order cortices is also known as cognitive binding. Combining neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience, and anesthetic manipulation, we examined how cognitive networks involved in auditory verbal memory are maintained in wakefulness, disrupted in propofol-induced deep sedation, and re-established in recovery. Inspired by the notion of cognitive binding, an functional magnetic resonance imaging-guided connectivity analysis was utilized to assess the integrity of functional interactions within and between different levels of the task-defined brain regions. Task-related responses persisted in the primary auditory cortex (PAC), but vanished in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG) and premotor areas in deep sedation. For connectivity analysis, seed regions representing sensory and high-order processing of the memory task were identified in the PAC and IFG. Propofol disrupted connections from the PAC seed to the frontal regions and thalamus, but not the connections from the IFG seed to a set of widely distributed brain regions in the temporal, frontal, and parietal lobes (with exception of the PAC). These later regions have been implicated in mediating verbal comprehension and memory. These results suggest that propofol disrupts cognition by blocking the projection of sensory information to high-order processing networks and thus preventing information integration. Such findings contribute to our understanding of anesthetic mechanisms as related to information and integration in the brain.

  4. Improvements of sensorimotor processes during action cascading associated with changes in sensory processing architecture–insights from sensory deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading. PMID:27321666

  5. Improvements of sensorimotor processes during action cascading associated with changes in sensory processing architecture-insights from sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Hahne, Anja; Beste, Christian

    2016-01-01

    In most everyday situations sensorimotor processes are quite complex because situations often require to carry out several actions in a specific temporal order; i.e. one has to cascade different actions. While it is known that changes to stimuli affect action cascading mechanisms, it is unknown whether action cascading changes when sensory stimuli are not manipulated, but the neural architecture to process these stimuli is altered. In the current study we test this hypothesis using prelingually deaf subjects as a model to answer this question. We use a system neurophysiological approach using event-related potentials (ERPs) and source localization techniques. We show that prelingually deaf subjects show improvements in action cascading. However, this improvement is most likely not due to changes at the perceptual (P1-ERP) and attentional processing level (N1-ERP), but due to changes at the response selection level (P3-ERP). It seems that the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) is important for these effects to occur, because the TPJ comprises overlapping networks important for the processing of sensory information and the selection of responses. Sensory deprivation thus affects cognitive processes downstream of sensory processing and only these seem to be important for behavioral improvements in situations requiring complex sensorimotor processes and action cascading. PMID:27321666

  6. Sensory Processing in Internationally Adopted, Post-Institutionalized Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wilbarger, Julia; Gunnar, Megan; Schneider, Mary; Pollak, Seth

    2010-01-01

    Background/Methods: Sensory processing capacities of 8-12-year-old internationally adopted (IA) children who experienced prolonged institutional care (greater than 12 months with 75% of pre-adoption lives in institutional care) prior to adoption into family environments (PI) were compared to a group of IA children who were adopted early (less than…

  7. Correlated activity of cortical neurons survives extensive removal of feedforward sensory input

    PubMed Central

    Shapcott, Katharine A.; Schmiedt, Joscha T.; Saunders, Richard C.; Maier, Alexander; Leopold, David A.; Schmid, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental property of brain function is that the spiking activity of cortical neurons is variable and that some of this variability is correlated between neurons. Correlated activity not due to the stimulus arises from shared input but the neuronal circuit mechanisms that result in these noise correlations are not fully understood. Here we tested in the visual system if correlated variability in mid-level area V4 of visual cortex is altered following extensive lesions of primary visual cortex (V1). To this end we recorded longitudinally the neuronal correlations in area V4 of two behaving macaque monkeys before and after a V1 lesion while the monkeys fixated a grey screen. We found that the correlations of neuronal activity survived the lesions in both monkeys. In one monkey, the correlation of multi-unit spiking signals was strongly increased in the first week post-lesion, while in the second monkey, correlated activity was slightly increased, but not greater than some week-by-week fluctuations observed. The typical drop-off of inter-neuronal correlations with cortical distance was preserved after the lesion. Therefore, as V4 noise correlations remain without feedforward input from V1, these results suggest instead that local and/or feedback input seem to be necessary for correlated activity. PMID:27721468

  8. Cerebellar Processing of Sensory Inputs Primes Motor Cortex Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Velayudhan, B.; Hubsch, C.; Pradeep, S.; Roze, E.; Vidailhet, M.; Meunier, S.; Kishore, A.

    2013-01-01

    Plasticity of the human primary motor cortex (M1) has a critical role in motor control and learning. The cerebellum facilitates these functions using sensory feedback. We investigated whether cerebellar processing of sensory afferent information influences the plasticity of the primary motor cortex (M1). Theta-burst stimulation protocols (TBS), both excitatory and inhibitory, were used to modulate the excitability of the posterior cerebellar cortex and to condition an ongoing M1 plasticity. M1 plasticity was subsequently induced in 2 different ways: by paired associative stimulation (PAS) involving sensory processing and TBS that exclusively involves intracortical circuits of M1. Cerebellar excitation attenuated the PAS-induced M1 plasticity, whereas cerebellar inhibition enhanced and prolonged it. Furthermore, cerebellar inhibition abolished the topography-specific response of PAS-induced M1 plasticity, with the effects spreading to adjacent motor maps. Conversely, cerebellar excitation had no effect on the TBS-induced M1 plasticity. This demonstrates the key role of the cerebellum in priming M1 plasticity, and we propose that it is likely to occur at the thalamic or olivo-dentate nuclear level by influencing the sensory processing. We suggest that such a cerebellar priming of M1 plasticity could shape the impending motor command by favoring or inhibiting the recruitment of several muscle representations. PMID:22351647

  9. Thermodynamic Costs of Information Processing in Sensory Adaptation

    PubMed Central

    Sartori, Pablo; Granger, Léo; Lee, Chiu Fan; Horowitz, Jordan M.

    2014-01-01

    Biological sensory systems react to changes in their surroundings. They are characterized by fast response and slow adaptation to varying environmental cues. Insofar as sensory adaptive systems map environmental changes to changes of their internal degrees of freedom, they can be regarded as computational devices manipulating information. Landauer established that information is ultimately physical, and its manipulation subject to the entropic and energetic bounds of thermodynamics. Thus the fundamental costs of biological sensory adaptation can be elucidated by tracking how the information the system has about its environment is altered. These bounds are particularly relevant for small organisms, which unlike everyday computers, operate at very low energies. In this paper, we establish a general framework for the thermodynamics of information processing in sensing. With it, we quantify how during sensory adaptation information about the past is erased, while information about the present is gathered. This process produces entropy larger than the amount of old information erased and has an energetic cost bounded by the amount of new information written to memory. We apply these principles to the E. coli's chemotaxis pathway during binary ligand concentration changes. In this regime, we quantify the amount of information stored by each methyl group and show that receptors consume energy in the range of the information-theoretic minimum. Our work provides a basis for further inquiries into more complex phenomena, such as gradient sensing and frequency response. PMID:25503948

  10. Introduction to the Special Issue on Multimodality of Early Sensory Processing: Early Visual Maps Flexibly Encode Multimodal Space

    PubMed Central

    Arrighi, Roberto; Binda, Paola; Cicchini, Guido Marco

    2016-01-01

    As living organisms, we have the capability to explore our environments through different senses, each making use of specialized organs and returning unique information. This is relayed to a set of cortical areas, each of which appears to be specialized for processing information from a single sense — hence the definition of ‘unisensory’ areas. Many models assume that primary unisensory cortices passively reproduce information from each sensory organ; these then project to associative areas, which actively combine multisensory signals with each other and with cognitive stances. By the same token, the textbook view holds that sensory cortices undergo plastic changes only within a limited ‘critical period’; their function and architecture should remain stable and unchangeable thereafter. This model has led to many fundamental discoveries on the architecture of the sensory systems (e.g., oriented receptive fields, binocularity, topographic maps, to name just the best known). However, a growing body of evidence calls for a review of this conceptual scheme. Based on single-cell recordings from non-human primates, fMRI in humans, psychophysics, and sensory deprivation studies, early sensory areas are losing their status of fixed readouts of receptor activity; they are turning into functional nodes in a network of brain areas that flexibly adapts to the statistics of the input and the behavioral goals. This special issue in Multisensory Research aims to cover three such lines of evidence: suggesting that (1) the flexibility of spatial representations, (2) adult plasticity and (3) multimodality, are not properties of associative areas alone, but may depend on the primary visual cortex V1. PMID:26288898

  11. Separate neural processing of timbre dimensions in auditory sensory memory.

    PubMed

    Caclin, Anne; Brattico, Elvira; Tervaniemi, Mari; Näätänen, Risto; Morlet, Dominique; Giard, Marie-Hélène; McAdams, Stephen

    2006-12-01

    Timbre is a multidimensional perceptual attribute of complex tones that characterizes the identity of a sound source. Our study explores the representation in auditory sensory memory of three timbre dimensions (acoustically related to attack time, spectral centroid, and spectrum fine structure), using the mismatch negativity (MMN) component of the auditory event-related potential. MMN is elicited by a discriminable change in a sound sequence and reflects the detection of the discrepancy between the current stimulus and traces in auditory sensory memory. The stimuli used in the present study were carefully controlled synthetic tones. MMNs were recorded after changes along each of the three timbre dimensions and their combinations. Additivity of unidimensional MMNs and dipole modeling results suggest partially separate MMN generators for different timbre dimensions, reflecting their mainly separate processing in auditory sensory memory. The results expand to timbre dimensions a property of separation of the representation in sensory memory that has already been reported between basic perceptual attributes (pitch, loudness, duration, and location) of sound sources.

  12. Eliciting naturalistic cortical responses with a sensory prosthesis via optimized microstimulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choi, John S.; Brockmeier, Austin J.; McNiel, David B.; von Kraus, Lee M.; Príncipe, José C.; Francis, Joseph T.

    2016-10-01

    Objective. Lost sensations, such as touch, could one day be restored by electrical stimulation along the sensory neural pathways. Such stimulation, when informed by electronic sensors, could provide naturalistic cutaneous and proprioceptive feedback to the user. Perceptually, microstimulation of somatosensory brain regions produces localized, modality-specific sensations, and several spatiotemporal parameters have been studied for their discernibility. However, systematic methods for encoding a wide array of naturally occurring stimuli into biomimetic percepts via multi-channel microstimulation are lacking. More specifically, generating spatiotemporal patterns for explicitly evoking naturalistic neural activation has not yet been explored. Approach. We address this problem by first modeling the dynamical input-output relationship between multichannel microstimulation and downstream neural responses, and then optimizing the input pattern to reproduce naturally occurring touch responses as closely as possible. Main results. Here we show that such optimization produces responses in the S1 cortex of the anesthetized rat that are highly similar to natural, tactile-stimulus-evoked counterparts. Furthermore, information on both pressure and location of the touch stimulus was found to be highly preserved. Significance. Our results suggest that the currently presented stimulus optimization approach holds great promise for restoring naturalistic levels of sensation.

  13. Cortical activity is more stable when sensory stimuli are consciously perceived

    PubMed Central

    Schurger, Aaron; Sarigiannidis, Ioannis; Naccache, Lionel; Sitt, Jacobo D.; Dehaene, Stanislas

    2015-01-01

    According to recent evidence, stimulus-tuned neurons in the cerebral cortex exhibit reduced variability in firing rate across trials, after the onset of a stimulus. However, in order for a reduction in variability to be directly relevant to perception and behavior, it must be realized within trial—the pattern of activity must be relatively stable. Stability is characteristic of decision states in recurrent attractor networks, and its possible relevance to conscious perception has been suggested by theorists. However, it is difficult to measure on the within-trial time scales and broadly distributed spatial scales relevant to perception. We recorded simultaneous magneto- and electroencephalography (MEG and EEG) data while subjects observed threshold-level visual stimuli. Pattern-similarity analyses applied to the data from MEG gradiometers uncovered a pronounced decrease in variability across trials after stimulus onset, consistent with previous single-unit data. This was followed by a significant divergence in variability depending upon subjective report (seen/unseen), with seen trials exhibiting less variability. Applying the same analysis across time, within trial, we found that the latter effect coincided in time with a difference in the stability of the pattern of activity. Stability alone could be used to classify data from individual trials as “seen” or “unseen.” The same metric applied to EEG data from patients with disorders of consciousness exposed to auditory stimuli diverged parametrically according to clinically diagnosed level of consciousness. Differences in signal strength could not account for these results. Conscious perception may involve the transient stabilization of distributed cortical networks, corresponding to a global brain-scale decision. PMID:25847997

  14. Steady-state evoked potentials to tag specific components of nociceptive cortical processing.

    PubMed

    Colon, Elisabeth; Nozaradan, Sylvie; Legrain, Valery; Mouraux, André

    2012-03-01

    Studies have shown that the periodic repetition of a stimulus induces, at certain stimulation frequencies, a sustained electro-cortical response of corresponding frequency, referred to as steady-state evoked potential (SSEP). Using infrared laser stimulation, we recently showed that SSEPs can be used to explore nociceptive cortical processing. Here, we implemented a novel approach to elicit such responses, using a periodic intra-epidermal electrical stimulation of cutaneous Aδ-nociceptors (Aδ-SSEPs). Using a wide range of frequencies (3-43 Hz), we compared the scalp topographies and temporal dynamics of these Aδ-SSEPs to the Aβ-SSEPs elicited by non-nociceptive transcutaneous electrical stimulation, as well as to the transient ERPs elicited by the onsets of the 10-s stimulation trains, applied to the left and right hand. At 3 Hz, we found that the topographies of Aβ- and Aδ-SSEPs were both maximal at the scalp vertex, and resembled closely that of the late P2 wave of transient ERPs, suggesting activity originating from the same neuronal populations. The responses also showed marked habituation, suggesting that they were mainly related to unspecific, attention-related processes. In contrast, at frequencies >3 Hz, the topographies of Aβ- and Aδ-SSEPs were markedly different. Aβ-SSEPs were maximal over the contralateral parietal region, whereas Aδ-SSEPs were maximal over midline frontal regions, thus indicating an entrainment of distinct neuronal populations. Furthermore, the responses showed no habituation, suggesting more obligatory and specific stages of sensory processing. Taken together, our results indicate that Aβ- and Aδ-SSEPs offer a unique opportunity to study the cortical representation of nociception and touch. PMID:22197788

  15. Dopamine modulation of emotional processing in cortical and subcortical neural circuits: evidence for a final common pathway in schizophrenia?

    PubMed

    Laviolette, Steven R

    2007-07-01

    The neural regulation of emotional perception, learning, and memory is essential for normal behavioral and cognitive functioning. Many of the symptoms displayed by individuals with schizophrenia may arise from fundamental disturbances in the ability to accurately process emotionally salient sensory information. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) and its ability to modulate neural regions involved in emotional learning, perception, and memory formation has received considerable research attention as a potential final common pathway to account for the aberrant emotional regulation and psychosis present in the schizophrenic syndrome. Evidence from both human neuroimaging studies and animal-based research using neurodevelopmental, behavioral, and electrophysiological techniques have implicated the mesocorticolimbic DA circuit as a crucial system for the encoding and expression of emotionally salient learning and memory formation. While many theories have examined the cortical-subcortical interactions between prefrontal cortical regions and subcortical DA substrates, many questions remain as to how DA may control emotional perception and learning and how disturbances linked to DA abnormalities may underlie the disturbed emotional processing in schizophrenia. Beyond the mesolimbic DA system, increasing evidence points to the amygdala-prefrontal cortical circuit as an important processor of emotionally salient information and how neurodevelopmental perturbances within this circuitry may lead to dysregulation of DAergic modulation of emotional processing and learning along this cortical-subcortical emotional processing circuit. PMID:17519393

  16. Effects of parietal TMS on visual and auditory processing at the primary cortical level -- a concurrent TMS-fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Leitão, Joana; Thielscher, Axel; Werner, Sebastian; Pohmann, Rolf; Noppeney, Uta

    2013-04-01

    Accumulating evidence suggests that multisensory interactions emerge already at the primary cortical level. Specifically, auditory inputs were shown to suppress activations in visual cortices when presented alone but amplify the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) responses to concurrent visual inputs (and vice versa). This concurrent transcranial magnetic stimulation-functional magnetic resonance imaging (TMS-fMRI) study applied repetitive TMS trains at no, low, and high intensity over right intraparietal sulcus (IPS) and vertex to investigate top-down influences on visual and auditory cortices under 3 sensory contexts: visual, auditory, and no stimulation. IPS-TMS increased activations in auditory cortices irrespective of sensory context as a result of direct and nonspecific auditory TMS side effects. In contrast, IPS-TMS modulated activations in the visual cortex in a state-dependent fashion: it deactivated the visual cortex under no and auditory stimulation but amplified the BOLD response to visual stimulation. However, only the response amplification to visual stimulation was selective for IPS-TMS, while the deactivations observed for IPS- and Vertex-TMS resulted from crossmodal deactivations induced by auditory activity to TMS sounds. TMS to IPS may increase the responses in visual (or auditory) cortices to visual (or auditory) stimulation via a gain control mechanism or crossmodal interactions. Collectively, our results demonstrate that understanding TMS effects on (uni)sensory processing requires a multisensory perspective.

  17. Imaging of Cortical and White Matter Language Processing.

    PubMed

    Klein, Andrew P; Sabsevitz, David S; Ulmer, John L; Mark, Leighton P

    2015-06-01

    Although investigations into the functional and anatomical organization of language within the human brain began centuries ago, it is recent advanced imaging techniques including functional magnetic resonance imaging and diffusion tensor imaging that have helped propel our understanding forward at an unprecedented rate. Important cortical brain regions and white matter tracts in language processing subsystems including semantic, phonological, and orthographic functions have been identified. An understanding of functional and dysfunctional language anatomy is critical for practicing radiologists. This knowledge can be applied to routine neuroimaging examinations as well as to more advanced examinations such as presurgical brain mapping.

  18. Sensory Processing Difficulties, Behavioral Problems, and Parental Stress in a Clinical Population of Young Children

    PubMed Central

    Wind, Carina; Henninger, Erin M.; Chinitz, Susan

    2012-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between sensory processing difficulties, parental stress, and behavioral problems in a clinical sample of young children with developmental and behavioral difficulties. We hypothesized that a high rate of sensory processing difficulties would be found, that there would be a high rate of comorbidity between sensory processing difficulties and behavioral problems, and that children’s sensory processing difficulties and parental stress would be highly correlated. Parents of 59 children ages two to five who attended an out-patient clinic in a low income, urban community completed the Child Behavior Checklist, Parental Stress Inventory-Short Form and the Short Sensory Profile. Children in this clinical population showed a high prevalence (55.9%) of sensory processing difficulties, a significantly higher rate than previously reported. Sensory processing deficits were correlated with behavioral difficulties and parental stress levels-suggesting that as sensory processing difficulties increase, so do behavioral difficulties and parental stress. Parents of children with sensory processing deficits had significantly higher levels of parental stress than parents of children without sensory deficits. Parenting stress levels were also clinically elevated for the cohort of children in which sensory processing difficulties and behavioral concerns co-existed. These findings suggest that treatment outcomes might improve and parental stress could be reduced if mental health clinicians were trained to identify and address sensory problems. This could result in more children being screened and treated for sensory processing difficulties and an eventual reduction in the rates of parental stress. PMID:24443636

  19. Facilitated early cortical processing of nude human bodies.

    PubMed

    Alho, Jussi; Salminen, Nelli; Sams, Mikko; Hietanen, Jari K; Nummenmaa, Lauri

    2015-07-01

    Functional brain imaging has identified specialized neural systems supporting human body perception. Responses to nude vs. clothed bodies within this system are amplified. However, it remains unresolved whether nude and clothed bodies are processed by same cerebral networks or whether processing of nude bodies recruits additional affective and arousal processing areas. We recorded simultaneous MEG and EEG while participants viewed photographs of clothed and nude bodies. Global field power revealed a peak ∼145ms after stimulus onset to both clothed and nude bodies, and ∼205ms exclusively to nude bodies. Nude-body-sensitive responses were centered first (100-200ms) in the extrastriate and fusiform body areas, and subsequently (200-300ms) in affective-motivational areas including insula and anterior cingulate cortex. We conclude that visibility of sexual features facilitates early cortical processing of human bodies, the purpose of which is presumably to trigger sexual behavior and ultimately ensure reproduction.

  20. The role of Hopf bifurcation dynamics in sensory processes.

    PubMed

    Balakrishnan, J; Ashok, B

    2010-07-21

    We emphasize here the role of the Hopf bifurcation in detection of stimuli in sensory processes--we discuss in particular chemosensors. It is shown that the essential nonlinearities inherent in the signal transduction mechanism can take advantage of the noise from the environment the system is subject to, to display a highly amplified response to stimuli in a frequency-selective manner. It is shown that in the absence of any externally applied stimulus, the feedback mechanisms playing a regulatory role in the transduction mechanism can give rise, in the presence of noise, to peaks in the spectral power density, suggesting enhanced spontaneous activity in sensory cells. The power law in this spectrum is determined.

  1. tDCS modulates cortical nociceptive processing but has little to no impact on pain perception.

    PubMed

    Ihle, Kristin; Rodriguez-Raecke, Rea; Luedtke, Kerstin; May, Arne

    2014-10-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) effectively modulates cortical excitability. Several studies suggest clinical efficacy in chronic pain syndromes. However, little is known regarding its effects on cortical pain processing. In this double-blind, randomized, cross-over, sham controlled study, we examined the effects of anodal, cathodal, and sham stimulation of the left motor cortex in 16 healthy volunteers using functional imaging during an acute heat pain paradigm as well as pain thresholds, pain intensity ratings, and quantitative sensory testing. tDCS was applied at 1 mA for 15 minutes. Neither cathodal nor anodal tDCS significantly changed brain activation in response to nociceptive stimulation when compared with sham stimulation. However, contrasting the interaction of stimulation modes (anodal/cathodal) resulted in a significant decrease of activation in the hypothalamus, inferior parietal cortex, inferior parietal lobule, anterior insula, and precentral gyrus, contralateral to the stimulation site after anodal stimulation, which showed the opposite behavior after cathodal stimulation. Pain ratings and heat hyperalgesia showed only a subclinical pain reduction after anodal tDCS. Larger-scale clinical trials using higher tDCS intensities or longer durations are necessary to assess the neurophysiological effect and subsequently the therapeutic potential of tDCS.

  2. A Comparison of Patterns of Sensory Processing in Children with and without Developmental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cheung, Phoebe P. P.; Siu, Andrew M. H.

    2009-01-01

    This study compared the patterns of sensory processing among children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and children without disabilities. Parents reported on the frequency of sensory processing issues by completing the Chinese Sensory Profile (CSP). Children with disabilities (ASD or ADHD)…

  3. A quantitative comparison of the hemispheric, areal, and laminar origins of sensory and motor cortical projections to the superior colliculus of the cat.

    PubMed

    Butler, Blake E; Chabot, Nicole; Lomber, Stephen G

    2016-09-01

    The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain structure central to orienting behaviors. The organization of descending projections from sensory cortices to the SC has garnered much attention; however, rarely have projections from multiple modalities been quantified and contrasted, allowing for meaningful conclusions within a single species. Here, we examine corticotectal projections from visual, auditory, somatosensory, motor, and limbic cortices via retrograde pathway tracers injected throughout the superficial and deep layers of the cat SC. As anticipated, the majority of cortical inputs to the SC originate in the visual cortex. In fact, each field implicated in visual orienting behavior makes a substantial projection. Conversely, only one area of the auditory orienting system, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (fAES), and no area involved in somatosensory orienting, shows significant corticotectal inputs. Although small relative to visual inputs, the projection from the fAES is of particular interest, as it represents the only bilateral cortical input to the SC. This detailed, quantitative study allows for comparison across modalities in an animal that serves as a useful model for both auditory and visual perception. Moreover, the differences in patterns of corticotectal projections between modalities inform the ways in which orienting systems are modulated by cortical feedback. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2623-2642, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. A quantitative comparison of the hemispheric, areal, and laminar origins of sensory and motor cortical projections to the superior colliculus of the cat.

    PubMed

    Butler, Blake E; Chabot, Nicole; Lomber, Stephen G

    2016-09-01

    The superior colliculus (SC) is a midbrain structure central to orienting behaviors. The organization of descending projections from sensory cortices to the SC has garnered much attention; however, rarely have projections from multiple modalities been quantified and contrasted, allowing for meaningful conclusions within a single species. Here, we examine corticotectal projections from visual, auditory, somatosensory, motor, and limbic cortices via retrograde pathway tracers injected throughout the superficial and deep layers of the cat SC. As anticipated, the majority of cortical inputs to the SC originate in the visual cortex. In fact, each field implicated in visual orienting behavior makes a substantial projection. Conversely, only one area of the auditory orienting system, the auditory field of the anterior ectosylvian sulcus (fAES), and no area involved in somatosensory orienting, shows significant corticotectal inputs. Although small relative to visual inputs, the projection from the fAES is of particular interest, as it represents the only bilateral cortical input to the SC. This detailed, quantitative study allows for comparison across modalities in an animal that serves as a useful model for both auditory and visual perception. Moreover, the differences in patterns of corticotectal projections between modalities inform the ways in which orienting systems are modulated by cortical feedback. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:2623-2642, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26850989

  5. Gravity receptors - An ultrastructural basis for peripheral sensory processing

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ross, M. D.; Donovan, K.

    1984-01-01

    The present ultrastructural study of serial sections has shown that type II hair cells of the anterior part of the utricular macula are integrated into the afferent neural circuitry of type I cells, which are arranged in clusters. Additionally, there exists a complex system of intramacularly originating efferent-type nerve fibers and terminals. The findings, taken together, suggest that on morphological grounds, complex processing of sensory information occurs in gravity receptors. Asymmetry of such a complex system may contribute to motion and space-motion sickness.

  6. Loss of promoter IV-driven BDNF expression impacts oscillatory activity during sleep, sensory information processing and fear regulation

    PubMed Central

    Hill, J L; Hardy, N F; Jimenez, D V; Maynard, K R; Kardian, A S; Pollock, C J; Schloesser, R J; Martinowich, K

    2016-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by hyperarousal, sensory processing impairments, sleep disturbances and altered fear regulation; phenotypes associated with changes in brain oscillatory activity. Molecules associated with activity-dependent plasticity, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), may regulate neural oscillations by controlling synaptic activity. BDNF synthesis includes production of multiple Bdnf transcripts, which contain distinct 5′ noncoding exons. We assessed arousal, sensory processing, fear regulation and sleep in animals where BDNF expression from activity-dependent promoter IV is disrupted (Bdnf-e4 mice). Bdnf-e4 mice display sensory hyper-reactivity and impaired electrophysiological correlates of sensory information processing as measured by event-related potentials (ERP). Utilizing electroencephalogram, we identified a decrease in slow-wave activity during non-rapid eye movement sleep, suggesting impaired sleep homeostasis. Fear extinction is controlled by hippocampal–prefrontal cortical BDNF signaling, and neurophysiological communication patterns between the hippocampus (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) correlate with behavioral performance during extinction. Impaired fear extinction in Bdnf-e4 mice is accompanied by increased HPC activation and decreased HPC–mPFC theta phase synchrony during early extinction, as well as increased mPFC activation during extinction recall. These results suggest that activity-dependent BDNF signaling is critical for regulating oscillatory activity, which may contribute to altered behavior. PMID:27552586

  7. Loss of promoter IV-driven BDNF expression impacts oscillatory activity during sleep, sensory information processing and fear regulation.

    PubMed

    Hill, J L; Hardy, N F; Jimenez, D V; Maynard, K R; Kardian, A S; Pollock, C J; Schloesser, R J; Martinowich, K

    2016-01-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by hyperarousal, sensory processing impairments, sleep disturbances and altered fear regulation; phenotypes associated with changes in brain oscillatory activity. Molecules associated with activity-dependent plasticity, including brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), may regulate neural oscillations by controlling synaptic activity. BDNF synthesis includes production of multiple Bdnf transcripts, which contain distinct 5' noncoding exons. We assessed arousal, sensory processing, fear regulation and sleep in animals where BDNF expression from activity-dependent promoter IV is disrupted (Bdnf-e4 mice). Bdnf-e4 mice display sensory hyper-reactivity and impaired electrophysiological correlates of sensory information processing as measured by event-related potentials (ERP). Utilizing electroencephalogram, we identified a decrease in slow-wave activity during non-rapid eye movement sleep, suggesting impaired sleep homeostasis. Fear extinction is controlled by hippocampal-prefrontal cortical BDNF signaling, and neurophysiological communication patterns between the hippocampus (HPC) and medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) correlate with behavioral performance during extinction. Impaired fear extinction in Bdnf-e4 mice is accompanied by increased HPC activation and decreased HPC-mPFC theta phase synchrony during early extinction, as well as increased mPFC activation during extinction recall. These results suggest that activity-dependent BDNF signaling is critical for regulating oscillatory activity, which may contribute to altered behavior. PMID:27552586

  8. General Anesthetic Conditions Induce Network Synchrony and Disrupt Sensory Processing in the Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Lissek, Thomas; Obenhaus, Horst A.; Ditzel, Désirée A. W.; Nagai, Takeharu; Miyawaki, Atsushi; Sprengel, Rolf; Hasan, Mazahir T.

    2016-01-01

    General anesthetics are commonly used in animal models to study how sensory signals are represented in the brain. Here, we used two-photon (2P) calcium activity imaging with cellular resolution to investigate how neuronal activity in layer 2/3 of the mouse barrel cortex is modified under the influence of different concentrations of chemically distinct general anesthetics. Our results show that a high isoflurane dose induces synchrony in local neuronal networks and these cortical activity patterns closely resemble those observed in EEG recordings under deep anesthesia. Moreover, ketamine and urethane also induced similar activity patterns. While investigating the effects of deep isoflurane anesthesia on whisker and auditory evoked responses in the barrel cortex, we found that dedicated spatial regions for sensory signal processing become disrupted. We propose that our isoflurane-2P imaging paradigm can serve as an attractive model system to dissect cellular and molecular mechanisms that induce the anesthetic state, and it might also provide important insight into sleep-like brain states and consciousness. PMID:27147963

  9. Prefrontal cortical minicolumn: from executive control to disrupted cognitive processing

    PubMed Central

    Casanova, Manuel F.

    2014-01-01

    The prefrontal cortex of the primate brain has a modular architecture based on the aggregation of neurons in minicolumnar arrangements having afferent and efferent connections distributed across many brain regions to represent, select and/or maintain behavioural goals and executive commands. Prefrontal cortical microcircuits are assumed to play a key role in the perception to action cycle that integrates relevant information about environment, and then selects and enacts behavioural responses. Thus, neurons within the interlaminar microcircuits participate in various functional states requiring the integration of signals across cortical layers and the selection of executive variables. Recent research suggests that executive abilities emerge from cortico-cortical interactions between interlaminar prefrontal cortical microcircuits, whereas their disruption is involved in a broad spectrum of neurologic and psychiatric disorders such as autism, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and drug addiction. The focus of this review is on the structural, functional and pathological approaches involving cortical minicolumns. Based on recent technological progress it has been demonstrated that microstimulation of infragranular cortical layers with patterns of microcurrents derived from supragranular layers led to an increase in cognitive performance. This suggests that interlaminar prefrontal cortical microcircuits are playing a causal role in improving cognitive performance. An important reason for the new interest in cortical modularity comes from both the impressive progress in understanding anatomical, physiological and pathological facets of cortical microcircuits and the promise of neural prosthetics for patients with neurological and psychiatric disorders. PMID:24531625

  10. Analysis and modeling of neural processes underlying sensory preconditioning.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Hirashima, Daisuke; Mizunami, Makoto

    2013-03-01

    Sensory preconditioning (SPC) is a procedure to demonstrate learning to associate between relatively neutral sensory stimuli in the absence of an external reinforcing stimulus, the underlying neural mechanisms of which have remained obscure. We address basic questions about neural processes underlying SPC, including whether neurons that mediate reward or punishment signals in reinforcement learning participate in association between neutral sensory stimuli. In crickets, we have suggested that octopaminergic (OA-ergic) or dopaminergic (DA-ergic) neurons participate in memory acquisition and retrieval in appetitive or aversive conditioning, respectively. Crickets that had been trained to associate an odor (CS2) with a visual pattern (CS1) (phase 1) and then to associate CS1 with water reward or quinine punishment (phase 2) exhibited a significantly increased or decreased preference for CS2 that had never been paired with the US, demonstrating successful SPC. Injection of an OA or DA receptor antagonist at different phases of the SPC training and testing showed that OA-ergic or DA-ergic neurons do not participate in learning of CS2-CS1 association in phase 1, but that OA-ergic neurons participate in learning in phase 2 and memory retrieval after appetitive SPC training. We also obtained evidence suggesting that association between CS2 and US, which should underlie conditioned response of crickets to CS2, is formed in phase 2, contrary to the standard theory of SPC assuming that it occurs in the final test. We propose models of SPC to account for these findings, by extending our model of classical conditioning.

  11. Analysis and modeling of neural processes underlying sensory preconditioning.

    PubMed

    Matsumoto, Yukihisa; Hirashima, Daisuke; Mizunami, Makoto

    2013-03-01

    Sensory preconditioning (SPC) is a procedure to demonstrate learning to associate between relatively neutral sensory stimuli in the absence of an external reinforcing stimulus, the underlying neural mechanisms of which have remained obscure. We address basic questions about neural processes underlying SPC, including whether neurons that mediate reward or punishment signals in reinforcement learning participate in association between neutral sensory stimuli. In crickets, we have suggested that octopaminergic (OA-ergic) or dopaminergic (DA-ergic) neurons participate in memory acquisition and retrieval in appetitive or aversive conditioning, respectively. Crickets that had been trained to associate an odor (CS2) with a visual pattern (CS1) (phase 1) and then to associate CS1 with water reward or quinine punishment (phase 2) exhibited a significantly increased or decreased preference for CS2 that had never been paired with the US, demonstrating successful SPC. Injection of an OA or DA receptor antagonist at different phases of the SPC training and testing showed that OA-ergic or DA-ergic neurons do not participate in learning of CS2-CS1 association in phase 1, but that OA-ergic neurons participate in learning in phase 2 and memory retrieval after appetitive SPC training. We also obtained evidence suggesting that association between CS2 and US, which should underlie conditioned response of crickets to CS2, is formed in phase 2, contrary to the standard theory of SPC assuming that it occurs in the final test. We propose models of SPC to account for these findings, by extending our model of classical conditioning. PMID:23380289

  12. A Systematic Review of Sensory Processing Interventions for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Case-Smith, Jane; Weaver, Lindy L.; Fristad, Mary A.

    2015-01-01

    Children with autism spectrum disorders often exhibit co-occurring sensory processing problems and receive interventions that target self-regulation. In current practice, sensory interventions apply different theoretic constructs, focus on different goals, use a variety of sensory modalities, and involve markedly disparate procedures. Previous…

  13. Experimental analysis of drilling process in cortical bone.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wendong; Shi, Yikai; Yang, Ning; Yuan, Xiaoqing

    2014-02-01

    Bone drilling is an essential part in orthopaedics, traumatology and bone biopsy. Prediction and control of drilling forces and torque are critical to the success of operations involving bone drilling. This paper studied the drilling force, torque and drilling process with automatic and manual drill penetrating into bovine cortical bone. The tests were performed on a drilling system which is used to drill and measure forces and torque during drilling. The effects of drilling speed, feed rate and drill bit diameter on force and torque were discussed separately. The experimental results were proven to be in accordance with the mathematic expressions introduced in this paper. The automatic drilling saved drilling time by 30-60% in the tested range and created less vibration, compared to manual drilling. The deviation between maximum and average force of the automatic drilling was 5N but 25N for manual drilling. To conclude, using the automatic method has significant advantages in control drilling force, torque and drilling process in bone drilling.

  14. Simulating Cortical Feedback Modulation as Changes in Excitation and Inhibition in a Cortical Circuit Model.

    PubMed

    Zagha, Edward; Murray, John D; McCormick, David A

    2016-01-01

    Cortical feedback pathways are hypothesized to distribute context-dependent signals during flexible behavior. Recent experimental work has attempted to understand the mechanisms by which cortical feedback inputs modulate their target regions. Within the mouse whisker sensorimotor system, cortical feedback stimulation modulates spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness, leading to enhanced sensory representations. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study we use a simplified neural circuit model, which includes two recurrent excitatory populations and global inhibition, to simulate cortical modulation. First, we demonstrate how changes in the strengths of excitation and inhibition alter the input-output processing responses of our model. Second, we compare these responses with experimental findings from cortical feedback stimulation. Our analyses predict that enhanced inhibition underlies the changes in spontaneous and sensory evoked activity observed experimentally. More generally, these analyses provide a framework for relating cellular and synaptic properties to emergent circuit function and dynamic modulation. PMID:27595137

  15. Simulating Cortical Feedback Modulation as Changes in Excitation and Inhibition in a Cortical Circuit Model

    PubMed Central

    Murray, John D.; McCormick, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cortical feedback pathways are hypothesized to distribute context-dependent signals during flexible behavior. Recent experimental work has attempted to understand the mechanisms by which cortical feedback inputs modulate their target regions. Within the mouse whisker sensorimotor system, cortical feedback stimulation modulates spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness, leading to enhanced sensory representations. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study we use a simplified neural circuit model, which includes two recurrent excitatory populations and global inhibition, to simulate cortical modulation. First, we demonstrate how changes in the strengths of excitation and inhibition alter the input–output processing responses of our model. Second, we compare these responses with experimental findings from cortical feedback stimulation. Our analyses predict that enhanced inhibition underlies the changes in spontaneous and sensory evoked activity observed experimentally. More generally, these analyses provide a framework for relating cellular and synaptic properties to emergent circuit function and dynamic modulation.

  16. Simulating Cortical Feedback Modulation as Changes in Excitation and Inhibition in a Cortical Circuit Model.

    PubMed

    Zagha, Edward; Murray, John D; McCormick, David A

    2016-01-01

    Cortical feedback pathways are hypothesized to distribute context-dependent signals during flexible behavior. Recent experimental work has attempted to understand the mechanisms by which cortical feedback inputs modulate their target regions. Within the mouse whisker sensorimotor system, cortical feedback stimulation modulates spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness, leading to enhanced sensory representations. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study we use a simplified neural circuit model, which includes two recurrent excitatory populations and global inhibition, to simulate cortical modulation. First, we demonstrate how changes in the strengths of excitation and inhibition alter the input-output processing responses of our model. Second, we compare these responses with experimental findings from cortical feedback stimulation. Our analyses predict that enhanced inhibition underlies the changes in spontaneous and sensory evoked activity observed experimentally. More generally, these analyses provide a framework for relating cellular and synaptic properties to emergent circuit function and dynamic modulation.

  17. Simulating Cortical Feedback Modulation as Changes in Excitation and Inhibition in a Cortical Circuit Model

    PubMed Central

    Murray, John D.; McCormick, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Cortical feedback pathways are hypothesized to distribute context-dependent signals during flexible behavior. Recent experimental work has attempted to understand the mechanisms by which cortical feedback inputs modulate their target regions. Within the mouse whisker sensorimotor system, cortical feedback stimulation modulates spontaneous activity and sensory responsiveness, leading to enhanced sensory representations. However, the cellular mechanisms underlying these effects are currently unknown. In this study we use a simplified neural circuit model, which includes two recurrent excitatory populations and global inhibition, to simulate cortical modulation. First, we demonstrate how changes in the strengths of excitation and inhibition alter the input–output processing responses of our model. Second, we compare these responses with experimental findings from cortical feedback stimulation. Our analyses predict that enhanced inhibition underlies the changes in spontaneous and sensory evoked activity observed experimentally. More generally, these analyses provide a framework for relating cellular and synaptic properties to emergent circuit function and dynamic modulation. PMID:27595137

  18. Multisensory integration during short-term music reading training enhances both uni- and multisensory cortical processing.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

    The human ability to integrate the input of several sensory systems is essential for building a meaningful interpretation out of the complexity of the environment. Training studies have shown that the involvement of multiple senses during training enhances neuroplasticity, but it is not clear to what extent integration of the senses during training is required for the observed effects. This study intended to elucidate the differential contributions of uni- and multisensory elements of music reading training in the resulting plasticity of abstract audiovisual incongruency identification. We used magnetoencephalography to measure the pre- and posttraining cortical responses of two randomly assigned groups of participants that followed either an audiovisual music reading training that required multisensory integration (AV-Int group) or a unisensory training that had separate auditory and visual elements (AV-Sep group). Results revealed a network of frontal generators for the abstract audiovisual incongruency response, confirming previous findings, and indicated the central role of anterior prefrontal cortex in this process. Differential neuroplastic effects of the two types of training in frontal and temporal regions point to the crucial role of multisensory integration occurring during training. Moreover, a comparison of the posttraining cortical responses of both groups to a group of musicians that were tested using the same paradigm revealed that long-term music training leads to significantly greater responses than the short-term training of the AV-Int group in anterior prefrontal regions as well as to significantly greater responses than both short-term training protocols in the left superior temporal gyrus (STG).

  19. Cortical substrates and functional correlates of auditory deviance processing deficits in schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Rissling, Anthony J.; Miyakoshi, Makoto; Sugar, Catherine A.; Braff, David L.; Makeig, Scott; Light, Gregory A.

    2014-01-01

    Although sensory processing abnormalities contribute to widespread cognitive and psychosocial impairments in schizophrenia (SZ) patients, scalp-channel measures of averaged event-related potentials (ERPs) mix contributions from distinct cortical source-area generators, diluting the functional relevance of channel-based ERP measures. SZ patients (n = 42) and non-psychiatric comparison subjects (n = 47) participated in a passive auditory duration oddball paradigm, eliciting a triphasic (Deviant−Standard) tone ERP difference complex, here termed the auditory deviance response (ADR), comprised of a mid-frontal mismatch negativity (MMN), P3a positivity, and re-orienting negativity (RON) peak sequence. To identify its cortical sources and to assess possible relationships between their response contributions and clinical SZ measures, we applied independent component analysis to the continuous 68-channel EEG data and clustered the resulting independent components (ICs) across subjects on spectral, ERP, and topographic similarities. Six IC clusters centered in right superior temporal, right inferior frontal, ventral mid-cingulate, anterior cingulate, medial orbitofrontal, and dorsal mid-cingulate cortex each made triphasic response contributions. Although correlations between measures of SZ clinical, cognitive, and psychosocial functioning and standard (Fz) scalp-channel ADR peak measures were weak or absent, for at least four IC clusters one or more significant correlations emerged. In particular, differences in MMN peak amplitude in the right superior temporal IC cluster accounted for 48% of the variance in SZ-subject performance on tasks necessary for real-world functioning and medial orbitofrontal cluster P3a amplitude accounted for 40%/54% of SZ-subject variance in positive/negative symptoms. Thus, source-resolved auditory deviance response measures including MMN may be highly sensitive to SZ clinical, cognitive, and functional characteristics. PMID:25379456

  20. Competing Sound Sources Reveal Spatial Effects in Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

    Maddox, Ross K.; Billimoria, Cyrus P.; Perrone, Ben P.; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara G.; Sen, Kamal

    2012-01-01

    Why is spatial tuning in auditory cortex weak, even though location is important to object recognition in natural settings? This question continues to vex neuroscientists focused on linking physiological results to auditory perception. Here we show that the spatial locations of simultaneous, competing sound sources dramatically influence how well neural spike trains recorded from the zebra finch field L (an analog of mammalian primary auditory cortex) encode source identity. We find that the location of a birdsong played in quiet has little effect on the fidelity of the neural encoding of the song. However, when the song is presented along with a masker, spatial effects are pronounced. For each spatial configuration, a subset of neurons encodes song identity more robustly than others. As a result, competing sources from different locations dominate responses of different neural subpopulations, helping to separate neural responses into independent representations. These results help elucidate how cortical processing exploits spatial information to provide a substrate for selective spatial auditory attention. PMID:22563301

  1. Thalamic contribution to cortical processing of taste and expectation

    PubMed Central

    Samuelsen, Chad L.; Gardner, Matthew P. H.; Fontanini, Alfredo

    2013-01-01

    Taste related information reaches the gustatory cortex (GC) through two routes: a thalamic and a limbic pathway. While evidence is accumulating on limbic-cortical interactions in taste, very little information is available on the function of the gustatory thalamus in shaping GC activity. Here we rely on behavioral electrophysiological techniques to study taste-evoked activity in GC before and after inactivation of the parvicellular portion of the ventroposteromedial nucleus of thalamus (VPMpc; i.e. the gustatory thalamus). Gustatory stimuli were presented to rats either alone or preceded by an anticipatory cue. The reliance on two different behavioral contexts allowed us to investigate how the VPMpc mediates GC responses to uncued tastants, cued tastants and anticipatory cues. Inactivation of the thalamus resulted in a dramatic reduction of taste processing in GC. However, responses to anticipatory cues were unaffected by this manipulation. The use of a cue-taste association paradigm also allowed for the identification of two subpopulations of taste specific neurons: those that responded to gustatory stimulation and to the cue (i.e. cue-and-taste) and those that responded to tastants only (i.e. taste-only). Analyses of these two populations revealed differences in response dynamics and connectivity with the VPMpc. The results provide novel evidence for the role of VPMpc in shaping GC activity and demonstrate a previously unknown association between responsiveness to behavioral events, temporal dynamics and thalamic connectivity in GC. PMID:23365221

  2. Predictions interact with missing sensory evidence in semantic processing areas.

    PubMed

    Scharinger, Mathias; Bendixen, Alexandra; Herrmann, Björn; Henry, Molly J; Mildner, Toralf; Obleser, Jonas

    2016-02-01

    Human brain function draws on predictive mechanisms that exploit higher-level context during lower-level perception. These mechanisms are particularly relevant for situations in which sensory information is compromised or incomplete, as for example in natural speech where speech segments may be omitted due to sluggish articulation. Here, we investigate which brain areas support the processing of incomplete words that were predictable from semantic context, compared with incomplete words that were unpredictable. During functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), participants heard sentences that orthogonally varied in predictability (semantically predictable vs. unpredictable) and completeness (complete vs. incomplete, i.e. missing their final consonant cluster). The effects of predictability and completeness interacted in heteromodal semantic processing areas, including left angular gyrus and left precuneus, where activity did not differ between complete and incomplete words when they were predictable. The same regions showed stronger activity for incomplete than for complete words when they were unpredictable. The interaction pattern suggests that for highly predictable words, the speech signal does not need to be complete for neural processing in semantic processing areas. Hum Brain Mapp 37:704-716, 2016. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26583355

  3. Incorporating Midbrain Adaptation to Mean Sound Level Improves Models of Auditory Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

    Schoppe, Oliver; King, Andrew J.; Schnupp, Jan W.H.; Harper, Nicol S.

    2016-01-01

    Adaptation to stimulus statistics, such as the mean level and contrast of recently heard sounds, has been demonstrated at various levels of the auditory pathway. It allows the nervous system to operate over the wide range of intensities and contrasts found in the natural world. Yet current standard models of the response properties of auditory neurons do not incorporate such adaptation. Here we present a model of neural responses in the ferret auditory cortex (the IC Adaptation model), which takes into account adaptation to mean sound level at a lower level of processing: the inferior colliculus (IC). The model performs high-pass filtering with frequency-dependent time constants on the sound spectrogram, followed by half-wave rectification, and passes the output to a standard linear–nonlinear (LN) model. We find that the IC Adaptation model consistently predicts cortical responses better than the standard LN model for a range of synthetic and natural stimuli. The IC Adaptation model introduces no extra free parameters, so it improves predictions without sacrificing parsimony. Furthermore, the time constants of adaptation in the IC appear to be matched to the statistics of natural sounds, suggesting that neurons in the auditory midbrain predict the mean level of future sounds and adapt their responses appropriately. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT An ability to accurately predict how sensory neurons respond to novel stimuli is critical if we are to fully characterize their response properties. Attempts to model these responses have had a distinguished history, but it has proven difficult to improve their predictive power significantly beyond that of simple, mostly linear receptive field models. Here we show that auditory cortex receptive field models benefit from a nonlinear preprocessing stage that replicates known adaptation properties of the auditory midbrain. This improves their predictive power across a wide range of stimuli but keeps model complexity low as it

  4. Sensory-processing sensitivity in social anxiety disorder: relationship to harm avoidance and diagnostic subtypes.

    PubMed

    Hofmann, Stefan G; Bitran, Stella

    2007-01-01

    Sensory-processing sensitivity is assumed to be a heritable vulnerability factor for shyness. The present study is the first to examine sensory-processing sensitivity among individuals with social anxiety disorder. The results showed that the construct is separate from social anxiety, but it is highly correlated with harm avoidance and agoraphobic avoidance. Individuals with a generalized subtype of social anxiety disorder reported higher levels of sensory-processing sensitivity than individuals with a non-generalized subtype. These preliminary findings suggest that sensory-processing sensitivity is uniquely associated with the generalized subtype of social anxiety disorder. Recommendations for future research are discussed.

  5. Sensory Processing in Preterm Preschoolers and Its Association with Executive Function

    PubMed Central

    Adams, Jenna N.; Feldman, Heidi M.; Huffman, Lynne C.; Loe, Irene M.

    2015-01-01

    Background Symptoms of abnormal sensory processing have been related to preterm birth, but have not yet been studied specifically in preterm preschoolers. The degree of association between sensory processing and other domains is important for understanding the role of sensory processing symptoms in the development of preterm children. Aims To test two related hypotheses: (1) preterm preschoolers have more sensory processing symptoms than full term preschoolers and (2) sensory processing is associated with both executive function and adaptive function in preterm preschoolers. Study Design Cross-sectional study Subjects Preterm children (≤34 weeks of gestation; n = 54) and full term controls (≥37 weeks of gestation; n = 73) ages 3-5 years. Outcome Measures Sensory processing was assessed with the Short Sensory Profile. Executive function was assessed with (1) parent ratings on the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function- Preschool version and (2) a performance-based battery of tasks. Adaptive function was assessed with the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales-II. Results Preterm preschoolers showed significantly more sensory symptoms than full term controls. A higher percentage of preterm than full term preschoolers had elevated numbers of sensory symptoms (37% vs. 12%). Sensory symptoms in preterm preschoolers were associated with scores on executive function measures, but were not significantly associated with adaptive function. Conclusions Preterm preschoolers exhibited more sensory symptoms than full term controls. Preterm preschoolers with elevated numbers of sensory symptoms also showed executive function impairment. Future research should further examine whether sensory processing and executive function should be considered independent or overlapping constructs. PMID:25706317

  6. The importance of sensory integration processes for action cascading

    PubMed Central

    Gohil, Krutika; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Dual tasking or action cascading is essential in everyday life and often investigated using tasks presenting stimuli in different sensory modalities. Findings obtained with multimodal tasks are often broadly generalized, but until today, it has remained unclear whether multimodal integration affects performance in action cascading or the underlying neurophysiology. To bridge this gap, we asked healthy young adults to complete a stop-change paradigm which presented different stimuli in either one or two modalities while recording behavioral and neurophysiological data. Bimodal stimulus presentation prolonged response times and affected bottom-up and top-down guided attentional processes as reflected by the P1 and N1, respectively. However, the most important effect was the modulation of response selection processes reflected by the P3 suggesting that a potentially different way of forming task goals operates during action cascading in bimodal vs. unimodal tasks. When two modalities are involved, separate task goals need to be formed while a conjoint task goal may be generated when all stimuli are presented in the same modality. On a systems level, these processes seem to be related to the modulation of activity in fronto-polar regions (BA10) as well as Broca's area (BA44). PMID:25820681

  7. Pitch processing of dynamic lexical tones in the auditory cortex is influenced by sensory and extrasensory processes

    PubMed Central

    Krishnan, Ananthanarayan; Gandour, Jackson T.; Suresh, Chandan H.

    2015-01-01

    The aim is to evaluate how language experience (Chinese, English) shapes processing of pitch contours as reflected in the amplitude of cortical pitch response components. Responses were elicited from three dynamic, curvilinear, nonspeech stimuli varying in pitch direction and location of peak acceleration: Mandarin lexical Tone2 (rising) and Tone4 (falling); and a flipped variant of Tone2, Tone2′ (nonnative). At temporal sites (T7/T8), Chinese Na-Pb response amplitude to Tones 2 & 4 was greater than English in the right hemisphere only; a rightward asymmetry for Tones 2 & 4 was restricted to the Chinese group. In common to both Fz-to-linked T7/T8 and T7/T8 electrode sites, the stimulus pattern (Tones 2 & 4 > Tone2′) was found in the Chinese group only. As reflected by Pb-Nb at Fz, Chinese amplitude was larger than English in response to Tones 2 & 4; and Tones 2 & 4 were larger than Tone2′; whereas for English, Tone2 was larger than Tone2′ and Tone4. At frontal electrode sites (F3/F4), regardless of component or hemisphere, Chinese responses were larger in amplitude than English across stimuli. For either group, responses to Tones 2 & 4 were larger than Tone2′. No hemispheric asymmetry was observed at the frontal electrode sites. These findings highlight that cortical pitch response components are differentially modulated by experience-dependent, temporally distinct but functionally overlapping weighting of sensory and extrasensory effects on pitch processing of lexical tones in the right temporal lobe and, more broadly, are consistent with a distributed hierarchical predictive coding process. PMID:25943576

  8. Functional Brain Imaging of Multi-sensory Vestibular Processing during Computerized Dynamic Posturography using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Karim, Helmet; Fuhrman, Susan I; Sparto, Patrick; Furman, Joseph; Huppert, Theodore

    2013-01-01

    Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) is a non-invasive brain imaging method that uses light to record regional changes in cerebral blood flow in the cortex during activation. FNIRS uses portable wearable sensors to allow measurements of brain activation during tasking. In this study, fNIRS was used to investigate how the brain processes information from multiple sensory modalities during dynamic posturography. Fifteen healthy volunteers (9M/6F; ages 28 +/− 9 yrs) participated in the posturography study while undergoing fNIRS brain imaging. Four standard conditions from the sensory organization test (SOT) were performed and a bilateral fNIRS probe was used to examine the cortical brain responses from the frontal, temporal, and parietal brain regions. We found there was bilateral activation in the temporal-parietal areas (superior temporal gyrus, STG, and supramarginal gyrus, SMG) when both vision and proprioceptive information was degraded; forcing reliance on primarily vestibular information in the control of balance. This is consistent with previous reports of the role of these regions in vestibular control and demonstrates the potential utility of fNIRS in the study of cortical control of vestibular function during standing balance tasks. PMID:23419940

  9. Age-Related Variability in Cortical Activity during Language Processing

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fridriksson, Julius; Morrow, K. Leigh; Moser, Dana; Baylis, Gordon C.

    2006-01-01

    Purpose: The present study investigated the extent of cortical activity during overt picture naming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Method: Participants comprised 20 healthy, adult participants with ages ranging from 20 to 82 years. While undergoing fMRI, participants completed a picture-naming task consisting of 60…

  10. Asymmetrical Cortical Processing of Radial Expansioncontraction in Infants and Adults

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Shirai, Nobu; Birtles, Deirdre; Wattam-Bell, John; Yamaguchi, Masami K.; Kanazawa, So; Atkinson, Janette; Braddick, Oliver

    2009-01-01

    We report asymmetrical cortical responses (steady-state visual evoked potentials) to radial expansion and contraction in human infants and adults. Forty-four infants (22 3-month-olds and 22 4-month-olds) and nine adults viewed dynamic dot patterns which cyclically (2.1 Hz) alternate between radial expansion (or contraction) and random directional…

  11. Functionally Approached Body (FAB) Strategies for Young Children Who Have Behavioral and Sensory Processing Challenges

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pagano, John

    2005-01-01

    Functionally Approached Body (FAB) Strategies offer a clinical approach to help parents of young children with behavioral and sensory processing strategies. This article introduces the FAB Strategies, clinical strategies developed by the author for understanding and addressing young children's behavioral and sensory processing challenges. The FAB…

  12. Vasopressin Proves Es-sense-tial: Vasopressin and the Modulation of Sensory Processing in Mammals

    PubMed Central

    Bester-Meredith, Janet K.; Fancher, Alexandria P.; Mammarella, Grace E.

    2015-01-01

    As mammals develop, they encounter increasing social complexity in the surrounding world. In order to survive, mammals must show appropriate behaviors toward their mates, offspring, and same-sex conspecifics. Although the behavioral effects of the neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP) have been studied in a variety of social contexts, the effects of this neuropeptide on multimodal sensory processing have received less attention. AVP is widely distributed through sensory regions of the brain and has been demonstrated to modulate olfactory, auditory, gustatory, and visual processing. Here, we review the evidence linking AVP to the processing of social stimuli in sensory regions of the brain and explore how sensory processing can shape behavioral responses to these stimuli. In addition, we address the interplay between hormonal and neural AVP in regulating sensory processing of social cues. Because AVP pathways show plasticity during development, early life experiences may shape life-long processing of sensory information. Furthermore, disorders of social behavior such as autism and schizophrenia that have been linked with AVP also have been linked with dysfunctions in sensory processing. Together, these studies suggest that AVP’s diversity of effects on social behavior across a variety of mammalian species may result from the effects of this neuropeptide on sensory processing. PMID:25705203

  13. Long-term sensory stimulation therapy improves hand function and restores cortical responsiveness in patients with chronic cerebral lesions. Three single case studies

    PubMed Central

    Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Peters, Sören; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R.

    2012-01-01

    Rehabilitation of sensorimotor impairment resulting from cerebral lesion (CL) utilizes task specific training and massed practice to drive reorganization and sensorimotor improvement due to induction of neuroplasticity mechanisms. Loss of sensory abilities often complicates recovery, and thus the individual's ability to use the affected body part for functional tasks. Therefore, the development of additional and alternative approaches that supplement, enhance, or even replace conventional training procedures would be advantageous. Repetitive sensory stimulation protocols (rSS) have been shown to evoke sensorimotor improvements of the affected limb in patients with chronic stroke. However, the possible impact of long-term rSS on sensorimotor performance of patients with CL, where the incident dated back many years remains unclear. The particular advantage of rSS is its passive nature, which does not require active participation of the subjects. Therefore, rSS can be applied in parallel to other occupations, making the intervention easier to implement and more acceptable to the individual. Here we report the effects of applying rSS for 8, 36, and 76 weeks to the paretic hand of three long-term patients with different types of CL. Different behavioral tests were used to assess sensory and/or sensorimotor performance of the upper extremities prior, after, and during the intervention. In one patient, the impact of long-term rSS on restoration of cortical activation was investigated by recording somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP). After long-term rSS all three patients showed considerable improvements of their sensory and motor abilities. In addition, almost normal evoked potentials could be recorded after rSS in one patient. Our data show that long-term rSS applied to patients with chronic CL can improve tactile and sensorimotor functions, which, however, developed in some cases only after many weeks of stimulation, and continued to further improve on a time scale of

  14. Long-term sensory stimulation therapy improves hand function and restores cortical responsiveness in patients with chronic cerebral lesions. Three single case studies.

    PubMed

    Kattenstroth, Jan-Christoph; Kalisch, Tobias; Peters, Sören; Tegenthoff, Martin; Dinse, Hubert R

    2012-01-01

    Rehabilitation of sensorimotor impairment resulting from cerebral lesion (CL) utilizes task specific training and massed practice to drive reorganization and sensorimotor improvement due to induction of neuroplasticity mechanisms. Loss of sensory abilities often complicates recovery, and thus the individual's ability to use the affected body part for functional tasks. Therefore, the development of additional and alternative approaches that supplement, enhance, or even replace conventional training procedures would be advantageous. Repetitive sensory stimulation protocols (rSS) have been shown to evoke sensorimotor improvements of the affected limb in patients with chronic stroke. However, the possible impact of long-term rSS on sensorimotor performance of patients with CL, where the incident dated back many years remains unclear. The particular advantage of rSS is its passive nature, which does not require active participation of the subjects. Therefore, rSS can be applied in parallel to other occupations, making the intervention easier to implement and more acceptable to the individual. Here we report the effects of applying rSS for 8, 36, and 76 weeks to the paretic hand of three long-term patients with different types of CL. Different behavioral tests were used to assess sensory and/or sensorimotor performance of the upper extremities prior, after, and during the intervention. In one patient, the impact of long-term rSS on restoration of cortical activation was investigated by recording somatosensory evoked potentials (SEP). After long-term rSS all three patients showed considerable improvements of their sensory and motor abilities. In addition, almost normal evoked potentials could be recorded after rSS in one patient. Our data show that long-term rSS applied to patients with chronic CL can improve tactile and sensorimotor functions, which, however, developed in some cases only after many weeks of stimulation, and continued to further improve on a time scale of

  15. Sensory processing and motor skill performance in elementary school children with autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Liu, Ting

    2013-02-01

    Research to examine both sensory processing and motor skill performance in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is limited. This study assessed whether children with ASD would show sensory and motor delays compared to typically developing children and examined the relationship between sensory processing and motor performance. 32 children diagnosed with ASD were assessed using the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) and the Movement ABC-2 (MABC-2). The SSP measures children's sensory processing in daily life and the MABC-2 measures children's fine and gross motor skill performance. Overall, the samples' scores on the SSP indicated atypical sensory processing and scores on the MABC-2 showed poorer fine and gross motor performance as compared to age-matched norms. Furthermore, the samples' scores for sensory processing were positively correlated with their motor performance. The results suggest that fine and gross motor difficulties of children with ASD may be related to their delayed sensory processing to visual, auditory, tactile, and movement stimuli, and that this hypothesis needs to be tested in future research.

  16. Cortical-like functional organization of the pheromone-processing circuits in the medial amygdala.

    PubMed

    Bian, Xiling; Yanagawa, Yuchio; Chen, Wei R; Luo, Minmin

    2008-01-01

    The medial amygdala (MeA) is a critical center for processing pheromonal signals that regulate social and reproductive behaviors, but the fundamental cellular mechanisms underlying signal processing in the MeA have remained largely unknown. Some studies suggest that the MeA belongs to the striatum and provides inhibitory output to hypothalamic areas including the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH). By combining tract tracing, genetic labeling of GABAergic neurons, and immunostaining against markers for glutamatergic synapses, we found that a majority of MeA neurons projecting to the VMH are glutamatergic. Whole cell patch-clamp recordings revealed that VMH-projecting neurons form a homogeneous population in terms of morphological and intrinsic properties. Nearly all cells possess I(h) and I(T) and in some cases they can give rise to postinhibitory rebound spikes. Morphological analysis of neurobiotin-filled cells revealed neurons with long dendritic arbors that extend to the MeA external layer and within the amygdala. Thus the VMH-projecting neurons in the MeA differ from the medium spiny neurons, the principal neurons of striatum, in terms of intrinsic physiological properties and morphology. In contrast, they resemble a subset of pyramidal cells in deep piriform cortex. Similar to pyramidal cells in piriform cortex, the VMH-projecting neurons in the MeA received direct excitatory input from their upstream sensory areas and inhibitory input from local GABAergic neurons. We conclude that pheromonal signals relayed to the VMH are processed by unique cortical, but not striatal, circuitry in the MeA.

  17. Sensory profiles for dried fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars commercially grown and processed in California.

    PubMed

    Haug, Megan T; King, Ellena S; Heymann, Hildegarde; Crisosto, Carlos H

    2013-08-01

    A trained sensory panel evaluated the 6 fig cultivars currently sold in the California dried fig market. The main flavor and aroma attributes determined by the sensory panel were "caramel," "honey," "raisin," and "fig," with additional aroma attributes: "common date," "dried plum," and "molasses." Sensory differences were observed between dried fig cultivars. All figs were processed by 2 commercial handlers. Processing included potassium sorbate as a preservative and SO2 application as an antibrowning agent for white cultivars. As a consequence of SO2 use during processing, high sulfite residues affected the sensory profiles of the white dried fig cultivars. Significant differences between dried fig cultivars and sources demonstrate perceived differences between processing and storage methods. The panel-determined sensory lexicon can help with California fig marketing. PMID:23957419

  18. Sensory profiles for dried fig (Ficus carica L.) cultivars commercially grown and processed in California.

    PubMed

    Haug, Megan T; King, Ellena S; Heymann, Hildegarde; Crisosto, Carlos H

    2013-08-01

    A trained sensory panel evaluated the 6 fig cultivars currently sold in the California dried fig market. The main flavor and aroma attributes determined by the sensory panel were "caramel," "honey," "raisin," and "fig," with additional aroma attributes: "common date," "dried plum," and "molasses." Sensory differences were observed between dried fig cultivars. All figs were processed by 2 commercial handlers. Processing included potassium sorbate as a preservative and SO2 application as an antibrowning agent for white cultivars. As a consequence of SO2 use during processing, high sulfite residues affected the sensory profiles of the white dried fig cultivars. Significant differences between dried fig cultivars and sources demonstrate perceived differences between processing and storage methods. The panel-determined sensory lexicon can help with California fig marketing.

  19. Alcohol sensory processing and its relevance for ingestion.

    PubMed

    Brasser, Susan M; Castro, Norma; Feretic, Brian

    2015-09-01

    Alcohol possesses complex sensory attributes that are first detected by the body via sensory receptors and afferent fibers that promptly transmit signals to brain areas involved in mediating ingestive motivation, reinforcement, and addictive behavior. Given that the chemosensory cues accompanying alcohol consumption are among the most intimate, consistent, and immediate predictors of alcohol's postabsorptive effects, with experience these stimuli also gain powerful associative incentive value to elicit craving and related physiologic changes, maintenance of ongoing alcohol use, and reinstatement of drug seeking after periods of abstinence. Despite the above, preclinical research has traditionally dichotomized alcohol's taste and postingestive influences as independent regulators of motivation to drink. The present review summarizes current evidence regarding alcohol's ability to directly activate peripheral and central oral chemosensory circuits, relevance for intake of the drug, and provides a framework for moving beyond a dissociation between the sensory and postabsorptive effects of alcohol to understand their neurobiological integration and significance for alcohol addiction.

  20. The role of sensory-motor modality compatibility in language processing.

    PubMed

    Schaeffner, Simone; Koch, Iring; Philipp, Andrea M

    2016-03-01

    Language processing requires the combination of compatible (auditory-vocal and visual-manual) or incompatible (auditory-manual and visual-vocal) sensory-motor modalities, and switching between these sensory-motor modality combinations is very common in every-day life. Sensory-motor modality compatibility is defined as the similarity of stimulus modality and the modality of response-related sensory consequences. We investigated the influence of sensory-motor modality compatibility during performing language-related cognitive operations on different linguistic levels. More specifically, we used a variant of the task-switching paradigm, in which participants had to switch between compatible or between incompatible sensory-motor modality combinations during a verbal semantic categorization (Experiment 1) or during a word-form decision (Experiment 2). The data show higher switch costs (i.e., higher reaction times and error rates in switch trials compared to repetition trials) in incompatible sensory-motor modality combinations than in compatible sensory-motor modality combinations. This was true for every language-related cognitive operation, regardless of the individual linguistic level. Taken together, the present study demonstrates that sensory-motor modality compatibility plays an important role in modality switching during language processing.

  1. Brief Report: Exploring the Relationship between Sensory Processing and Repetitive Behaviours in Williams Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Riby, Deborah M.; Janes, Emily; Rodgers, Jacqui

    2013-01-01

    This study explored the relationship between sensory processing abnormalities and repetitive behaviours in children with Williams Syndrome (WS; n = 21). This is a novel investigation bringing together two clinical phenomena for the first time in this neuro-developmental disorder. Parents completed the Sensory Profile (Short Form; Dunn in The…

  2. Sensory Processing Relates to Attachment to Childhood Comfort Objects of College Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalpidou, Maria

    2012-01-01

    The author tested the hypothesis that attachment to comfort objects is based on the sensory processing characteristics of the individual. Fifty-two undergraduate students with and without a childhood comfort object reported sensory responses and performed a tactile threshold task. Those with a comfort object described their object and rated their…

  3. Switching between Sensory and Affective Systems Incurs Processing Costs

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Vermeulen, Nicolas; Niedenthal, Paula M.; Luminet, Olivier

    2007-01-01

    Recent models of the conceptual system hold that concepts are grounded in simulations of actual experiences with instances of those concepts in sensory-motor systems (e.g., Barsalou, 1999, 2003; Solomon & Barsalou, 2001). Studies supportive of such a view have shown that verifying a property of a concept in one modality, and then switching to…

  4. Extreme sensory processing patterns and their relation with clinical conditions among individuals with major affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Muzio, Caterina; Rinosi, Giorgio; Solano, Paola; Geoffroy, Pierre Alexis; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario; Serafini, Gianluca

    2016-02-28

    Previous studies highlighted the involvement of sensory perception in emotional processes. However, the role of extreme sensory processing patterns expressed in hyper- or hyposensitivity was not thoroughly considered. The present study, in real life conditions, examined the unique sensory processing patterns of individuals with major affective disorders and their relationship with psychiatric symptomatology. The sample consisted of 105 participants with major affective conditions ranging in age from 20 to 84 years (mean=56.7±14.6). All participants completed the Temperament Evaluation of Memphis, Pisa, Paris and San Diego (TEMPS-A), the second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). Sensory sensitivity/avoiding hypersensitivity patterns and low registration (a hyposensitivity pattern) were prevalent among our sample as compared to normative data. About seventy percent of the sample showed lower seeking tendency. Stepwise regression analyses revealed that depression and anxious/cyclothymic affective temperaments were predicted by sensory sensory/avoiding. Anxious and irritable affective temperaments were predicted by low registration. Hyperthymic affective temperament and lower severity of depression were predicted by sensation seeking. Hyposensitivity or hypersensitivity may be "trait" markers of individuals with major affective disorders. Interventions should refer to the individual unique sensory profiles and their behavioral and functional impact in the context of real life.

  5. Area Spt in the human planum temporale supports sensory-motor integration for speech processing.

    PubMed

    Hickok, Gregory; Okada, Kayoko; Serences, John T

    2009-05-01

    Processing incoming sensory information and transforming this input into appropriate motor responses is a critical and ongoing aspect of our moment-to-moment interaction with the environment. While the neural mechanisms in the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) that support the transformation of sensory inputs into simple eye or limb movements has received a great deal of empirical attention-in part because these processes are easy to study in nonhuman primates-little work has been done on sensory-motor transformations in the domain of speech. Here we used functional magnetic resonance imaging and multivariate analysis techniques to demonstrate that a region of the planum temporale (Spt) shows distinct spatial activation patterns during sensory and motor aspects of a speech task. This result suggests that just as the PPC supports sensorimotor integration for eye and limb movements, area Spt forms part of a sensory-motor integration circuit for the vocal tract.

  6. Coordinated and Compartmentalized Neuromodulation Shapes Sensory Processing in Drosophila.

    PubMed

    Cohn, Raphael; Morantte, Ianessa; Ruta, Vanessa

    2015-12-17

    Learned and adaptive behaviors rely on neural circuits that flexibly couple the same sensory input to alternative output pathways. Here, we show that the Drosophila mushroom body functions like a switchboard in which neuromodulation reroutes the same odor signal to different behavioral circuits, depending on the state and experience of the fly. Using functional synaptic imaging and electrophysiology, we reveal that dopaminergic inputs to the mushroom body modulate synaptic transmission with exquisite spatial specificity, allowing individual neurons to differentially convey olfactory signals to each of their postsynaptic targets. Moreover, we show that the dopaminergic neurons function as an interconnected network, encoding information about both an animal's external context and internal state to coordinate synaptic plasticity throughout the mushroom body. Our data suggest a general circuit mechanism for behavioral flexibility in which neuromodulatory networks act with synaptic precision to transform a single sensory input into different patterns of output activity. PAPERCLIP.

  7. Inhibitory Circuits in Cortical Layer 5

    PubMed Central

    Naka, Alexander; Adesnik, Hillel

    2016-01-01

    Inhibitory neurons play a fundamental role in cortical computation and behavior. Recent technological advances, such as two photon imaging, targeted in vivo recording, and molecular profiling, have improved our understanding of the function and diversity of cortical interneurons, but for technical reasons most work has been directed towards inhibitory neurons in the superficial cortical layers. Here we review current knowledge specifically on layer 5 (L5) inhibitory microcircuits, which play a critical role in controlling cortical output. We focus on recent work from the well-studied rodent barrel cortex, but also draw on evidence from studies in primary visual cortex and other cortical areas. The diversity of both deep inhibitory neurons and their pyramidal cell targets make this a challenging but essential area of study in cortical computation and sensory processing. PMID:27199675

  8. Nonlinear Information Processing in a Model Sensory System

    PubMed Central

    Chacron, Maurice J.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the mechanisms by which sensory neurons encode and decode information remains an important goal in neuroscience. We quantified the performance of optimal linear and nonlinear encoding models in a well-characterized sensory system: the electric sense of weakly electric fish. We show that linear encoding models generally perform better under spatially localized stimulation than under spatially diffuse stimulation. Through pharmacological blockade of feedback input and spatial saturation of the receptive field center, we show that there is significantly less synaptic noise under spatially diffuse stimuli as compared with spatially localized stimuli. Modeling results suggest that pyramidal cells nonlinearly encode sensory information through shunting in their dendrites and clarify the influence of synaptic noise on the performance of linear encoding models. Finally, we used information theory to quantify the performance of linear decoders. While the optimal linear decoder for spatially localized stimuli could capture 60% of the information in pyramidal cell spike trains, the optimal linear decoder for spatially diffuse stimuli could only capture 40% of the information. These results show that nonlinear decoders are necessary to fully access information in pyramidal cell spike trains, and we discuss potential mechanisms by which higher-order neurons could decode this information. PMID:16495358

  9. Adaptation of swallowing hyo-laryngeal kinematics is distinct in oral vs. pharyngeal sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Lokhande, Akshay; Christopherson, Heather; German, Rebecca; Stone, Alice

    2012-01-01

    Before a bolus is pushed into the pharynx, oral sensory processing is critical for planning movements of the subsequent pharyngeal swallow, including hyoid bone and laryngeal (hyo-laryngeal) kinematics. However, oral and pharyngeal sensory processing for hyo-laryngeal kinematics is not fully understood. In 11 healthy adults, we examined changes in kinematics with sensory adaptation, sensitivity shifting, with oropharyngeal swallows vs. pharyngeal swallows (no oral processing), and with various bolus volumes and tastes. Only pharyngeal swallows showed sensory adaptation (gradual changes in kinematics with repeated exposure to the same bolus). Conversely, only oropharyngeal swallows distinguished volume differences, whereas pharyngeal swallows did not. No taste effects were observed for either swallow type. The hyo-laryngeal kinematics were very similar between oropharyngeal swallows and pharyngeal swallows with a comparable bolus. Sensitivity shifting (changing sensory threshold for a small bolus when it immediately follows several very large boluses) was not observed in pharyngeal or oropharyngeal swallowing. These findings indicate that once oral sensory processing has set a motor program for a specific kind of bolus (i.e., 5 ml water), hyo-laryngeal movements are already highly standardized and optimized, showing no shifting or adaptation regardless of repeated exposure (sensory adaptation) or previous sensory experiences (sensitivity shifting). Also, the oral cavity is highly specialized for differentiating certain properties of a bolus (volume) that might require a specific motor plan to ensure swallowing safety, whereas the pharyngeal cavity does not make the same distinctions. Pharyngeal sensory processing might not be able to adjust motor plans created by the oral cavity once the swallow has already been triggered. PMID:22403349

  10. Consider Sensory Processing Disorders in the Explosive Child: Case Report and Review

    PubMed Central

    Cheng, Michael; Boggett-Carsjens, Jennifer

    2005-01-01

    Introduction Children and youth with affect dysregulation (such as problems with explosive rage and anger) commonly present to health care professionals. Method Standard DSM-IV differential diagnoses for affect instability include bipolar disorder, ADHD and oppositional defiant disorder. However, clinicians may wish to consider the possibility of sensory processing difficulties, which are difficulties with the processing of sensory input, which can lead to problems with under- or over-arousal, thus contributing to affect dysregulation. Results In such cases, referral to occupational therapy may be helpful. Even in cases where occupational therapy is not available, being able to direct families to readings and internet resources about sensory processing may be helpful. Conclusion This article presents the diagnosis and management of a case of sensory processing disorder, followed by a narrative review of the literature. PMID:19030515

  11. Relations between Temperament, Sensory Processing, and Motor Coordination in 3-Year-Old Children

    PubMed Central

    Nakagawa, Atsuko; Sukigara, Masune; Miyachi, Taishi; Nakai, Akio

    2016-01-01

    Poor motor skills and differences in sensory processing have been noted as behavioral markers of common neurodevelopmental disorders. A total of 171 healthy children (81 girls, 90 boys) were investigated at age 3 to examine relations between temperament, sensory processing, and motor coordination. Using the Japanese versions of the Children's Behavior Questionnaire (CBQ), the Sensory Profile (SP-J), and the Little Developmental Coordination Disorder Questionnaire (LDCDQ), this study examines an expanded model based on Rothbart's three-factor temperamental theory (surgency, negative affect, effortful control) through covariance structure analysis. The results indicate that effortful control affects both sensory processing and motor coordination. The subscale of the LDCDQ, control during movement, is also influenced by surgency, while temperamental negative affect and surgency each have an effect on subscales of the SP-J. PMID:27199852

  12. Brief Report: Assessment of Early Sensory Processing in Infants at High-Risk of Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Germani, Tamara; Zwaigenbaum, Lonnie; Bryson, Susan; Brian, Jessica; Smith, Isabel; Roberts, Wendy; Szatmari, Peter; Roncadin, Caroline; Sacrey, Lori Ann R.; Garon, Nancy; Vaillancourt, Tracy

    2014-01-01

    This study assessed sensory processing differences between 24-month infants at high-risk of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), each with an older sibling with ASD, and low-risk infants with no family history of ASD. Sensory processing differences were assessed using the Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile, a parent-reported measure. Groups were compared…

  13. Disentangling different functional roles of evoked K-complex components: Mapping the sleeping brain while quenching sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Laurino, Marco; Menicucci, Danilo; Piarulli, Andrea; Mastorci, Francesca; Bedini, Remo; Allegrini, Paolo; Gemignani, Angelo

    2014-02-01

    During non-REM sleep the largest EEG response evoked by sensory stimulation is the K-complex (eKC), composed of an initial positive bump (P200) followed by a bistable cortical response: a giant negative deflection (N550) and a large positive one (P900), respectively reflecting down states and up states of < 1 Hz oscillations.Sensory-modality-independent topology of N550 and P900, with maximal detection rate on fronto-central areas, has been consistently reported, suggesting that sensory inputs arise to the cortex avoiding specific primary sensory areas. However, these studies neglected latencies of all KC components as a function of electrode sites.Our aim is to identify, component by component, which topological/dynamical properties of eKCs depend on stimulus modality and which are mainly related to local cortical properties. We measured temporal and morphological features of acoustic, tactile and visual eKCs to disentangle specific sensory excitatory activities from aspecific responses due to local proneness to bistability, measured by means of the N550 descending steepness (synchronization in falling into down state).While confirming the sensory-modality independence of N550 and P900 topology with maximal detection rate in fronto-central areas, four main original results emerge from this study: (i) the topology of P200 latency depends on the sensory modality with earliest waves in the stimulation-related primary sensory areas; (ii) P200 rapidly travels as a cortical excitation; (iii) P200-like excitations when KCs are not evoked are detected over the scalp with significantly smaller amplitudes in fronto-central areas, compared to eKC P200s; and (iv) N550 latency mirrors its mean local steepness which is a function of topological proneness to bistability.From these results we can describe the emergence N550/P900 complex as the interplay between a waxing P200 cortical travel and higher fronto-central proneness to bistability.In conclusion, eKCs exhibit a

  14. Sensory processing in the vestibular nuclei during active head movements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gdowski, G. T.; Boyle, R.; McCrea, R. A.; Peterson, B. W. (Principal Investigator)

    2000-01-01

    Many secondary vestibular neurons are sensitive to head on trunk rotation during reflex-induced and voluntary head movements. During passive whole body rotation the interaction of head on trunk signals related to the vestibulo-collic reflex with vestibular signals increases the rotational gain of many secondary vestibular neurons, including many that project to the spinal cord. In some units, the sensitivity to head on trunk and vestibular input is matched and the resulting interaction produces an output that is related to the trunk velocity in space. In other units the head on trunk inputs are stronger and the resulting interaction produces an output that is larger during the reflex. During voluntary head movements, inputs related to head on trunk movement combine destructively with vestibular signals, and often cancel the sensory reafferent consequences of self-generated movements. Cancellation of sensory vestibular signals was observed in all of the antidromically identified secondary vestibulospinal units, even though many of these units were not significantly affected by reflexive head on trunk movements. The results imply that the inputs to vestibular neurons related to head on trunk rotation during reflexive and voluntary movements arise from different sources. We suggest that the relative strength of reflexive head on trunk input to different vestibular neurons might reflect the different functional roles they have in controlling the posture of the neck and body.

  15. Asymmetrical effects of unilateral right or left amygdala damage on auditory cortical processing of vocal emotions

    PubMed Central

    Frühholz, Sascha; Hofstetter, Christoph; Cristinzio, Chiara; Saj, Arnaud; Seeck, Margitta; Vuilleumier, Patrik; Grandjean, Didier

    2015-01-01

    We tested whether human amygdala lesions impair vocal processing in intact cortical networks. In two functional MRI experiments, patients with unilateral amygdala resection either listened to voices and nonvocal sounds or heard binaural vocalizations with attention directed toward or away from emotional information on one side. In experiment 1, all patients showed reduced activation to voices in the ipsilesional auditory cortex. In experiment 2, emotional voices evoked increased activity in both the auditory cortex and the intact amygdala for right-damaged patients, whereas no such effects were found for left-damaged amygdala patients. Furthermore, the left inferior frontal cortex was functionally connected with the intact amygdala in right-damaged patients, but only with homologous right frontal areas and not with the amygdala in left-damaged patients. Thus, unilateral amygdala damage leads to globally reduced ipsilesional cortical voice processing, but only left amygdala lesions are sufficient to suppress the enhanced auditory cortical processing of vocal emotions. PMID:25605886

  16. Comparing Sensory Information Processing and Alexithymia between People with Substance Dependency and Normal

    PubMed Central

    Bashapoor, Sajjad; Hosseini-Kiasari, Seyyedeh Tayebeh; Daneshvar, Somayeh; Kazemi-Taskooh, Zeinab

    2015-01-01

    Background Sensory information processing and alexithymia are two important factors in determining behavioral reactions. Some studies explain the effect of the sensitivity of sensory processing and alexithymia in the tendency to substance abuse. Giving that, the aim of the current study was to compare the styles of sensory information processing and alexithymia between substance-dependent people and normal ones. Methods The research method was cross-sectional and the statistical population of the current study comprised of all substance-dependent men who are present in substance quitting camps of Masal, Iran, in October 2013 (n = 78). 36 persons were selected randomly by simple randomly sampling method from this population as the study group, and 36 persons were also selected among the normal population in the same way as the comparison group. Both groups was evaluated by using Toronto alexithymia scale (TAS) and adult sensory profile, and the multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) test was applied to analyze data. Findings The results showed that there are significance differences between two groups in low registration (P < 0.020, F = 5.66), sensation seeking (P < 0.050, F = 1.92), and sensory avoidance (P < 0.008, F = 7.52) as a components of sensory processing and difficulty in describing emotions (P < 0.001, F = 15.01) and difficulty in identifying emotions (P < 0.002, F = 10.54) as a components of alexithymia. However, no significant difference were found between two groups in components of sensory sensitivity (P < 0.170, F = 1.92) and external oriented thinking style (P < 0.060, F = 3.60). Conclusion These results showed that substance-dependent people process sensory information in a different way than normal people and show more alexithymia features than them. PMID:26885354

  17. Complementary roles of cortical oscillations in automatic and controlled processing during rapid serial tasks.

    PubMed

    Isabella, Silvia; Ferrari, Paul; Jobst, Cecilia; Cheyne, J Allan; Cheyne, Douglas

    2015-09-01

    Cognitive control may involve adjusting behaviour by inhibiting or altering habitual actions, requiring rapid communication between sensory, cognitive, and motor systems of the brain. Cognitive control may be achieved using top-down processing from frontal areas to inhibit prepared responses, likely mediated through frontal theta (4-8 Hz) oscillations. However there is conflicting evidence for mechanisms of response inhibition, where global and selective inhibition are either considered separate processes, or frontal areas maintain and execute goal-directed actions, including inhibition. In the current study we measured neuromagnetic oscillatory brain activity in twelve adults responding to rapidly presented visual cues. We used two tasks in the same subjects that required inhibition of a habitual "go" response. Presentation of infrequent "target" cues required subjects to completely inhibit responding (go/no-go task) or to perform an alternate response (go/switch task). Source analysis of oscillatory brain activity was compared for correct no-go and switch trials as well as error trials ("go" responses to targets). Frontal theta activity was similar in cortical location, amplitude and time course for correct no-go and switch responses reflecting an equivalent role in both global and selective response inhibition. Error-related frontal theta activity was also observed but was different in source location (errors vs correct, both tasks: p<0.005) and power (go/switch>go/no-go error, correct switch power, p=0.01). We additionally observed sensorimotor high gamma (60-90 Hz) activity accompanying motor responses, which was markedly stronger for correct switch and error responses compared with go responses, and was delayed for errors (p<0.01). These results suggest that gamma signals in the motor cortex may function to integrate inhibitory signals with sensorimotor processing, and may represent a mechanism for the overriding of habitual behaviours, as errors were

  18. Modelling of sensory and instrumental texture parameters in processed cheese by near infrared reflectance spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Blazquez, Carmen; Downey, Gerard; O'Callaghan, Donal; Howard, Vincent; Delahunty, Conor; Sheehan, Elizabeth; Everard, Colm; O'Donnell, Colm P

    2006-02-01

    This study investigated the application of near infrared (NIR) reflectance spectroscopy to the measurement of texture (sensory and instrumental) in experimental processed cheese samples. Spectra (750 to 2498 nm) of cheeses were recorded after 2 and 4 weeks storage at 4 degrees C. Trained assessors evaluated 9 sensory properties, a texture profile analyser (TPA) was used to record 5 instrumental parameters and cheese 'meltability' was measured by computer vision. Predictive models for sensory and instrumental texture parameters were developed using partial least squares regression on raw or pre-treated spectral data. Sensory attributes and instrumental texture measurements were modelled with sufficient accuracy to recommend the use of NIR reflectance spectroscopy for routine quality assessment of processed cheese. PMID:16433962

  19. Grid cells and cortical representation.

    PubMed

    Moser, Edvard I; Roudi, Yasser; Witter, Menno P; Kentros, Clifford; Bonhoeffer, Tobias; Moser, May-Britt

    2014-07-01

    One of the grand challenges in neuroscience is to comprehend neural computation in the association cortices, the parts of the cortex that have shown the largest expansion and differentiation during mammalian evolution and that are thought to contribute profoundly to the emergence of advanced cognition in humans. In this Review, we use grid cells in the medial entorhinal cortex as a gateway to understand network computation at a stage of cortical processing in which firing patterns are shaped not primarily by incoming sensory signals but to a large extent by the intrinsic properties of the local circuit.

  20. Cortical plasticity for visuospatial processing and object recognition in deaf and hearing signers.

    PubMed

    Weisberg, Jill; Koo, Daniel S; Crain, Kelly L; Eden, Guinevere F

    2012-03-01

    Experience-dependent plasticity in deaf participants has been shown in a variety of studies focused on either the dorsal or ventral aspects of the visual system, but both systems have never been investigated in concert. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we investigated functional plasticity for spatial processing (a dorsal visual pathway function) and for object processing (a ventral visual pathway function) concurrently, in the context of differing sensory (auditory deprivation) and language (use of a signed language) experience. During scanning, deaf native users of American Sign Language (ASL), hearing native ASL users, and hearing participants without ASL experience attended to either the spatial arrangement of frames containing objects or the identity of the objects themselves. These two tasks revealed the expected dorsal/ventral dichotomy for spatial versus object processing in all groups. In addition, the object identity matching task contained both face and house stimuli, allowing us to examine category-selectivity in the ventral pathway in all three participant groups. When contrasting the groups we found that deaf signers differed from the two hearing groups in dorsal pathway parietal regions involved in spatial cognition, suggesting sensory experience-driven plasticity. Group differences in the object processing system indicated that responses in the face-selective right lateral fusiform gyrus and anterior superior temporal cortex were sensitive to a combination of altered sensory and language experience, whereas responses in the amygdala were more closely tied to sensory experience. By selectively engaging the dorsal and ventral visual pathways within participants in groups with different sensory and language experiences, we have demonstrated that these experiences affect the function of both of these systems, and that certain changes are more closely tied to sensory experience, while others are driven by the combination of sensory and

  1. Left hemispheric dominance of vestibular processing indicates lateralization of cortical functions in rats.

    PubMed

    Best, Christoph; Lange, Elena; Buchholz, Hans-Georg; Schreckenberger, Mathias; Reuss, Stefan; Dieterich, Marianne

    2014-11-01

    Lateralization of cortical functions such as speech dominance, handedness and processing of vestibular information are present not only in humans but also in ontogenetic older species, e.g. rats. In human functional imaging studies, the processing of vestibular information was found to be correlated with the hemispherical dominance as determined by the handedness. It is located mainly within the right hemisphere in right handers and within the left hemisphere in left handers. Since dominance of vestibular processing is unknown in animals, our aim was to study the lateralization of cortical processing in a functional imaging study applying small-animal positron emission tomography (microPET) and galvanic vestibular stimulation in an in vivo rat model. The cortical and subcortical network processing vestibular information could be demonstrated and correlated with data from other animal studies. By calculating a lateralization index as well as flipped region of interest analyses, we found that the vestibular processing in rats follows a strong left hemispheric dominance independent from the "handedness" of the animals. These findings support the idea of an early hemispheric specialization of vestibular cortical functions in ontogenetic older species.

  2. Detection Rates of Cortical Auditory Evoked Potentials at Different Sensation Levels in Infants with Sensory/Neural Hearing Loss and Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder.

    PubMed

    Gardner-Berry, Kirsty; Chang, Hsiuwen; Ching, Teresa Y C; Hou, Sanna

    2016-02-01

    With the introduction of newborn hearing screening, infants are being diagnosed with hearing loss during the first few months of life. For infants with a sensory/neural hearing loss (SNHL), the audiogram can be estimated objectively using auditory brainstem response (ABR) testing and hearing aids prescribed accordingly. However, for infants with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) due to the abnormal/absent ABR waveforms, alternative measures of auditory function are needed to assess the need for amplification and evaluate whether aided benefit has been achieved. Cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEPs) are used to assess aided benefit in infants with hearing loss; however, there is insufficient information regarding the relationship between stimulus audibility and CAEP detection rates. It is also not clear whether CAEP detection rates differ between infants with SNHL and infants with ANSD. This study involved retrospective collection of CAEP, hearing threshold, and hearing aid gain data to investigate the relationship between stimulus audibility and CAEP detection rates. The results demonstrate that increases in stimulus audibility result in an increase in detection rate. For the same range of sensation levels, there was no difference in the detection rates between infants with SNHL and ANSD. PMID:27587922

  3. Prestimulus influences on auditory perception from sensory representations and decision processes

    PubMed Central

    McNair, Steven W.

    2016-01-01

    The qualities of perception depend not only on the sensory inputs but also on the brain state before stimulus presentation. Although the collective evidence from neuroimaging studies for a relation between prestimulus state and perception is strong, the interpretation in the context of sensory computations or decision processes has remained difficult. In the auditory system, for example, previous studies have reported a wide range of effects in terms of the perceptually relevant frequency bands and state parameters (phase/power). To dissociate influences of state on earlier sensory representations and higher-level decision processes, we collected behavioral and EEG data in human participants performing two auditory discrimination tasks relying on distinct acoustic features. Using single-trial decoding, we quantified the relation between prestimulus activity, relevant sensory evidence, and choice in different task-relevant EEG components. Within auditory networks, we found that phase had no direct influence on choice, whereas power in task-specific frequency bands affected the encoding of sensory evidence. Within later-activated frontoparietal regions, theta and alpha phase had a direct influence on choice, without involving sensory evidence. These results delineate two consistent mechanisms by which prestimulus activity shapes perception. However, the timescales of the relevant neural activity depend on the specific brain regions engaged by the respective task. PMID:27071110

  4. Sensori-Motor Experience Leads to Changes in Visual Processing in the Developing Brain

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    James, Karin Harman

    2010-01-01

    Since Broca's studies on language processing, cortical functional specialization has been considered to be integral to efficient neural processing. A fundamental question in cognitive neuroscience concerns the type of learning that is required for functional specialization to develop. To address this issue with respect to the development of neural…

  5. Cognitive processes and cerebral cortical fundi: findings from positron-emission tomography studies.

    PubMed Central

    Markowitsch, H J; Tulving, E

    1994-01-01

    Positron-emission tomography (PET) studies of regional cerebral blood flow have provided evidence relevant to localization of cognitive functions. The critical loci identified in these studies are typically described in terms of macroanatomically labeled cortical and subcortical regions. We report the results of a meta-analysis of localization of changes in blood flow, based on nearly 1000 cerebral cortical peaks of activity obtained from groups of subjects in 30 PET studies. The results showed that, on average, 47% of these peaks were localized within the fundus regions of cortical sulci. This is an unexpectedly high proportion because fundal regions compose < 8% of the cortical mantle. Further analysis suggested a coarse correlation between the extent of fundal activation observed in different studies and the estimated cognitive complexity of the tasks used in the studies. These findings are potentially interesting because (i) the preponderance of fundal activation has implications for the interpretation of the PET data, (ii) they suggest that cortical sulcal and fundal regions may play a distinctive role in higher cognitive processing, or (iii) both of the above. PMID:7937984

  6. Effect of Auditory Motion Velocity on Reaction Time and Cortical Processes

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Getzmann, Stephan

    2009-01-01

    The study investigated the processing of sound motion, employing a psychophysical motion discrimination task in combination with electroencephalography. Following stationary auditory stimulation from a central space position, the onset of left- and rightward motion elicited a specific cortical response that was lateralized to the hemisphere…

  7. Sensory processing patterns predict the integration of information held in visual working memory.

    PubMed

    Lowe, Matthew X; Stevenson, Ryan A; Wilson, Kristin E; Ouslis, Natasha E; Barense, Morgan D; Cant, Jonathan S; Ferber, Susanne

    2016-02-01

    Given the limited resources of visual working memory, multiple items may be remembered as an averaged group or ensemble. As a result, local information may be ill-defined, but these ensemble representations provide accurate diagnostics of the natural world by combining gist information with item-level information held in visual working memory. Some neurodevelopmental disorders are characterized by sensory processing profiles that predispose individuals to avoid or seek-out sensory stimulation, fundamentally altering their perceptual experience. Here, we report such processing styles will affect the computation of ensemble statistics in the general population. We identified stable adult sensory processing patterns to demonstrate that individuals with low sensory thresholds who show a greater proclivity to engage in active response strategies to prevent sensory overstimulation are less likely to integrate mean size information across a set of similar items and are therefore more likely to be biased away from the mean size representation of an ensemble display. We therefore propose the study of ensemble processing should extend beyond the statistics of the display, and should also consider the statistics of the observer. (PsycINFO Database Record

  8. Parallel processing streams for motor output and sensory prediction during action preparation

    PubMed Central

    Bauer, Markus; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haggard, Patrick; Dolan, Raymond J.

    2014-01-01

    Sensory consequences of one's own actions are perceived as less intense than identical, externally generated stimuli. This is generally taken as evidence for sensory prediction of action consequences. Accordingly, recent theoretical models explain this attenuation by an anticipatory modulation of sensory processing prior to stimulus onset (Roussel et al. 2013) or even action execution (Brown et al. 2013). Experimentally, prestimulus changes that occur in anticipation of self-generated sensations are difficult to disentangle from more general effects of stimulus expectation, attention and task load (performing an action). Here, we show that an established manipulation of subjective agency over a stimulus leads to a predictive modulation in sensory cortex that is independent of these factors. We recorded magnetoencephalography while subjects performed a simple action with either hand and judged the loudness of a tone caused by the action. Effector selection was manipulated by subliminal motor priming. Compatible priming is known to enhance a subjective experience of agency over a consequent stimulus (Chambon and Haggard 2012). In line with this effect on subjective agency, we found stronger sensory attenuation when the action that caused the tone was compatibly primed. This perceptual effect was reflected in a transient phase-locked signal in auditory cortex before stimulus onset and motor execution. Interestingly, this sensory signal emerged at a time when the hemispheric lateralization of motor signals in M1 indicated ongoing effector selection. Our findings confirm theoretical predictions of a sensory modulation prior to self-generated sensations and support the idea that a sensory prediction is generated in parallel to motor output (Walsh and Haggard 2010), before an efference copy becomes available. PMID:25540223

  9. Parallel processing streams for motor output and sensory prediction during action preparation.

    PubMed

    Stenner, Max-Philipp; Bauer, Markus; Heinze, Hans-Jochen; Haggard, Patrick; Dolan, Raymond J

    2015-03-15

    Sensory consequences of one's own actions are perceived as less intense than identical, externally generated stimuli. This is generally taken as evidence for sensory prediction of action consequences. Accordingly, recent theoretical models explain this attenuation by an anticipatory modulation of sensory processing prior to stimulus onset (Roussel et al. 2013) or even action execution (Brown et al. 2013). Experimentally, prestimulus changes that occur in anticipation of self-generated sensations are difficult to disentangle from more general effects of stimulus expectation, attention and task load (performing an action). Here, we show that an established manipulation of subjective agency over a stimulus leads to a predictive modulation in sensory cortex that is independent of these factors. We recorded magnetoencephalography while subjects performed a simple action with either hand and judged the loudness of a tone caused by the action. Effector selection was manipulated by subliminal motor priming. Compatible priming is known to enhance a subjective experience of agency over a consequent stimulus (Chambon and Haggard 2012). In line with this effect on subjective agency, we found stronger sensory attenuation when the action that caused the tone was compatibly primed. This perceptual effect was reflected in a transient phase-locked signal in auditory cortex before stimulus onset and motor execution. Interestingly, this sensory signal emerged at a time when the hemispheric lateralization of motor signals in M1 indicated ongoing effector selection. Our findings confirm theoretical predictions of a sensory modulation prior to self-generated sensations and support the idea that a sensory prediction is generated in parallel to motor output (Walsh and Haggard 2010), before an efference copy becomes available.

  10. Basal forebrain motivational salience signal enhances cortical processing and decision speed

    PubMed Central

    Raver, Sylvina M.; Lin, Shih-Chieh

    2015-01-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) contains major projections to the cerebral cortex, and plays a well-documented role in arousal, attention, decision-making, and in modulating cortical activity. BF neuronal degeneration is an early event in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementias, and occurs in normal cognitive aging. While the BF is best known for its population of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons, the region is anatomically and neurochemically diverse, and also contains prominent populations of non-cholinergic projection neurons. In recent years, increasing attention has been dedicated to these non-cholinergic BF neurons in order to better understand how non-cholinergic BF circuits control cortical processing and behavioral performance. In this review, we focus on a unique population of putative non-cholinergic BF neurons that encodes the motivational salience of stimuli with a robust ensemble bursting response. We review recent studies that describe the specific physiological and functional characteristics of these BF salience-encoding neurons in behaving animals. These studies support the unifying hypothesis whereby BF salience-encoding neurons act as a gain modulation mechanism of the decision-making process to enhance cortical processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli, and thereby facilitate faster and more precise behavioral responses. This function of BF salience-encoding neurons represents a critical component in determining which incoming stimuli warrant an animal’s attention, and is therefore a fundamental and early requirement of behavioral flexibility. PMID:26528157

  11. Basal forebrain motivational salience signal enhances cortical processing and decision speed.

    PubMed

    Raver, Sylvina M; Lin, Shih-Chieh

    2015-01-01

    The basal forebrain (BF) contains major projections to the cerebral cortex, and plays a well-documented role in arousal, attention, decision-making, and in modulating cortical activity. BF neuronal degeneration is an early event in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementias, and occurs in normal cognitive aging. While the BF is best known for its population of cortically projecting cholinergic neurons, the region is anatomically and neurochemically diverse, and also contains prominent populations of non-cholinergic projection neurons. In recent years, increasing attention has been dedicated to these non-cholinergic BF neurons in order to better understand how non-cholinergic BF circuits control cortical processing and behavioral performance. In this review, we focus on a unique population of putative non-cholinergic BF neurons that encodes the motivational salience of stimuli with a robust ensemble bursting response. We review recent studies that describe the specific physiological and functional characteristics of these BF salience-encoding neurons in behaving animals. These studies support the unifying hypothesis whereby BF salience-encoding neurons act as a gain modulation mechanism of the decision-making process to enhance cortical processing of behaviorally relevant stimuli, and thereby facilitate faster and more precise behavioral responses. This function of BF salience-encoding neurons represents a critical component in determining which incoming stimuli warrant an animal's attention, and is therefore a fundamental and early requirement of behavioral flexibility.

  12. RAPID ACOUSTIC PROCESSING IN THE AUDITORY BRAINSTEM IS NOT RELATED TO CORTICAL ASYMMETRY FOR THE SYLLABLE RATE OF SPEECH

    PubMed Central

    Abrams, Daniel A.; Nicol, Trent; Zecker, Steven; Kraus, Nina

    2010-01-01

    Objective Temporal acuity in the auditory brainstem is correlated with left-dominant patterns of cortical asymmetry for processing rapid speech-sound stimuli. Here we investigate whether a similar relationship exists between brainstem processing of rapid speech components and cortical processing of syllable patterns in speech. Methods We measured brainstem and cortical evoked potentials in response to speech tokens in 23 children. We used established measures of auditory brainstem and cortical activity to examine functional relationships between these structures. Results We found no relationship between brainstem responses to fast acoustic elements of speech and right-dominant cortical processing of syllable patterns. Conclusions Brainstem processing of rapid elements in speech is not functionally related to rightward cortical asymmetry associated with the processing of syllable-rate features in speech. Viewed together with previous evidence linking brainstem timing with leftward cortical asymmetry for faster acoustic features, findings support the existence of distinct mechanisms for encoding rapid vs. slow elements of speech. Significance Results provide a fundamental advance in our knowledge of the segregation of subcortical input associated with cortical asymmetries for acoustic rate processing in the human auditory system. Implications of these findings for auditory perception, reading ability and development are discussed. PMID:20378402

  13. Cortical Brain Regions Associated with Color Processing: An FMRi Study

    PubMed Central

    Bramão, Inês; Faísca, Luís; Forkstam, Christian; Reis, Alexandra; Petersson, Karl Magnus

    2010-01-01

    To clarify whether the neural pathways concerning color processing are the same for natural objects, for artifacts objects and for non-objects we examined brain responses measured with functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) during a covert naming task including the factors color (color vs. black&white (B&W)) and stimulus type (natural vs. artifacts vs. non-objects). Our results indicate that the superior parietal lobule and precuneus (BA 7) bilaterally, the right hippocampus and the right fusifom gyrus (V4) make part of a network responsible for color processing both for natural objects and artifacts, but not for non-objects. When color objects (both natural and artifacts) were contrasted with color non-objects we observed activations in the right parahippocampal gyrus (BA 35/36), the superior parietal lobule (BA 7) bilaterally, the left inferior middle temporal region (BA 20/21) and the inferior and superior frontal regions (BA 10/11/47). These additional activations suggest that colored objects recruit brain regions that are related to visual semantic information/retrieval and brain regions related to visuo-spatial processing. Overall, the results suggest that color information is an attribute that can improve object recognition (behavioral results) and activate a specific neural network related to visual semantic information that is more extensive than for B&W objects during object recognition. PMID:21270939

  14. Higher sensory processing sensitivity, introversion and ectomorphism: New biomarkers for human creativity in developing rural areas.

    PubMed

    Rizzo-Sierra, Carlos V; Leon-S, Martha E; Leon-Sarmiento, Fidias E

    2012-05-01

    The highly sensitive trait present in animals, has also been proposed as a human neurobiological trait. People having such trait can process larger amounts of sensory information than usual, making it an excellent attribute that allows to pick up subtle environmental details and cues. Furthermore, this trait correlates to some sort of giftedness such as higher perception, inventiveness, imagination and creativity. We present evidences that support the existance of key neural connectivity between the mentioned trait, higher sensory processing sensitivity, introversion, ectomorphism and creativity. The neurobiological and behavioral implications that these biomarkers have in people living in developing rural areas are discussed as well.

  15. Convergent cortical representation of semantic processing in bilinguals.

    PubMed

    Illes, J; Francis, W S; Desmond, J E; Gabrieli, J D; Glover, G H; Poldrack, R; Lee, C J; Wagner, A D

    1999-12-01

    This study examined whether semantic processes in two languages (English and Spanish) are mediated by a common neural system in fluent bilinguals who acquired their second language years after acquiring their first language. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed while bilingual participants made semantic and nonsemantic decisions about words in Spanish and English. There was greater activation for semantic relative to nonsemantic decisions in left and right frontal regions, with greater left frontal activation. The locations of activations were similar for both languages, and no differences were found when semantic decisions for English and Spanish words were compared directly. These results demonstrate a shared frontal lobe system for semantic analysis of the languages and are consistent with cognitive research on bilingualism indicating that the two languages of a bilingual person access a common semantic system.

  16. Graph analysis of cortical networks reveals complex anatomical communication substrate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zamora-López, Gorka; Zhou, Changsong; Kurths, Jürgen

    2009-03-01

    Sensory information entering the nervous system follows independent paths of processing such that specific features are individually detected. However, sensory perception, awareness, and cognition emerge from the combination of information. Here we have analyzed the corticocortical network of the cat, looking for the anatomical substrate which permits the simultaneous segregation and integration of information in the brain. We find that cortical communications are mainly governed by three topological factors of the underlying network: (i) a large density of connections, (ii) segregation of cortical areas into clusters, and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs aiding the multisensory processing and integration. Statistical analysis of the shortest paths reveals that, while information is highly accessible to all cortical areas, the complexity of cortical information processing may arise from the rich and intricate alternative paths in which areas can influence each other.

  17. Evidence of a sensory processing unit in the mammalian macula.

    PubMed

    Chimento, T C; Ross, M D

    1996-06-19

    We cut serial sections through the medial part of the rat vestibular macula for transmission electron microscopic (TEM) examination, computer-assisted 3-D reconstruction, and compartmental modeling. The ultrastructural research showed that many primary vestibular neurons have an unmyelinated segment, often branched, that extends between the heminode (putative site of the spike initiation zone) and the expanded terminal(s) (calyx, calyces). These segments, termed the neuron branches, and the calyces frequently have spine-like processes of various dimensions with bouton endings that morphologically are afferent, efferent, or reciprocal to other macular neural elements. The major questions posed by this study were whether small details of morphology, such as the size and location of neuronal processes or synapses, could influence the output of a vestibular afferent, and whether a knowledge of morphological details could guide the selection of values for simulation parameters. The conclusions from our simulations are (1) values of 5.0 k omega cm2 for membrane resistivity and 1.0 nS for synaptic conductance yield simulations that best match published physiological results; (2) process morphology has little effect on orthodromic spread of depolarization from the head (bouton) to the spike initiation zone (SIZ); (3) process morphology has no effect on antidromic spread of depolarization to the process head; (4) synapses do not sum linearly; (5) synapses are electrically close to the SIZ; and (6) all whole-cell simulations should be run with an active SIZ. PMID:8694415

  18. Amyloid precursor protein expression and processing are differentially regulated during cortical neuron differentiation

    PubMed Central

    Bergström, Petra; Agholme, Lotta; Nazir, Faisal Hayat; Satir, Tugce Munise; Toombs, Jamie; Wellington, Henrietta; Strandberg, Joakim; Bontell, Thomas Olsson; Kvartsberg, Hlin; Holmström, Maria; Boreström, Cecilia; Simonsson, Stina; Kunath, Tilo; Lindahl, Anders; Blennow, Kaj; Hanse, Eric; Portelius, Erik; Wray, Selina; Zetterberg, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Amyloid precursor protein (APP) and its cleavage product amyloid β (Aβ) have been thoroughly studied in Alzheimer’s disease. However, APP also appears to be important for neuronal development. Differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) towards cortical neurons enables in vitro mechanistic studies on human neuronal development. Here, we investigated expression and proteolytic processing of APP during differentiation of human iPSCs towards cortical neurons over a 100-day period. APP expression remained stable during neuronal differentiation, whereas APP processing changed. α-Cleaved soluble APP (sAPPα) was secreted early during differentiation, from neuronal progenitors, while β-cleaved soluble APP (sAPPβ) was first secreted after deep-layer neurons had formed. Short Aβ peptides, including Aβ1-15/16, peaked during the progenitor stage, while processing shifted towards longer peptides, such as Aβ1-40/42, when post-mitotic neurons appeared. This indicates that APP processing is regulated throughout differentiation of cortical neurons and that amyloidogenic APP processing, as reflected by Aβ1-40/42, is associated with mature neuronal phenotypes. PMID:27383650

  19. Sensory Temporal Processing in Adults with Early Hearing Loss

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heming, Joanne E.; Brown, Lenora N.

    2005-01-01

    This study examined tactile and visual temporal processing in adults with early loss of hearing. The tactile task consisted of punctate stimulations that were delivered to one or both hands by a mechanical tactile stimulator. Pairs of light emitting diodes were presented on a display for visual stimulation. Responses consisted of YES or NO…

  20. The signal processing architecture underlying subjective reports of sensory awareness

    PubMed Central

    Maniscalco, Brian; Lau, Hakwan

    2016-01-01

    What is the relationship between perceptual information processing and subjective perceptual experience? Empirical dissociations between stimulus identification performance and subjective reports of stimulus visibility are crucial for shedding light on this question. We replicated a finding that metacontrast masking can produce such a dissociation (Lau and Passingham, 2006), and report a novel finding that this paradigm can also dissociate stimulus identification performance from the efficacy with which visibility ratings predict task performance. We explored various hypotheses about the relationship between perceptual task performance and visibility rating by implementing them in computational models and using formal model comparison techniques to assess which ones best captured the unusual patterns in the data. The models fell into three broad categories: Single Channel models, which hold that task performance and visibility ratings are based on the same underlying source of information; Dual Channel models, which hold that there are two independent processing streams that differentially contribute to task performance and visibility rating; and Hierarchical models, which hold that a late processing stage generates visibility ratings by evaluating the quality of early perceptual processing. Taking into account the quality of data fitting and model complexity, we found that Hierarchical models perform best at capturing the observed behavioral dissociations. Because current theories of visual awareness map well onto these different model structures, a formal comparison between them is a powerful approach for arbitrating between the different theories. PMID:27499929

  1. A Flight Sensory-Motor to Olfactory Processing Circuit in the Moth Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Samual P; Chapman, Phillip D; Lizbinski, Kristyn M; Daly, Kevin C; Dacks, Andrew M

    2016-01-01

    Neural circuits projecting information from motor to sensory pathways are common across sensory domains. These circuits typically modify sensory function as a result of motor pattern activation; this is particularly so in cases where the resultant behavior affects the sensory experience or its processing. However, such circuits have not been observed projecting to an olfactory pathway in any species despite well characterized active sampling behaviors that produce reafferent mechanical stimuli, such as sniffing in mammals and wing beating in the moth Manduca sexta. In this study we characterize a circuit that connects a flight sensory-motor center to an olfactory center in Manduca. This circuit consists of a single pair of histamine immunoreactive (HA-ir) neurons that project from the mesothoracic ganglion to innervate a subset of ventral antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Furthermore, within the AL we show that the M. sexta histamine B receptor (MsHisClB) is exclusively expressed by a subset of GABAergic and peptidergic LNs, which broadly project to all olfactory glomeruli. Finally, the HA-ir cell pair is present in fifth stage instar larvae; however, the absence of MsHisClB-ir in the larval antennal center indicates that the circuit is incomplete prior to metamorphosis and importantly prior to the expression of flight behavior. Although the functional consequences of this circuit remain unknown, these results provide the first detailed description of a circuit that interconnects an olfactory system with motor centers driving flight behaviors including odor-guided flight. PMID:26909026

  2. A Flight Sensory-Motor to Olfactory Processing Circuit in the Moth Manduca sexta

    PubMed Central

    Bradley, Samual P.; Chapman, Phillip D.; Lizbinski, Kristyn M.; Daly, Kevin C.; Dacks, Andrew M.

    2016-01-01

    Neural circuits projecting information from motor to sensory pathways are common across sensory domains. These circuits typically modify sensory function as a result of motor pattern activation; this is particularly so in cases where the resultant behavior affects the sensory experience or its processing. However, such circuits have not been observed projecting to an olfactory pathway in any species despite well characterized active sampling behaviors that produce reafferent mechanical stimuli, such as sniffing in mammals and wing beating in the moth Manduca sexta. In this study we characterize a circuit that connects a flight sensory-motor center to an olfactory center in Manduca. This circuit consists of a single pair of histamine immunoreactive (HA-ir) neurons that project from the mesothoracic ganglion to innervate a subset of ventral antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Furthermore, within the AL we show that the M. sexta histamine B receptor (MsHisClB) is exclusively expressed by a subset of GABAergic and peptidergic LNs, which broadly project to all olfactory glomeruli. Finally, the HA-ir cell pair is present in fifth stage instar larvae; however, the absence of MsHisClB-ir in the larval antennal center indicates that the circuit is incomplete prior to metamorphosis and importantly prior to the expression of flight behavior. Although the functional consequences of this circuit remain unknown, these results provide the first detailed description of a circuit that interconnects an olfactory system with motor centers driving flight behaviors including odor-guided flight. PMID:26909026

  3. A Flight Sensory-Motor to Olfactory Processing Circuit in the Moth Manduca sexta.

    PubMed

    Bradley, Samual P; Chapman, Phillip D; Lizbinski, Kristyn M; Daly, Kevin C; Dacks, Andrew M

    2016-01-01

    Neural circuits projecting information from motor to sensory pathways are common across sensory domains. These circuits typically modify sensory function as a result of motor pattern activation; this is particularly so in cases where the resultant behavior affects the sensory experience or its processing. However, such circuits have not been observed projecting to an olfactory pathway in any species despite well characterized active sampling behaviors that produce reafferent mechanical stimuli, such as sniffing in mammals and wing beating in the moth Manduca sexta. In this study we characterize a circuit that connects a flight sensory-motor center to an olfactory center in Manduca. This circuit consists of a single pair of histamine immunoreactive (HA-ir) neurons that project from the mesothoracic ganglion to innervate a subset of ventral antennal lobe (AL) glomeruli. Furthermore, within the AL we show that the M. sexta histamine B receptor (MsHisClB) is exclusively expressed by a subset of GABAergic and peptidergic LNs, which broadly project to all olfactory glomeruli. Finally, the HA-ir cell pair is present in fifth stage instar larvae; however, the absence of MsHisClB-ir in the larval antennal center indicates that the circuit is incomplete prior to metamorphosis and importantly prior to the expression of flight behavior. Although the functional consequences of this circuit remain unknown, these results provide the first detailed description of a circuit that interconnects an olfactory system with motor centers driving flight behaviors including odor-guided flight.

  4. A Pilot Study of Integrated Listening Systems for Children with Sensory Processing Problems

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schoen, Sarah A.; Miller, Lucy J.; Sullivan, Jillian

    2015-01-01

    This pilot study explored the effects of Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) Focus Series on individualized parent goals for children with sensory processing impairments. A nonconcurrent multiple baseline, repeated measure across participants, single-case study design was employed (n = 7). The 40-session intervention was delivered at home and in…

  5. Emotional and Behavioral Problems in Preschool Children with Autism: Relationship with Sensory Processing Dysfunction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tseng, Mei-Hui; Fu, Chung-Pei; Cermak, Sharon A.; Lu, Lu; Shieh, Jeng-Yi

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to investigate the sensory processing (SP) dysfunction and emotional and behavioral problems in preschool children with autism and then examine the relationship between the SP dysfunction and emotional and behavioral problems. The parents of 112 children aged 48-84 months (67 with autism; 45 age-matched typically developing)…

  6. High pressure processing with hot sauce flavoring enhances sensory quality for raw oysters (Crassostrea virginica)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study evaluated the feasibility of flavoring raw oysters by placing them under pressure in the presence of selected flavorings. Hand-shucked raw oysters were processed at high pressure (600 MPa), in the presence or absence of (Sriracha®) flavoring, and evaluated by a trained sensory panel 3 an...

  7. Casein peptization, functional properties, and sensory acceptance of processed cheese spreads made with different emulsifying salts.

    PubMed

    Cunha, Clarissa R; Viotto, Walkiria H

    2010-01-01

    "Requeijão cremoso" is a traditional Brazilian processed cheese spread, showing ample acceptance on the national market. Emulsifying salts (ES) are an important factor influencing the characteristics of processed cheeses, but the literature presents conflicting results about their action on cheese functionality. Requeijão cremoso obtained from anhydrous ingredients allows the study of the influence of each type of ES on the cheese properties, since it can be treated as a model system where the variables are limited and well known. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of different types of ES (TSC-sodium citrate, SHMP-sodium hexametaphosphate, STPP-sodium tripolyphosphate, and TSPP-tetrasodium pyrophosphate) on the sensory and functional characteristics of requeijão cremoso-processed cheeses obtained from anhydrous ingredients. The physicochemical composition, degree of casein dissociation, fat particle size, melting index, color, texture profile, and sensory acceptance of the cheeses were determined. The functional behavior of processed cheeses was strongly influenced by the type of ES and its physicochemical properties including its ability to bind Ca, the casein dispersion during cooking, and the possible creation of cross-links with casein during cooling. The cheese made with SHMP was the one most differentiated from the others, presenting lower melting index, whiter color, and higher values for hardness, gumminess, and adhesiveness. The differences in texture had an impact on sensory acceptance: with the exception of the sample manufactured with sodium hexametaphosphate, all the samples presented good sensory acceptance.

  8. Windows into Sensory Integration and Rates in Language Processing: Insights from Signed and Spoken Languages

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hwang, So-One K.

    2011-01-01

    This dissertation explores the hypothesis that language processing proceeds in "windows" that correspond to representational units, where sensory signals are integrated according to time-scales that correspond to the rate of the input. To investigate universal mechanisms, a comparison of signed and spoken languages is necessary. Underlying the…

  9. Atypical Sensory Processing in Adolescents with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and Their Non-Affected Siblings

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    De la Marche, Wouter; Steyaert, Jean; Noens, Ilse

    2012-01-01

    Atypical sensory processing is common in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Specific profiles have been proposed in different age groups, but no study has focused specifically on adolescents. Identifying traits of ASD that are shared by individuals with ASD and their non-affected family members can shed light on the genetic underpinnings of ASD.…

  10. Are Sensory Processing Features Associated with Depressive Symptoms in Boys with an ASD?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bitsika, Vicki; Sharpley, Christopher F.; Mills, Richard

    2016-01-01

    The association between Sensory Processing Features (SPF) and depressive symptoms was investigated at two levels in 150 young males (6-18 years) with an ASD. First, a significant correlation was found between SPF and total depressive symptom scores. Second, different aspects of SPF significantly predicted different depressive symptom factors, with…

  11. Sensory Processing Dysfunctions as Expressed among Children with Different Severities of Intellectual Developmental Disabilities

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Hardal-Nasser, Reem; Gal, Eynat

    2011-01-01

    High frequency of sensory processing dysfunctions (SPD) is prevalent among children with intellectual developmental disabilities and contributes to their maladaptive behaviors. However, the knowledge about the expressions of SPD in different levels of IDD severity is limited. As SPD may reduce adaptive responses and limit participation, this…

  12. White Matter Microstructure is Associated with Auditory and Tactile Processing in Children with and without Sensory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Chang, Yi-Shin; Gratiot, Mathilde; Owen, Julia P.; Brandes-Aitken, Anne; Desai, Shivani S.; Hill, Susanna S.; Arnett, Anne B.; Harris, Julia; Marco, Elysa J.; Mukherjee, Pratik

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing disorders (SPDs) affect up to 16% of school-aged children, and contribute to cognitive and behavioral deficits impacting affected individuals and their families. While sensory processing differences are now widely recognized in children with autism, children with sensory-based dysfunction who do not meet autism criteria based on social communication deficits remain virtually unstudied. In a previous pilot diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) study, we demonstrated that boys with SPD have altered white matter microstructure primarily affecting the posterior cerebral tracts, which subserve sensory processing and integration. This disrupted microstructural integrity, measured as reduced white matter fractional anisotropy (FA), correlated with parent report measures of atypical sensory behavior. In this present study, we investigate white matter microstructure as it relates to tactile and auditory function in depth with a larger, mixed-gender cohort of children 8–12 years of age. We continue to find robust alterations of posterior white matter microstructure in children with SPD relative to typically developing children (TDC), along with more spatially distributed alterations. We find strong correlations of FA with both parent report and direct measures of tactile and auditory processing across children, with the direct assessment measures of tactile and auditory processing showing a stronger and more continuous mapping to the underlying white matter integrity than the corresponding parent report measures. Based on these findings of microstructure as a neural correlate of sensory processing ability, diffusion MRI merits further investigation as a tool to find biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment response in children with SPD. To our knowledge, this work is the first to demonstrate associations of directly measured tactile and non-linguistic auditory function with white matter microstructural integrity – not just in children with SPD, but

  13. Magnetoencephalographic evidence for the modulation of cortical swallowing processing by transcranial direct current stimulation.

    PubMed

    Suntrup, Sonja; Teismann, Inga; Wollbrink, Andreas; Winkels, Martin; Warnecke, Tobias; Flöel, Agnes; Pantev, Christo; Dziewas, Rainer

    2013-12-01

    Swallowing is a complex neuromuscular task that is processed within multiple regions of the human brain. Rehabilitative treatment options for dysphagia due to neurological diseases are limited. Because the potential for adaptive cortical changes in compensation of disturbed swallowing is recognized, neuromodulation techniques like transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) are currently considered as a treatment option. Here we evaluate the effect of tDCS on cortical swallowing network activity and behavior. In a double-blind crossover study, anodal tDCS (20 min, 1 mA) or sham stimulation was administered over the left or right swallowing motor cortex in 21 healthy subjects in separate sessions. Cortical activation was measured using magnetoencephalography (MEG) before and after tDCS during cued "simple", "fast" and "challenged" swallow tasks with increasing levels of difficulty. Swallowing response times and accuracy were measured. Significant bilateral enhancement of cortical swallowing network activation was found in the theta frequency range after left tDCS in the fast swallow task (p=0.006) and following right tDCS in the challenged swallow task (p=0.007), but not after sham stimulation. No relevant behavioral effects were observed on swallow response time, but swallow precision improved after left tDCS (p<0.05). Anodal tDCS applied over the swallowing motor cortex of either hemisphere was able to increase bilateral swallow-related cortical network activation in a frequency specific manner. These neuroplastic effects were associated with subtle behavioral gains during complex swallow tasks in healthy individuals suggesting that tDCS deserves further evaluation as a treatment tool for dysphagia.

  14. Processing of Speech Signals for Physical and Sensory Disabilities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Levitt, Harry

    1995-10-01

    Assistive technology involving voice communication is used primarily by people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech and/or language disabilities. It is also used to a lesser extent by people with visual or motor disabilities. A very wide range of devices has been developed for people with hearing loss. These devices can be categorized not only by the modality of stimulation [i.e., auditory, visual, tactile, or direct electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve (auditory-neural)] but also in terms of the degree of speech processing that is used. At least four such categories can be distinguished: assistive devices (a) that are not designed specifically for speech, (b) that take the average characteristics of speech into account, (c) that process articulatory or phonetic characteristics of speech, and (d) that embody some degree of automatic speech recognition. Assistive devices for people with speech and/or language disabilities typically involve some form of speech synthesis or symbol generation for severe forms of language disability. Speech synthesis is also used in text-to-speech systems for sightless persons. Other applications of assistive technology involving voice communication include voice control of wheelchairs and other devices for people with mobility disabilities.

  15. Processing of speech signals for physical and sensory disabilities.

    PubMed

    Levitt, H

    1995-10-24

    Assistive technology involving voice communication is used primarily by people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or who have speech and/or language disabilities. It is also used to a lesser extent by people with visual or motor disabilities. A very wide range of devices has been developed for people with hearing loss. These devices can be categorized not only by the modality of stimulation [i.e., auditory, visual, tactile, or direct electrical stimulation of the auditory nerve (auditory-neural)] but also in terms of the degree of speech processing that is used. At least four such categories can be distinguished: assistive devices (a) that are not designed specifically for speech, (b) that take the average characteristics of speech into account, (c) that process articulatory or phonetic characteristics of speech, and (d) that embody some degree of automatic speech recognition. Assistive devices for people with speech and/or language disabilities typically involve some form of speech synthesis or symbol generation for severe forms of language disability. Speech synthesis is also used in text-to-speech systems for sightless persons. Other applications of assistive technology involving voice communication include voice control of wheelchairs and other devices for people with mobility disabilities. PMID:7479816

  16. Effect of radiation processing on nutritional, functional, sensory and antioxidant properties of red kidney beans

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marathe, S. A.; Deshpande, R.; Khamesra, Arohi; Ibrahim, Geeta; Jamdar, Sahayog N.

    2016-08-01

    In the present study dry red kidney beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), irradiated in the dose range of 0.25-10.0 kGy were evaluated for proximate composition, functional, sensory and antioxidant properties. Radiation processing up to 10 kGy did not affect proximate composition, hydration capacity and free fatty acid value. All the sensory attributes were unaffected at 1.0 kGy dose. The dose of 10 kGy, showed lower values for odor and taste, however, they were in acceptable range. Significant improvement in textural quality and reduction in cooking time was observed at dose of 10 kGy. Antioxidant activity of radiation processed samples was also assessed after normal processing such as soaking and pressure cooking. Both phenolic content and antioxidant activity evaluated in terms of DPPH free radical scavenging assay and inhibition in lipid peroxidation using rabbit erythrocyte ghost system, were marginally improved (5-10%) at the dose of 10 kGy in dry and cooked samples. During storage of samples for six months, no significant change was observed in sensory, cooking and antioxidant properties. Thus, radiation treatment of 1 kGy can be applied to get extended shelf life of kidney beans with improved functional properties without impairing bioactivity; nutritional quality and sensory property.

  17. Early sensory processing in right hemispheric stroke patients with and without extinction.

    PubMed

    de Haan, Bianca; Stoll, Tine; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2015-07-01

    While extinction is most commonly viewed as an attentional disorder and not as a consequence of a failure to process contralesional sensory information, it has been speculated that early sensory processing of contralesional targets in extinction patients might not be fully normal. We used a masked visuo-motor response priming paradigm to study the influence of both contralesional and ipsilesional peripheral subliminal prime stimuli on central target performance, allowing us to compare the strength of the early sensory processing associated with these prime stimuli between right brain damaged patients with and without extinction as well as healthy elderly subjects. We found that the effect of an informative subliminal prime in the left contralesional visual field on central target performance was significantly reduced in both right brain damaged patients with and without extinction. The results suggest that a low-level early sensory deterioration of the neural representation for contralesional prime stimuli is a general consequence of right hemispheric brain damage unrelated to the presence or absence of extinction. This suggests that the presence of a spatial bias against contralesional information is not sufficient to elicit extinction. For extinction to occur, this spatial bias might need to be accompanied by a pathological (non-directional) reduction of attentional capacity. PMID:26002755

  18. Early sensory processing in right hemispheric stroke patients with and without extinction.

    PubMed

    de Haan, Bianca; Stoll, Tine; Karnath, Hans-Otto

    2015-07-01

    While extinction is most commonly viewed as an attentional disorder and not as a consequence of a failure to process contralesional sensory information, it has been speculated that early sensory processing of contralesional targets in extinction patients might not be fully normal. We used a masked visuo-motor response priming paradigm to study the influence of both contralesional and ipsilesional peripheral subliminal prime stimuli on central target performance, allowing us to compare the strength of the early sensory processing associated with these prime stimuli between right brain damaged patients with and without extinction as well as healthy elderly subjects. We found that the effect of an informative subliminal prime in the left contralesional visual field on central target performance was significantly reduced in both right brain damaged patients with and without extinction. The results suggest that a low-level early sensory deterioration of the neural representation for contralesional prime stimuli is a general consequence of right hemispheric brain damage unrelated to the presence or absence of extinction. This suggests that the presence of a spatial bias against contralesional information is not sufficient to elicit extinction. For extinction to occur, this spatial bias might need to be accompanied by a pathological (non-directional) reduction of attentional capacity.

  19. Correlations of Sensory Processing and Visual Organization Ability with Participation in School-Aged Children with Down Syndrome

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wuang, Yee-Pay; Su, Chwen-Yng

    2011-01-01

    Previous work has highlighted delays and differences in cognitive, language, and sensorimotor functions in children diagnosed with Down syndrome (DS). However, sensory processing and visual organization abilities have not been well-examined in DS to date. This study aimed to investigate the developmental profile of sensory processing and visual…

  20. The Relationship between Sensory Processing Difficulties and Leisure Activity Preference of Children with Different Types of ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Ziv-On, Daniella

    2011-01-01

    Sensory processing difficulties (SPD) are prevalent among children with ADHD. Yet, the question whether different SPD characterize children with different types of ADHD has not received enough attention in the literature. The current study characterized sensory processing difficulties (SPD) of children with different types of ADHD and explored the…

  1. Auditory object salience: human cortical processing of non-biological action sounds and their acoustic signal attributes

    PubMed Central

    Lewis, James W.; Talkington, William J.; Tallaksen, Katherine C.; Frum, Chris A.

    2012-01-01

    Whether viewed or heard, an object in action can be segmented as a distinct salient event based on a number of different sensory cues. In the visual system, several low-level attributes of an image are processed along parallel hierarchies, involving intermediate stages wherein gross-level object form and/or motion features are extracted prior to stages that show greater specificity for different object categories (e.g., people, buildings, or tools). In the auditory system, though relying on a rather different set of low-level signal attributes, meaningful real-world acoustic events and “auditory objects” can also be readily distinguished from background scenes. However, the nature of the acoustic signal attributes or gross-level perceptual features that may be explicitly processed along intermediate cortical processing stages remain poorly understood. Examining mechanical and environmental action sounds, representing two distinct non-biological categories of action sources, we had participants assess the degree to which each sound was perceived as object-like versus scene-like. We re-analyzed data from two of our earlier functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) task paradigms (Engel et al., 2009) and found that scene-like action sounds preferentially led to activation along several midline cortical structures, but with strong dependence on listening task demands. In contrast, bilateral foci along the superior temporal gyri (STG) showed parametrically increasing activation to action sounds rated as more “object-like,” independent of sound category or task demands. Moreover, these STG regions also showed parametric sensitivity to spectral structure variations (SSVs) of the action sounds—a quantitative measure of change in entropy of the acoustic signals over time—and the right STG additionally showed parametric sensitivity to measures of mean entropy and harmonic content of the environmental sounds. Analogous to the visual system, intermediate stages

  2. A role for bombesin in sensory processing in the spinal cord.

    PubMed

    O'Donohue, T L; Massari, V J; Pazoles, C J; Chronwall, B M; Shults, C W; Quirion, R; Chase, T N; Moody, T W

    1984-12-01

    Bombesin (BN)-containing neuronal processes were demonstrated in laminae I and II of the dorsal horn of the cat, rat, and mouse spinal cord by immunocytochemistry and radioimmunoassay. Dorsal rhizotomy in the cat resulted in a marked decrease in BN immunoreactivity in the dorsal horn indicating that BN is contained in primary sensory afferents. BN-binding sites were also localized in superficial laminae of the dorsal horn. The presence of both BN and BN-binding sites in the dorsal horn suggested that BN may be involved in sensory processing in the spinal cord. Consistent with this hypothesis, it was demonstrated that an injection of BN into the spinal cord caused a biting and scratching response indicative of sensory stimulation. The effect was similar to that observed after injection of substance P into the cord with the exception that the BN effect lasted about 100 times longer than that induced by substance P. Taken together, these data indicate that BN may be a neurotransmitter of primary sensory afferents to the spinal cord. PMID:6094746

  3. Spatial integration and cortical dynamics.

    PubMed Central

    Gilbert, C D; Das, A; Ito, M; Kapadia, M; Westheimer, G

    1996-01-01

    Cells in adult primary visual cortex are capable of integrating information over much larger portions of the visual field than was originally thought. Moreover, their receptive field properties can be altered by the context within which local features are presented and by changes in visual experience. The substrate for both spatial integration and cortical plasticity is likely to be found in a plexus of long-range horizontal connections, formed by cortical pyramidal cells, which link cells within each cortical area over distances of 6-8 mm. The relationship between horizontal connections and cortical functional architecture suggests a role in visual segmentation and spatial integration. The distribution of lateral interactions within striate cortex was visualized with optical recording, and their functional consequences were explored by using comparable stimuli in human psychophysical experiments and in recordings from alert monkeys. They may represent the substrate for perceptual phenomena such as illusory contours, surface fill-in, and contour saliency. The dynamic nature of receptive field properties and cortical architecture has been seen over time scales ranging from seconds to months. One can induce a remapping of the topography of visual cortex by making focal binocular retinal lesions. Shorter-term plasticity of cortical receptive fields was observed following brief periods of visual stimulation. The mechanisms involved entailed, for the short-term changes, altering the effectiveness of existing cortical connections, and for the long-term changes, sprouting of axon collaterals and synaptogenesis. The mutability of cortical function implies a continual process of calibration and normalization of the perception of visual attributes that is dependent on sensory experience throughout adulthood and might further represent the mechanism of perceptual learning. Images Fig. 1 Fig. 2 Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5 PMID:8570604

  4. Cortical mechanisms involved in the processing of verbs: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Miyamoto, Tadao; Riera, Jorge; Kim, Jungho; Akitsuki, Yuko; Iwata, Kazuki; Yoshimoto, Kei; Horie, Kaoru; Sato, Shigeru; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2006-08-01

    In this study, we investigated two aspects of verb processing: first, whether verbs are processed differently from nouns; and second, how verbal morphology is processed. For this purpose, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare three types of lexical processing in Japanese: the processing of nouns, unmarked active verbs, and inflected passive verbs. Twenty-eight healthy subjects were shown a lexical item and asked to judge whether the presented item was a legal word. Although all three conditions activated the bilateral inferior frontal, occipital, the left middle, and inferior temporal cortices, we found differences in the degree of activation for each condition. Verbs elicited greater activation in the left middle temporal gyrus than nouns, and inflected verbs showed greater activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus than unmarked verbs. This study demonstrates that although verbs are basically processed in the same cortical network as nouns, nouns and verbs elicit different degrees of activation due to the cognitive demands involved in lexical semantic processing. Furthermore, this study also shows that the left inferior frontal cortex is related to the processing of verbal inflectional morphology.

  5. Children with disturbances in sensory processing: a pilot study examining the role of the parasympathetic nervous system.

    PubMed

    Schaaf, Roseann C; Miller, Lucy Jane; Seawell, Duncan; O'Keefe, Shannon

    2003-01-01

    This study was a preliminary investigation of parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) functioning in children with disturbances in sensory processing. The specific aims of this study were to (1) provide preliminary data about group differences in parasympathetic functions, as measured by the vagal tone index, between children with disturbances in sensory processing and those without; (2) determine effect size and power needed for future studies; and (3) to lay the foundation for further examination of the relations of parasympathetic functioning and functional behavior in children with disturbances in sensory processing. Participants were 15 children, nine with disturbances in sensory processing and six typically developing children. Heart period data were continuously collected for a 2-minute baseline and during administration of the 15-minute Sensory Challenge Protocol, a unique laboratory protocol designed to measure sensory reactivity (Miller, Reisman, McIntosh, & Simon, 2001). Groups were compared on vagal tone index, heart period, and heart rate using two-tailed, independent sample t tests. Children with disturbances in sensory processing had significantly lower vagal tone than the typically developing sample (t(13) = 2.4, p = .05). Statistical power analysis indicated that, for future studies, a sample size of 20 in each group would yield adequate statistical power. Although the number of subjects in this pilot study is small, the results from this study support further investigations of parasympathetic functions and functional behavior in children with disturbances in sensory processing. PMID:12911086

  6. Theta phase coherence in affective picture processing reveals dysfunctional sensory integration in psychopathic offenders.

    PubMed

    Tillem, Scott; Ryan, Jonathan; Wu, Jia; Crowley, Michael J; Mayes, Linda C; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle

    2016-09-01

    Psychopathic offenders are described as emotionally cold, displaying deficits in affective responding. However, research demonstrates that many of the psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by attention, such that under conditions of high attentional and perceptual load psychopathic offenders display deficits in affective responses, but do not in conditions of low load. To date, most studies use measures of defensive reflex (i.e., startle) and conditioning manipulations to examine the impact of load on psychopathy-related processing, but have not examined more direct measures of attention processing. In a sample of adult male offenders, the present study examined time-frequency EEG phase coherence in response to a picture-viewing paradigm that manipulated picture familiarity to assess neural changes in processing based on perceptual demands. Results indicated psychopathy-related differences in the theta response, an index of readiness to perceive and integrate sensory information. These data provide further evidence that psychopathic offenders have disrupted integration of sensory information.

  7. Investigations into the organization of information in sensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Diamond, Mathew E; Petersen, Rasmus S; Harris, Justin A; Panzeri, Stefano

    2003-01-01

    One might take the exploration of sensory cortex in the first decades of the last century as the opening chapter of modern neuroscience. The combined approaches of (i) measuring effects of restricted ablation on functional capacities, both in the clinic and the laboratory, together with (ii) anatomical investigations of cortical lamination, arealization, and connectivity, and (iii) the early physiological probing of sensory representations, led to a fundamental body of knowledge that remains relevant to this day. In our time, there can be little doubt that its organization as a mosaic of columnar modules is the pervasive functional property of mammalian sensory cortex [Brain 120 (1997) 701]. If one accepts the assertion that columns and maps must improve the functioning of the brain (why else would they be the very hallmark of neocortex?), then the inevitable question is: exactly what advantages do they permit? In this review of our recent presentation at the workshop on Homeostasis, plasticity and learning at the Institut Henri Poincaré, we will outline a systematic approach to investigating the role of modular, map-like cortical organization in the processing of sensory information. We survey current evidence concerning the functional significance of cortical maps and modules, arguing that sensory cortex is involved not solely in the online processing of afferent data, but also in the storage and retrieval of information. We also show that the topographic framework of primary sensory cortex renders the encoding of sensory information efficient, fast and reliable.

  8. Identification of a brainstem circuit regulating visual cortical state in parallel with locomotion.

    PubMed

    Lee, A Moses; Hoy, Jennifer L; Bonci, Antonello; Wilbrecht, Linda; Stryker, Michael P; Niell, Cristopher M

    2014-07-16

    Sensory processing is dependent upon behavioral state. In mice, locomotion is accompanied by changes in cortical state and enhanced visual responses. Although recent studies have begun to elucidate intrinsic cortical mechanisms underlying this effect, the neural circuits that initially couple locomotion to cortical processing are unknown. The mesencephalic locomotor region (MLR) has been shown to be capable of initiating running and is associated with the ascending reticular activating system. Here, we find that optogenetic stimulation of the MLR in awake, head-fixed mice can induce both locomotion and increases in the gain of cortical responses. MLR stimulation below the threshold for overt movement similarly changed cortical processing, revealing that MLR's effects on cortex are dissociable from locomotion. Likewise, stimulation of MLR projections to the basal forebrain also enhanced cortical responses, suggesting a pathway linking the MLR to cortex. These studies demonstrate that the MLR regulates cortical state in parallel with locomotion.

  9. Feasibility of event-related potential methodology to evaluate changes in cortical processing after rehabilitation in children with cerebral palsy: A pilot study

    PubMed Central

    Maitre, Nathalie L.; Henderson, Gena; Gogliotti, Shirley; Pearson, Jennifer; Simmons, Ashley; Wang, Lu; Slaughter, James C.; Key, Alexandra P.

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the feasibility of using event-related potentials (ERPs) to measure changes in cortical processing following an established rehabilitative intervention (constraint-induced movement therapy, CIMT) for children with cerebral palsy (CP). Sixteen participants with a diagnosis of hemiparetic CP, with a median age of 6 years, were assessed pre and immediately post CIMT and at 6-month follow-up, using a picture–word match/mismatch discrimination task and standard neurobehavioral measures. Intervention effects were evident in improved performance on behavioral tests of sensory and motor function and the increased mean ERP amplitude of the N400 match/mismatch response on the side ipsilateral to the lesion. These effects were maintained 6 months after the intervention. No such changes were observed on the side contralateral to the lesion. This research suggests that ERPs can measure rehabilitation-induced changes in neural function in children with CP. PMID:24953907

  10. The impact of systemic cortical alterations on perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zheng

    2011-12-01

    Perception is the process of transmitting and interpreting sensory information, and the primary somatosensory (SI) area in the human cortex is the main sensory receptive area for the sensation of touch. The elaborate neuroanatomical connectivity that subserves the neuronal communication between adjacent and near-adjacent regions within sensory cortex has been widely recognized to be essential to normal sensory function. As a result, systemic cortical alterations that impact the cortical regional interaction, as associated with many neurological disorders, are expected to have significant impact on sensory perception. Recently, our research group has developed a novel sensory diagnostic system that employs quantitative sensory testing methods and is able to non-invasively assess central nervous system healthy status. The intent of this study is to utilize quantitative sensory testing methods that were designed to generate discriminable perception to objectively and quantitatively assess the impacts of different conditions on human sensory information processing capacity. The correlation between human perceptions with observations from animal research enables a better understanding of the underlying neurophysiology of human perception. Additional findings on different subject populations provide valuable insight of the underlying mechanisms for the development and maintenance of different neurological diseases. During the course of the study, several protocols were designed and utilized. And this set of sensory-based perceptual metrics was employed to study the effects of different conditions (non-noxious thermal stimulation, chronic pain stage, and normal aging) on sensory perception. It was found that these conditions result in significant deviations of the subjects' tactile information processing capacities from normal values. Although the observed shift of sensory detection sensitivity could be a result of enhanced peripheral activity, the changes in the effects

  11. Self-Related Processing and Deactivation of Cortical Midline Regions in Disorders of Consciousness

    PubMed Central

    Crone, Julia Sophia; Höller, Yvonne; Bergmann, Jürgen; Golaszewski, Stefan; Trinka, Eugen; Kronbichler, Martin

    2013-01-01

    Self-related stimuli activate anterior parts of cortical midline regions, which normally show task-induced deactivation. Deactivation in medial posterior and frontal regions is associated with the ability to focus attention on the demands of the task, and therefore, with consciousness. Studies investigating patients with impaired consciousness, that is, patients in minimally conscious state and patients with unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (formerly vegetative state), demonstrate that these patients show responses to self-related content in the anterior cingulate cortex. However, it remains unclear if these responses are an indication for conscious processing of stimuli or are due to automatic processing. To shed further light on this issue, we investigated responses of cortical midline regions to the own and another name in 27 patients with a disorder of consciousness and compared them to task-induced deactivation. While almost all of the control subjects responding to the own name demonstrated higher activation due to the self-related content in anterior midline regions and additional deactivation, none of the responding patients did so. Differences between groups showed a similar pattern of findings. Despite the relation between behavioral responsiveness in patients and activation in response to the own name, the findings of this study do not provide evidence for a direct association of activation in anterior midline regions and conscious processing. The deficits in processing of self-referential content in anterior midline regions may rather be due to general impairments in cognitive processing and not particularly linked to impaired consciousness. PMID:23986685

  12. Attention Modulates the Auditory Cortical Processing of Spatial and Category Cues in Naturalistic Auditory Scenes

    PubMed Central

    Renvall, Hanna; Staeren, Noël; Barz, Claudia S.; Ley, Anke; Formisano, Elia

    2016-01-01

    This combined fMRI and MEG study investigated brain activations during listening and attending to natural auditory scenes. We first recorded, using in-ear microphones, vocal non-speech sounds, and environmental sounds that were mixed to construct auditory scenes containing two concurrent sound streams. During the brain measurements, subjects attended to one of the streams while spatial acoustic information of the scene was either preserved (stereophonic sounds) or removed (monophonic sounds). Compared to monophonic sounds, stereophonic sounds evoked larger blood-oxygenation-level-dependent (BOLD) fMRI responses in the bilateral posterior superior temporal areas, independent of which stimulus attribute the subject was attending to. This finding is consistent with the functional role of these regions in the (automatic) processing of auditory spatial cues. Additionally, significant differences in the cortical activation patterns depending on the target of attention were observed. Bilateral planum temporale and inferior frontal gyrus were preferentially activated when attending to stereophonic environmental sounds, whereas when subjects attended to stereophonic voice sounds, the BOLD responses were larger at the bilateral middle superior temporal gyrus and sulcus, previously reported to show voice sensitivity. In contrast, the time-resolved MEG responses were stronger for mono- than stereophonic sounds in the bilateral auditory cortices at ~360 ms after the stimulus onset when attending to the voice excerpts within the combined sounds. The observed effects suggest that during the segregation of auditory objects from the auditory background, spatial sound cues together with other relevant temporal and spectral cues are processed in an attention-dependent manner at the cortical locations generally involved in sound recognition. More synchronous neuronal activation during monophonic than stereophonic sound processing, as well as (local) neuronal inhibitory mechanisms in

  13. Sensorial analysis evaluation in cereal bars preserved by ionizing radiation processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Villavicencio, A. L. C. H.; Araújo, M. M.; Fanaro, G. B.; Rela, P. R.; Mancini-Filho, J.

    2007-11-01

    Gamma-rays utilized as a food-processing treatment to eliminate insect contamination is well established in food industries. Recent troubles in Brazilian cereal bars commercialization require a special consumer's attention because some products were contaminated by insects. To solve the problem, food-irradiation treatment was utilized as a safe and effective solution. The final product was free of insect contamination. The aim of this study was to determine the best radiation dose processing utilized to disinfestations and detect some change on sensorial characteristic by sensorial analysis in cereal bars. In this study, three different kinds of cereal bars were purchased in São Paulo (Brazil) in supermarkets and irradiated with 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0 kGy at "Instituto de Pesquisas Energéticas e Nucleares" (IPEN-CNEN/SP). The samples were treated with ionizing radiation using a 60Co gamma-ray facility (Gammacell 220, A.E.C.L.). That radiation doses were used successfully as an anti-insect treatment in the cereal bars, since in some food industries doses up to 3.0 kGy are used to guarantee at least a dose of 1.0 kGy in internal cereal bars package. Sensorial analysis was necessary since cereal bars contain ingredients very sensitive to ionizing radiation process.

  14. Enhanced sensory processing accompanies successful detection of change for real-world sounds.

    PubMed

    Gregg, Melissa K; Snyder, Joel S

    2012-08-01

    Change deafness is the inability of listeners to detect changes occurring in their auditory environment. It is a matter of some debate whether change deafness occurs because of a failure of auditory-specific processes or a failure of more general semantic/verbal memory. To address this issue, we measured event-related potentials (ERPs) to pairs of scenes consisting of naturalistic auditory objects while listeners made a same/different judgment for scenes presented before and after an interruption. ERPs to the post-change scene revealed an enhanced early sensory response (N1) and an enhanced late positivity (P3) for detected changes. Change detection performance was better when there was a large acoustic spread among the objects within Scenes 1 and 2, suggesting that the deficits reflected by the ERP components during change deafness are related to successfully segregating the pre- and post-change objects. We also found that a separate sensory response (P2) reflects implicit, unconscious change detection. Overall, the results provide evidence that auditory-specific sensory processing is critical for both explicit and implicit change detection in natural auditory scenes.

  15. Laminar profile of spontaneous and evoked theta: Rhythmic modulation of cortical processing during word integration.

    PubMed

    Halgren, Eric; Kaestner, Erik; Marinkovic, Ksenija; Cash, Sydney S; Wang, Chunmao; Schomer, Donald L; Madsen, Joseph R; Ulbert, Istvan

    2015-09-01

    Theta may play a central role during language understanding and other extended cognitive processing, providing an envelope for widespread integration of participating cortical areas. We used linear microelectrode arrays in epileptics to define the circuits generating theta in inferotemporal, perirhinal, entorhinal, prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. In all locations, theta was generated by excitatory current sinks in middle layers which receive predominantly feedforward inputs, alternating with sinks in superficial layers which receive mainly feedback/associative inputs. Baseline and event-related theta were generated by indistinguishable laminar profiles of transmembrane currents and unit-firing. Word presentation could reset theta phase, permitting theta to contribute to late event-related potentials, even when theta power decreases relative to baseline. Limited recordings during sentence reading are consistent with rhythmic theta activity entrained by a given word modulating the neural background for the following word. These findings show that theta occurs spontaneously, and can be momentarily suppressed, reset and synchronized by words. Theta represents an alternation between feedforward/divergent and associative/convergent processing modes that may temporally organize sustained processing and optimize the timing of memory formation. We suggest that words are initially encoded via a ventral feedforward stream which is lexicosemantic in the anteroventral temporal lobe; its arrival may trigger a widespread theta rhythm which integrates the word within a larger context. PMID:25801916

  16. Laminar profile of spontaneous and evoked theta: Rhythmic modulation of cortical processing during word integration.

    PubMed

    Halgren, Eric; Kaestner, Erik; Marinkovic, Ksenija; Cash, Sydney S; Wang, Chunmao; Schomer, Donald L; Madsen, Joseph R; Ulbert, Istvan

    2015-09-01

    Theta may play a central role during language understanding and other extended cognitive processing, providing an envelope for widespread integration of participating cortical areas. We used linear microelectrode arrays in epileptics to define the circuits generating theta in inferotemporal, perirhinal, entorhinal, prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices. In all locations, theta was generated by excitatory current sinks in middle layers which receive predominantly feedforward inputs, alternating with sinks in superficial layers which receive mainly feedback/associative inputs. Baseline and event-related theta were generated by indistinguishable laminar profiles of transmembrane currents and unit-firing. Word presentation could reset theta phase, permitting theta to contribute to late event-related potentials, even when theta power decreases relative to baseline. Limited recordings during sentence reading are consistent with rhythmic theta activity entrained by a given word modulating the neural background for the following word. These findings show that theta occurs spontaneously, and can be momentarily suppressed, reset and synchronized by words. Theta represents an alternation between feedforward/divergent and associative/convergent processing modes that may temporally organize sustained processing and optimize the timing of memory formation. We suggest that words are initially encoded via a ventral feedforward stream which is lexicosemantic in the anteroventral temporal lobe; its arrival may trigger a widespread theta rhythm which integrates the word within a larger context.

  17. Processing of configural and componential information in face-selective cortical areas.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Mintao; Cheung, Sing-Hang; Wong, Alan C-N; Rhodes, Gillian; Chan, Erich K S; Chan, Winnie W L; Hayward, William G

    2014-01-01

    We investigated how face-selective cortical areas process configural and componential face information and how race of faces may influence these processes. Participants saw blurred (preserving configural information), scrambled (preserving componential information), and whole faces during fMRI scan, and performed a post-scan face recognition task using blurred or scrambled faces. The fusiform face area (FFA) showed stronger activation to blurred than to scrambled faces, and equivalent responses to blurred and whole faces. The occipital face area (OFA) showed stronger activation to whole than to blurred faces, which elicited similar responses to scrambled faces. Therefore, the FFA may be more tuned to process configural than componential information, whereas the OFA similarly participates in perception of both. Differences in recognizing own- and other-race blurred faces were correlated with differences in FFA activation to those faces, suggesting that configural processing within the FFA may underlie the other-race effect in face recognition.

  18. The impact of hemodynamic stress on sensory signal processing in the rodent lateral geniculate nucleus

    PubMed Central

    Zitnik, Gerard A.; Clark, Brain D.; Waterhouse, Barry D.

    2013-01-01

    Hemodynamic stress via hypotensive challenge has been shown previously to cause a corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF)-mediated increase in tonic locus coeruleus (LC) activity and consequent release of norepinephrine (NE) in noradrenergic terminal fields. Although alterations in LC-NE can modulate the responsiveness of signal processing neurons along sensory pathways, little is understood regarding how continuous CRF-mediated activation of LC-NE output due to physiologically relevant stressor affects downstream target cell physiology. The goal of the present study was to investigate the effects of a physiological stressor [hemodynamic stress via sodium nitroprusside (SNP) i.v.] on stimulus evoked responses of sensory processing neurons that receive LC inputs. In rat, the dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus (dLGN) of the thalamus is the primary relay for visual information and is a major target of the LC-NE system. We used extracellular recording techniques in the anesthetized rat monitor single dLGN neuron activity during repeated presentation of light stimuli before and during hemodynamic stress. A significant decrease in magnitude occurred, as well as an increase in latency of dLGN stimulus-evoked responses were observed during hemodynamic stress. In another group of animals the CRF antagonist DpheCRF12–41 was infused onto the ipsilateral LC prior to SNP administration. This infusion blocked the hypotension-induced changes in dLGN stimulus-evoked discharge. These results show that CRF-mediated increases in LC-NE due to hemodynamic stress disrupts the transmission of information along thalamic-sensory pathways by: (1) initially reducing signal transmission during onset of the stressor and (2) decreasing the speed of stimulus evoked sensory transmission. PMID:23643838

  19. Cortical Neural Computation by Discrete Results Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Castejon, Carlos; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

    One of the most challenging problems we face in neuroscience is to understand how the cortex performs computations. There is increasing evidence that the power of the cortical processing is produced by populations of neurons forming dynamic neuronal ensembles. Theoretical proposals and multineuronal experimental studies have revealed that ensembles of neurons can form emergent functional units. However, how these ensembles are implicated in cortical computations is still a mystery. Although cell ensembles have been associated with brain rhythms, the functional interaction remains largely unclear. It is still unknown how spatially distributed neuronal activity can be temporally integrated to contribute to cortical computations. A theoretical explanation integrating spatial and temporal aspects of cortical processing is still lacking. In this Hypothesis and Theory article, we propose a new functional theoretical framework to explain the computational roles of these ensembles in cortical processing. We suggest that complex neural computations underlying cortical processing could be temporally discrete and that sensory information would need to be quantized to be computed by the cerebral cortex. Accordingly, we propose that cortical processing is produced by the computation of discrete spatio-temporal functional units that we have called “Discrete Results” (Discrete Results Hypothesis). This hypothesis represents a novel functional mechanism by which information processing is computed in the cortex. Furthermore, we propose that precise dynamic sequences of “Discrete Results” is the mechanism used by the cortex to extract, code, memorize and transmit neural information. The novel “Discrete Results” concept has the ability to match the spatial and temporal aspects of cortical processing. We discuss the possible neural underpinnings of these functional computational units and describe the empirical evidence supporting our hypothesis. We propose that fast

  20. A comparative study of sensory processing in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder in the home and classroom environments.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Andrés, Ma Inmaculada; Pastor-Cerezuela, Gemma; Sanz-Cervera, Pilar; Tárraga-Mínguez, Raúl

    2015-03-01

    Sensory processing and higher integrative functions impairments are highly prevalent in children with ASD. Context should be considered in analyzing the sensory profile and higher integrative functions. The main objective of this study is to compare sensory processing, social participation and praxis in a group of 79 children (65 males and 14 females) from 5 to 8 years of age (M=6.09) divided into two groups: ASD Group (n=41) and Comparison Group (n=38). The Sensory Processing Measure (SPM) was used to evaluate the sensory profile of the children: parents reported information about their children's characteristics in the home environment, and teachers reported information about the same characteristics in the classroom environment. The ASD Group obtained scores that indicate higher levels of dysfunction on all the assessed measures in both environments, with the greatest differences obtained on the social participation and praxis variables. The most affected sensory modalities in the ASD Group were hearing and touch. Only in the ASD Group were significant differences found between the information reported by parents and what was reported by teachers: specifically, the teachers reported greater dysfunction than the parents in social participation (p=.000), touch (p=.003) and praxis (p=.010). These results suggest that the context-specific qualities found in children with ASD point out the need to receive information from both parents and teachers during the sensory profile assessment process, and use context-specific assessments. PMID:25575284

  1. Spectrotemporal processing differences between auditory cortical fast-spiking and regular-spiking neurons

    PubMed Central

    Atencio, Craig A.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2008-01-01

    Excitatory pyramidal neurons and inhibitory interneurons constitute the main elements of cortical circuitry and have distinctive morphologic and electrophysiological properties. Here, we differentiate them by analyzing the time course of their action potentials (APs) and characterizing their receptive field properties in auditory cortex. Pyramidal neurons have longer APs and discharge as Regular-Spiking Units (RSUs), while basket and chandelier cells, which are inhibitory interneurons, have shorter APs and are Fast-Spiking Units (FSUs). To compare these neuronal classes we stimulated cat primary auditory cortex neurons with a dynamic moving ripple stimulus and constructed single-unit spectrotemporal receptive fields (STRFs) and their associated nonlinearities. FSUs had shorter latencies, broader spectral tuning, greater stimulus specificity, and higher temporal precision than RSUs. The STRF structure of FSUs was more separable, suggesting more independence between spectral and temporal processing regimes. The nonlinearities associated with the two cell classes was indicative of higher feature selectivity for FSUs. These global functional differences between RSUs and FSUs suggest fundamental distinctions between putative excitatory and inhibitory neurons that shape auditory cortical processing. PMID:18400888

  2. Cortical processing of degraded speech sounds: effects of distortion type and continuity.

    PubMed

    Miettinen, Ismo; Alku, Paavo; Yrttiaho, Santeri; May, Patrick J C; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2012-04-01

    Human speech perception is highly resilient to acoustic distortions. In addition to distortions from external sound sources, degradation of the acoustic structure of the sound itself can substantially reduce the intelligibility of speech. The degradation of the internal structure of speech happens, for example, when the digital representation of the signal is impoverished by reducing its amplitude resolution. Further, the perception of speech is also influenced by whether the distortion is transient, coinciding with speech, or is heard continuously in the background. However, the complex effects of the acoustic structure and continuity of the distortion on the cortical processing of degraded speech are unclear. In the present magnetoencephalography study, we investigated how the cortical processing of degraded speech sounds as measured through the auditory N1m response is affected by variation of both the distortion type (internal, external) and the continuity of distortion (transient, continuous). We found that when the distortion was continuous, the N1m was significantly delayed, regardless of the type of distortion. The N1m amplitude, in turn, was affected only when speech sounds were degraded with transient internal distortion, which resulted in larger response amplitudes. The results suggest that external and internal distortions of speech result in divergent patterns of activity in the auditory cortex, and that the effects are modulated by the temporal continuity of the distortion.

  3. Foveal crowding in posterior cortical atrophy: a specific early-visual-processing deficit affecting word reading.

    PubMed

    Crutch, Sebastian J; Warrington, Elizabeth K

    2007-12-01

    Visual crowding is a form of masking in which single-letter identification is compromised by the presence of additional letters or other simple visual forms in close proximity. This behavioural phenomenon has been studied most frequently in the context of amblyopic and normal peripheral vision. In the current study, we investigate this phenomenon in the context of two patients with peripheral dyslexia and a third with visual disorientation consequent to bilateral posterior cortical atrophy. In one case, reading showed the effects of word length typical of letter-by-letter reading, whereas the second case was unable to read any whole words. In a series of letter identification tasks, recognition accuracy was shown to decrease significantly in the presence of a range of flanking stimuli (e.g., letters, digits, letter fragments). Compatible with previous reports of the crowding phenomenon, the flanking effect was strengthened by increasing flanker proximity but was unaffected by target or flank size, flank contrast, target-flank lexicality, or flank category. One patient also showed amelioration of the flanking effect when the target and flankers were of opposite contrast polarity. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of visual crowding in individuals with posterior cortical atrophy. We consider the relevance of these empirical findings to accounts of the letter-by-letter reading form of peripheral dyslexia. In particular, we suggest that crowding constitutes one specific form of early-visual-processing deficit, which impairs the reading process.

  4. Music and speech listening enhance the recovery of early sensory processing after stroke.

    PubMed

    Särkämö, Teppo; Pihko, Elina; Laitinen, Sari; Forsblom, Anita; Soinila, Seppo; Mikkonen, Mikko; Autti, Taina; Silvennoinen, Heli M; Erkkilä, Jaakko; Laine, Matti; Peretz, Isabelle; Hietanen, Marja; Tervaniemi, Mari

    2010-12-01

    Our surrounding auditory environment has a dramatic influence on the development of basic auditory and cognitive skills, but little is known about how it influences the recovery of these skills after neural damage. Here, we studied the long-term effects of daily music and speech listening on auditory sensory memory after middle cerebral artery (MCA) stroke. In the acute recovery phase, 60 patients who had middle cerebral artery stroke were randomly assigned to a music listening group, an audio book listening group, or a control group. Auditory sensory memory, as indexed by the magnetic MMN (MMNm) response to changes in sound frequency and duration, was measured 1 week (baseline), 3 months, and 6 months after the stroke with whole-head magnetoencephalography recordings. Fifty-four patients completed the study. Results showed that the amplitude of the frequency MMNm increased significantly more in both music and audio book groups than in the control group during the 6-month poststroke period. In contrast, the duration MMNm amplitude increased more in the audio book group than in the other groups. Moreover, changes in the frequency MMNm amplitude correlated significantly with the behavioral improvement of verbal memory and focused attention induced by music listening. These findings demonstrate that merely listening to music and speech after neural damage can induce long-term plastic changes in early sensory processing, which, in turn, may facilitate the recovery of higher cognitive functions. The neural mechanisms potentially underlying this effect are discussed.

  5. Volatile, anthocyanidin, quality and sensory changes in rabbiteye blueberry from whole fruit through pilot plant juice processing.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    BACKGROUND: High antioxidant content and keen marketing have increased blueberry demand and increased local production which in turn mandates new uses for abundant harvests. Pilot scale processes were employed to investigate the anthocyanidin profiles, qualitative volatile compositions, and sensori...

  6. Cortical activation during word processing in late bilinguals: similarities and differences as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Marian, Viorica; Shildkrot, Yevgeniy; Blumenfeld, Henrike K; Kaushanskaya, Margarita; Faroqi-Shah, Yasmeen; Hirsch, Joy

    2007-04-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to compare cortical organization of the first (L1, Russian) and second (L2, English) languages. Six fluent Russian-English bilinguals who acquired their second language postpuberty were tested with words and nonwords presented either auditorily or visually. Results showed that both languages activated similar cortical networks, including the inferior frontal, middle frontal, superior temporal, middle temporal, angular, and supramarginal gyri. Within the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), L2 activated a larger cortical volume than L1 during lexical and phonological processing. For both languages, the left IFG was more active than the right IFG during lexical processing. Within the left IFG, the distance between centers of activation associated with lexical processing of translation equivalents across languages was larger than the distance between centers of activation associated with lexical processing of different words in the same language. Results of phonological processing analyses revealed different centers of activation associated with the first versus the second language in the IFG, but not in the superior temporal gyrus (STG). These findings are discussed within the context of the current literature on cortical organization in bilinguals and suggest variation in bilingual cortical activation associated with lexical, phonological, and orthographic processing.

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

    PubMed

    Zarzecki, P; Wiggin, D M

    1982-01-01

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

  8. Environmental acoustic enrichment promotes recovery from developmentally degraded auditory cortical processing.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Xiaoqing; Wang, Fang; Hu, Huifang; Sun, Xinde; Kilgard, Michael P; Merzenich, Michael M; Zhou, Xiaoming

    2014-04-16

    It has previously been shown that environmental enrichment can enhance structural plasticity in the brain and thereby improve cognitive and behavioral function. In this study, we reared developmentally noise-exposed rats in an acoustic-enriched environment for ∼4 weeks to investigate whether or not enrichment could restore developmentally degraded behavioral and neuronal processing of sound frequency. We found that noise-exposed rats had significantly elevated sound frequency discrimination thresholds compared with age-matched naive rats. Environmental acoustic enrichment nearly restored to normal the behavioral deficit resulting from early disrupted acoustic inputs. Signs of both degraded frequency selectivity of neurons as measured by the bandwidth of frequency tuning curves and decreased long-term potentiation of field potentials recorded in the primary auditory cortex of these noise-exposed rats also were reversed partially. The observed behavioral and physiological effects induced by enrichment were accompanied by recovery of cortical expressions of certain NMDA and GABAA receptor subunits and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. These studies in a rodent model show that environmental acoustic enrichment promotes recovery from early noise-induced auditory cortical dysfunction and indicate a therapeutic potential of this noninvasive approach for normalizing neurological function from pathologies that cause hearing and associated language impairments in older children and adults.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-15

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

  11. Number processing in posterior cortical atrophy--a neuropsycholgical case study.

    PubMed

    Delazer, M; Karner, E; Zamarian, L; Donnemiller, E; Benke, Th

    2006-01-01

    Posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) is an uncommon syndrome of dementia with early onset, characterised by disorders of higher visual function, variable symptoms of Balint's syndrome, visual agnosia, alexia, agraphia, finger agnosia, right-left disorientation and dyscalculia [Benson D. F., Davis R. J., & Snyder B. D. (1988). Posterior cortical atrophy. Archives of Neurology, 45, 789-793]. In a single case study specific numerical deficits were observed which may be predicted by parietal neurodegeneration (more pronounced on the right side; verified by SPECT). Besides impairments in all tasks involving visuo-spatial abilities (e.g., dot counting, analog number scale task), deficits appeared in tasks requiring access to an internal representation of numbers such as mental number bisection, approximation, estimation and semantic facts. In number comparison an increased distance effect was found. In simple arithmetic, a striking dissociation between operations was found-multiplication and addition facts being preserved at a superficial level, subtraction and division being severely impaired. The study confirms the close relation between spatial and numerical processing and highlights the modular organisation of the semantic system (number semantics impaired). Moreover, the study adds evidence about the clinical manifestation of the particular degenerative syndrome. PMID:15936044

  12. Top-down interference and cortical responsiveness in face processing: a TMS-EEG study.

    PubMed

    Mattavelli, Giulia; Rosanova, Mario; Casali, Adenauer G; Papagno, Costanza; Romero Lauro, Leonor J

    2013-08-01

    Neuroimaging and electrophysiological studies have shown the involvement of a fronto-temporo-occipital network in face processing, but the functional relation among these areas remains unclear. We used transcranial magnetic stimulation combined with electroencephalography (TMS-EEG) to explore the local and global cortical excitability at rest and during two different face processing behavioral tasks. Single-pulse TMS was delivered (100 ms after face stimulus onset) over the right medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) during a face identity or a face expression matching task, while continuous EEG was recorded using a 60-channel TMS-compatible amplifier. We examined TMS effects on the occipital face-specific ERP component and compared TMS-evoked potentials (TEPs) recorded during task performance and a passive point fixation control task. TMS reduced the P1-N1 component recorded at the occipital electrodes. Moreover, performing face tasks significantly modulated TEPs recorded at the occipital and temporal electrodes within the first 30 ms after right mPFC stimulation, with a specific increase of temporal TEPs in the right hemisphere for the facial expression task. Furthermore, in order to test the site-specificity of the reported effects, TMS was applied over the right premotor cortex (PMC) as a control site using the same experimental paradigm. Results showed that TMS over the right PMC did not affect ERP components in posterior regions during the face tasks and TEP amplitude did not change between task and no task condition, either at fronto-central electrodes near the stimulation or at temporal and occipital electrodes. These findings support the notion that the prefrontal cortex exerts a very early influence over the occipital cortex during face processing tasks and that excitability across right fronto-temporal cortical regions is significantly modulated during explicit facial expression processing.

  13. Effect of fat quality on sausage processing, texture, and sensory characteristics.

    PubMed

    Baer, Arica A; Dilger, Anna C

    2014-03-01

    Fresh pork sausage was manufactured to determine the effects of animal diet (unsaturated or control) and inclusion of corn oil during processing (0% and 14% fat replacement). Bologna was manufactured to investigate only diet effects. Processing, textural, sensory, visual, and storage characteristics were evaluated. Processing yield was improved 2.9 percentage units in fresh sausage but reduced 1.8 units in bologna in unsaturated compared with control diets. Break strength of fresh sausage was reduced 0.6 kg by oil inclusion. Both unsaturated fat and including oil during processing resulted in softer texture of fresh sausage, while increased unsaturation in bologna resulted in firmer or unchanged textural properties. Fresh sausage with oil was lighter colored (5.3 L* units increased) with more fat smearing. In fresh sausage, lipid oxidation remained below 1mg/kg MDA during 12 weeks frozen storage. Overall, changes in fat quality minimally affected sausage quality, likely providing acceptable products to consumers.

  14. Theta phase coherence in affective picture processing reveals dysfunctional sensory integration in psychopathic offenders.

    PubMed

    Tillem, Scott; Ryan, Jonathan; Wu, Jia; Crowley, Michael J; Mayes, Linda C; Baskin-Sommers, Arielle

    2016-09-01

    Psychopathic offenders are described as emotionally cold, displaying deficits in affective responding. However, research demonstrates that many of the psychopathy-related deficits are moderated by attention, such that under conditions of high attentional and perceptual load psychopathic offenders display deficits in affective responses, but do not in conditions of low load. To date, most studies use measures of defensive reflex (i.e., startle) and conditioning manipulations to examine the impact of load on psychopathy-related processing, but have not examined more direct measures of attention processing. In a sample of adult male offenders, the present study examined time-frequency EEG phase coherence in response to a picture-viewing paradigm that manipulated picture familiarity to assess neural changes in processing based on perceptual demands. Results indicated psychopathy-related differences in the theta response, an index of readiness to perceive and integrate sensory information. These data provide further evidence that psychopathic offenders have disrupted integration of sensory information. PMID:27373371

  15. Cortical organization in shrews: evidence from five species.

    PubMed

    Catania, K C; Lyon, D C; Mock, O B; Kaas, J H

    1999-07-19

    Cortical organization was examined in five shrew species. In three species, Blarina brevicauda, Cryptotis parva, and Sorex palustris, microelectrode recordings were made in cortex to determine the organization of sensory areas. Cortical recordings were then related to flattened sections of cortex processed for cytochrome oxidase or myelin to reveal architectural borders. An additional two species (Sorex cinereus and Sorex longirostris) with visible cortical subdivisions based on histology alone were analyzed without electrophysiological mapping. A single basic plan of cortical organization was found in shrews, consisting of a few clearly defined sensory areas located caudally in cortex. Two somatosensory areas contained complete representations of the contralateral body, corresponding to primary somatosensory cortex (S1) and secondary somatosensory cortex (S2). A small primary visual cortex (V1) was located closely adjacent to S1, whereas auditory cortex (A1) was located in extreme caudolateral cortex, partially encircled by S2. Areas did not overlap and had sharp, histochemically apparent and electrophysiologically defined borders. The adjacency of these areas suggests a complete absence of intervening higher level or association areas. Based on a previous study of corticospinal connections, a presumptive primary motor cortex (M1) was identified directly rostral to S1. Apparently, in shrews, the solution to having extremely little neocortex is to have only a few small cortical subdivisions. However, the small areas remain discrete, well organized, and functional. This cortical organization in shrews is likely a derived condition, because a wide range of extant mammals have a greater number of cortical subdivisions. PMID:10397395

  16. Speech encoding by coupled cortical theta and gamma oscillations.

    PubMed

    Hyafil, Alexandre; Fontolan, Lorenzo; Kabdebon, Claire; Gutkin, Boris; Giraud, Anne-Lise

    2015-05-29

    Many environmental stimuli present a quasi-rhythmic structure at different timescales that the brain needs to decompose and integrate. Cortical oscillations have been proposed as instruments of sensory de-multiplexing, i.e., the parallel processing of different frequency streams in sensory signals. Yet their causal role in such a process has never been demonstrated. Here, we used a neural microcircuit model to address whether coupled theta-gamma oscillations, as observed in human auditory cortex, could underpin the multiscale sensory analysis of speech. We show that, in continuous speech, theta oscillations can flexibly track the syllabic rhythm and temporally organize the phoneme-level response of gamma neurons into a code that enables syllable identification. The tracking of slow speech fluctuations by theta oscillations, and its coupling to gamma-spiking activity both appeared as critical features for accurate speech encoding. These results demonstrate that cortical oscillations can be a key instrument of speech de-multiplexing, parsing, and encoding.

  17. Emergent Spatial Patterns of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Strengths Drive Somatotopic Representational Discontinuities and their Plasticity in a Computational Model of Primary Sensory Cortical Area 3b.

    PubMed

    Grajski, Kamil A

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying the emergence and plasticity of representational discontinuities in the mammalian primary somatosensory cortical representation of the hand are investigated in a computational model. The model consists of an input lattice organized as a three-digit hand forward-connected to a lattice of cortical columns each of which contains a paired excitatory and inhibitory cell. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity of feedforward and lateral connection weights is implemented as a simple covariance rule and competitive normalization. Receptive field properties are computed independently for excitatory and inhibitory cells and compared within and across columns. Within digit representational zones intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field extents are concentric, single-digit, small, and unimodal. Exclusively in representational boundary-adjacent zones, intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field properties diverge: excitatory cell receptive fields are single-digit, small, and unimodal; and the paired inhibitory cell receptive fields are bimodal, double-digit, and large. In simulated syndactyly (webbed fingers), boundary-adjacent intracolumnar receptive field properties reorganize to within-representation type; divergent properties are reacquired following syndactyly release. This study generates testable hypotheses for assessment of cortical laminar-dependent receptive field properties and plasticity within and between cortical representational zones. For computational studies, present results suggest that concurrent excitatory and inhibitory plasticity may underlie novel emergent properties. PMID:27504086

  18. Emergent Spatial Patterns of Excitatory and Inhibitory Synaptic Strengths Drive Somatotopic Representational Discontinuities and their Plasticity in a Computational Model of Primary Sensory Cortical Area 3b

    PubMed Central

    Grajski, Kamil A.

    2016-01-01

    Mechanisms underlying the emergence and plasticity of representational discontinuities in the mammalian primary somatosensory cortical representation of the hand are investigated in a computational model. The model consists of an input lattice organized as a three-digit hand forward-connected to a lattice of cortical columns each of which contains a paired excitatory and inhibitory cell. Excitatory and inhibitory synaptic plasticity of feedforward and lateral connection weights is implemented as a simple covariance rule and competitive normalization. Receptive field properties are computed independently for excitatory and inhibitory cells and compared within and across columns. Within digit representational zones intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field extents are concentric, single-digit, small, and unimodal. Exclusively in representational boundary-adjacent zones, intracolumnar excitatory and inhibitory receptive field properties diverge: excitatory cell receptive fields are single-digit, small, and unimodal; and the paired inhibitory cell receptive fields are bimodal, double-digit, and large. In simulated syndactyly (webbed fingers), boundary-adjacent intracolumnar receptive field properties reorganize to within-representation type; divergent properties are reacquired following syndactyly release. This study generates testable hypotheses for assessment of cortical laminar-dependent receptive field properties and plasticity within and between cortical representational zones. For computational studies, present results suggest that concurrent excitatory and inhibitory plasticity may underlie novel emergent properties. PMID:27504086

  19. Enhanced sensory re-learning after nerve repair using 3D audio-visual signals and kinaesthesia--preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Schmidhammer, R; Hausner, T; Kröpfl, A; Huber, W; Hopf, R; Leixnering, M; Herz, H; Redl, H

    2007-01-01

    Sensory re-learning methods and basics on cortical reorganization after peripheral nerve lesion are well documented. The aim of enhanced sensory re-learning using 3D audio-visual signals and kinaesthetic training is the augmentation of cognitive memory (visual and acoustic sensory memory) and cognitive function for the improvement of cerebral plasticity processes and starts as soon as possible after nerve repair. Preliminary results are shown.

  20. Sensory evaluation based fuzzy AHP approach for material selection in customized garment design and development process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Y.; Curteza, A.; Zeng, X.; Bruniaux, P.; Chen, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Material selection is the most difficult section in the customized garment product design and development process. This study aims to create a hierarchical framework for material selection. The analytic hierarchy process and fuzzy sets theories have been applied to mindshare the diverse requirements from the customer and inherent interaction/interdependencies among these requirements. Sensory evaluation ensures a quick and effective selection without complex laboratory test such as KES and FAST, using the professional knowledge of the designers. A real empirical application for the physically disabled people is carried out to demonstrate the proposed method. Both the theoretical and practical background of this paper have indicated the fuzzy analytical network process can capture expert's knowledge existing in the form of incomplete, ambiguous and vague information for the mutual influence on attribute and criteria of the material selection.

  1. Sensory processing during viewing of cinematographic material: computational modeling and functional neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Bordier, Cecile; Puja, Francesco; Macaluso, Emiliano

    2013-02-15

    The investigation of brain activity using naturalistic, ecologically-valid stimuli is becoming an important challenge for neuroscience research. Several approaches have been proposed, primarily relying on data-driven methods (e.g. independent component analysis, ICA). However, data-driven methods often require some post-hoc interpretation of the imaging results to draw inferences about the underlying sensory, motor or cognitive functions. Here, we propose using a biologically-plausible computational model to extract (multi-)sensory stimulus statistics that can be used for standard hypothesis-driven analyses (general linear model, GLM). We ran two separate fMRI experiments, which both involved subjects watching an episode of a TV-series. In Exp 1, we manipulated the presentation by switching on-and-off color, motion and/or sound at variable intervals, whereas in Exp 2, the video was played in the original version, with all the consequent continuous changes of the different sensory features intact. Both for vision and audition, we extracted stimulus statistics corresponding to spatial and temporal discontinuities of low-level features, as well as a combined measure related to the overall stimulus saliency. Results showed that activity in occipital visual cortex and the superior temporal auditory cortex co-varied with changes of low-level features. Visual saliency was found to further boost activity in extra-striate visual cortex plus posterior parietal cortex, while auditory saliency was found to enhance activity in the superior temporal cortex. Data-driven ICA analyses of the same datasets also identified "sensory" networks comprising visual and auditory areas, but without providing specific information about the possible underlying processes, e.g., these processes could relate to modality, stimulus features and/or saliency. We conclude that the combination of computational modeling and GLM enables the tracking of the impact of bottom-up signals on brain activity

  2. Foodborne Pathogens Prevention and Sensory Attributes Enhancement in Processed Cheese via Flavoring with Plant Extracts.

    PubMed

    Tayel, Ahmed A; Hussein, Heba; Sorour, Noha M; El-Tras, Wael F

    2015-12-01

    Cheese contaminations with foodborne bacterial pathogens, and their health outbreaks, are serious worldwide problems that could happen from diverse sources during cheese production or storage. Plants, and their derivatives, were always regarded as the potential natural and safe antimicrobial alternatives for food preservation and improvement. The extracts from many plants, which are commonly used as spices and flavoring agents, were evaluated as antibacterial agents against serious foodborne pathogens, for example Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Escherichia coli O157:H7, using qualitative and quantitative assaying methods. Dairy-based media were also used for evaluating the practical application of plant extracts as antimicrobial agents. Most of the examined plant extracts exhibited remarkable antibacterial activity; the extracts of cinnamon, cloves, garden cress, and lemon grass were the most powerful, either in synthetic or in dairy-based media. Flavoring processed cheese with plant extracts resulted in the enhancement of cheese sensory attributes, for example odor, taste, color, and overall quality, especially in flavored samples with cinnamon, lemon grass, and oregano. It can be concluded that plant extracts are strongly recommended, as powerful and safe antibacterial and flavoring agents, for the preservation and sensory enhancement of processed cheese.

  3. Sensory Symptoms and Processing of Nonverbal Auditory and Visual Stimuli in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stewart, Claire R.; Sanchez, Sandra S.; Grenesko, Emily L.; Brown, Christine M.; Chen, Colleen P.; Keehn, Brandon; Velasquez, Francisco; Lincoln, Alan J.; Müller, Ralph-Axel

    2016-01-01

    Atypical sensory responses are common in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While evidence suggests impaired auditory-visual integration for verbal information, findings for nonverbal stimuli are inconsistent. We tested for sensory symptoms in children with ASD (using the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile) and examined unisensory and bisensory…

  4. Electrophysiological evidence for age effects on sensory memory processing of tonal patterns.

    PubMed

    Rimmele, Johanna; Sussman, Elyse; Keitel, Christian; Jacobsen, Thomas; Schröger, Erich

    2012-06-01

    In older adults, difficulties processing complex auditory scenes, such as speech comprehension in noisy environments, might be due to a specific impairment of temporal processing at early, automatic processing stages involving auditory sensory memory (ASM). Even though age effects on auditory temporal processing have been well-documented, there is a paucity of research on how ASM processing of more complex tone-patterns is altered by age. In the current study, age effects on ASM processing of temporal and frequency aspects of two-tone patterns were investigated using a passive listening protocol. The P1 component, the mismatch negativity (MMN) and the P3a component of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to tone frequency and temporal pattern deviants were recorded in younger and older adults as a measure of auditory event detection, ASM processing, and attention switching, respectively. MMN was elicited with smaller amplitude to both frequency and temporal deviants in older adults. Furthermore, P3a was elicited only in the younger adults. In conclusion, the smaller MMN amplitude indicates that automatic processing of both frequency and temporal aspects of two-tone patterns is impaired in older adults. The failure to initiate an attention switch, suggested by the absence of P3a, indicates that impaired ASM processing of patterns may lead to less distractibility in older adults. Our results suggest age-related changes in ASM processing of patterns that cannot be explained by an inhibitory deficit.

  5. Prediction processes during multiple object tracking (MOT): involvement of dorsal and ventral premotor cortices

    PubMed Central

    Atmaca, Silke; Stadler, Waltraud; Keitel, Anne; Ott, Derek V M; Lepsien, Jöran; Prinz, Wolfgang

    2013-01-01

    Background The multiple object tracking (MOT) paradigm is a cognitive task that requires parallel tracking of several identical, moving objects following nongoal-directed, arbitrary motion trajectories. Aims The current study aimed to investigate the employment of prediction processes during MOT. As an indicator for the involvement of prediction processes, we targeted the human premotor cortex (PM). The PM has been repeatedly implicated to serve the internal modeling of future actions and action effects, as well as purely perceptual events, by means of predictive feedforward functions. Materials and methods Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), BOLD activations recorded during MOT were contrasted with those recorded during the execution of a cognitive control task that used an identical stimulus display and demanded similar attentional load. A particular effort was made to identify and exclude previously found activation in the PM-adjacent frontal eye fields (FEF). Results We replicated prior results, revealing occipitotemporal, parietal, and frontal areas to be engaged in MOT. Discussion The activation in frontal areas is interpreted to originate from dorsal and ventral premotor cortices. The results are discussed in light of our assumption that MOT engages prediction processes. Conclusion We propose that our results provide first clues that MOT does not only involve visuospatial perception and attention processes, but prediction processes as well. PMID:24363971

  6. Auditory Cortical Processing in Real-World Listening: The Auditory System Going Real

    PubMed Central

    Bizley, Jennifer; Shamma, Shihab A.; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2014-01-01

    The auditory sense of humans transforms intrinsically senseless pressure waveforms into spectacularly rich perceptual phenomena: the music of Bach or the Beatles, the poetry of Li Bai or Omar Khayyam, or more prosaically the sense of the world filled with objects emitting sounds that is so important for those of us lucky enough to have hearing. Whereas the early representations of sounds in the auditory system are based on their physical structure, higher auditory centers are thought to represent sounds in terms of their perceptual attributes. In this symposium, we will illustrate the current research into this process, using four case studies. We will illustrate how the spectral and temporal properties of sounds are used to bind together, segregate, categorize, and interpret sound patterns on their way to acquire meaning, with important lessons to other sensory systems as well. PMID:25392481

  7. Auditory cortical processing in real-world listening: the auditory system going real.

    PubMed

    Nelken, Israel; Bizley, Jennifer; Shamma, Shihab A; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2014-11-12

    The auditory sense of humans transforms intrinsically senseless pressure waveforms into spectacularly rich perceptual phenomena: the music of Bach or the Beatles, the poetry of Li Bai or Omar Khayyam, or more prosaically the sense of the world filled with objects emitting sounds that is so important for those of us lucky enough to have hearing. Whereas the early representations of sounds in the auditory system are based on their physical structure, higher auditory centers are thought to represent sounds in terms of their perceptual attributes. In this symposium, we will illustrate the current research into this process, using four case studies. We will illustrate how the spectral and temporal properties of sounds are used to bind together, segregate, categorize, and interpret sound patterns on their way to acquire meaning, with important lessons to other sensory systems as well. PMID:25392481

  8. EXPLORING AN INTEGRATIVE MODEL OF INFANT BEHAVIOR: WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP AMONG TEMPERAMENT, SENSORY PROCESSING, AND NEUROBEHAVIORAL MEASURES?

    PubMed Central

    DeSantis, Andrea; Harkins, Debra; Tronick, Ed; Kaplan, Edith; Beeghly, Marjorie

    2011-01-01

    Traditionally, developmental psychology, occupational/physical therapy, and behavioral pediatrics view similar infant behaviors from temperament, sensory processing, or neurobehavioral theoretical perspectives. This study examined the relations between similar and unique summary scores of three infant assessments (Early Infancy Temperament Questionnaire - EITQ, the Infant Sensory Profile - ISP, and the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale – NNNS) in a healthy sample of 100, one-month-old infants. A Principal Components Analysis of selected subscale scores derived from the three assessments suggested a three-factor model. Temperament and sensory summary scores had the strongest relations on two factors: Sensory-Affective Reactivity and Engagement. A third factor had strong relations between state regulation and motor competence. This new integrative model also validates an existing model and expands explanation of infant behavior across disciplines and methods which have significant implications for assessment, intervention, and management practices. PMID:21397952

  9. Cortical kinematic processing of executed and observed goal-directed hand actions.

    PubMed

    Marty, Brice; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Jousmäki, Veikko; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Van Bogaert, Patrick; Goldman, Serge; Hari, Riitta; De Tiège, Xavier

    2015-10-01

    Motor information conveyed by viewing the kinematics of an agent's action helps to predict how the action will unfold. Still, how observed movement kinematics is processed in the brain remains to be clarified. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to determine at which frequency and where in the brain, the neural activity is coupled with the kinematics of executed and observed motor actions. Whole-scalp MEG signals were recorded from 11 right-handed healthy adults while they were executing (Self) or observing (Other) similar goal-directed hand actions performed by an actor placed in front of them. Actions consisted of pinching with the right hand green foam-made pieces mixed in a heap with pieces of other colors placed on a table, and put them in a plastic pot on the right side of the heap. Subjects' and actor's forefinger movements were monitored with an accelerometer. The coherence between movement acceleration and MEG signals was computed at the sensor level. Then, cortical sources coherent with movement acceleration were identified with Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources. Statistically significant sensor-level coherence peaked at the movement frequency (F0) and its first harmonic (F1) in both movement conditions. Apart from visual cortices, statistically significant local maxima of coherence were observed in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (F0), bilateral superior parietal lobule (F0 or F1) and primary sensorimotor cortex (F0 or F1) in both movement conditions. These results suggest that observing others' actions engages the viewer's brain in a similar kinematic-related manner as during own action execution. These findings bring new insights into how human brain activity covaries with essential features of observed movements of others. PMID:26123380

  10. Cortical kinematic processing of executed and observed goal-directed hand actions.

    PubMed

    Marty, Brice; Bourguignon, Mathieu; Jousmäki, Veikko; Wens, Vincent; Op de Beeck, Marc; Van Bogaert, Patrick; Goldman, Serge; Hari, Riitta; De Tiège, Xavier

    2015-10-01

    Motor information conveyed by viewing the kinematics of an agent's action helps to predict how the action will unfold. Still, how observed movement kinematics is processed in the brain remains to be clarified. Here, we used magnetoencephalography (MEG) to determine at which frequency and where in the brain, the neural activity is coupled with the kinematics of executed and observed motor actions. Whole-scalp MEG signals were recorded from 11 right-handed healthy adults while they were executing (Self) or observing (Other) similar goal-directed hand actions performed by an actor placed in front of them. Actions consisted of pinching with the right hand green foam-made pieces mixed in a heap with pieces of other colors placed on a table, and put them in a plastic pot on the right side of the heap. Subjects' and actor's forefinger movements were monitored with an accelerometer. The coherence between movement acceleration and MEG signals was computed at the sensor level. Then, cortical sources coherent with movement acceleration were identified with Dynamic Imaging of Coherent Sources. Statistically significant sensor-level coherence peaked at the movement frequency (F0) and its first harmonic (F1) in both movement conditions. Apart from visual cortices, statistically significant local maxima of coherence were observed in the right posterior superior temporal gyrus (F0), bilateral superior parietal lobule (F0 or F1) and primary sensorimotor cortex (F0 or F1) in both movement conditions. These results suggest that observing others' actions engages the viewer's brain in a similar kinematic-related manner as during own action execution. These findings bring new insights into how human brain activity covaries with essential features of observed movements of others.

  11. Acoustic change responses to amplitude modulation: a method to quantify cortical temporal processing and hemispheric asymmetry

    PubMed Central

    Han, Ji Hye; Dimitrijevic, Andrew

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Sound modulation is a critical temporal cue for the perception of speech and environmental sounds. To examine auditory cortical responses to sound modulation, we developed an acoustic change stimulus involving amplitude modulation (AM) of ongoing noise. The AM transitions in this stimulus evoked an acoustic change complex (ACC) that was examined parametrically in terms of rate and depth of modulation and hemispheric symmetry. Methods: Auditory cortical potentials were recorded from 64 scalp electrodes during passive listening in two conditions: (1) ACC from white noise to 4, 40, 300 Hz AM, with varying AM depths of 100, 50, 25% lasting 1 s and (2) 1 s AM noise bursts at the same modulation rate. Behavioral measures included AM detection from an attend ACC condition and AM depth thresholds (i.e., a temporal modulation transfer function, TMTF). Results: The N1 response of the ACC was large to 4 and 40 Hz and small to the 300 Hz AM. In contrast, the opposite pattern was observed with bursts of AM showing larger responses with increases in AM rate. Brain source modeling showed significant hemispheric asymmetry such that 4 and 40 Hz ACC responses were dominated by right and left hemispheres respectively. Conclusion: N1 responses to the ACC resembled a low pass filter shape similar to a behavioral TMTF. In the ACC paradigm, the only stimulus parameter that changes is AM and therefore the N1 response provides an index for this AM change. In contrast, an AM burst stimulus contains both AM and level changes and is likely dominated by the rise time of the stimulus. The hemispheric differences are consistent with the asymmetric sampling in time hypothesis suggesting that the different hemispheres preferentially sample acoustic time across different time windows. Significance: The ACC provides a novel approach to studying temporal processing at the level of cortex and provides further evidence of hemispheric specialization for fast and slow stimuli. PMID:25717291

  12. Contextual task difficulty modulates stimulus discrimination: electrophysiological evidence for interaction between sensory and executive processes.

    PubMed

    Fedota, John R; McDonald, Craig G; Roberts, Daniel M; Parasuraman, Raja

    2012-10-01

    The occipital-temporal N1 component of the event-related potential (ERP) has previously been shown to index a stimulus discrimination process. However, the N1 has not consistently been shown to be sensitive to the difficulty of stimulus discrimination. Here, we manipulated the difficulty of stimulus discrimination by modulating the similarity between serially presented targets and nontargets. The same target stimulus was employed in both easy and difficult discrimination contexts, and these physically identical target stimuli elicited a larger N1 and smaller P3b in the difficult task context. Moreover, when targets were incorrectly categorized, N1 amplitude was diminished and a P3b was not elicited. These findings provide evidence that the N1 component reflects a sensory discrimination process that is modulated by executive control, and that this component can index discrimination errors when stimulus discrimination is difficult.

  13. Placebo improves pleasure and pain through opposite modulation of sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Ellingsen, Dan-Mikael; Wessberg, Johan; Eikemo, Marie; Liljencrantz, Jaquette; Endestad, Tor; Olausson, Håkan; Leknes, Siri

    2013-01-01

    Placebo analgesia is often conceptualized as a reward mechanism. However, by targeting only negative experiences, such as pain, placebo research may tell only half the story. We compared placebo improvement of painful touch (analgesia) with placebo improvement of pleasant touch (hyperhedonia) using functional MRI and a crossover design. Somatosensory processing was decreased during placebo analgesia and increased during placebo hyperhedonia. Both placebo responses were associated with similar patterns of activation increase in circuitry involved in emotion appraisal, including the pregenual anterior cingulate, medial orbitofrontal cortex, amygdala, accumbens, and midbrain structures. Importantly, placebo-induced coupling between the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and periaqueductal gray correlated with somatosensory decreases to painful touch and somatosensory increases to pleasant touch. These findings suggest that placebo analgesia and hyperhedonia are mediated by activation of shared emotion appraisal neurocircuitry, which down- or up-regulates early sensory processing, depending on whether the expectation is reduced pain or increased pleasure. PMID:24127578

  14. Contextual task difficulty modulates stimulus discrimination: Electrophysiological evidence for interaction between sensory and executive processes

    PubMed Central

    Fedota, John R.; McDonald, Craig G.; Roberts, Daniel M.; Parasuraman, Raja

    2012-01-01

    The occipital-temporal N1 component of the event-related potential (ERP) has previously been shown to index a stimulus discrimination process. However, the N1 has not consistently been shown to be sensitive to the difficulty of stimulus discrimination. Here we manipulated the difficulty of stimulus discrimination by modulating the similarity between serially presented targets and non-targets. The same target stimulus was employed in both easy and difficult discrimination contexts, and these physically identical target stimuli elicited a larger N1 and smaller P3b in the difficult task context. Moreover, when targets were incorrectly categorized, N1 amplitude was diminished and a P3b was not elicited. These findings provide evidence that the N1 component reflects a sensory discrimination process that is modulated by executive control, and that this component can index discrimination errors when stimulus discrimination is difficult. PMID:22906001

  15. Sensory processing sensitivity: a review in the light of the evolution of biological responsivity.

    PubMed

    Aron, Elaine N; Aron, Arthur; Jagiellowicz, Jadzia

    2012-08-01

    This article reviews the literature on sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) in light of growing evidence from evolutionary biology that many personality differences in nonhuman species involve being more or less responsive, reactive, flexible, or sensitive to the environment. After briefly defining SPS, it first discusses how biologists studying animal personality have conceptualized this general environmental sensitivity. Second, it reviews relevant previous human personality/temperament work, focusing on crossover interactions (where a trait generates positive or negative outcomes depending on the environment), and traits relevant to specific hypothesized aspects of SPS: inhibition of behavior, sensitivity to stimuli, depth of processing, and emotional/physiological reactivity. Third, it reviews support for the overall SPS model, focusing on development of the Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) Scale as a measure of SPS then on neuroimaging and genetic studies using the scale, all of which bears on the extent to which SPS in humans corresponds to biological responsivity.

  16. Visual short-term memory load affects sensory processing of irrelevant sounds in human auditory cortex.

    PubMed

    Valtonen, Jussi; May, Patrick; Mäkinen, Ville; Tiitinen, Hannu

    2003-07-01

    We used whole-head magnetoencephalography (MEG) to investigate neural activity in human auditory cortex elicited by irrelevant tones while the subjects were engaged in a short-term memory task presented in the visual modality. As compared to a no-memory-task condition, memory load enhanced the amplitude of the auditory N1m response. In addition, the N1m amplitude depended on the phase of the memory task, with larger response amplitudes observed during encoding than retention. Further, these amplitude modulations were accompanied by anterior-posterior shifts in N1m source locations. The results show that a memory task for visually presented stimuli alters sensory processing in human auditory cortex, even when subjects are explicitly instructed to ignore any auditory stimuli. Thus, it appears that task demands requiring attentional allocation and short-term memory result in interaction across visual and auditory brain areas carrying out the processing of stimulus features.

  17. Functional MRI of neuronal activation in epilepsy patients with malformations of cortical development.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Simona; Bartha, Robert; Parrent, Andrew G; Steven, David A; Diosy, David; Burneo, Jorge G

    2015-10-01

    Malformations of cortical development are disturbances in brain formation that arise from abnormalities affecting the processes of cortical development. Surgical treatment of intractable epilepsy in patients with malformations of cortical development requires localization of both epileptogenic and eloquent cortices. Functional magnetic resonance imaging has been shown to detect the reorganization of activation patterns in such patients. The purpose of this study was to determine whether functional reorganization of the primary sensory and motor cortices occurs in patients with epileptogenic malformations of cortical development. Functional MRI data were obtained for 11 patients (four male, seven female) with a mean age of 36 years (range 18-55 years). The mean age at epilepsy onset was 23 years (range 3-55 years). Twelve healthy controls (six male, six female) with mean age of 33 years (range 28-51 years) were also recruited for comparison. High resolution anatomical MRI was used to confirm the presence and the location of the malformation. All imaging experiments were performed using a 3.0T Siemens Tim Trio whole body MRI. Each subject performed four block-paradigm fMRI experiments to study motor and sensory activation for each hand. A total of 132 image sets were collected for each paradigm over 5.5min (2.5s per image). Each paradigm consisted of seven stimulus periods lasting 30s (12 images) and stimulus onset of 30, 90, 150, 210 and 270s. Functional data were obtained from all eligible patients and compared to those of controls. Reorganization and reduction in function in the motor and sensory areas were observed in patients with cortical dysplasia. Patients with polymicrogyria did not present with significant functional reorganization and patients with heterotopias and coexisting polymicrogyria and/or cortical dysplasia had variable patterns of activation. In summary, this study showed evidence of functional reorganization of sensory and motor cortices in

  18. Synaptic computation and sensory processing in neocortical layer 2/3.

    PubMed

    Petersen, Carl C H; Crochet, Sylvain

    2013-04-10

    Computations in neocortical circuits are predominantly driven by synaptic integration of excitatory glutamatergic and inhibitory GABAergic inputs. New optical, electrophysiological, and genetic methods allow detailed in vivo investigation of the superficial neocortical layers 2 and 3 (L2/3). Here, we review current knowledge of mouse L2/3 sensory cortex, focusing on somatosensory barrel cortex with comparisons to visual and auditory cortex. Broadly tuned, dense subthreshold synaptic input accompanied by sparse action potential (AP) firing in excitatory neurons provides a simple and reliable neural code useful for associative learning. Sparse AP firing is enforced by strong inhibition from genetically defined classes of GABAergic neurons. Subnetworks of strongly and specifically connected excitatory neurons may drive L2/3 network function, with potential contributions from dendritic spikes evoked by spatiotemporally clustered synaptic input. These functional properties of L2/3 are under profound regulation by brain state and behavior, providing interesting avenues for future mechanistic investigations into context-specific processing of sensory information.

  19. Sensors and Sensory Processing for Airborne Vibrations in Silk Moths and Honeybees

    PubMed Central

    Ai, Hiroyuki

    2013-01-01

    Insects use airborne vibrations caused by their own movements to control their behaviors and produce airborne vibrations to communicate with conspecific mates. In this review, I use two examples to introduce how insects use airborne vibrations to accurately control behavior or for communication. The first example is vibration-sensitive sensilla along the wing margin that stabilize wingbeat frequency. There are two specialized sensors along the wing margin for detecting the airborne vibration caused by wingbeats. The response properties of these sensors suggest that each sensor plays a different role in the control of wingbeats. The second example is Johnston's organ that contributes to regulating flying speed and perceiving vector information about food sources to hive-mates. There are parallel vibration processing pathways in the central nervous system related with these behaviors, flight and communication. Both examples indicate that the frequency of airborne vibration are filtered on the sensory level and that on the central nervous system level, the extracted vibration signals are integrated with other sensory signals for executing quick adaptive motor response. PMID:23877129

  20. Abnormal fermentations in table-olive processing: microbial origin and sensory evaluation

    PubMed Central

    Lanza, Barbara

    2013-01-01

    The process of transformation of table olives from tree to table is the result of complex biochemical reactions that are determined by the interactions between the indigenous microflora of the olives, together with a variety of contaminating microrganisms from different sources [fiber-glass fermenters, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) tanks, pipelines, pumps, and water], with the compositional characteristics of the fruit. One of the most important aspects of improving the quality of table olives is the use of selected microorganisms to drive the fermentation. These can supplant the indigenous microflora and, in particular, the complementary microflora that are responsible for spoilage of canned olives. In this context, from a technological point of view, a well-characterized collection of microrganisms (lactic acid bacteria, yeast) that can be isolated from the matrix to be processed (the olive fruit) will provide the basis for the development of starter culture systems. These cultures can be fully compatible with the typical products and will guarantee high quality standards. Inoculation of the brine with such selected starter cultures will reduce the probability of spoilage, and help to achieve an improved and more predictable fermentation process. Control of the fermentation processes can thus occur through chemical, chemico-physical and microbiological approaches, and since 2008, also through organoleptic evaluation (COI/OT/MO/Doc. No 1. Method for the sensory analysis of table olives). This last has established the necessary criteria and procedures for sensory analysis of the negative, gustatory and kinaesthetic sensations of table olives, which can also be attributed to abnormal proliferation of microrganisms. It also sets out the system for commercial classification, through assessment of the median of the defect predominantly perceived. PMID:23675370

  1. Experience dependent plasticity alters cortical synchronization

    PubMed Central

    Kilgard, M.P.; Vazquez, J.L.; Engineer, N.D.; Pandya, P.K.

    2008-01-01

    Theories of temporal coding by cortical neurons are supported by observations that individual neurons can respond to sensory stimulation with millisecond precision and that activity in large populations is often highly correlated. Synchronization is highest between neurons with overlapping receptive fields and modulated by both sensory stimulation and behavioral state. It is not yet clear whether cortical synchronization is an epiphenomenon or a critical component of efficient information transmission. Experimental manipulations that generate receptive field plasticity can be used to test the relationship between synchronization and receptive fields. Here we demonstrate that increasing receptive field size in primary auditory cortex by repeatedly pairing a train of tones with nucleus basalis (NB) stimulation increases synchronization, and decreasing receptive field size by pairing different tone frequencies with NB stimulation decreases synchronization. These observations seem to support the conclusion that neural synchronization is simply an artifact caused by common inputs. However, pairing tone trains of different carrier frequencies with NB stimulation increases receptive field size without increasing synchronization, and environmental enrichment increases synchronization without increasing receptive field size. The observation that receptive fields and synchronization can be manipulated independently suggests that common inputs are only one of many factors shaping the strength and temporal precision of cortical synchronization and supports the hypothesis that precise neural synchronization contributes to sensory information processing. PMID:17317055

  2. Early Stages of Sensory Processing, but Not Semantic Integration, Are Altered in Dyslexic Adults

    PubMed Central

    Silva, Patrícia B.; Ueki, Karen; Oliveira, Darlene G.; Boggio, Paulo S.; Macedo, Elizeu C.

    2016-01-01

    items being greater than that of the congruent items. Electrophysiological findings were corroborated by the N400 literature and showed that the semantic processing of individuals with dyslexia was preserved. Furthermore, the findings indicate P100 visual sensory processing deficits in the dyslexic group and may suggest difficulty in the sensory stimuli process. PMID:27148102

  3. Early Stages of Sensory Processing, but Not Semantic Integration, Are Altered in Dyslexic Adults.

    PubMed

    Silva, Patrícia B; Ueki, Karen; Oliveira, Darlene G; Boggio, Paulo S; Macedo, Elizeu C

    2016-01-01

    items being greater than that of the congruent items. Electrophysiological findings were corroborated by the N400 literature and showed that the semantic processing of individuals with dyslexia was preserved. Furthermore, the findings indicate P100 visual sensory processing deficits in the dyslexic group and may suggest difficulty in the sensory stimuli process. PMID:27148102

  4. The error processing system in major depressive disorder: cortical phenotypal marker hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Schoenberg, Poppy L A

    2014-05-01

    Major depressive disorder (MDD) ensues reduced goal-directed cognition and behaviour. Cognitive and emotional flexibility to disengage and adapt future responses was examined in the error processing system (error-related negativity/ERN, error-positivity/Pe event-related potentials) of 58 depressed patients (21 current, 37 remitted) vs. 27 controls undergoing cognitive and affective Go/NoGo paradigms. ERN was equivalent between patient and controls for the cognitive task, albeit amplitude attenuated in patients during the affective task. Blunted ERN amplitudes were evident between patients and controls in males compared to females, plausibly underpinned by disparities in dopaminergic pathways. Patients displayed enhanced Pe amplitudes for both cognitive and affective tasks. Abberations in cortical error processing in MDD appear specific to affective systems for the pre-attentive ERN, opposed to cognitive and affective processing for the consciously-integrated Pe. Heightened Pe, observed in both current and remitted patients, advocates the possibility of the Pe waveform as a candidate intermediate phenotype of depression.

  5. A common framework of signal processing in the induction of cerebellar LTD and cortical STDP.

    PubMed

    Honda, Minoru; Urakubo, Hidetoshi; Koumura, Takuya; Kuroda, Shinya

    2013-07-01

    Cerebellar long-term depression (LTD) and cortical spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity (STDP) are two well-known and well-characterized types of synaptic plasticity. Induction of both types of synaptic plasticity depends on the spike timing, pairing frequency, and pairing numbers of two different sources of spiking. This implies that the induction of synaptic plasticity may share common frameworks in terms of signal processing regardless of the different signaling pathways involved in the two types of synaptic plasticity. Here we propose that both types share common frameworks of signal processing for spike-timing, pairing-frequency, and pairing-numbers detection. We developed system models of both types of synaptic plasticity and analyzed signal processing in the induction of synaptic plasticity. We found that both systems have upstream subsystems for spike-timing detection and downstream subsystems for pairing-frequency and pairing-numbers detection. The upstream systems used multiplication of signals from the feedback filters and nonlinear functions for spike-timing detection. The downstream subsystems used temporal filters with longer time constants for pairing-frequency detection and nonlinear switch-like functions for pairing-numbers detection, indicating that the downstream subsystems serve as a leaky integrate-and-fire system. Thus, our findings suggest that a common conceptual framework for the induction of synaptic plasticity exists despite the differences in molecular species and pathways.

  6. The Signer and the Sign: Cortical Correlates of Person Identity and Language Processing from Point-Light Displays

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, Ruth; Capek, Cheryl M.; Gazarian, Karine; MacSweeney, Mairead; Woll, Bencie; David, Anthony S.; McGuire, Philip K.; Brammer, Michael J.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these…

  7. Early and Phasic Cortical Metabolic Changes in Vestibular Neuritis Onset

    PubMed Central

    Alessandrini, Marco; Pagani, Marco; Napolitano, Bianca; Micarelli, Alessandro; Candidi, Matteo; Bruno, Ernesto; Chiaravalloti, Agostino; Di Pietro, Barbara; Schillaci, Orazio

    2013-01-01

    Functional brain activation studies described the presence of separate cortical areas responsible for central processing of peripheral vestibular information and reported their activation and interactions with other sensory modalities and the changes of this network associated to strategic peripheral or central vestibular lesions. It is already known that cortical changes induced by acute unilateral vestibular failure (UVF) are various and undergo variations over time, revealing different cortical involved areas at the onset and recovery from symptoms. The present study aimed at reporting the earliest change in cortical metabolic activity during a paradigmatic form of UVF such as vestibular neuritis (VN), that is, a purely peripheral lesion of the vestibular system, that offers the opportunity to study the cortical response to altered vestibular processing. This research reports [18F]fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography brain scan data concerning the early cortical metabolic activity associated to symptoms onset in a group of eight patients suffering from VN. VN patients’ cortical metabolic activity during the first two days from symptoms onset was compared to that recorded one month later and to a control healthy group. Beside the known cortical response in the sensorimotor network associated to vestibular deafferentation, we show for the first time the involvement of Entorhinal (BAs 28, 34) and Temporal (BA 38) cortices in early phases of symptomatology onset. We interpret these findings as the cortical counterparts of the attempt to reorient oneself in space counteracting the vertigo symptom (Bas 28, 34) and of the emotional response to the new pathologic condition (BA 38) respectively. These interpretations were further supported by changes in patients’ subjective ratings in balance, anxiety, and depersonalization/derealization scores when tested at illness onset and one month later. The present findings contribute in expanding knowledge about

  8. Effect of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on motor cortical excitability and sensory nerve conduction velocity in subacute-stage incomplete spinal cord injury patients.

    PubMed

    Cha, Hyun Gyu; Ji, Sang-Goo; Kim, Myoung-Kwon

    2016-07-01

    [Purpose] The aim of the present study was to determine whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation can improve sensory recovery of the lower extremities in subacute-stage spinal cord injury patients. [Subjects and Methods] This study was conducted on 20 subjects with diagnosed paraplegia due to spinal cord injury. These 20 subjects were allocated to an experimental group of 10 subjects that underwent active repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or to a control group of 10 subjects that underwent sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. The SCI patients in the experimental group underwent active repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and conventional rehabilitation therapy, whereas the spinal cord injury patients in the control group underwent sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and conventional rehabilitation therapy. Participants in both groups received therapy five days per week for six-weeks. Latency, amplitude, and sensory nerve conduction velocity were assessed before and after the six week therapy period. [Results] A significant intergroup difference was observed for posttreatment velocity gains, but no significant intergroup difference was observed for amplitude or latency. [Conclusion] repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may be improve sensory recovery of the lower extremities in subacute-stage spinal cord injury patients. PMID:27512251

  9. Effect of high-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation on motor cortical excitability and sensory nerve conduction velocity in subacute-stage incomplete spinal cord injury patients

    PubMed Central

    Cha, Hyun Gyu; Ji, Sang-Goo; Kim, Myoung-Kwon

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The aim of the present study was to determine whether repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation can improve sensory recovery of the lower extremities in subacute-stage spinal cord injury patients. [Subjects and Methods] This study was conducted on 20 subjects with diagnosed paraplegia due to spinal cord injury. These 20 subjects were allocated to an experimental group of 10 subjects that underwent active repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation or to a control group of 10 subjects that underwent sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. The SCI patients in the experimental group underwent active repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and conventional rehabilitation therapy, whereas the spinal cord injury patients in the control group underwent sham repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation and conventional rehabilitation therapy. Participants in both groups received therapy five days per week for six-weeks. Latency, amplitude, and sensory nerve conduction velocity were assessed before and after the six week therapy period. [Results] A significant intergroup difference was observed for posttreatment velocity gains, but no significant intergroup difference was observed for amplitude or latency. [Conclusion] repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation may be improve sensory recovery of the lower extremities in subacute-stage spinal cord injury patients. PMID:27512251

  10. Effect of processing methods on nutritional, sensory, and physicochemical characteristics of biofortified bean flour.

    PubMed

    Nkundabombi, Marie Grace; Nakimbugwe, Dorothy; Muyonga, John H

    2016-05-01

    Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are rich nutritious and affordable by vulnerable groups, thus a good choice for biofortification to address malnutrition. However, increasing micronutrients content of beans, without improving micronutrients bioavailability will not improve the micronutrients status of consumers. Effect of different processing methods on the physicochemical characteristics of biofortified bean flour was determined. Processing methods used in this study were malting (48 h), roasting (170°C/45 min), and extrusion cooking using a twin screw extruder with three heating sections, the first set at 60°C, the second at 130°C, and the last one at 150°C. The screw was set at a speed of 35 Hz (123g) and bean flour moisture content was 15%. Mineral extractability, in vitro protein digestibility, pasting properties, and sensory acceptability of porridge and sauce from processed flour were determined. All processing methods significantly increased (P < 0.05) mineral extractability, iron from 38.9% to 79.5% for K131 and from 40.7% to 83.4% for ROBA1, in vitro protein digestibility from 58.2% to 82% for ROBA1 and from 56.2% to 79% for K131. Pasting viscosities of both bean varieties reduced with processing. There was no significant difference (P < 0.05) between sensory acceptability of porridge or sauce from extruded biofortified bean flour and malted/roasted biofortified bean flour. Acceptability was also not affected by the bean variety used. Mineral bioavailability and in vitro protein digestibility increased more for extruded flour than for malted/roasted flours. Sauce and porridge prepared from processed biofortified bean flour had lower viscosity (extruded flour had the lowest viscosity), thus higher nutrient and energy density than those prepared from unprocessed biofortified bean flour. Estimated nutritional contribution of sauce and porridge made from processed ROBA1 flour to daily requirement of children below 5 years and women of

  11. Effect of processing methods on nutritional, sensory, and physicochemical characteristics of biofortified bean flour.

    PubMed

    Nkundabombi, Marie Grace; Nakimbugwe, Dorothy; Muyonga, John H

    2016-05-01

    Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) are rich nutritious and affordable by vulnerable groups, thus a good choice for biofortification to address malnutrition. However, increasing micronutrients content of beans, without improving micronutrients bioavailability will not improve the micronutrients status of consumers. Effect of different processing methods on the physicochemical characteristics of biofortified bean flour was determined. Processing methods used in this study were malting (48 h), roasting (170°C/45 min), and extrusion cooking using a twin screw extruder with three heating sections, the first set at 60°C, the second at 130°C, and the last one at 150°C. The screw was set at a speed of 35 Hz (123g) and bean flour moisture content was 15%. Mineral extractability, in vitro protein digestibility, pasting properties, and sensory acceptability of porridge and sauce from processed flour were determined. All processing methods significantly increased (P < 0.05) mineral extractability, iron from 38.9% to 79.5% for K131 and from 40.7% to 83.4% for ROBA1, in vitro protein digestibility from 58.2% to 82% for ROBA1 and from 56.2% to 79% for K131. Pasting viscosities of both bean varieties reduced with processing. There was no significant difference (P < 0.05) between sensory acceptability of porridge or sauce from extruded biofortified bean flour and malted/roasted biofortified bean flour. Acceptability was also not affected by the bean variety used. Mineral bioavailability and in vitro protein digestibility increased more for extruded flour than for malted/roasted flours. Sauce and porridge prepared from processed biofortified bean flour had lower viscosity (extruded flour had the lowest viscosity), thus higher nutrient and energy density than those prepared from unprocessed biofortified bean flour. Estimated nutritional contribution of sauce and porridge made from processed ROBA1 flour to daily requirement of children below 5 years and women of

  12. Caramel as a Model System for Evaluating the Roles of Mechanical Properties and Oral Processing on Sensory Perception of Texture.

    PubMed

    Wagoner, Ty B; Luck, Paige J; Foegeding, E Allen

    2016-03-01

    Food formulation can have a significant impact on texture perception during oral processing. We hypothesized that slight modifications to caramel formulations would significantly alter mechanical and masticatory parameters, which can be used to explain differences in texture perception. A multidisciplinary approach was applied by evaluating relationships among mechanical properties, sensory texture, and oral processing. Caramels were utilized as a highly adhesive and cohesive model system and the formulation was adjusted to generate distinct differences in sensory hardness and adhesiveness. Descriptive analysis was used to determine sensory texture, and mechanical properties were evaluated by oscillatory rheology, creep recovery, and pressure sensitive tack measurements. Oral processing was measured by determining activity of anterior temporalis and masseter muscles via electromyography and tracking jaw movement during chewing. The substitution of agar or gelatin for corn syrup at 0.6% w/w of the total formulation resulted in increased sensory hardness and decreased adhesiveness. Creep recovery and pressure sensitive tack testing were more effective at differentiating among treatments than oscillatory rheology. Hardness correlated inversely with creep compliance, and both stickiness and tooth adhesiveness correlated with pressure sensitive adhesive force. Harder samples, despite being less adhesive, were associated with increased muscle activity and jaw movement during mastication. Tooth packing, not linked with any mechanical property, correlated with altered jaw movement. The combination of material properties and oral processing parameters were able to explain all sensory texture differences in a highly adhesive food.

  13. Caramel as a Model System for Evaluating the Roles of Mechanical Properties and Oral Processing on Sensory Perception of Texture.

    PubMed

    Wagoner, Ty B; Luck, Paige J; Foegeding, E Allen

    2016-03-01

    Food formulation can have a significant impact on texture perception during oral processing. We hypothesized that slight modifications to caramel formulations would significantly alter mechanical and masticatory parameters, which can be used to explain differences in texture perception. A multidisciplinary approach was applied by evaluating relationships among mechanical properties, sensory texture, and oral processing. Caramels were utilized as a highly adhesive and cohesive model system and the formulation was adjusted to generate distinct differences in sensory hardness and adhesiveness. Descriptive analysis was used to determine sensory texture, and mechanical properties were evaluated by oscillatory rheology, creep recovery, and pressure sensitive tack measurements. Oral processing was measured by determining activity of anterior temporalis and masseter muscles via electromyography and tracking jaw movement during chewing. The substitution of agar or gelatin for corn syrup at 0.6% w/w of the total formulation resulted in increased sensory hardness and decreased adhesiveness. Creep recovery and pressure sensitive tack testing were more effective at differentiating among treatments than oscillatory rheology. Hardness correlated inversely with creep compliance, and both stickiness and tooth adhesiveness correlated with pressure sensitive adhesive force. Harder samples, despite being less adhesive, were associated with increased muscle activity and jaw movement during mastication. Tooth packing, not linked with any mechanical property, correlated with altered jaw movement. The combination of material properties and oral processing parameters were able to explain all sensory texture differences in a highly adhesive food. PMID:26823092

  14. Positive allosteric modulation reveals a specific role for mGlu2 receptors in sensory processing in the thalamus.

    PubMed

    Copeland, C S; Neale, S A; Salt, T E

    2012-02-15

    Group II metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGlu) modulation of sensory processing in the rat ventrobasal thalamic nucleus (VB) has been extensively studied in vivo. However, it is not yet known what the relative contributions are of the Group II mGlu receptor subtypes (mGlu2 and mGlu3) to this modulation, nor to what extent these receptors may be activated under physiological conditions during this process. Using single-neurone recording in the rat VB in vivo with local application of the selective Group II agonist LY354740 and the subtype selective mGlu2 positive allosteric modulator (PAM) LY487379, our findings were twofold. Firstly, we found that there is an mGlu2 component to the effects of LY354740 on sensory responses in the VB. Secondly, we have demonstrated that application of the PAM alone can modulate sensory responses of single neurones in vivo. This indicates that mGlu2 receptors can be activated by endogenous agonist following physiological sensory stimulation. We speculate that the mGlu2 subtype could be activated under physiological stimulus-evoked conditions by 'glutamate spillover' from synapses between excitatory sensory afferents and VB neurones that can lead to a reduction in sensory-evoked inhibition arising from the thalamic reticular nucleus (TRN). We propose that this potential mGlu2 receptor modulation of inhibition could play an important role in discerning relevant information from background activity upon physiological sensory stimulation. Furthermore, this could be a site of action for mGlu2 PAMs to modulate cognitive processes. PMID:22199165

  15. Sensory-processing sensitivity moderates the association between childhood experiences and adult life satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Charlotte; Standage, Helen; Fox, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    There are few studies testing the differential susceptibility hypothesis (DSH: hypothesizing that some individuals are more responsive to both positive and negative experiences) with adult personality traits. The current study examined the DSH by investigating the moderating effect of sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) on childhood experiences and life satisfaction. A total of 185 adults completed measures of SPS, positive/negative childhood experiences and life satisfaction. SPS did moderate the association between childhood experiences and life satisfaction. Simple slopes analysis compared those reporting high and low SPS (+/− 1 SD) and revealed that the difference was observed only for those who reported negative childhood experiences; with the high SPS group reporting lower life satisfaction. There was no difference observed in those reporting positive childhood experiences, which supported a diathesis-stress model rather than the DSH. PMID:26688599

  16. Tracking cortical entrainment in neural activity: auditory processes in human temporal cortex

    PubMed Central

    Thwaites, Andrew; Nimmo-Smith, Ian; Fonteneau, Elisabeth; Patterson, Roy D.; Buttery, Paula; Marslen-Wilson, William D.

    2015-01-01

    A primary objective for cognitive neuroscience is to identify how features of the sensory environment are encoded in neural activity. Current auditory models of loudness perception can be used to make detailed predictions about the neural activity of the cortex as an individual listens to speech. We used two such models (loudness-sones and loudness-phons), varying in their psychophysiological realism, to predict the instantaneous loudness contours produced by 480 isolated words. These two sets of 480 contours were used to search for electrophysiological evidence of loudness processing in whole-brain recordings of electro- and magneto-encephalographic (EMEG) activity, recorded while subjects listened to the words. The technique identified a bilateral sequence of loudness processes, predicted by the more realistic loudness-sones model, that begin in auditory cortex at ~80 ms and subsequently reappear, tracking progressively down the superior temporal sulcus (STS) at lags from 230 to 330 ms. The technique was then extended to search for regions sensitive to the fundamental frequency (F0) of the voiced parts of the speech. It identified a bilateral F0 process in auditory cortex at a lag of ~90 ms, which was not followed by activity in STS. The results suggest that loudness information is being used to guide the analysis of the speech stream as it proceeds beyond auditory cortex down STS toward the temporal pole. PMID:25713530

  17. Cortical midline structures and autobiographical-self processes: an activation-likelihood estimation meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Araujo, Helder F; Kaplan, Jonas; Damasio, Antonio

    2013-09-04

    The autobiographical-self refers to a mental state derived from the retrieval and assembly of memories regarding one's biography. The process of retrieval and assembly, which can focus on biographical facts or personality traits or some combination thereof, is likely to vary according to the domain chosen for an experiment. To date, the investigation of the neural basis of this process has largely focused on the domain of personality traits using paradigms that contrasted the evaluation of one's traits (self-traits) with those of another person's (other-traits). This has led to the suggestion that cortical midline structures (CMSs) are specifically related to self states. Here, with the goal of testing this suggestion, we conducted activation-likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses based on data from 28 neuroimaging studies. The ALE results show that both self-traits and other-traits engage CMSs; however, the engagement of medial prefrontal cortex is greater for self-traits than for other-traits, while the posteromedial cortex is more engaged for other-traits than for self-traits. These findings suggest that the involvement CMSs is not specific to the evaluation of one's own traits, but also occurs during the evaluation of another person's traits.

  18. Cortical Midline Structures and Autobiographical-Self Processes: An Activation-Likelihood Estimation Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Araujo, Helder F.; Kaplan, Jonas; Damasio, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    The autobiographical-self refers to a mental state derived from the retrieval and assembly of memories regarding one’s biography. The process of retrieval and assembly, which can focus on biographical facts or personality traits or some combination thereof, is likely to vary according to the domain chosen for an experiment. To date, the investigation of the neural basis of this process has largely focused on the domain of personality traits using paradigms that contrasted the evaluation of one’s traits (self-traits) with those of another person’s (other-traits). This has led to the suggestion that cortical midline structures (CMSs) are specifically related to self states. Here, with the goal of testing this suggestion, we conducted activation-likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses based on data from 28 neuroimaging studies. The ALE results show that both self-traits and other-traits engage CMSs; however, the engagement of medial prefrontal cortex is greater for self-traits than for other-traits, while the posteromedial cortex is more engaged for other-traits than for self-traits. These findings suggest that the involvement CMSs is not specific to the evaluation of one’s own traits, but also occurs during the evaluation of another person’s traits. PMID:24027520

  19. Does a Sensory Processing Deficit Explain Counting Accuracy on Rapid Visual Sequencing Tasks in Adults with and without Dyslexia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conlon, Elizabeth G.; Wright, Craig M.; Norris, Karla; Chekaluk, Eugene

    2011-01-01

    The experiments conducted aimed to investigate whether reduced accuracy when counting stimuli presented in rapid temporal sequence in adults with dyslexia could be explained by a sensory processing deficit, a general slowing in processing speed or difficulties shifting attention between stimuli. To achieve these aims, the influence of the…

  20. From perceptual to lexico-semantic analysis--cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing.

    PubMed

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian; Schmidt-Wilcke, Tobias

    2015-11-01

    Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico-semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico-semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico-semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico-semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task-related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in.

  1. From perceptual to lexico‐semantic analysis—cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing

    PubMed Central

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N.; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M.; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico‐semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico‐semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico‐semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task‐related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4512–4528, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26304153

  2. Sensory-motor transformations for speech occur bilaterally.

    PubMed

    Cogan, Gregory B; Thesen, Thomas; Carlson, Chad; Doyle, Werner; Devinsky, Orrin; Pesaran, Bijan

    2014-03-01

    Historically, the study of speech processing has emphasized a strong link between auditory perceptual input and motor production output. A kind of 'parity' is essential, as both perception- and production-based representations must form a unified interface to facilitate access to higher-order language processes such as syntax and semantics, believed to be computed in the dominant, typically left hemisphere. Although various theories have been proposed to unite perception and production, the underlying neural mechanisms are unclear. Early models of speech and language processing proposed that perceptual processing occurred in the left posterior superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area) and motor production processes occurred in the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area). Sensory activity was proposed to link to production activity through connecting fibre tracts, forming the left lateralized speech sensory-motor system. Although recent evidence indicates that speech perception occurs bilaterally, prevailing models maintain that the speech sensory-motor system is left lateralized and facilitates the transformation from sensory-based auditory representations to motor-based production representations. However, evidence for the lateralized computation of sensory-motor speech transformations is indirect and primarily comes from stroke patients that have speech repetition deficits (conduction aphasia) and studies using covert speech and haemodynamic functional imaging. Whether the speech sensory-motor system is lateralized, like higher-order language processes, or bilateral, like speech perception, is controversial. Here we use direct neural recordings in subjects performing sensory-motor tasks involving overt speech production to show that sensory-motor transformations occur bilaterally. We demonstrate that electrodes over bilateral inferior frontal, inferior parietal, superior temporal, premotor and somatosensory cortices exhibit robust sensory-motor neural

  3. Sensory-motor transformations for speech occur bilaterally.

    PubMed

    Cogan, Gregory B; Thesen, Thomas; Carlson, Chad; Doyle, Werner; Devinsky, Orrin; Pesaran, Bijan

    2014-03-01

    Historically, the study of speech processing has emphasized a strong link between auditory perceptual input and motor production output. A kind of 'parity' is essential, as both perception- and production-based representations must form a unified interface to facilitate access to higher-order language processes such as syntax and semantics, believed to be computed in the dominant, typically left hemisphere. Although various theories have been proposed to unite perception and production, the underlying neural mechanisms are unclear. Early models of speech and language processing proposed that perceptual processing occurred in the left posterior superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area) and motor production processes occurred in the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area). Sensory activity was proposed to link to production activity through connecting fibre tracts, forming the left lateralized speech sensory-motor system. Although recent evidence indicates that speech perception occurs bilaterally, prevailing models maintain that the speech sensory-motor system is left lateralized and facilitates the transformation from sensory-based auditory representations to motor-based production representations. However, evidence for the lateralized computation of sensory-motor speech transformations is indirect and primarily comes from stroke patients that have speech repetition deficits (conduction aphasia) and studies using covert speech and haemodynamic functional imaging. Whether the speech sensory-motor system is lateralized, like higher-order language processes, or bilateral, like speech perception, is controversial. Here we use direct neural recordings in subjects performing sensory-motor tasks involving overt speech production to show that sensory-motor transformations occur bilaterally. We demonstrate that electrodes over bilateral inferior frontal, inferior parietal, superior temporal, premotor and somatosensory cortices exhibit robust sensory-motor neural

  4. Sensory characteristics of Iberian ham: Influence of salt content and processing conditions.

    PubMed

    Andrés, A I; Cava, R; Ventanas, J; Thovar, V; Ruiz, J

    2004-09-01

    Sensory characteristics of Semimembranosus and Biceps femoris muscles from 24 dry-cured Iberian hams were assessed. Hams were salted with different amounts of salt (6% and 3% w/w) and then ripened at different temperature conditions (traditional processing vs. modified processing). Hams manufactured using modified processing showed higher scores for dryness (P<0.05), hardness (P<0.05) and rancid flavour (P<0.001) in the Semimembranosus muscle than those processed in a traditional way. The Biceps femoris muscle of hams salted with 6% of salt was drier (P<0.05), harder (P<0.05) and more fibrous (P<0.01) than in hams salted with 3% salt. Salty taste was more intense in the Semimembranosus and Biceps femoris from hams with a higher level of salt (P<0.01 and P<0.001, respectively). A more intense rancidity in hams ripened in modified processing could affect the overall aroma. A decrease in salt content produces less salty hams, but the changes in texture traits should be also considered.

  5. Sensory Responses during Sleep in Primate Primary and Secondary Auditory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Issa, Elias B.; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2008-01-01

    Most sensory stimuli do not reach conscious perception during sleep. It has been thought that the thalamus prevents the relay of sensory information to cortex during sleep, but the consequences for cortical responses to sensory signals in this physiological state remain unclear. We recorded from two auditory cortical areas downstream of the thalamus in naturally sleeping marmoset monkeys. Single neurons in primary auditory cortex either increased or decreased their responses during sleep compared with wakefulness. In lateral belt, a secondary auditory cortical area, the response modulation was also bidirectional and showed no clear systematic depressive effect of sleep. When averaged across neurons, sound-evoked activity in these two auditory cortical areas was surprisingly well preserved during sleep. Neural responses to acoustic stimulation were present during both slow-wave and rapid-eye movement sleep, were repeatedly observed over multiple sleep cycles, and demonstrated similar discharge patterns to the responses recorded during wakefulness in the same neuron. Our results suggest that the thalamus is not as effective a gate for the flow of sensory information as previously thought. At the cortical stage, a novel pattern of activation/deactivation appears across neurons. Because the neural signal reaches as far as secondary auditory cortex, this leaves open the possibility of altered sensory processing of auditory information during sleep. PMID:19118181

  6. Influence of salt content and processing time on sensory characteristics of cooked "lacón".

    PubMed

    Purriños, Laura; Bermúdez, Roberto; Temperán, Sara; Franco, Daniel; Carballo, Javier; Lorenzo, José M

    2011-04-01

    The influence of salt content and processing time on the sensory properties of cooked "lacón" were determined. "Lacón" is a traditional dry-cured and ripened meat product made in the north-west of Spain from the fore leg of the pig, following a similar process to that of dry-cured ham. Six batches of "lacón" were salted with different amounts of salt (LS (3 days of salting), MS (4 days of salting) and HS (5 days of salting)) and ripened during two times (56 and 84 days of dry-ripening). Cured odour in all batches studied, red colour and rancid odour in MS and HS batches, flavour intensity in MS batch and fat yellowness, rancid flavour and hardness in the HS batch were significantly different with respect to the time of processing. Appearance, odour, flavour and texture were not significantly affected by the salt content (P>0.05). However, the saltiness score showed significant differences with respect to the salt levels in all studied batches (56 and 84 days of process). The principal component analysis showed that physicochemical traits were the most important ones concerning the quality of dry-cured "lacón" and offered a good separation of the mean samples according to the dry ripening days and salt level. PMID:21168978

  7. Relative influence of musical and linguistic experience on early cortical processing of pitch contours

    PubMed Central

    Chandrasekaran, Bharath; Krishnan, Ananthanarayan; Gandour, Jackson T.

    2009-01-01

    To assess domain specificity of experience dependent pitch representation we evaluated the mismatch negativity (MMN) and discrimination judgments of English musicians, English nonmusicians, and native Chinese for pitch contours presented in a non-speech context using a passive oddball paradigm. Stimuli consisted of homologues of Mandarin high rising (T2) and high level (T1) tones, and a linear rising ramp (T2L). One condition involved a between-category contrast (T1/T2), the other, a within-category contrast (T2L/T2). Irrespective of condition, musicians and Chinese showed larger MMN responses than nonmusicians; Chinese larger than musicians. Chinese, however, were less accurate than nonnatives in overt discrimination of T2L and T2. Taken together, these findings suggest that experience-dependent effects to pitch contours are domain-general and not driven by linguistic categories. Yet specific differences in long-term experience in pitch processing between domains (music vs. language) may lead to gradations in cortical plasticity to pitch contours. PMID:18343493

  8. Habit and Skill Learning in Schizophrenia: Evidence of Normal Striatal Processing With Abnormal Cortical Input

    PubMed Central

    Weickert, Thomas W.; Terrazas, Alejandro; Bigelow, Llewellyn B.; Malley, James D.; Hyde, Thomas; Egan, Michael F.; Weinberger, Daniel R.; Goldberg, Terry E.

    2002-01-01

    Different forms of nondeclarative learning involve regionally specific striatal circuits. The motor circuit (involving the putamen) has been associated with motor–skill learning and the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) circuit (involving the caudate) has been associated with cognitive–habit learning. Efforts to differentiate functional striatal circuits within patient samples have been limited. Previous studies have provided mixed results regarding striatal-dependent nondeclarative learning deficits in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, a cognitive–habit learning task (probabilistic weather prediction) was used to assess the DLPFC circuit and a motor–skill learning task (pursuit rotor) was used to assess the motor circuit in 35 patients with schizophrenia and 35 normal controls. Patients with schizophrenia displayed significant performance differences from controls on both nondeclarative tasks; however, cognitive–habit learning rate in patients did not differ from controls. There were performance and learning-rate differences on the motor–skill learning task between the whole sample of patients and controls, however, analysis of a subset of patients and controls matched on general intellectual level eliminated learning rate differences between groups. The abnormal performance offset between patients with schizophrenia and controls in the absence of learning rate differences suggests that abnormal cortical processing provides altered input to normal striatal circuitry. PMID:12464703

  9. The Mechanism for Processing Random-Dot Motion at Various Speeds in Early Visual Cortices

    PubMed Central

    An, Xu; Gong, Hongliang; McLoughlin, Niall; Yang, Yupeng; Wang, Wei

    2014-01-01

    All moving objects generate sequential retinotopic activations representing a series of discrete locations in space and time (motion trajectory). How direction-selective neurons in mammalian early visual cortices process motion trajectory remains to be clarified. Using single-cell recording and optical imaging of intrinsic signals along with mathematical simulation, we studied response properties of cat visual areas 17 and 18 to random dots moving at various speeds. We found that, the motion trajectory at low speed was encoded primarily as a direction signal by groups of neurons preferring that motion direction. Above certain transition speeds, the motion trajectory is perceived as a spatial orientation representing the motion axis of the moving dots. In both areas studied, above these speeds, other groups of direction-selective neurons with perpendicular direction preferences were activated to encode the motion trajectory as motion-axis information. This applied to both simple and complex neurons. The average transition speed for switching between encoding motion direction and axis was about 31°/s in area 18 and 15°/s in area 17. A spatio-temporal energy model predicted the transition speeds accurately in both areas, but not the direction-selective indexes to random-dot stimuli in area 18. In addition, above transition speeds, the change of direction preferences of population responses recorded by optical imaging can be revealed using vector maximum but not vector summation method. Together, this combined processing of motion direction and axis by neurons with orthogonal direction preferences associated with speed may serve as a common principle of early visual motion processing. PMID:24682033

  10. Meditation experience is associated with increased cortical thickness.

    PubMed

    Lazar, Sara W; Kerr, Catherine E; Wasserman, Rachel H; Gray, Jeremy R; Greve, Douglas N; Treadway, Michael T; McGarvey, Metta; Quinn, Brian T; Dusek, Jeffery A; Benson, Herbert; Rauch, Scott L; Moore, Christopher I; Fischl, Bruce

    2005-11-28

    Previous research indicates that long-term meditation practice is associated with altered resting electroencephalogram patterns, suggestive of long lasting changes in brain activity. We hypothesized that meditation practice might also be associated with changes in the brain's physical structure. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess cortical thickness in 20 participants with extensive Insight meditation experience, which involves focused attention to internal experiences. Brain regions associated with attention, interoception and sensory processing were thicker in meditation participants than matched controls, including the prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula. Between-group differences in prefrontal cortical thickness were most pronounced in older participants, suggesting that meditation might offset age-related cortical thinning. Finally, the thickness of two regions correlated with meditation experience. These data provide the first structural evidence for experience-dependent cortical plasticity associated with meditation practice.

  11. Sensory Processing Difficulties in Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome: A Pilot Project of Presentation and Possible Prevalence.

    PubMed

    Green, Dido; Lim, Ming; Lang, Bethan; Pohl, Keith; Turk, Jeremy

    2016-07-01

    Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is a rare but serious neurological condition resulting in loss of control of eye movements, often accompanied by difficulties in posture and movement control with reports of sensory sensitivities potentially impacting on behavior. This pilot study characterizes the presence of atypical sensory behaviors in opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome through questionnaire survey of a cohort of families. The Short Sensory Profile, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and Developmental Behaviour Checklist were distributed to 30 families; 16 were returned anonymously. Atypical sensory behaviors were identified in a large proportion (62.5%). Children reported as being more anxious showed greater sensitivity to auditory stimuli, U(14) 11, P = .026. This is consistent with recent recognition of more extensive disease neurocognitive effects in Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. Further research is needed to increase understanding of the complex pathology of this disease and to provide indicators for sensory and behavioral as well as pharmacological interventions.

  12. Sensory Processing Difficulties in Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome: A Pilot Project of Presentation and Possible Prevalence.

    PubMed

    Green, Dido; Lim, Ming; Lang, Bethan; Pohl, Keith; Turk, Jeremy

    2016-07-01

    Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is a rare but serious neurological condition resulting in loss of control of eye movements, often accompanied by difficulties in posture and movement control with reports of sensory sensitivities potentially impacting on behavior. This pilot study characterizes the presence of atypical sensory behaviors in opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome through questionnaire survey of a cohort of families. The Short Sensory Profile, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and Developmental Behaviour Checklist were distributed to 30 families; 16 were returned anonymously. Atypical sensory behaviors were identified in a large proportion (62.5%). Children reported as being more anxious showed greater sensitivity to auditory stimuli, U(14) 11, P = .026. This is consistent with recent recognition of more extensive disease neurocognitive effects in Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. Further research is needed to increase understanding of the complex pathology of this disease and to provide indicators for sensory and behavioral as well as pharmacological interventions. PMID:26994071

  13. Temperament trait of sensory processing sensitivity moderates cultural differences in neural response

    PubMed Central

    Ketay, Sarah; Hedden, Trey; Aron, Elaine N.; Rose Markus, Hazel; Gabrieli, John D. E.

    2010-01-01

    This study focused on a possible temperament-by-culture interaction. Specifically, it explored whether a basic temperament/personality trait (sensory processing sensitivity; SPS), perhaps having a genetic component, might moderate a previously established cultural difference in neural responses when making context-dependent vs context-independent judgments of simple visual stimuli. SPS has been hypothesized to underlie what has been called inhibitedness or reactivity in infants, introversion in adults, and reactivity or responsivness in diverse animal species. Some biologists view the trait as one of two innate strategies—observing carefully before acting vs being first to act. Thus the central characteristic of SPS is hypothesized to be a deep processing of information. Here, 10 European-Americans and 10 East Asians underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing simple visuospatial tasks emphasizing judgments that were either context independent (typically easier for Americans) or context dependent (typically easier for Asians). As reported elsewhere, each group exhibited greater activation for the culturally non-preferred task in frontal and parietal regions associated with greater effort in attention and working memory. However, further analyses, reported here for the first time, provided preliminary support for moderation by SPS. Consistent with the careful-processing theory, high-SPS individuals showed little cultural difference; low-SPS, strong culture differences. PMID:20388694

  14. Cross-frequency coupling in deep brain structures upon processing the painful sensory inputs.

    PubMed

    Liu, C C; Chien, J H; Kim, J H; Chuang, Y F; Cheng, D T; Anderson, W S; Lenz, F A

    2015-09-10

    Cross-frequency coupling has been shown to be functionally significant in cortical information processing, potentially serving as a mechanism for integrating functionally relevant regions in the brain. In this study, we evaluate the hypothesis that pain-related gamma oscillatory responses are coupled with low-frequency oscillations in the frontal lobe, amygdala and hippocampus, areas known to have roles in pain processing. We delivered painful laser pulses to random locations on the dorsal hand of five patients with uncontrolled epilepsy requiring depth electrode implantation for seizure monitoring. Two blocks of 40 laser stimulations were delivered to each subject and the pain-intensity was controlled at five in a 0-10 scale by adjusting the energy level of the laser pulses. Local-field-potentials (LFPs) were recorded through bilaterally implanted depth electrode contacts to study the oscillatory responses upon processing the painful laser stimulations. Our results show that painful laser stimulations enhanced low-gamma (LH, 40-70 Hz) and high-gamma (HG, 70-110 Hz) oscillatory responses in the amygdala and hippocampal regions on the right hemisphere and these gamma responses were significantly coupled with the phases of theta (4-7 Hz) and alpha (8-1 2 Hz) rhythms during pain processing. Given the roles of these deep brain structures in emotion, these findings suggest that the oscillatory responses in these regions may play a role in integrating the affective component of pain, which may contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the affective information processing in humans.

  15. Spontaneous Fluctuations in Sensory Processing Predict Within-Subject Reaction Time Variability.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Maria J; Paiva, Joana S; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    When engaged in a repetitive task our performance fluctuates from trial-to-trial. In particular, inter-trial reaction time variability has been the subject of considerable research. It has been claimed to be a strong biomarker of attention deficits, increases with frontal dysfunction, and predicts age-related cognitive decline. Thus, rather than being just a consequence of noise in the system, it appears to be under the control of a mechanism that breaks down under certain pathological conditions. Although the underlying mechanism is still an open question, consensual hypotheses are emerging regarding the neural correlates of reaction time inter-trial intra-individual variability. Sensory processing, in particular, has been shown to covary with reaction time, yet the spatio-temporal profile of the moment-to-moment variability in sensory processing is still poorly characterized. The goal of this study was to characterize the intra-individual variability in the time course of single-trial visual evoked potentials and its relationship with inter-trial reaction time variability. For this, we chose to take advantage of the high temporal resolution of the electroencephalogram (EEG) acquired while participants were engaged in a 2-choice reaction time task. We studied the link between single trial event-related potentials (ERPs) and reaction time using two different analyses: (1) time point by time point correlation analyses thereby identifying time windows of interest; and (2) correlation analyses between single trial measures of peak latency and amplitude and reaction time. To improve extraction of single trial ERP measures related with activation of the visual cortex, we used an independent component analysis (ICA) procedure. Our ERP analysis revealed a relationship between the N1 visual evoked potential and reaction time. The earliest time point presenting a significant correlation of its respective amplitude with reaction time occurred 175 ms after stimulus onset

  16. Spontaneous Fluctuations in Sensory Processing Predict Within-Subject Reaction Time Variability

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Maria J.; Paiva, Joana S.; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    When engaged in a repetitive task our performance fluctuates from trial-to-trial. In particular, inter-trial reaction time variability has been the subject of considerable research. It has been claimed to be a strong biomarker of attention deficits, increases with frontal dysfunction, and predicts age-related cognitive decline. Thus, rather than being just a consequence of noise in the system, it appears to be under the control of a mechanism that breaks down under certain pathological conditions. Although the underlying mechanism is still an open question, consensual hypotheses are emerging regarding the neural correlates of reaction time inter-trial intra-individual variability. Sensory processing, in particular, has been shown to covary with reaction time, yet the spatio-temporal profile of the moment-to-moment variability in sensory processing is still poorly characterized. The goal of this study was to characterize the intra-individual variability in the time course of single-trial visual evoked potentials and its relationship with inter-trial reaction time variability. For this, we chose to take advantage of the high temporal resolution of the electroencephalogram (EEG) acquired while participants were engaged in a 2-choice reaction time task. We studied the link between single trial event-related potentials (ERPs) and reaction time using two different analyses: (1) time point by time point correlation analyses thereby identifying time windows of interest; and (2) correlation analyses between single trial measures of peak latency and amplitude and reaction time. To improve extraction of single trial ERP measures related with activation of the visual cortex, we used an independent component analysis (ICA) procedure. Our ERP analysis revealed a relationship between the N1 visual evoked potential and reaction time. The earliest time point presenting a significant correlation of its respective amplitude with reaction time occurred 175 ms after stimulus onset

  17. Spontaneous Fluctuations in Sensory Processing Predict Within-Subject Reaction Time Variability.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Maria J; Paiva, Joana S; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    When engaged in a repetitive task our performance fluctuates from trial-to-trial. In particular, inter-trial reaction time variability has been the subject of considerable research. It has been claimed to be a strong biomarker of attention deficits, increases with frontal dysfunction, and predicts age-related cognitive decline. Thus, rather than being just a consequence of noise in the system, it appears to be under the control of a mechanism that breaks down under certain pathological conditions. Although the underlying mechanism is still an open question, consensual hypotheses are emerging regarding the neural correlates of reaction time inter-trial intra-individual variability. Sensory processing, in particular, has been shown to covary with reaction time, yet the spatio-temporal profile of the moment-to-moment variability in sensory processing is still poorly characterized. The goal of this study was to characterize the intra-individual variability in the time course of single-trial visual evoked potentials and its relationship with inter-trial reaction time variability. For this, we chose to take advantage of the high temporal resolution of the electroencephalogram (EEG) acquired while participants were engaged in a 2-choice reaction time task. We studied the link between single trial event-related potentials (ERPs) and reaction time using two different analyses: (1) time point by time point correlation analyses thereby identifying time windows of interest; and (2) correlation analyses between single trial measures of peak latency and amplitude and reaction time. To improve extraction of single trial ERP measures related with activation of the visual cortex, we used an independent component analysis (ICA) procedure. Our ERP analysis revealed a relationship between the N1 visual evoked potential and reaction time. The earliest time point presenting a significant correlation of its respective amplitude with reaction time occurred 175 ms after stimulus onset

  18. Effect of combination processing on the microbial, chemical and sensory quality of ready-to-eat (RTE) vegetable pulav

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, R.; George, Johnsy; Rajamanickam, R.; Nataraju, S.; Sabhapathy, S. N.; Bawa, A. S.

    2011-12-01

    Effect of irradiation in combination with retort processing on the shelf life and safety aspects of an ethnic Indian food product like vegetable pulav was investigated. Gamma irradiation of RTE vegetable pulav was carried out at different dosage rates with 60Co followed by retort processing. The combination processed samples were analysed for microbiological, chemical and sensory characteristics. Microbiological analysis indicated that irradiation in combination with retort processing has significantly reduced the microbial loads whereas the chemical and sensory analysis proved that this combination processing is effective in retaining the properties even after storage for one year at ambient conditions. The results also indicated that a minimum irradiation dosage at 4.0 kGy along with retort processing at an F0 value of 2.0 is needed to achieve the desired shelf life with improved organoleptic qualities.

  19. The Impact of Sensory Processing Abilities on the Daily Lives of Young Children and Their Families: A Conceptual Model.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dunn, Winnie

    1997-01-01

    Describes a proposed model for considering sensory processing as an important factor in young children's performance. Discusses ways the model can be used to provide a framework for understanding various patterns of behavior; identify disabilities (poor registration, sensitivity to stimuli, sensation seeking, and sensation avoiding); and develop…

  20. Sensory Processing Disorder in a Primate Model: Evidence from a Longitudinal Study of Prenatal Alcohol and Prenatal Stress Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Mary L.; Moore, Colleen F.; Gajewski, Lisa L.; Larson, Julie A.; Roberts, Andrew D.; Converse, Alexander K.; DeJesus, Onofre T.

    2008-01-01

    Disrupted sensory processing, characterized by over- or underresponsiveness to environmental stimuli, has been reported in children with a variety of developmental disabilities. This study examined the effects of prenatal stress and moderate-level prenatal alcohol exposure on tactile sensitivity and its relationship to striatal dopamine system…

  1. The Interplay between Sensory Processing Abnormalities, Intolerance of Uncertainty, Anxiety and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wigham, Sarah; Rodgers, Jacqui; South, Mikle; McConachie, Helen; Freeston, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities, anxiety and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs) frequently co-occur in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Though the relationship between these phenomena is not well understood, emerging evidence indicates intolerance of uncertainty (IU) may play an important role. This study aimed to determine pathways…

  2. Sensory shelf life estimation of minimally processed lettuce considering two stages of consumers' decision-making process.

    PubMed

    Ares, Gastón; Giménez, Ana; Gámbaro, Adriana

    2008-01-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the influence of context, particularly the stage of the decision-making process (purchase vs consumption stage), on sensory shelf life of minimally processed lettuce. Leaves of butterhead lettuce were placed in common polypropylene bags and stored at 5, 10 and 15 degrees C. Periodically, a panel of six assessors evaluated the appearance of the samples, and a panel of 40 consumers evaluated their appearance and answered "yes" or "no" to the questions: "Imagine you are in a supermarket, you want to buy a minimally processed lettuce, and you find a package of lettuce with leaves like this, would you normally buy it?" and "Imagine you have this leaf of lettuce stored in your refrigerator, would you normally consume it?". Survival analysis was used to calculate the shelf lives of minimally processed lettuce, considering both decision-making stages. Shelf lives estimated considering rejection to purchase were significantly lower than those estimated considering rejection to consume. Therefore, in order to be conservative and assure the products' quality, shelf life should be estimated considering consumers' rejection to purchase instead of rejection to consume, as traditionally has been done. On the other hand, results from logistic regressions of consumers' rejection percentage as a function of the evaluated appearance attributes suggested that consumers considered them differently while deciding whether to purchase or to consume minimally processed lettuce.

  3. Effect of gamma irradiation on mechanical properties of human cortical bone: influence of different processing methods.

    PubMed

    Kaminski, Artur; Jastrzebska, Anna; Grazka, Ewelina; Marowska, Joanna; Gut, Grzegorz; Wojciechowski, Artur; Uhrynowska-Tyszkiewicz, Izabela

    2012-08-01

    increase in the ultimate strain. The results of our study suggest that there may be an association between mechanical properties of bone tissue grafts and the damage process of collagen structure during gamma irradiation. This collagen damage in cortical bone allografts containing water does not depends on the temperature of irradiation or defatting during processing if dose of gamma irradiation does not exceed 35 kGy. PMID:22538985

  4. Sensory and Quality Evaluation of Traditional Compared with Power Ultrasound Processed Corn (Zea Mays) Tortilla Chips.

    PubMed

    Janve, Bhaskar; Yang, Wade; Sims, Charles

    2015-06-01

    Power ultrasound reduces the traditional corn steeping time from 18 to 1.5 h during tortilla chips dough (masa) processing. This study sought to examine consumer (n = 99) acceptability and quality of tortilla chips made from the masa by traditional compared with ultrasonic methods. Overall appearance, flavor, and texture acceptability scores were evaluated using a 9-point hedonic scale. The baked chips (process intermediate) before and after frying (finished product) were analyzed using a texture analyzer and machine vision. The texture values were determined using the 3-point bend test using breaking force gradient (BFG), peak breaking force (PBF), and breaking distance (BD). The fracturing properties determined by the crisp fracture support rig using fracture force gradient (FFG), peak fracture force (PFF), and fracture distance (FD). The machine vision evaluated the total surface area, lightness (L), color difference (ΔE), Hue (°h), and Chroma (C*). The results were evaluated by analysis of variance and means were separated using Tukey's test. Machine vision values of L, °h, were higher (P < 0.05) and ΔE was lower (P < 0.05) for fried and L, °h were significantly (P < 0.05) higher for baked chips produced from ultra-sonication as compare to traditional. Baked chips texture for ultra-sonication was significantly higher (P < 0.05) on BFG, BPD, PFF, and FD. Fried tortilla chips texture were higher significantly (P < 0.05) in BFG and PFF for ultra-sonication than traditional processing. However, the instrumental differences were not detected in sensory analysis, concluding possibility of power ultrasound as potential tortilla chips processing aid.

  5. Sensory and Quality Evaluation of Traditional Compared with Power Ultrasound Processed Corn (Zea Mays) Tortilla Chips.

    PubMed

    Janve, Bhaskar; Yang, Wade; Sims, Charles

    2015-06-01

    Power ultrasound reduces the traditional corn steeping time from 18 to 1.5 h during tortilla chips dough (masa) processing. This study sought to examine consumer (n = 99) acceptability and quality of tortilla chips made from the masa by traditional compared with ultrasonic methods. Overall appearance, flavor, and texture acceptability scores were evaluated using a 9-point hedonic scale. The baked chips (process intermediate) before and after frying (finished product) were analyzed using a texture analyzer and machine vision. The texture values were determined using the 3-point bend test using breaking force gradient (BFG), peak breaking force (PBF), and breaking distance (BD). The fracturing properties determined by the crisp fracture support rig using fracture force gradient (FFG), peak fracture force (PFF), and fracture distance (FD). The machine vision evaluated the total surface area, lightness (L), color difference (ΔE), Hue (°h), and Chroma (C*). The results were evaluated by analysis of variance and means were separated using Tukey's test. Machine vision values of L, °h, were higher (P < 0.05) and ΔE was lower (P < 0.05) for fried and L, °h were significantly (P < 0.05) higher for baked chips produced from ultra-sonication as compare to traditional. Baked chips texture for ultra-sonication was significantly higher (P < 0.05) on BFG, BPD, PFF, and FD. Fried tortilla chips texture were higher significantly (P < 0.05) in BFG and PFF for ultra-sonication than traditional processing. However, the instrumental differences were not detected in sensory analysis, concluding possibility of power ultrasound as potential tortilla chips processing aid. PMID:25939826

  6. Examining Sensory Quadrants in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern, Janet K.; Garver, Carolyn R.; Carmody, Thomas; Andrews, Alonzo A.; Trivedi, Madhukar H.; Mehta, Jyutika A.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine sensory quadrants in autism based on Dunn's Theory of Sensory Processing. The data for this study was collected as part of a cross-sectional study that examined sensory processing (using the Sensory Profile) in 103 persons with autism, 3-43 years of age, compared to 103 age- and gender-matched community…

  7. Increased visual cortical thickness in sight-recovery individuals.

    PubMed

    Guerreiro, Maria J S; Erfort, Maria V; Henssler, Jonathan; Putzar, Lisa; Röder, Brigitte

    2015-12-01

    Individuals who are born blind due to dense bilateral cataracts and who later regain vision due to cataract surgery provide a unique model to evaluate the effect of early sensory experience in humans. In recent years, several studies have started to assess the functional consequences of early visual deprivation in these individuals, revealing a number of behavioral impairments in visual and multisensory functions. In contrast, the extent to which a transient period of congenital visual deprivation impacts brain structure has not yet been investigated. The present study investigated this by assessing cortical thickness of occipital areas in a group of six cataract-reversal individuals and a group of six age-matched normally sighted controls. This analysis revealed higher cortical thickness in cataract-reversal individuals in the left calcarine sulcus, in the superior occipital gyrus and in the transverse occipital sulcus bilaterally. In addition, occipital cortical thickness correlated negatively with behavioral performance in an audio-visual task for which visual input was critical, and positively with behavioral performance in auditory tasks. Together, these results underscore the critical role of early sensory experience in shaping brain structure and suggest that increased occipital cortical thickness, while potentially compensatory for auditory sensory processing, might be maladaptive for visual recovery in cases of sight restoration.

  8. Virtually-induced threat in Parkinson's: Dopaminergic interactions between anxiety and sensory-perceptual processing while walking.

    PubMed

    Ehgoetz Martens, Kaylena A; Ellard, Colin G; Almeida, Quincy J

    2015-12-01

    Research evidence has suggested that anxiety influences gait in PD, with an identified dopa-sensitive gait response in highly anxious PD. It has been well-established that accurate perception of the environment and sensory feedback is essential for gait. Arguably since sensory and perceptual deficits have been noted in PD, anxiety has the potential to exacerbate movement impairments, since one might expect that reducing resources needed to overcome or compensate for sensory-perceptual deficits may lead to even more severe gait impairments. It is possible that anxiety in threatening situations might consume more processing resources, limiting the ability to process information about the environment or one's own movement (sensory feedback) especially in highly anxious PD. Therefore, the current study aimed to (i) evaluate whether processing of threat-related aspects of the environment was influenced by anxiety, (ii) evaluate whether anxiety influences the ability to utilize sensory feedback in PD while walking in threatening situations, and (iii) further understand the role of dopaminergic medication on these processes in threatening situations in PD. Forty-eight participants (24 HC; 12 Low Anxious [LA-PD], 12 Highly Anxious [HA-PD]) completed 20 walking trials in virtual reality across a plank that was (i) located on the ground (GROUND) (ii) located above a deep pit (ELEVATED); while provided with or without visual feedback about their lower limbs (+VF; -VF). After walking across the plank, participants were asked to judge the width of the plank they had just walked across. The plank varied in size from 60-100 cm. Both ON and OFF dopaminergic medication states were evaluated in PD. Gait parameters, judgment error and self-reported anxiety levels were measured. Results showed that HA-PD reported greater levels of anxiety overall (p<0.001) compared to HC and LA-PD, and all participants reported greater anxiety during the ELEVATED condition compared to GROUND (p=0

  9. Virtually-induced threat in Parkinson's: Dopaminergic interactions between anxiety and sensory-perceptual processing while walking.

    PubMed

    Ehgoetz Martens, Kaylena A; Ellard, Colin G; Almeida, Quincy J

    2015-12-01

    Research evidence has suggested that anxiety influences gait in PD, with an identified dopa-sensitive gait response in highly anxious PD. It has been well-established that accurate perception of the environment and sensory feedback is essential for gait. Arguably since sensory and perceptual deficits have been noted in PD, anxiety has the potential to exacerbate movement impairments, since one might expect that reducing resources needed to overcome or compensate for sensory-perceptual deficits may lead to even more severe gait impairments. It is possible that anxiety in threatening situations might consume more processing resources, limiting the ability to process information about the environment or one's own movement (sensory feedback) especially in highly anxious PD. Therefore, the current study aimed to (i) evaluate whether processing of threat-related aspects of the environment was influenced by anxiety, (ii) evaluate whether anxiety influences the ability to utilize sensory feedback in PD while walking in threatening situations, and (iii) further understand the role of dopaminergic medication on these processes in threatening situations in PD. Forty-eight participants (24 HC; 12 Low Anxious [LA-PD], 12 Highly Anxious [HA-PD]) completed 20 walking trials in virtual reality across a plank that was (i) located on the ground (GROUND) (ii) located above a deep pit (ELEVATED); while provided with or without visual feedback about their lower limbs (+VF; -VF). After walking across the plank, participants were asked to judge the width of the plank they had just walked across. The plank varied in size from 60-100 cm. Both ON and OFF dopaminergic medication states were evaluated in PD. Gait parameters, judgment error and self-reported anxiety levels were measured. Results showed that HA-PD reported greater levels of anxiety overall (p<0.001) compared to HC and LA-PD, and all participants reported greater anxiety during the ELEVATED condition compared to GROUND (p=0

  10. Dissociating Cortical Activity during Processing of Native and Non-Native Audiovisual Speech from Early to Late Infancy.

    PubMed

    Fava, Eswen; Hull, Rachel; Bortfeld, Heather

    2014-01-01

    Initially, infants are capable of discriminating phonetic contrasts across the world's languages. Starting between seven and ten months of age, they gradually lose this ability through a process of perceptual narrowing. Although traditionally investigated with isolated speech sounds, such narrowing occurs in a variety of perceptual domains (e.g., faces, visual speech). Thus far, tracking the developmental trajectory of this tuning process has been focused primarily on auditory speech alone, and generally using isolated sounds. But infants learn from speech produced by people talking to them, meaning they learn from a complex audiovisual signal. Here, we use near-infrared spectroscopy to measure blood concentration changes in the bilateral temporal cortices of infants in three different age groups: 3-to-6 months, 7-to-10 months, and 11-to-14-months. Critically, all three groups of infants were tested with continuous audiovisual speech in both their native and another, unfamiliar language. We found that at each age range, infants showed different patterns of cortical activity in response to the native and non-native stimuli. Infants in the youngest group showed bilateral cortical activity that was greater overall in response to non-native relative to native speech; the oldest group showed left lateralized activity in response to native relative to non-native speech. These results highlight perceptual tuning as a dynamic process that happens across modalities and at different levels of stimulus complexity. PMID:25116572

  11. Dissociating Cortical Activity during Processing of Native and Non-Native Audiovisual Speech from Early to Late Infancy

    PubMed Central

    Fava, Eswen; Hull, Rachel; Bortfeld, Heather

    2014-01-01

    Initially, infants are capable of discriminating phonetic contrasts across the world’s languages. Starting between seven and ten months of age, they gradually lose this ability through a process of perceptual narrowing. Although traditionally investigated with isolated speech sounds, such narrowing occurs in a variety of perceptual domains (e.g., faces, visual speech). Thus far, tracking the developmental trajectory of this tuning process has been focused primarily on auditory speech alone, and generally using isolated sounds. But infants learn from speech produced by people talking to them, meaning they learn from a complex audiovisual signal. Here, we use near-infrared spectroscopy to measure blood concentration changes in the bilateral temporal cortices of infants in three different age groups: 3-to-6 months, 7-to-10 months, and 11-to-14-months. Critically, all three groups of infants were tested with continuous audiovisual speech in both their native and another, unfamiliar language. We found that at each age range, infants showed different patterns of cortical activity in response to the native and non-native stimuli. Infants in the youngest group showed bilateral cortical activity that was greater overall in response to non-native relative to native speech; the oldest group showed left lateralized activity in response to native relative to non-native speech. These results highlight perceptual tuning as a dynamic process that happens across modalities and at different levels of stimulus complexity. PMID:25116572

  12. Spatiotemporal distribution of cortical processing of first and second languages in bilinguals. I. Effects of proficiency and linguistic setting.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Hillel; Abbasi, Dalal Abu-Amneh; Bleich, Naomi; Mittelman, Nomi; Starr, Arnold

    2013-11-01

    The study determined how spatiotemporal distribution of cortical activity to words in first and second language is affected by language, proficiency, and linguistic setting. Ten early bilinguals and 14 late adult bilinguals listened to pairs of words presented in Arabic (L1), Hebrew (L2), or in mixed pairs and indicated whether both words had the same meaning or not. Source current densities of event-related potentials were estimated. Activity to first words in the pair lateralized to right hemisphere, higher to L1 than L2 during early processing (<300 ms) among both groups but only among late bilinguals during late processing (>300 ms). During early and late processing, activities were larger in mixed than monolinguistic settings among early bilinguals but lower in mixed than in monolinguistic settings among late bilinguals. Late processing in auditory regions was of larger magnitude in left than right hemispheres among both groups. Activity to second words in the pair was larger in mixed than in monolinguistic settings during both early and late processing among both groups. Early processing of second words in auditory regions lateralized to the right among early bilinguals and to the left among late bilinguals, whereas late processing did not differ between groups. Wernicke's area activity during late processing of L2 was larger on the right, while on the left no significant differences between languages were found. The results show that cortical language processing in bilinguals differs between early and late processing and these differences are modulated by linguistic proficiency and setting.

  13. Microbiological, physicochemical and sensory parameters of dry fermented sausages manufactured with high hydrostatic pressure processed raw meat.

    PubMed

    Omer, M K; Prieto, B; Rendueles, E; Alvarez-Ordoñez, A; Lunde, K; Alvseike, O; Prieto, M

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this trial was to describe physicochemical, microbiological and organoleptic characteristics of dry fermented sausages produced from high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) pre-processed trimmings. During ripening of the meat products pH, weight, water activity (aw), and several microbiological parameters were measured at zero, eight, fifteen days and after 6weeks. Sensory characteristics were estimated at day 15 and after six weeks by a test panel by using several sensory tests. Enterobacteriaceae were not detected in sausages from HHP-processed trimmings. Fermentation was little affected, but weight and aw of the HHP-processed sausages decreased faster during ripening. HHP-treated sausages were consistently less favoured than non HHP-treated sausages, but the strategy may be an alternative approach if the process is optimized.

  14. Cortical Neuron Response Properties Are Related to Lesion Extent and Behavioral Recovery after Sensory Loss from Spinal Cord Injury in Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Jamie L.; Gharbawie, Omar A.; Burish, Mark J.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2014-01-01

    Lesions of the dorsal columns at a mid-cervical level render the hand representation of the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b) unresponsive. Over weeks of recovery, most of this cortex becomes responsive to touch on the hand. Determining functional properties of neurons within the hand representation is critical to understanding the neural basis of this adaptive plasticity. Here, we recorded neural activity across the hand representation of area 3b with a 100-electrode array and compared results from owl monkeys and squirrel monkeys 5–10 weeks after lesions with controls. Even after extensive lesions, performance on reach-to-grasp tasks returned to prelesion levels, and hand touches activated territories mainly within expected cortical locations. However, some digit representations were abnormal, such that receptive fields of presumably reactivated neurons were larger and more often involved discontinuous parts of the hand compared with controls. Hand stimulation evoked similar neuronal firing rates in lesion and control monkeys. By assessing the same monkeys with multiple measures, we determined that properties of neurons in area 3b were highly correlated with both the lesion severity and the impairment of hand use. We propose that the reactivation of neurons with near-normal response properties and the recovery of near-normal somatotopy likely supported the recovery of hand use. Given the near-completeness of the more extensive dorsal column lesions we studied, we suggest that alternate spinal afferents, in addition to the few spared primary axon afferents in the dorsal columns, likely have a major role in the reactivation pattern and return of function. PMID:24647955

  15. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  16. Sensory Sensitivities and Performance on Sensory Perceptual Tasks in High-Functioning Individuals with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.; Hobson, Jessica A.

    2008-01-01

    Most reports of sensory symptoms in autism are second hand or observational, and there is little evidence of a neurological basis. Sixty individuals with high-functioning autism and 61 matched typical participants were administered a sensory questionnaire and neuropsychological tests of elementary and higher cortical sensory perception. Thirty-two…

  17. Rheotaxis of Larval Zebrafish: Behavioral Study of a Multi-Sensory Process

    PubMed Central

    Olive, Raphaël; Wolf, Sébastien; Dubreuil, Alexis; Bormuth, Volker; Debrégeas, Georges; Candelier, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    Awake animals unceasingly perceive sensory inputs with great variability of nature and intensity, and understanding how the nervous system manages this continuous flow of diverse information to get a coherent representation of the environment is arguably a central question in systems neuroscience. Rheotaxis, the ability shared by most aquatic species to orient toward a current and swim to hold position, is an innate and robust multi-sensory behavior that is known to involve the lateral line and visual systems. To facilitate the neuroethological study of rheotaxic behavior in larval zebrafish we developed an assay for freely swimming larvae that allows for high experimental throughtput, large statistic and a fine description of the behavior. We show that there exist a clear transition from exploration to counterflow swim, and by changing the sensory modalities accessible to the fishes (visual only, lateral line only or both) and comparing the swim patterns at different ages we were able to detect and characterize two different mechanisms for position holding, one mediated by the lateral line and one mediated by the visual system. We also found that when both sensory modalities are accessible the visual system overshadows the lateral line, suggesting that at the larval stage the sensory inputs are not merged to finely tune the behavior but that redundant information pathways may be used as functional fallbacks. PMID:26941620

  18. Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Geramita, Matthew A; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathan N

    2016-01-01

    Splitting sensory information into parallel pathways is a common strategy in sensory systems. Yet, how circuits in these parallel pathways are composed to maintain or even enhance the encoding of specific stimulus features is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the parallel pathways formed by mitral and tufted cells of the olfactory system in mice and characterized the emergence of feature selectivity in these cell types via distinct lateral inhibitory circuits. We find differences in activity-dependent lateral inhibition between mitral and tufted cells that likely reflect newly described differences in the activation of deep and superficial granule cells. Simulations show that these circuit-level differences allow mitral and tufted cells to best discriminate odors in separate concentration ranges, indicating that segregating information about different ranges of stimulus intensity may be an important function of these parallel sensory pathways.

  19. Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Geramita, Matthew A; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathan N

    2016-01-01

    Splitting sensory information into parallel pathways is a common strategy in sensory systems. Yet, how circuits in these parallel pathways are composed to maintain or even enhance the encoding of specific stimulus features is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the parallel pathways formed by mitral and tufted cells of the olfactory system in mice and characterized the emergence of feature selectivity in these cell types via distinct lateral inhibitory circuits. We find differences in activity-dependent lateral inhibition between mitral and tufted cells that likely reflect newly described differences in the activation of deep and superficial granule cells. Simulations show that these circuit-level differences allow mitral and tufted cells to best discriminate odors in separate concentration ranges, indicating that segregating information about different ranges of stimulus intensity may be an important function of these parallel sensory pathways. PMID:27351103

  20. Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb

    PubMed Central

    Geramita, Matthew A; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathan N

    2016-01-01

    Splitting sensory information into parallel pathways is a common strategy in sensory systems. Yet, how circuits in these parallel pathways are composed to maintain or even enhance the encoding of specific stimulus features is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the parallel pathways formed by mitral and tufted cells of the olfactory system in mice and characterized the emergence of feature selectivity in these cell types via distinct lateral inhibitory circuits. We find differences in activity-dependent lateral inhibition between mitral and tufted cells that likely reflect newly described differences in the activation of deep and superficial granule cells. Simulations show that these circuit-level differences allow mitral and tufted cells to best discriminate odors in separate concentration ranges, indicating that segregating information about different ranges of stimulus intensity may be an important function of these parallel sensory pathways. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16039.001 PMID:27351103

  1. An Efficient Simulation Environment for Modeling Large-Scale Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

    Richert, Micah; Nageswaran, Jayram Moorkanikara; Dutt, Nikil; Krichmar, Jeffrey L.

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a spiking neural network simulator, which is both easy to use and computationally efficient, for the generation of large-scale computational neuroscience models. The simulator implements current or conductance based Izhikevich neuron networks, having spike-timing dependent plasticity and short-term plasticity. It uses a standard network construction interface. The simulator allows for execution on either GPUs or CPUs. The simulator, which is written in C/C++, allows for both fine grain and coarse grain specificity of a host of parameters. We demonstrate the ease of use and computational efficiency of this model by implementing a large-scale model of cortical areas V1, V4, and area MT. The complete model, which has 138,240 neurons and approximately 30 million synapses, runs in real-time on an off-the-shelf GPU. The simulator source code, as well as the source code for the cortical model examples is publicly available. PMID:22007166

  2. Cortical Transformation of Spatial Processing for Solving the Cocktail Party Problem: A Computational Model123

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Junzi; Colburn, H. Steven

    2016-01-01

    In multisource, “cocktail party” sound environments, human and animal auditory systems can use spatial cues to effectively separate and follow one source of sound over competing sources. While mechanisms to extract spatial cues such as interaural time differences (ITDs) are well understood in precortical areas, how such information is reused and transformed in higher cortical regions to represent segregated sound sources is not clear. We present a computational model describing a hypothesized neural network that spans spatial cue detection areas and the cortex. This network is based on recent physiological findings that cortical neurons selectively encode target stimuli in the presence of competing maskers based on source locations (Maddox et al., 2012). We demonstrate that key features of cortical responses can be generated by the model network, which exploits spatial interactions between inputs via lateral inhibition, enabling the spatial separation of target and interfering sources while allowing monitoring of a broader acoustic space when there is no competition. We present the model network along with testable experimental paradigms as a starting point for understanding the transformation and organization of spatial information from midbrain to cortex. This network is then extended to suggest engineering solutions that may be useful for hearing-assistive devices in solving the cocktail party problem. PMID:26866056

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

    PubMed Central

    WANG, Min; ARNSTEN, Amy F.T.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Min; Arnsten, Amy F T

    2015-11-18

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

  5. Changes in basal ganglia processing of cortical input following magnetic stimulation in Parkinsonism.

    PubMed

    Tischler, Hadass; Moran, Anan; Belelovsky, Katya; Bronfeld, Maya; Korngreen, Alon; Bar-Gad, Izhar

    2012-12-01

    Parkinsonism is associated with major changes in neuronal activity throughout the cortico-basal ganglia loop. Current measures quantify changes in baseline neuronal and network activity but do not capture alterations in information propagation throughout the system. Here, we applied a novel non-invasive magnetic stimulation approach using a custom-made mini-coil that enabled us to study transmission of neuronal activity throughout the cortico-basal ganglia loop in both normal and parkinsonian primates. By magnetically perturbing cortical activity while simultaneously recording neuronal responses along the cortico-basal ganglia loop, we were able to directly investigate modifications in descending cortical activity transmission. We found that in both the normal and parkinsonian states, cortical neurons displayed similar multi-phase firing rate modulations in response to magnetic stimulation. However, in the basal ganglia, large synaptically driven stereotypic neuronal modulation was present in the parkinsonian state that was mostly absent in the normal state. The stimulation-induced neuronal activity pattern highlights the change in information propagation along the cortico-basal ganglia loop. Our findings thus point to the role of abnormal dynamic activity transmission rather than changes in baseline activity as a major component in parkinsonian pathophysiology. Moreover, our results hint that the application of transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) in human patients of different disorders may result in different neuronal effects than the one induced in normal subjects. PMID:22885186

  6. Effect of processing and storage and sensory and nutritional quality of raw, frozen, canned green beans and broccoli

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.N.; Kramer, A.; Onishi, Y.

    1981-01-01

    Recent concern with energy consumption has accelerated the search for methods of preservation and shelf-life extension of foods with the two-fold aim of reducing food waste and minimizing energy consumption. Studies were undertaken to determine first whether the shelf-life of raw vegetables could be extended substantially by blanching and packaging in reduced oxygen, and secondly to determine whether these same vegetables could be canned and they would retain superior quality when heat-processing minimally in a process equivalent to the heat process required for retortable pouches. The sensory qualities and nutritional values of vegetables so processed are evaluated. 3 refs.

  7. Cortical processing of near-threshold tactile stimuli in a paired-stimulus paradigm--an MEG study.

    PubMed

    Wühle, Anja; Preissl, Hubert; Braun, Christoph

    2011-08-01

    In the present magnetoencephalography study, we applied a paired-stimulus paradigm to study the weak cortical responses evoked by near-threshold tactile prime stimuli by means of their attenuating effect on the cortical responses evoked by subsequently applied above-threshold test stimuli. In stimulus pairs with adequate interstimulus intervals (ISIs), the extent of test stimulus response attenuation is related to the amplitude of prime stimulus responses, and the duration of the attenuating effect indicates how long memory traces of a prime stimulus reside in cortical areas. We hypothesized that the attenuation of test stimulus responses, studied for ISIs of 30, 60 and 150 ms, would provide insight into the temporal dynamics of near-threshold stimulus processing in primary (SI) and secondary somatosensory cortex (SII), and reveal differences in response amplitude due to conscious perception. Attenuation of test stimulus responses in SI was observed for ISIs up to 60 ms, whereas in SII the effect outlasted the ISI of 150 ms. Differences due to conscious perception of the near-threshold stimuli were only observed in SII with stronger attenuation for perceived than for missed near-threshold stimuli. Applying this indirect approach to near-threshold stimulus processing, we could show that the extent and duration of response attenuation is related to prime stimulus processing and differential temporal and functional characteristics of near-threshold stimulus information processing in SI and SII: transient processing of basic stimulus information not sufficient for conscious perception in SI and long-lasting activations involving conscious perception in SII.

  8. Inhibitory interneurons in visual cortical plasticity.

    PubMed

    van Versendaal, Daniëlle; Levelt, Christiaan N

    2016-10-01

    For proper maturation of the neocortex and acquisition of specific functions and skills, exposure to sensory stimuli is vital during critical periods of development when synaptic connectivity is highly malleable. To preserve reliable cortical processing, it is essential that these critical periods end after which learning becomes more conditional and active interaction with the environment becomes more important. How these age-dependent forms of plasticity are regulated has been studied extensively in the primary visual cortex. This has revealed that inhibitory innervation plays a crucial role and that a temporary decrease in inhibition is essential for plasticity to take place. Here, we discuss how different interneuron subsets regulate plasticity during different stages of cortical maturation. We propose a theory in which different interneuron subsets select the sources of neuronal input that undergo plasticity.

  9. Tickle me, I think I might be dreaming! Sensory attenuation, self-other distinction, and predictive processing in lucid dreams.

    PubMed

    Windt, Jennifer M; Harkness, Dominic L; Lenggenhager, Bigna

    2014-01-01

    The contrast between self- and other-produced tickles, as a special case of sensory attenuation for self-produced actions, has long been a target of empirical research. While in standard wake states it is nearly impossible to tickle oneself, there are interesting exceptions. Notably, participants awakened from REM (rapid eye movement-) sleep dreams are able to tickle themselves. So far, however, the question of whether it is possible to tickle oneself and be tickled by another in the dream state has not been investigated empirically or addressed from a theoretical perspective. Here, we report the results of an explorative web-based study in which participants were asked to rate their sensations during self-tickling and being tickled during wakefulness, imagination, and lucid dreaming. Our results, though highly preliminary, indicate that in the special case of lucid control dreams, the difference between self-tickling and being tickled by another is obliterated, with both self- and other produced tickles receiving similar ratings as self-tickling during wakefulness. This leads us to the speculative conclusion that in lucid control dreams, sensory attenuation for self-produced tickles spreads to those produced by non-self dream characters. These preliminary results provide the backdrop for a more general theoretical and metatheoretical discussion of tickling in lucid dreams in a predictive processing framework. We argue that the primary value of our study lies not so much in our results, which are subject to important limitations, but rather in the fact that they enable a new theoretical perspective on the relationship between sensory attenuation, the self-other distinction and agency, as well as suggest new questions for future research. In particular, the example of tickling during lucid dreaming raises the question of whether sensory attenuation and the self-other distinction can be simulated largely independently of external sensory input. PMID:25278861

  10. Tickle me, I think I might be dreaming! Sensory attenuation, self-other distinction, and predictive processing in lucid dreams.

    PubMed

    Windt, Jennifer M; Harkness, Dominic L; Lenggenhager, Bigna

    2014-01-01

    The contrast between self- and other-produced tickles, as a special case of sensory attenuation for self-produced actions, has long been a target of empirical research. While in standard wake states it is nearly impossible to tickle oneself, there are interesting exceptions. Notably, participants awakened from REM (rapid eye movement-) sleep dreams are able to tickle themselves. So far, however, the question of whether it is possible to tickle oneself and be tickled by another in the dream state has not been investigated empirically or addressed from a theoretical perspective. Here, we report the results of an explorative web-based study in which participants were asked to rate their sensations during self-tickling and being tickled during wakefulness, imagination, and lucid dreaming. Our results, though highly preliminary, indicate that in the special case of lucid control dreams, the difference between self-tickling and being tickled by another is obliterated, with both self- and other produced tickles receiving similar ratings as self-tickling during wakefulness. This leads us to the speculative conclusion that in lucid control dreams, sensory attenuation for self-produced tickles spreads to those produced by non-self dream characters. These preliminary results provide the backdrop for a more general theoretical and metatheoretical discussion of tickling in lucid dreams in a predictive processing framework. We argue that the primary value of our study lies not so much in our results, which are subject to important limitations, but rather in the fact that they enable a new theoretical perspective on the relationship between sensory attenuation, the self-other distinction and agency, as well as suggest new questions for future research. In particular, the example of tickling during lucid dreaming raises the question of whether sensory attenuation and the self-other distinction can be simulated largely independently of external sensory input.

  11. Tickle me, I think I might be dreaming! Sensory attenuation, self-other distinction, and predictive processing in lucid dreams

    PubMed Central

    Windt, Jennifer M.; Harkness, Dominic L.; Lenggenhager, Bigna

    2014-01-01

    The contrast between self- and other-produced tickles, as a special case of sensory attenuation for self-produced actions, has long been a target of empirical research. While in standard wake states it is nearly impossible to tickle oneself, there are interesting exceptions. Notably, participants awakened from REM (rapid eye movement-) sleep dreams are able to tickle themselves. So far, however, the question of whether it is possible to tickle oneself and be tickled by another in the dream state has not been investigated empirically or addressed from a theoretical perspective. Here, we report the results of an explorative web-based study in which participants were asked to rate their sensations during self-tickling and being tickled during wakefulness, imagination, and lucid dreaming. Our results, though highly preliminary, indicate that in the special case of lucid control dreams, the difference between self-tickling and being tickled by another is obliterated, with both self- and other produced tickles receiving similar ratings as self-tickling during wakefulness. This leads us to the speculative conclusion that in lucid control dreams, sensory attenuation for self-produced tickles spreads to those produced by non-self dream characters. These preliminary results provide the backdrop for a more general theoretical and metatheoretical discussion of tickling in lucid dreams in a predictive processing framework. We argue that the primary value of our study lies not so much in our results, which are subject to important limitations, but rather in the fact that they enable a new theoretical perspective on the relationship between sensory attenuation, the self-other distinction and agency, as well as suggest new questions for future research. In particular, the example of tickling during lucid dreaming raises the question of whether sensory attenuation and the self-other distinction can be simulated largely independently of external sensory input. PMID:25278861

  12. Study of drying process on starch structural properties and their effect on semolina pasta sensory quality.

    PubMed

    Padalino, Lucia; Caliandro, Rocco; Chita, Giuseppe; Conte, Amalia; Del Nobile, Matteo Alessandro

    2016-11-20

    The influence of drying temperature on the starch crystallites and its impact on durum wheat pasta sensory properties is addressed in this work. In particular, spaghetti were produced by means of a pilot plant using 5 different drying temperature profiles. The sensory properties, as well as the cooking quality of pasta were assessed. X-ray powder diffraction was used for investigating changes in the crystallinity content of the samples. Starch crystallinity, size and density of the starch crystallites were determined from the analysis of the diffraction profiles. As expected, spaghetti sensory properties improved as the drying temperatures increased. In particular, attributes as resistance to break for uncooked samples and firmness, elasticity, bulkiness and stickiness for cooked samples, all benefit from drying temperature increase. The spaghetti cooking quality was also positively affected by the drying temperature increase. Diffraction analysis suggested that the improvement of sensory properties and cooking quality of pasta were directly related to the increase in density of both physical crosslink of starch granules and chemical crosslink of protein matrix. PMID:27561491

  13. Steady State Responses: Electrophysiological Assessment of Sensory Function in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Brenner, Colleen A.; Krishnan, Giri P.; Vohs, Jenifer L.; Ahn, Woo-Young; Hetrick, William P.; Morzorati, Sandra L.; O'Donnell, Brian F.

    2009-01-01

    Persons with schizophrenia experience subjective sensory anomalies and objective deficits on assessment of sensory function. Such deficits could be produced by abnormal signaling in the sensory pathways and sensory cortex or later stage disturbances in cognitive processing of such inputs. Steady state responses (SSRs) provide a noninvasive method to test the integrity of sensory pathways and oscillatory responses in schizophrenia with minimal task demands. SSRs are electrophysiological responses entrained to the frequency and phase of a periodic stimulus. Patients with schizophrenia exhibit pronounced auditory SSR deficits within the gamma frequency range (35–50 Hz) in response to click trains and amplitude-modulated tones. Visual SSR deficits are also observed, most prominently in the alpha and beta frequency ranges (7–30 Hz) in response to high-contrast, high-luminance stimuli. Visual SSR studies that have used the psychophysical properties of a stimulus to target specific visual pathways predominantly report magnocellular-based deficits in those with schizophrenia. Disruption of both auditory and visual SSRs in schizophrenia are consistent with neuropathological and magnetic resonance imaging evidence of anatomic abnormalities affecting the auditory and visual cortices. Computational models suggest that auditory SSR abnormalities at gamma frequencies could be secondary to γ-aminobutyric acid–mediated or N-methyl-D-aspartic acid dysregulation. The pathophysiological process in schizophrenia encompasses sensory processing that probably contributes to alterations in subsequent encoding and cognitive processing. The developmental evolution of these abnormalities remains to be characterized. PMID:19726534

  14. Adaptation tunes cortical dynamics to a critical regime during vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shew, Woodrow; Clawson, Wesley; Pobst, Jeff; Karimipanah, Yahya; Wright, Nathaniel; Wessel, Ralf; Shew Lab Team; Wessel Lab Team

    2015-03-01

    A long-standing hypothesis at the interface of physics and neuroscience is that neural networks self-organize to the critical point of a phase transition, thereby optimizing aspects of sensory information processing. This idea is partially supported by strong evidence for critical dynamics observed in the cerebral cortex, but has not been tested in systems with significant sensory input. Thus, the foundations of this hypothesis - the self-organization process and how it manifests during strong sensory input - remain unstudied experimentally. Here we report microelectrode array measurements from visual cortex of turtles during visual stimulation of the retina. We show experimentally and in a computational model that strong sensory input initially elicits cortical network dynamics that are not critical, but adaptive changes in the network rapidly tune the system to criticality. This conclusion is based on observations of multifaceted scaling laws predicted to occur at criticality. Our findings establish sensory adaptation as a self-organizing mechanism which maintains criticality in visual cortex during sensory information processing. Supported by NSF CRCNS Grant 1308174.

  15. Demand and Modality of Directed Attention Modulate “Pre-attentive” Sensory Processes in Schizophrenia Patients and Nonpsychiatric Controls

    PubMed Central

    Rissling, Anthony J.; Park, Sung-Hyouk; Young, Jared W.; Rissling, Michelle B.; Sugar, Catherine A.; Sprock, Joyce; Mathias, Daniel J.; Pela, Marlena; Sharp, Richard F.; Braff, David L.; Light, Gregory A.

    2013-01-01

    Background Mismatch negativity (MNN) and P3a are event related potential (ERP) measures of early sensory information processing. These components are usually conceptualized as being “pre-attentive” and therefore immune to changes with variations in attentional functioning. This study aimed to determine whether manipulations of attention influence the amplitudes and latencies of MMN and P3a and, if so, the extent to which these early sensory processes govern concurrent behavioral vigilance performance in schizophrenia patients and normal subjects. Methods Schizophrenia patients (SZ; n=20) and Nonpsychiatric Control Subjects (NCS; n=20) underwent auditory ERP testing to assess MMN and P3a across 4 EEG recording sessions in which attentional demand (low vs. high) and sensory modality of directed attention (visual vs. auditory) were experimentally varied. Results Across conditions, SZ patients exhibited deficits in MMN and P3a amplitudes. Significant amplitude and latency modulation were observed in both SZ and NCS but there were no group-by- condition interactions. The amount of MMN amplitude attenuation from low- to-high-demand tasks was significantly associated with increased vigilance performance in both SZ and NCS groups (r=-0.67 and r=-0.60). Conclusions Attentional demand and modality of directed attention significantly influence the amplitude and latencies of “pre-attentive” ERP components in both SZ and NCS. Deficits in MMN and P3a were not “normalized” when attention was directed to the auditory stimuli in schizophrenia patients. The adaptive modulation of early sensory information processing appears to govern concurrent attentional task performance. MMN and P3a may serve as a gateway to some higher order cognitive operations necessary for psychosocial functioning. PMID:23490760

  16. The effects of interstimulus interval on sensory gating and on preattentive auditory memory in the oddball paradigm. Can magnitude of the sensory gating affect preattentive auditory comparison process?

    PubMed

    Ermutlu, M Numan; Demiralp, Tamer; Karamürsel, Sacit

    2007-01-22

    P50, and mismatch negativity (MMN) are components of event-related potentials (ERP) reflecting sensory gating and preattentive auditory memory, respectively. Interstimulus interval (ISI) is an important determinant of the amplitudes of these components and N1. In the present study the interrelation between stimulus gating and preattentive auditory sensory memory were investigated as a function of ISI in 1.5, 2.5 and 3.5s in 15 healthy volunteered participants. ISI factor affected the N1 peak amplitude significantly. MMN amplitude in 2.5s ISI was significantly smaller compared to 1.5 and 3.5s ISI. ISI X stimuli interaction on P50 amplitude was statistically significant. P50 amplitudes to deviant stimuli in 2.5s ISI were larger than the P50 amplitudes in other ISIs. P50 difference (P50d) waveform amplitude correlated significantly with MMN amplitude. The results suggest that: (i) auditory sensory gating could affect preattentive auditory sensory memory by supplying input to the comparator mechanism; (ii) 2.5s ISI is important in displaying the sensory gating and preattentive auditory sensory memory relation.

  17. Model of Cortical Organization Embodying a Basis for a Theory of Information Processing and Memory Recall

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shaw, Gordon L.; Silverman, Dennis J.; Pearson, John C.

    1985-04-01

    Motivated by V. B. Mountcastle's organizational principle for neocortical function, and by M. E. Fisher's model of physical spin systems, we introduce a cooperative model of the cortical column incorporating an idealized substructure, the trion, which represents a localized group of neurons. Computer studies reveal that typical networks composed of a small number of trions (with symmetric interactions) exhibit striking behavior--e.g., hundreds to thousands of quasi-stable, periodic firing patterns, any of which can be selected out and enhanced with only small changes in interaction strengths by using a Hebb-type algorithm.

  18. The relationship between sensory processing difficulties and leisure activity preference of children with different types of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Ziv-On, Daniella

    2011-01-01

    Sensory processing difficulties (SPD) are prevalent among children with ADHD. Yet, the question whether different SPD characterize children with different types of ADHD has not received enough attention in the literature. The current study characterized sensory processing difficulties (SPD) of children with different types of ADHD and explored the relationship between SPD and leisure activity preference. Participants were 58 boys aged 6-10 years: 29 boys with ADHD: 15 with hyperactive-impulsive type and 14 characterized as inattentive. The controls were 29 typical peers. SPD were evaluated by The Short Sensory Profile (SSP) completed by the parents. Participants answered the preference for activities of children (PAC). According the results, SPD were manifested among children with both ADHD types. Children with both ADHD types showed significantly lower preference to participate in leisure activities than the controls. Their lower preference correlated with SPD. The findings suggest that children with different ADHD types may share common SPD, which may negatively impact their activity preference. In this study it seemed that children with ADD were more vulnerable to these impacts. SPD and participation should be considered in evaluation and intervention programs for children with ADHD in order to focus on child's abilities, needs and preferences, and enhance intervention success, child's relationships with peers and child's well-being.

  19. The relationship between sensory processing difficulties and leisure activity preference of children with different types of ADHD.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Ziv-On, Daniella

    2011-01-01

    Sensory processing difficulties (SPD) are prevalent among children with ADHD. Yet, the question whether different SPD characterize children with different types of ADHD has not received enough attention in the literature. The current study characterized sensory processing difficulties (SPD) of children with different types of ADHD and explored the relationship between SPD and leisure activity preference. Participants were 58 boys aged 6-10 years: 29 boys with ADHD: 15 with hyperactive-impulsive type and 14 characterized as inattentive. The controls were 29 typical peers. SPD were evaluated by The Short Sensory Profile (SSP) completed by the parents. Participants answered the preference for activities of children (PAC). According the results, SPD were manifested among children with both ADHD types. Children with both ADHD types showed significantly lower preference to participate in leisure activities than the controls. Their lower preference correlated with SPD. The findings suggest that children with different ADHD types may share common SPD, which may negatively impact their activity preference. In this study it seemed that children with ADD were more vulnerable to these impacts. SPD and participation should be considered in evaluation and intervention programs for children with ADHD in order to focus on child's abilities, needs and preferences, and enhance intervention success, child's relationships with peers and child's well-being. PMID:21324640

  20. Concurrent functional and structural cortical alterations in migraine

    PubMed Central

    Maleki, Nasim; Becerra, Lino; Brawn, Jennifer; Bigal, Marcelo; Burstein, Rami; Borsook, David

    2013-01-01

    Aim Various animal and human studies have contributed to the idea of cortical structural–functional alterations in migraine. Defining concurrent cortical alterations may provide specific insights into the unfolding adaptive or maladaptive changes taking place in cortex in migraine. Methods From a group of 60 episodic migraineurs, 20 were recruited to the study. Using high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging, structural and functional cortical measures were compared in migraineurs who experienced increased frequency of attacks (HF; 8–14 days/month; n=10), to those who experienced less frequent migraine attacks (LF;<2 days/month; n=10), and to healthy controls (HC; n=20). Results Parallel structural and functional differences were found as follows: (i) HF patients showed higher thickness in the area representing the face in the post-central gyrus, which correlated with the observed stronger functional activation, suggesting adaptation to repeated sensory drive; (ii) smaller cortical volume was observed in the cingulate cortex that correlated with lower activation in the HF group; and (iii) similarly significant structural and functional differences (HF>LF) were observed in the insula that may reflect potential alteration in affective processing. Conclusion These results suggest differential response patterns in the sensory vs. affective processing regions in the brain that may be an adaptive response to repeated migraine attacks. PMID:22623760

  1. Associative fear learning enhances sparse network coding in primary sensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gdalyahu, Amos; Tring, Elaine; Polack, Pierre-Olivier; Gruver, Robin; Golshani, Peyman; Fanselow, Michael S.; Silva, Alcino J.; Trachtenberg, Joshua T.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Several models of associative learning predict that stimulus processing changes during association formation. How associative learning reconfigures neural circuits in primary sensory cortex to "learn" associative attributes of a stimulus remains unknown. Using 2-photon in-vivo calcium imaging to measure responses of networks of neurons in primary somatosensory cortex, we discovered that associative fear learning, in which whisker stimulation is paired with foot shock, enhances sparse population coding and robustness of the conditional stimulus, yet decreases total network activity. Fewer cortical neurons responded to stimulation of the trained whisker than in controls, yet their response strength was enhanced. These responses were not observed in mice exposed to a non-associative learning procedure. Our results define how the cortical representation of a sensory stimulus is shaped by associative fear learning. These changes are proposed to enhance efficient sensory processing after associative learning. PMID:22794266

  2. Shared and Divergent Auditory and Tactile Processing in Children with Autism and Children with Sensory Processing Dysfunction Relative to Typically Developing Peers.

    PubMed

    Demopoulos, Carly; Brandes-Aitken, Annie N; Desai, Shivani S; Hill, Susanna S; Antovich, Ashley D; Harris, Julia; Marco, Elysa J

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to compare sensory processing in typically developing children (TDC), children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and those with sensory processing dysfunction (SPD) in the absence of an ASD. Performance-based measures of auditory and tactile processing were compared between male children ages 8-12 years assigned to an ASD (N=20), SPD (N=15), or TDC group (N=19). Both the SPD and ASD groups were impaired relative to the TDC group on a performance-based measure of tactile processing (right-handed graphesthesia). In contrast, only the ASD group showed significant impairment on an auditory processing index assessing dichotic listening, temporal patterning, and auditory discrimination. Furthermore, this impaired auditory processing was associated with parent-rated communication skills for both the ASD group and the combined study sample. No significant group differences were detected on measures of left-handed graphesthesia, tactile sensitivity, or form discrimination; however, more participants in the SPD group demonstrated a higher tactile detection threshold (60%) compared to the TDC (26.7%) and ASD groups (35%). This study provides support for use of performance-based measures in the assessment of children with ASD and SPD and highlights the need to better understand how sensory processing affects the higher order cognitive abilities associated with ASD, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, regardless of diagnostic classification.

  3. Effectiveness and Usability of the Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool Quick Tips: Data-Driven Intervention Following the Use of the SPM-Preschool in an Early Childhood, Multiple-Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Carol H.; Henry, Diana A.; Kliner, Ashley Peck; Kyllo, Alissa; Richter, Chelsea Munson; Charley, Jane; Whitcher, Meagan Chapman; Reinke, Katherine Roth; Tysver, Chelsay Horner; Wagner, Lacey; Walworth, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    This pre- and posttest multiple-case study examined the effectiveness and usability of the Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool Quick Tips (SPM-P QT) by key stakeholders (parents and teachers) for implementing data-driven intervention to address sensory processing challenges. The Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool (SPM-P) was administered as an…

  4. Postmitotic regulation of sensory area patterning in the mammalian neocortex by Lhx2

    PubMed Central

    Perez-Garcia, Carlos G.; Wang, Chia-Fang; Chou, Shen-Ju; O’Leary, Dennis D. M.

    2015-01-01

    Current knowledge suggests that cortical sensory area identity is controlled by transcription factors (TFs) that specify area features in progenitor cells and subsequently their progeny in a one-step process. However, how neurons acquire and maintain these features is unclear. We have used conditional inactivation restricted to postmitotic cortical neurons in mice to investigate the role of the TF LIM homeobox 2 (Lhx2) in this process and report that in conditional mutant cortices area patterning is normal in progenitors but strongly affected in cortical plate (CP) neurons. We show that Lhx2 controls neocortical area patterning by regulating downstream genetic and epigenetic regulators that drive the acquisition of molecular properties in CP neurons. Our results question a strict hierarchy in which progenitors dominate area identity, suggesting a novel and more comprehensive two-step model of area patterning: In progenitors, patterning TFs prespecify sensory area blueprints. Sequentially, sustained function of alignment TFs, including Lhx2, is essential to maintain and to translate the blueprints into functional sensory area properties in cortical neurons postmitotically. Our results reemphasize critical roles for Lhx2 that acts as one of the terminal selector genes in controlling principal properties of neurons. PMID:25971728

  5. Brainstem processing of vestibular sensory exafference: implications for motion sickness etiology

    PubMed Central

    Oman, Charles M.; Cullen, Kathleen E.

    2014-01-01

    The origin of the internal “sensory conflict” stimulus causing motion sickness has been debated for more than four decades. Recent studies show a subclass of neurons in the vestibular nuclei and deep cerebellar nuclei that respond preferentially to passive head movements. During active movement, the semicircular canal and otolith input (“reafference”) to these neurons is cancelled by a mechanism comparing the expected consequences of self-generated movement (estimated with an internal model-presumably located in the cerebellum) with the actual sensory feedback. The un-cancelled component (“exafference”) resulting from passive movement normally helps compensate for unexpected postural disturbances. Notably, the existence of such vestibular “sensory conflict” neurons had been postulated as early as 1982, but their existence and putative role in posture control, motion sickness has been long debated. Here we review the development of “sensory conflict” theories in relation to recent evidence for brainstem and cerebellar reafference cancellation, and identify some open research questions. We propose that conditions producing persistent activity of these neurons, or their targets, stimulates nearby brainstem emetic centers – via an as yet unidentified mechanism. We discuss how such a mechanism is consistent with the notable difference in motion sickness susceptibility of drivers as opposed to passengers, human immunity to normal self-generated movement, and why head restraint or lying horizontal confers relative immunity. Finally, we propose that fuller characterization of these mechanisms, and their potential role in motion sickness could lead to more effective, scientifically based prevention and treatment for motion sickness. PMID:24838552

  6. Cellular Adaptation Facilitates Sparse and Reliable Coding in Sensory Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Farkhooi, Farzad; Froese, Anja; Muller, Eilif; Menzel, Randolf; Nawrot, Martin P.

    2013-01-01

    Most neurons in peripheral sensory pathways initially respond vigorously when a preferred stimulus is presented, but adapt as stimulation continues. It is unclear how this phenomenon affects stimulus coding in the later stages of sensory processing. Here, we show that a temporally sparse and reliable stimulus representation develops naturally in sequential stages of a sensory network with adapting neurons. As a modeling framework we employ a mean-field approach together with an adaptive population density treatment, accompanied by numerical simulations of spiking neural networks. We find that cellular adaptation plays a critical role in the dynamic reduction of the trial-by-trial variability of cortical spike responses by transiently suppressing self-generated fast fluctuations in the cortical balanced network. This provides an explanation for a widespread cortical phenomenon by a simple mechanism. We further show that in the insect olfactory system cellular adaptation is sufficient to explain the emergence of the temporally sparse and reliable stimulus representation in the mushroom body. Our results reveal a generic, biophysically plausible mechanism that can explain the emergence of a temporally sparse and reliable stimulus representation within a sequential processing architecture. PMID:24098101

  7. Sensory migraine aura is not associated with structural grey matter abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Arngrim, Nanna; Vlachou, Maria; Larsen, Vibeke Andrée; Larsson, Henrik B W; Ashina, Messoud

    2016-01-01

    Migraine with aura (MA) is characterized by cortical dysfunction. Frequent aura attacks may alter cerebral cortical structure in patients, or structural grey matter abnormalities may predispose MA patients to aura attacks. In the present study we aimed to investigate cerebral grey matter structure in a large group of MA patients with and without sensory aura (i.e. gradually developing, transient unilateral sensory disturbances). We included 60 patients suffering from migraine with typical visual aura and 60 individually age and sex-matched controls. Twenty-nine of the patients additionally experienced sensory aura regularly. We analysed high-resolution structural MR images using two complimentary approaches and compared patients with and without sensory aura. Patients were also compared to controls. We found no differences of grey matter density or cortical thickness between patients with and without sensory aura and no differences for the cortical visual areas between patients and controls. The somatosensory cortex was thinner in patients (1.92 mm vs. 1.96 mm, P = 0.043) and the anterior cingulate cortex of patients had a decreased grey matter density (P = 0.039) compared to controls. These differences were not correlated to the clinical characteristics. Our results suggest that sensory migraine aura is not associated with altered grey matter structure and that patients with visual aura have normal cortical structure of areas involved in visual processing. The observed decreased grey matter volume of the cingulate gyrus in patients compared to controls have previously been reported in migraine with and without aura, but also in a wide range of other neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Most likely, this finding reflects general bias between patients and healthy controls.

  8. Sensory integrative processing in delinquent-prone and non-delinquent-prone adolescents.

    PubMed

    Fanchiang, S P; Snyder, C; Zobel-Lachiusa, J; Loeffler, C B; Thompson, M E

    1990-07-01

    The purposes of this study were to obtain a preliminary description of the sensory integrative and practic abilities of 114 non-delinquent-prone adolescents aged 12 through 18 years and to compare their performances with those of 12 delinquent-prone adolescents with learning problems. Ten of the 17 subtests of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT) (Ayres, 1989) as well as the Finger Posture Imitation Test (Druker, 1980) and the MacQuarrie Test for Mechanical Ability (MacQuarrie, 1925/1953) were administered to both groups. It was hypothesized that performance on some tests would correlate with age in the non-delinquent-prone adolescents. It was also hypothesized that some delinquent-prone adolescents with learning problems would perform significantly worse on the tests of sensory integrative and practic abilities than would the non-delinquent-prone adolescents. A data analysis indicated that performance on the praxis tests, Manual Form Perception, Graphesthesia, and Bilateral Motor Coordination showed a significant age correlation. The results of this study indicated a difference between the two groups, and it was concluded that the delinquent-prone group performed more poorly on all of the praxis-related tests and on the absolute values of the tests of Postrotary Nystagmus, Standing and Walking Balance, and Bilateral Motor Coordination. Some of the vestibular- and praxis-related tests, therefore, may still provide useful information on children older than 8 years of age.

  9. Two-photon scanning microscopy of in vivo sensory responses of cortical neurons genetically encoded with a fluorescent voltage sensor in rat

    PubMed Central

    Ahrens, Kurt F.; Heider, Barbara; Lee, Hanson; Isacoff, Ehud Y.; Siegel, Ralph M.

    2012-01-01

    A fluorescent voltage sensor protein “Flare” was created from a Kv1.4 potassium channel with YFP situated to report voltage-induced conformational changes in vivo. The RNA virus Sindbis introduced Flare into neurons in the binocular region of visual cortex in rat. Injection sites were selected based on intrinsic optical imaging. Expression of Flare occurred in the cell bodies and dendritic processes. Neurons imaged in vivo using two-photon scanning microscopy typically revealed the soma best, discernable against the background labeling of the neuropil. Somatic fluorescence changes were correlated with flashed visual stimuli; however, averaging was essential to observe these changes. This study demonstrates that the genetic modification of single neurons to express a fluorescent voltage sensor can be used to assess neuronal activity in vivo. PMID:22461770

  10. Sensory syndromes in parietal stroke.

    PubMed

    Bassetti, C; Bogousslavsky, J; Regli, F

    1993-10-01

    We studied 20 patients with an acute parietal stroke with hemisensory disturbances but no visual field deficit and no or only slight motor weakness, without thalamic involvement on CT or MRI and found three main sensory syndromes. (1) The pseudothalamic sensory syndrome consists of a faciobrachiocrural impairment of elementary sensation (touch, pain, temperature, vibration). All patients have an inferior-anterior parietal stroke involving the parietal operculum, posterior insula, and, in all but one patient, underlying white matter. (2) The cortical sensory syndrome consists of an isolated loss of discriminative sensation (stereognosis, graphesthesia, position sense) involving one or two parts of the body. These patients show a superior-posterior parietal stroke. (3) The atypical sensory syndrome consists of a sensory loss involving all modalities of sensation in a partial distribution. Parietal lesions of different topography are responsible for this clinical picture, which probably represents a minor variant of the two previous sensory syndromes. Neuropsychological dysfunction was present in 17 patients. The only constant association was between conduction aphasia and right-sided pseudothalamic sensory deficit. We conclude that parietal stroke can cause different sensory syndromes depending on the topography of the underlying lesion. Sensory deficits can be monosymptomatic but never present as a "pure sensory stroke" involving face, arm, leg, and trunk together.

  11. Algal sensory photoreceptors.

    PubMed

    Hegemann, Peter

    2008-01-01

    Only five major types of sensory photoreceptors (BLUF-proteins, cryptochromes, phototropins, phytochromes, and rhodopsins) are used in nature to regulate developmental processes, photosynthesis, photoorientation, and control of the circadian clock. Sensory photoreceptors of algae and protists are exceptionally rich in structure and function; light-gated ion channels and photoactivated adenylate cyclases are unique examples. During the past ten years major progress has been made with respect to understanding the function, photochemistry, and structure of key sensory players of the algal kingdom.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Effects of Heparin and Enoxaparin on APP Processing and Aβ Production in Primary Cortical Neurons from Tg2576 Mice

    PubMed Central

    Cui, Hao; Hung, Amos C.; Klaver, David W.; Suzuki, Toshiharu; Freeman, Craig; Narkowicz, Christian; Jacobson, Glenn A.; Small, David H.

    2011-01-01

    Background Alzheimer's disease (AD) is caused by accumulation of Aβ, which is produced through sequential cleavage of β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) by the β-site APP cleaving enzyme (BACE1) and γ-secretase. Enoxaparin, a low molecular weight form of the glycosaminoglycan (GAG) heparin, has been reported to lower Aβ plaque deposition and improve cognitive function in AD transgenic mice. Methodology/Principal Findings We examined whether heparin and enoxaparin influence APP processing and inhibit Aβ production in primary cortical cell cultures. Heparin and enoxaparin were incubated with primary cortical cells derived from Tg2576 mice, and the level of APP and proteolytic products of APP (sAPPα, C99, C83 and Aβ) was measured by western blotting. Treatment of the cells with heparin or enoxaparin had no significant effect on the level of total APP. However, both GAGs decreased the level of C99 and C83, and inhibited sAPPα and Aβ secretion. Heparin also decreased the level of β-secretase (BACE1) and α-secretase (ADAM10). In contrast, heparin had no effect on the level of ADAM17. Conclusions/Significance The data indicate that heparin and enoxaparin decrease APP processing via both α- and β-secretase pathways. The possibility that GAGs may be beneficial for the treatment of AD needs further study. PMID:21829577

  15. Functional role of induced gamma oscillatory responses in processing noxious and innocuous sensory events in humans.

    PubMed

    Liu, C C; Chien, J H; Chang, Y W; Kim, J H; Anderson, W S; Lenz, F A

    2015-12-01

    Gamma time-frequency responses (TFRs) induced by painful laser in the contralateral primary somatosensory (SI) cortex have been shown to correlate with perceived pain-intensity in human. Given the functional roles of gamma TFRs in the cortical spaces, it remains unclear whether such a relationship is sustained for other brain regions where the laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) are presented. In this study, we delivered the painful laser pluses at random pain-intensity levels (i.e. strong, medium and weak) in a single train to the dorsal hand of six patients with uncontrolled epilepsy. The laser stimulus produced a painful pinprick sensation by activating nociceptors located in the superficial layers of the skin. For each patient, arrays of >64 subdural electrodes were implanted directly covering the contralateral SI, parasylvian (PS) and medial frontal (MF) cortices to study the stimulus related gamma (TFRs) in the neocortex. In addition, using the same stimulation paradigm, the modality specificity of gamma TFRs was further examined by applying innocuous vibrotactile stimuli to the same regions of the dorsal hand in a separated group of five patients. Our results showed that gamma TFRs are not modality specific, but the largest gamma TFRs were consistently found within the SI region and noxious laser elicited significantly stronger gamma TFRs than innocuous nonpainful vibratory stimuli. Furthermore, stronger pain induced stronger gamma TFRs in the cortices of SI (r=0.4, p<0.001) and PS (r=0.29, p=0.005). Given that potentially harmful noxious stimulus would automatically capture greater attention than the innocuous ones, our results support the hypothesis that the degree of SI and PS gamma TFRs is associated with an attentional drive provoked by painful stimuli. PMID:26408986

  16. Capsaicin failed in suppressing cortical processing of CO2 laser pain in migraine patients.

    PubMed

    de Tommaso, Marina; Losito, Luciana; Difruscolo, Olimpia; Sardaro, Michele; Libro, Giuseppe; Guido, Marco; Lamberti, Paolo; Livrea, Paolo

    The aim of this study was to compare the properties of the nociceptive system in eight migraine without aura patients in the pain-free phase with 10 healthy controls, by evaluating the topography and the source of the CO2 laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) obtained by the right supraorbital skin, during and after capsaicin topical application. In healthy subjects the acute cutaneous pain induced by capsaicin reduced the amplitude of the vertex LEPs and induced a posterior shifting of the P2 wave dipolar source within the anterior cingulate cortex. These functional changes seemed significantly reduced in migraine patients, for a disturbed pattern of pain modulation at the cortical level, which may subtend the onset and persistence of migraine. PMID:15927376

  17. Capsaicin failed in suppressing cortical processing of CO2 laser pain in migraine patients.

    PubMed

    de Tommaso, Marina; Losito, Luciana; Difruscolo, Olimpia; Sardaro, Michele; Libro, Giuseppe; Guido, Marco; Lamberti, Paolo; Livrea, Paolo

    The aim of this study was to compare the properties of the nociceptive system in eight migraine without aura patients in the pain-free phase with 10 healthy controls, by evaluating the topography and the source of the CO2 laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) obtained by the right supraorbital skin, during and after capsaicin topical application. In healthy subjects the acute cutaneous pain induced by capsaicin reduced the amplitude of the vertex LEPs and induced a posterior shifting of the P2 wave dipolar source within the anterior cingulate cortex. These functional changes seemed significantly reduced in migraine patients, for a disturbed pattern of pain modulation at the cortical level, which may subtend the onset and persistence of migraine.

  18. Sensory processing within cockroach antenna enables rapid implementation of feedback control for high-speed running maneuvers.

    PubMed

    Mongeau, Jean-Michel; Sponberg, Simon N; Miller, John P; Full, Robert J

    2015-08-01

    Animals are remarkably stable during high-speed maneuvers. As the speed of locomotion increases, neural bandwidth and processing delays can limit the ability to achieve and maintain stable control. Processing the information of sensory stimuli into a control signal within the sensor itself could enable rapid implementation of whole-body feedback control during high-speed locomotion. Here, we show that processing in antennal afferents is sufficient to act as the control signal for a fast sensorimotor loop. American cockroaches Periplaneta americana use their antennae to mediate escape running by tracking vertical surfaces such as walls. A control theoretic model of wall following predicts that stable control is possible if the animal can compute wall position (P) and velocity, its derivative (D). Previous whole-nerve recordings from the antenna during simulated turning experiments demonstrated a population response consistent with P and D encoding, and suggested that the response was synchronized with the timing of a turn executed while wall following. Here, we record extracellularly from individual mechanoreceptors distributed along the antenna and show that these receptors encode D and have distinct latencies and filtering properties. The summed output of these receptors can be used as a control signal for rapid steering maneuvers. The D encoding within the antenna in addition to the temporal filtering properties and P dependence of the population of afferents support a sensory-encoding notion from control theory. Our findings support the notion that peripheral sensory processing can enable rapid implementation of whole-body feedback control during rapid running maneuvers.

  19. Increased auditory cortical representation in musicians.

    PubMed

    Pantev, C; Oostenveld, R; Engelien, A; Ross, B; Roberts, L E; Hoke, M

    1998-04-23

    Acoustic stimuli are processed throughout the auditory projection pathway, including the neocortex, by neurons that are aggregated into 'tonotopic' maps according to their specific frequency tunings. Research on animals has shown that tonotopic representations are not statically fixed in the adult organism but can reorganize after damage to the cochlea or after training the intact subject to discriminate between auditory stimuli. Here we used functional magnetic source imaging (single dipole model) to measure cortical representations in highly skilled musicians. Dipole moments for piano tones, but not for pure tones of similar fundamental frequency (matched in loudness), were found to be enlarged by about 25% in musicians compared with control subjects who had never played an instrument. Enlargement was correlated with the age at which musicians began to practise and did not differ between musicians with absolute or relative pitch. These results, when interpreted with evidence for modified somatosensory representations of the fingering digits in skilled violinists, suggest that use-dependent functional reorganization extends across the sensory cortices to reflect the pattern of sensory input processed by the subject during development of musical skill.

  20. The signer and the sign: cortical correlates of person identity and language processing from point-light displays.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Ruth; Capek, Cheryl M; Gazarian, Karine; MacSweeney, Mairéad; Woll, Bencie; David, Anthony S; McGuire, Philip K; Brammer, Michael J

    2011-09-01

    In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these conditions replicated those previously reported for full-image displays, including regions within the inferior temporal cortex that are specialised for face and body-part identification, although such body parts were invisible in the display. Right frontal regions were also recruited - a pattern not usually seen in full-image SL processing. This activation may reflect the recruitment of information about person identity from the reduced display. A direct comparison of identify-signer and identify-sign conditions showed these tasks relied to a different extent on the posterior inferior regions. Signer identification elicited greater activation than sign identification in (bilateral) inferior temporal gyri (BA 37/19), fusiform gyri (BA 37), middle and posterior portions of the middle temporal gyri (BAs 37 and 19), and superior temporal gyri (BA 22 and 42). Right inferior frontal cortex was a further focus of differential activation (signer>sign). These findings suggest that the neural systems supporting point-light displays for the processing of SL rely on a cortical network including areas of the inferior temporal cortex specialized for face and body identification. While this might be predicted from other studies of whole body point-light actions (Vaina, Solomon, Chowdhury, Sinha, & Belliveau, 2001) it is not predicted from the perspective of spoken language processing, where voice characteristics and speech content recruit distinct cortical regions (Stevens, 2004) in addition to a common network. In this respect, our findings contrast with studies of voice/speech recognition (Von Kriegstein, Kleinschmidt, Sterzer

  1. The signer and the sign: cortical correlates of person identity and language processing from point-light displays.

    PubMed

    Campbell, Ruth; Capek, Cheryl M; Gazarian, Karine; MacSweeney, Mairéad; Woll, Bencie; David, Anthony S; McGuire, Philip K; Brammer, Michael J

    2011-09-01

    In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these conditions replicated those previously reported for full-image displays, including regions within the inferior temporal cortex that are specialised for face and body-part identification, although such body parts were invisible in the display. Right frontal regions were also recruited - a pattern not usually seen in full-image SL processing. This activation may reflect the recruitment of information about person identity from the reduced display. A direct comparison of identify-signer and identify-sign conditions showed these tasks relied to a different extent on the posterior inferior regions. Signer identification elicited greater activation than sign identification in (bilateral) inferior temporal gyri (BA 37/19), fusiform gyri (BA 37), middle and posterior portions of the middle temporal gyri (BAs 37 and 19), and superior temporal gyri (BA 22 and 42). Right inferior frontal cortex was a further focus of differential activation (signer>sign). These findings suggest that the neural systems supporting point-light displays for the processing of SL rely on a cortical network including areas of the inferior temporal cortex specialized for face and body identification. While this might be predicted from other studies of whole body point-light actions (Vaina, Solomon, Chowdhury, Sinha, & Belliveau, 2001) it is not predicted from the perspective of spoken language processing, where voice characteristics and speech content recruit distinct cortical regions (Stevens, 2004) in addition to a common network. In this respect, our findings contrast with studies of voice/speech recognition (Von Kriegstein, Kleinschmidt, Sterzer

  2. Cortico-cortical communication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Roland, Per E.; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Deco, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    In principle, cortico-cortical communication dynamics is simple: neurons in one cortical area communicate by sending action potentials that release glutamate and excite their target neurons in other cortical areas. In practice, knowledge about cortico-cortical communication dynamics is minute. One reason is that no current technique can capture the fast spatio-temporal cortico-cortical evolution of action potential transmission and membrane conductances with sufficient spatial resolution. A combination of optogenetics and monosynaptic tracing with virus can reveal the spatio-temporal cortico-cortical dynamics of specific neurons and their targets, but does not reveal how the dynamics evolves under natural conditions. Spontaneous ongoing action potentials also spread across cortical areas and are difficult to separate from structured evoked and intrinsic brain activity such as thinking. At a certain state of evolution, the dynamics may engage larger populations of neurons to drive the brain to decisions, percepts and behaviors. For example, successfully evolving dynamics to sensory transients can appear at the mesoscopic scale revealing how the transient is perceived. As a consequence of these methodological and conceptual difficulties, studies in this field comprise a wide range of computational models, large-scale measurements (e.g., by MEG, EEG), and a combination of invasive measurements in animal experiments. Further obstacles and challenges of studying cortico-cortical communication dynamics are outlined in this critical review. PMID:24847217

  3. Complex metabolically demanding sensory processing in the olfactory system: implications for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Restrepo, Diego; Hellier, Jennifer L; Salcedo, Ernesto

    2014-09-01

    Although the olfactory system is not generally associated with seizures, sharp application of odor eliciting activity in a large number of olfactory sensory neurons (OSNs) has been shown to elicit seizures. This is most likely due to increased ictal activity in the anterior piriform cortex-an area of the olfactory system that has limited GABAergic interneuron inhibition of pyramidal output cell activity. Such hyperexcitability in a well-characterized and highly accessible system makes olfaction a potentially powerful model system to examine epileptogenesis.

  4. Visual, Auditory, and Cross Modal Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism: An EEG Power and BOLD fMRI Investigation.

    PubMed

    Hames, Elizabeth' C; Murphy, Brandi; Rajmohan, Ravi; Anderson, Ronald C; Baker, Mary; Zupancic, Stephen; O'Boyle, Michael; Richman, David

    2016-01-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) and blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imagining (BOLD fMRI) assessed the neurocorrelates of sensory processing of visual and auditory stimuli in 11 adults with autism (ASD) and 10 neurotypical (NT) controls between the ages of 20-28. We hypothesized that ASD performance on combined audiovisual trials would be less accurate with observable decreased EEG power across frontal, temporal, and occipital channels and decreased BOLD fMRI activity in these same regions; reflecting deficits in key sensory processing areas. Analysis focused on EEG power, BOLD fMRI, and accuracy. Lower EEG beta power and lower left auditory cortex fMRI activity were seen in ASD compared to NT when they were presented with auditory stimuli as demonstrated by contrasting the activity from the second presentation of an auditory stimulus in an all auditory block vs. the second presentation of a visual stimulus in an all visual block (AA2-VV2).We conclude that in ASD, combined audiovisual processing is more similar than unimodal processing to NTs. PMID:27148020

  5. Visual, Auditory, and Cross Modal Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism: An EEG Power and BOLD fMRI Investigation

    PubMed Central

    Hames, Elizabeth’ C.; Murphy, Brandi; Rajmohan, Ravi; Anderson, Ronald C.; Baker, Mary; Zupancic, Stephen; O’Boyle, Michael; Richman, David

    2016-01-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) and blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imagining (BOLD fMRI) assessed the neurocorrelates of sensory processing of visual and auditory stimuli in 11 adults with autism (ASD) and 10 neurotypical (NT) controls between the ages of 20–28. We hypothesized that ASD performance on combined audiovisual trials would be less accurate with observable decreased EEG power across frontal, temporal, and occipital channels and decreased BOLD fMRI activity in these same regions; reflecting deficits in key sensory processing areas. Analysis focused on EEG power, BOLD fMRI, and accuracy. Lower EEG beta power and lower left auditory cortex fMRI activity were seen in ASD compared to NT when they were presented with auditory stimuli as demonstrated by contrasting the activity from the second presentation of an auditory stimulus in an all auditory block vs. the second presentation of a visual stimulus in an all visual block (AA2-VV2).We conclude that in ASD, combined audiovisual processing is more similar than unimodal processing to NTs. PMID:27148020

  6. Spatiotemporal SERT expression in cortical map development.

    PubMed

    Chen, Xiaoning; Petit, Emilie I; Dobrenis, Kostantin; Sze, Ji Ying

    2016-09-01

    The cerebral cortex is organized into morphologically distinct areas that provide biological frameworks underlying perception, cognition, and behavior. Profiling mouse and human cortical transcriptomes have revealed temporal-specific differential gene expression modules in distinct neocortical areas during cortical map establishment. However, the biological roles of spatiotemporal gene expression in cortical patterning and how cortical topographic gene expression is regulated are largely unknown. Here, we characterize temporal- and spatial-defined expression of serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT) in glutamatergic neurons during sensory map development in mice. SERT is transiently expressed in glutamatergic thalamic neurons projecting to sensory cortices and in pyramidal neurons in the prefrontal cortex (PFC) and hippocampus (HPC) during the period that lays down the basic functional neural circuits. We previously identified that knockout of SERT in the thalamic neurons blocks 5-HT uptake by their thalamocortical axons, resulting in excessive 5-HT signaling that impairs sensory map architecture. In contrast, here we show that selective SERT knockout in the PFC and HPC neurons does not perturb sensory map patterning. These data suggest that transient SERT expression in specific glutamatergic neurons provides area-specific instructions for cortical map patterning. Hence, genetic and pharmacological manipulations of this SERT function could illuminate the fundamental genetic programming of cortex-specific maps and biological roles of temporal-specific cortical topographic gene expression in normal development and mental disorders. PMID:27282696

  7. Sensory sensitivities and performance on sensory perceptual tasks in high-functioning individuals with autism

    PubMed Central

    Minshew, Nancy J.; Hobson, Jessica A.

    2011-01-01

    Despite extensive reports of sensory symptoms in autism, there is little empirical support for their neurological basis. Sixty individuals with high-functioning autism and 61 matched typical comparison participants were administered a sensory questionnaire and standardized neuropsychological tests of elementary and higher cortical sensory perception. Thirty-two per cent of participants with autism endorsed more sensory sensitivity items than any of the participants in the comparison group. On the sensory perceptual exam, both groups made few errors on elementary sensory perception items. Controls made few errors on higher cortical sensory perception items, but 30% of the participants with autism made high numbers of errors, though there was no evidence of the neglect syndrome. There was little correlation between the sensory sensitivities and the sensory perceptual deficits, likely due to the low correspondence between the measures. These results support the common occurrence of disturbances in sensory experiences in high functioning individuals with autism based on first person report, and the presence of neurological abnormalities in higher cortical sensory perception. PMID:18302014

  8. Synaptic communication and signal processing among sensory cells in taste buds.

    PubMed

    Chaudhari, Nirupa

    2014-08-15

    Taste buds (sensory structures embedded in oral epithelium) show a remarkable diversity of transmitters synthesized and secreted locally. The known transmitters accumulate in a cell type selective manner, with 5-HT and noradrenaline being limited to presynaptic cells, GABA being synthesized in both presynaptic and glial-like cells, and acetylcholine and ATP used for signalling by receptor cells. Each of these transmitters participates in local negative or positive feedback circuits that target particular cell types. Overall, the role of ATP is the best elucidated. ATP serves as a principal afferent transmitter, and also is the key trigger for autocrine positive feedback and paracrine circuits that result in potentiation (via adenosine) or inhibition (via GABA or 5-HT). While many of the cellular receptors and mechanisms for these circuits are known, their impact on sensory detection and perception remains to be elaborated in most instances. This brief review examines what is known, and some of the open questions and controversies surrounding the transmitters and circuits of the taste periphery.

  9. Persistent Structural Plasticity Optimizes Sensory Information Processing in the Olfactory Bulb.

    PubMed

    Sailor, Kurt A; Valley, Matthew T; Wiechert, Martin T; Riecke, Hermann; Sun, Gerald J; Adams, Wayne; Dennis, James C; Sharafi, Shirin; Ming, Guo-Li; Song, Hongjun; Lledo, Pierre-Marie

    2016-07-20

    In the mammalian brain, the anatomical structure of neural circuits changes little during adulthood. As a result, adult learning and memory are thought to result from specific changes in synaptic strength. A possible exception is the olfactory bulb (OB), where activity guides interneuron turnover throughout adulthood. These adult-born granule cell (GC) interneurons form new GABAergic synapses that have little synaptic strength plasticity. In the face of persistent neuronal and synaptic turnover, how does the OB balance flexibility, as is required for adapting to changing sensory environments, with perceptual stability? Here we show that high dendritic spine turnover is a universal feature of GCs, regardless of their developmental origin and age. We find matching dynamics among postsynaptic sites on the principal neurons receiving the new synaptic inputs. We further demonstrate in silico that this coordinated structural plasticity is consistent with stable, yet flexible, decorrelated sensory representations. Together, our study reveals that persistent, coordinated synaptic structural plasticity between interneurons and principal neurons is a major mode of functional plasticity in the OB. PMID:27373833

  10. Synaptic communication and signal processing among sensory cells in taste buds

    PubMed Central

    Chaudhari, Nirupa

    2014-01-01

    Taste buds (sensory structures embedded in oral epithelium) show a remarkable diversity of transmitters synthesized and secreted locally. The known transmitters accumulate in a cell type selective manner, with 5-HT and noradrenaline being limited to presynaptic cells, GABA being synthesized in both presynaptic and glial-like cells, and acetylcholine and ATP used for signalling by receptor cells. Each of these transmitters participates in local negative or positive feedback circuits that target particular cell types. Overall, the role of ATP is the best elucidated. ATP serves as a principal afferent transmitter, and also is the key trigger for autocrine positive feedback and paracrine circuits that result in potentiation (via adenosine) or inhibition (via GABA or 5-HT). While many of the cellular receptors and mechanisms for these circuits are known, their impact on sensory detection and perception remains to be elaborated in most instances. This brief review examines what is known, and some of the open questions and controversies surrounding the transmitters and circuits of the taste periphery. PMID:24665098

  11. Flexible Sensory Representations in Auditory Cortex Driven by Behavioral Relevance.

    PubMed

    Kato, Hiroyuki K; Gillet, Shea N; Isaacson, Jeffry S

    2015-12-01

    Animals require the ability to ignore sensory stimuli that have no consequence yet respond to the same stimuli when they become useful. However, the brain circuits that govern this flexibility in sensory processing are not well understood. Here we show in mouse primary auditory cortex (A1) that daily passive sound exposure causes a long-lasting reduction in representations of the experienced sound by layer 2/3 pyramidal cells. This habituation arises locally in A1 and involves an enhancement in inhibition and selective upregulation in the activity of somatostatin-expressing inhibitory neurons (SOM cells). Furthermore, when mice engage in sound-guided behavior, pyramidal cell excitatory responses to habituated sounds are enhanced, whereas SOM cell responses are diminished. Together, our results demonstrate the bidirectional modulation of A1 sensory representations and suggest that SOM cells gate cortical information flow based on the behavioral relevance of the stimulus. PMID:26586181

  12. Applications of brain blood flow imaging in behavioral neurophysiology: cortical field activation hypothesis

    SciTech Connect

    Roland, P.E.

    1985-01-01

    The /sup 133/xenon intracarotid method for rCBF measurements has been a very useful method for functional mapping and functional dissection of the cerebral cortex in humans. With this method it has been shown that different types of cortical information treatment activate different cortical areas and furthermore that sensory and motor functions of the cerebral cortex could be dissected into anatomical and informational subcomponents by behavioral manipulations. The brain organizes its own activity. One of the principles of organization was that the brain could recruit in advance cortical fields that were expected to participate in a certain type of information operation. During brain work in awake human beings the cerebral cortex was activated in fields that, projected on the cerebral surface, most often had a size greater than 3 CM/sup 2/. Such activated fields appeared no matter which type of information processing was going on in the brain: during planning and execution of voluntary movements, during preparation for sensory information processing, and during sensory information processing, as well as during cognitive brain work and retrieval of specific memories. Therefore, it was hypothesized that cortical field activation was the physiological manifestation of normal brain work in awake humans.

  13. Cardiac and electro-cortical concomitants of social feedback processing in women.

    PubMed

    Dekkers, Laura M S; van der Molen, Melle J W; Gunther Moor, Bregtje; van der Veen, Frederik M; van der Molen, Maurits W

    2015-11-01

    This study provides a joint analysis of the cardiac and electro-cortical-early and late P3 and feedback-related negativity (FRN)-responses to social acceptance and rejection feedback. Twenty-five female participants performed on a social- and age-judgment control task, in which they received feedback with respect to their liking and age judgments, respectively. Consistent with previous reports, results revealed transient cardiac slowing to be selectively prolonged to unexpected social rejection feedback. Late P3 amplitude was more pronounced to unexpected relative to expected feedback. Both early and late P3 amplitudes were shown to be context dependent, in that they were more pronounced to social as compared with non-social feedback. FRN amplitudes were more pronounced to unexpected relative to expected feedback, irrespective of context and feedback valence. This pattern of findings indicates that social acceptance and rejection feedback have widespread effects on bodily state and brain function, which are modulated by prior expectancies. PMID:25870439

  14. Right-left asymmetry in the cortical processing of sounds for social communication vs. navigation in mustached bats.

    PubMed

    Kanwal, Jagmeet S

    2012-01-01

    In the Doppler-shifted constant frequency processing area in the primary auditory cortex of mustached bats, Pteronotus parnellii, neurons respond to both social calls and to echolocation signals. This multifunctional nature of cortical neurons creates a paradox for simultaneous processing of two behaviorally distinct categories of sound. To test the possibility of a stimulus-specific hemispheric bias, single-unit responses were obtained to both types of sounds, calls and pulse-echo tone pairs, from the right and left auditory cortex. Neurons on the left exhibited only slightly higher peak response magnitudes for their respective best calls, but they showed a significantly higher sensitivity (lower response thresholds) to calls than neurons on the right. On average, call-to-tone response ratios were significantly higher for neurons on the left than for those on the right. Neurons on the right responded significantly more strongly to pulse-echo tone pairs than those on the left. Overall, neurons in males responded to pulse-echo tone pairs with a much higher spike count compared to females, but this difference was less pronounced for calls. Multidimensional scaling of call responses yielded a segregated representation of call types only on the left. These data establish for the first time, a behaviorally directed right-left asymmetry at the level of single cortical neurons. It is proposed that a lateralized cortex emerges from multiparametric integration (e.g. combination-sensitivity) within a neuron and inhibitory interactions between neurons that come into play during the processing of complex sounds.

  15. Cortical plasticity and rehabilitation.

    PubMed

    Moucha, Raluca; Kilgard, Michael P

    2006-01-01

    The brain is constantly adapting to environmental and endogenous changes (including injury) that occur at every stage of life. The mechanisms that regulate neural plasticity have been refined over millions of years. Motivation and sensory experience directly shape the rewiring that makes learning and neurological recovery possible. Guiding neural reorganization in a manner that facilitates recovery of function is a primary goal of neurological rehabilitation. As the rules that govern neural plasticity become better understood, it will be possible to manipulate the sensory and motor experience of patients to induce specific forms of plasticity. This review summarizes our current knowledge regarding factors that regulate cortical plasticity, illustrates specific forms of reorganization induced by control of each factor, and suggests how to exploit these factors for clinical benefit.

  16. Age-related changes in the thickness of cortical zones in humans.

    PubMed

    McGinnis, Scott M; Brickhouse, Michael; Pascual, Belen; Dickerson, Bradford C

    2011-10-01

    Structural neuroimaging studies have demonstrated that all regions of the cortex are not affected equally by aging, with frontal regions appearing especially susceptible to atrophy. The "last in, first out" hypothesis posits that aging is, in a sense, the inverse of development: late-maturing regions of the brain are preferentially vulnerable to age-related loss of structural integrity. We tested this hypothesis by analyzing age-related changes in regional cortical thickness via three methods: (1) an exploratory linear regression of cortical thickness and age across the entire cortical mantle (2) an analysis of age-related differences in the thickness of zones of cortex defined by functional/cytoarchitectural affiliation (including primary sensory/motor, unimodal association, heteromodal association, and paralimbic zones), and (3) an analysis of age-related differences in the thickness of regions of cortex defined by surface area expansion in the period between birth and early adulthood. Subjects were grouped as young (aged 18-29, n = 138), middle-aged (aged 30-59, n = 80), young-old (aged 60-79, n = 60), and old-old (aged 80+, n = 38). Thinning of the cortex between young and middle-aged adults was greatest in heteromodal association cortex and regions of high postnatal surface area expansion. In contrast, thinning in old-old age was greatest in primary sensory/motor cortices and regions of low postnatal surface area expansion. In sum, these results lead us to propose a sequential "developmental-sensory" model of aging, in which developmental factors influence cortical vulnerability relatively early in the aging process, whereas later-in more advanced stages of aging-factors specific to primary sensory and motor cortices confer vulnerability. This model offers explicitly testable hypotheses and suggests the possibility that normal aging may potentially allow for multiple opportunities for intervention to promote the structural integrity of the cerebral

  17. TUTORIAL: Beyond sensory substitution—learning the sixth sense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagel, Saskia K.; Carl, Christine; Kringe, Tobias; Märtin, Robert; König, Peter

    2005-12-01

    Rapid advances in neuroscience have sparked numerous efforts to study the neural correlate of consciousness. Prominent subjects include higher sensory area, distributed assemblies bound by synchronization of neuronal activity and neurons in specific cortical laminae. In contrast, it has been suggested that the quality of sensory awareness is determined by systematic change of afferent signals resulting from behaviour and knowledge thereof. Support for such skill-based theories of perception is provided by experiments on sensory substitution. Here, we pursue this line of thought and create new sensorimotor contingencies and, hence, a new quality of perception. Adult subjects received orientation information, obtained by a magnetic compass, via vibrotactile stimulation around the waist. After six weeks of training we evaluated integration of the new input by a battery of tests. The results indicate that the sensory information provided by the belt (1) is processed and boosts performance, (2) if inconsistent with other sensory signals leads to variable performance, (3) does interact with the vestibular nystagmus and (4) in half of the experimental subjects leads to qualitative changes of sensory experience. These data support the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be learned and integrated into behaviour and affect perceptual experience.

  18. Habituation of the acoustic and the tactile startle responses in mice: two independent sensory processes.

    PubMed

    Pilz, Peter K D; Carl, Thomas D; Plappert, Claudia F

    2004-10-01

    To test whether habituation is specific to the stimulus modality, the authors analyzed cross-habituation between the tactile startle response' (TSR) and the acoustic startle response (ASR). The acoustic artifacts of airpuffs used to elicit the TSR were reduced by using a silencer and were effectively masked by background noise of 90-100 dB sound-pressure level. ASR was elicited by 14-kHz tones. TSR and ASR habituated in DBA and BALB mice: both the TSR and ASR habituated to a greater extent in DBA mice than in BALB mice. In both strains, habituation of the TSR did not generalize to the ASR, and vice versa. From this, the authors concluded that habituation of startle is located in the sensory afferent branches of the pathway.

  19. Magnitude Processing in the Brain: An fMRI Study of Time, Space, and Numerosity as a Shared Cortical System

    PubMed Central

    Skagerlund, Kenny; Karlsson, Thomas; Träff, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Continuous dimensions, such as time, space, and numerosity, have been suggested to be subserved by common neurocognitive mechanisms. Neuroimaging studies that have investigated either one or two dimensions simultaneously have consistently identified neural correlates in the parietal cortex of the brain. However, studies investigating the degree of neural overlap across several dimensions are inconclusive, and it remains an open question whether a potential overlap can be conceptualized as a neurocognitive magnitude processing system. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigated the potential neurocognitive overlap across three dimensions. A sample of adults (N = 24) performed three different magnitude processing tasks: a temporal discrimination task, a number discrimination task, and a line length discrimination task. A conjunction analysis revealed several overlapping neural substrates across multiple magnitude dimensions, and we argue that these cortical nodes comprise a distributed magnitude processing system. Key components of this predominantly right-lateralized system include the intraparietal sulcus, insula, premotor cortex/SMA, and inferior frontal gyrus. Together with previous research highlighting intraparietal sulcus, our results suggest that the insula also is a core component of the magnitude processing system. We discuss the functional role of each of these components in the magnitude processing system and suggest that further research of this system may provide insight into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders where cognitive deficits in magnitude processing are manifest. PMID:27761110

  20. Optimization of process conditions for Rohu fish in curry medium in retortable pouches using instrumental and sensory characteristics.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Ranendra K; Dhar, Bahni; Roy, Deepayan; Saha, Apurba

    2015-09-01

    'Kalia', a popular preparation of Rohu fish, packed in four-layered laminated retort pouch was processed in a steam/air mixture over-pressure retort at 121.1 °C to three different F 0 values of 7, 8 and 9 min. Time-temperature data were collected during heat processing using an Ellab Sterilization Monitoring System. Texture profile such as hardness, springiness, gumminess and chewiness decreased as the F 0 value increased. The L* values decreased whereas a* and b* values increased with increasing F 0 value. Based on the commercial sterility, sensory evaluation, colour and texture profile analysis, F 0 value of 8 min and cook value of 66 min, with a total process time of 41.7 min at 121.1 °C was found satisfactory for the preparation of Rohu fish curry (Kalia) in retort pouches. PMID:26344980

  1. Effect of drying parameters on physiochemical and sensory properties of fruit powders processed by PGSS-, Vacuum- and Spray-drying.

    PubMed

    Feguš, Urban; Žigon, Uroš; Petermann, Marcus; Knez, Željko

    2015-01-01

    Aim of this experimental work was to investigate the possibility of producing fruit powders without employing drying aid and to investigate the effect of drying temperatures on the final powder characteristics. Raw fruit materials (banana puree, strawberry puree and blueberry concentrate) were processed using three different drying techniques each operating at a different temperature conditions: vacuum-drying (-27-17 °C), Spray-drying (130-160 °C) and PGSS-drying (112-152 °C). Moisture content, total colour difference, antioxidant activity and sensory characteristics of the processed fruit powders were analysed. The results obtained from the experimental work indicate that investigated fruit powders without or with minimal addition of maltodextrin can be produced. Additionally, it was observed that an increase in process temperature results in a higher loss of colour, antioxidant activity and intensity of the flavour profile.

  2. The functional BDNF Val66Met polymorphism affects functions of pre-attentive visual sensory memory processes.

    PubMed

    Beste, Christian; Schneider, Daniel; Epplen, Jörg T; Arning, Larissa

    2011-01-01

    The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a member of the neurotrophin family, is involved in nerve growth and survival. Especially, a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the BDNF gene, Val66Met, has gained a lot of attention, because of its effect on activity-dependent BDNF secretion and its link to impaired memory processes. We hypothesize that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism may have modulatory effects on the visual sensory (iconic) memory performance. Two hundred and eleven healthy German students (106 female and 105 male) were included in the data analysis. Since BDNF is also discussed to be involved in the pathogenesis of depression, we additionally tested for possible interactions with depressive mood. The BDNF Val66Met polymorphism significantly influenced iconic-memory performance, with the combined Val/Met-Met/Met genotype group revealing less time stability of information stored in iconic memory than the Val/Val group. Furthermore, this stability was positively correlated with depressive mood exclusively in the Val/Val genotype group. Thus, these results show that the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism has an effect on pre-attentive visual sensory memory processes.

  3. The highly sensitive brain: an fMRI study of sensory processing sensitivity and response to others' emotions

    PubMed Central

    Acevedo, Bianca P; Aron, Elaine N; Aron, Arthur; Sangster, Matthew-Donald; Collins, Nancy; Brown, Lucy L

    2014-01-01

    Background Theory and research suggest that sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), found in roughly 20% of humans and over 100 other species, is a trait associated with greater sensitivity and responsiveness to the environment and to social stimuli. Self-report studies have shown that high-SPS individuals are strongly affected by others' moods, but no previous study has examined neural systems engaged in response to others' emotions. Methods This study examined the neural correlates of SPS (measured by the standard short-form Highly Sensitive Person [HSP] scale) among 18 participants (10 females) while viewing photos of their romantic partners and of strangers displaying positive, negative, or neutral facial expressions. One year apart, 13 of the 18 participants were scanned twice. Results Across all conditions, HSP scores were associated with increased brain activation of regions involved in attention and action planning (in the cingulate and premotor area [PMA]). For happy and sad photo conditions, SPS was associated with activation of brain regions involved in awareness, integration of sensory information, empathy, and action planning (e.g., cingulate, insula, inferior frontal gyrus [IFG], middle temporal gyrus [MTG], and PMA). Conclusions As predicted, for partner images and for happy facial photos, HSP scores were associated with stronger activation of brain regions involved in awareness, empathy, and self-other processing. These results provide evidence that awareness and responsiveness are fundamental features of SPS, and show how the brain may mediate these traits. PMID:25161824

  4. The effect of thermal processing condition on the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of fermented sausages dried by Quick-Dry-Slice process®.

    PubMed

    Ferrini, G; Arnau, J; Guàrdia, M D; Comaposada, J

    2014-02-01

    The effect of different thermal processing conditions just after fermentation on physicochemical parameters and sensory attributes of salami and chorizo slices dried by Quick-Dry-Slice process®, was evaluated. Meat and common additives were mixed, stuffed and fermented. Previous to drying the sausages were subjected to thermal treatment at 53 °C at different exposure times (0, 50, 65, 80, 95 and 110 min). Finally, the sausages were sliced and dried using QDS process®. Color, instrumental texture and sensory analysis were performed. Lightness (L*) after fermentation increased with thermal processing in both products while redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) decreased only in salami. Thermal treatment after fermentation increased the initial force (F0). Cooked appearance, cooked fat odor, cooked flavor and stringiness increased when the thermal processing time was increased. Thermal processing of salami and chorizo at 53 °C for 50 min and drying up to 30% of weight loss resulted in a similar product to that obtained without thermal processing.

  5. Economic Value Biases Uncertain Perceptual Choices in the Parietal and Prefrontal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Summerfield, Christopher; Koechlin, Etienne

    2010-01-01

    An observer detecting a noisy sensory signal is biased by the costs and benefits associated with its presence or absence. When these costs and benefits are asymmetric, sensory, and economic information must be integrated to inform the final choice. However, it remains unknown how this information is combined at the neural or computational levels. To address this question, we asked healthy human observers to judge the presence or absence of a noisy sensory signal under economic conditions that favored yes responses (liberal blocks), no responses (conservative blocks), or neither response (neutral blocks). Economic information biased fast choices more than slow choices, suggesting that value and sensory information are integrated early in the decision epoch. More formal simulation analyses using an Ornstein–Uhlenbeck process demonstrated that the influence of economic information was best captured by shifting the origin of evidence accumulation toward the more valuable bound. We then used the computational model to generate trial-by-trial estimates of decision-related evidence that were based on combined sensory and economic information (the decision variable or DV), and regressed these against fMRI activity recorded whilst participants performed the task. Extrastriate visual regions responded to the level of sensory input (momentary evidence), but fMRI signals in the parietal and prefrontal cortices responded to the decision variable. These findings support recent single-neuron data suggesting that economic information biases decision-related signals in higher cortical regions. PMID:21267421

  6. Interfacing sensory input with motor output: does the control architecture converge to a serial process along a single channel?

    PubMed

    van de Kamp, Cornelis; Gawthrop, Peter J; Gollee, Henrik; Lakie, Martin; Loram, Ian D

    2013-01-01

    Modular organization in control architecture may underlie the versatility of human motor control; but the nature of the interface relating sensory input through task-selection in the space of performance variables to control actions in the space of the elemental variables is currently unknown. Our central question is whether the control architecture converges to a serial process along a single channel? In discrete reaction time experiments, psychologists have firmly associated a serial single channel hypothesis with refractoriness and response selection [psychological refractory period (PRP)]. Recently, we developed a methodology and evidence identifying refractoriness in sustained control of an external single degree-of-freedom system. We hypothesize that multi-segmental whole-body control also shows refractoriness. Eight participants controlled their whole body to ensure a head marker tracked a target as fast and accurately as possible. Analysis showed enhanced delays in response to stimuli with close temporal proximity to the preceding stimulus. Consistent with our preceding work, this evidence is incompatible with control as a linear time invariant process. This evidence is consistent with a single-channel serial ballistic process within the intermittent control paradigm with an intermittent interval of around 0.5 s. A control architecture reproducing intentional human movement control must reproduce refractoriness. Intermittent control is designed to provide computational time for an online optimization process and is appropriate for flexible adaptive control. For human motor control we suggest that parallel sensory input converges to a serial, single channel process involving planning, selection, and temporal inhibition of alternative responses prior to low dimensional motor output. Such design could aid robots to reproduce the flexibility of human control.

  7. Effect of combined underwater processing and mild pre-cut heat treatment on the sensory quality and storage of fresh-cut cantaloupe melon.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fresh cut fruit, mildly preheated and processed underwater, was shown to have superior sensory quality attributes compared to the control fresh cut fruit processed totally in open air. Less leakage of ions and enhanced plasma membrane integrity was displayed in both the fresh cut fruit processed un...

  8. Visual change detection recruits auditory cortices in early deafness.

    PubMed

    Bottari, Davide; Heimler, Benedetta; Caclin, Anne; Dalmolin, Anna; Giard, Marie-Hélène; Pavani, Francesco

    2014-07-01

    Although cross-modal recruitment of early sensory areas in deafness and blindness is well established, the constraints and limits of these plastic changes remain to be understood. In the case of human deafness, for instance, it is known that visual, tactile or visuo-tactile stimuli can elicit a response within the auditory cortices. Nonetheless, both the timing of these evoked responses and the functional contribution of cross-modally recruited areas remain to be ascertained. In the present study, we examined to what extent auditory cortices of deaf humans participate in high-order visual processes, such as visual change detection. By measuring visual ERPs, in particular the visual MisMatch Negativity (vMMN), and performing source localization, we show that individuals with early deafness (N=12) recruit the auditory cortices when a change in motion direction during shape deformation occurs in a continuous visual motion stream. Remarkably this "auditory" response for visual events emerged with the same timing as the visual MMN in hearing controls (N=12), between 150 and 300 ms after the visual change. Furthermore, the recruitment of auditory cortices for visual change detection in early deaf was paired with a reduction of response within the visual system, indicating a shift from visual to auditory cortices of part of the computational process. The present study suggests that the deafened auditory cortices participate at extracting and storing the visual information and at comparing on-line the upcoming visual events, thus indicating that cross-modally recruited auditory cortices can reach this level of computation.

  9. Processing of sub- and supra-second intervals in the primate brain results from the calibration of neuronal oscillators via sensory, motor, and feedback processes.

    PubMed

    Gupta, Daya S

    2014-01-01

    The processing of time intervals in the sub- to supra-second range by the brain is critical for the interaction of primates with their surroundings in activities, such as foraging and hunting. For an accurate processing of time intervals by the brain, representation of physical time within neuronal circuits is necessary. I propose that time dimension of the physical surrounding is represented in the brain by different types of neuronal oscillators, generating spikes or spike bursts at regular intervals. The proposed oscillators include the pacemaker neurons, tonic inputs, and synchronized excitation and inhibition of inter-connected neurons. Oscillators, which are built inside various circuits of brain, help to form modular clocks, processing time intervals or other temporal characteristics specific to functions of a circuit. Relative or absolute duration is represented within neuronal oscillators by "neural temporal unit," defined as the interval between regularly occurring spikes or spike bursts. Oscillator output is processed to produce changes in activities of neurons, named frequency modulator neuron, wired within a separate module, represented by the rate of change in frequency, and frequency of activities, proposed to encode time intervals. Inbuilt oscillators are calibrated by (a) feedback processes, (b) input of time intervals resulting from rhythmic external sensory stimulation, and (c) synchronous effects of feedback processes and evoked sensory activity. A single active clock is proposed per circuit, which is calibrated by one or more mechanisms. Multiple calibration mechanisms, inbuilt oscillators, and the presence of modular connections prevent a complete loss of interval timing functions of the brain.

  10. A theoretically based index of consciousness independent of sensory processing and behavior.

    PubMed

    Casali, Adenauer G; Gosseries, Olivia; Rosanova, Mario; Boly, Mélanie; Sarasso, Simone; Casali, Karina R; Casarotto, Silvia; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Laureys, Steven; Tononi, Giulio; Massimini, Marcello

    2013-08-14

    One challenging aspect of the clinical assessment of brain-injured, unresponsive patients is the lack of an objective measure of consciousness that is independent of the subject's ability to interact with the external environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that consciousness depends on the brain's ability to support complex activity patterns that are, at once, distributed among interacting cortical areas (integrated) and differentiated in space and time (information-rich). We introduce and test a theory-driven index of the level of consciousness called the perturbational complexity index (PCI). PCI is calculated by (i) perturbing the cortex with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to engage distributed interactions in the brain (integration) and (ii) compressing the spatiotemporal pattern of these electrocortical responses to measure their algorithmic complexity (information). We test PCI on a large data set of TMS-evoked potentials recorded in healthy subjects during wakefulness, dreaming, nonrapid eye movement sleep, and different levels of sedation induced by anesthetic agents (midazolam, xenon, and propofol), as well as in patients who had emerged from coma (vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and locked-in syndrome). PCI reliably discriminated the level of consciousness in single individuals during wakefulness, sleep, and anesthesia, as well as in patients who had emerged from coma and recovered a minimal level of consciousness. PCI can potentially be used for objective determination of the level of consciousness at the bedside.

  11. Influence of sous vide processing, steaming and boiling on vitamin retention and sensory quality in broccoli florets.

    PubMed

    Petersen, M A

    1993-10-01

    In this study the effect of sous vide processing, steaming and traditional boiling of broccoli florets on retention of ascorbic acid, vitamin B6 and folacin was investigated. Freshly prepared samples were also sensorily evaluated. In all heat treatments ascorbic acid was found to have the highest retention, and was therefore judged not to be suitable as an indicator for vitamin retention in general. When the three types of heat treatment were compared, boiling showed lowest retention of all the vitamins examined (45-64% in 5 min), whereas sous-vide processing gave the highest retentions (97-100% in 5 min). Retentions during steaming were a little lower (83-100% in 5 min). Sensory evaluation showed that sous-vide cooked and steamed broccoli florets generally had higher acceptability than boiled. PMID:8249480

  12. Sensory gain control (amplification) as a mechanism of selective attention: electrophysiological and neuroimaging evidence.

    PubMed Central

    Hillyard, S A; Vogel, E K; Luck, S J

    1998-01-01

    Both physiological and behavioral studies have suggested that stimulus-driven neural activity in the sensory pathways can be modulated in amplitude during selective attention. Recordings of event-related brain potentials indicate that such sensory gain control or amplification processes play an important role in visual-spatial attention. Combined event-related brain potential and neuroimaging experiments provide strong evidence that attentional gain control operates at an early stage of visual processing in extrastriate cortical areas. These data support early selection theories of attention and provide a basis for distinguishing between separate mechanisms of attentional suppression (of unattended inputs) and attentional facilitation (of attended inputs). PMID:9770220

  13. Response Surface Optimization of Process Parameters and Fuzzy Analysis of Sensory Data of High Pressure-Temperature Treated Pineapple Puree.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Snehasis; Rao, Pavuluri Srinivasa; Mishra, Hari Niwas

    2015-08-01

    The high-pressure processing conditions were optimized for pineapple puree within the domain of 400-600 MPa, 40-60 °C, and 10-20 min using the response surface methodology (RSM). The target was to maximize the inactivation of polyphenoloxidase (PPO) along with a minimal loss in beneficial bromelain (BRM) activity, ascorbic acid (AA) content, antioxidant capacity, and color in the sample. The optimum condition was 600 MPa, 50 °C, and 13 min, having the highest desirability of 0.604, which resulted in 44% PPO and 47% BRM activities. However, 93% antioxidant activity and 85% AA were retained in optimized sample with a total color change (∆E*) value less than 2.5. A 10-fold reduction in PPO activity was obtained at 600 MPa/70 °C/20 min; however, the thermal degradation of nutrients was severe at this condition. Fuzzy mathematical approach confirmed that sensory acceptance of the optimized sample was close to the fresh sample; whereas, the thermally pasteurized sample (treated at 0.1 MPa, 95 °C for 12 min) had the least sensory score as compared to others.

  14. Response Surface Optimization of Process Parameters and Fuzzy Analysis of Sensory Data of High Pressure-Temperature Treated Pineapple Puree.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Snehasis; Rao, Pavuluri Srinivasa; Mishra, Hari Niwas

    2015-08-01

    The high-pressure processing conditions were optimized for pineapple puree within the domain of 400-600 MPa, 40-60 °C, and 10-20 min using the response surface methodology (RSM). The target was to maximize the inactivation of polyphenoloxidase (PPO) along with a minimal loss in beneficial bromelain (BRM) activity, ascorbic acid (AA) content, antioxidant capacity, and color in the sample. The optimum condition was 600 MPa, 50 °C, and 13 min, having the highest desirability of 0.604, which resulted in 44% PPO and 47% BRM activities. However, 93% antioxidant activity and 85% AA were retained in optimized sample with a total color change (∆E*) value less than 2.5. A 10-fold reduction in PPO activity was obtained at 600 MPa/70 °C/20 min; however, the thermal degradation of nutrients was severe at this condition. Fuzzy mathematical approach confirmed that sensory acceptance of the optimized sample was close to the fresh sample; whereas, the thermally pasteurized sample (treated at 0.1 MPa, 95 °C for 12 min) had the least sensory score as compared to others. PMID:26220205

  15. Spatiotemporal distribution of cortical processing of first and second languages in bilinguals. II. Effects of phonologic and semantic priming.

    PubMed

    Pratt, Hillel; Abbasi, Dalal Abu-Amneh; Bleich, Naomi; Mittelman, Nomi; Starr, Arnold

    2013-11-01

    This study determined the effects of phonology and semantics on the distribution of cortical activity to the second of a pair of words in first and second language (mixed pairs). The effects of relative proficiency in the two languages and linguistic setting (monolinguistic or mixed) are reported in a companion paper. Ten early bilinguals and 14 late bilinguals listened to mixed pairs of words in Arabic (L1) and Hebrew (L2) and indicated whether both words in the pair had the same or different meanings. The spatio-temporal distribution of current densities of event-related potentials were estimated for each language and according to semantic and phonologic relationship (same or different) compared with the first word in the pair. During early processing (<300 ms), brain activity in temporal and temporoparietal auditory areas was enhanced by phonologic incongruence between words in the pair and in Wernicke's area by both phonologic and semantic priming. In contrast, brain activities during late processing (>300 ms) were enhanced by semantic incongruence between the two words, particularly in temporal areas and in left hemisphere Broca's and Wernicke's areas. The latter differences were greater when words were in L2. Surprisingly, no significant effects of relative proficiency on processing the second word in the pair were found. These results indicate that the distribution of brain activity to the second of two words presented bilingually is affected differently during early and late processing by both semantic and phonologic priming by- and incongruence with the immediately preceding word.

  16. Horizontal integration and cortical dynamics.

    PubMed

    Gilbert, C D

    1992-07-01

    We have discussed several results that lead to a view that cells in the visual system are endowed with dynamic properties, influenced by context, expectation, and long-term modifications of the cortical network. These observations will be important for understanding how neuronal ensembles produce a system that perceives, remembers, and adapts to injury. The advantage to being able to observe changes at early stages in a sensory pathway is that one may be able to understand the way in which neuronal ensembles encode and represent images at the level of their receptive field properties, of cortical topographies, and of the patterns of connections between cells participating in a network.

  17. Identification, quantification, and sensory characterization of steviol glycosides from differently processed Stevia rebaudiana commercial extracts.

    PubMed

    Espinoza, María Inés; Vincken, Jean-Paul; Sanders, Mark; Castro, Cristian; Stieger, Markus; Agosin, Eduardo

    2014-12-10

    Stevia rebaudiana is known for its sweet-tasting ent-kaurene diterpenoid glycosides. Several manufacturing strategies are currently employed to obtain Stevia sweeteners with the lowest possible off-flavors. The chemical composition of four commercial S. rebaudiana extracts, obtained by different technologies, was characterized using UHPLC-ESI-MS(n). The composition of one of the ethanol-crystallized extracts (EC2) was entirely rebaudioside A, whereas the enzymatically modified (EM) extract contained the lowest concentration of this compound (2.7 mg/100 mg). The membrane-purified (MP) extract had the highest content of minor natural steviol glycosides (23.7 mg/100 mg total extract) versus an average of 2.4 mg/100 mg total extract for the EC samples. Thirteen trained panelists evaluated sweetness, bitterness, licorice, and metallic attributes of all four extracts. The highest licorice intensity (p ≤ 0.05) was found for MP. Both samples EC1 and EC2, despite their different chemical compositions, showed no significant differences in sensory perception.

  18. Cortical State and Attention

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kenneth D.; Thiele, Alexander

    2012-01-01

    Preface The brain continuously adapts its processing machinery to behavioural demands. To achieve this it rapidly modulates the operating mode of cortical circuits, controlling the way information is transformed and routed. This article will focus on two experimental approaches by which the control of cortical information processing has been investigated: the study of state-dependent cortical processing in rodents, and attention in the primate visual system. Both processes involve a modulation of low-frequency activity fluctuations and spiking correlation, and are mediated by common receptor systems. We suggest that selective attention involves processes similar to state change, operating at a local columnar level to enhance the representation of otherwise nonsalient features while suppressing internally generated activity patterns. PMID:21829219

  19. Electro-cortical manifestations of common vs. proper name processing during reading.

    PubMed

    Adorni, Roberta; Manfredi, Mirella; Proverbio, Alice Mado

    2014-08-01

    The main purpose of the present study was to investigate how proper and common nouns are represented in the brain independent of memory retrieval processes. Participants were instructed to perform a lexical decision task while dense-array EEG was continuously recorded. Both ERP components (namely N400 and P300) and swLORETA suggested that proper name processing engaged a more widespread neural network and required more cognitive resources than common noun processing. Overall, our results come down in favor of the hypothesis that specific effects of proper vs. common noun processing exist, and they suggest a possible neuro-functional segregation of proper vs. common noun processing. The difference in proper and common noun processing seems to emerge at the level of storage or representation of lexical knowledge, and it may crucially depend on their semantic characteristics.

  20. Auditory cortical detection and discrimination correlates with communicative significance.

    PubMed

    Liu, Robert C; Schreiner, Christoph E

    2007-07-01

    Plasticity studies suggest that behavioral relevance can change the cortical processing of trained or conditioned sensory stimuli. However, whether this occurs in the context of natural communication, where stimulus significance is acquired through social interaction, has not been well investigated, perhaps because neural responses to species-specific vocalizations can be difficult to interpret within a systematic framework. The ultrasonic communication system between isolated mouse pups and adult females that either do or do not recognize the calls' significance provides an opportunity to explore this issue. We applied an information-based analysis to multi- and single unit data collected from anesthetized mothers and pup-naïve females to quantify how the communicative significance of pup calls affects their encoding in the auditory cortex. The timing and magnitude of information that cortical responses convey (at a 2-ms resolution) for pup call detection and discrimination was significantly improved in mothers compared to naïve females, most likely because of changes in call frequency encoding. This was not the case for a non-natural sound ensemble outside the mouse vocalization repertoire. The results demonstrate that a sensory cortical change in the timing code for communication sounds is correlated with the vocalizations' behavioral relevance, potentially enhancing functional processing by improving its signal to noise ratio. PMID:17564499

  1. Anatomical imbalance between cortical networks in autism.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Rees, Geraint

    2016-01-01

    Influential psychological models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have proposed that this prevalent developmental disorder results from impairment of global (integrative) information processing and overload of local (sensory) information. However, little neuroanatomical evidence consistent with this account has been reported. Here, we examined relative grey matter volumes (rGMVs) between three cortical networks, how they changed with age, and their relationship with core symptomatology. Using public neuroimaging data of high-functioning ASD males and age-/sex-/IQ-matched controls, we first identified age-associated atypical increases in rGMVs of the regions of two sensory systems (auditory and visual networks), and an age-related aberrant decrease in rGMV of a task-control system (fronto-parietal network, FPN) in ASD children. While the enlarged rGMV of the auditory network in ASD adults was associated with the severity of autistic socio-communicational core symptom, that of the visual network was instead correlated with the severity of restricted and repetitive behaviours in ASD. Notably, the atypically decreased rGMV of FPN predicted both of the two core symptoms. These findings suggest that disproportionate undergrowth of a task-control system (FPN) may be a common anatomical basis for the two ASD core symptoms, and relative overgrowth of the two different sensory systems selectively compounds the distinct symptoms.

  2. Anatomical imbalance between cortical networks in autism

    PubMed Central

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Rees, Geraint

    2016-01-01

    Influential psychological models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have proposed that this prevalent developmental disorder results from impairment of global (integrative) information processing and overload of local (sensory) information. However, little neuroanatomical evidence consistent with this account has been reported. Here, we examined relative grey matter volumes (rGMVs) between three cortical networks, how they changed with age, and their relationship with core symptomatology. Using public neuroimaging data of high-functioning ASD males and age-/sex-/IQ-matched controls, we first identified age-associated atypical increases in rGMVs of the regions of two sensory systems (auditory and visual networks), and an age-related aberrant decrease in rGMV of a task-control system (fronto-parietal network, FPN) in ASD children. While the enlarged rGMV of the auditory network in ASD adults was associated with the severity of autistic socio-communicational core symptom, that of the visual network was instead correlated with the severity of restricted and repetitive behaviours in ASD. Notably, the atypically decreased rGMV of FPN predicted both of the two core symptoms. These findings suggest that disproportionate undergrowth of a task-control system (FPN) may be a common anatomical basis for the two ASD core symptoms, and relative overgrowth of the two different sensory systems selectively compounds the distinct symptoms. PMID:27484308

  3. Anatomical imbalance between cortical networks in autism.

    PubMed

    Watanabe, Takamitsu; Rees, Geraint

    2016-01-01

    Influential psychological models of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have proposed that this prevalent developmental disorder results from impairment of global (integrative) information processing and overload of local (sensory) information. However, little neuroanatomical evidence consistent with this account has been reported. Here, we examined relative grey matter volumes (rGMVs) between three cortical networks, how they changed with age, and their relationship with core symptomatology. Using public neuroimaging data of high-functioning ASD males and age-/sex-/IQ-matched controls, we first identified age-associated atypical increases in rGMVs of the regions of two sensory systems (auditory and visual networks), and an age-related aberrant decrease in rGMV of a task-control system (fronto-parietal network, FPN) in ASD children. While the enlarged rGMV of the auditory network in ASD adults was associated with the severity of autistic socio-communicational core symptom, that of the visual network was instead correlated with the severity of restricted and repetitive behaviours in ASD. Notably, the atypically decreased rGMV of FPN predicted both of the two core symptoms. These findings suggest that disproportionate undergrowth of a task-control system (FPN) may be a common anatomical basis for the two ASD core symptoms, and relative overgrowth of the two different sensory systems selectively compounds the distinct symptoms. PMID:27484308

  4. Cortical Metabolic Arrangement During Olfactory Processing: Proposal for a 18F FDG PET/CT Methodological Approach

    PubMed Central

    Micarelli, Alessandro; Pagani, Marco; Chiaravalloti, Agostino; Bruno, Ernesto; Pavone, Isabella; Candidi, Matteo; Danieli, Roberta; Schillaci, Orazio; Alessandrini, Marco

    2014-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this article is to investigate the cortical metabolic arrangements in olfactory processing by using 18F fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography/computed tomography. Twenty-six normosmic individuals (14 women and 12 men; mean age 46.7 ± 10 years) were exposed to a neutral olfactory condition (NC) and, after 1 month, to a pure olfactory condition (OC) in a relatively ecological environment, that is, outside the scanner. All the subjects were injected with 185–210 megabecquerel of 18F FDG during both stimulations. Statistical parametric mapping version 2 was used in order to assess differences between NC and OC. As a result, we found a significant higher glucose consumption during OC in the cuneus, lingual, and parahippocampal gyri, mainly in the left hemisphere. During NC, our results show a relative higher glucose metabolism in the left superior, inferior, middle, medial frontal, and orbital gyri as well as in the anterior cingulate cortex. The present investigation, performed with a widely available functional imaging clinical tool, may help to better understand the neural responses associated to olfactory processing in healthy individuals and in patients with olfactory disorders by acquiring data in an ecologic, noise-free, and resting condition in which possible cerebral activations related to unwanted attentional processes might be avoided. PMID:25340494

  5. Emotions in Word and Face Processing: Early and Late Cortical Responses

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schacht, Annekathrin; Sommer, Werner

    2009-01-01

    Recent research suggests that emotion effects in word processing resemble those in other stimulus domains such as pictures or faces. The present study aims to provide more direct evidence for this notion by comparing emotion effects in word and face processing in a within-subject design. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were recorded as…

  6. Distributed Processing and Cortical Specialization for Speech and Environmental Sounds in Human Temporal Cortex

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Leech, Robert; Saygin, Ayse Pinar

    2011-01-01

    Using functional MRI, we investigated whether auditory processing of both speech and meaningful non-linguistic environmental sounds in superior and middle temporal cortex relies on a complex and spatially distributed neural system. We found that evidence for spatially distributed processing of speech and environmental sounds in a substantial…

  7. Sensory mononeuropathies.

    PubMed

    Massey, E W

    1998-01-01

    The clinical neurologist frequently encounters patients with a variety of focal sensory symptoms and signs. This article reviews the clinical features, etiologies, laboratory findings, and management of the common sensory mononeuropathies including meralgia paresthetica, cheiralgia paresthetica, notalgia paresthetica, gonyalgia paresthetica, digitalgia paresthetica, intercostal neuropathy, and mental neuropathy. PMID:9608615

  8. Involvement of the anterior cingulate and frontoinsular cortices in rapid processing of salient facial emotional information

    PubMed Central

    Fan, Jin; Gu, Xiaosi; Liu, Xun; Guise, Kevin G.; Park, Yunsoo; Martin, Laura; de Marchena, Ashley; Tang, Cheuk Y.; Minzenberg, Michael J.; Hof, Patrick R.

    2010-01-01

    The anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and frontoinsular cortex (FI) have been implicated in processing information across a variety of domains, including those related to attention and emotion. However, their role in rapid information processing, for example, as required for timely processing of salient stimuli, is not well understood. Here, we designed an emotional face priming paradigm and employed functional magnetic resonance imaging to elucidate their role in these mechanisms. Target faces with either neutral or fearful emotion were briefly primed by either neutral or fearful faces, or by blank ovals. Activation in the pregenual ACC and the FI, together with other regions, such as the amygdala, were preferentially activated in response to fearful face priming, suggesting that these regions are involved in the rapid processing of salient facial emotional information. PMID:20937394

  9. Visual orientation processing in autism spectrum disorder: No sign of enhanced early cortical function.

    PubMed

    Shafai, Fakhri; Armstrong, Kimberly; Iarocci, Grace; Oruc, Ipek

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that enhanced perceptual processing underlies some of the social difficulties associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While a variety of visual tasks have been reported in which individuals with ASD outperform neurotypical individuals in control groups, the precise origin of such effects within the visual pathway remains unclear. It has recently been established that visual acuity is intact yet unremarkable in ASD. This suggests that the earliest levels of retinal processing are an unlikely candidate as the source of differences. The next potential levels for divergent visual processing are those involved in processing simple aspects of visual stimuli, such as orientation and spatial frequency, considered to be functions of early visual cortex. Here we focused on the basic processing of orientation. In three experiments, we assessed three basic aspects of orientation processing-discrimination, veridical perception, and detection-in participants with ASD in comparison to age-, gender-, and IQ-matched adults without ASD. Each experiment allowed for both qualitative and quantitative comparisons between the two groups. These provided a dense array of data indicating that participants with ASD perceive orientation of low-level stimuli in a qualitatively (as well as quantitatively) similar manner to participants without ASD in control groups, with no evidence of superior processing in detection, precision, or accuracy aspects of orientation perception. These results suggest that the source for altered perceptual abilities should be sought elsewhere, possibly in specific subgroups of people with ASD, other aspects of low-level vision such as spatial frequency, or subsequent levels of visual processing.

  10. Dissociating cognitive and sensory neural plasticity in human superior temporal cortex.

    PubMed

    Cardin, Velia; Orfanidou, Eleni; Rönnberg, Jerker; Capek, Cheryl M; Rudner, Mary; Woll, Bencie

    2013-01-01

    Disentangling the effects of sensory and cognitive factors on neural reorganization is fundamental for establishing the relationship between plasticity and functional specialization. Auditory deprivation in humans provides a unique insight into this problem, because the origin of the anatomical and functional changes observed in deaf individuals is not only sensory, but also cognitive, owing to the implementation of visual communication strategies such as sign language and speechreading. Here, we describe a functional magnetic resonance imaging study of individuals with different auditory deprivation and sign language experience. We find that sensory and cognitive experience cause plasticity in anatomically and functionally distinguishable substrates. This suggests that after plastic reorganization, cortical regions adapt to process a different type of input signal, but preserve the nature of the computation they perform, both at a sensory and cognitive level.

  11. Involvement of Sensory Regions in Affective Experience: A Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Satpute, Ajay B.; Kang, Jian; Bickart, Kevin C.; Yardley, Helena; Wager, Tor D.; Barrett, Lisa F.

    2015-01-01

    A growing body of work suggests that sensory processes may also contribute to affective experience. In this study, we performed a meta-analysis of affective experiences driven through visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and somatosensory stimulus modalities including study contrasts that compared affective stimuli to matched neutral control stimuli. We found, first, that limbic and paralimbic regions, including the amygdala, anterior insula, pre-supplementary motor area, and portions of orbitofrontal cortex were consistently engaged across two or more modalities. Second, early sensory input regions in occipital, temporal, piriform, mid-insular, and primary sensory cortex were frequently engaged during affective experiences driven by visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, and somatosensory inputs. A classification analysis demonstrated that the pattern of neural activity across a contrast map diagnosed the stimulus modality driving the affective experience. These findings suggest that affective experiences are constructed from activity that is distributed across limbic and paralimbic brain regions and also activity in sensory cortical regions. PMID:26696928

  12. Sensorimotor function of the upper-airway muscles and respiratory sensory processing in untreated obstructive sleep apnea.

    PubMed

    Eckert, Danny J; Lo, Yu L; Saboisky, Julian P; Jordan, Amy S; White, David P; Malhotra, Atul

    2011-12-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated upper-airway neuromuscular abnormalities during wakefulness in snorers and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. However, the functional role of sensorimotor impairment in OSA pathogenesis/disease progression and its potential effects on protective upper-airway reflexes, measures of respiratory sensory processing, and force characteristics remain unclear. This study aimed to gain physiological insight into the potential role of sensorimotor impairment in OSA pathogenesis/disease progression by comparing sensory processing properties (respiratory-related evoked potentials; RREP), functionally important protective reflexes (genioglossus and tensor palatini) across a range of negative pressures (brief pulses and entrained iron lung ventilation), and tongue force and time to task failure characteristics between 12 untreated OSA patients and 13 controls. We hypothesized that abnormalities in these measures would be present in OSA patients. Upper-airway reflexes (e.g., genioglossus onset latency, 20 ± 1 vs. 19 ± 2 ms, P = 0.82), early RREP components (e.g., P1 latency 25 ± 2 vs. 25 ± 1 ms, P = 0.78), and the slope of epiglottic pressure vs. genioglossus activity during iron lung ventilation (-0.68 ± 1.0 vs. -0.80 ± 2.0 cmH(2)O/%max, P = 0.59) were not different between patients and controls. Maximal tongue protrusion force was greater in OSA patients vs. controls (35 ± 2 vs. 27 ± 2 N, P < 0.01), but task failure occurred more rapidly (149 ± 24 vs. 254 ± 23 s, P < 0.01). Upper-airway protective reflexes across a range of negative pressures as measured by electromyography and the early P1 component of the RREP are preserved in OSA patients during wakefulness. Consistent with an adaptive training effect, tongue protrusion force is increased, not decreased, in untreated OSA patients. However, OSA patients may be vulnerable to fatigue of upper-airway dilator muscles, which could contribute to disease progression. PMID:21885797

  13. Analysis of Cortical Flow Models In Vivo

    PubMed Central

    Benink, Hélène A.; Mandato, Craig A.; Bement, William M.

    2000-01-01

    Cortical flow, the directed movement of cortical F-actin and cortical organelles, is a basic cellular motility process. Microtubules are thought to somehow direct cortical flow, but whether they do so by stimulating or inhibiting contraction of the cortical actin cytoskeleton is the subject of debate. Treatment of Xenopus oocytes with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) triggers cortical flow toward the animal pole of the oocyte; this flow is suppressed by microtubules. To determine how this suppression occurs and whether it can control the direction of cortical flow, oocytes were subjected to localized manipulation of either the contractile stimulus (PMA) or microtubules. Localized PMA application resulted in redirection of cortical flow toward the site of application, as judged by movement of cortical pigment granules, cortical F-actin, and cortical myosin-2A. Such redirected flow was accelerated by microtubule depolymerization, showing that the suppression of cortical flow by microtubules is independent of the direction of flow. Direct observation of cortical F-actin by time-lapse confocal analysis in combination with photobleaching showed that cortical flow is driven by contraction of the cortical F-actin network and that microtubules suppress this contraction. The oocyte germinal vesicle serves as a microtubule organizing center in Xenopus oocytes; experimental displacement of the germinal vesicle toward the animal pole resulted in localized flow away from the animal pole. The results show that 1) cortical flow is directed toward areas of localized contraction of the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton; 2) microtubules suppress cortical flow by inhibiting contraction of the cortical F-actin cytoskeleton; and 3) localized, microtubule-dependent suppression of actomyosin-based contraction can control the direction of cortical flow. We discuss these findings in light of current models of cortical flow. PMID:10930453

  14. Susceptibility of Primary Sensory Cortex to Spreading Depolarizations

    PubMed Central

    Bogdanov, Volodymyr B.; Middleton, Natalie A.; Theriot, Jeremy J.; Parker, Patrick D.; Abdullah, Osama M.; Ju, Y. Sungtaek; Hartings, Jed A.

    2016-01-01

    Spreading depolarizations (SDs) are recognized as actors in neurological disorders as diverse as migraine and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Migraine aura involves sensory percepts, suggesting that sensory cortices might be intrinsically susceptible to SDs. We used optical imaging, MRI, and field potential and potassium electrode recordings in mice and electrocorticographic recordings in humans to determine the susceptibility of different brain regions to SDs. Optical imaging experiments in mice under isoflurane anesthesia showed that both cortical spreading depression and terminal anoxic depolarization arose preferentially in the whisker barrel region of parietal sensory cortex. MRI recordings under isoflurane, ketamine/xylazine, ketamine/isoflurane, and urethane anesthesia demonstrated that the depolarizations did not propagate from a subcortical source. Potassium concentrations showed larger increases in sensory cortex, suggesting a mechanism of susceptibility. Sensory stimulation biased the timing but not the location of depolarization onset. In humans with TBI, there was a trend toward increased incidence of SDs in parietal/temporal sensory cortex compared with other regions. In conclusion, SDs are inducible preferentially in primary sensory cortex in mice and most likely in humans. This tropism can explain the predominant sensory phenomenology of migraine aura. It also demonstrates that sensory cortices are vulnerable in brain injury. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Spreading depolarizations (SDs) are involved in neurologic disorders as diverse as migraine and traumatic brain injury. In migraine, the nature of aura symptoms suggests that sensory cortex may be preferentially susceptible. In brain injury, SDs occur at a vulnerable time, during which the issue of sensory stimulation is much debated. We show, in mouse and human, that sensory cortex is more susceptible to SDs. We find that sensory stimulation biases the timing but not the location of the depolarizations

  15. Contribution of different cortical areas in the temporal lobes to music processing.

    PubMed

    Liégeois-Chauvel, C; Peretz, I; Babaï, M; Laguitton, V; Chauvel, P

    1998-10-01

    Music processing ability was studied in 65 right-handed patients who had undergone unilateral temporal cortectomy for the relief of intractable epilepsy, and 24 matched normal controls. The ability to recognize changes in note intervals and to distinguish between different rhythms and metres was tested by presentation of sequences of simple musical phrases with variations in either pitch or temporal dimensions. The responses (right or wrong) enabled us to determine in which component of the music processing mechanism the patients had deficits and hence, knowing the positions of the surgical lesions, to identify their separate cerebral locations. The results showed that a right temporal cortectomy impaired the use of both contour and interval information in the discrimination of melodies and a left temporal cortectomy impaired only the use of interval information. Moreover, they underlined the importance of the superior temporal gyrus in melody processing. The excision of a part of the auditory areas (posterior part of the superior temporal gyrus) was found to be most detrimental for pitch and temporal variation processing. In the temporal dimension, we observed a dissociation between metre and rhythm and the critical involvement of the anterior part of the superior temporal gyrus in metric processing. This study highlights the relevance of dissociating musical abilities into their most significant cognitive components in order to identify their separate cerebral locations. PMID:9798742

  16. From Sensory Perception to Lexical-Semantic Processing: An ERP Study in Non-Verbal Children with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Cantiani, Chiara; Choudhury, Naseem A.; Yu, Yan H.; Shafer, Valerie L.; Schwartz, Richard G.; Benasich, April A.

    2016-01-01

    This study examines electrocortical activity associated with visual and auditory sensory perception and lexical-semantic processing in nonverbal (NV) or minimally-verbal (MV) children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Currently, there is no agreement on whether these children comprehend incoming linguistic information and whether their perception is comparable to that of typically developing children. Event-related potentials (ERPs) of 10 NV/MV children with ASD and 10 neurotypical children were recorded during a picture-word matching paradigm. Atypical ERP responses were evident at all levels of processing in children with ASD. Basic perceptual processing was delayed in both visual and auditory domains but overall was similar in amplitude to typically-developing children. However, significant differences between groups were found at the lexical-semantic level, suggesting more atypical higher-order processes. The results suggest that although basic perception is relatively preserved in NV/MV children with ASD, higher levels of processing, including lexical- semantic functions, are impaired. The use of passive ERP paradigms that do not require active participant response shows significant potential for assessment of non-compliant populations such as NV/MV children with ASD. PMID:27560378

  17. From Sensory Perception to Lexical-Semantic Processing: An ERP Study in Non-Verbal Children with Autism.

    PubMed

    Cantiani, Chiara; Choudhury, Naseem A; Yu, Yan H; Shafer, Valerie L; Schwartz, Richard G; Benasich, April A

    2016-01-01

    This study examines electrocortical activity associated with visual and auditory sensory perception and lexical-semantic processing in nonverbal (NV) or minimally-verbal (MV) children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Currently, there is no agreement on whether these children comprehend incoming linguistic information and whether their perception is comparable to that of typically developing children. Event-related potentials (ERPs) of 10 NV/MV children with ASD and 10 neurotypical children were recorded during a picture-word matching paradigm. Atypical ERP responses were evident at all levels of processing in children with ASD. Basic perceptual processing was delayed in both visual and auditory domains but overall was similar in amplitude to typically-developing children. However, significant differences between groups were found at the lexical-semantic level, suggesting more atypical higher-order processes. The results suggest that although basic perception is relatively preserved in NV/MV children with ASD, higher levels of processing, including lexical- semantic functions, are impaired. The use of passive ERP paradigms that do not require active participant response shows significant potential for assessment of non-compliant populations such as NV/MV children with ASD. PMID:27560378

  18. Subliminal presentation of other faces (but not own face) primes behavioral and evoked cortical processing of empathy for pain.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Agustín; Hurtado, Esteban; Lobos, Alejandro; Escobar, Josefina; Trujillo, Natalia; Baez, Sandra; Huepe, David; Manes, Facundo; Decety, Jean

    2011-06-29

    Current research on empathy for pain emphasizes the overlap in the neural response between the first-hand experience of pain and its perception in others. However, recent studies suggest that the perception of the pain of others may reflect the processing of a threat or negative arousal rather than an automatic pro-social response. It can thus be suggested that pain processing of other-related, but not self-related, information could imply danger rather than empathy, due to the possible threat represented in the expressions of others (especially if associated with pain stimuli). To test this hypothesis, two experiments considering subliminal stimuli were designed. In Experiment 1, neutral and semantic pain expressions previously primed with own or other faces were presented to participants. When other-face priming was used, only the detection of semantic pain expressions was facilitated. In Experiment 2, pictures with pain and neutral scenarios previously used in ERP and fMRI research were used in a categorization task. Those pictures were primed with own or other faces following the same procedure as in Experiment 1 while ERPs were recorded. Early (N1) and late (P3) cortical responses between pain and no-pain were modulated only in the other-face priming condition. These results support the threat value of pain hypothesis and suggest the necessity for the inclusion of own- versus other-related information in future empathy for pain research. PMID:21624566

  19. Using goal-driven deep learning models to understand sensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yamins, Daniel L K; DiCarlo, James J

    2016-03-01

    Fueled by innovation in the computer vision and artificial intelligence communities, recent developments in computational neuroscience have used goal-driven hierarchical convolutional neural networks (HCNNs) to make strides in modeling neural single-unit and population responses in higher visual cortical areas. In this Perspective, we review the recent progress in a broader modeling context and describe some of the key technical innovations that have supported it. We then outline how the goal-driven HCNN approach can be used to delve even more deeply into understanding the development and organization of sensory cortical processing. PMID:26906502

  20. Using goal-driven deep learning models to understand sensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Yamins, Daniel L K; DiCarlo, James J

    2016-03-01

    Fueled by innovation in the computer vision and artificial intelligence communities, recent developments in computational neuroscience have used goal-driven hierarchical convolutional neural networks (HCNNs) to make strides in modeling neural single-unit and population responses in higher visual cortical areas. In this Perspective, we review the recent progress in a broader modeling context and describe some of the key technical innovations that have supported it. We then outline how the goal-driven HCNN approach can be used to delve even more deeply into understanding the development and organization of sensory cortical processing.

  1. The Cortical Signature of Central Poststroke Pain: Gray Matter Decreases in Somatosensory, Insular, and Prefrontal Cortices.

    PubMed

    Krause, T; Asseyer, S; Taskin, B; Flöel, A; Witte, A V; Mueller, K; Fiebach, J B; Villringer, K; Villringer, A; Jungehulsing, G J

    2016-01-01

    It has been proposed that cortical structural plasticity plays a crucial role in the emergence and maintenance of chronic pain. Various distinct pain syndromes have accordingly been linked to specific patterns of decreases in regional gray matter volume (GMV). However, it is not known whether central poststroke pain (CPSP) is also associated with cortical structural plasticity. To determine this, we employed T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T and voxel-based morphometry in 45 patients suffering from chronic subcortical sensory stroke with (n = 23) and without CPSP (n = 22), and healthy matched controls (n = 31). CPSP patients showed decreases in GMV in comparison to healthy controls, involving secondary somatosensory cortex (S2), anterior as well as posterior insular cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal and orbitofrontal cortex, temporal cortex, and nucleus accumbens. Comparing CPSP patients to nonpain patients revealed a similar but more restricted pattern of atrophy comprising S2, ventrolateral prefrontal and temporal cortex. Additionally, GMV in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex negatively correlated to pain intensity ratings. This shows for the first time that CPSP is accompanied by a unique pattern of widespread structural plasticity, which involves the sensory-discriminative areas of insular/somatosensory cortex, but also expands into prefrontal cortex and ventral striatum, where emotional aspects of pain are processed.

  2. Positively valenced stimuli facilitate creative novel metaphoric processes by enhancing medial prefrontal cortical activation.

    PubMed

    Subramaniam, Karuna; Beeman, Mark; Faust, Miriam; Mashal, Nira

    2013-01-01

    A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a subject is symbolic of another unrelated object. In the present study, we examined neural patterns associated with both novel unfamiliar and conventional familiar metaphoric processing, and how these patterns are modulated by affective valence. Prior to fMRI scanning, participants received a list of word pairs (novel unfamiliar metaphors as well as conventional familiar metaphors) and were asked to denote the valence (positive, negative, or neutral) of each word pair. During scanning, participants had to decide whether the word pairs formed meaningful or meaningless expressions. Results indicate that participants were faster and more accurate at deciding that positively valenced metaphors were meaningful compared to neutral metaphors. These behavioral findings were accompanied by increased activation in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and the right inferior parietal lobe (RIPL). Specifically, positively valenced novel unfamiliar metaphors elicited activation in these brain regions in addition to the left superior temporal gyrus when compared to neutral novel metaphors. We also found that the mPFC and PCC mediated the processing of positively valenced metaphors when compared to negatively valenced metaphors. Positively valenced conventional metaphors, however, elicited different neural signatures when contrasted with either neutral or negatively valenced conventional metaphors. Together, our results indicate that positively valenced stimuli facilitate creative metaphoric processes (specifically novel metaphoric processes) by mediating attention and cognitive control processes required for the access, integration, and selection of semantic associations via modulation of the mPFC. The present study is important for the development of neural accounts of emotion-cognition interactions required for creativity, language, and successful social functioning in general.

  3. Model of multi-modal cortical processing: coherent learning in self-organizing modules.

    PubMed

    Ménard, Olivier; Frezza-Buet, Hervé

    2005-01-01

    In this paper (An abbreviated version of some portions of this article appeared in reference Menard and Frezza-Buet (Menard, O., & Frezza-Buet, H. (2004). Rewarded multi-modal neuronal self-organization: Example of the arm reaching movement. In: Proceedings of international conference on advances in intelligent systems theory and application.), as part of the IJCNN 2005 conference proceedings, published under the IEEE copyright.), an original self-organizing model is presented, with experiments highlighting its ability to be used in different frameworks, as phonetic coding dependent on semantics and arm-reaching. The model relies on the coupling of the learning processes that stand at different self-organizing modules, and exhibits dynamics that can be discussed in terms of the binding of different modalities, scattered over the different modules. Such a binding property is based on an emerging constraint of keeping consistency between the modules. This process is induced by partial connectivity and appropriate neural field competition mechanisms.

  4. The cortical organization of lexical knowledge: A dual lexicon model of spoken language processing

    PubMed Central

    Gow, David W.

    2012-01-01

    Current accounts of spoken language assume the existence of a lexicon where wordforms are stored and interact during spoken language perception, understanding and production. Despite the theoretical importance of the wordform lexicon, the exact localization and function of the lexicon in the broader context of language use is not well understood. This review draws on evidence from aphasia, functional imaging, neuroanatomy, laboratory phonology and behavioral results to argue for the existence of parallel lexica that facilitate different processes in the dorsal and ventral speech pathways. The dorsal lexicon, localized in the inferior parietal region including the supramarginal gyrus, serves as an interface between phonetic and articulatory representations. The ventral lexicon, localized in the posterior superior temporal sulcus and middle temporal gyrus, serves as an interface between phonetic and semantic representations. In addition to their interface roles, the two lexica contribute to the robustness of speech processing. PMID:22498237

  5. Low-Frequency Cortical Entrainment to Speech Reflects Phoneme-Level Processing.

    PubMed

    Di Liberto, Giovanni M; O'Sullivan, James A; Lalor, Edmund C

    2015-10-01

    The human ability to understand speech is underpinned by a hierarchical auditory system whose successive stages process increasingly complex attributes of the acoustic input. It has been suggested that to produce categorical speech perception, this system must elicit consistent neural responses to speech tokens (e.g., phonemes) despite variations in their acoustics. Here, using electroencephalography (EEG), we provide evidence for this categorical phoneme-level speech processing by showing that the relationship between continuous speech and neural activity is best described when that speech is represented using both low-level spectrotemporal information and categorical labeling of phonetic features. Furthermore, the mapping between phonemes and EEG becomes more discriminative for phonetic features at longer latencies, in line with what one might expect from a hierarchical system. Importantly, these effects are not seen for time-reversed speech. These findings may form the basis for future research on natural language processing in specific cohorts of interest and for broader insights into how brains transform acoustic input into meaning. PMID:26412129

  6. Integration Processes Compared: Cortical Differences for Consistency Evaluation and Passive Comprehension in Local and Global Coherence.

    PubMed

    Egidi, Giovanna; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2016-10-01

    This research studies the neural systems underlying two integration processes that take place during natural discourse comprehension: consistency evaluation and passive comprehension. Evaluation was operationalized with a consistency judgment task and passive comprehension with a passive listening task. Using fMRI, the experiment examined the integration of incoming sentences with more recent, local context and with more distal, global context in these two tasks. The stimuli were stories in which we manipulated the consistency of the endings with the local context and the relevance of the global context for the integration of the endings. A whole-brain analysis revealed several differences between the two tasks. Two networks previously associated with semantic processing and attention orienting showed more activation during the judgment than the passive listening task. A network previously associated with episodic memory retrieval and construction of mental scenes showed greater activity when global context was relevant, but only during the judgment task. This suggests that evaluation, more than passive listening, triggers the reinstantiation of global context and the construction of a rich mental model for the story. Finally, a network previously linked to fluent updating of a knowledge base showed greater activity for locally consistent endings than inconsistent ones, but only during passive listening, suggesting a mode of comprehension that relies on a local scope approach to language processing. Taken together, these results show that consistency evaluation and passive comprehension weigh differently on distal and local information and are implemented, in part, by different brain networks. PMID:27243613

  7. Integration Processes Compared: Cortical Differences for Consistency Evaluation and Passive Comprehension in Local and Global Coherence.

    PubMed

    Egidi, Giovanna; Caramazza, Alfonso

    2016-10-01

    This research studies the neural systems underlying two integration processes that take place during natural discourse comprehension: consistency evaluation and passive comprehension. Evaluation was operationalized with a consistency judgment task and passive comprehension with a passive listening task. Using fMRI, the experiment examined the integration of incoming sentences with more recent, local context and with more distal, global context in these two tasks. The stimuli were stories in which we manipulated the consistency of the endings with the local context and the relevance of the global context for the integration of the endings. A whole-brain analysis revealed several differences between the two tasks. Two networks previously associated with semantic processing and attention orienting showed more activation during the judgment than the passive listening task. A network previously associated with episodic memory retrieval and construction of mental scenes showed greater activity when global context was relevant, but only during the judgment task. This suggests that evaluation, more than passive listening, triggers the reinstantiation of global context and the construction of a rich mental model for the story. Finally, a network previously linked to fluent updating of a knowledge base showed greater activity for locally consistent endings than inconsistent ones, but only during passive listening, suggesting a mode of comprehension that relies on a local scope approach to language processing. Taken together, these results show that consistency evaluation and passive comprehension weigh differently on distal and local information and are implemented, in part, by different brain networks.

  8. The spatiotemporal profile of cortical processing leading up to visual perception.

    PubMed

    Fahrenfort, J J; Scholte, H S; Lamme, V A F

    2008-01-01

    Much controversy exists around the locus of conscious visual perception in human cortex. Some authors have proposed that its neural correlates correspond with recurrent processing within visual cortex, whereas others have argued they are located in a frontoparietal network. The present experiment aims to bring together these competing viewpoints. We recorded EEG from human subjects that were engaged in detecting masked visual targets. From this, we obtained a spatiotemporal profile of neural activity selectively related to the processing of the targets, which we correlated with the subjects' ability to detect those targets. This made it possible to distinguish between those stages of visual processing that correlate with human perception and those that do not. The results show that target induced extra-striate feedforward activity peaking at 121 ms does not correlate with perception, whereas more posterior recurrent activity peaking at 160 ms does. Several subsequent stages show an alternating pattern of frontoparietal and occipital activity, all of which correlate highly with perception. This shows that perception emerges early on, but only after an initial feedforward volley, and suggests that multiple reentrant loops are involved in propagating this signal to frontoparietal areas. PMID:18318615

  9. Functional roles of 10 Hz alpha-band power modulating engagement and disengagement of cortical networks in a complex visual motion task.

    PubMed

    Rana, Kunjan D; Vaina, Lucia M

    2014-01-01

    Alpha band power, particularly at the 10 Hz frequency, is significantly involved in sensory inhibition, attention modulation, and working memory. However, the interactions between cortical areas and their relationship to the different functional roles of the alpha band oscillations are still poorly understood. Here we examined alpha band power and the cortico-cortical interregional phase synchrony in a psychophysical task involving the detection of an object moving in depth by an observer in forward self-motion. Wavelet filtering at the 10 Hz frequency revealed differences in the profile of cortical activation in the visual processing regions (occipital and parietal lobes) and in the frontoparietal regions. The alpha rhythm driving the visual processing areas was found to be asynchronous with the frontoparietal regions. These findings suggest a decoupling of the 10 Hz frequency into separate functional roles: sensory inhibition in the visual processing regions and spatial attention in the frontoparietal regions.

  10. Monte Carlo point process estimation of electromyographic envelopes from motor cortical spikes for brain-machine interfaces

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liao, Yuxi; She, Xiwei; Wang, Yiwen; Zhang, Shaomin; Zhang, Qiaosheng; Zheng, Xiaoxiang; Principe, Jose C.

    2015-12-01

    Objective. Representation of movement in the motor cortex (M1) has been widely studied in brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The electromyogram (EMG) has greater bandwidth than the conventional kinematic variables (such as position, velocity), and is functionally related to the discharge of cortical neurons. As the stochastic information of EMG is derived from the explicit spike time structure, point process (PP) methods will be a good solution for decoding EMG directly from neural spike trains. Previous studies usually assume linear or exponential tuning curves between neural firing and EMG, which may not be true. Approach. In our analysis, we estimate the tuning curves in a data-driven way and find both the traditional functional-excitatory and functional-inhibitory neurons, which are widely found across a rat’s motor cortex. To accurately decode EMG envelopes from M1 neural spike trains, the Monte Carlo point process (MCPP) method is implemented based on such nonlinear tuning properties. Main results. Better reconstruction of EMG signals is shown on baseline and extreme high peaks, as our method can better preserve the nonlinearity of the neural tuning during decoding. The MCPP improves the prediction accuracy (the normalized mean squared error) 57% and 66% on average compared with the adaptive point process filter using linear and exponential tuning curves respectively, for all 112 data segments across six rats. Compared to a Wiener filter using spike rates with an optimal window size of 50 ms, MCPP decoding EMG from a point process improves the normalized mean square error (NMSE) by 59% on average. Significance. These results suggest that neural tuning is constantly changing during task execution and therefore, the use of spike timing methodologies and estimation of appropriate tuning curves needs to be undertaken for better EMG decoding in motor BMIs.

  11. Contributions of Early Cortical Processing and Reading Ability to Functional Status in Individuals at Clinical High Risk for Psychosis

    PubMed Central

    Carrión, Ricardo E.; Cornblatt, Barbara A.; McLaughlin, Danielle; Chang, Jeremy; Auther, Andrea M.; Olsen, Ruth H.; Javitt, Daniel C.

    2015-01-01

    Background There is a growing recognition that individuals at clinical high risk need intervention for functional impairments, along with emerging psychosis, as the majority of clinical high risk (CHR) individuals show persistent deficits in social and role functioning regardless of transition to psychosis. Recent studies have demonstrated reduced reading ability as a potential cause of functional disability in schizophrenia, related to underlying deficits in generation of mismatch negativity (MMN). The present study extends these findings to subjects at CHR. Methods The sample consisted o