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Sample records for sensory cortical processing

  1. Cortical-Cortical Interactions And Sensory Information Processing in Autism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-04-30

    Additionally, these cortical areas have been implicated from significantly elevated TOJ thresholds (worse performance) in subjects with dyslexia [5...of the fact that above-average TOJ thresholds occur in subjects with known damage to these same cortical areas ( dyslexia [5], dystonia [6-8], and

  2. Sensory incongruence leading to hand disownership modulates somatosensory cortical processing.

    PubMed

    Otsuru, Naofumi; Hashizume, Akira; Nakamura, Daichi; Endo, Yuuki; Inui, Koji; Kakigi, Ryusuke; Yuge, Louis

    2014-09-01

    The sense of body ownership is based on integration of multimodal sensory information, including tactile sensation, proprioception, and vision. Distorted body ownership contributes to the development of chronic pain syndromes and possibly symptoms of psychiatric disease. However, the effects of disownership on cortical processing of somatosensory information are unknown. In the present study, we created a "disownership" condition in healthy individuals by manipulating the visual information indicating the location of the subject's own left hand using a mirror box and examined the influence of this disownership on cortical responses to electrical stimulation of the left index finger using magnetoencephalography (MEG). The event-related magnetic field in the right primary somatosensory cortex at approximately 50 msec (M50) after stimulus was enhanced under the disownership condition. The present results suggest that M50 reflects a cortical incongruence detection mechanism involving integration of sensory inputs from visual and proprioceptive systems. This signal may be valuable for future studies of the mechanisms underlying sense of body ownership and the role that disrupted sense of ownership has in neurological disease.

  3. 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.

  4. Prenatal thalamic waves regulate cortical area size prior to sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Moreno-Juan, Verónica; Filipchuk, Anton; Antón-Bolaños, Noelia; Mezzera, Cecilia; Gezelius, Henrik; Andrés, Belen; Rodríguez-Malmierca, Luis; Susín, Rafael; Schaad, Olivier; Iwasato, Takuji; Schüle, Roland; Rutlin, Michael; Nelson, Sacha; Ducret, Sebastien; Valdeolmillos, Miguel; Rijli, Filippo M.; López-Bendito, Guillermina

    2017-01-01

    The cerebral cortex is organized into specialized sensory areas, whose initial territory is determined by intracortical molecular determinants. Yet, sensory cortical area size appears to be fine tuned during development to respond to functional adaptations. Here we demonstrate the existence of a prenatal sub-cortical mechanism that regulates the cortical areas size in mice. This mechanism is mediated by spontaneous thalamic calcium waves that propagate among sensory-modality thalamic nuclei up to the cortex and that provide a means of communication among sensory systems. Wave pattern alterations in one nucleus lead to changes in the pattern of the remaining ones, triggering changes in thalamic gene expression and cortical area size. Thus, silencing calcium waves in the auditory thalamus induces Rorβ upregulation in a neighbouring somatosensory nucleus preluding the enlargement of the barrel-field. These findings reveal that embryonic thalamic calcium waves coordinate cortical sensory area patterning and plasticity prior to sensory information processing. PMID:28155854

  5. Prenatal thalamic waves regulate cortical area size prior to sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Moreno-Juan, Verónica; Filipchuk, Anton; Antón-Bolaños, Noelia; Mezzera, Cecilia; Gezelius, Henrik; Andrés, Belen; Rodríguez-Malmierca, Luis; Susín, Rafael; Schaad, Olivier; Iwasato, Takuji; Schüle, Roland; Rutlin, Michael; Nelson, Sacha; Ducret, Sebastien; Valdeolmillos, Miguel; Rijli, Filippo M; López-Bendito, Guillermina

    2017-02-03

    The cerebral cortex is organized into specialized sensory areas, whose initial territory is determined by intracortical molecular determinants. Yet, sensory cortical area size appears to be fine tuned during development to respond to functional adaptations. Here we demonstrate the existence of a prenatal sub-cortical mechanism that regulates the cortical areas size in mice. This mechanism is mediated by spontaneous thalamic calcium waves that propagate among sensory-modality thalamic nuclei up to the cortex and that provide a means of communication among sensory systems. Wave pattern alterations in one nucleus lead to changes in the pattern of the remaining ones, triggering changes in thalamic gene expression and cortical area size. Thus, silencing calcium waves in the auditory thalamus induces Rorβ upregulation in a neighbouring somatosensory nucleus preluding the enlargement of the barrel-field. These findings reveal that embryonic thalamic calcium waves coordinate cortical sensory area patterning and plasticity prior to sensory information processing.

  6. 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

  7. Magnetoencephalographic Imaging of Auditory and Somatosensory Cortical Responses in Children with Autism and Sensory Processing Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Demopoulos, Carly; Yu, Nina; Tripp, Jennifer; Mota, Nayara; Brandes-Aitken, Anne N.; Desai, Shivani S.; Hill, Susanna S.; Antovich, Ashley D.; Harris, Julia; Honma, Susanne; Mizuiri, Danielle; Nagarajan, Srikantan S.; Marco, Elysa J.

    2017-01-01

    This study compared magnetoencephalographic (MEG) imaging-derived indices of auditory and somatosensory cortical processing in children aged 8–12 years with autism spectrum disorder (ASD; N = 18), those with sensory processing dysfunction (SPD; N = 13) who do not meet ASD criteria, and typically developing control (TDC; N = 19) participants. The magnitude of responses to both auditory and tactile stimulation was comparable across all three groups; however, the M200 latency response from the left auditory cortex was significantly delayed in the ASD group relative to both the TDC and SPD groups, whereas the somatosensory response of the ASD group was only delayed relative to TDC participants. The SPD group did not significantly differ from either group in terms of somatosensory latency, suggesting that participants with SPD may have an intermediate phenotype between ASD and TDC with regard to somatosensory processing. For the ASD group, correlation analyses indicated that the left M200 latency delay was significantly associated with performance on the WISC-IV Verbal Comprehension Index as well as the DSTP Acoustic-Linguistic index. Further, these cortical auditory response delays were not associated with somatosensory cortical response delays or cognitive processing speed in the ASD group, suggesting that auditory delays in ASD are domain specific rather than associated with generalized processing delays. The specificity of these auditory delays to the ASD group, in addition to their correlation with verbal abilities, suggests that auditory sensory dysfunction may be implicated in communication symptoms in ASD, motivating further research aimed at understanding the impact of sensory dysfunction on the developing brain. PMID:28603492

  8. A Magnetoencephalography study of multi-modal processing of pain anticipation in primary sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Gopalakrishnan, Raghavan; Burgess, Richard C.; Plow, Ela B.; Floden, Darlene; Machado, Andre G

    2015-01-01

    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 auditory cortex displayed delayed processing. In addition, during pain anticipation, 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

  9. Acquired fears reflected in cortical sensory processing: A review of electrophysiological studies of human classical conditioning

    PubMed Central

    Miskovic, Vladimir; Keil, Andreas

    2012-01-01

    The capacity to associate neutral stimuli with affective value is an important survival strategy that can be accomplished by cell assemblies obeying Hebbian learning principles. In the neuroscience laboratory, classical fear conditioning has been extensively used as a model to study learning related changes in neural structure and function. Here, we review the effects of classical fear conditioning on electromagnetic brain activity in humans, focusing on how sensory systems adapt to changing fear-related contingencies. By considering spatio-temporal patterns of mass neuronal activity we illustrate a range of cortical changes related to a retuning of neuronal sensitivity to amplify signals consistent with fear-associated stimuli at the cost of other sensory information. Putative mechanisms that may underlie fear-associated plasticity at the level of the sensory cortices are briefly considered and several avenues for future work are outlined. PMID:22891639

  10. EEG slow (approximately 1 Hz) waves are associated with nonstationarity of thalamo-cortical sensory processing in the sleeping human.

    PubMed

    Massimini, Marcello; Rosanova, Mario; Mariotti, Maurizio

    2003-03-01

    Intracellular studies reveal that, during slow wave sleep (SWS), the entire cortical network can swing rhythmically between extremely different microstates, ranging from wakefulness-like network activation to functional disconnection in the space of a few hundred milliseconds. This alternation of states also involves the thalamic neurons and is reflected in the EEG by a slow (<1 Hz) oscillation. These rhythmic changes, occurring in the thalamo-cortical circuits during SWS, may have relevant, phasic effects on the transmission and processing of sensory information. However, brain reactivity to sensory stimuli, during SWS, has traditionally been studied by means of sequential averaging, a procedure that necessarily masks any short-term fluctuation of responsiveness. The aim of this study was to provide a dynamic evaluation of brain reactivity to sensory stimuli in naturally sleeping humans. To this aim, single-trial somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) were grouped and averaged as a function of the phase of the ongoing sleep slow (<1 Hz) oscillation. This procedure revealed a dynamic profile of responsiveness, which was conditioned by the phase of the spontaneous sleep EEG. Overall, the amplitude of the evoked potential changed sistematically, increasing and approaching wakefulness levels along the negative slope of the EEG oscillation and decaying below SWS average levels along the positive drift. These marked and fast changes of stimulus-correlated electrical activity involved both short (N20) and long latency (P60 and P100) components of SEPs. In addition, the observed short-term response variability appeared to be centrally generated and specifically related to the evolution of the spontaneous oscillatory pattern. The present findings demonstrate that thalamo-cortical processing of sensory information is not stationary in the very short period (approximately 500 ms) during natural SWS.

  11. Cerebellar sensory processing alterations impact motor cortical plasticity in Parkinson's disease: clues from dyskinetic patients.

    PubMed

    Kishore, Asha; Popa, Traian; Balachandran, Ammu; Chandran, Shyambabu; Pradeep, Salini; Backer, Febina; Krishnan, Syam; Meunier, Sabine

    2014-08-01

    The plasticity of primary motor cortex (M1) in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) and levodopa-induced dyskinesias (LIDs) is severely impaired. We recently reported in young healthy subjects that inhibitory cerebellar stimulation enhanced the sensorimotor plasticity of M1 that was induced by paired associative stimulation (PAS). This study demonstrates that the deficient sensorimotor M1 plasticity in 16 patients with LIDs could be reinstated by a single session of real inhibitory cerebellar stimulation but not sham stimulation. This was evident only when a sensory component was involved in the induction of plasticity, indicating that cerebellar sensory processing function is involved in the resurgence of M1 plasticity. The benefit of inhibitory cerebellar stimulation on LIDs is known. To explore whether this benefit is linked to the restoration of sensorimotor plasticity of M1, we conducted an additional study looking at changes in LIDs and PAS-induced plasticity after 10 sessions of either bilateral, real inhibitory cerebellar stimulation or sham stimulation. Only real and not sham stimulation had an antidyskinetic effect and it was paralleled by a resurgence in the sensorimotor plasticity of M1. These results suggest that alterations in cerebellar sensory processing function, occurring secondary to abnormal basal ganglia signals reaching it, may be an important element contributing to the maladaptive sensorimotor plasticity of M1 and the emergence of abnormal involuntary movements.

  12. Cross-modal synaptic plasticity in adult primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Lee, Hey-Kyoung; Whitt, Jessica L

    2015-12-01

    Sensory loss leads to widespread adaptation of brain circuits to allow an organism to navigate its environment with its remaining senses, which is broadly referred to as cross-modal plasticity. Such adaptation can be observed even in the primary sensory cortices, and falls into two distinct categories: recruitment of the deprived sensory cortex for processing the remaining senses, which we term 'cross-modal recruitment', and experience-dependent refinement of the spared sensory cortices referred to as 'compensatory plasticity.' Here we will review recent studies demonstrating that cortical adaptation to sensory loss involves LTP/LTD and homeostatic synaptic plasticity. Cross-modal synaptic plasticity is observed in adults, hence cross-modal sensory deprivation may be an effective way to promote plasticity in adult primary sensory cortices.

  13. Modeling the effect of locus coeruleus firing on cortical state dynamics and single-trial sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Safaai, Houman; Neves, Ricardo; Eschenko, Oxana; Logothetis, Nikos K.; Panzeri, Stefano

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal responses to sensory stimuli are not only driven by feedforward sensory pathways but also depend upon intrinsic factors (collectively known as the network state) that include ongoing spontaneous activity and neuromodulation. To understand how these factors together regulate cortical dynamics, we recorded simultaneously spontaneous and somatosensory-evoked multiunit activity from primary somatosensory cortex and from the locus coeruleus (LC) (the neuromodulatory nucleus releasing norepinephrine) in urethane-anesthetized rats. We found that bursts of ipsilateral-LC firing preceded by few tens of milliseconds increases of cortical excitability, and that the 1- to 10-Hz rhythmicity of LC discharge appeared to increase the power of delta-band (1–4 Hz) cortical synchronization. To investigate quantitatively how LC firing might causally influence spontaneous and stimulus-driven cortical dynamics, we then constructed and fitted to these data a model describing the dynamical interaction of stimulus drive, ongoing synchronized cortical activity, and noradrenergic neuromodulation. The model proposes a coupling between LC and cortex that can amplify delta-range cortical fluctuations, and shows how suitably timed phasic LC bursts can lead to enhanced cortical responses to weaker stimuli and increased temporal precision of cortical stimulus-evoked responses. Thus, the temporal structure of noradrenergic modulation may selectively and dynamically enhance or attenuate cortical responses to stimuli. Finally, using the model prediction of single-trial cortical stimulus-evoked responses to discount single-trial state-dependent variability increased by ∼70% the sensory information extracted from cortical responses. This suggests that downstream circuits may extract information more effectively after estimating the state of the circuit transmitting the sensory message. PMID:26417078

  14. 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

  15. Cortical oscillations and sensory predictions.

    PubMed

    Arnal, Luc H; Giraud, Anne-Lise

    2012-07-01

    Many theories of perception are anchored in the central notion that the brain continuously updates an internal model of the world to infer the probable causes of sensory events. In this framework, the brain needs not only to predict the causes of sensory input, but also when they are most likely to happen. In this article, we review the neurophysiological bases of sensory predictions of "what' (predictive coding) and 'when' (predictive timing), with an emphasis on low-level oscillatory mechanisms. We argue that neural rhythms offer distinct and adapted computational solutions to predicting 'what' is going to happen in the sensory environment and 'when'.

  16. Bypassing primary sensory cortices--a direct thalamocortical pathway for transmitting salient sensory information.

    PubMed

    Liang, M; Mouraux, A; Iannetti, G D

    2013-01-01

    Detection and appropriate reaction to sudden and intense events happening in the sensory environment is crucial for survival. By combining Bayesian model selection with dynamic causal modeling of functional magnetic resonance imaging data, a novel analysis approach that allows inferring the causality between neural activities in different brain areas, we demonstrate that salient sensory information reaches the multimodal cortical areas responsible for its detection directly from the thalamus, without being first processed in primary and secondary sensory-specific areas. This direct thalamocortical transmission of multimodal salient information is parallel to the processing of finer stimulus attributes, which are transmitted in a modality-specific fashion from the thalamus to the relevant primary sensory areas. Such direct thalamocortical connections bypassing primary sensory cortices provide a fast and efficient way for transmitting information from subcortical structures to multimodal cortical areas, to allow the early detection of salient events and, thereby, trigger immediate and appropriate behavior.

  17. Cortical sensory plasticity in a model of migraine with aura.

    PubMed

    Theriot, Jeremy J; Toga, Arthur W; Prakash, Neal; Ju, Y Sungtaek; Brennan, K C

    2012-10-31

    The migraine attack is characterized by alterations in sensory perception, such as photophobia or allodynia, which have in common an uncomfortable amplification of the percept. It is not known how these changes arise. We evaluated the ability of cortical spreading depression (CSD), the proposed mechanism of the migraine aura, to shape the cortical activity that underlies sensory perception. We measured forepaw- and hindpaw-evoked sensory responses in rat, before and after CSD, using multielectrode array recordings and two-dimensional optical spectroscopy. CSD significantly altered cortical sensory processing on a timescale compatible with the duration of the migraine attack. Both electrophysiological and hemodynamic maps had a reduced surface area (were sharpened) after CSD. Electrophysiological responses were potentiated at the receptive field center but suppressed in surround regions. Finally, the normal adaptation of sensory-evoked responses was attenuated at the receptive field center. In summary, we show that CSD induces changes in the evoked cortical response that are consistent with known mechanisms of cortical plasticity. These mechanisms provide a novel neurobiological substrate to explain the sensory alterations of the migraine attack.

  18. Cortical sensory plasticity in a model of migraine with aura

    PubMed Central

    Theriot, Jeremy J.; Toga, Arthur W.; Prakash, Neal; Ju, Y. Sungtaek; Brennan, K.C.

    2012-01-01

    The migraine attack is characterized by alterations in sensory perception, such as photophobia or allodynia, which have in common an uncomfortable amplification of the percept. It is not known how these changes arise. We evaluated the ability of cortical spreading depression (CSD), the proposed mechanism of the migraine aura, to shape the cortical activity that underlies sensory perception. We measured forepaw- and hindpaw-evoked sensory responses in rat, before and after CSD, using multi-electrode array recordings and 2-dimensional optical spectroscopy. CSD significantly altered cortical sensory processing on a timescale compatible with the duration of the migraine attack. Both electrophysiological and hemodynamic maps had a reduced surface area (were sharpened) after CSD. Electrophysiological responses were potentiated at the receptive field center, but suppressed in surround regions. Finally, the normal adaptation of sensory evoked responses was attenuated at the receptive field center. In summary, we show that CSD induces changes in the evoked cortical response that are consistent with known mechanisms of cortical plasticity. These mechanisms provide a novel neurobiological substrate to explain the sensory alterations of the migraine attack. PMID:23115163

  19. Cortical Gating of Oropharyngeal Sensory Stimuli

    PubMed Central

    Wheeler-Hegland, Karen; Pitts, Teresa; Davenport, Paul W.

    2010-01-01

    Somatosensory evoked potentials provide a measure of cortical neuronal activation in response to various types of sensory stimuli. In order to prevent flooding of the cortex with redundant information various sensory stimuli are gated cortically such that response to stimulus 2 (S2) is significantly reduced in amplitude compared to stimulus 1 (S1). Upper airway protective mechanisms, such as swallowing and cough, are dependent on sensory input for triggering and modifying their motor output. Thus, it was hypothesized that central neural gating would be absent for paired-air puff stimuli applied to the oropharynx. Twenty-three healthy adults (18–35 years) served as research participants. Pharyngeal sensory evoked potentials (PSEPs) were measured via 32-electrode cap (10–20 system) connected to SynAmps2 Neuroscan EEG System. Paired-pulse air puffs were delivered with an inter-stimulus interval of 500 ms to the oropharynx using a thin polyethylene tube connected to a flexible laryngoscope. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and a repeated measures analysis of variance. There were no significant differences found for the amplitudes S1 and S2 for any of the four component PSEP peaks. Mean gating ratios were above 0.90 for each peak. Results supports our hypothesis that sensory central neural gating would be absent for component PSEP peaks with paired-pulse stimuli delivered to the oropharynx. This may be related to the need for constant sensory monitoring necessary for adequate airway protection associated with swallowing and coughing. PMID:21423402

  20. 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

  1. Efferent connections of an auditory area in the caudal insular cortex of the rat: anatomical nodes for cortical streams of auditory processing and cross-modal sensory interactions.

    PubMed

    Kimura, A; Imbe, H; Donishi, T

    2010-04-14

    In the rat cortex, the two non-primary auditory areas, posterodorsal and ventral auditory areas, may constitute the two streams of auditory processing in their distinct projections to the posterior parietal and insular cortices. The posterior parietal cortex is considered crucial for auditory spatial processing and directed attention, while possible auditory function of the insular cortex is largely unclear. In this study, we electrophysiologically delineated an auditory area in the caudal part of the granular insular cortex (insular auditory area, IA) and examined efferent connections of IA with anterograde tracer biocytin to deduce the functional significance of IA. IA projected to the rostral agranular insular cortex, a component of the lateral prefrontal cortex. IA also projected to the adjacent dysgranular insular cortex and the caudal agranular insular cortex and sent feedback projections to cortical layer I of the primary and secondary somatosensory areas. Corticofugal projections terminated in auditory, somatosensory and visceral thalamic nuclei, and the bottom of the thalamic reticular nucleus that could overlap the visceral sector. The ventral part of the caudate putamen, the external cortex of the inferior colliculus and the central amygdaloid nucleus were also the main targets. IA exhibited neural response to transcutaneous electrical stimulation of the forepaw in addition to acoustic stimulation (noise bursts and pure tones). The results suggest that IA subserves diverse functions associated with somatosensory, nociceptive and visceral processing that may underlie sound-driven emotional and autonomic responses. IA, being potentially involved in such extensive cross-modal sensory interactions, could also be an important anatomical node of auditory processing linked to higher neural processing in the prefrontal cortex.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. The cortical and sub-cortical network of sensory evoked response in healthy subjects.

    PubMed

    Muthuraman, M; Hellriegel, H; Groppa, S; Deuschl, G; Raethjen, J

    2013-01-01

    The aim of this study was to find the cortical and sub-cortical network responsible for the sensory evoked coherence in healthy subjects during electrical stimulation of right median nerve at wrist. The multitaper method was used to estimate the power and coherence spectrum followed by the source analysis method dynamic imaging of coherent sources (DICS) to find the highest coherent source for the basic frequency 3 Hz and the complete cortical and sub-cortical network responsible for the sensory evoked coherence in healthy subjects. The highest coherent source for the basic frequency was in the posterior parietal cortex for all the subjects. The cortical and sub-cortical network comprised of the primary sensory motor cortex (SI), secondary sensory motor cortex (SII), frontal cortex and medial pulvinar nucleus in the thalamus. The cortical and sub-cortical network responsible for the sensory evoked coherence was found successfully with a 64-channel EEG system. The sensory evoked coherence is involved with a thalamo-cortical network in healthy subjects.

  5. Auditory sensory gating deficit and cortical thickness in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Thoma, R J; Hanlon, F M; Sanchez, N; Weisend, M P; Huang, M; Jones, A; Miller, G A; Canive, J M

    2004-11-30

    Both an EEG P50 sensory gating deficit and abnormalities of the temporal lobe structure are considered characteristic of schizophrenia. The standard P50 sensory gating measure does not foster differential assessment of left- and right-hemisphere contributions, but its analogous MEG M50 component may be used to measure gating of distinct auditory source dipoles localizing to left- and right-hemisphere primary auditory cortex. The present study sought to determine how sensory gating ratio may relate to cortical thickness at the site of the auditory dipole localization. A standard auditory paired-click paradigm was used during MEG for patients (n=22) and normal controls (n=11). Sensory gating ratios were determined by measuring the strength of the 50 ms response to the second click divided by that of the first click (S2/S1). Cortical thickness was assessed by two reliable raters using 3D sMRI. Results showed that: (1) patients had a P50 and left M50 sensory gating deficit relative to controls; (2) cortex in both hemispheres was thicker in the control group; (3) in schizophrenia, poorer left-hemisphere M50 sensory gating correlated with thinner left-hemisphere auditory cortical thickness; and (4) poorer right-hemisphere M50 auditory sensory gating ratio correlated with thinner right-hemisphere auditory cortical thickness in patients. The MEG-assessed hemisphere-specific auditory sensory gating ratio may be driven by this structural abnormality in auditory cortex.

  6. 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

  7. Lateralization of speech production starts in sensory cortices--a possible sensory origin of cerebral left dominance for speech.

    PubMed

    Kell, Christian Alexander; Morillon, Benjamin; Kouneiher, Frederique; Giraud, Anne-Lise

    2011-04-01

    Speech production is a left-lateralized brain function, which could arise from a left dominance either in speech executive or sensory processes or both. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging in healthy subjects, we show that sensory cortices already lateralize when speaking is intended, while the frontal cortex only lateralizes when speech is acted out. The sequence of lateralization, first temporal then frontal lateralization, suggests that the functional lateralization of the auditory cortex could drive hemispheric specialization for speech production.

  8. 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.

  9. Onset timing of cross-sensory activations and multisensory interactions in auditory and visual sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Raij, Tommi; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Witzel, Thomas; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P; Letham, Benjamin; Israeli, Emily; Sahyoun, Cherif; Vasios, Christos; Stufflebeam, Steven; Hämäläinen, Matti; Belliveau, John W

    2010-05-01

    Here we report early cross-sensory activations and audiovisual interactions at the visual and auditory cortices using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to obtain accurate timing information. Data from an identical fMRI experiment were employed to support MEG source localization results. Simple auditory and visual stimuli (300-ms noise bursts and checkerboards) were presented to seven healthy humans. MEG source analysis suggested generators in the auditory and visual sensory cortices for both within-modality and cross-sensory activations. fMRI cross-sensory activations were strong in the visual but almost absent in the auditory cortex; this discrepancy with MEG possibly reflects the influence of acoustical scanner noise in fMRI. In the primary auditory cortices (Heschl's gyrus) the onset of activity to auditory stimuli was observed at 23 ms in both hemispheres, and to visual stimuli at 82 ms in the left and at 75 ms in the right hemisphere. In the primary visual cortex (Calcarine fissure) the activations to visual stimuli started at 43 ms and to auditory stimuli at 53 ms. Cross-sensory activations thus started later than sensory-specific activations, by 55 ms in the auditory cortex and by 10 ms in the visual cortex, suggesting that the origins of the cross-sensory activations may be in the primary sensory cortices of the opposite modality, with conduction delays (from one sensory cortex to another) of 30-35 ms. Audiovisual interactions started at 85 ms in the left auditory, 80 ms in the right auditory and 74 ms in the visual cortex, i.e., 3-21 ms after inputs from the two modalities converged.

  10. Onset timing of cross-sensory activations and multisensory interactions in auditory and visual sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Raij, Tommi; Ahveninen, Jyrki; Lin, Fa-Hsuan; Witzel, Thomas; Jääskeläinen, Iiro P.; Letham, Benjamin; Israeli, Emily; Sahyoun, Cherif; Vasios, Christos; Stufflebeam, Steven; Hämäläinen, Matti; Belliveau, John W.

    2010-01-01

    Here we report early cross-sensory activations and audiovisual interactions at the visual and auditory cortices using magnetoencephalography (MEG) to obtain accurate timing information. Data from an identical fMRI experiment were employed to support MEG source localization results. Simple auditory and visual stimuli (300-ms noise bursts and checkerboards) were presented to seven healthy humans. MEG source analysis suggested generators in the auditory and visual sensory cortices for both within-modality and cross-sensory activations. fMRI cross-sensory activations were strong in the visual but almost absent in the auditory cortex; this discrepancy with MEG possibly reflects influence of acoustical scanner noise in fMRI. In the primary auditory cortices (Heschl’s gyrus) onset of activity to auditory stimuli was observed at 23 ms in both hemispheres, and to visual stimuli at 82 ms in the left and at 75 ms in the right hemisphere. In the primary visual cortex (Calcarine fissure) the activations to visual stimuli started at 43 ms and to auditory stimuli at 53 ms. Cross-sensory activations thus started later than sensory-specific activations, by 55 ms in the auditory cortex and by 10 ms in the visual cortex, suggesting that the origins of the cross-sensory activations may be in the primary sensory cortices of the opposite modality, with conduction delays (from one sensory cortex to another) of 30–35 ms. Audiovisual interactions started at 85 ms in the left auditory, 80 ms in the right auditory, and 74 ms in the visual cortex, i.e., 3–21 ms after inputs from both modalities converged. PMID:20584181

  11. Oxytocin mediates early experience-dependent cross-modal plasticity in the sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Jing-Jing; Li, Shu-Jing; Zhang, Xiao-Di; Miao, Wan-Ying; Zhang, Dinghong; Yao, Haishan; Yu, Xiang

    2014-03-01

    Sensory experience is critical to development and plasticity of neural circuits. Here we report a new form of plasticity in neonatal mice, where early sensory experience cross-modally regulates development of all sensory cortices via oxytocin signaling. Unimodal sensory deprivation from birth through whisker deprivation or dark rearing reduced excitatory synaptic transmission in the correspondent sensory cortex and cross-modally in other sensory cortices. Sensory experience regulated synthesis and secretion of the neuropeptide oxytocin as well as its level in the cortex. Both in vivo oxytocin injection and increased sensory experience elevated excitatory synaptic transmission in multiple sensory cortices and significantly rescued the effects of sensory deprivation. Together, these results identify a new function for oxytocin in promoting cross-modal, experience-dependent cortical development. This link between sensory experience and oxytocin is particularly relevant to autism, where hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to sensory inputs is prevalent and oxytocin is a hotly debated potential therapy.

  12. Effects of sensory behavioral tasks on pain threshold and cortical excitability.

    PubMed

    Volz, Magdalena Sarah; Suarez-Contreras, Vanessa; Mendonca, Mariana E; Pinheiro, Fernando Santos; Merabet, Lotfi B; Fregni, Felipe

    2013-01-01

    Transcutaneous electrical stimulation has been proven to modulate nervous system activity, leading to changes in pain perception, via the peripheral sensory system, in a bottom up approach. We tested whether different sensory behavioral tasks induce significant effects in pain processing and whether these changes correlate with cortical plasticity. This randomized parallel designed experiment included forty healthy right-handed males. Three different somatosensory tasks, including learning tasks with and without visual feedback and simple somatosensory input, were tested on pressure pain threshold and motor cortex excitability using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Sensory tasks induced hand-specific pain modulation effects. They increased pain thresholds of the left hand (which was the target to the sensory tasks) and decreased them in the right hand. TMS showed that somatosensory input decreased cortical excitability, as indexed by reduced MEP amplitudes and increased SICI. Although somatosensory tasks similarly altered pain thresholds and cortical excitability, there was no significant correlation between these variables and only the visual feedback task showed significant somatosensory learning. Lack of correlation between cortical excitability and pain thresholds and lack of differential effects across tasks, but significant changes in pain thresholds suggest that analgesic effects of somatosensory tasks are not primarily associated with motor cortical neural mechanisms, thus, suggesting that subcortical neural circuits and/or spinal cord are involved with the observed effects. Identifying the neural mechanisms of somatosensory stimulation on pain may open novel possibilities for combining different targeted therapies for pain control.

  13. 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

  14. 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). Copyright 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

  15. 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

  16. Sensory responses in the medial prefrontal cortex of anesthetized rats. Implications for sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Martin-Cortecero, Jesus; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-12-17

    The medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) plays a key role in higher functions such as memory and attention. In order to demonstrate sensory responses in the mPFC, we used electrophysiological recordings of urethane-anesthetized rats to record somatosensory-evoked potentials (SEPs) or auditory-evoked potentials (AEPs) elicited by whisker deflections and click stimulation, respectively. Contralateral whisker stimulation or auditory stimuli were also applied to study sensory interference in the mPFC. Interference with other sensory stimuli or recent stimulation history reduced whisker responses in the infralimbic and prelimbic cortices of the ventral mPFC. This effect could be mediated by activation of parvalbumin (PV) interneurons since the effect was blocked by the P/Q calcium channel antagonist ω-agatoxin. In contrast, sensory interference or the recent stimulation history was not detected by the dorsal mPFC or the primary somatosensory cortex. Results obtained from retrograde tracer injections in the dorsal and ventral regions of the mPFC indicated that somatosensory and auditory sensory inputs may arrive at the dorsal mPFC through secondary sensory cortical areas, and through the insular and temporal cortical areas. The ventral mPFC may receive sensory information through the strong anatomical connections between the dorsal and ventral mPFC areas. In conclusion, results suggest mPFC plays an important role in sensory processing, which may have important implications in attentional and memory processes.

  17. REMODELING SENSORY CORTICAL MAPS IMPLANTS SPECIFIC BEHAVIORAL MEMORY

    PubMed Central

    Bieszczad, Kasia M.; Miasnikov, Alexandre A.; Weinberger, Norman M.

    2013-01-01

    Neural mechanisms underlying the capacity of memory to be rich with sensory detail are largely unknown. A candidate mechanism is learning-induced plasticity that remodels 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 were 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. PMID:23639876

  18. Induction of bilateral plasticity in sensory cortical maps by small unilateral cortical infarcts in rats.

    PubMed

    Reinecke, S; Dinse, H R; Reinke, H; Witte, O W

    2003-02-01

    Behavioural impairments caused by brain lesions show a considerable, though often incomplete, recovery. It is hypothesized that cortical and subcortical plasticity of sensory representations contribute to this recovery. In the hindpaw representation of somatosensory cortex of adult rats we investigated the effects of focal unilateral cortical lesions on remote areas. Cortical lesions with a diameter of approximately 2 mm were induced in the parietal cortex by photothrombosis with the photosensitive dye Rose Bengal. Subsequently, animals were kept in standard cages for 7 days. On day seven, animals were anaesthetized and cutaneous receptive fields in the cortical hindpaw representations ipsi- and contralateral to the lesion were constructed from extracellular recordings of neurons in layer IV using glass microelectrodes. Receptive fields in the lesioned animals were compared to receptive fields measured in nonlesioned animals serving as controls. Quantitative analysis of receptive fields revealed a significant increase in size in the lesioned animals. This doubling in receptive field size was observed equally in the hemispheres ipsi- and contralateral to the lesion. The results indicate that the functional consequences of restricted cortical lesions are not limited to the area surrounding the lesion, but affect the cortical maps on the contralateral, nonlesioned hemisphere.

  19. Migraine is associated with altered processing of sensory stimuli.

    PubMed

    Harriott, Andrea M; Schwedt, Todd J

    2014-11-01

    Migraine is associated with derangements in perception of multiple sensory modalities including vision, hearing, smell, and somatosensation. Compared to people without migraine, migraineurs have lower discomfort thresholds in response to special sensory stimuli as well as to mechanical and thermal noxious stimuli. Likewise, the environmental triggers of migraine attacks, such as odors and flashing lights, highlight basal abnormalities in sensory processing and integration. These alterations in sensory processing and perception in migraineurs have been investigated via physiological studies and functional brain imaging studies. Investigations have demonstrated that migraineurs during and between migraine attacks have atypical stimulus-induced activations of brainstem, subcortical, and cortical regions that participate in sensory processing. A lack of normal habituation to repetitive stimuli during the interictal state and a tendency towards development of sensitization likely contribute to migraine-related alterations in sensory processing.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

    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.

  1. Sensory thresholds obtained from MEG data: cortical psychometric functions.

    PubMed

    Witton, C; Patel, T; Furlong, P L; Henning, G B; Worthen, S F; Talcott, J B

    2012-11-15

    Sensory sensitivity is typically measured using behavioural techniques (psychophysics), which rely on observers responding to very large numbers of stimulus presentations. Psychophysics can be problematic when working with special populations, such as children or clinical patients who may lack the compliance or cognitive skills to perform the behavioural tasks. We used an auditory gap-detection paradigm to develop an accurate measure of sensory threshold derived from passively-recorded magnetoencephalographic (MEG) data. Auditory evoked responses were elicited by silent gaps of varying durations in an on-going noise stimulus. Source modelling was used to spatially filter the MEG data and sigmoidal 'cortical psychometric functions' relating response amplitude to gap duration were obtained for each individual participant. Fitting the functions with a curve and estimating the gap duration at which the amplitude of the evoked response exceeded one standard deviation of the prestimulus brain activity provided an excellent prediction of psychophysical threshold. Accurate sensory thresholds can therefore be reliably extracted from MEG data recorded while participants listen passively to a stimulus. Because our paradigm required no behavioural task, the method is suitable for studies of populations where variations in cognitive skills or vigilance make traditional psychophysics unsuitable.

  2. Heteromodal Cortical Areas Encode Sensory-Motor Features of Word Meaning

    PubMed Central

    Humphries, Colin J.; Conant, Lisa L.; Seidenberg, Mark S.; Binder, Jeffrey R.

    2016-01-01

    The capacity to process information in conceptual form is a fundamental aspect of human cognition, yet little is known about how this type of information is encoded in the brain. Although the role of sensory and motor cortical areas has been a focus of recent debate, neuroimaging studies of concept representation consistently implicate a network of heteromodal areas that seem to support concept retrieval in general rather than knowledge related to any particular sensory-motor content. We used predictive machine learning on fMRI data to investigate the hypothesis that cortical areas in this “general semantic network” (GSN) encode multimodal information derived from basic sensory-motor processes, possibly functioning as convergence–divergence zones for distributed concept representation. An encoding model based on five conceptual attributes directly related to sensory-motor experience (sound, color, shape, manipulability, and visual motion) was used to predict brain activation patterns associated with individual lexical concepts in a semantic decision task. When the analysis was restricted to voxels in the GSN, the model was able to identify the activation patterns corresponding to individual concrete concepts significantly above chance. In contrast, a model based on five perceptual attributes of the word form performed at chance level. This pattern was reversed when the analysis was restricted to areas involved in the perceptual analysis of written word forms. These results indicate that heteromodal areas involved in semantic processing encode information about the relative importance of different sensory-motor attributes of concepts, possibly by storing particular combinations of sensory and motor features. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The present study used a predictive encoding model of word semantics to decode conceptual information from neural activity in heteromodal cortical areas. The model is based on five sensory-motor attributes of word meaning (color

  3. 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

  4. Cortical sensory loss in a patient with posterior cortical atrophy: a case report.

    PubMed

    Hsu, Jung-Lung; Chen, Wei-Hung; Chiu, Hou-Chang

    2004-02-01

    Patients with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) who present with initial symptoms of higher visual function deficits eventually develop alexia, aphasia, and components of Balint's syndrome or Gerstmann's syndrome. Recently, pathological findings were reported for these patients that are generally suggestive of Alzheimer's disease even though Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) was presumed as an alternative cause of some autopsy-diagnosed PCA cases. Here, we report a case with a four-year progression of cognitive and higher visual function deterioration, and with features not described in previously reported PCA cases (i.e., a distinct sensory complaint and early frontal lobe involvement). To summarize, this case belongs to perceptual-motor syndrome of asymmetric cortical degeneration and the underlying neuropathology is more suggestive of Alzheimer's disease than of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

  5. Cortical sensory map rearrangement after spinal cord injury: fMRI responses linked to Nogo signalling.

    PubMed

    Endo, Toshiki; Spenger, Christian; Tominaga, Teiji; Brené, Stefan; Olson, Lars

    2007-11-01

    Cortical sensory maps can reorganize in the adult brain in an experience-dependent manner. We monitored somatosensory cortical reorganization after sensory deafferentation using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in rats subjected to complete transection of the mid-thoracic spinal cord. Cortical representation in response to spared forelimb stimulation was observed to enlarge and invade adjacent sensory-deprived hind limb territory in the primary somatosensory cortex as early as 3 days after injury. Functional MRI also demonstrated long-term cortical plasticity accompanied by increased thalamic activation. To support the notion that alterations of cortical neuronal circuitry after spinal cord injury may underlie the fMRI changes, we quantified transcriptional activities of several genes related to cortical plasticity including the Nogo receptor (NgR), its co-receptor LINGO-1 and brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), using in situ hybridization. We demonstrate that NgR and LINGO-1 are down-regulated specifically in cortical areas deprived of sensory input and in adjacent cortex from 1 day after injury, while BDNF is up-regulated. Our results demonstrate that cortical neurons react to sensory deprivation by decreasing transcriptional activities of genes encoding the Nogo receptor components in the sensory deprived and the anatomically adjacent non-deprived area. Combined with the BDNF up-regulation, these changes presumably allow structural changes in the neuropil. Our observations therefore suggest an involvement of Nogo signalling in cortical activity-dependent plasticity in the somatosensory system. In spinal cord injury, cortical reorganization as shown here can become a disadvantage, much like the situation in amblyopia or phantom sensation. Successful strategies to repair sensory pathways at the spinal cord level may not lead to proper reestablishment of cortical connections, once deprived hind limb cortical areas have been reallocated to forelimb

  6. Large-scale imaging of cortical dynamics during sensory perception and behavior.

    PubMed

    Wekselblatt, Joseph B; Flister, Erik D; Piscopo, Denise M; Niell, Cristopher M

    2016-06-01

    Sensory-driven behaviors engage a cascade of cortical regions to process sensory input and generate motor output. To investigate the temporal dynamics of neural activity at this global scale, we have improved and integrated tools to perform functional imaging across large areas of cortex using a transgenic mouse expressing the genetically encoded calcium sensor GCaMP6s, together with a head-fixed visual discrimination behavior. This technique allows imaging of activity across the dorsal surface of cortex, with spatial resolution adequate to detect differential activity in local regions at least as small as 100 μm. Imaging during an orientation discrimination task reveals a progression of activity in different cortical regions associated with different phases of the task. After cortex-wide patterns of activity are determined, we demonstrate the ability to select a region that displayed conspicuous responses for two-photon microscopy and find that activity in populations of individual neurons in that region correlates with locomotion in trained mice. We expect that this paradigm will be a useful probe of information flow and network processing in brain-wide circuits involved in many sensory and cognitive processes. Copyright © 2016 the American Physiological Society.

  7. 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

  8. Measurement in Sensory Modulation: The Sensory Processing Scale Assessment

    PubMed Central

    Miller, Lucy J.; Sullivan, Jillian C.

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. Sensory modulation issues have a significant impact on participation in daily life. Moreover, understanding phenotypic variation in sensory modulation dysfunction is crucial for research related to defining homogeneous groups and for clinical work in guiding treatment planning. We thus evaluated the new Sensory Processing Scale (SPS) Assessment. METHOD. Research included item development, behavioral scoring system development, test administration, and item analyses to evaluate reliability and validity across sensory domains. RESULTS. Items with adequate reliability (internal reliability >.4) and discriminant validity (p < .01) were retained. Feedback from the expert panel also contributed to decisions about retaining items in the scale. CONCLUSION. The SPS Assessment appears to be a reliable and valid measure of sensory modulation (scale reliability >.90; discrimination between group effect sizes >1.00). This scale has the potential to aid in differential diagnosis of sensory modulation issues. PMID:25184464

  9. 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

  10. Neural correlate of subjective sensory experience gradually builds up across cortical areas

    PubMed Central

    de Lafuente, Victor; Romo, Ranulfo

    2006-01-01

    When a sensory stimulus is presented, many cortical areas are activated, but how does the representation of a sensory stimulus evolve in time and across cortical areas during a perceptual judgment? We investigated this question by analyzing the responses from single neurons, recorded in several cortical areas of parietal and frontal lobes, while trained monkeys reported the presence or absence of a mechanical vibration of varying amplitude applied to the skin of one fingertip. Here we show that the strength of the covariations between neuronal activity and perceptual judgments progressively increases across cortical areas as the activity is transmitted from the primary somatosensory cortex to the premotor areas of the frontal lobe. This finding suggests that the neuronal correlates of subjective sensory experience gradually build up across somatosensory areas of the parietal lobe and premotor cortices of the frontal lobe. PMID:16924098

  11. Sensory Activity Differentially Modulates NR2A and NR2B subunits in Cortical Layers

    PubMed Central

    CORSON, James; NAHMANI, Marc; LUBARSKY, Katherine; BADR, Nadia; WRIGHT, Carinne; ERISIR, Alev

    2009-01-01

    Activity-dependent modulation of NMDA receptors containing selective NR2 subunits has been implicated in plastic processes in developing and adult sensory cortex. Aiming to reveal differential sensitivity of NR2 subunits to sustained changes in sensory activity, we utilized four paradigms that blocked, reinstated, or initiated sensory visual activity. Laminar prevalence of NR2A- and NR2B-containing synapses in visual cortex of postnatal and adult ferrets was assessed using quantitative electron microscopy. Light-deprivation at all ages resulted in a downregulation of NR2A, while recovery from deprivation resulted in an upregulation. Furthermore, premature eyelid opening caused a precocious increase of NR2A. Thus, transitions between periods of dark and light rapidly and bidirectionally regulate NR2A, regardless of cortical layer or age. In contrast, NR2B regulation is layer- and age-dependent. Only in layer IV, NR2B prevalence displays a one-time decline about three weeks after the initiation of sensory activity upon normal or premature eyelid opening, or upon termination of dark-rearing. Incongruity in patterns of NR2A and NR2B modulation by activity is consistent with involvement of these subunits in two distinct, yet partially co-occurring processes: developmental plasticity with a critical period, and life-long plasticity that is established in early developmental ages. PMID:19596055

  12. Cortical Odor Processing in Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Wilson, Donald A.; Xu, Wenjin; Sadrian, Benjamin; Courtiol, Emmanuelle; Cohen, Yaniv; Barnes, Dylan C.

    2014-01-01

    The olfactory system has a rich cortical representation, including a large archicortical component present in most vertebrates, and in mammals neocortical components including the entorhinal and orbitofrontal cortices. Together, these cortical components contribute to normal odor perception and memory. They help transform the physicochemical features of volatile molecules inhaled or exhaled through the nose into the perception of odor objects with rich associative and hedonic aspects. This chapter focuses on how olfactory cortical areas contribute to odor perception and begins to explore why odor perception is so sensitive to disease and pathology. Odor perception is disrupted by a wide range of disorders including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia, depression, autism, and early life exposure to toxins. This olfactory deficit often occurs despite maintained functioning in other sensory systems. Does the unusual network of olfactory cortical structures contribute to this sensitivity? PMID:24767487

  13. Milliseconds of Sensory Input Abruptly Modulate the Dynamics of Cortical States for Seconds.

    PubMed

    Deneux, Thomas; Grinvald, Amiram

    2017-09-01

    Spontaneous internal activity plays a major role in higher brain functions. The question of how it modulates sensory evoked activity and behavior has been explored in anesthetized rodents, cats, monkeys and in behaving human subjects. However, the complementary question of how a brief sensory input modulates the internally generated activity in vivo remains unresolved, and high-resolution mapping of these bidirectional interactions was never performed. Integrating complementary methodologies, at population and single cells levels, we explored this question. Voltage-sensitive dye imaging of population activity in anesthetized rats' somatosensory cortex revealed that spontaneous up-states were largely diminished for ~2 s, even after a single weak whisker deflection. This effect was maximal at the stimulated barrel but spread across several cortical areas. A higher velocity whisker deflection evoked activity at ~15Hz. Two-photon calcium imaging activity and cell-attached recordings confirmed the VSD results and revealed that for several seconds most single cells decreased their firing, but a small number increased firing. Comparing single deflection with long train stimulation, we found a dominant effect of the first population spike. We suggest that, at the onset of a sensory input, some internal messages are silenced to prevent overloading of the processing of relevant incoming sensory information. © The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  14. Sensory cortical response to uncertainty and low salience during recognition of affective cues in musical intervals

    PubMed Central

    Cross, Ian; Stamatakis, Emmanuel Andreas; Rohrmeier, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have shown an increased sensory cortical response (i.e., heightened weight on sensory evidence) under higher levels of predictive uncertainty. The signal enhancement theory proposes that attention improves the quality of the stimulus representation, and therefore reduces uncertainty by increasing the gain of the sensory signal. The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates for ambiguous valence inferences signaled by auditory information within an emotion recognition paradigm. Participants categorized sound stimuli of three distinct levels of consonance/dissonance controlled by interval content. Separate behavioural and neuroscientific experiments were conducted. Behavioural results revealed that, compared with the consonance condition (perfect fourths, fifths and octaves) and the strong dissonance condition (minor/major seconds and tritones), the intermediate dissonance condition (minor thirds) was the most ambiguous, least salient and more cognitively demanding category (slowest reaction times). The neuroscientific findings were consistent with a heightened weight on sensory evidence whilst participants were evaluating intermediate dissonances, which was reflected in an increased neural response of the right Heschl’s gyrus. The results support previous studies that have observed enhanced precision of sensory evidence whilst participants attempted to represent and respond to higher degrees of uncertainty, and converge with evidence showing preferential processing of complex spectral information in the right primary auditory cortex. These findings are discussed with respect to music-theoretical concepts and recent Bayesian models of perception, which have proposed that attention may heighten the weight of information coming from sensory channels to stimulate learning about unknown predictive relationships. PMID:28422990

  15. Sensory cortical response to uncertainty and low salience during recognition of affective cues in musical intervals.

    PubMed

    Bravo, Fernando; Cross, Ian; Stamatakis, Emmanuel Andreas; Rohrmeier, Martin

    2017-01-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have shown an increased sensory cortical response (i.e., heightened weight on sensory evidence) under higher levels of predictive uncertainty. The signal enhancement theory proposes that attention improves the quality of the stimulus representation, and therefore reduces uncertainty by increasing the gain of the sensory signal. The present study employed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates for ambiguous valence inferences signaled by auditory information within an emotion recognition paradigm. Participants categorized sound stimuli of three distinct levels of consonance/dissonance controlled by interval content. Separate behavioural and neuroscientific experiments were conducted. Behavioural results revealed that, compared with the consonance condition (perfect fourths, fifths and octaves) and the strong dissonance condition (minor/major seconds and tritones), the intermediate dissonance condition (minor thirds) was the most ambiguous, least salient and more cognitively demanding category (slowest reaction times). The neuroscientific findings were consistent with a heightened weight on sensory evidence whilst participants were evaluating intermediate dissonances, which was reflected in an increased neural response of the right Heschl's gyrus. The results support previous studies that have observed enhanced precision of sensory evidence whilst participants attempted to represent and respond to higher degrees of uncertainty, and converge with evidence showing preferential processing of complex spectral information in the right primary auditory cortex. These findings are discussed with respect to music-theoretical concepts and recent Bayesian models of perception, which have proposed that attention may heighten the weight of information coming from sensory channels to stimulate learning about unknown predictive relationships.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Contextual control of audiovisual integration in low-level sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    van Atteveldt, Nienke M; Peterson, Bradley S; Schroeder, Charles E

    2014-05-01

    Potential sources of multisensory influences on low-level sensory cortices include direct projections from sensory cortices of different modalities, as well as more indirect feedback inputs from higher order multisensory cortical regions. These multiple architectures may be functionally complementary, but the exact roles and inter-relationships of the circuits are unknown. Using a fully balanced context manipulation, we tested the hypotheses that: (1) feedforward and lateral pathways subserve speed functions, such as detecting peripheral stimuli. Multisensory integration effects in this context are predicted in peripheral fields of low-level sensory cortices. (2) Slower feedback pathways underpin accuracy functions, such as object discrimination. Integration effects in this context are predicted in higher-order association cortices and central/foveal fields of low-level sensory cortex. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare the effects of central versus peripheral stimulation on audiovisual integration, while varying speed and accuracy requirements for behavioral responses. We found that interactions of task demands and stimulus eccentricity in low-level sensory cortices are more complex than would be predicted by a simple dichotomy such as our hypothesized peripheral/speed and foveal/accuracy functions. Additionally, our findings point to individual differences in integration that may be related to skills and strategy. Overall, our findings suggest that instead of using fixed, specialized pathways, the exact circuits and mechanisms that are used for low-level multisensory integration are much more flexible and contingent upon both individual and contextual factors than previously assumed.

  19. Directed Interactions Between Auditory and Superior Temporal Cortices and their Role in Sensory Integration

    PubMed Central

    Kayser, Christoph; Logothetis, Nikos K.

    2009-01-01

    Recent studies using functional imaging and electrophysiology demonstrate that processes related to sensory integration are not restricted to higher association cortices but already occur in early sensory cortices, such as primary auditory cortex. While anatomical studies suggest the superior temporal sulcus (STS) as likely source of visual input to auditory cortex, little evidence exists to support this notion at the functional level. Here we tested this hypothesis by simultaneously recording from sites in auditory cortex and STS in alert animals stimulated with dynamic naturalistic audio–visual scenes. Using Granger causality and directed transfer functions we first quantified causal interactions at the level of field potentials, and subsequently determined those frequency bands that show effective interactions, i.e. interactions that are relevant for influencing neuronal firing at the target site. We found that effective interactions from auditory cortex to STS prevail below 20 Hz, while interactions from STS to auditory cortex prevail above 20 Hz. In addition, we found that directed interactions from STS to auditory cortex make a significant contribution to multisensory influences in auditory cortex: Sites in auditory cortex showing multisensory enhancement received stronger feed-back from STS during audio–visual than during auditory stimulation, while sites with multisensory suppression received weaker feed-back. These findings suggest that beta frequencies might be important for inter-areal coupling in the temporal lobe and demonstrate that superior temporal regions indeed provide one major source of visual influences to auditory cortex. PMID:19503750

  20. Primary motor and sensory cortical areas communicate via spatiotemporally coordinated networks at multiple frequencies

    PubMed Central

    Arce-McShane, Fritzie I.; Ross, Callum F.; Takahashi, Kazutaka; Sessle, Barry J.; Hatsopoulos, Nicholas G.

    2016-01-01

    Skilled movements rely on sensory information to shape optimal motor responses, for which the sensory and motor cortical areas are critical. How these areas interact to mediate sensorimotor integration is largely unknown. Here, we measure intercortical coherence between the orofacial motor (MIo) and somatosensory (SIo) areas of cortex as monkeys learn to generate tongue-protrusive force. We report that coherence between MIo and SIo is reciprocal and that neuroplastic changes in coherence gradually emerge over a few days. These functional networks of coherent spiking and local field potentials exhibit frequency-specific spatiotemporal properties. During force generation, theta coherence (2–6 Hz) is prominent and exhibited by numerous paired signals; before or after force generation, coherence is evident in alpha (6–13 Hz), beta (15–30 Hz), and gamma (30–50 Hz) bands, but the functional networks are smaller and weaker. Unlike coherence in the higher frequency bands, the distribution of the phase at peak theta coherence is bimodal with peaks near 0° and ±180°, suggesting that communication between somatosensory and motor areas is coordinated temporally by the phase of theta coherence. Time-sensitive sensorimotor integration and plasticity may rely on coherence of local and large-scale functional networks for cortical processes to operate at multiple temporal and spatial scales. PMID:27091982

  1. Modulation of spike timing by sensory deprivation during induction of cortical map plasticity.

    PubMed

    Celikel, Tansu; Szostak, Vanessa A; Feldman, Daniel E

    2004-05-01

    Deprivation-induced plasticity of sensory cortical maps involves long-term potentiation (LTP) and depression (LTD) of cortical synapses, but how sensory deprivation triggers LTP and LTD in vivo is unknown. Here we tested whether spike timing-dependent forms of LTP and LTD are involved in this process. We measured spike trains from neurons in layer 4 (L4) and layers 2 and 3 (L2/3) of rat somatosensory cortex before and after acute whisker deprivation, a manipulation that induces whisker map plasticity involving LTD at L4-to-L2/3 (L4-L2/3) synapses. Whisker deprivation caused an immediate reversal of firing order for most L4 and L2/3 neurons and a substantial decorrelation of spike trains, changes known to drive timing-dependent LTD at L4-L2/3 synapses in vitro. In contrast, spike rate changed only modestly. Thus, whisker deprivation is likely to drive map plasticity by spike timing-dependent mechanisms.

  2. Unimodal primary sensory cortices are directly connected by long-range horizontal projections in the rat sensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Stehberg, Jimmy; Dang, Phat T.; Frostig, Ron D.

    2014-01-01

    Research based on functional imaging and neuronal recordings in the barrel cortex subdivision of primary somatosensory cortex (SI) of the adult rat has revealed novel aspects of structure-function relationships in this cortex. Specifically, it has demonstrated that single whisker stimulation evokes subthreshold neuronal activity that spreads symmetrically within gray matter from the appropriate barrel area, crosses cytoarchitectural borders of SI and reaches deeply into other unimodal primary cortices such as primary auditory (AI) and primary visual (VI). It was further demonstrated that this spread is supported by a spatially matching underlying diffuse network of border-crossing, long-range projections that could also reach deeply into AI and VI. Here we seek to determine whether such a network of border-crossing, long-range projections is unique to barrel cortex or characterizes also other primary, unimodal sensory cortices and therefore could directly connect them. Using anterograde (BDA) and retrograde (CTb) tract-tracing techniques, we demonstrate that such diffuse horizontal networks directly and mutually connect VI, AI and SI. These findings suggest that diffuse, border-crossing axonal projections connecting directly primary cortices are an important organizational motif common to all major primary sensory cortices in the rat. Potential implications of these findings for topics including cortical structure-function relationships, multisensory integration, functional imaging, and cortical parcellation are discussed. PMID:25309339

  3. Primary processes in sensory cells: current advances.

    PubMed

    Frings, Stephan

    2009-01-01

    In the course of evolution, the strong and unremitting selective pressure on sensory performance has driven the acuity of sensory organs to its physical limits. As a consequence, the study of primary sensory processes illustrates impressively how far a physiological function can be improved if the survival of a species depends on it. Sensory cells that detect single-photons, single molecules, mechanical motions on a nanometer scale, or incredibly small fluctuations of electromagnetic fields have fascinated physiologists for a long time. It is a great challenge to understand the primary sensory processes on a molecular level. This review points out some important recent developments in the search for primary processes in sensory cells that mediate touch perception, hearing, vision, taste, olfaction, as well as the analysis of light polarization and the orientation in the Earth's magnetic field. The data are screened for common transduction strategies and common transduction molecules, an aspect that may be helpful for researchers in the field.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Beyond traditional approaches to understanding the functional role of neuromodulators in sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    Edeline, Jean-Marc

    2012-01-01

    Over the last two decades, a vast literature has described the influence of neuromodulatory systems on the responses of sensory cortex neurons (review in Gu, 2002; Edeline, 2003; Weinberger, 2003; Metherate, 2004, 2011). At the single cell level, facilitation of evoked responses, increases in signal-to-noise ratio, and improved functional properties of sensory cortex neurons have been reported in the visual, auditory, and somatosensory modality. At the map level, massive cortical reorganizations have been described when repeated activation of a neuromodulatory system are associated with a particular sensory stimulus. In reviewing our knowledge concerning the way the noradrenergic and cholinergic system control sensory cortices, I will point out that the differences between the protocols used to reveal these effects most likely reflect different assumptions concerning the role of the neuromodulators. More importantly, a gap still exists between the descriptions of neuromodulatory effects and the concepts that are currently applied to decipher the neural code operating in sensory cortices. Key examples that bring this gap into focus are the concept of cell assemblies and the role played by the spike timing precision (i.e., by the temporal organization of spike trains at the millisecond time-scale) which are now recognized as essential in sensory physiology but are rarely considered in experiments describing the role of neuromodulators in sensory cortices. Thus, I will suggest that several lines of research, particularly in the field of computational neurosciences, should help us to go beyond traditional approaches and, ultimately, to understand how neuromodulators impact on the cortical mechanisms underlying our perceptual abilities. PMID:22866031

  7. 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

  8. Analysis of Slow (Theta) Oscillations as a Potential Temporal Reference Frame for Information Coding in Sensory Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Kayser, Christoph; Ince, Robin A. A.; Panzeri, Stefano

    2012-01-01

    While sensory neurons carry behaviorally relevant information in responses that often extend over hundreds of milliseconds, the key units of neural information likely consist of much shorter and temporally precise spike patterns. The mechanisms and temporal reference frames by which sensory networks partition responses into these shorter units of information remain unknown. One hypothesis holds that slow oscillations provide a network-intrinsic reference to temporally partitioned spike trains without exploiting the millisecond-precise alignment of spikes to sensory stimuli. We tested this hypothesis on neural responses recorded in visual and auditory cortices of macaque monkeys in response to natural stimuli. Comparing different schemes for response partitioning revealed that theta band oscillations provide a temporal reference that permits extracting significantly more information than can be obtained from spike counts, and sometimes almost as much information as obtained by partitioning spike trains using precisely stimulus-locked time bins. We further tested the robustness of these partitioning schemes to temporal uncertainty in the decoding process and to noise in the sensory input. This revealed that partitioning using an oscillatory reference provides greater robustness than partitioning using precisely stimulus-locked time bins. Overall, these results provide a computational proof of concept for the hypothesis that slow rhythmic network activity may serve as internal reference frame for information coding in sensory cortices and they foster the notion that slow oscillations serve as key elements for the computations underlying perception. PMID:23071429

  9. Cortical-Cortical Interactions and Sensory Information Processing in Autism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-04-01

    response device ( mouse ) connected directly to the PC. One trial consisted of the delivery of two simultaneous vibrotactile stimuli, each through...Prince DA. Barrel cortex micro- circuits: thalamocortical feedforward inhibition in spiny stellate cells is mediated by a small number of fast

  10. Cortical-Cortical Interactions and Sensory Information Processing in Autism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-04-01

    Design and fabrication of a portable diagnostic stimulator Contemporary methods for applying multi-site vibratory stimuli to the skin typically involve...autonomy of finger move- ments, intended motion in one finger often results in simultaneous movement , or enslavement, of other digits. More specifically, D3...psychophysics. Am J Psychol 1962;75: 485–91. Dennis RG, Kosnik PE. Mesenchymal cell culture: instrumentation and methods for evaluating engineered muscle . In

  11. 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…

  12. 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…

  13. 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

  14. Pharmacology of sensory stimulation-evoked increases in frontal cortical acetylcholine release.

    PubMed

    Acquas, E; Wilson, C; Fibiger, H C

    1998-07-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that a variety of sensory stimuli can increase acetylcholine release in the frontal cortex of rats. The aim of the present experiments was to investigate the pharmacological regulation of sensory stimulation-induced increases in the activity of basal forebrain cholinergic neurons. To this end, the effects of agonists and antagonists at a variety of neurotransmitter receptors on basal and tactile stimulation-evoked increases in frontal cortical acetylcholine release were studied using in vivo brain microdialysis. Tactile stimulation, produced by gently stroking the rat's neck with a nylon brush for 20 min, significantly increased frontal cortical acetylcholine release by more than 100% above baseline. The noradrenergic alpha2 agonist clonidine (0.1 or 0.2 mg/kg) and alpha1 antagonist prazosin (1 mg/kg) failed to affect basal cortical acetylcholine release; however, both compounds significantly reduced the increases evoked by sensory stimulation. In contrast, the alpha2 antagonist yohimbine (3 mg/kg) increased basal cortical acetylcholine release, thereby preventing meaningful investigation of its effects on tactile stimulation-evoked increases. The benzodiazepine agonist diazepam (5 mg/kg) reduced, and the GABA(A) receptor antagonist picrotoxin (2 mg/kg) increased basal cortical acetylcholine release; in addition, diazepam attenuated the increases in cortical acetylcholine release evoked by tactile stimulation. While dopaminergic D1 (SCH 23390, 0.15 mg/kg) and D2 (raclopride, 1 mg/kg) receptor antagonists did not by themselves significantly influence the increases evoked by tactile stimulation, their co-administration produced a significant reduction. The opioid receptor antagonist naltrexone (1.5 mg/kg) failed to affect either basal or tactile stimulation-evoked increases in acetylcholine overflow. Finally, the non-competitive N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor antagonist, dizocilpine maleate (MK-801; 0.025 and 0.05 mg/kg) increased

  15. Cortical plasticity as a mechanism for storing Bayesian priors in sensory perception.

    PubMed

    Köver, Hania; Bao, Shaowen

    2010-05-05

    Human perception of ambiguous sensory signals is biased by prior experiences. It is not known how such prior information is encoded, retrieved and combined with sensory information by neurons. Previous authors have suggested dynamic encoding mechanisms for prior information, whereby top-down modulation of firing patterns on a trial-by-trial basis creates short-term representations of priors. Although such a mechanism may well account for perceptual bias arising in the short-term, it does not account for the often irreversible and robust changes in perception that result from long-term, developmental experience. Based on the finding that more frequently experienced stimuli gain greater representations in sensory cortices during development, we reasoned that prior information could be stored in the size of cortical sensory representations. For the case of auditory perception, we use a computational model to show that prior information about sound frequency distributions may be stored in the size of primary auditory cortex frequency representations, read-out by elevated baseline activity in all neurons and combined with sensory-evoked activity to generate a perception that conforms to Bayesian integration theory. Our results suggest an alternative neural mechanism for experience-induced long-term perceptual bias in the context of auditory perception. They make the testable prediction that the extent of such perceptual prior bias is modulated by both the degree of cortical reorganization and the magnitude of spontaneous activity in primary auditory cortex. Given that cortical over-representation of frequently experienced stimuli, as well as perceptual bias towards such stimuli is a common phenomenon across sensory modalities, our model may generalize to sensory perception, rather than being specific to auditory perception.

  16. Optic-flow selective cortical sensory regions associated with self-reported states of vection

    PubMed Central

    Uesaki, Maiko; Ashida, Hiroshi

    2015-01-01

    Optic flow is one of the most important visual cues to the estimation of self-motion. It has repeatedly been demonstrated that a cortical network including visual, multisensory, and vestibular areas is implicated in processing optic flow; namely, visual areas middle temporal cortex (MT+), V6; multisensory areas ventral intra-parietal area (VIP), cingulate sulcus visual area, precuneus motion area (PcM); and vestibular areas parieto-insular vestibular cortex (PIVC) and putative area 2v (p2v). However, few studies have investigated the roles of and interaction between the optic-flow selective sensory areas within the context of self-motion perception. When visual information (i.e., optic flow) is the sole cue to computing self-motion parameters, the discrepancy amongst the sensory signals may induce an illusion of self-motion referred to as ‘vection.’ This study aimed to identify optic-flow selective sensory areas that are involved in the processing of visual cues to self-motion, by introducing vection as an index and assessing activation in which of those areas reflect vection, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The results showed that activity in visual areas MT+ and V6, multisensory area VIP and vestibular area PIVC was significantly greater while participants were experiencing vection, as compared to when they were experiencing no vection, which may indicate that activation in MT+, V6, VIP, and PIVC reflects vection. The results also place VIP in a good position to integrate visual cues related to self-motion and vestibular information. PMID:26106350

  17. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-15

    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.

  19. Dendritic BDNF synthesis is required for late-phase spine maturation and recovery of cortical responses following sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Kaneko, Megumi; Xie, Yuxiang; An, Juan Ji; Stryker, Michael P; Xu, Baoji

    2012-04-04

    Sensory experience in early postnatal life shapes neuronal connections in the brain. Here we report that the local synthesis of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in dendrites plays an important role in this process. We found that dendritic spines of layer 2/3 pyramidal neurons of the visual cortex in mutant mice lacking dendritic Bdnf mRNA and thus local BDNF synthesis were normal at 3 weeks of age, but thinner, longer, and more closely spaced (morphological features of immaturity) at 4 months of age than in wild-type (WT) littermates. Layer 2/3 of the visual cortex in these mutant animals also had fewer GABAergic presynaptic terminals at both ages. The overall size and shape of dendritic arbors were, however, similar in mutant and WT mice at both ages. By using optical imaging of intrinsic signals and single-unit recordings, we found that mutant animals failed to recover cortical responsiveness following monocular deprivation (MD) during the critical period, although they displayed normally the competitive loss of responsiveness to an eye briefly deprived of vision. Furthermore, MD still induced a loss of responsiveness to the closed eye in adult mutant mice, but not in adult WT mice. These results indicate that dendritic BDNF synthesis is required for spine pruning, late-phase spine maturation, and recovery of cortical responsiveness following sensory deprivation. They also suggest that maturation of dendritic spines is required for the maintenance of cortical responsiveness following sensory deprivation in adulthood.

  20. Rate and Temporal Coding Convey Multisensory Information in Primary Sensory Cortices.

    PubMed

    Bieler, Malte; Sieben, Kay; Cichon, Nicole; Schildt, Sandra; Röder, Brigitte; Hanganu-Opatz, Ileana L

    2017-01-01

    Optimal behavior and survival result from integration of information across sensory systems. Modulation of network activity at the level of primary sensory cortices has been identified as a mechanism of cross-modal integration, yet its cellular substrate is still poorly understood. Here, we uncover the mechanisms by which individual neurons in primary somatosensory (S1) and visual (V1) cortices encode visual-tactile stimuli. For this, simultaneous extracellular recordings were performed from all layers of the S1 barrel field and V1 in Brown Norway rats in vivo and units were clustered and assigned to pyramidal neurons (PYRs) and interneurons (INs). We show that visual-tactile stimulation modulates the firing rate of a relatively low fraction of neurons throughout all cortical layers. Generally, it augments the firing of INs and decreases the activity of PYRs. Moreover, bimodal stimulation shapes the timing of neuronal firing by strengthening the phase-coupling between neuronal discharge and theta-beta band network oscillations as well as by modulating spiking onset. Sparse direct axonal projections between neurons in S1 and V1 seem to time the spike trains between the two cortical areas and, thus, may act as a substrate of cross-modal modulation. These results indicate that few cortical neurons mediate multisensory effects in primary sensory areas by directly encoding cross-modal information by their rate and timing of firing.

  1. Rate and Temporal Coding Convey Multisensory Information in Primary Sensory Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Sieben, Kay; Cichon, Nicole; Schildt, Sandra; Röder, Brigitte

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Optimal behavior and survival result from integration of information across sensory systems. Modulation of network activity at the level of primary sensory cortices has been identified as a mechanism of cross-modal integration, yet its cellular substrate is still poorly understood. Here, we uncover the mechanisms by which individual neurons in primary somatosensory (S1) and visual (V1) cortices encode visual-tactile stimuli. For this, simultaneous extracellular recordings were performed from all layers of the S1 barrel field and V1 in Brown Norway rats in vivo and units were clustered and assigned to pyramidal neurons (PYRs) and interneurons (INs). We show that visual-tactile stimulation modulates the firing rate of a relatively low fraction of neurons throughout all cortical layers. Generally, it augments the firing of INs and decreases the activity of PYRs. Moreover, bimodal stimulation shapes the timing of neuronal firing by strengthening the phase-coupling between neuronal discharge and theta–beta band network oscillations as well as by modulating spiking onset. Sparse direct axonal projections between neurons in S1 and V1 seem to time the spike trains between the two cortical areas and, thus, may act as a substrate of cross-modal modulation. These results indicate that few cortical neurons mediate multisensory effects in primary sensory areas by directly encoding cross-modal information by their rate and timing of firing. PMID:28374008

  2. Effects of cue-triggered expectation on cortical processing of taste.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-26

    Animals are not passive spectators of the sensory world in which they live. In natural conditions they often sense objects on the bases of expectations initiated by predictive cues. Expectation profoundly modulates neural activity by altering the background state of cortical networks and modulating sensory processing. The link between these two effects is not known. Here, we studied how cue-triggered expectation of stimulus availability influences processing of sensory stimuli in the gustatory cortex (GC). We found that expected tastants were coded more rapidly than unexpected stimuli. The faster onset of sensory coding related to anticipatory priming of GC by associative auditory cues. Simultaneous recordings and pharmacological manipulations of GC and basolateral amygdala revealed the role of top-down inputs in mediating the effects of anticipatory cues. Altogether, these data provide a model for how cue-triggered expectation changes the state of sensory cortices to achieve rapid processing of natural stimuli.

  3. Cortico-Cortical Connections of Primary Sensory Areas and Associated Symptoms in Migraine.

    PubMed

    Hodkinson, Duncan J; Veggeberg, Rosanna; Kucyi, Aaron; van Dijk, Koene R A; Wilcox, Sophie L; Scrivani, Steven J; Burstein, Rami; Becerra, Lino; Borsook, David

    2016-01-01

    Migraine is a recurring, episodic neurological disorder characterized by headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensory disturbances. These events are thought to arise from the activation and sensitization of neurons along the trigemino-vascular pathway. From animal studies, it is known that thalamocortical projections play an important role in the transmission of nociceptive signals from the meninges to the cortex. However, little is currently known about the potential involvement of cortico-cortical feedback projections from higher-order multisensory areas and/or feedforward projections from principle primary sensory areas or subcortical structures. In a large cohort of human migraine patients (N = 40) and matched healthy control subjects (N = 40), we used resting-state intrinsic functional connectivity to examine the cortical networks associated with the three main sensory perceptual modalities of vision, audition, and somatosensation. Specifically, we sought to explore the complexity of the sensory networks as they converge and become functionally coupled in multimodal systems. We also compared self-reported retrospective migraine symptoms in the same patients, examining the prevalence of sensory symptoms across the different phases of the migraine cycle. Our results show widespread and persistent disturbances in the perceptions of multiple sensory modalities. Consistent with this observation, we discovered that primary sensory areas maintain local functional connectivity but express impaired long-range connections to higher-order association areas (including regions of the default mode and salience network). We speculate that cortico-cortical interactions are necessary for the integration of information within and across the sensory modalities and, thus, could play an important role in the initiation of migraine and/or the development of its associated symptoms.

  4. Cortico–Cortical Connections of Primary Sensory Areas and Associated Symptoms in Migraine

    PubMed Central

    Veggeberg, Rosanna; Wilcox, Sophie L.; Scrivani, Steven J.; Borsook, David

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Migraine is a recurring, episodic neurological disorder characterized by headache, nausea, vomiting, and sensory disturbances. These events are thought to arise from the activation and sensitization of neurons along the trigemino–vascular pathway. From animal studies, it is known that thalamocortical projections play an important role in the transmission of nociceptive signals from the meninges to the cortex. However, little is currently known about the potential involvement of cortico–cortical feedback projections from higher-order multisensory areas and/or feedforward projections from principle primary sensory areas or subcortical structures. In a large cohort of human migraine patients (N = 40) and matched healthy control subjects (N = 40), we used resting-state intrinsic functional connectivity to examine the cortical networks associated with the three main sensory perceptual modalities of vision, audition, and somatosensation. Specifically, we sought to explore the complexity of the sensory networks as they converge and become functionally coupled in multimodal systems. We also compared self-reported retrospective migraine symptoms in the same patients, examining the prevalence of sensory symptoms across the different phases of the migraine cycle. Our results show widespread and persistent disturbances in the perceptions of multiple sensory modalities. Consistent with this observation, we discovered that primary sensory areas maintain local functional connectivity but express impaired long-range connections to higher-order association areas (including regions of the default mode and salience network). We speculate that cortico–cortical interactions are necessary for the integration of information within and across the sensory modalities and, thus, could play an important role in the initiation of migraine and/or the development of its associated symptoms. PMID:28101529

  5. Top-down modulation of visual and auditory cortical processing in aging.

    PubMed

    Guerreiro, Maria J S; Eck, Judith; Moerel, Michelle; Evers, Elisabeth A T; Van Gerven, Pascal W M

    2015-02-01

    Age-related cognitive decline has been accounted for by an age-related deficit in top-down attentional modulation of sensory cortical processing. In light of recent behavioral findings showing that age-related differences in selective attention are modality dependent, our goal was to investigate the role of sensory modality in age-related differences in top-down modulation of sensory cortical processing. This question was addressed by testing younger and older individuals in several memory tasks while undergoing fMRI. Throughout these tasks, perceptual features were kept constant while attentional instructions were varied, allowing us to devise all combinations of relevant and irrelevant, visual and auditory information. We found no top-down modulation of auditory sensory cortical processing in either age group. In contrast, we found top-down modulation of visual cortical processing in both age groups, and this effect did not differ between age groups. That is, older adults enhanced cortical processing of relevant visual information and suppressed cortical processing of visual distractors during auditory attention to the same extent as younger adults. The present results indicate that older adults are capable of suppressing irrelevant visual information in the context of cross-modal auditory attention, and thereby challenge the view that age-related attentional and cognitive decline is due to a general deficits in the ability to suppress irrelevant information. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

  7. Sensory processing in Huntington's disease.

    PubMed

    Mirallave, Ana; Morales, Merche; Cabib, Christopher; Muñoz, Esteban J; Santacruz, Pilar; Gasull, Xavier; Valls-Sole, Josep

    2017-05-01

    An intriguing electrophysiological feature of patients with Huntington's disease (HD) is the delayed latency and decreased amplitude of somatosensory long-latency evoked potentials (LLeps). We investigated whether such dysfunction was associated with delayed conscious perception of the sensory stimulus. Sixteen HD patients and 16 control subjects faced a computer screen showing the Libet's clock (Libet et al., 1983). In Rest trials, subjects had to memorize the position of the clock handle at perception of either electrical or thermal stimuli (AW). In React, additionally, they were asked to make a fist with their right hand, in a simple reaction time task (SRT). LLseps were recorded from Cz in both conditions. LLeps negative peak latency (N2) and SRT were abnormally delayed in patients in all conditions. AW was only abnormally prolonged in the React condition but the time difference between AW and the negative peak of the LLeps was not different in the two groups. There was a significant negative correlation between SRT and AW or LLeps amplitude in patients but not in healthy subjects. Our HD patients did not show abnormalities in conscious perception of sensory stimuli but their LLeps abnormalities were more marked when they had to react. This is compatible with failure to detect stimulus salience rather than with a cognitive defect. HD patients at early stages of the disease have preserved subjective perception of sensation but faulty sensorimotor integration. Copyright © 2017 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Cortical processing of human somatic and visceral sensation.

    PubMed

    Aziz, Q; Thompson, D G; Ng, V W; Hamdy, S; Sarkar, S; Brammer, M J; Bullmore, E T; Hobson, A; Tracey, I; Gregory, L; Simmons, A; Williams, S C

    2000-04-01

    Somatic sensation can be localized precisely, whereas localization of visceral sensation is vague, possibly reflecting differences in the pattern of somatic and visceral input to the cerebral cortex. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the cortical processing of sensation arising from the proximal (somatic) and distal (visceral) esophagus in six healthy male subjects. Esophageal stimulation was performed by phasic distension of a 2 cm balloon at 0.5 Hz. For each esophageal region, five separate 30 sec periods of nonpainful distension were alternated with five periods of similar duration without distension. Gradient echoplanar images depicting bold contrast were acquired using a 1.5 T GE scanner. Distension of the proximal esophagus was localized precisely to the upper chest and was represented in the trunk region of the left primary somatosensory cortex. In contrast, distension of the distal esophagus was perceived diffusely over the lower chest and was represented bilaterally at the junction of the primary and secondary somatosensory cortices. Different activation patterns were also observed in the anterior cingulate gyrus with the proximal esophagus being represented in the right midanterior cingulate cortex (BA 24) and the distal esophagus in the perigenual area (BA32). Differences in the activation of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and cerebellum were also observed for the two esophageal regions. These findings suggest that cortical specialization in the sensory-discriminative, affective, and cognitive areas of the cortex accounts for the perceptual differences observed between the two sensory modalities.

  11. Progesterone Sharpens Temporal Response Profiles of Sensory Cortical Neurons in Animals Exposed to Traumatic Brain Injury.

    PubMed

    Allitt, Benjamin J; Johnstone, Victoria P A; Richards, Katrina L; Yan, Edwin B; Rajan, Ramesh

    2017-07-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiates a cascade of pathophysiological changes that are both complex and difficult to treat. Progesterone (P4) is a neuroprotective treatment option that has shown excellent preclinical benefits in the treatment of TBI, but these benefits have not translated well in the clinic. We have previously shown that P4 exacerbates the already hypoactive upper cortical responses in the short-term post-TBI and does not reduce upper cortical hyperactivity in the long term, and we concluded that there is no tangible benefit to sensory cortex firing strength. Here we examined the effects of P4 treatment on temporal coding resolution in the rodent sensory cortex in both the short term (4 d) and long term (8 wk) following impact-acceleration-induced TBI. We show that in the short-term postinjury, TBI has no effect on sensory cortex temporal resolution and that P4 also sharpens the response profile in all cortical layers in the uninjured brain and all layers other than layer 2 (L2) in the injured brain. In the long term, TBI broadens the response profile in all cortical layers despite firing rate hyperactivity being localized to upper cortical layers and P4 sharpens the response profile in TBI animals in all layers other than L2 and has no long-term effect in the sham brain. These results indicate that P4 has long-term effects on sensory coding that may translate to beneficial perceptual outcomes. The effects seen here, combined with previous beneficial preclinical data, emphasize that P4 is still a potential treatment option in ameliorating TBI-induced disorders.

  12. Progesterone sharpens temporal response profiles of sensory cortical neurons in animals exposed to traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    J Allitt, Benjamin; P A Johnstone, Victoria; L Richards, Katrina; B Yan, Edwin; Rajan, Ramesh

    2016-12-07

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) initiates a cascade of pathophysiological changes that are both complex and difficult to treat. Progesterone (P4) is a neuroprotective treatment option that has shown excellent preclinical benefits in the treatment of TBI but these benefits have not translated well in the clinic. We have previously shown that P4 exacerbates the already hypoactive upper cortical responses in the short-term post-TBI and does not reduce upper cortical hyper-activity in the long-term, and we concluded that there is no tangible benefit to sensory cortex firing strength. Here we examined the effects of P4 treatment on temporal coding resolution in the rodent sensory cortex in both the short-term (4 days) and long-term (8 weeks) following impact acceleration-induced TBI. We show that; in the short-term post-injury TBI has no effect on sensory cortex temporal resolution and that P4 also sharpens the response profile in all cortical layers in the uninjured brain and all layers other than layer 2 in the injured brain. In the long-term TBI broadens the response profile in all cortical layers despite firing rate hyperactivity being localised to upper cortical layers and P4 sharpens the response profile in TBI animals in all layers other than L2 and has no long-term effect in the Sham brain. These results indicate that P4 has long-term effects on sensory coding that may translate to beneficial perceptual outcomes. The effects seen here, combined with previous beneficial pre-clinical data, emphasise that P4 is still a potential treatment option in ameliorating TBI induced disorders.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Loughead, James; Gur, Ruben C.; Schneider, Frank; Mathiak, Klaus

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:23051903

  16. Molecular correlates of cortical network modulation by long-term sensory experience in the adult rat barrel cortex

    PubMed Central

    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 up-regulates cortical expression of neuropeptide mRNAs and down-regulates immediate-early gene (IEG) mRNAs specifically in the barrel cortex, and not in other brain regions. The present data suggest a central role of neuropeptides in the fine-tuning of sensory cortical circuits by long-term experience. PMID:25171421

  17. 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

  18. Peripheral sensory activation of cortical circuits in the leg motor cortex of man

    PubMed Central

    Roy, François D; Gorassini, Monica A

    2008-01-01

    Peripheral sensory afferents in the hand activate both excitatory and inhibitory intracortical circuits to potentially facilitate and prune descending motor commands. In this study, we characterized how afferent inputs modulate the excitability of cortical circuits in the leg area of the primary motor cortex by examining how stimulation of the tibial nerve (TN) at the ankle alters motor evoked potentials (MEPs) activated by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Resting MEPs in the tibialis anterior (TA) muscle were facilitated in response to heteronymous activation of the TN 45–50 ms earlier, whereas MEPs were inhibited at interstimulus intervals of 32.5–37.5 ms. Similar time-dependent modulation occurred in the soleus (SOL) muscle with stimulation of the homonymous posterior tibial nerve (PTN) at the knee. To determine the site of this afferent-evoked facilitation and inhibition (spinal or cortical), we compared the effects of afferent stimulation to responses evoked at subcortical sites. At interstimulus intervals where MEP facilitation was observed (near 50 ms), spinal H-reflexes and responses evoked from corticospinal tract stimulation at the brainstem were predominantly depressed by the sensory stimulus suggesting that the observed MEP facilitation was cortical in origin. At interstimulus intervals where MEP depression was observed (near 35 ms), brainstem evoked responses were depressed to a similar degree and, in contrast to the hand, this suggests that spinal rather than cortical circuits mediate short-latency afferent inhibition (SAI) of leg MEPs. When the MEP was facilitated by afferent inputs, short-interval intracortical inhibition (SICI) was reduced and intracortical facilitation (ICF) was increased, but long-interval intracortical inhibition (LICI) at a 100 ms interval was unchanged. In addition, sensory excitation increased the recruitment of early, middle and late descending corticospinal volleys as evidenced from increases in MEP facilitation

  19. Input-Specific Gain Modulation by Local Sensory Context Shapes Cortical and Thalamic Responses to Complex Sounds.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Ross S; Ahrens, Misha B; Linden, Jennifer F; Sahani, Maneesh

    2016-07-20

    Sensory neurons are customarily characterized by one or more linearly weighted receptive fields describing sensitivity in sensory space and time. We show that in auditory cortical and thalamic neurons, the weight of each receptive field element depends on the pattern of sound falling within a local neighborhood surrounding it in time and frequency. Accounting for this change in effective receptive field with spectrotemporal context improves predictions of both cortical and thalamic responses to stationary complex sounds. Although context dependence varies among neurons and across brain areas, there are strong shared qualitative characteristics. In a spectrotemporally rich soundscape, sound elements modulate neuronal responsiveness more effectively when they coincide with sounds at other frequencies, and less effectively when they are preceded by sounds at similar frequencies. This local-context-driven lability in the representation of complex sounds-a modulation of "input-specific gain" rather than "output gain"-may be a widespread motif in sensory processing. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Neuron numbers in sensory cortices of five delphinids compared to a physeterid, the pygmy sperm whale.

    PubMed

    Poth, C; Fung, C; Güntürkün, O; Ridgway, S H; Oelschläger, H H A

    2005-09-15

    With its large mass and enormous gyrification, the neocortex of whales and dolphins has always been a challenge to neurobiologists. Here we analyse the relationship between neuron number per cortical unit in three different sensory areas and brain mass in six different toothed whale species, five delphinids and one physeterid. Cortex samples, including primary cortical areas of the auditory, visual, and somatosensory systems were taken from both hemispheres of brains fixed in 10% buffered formalin. The samples were embedded in paraffin, sectioned at 25 microm thickness and stained with cresyl violet. Because cortical thickness varies among toothed whale species, cell counts were done in cortical units measuring 150mum in width, 25 microm in thickness, and extending from the pial surface to the white matter. By arranging the delphinid brains according to their total mass, 834-6052 g, we found decreasing neuron numbers in the investigated areas with increasing brain mass. The pigmy sperm whale (Kogia breviceps), a physeterid with an adult brain weight of 1000 g had a distinctly lower neuron number per cortical unit. As had been expected, an increase in adult brain weight in delphinid cetaceans (family Delphinidae) is not correlated with an increase in neuron number per cortical unit.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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 roles 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Bechay, Kiro; Rusche, James R.; Jacques, Vincent; Kudugunti, Shashi; Miao, Wenyan; Weinberger, Norman M.; McGaugh, James L.

    2015-01-01

    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

  4. Neural correlates of perceptual learning in a sensory-motor, but not a sensory, cortical area.

    PubMed

    Law, Chi-Tat; Gold, Joshua I

    2008-04-01

    This study aimed to identify neural mechanisms that underlie perceptual learning in a visual-discrimination task. We trained two monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to determine the direction of visual motion while we recorded from their middle temporal area (MT), which in trained monkeys represents motion information that is used to solve the task, and lateral intraparietal area (LIP), which represents the transformation of motion information into a saccadic choice. During training, improved behavioral sensitivity to weak motion signals was accompanied by changes in motion-driven responses of neurons in LIP, but not in MT. The time course and magnitude of the changes in LIP correlated with the changes in behavioral sensitivity throughout training. Thus, for this task, perceptual learning does not appear to involve improvements in how sensory information is represented in the brain, but rather how the sensory representation is interpreted to form the decision that guides behavior.

  5. The Postnatal Development of Spinal Sensory Processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fitzgerald, Maria; Jennings, Ernest

    1999-07-01

    The mechanisms by which infants and children process pain should be viewed within the context of a developing sensory nervous system. The study of the neurophysiological properties and connectivity of sensory neurons in the developing spinal cord dorsal horn of the intact postnatal rat has shed light on the way in which the newborn central nervous system analyzes cutaneous innocuous and noxious stimuli. The receptive field properties and evoked activity of newborn dorsal horn cells to single repetitive and persistent innocuous and noxious inputs are developmentally regulated and reflect the maturation of excitatory transmission within the spinal cord. These changes will have an important influence on pain processing in the postnatal period.

  6. 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

  7. Sensory inputs control the integration of neurogliaform interneurons into cortical circuits

    PubMed Central

    De Marco García, Natalia V; Priya, Rashi; Tuncdemir, Sebnem N; Fishell, Gord; Karayannis, Theofanis

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal microcircuits in the superficial layers of the mammalian cortex provide the substrate for associative cortical computation. Inhibitory interneurons constitute an essential component of the circuitry and are fundamental to the integration of local and long-range information. Here we report that, during early development, superficially positioned Reelin-expressing neurogliaform interneurons in the mouse somatosensory cortex receive afferent innervation from both cortical and thalamic excitatory sources. Attenuation of ascending sensory, but not intracortical, excitation leads to axo-dendritic morphological defects in these interneurons. Moreover, abrogation of the NMDA receptors through which the thalamic inputs signal results in a similar phenotype, as well as in the selective loss of thalamic and a concomitant increase in intracortical connectivity. These results suggest that thalamic inputs are critical in determining the balance between local and long-range connectivity and are fundamental to the proper integration of Reelin-expressing interneurons into nascent cortical circuits. PMID:25664912

  8. Sensory inputs control the integration of neurogliaform interneurons into cortical circuits.

    PubMed

    De Marco García, Natalia V; Priya, Rashi; Tuncdemir, Sebnem N; Fishell, Gord; Karayannis, Theofanis

    2015-03-01

    Neuronal microcircuits in the superficial layers of the mammalian cortex provide the substrate for associative cortical computation. Inhibitory interneurons constitute an essential component of the circuitry and are fundamental to the integration of local and long-range information. Here we report that, during early development, superficially positioned Reelin-expressing neurogliaform interneurons in the mouse somatosensory cortex receive afferent innervation from both cortical and thalamic excitatory sources. Attenuation of ascending sensory, but not intracortical, excitation leads to axo-dendritic morphological defects in these interneurons. Moreover, abrogation of the NMDA receptors through which the thalamic inputs signal results in a similar phenotype, as well as in the selective loss of thalamic and a concomitant increase in intracortical connectivity. These results suggest that thalamic inputs are critical in determining the balance between local and long-range connectivity and are fundamental to the proper integration of Reelin-expressing interneurons into nascent cortical circuits.

  9. Convergence of Cortical and Sensory Driver Inputs on Single Thalamocortical Cells

    PubMed Central

    Groh, Alexander; Bokor, Hajnalka; Mease, Rebecca A.; Plattner, Viktor M.; Hangya, Balázs; Stroh, Albrecht; Deschenes, Martin; Acsády, László

    2014-01-01

    Ascending and descending information is relayed through the thalamus via strong, “driver” pathways. According to our current knowledge, different driver pathways are organized in parallel streams and do not interact at the thalamic level. Using an electron microscopic approach combined with optogenetics and in vivo physiology, we examined whether driver inputs arising from different sources can interact at single thalamocortical cells in the rodent somatosensory thalamus (nucleus posterior, POm). Both the anatomical and the physiological data demonstrated that ascending driver inputs from the brainstem and descending driver inputs from cortical layer 5 pyramidal neurons converge and interact on single thalamocortical neurons in POm. Both individual pathways displayed driver properties, but they interacted synergistically in a time-dependent manner and when co-activated, supralinearly increased the output of thalamus. As a consequence, thalamocortical neurons reported the relative timing between sensory events and ongoing cortical activity. We conclude that thalamocortical neurons can receive 2 powerful inputs of different origin, rather than only a single one as previously suggested. This allows thalamocortical neurons to integrate raw sensory information with powerful cortical signals and transfer the integrated activity back to cortical networks. PMID:23825316

  10. Abnormal cortical sensory activation in dystonia: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Butterworth, Stephen; Francis, Sue; Kelly, Edward; McGlone, Francis; Bowtell, Richard; Sawle, Guy V

    2003-06-01

    Despite the obvious motor manifestations of focal dystonia, it is recognised that the sensory system plays an important role in this condition. This functional magnetic resonance imaging study examines the sensory representations of individual digits both within the subregions of the primary sensory cortex (SI) and in other nonprimary sensory areas. Patients with focal dystonia and controls were scanned during vibrotactile stimulation of both the index (digit 2) and little (digit 5) fingers of their dominant hand (which was the affected hand in all the dystonic subjects). The activation maps obtained were analysed for location, size, and magnitude of activation and three-dimensional (3-D) orientation of digit representations. Data from both groups were compared. There were significant differences in the average 3-D separation between the two digit representations in area 1 of SI between subject groups (9.6 +/- 1.2 mm for controls and 4.1 +/- 0.2 mm for dystonic subjects). There were also strong trends for reversed ordering of the representation of the two digits in both the secondary sensory cortex and posterior parietal area between the two groups. In addition, in dystonic subjects, there was significant under activation in the secondary somatosensory cortex (SII/area 40) for both digits and in the posterior parietal area for digit 5. These results indicate the presence of widespread activation abnormalities in the cortical sensory system in dystonia.

  11. Sensory processing disorders in children with cerebral palsy.

    PubMed

    Pavão, Sílvia Leticia; Rocha, Nelci Adriana Cicuto Ferreira

    2017-02-01

    To evaluate sensory processing in children with CP using the Sensory Profile questionnaire and to compare results with the ones of children with typical development (TD). We assessed sensory processing of 59 TD children and 43 CP children using the Sensory Profile, a standardized parent reporting measure that records children's responses to sensory events in daily life. Mann-Whitney test was used to compare the results of sensory processing evaluation among the groups. Bonferroni correction was applied. We found differences in sensory processing between groups in 16 out of the 23 categories evaluated in the Sensory Profile. Our results pointed out to the existence of disturbances in the processing of sensory information in CP. Based on the importance of the sensory integration process for motor function, the presence of such important disturbances draw the attention to the implementation of sensory therapies which improve function in these children. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Abnormal white matter microstructure in children with sensory processing disorders☆

    PubMed Central

    Owen, Julia P.; Marco, Elysa J.; Desai, Shivani; Fourie, Emily; Harris, Julia; Hill, Susanna S.; Arnett, Anne B.; Mukherjee, Pratik

    2013-01-01

    Sensory processing disorders (SPD) affect 5–16% of school-aged children and can cause long-term deficits in intellectual and social development. Current theories of SPD implicate primary sensory cortical areas and higher-order multisensory integration (MSI) cortical regions. We investigate the role of white matter microstructural abnormalities in SPD using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). DTI was acquired in 16 boys, 8–11 years old, with SPD and 24 age-, gender-, handedness- and IQ-matched neurotypical controls. Behavior was characterized using a parent report sensory behavior measure, the Sensory Profile. Fractional anisotropy (FA), mean diffusivity (MD) and radial diffusivity (RD) were calculated. Tract-based spatial statistics were used to detect significant group differences in white matter integrity and to determine if microstructural parameters were significantly correlated with behavioral measures. Significant decreases in FA and increases in MD and RD were found in the SPD cohort compared to controls, primarily involving posterior white matter including the posterior corpus callosum, posterior corona radiata and posterior thalamic radiations. Strong positive correlations were observed between FA of these posterior tracts and auditory, multisensory, and inattention scores (r = 0.51–0.78; p < 0.001) with strong negative correlations between RD and multisensory and inattention scores (r = − 0.61–0.71; p < 0.001). To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate reduced white matter microstructural integrity in children with SPD. We find that the disrupted white matter microstructure predominantly involves posterior cerebral tracts and correlates strongly with atypical unimodal and multisensory integration behavior. These findings suggest abnormal white matter as a biological basis for SPD and may also distinguish SPD from overlapping clinical conditions such as autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. PMID:24179836

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. Gray matter volumes of early sensory regions are associated with individual differences in sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Yoshimura, Sayaka; Sato, Wataru; Kochiyama, Takanori; Uono, Shota; Sawada, Reiko; Kubota, Yasutaka; Toichi, Motomi

    2017-09-20

    Sensory processing (i.e., the manner in which the nervous system receives, modulates, integrates, and organizes sensory stimuli) is critical when humans are deciding how to react to environmental demands. Although behavioral studies have shown that there are stable individual differences in sensory processing, the neural substrates that implement such differences remain unknown. To investigate this issue, structural magnetic resonance imaging scans were acquired from 51 healthy adults and individual differences in sensory processing were assessed using the Sensory Profile questionnaire (Brown et al.: Am J Occup Ther 55 (2001) 75-82). There were positive relationships between the Sensory Profile modality-specific subscales and gray matter volumes in the primary or secondary sensory areas for the visual, auditory, touch, and taste/smell modalities. Thus, the present results suggest that individual differences in sensory processing are implemented by the early sensory regions. Hum Brain Mapp, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  17. Cortical processing of human gut sensation: an evoked potential study.

    PubMed

    Hobday, David I; Hobson, Anthony R; Sarkar, Sanchoy; Furlong, Paul L; Thompson, David G; Aziz, Qasim

    2002-08-01

    The rectum has a unique physiological role as a sensory organ and differs in its afferent innervation from other gut organs that do not normally mediate conscious sensation. We compared the central processing of human esophageal, duodenal, and rectal sensation using cortical evoked potentials (CEP) in 10 healthy volunteers (age range 21-34 yr). Esophageal and duodenal CEP had similar morphology in all subjects, whereas rectal CEP had two different but reproducible morphologies. The rectal CEP latency to the first component P1 (69 ms) was shorter than both duodenal (123 ms; P = 0.008) and esophageal CEP latencies (106 ms; P = 0.004). The duodenal CEP amplitude of the P1-N1 component (5.0 microV) was smaller than that of the corresponding esophageal component (5.7 microV; P = 0.04) but similar to that of the corresponding rectal component (6.5 microV; P = 0.25). This suggests that rectal sensation is either mediated by faster-conducting afferent pathways or that there is a difference in the orientation or volume of cortical neurons representing the different gut organs. In conclusion, the physiological and anatomic differences between gut organs are reflected in differences in the characteristics of their afferent pathways and cortical processing.

  18. The threshold of cortical electrical stimulation for mapping sensory and motor functional areas.

    PubMed

    Guojun, Zhang; Duanyu, Ni; Fu, Paul; Lixin, Cai; Tao, Yu; Wei, Du; Liang, Qiao; Zhiwei, Ren

    2014-02-01

    This study aimed to investigate the threshold of cortical electrical stimulation (CES) for functional brain mapping during surgery for the treatment of rolandic epilepsy. A total of 21 patients with rolandic epilepsy who underwent surgical treatment at the Beijing Institute of Functional Neurosurgery between October 2006 and March 2008 were included in this study. Their clinical data were retrospectively collected and analyzed. The thresholds of CES for motor response, sensory response, and after discharge production along with other threshold-related factors were investigated. The thresholds (mean ± standard deviation) for motor response, sensory response, and after discharge production were 3.48 ± 0.87, 3.86 ± 1.31, and 4.84 ± 1.38 mA, respectively. The threshold for after discharge production was significantly higher than those of both the motor and sensory response (both p<0.05). A negative linear correlation was found between the threshold of after discharge production and disease duration. Using the CES parameters at a stimulation frequency of 50 Hz and a pulse width of 0.2 ms, the threshold of sensory and motor responses were similar, and the threshold of after discharge production was higher than that of sensory and motor response.

  19. Progressive transcortical sensory aphasia and progressive ideational apraxia owing to temporoparietal cortical atrophy.

    PubMed

    Funayama, Michitaka; Nakajima, Asuka

    2015-11-11

    In contrast to frontotemporal lobar degeneration, atrophy of the focal posterior lateral cortex has not been thoroughly studied. Three clinical types of focal cortical atrophy have been described: 1) logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia, which presents with impaired repetition despite normal articulation; 2) posterior cortical atrophy, which presents with prominent visuospatial deficits; and 3) primary progressive apraxia. All three clinical types are characterized by specific patterns of hypometabolism/hypoperfusion: the left posterior perisylvian area in the logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia, bilateral parietooccipital areas in posterior cortical atrophy, and the parietal cortex in primary progressive apraxia. However, not every patient clearly fits into one of these categories. Here we describe two patients with atypical focal cortical presentations. They presented with a history of a few years of progressive transcortical sensory aphasia characterized by fluent output with normal grammar and syntax, normal repetition, sentence comprehension deficits, and anomia without loss of word meaning. They also presented with progressive apraxia that began at the initial stages. Some forms of posterior symptoms including acalculia, agraphia, and visuospatial deficits were also observed. Hypoperfusion was noted mainly in the left temporoparietal region, which is slightly posterior to the perisylvian area. Although our cases lack in CSF findings and PIB scan, these two cases and previous reports might suggest the existence of a subgroup of patients presenting with transcortical sensory aphasia, apraxia, and posterior symptoms (acalculia, agraphia, and visuospatial deficits) in the setting of Alzheimer's disease. This subgroup may reflect the spectrum of clinical manifestations between logopenic variant of primary progressive aphasia and posterior cortical atrophy.

  20. The influence of sensory afferent input on local motor cortical excitatory circuitry in humans

    PubMed Central

    Cash, Robin F H; Isayama, Reina; Gunraj, Carolyn A; Ni, Zhen; Chen, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Key points In the human, sensorimotor integration can be investigated using combined sensory and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Short latency afferent inhibition (SAI) refers to motor cortical inhibition 20–25ms after median nerve stimulation. We investigated the influence of SAI on a local excitatory interneuronal motor cortical circuit known as short-interval intracortical facilitation (SICF) and found that, contrary to expectations, SICF was facilitated in the presence of SAI (SICFSAI); this effect is specific to SICF since there was no effect in control conditions in which SICF was not elicited, and the facilitatory SICFSAI interaction increased with increasing strength of SICF or SAI. The influence of sensory input on excitatory motor cortical circuitry was similar across different bodily regions, different circuits within motor cortex and across functional states, suggesting that this interaction may have general applicability in sensorimotor integration and motor control. SAI and SICF were found to correlate between individuals in that those with high SAI were found to have high SICF, and this relationship was maintained when SICF was delivered in the presence of SAI, suggesting an intrinsic relationship between SAI and SICF; these findings are compatible with brain-slice studies of sensorimotor circuitry and add to our understanding of sensorimotor integration. Abstract In human, sensorimotor integration can be investigated by combining sensory input and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Short latency afferent inhibition (SAI) refers to motor cortical inhibition 20–25 ms after median nerve stimulation. We investigated the interaction between SAI and short-interval intracortical facilitation (SICF), an excitatory motor cortical circuit. Seven experiments were performed. Contrary to expectations, SICF was facilitated in the presence of SAI (SICFSAI). This effect is specific to SICF since there was no effect at SICF trough 1 when SICF was

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Chronic post-stroke oropharyngeal dysphagia is associated with impaired cortical activation to pharyngeal sensory inputs.

    PubMed

    Cabib, C; Ortega, O; Vilardell, N; Mundet, L; Clavé, P; Rofes, L

    2017-09-05

    The role of afferent sensory pathways in the pathophysiology of post-stroke oropharyngeal dysphagia is not known. We hypothesized that patients with chronic post-stroke dysphagia (PSD) would show impaired sensory cortical activation in the ipsilesional hemisphere. We studied 28 chronic unilateral post-stroke patients [17 PSD and 11 post-stroke non-dysphagic patients (PSnD)] and 11 age-matched healthy volunteers. Event-related sensory-evoked potentials to pharyngeal stimulation (pSEP) and sensory thresholds were assessed. We analyzed pSEP peak latency and amplitude (N1, P1, N2 and P2), and neurotopographic stroke characteristics from brain magnetic resonance imaging. Healthy volunteers presented a highly symmetric bihemispheric cortical pattern of brain activation at centroparietal areas (N1-P1 and N2-P2) to pharyngeal stimuli. In contrast, an asymmetric pattern of reduced ipsilesional activation was found in PSD (N2-P2; P = 0.026) but not in PSnD. PSD presented impaired safety of swallow (penetration-aspiration score: 4.3 ± 1.6), delayed laryngeal vestibule closure (360.0 ± 70.0 ms) and higher National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (7.0 ± 6.2 vs. 1.9 ± 1.4, P = 0.001) and Fazekas scores (3.0 ± 1.4 vs. 2.0 ± 1.1; P < 0.05) than PSnD. pSEP showed a unilateral delay at stroke site exclusively for PSD (peak-latency interhemispheric difference vs. PSnD: N1, 6.5 ± 6.7 vs. 1.1 ± 1.0 ms; N2, 32.0 ± 15.8 vs. 4.5 ± 4.9 ms; P < 0.05). Chronic post-stroke oropharyngeal dysphagia is associated with stroke severity and degree of leukoaraoisis. Impaired conduction and cortical integration of pharyngeal sensory inputs at stroke site are key features of chronic PSD. These findings highlight the role of sensory pathways in the pathophysiology of post-stroke oropharyngeal dysphagia and offer a potential target for future treatments. © 2017 EAN.

  4. Neonatal sensory deprivation and the development of cortical function: unilateral and bilateral sensory deprivation result in different functional outcomes.

    PubMed

    Popescu, Maria V; Ebner, Ford F

    2010-07-01

    The normal development of sensory perception in mammals depends on appropriate sensory experience between birth and maturity. Numerous reports have shown that trimming some or all of the large mystacial vibrissa (whiskers) on one side of the face after birth has a detrimental effect on the maturation of cortical function. The objective of the present study was to understand the differences that occur after unilateral whisker trimming compared with those that occur after bilateral deprivation. Physiological deficits produced by bilateral trimming (BD) of all whiskers for 2 mo after birth were compared with the deficits produced by unilateral trimming (UD) for the same period of time using extracellular recording under urethan anesthesia from single cells in rat barrel cortex. Fast spiking (FSUs) and regular spiking (RSUs) units were separated and their properties compared in four subregions identified by histological reconstructions of the electrode penetrations, namely: layer IV barrel and septum, and layers II/III above a barrel and above a septum. UD upregulated responses in layer IV septa and in layers II/III above septa and perturbed the timing of responses to whisker stimuli. After BD, nearly all responses were decreased, and poststimulus latencies were increased. Circuit changes are proposed as an argument for how inputs arising from the spared whiskers project to the undeprived cortex and, via commissural fibers, could upregulate septal responses after UD. Following BD, more global neural deficits create a signature difference in the outcome of UD and BD in rat barrel cortex.

  5. Phonological Processing in Human Auditory Cortical Fields

    PubMed Central

    Woods, David L.; Herron, Timothy J.; Cate, Anthony D.; Kang, Xiaojian; Yund, E. W.

    2011-01-01

    We used population-based cortical-surface analysis of functional magnetic imaging data to characterize the processing of consonant–vowel–consonant syllables (CVCs) and spectrally matched amplitude-modulated noise bursts (AMNBs) in human auditory cortex as subjects attended to auditory or visual stimuli in an intermodal selective attention paradigm. Average auditory cortical field (ACF) locations were defined using tonotopic mapping in a previous study. Activations in auditory cortex were defined by two stimulus-preference gradients: (1) Medial belt ACFs preferred AMNBs and lateral belt and parabelt fields preferred CVCs. This preference extended into core ACFs with medial regions of primary auditory cortex (A1) and the rostral field preferring AMNBs and lateral regions preferring CVCs. (2) Anterior ACFs showed smaller activations but more clearly defined stimulus preferences than did posterior ACFs. Stimulus preference gradients were unaffected by auditory attention suggesting that ACF preferences reflect the automatic processing of different spectrotemporal sound features. PMID:21541252

  6. Cortical sensory suppression during arousal is due to the activity-dependent depression of thalamocortical synapses

    PubMed Central

    Castro-Alamancos, Manuel A; Oldford, Elizabeth

    2002-01-01

    The thalamus serves as a gate that regulates the flow of sensory inputs to the neocortex, and this gate is controlled by neuromodulators from the brainstem reticular formation that are released during arousal. Here we show in rats that sensory-evoked responses were suppressed in the neocortex by activating the brainstem reticular formation and during natural arousal. Sensory suppression occurred at the thalamocortical connection and was a consequence of the activity-dependent depression of thalamocortical synapses caused by increased thalamocortical tonic firing during arousal. Thalamocortical suppression may serve as a mechanism to focus sensory inputs to their appropriate representations in neocortex, which is helpful for the spatial processing of sensory information. PMID:12015438

  7. Cortical involvement in the sensory and motor symptoms of primary restless legs syndrome.

    PubMed

    Tyvaert, L; Houdayer, E; Devanne, H; Bourriez, J L; Derambure, P; Monaca, C

    2009-12-01

    Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is characterized by closely interrelated motor and sensory disorders. Two types of involuntary movement can be observed: periodic leg movements during wakefulness (PLMW) and periodic leg movements during sleep (PLMS). Basal ganglia dysfunction in primary RLS has often been suggested. However, clinical observations raise the hypothesis of sensorimotor cortical involvement in RLS symptoms. Here, we explored cortical function via movement-related beta and mu rhythm reactivity. Twelve patients with idiopathic, primary RLS were investigated and compared with 10 healthy subjects. In the patient group, we analyzed event-related beta and mu (de)synchronization (ERD/S) for PLMS and PLMW during a suggested immobilization test (SIT). An ERD/S analysis was also performed in patients and controls during self-paced right ankle dorsal flexion at 8:30 PM (i.e., the symptomatic period for patients) and 8:30 AM (the asymptomatic period). Before PLMS, there was no ERD. Intense ERS was recorded after PLMS. As with voluntary movement, cortical ERD was always observed before PLMW. After PLMW, ERS had a diffuse scalp distribution. Furthermore, the ERS and ERD amplitudes and durations for voluntary movement were greater during the symptomatic period than during the asymptomatic period and in comparison with healthy controls, who presented an evening decrease in these parameters. Patients and controls had similar ERD and ERS patterns in the morning. On the basis of a rhythm reactivity study, we conclude that the symptoms of RLS are related to cortical sensorimotor dysfunction.

  8. Estimating cortical column sensory networks in rodents from micro-electrocorticograph (μECoG) recordings.

    PubMed

    Pizarro, Ricardo; Richner, Tom; Brodnick, Sarah; Thongpang, Sanitta; Williams, Justin; Van Veen, Barry

    2017-09-23

    Micro-electrocorticograph (μECoG) arrays offer the flexibility to record local field potentials (LFPs) from the surface of the cortex, using high density electrodes that are sub-mm in diameter. Research to date has not provided conclusive evidence for the underlying signal generation of μECoG recorded LFPs, or if μECoG arrays can capture network activity from the cortex. We studied the pervading view of the LFP signal by exploring the spatial scale at which the LFP can be considered elemental. We investigated the underlying signal generation and ability to capture functional networks by implanting, μECoG arrays to record sensory-evoked potentials in four rats. The organization of the sensory cortex was studied by analyzing the sensory-evoked potentials with two distinct modeling techniques: (1) The volume conduction model, that models the electrode LFPs with an electrostatic representation, generated by a single cortical generator, and (2) the dynamic causal model (DCM), that models the electrode LFPs with a network model, whose activity is generated by multiple interacting cortical sources. The volume conduction approach modeled activity from electrodes separated < 1000 μm, with reasonable accuracy but a network model like DCM was required to accurately capture activity > 1500 μm. The extrinsic network component in DCM was determined to be essential for accurate modeling of observed potentials. These results all point to the presence of a sensory network, and that μECoG arrays are able to capture network activity in the neocortex. The estimated DCM network models the functional organization of the cortex, as signal generators for the μECoG recorded LFPs, and provides hypothesis-testing tools to explore the brain. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Sensory integration, sensory processing, and sensory modulation disorders: putative functional neuroanatomic underpinnings.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Leonard F; Budding, Deborah Ely; Chidekel, Dana

    2011-12-01

    This paper examines conditions that have variously been called sensory integration disorder, sensory processing disorder, and sensory modulation disorder (SID/SPD/SMD). As these conditions lack readily and consistently agreed-upon operational definitions, there has been confusion as to how these disorders are conceptualized. Rather than addressing various diagnostic controversies, we will instead focus upon explaining the symptoms that are believed to characterize these disorders. First, to clarify the overall context within which to view symptoms, we summarize a paradigm of adaptation characterized by continuous sensorimotor interaction with the environment. Next, we review a dual-tiered, integrated model of brain function in order to establish neuroanatomic underpinnings with which to conceptualize the symptom presentations. Generally accepted functions of the neocortex, basal ganglia, and cerebellum are described to illustrate how interactions between these brain regions generate both adaptive and pathological symptoms and behaviors. We then examine the symptoms of SID/SPD/SMD within this interactive model and in relation to their impact upon the development of inhibitory control, working memory, academic skill development, and behavioral automation. We present likely etiologies for these symptoms, not only as they drive neurodevelopmental pathologies but also as they can be understood as variations in the development of neural networks.

  10. Receptor Guanylyl Cyclases in Sensory Processing

    PubMed Central

    Maruyama, Ichiro N.

    2017-01-01

    Invertebrate models have generated many new insights into transmembrane signaling by cell-surface receptors. This review focuses on receptor guanylyl cyclases (rGCs) and describes recent advances in understanding their roles in sensory processing in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans. A complete analysis of the C. elegans genome elucidated 27 rGCs, an unusually large number compared with mammalian genomes, which encode 7 rGCs. Most C. elegans rGCs are expressed in sensory neurons and play roles in sensory processing, including gustation, thermosensation, olfaction, and phototransduction, among others. Recent studies have found that by producing a second messenger, guanosine 3′,5′-cyclic monophosphate, some rGCs act as direct sensor molecules for ions and temperatures, while others relay signals from G protein-coupled receptors. Interestingly, genetic and biochemical analyses of rGCs provide the first example of an obligate heterodimeric rGC. Based on recent structural studies of rGCs in mammals and other organisms, molecular mechanisms underlying activation of rGCs are also discussed in this review. PMID:28123378

  11. Imaging tactile imagery: changes in brain connectivity support perceptual grounding of mental images in primary sensory cortices.

    PubMed

    Schmidt, Timo Torsten; Ostwald, Dirk; Blankenburg, Felix

    2014-09-01

    Constructing mental representations in the absence of sensory stimulation is a fundamental ability of the human mind and has been investigated in numerous brain imaging studies. However, it is still unclear how brain areas facilitating mental construction processes interact with brain regions related to specific sensory representations. In this fMRI study subjects formed mental representations of tactile stimuli either from memory (imagery) or from presentation of actual corresponding vibrotactile patterned stimuli. First our analysis addressed the question of whether tactile imagery recruits primary somatosensory cortex (SI), because the activation of early perceptual areas is classically interpreted as perceptual grounding of the mental image. We also tested whether a network, referred to as 'core construction system', is involved in the generation of mental representations in the somatosensory domain. In fact, we observed imagery-induced activation of SI. We further found support for the notion of a modality independent construction network with the retrosplenial cortices and the precuneus as core components, which were supplemented with the left inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Finally, psychophysiological interaction (PPI) analyses revealed robust imagery-modulated changes in the connectivity of these construction related areas, which suggests that they orchestrate the assembly of an abstract mental representation. Interestingly, we found increased coupling between prefrontal cortex (left IFG) and SI during mental imagery, indicating the augmentation of an abstract mental representation by reactivating perceptually grounded sensory details. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. The influence of sensory afferent input on local motor cortical excitatory circuitry in humans.

    PubMed

    Cash, Robin F H; Isayama, Reina; Gunraj, Carolyn A; Ni, Zhen; Chen, Robert

    2015-04-01

    In human, sensorimotor integration can be investigated by combining sensory input and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Short latency afferent inhibition (SAI) refers to motor cortical inhibition 20-25 ms after median nerve stimulation. We investigated the interaction between SAI and short-interval intracortical facilitation (SICF), an excitatory motor cortical circuit. Seven experiments were performed. Contrary to expectations, SICF was facilitated in the presence of SAI (SICF(SAI)). This effect is specific to SICF since there was no effect at SICF trough 1 when SICF was absent. Furthermore, the facilitatory SICF(SAI) interaction increased with stronger SICF or SAI. SAI and SICF correlated between individuals, and this relationship was maintained when SICF was delivered in the presence of SAI, suggesting an intrinsic relationship between SAI and SICF in sensorimotor integration. The interaction was present at rest and during muscle contraction, had a broad degree of somatotopic influence and was present in different interneuronal SICF circuits induced by posterior-anterior and anterior-posterior current directions. Our results are compatible with the finding that projections from sensory to motor cortex terminate in both superficial layers where late indirect (I-) waves are thought to originate, as well as deeper layers with more direct effect on pyramidal output. This interaction is likely to be relevant to sensorimotor integration and motor control.

  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. Cognitive control modulates preferential sensory processing of affective stimuli.

    PubMed

    Steinhauser, Marco; Flaisch, Tobias; Meinzer, Marcus; Schupp, Harald T

    2016-10-01

    Adaptive human behavior crucially relies on the ability of the brain to allocate resources automatically to emotionally significant stimuli. This ability has consistently been demonstrated by studies showing preferential processing of affective stimuli in sensory cortical areas. It is still unclear, however, whether this putatively automatic mechanism can be modulated by cognitive control processes. Here, we use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether preferential processing of an affective face distractor is suppressed when an affective distractor has previously elicited a response conflict in a word-face Stroop task. We analyzed this for three consecutive stages in the ventral stream of visual processing for which preferential processing of affective stimuli has previously been demonstrated: the striate area (BA 17), category-unspecific extrastriate areas (BA 18/19), and the fusiform face area (FFA). We found that response conflict led to a selective suppression of affective face processing in category-unspecific extrastriate areas and the FFA, and this effect was accompanied by changes in functional connectivity between these areas and the rostral anterior cingulate cortex. In contrast, preferential processing of affective face distractors was unaffected in the striate area. Our results indicate that cognitive control processes adaptively suppress preferential processing of affective stimuli under conditions where affective processing is detrimental because it elicits response conflict.

  17. Chimpanzees process structural isomorphisms across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    Ravignani, Andrea; Sonnweber, Ruth

    2017-04-01

    Evolution has shaped animal brains to detect sensory regularities in environmental stimuli. In addition, many species map one-dimensional quantities across sensory modalities, such as conspecific faces to voices, or high-pitched sounds to bright light. If basic patterns like repetitions and identities are frequently perceived in different sensory modalities, it could be advantageous to detect cross-modal isomorphisms, i.e. develop modality-independent representations of structural features, exploitable in visual, tactile, and auditory processing. While cross-modal mappings are common in the animal kingdom, the ability to map similar (isomorphic) structures across domains has been demonstrated in humans but no other animals. We tested cross-modal isomorphisms in two chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Individuals were previously trained to choose structurally 'symmetric' image sequences (two identical geometrical shapes separated by a different shape) presented beside 'edge' sequences (two identical shapes preceded or followed by a different one). Here, with no additional training, the choice between symmetric and edge visual sequences was preceded by playback of three concatenated sounds, which could be symmetric (mimicking the symmetric structure of reinforced images) or edge. The chimpanzees spontaneously detected a visual-auditory isomorphism. Response latencies in choosing symmetric sequences were shorter when presented with (structurally isomorphic) symmetric, rather than edge, sound triplets: The auditory stimuli interfered, based on their structural properties, with processing of the learnt visual rule. Crucially, the animals had neither been exposed to the acoustic sequences before the experiment, nor were they trained to associate sounds to images. Our result provides the first evidence of structure processing across modalities in a non-human species. It suggests that basic cross-modal abstraction capacities transcend linguistic abilities and might involve

  18. 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…

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. 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.

  1. Sensory processing dysfunction among Saudi children with and without autism.

    PubMed

    Al-Heizan, Mohammed O; AlAbdulwahab, Sami S; Kachanathu, Shaji John; Natho, Mohan

    2015-05-01

    [Purpose] There is a dearth of studies that have examined the occurrence of sensory processing dysfunction and its components in Saudi Arabian children with autism. Therefore, this study investigated the manifestation of sensory processing dysfunction in autism and compared the functional components of sensory processing between Saudi Arabian children with and without autism. [Subjects and Methods] A convenience sample of 46 Saudi Arabian children with autism and 30 children without autism participated in this study. The sensory processing functions of both groups were assessed with the Short Sensory Profile. [Results] The overall findings indicated that 84.8% of children with autism demonstrated definite sensory processing dysfunction. The most prevalent sensory processing dysfunctions involved the under-responsive/seeks sensation (89.13%), auditory filtering (73.90%), and tactile sensitivity (60.87%) domains. Most of the children without autism (66.66%) demonstrated typical sensory function; the most prevalent sensory processing dysfunctions involved the tactile sensitivity (33.3%), under-responsive/seeks sensation (23.33%), and movement sensitivity (20%) domains. [Conclusion] Saudi Arabian children with and without autism have clinically significant sensory dysfunctions. However, the prevalence of those sensory dysfunctions in children with autism is significantly higher than in the children without autism.

  2. The Pattern of Sensory Processing Abnormalities in Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kern, Janet K.; Trivedi, Madhukar H.; Garver, Carolyn R.; Grannemann, Bruce D.; Andrews, Alonzo A.; Savla, Jayshree S.; Johnson, Danny G.; Mehta, Jyutika A.; Schroeder, Jennifer L.

    2006-01-01

    The study was undertaken to evaluate the nature of sensory dysfunction in persons with autism. The cross-sectional study examined auditory, visual, oral, and touch sensory processing, as measured by the Sensory Profile, in 104 persons with a diagnosis of autism, 3-56 years of age, gender- and age-matched to community controls. Persons with autism…

  3. Sensory reactivity, empathizing and systemizing in autism spectrum conditions and sensory processing disorder.

    PubMed

    Tavassoli, Teresa; Miller, Lucy Jane; Schoen, Sarah A; Jo Brout, Jennifer; Sullivan, Jillian; Baron-Cohen, Simon

    2017-05-18

    Although the DSM-5 added sensory symptoms as a criterion for ASC, there is a group of children who display sensory symptoms but do not have ASC; children with sensory processing disorder (SPD). To be able to differentiate these two disorders, our aim was to evaluate whether children with ASC show more sensory symptomatology and/or different cognitive styles in empathy and systemizing compared to children with SPD and typically developing (TD) children. The study included 210 participants: 68 children with ASC, 79 with SPD and 63 TD children. The Sensory Processing Scale Inventory was used to measure sensory symptoms, the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) to measure autistic traits, and the Empathy Quotient (EQ) and Systemizing Quotient (SQ) to measure cognitive styles. Across groups, a greater sensory symptomatology was associated with lower empathy. Further, both the ASC and SPD groups showed more sensory symptoms than TD children. Children with ASC and SPD only differed on sensory under-reactivity. The ASD group did, however, show lower empathy and higher systemizing scores than the SPD group. Together, this suggest that sensory symptoms alone may not be adequate to differentiate children with ASC and SPD but that cognitive style measures could be used for differential diagnosis. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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

    PubMed

    Stryker, Michael P

    2014-01-01

    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.

  5. Single-cell coding of sensory, spatial and numerical magnitudes in primate prefrontal, premotor and cingulate motor cortices.

    PubMed

    Eiselt, Anne-Kathrin; Nieder, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    The representation of magnitude information enables humans and animal species alike to successfully interact with the external environment. However, how various types of magnitudes are processed by single neurons to guide goal-directed behavior remains elusive. Here, we recorded single-cell activity from the dorsolateral prefrontal (PFC), dorsal premotor (PMd) and cingulate motor (CMA) cortices in monkeys discriminating discrete numerical (numerosity), continuous spatial (line length) and basic sensory (spatial frequency) stimuli. We found that almost exclusively PFC neurons represented the different magnitude types during sample presentation and working memory periods. The frequency of magnitude-selective cells in PMd and CMA did not exceed chance level. The proportion of PFC neurons selectively tuned to each of the three magnitude types were comparable. Magnitude coding was mainly dissociated at the single-neuron level, with individual neurons representing only one of the three tested magnitude types. Neuronal magnitude discriminability, coding strength and temporal evolution were comparable between magnitude types encoded by PFC neuron populations. Our data highlight the importance of PFC neurons in representing various magnitude categories. Such magnitude representations are based on largely distributed coding by single neurons that are anatomically intermingled within the same cortical area.

  6. Noradrenergic and cholinergic modulation of olfactory bulb sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Devore, Sasha; Linster, Christiane

    2012-01-01

    Neuromodulation in sensory perception serves important functions such as regulation of signal to noise ratio, attention, and modulation of learning and memory. Neuromodulators in specific sensory areas often have highly similar cellular, but distinct behavioral effects. To address this issue, we here review the function and role of two neuromodulators, acetylcholine (Ach) and noradrenaline (NE) for olfactory sensory processing in the adult main olfactory bulb. We first describe specific bulbar sensory computations, review cellular effects of each modulator and then address their specific roles in bulbar sensory processing. We finally put these data in a behavioral and computational perspective. PMID:22905025

  7. 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.

  8. Synchronization across sensory cortical areas by electrical microstimulation is sufficient for behavioral discrimination.

    PubMed

    Manzur, Hachi E; Alvarez, Joel; Babul, Cecilia; Maldonado, Pedro E

    2013-12-01

    The temporal correlation hypothesis proposes that cortical neurons engage in synchronized activity, thus configuring a general mechanism to account for a range of cognitive processes from perceptual binding to consciousness. However, most studies supporting this hypothesis have only provided correlational, but not causal evidence. Here, we used electrical microstimulation of the visual and somatosensory cortices of the rat in both hemispheres, to test whether rats could discriminate synchronous versus asynchronous patterns of stimulation applied to the same cortical sites. To disambiguate synchrony from other related parameters, our experiments independently manipulated the rate and intensity of stimulation, the spatial locations of stimulation, the exact temporal sequence of stimulation patterns, and the degree of synchrony across stimulation sites. We found that rats reliably distinguished between 2 microstimulation patterns, differing in the spatial arrangement of cortical sites stimulated synchronously. Also, their performance was proportional to the level of synchrony in the microstimulation patterns. We demonstrated that rats can recognize artificial current patterns containing precise synchronization features, thus providing the first direct evidence that artificial synchronous activity can guide behavior. Such precise temporal information can be used as feedback signals in machine interface arrangements.

  9. N-acetylaspartate in the motor and sensory cortices following functional recovery after surgery for cervical spondylotic myelopathy.

    PubMed

    Goncalves, Sandy; Stevens, Todd K; Doyle-Pettypiece, Patricia; Bartha, Robert; Duggal, Neil

    2016-10-01

    OBJECTIVE Cervical spondylotic myelopathy (CSM) is the most common cause of reversible spinal cord dysfunction in people over the age of 55 years. Following surgery for symptomatic CSM, patients demonstrate motor improvement early in the postoperative course, whereas sensory improvement can lag behind. The authors of the present study hypothesized that changes in the concentration of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) in the motor and sensory cortices in the brain would emulate the time course of neurological recovery following decompression surgery for CSM. Their aim was to compare and contrast how metabolite levels in the motor and sensory cortices change after surgery to reverse downstream spinal cord compression. METHODS Twenty-four patients with CSM and 8 control subjects were studied using proton MR spectroscopy ((1)H-MRS) images acquired on a 3.0-T Siemens MRI unit. The (1)H-MRS data (TE 135 msec, TR 2000 msec) were acquired to measure absolute levels of NAA from the motor and sensory cortices in the cerebral hemisphere contralateral to the side of greater deficit at baseline in each subject. Data were also acquired at 6 weeks and 6 months following surgery. Control subjects were also evaluated at 6 weeks and 6 months following baseline data acquisition. Neurological function was measured in each subject at all time points using the Neck Disability Index (NDI), modified Japanese Orthopaedic Association (mJOA) questionnaire, and the American Spinal Injury Association (ASIA) neurological classification. RESULTS In the motor cortex of patients, NAA levels decreased significantly (p < 0.05) at 6 weeks and 6 months postsurgery compared with baseline levels. In the sensory cortex of patients, NAA levels decreased significantly (p < 0.05) only at 6 months after surgery compared with baseline and 6-week levels. No significant changes in NAA were found in control subjects. Clinical scores demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) motor recovery by 6 weeks, whereas sensory

  10. Sensory Processing in Autism: A Review of Neurophysiologic Findings

    PubMed Central

    Marco, Elysa Jill; Hinkley, Leighton Barett Nicholas; Hill, Susanna Shan; Nagarajan, Srikantan Subramanian

    2011-01-01

    Atypical sensory-based behaviors are a ubiquitous feature of autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In this article, we review the neural underpinnings of sensory processing in autism by reviewing the literature on neurophysiological responses to auditory, tactile, and visual stimuli in autistic individuals. We review studies of unimodal sensory processing and multi-sensory integration that use a variety of neuroimaging techniques, including: electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG), and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). We then explore the impact of covert and overt attention on sensory processing. With additional characterization, neurophysiologic profiles of sensory processing in ASD may serve as valuable biomarkers for diagnosis and monitoring of therapeutic interventions for autism and reveal potential strategies and target brain regions for therapeutic interventions. PMID:21289533

  11. The effects of focal epileptic activity on regional sensory-evoked neurovascular coupling and postictal modulation of bilateral sensory processing

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Sam; Bruyns-Haylett, Michael; Kennerley, Aneurin; Boorman, Luke; Overton, Paul G; Ma, Hongtao; Zhao, Mingrui; Schwartz, Theodore H; Berwick, Jason

    2013-01-01

    While it is known that cortical sensory dysfunction may occur in focal neocortical epilepsy, it is unknown whether sensory-evoked neurovascular coupling is also disrupted during epileptiform activity. Addressing this open question may help to elucidate both the effects of focal neocortical epilepsy on sensory responses and the neurovascular characteristics of epileptogenic regions in sensory cortex. We therefore examined bilateral sensory-evoked neurovascular responses before, during, and after 4-aminopyridine (4-AP, 15 mmol/L, 1 μL) induced focal neocortical seizures in right vibrissal cortex of the rat. Stimulation consisted of electrical pulse trains (16 seconds, 5 Hz, 1.2 mA) presented to the mystacial pad. Consequent current-source density neural responses and epileptic activity in both cortices and across laminae were recorded via two 16-channel microelectrodes bilaterally implanted in vibrissal cortices. Concurrent two-dimensional optical imaging spectroscopy was used to produce spatiotemporal maps of total, oxy-, and deoxy-hemoglobin concentration. Compared with control, sensory-evoked neurovascular coupling was altered during ictal activity, but conserved postictally in both ipsilateral and contralateral vibrissal cortices, despite neurovascular responses being significantly reduced in the former, and enhanced in the latter. Our results provide insights into sensory-evoked neurovascular dynamics and coupling in epilepsy, and may have implications for the localization of epileptogenic foci and neighboring eloquent cortex. PMID:23860375

  12. Interactions between endogenous and exogenous attention on cortical visual processing.

    PubMed

    Hopfinger, Joseph B; West, Vicki M

    2006-06-01

    Sensory processing is affected by both endogenous and exogenous mechanisms of attention, although how these mechanisms interact in the brain has remained unclear. In the present study, we recorded event-related potentials (ERPs) to investigate how multiple stages of information processing in the brain are affected when endogenous and exogenous mechanisms are concurrently engaged. We found that the earliest stage of cortical visual processing, the striate-cortex-generated C1, was immune to attentional modulation, even when endogenous and exogenous attention converged on a common location. The earliest stage of processing to be affected in this experiment was the late phase of the extrastriate-cortex-generated P1 component, which was dominated by exogenous attention. Processing at this stage was enhanced by exogenous attention, regardless of where endogenous attention had been oriented. Endogenous attention, however, dominated a later, higher-order stage of processing indexed by an enhancement of the P300 that was unaffected by exogenous attention. Critically, between these early and late stages, an interaction was found wherein endogenous and exogenous attention produced distinct, and overlapping, effects on information processing. At the same time that exogenous attention was producing an extended enhancement of the late-P1, endogenous attention was enhancing the occipital-parietal N1 component. These results provide neurophysiological support for theories suggesting that endogenous and exogenous mechanisms represent two attention systems that can affect information processing in the brain in distinct ways. Furthermore, these data provide new evidence regarding the precise stages of neural processing that are, and are not, affected when endogenous and exogenous attentions interact.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Is sensory processing an issue for infants with colic?

    PubMed

    Harb, Tracy; Frederiksen, Nadine; Hill, Rebecca J

    2017-08-01

    To determine the association between sensory functioning, sleep, cry/fuss, and feeding behaviors of infants with colic younger than 4 months of age. Dunn's Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile™ and a modified Barr Baby Day Diary(©) were used to assess 44 breastfed infants with colic under four months of age. Colic was defined according to Wessel's criteria. Thirty-four of the 44 infants with colic (77%) scored as atypical for sensory processing. Of these, 56% scored atypical for sensory processing on quadrant one (Q1) (Low Registration), with 24%, 65%, and 18% scoring as atypical for sensory processing on Q2 (Sensory seeking), Q3 (Sensory sensitivity), and Q4 (Sensation avoiding), respectively. All infants demonstrating sensation avoiding also scored as Low Threshold. A moderate statistically significant correlation was found between sensation seeking and time spent sleeping (r=0.31; p=0.04). No other statistically significant associations between infant behaviors and their sensory functioning were demonstrated. Overall, infants demonstrating atypical sensory responses (in any quadrant) slept significantly more than infants demonstrating typical sensory responses (mean difference=-67.8min/day; 95% CI=-133.6 to -2.1; p=0.04). Very limited associations between infant behaviors and sensory functioning were demonstrated, suggesting that sensory functioning may not be a significant factor in the multifactorial nature of infant colic. Further well-designed studies using validated tools for infants with colic are required to determine whether associations between infant behaviors and sensory functioning exist. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Distributed relaxation processes in sensory adaptation.

    PubMed

    Thorson, J; Biederman-Thorson, M

    1974-01-18

    Dynamic description of most receptors, even in their near-linear ranges, has not led to understanding of the underlying physical events-in many instances because their curious transfer functions are not found in the usual repertoire of integral-order control-system analysis. We have described some methods, borrowed from other fields, which allow one to map any linear frequency response onto a putative weighting over an ensemble of simpler relaxation processes. One can then ask whether the resultant weighting of such processes suggests a corresponding plausible distribution of values for an appropriate physical variable within the sensory transducer. To illustrate this approach, we have chosen the fractional-order low-frequency response of Limulus lateral-eye photoreceptors. We show first that the current "adapting-bump" hypothesis for the generator potential can be formulated in terms of local first-order relaxation processes in which local light flux, the cross section of rhodopsin for photon capture, and restoration rate of local conductance-changing capability play specific roles. A representative spatial distribution for one of these parameters, which just accounts for the low-frequency response of the receptor, is then derived and its relation to cellular properties and recent experiments is examined. Finally, we show that for such a system, nonintegral-order dynamics are equivalent to nonhyperbolic statics, and that the efficacy distribution derived to account for the small-signal dynamics in fact predicts several decades of near-logarithmic response in the steady state. Encouraged by the result that one plausible proposal can account approximately for both the low-frequency dynamics (the transfer function s(k)) and the range-compressing statics (the Weber-Fechner relationship) measured in this photoreceptor, we have described some formally similar applications of these distributed effects to the vertebrate retina and to analogous properties of

  18. Fast-spiking GABA circuit dynamics in the auditory cortex predict recovery of sensory processing following peripheral nerve damage.

    PubMed

    Resnik, Jennifer; Polley, Daniel B

    2017-03-21

    Cortical neurons remap their receptive fields and rescale sensitivity to spared peripheral inputs following sensory nerve damage. To address how these plasticity processes are coordinated over the course of functional recovery, we tracked receptive field reorganization, spontaneous activity, and response gain from individual principal neurons in the adult mouse auditory cortex over a 50-day period surrounding either moderate or massive auditory nerve damage. We related the day-by-day recovery of sound processing to dynamic changes in the strength of intracortical inhibition from parvalbumin-expressing (PV) inhibitory neurons. Whereas the status of brainstem-evoked potentials did not predict the recovery of sensory responses to surviving nerve fibers, homeostatic adjustments in PV-mediated inhibition during the first days following injury could predict the eventual recovery of cortical sound processing weeks later. These findings underscore the potential importance of self-regulated inhibitory dynamics for the restoration of sensory processing in excitatory neurons following peripheral nerve injuries.

  19. Reported sensory processing of children with Down syndrome.

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    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 issues. Parents completed the short sensory profile (SSP) and a parent questionnaire (PQ). SSP results revealed a total score definite difference rate of 49%. Highest rates of probable and definite difference were in the low energy/weak, underresponsive/seeks sensation, and auditory filtering subsections of the SSP. Themes were generated from responses on the PQ regarding the functional impact of sensory differences on occupational performance in their children with DS, and related strategies currently used by parents. Findings from the study provide information to parents and health care professionals regarding sensory processing patterns in children with DS, and provide foundational data for future research.

  20. Model of interactions between cortical areas for sensory-motor programs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnod, Yves; Guigon, Emmanuel; Otto, Isabelle; Grandguillaume, Philippe; Boutkhil, Latifa; Dorizzi, Bernadette; Marchal, Patrick

    1992-04-01

    The brain represents perceptual and motor information in several reference frames (for example body-centered, object-centered, or retinal-centered reference frames). In a simple sensory-motor program such as looking at and taking an object, at least three fundamental processes must be carried out by the cerebral cortex; (1) in order to recognize the target object, the cortex has to transform the pattern of excitation on the retina from a retinotopic coordinate system to a coordinate system centered on the object itself; (2) in order to bring a hand to the desired position in space, the cortex must transform the visual information related to the target location (relative to the hand) into an appropriate motor command of the reaching hand; (3) in order to guide coherent behavioral actions, more complex sensory-motor programs (for example, conditional reaching of a target) are constructed from time-dependent relations between these basic transformations. The cortex correlates sensory and motor events and learns to prepare responses to forthcoming events. Neurophysiological data on the motor area of the monkey allowed us to model the coordinate transformations from body-centered to arm-centered reference frames involved in the command of arm reaching movements in 3-D space. Anatomical and neuropsychological data suggest similar coordinate transformations along the visual pathway to relate retinal-centered to object-centered reference frames and we have thus extended the model to this coordinate transformation. Time integration seems to proceed differently since internal representations of programs are dynamically constructed. Available physiological and anatomical data on frontal areas (and particularly prefrontal cortex) help to predict specific learning mechanisms for time processing and then construct a model for learning sensory-motor sequences.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Anatomy of Human Sensory Cortices Reflects Inter-Individual Variability in Time Estimation

    PubMed Central

    Gilaie-Dotan, Sharon; Kanai, Ryota; Rees, Geraint

    2011-01-01

    The ability to estimate duration is essential to human behavior, yet people vary greatly in their ability to estimate time and the brain structures mediating this inter-individual variability remain poorly understood. Here, we showed that inter-individual variability in duration estimation was highly correlated across visual and auditory modalities but depended on the scale of temporal duration. We further examined whether this inter-individual variability in estimating durations of different supra-second time scales (2 or 12 s) was reflected in variability in human brain anatomy. We found that the gray matter volume in both the right posterior lateral sulcus encompassing primary auditory and secondary somatosensory cortex, plus parahippocampal gyrus strongly predicted an individual’s ability to discriminate longer durations of 12 s (but not shorter ones of 2 s) regardless of whether they were presented in auditory or visual modalities. Our findings suggest that these brain areas may play a common role in modality-independent time discrimination. We propose that an individual’s ability to discriminate longer durations is linked to self-initiated rhythm maintenance mechanisms relying on the neural structure of these modality-specific sensory and parahippocampal cortices. PMID:22125515

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

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Sensory cortical population dynamics uniquely track behavior across learning and extinction.

    PubMed

    Moran, Anan; Katz, Donald B

    2014-01-22

    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.

  7. Layer-Dependent Attentional Processing by Top-down Signals in a Visual Cortical Microcircuit Model

    PubMed Central

    Wagatsuma, Nobuhiko; Potjans, Tobias C.; Diesmann, Markus; Fukai, Tomoki

    2011-01-01

    A vast amount of information about the external world continuously flows into the brain, whereas its capacity to process such information is limited. Attention enables the brain to allocate its resources of information processing to selected sensory inputs for reducing its computational load, and effects of attention have been extensively studied in visual information processing. However, how the microcircuit of the visual cortex processes attentional information from higher areas remains largely unknown. Here, we explore the complex interactions between visual inputs and an attentional signal in a computational model of the visual cortical microcircuit. Our model not only successfully accounts for previous experimental observations of attentional effects on visual neuronal responses, but also predicts contrasting differences in the attentional effects of top-down signals between cortical layers: attention to a preferred stimulus of a column enhances neuronal responses of layers 2/3 and 5, the output stations of cortical microcircuits, whereas attention suppresses neuronal responses of layer 4, the input station of cortical microcircuits. We demonstrate that the specific modulation pattern of layer-4 activity, which emerges from inter-laminar synaptic connections, is crucial for a rapid shift of attention to a currently unattended stimulus. Our results suggest that top-down signals act differently on different layers of the cortical microcircuit. PMID:21779240

  8. Relationship between play and sensory processing: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Watts, Tara; Stagnitti, Karen; Brown, Ted

    2014-01-01

    OBJECTIVE. We examined the empirical evidence to answer the research question, What is the relationship between play and sensory processing in children ages 3-12 yr? METHOD. The PRISMA guidelines were followed to complete a systematic review. Academic databases were searched using play, leisure, sensory processing, and sensory integration as primary search terms. Of 6,230 articles initially identified, 35 full-text articles were screened for eligibility. Of these, 8 met the inclusion criteria. RESULTS. All 8 studies were conducted within the United States. The evidence of the relationship between play and sensory processing fell mainly into the low levels of evidence: case studies and cohort studies. CONCLUSION. This review provides occupational therapists with an emerging understanding of the relationship between play and sensory processing based on current evidence and its importance in the occupational development of children. Rigorous research is needed in the area.

  9. Roles of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors during the sensory stimulation-evoked field potential responses in mouse cerebellar cortical molecular layer.

    PubMed

    Xu, Yin-Hua; Zhang, Guang-Jian; Zhao, Jing-Tong; Chu, Chun-Ping; Li, Yu-Zi; Qiu, De-Lai

    2017-09-14

    The functions of N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors (NMDARs) in cerebellar cortex have been widely studied under in vitro condition, but their roles during the sensory stimulation-evoked responses in the cerebellar cortical molecular layer in living animals are currently unclear. We here investigated the roles of NMDARs during the air-puff stimulation on ipsilateral whisker pad-evoked field potential responses in cerebellar cortical molecular layer in urethane-anesthetized mice by electrophysiological recording and pharmacological methods. Our results showed that cerebellar surface administration of NMDA induced a dose-dependent decrease in amplitude of the facial stimulation-evoked inhibitory responses (P1) in the molecular layer, accompanied with decreases in decay time, half-width and area under curve (AUC) of P1. The IC50 of NMDA induced inhibition in amplitude of P1 was 46.5μM. In addition, application of NMDA induced significant increases in the decay time, half-width and AUC values of the facial stimulation-evoked excitatory responses (N1) in the molecular layer. Application of an NMDAR blocker, D-APV (250μM) abolished the facial stimulation-evoked P1 in the molecular layer. These results suggested that NMDARs play a critical role during the sensory information processing in cerebellar cortical molecular layer in vivo in mice. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. 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

  11. Perspectives on sensory processing disorder: a call for translational research.

    PubMed

    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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Automatic auditory intelligence: an expression of the sensory-cognitive core of cognitive processes.

    PubMed

    Näätänen, Risto; Astikainen, Piia; Ruusuvirta, Timo; Huotilainen, Minna

    2010-09-01

    In this article, we present a new view on the nature of cognitive processes suggesting that there is a common core, viz., automatic sensory-cognitive processes that form the basis for higher-order cognitive processes. It has been shown that automatic sensory-cognitive processes are shared by humans and various other species and occur at different developmental stages and even in different states of consciousness. This evidence, based on the automatic electrophysiological change-detection response mismatch negativity (MMN), its magnetoencephalographic equivalent MMNm, and behavioral data, indicates that in audition surprisingly complex processes occur automatically and mainly in the sensory-specific cortical regions. These processes include, e.g. stimulus anticipation and extrapolation, sequential stimulus-rule extraction, and pattern and pitch-interval encoding. Furthermore, these complex perceptual-cognitive processes, first found in waking adults, occur similarly even in sleeping newborns, anesthetized animals, and deeply sedated adult humans, suggesting that they form the common perceptual-cognitive core of cognitive processes in general. Although the present evidence originates mainly from the auditory modality, it is likely that analogous evidence could be obtained from other sensory modalities when measures corresponding to those used in the study of the auditory modality become available.

  15. Child's Play: A Sensory-Integrative Process.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hartman, Jeanette Allison

    In an attempt to demonstrate the direct relationship of physical play to sensory integration, this descriptive study measured fine and gross motor activities, and the repetition and duration of preferred activities among 179 children between 2 and 8 years of age who participated in 3 early childhood programs in California. Data were collected by…

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Oxytocin Enhances Social Recognition by Modulating Cortical Control of Early Olfactory Processing

    PubMed Central

    Oettl, Lars-Lennart; Ravi, Namasivayam; Schneider, Miriam; Scheller, Max F.; Schneider, Peggy; Mitre, Mariela; Gouveia, Miriam da Silva; Froemke, Robert C.; Chao, Moses V.; Young, W. Scott; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Grinevich, Valery; Shusterman, Roman; Kelsch, Wolfgang

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Oxytocin promotes social interactions and recognition of conspecifics that rely on olfaction in most species. The circuit mechanisms through which oxytocin modifies olfactory processing are incompletely understood. Here, we observed that optogenetically induced oxytocin release enhanced olfactory exploration and same-sex recognition of adult rats. Consistent with oxytocin’s function in the anterior olfactory cortex, particularly in social cue processing, region-selective receptor deletion impaired social recognition but left odor discrimination and recognition intact outside a social context. Oxytocin transiently increased the drive of the anterior olfactory cortex projecting to olfactory bulb interneurons. Cortical top-down recruitment of interneurons dynamically enhanced the inhibitory input to olfactory bulb projection neurons and increased the signal-to-noise of their output. In summary, oxytocin generates states for optimized information extraction in an early cortical top-down network that is required for social interactions with potential implications for sensory processing deficits in autism spectrum disorders. PMID:27112498

  19. Visual perception of ADHD children with sensory processing disorder.

    PubMed

    Jung, Hyerim; Woo, Young Jae; Kang, Je Wook; Choi, Yeon Woo; Kim, Kyeong Mi

    2014-04-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the visual perception difference between ADHD children with and without sensory processing disorder, and the relationship between sensory processing and visual perception of the children with ADHD. Participants were 47 outpatients, aged 6-8 years, diagnosed with ADHD. After excluding those who met exclusion criteria, 38 subjects were clustered into two groups, ADHD children with and without sensory processing disorder (SPD), using SSP reported by their parents, then subjects completed K-DTVP-2. Spearman correlation analysis was run to determine the relationship between sensory processing and visual perception, and Mann-Whitney-U test was conducted to compare the K-DTVP-2 score of two groups respectively. The ADHD children with SPD performed inferiorly to ADHD children without SPD in the on 3 quotients of K-DTVP-2. The GVP of K-DTVP-2 score was related to Movement Sensitivity section (r=0.368(*)) and Low Energy/Weak section of SSP (r=0.369*). The result of the present study suggests that among children with ADHD, the visual perception is lower in those children with co-morbid SPD. Also, visual perception may be related to sensory processing, especially in the reactions of vestibular and proprioceptive senses. Regarding academic performance, it is necessary to consider how sensory processing issues affect visual perception in children with ADHD.

  20. Multimodal Interactions in Sensory-Motor Processing

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1992-06-30

    P(violationlresponse mode B) and P(violationlresponse mode A) < P(violationlresponse mode C) are distributed as N(pA- P, PA(1-PA) / nA + pB(1-PB) / nB ...within each sensory channel). The accumulated count is compared with a criterion (0), yielding the expression =P[NT(t)<O Itop noise] x P[ NB (t)<O Ibottom...noise] - P[NT(t)ɘ Itop noise] x P[ NB (t)ɘ Ibottom signal] - P[NT(t)ɘ Itop signal] x P[ NB (t)ɘ ibottom noise] + P[NT(t)ɘ Itop signal] x P[ NB (t)ɘ

  1. 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

  2. Bistability, Noise and Information Processing in Sensory Neurons

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1993-11-01

    INFORMATION PROCESSING IN SENSORY PR: MA65 NEURONS . I PE: 0601153N 6. AUTHOR(S) WU: DN300034 A. R. Bulsara 7. PERFORMING ORGANIZATION NAME(S) AND ADDRESS...interpretation of time series data from firing events in periodically stimulated sensory neurons . A theoretical model, representing the neurons as bistable...Expert Systems, November 1993, pp. 11-14. DT70 QUALITY INSPECTED B 14 SUBJECT TERMS 15 NUMBER OF PAGES neural models single neurons stochastic

  3. White matter correlates of sensory processing in autism spectrum disorders

    PubMed Central

    Pryweller, Jennifer R.; Schauder, Kimberly B.; Anderson, Adam W.; Heacock, Jessica L.; Foss-Feig, Jennifer H.; Newsom, Cassandra R.; Loring, Whitney A.; Cascio, Carissa J.

    2014-01-01

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been characterized by atypical socio-communicative behavior, sensorimotor impairment and abnormal neurodevelopmental trajectories. DTI has been used to determine the presence and nature of abnormality in white matter integrity that may contribute to the behavioral phenomena that characterize ASD. Although atypical patterns of sensory responding in ASD are well documented in the behavioral literature, much less is known about the neural networks associated with aberrant sensory processing. To address the roles of basic sensory, sensory association and early attentional processes in sensory responsiveness in ASD, our investigation focused on five white matter fiber tracts known to be involved in these various stages of sensory processing: superior corona radiata, centrum semiovale, inferior longitudinal fasciculus, posterior limb of the internal capsule, and splenium. We acquired high angular resolution diffusion images from 32 children with ASD and 26 typically developing children between the ages of 5 and 8. We also administered sensory assessments to examine brain-behavior relationships between white matter integrity and sensory variables. Our findings suggest a modulatory role of the inferior longitudinal fasciculus and splenium in atypical sensorimotor and early attention processes in ASD. Increased tactile defensiveness was found to be related to reduced fractional anisotropy in the inferior longitudinal fasciculus, which may reflect an aberrant connection between limbic structures in the temporal lobe and the inferior parietal cortex. Our findings also corroborate the modulatory role of the splenium in attentional orienting, but suggest the possibility of a more diffuse or separable network for social orienting in ASD. Future investigation should consider the use of whole brain analyses for a more robust assessment of white matter microstructure. PMID:25379451

  4. SENSORY PROCESSING DURING CHILDHOOD IN PRETERM INFANTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW.

    PubMed

    Machado, Ana Carolina Cabral de Paula; Oliveira, Suelen Rosa de; Magalhães, Lívia de Castro; Miranda, Débora Marques de; Bouzada, Maria Cândida Ferrarez

    2017-01-01

    To conduct a systematic search for grounded and quality evidence of sensory processing in preterm infants during childhood. The search of the available literature on the theme was held in the following electronic databases: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (Medline)/PubMed, Latin American and Caribbean Literature in Health Sciences (Lilacs)/Virtual Library in Health (BVS), Índice Bibliográfico Español de Ciencias de la Salud (IBECS)/BVS, Scopus, and Web of Science. We included only original indexed studies with a quantitative approach, which were available in full text on digital media, published in Portuguese, English, or Spanish between 2005 and 2015, involving children aged 0-9years. 581 articles were identified and eight were included. Six studies (75%) found high frequency of dysfunction in sensory processing in preterm infants. The association of sensory processing with developmental outcomes was observed in three studies (37.5%). The association of sensory processing with neonatal characteristics was observed in five studies (62.5%), and the sensory processing results are often associated with gestational age, male gender, and white matter lesions. The current literature suggests that preterm birth affects the sensory processing, negatively. Gestational age, male gender, and white matter lesions appear as risk factors for sensoryprocessing disorders in preterm infants. The impairment in the ability to receivesensory inputs, to integrateand to adapt to them seems to have a negative effect on motor, cognitive, and language development of these children. We highlight the feasibility of identifying sensory processing disorders early in life, favoring early clinical interventions.

  5. SENSORY PROCESSING DURING CHILDHOOD IN PRETERM INFANTS: A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW

    PubMed Central

    Machado, Ana Carolina Cabral de Paula; de Oliveira, Suelen Rosa; Magalhães, Lívia de Castro; de Miranda, Débora Marques; Bouzada, Maria Cândida Ferrarez

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Objective: To conduct a systematic search for grounded and quality evidence of sensory processing in preterm infants during childhood. Data source: The search of the available literature on the theme was held in the following electronic databases: Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (Medline)/PubMed, Latin American and Caribbean Literature in Health Sciences (Lilacs)/Virtual Library in Health (BVS), Índice Bibliográfico Español de Ciencias de la Salud (IBECS)/BVS, Scopus, and Web of Science. We included only original indexed studies with a quantitative approach, which were available in full text on digital media, published in Portuguese, English, or Spanish between 2005 and 2015, involving children aged 0-9years. Data synthesis: 581 articles were identified and eight were included. Six studies (75%) found high frequency of dysfunction in sensory processing in preterm infants. The association of sensory processing with developmental outcomes was observed in three studies (37.5%). The association of sensory processing with neonatal characteristics was observed in five studies (62.5%), and the sensory processing results are often associated with gestational age, male gender, and white matter lesions. Conclusions: The current literature suggests that preterm birth affects the sensory processing, negatively. Gestational age, male gender, and white matter lesions appear as risk factors for sensoryprocessing disorders in preterm infants. The impairment in the ability to receivesensory inputs, to integrateand to adapt to them seems to have a negative effect on motor, cognitive, and language development of these children. We highlight the feasibility of identifying sensory processing disorders early in life, favoring early clinical interventions.

  6. The pattern of sensory processing abnormalities in autism.

    PubMed

    Kern, Janet K; Trivedi, Madhukar H; Garver, Carolyn R; Grannemann, Bruce D; Andrews, Alonzo A; Savla, Jayshree S; Johnson, Danny G; Mehta, Jyutika A; Schroeder, Jennifer L

    2006-09-01

    The study was undertaken to evaluate the nature of sensory dysfunction in persons with autism. The cross-sectional study examined auditory, visual, oral, and touch sensory processing, as measured by the Sensory Profile, in 104 persons with a diagnosis of autism, 3-56 years of age, gender-and age-matched to community controls. Persons with autism had abnormal auditory, visual, touch, and oral sensory processing that was significantly different from controls. This finding was also apparent when the high and low thresholds of these modalities were examined separately. At later ages for the group with autism, lower levels of abnormal sensory processing were found, except for low threshold touch, which did not improve significantly. There was a significant interaction in low threshold auditory and low threshold visual, suggesting that the two groups change differently over time on these variables. These results suggest that sensory abnormalities in autism are global in nature (involving several modalities) but have the potential to improve with age.

  7. Development and Plasticity of Cortical Processing Architectures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Singer, Wolf

    1995-11-01

    One of the basic functions of the cerebral cortex is the analysis and representation of relations among the components of sensory and motor patterns. It is proposed that the cortex applies two complementary strategies to cope with the combinatorial problem posed by the astronomical number of possible relations: (i) the analysis and representation of frequently occurring, behaviorally relevant relations by groups of cells with fixed but broadly tuned response properties; and (ii) the dynamic association of these cells into functionally coherent assemblies. Feedforward connections and reciprocal associative connections, respectively, are thought to underlie these two operations. The architectures of both types of connections are susceptible to experience-dependent modifications during development, but they become fixed in the adult. As development proceeds, feedforward connections also appear to lose much of their functional plasticity, whereas the synapses of the associative connections retain a high susceptibility to use-dependent modifications. The reduced plasticity of feedforward connections is probably responsible for the invariance of cognitive categories acquired early in development. The persistent adaptivity of reciprocal connections is a likely substrate for the ability to generate representations for new perceptual objects and motor patterns throughout life.

  8. Mechanisms of Hierarchical Cortical Maturation

    PubMed Central

    Chomiak, Taylor; Hu, Bin

    2017-01-01

    Cortical information processing is structurally and functionally organized into hierarchical pathways, with primary sensory cortical regions providing modality specific information and associative cortical regions playing a more integrative role. Historically, there has been debate as to whether primary cortical regions mature earlier than associative cortical regions, or whether both primary and associative cortical regions mature simultaneously. Identifying whether primary and associative cortical regions mature hierarchically or simultaneously will not only deepen our understanding of the mechanisms that regulate brain maturation, but it will also provide fundamental insight into aspects of adolescent behavior, learning, neurodevelopmental disorders and computational models of neural processing. This mini-review article summarizes the current evidence supporting the sequential and hierarchical nature of cortical maturation, and then proposes a new cellular model underlying this process. Finally, unresolved issues associated with hierarchical cortical maturation are also addressed. PMID:28959187

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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.

  11. The role of oral processing in dynamic sensory perception.

    PubMed

    Foster, Kylie D; Grigor, John M V; Cheong, Jean Ne; Yoo, Michelle J Y; Bronlund, John E; Morgenstern, Marco P

    2011-03-01

    Food oral processing is not only important for the ingestion and digestion of food, but also plays an important role in the perception of texture and flavor. This overall sensory perception is dynamic and occurs during all stages of oral processing. However, the relationships between oral operations and sensory perception are not yet fully understood. This article reviews recent progress and research findings on oral food processing, with a focus on the dynamic character of sensory perception of solid foods. The reviewed studies are discussed in terms of both physiology and food properties, and cover first bite, mastication, and swallowing. Little is known about the dynamics of texture and flavor perception during mastication and the importance on overall perception. Novel approaches use time intensity and temporal dominance techniques, and these will be valuable tools for future research on the dynamics of texture and flavor perception.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. Lateralized abnormalities in auditory M50 sensory gating and cortical thickness of the superior temporal gyrus in post-traumatic stress disorder: preliminary results.

    PubMed

    Hunter, Michael; Villarreal, Gerardo; McHaffie, Greg R; Jimenez, Billy; Smith, Ashley K; Calais, Lawrence A; Hanlon, Faith; Thoma, Robert J; Cañive, José M

    2011-02-28

    Auditory sensory gating deficits have been reported in subjects with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but the hemispheric and neuronal origins of this deficit are not well understood. The objectives of this study were to: (1) investigate auditory sensory gating of the 50-ms response (M50) in patients diagnosed with PTSD by utilizing magnetoencephalography (MEG); (2) explore the relationship between M50 sensory gating and cortical thickness of the superior temporal gyrus (STG) measured with structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); and (3) examine the association between PTSD symptomatology and bilateral sensory gating. Seven participants with combat-related PTSD and eleven controls underwent the paired-click sensory gating paradigm. MEG localized M50 neuronal generators to the STG in both groups. The PTSD group displayed impaired M50 gating in the right hemisphere. Thinner right STG cortical thickness was associated with worse right sensory gating in the PTSD group. The right S1 M50 source strength and gating ratio were correlated with PTSD symptomatology. These findings suggest that the structural integrity of right hemisphere STG cortices play an important role in auditory sensory gating deficits in PTSD. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Reorganization of cortical population activity imaged throughout long-term sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Margolis, David J; Lütcke, Henry; Schulz, Kristina; Haiss, Florent; Weber, Bruno; Kügler, Sebastian; Hasan, Mazahir T; Helmchen, Fritjof

    2012-11-01

    Sensory maps are reshaped by experience. It is unknown how map plasticity occurs in vivo in functionally diverse neuronal populations because activity of the same cells has not been tracked over long time periods. Here we used repeated two-photon imaging of a genetic calcium indicator to measure whisker-evoked responsiveness of the same layer 2/3 neurons in adult mouse barrel cortex over weeks, first with whiskers intact, then during continued trimming of all but one whisker. Across the baseline period, neurons displayed heterogeneous yet stable responsiveness. During sensory deprivation, responses to trimmed whisker stimulation globally decreased, whereas responses to spared whisker stimulation increased for the least active neurons and decreased for the most active neurons. These findings suggest that recruitment of inactive, 'silent' neurons is part of a convergent redistribution of population activity underlying sensory map plasticity. Sensory-driven responsiveness is a key property controlling experience-dependent activity changes in individual neurons.

  18. 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.

  19. Sensory cortex limits cortical maps and drives top-down plasticity in thalamocortical circuits

    PubMed Central

    Zembrzycki, Andreas; Chou, Shen-Ju; Ashery-Padan, Ruth; Stoykova, Anastassia; O’Leary, Dennis D.M.

    2013-01-01

    Summary Primary somatosensory cortex (S1) contains a complete body map that mirrors subcortical maps developed by peripheral sensory input projecting to sensory hindbrain, thalamus, then S1. Peripheral changes during development alter these maps through ‘bottom-up’ plasticity. Unknown is how S1 size influences map organization and if an altered S1 map feedbacks to affect subcortical maps. We show in mice that S1 is significantly reduced by cortex-specific deletion of Pax6, resulting in a reduced body map and loss of body representations by exclusion of later-differentiating sensory thalamocortical input. An initially normal sensory thalamus was re-patterned to match the aberrant S1 map by apoptotic deletion of thalamic neurons representing body parts with axons excluded from S1. Deleted representations were rescued by altering competition between thalamocortical axons by sensory deprivation or increasing S1. Thus, S1 size determined resolution and completeness of body maps and engaged ‘top-down’ plasticity that re-patterned sensory thalamus to match S1. PMID:23831966

  20. 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

  1. Tickling expectations: neural processing in anticipation of a sensory stimulus.

    PubMed

    Carlsson, K; Petrovic, P; Skare, S; Petersson, K M; Ingvar, M

    2000-07-01

    Predictions of the near future can optimize the accuracy and speed of sensory processing as well as of behavioral responses. Previous experience and contextual cues are essential elements in the generation of a subjective prediction. Using a blocked fMRI paradigm, we investigated the pattern of neural activation in anticipation of a sensory stimulus and during the processing of the somatosensory stimulus itself. Tickling was chosen as the somatosensory stimulus rather than simple touch in order to increase the probability to get a high degree of anticipation. The location and nature of the stimulus were well defined to the subject. The state of anticipation was initiated by attributing an uncertainty regarding the time of stimulus onset. The network of activation and deactivation during anticipation of the expected stimulus was similar to that engaged during the actual sensory stimulation. The areas that were activated during both states included the contralateral primary sensory cortex, bilateral areas in the inferior parietal lobules, the putative area SII, the right anterior cingulate cortex and areas in the right prefrontal cortex. Similarly, common decreases were observed in areas of sensorimotor cortex located outside the area representing the target of stimulus, i.e., areas that process information which is irrelevant to the attended process. The overlapping pattern of change, during the somatosensory stimulation and the anticipation, furthers the idea that predictions are subserved by a neuronal network similar to that which subserves the processing of actual sensory input. Moreover, this study indicates that activation of primary somatosensory cortex can be obtained without intra-modal sensory input. These findings suggest that anticipation may invoke a tonic top-down regulation of neural activity.

  2. Phasic activation of the locus coeruleus enhances responses of primary sensory cortical neurons to peripheral receptive field stimulation.

    PubMed

    Waterhouse, B D; Moises, H C; Woodward, D J

    1998-04-20

    In the present study we examined the effects of phasic activation of the nucleus locus coeruleus (LC) on transmission of somatosensory information to the rat cerebral cortex. The rationale for this investigation was based on earlier findings that local microiontophoretic application of the putative LC transmitter, norepinephrine (NE), had facilitating actions on cortical neuronal responses to excitatory and inhibitory synaptic stimuli and more recent microdialysis experiments that have demonstrated increases in cortical levels of NE following phasic or tonic activation of LC. Glass micropipets were used to record the extracellular activity of single neurons in the somatosensory cortex of halothane-anesthetized rats. Somatosensory afferent pathways were activated by threshold level mechanical stimulation of the glabrous skin on the contralateral forepaw. Poststimulus time histograms were used to quantitate cortical neuronal responses before and at various time intervals after preconditioning burst activation of the ipsilateral LC. Excitatory and postexcitatory inhibitory responses to forepaw stimulation were enhanced when preceded by phasic activation of LC at conditioning intervals of 200-500 ms. These effects were anatomically specific in that they were only observed upon stimulation of brainstem sites close to (>150 micron) or within LC and were pharmacologically specific in that they were not consistently observed in animals where the LC-NE system had been disrupted by 6-OHDA pretreatment. Overall, these data suggest that following phasic activation of the LC efferent system, the efficacy of signal transmission through sensory networks in mammalian brain is enhanced.

  3. Inactivation of basolateral amygdala specifically eliminates palatability-related information in cortical sensory responses

    PubMed Central

    Piette, Caitlin E.; Baez-Santiago, Madelyn A.; Reid, Emily E.; Katz, Donald B.; Moran, Anan

    2012-01-01

    Evidence indirectly implicates the amygdala as the primary processor of emotional information used by cortex to drive appropriate behavioral responses to stimuli. Taste provides an ideal system with which to test this hypothesis directly, as neurons in both basolateral amygdala (BLA) and gustatory cortex (GC)—anatomically interconnected nodes of the gustatory system—code the emotional valence of taste stimuli (i.e., palatability), in firing rate responses that progress similarly through “epochs.” The fact that palatability-related firing appears one epoch earlier in BLA than GC is broadly consistent with the hypothesis that such information may propagate from the former to the latter. Here, we provide evidence supporting this hypothesis, assaying taste responses in small GC single-neuron ensembles before, during and after temporarily inactivating BLA (BLAx) in awake rats. BLAx changed responses in 98% of taste-responsive GC neurons, altering the entirety of every taste response in many neurons. Most changes involved reductions in firing rate, but regardless of the direction of change, the effect of BLAx was epoch-specific: while firing rates were changed, the taste-specificity of responses remained stable; information about taste palatability, however, which normally resides in the “Late” epoch, was reduced in magnitude across the entire GC sample and outright eliminated in most neurons. Only in the specific minority of neurons for which BLAx enhanced responses did palatability-specificity survive undiminished. Our data therefore provide direct evidence that BLA is a necessary component of GC gustatory processing, and that cortical palatability processing in particular is, in part, a function of BLA activity. PMID:22815512

  4. Sensori-motor experience leads to changes in visual processing in the developing brain

    PubMed Central

    James, Karin Harman

    2014-01-01

    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 specialization for letters, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to compare brain activation patterns in pre-school children before and after different letter-learning conditions: a sensori-motor group practised printing letters during the learning phase, while the control group practised visual recognition. Results demonstrated an overall left-hemisphere bias for processing letters in these pre-literate participants, but, more interestingly, showed enhanced blood oxygen-level-dependent activation in the visual association cortex during letter perception only after sensori-motor (printing) learning. It is concluded that sensori-motor experience augments processing in the visual system of pre-school children. The change of activation in these neural circuits provides important evidence that ‘learning-by-doing’ can lay the foundation for, and potentially strengthen, the neural systems used for visual letter recognition. PMID:20136924

  5. Subthalamic stimulation influences postmovement cortical somatosensory processing in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Devos, D; Labyt, E; Cassim, F; Bourriez, J L; Reyns, N; Touzet, G; Blond, S; Guieu, J D; Derambure, P; Destée, A; Defebvre, L

    2003-10-01

    In Parkinson's disease, poor motor performance (resulting primarily from abnormal cortical activation during movement preparation and execution) may also be due to impaired sensorimotor integration and defective cortical activity termination of the ongoing movement, thus delaying preparation of the following one. Reduced movement-related synchronization of the beta rhythm in Parkinson's disease compared to controls has been put forward as evidence for impaired postmovement cortical deactivation. We assessed the effects of subthalamic deep brain stimulation and l-dopa on beta rhythm synchronization over the premotor and primary sensorimotor cortex. Ten advanced patients performed self-paced wrist flexion in four conditions according to the presence or not of stimulation and l-dopa. Compared to without treatment, the motor score improved by approximately 60%; the beta synchronization was present over the contralateral frontocentral region and increased significantly over the contralateral central region under stimulation and under l-dopa, with a maximal effect when both treatments were associated. Our advanced patients displayed very focused and attenuated beta rhythm synchronization which, under stimulation, increased over the contralateral premotor and primary sensorimotor cortex. Stimulation and l-dopa both partly restored postmovement cortical deactivation in advanced Parkinson's disease, although the respective mechanisms probably differ. They may improve bradykinesia and cortical deactivation by reestablishing movement-related somatosensory processing at the end of the movement through the basal ganglia into the cortex.

  6. Parasympathetic Functions in Children with Sensory Processing Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Schaaf, Roseann C.; Benevides, Teal; Blanche, Erna Imperatore; Brett-Green, Barbara A.; Burke, Janice P.; Cohn, Ellen S.; Koomar, Jane; Lane, Shelly J.; Miller, Lucy Jane; May-Benson, Teresa A.; Parham, Diane; Reynolds, Stacey; Schoen, Sarah A.

    2009-01-01

    The overall goal of this study was to determine if parasympathetic nervous system (PsNS) activity is a significant biomarker of sensory processing difficulties in children. Several studies have demonstrated that PsNS activity is an important regulator of reactivity in children, and thus, it is of interest to study whether PsNS activity is related to sensory reactivity in children who have a type of condition associated with sensory processing disorders termed sensory modulation dysfunction (SMD). If so, this will have important implications for understanding the mechanisms underlying sensory processing problems of children and for developing intervention strategies to address them. The primary aims of this project were: (1) to evaluate PsNS activity in children with SMD compared to typically developing (TYP) children, and (2) to determine if PsNS activity is a significant predictor of sensory behaviors and adaptive functions among children with SMD. We examine PsNS activity during the Sensory Challenge Protocol; which includes baseline, the administration of eight sequential stimuli in five sensory domains, recovery, and also evaluate response to a prolonged auditory stimulus. As a secondary aim we examined whether subgroups of children with specific physiological and behavioral sensory reactivity profiles can be identified. Results indicate that as a total group the children with severe SMD demonstrated a trend for low baseline PsNS activity, compared to TYP children, suggesting this may be a biomarker for SMD. In addition, children with SMD as a total group demonstrated significantly poorer adaptive behavior in the communication and daily living subdomains and in the overall Adaptive Behavior Composite of the Vineland than TYP children. Using latent class analysis, the subjects were grouped by severity and the severe SMD group had significantly lower PsNS activity at baseline, tones and prolonged auditory. These results provide preliminary evidence that children

  7. Cortical processing of a brightness illusion

    PubMed Central

    Roe, Anna Wang; Lu, Haidong D.; Hung, Chou P.

    2005-01-01

    Several brightness illusions indicate that borders can affect the perception of surfaces dramatically. In the Cornsweet illusion, two equiluminant surfaces appear to be different in brightness because of the contrast border between them. Here, we report the existence of cells in monkey visual cortex that respond to such an “illusory” brightness. We find that luminance responsive cells are located in color-activated regions (cytochrome oxidase blobs and bridges) of primary visual cortex (V1), whereas Cornsweet responsive cells are found preferentially in the color-activated regions (thin stripes) of second visual area (V2). This colocalization of brightness and color processing within V1 and V2 suggests a segregation of contour and surface processing in early visual pathways and a hierarchy of brightness information processing from V1 to V2 in monkeys. PMID:15738406

  8. Altered Cortical Swallowing Processing in Patients with Functional Dysphagia: A Preliminary Study

    PubMed Central

    Wollbrink, Andreas; Warnecke, Tobias; Winkels, Martin; Pantev, Christo; Dziewas, Rainer

    2014-01-01

    Objective Current neuroimaging research on functional disturbances provides growing evidence for objective neuronal correlates of allegedly psychogenic symptoms, thereby shifting the disease concept from a psychological towards a neurobiological model. Functional dysphagia is such a rare condition, whose pathogenetic mechanism is largely unknown. In the absence of any organic reason for a patient's persistent swallowing complaints, sensorimotor processing abnormalities involving central neural pathways constitute a potential etiology. Methods In this pilot study we measured cortical swallow-related activation in 5 patients diagnosed with functional dysphagia and a matched group of healthy subjects applying magnetoencephalography. Source localization of cortical activation was done with synthetic aperture magnetometry. To test for significant differences in cortical swallowing processing between groups, a non-parametric permutation test was afterwards performed on individual source localization maps. Results Swallowing task performance was comparable between groups. In relation to control subjects, in whom activation was symmetrically distributed in rostro-medial parts of the sensorimotor cortices of both hemispheres, patients showed prominent activation of the right insula, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and lateral premotor, motor as well as inferolateral parietal cortex. Furthermore, activation was markedly reduced in the left medial primary sensory cortex as well as right medial sensorimotor cortex and adjacent supplementary motor area (p<0.01). Conclusions Functional dysphagia - a condition with assumed normal brain function - seems to be associated with distinctive changes of the swallow-related cortical activation pattern. Alterations may reflect exaggerated activation of a widely distributed vigilance, self-monitoring and salience rating network that interferes with down-stream deglutition sensorimotor control. PMID:24586948

  9. [Sensory processing could be temporally organized by ultradian brain rhythms].

    PubMed

    Pedemonte, M; Velluti, R A

    Neuronal activity of sensory systems depends on input from the environment, the body and the brain itself. Various rhythms have been shown to affect sensory processing, such as the waking-sleep cycle and hippocampal theta waves, our aim in this revision. The hippocampus, known as a structure involved in learning and memory processing, has the theta rhythm (4-10 Hz), present in all behavioural states. This rhythm has been temporally related to automatic, reflex and voluntary movements, both during wakefulness and sleep, and in the autonomic control of the heart rate. On the other hand theta rhythm has been considered as a novelty detector expressing different level of attention, selecting the information and protecting from interference. Our research is based on the hypothesis that sensory processing needs a timer to be processed and stored, and hippocampal theta rhythm could contribute to the temporal organization of these events. We have demonstrated that auditory and visual unitary discharges in guinea pigs show phase-locking to the hippocampal theta rhythm. This temporal correlation appears during both spontaneous and specific sensory stimulation evoked discharges. Neuronal discharges fluctuate between phase-locked and uncorrelated firing modes relative to the theta rhythm. This changing state depends on known and unknown situations. We have provoked, changing the visual stimuli, a power theta rhythm increment and the phase-locking between this rhythm and the lateral geniculate neurone discharge during wakefulness. In slow wave sleep results were different demonstrating that the ways of the inputs processing have changed.

  10. Individuals with agenesis of the corpus callosum show sensory processing differences as measured by the sensory profile.

    PubMed

    Demopoulos, Carly; Arroyo, Monica S; Dunn, Winnie; Strominger, Zoe; Sherr, Elliott H; Marco, Elysa

    2015-09-01

    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. 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 1 standard deviation from the mean. 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. 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 interhemispheric 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. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

  11. Does the central sulcus divide motor and sensory functions? Cortical mapping of human hand areas as revealed by electrical stimulation through subdural grid electrodes.

    PubMed

    Nii, Y; Uematsu, S; Lesser, R P; Gordon, B

    1996-02-01

    To clarify the exact anatomic relationship of electrically identified hand areas to the central sulcus, we constructed cortical surface renderings of magnetic resonance images (MRI) to locate the central sulcus accurately and measured the distances of stimulated points from the central sulcus and the Sylvian fissure. We obtained hand responses in 33 patients who underwent implantation of subdural grid electrodes for evaluation and surgical treatment of intractable epilepsy and analyzed these responses according to the presence of motor, sensory, mixed motor and sensory, and arrest responses. Hand motor responses occurred not only in the precentral gyrus but also in the postcentral gyrus, with great variability in superior-to-inferior distribution. Sensory responses also occurred in both the precentral and postcentral gyri with a distribution more ventral than that of motor responses. Mixed motor and sensory responses tended to be limited to the middle part of the central sulcus. Sites where electrical stimulation arrested simple hand repetitive voluntary movements occurred widely throughout the premotor and primary sensorimotor cortices. These data indicate a marked variability in the location of the human cortical hand area, and suggest that motor and sensory hand cortices overlap and are not divided in a simple manner by the central sulcus.

  12. 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

  13. 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

    2016-06-20

    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.

  14. Sensory Processing, Reading, IQ, and Attention

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hulslander, Jacqueline; Talcott, Joel; Witton, Caroline; DeFries, John; Pennington, Bruce; Wadsworth, Sally; Willcutt, Erik; Olson, Richard

    2004-01-01

    Detection thresholds for two visual- and two auditory-processing tasks were obtained for 73 children and young adults who varied broadly in reading ability. A reading-disabled subgroup had significantly higher thresholds than a normal-reading subgroup for the auditory tasks only. When analyzed across the whole group, the auditory tasks and one of…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. Integration of quanta in cerebellar granule cells during sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Chadderton, Paul; Margrie, Troy W; Häusser, Michael

    2004-04-22

    To understand the computations performed by the input layers of cortical structures, it is essential to determine the relationship between sensory-evoked synaptic input and the resulting pattern of output spikes. In the cerebellum, granule cells constitute the input layer, translating mossy fibre signals into parallel fibre input to Purkinje cells. Until now, their small size and dense packing have precluded recordings from individual granule cells in vivo. Here we use whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to show the relationship between mossy fibre synaptic currents evoked by somatosensory stimulation and the resulting granule cell output patterns. Granule cells exhibited a low ongoing firing rate, due in part to dampening of excitability by a tonic inhibitory conductance mediated by GABA(A) (gamma-aminobutyric acid type A) receptors. Sensory stimulation produced bursts of mossy fibre excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) that summate to trigger bursts of spikes. Notably, these spike bursts were evoked by only a few quantal EPSCs, and yet spontaneous mossy fibre inputs triggered spikes only when inhibition was reduced. Our results reveal that the input layer of the cerebellum balances exquisite sensitivity with a high signal-to-noise ratio. Granule cell bursts are optimally suited to trigger glutamate receptor activation and plasticity at parallel fibre synapses, providing a link between input representation and memory storage in the cerebellum.

  19. Cortical processing of dynamic sound envelope transitions.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yi; Wang, Xiaoqin

    2010-12-08

    Slow envelope fluctuations in the range of 2-20 Hz provide important segmental cues for processing communication sounds. For a successful segmentation, a neural processor must capture envelope features associated with the rise and fall of signal energy, a process that is often challenged by the interference of background noise. This study investigated the neural representations of slowly varying envelopes in quiet and in background noise in the primary auditory cortex (A1) of awake marmoset monkeys. We characterized envelope features based on the local average and rate of change of sound level in envelope waveforms and identified envelope features to which neurons were selective by reverse correlation. Our results showed that envelope feature selectivity of A1 neurons was correlated with the degree of nonmonotonicity in their static rate-level functions. Nonmonotonic neurons exhibited greater feature selectivity than monotonic neurons in quiet and in background noise. The diverse envelope feature selectivity decreased spike-timing correlation among A1 neurons in response to the same envelope waveforms. As a result, the variability, but not the average, of the ensemble responses of A1 neurons represented more faithfully the dynamic transitions in low-frequency sound envelopes both in quiet and in background noise.

  20. 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

  1. In vivo approach to the cellular mechanisms for sensory processing in sleep and wakefulness.

    PubMed

    Velluti, Ricardo A; Pedemonte, Marisa

    2002-12-01

    1. The present review analyzes sensory processing during sleep and wakefulness from a single neuronal viewpoint. Our premises are that processing changes throughout the sleep-wakefulness cycle may be at least partially evidenced in single neurons by (a) changes in the phase locking of the response to the hippocampal theta rhythm, (b) changes in the discharge rate and firing pattern of the response to sound, and (c) changes in the effects of the neurotransmitters involved in the afferent and efferent pathways. 2. The first part of our report is based on the hypothesis that the encoding of sensory information needs a timer in order to be processed and stored, and that the hippocampal theta rhythm could contribute to the temporal organization. We have demonstrated that the guinea pig's auditory and visual neuronal discharge exhibits a temporal relationship (phase locking) to the hippocampal theta waves during wakefulness and sleep phases. 3. The concept that the neural network organization during sleep versus wakefulness is different and can be modulated by sensory signals and vice versa, and that the sensory input may be influenced by the CNS state, i.e., asleep or awake, is introduced. During sleep the evoked firing of auditory units increases, decreases, or remains similar to that observed during quiet wakefulness. However, there has been no auditory unit yet that stops firing as the guinea pig enters sleep. Approximately half of the cortical neurons studied did not change firing rate when passing into sleep while others increased or decreased. Thus, the system is continuously aware of the environment. We postulate that those neurons that changed their evoked firing during sleep are also related to still unknown sleep processes. 4. Excitatory amino acid neurotransmitters participate in the synaptic transmission of the afferent and efferent pathways in the auditory system. In the inferior colliculus, however, the effects of glutamate's mediating the response to

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Sensory Cortical Control of a Visually Induced Arrest Behavior via Corticotectal Projections

    PubMed Central

    Liang, Feixue; Xiong, Xiaorui R.; Zingg, Brian; Ji, Xu-ying; Zhang, Li I.; Tao, Huizhong W.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Innate defense behaviors (IDBs) evoked by threatening sensory stimuli are essential for animal survival. Although subcortical circuits are implicated in IDBs, it remains largely unclear whether sensory cortex modulates IDBs and what are the underlying neural pathways. Here, we show that optogenetic silencing of corticotectal projections from layer 5 (L5) of the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) to the superior colliculus (SC) significantly reduces a SC-dependent innate behavior, i.e. temporary suspension of locomotion upon a sudden flash of light as short as milliseconds. Surprisingly, optogenetic activation of SC-projecting neurons in V1 or their axon terminals in SC sufficiently elicits the behavior, in contrast to other major L5 corticofugal projections. Thus, via the same corticofugal projection, visual cortex not only modulates the light-induced arrest behavior, but also can directly drive the behavior. Our results suggest that sensory cortex may play a previously unrecognized role in the top-down initiation of sensory-motor behaviors. PMID:25913860

  5. Sensory Cortical Control of a Visually Induced Arrest Behavior via Corticotectal Projections.

    PubMed

    Liang, Feixue; Xiong, Xiaorui R; Zingg, Brian; Ji, Xu-ying; Zhang, Li I; Tao, Huizhong W

    2015-05-06

    Innate defense behaviors (IDBs) evoked by threatening sensory stimuli are essential for animal survival. Although subcortical circuits are implicated in IDBs, it remains largely unclear whether sensory cortex modulates IDBs and what the underlying neural pathways are. Here, we show that optogenetic silencing of corticotectal projections from layer 5 (L5) of the mouse primary visual cortex (V1) to the superior colliculus (SC) significantly reduces an SC-dependent innate behavior (i.e., temporary suspension of locomotion upon a sudden flash of light as short as milliseconds). Surprisingly, optogenetic activation of SC-projecting neurons in V1 or their axon terminals in SC sufficiently elicits the behavior, in contrast to other major L5 corticofugal projections. Thus, via the same corticofugal projection, visual cortex not only modulates the light-induced arrest behavior, but also can directly drive the behavior. Our results suggest that sensory cortex may play a previously unrecognized role in the top-down initiation of sensory-motor behaviors.

  6. A systematic review of sensory processing interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

    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 reviews examined the effects of sensory interventions without acknowledging these inconsistencies. This systematic review examined the research evidence (2000-2012) of two forms of sensory interventions, sensory integration therapy and sensory-based intervention, for children with autism spectrum disorders and concurrent sensory processing problems. A total of 19 studies were reviewed: 5 examined the effects of sensory integration therapy and 14 sensory-based intervention. The studies defined sensory integration therapies as clinic-based interventions that use sensory-rich, child-directed activities to improve a child's adaptive responses to sensory experiences. Two randomized controlled trials found positive effects for sensory integration therapy on child performance using Goal Attainment Scaling (effect sizes ranging from .72 to 1.62); other studies (Levels III-IV) found positive effects on reducing behaviors linked to sensory problems. Sensory-based interventions are characterized as classroom-based interventions that use single-sensory strategies, for example, weighted vests or therapy balls, to influence a child's state of arousal. Few positive effects were found in sensory-based intervention studies. Studies of sensory-based interventions suggest that they may not be effective; however, they did not follow recommended protocols or target sensory processing problems. Although small randomized controlled trials resulted in positive effects for sensory integration therapies, additional rigorous trials using manualized protocols for sensory integration therapy are needed to evaluate effects for children with autism

  7. 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

  8. Identifying Cortical Lateralization of Speech Processing in Infants Using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

    PubMed Central

    Bortfeld, Heather; Fava, Eswen; Boas, David A.

    2010-01-01

    We investigate the utility of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) as an alternative technique for studying infant speech processing. NIRS is an optical imaging technology that uses relative changes in total hemoglobin concentration and oxygenation as an indicator of neural activation. Procedurally, NIRS has the advantage over more common methods (e.g., fMRI) in that it can be used to study the neural responses of behaviorally active infants. Older infants (aged 6–9 months) were allowed to sit on their caretakers’ laps during stimulus presentation to determine relative differences in focal activity in the temporal region of the brain during speech processing. Results revealed a dissociation of sensory-specific processing in two cortical regions, the left and right temporal lobes. These findings are consistent with those obtained using other neurophysiological methods and point to the utility of NIRS as a means of establishing neural correlates of language development in older (and more active) infants. PMID:19142766

  9. Lesions to Primary Sensory and Posterior Parietal Cortices Impair Recovery from Hand Paresis after Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Abela, Eugenio; Missimer, John; Wiest, Roland; Federspiel, Andrea; Hess, Christian; Sturzenegger, Matthias; Weder, Bruno

    2012-01-01

    Background Neuroanatomical determinants of motor skill recovery after stroke are still poorly understood. Although lesion load onto the corticospinal tract is known to affect recovery, less is known about the effect of lesions to cortical sensorimotor areas. Here, we test the hypothesis that lesions of somatosensory cortices interfere with the capacity to recover motor skills after stroke. Methods Standardized tests of motor skill and somatosensory functions were acquired longitudinally over nine months in 29 patients with stroke to the pre- and postcentral gyrus, including adjacent areas of the frontal, parietal and insular cortices. We derived the recovery trajectories of each patient for five motor subtest using least-squares curve fitting and objective model selection procedures for linear and exponential models. Patients were classified into subgroups based on their motor recovery models. Lesions were mapped onto diffusion weighted imaging scans and normalized into stereotaxic space using cost-function masking. To identify critical neuranatomical regions, voxel-wise subtractions were calculated between subgroup lesion maps. A probabilistic cytoarchitectonic atlas was used to quantify of lesion extent and location. Results Twenty-three patients with moderate to severe initial deficits showed exponential recovery trajectories for motor subtests that relied on precise distal movements. Those that retained a chronic motor deficit had lesions that extended to the center of the somatosensory cortex (area 2) and the intraparietal sulcus (areas hIP1, hIP2). Impaired recovery outcome correlated with lesion extent on this areas and somatosensory performance. The rate of recovery, however, depended on the lesion load onto the primary motor cortex (areas 4a, 4p). Conclusions Our findings support a critical role of uni-and multimodal somatosensory cortices in motor skill recovery. Whereas lesions to these areas influence recovery outcome, lesions to the primary motor

  10. Procedure for recording the simultaneous activity of single neurons distributed across cortical areas during sensory discrimination

    PubMed Central

    Hernández, Adrián; Nácher, Verónica; Luna, Rogelio; Alvarez, Manuel; Zainos, Antonio; Cordero, Silvia; Camarillo, Liliana; Vázquez, Yuriria; Lemus, Luis; Romo, Ranulfo

    2008-01-01

    We report a procedure for recording the simultaneous activity of single neurons distributed across five cortical areas in behaving monkeys. The procedure consists of a commercially available microdrive adapted to a commercially available neural data collection system. The critical advantage of this procedure is that, in each cortical area, a configuration of seven microelectrodes spaced 250–500 μm can be inserted transdurally and each can be moved independently in the z axis. For each microelectrode, the data collection system can record the activity of up to five neurons together with the local field potential (LFP). With this procedure, we normally monitor the simultaneous activity of 70–100 neurons while trained monkeys discriminate the difference in frequency between two vibrotactile stimuli. Approximately 20–60 of these neurons have response properties previously reported in this task. The neuronal recordings show good signal-to-noise ratio, are remarkably stable along a 1-day session, and allow testing several protocols. Microelectrodes are removed from the brain after a 1-day recording session, but are reinserted again the next day by using the same or different x-y microelectrode array configurations. The fact that microelectrodes can be moved in the z axis during the recording session and that the x-y configuration can be changed from day to day maximizes the probability of studying simultaneous interactions, both local and across distant cortical areas, between neurons associated with the different components of this task. PMID:18946031

  11. Decoding temporally encoded sensory input by cortical oscillations and thalamic phase comparators.

    PubMed

    Ahissar, E; Haidarliu, S; Zacksenhouse, M

    1997-10-14

    The temporally encoded information obtained by vibrissal touch could be decoded "passively," involving only input-driven elements, or "actively," utilizing intrinsically driven oscillators. A previous study suggested that the trigeminal somatosensory system of rats does not obey the bottom-up order of activation predicted by passive decoding. Thus, we have tested whether this system obeys the predictions of active decoding. We have studied cortical single units in the somatosensory cortices of anesthetized rats and guinea pigs and found that about a quarter of them exhibit clear spontaneous oscillations, many of them around whisking frequencies ( approximately 10 Hz). The frequencies of these oscillations could be controlled locally by glutamate. These oscillations could be forced to track the frequency of induced rhythmic whisker movements at a stable, frequency-dependent, phase difference. During these stimulations, the response intensities of multiunits at the thalamic recipient layers of the cortex decreased, and their latencies increased, with increasing input frequency. These observations are consistent with thalamocortical loops implementing phase-locked loops, circuits that are most efficient in decoding temporally encoded information like that obtained by active vibrissal touch. According to this model, and consistent with our results, populations of thalamic "relay" neurons function as phase "comparators" that compare cortical timing expectations with the actual input timing and represent the difference by their population output rate.

  12. 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

  13. 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 Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  14. Developmental refinement of cortical systems for speech and voice processing.

    PubMed

    Bonte, Milene; Ley, Anke; Scharke, Wolfgang; Formisano, Elia

    2016-03-01

    Development typically leads to optimized and adaptive neural mechanisms for the processing of voice and speech. In this fMRI study we investigated how this adaptive processing reaches its mature efficiency by examining the effects of task, age and phonological skills on cortical responses to voice and speech in children (8-9years), adolescents (14-15years) and adults. Participants listened to vowels (/a/, /i/, /u/) spoken by different speakers (boy, girl, man) and performed delayed-match-to-sample tasks on vowel and speaker identity. Across age groups, similar behavioral accuracy and comparable sound evoked auditory cortical fMRI responses were observed. Analysis of task-related modulations indicated a developmental enhancement of responses in the (right) superior temporal cortex during the processing of speaker information. This effect was most evident through an analysis based on individually determined voice sensitive regions. Analysis of age effects indicated that the recruitment of regions in the temporal-parietal cortex and posterior cingulate/cingulate gyrus decreased with development. Beyond age-related changes, the strength of speech-evoked activity in left posterior and right middle superior temporal regions significantly scaled with individual differences in phonological skills. Together, these findings suggest a prolonged development of the cortical functional network for speech and voice processing. This development includes a progressive refinement of the neural mechanisms for the selection and analysis of auditory information relevant to the ongoing behavioral task.

  15. Oscillatory neuronal activity reflects lexical-semantic feature integration within and across sensory modalities in distributed cortical networks.

    PubMed

    van Ackeren, Markus J; Schneider, Till R; Müsch, Kathrin; Rueschemeyer, Shirley-Ann

    2014-10-22

    Research from the previous decade suggests that word meaning is partially stored in distributed modality-specific cortical networks. However, little is known about the mechanisms by which semantic content from multiple modalities is integrated into a coherent multisensory representation. Therefore we aimed to characterize differences between integration of lexical-semantic information from a single modality compared with two sensory modalities. We used magnetoencephalography in humans to investigate changes in oscillatory neuronal activity while participants verified two features for a given target word (e.g., "bus"). Feature pairs consisted of either two features from the same modality (visual: "red," "big") or different modalities (auditory and visual: "red," "loud"). The results suggest that integrating modality-specific features of the target word is associated with enhanced high-frequency power (80-120 Hz), while integrating features from different modalities is associated with a sustained increase in low-frequency power (2-8 Hz). Source reconstruction revealed a peak in the anterior temporal lobe for low-frequency and high-frequency effects. These results suggest that integrating lexical-semantic knowledge at different cortical scales is reflected in frequency-specific oscillatory neuronal activity in unisensory and multisensory association networks.

  16. Differences in cutaneous sensory response properties of single somatosensory cortical neurons in awake and halothane anesthetized rats.

    PubMed

    Chapin, J K; Waterhouse, B D; Woodward, D J

    1981-01-01

    The major aim of this study was to investigate the effect of halothane anesthesia on different latency components of cutaneous sensory responses of single units in the primary somatosensory (SI) cortex of rats. Quantitative studies of computer generated post-stimulus time histograms were used to determine whether the increase in "nonspecific" properties often observed in the SI cortices of awake animals were attributable to a generally increased sensory responsiveness of these cells or to a selective increase of certain "nonspecific" components of their sensory response. Sensory "specificity" was investigated here by measuring the size of cutaneous receptive fields of single cells and testing their ability to follow high stimulus frequencies. Histograms generated by repetitive touch stimulation of the forepaw in awake animals were divisible into the following different latency components: (1) a short latency excitatory response which was often divisible into two peaks (E1a and E1b), and occasionally (2) a post-excitatory inhibitory phase (I1) and/or (3) a long latency excitatory peak (E2). In anesthetized animals spontaneous discharge rates were lower and the proportion of cells exhibiting either pure inhibition or post-excitatory inhibition was increased. By contrast, the longer latency excitatory components (E1b and E2) were weaker and were seen much less frequently than in the awake situation. In nine cells tested in the awake state and then again in the anesthetized state the magnitude, receptive field size, and ability to follow high frequencies of the E1a peak was slightly reduced. The E1b and E2 peaks seen in the awake state, on the other hand, were completely abolished by anesthesia. In awake animals the E1b and E2 phases exhibited relatively "nonspecific" physiological properties. This was indicated by the facts that: (1) the cutaneous receptive fields of the E1a peak were slightly smaller than those of the E1b peaks and much smaller than those of the E2

  17. The effects of neck flexion on cerebral potentials evoked by visual, auditory and somatosensory stimuli and focal brain blood flow in related sensory cortices

    PubMed Central

    2012-01-01

    Background A flexed neck posture leads to non-specific activation of the brain. Sensory evoked cerebral potentials and focal brain blood flow have been used to evaluate the activation of the sensory cortex. We investigated the effects of a flexed neck posture on the cerebral potentials evoked by visual, auditory and somatosensory stimuli and focal brain blood flow in the related sensory cortices. Methods Twelve healthy young adults received right visual hemi-field, binaural auditory and left median nerve stimuli while sitting with the neck in a resting and flexed (20° flexion) position. Sensory evoked potentials were recorded from the right occipital region, Cz in accordance with the international 10–20 system, and 2 cm posterior from C4, during visual, auditory and somatosensory stimulations. The oxidative-hemoglobin concentration was measured in the respective sensory cortex using near-infrared spectroscopy. Results Latencies of the late component of all sensory evoked potentials significantly shortened, and the amplitude of auditory evoked potentials increased when the neck was in a flexed position. Oxidative-hemoglobin concentrations in the left and right visual cortices were higher during visual stimulation in the flexed neck position. The left visual cortex is responsible for receiving the visual information. In addition, oxidative-hemoglobin concentrations in the bilateral auditory cortex during auditory stimulation, and in the right somatosensory cortex during somatosensory stimulation, were higher in the flexed neck position. Conclusions Visual, auditory and somatosensory pathways were activated by neck flexion. The sensory cortices were selectively activated, reflecting the modalities in sensory projection to the cerebral cortex and inter-hemispheric connections. PMID:23199306

  18. Reproductive experience modified dendritic spines on cortical pyramidal neurons to enhance sensory perception and spatial learning in rats

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Jeng-Rung; Lim, Seh Hong; Chung, Sin-Cun; Lee, Yee-Fun; Wang, Yueh-Jan; Tseng, Guo-Fang; Wang, Tsyr-Jiuan

    2016-01-01

    Behavioral adaptations during motherhood are aimed at increasing reproductive success. Alterations of hormones during motherhood could trigger brain morphological changes to underlie behavioral alterations. Here we investigated whether motherhood changes a rat’s sensory perception and spatial memory in conjunction with cortical neuronal structural changes. Female rats of different statuses, including virgin, pregnant, lactating, and primiparous rats were studied. Behavioral test showed that the lactating rats were most sensitive to heat, while rats with motherhood and reproduction experience outperformed virgin rats in a water maze task. By intracellular dye injection and computer-assisted 3-dimensional reconstruction, the dendritic arbors and spines of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons were revealed for closer analysis. The results showed that motherhood and reproductive experience increased dendritic spines but not arbors or the lengths of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons. In addition, lactating rats had a higher incidence of spines than pregnant or primiparous rats. The increase of dendritic spines was coupled with increased expression of the glutamatergic postsynaptic marker protein (PSD-95), especially in lactating rats. On the basis of the present results, it is concluded that motherhood enhanced rat sensory perception and spatial memory and was accompanied by increases in dendritic spines on output neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampus. The effect was sustained for at least 6 weeks after the weaning of the pups. PMID:27784858

  19. Reproductive experience modified dendritic spines on cortical pyramidal neurons to enhance sensory perception and spatial learning in rats.

    PubMed

    Chen, Jeng-Rung; Lim, Seh Hong; Chung, Sin-Cun; Lee, Yee-Fun; Wang, Yueh-Jan; Tseng, Guo-Fang; Wang, Tsyr-Jiuan

    2017-01-27

    Behavioral adaptations during motherhood are aimed at increasing reproductive success. Alterations of hormones during motherhood could trigger brain morphological changes to underlie behavioral alterations. Here we investigated whether motherhood changes a rat's sensory perception and spatial memory in conjunction with cortical neuronal structural changes. Female rats of different statuses, including virgin, pregnant, lactating, and primiparous rats were studied. Behavioral test showed that the lactating rats were most sensitive to heat, while rats with motherhood and reproduction experience outperformed virgin rats in a water maze task. By intracellular dye injection and computer-assisted 3-dimensional reconstruction, the dendritic arbors and spines of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons were revealed for closer analysis. The results showed that motherhood and reproductive experience increased dendritic spines but not arbors or the lengths of the layer III and V pyramidal neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampal pyramidal neurons. In addition, lactating rats had a higher incidence of spines than pregnant or primiparous rats. The increase of dendritic spines was coupled with increased expression of the glutamatergic postsynaptic marker protein (PSD-95), especially in lactating rats. On the basis of the present results, it is concluded that motherhood enhanced rat sensory perception and spatial memory and was accompanied by increases in dendritic spines on output neurons of the somatosensory cortex and CA1 hippocampus. The effect was sustained for at least 6 weeks after the weaning of the pups.

  20. Influence of sensory neuropeptides on human cutaneous wound healing process.

    PubMed

    Chéret, J; Lebonvallet, N; Buhé, V; Carre, J L; Misery, L; Le Gall-Ianotto, C

    2014-06-01

    Close interactions exist between primary sensory neurons of the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and skin cells. The PNS may be implicated in the modulation of different skin functions as wound healing. Study the influence of sensory neurons in human cutaneous wound healing. We incubated injured human skin explants either with rat primary sensory neurons from dorsal root ganglia (DRG) or different neuropeptides (vasoactive intestinal peptide or VIP, calcitonin gene-related peptide or CGRP, substance P or SP) at various concentrations. Then we evaluated their effects on the proliferative and extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling phases, dermal fibroblasts adhesion and differentiation into myofibroblasts. Thus, DRG and all studied neuromediators increased fibroblasts and keratinocytes proliferation and act on the expression ratio between collagen type I and type III in favor of collagen I, particularly between the 3rd and 7th day of culture. Furthermore, the enzymatic activities of matrix metalloprotesases (MMP-2 and MMP-9) were increased in the first days of wound healing process. Finally, the adhesion of human dermal fibroblasts and their differentiation into myofibroblasts were promoted after incubation with neuromediators. Interestingly, the most potent concentrations for each tested molecules, were the lowest concentrations, corresponding to physiological concentrations. Sensory neurons and their derived-neuropeptides are able to promote skin wound healing. Copyright © 2014 Japanese Society for Investigative Dermatology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Application of Cortical Processing Theory to Acoustical Analysis

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-07-27

    intelligibility (albeit with a noticeable degradation in quality ) while the acoustic signature of the phonemic features in the simulated AN representations is... Experiments I and II Application of Cortical Processing Theory to Acoustical Analysis Ghitza (PI) there were four listeners (L1, L2, L4 were female ...among 6 acoustic -phonetic distinctive features and among 8 vowels (hence 2 word-pairs per [quadrantxfeature] cell). The feature classification (outlined

  2. Sensory Processing in Low-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Distinct Sensory Profiles and Their Relationships with Behavioral Dysfunction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonthier, Corentin; Longuépée, Lucie; Bouvard, Martine

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities are relatively universal in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and can be very disabling. Surprisingly, very few studies have investigated these abnormalities in low-functioning adults with autism. The goals of the present study were (a) to characterize distinct profiles of sensory dysfunction, and (b) to…

  3. Sensory Processing in Low-Functioning Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Distinct Sensory Profiles and Their Relationships with Behavioral Dysfunction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gonthier, Corentin; Longuépée, Lucie; Bouvard, Martine

    2016-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities are relatively universal in individuals with autism spectrum disorder, and can be very disabling. Surprisingly, very few studies have investigated these abnormalities in low-functioning adults with autism. The goals of the present study were (a) to characterize distinct profiles of sensory dysfunction, and (b) to…

  4. 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

  5. A conserved switch in sensory processing prepares developing neocortex for vision.

    PubMed

    Colonnese, Matthew T; Kaminska, Anna; Minlebaev, Marat; Milh, Mathieu; Bloem, Bernard; Lescure, Sandra; Moriette, Guy; Chiron, Catherine; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Khazipov, Rustem

    2010-08-12

    Developing cortex generates endogenous activity that modulates the formation of functional units, but how this activity is altered to support mature function is poorly understood. Using recordings from the visual cortex of preterm human infants and neonatal rats, we report a "bursting" period of visual responsiveness during which the weak retinal output is amplified by endogenous network oscillations, enabling a primitive form of vision. This period ends shortly before delivery in humans and eye opening in rodents with an abrupt switch to the mature visual response. The switch is causally linked to the emergence of an activated state of continuous cortical activity dependent on the ascending neuromodulatory systems involved in arousal. This switch is sensory system specific but experience independent and also involves maturation of retinal processing. Thus, the early development of visual processing is governed by a conserved, intrinsic program that switches thalamocortical response properties in anticipation of patterned vision. (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. A conserved switch in sensory processing prepares developing neocortex for vision

    PubMed Central

    Colonnese, Matthew T.; Kaminska, Anna; Minlebaev, Marat; Milh, Mathieu; Bloem, Bernard; Lescure, Sandra; Moriette, Guy; Chiron, Catherine; Ben-Ari, Yehezkel; Khazipov, Rustem

    2010-01-01

    Developing cortex generates endogenous activity that modulates the formation of functional units, but how this activity is altered to support mature function is poorly understood. Using recordings from the visual cortex of preterm human infants and neonatal rats, we report a novel “bursting” period of visual responsiveness during which the weak retinal output is amplified by endogenous network oscillations, enabling a primitive form of vision. This period ends shortly before delivery in humans and eye-opening in rodents with an abrupt switch to the mature visual response. The switch is causally linked to the emergence of an activated state of continuous cortical activity dependent on the ascending neuromodulatory systems involved in arousal. This switch is sensory-system specific but experience-independent, and also involves maturation of retinal processing. Thus the early development of visual processing is governed by a conserved, intrinsic program that switches thalamocortical response properties in anticipation of patterned vision. PMID:20696384

  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. The possible role of spike patterns in cortical information processing.

    PubMed

    Tiesinga, Paul H E; Toups, J Vincent

    2005-06-01

    When the same visual stimulus is presented across many trials, neurons in the visual cortex receive stimulus-related synaptic inputs that are reproducible across trials (S) and inputs that are not (N). The variability of spike trains recorded in the visual cortex and their apparent lack of spike-to-spike correlations beyond that implied by firing rate fluctuations, has been taken as evidence for a low S/N ratio. A recent re-analysis of in vivo cortical data revealed evidence for spike-to-spike correlations in the form of spike patterns. We examine neural dynamics at a higher S/N in order to determine what possible role spike patterns could play in cortical information processing. In vivo-like spike patterns were obtained in model simulations. Superpositions of multiple sinusoidal driving currents were especially effective in producing stable long-lasting patterns. By applying current pulses that were either short and strong or long and weak, neurons could be made to switch from one pattern to another. Cortical neurons with similar stimulus preferences are located near each other, have similar biophysical properties and receive a large number of common synaptic inputs. Hence, recordings of a single neuron across multiple trials are usually interpreted as the response of an ensemble of these neurons during one trial. In the presence of distinct spike patterns across trials there is ambiguity in what would be the corresponding ensemble, it could consist of the same spike pattern for each neuron or a set of patterns across neurons. We found that the spiking response of a neuron receiving these ensemble inputs was determined by the spike-pattern composition, which, in turn, could be modulated dynamically as a means for cortical information processing.

  9. Fast-spiking GABA circuit dynamics in the auditory cortex predict recovery of sensory processing following peripheral nerve damage

    PubMed Central

    Resnik, Jennifer; Polley, Daniel B

    2017-01-01

    Cortical neurons remap their receptive fields and rescale sensitivity to spared peripheral inputs following sensory nerve damage. To address how these plasticity processes are coordinated over the course of functional recovery, we tracked receptive field reorganization, spontaneous activity, and response gain from individual principal neurons in the adult mouse auditory cortex over a 50-day period surrounding either moderate or massive auditory nerve damage. We related the day-by-day recovery of sound processing to dynamic changes in the strength of intracortical inhibition from parvalbumin-expressing (PV) inhibitory neurons. Whereas the status of brainstem-evoked potentials did not predict the recovery of sensory responses to surviving nerve fibers, homeostatic adjustments in PV-mediated inhibition during the first days following injury could predict the eventual recovery of cortical sound processing weeks later. These findings underscore the potential importance of self-regulated inhibitory dynamics for the restoration of sensory processing in excitatory neurons following peripheral nerve injuries. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.21452.001 PMID:28323619

  10. 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

  11. The relationship between sensory-processing patterns and occupational engagement among older persons.

    PubMed

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Rosenblum, Sara

    2017-02-01

    Meaningful occupational engagement is essential for successful aging. Sensory-processing abilities that are known to deteriorate with age may reduce occupational engagement. However, the relationship between sensory-processing abilities and occupational engagement among older persons in daily life is unknown. This study examined the relationship between sensory-processing patterns and occupational engagement among older persons. Participants were 180 people, ages 50 to 73 years, in good health, who lived in their homes. All participants completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile and the Activity Card Sort. Better registration of sensory input and greater sensory seeking were related to greater occupational engagement. Sensory-processing abilities among older persons and their relation to occupational engagement in various life settings should receive attention in research and practice. Occupational therapists should encourage older people to seek sensory input and provide them with rich sensory environments for enhancing meaningful engagement in real life.

  12. Sensory Contributions to Impaired Emotion Processing in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    Butler, Pamela D.; Abeles, Ilana Y.; Weiskopf, Nicole G.; Tambini, Arielle; Jalbrzikowski, Maria; Legatt, Michael E.; Zemon, Vance; Loughead, James; Gur, Ruben C.; Javitt, Daniel C.

    2009-01-01

    Both emotion and visual processing deficits are documented in schizophrenia, and preferential magnocellular visual pathway dysfunction has been reported in several studies. This study examined the contribution to emotion-processing deficits of magnocellular and parvocellular visual pathway function, based on stimulus properties and shape of contrast response functions. Experiment 1 examined the relationship between contrast sensitivity to magnocellular- and parvocellular-biased stimuli and emotion recognition using the Penn Emotion Recognition (ER-40) and Emotion Differentiation (EMODIFF) tests. Experiment 2 altered the contrast levels of the faces themselves to determine whether emotion detection curves would show a pattern characteristic of magnocellular neurons and whether patients would show a deficit in performance related to early sensory processing stages. Results for experiment 1 showed that patients had impaired emotion processing and a preferential magnocellular deficit on the contrast sensitivity task. Greater deficits in ER-40 and EMODIFF performance correlated with impaired contrast sensitivity to the magnocellular-biased condition, which remained significant for the EMODIFF task even when nonspecific correlations due to group were considered in a step-wise regression. Experiment 2 showed contrast response functions indicative of magnocellular processing for both groups, with patients showing impaired performance. Impaired emotion identification on this task was also correlated with magnocellular-biased visual sensory processing dysfunction. These results provide evidence for a contribution of impaired early-stage visual processing in emotion recognition deficits in schizophrenia and suggest that a bottom-up approach to remediation may be effective. PMID:19793797

  13. Sensory contributions to impaired emotion processing in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Butler, Pamela D; Abeles, Ilana Y; Weiskopf, Nicole G; Tambini, Arielle; Jalbrzikowski, Maria; Legatt, Michael E; Zemon, Vance; Loughead, James; Gur, Ruben C; Javitt, Daniel C

    2009-11-01

    Both emotion and visual processing deficits are documented in schizophrenia, and preferential magnocellular visual pathway dysfunction has been reported in several studies. This study examined the contribution to emotion-processing deficits of magnocellular and parvocellular visual pathway function, based on stimulus properties and shape of contrast response functions. Experiment 1 examined the relationship between contrast sensitivity to magnocellular- and parvocellular-biased stimuli and emotion recognition using the Penn Emotion Recognition (ER-40) and Emotion Differentiation (EMODIFF) tests. Experiment 2 altered the contrast levels of the faces themselves to determine whether emotion detection curves would show a pattern characteristic of magnocellular neurons and whether patients would show a deficit in performance related to early sensory processing stages. Results for experiment 1 showed that patients had impaired emotion processing and a preferential magnocellular deficit on the contrast sensitivity task. Greater deficits in ER-40 and EMODIFF performance correlated with impaired contrast sensitivity to the magnocellular-biased condition, which remained significant for the EMODIFF task even when nonspecific correlations due to group were considered in a step-wise regression. Experiment 2 showed contrast response functions indicative of magnocellular processing for both groups, with patients showing impaired performance. Impaired emotion identification on this task was also correlated with magnocellular-biased visual sensory processing dysfunction. These results provide evidence for a contribution of impaired early-stage visual processing in emotion recognition deficits in schizophrenia and suggest that a bottom-up approach to remediation may be effective.

  14. Processing of Feature Selectivity in Cortical Networks with Specific Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Sadeh, Sadra; Clopath, Claudia; Rotter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    Although non-specific at the onset of eye opening, networks in rodent visual cortex attain a non-random structure after eye opening, with a specific bias for connections between neurons of similar preferred orientations. As orientation selectivity is already present at eye opening, it remains unclear how this specificity in network wiring contributes to feature selectivity. Using large-scale inhibition-dominated spiking networks as a model, we show that feature-specific connectivity leads to a linear amplification of feedforward tuning, consistent with recent electrophysiological single-neuron recordings in rodent neocortex. Our results show that optimal amplification is achieved at an intermediate regime of specific connectivity. In this configuration a moderate increase of pairwise correlations is observed, consistent with recent experimental findings. Furthermore, we observed that feature-specific connectivity leads to the emergence of orientation-selective reverberating activity, and entails pattern completion in network responses. Our theoretical analysis provides a mechanistic understanding of subnetworks’ responses to visual stimuli, and casts light on the regime of operation of sensory cortices in the presence of specific connectivity. PMID:26083363

  15. The cortical response to sensory deprivation in adult rats is affected by gonadectomy.

    PubMed

    Mowery, Todd M; Elliott, Kevin S; Garraghty, Preston E

    2009-05-01

    The present study investigated the effects of adult-onset sensory deprivation and gonadectomy. Adult male and female rats underwent unilateral transection of the infraorbital nerve. Half of the subjects had been gonadectomized 1 week prior to the nerve injury. We found that the areas of deprived barrels were significantly reduced when compared to barrels in the contralateral control hemisphere, and that this shrinkage was independent of sex and gonadectomy. We also found significant reductions in cytochrome oxidase staining intensity in the deprived barrels. While there were no differences in the magnitude of this effect between males and females, this effect was substantially more pronounced in the gonadectomized subjects. That is, gonadal hormones appeared to play a significant neuroprotective role in the metabolic response of the barrel cortex to deprivation. Thus, either males and females have a common neuroprotective hormonal pathway, or each has a sex-specific hormone pathway that serves an equivalent neuroprotective function.

  16. EFFECTS OF SENSORI-MOTOR LEARNING ON MELODY PROCESSING ACROSS DEVELOPMENT

    PubMed Central

    WAKEFIELD, Elizabeth M.; JAMES, Karin H.

    2014-01-01

    Actions influence perceptions, but how this occurs may change across the lifespan. Studies have investigated how object-directed actions (e.g., learning about objects through manipulation) affect subsequent perception, but how abstract actions affect perception, and how this may change across development, have not been well studied. In the present study, we address this question, teaching children (4–7 year-olds) and adults sung melodies, with or without an abstract motor component, and using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) to determine how these melodies are subsequently processed. Results demonstrated developmental change in the motor cortices and Middle Temporal Gyrus. Results have implications for understanding sensori-motor integration in the developing brain, and may provide insight into motor learning use in some music education techniques. PMID:25653926

  17. Dissociation of motor and sensory inhibition processes in normal aging.

    PubMed

    Anguera, Joaquin A; Gazzaley, Adam

    2012-04-01

    Age-related cognitive impairments have been attributed to deficits in inhibitory processes that mediate both motor restraint and sensory filtering. However, behavioral studies have failed to show an association between tasks that measure these distinct types of inhibition. In the present study, we hypothesized neural markers reflecting each type of inhibition may reveal a relationship across inhibitory domains in older adults. Electroencephalography (EEG) and behavioral measures were used to explore whether there was an across-participant correlation between sensory suppression and motor inhibition. Sixteen healthy older adult participants (65-80 years) engaged in two separate experimental paradigms: a selective attention, delayed-recognition task and a stop-signal task. Findings revealed no significant relationship existed between neural markers of sensory suppression (P1 amplitude; N170 latency) and markers of motor inhibition (N2 and P3 amplitude and latency) in older adults. These distinct inhibitory domains are differentially impacted in normal aging, as evidenced by previous behavioral work and the current neural findings. Thus a generalized inhibitory deficit may not be a common impairment in cognitive aging. Given that some theories of cognitive aging suggest age-related failure of inhibitory mechanisms may span different modalities, the present findings contribute to an alternative view where age-related declines within each inhibitory modality are unrelated. Copyright © 2011 International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Sensory Processing and Its Relationship with Children's Daily Life Participation.

    PubMed

    Chien, Chi-Wen; Rodger, Sylvia; Copley, Jodie; Branjerdporn, Grace; Taggart, Caitlin

    2016-01-01

    To investigate whether children with probable or definite differences in sensory processing (SP) had participation restrictions, and the relationship between Short Sensory Profile (SSP) scores and children's participation. The participants were parents of 64 children (mean age 8 years 1 month); 36 with potential impairments in regulating sensory input and filtering out unnecessary stimuli (29 boys, 7 girls) and 28 with typical SP abilities (25 boys, 3 girls). Parents' completed the SSP and Participation in Childhood Occupations Questionnaire (PICO-Q). The SSP score was used to categorize children as potential SP impairment group and typical SP ability group. Children categorized as having probable or definite differences in SP exhibited significantly lower participation levels and enjoyment than children categorized as having typical SP abilities. However, participation frequency between both groups was similar. Six out of the seven SP impairment types had small to moderate correlations with children's participation (r = 0.25-0.48, p < 0.05). Multiple regression analyses indicated that only three impairment types (Underresponsive/Seeks Sensation, Low Energy/Weak, and Visual/Auditory Sensitivity) were significant predictors of PICO-Q participation domains. The results suggest that children with potential SP impairments have restrictions in the degree of participation and enjoyment. Three SP types were related to specific participation domains, but they explained a small amount of variance or none in some participation domains. Other variables should be considered to identify determinants of children's participation.

  19. Evaluation of sensory processing abilities following stroke using the adolescent/adult sensory profile: implications for individualized intervention

    PubMed Central

    Chung, Sang Mi; Song, Bo Kyoung

    2016-01-01

    [Purpose] The present study aimed to understand characteristics of sensory processing in patients who have experienced a stroke using the previously established, self-diagnostic Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). [Subjects and Methods] Data from 180 total Korean patients who had been diagnosed as having experienced a stroke were collected and analyzed between May and August of 2015. [Results] Average scores for each sensory processing domain were as follows: low registration (32.1), sensation seeking (34.3), sensory sensitivity (36.7), and sensation avoiding (34.0). Study participants exhibited similar scores to healthy controls (data obtained from previous studies) with the following frequencies: low registration (65%), sensation seeking (77.2%), sensory sensitivity (65%), and sensation avoiding (62.2%). Significant differences were observed between control data and scores obtained for study participants in all domains except that of sensory sensitivity. [Conclusion] The results of the present study indicate that therapeutic intervention following the experience of a stroke should account for individual differences in sensory processing abilities to provide the environment most conducive to the patient’s overall cognitive and physical improvement. PMID:27821949

  20. Evaluation of sensory processing abilities following stroke using the adolescent/adult sensory profile: implications for individualized intervention.

    PubMed

    Chung, Sang Mi; Song, Bo Kyoung

    2016-10-01

    [Purpose] The present study aimed to understand characteristics of sensory processing in patients who have experienced a stroke using the previously established, self-diagnostic Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP). [Subjects and Methods] Data from 180 total Korean patients who had been diagnosed as having experienced a stroke were collected and analyzed between May and August of 2015. [Results] Average scores for each sensory processing domain were as follows: low registration (32.1), sensation seeking (34.3), sensory sensitivity (36.7), and sensation avoiding (34.0). Study participants exhibited similar scores to healthy controls (data obtained from previous studies) with the following frequencies: low registration (65%), sensation seeking (77.2%), sensory sensitivity (65%), and sensation avoiding (62.2%). Significant differences were observed between control data and scores obtained for study participants in all domains except that of sensory sensitivity. [Conclusion] The results of the present study indicate that therapeutic intervention following the experience of a stroke should account for individual differences in sensory processing abilities to provide the environment most conducive to the patient's overall cognitive and physical improvement.

  1. Sensory Cortical Activity Is Related to the Selection of a Rhythmic Motor Action Pattern

    PubMed Central

    Li, Jennifer X.; Maier, Joost X.; Reid, Emily E.

    2016-01-01

    gaping shifts with learning. We go on to show that by silencing these neurons, we can change the likelihood of gaping. These data help to break down the sensory/motor divide by showing a role for sensory cortex in the selection of motor behavior. PMID:27194338

  2. Sensory Cortical Activity Is Related to the Selection of a Rhythmic Motor Action Pattern.

    PubMed

    Li, Jennifer X; Maier, Joost X; Reid, Emily E; Katz, Donald B

    2016-05-18

    go on to show that by silencing these neurons, we can change the likelihood of gaping. These data help to break down the sensory/motor divide by showing a role for sensory cortex in the selection of motor behavior. Copyright © 2016 the authors 0270-6474/16/365596-12$15.00/0.

  3. Dopamine Modulation of Emotional Processing in Cortical and Subcortical Neural Circuits: Evidence for a Final Common Pathway in Schizophrenia?

    PubMed Central

    2007-01-01

    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

  4. A model for communication of sensory quality in the seafood processing chain.

    PubMed

    Green-Petersen, Ditte; Nielsen, Jette; Hyldig, Grethe

    2012-01-01

    Sensory quality has a key influence of consumer perception of a product. It is therefore of great importance for the processing industry that the sensory quality fulfils the expectations of the consumer. Sensory evaluations are the ultimate tool to measure and communicate sensory quality, but it is generally not fully implemented in the chain from catch to consumer. The importance of communicating sensory demands and results from evaluations in the seafood processing chain is described and a Seafood Sensory Quality Model (SSQM) is suggested as a communication tool.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Rapid modulation of sensory processing induced by stimulus conflict

    PubMed Central

    Appelbaum, L.G.; Smith, D.V.; Boehler, C.N.; Chen, W.D.; Woldorff, M.G.

    2011-01-01

    Humans are constantly confronted with environmental stimuli that conflict with task goals and can interfere with successful behavior. Prevailing theories propose the existence of cognitive control mechanisms that can suppress the processing of conflicting input and enhance that of the relevant input. However, the temporal cascade of brain processes invoked in response to conflicting stimuli remains poorly understood. By examining evoked electrical brain responses in a novel, hemifield-specific, visual-flanker task, we demonstrate that task-irrelevant conflicting stimulus input is quickly detected in higher-level executive regions while simultaneously inducing rapid, recurrent modulation of sensory processing in the visual cortex. Importantly, however, both of these effects are larger for individuals with greater incongruency-related reaction time slowing. The combination of neural activation patterns and behavioral interference effects suggest that this initial sensory modulation induced by conflicting stimulus inputs reflects performance-degrading attentional distraction due to their incompatibility, rather than any rapid task-enhancing cognitive control mechanisms. The present findings thus provide neural evidence for a model in which attentional distraction is the key initial trigger for the temporal cascade of processes by which the human brain responds to conflicting stimulus input in the environment. PMID:20849233

  8. Sensory processing during early and late nocturnal sleep.

    PubMed

    Plihal, W; Weaver, S; Mölle, M; Fehm, H L; Born, J

    1996-09-01

    The present experiments in 10 healthy men compared auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) and heart rate (HR) indicators of stimulus processing during early and late phases of nocturnal stage 2 sleep. Definition of early and late sleep relied on endocrine pituitary-adrenal secretory activity which is known to be inhibited during early nocturnal sleep but sharply increases during late sleep. AEPs and HR responses were recorded to trains of 10 tone pips (1000 Hz; interstimulus interval 15 s; intertrain interval > 3 min). On one night, tone pips were presented in the first part of sleep, on the other night tone presentation took place in the second part, with the order of conditions balanced across subjects. Amplitudes of N150 and N550 components of the AEP, and of acceleratory and deceleratory HR responses, were higher during the first than second part of nocturnal sleep (P < 0.05). Moreover, habituation of P240 and N550 amplitudes was slower during the first than second part of sleep (P < 0.05). In supplementary experiments, AEP and HR responses to the same stimuli did not differ between the first and second part of the night when subjects were waking during stimulation. Results indicate a reduced inhibitory control over cortical stimulus processing during early nocturnal sleep. This diminished inhibition of cortical processing together with other concomitant changes during early sleep (such as the enhanced inhibition of pituitary-adrenal secretion) may reflect a coordinated regulatory function of sleep possibly mediated by hippocampal mechanisms.

  9. Cortical and Striatal Reward Processing in Parkinson's Disease Psychosis.

    PubMed

    Garofalo, Sara; Justicia, Azucena; Arrondo, Gonzalo; Ermakova, Anna O; Ramachandra, Pranathi; Tudor-Sfetea, Carina; Robbins, Trevor W; Barker, Roger A; Fletcher, Paul C; Murray, Graham K

    2017-01-01

    Psychotic symptoms frequently occur in Parkinson's disease (PD), but their pathophysiology is poorly understood. According to the National Institute of Health RDoc programme, the pathophysiological basis of neuropsychiatric symptoms may be better understood in terms of dysfunction of underlying domains of neurocognition in a trans-diagnostic fashion. Abnormal cortico-striatal reward processing has been proposed as a key domain contributing to the pathogenesis of psychotic symptoms in schizophrenia. This theory has received empirical support in the study of schizophrenia spectrum disorders and preclinical models of psychosis, but has not been tested in the psychosis associated with PD. We, therefore, investigated brain responses associated with reward expectation and prediction error signaling during reinforcement learning in PD-associated psychosis. An instrumental learning task with monetary gains and losses was conducted during an fMRI study in PD patients with (n = 12), or without (n = 17), a history of psychotic symptoms, along with a sample of healthy controls (n = 24). We conducted region of interest analyses in the ventral striatum (VS), ventromedial prefrontal and posterior cingulate cortices, and whole-brain analyses. There was reduced activation in PD patients with a history of psychosis, compared to those without, in the posterior cingulate cortex and the VS during reward anticipation (p < 0.05 small volume corrected). The results suggest that cortical and striatal abnormalities in reward processing, a putative pathophysiological mechanism of psychosis in schizophrenia, may also contribute to the pathogenesis of psychotic symptoms in PD. The finding of posterior cingulate dysfunction is in keeping with prior results highlighting cortical dysfunction in the pathogenesis of PD psychosis.

  10. 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)…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. A comparison of patterns of sensory processing in children with and without developmental disabilities.

    PubMed

    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) exhibited significantly more sensory processing issues than children without disabilities. The results of GLM and discriminant analyses showed that the CSP effectively differentiated between children with and without developmental disabilities. But it failed to identify major differences in sensory processing issues between children with either ASD or ADHD. Sensory processing issues could be one of many criteria that characterize and differentiate the features of children with different developmental disabilities. Although no significant gender differences in sensory processing issues appeared, age was a significant cofounding factor in evaluating sensory processing. Children without disabilities showed some small decreases in sensory processing issues as they aged from 6 to 12 years old. Children with ASD showed some decrease in sensory processing issues over the span of their childhood, while children with ADHD showed a significant increase in auditory processing issues as well as small increases in many aspects of sensory processing.

  14. Aging effects on functional auditory and visual processing using fMRI with variable sensory loading.

    PubMed

    Cliff, Michael; Joyce, Dan W; Lamar, Melissa; Dannhauser, Thomas; Tracy, Derek K; Shergill, Sukhwinder S

    2013-05-01

    Traditionally, studies investigating the functional implications of age-related structural brain alterations have focused on higher cognitive processes; by increasing stimulus load, these studies assess behavioral and neurophysiological performance. In order to understand age-related changes in these higher cognitive processes, it is crucial to examine changes in visual and auditory processes that are the gateways to higher cognitive functions. This study provides evidence for age-related functional decline in visual and auditory processing, and regional alterations in functional brain processing, using non-invasive neuroimaging. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), younger (n=11; mean age=31) and older (n=10; mean age=68) adults were imaged while observing flashing checkerboard images (passive visual stimuli) and hearing word lists (passive auditory stimuli) across varying stimuli presentation rates. Younger adults showed greater overall levels of temporal and occipital cortical activation than older adults for both auditory and visual stimuli. The relative change in activity as a function of stimulus presentation rate showed differences between young and older participants. In visual cortex, the older group showed a decrease in fMRI blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal magnitude as stimulus frequency increased, whereas the younger group showed a linear increase. In auditory cortex, the younger group showed a relative increase as a function of word presentation rate, while older participants showed a relatively stable magnitude of fMRI BOLD response across all rates. When analyzing participants across all ages, only the auditory cortical activation showed a continuous, monotonically decreasing BOLD signal magnitude as a function of age. Our preliminary findings show an age-related decline in demand-related, passive early sensory processing. As stimulus demand increases, visual and auditory cortex do not show increases in activity in older

  15. Autism and sensory processing disorders: shared white matter disruption in sensory pathways but divergent connectivity in social-emotional pathways.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    Over 90% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) demonstrate atypical sensory behaviors. In fact, hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment is now included in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. However, there are children with sensory processing differences who do not meet an ASD diagnosis but do show atypical sensory behaviors to the same or greater degree as ASD children. We previously demonstrated that children with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) have impaired white matter microstructure, and that this white matter microstructural pathology correlates with atypical sensory behavior. In this study, we use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tractography to evaluate the structural connectivity of specific white matter tracts in boys with ASD (n = 15) and boys with SPD (n = 16), relative to typically developing children (n = 23). We define white matter tracts using probabilistic streamline tractography and assess the strength of tract connectivity using mean fractional anisotropy. Both the SPD and ASD cohorts demonstrate decreased connectivity relative to controls in parieto-occipital tracts involved in sensory perception and multisensory integration. However, the ASD group alone shows impaired connectivity, relative to controls, in temporal tracts thought to subserve social-emotional processing. In addition to these group difference analyses, we take a dimensional approach to assessing the relationship between white matter connectivity and participant function. These correlational analyses reveal significant associations of white matter connectivity with auditory processing, working memory, social skills, and inattention across our three study groups. These findings help elucidate the roles of specific neural circuits in neurodevelopmental disorders, and begin to explore the dimensional relationship between critical cognitive functions and structural connectivity across affected and

  16. Autism and Sensory Processing Disorders: Shared White Matter Disruption in Sensory Pathways but Divergent Connectivity in Social-Emotional Pathways

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Over 90% of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) demonstrate atypical sensory behaviors. In fact, hyper- or hyporeactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspects of the environment is now included in the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. However, there are children with sensory processing differences who do not meet an ASD diagnosis but do show atypical sensory behaviors to the same or greater degree as ASD children. We previously demonstrated that children with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) have impaired white matter microstructure, and that this white matter microstructural pathology correlates with atypical sensory behavior. In this study, we use diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) fiber tractography to evaluate the structural connectivity of specific white matter tracts in boys with ASD (n = 15) and boys with SPD (n = 16), relative to typically developing children (n = 23). We define white matter tracts using probabilistic streamline tractography and assess the strength of tract connectivity using mean fractional anisotropy. Both the SPD and ASD cohorts demonstrate decreased connectivity relative to controls in parieto-occipital tracts involved in sensory perception and multisensory integration. However, the ASD group alone shows impaired connectivity, relative to controls, in temporal tracts thought to subserve social-emotional processing. In addition to these group difference analyses, we take a dimensional approach to assessing the relationship between white matter connectivity and participant function. These correlational analyses reveal significant associations of white matter connectivity with auditory processing, working memory, social skills, and inattention across our three study groups. These findings help elucidate the roles of specific neural circuits in neurodevelopmental disorders, and begin to explore the dimensional relationship between critical cognitive functions and structural connectivity across affected and

  17. 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

  18. Cross-modality Sharpening of Visual Cortical Processing through Layer 1-Mediated Inhibition and Disinhibition

    PubMed Central

    Ibrahim, Leena A.; Mesik, Lukas; Ji, Xu-ying; Fang, Qi; Li, Hai-fu; Li, Ya-tang; Zingg, Brian; Zhang, Li I.; Tao, Huizhong Whit

    2016-01-01

    Summary Cross-modality interaction in sensory perception is advantageous for animals’ survival. How cortical sensory processing is cross-modally modulated and what are the underlying neural circuits remain poorly understood. In mouse primary visual cortex (V1), we discovered that orientation selectivity of layer (L)2/3 but not L4 excitatory neurons was sharpened in the presence of sound or optogenetic activation of projections from primary auditory cortex (A1) to V1. The effect was manifested by decreased average visual responses yet increased responses at the preferred orientation. It was more pronounced at lower visual contrast, and was diminished by suppressing L1 activity. L1 neurons were strongly innervated by A1-V1 axons and excited by sound, while visual responses of L2/3 vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) neurons were suppressed by sound, both preferentially at the cell's preferred orientation. These results suggest that the cross-modality modulation is achieved primarily through L1 neuron and L2/3 VIP-cell mediated inhibitory and disinhibitory circuits. PMID:26898778

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. The contribution of mitochondria to sensory processing and pain.

    PubMed

    Flatters, Sarah J L

    2015-01-01

    Mitochondria have a variety of essential functions within neurons including oxygen consumption, ATP generation, calcium buffering, and reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. Despite extensive research into the contribution of mitochondrial function in other neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease, the role of mitochondrial function in sensory processing and pain has been relatively unexplored until recent years. As this area of pain research is in its infancy, this review will be a descriptive summary-rather than a critical review-of data that suggests mitochondrial function/dysfunction as a causal or contributory mechanism of normal sensory processing and chronic pain. Evidence for mitochondrial dysfunction from both chronic pain patients and animal models of chronic pain will be described. Such evidence involves different aspects of mitochondria and their function including mitochondrial ultrastructure, distribution, oxygen consumption, oxidative phosphorylation, calcium buffering, ROS, and ATP levels. Most recently, substantial amounts of data have demonstrated mitochondrial involvement in painful peripheral neuropathies evoked by chemotherapy, diabetes, and HIV and these topics will be particularly highlighted in this review.

  2. Cortical processing of lateral skin stretch stimulation in humans.

    PubMed

    Backlund Wasling, Helena; Lundblad, Linda; Löken, Line; Wessberg, Johan; Wiklund, Katarina; Norrsell, Ulf; Olausson, Håkan

    2008-09-01

    Direction discrimination of a moving tactile stimulus requires intact dorsal columns and provides a sensitive clinical test of somatosensory dysfunction. Cortical mechanisms are poorly understood. We have applied tangential skin pulls to the right lower leg during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Healthy subjects judged the direction of the skin pulls (task experiment, n = 7) or received skin pulls passively (no task experiment, n = 8). Second somatosensory cortex (S2) was activated in the task as well as no task experiment, and there was no significant difference in cortical activation between the two experiments. Within S2 nearly all subjects had prominent activations in the caudal and superficial part, i.e., in the opercular parietal (OP) area 1. S1 was activated in only one of the subjects. Thus, S2 and especially OP 1 seems to be important for processing of lateral skin stretch stimulation. The finding suggests that a lesion of this area might cause a disturbance in tactile direction discrimination which should be relevant for clinical testing.

  3. Distinct cortical pathways for processing tool versus animal sounds.

    PubMed

    Lewis, James W; Brefczynski, Julie A; Phinney, Raymond E; Janik, John J; DeYoe, Edgar A

    2005-05-25

    Human listeners can effortlessly categorize a wide range of environmental sounds. Whereas categorizing visual object classes (e.g., faces, tools, houses, etc.) preferentially activates different regions of visually sensitive cortex, it is not known whether the auditory system exhibits a similar organization for different types or categories of complex sounds outside of human speech. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we show that hearing and correctly or incorrectly categorizing animal vocalizations (as opposed to hand-manipulated tool sounds) preferentially activated middle portions of the left and right superior temporal gyri (mSTG). On average, the vocalization sounds had much greater harmonic and phase-coupling content (acoustically similar to human speech sounds), which may represent some of the signal attributes that preferentially activate the mSTG regions. In contrast, correctly categorized tool sounds (and even animal sounds that were miscategorized as being tool-related sounds) preferentially activated a widespread, predominantly left hemisphere cortical "mirror network." This network directly overlapped substantial portions of motor-related cortices that were independently activated when participants pantomimed tool manipulations with their right (dominant) hand. These data suggest that the recognition processing for some sounds involves a causal reasoning mechanism (a high-level auditory "how" pathway), automatically evoked when attending to hand-manipulated tool sounds, that effectively associates the dynamic motor actions likely to have produced the sound(s).

  4. Absence of rapid sensory adaptation in neocortex during information processing states.

    PubMed

    Castro-Alamancos, Manuel A

    2004-02-05

    One prominent feature of sensory responses in neocortex is that they rapidly adapt to increases in frequency, a process called "sensory adaptation." Here we show that sensory adaptation mainly occurs during quiescent states such as anesthesia, slow-wave sleep, and awake immobility. In contrast, during behavior-ally activated states, sensory responses are already adapted. For instance, during learning of a behavioral task, when an animal is very alert and expectant, sensory adaptation is mostly absent. After learning occurs, and the task becomes routine, the level of alertness lessens and sensory adaptation becomes robust. The primary sensory thalamocortical pathway of alert and expectant animals is in the adapted state, which may be required for adequate sensory information processing.

  5. A cortical-hippocampal-cortical loop of information processing during memory consolidation.

    PubMed

    Rothschild, Gideon; Eban, Elad; Frank, Loren M

    2017-02-01

    Hippocampal replay during sharp-wave ripple events (SWRs) is thought to drive memory consolidation in hippocampal and cortical circuits. Changes in neocortical activity can precede SWR events, but whether and how these changes influence the content of replay remains unknown. Here we show that during sleep there is a rapid cortical-hippocampal-cortical loop of information flow around the times of SWRs. We recorded neural activity in auditory cortex (AC) and hippocampus of rats as they learned a sound-guided task and during sleep. We found that patterned activation in AC precedes and predicts the subsequent content of hippocampal activity during SWRs, while hippocampal patterns during SWRs predict subsequent AC activity. Delivering sounds during sleep biased AC activity patterns, and sound-biased AC patterns predicted subsequent hippocampal activity. These findings suggest that activation of specific cortical representations during sleep influences the identity of the memories that are consolidated into long-term stores.

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Assessment of Sensory Processing Characteristics in Children between 3 and 11 Years Old: A Systematic Review

    PubMed Central

    Jorquera-Cabrera, Sara; Romero-Ayuso, Dulce; Rodriguez-Gil, Gemma; Triviño-Juárez, José-Matías

    2017-01-01

    The assessment of sensory perception, discrimination, integration, modulation, praxis, and other motor skills, such as posture, balance, and bilateral motor coordination, is necessary to identify the sensory and motor factors influencing the development of personal autonomy. The aim of this work is to study the assessment tools currently available for identifying different patterns of sensory processing. There are 15 tests available that have psychometric properties, primarily for the US population. Nine of them apply to children in preschool and up to grade 12. The assessment of sensory processing is a process that includes the use of standardized tests, administration of caregiver questionnaires, and clinical observations. The review of different studies using PRISMA criteria or Osteba Critical Appraisal Cards reveals that the most commonly used tools are the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, the Sensory Processing Measure, and the Sensory Profile. PMID:28424762

  9. Assessment of Sensory Processing Characteristics in Children between 3 and 11 Years Old: A Systematic Review.

    PubMed

    Jorquera-Cabrera, Sara; Romero-Ayuso, Dulce; Rodriguez-Gil, Gemma; Triviño-Juárez, José-Matías

    2017-01-01

    The assessment of sensory perception, discrimination, integration, modulation, praxis, and other motor skills, such as posture, balance, and bilateral motor coordination, is necessary to identify the sensory and motor factors influencing the development of personal autonomy. The aim of this work is to study the assessment tools currently available for identifying different patterns of sensory processing. There are 15 tests available that have psychometric properties, primarily for the US population. Nine of them apply to children in preschool and up to grade 12. The assessment of sensory processing is a process that includes the use of standardized tests, administration of caregiver questionnaires, and clinical observations. The review of different studies using PRISMA criteria or Osteba Critical Appraisal Cards reveals that the most commonly used tools are the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, the Sensory Processing Measure, and the Sensory Profile.

  10. The impact of atypical sensory processing on social impairments in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Thye, Melissa D; Bednarz, Haley M; Herringshaw, Abbey J; Sartin, Emma B; Kana, Rajesh K

    2017-05-17

    Altered sensory processing has been an important feature of the clinical descriptions of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). There is evidence that sensory dysregulation arises early in the progression of ASD and impacts social functioning. This paper reviews behavioral and neurobiological evidence that describes how sensory deficits across multiple modalities (vision, hearing, touch, olfaction, gustation, and multisensory integration) could impact social functions in ASD. Theoretical models of ASD and their implications for the relationship between sensory and social functioning are discussed. Furthermore, neural differences in anatomy, function, and connectivity of different regions underlying sensory and social processing are also discussed. We conclude that there are multiple mechanisms through which early sensory dysregulation in ASD could cascade into social deficits across development. Future research is needed to clarify these mechanisms, and specific focus should be given to distinguish between deficits in primary sensory processing and altered top-down attentional and cognitive processes. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Sensory processing disorder in preterm infants during early childhood and relationships to early neurobehavior.

    PubMed

    Ryckman, Justin; Hilton, Claudia; Rogers, Cynthia; Pineda, Roberta

    2017-07-13

    Preterm infants are exposed to a variety of sensory stimuli that they are not developmentally prepared to handle, which puts them at risk for developing a sensory processing disorder. However, the patterns and predictors of sensory processing disorder and their relationship to early behavior at term equivalent age are poorly understood. The aims of the study are to: 1) describe the incidence of sensory processing disorder in preterm infants at four to six years of age, 2) define medical and sociodemographic factors that relate to sensory processing disorder, and 3) explore relationships between early neurobehavior at term equivalent age and sensory processing disorder at age four to six years. This study was a prospective longitudinal design. Thirty-two preterm infants born ≤30weeks gestation were enrolled. Infants had standardized neurobehavioral testing at term equivalent age with the NICU Network Neurobehavioral Scale. At four to six years of age, participants were assessed with the Sensory Processing Assessment for Young Children (SPA). Sixteen children (50%) had at least one abnormal score on the SPA, indicating a sensory processing disorder. There were no identified relationships between medical and sociodemographic factors and sensory processing disorder. More sub-optimal reflexes (p=0.04) and more signs of stress (p=0.02) at term equivalent age were related to having a sensory processing disorder in early childhood. Preterm infants are at an increased risk for developing a sensory processing disorder. Medical and sociodemographic factors related to sensory processing disorder could not be isolated in this study, however relationships between sensory processing disorder and early neurobehavior were identified. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Cortical processing of visual motion in young infants.

    PubMed

    Rosander, Kerstin; Nyström, Pär; Gredebäck, Gustaf; von Hofsten, Claes

    2007-06-01

    High-density EEG was used to investigate the cortical processing of a rotating visual pattern in 2-, 3-, and 5-month-old infants and in adults. Motion induced ERP in the parietal and the temporal-occipital border regions (OT) was elicited at all ages. The ERP was discernable in the 2-months-olds, significant and unilateral in the 3-month-olds and significantly bilateral in the 5-month-olds and adults. The motion induced ERP in the primary visual area was absent in the 2-month-olds and later than in the OT area for the 3-month-olds indicating that information to OT may be supplied by the V1 bypass at these ages. The results are in agreement with behavioural and psychophysical data in infants.

  13. Subcortical connections of normotopic and heterotopic neurons in sensory and motor cortices of the tish mutant rat.

    PubMed

    Schottler, F; Couture, D; Rao, A; Kahn, H; Lee, K S

    1998-05-25

    Orthograde and retrograde tracers were used to examine subcortical connections of neurons in the neurological mutant tish rat. This animal exhibits bilateral heterotopia similar to those observed in epileptic humans with subcortical band heterotopia. Terminal varicosities were labeled in the striatum, thalamus, brainstem, and spinal cord following injections of the anterograde tracer biotinylated dextran amine (BDA) into the heterotopic cortex. The general topography of corticothalamic projections was evaluated by injecting the retrograde tracer Fluoro-Gold (FG) into ventral thalamic nuclei. Retrograde labeling of small-to-medium sized neurons was observed in layer VI of topographically restricted portions of the normotopic cortex. Similar appearing cells were labeled in the neighboring portions of the underlying heterotopia; however, these neurons did not display characteristic lamination or radial orientation. Thalamocortical terminals labeled by injecting BDA into the ventroposterolateral nucleus (VPL) were observed primarily in layer IV of the medial aspect of the normotopic somatosensory cortex. In contrast, a radial column of terminals was present in the underlying heterotopia. Typical barrel labeling was found in the lateral aspect of the normotopic somatosensory cortex after injecting the ventroposteromedial nucleus (VPM), whereas more diffuse patches of labeling were observed in the underlying heterotopia. Heterotopic neurons in the tish cortex, thus, exhibit characteristic features of subcortical connectivity. Both normotopic and heterotopic neurons in the tish brain project to appropriate subcortical sites and establish bidirectional topographic connections with the thalamus. These results suggest that primary sensory-motor information is represented in a parallel manner in the normotopic and heterotopic cortices of the tish rat.

  14. 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

  15. Auditory midbrain processing is differentially modulated by auditory and visual cortices: An auditory fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Gao, Patrick P; Zhang, Jevin W; Fan, Shu-Juan; Sanes, Dan H; Wu, Ed X

    2015-12-01

    The cortex contains extensive descending projections, yet the impact of cortical input on brainstem processing remains poorly understood. In the central auditory system, the auditory cortex contains direct and indirect pathways (via brainstem cholinergic cells) to nuclei of the auditory midbrain, called the inferior colliculus (IC). While these projections modulate auditory processing throughout the IC, single neuron recordings have samples from only a small fraction of cells during stimulation of the corticofugal pathway. Furthermore, assessments of cortical feedback have not been extended to sensory modalities other than audition. To address these issues, we devised blood-oxygen-level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) paradigms to measure the sound-evoked responses throughout the rat IC and investigated the effects of bilateral ablation of either auditory or visual cortices. Auditory cortex ablation increased the gain of IC responses to noise stimuli (primarily in the central nucleus of the IC) and decreased response selectivity to forward species-specific vocalizations (versus temporally reversed ones, most prominently in the external cortex of the IC). In contrast, visual cortex ablation decreased the gain and induced a much smaller effect on response selectivity. The results suggest that auditory cortical projections normally exert a large-scale and net suppressive influence on specific IC subnuclei, while visual cortical projections provide a facilitatory influence. Meanwhile, auditory cortical projections enhance the midbrain response selectivity to species-specific vocalizations. We also probed the role of the indirect cholinergic projections in the auditory system in the descending modulation process by pharmacologically blocking muscarinic cholinergic receptors. This manipulation did not affect the gain of IC responses but significantly reduced the response selectivity to vocalizations. The results imply that auditory cortical

  16. Sensory information processing in neuroleptic-naive first-episode schizophrenic patients: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study.

    PubMed

    Braus, Dieter F; Weber-Fahr, Wolfgang; Tost, Heike; Ruf, Matthias; Henn, Fritz A

    2002-08-01

    Schizophrenic disorders are thought to involve widespread abnormalities in information processing. The present study used functional magnetic resonance imaging and a simple and robust paradigm that involved auditory and visual activation to examine basic sensory input circuits. Our aim was to determine which stages of the input processing network are disturbed in first-episode schizophrenic patients. Twelve neuroleptic-naive inpatients (paranoid subtype) were compared with 11 healthy subjects by means of echo-planar functional magnetic resonance imaging. In a block design, the paradigm included the simultaneous presentation of a moving 6-Hz checkerboard and auditory stimuli in the form of drumbeats. The subjects were asked to simply look and listen. In comparison with control subjects, patients showed reduced activation in the right thalamus, the right prefrontal cortex, and the parietal lobe (restricted to the dorsal visual pathway) bilaterally. There were no notable differences in the primary visual cortex or the object-specific occipitotemporal pathway. In addition, patients presented with a reduced signal change to auditory stimulation in the left acoustic cortex. The present study supports the concept of widespread cortical and subcortical deficits in schizophrenia. Our findings suggest abnormal functioning early in the information processing and in high-order association cortices already at illness onset, before the administration of medication or the most confounding effects of illness duration. The main regions have been implicated in visual motion perception and discrimination as well as in attention to sensorial events and perceptual synthesis.

  17. 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. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Sensory Processing in Rhesus Monkeys: Developmental Continuity, Prenatal Treatment, and Genetic Influences.

    PubMed

    Schneider, Mary L; Moore, Colleen F; Adkins, Miriam; Barr, Christina S; Larson, Julie A; Resch, Leslie M; Roberts, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Neonatal sensory processing (tactile and vestibular function) was tested in 78 rhesus macaques from two experiments. At ages 4-5 years, striatal dopamine D2 receptor binding was examined using positron emission tomography. At ages 5-7 years, adult sensory processing was assessed. Findings were: (a) prenatal stress exposure yielded less optimal neonatal sensory processing; (b) animals carrying the short rh5-HTTLPR allele had less optimal neonatal sensory scores than monkeys homozygous for the long allele; (c) neonatal sensory processing was significantly related to striatal D2 receptor binding for carriers of the short allele, but not for animals homozygous for the long allele; and (d) there was moderate developmental continuity in sensory processing from the neonatal period to adulthood.

  19. Sensory Processing in Rhesus Monkeys: Developmental Continuity, Prenatal Treatment, and Genetic Influences

    PubMed Central

    Schneider, Mary L.; Moore, Colleen F.; Adkins, Miriam; Barr, Christina S.; Larson, Julie A.; Resch, Leslie M.; Roberts, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Neonatal sensory processing (tactile and vestibular function) was tested in 78 rhesus macaques from two experiments. At ages 4–5 years, striatal dopamine D2 receptor binding was examined using positron emission tomography. At ages 5–7 years, adult sensory processing was assessed. Findings were: (a) prenatal stress exposure yielded less optimal neonatal sensory processing; (b) animals carrying the short rh5-HTTLPR allele had less optimal neonatal sensory scores than monkeys homozygous for the long allele; (c) neonatal sensory processing was significantly related to striatal D2 receptor binding for carriers of the short allele, but not for animals homozygous for the long allele; and (d) there was moderate developmental continuity in sensory processing from the neonatal period to adulthood. PMID:27338151

  20. [Sensory integration: benefits and effectiveness of therapeutic management in sensory processing disorders].

    PubMed

    Tudela-Torras, M; Abad-Mas, L; Tudela-Torras, E

    2017-02-24

    Today, the fact that sensory integration difficulties with a neurological basis exist and that they seriously condition the development of those individuals who suffer from them is widely accepted and acknowledged as being obvious by the vast majority of professionals working in the field of community healthcare. However, less is known and there is more controversy about effective treatments that can be applied to them. This is because many professionals criticise the fact that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove, both quantitatively and empirically, the outcomes of the interventions implemented as alternatives to pharmacological therapy. Consequently, when the symptoms and repercussions on the quality of life deriving from a distorted sensory integration are really disabling for the person, pharmacological treatment is used as the only possible approach, with the side effects that this entails. The reason for this is largely the fact that little is known about other effective therapeutic approaches, such as occupational therapy based on sensory integration.

  1. 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

  2. Sensory processing in preterm preschoolers and its association with executive function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

    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. 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. Cross-sectional study. Preterm children (≤34weeks of gestation; n=54) and full term controls (≥37weeks of gestation; n=73) ages 3-5years. 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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Attention to painful cutaneous laser stimuli evokes directed functional interactions between human sensory and modulatory pain-related cortical areas

    PubMed Central

    Liu, C.C.; Ohara, S.; Franaszczuk, P.J.; Crone, N.E.; Lenz, F.A.

    2012-01-01

    The human ‘pain network’ includes cortical areas which are activated during the response to painful stimuli (termed category 1), or during psychological processes which modulate pain, e.g. distraction (termed category 2). These categories include parts of the parasylvian (PS), medial frontal (MF), and paracentral cortex (S1&M1). We now propose to test the hypothesis that causal interactions both within and between category 1 and category 2 modules occur during attention to a painful stimulus. Event-related causality (ERC) was calculated from local field potentials (LFP) recorded directly from these cortical areas during the response to a painful cutaneous laser stimulus in patients being monitored for epilepsy. The number of electrodes involved in pairs with significant ERC in category 1 was greater for pre-stimulus versus post-stimulus and for attention versus distraction. This is consistent with our prior evidence that the category 1 ‘pain network’ changes rapidly with time intervals and tasks. In contrast, the interaction between categories was often unchanged or stable across intervals and tasks, particularly in MF. The proportion of contacts involved in interactions with PS was greater during distraction versus attention while activation was less, which suggests that distraction involves an inhibitory process in PS. Functional interactions between categories were overwhelmingly in the direction from category 2 > 1, particularly for contacts in MF which often had a driver role. These results demonstrate that MF is densely interconnected throughout the ‘pain network’ so that stimulation of MF might be used to disrupt the ‘pain network’ as a therapy for pain. PMID:22033363

  4. Slow cortical potentials capture decision processes during temporal discounting

    PubMed Central

    Oswald, Felix; Sailer, Uta

    2013-01-01

    Various neuroimaging studies have detected brain regions involved in discounting the value of temporally delayed rewards. This study used slow cortical potentials (SCPs) to elaborate the time course of cognitive processing during temporal discounting. Depending on their strength of discounting, subjects were categorised as low and high impulsive. Low impulsives, but not high impulsives, showed faster reaction times for making decisions when the delayed reward was of high amount than when it was of low amount. Both low impulsives and high impulsives chose the delayed reward more often when its amount was high than when it was low, but this behavior was more pronounced for low impulsives. Moreover, only low impulsives showed more negative SCPs for low than for high amounts. All three measures indicated that only low impulsives experienced extended conflict for delayed low amounts than for high amounts. Additionally, the SCPs of low impulsives were more sensitive to the delay of the delayed reward than those of high impulsives, extending seconds after the response. This indicates that they continued evaluating their choices even after the decision. Altogether, the present study demonstrated that SCPs are sensitive to decision-related resource allocation during inter-temporal decision-making. Resource allocation depended both on the choice situation and on impulsivity. Furthermore, the time course of SCPs suggested that decision-related processes occurred both prior to and after the response. PMID:23279189

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Assessment of anodal and cathodal transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on MMN-indexed auditory sensory processing.

    PubMed

    Impey, Danielle; de la Salle, Sara; Knott, Verner

    2016-06-01

    Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) is a non-invasive form of brain stimulation which uses a very weak constant current to temporarily excite (anodal stimulation) or inhibit (cathodal stimulation) activity in the brain area of interest via small electrodes placed on the scalp. Currently, tDCS of the frontal cortex is being used as a tool to investigate cognition in healthy controls and to improve symptoms in neurological and psychiatric patients. tDCS has been found to facilitate cognitive performance on measures of attention, memory, and frontal-executive functions. Recently, a short session of anodal tDCS over the temporal lobe has been shown to increase auditory sensory processing as indexed by the Mismatch Negativity (MMN) event-related potential (ERP). This preliminary pilot study examined the separate and interacting effects of both anodal and cathodal tDCS on MMN-indexed auditory pitch discrimination. In a randomized, double blind design, the MMN was assessed before (baseline) and after tDCS (2mA, 20min) in 2 separate sessions, one involving 'sham' stimulation (the device is turned off), followed by anodal stimulation (to temporarily excite cortical activity locally), and one involving cathodal stimulation (to temporarily decrease cortical activity locally), followed by anodal stimulation. Results demonstrated that anodal tDCS over the temporal cortex increased MMN-indexed auditory detection of pitch deviance, and while cathodal tDCS decreased auditory discrimination in baseline-stratified groups, subsequent anodal stimulation did not significantly alter MMN amplitudes. These findings strengthen the position that tDCS effects on cognition extend to the neural processing of sensory input and raise the possibility that this neuromodulatory technique may be useful for investigating sensory processing deficits in clinical populations.

  8. Auditory processing and sensory behaviours in children with autism spectrum disorders as revealed by mismatch negativity.

    PubMed

    Ludlow, Amanda; Mohr, Bettina; Whitmore, Antony; Garagnani, Max; Pulvermüller, Friedmann; Gutierrez, Roberto

    2014-04-01

    Sensory dysfunctions may underlie key characteristics in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The current study aimed to investigate auditory change detection in children with ASD in order to determine event-related potentials to meaningless and meaningful speech stimuli. 11 high functioning boys with a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders (mean age=13.0; SD=1.08) and 11 typically developing boys (mean age=13.7; SD=1.5) participated in a mismatch negativity (MMN) paradigm. Results revealed that compared to TD controls, the children with ASD showed significantly reduced MMN responses to both words and pseudowords in the frontal regions of the brain and also a significant reduction in their activation for words in the Central Parietal regions. In order to test the relationship between sensory processing and auditory processing, children completed the Adult and Adolescent Sensory Profile. As predicted, the children with ASD showed more extreme sensory behaviours and were significantly higher than their typically developing controls across three of the sensory quadrants (sensory sensitivity, low registration and sensory avoidance). Importantly, only auditory sensory sensitivity was able to account for the differences displayed for words in the frontal and central parietal regions when controlling for the effect of group, revealing an inverse relationship of the higher sensory sensitivity scores the less activation in response for words. We discuss how the expression of sensory behaviours in ASD may result in deficient neurophysiological mechanisms underlying automatic language processing. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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).

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. The Effects of Sensory Processing and Behavior of Toddlers on Parent Participation: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    DaLomba, Elaina; Baxter, Mary Frances; Fingerhut, Patricia; O'Donnell, Anne

    2017-01-01

    Occupational therapists treat children with sensory processing and behavioral concerns, however, little information exists on how these issues affect parent participation. This pilot study examined the sensory processing and behaviors of toddlers with developmental delays and correlated these with parents' perceived ability to participate in…

  15. 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

  16. 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…

  17. Developmental coordination disorders and sensory processing and integration: Incidence, associations and co-morbidities

    PubMed Central

    Casey, Jackie

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Children with developmental coordination disorder or sensory processing and integration difficulties face challenges to participation in daily living. To date there has been no exploration of the co-occurrence of developmental coordination disorders and sensory processing and integration difficulties. Method Records of children meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – V criteria for developmental coordination disorder (n = 93) age 5 to 12 years were examined. Data on motor skills (Movement Assessment Battery for Children – 2) and sensory processing and integration (Sensory Processing Measure) were interrogated. Results Of the total sample, 88% exhibited some or definite differences in sensory processing and integration. No apparent relationship was observed between motor coordination and sensory processing and integration. The full sample showed high rates of some difficulties in social participation, hearing, body awareness, balance and motion, and planning and ideation. Further, children with co-morbid autistic spectrum disorder showed high rates of difficulties with touch and vision. Conclusion Most, but not all, children with developmental coordination disorder presented with some difficulties in sensory processing and integration that impacted on their participation in everyday activities. Sensory processing and integration difficulties differed significantly between those with and without co-morbid autistic spectrum disorder. PMID:28919664

  18. Developmental coordination disorders and sensory processing and integration: Incidence, associations and co-morbidities.

    PubMed

    Allen, Susan; Casey, Jackie

    2017-09-01

    Children with developmental coordination disorder or sensory processing and integration difficulties face challenges to participation in daily living. To date there has been no exploration of the co-occurrence of developmental coordination disorders and sensory processing and integration difficulties. Records of children meeting Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - V criteria for developmental coordination disorder (n = 93) age 5 to 12 years were examined. Data on motor skills (Movement Assessment Battery for Children - 2) and sensory processing and integration (Sensory Processing Measure) were interrogated. Of the total sample, 88% exhibited some or definite differences in sensory processing and integration. No apparent relationship was observed between motor coordination and sensory processing and integration. The full sample showed high rates of some difficulties in social participation, hearing, body awareness, balance and motion, and planning and ideation. Further, children with co-morbid autistic spectrum disorder showed high rates of difficulties with touch and vision. Most, but not all, children with developmental coordination disorder presented with some difficulties in sensory processing and integration that impacted on their participation in everyday activities. Sensory processing and integration difficulties differed significantly between those with and without co-morbid autistic spectrum disorder.

  19. Sensory processing, school performance, and adaptive behavior of young school-age children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Jirikowic, Tracy; Olson, Heather Carmichael; Kartin, Deborah

    2008-05-01

    This study described sensory processing behaviors and sensory-motor abilities in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD) and explored their relationship to home and school function. A clinic-referred sample of 25 children with FASD, ages 5 to 8 years, was compared with 26 children with typical development, balanced for age, gender, and race/ethnicity, on standardized tests examining sensory processing, sensory-motor performance, school performance, and adaptive behavior. Children with FASD scored significantly more poorly on sensory processing, sensory-motor, adaptive, and academic achievement measures, and demonstrated more problem behaviors at home and school. Correlations were significant between measures of sensory processing and sensory-motor performance, adaptive behavior, and some aspects of academic performance. Sensory processing and related foundational sensory-motor impairments should be considered when determining the developmental needs of children with FASD. These impairments may co-occur with and contribute, at least in part, to decreased adaptive and school function.

  20. 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

  1. Auditory processing in schizophrenia during the middle latency period (10–50 ms): high-density electrical mapping and source analysis reveal subcortical antecedents to early cortical deficits

    PubMed Central

    Leavitt, Victoria M.; Molholm, Sophie; Ritter, Walter; Shpaner, Marina; Foxe, John J.

    2007-01-01

    Introduction Auditory sensory processing dysfunction is a core component of schizophrenia, with deficits occurring at 50 ms post-stimulus firmly established in the literature. Given that the initial afference of primary auditory cortex occurs at least 35 ms earlier, however, an essential question remains: how early in sensory processing do such deficits arise, and do they occur during initial cortical afference or earlier, which would implicate subcortical auditory dysfunction. Objective To establish the onset of the earliest deficits in auditory processing, we examined the time window demarcating the transition from subcortical to cortical processing: 10 ms to 50 ms during the so-called middle latency responses (MLRs). These remain to be adequately characterized in patients with schizophrenia. Methods We recorded auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) to simple tone-pips from 15 control subjects and 21 medicated patients with longer-term schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder (illness duration 16 yr, standard deviation [SD] 9.4 yr), using high-density electrical scalp recordings. Between-group analyses assessed the integrity of the MLRs across groups. In addition, 2 source-localization models were conducted to address whether a distinction between subcortical and cortical generators of the MLRs can be made and whether evidence for differential dorsal and ventral pathway contributions to auditory processing deficits can be established. Results Robust auditory processing deficits were found for patients as early as 15 ms. Evidence for subcortical generators of the earliest MLR component (P20) was provided by source analysis. Topographical mapping and source localization also pointed to greater decrements in processing in the dorsal auditory pathway of patients, providing support for a theory of pervasive deficits that are organized along the lines of a dorsal–ventral distinction. Conclusions Auditory sensory dysfunction in schizophrenia begins extremely early in

  2. Amygdalar Gating of Early Sensory Processing through Interactions with Locus Coeruleus.

    PubMed

    Fast, Cynthia D; McGann, John P

    2017-03-15

    Fear- and stress-induced activity in the amygdala has been hypothesized to influence sensory brain regions through the influence of the amygdala on neuromodulatory centers. To directly examine this relationship, we used optical imaging to observe odor-evoked activity in populations of olfactory bulb inhibitory interneurons and of synaptic terminals of olfactory sensory neurons (the primary sensory neurons of the olfactory system, which provide the initial olfactory input to the brain) during pharmacological inactivation of amygdala and locus coeruleus (LC) in mice. Although the amygdala does not directly project to the olfactory bulb, joint pharmacological inactivation of the central, basolateral, and lateral nuclei of the amygdala nonetheless strongly suppressed odor-evoked activity in GABAergic inhibitory interneuron populations in the OB. This suppression was prevented by inactivation of LC or pretreatment of the olfactory bulb with a broad-spectrum noradrenergic receptor antagonist. Visualization of synaptic output from olfactory sensory neuron terminals into the olfactory bulb of the brain revealed that amygdalar inactivation preferentially strengthened the odor-evoked synaptic output of weakly activated populations of sensory afferents from the nose, thus demonstrating a change in sensory gating potentially mediated by local inhibition of olfactory sensory neuron terminals. We conclude that amygdalar activity influences olfactory processing as early as the primary sensory input to the brain by modulating norepinephrine release from the locus coeruleus into the olfactory bulb. These findings show that the amygdala and LC state actively determines which sensory signals are selected for processing in sensory brain regions. Similar local circuitry operates in the olfactory, visual, and auditory systems, suggesting a potentially shared mechanism across modalities.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The affective state is increasingly understood to influence early neural

  3. 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.

  4. In vivo quantitative proteomics of somatosensory cortical synapses shows which protein levels are modulated by sensory deprivation.

    PubMed

    Butko, Margaret T; Savas, Jeffrey N; Friedman, Beth; Delahunty, Claire; Ebner, Ford; Yates, John R; Tsien, Roger Y

    2013-02-19

    Postnatal bilateral whisker trimming was used as a model system to test how synaptic proteomes are altered in barrel cortex by sensory deprivation during synaptogenesis. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we quantified more than 7,000 synaptic proteins and identified 89 significantly reduced and 161 significantly elevated proteins in sensory-deprived synapses, 22 of which were validated by immunoblotting. More than 95% of quantified proteins, including abundant synaptic proteins such as PSD-95 and gephyrin, exhibited no significant difference under high- and low-activity rearing conditions, suggesting no tissue-wide changes in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic density. In contrast, several proteins that promote mature spine morphology and synaptic strength, such as excitatory glutamate receptors and known accessory factors, were reduced significantly in deprived synapses. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the reduction in SynGAP1, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein, was restricted largely to layer I of barrel cortex in sensory-deprived rats. In addition, protein-degradation machinery such as proteasome subunits, E2 ligases, and E3 ligases, accumulated significantly in deprived synapses, suggesting targeted synaptic protein degradation under sensory deprivation. Importantly, this screen identified synaptic proteins whose levels were affected by sensory deprivation but whose synaptic roles have not yet been characterized in mammalian neurons. These data demonstrate the feasibility of defining synaptic proteomes under different sensory rearing conditions and could be applied to elucidate further molecular mechanisms of sensory development.

  5. In vivo quantitative proteomics of somatosensory cortical synapses shows which protein levels are modulated by sensory deprivation

    PubMed Central

    Butko, Margaret T.; Savas, Jeffrey N.; Friedman, Beth; Delahunty, Claire; Ebner, Ford; Yates, John R.; Tsien, Roger Y.

    2013-01-01

    Postnatal bilateral whisker trimming was used as a model system to test how synaptic proteomes are altered in barrel cortex by sensory deprivation during synaptogenesis. Using quantitative mass spectrometry, we quantified more than 7,000 synaptic proteins and identified 89 significantly reduced and 161 significantly elevated proteins in sensory-deprived synapses, 22 of which were validated by immunoblotting. More than 95% of quantified proteins, including abundant synaptic proteins such as PSD-95 and gephyrin, exhibited no significant difference under high- and low-activity rearing conditions, suggesting no tissue-wide changes in excitatory or inhibitory synaptic density. In contrast, several proteins that promote mature spine morphology and synaptic strength, such as excitatory glutamate receptors and known accessory factors, were reduced significantly in deprived synapses. Immunohistochemistry revealed that the reduction in SynGAP1, a postsynaptic scaffolding protein, was restricted largely to layer I of barrel cortex in sensory-deprived rats. In addition, protein-degradation machinery such as proteasome subunits, E2 ligases, and E3 ligases, accumulated significantly in deprived synapses, suggesting targeted synaptic protein degradation under sensory deprivation. Importantly, this screen identified synaptic proteins whose levels were affected by sensory deprivation but whose synaptic roles have not yet been characterized in mammalian neurons. These data demonstrate the feasibility of defining synaptic proteomes under different sensory rearing conditions and could be applied to elucidate further molecular mechanisms of sensory development. PMID:23382246

  6. 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.

  7. Reconciling Coherent Oscillation with Modulation of Irregular Spiking Activity in Selective Attention: Gamma-Range Synchronization between Sensory and Executive Cortical Areas

    PubMed Central

    Ardid, Salva; Wang, Xiao-Jing; Gomez-Cabrero, David; Compte, Albert

    2010-01-01

    In this computational work, we investigated gamma-band synchronization across cortical circuits associated with selective attention. The model explicitly instantiates a reciprocally connected loop of spiking neurons between a sensory-type (area MT) and an executive-type (prefrontal/parietal) cortical circuit (the source area for top-down attentional signaling). Moreover, unlike models in which neurons behave as clock-like oscillators, in our model single-cell firing is highly irregular (close to Possion) while local field potential exhibits a population rhythm. In this “sparsely synchronized oscillatory” regime, the model reproduces and clarifies multiple observations from behaving animals. Top-down attentional inputs have a profound effect on network oscillatory dynamics while only modestly affecting single-neuron spiking statistics. In addition, attentional synchrony modulations are highly selective: Inter-areal neuronal coherence occurs only when there is a close match between the preferred feature of neurons, the attended feature and the presented stimulus, a prediction that is experimentally testable. When inter-areal coherence was abolished attention-induced gain modulations of sensory neurons were slightly reduced. Therefore, our model reconciles the rate and synchronization effects, and suggests that interareal coherence contributes to large-scale neuronal computation in the brain through modest enhancement of rate modulations as well as a pronounced attention-specific enhancement of neural synchrony. PMID:20181583

  8. Pathophysiology of Migraine: A Disorder of Sensory Processing.

    PubMed

    Goadsby, Peter J; Holland, Philip R; Martins-Oliveira, Margarida; Hoffmann, Jan; Schankin, Christoph; Akerman, Simon

    2017-04-01

    Plaguing humans for more than two millennia, manifest on every continent studied, and with more than one billion patients having an attack in any year, migraine stands as the sixth most common cause of disability on the planet. The pathophysiology of migraine has emerged from a historical consideration of the "humors" through mid-20th century distraction of the now defunct Vascular Theory to a clear place as a neurological disorder. It could be said there are three questions: why, how, and when? Why: migraine is largely accepted to be an inherited tendency for the brain to lose control of its inputs. How: the now classical trigeminal durovascular afferent pathway has been explored in laboratory and clinic; interrogated with immunohistochemistry to functional brain imaging to offer a roadmap of the attack. When: migraine attacks emerge due to a disorder of brain sensory processing that itself likely cycles, influenced by genetics and the environment. In the first, premonitory, phase that precedes headache, brain stem and diencephalic systems modulating afferent signals, light-photophobia or sound-phonophobia, begin to dysfunction and eventually to evolve to the pain phase and with time the resolution or postdromal phase. Understanding the biology of migraine through careful bench-based research has led to major classes of therapeutics being identified: triptans, serotonin 5-HT1B/1D receptor agonists; gepants, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) receptor antagonists; ditans, 5-HT1F receptor agonists, CGRP mechanisms monoclonal antibodies; and glurants, mGlu5 modulators; with the promise of more to come. Investment in understanding migraine has been very successful and leaves us at a new dawn, able to transform its impact on a global scale, as well as understand fundamental aspects of human biology.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Sensory Processing Disorders are Associated with Duration of Current Episode and Severity of Side Effects

    PubMed Central

    Engel-Yeger, Batya; Vazquez, Gustavo H.; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Objective Longer duration of untreated illness, longer duration of current episode, and the severity of medication side effects may negatively impact on the perceived disability and psychosocial impairment of patients with major affective and anxiety disorders. Studies also suggested the involvement of sensory perception in emotional and psychopathological processes. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), duration of untreated illness and current illness episode, and the severity of side effects related to psychoactive medications. Methods The sample included 178 participants with an age ranging from 17 to 85 years (mean=53.84±15.55). Participants were diagnosed with unipolar Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (50%), Bipolar Disorder (BD) (33.7%), and Anxiety disorders (16.3%). They completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Udvalg for Kliniske Undersøgelser (UKU), and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) questionnaire. Results Longer duration of current episode correlated with greater registration of sensory input and lower avoidance from sensory input among unipolar patients; with lower registration of sensory input, and higher tendency for sensory sensitivity/avoidance among bipolar participants; with lower sensory sensitivity/avoidance among anxiety participants, respectively. Also, mean UKU total scores correlated with lower sensory sensitivity among bipolar individuals. Conclusion SPD expressed in either hypo/hyper sensitivity may serve to clinically characterize subjects with major affective and anxiety disorders. PMID:28096875

  12. Sensory Processing Disorders are Associated with Duration of Current Episode and Severity of Side Effects.

    PubMed

    Serafini, Gianluca; Engel-Yeger, Batya; Vazquez, Gustavo H; Pompili, Maurizio; Amore, Mario

    2017-01-01

    Longer duration of untreated illness, longer duration of current episode, and the severity of medication side effects may negatively impact on the perceived disability and psychosocial impairment of patients with major affective and anxiety disorders. Studies also suggested the involvement of sensory perception in emotional and psychopathological processes. The present study aimed to examine the relationship between Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD), duration of untreated illness and current illness episode, and the severity of side effects related to psychoactive medications. The sample included 178 participants with an age ranging from 17 to 85 years (mean=53.84±15.55). Participants were diagnosed with unipolar Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (50%), Bipolar Disorder (BD) (33.7%), and Anxiety disorders (16.3%). They completed a socio-demographic questionnaire, the Udvalg for Kliniske Undersøgelser (UKU), and Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) questionnaire. Longer duration of current episode correlated with greater registration of sensory input and lower avoidance from sensory input among unipolar patients; with lower registration of sensory input, and higher tendency for sensory sensitivity/avoidance among bipolar participants; with lower sensory sensitivity/avoidance among anxiety participants, respectively. Also, mean UKU total scores correlated with lower sensory sensitivity among bipolar individuals. SPD expressed in either hypo/hyper sensitivity may serve to clinically characterize subjects with major affective and anxiety disorders.

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Selective changes in cerebellar-cortical processing following motor training.

    PubMed

    Haavik, H; Murphy, B A

    2013-12-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of varying stimulation rate and the effects of a repetitive typing task on the amplitude of somatosensory evoked potential (SEP) peaks thought to relate to cerebellar processing. SEPs (2,000 sweep averages) were recorded following median nerve stimulation at the wrist at frequencies of 2.47, 4.98, and 9.90 Hz from 12 subjects before and after a 20-min repetitive typing task. Typing and error rate were recorded 2-min pre- and post-typing task. Effect of stimulation rate was analysed with ANOVA followed by pairwise comparisons (paired t tests). Typing effects were analysed by performing two-tailed paired t tests. Increasing stimulation frequency significantly decreased the N30 SEP peak amplitude (p < 0.02). Both the 4.98 and 9.90 Hz rates lead to significantly smaller N30 peak amplitudes compared to the 2.47 Hz (p ≤ 0.01). The N24 amplitude significantly increased following the typing task for both 4.98 and 2.47 Hz (p ≤ 0.025). In contrast, there was a highly significant decrease (p < 0.001) in the N18 peak amplitude post-typing at all frequencies. Typing rate increased (p < 0.001) and error rate decreased (p < 0.05) following the typing task. The results suggest that the N24 SEP peak amplitude is best recorded at 4.98 Hz since the N30 amplitude decreases and no longer contaminates the N24 peak, making the N24 visible and easier to measure, while still enabling changes due to repetitive activity to be measured. The decrease in N18 amplitude along with an increase in N24 amplitude with no change in N20 amplitude may be explained by the intervention reducing inhibition at the level of the cuneate nucleus and/or interior olives leading to alterations in cerebellar-cortical processing.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Relationship between Social Competence and Sensory Processing in Children with High Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hilton, Claudia; Graver, Kathleen; LaVesser, Patricia

    2007-01-01

    Purpose: This study examines the relationship between social competence and sensory processing in children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Methodology: Children, ages 6-10 (N = 36), with high functioning autism spectrum disorders were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) and the Sensory Profile (SP). A bivariate…

  2. Sensory Processing Measure-HK Chinese Version: Psychometric Properties and Pattern of Response across Environments

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lai, Cynthia Y. Y.; Chung, Jenny C. C.; Chan, Chetwyn C. H.; Li-Tsang, Cecilia W. P.

    2011-01-01

    This study aimed to examine the psychometric properties of the Sensory Processing Measure-Hong Kong Chinese version (SPM-HKC), and to study the pattern of behavioral response of children towards sensory events across home and school settings. The two major forms of the SPM, Home Form and Main Classroom Form, were translated into Chinese in this…

  3. 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…

  4. Sensory processes modulate differences in multi-component behavior and cognitive control between childhood and adulthood.

    PubMed

    Gohil, Krutika; Bluschke, Annet; Roessner, Veit; Stock, Ann-Kathrin; Beste, Christian

    2017-10-01

    Many everyday tasks require executive functions to achieve a certain goal. Quite often, this requires the integration of information derived from different sensory modalities. Children are less likely to integrate information from different modalities and, at the same time, also do not command fully developed executive functions, as compared to adults. Yet still, the role of developmental age-related effects on multisensory integration processes has not been examined within the context of multicomponent behavior until now (i.e., the concatenation of different executive subprocesses). This is problematic because differences in multisensory integration might actually explain a significant amount of the developmental effects that have traditionally been attributed to changes in executive functioning. In a system, neurophysiological approach combining electroencephaloram (EEG) recordings and source localization analyses, we therefore examined this question. The results show that differences in how children and adults accomplish multicomponent behavior do not solely depend on developmental differences in executive functioning. Instead, the observed developmental differences in response selection processes (reflected by the P3 ERP) were largely dependent on the complexity of integrating temporally separated stimuli from different modalities. This effect was related to activation differences in medial frontal and inferior parietal cortices. Primary perceptual gating or attentional selection processes (P1 and N1 ERPs) were not affected. The results show that differences in multisensory integration explain parts of transformations in cognitive processes between childhood and adulthood that have traditionally been attributed to changes in executive functioning, especially when these require the integration of multiple modalities during response selection. Hum Brain Mapp 38:4933-4945, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  5. DEVELOPMENT OF MARKETABLE TYPING SKILL--SENSORY PROCESSES UNDERLYING ACQUISITION.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    WEST, LEONARD J.

    THE PROJECT ATTEMPTED TO PROVIDE FURTHER DATA ON THE DOMINANT HYPOTHESIS ABOUT THE SENSORY MECHANISMS UNDERLYING SKILL ACQUISITION IN TYPEWRITING. IN SO DOING, IT PROPOSED TO FURNISH A BASIS FOR IMPORTANT CORRECTIVES TO SUCH CONVENTIONAL INSTRUCTIONAL PROCEDURES AS TOUCH TYPING. SPECIFICALLY, THE HYPOTHESIS HAS BEEN THAT KINESTHESIS IS NOT…

  6. Abstract of Research Project Sensory Integrative Processes and Learning Disorders.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayres, A. Jean

    To further clarify the nature of sensory integrative dysfunction, 148 public school children (mean age 92.6, mean IQ 96.5) with learning disorders were first given a battery of sensorimotor, psycholinguistic, and cognitive tests, and factors were extrapolated. The test scores were also employed to generate step-wise regression equations predicting…

  7. Variable sensory perception in autism.

    PubMed

    Haigh, Sarah M

    2017-05-05

    Autism is associated with sensory and cognitive abnormalities. Individuals with autism generally show normal or superior early sensory processing abilities compared to healthy controls, but deficits in complex sensory processing. In the current opinion paper, it will be argued that sensory abnormalities impact cognition by limiting the amount of signal that can be used to interpret and interact with environment. There is a growing body of literature showing that individuals with autism exhibit greater trial-to-trial variability in behavioural and cortical sensory responses. If multiple sensory signals that are highly variable are added together to process more complex sensory stimuli, then this might destabilise later perception and impair cognition. Methods to improve sensory processing have shown improvements in more general cognition. Studies that specifically investigate differences in sensory trial-to-trial variability in autism, and the potential changes in variability before and after treatment, could ascertain if trial-to-trial variability is a good mechanism to target for treatment in autism. © 2017 Federation of European Neuroscience Societies and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Industrially processed vacuum-packed peeled Kennebec potatoes: process optimization, sensory evaluation, and consumer response.

    PubMed

    Montouto-Graña, M; Cabanas-Arias, S; Vázquez-Odériz, M L; Arbones-Maciñeira, E; Romero-Rodríguez, M A

    2011-01-01

    To optimize the processing and storage of Kennebec potatoes for sale in peeled, vacuum-packed ready-to-cook form, we studied the effects of blanching, various anti-browning solutions, and storage temperature. Unblanched potatoes pretreated with a mixture of 1% ascorbic acid and 0.5% citric acid, and stored at 2 °C, were found to have a shelf life of at least 1 mo without browning. Potatoes so treated differed sensorially from fresh potatoes, but were well received by consumers. The process described here maintains the characteristics of fresh potato with all the amenities of a processed product. © 2011 Institute of Food Technologists®

  9. Association of Sensory Processing and Eating Problems in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    PubMed Central

    Nadon, Geneviève; Feldman, Debbie Ehrmann; Dunn, Winnie; Gisel, Erika

    2011-01-01

    “Selective” or “picky eating” is a frequent problem in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Many of these children do not treat sensory input, particularly olfactory, auditory, visual, and tactile information in the same manner as their typically developing peers of the same age. The purpose of this paper was to examine the relationship between problems of sensory processing and the number of eating problems in children with ASD. Of 95 children with ASD, 3 to 10 years of age, 65 percent showed a definite difference and 21 percent a probable difference in sensory processing on the total score of the Short Sensory Profile. These results were significantly related to an increase in the number of eating problems measured by the Eating Profile. These results could not be explained by age, sex, mental retardation, attention deficit disorder, or hyperactivity. Timely interventions focusing on the sensory components of eating must now be developed. PMID:22937249

  10. Effects of infant and maternal sensory processing on infant fussing, crying, and sleep.

    PubMed

    McGeorge, Kate; Milne, Lisa; Cotton, Louise; Whelan, Tom

    2015-01-01

    This study investigated the effects of infant and maternal sensory processing on sleep, fussing, and crying in a sample of 55 firstborn, 4- to 7-month-old infants and their mothers. Mothers completed self-report questionnaires to assess maternal and infant sensory processing styles and a 4-day diary of infant behavior, including sleep, fussing, and crying. Higher levels of infant Sensation Avoiding were associated with less sleep, more fussing, and more crying whereas higher levels of Sensory Sensitivity were associated with less sleep and more fussing. The positive association between infant Sensation Avoiding and crying was strengthened by lower levels of Low Registration in mothers. The effect of infant Sensory Sensitivity on reducing total sleep also was strengthened by lower levels of maternal Low Registration. Assessment of infant sensory processing as well as the moderating effect of maternal sensory processing on the relationship between infant sensory processing and infant regulatory capacities need to be considered when assessing and designing interventions for families in which infant regulation is problematic.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

    Willmore, Ben D B; Schoppe, Oliver; King, Andrew J; Schnupp, Jan W H; Harper, Nicol S

    2016-01-13

    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. 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 introduces no new free

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. Extreme sensory processing patterns show a complex association with depression, and impulsivity, alexithymia, and hopelessness.

    PubMed

    Serafini, Gianluca; Gonda, Xenia; Canepa, Giovanna; Pompili, Maurizio; Rihmer, Zoltan; Amore, Mario; Engel-Yeger, Batya

    2017-03-01

    The involvement of extreme sensory processing patterns, impulsivity, alexithymia, and hopelessness was hypothesized to contribute to the complex pathophysiology of major depression and bipolar disorder. However, the nature of the relation between these variables has not been thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to explore the association between extreme sensory processing patterns, impulsivity, alexithymia, depression, and hopelessness. We recruited 281 euthymic participants (mean age=47.4±12.1) of which 62.3% with unipolar major depression and 37.7% with bipolar disorder. All participants completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP), Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), second version of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II), Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS), and Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS). Lower registration of sensory input showed a significant correlation with depression, impulsivity, attentional/motor impulsivity, and alexithymia. It was significantly more frequent among participants with elevated hopelessness, and accounted for 22% of the variance in depression severity, 15% in greater impulsivity, 36% in alexithymia, and 3% in hopelessness. Elevated sensory seeking correlated with enhanced motor impulsivity and decreased non-planning impulsivity. Higher sensory sensitivity and sensory avoiding correlated with depression, impulsivity, and alexithymia. The study was limited by the relatively small sample size and cross-sectional nature of the study. Furthermore, only self-report measures that may be potentially biased by social desirability were used. Extreme sensory processing patterns, impulsivity, alexithymia, depression, and hopelessness may show a characteristic pattern in patients with major affective disorders. The careful assessment of sensory profiles may help in developing targeted interventions and improve functional/adaptive strategies. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Stabilities of negative correlations between blood oxygen level-dependent signals associated with sensory and motor cortices.

    PubMed

    Tian, Lixia; Jiang, Tianzi; Liang, Meng; Li, Xiaobo; He, Yong; Wang, Kun; Cao, Bingli; Jiang, Tao

    2007-07-01

    Compared with positive correlations, negative correlations of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signals (NCOBSs) have been much less studied. In most related studies, the NCOBSs have been accepted as stable without further consideration. To investigate the stabilities of NCOBSs associated with the auditory, motor, and visual cortices, we evaluated the negative correlation maps of each brain region under different "task-backgrounds" within the same subject-group, as well as within different subject-groups during a conscious resting state. These "task-backgrounds" refer to tasks not expected to activate the specific ROI under consideration and are in some sense analogous to "resting states." We found that the negative correlation maps of the motor and visual cortices were quite variable between either different task-backgrounds or different subject-groups, whereas those of the auditory cortex exhibited some similarities. These results indicate that the NCOBSs associated with the motor and visual cortices were unstable both under task-backgrounds and during the conscious resting state. The auditory cortex tended to have stable NCOBSs during these "resting states" (but scanner noise could make the auditory cortex "less resting"). This study highlights the importance of paying attention to the influence of the stabilities of NCOBSs in related studies and establishes the need for further studies on NCOBSs. Copyright 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

    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. 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. 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). These results showed that substance-dependent people process sensory information in a different way than normal people and show more alexithymia features than them.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-05-01

    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 processing with a nonverbal auditory-visual paradigm, for which neurotypical adults show bisensory facilitation. ASD participants reported more atypical sensory symptoms overall, most prominently in the auditory modality. On the experimental task, reduced response times for bisensory compared to unisensory trials were seen in both ASD and control groups, but neither group showed significant race model violation (evidence of intermodal integration). Findings do not support impaired bisensory processing for simple nonverbal stimuli in high-functioning children with ASD.

  6. Changes in cortical processing of pain in chronic migraine.

    PubMed

    de Tommaso, Marina; Losito, Luciana; Difruscolo, Olimpia; Libro, Giuseppe; Guido, Marco; Livrea, Paolo

    2005-10-01

    The aim of this study was to perform a topographic and dipolar analysis of nociceptive-evoked responses obtained by laser stimulus under basal conditions in a cohort of chronic migraine (CM) patients, compared with migraine without aura (MWA) patients and noncraniofacial pain controls. An increased activation of cortical areas devoted to the emotional and attentive components of pain was previously found during the course of the migraine attack; it was more pronounced in patients reporting higher frequency of migraine. Twenty-six outpatients were enrolled in the study; 16 fulfilled the criteria of CM, and 10 were affected by MWA. Fifteen noncraniofacial pain subjects were also selected. The pain stimulus was a CO2 laser pulses. The right-supraorbital zone was stimulated. Source localization analysis was performed on the most prominent laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) peak (P2) for each data set. The anatomical locations of the P2 sources were projected onto a standard normalized 3D MRI model. The CM group differed significantly from both MWA patients and controls for the x coordinate and from controls for the z coordinates. The P2 dipole localized in the rostral cingulate cortex in CM patients, lying in a more posterior location within the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in both controls and MWA patients. The x coordinate of the P2 dipole, expressing the postero-anterior location, was significantly correlated with frequency of headache. CM seems to be characterized by a distinctive pattern of cortical elaboration of pain, with a prevalent activation of the rostral portion of the ACC: our results suggest that this may be a predisposing factor to migraine chronicity.

  7. Familiarity with Speech Affects Cortical Processing of Auditory Distance Cues and Increases Acuity

    PubMed Central

    Wisniewski, Matthew G.; Mercado, Eduardo; Gramann, Klaus; Makeig, Scott

    2012-01-01

    Several acoustic cues contribute to auditory distance estimation. Nonacoustic cues, including familiarity, may also play a role. We tested participants’ ability to distinguish the distances of acoustically similar sounds that differed in familiarity. Participants were better able to judge the distances of familiar sounds. Electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings collected while participants performed this auditory distance judgment task revealed that several cortical regions responded in different ways depending on sound familiarity. Surprisingly, these differences were observed in auditory cortical regions as well as other cortical regions distributed throughout both hemispheres. These data suggest that learning about subtle, distance-dependent variations in complex speech sounds involves processing in a broad cortical network that contributes both to speech recognition and to how spatial information is extracted from speech. PMID:22911734

  8. 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

  9. A Central Processing Sensory Deficit with Parkinson’s disease

    PubMed Central

    Hwang, Sungjae; Agada, Peter; Grill, Stephen; Kiemel, Tim; Jeka, John J.

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive degenerative disease manifested by tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability. Deficits in proprioceptive integration are prevalent in individuals with PD, even at early stages of the disease. These deficits have been demonstrated primarily during investigations of reaching. Here we investigated how PD affects sensory fusion of multiple modalities during upright standing. We simultaneously perturbed upright stance with visual, vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation, to understand how these modalities are re-weighted so that overall feedback remains suited to stabilizing upright stance in individuals with PD. Eight individuals with PD stood in a visual cave with a moving visual scene at 0.2 Hz while an 80 Hz vibratory stimulus was applied bilaterally to their Achilles tendons (stimulus turns on-off at 0.28 Hz) and a ±1mA bilateral monopolar galvanic stimulus was applied at 0.36 Hz. The visual stimulus was presented at different amplitudes (0.2, 0.8 deg rotation about ankle axis) to measure: the change in gain (weighting) to vision, an intra-modal effect; and a simultaneous change in gain to vibration and galvanic stimulation, both intermodal effects. Trunk/leg gain relative to vision decreased when visual amplitude was increased, reflecting an intramodal visual effect. In contrast, when vibration was turned on/off, leg gain relative to vision was equivalent in individuals with PD, indicating no reweighting of visual information when proprioception was disrupted through vibration (i.e., no intermodal effect). Trunk and leg angle gain relative to GVS also showed no reweighting in individuals with PD. These results are in contrast to previous results with healthy adults, who showed clear intermodal effects in the same paradigm, suggesting that individuals with PD not only have a proprioceptive deficit during standing, but also have a cross-modal sensory fusion deficit that is crucial for upright stance

  10. Evidence review to investigate the support for subtypes of children with difficulty processing and integrating sensory information.

    PubMed

    Davies, Patricia L; Tucker, Rebecca

    2010-01-01

    We investigated the evidence for subtypes in children with difficulty processing and integrating sensory information. Fifty-seven articles were incorporated into a systematic literature review; only 4 articles provided direct evidence for subtypes. These studies did not provide a comprehensive assessment of all sensory functions and sensory-based motor functions (i.e., praxis) and included different diagnostic groups. Therefore, generalized conclusions about subtypes could not be drawn. The other 53 studies reviewed provided meaningful information about strengths and challenges that children with difficulty processing and integrating sensory information demonstrate, but these studies were limited in scope. A principal theme was the importance of conducting comprehensive assessments of sensory-based functions, including multiple measures of sensory integrative functions such as praxis, sensory modulation, and sensory discrimination in children and adolescents with various clinical disorders. In addition, more consistency in the use of specific assessment tools will allow for synthesis of data across studies.

  11. Processes to Preserve Spice and Herb Quality and Sensory Integrity During Pathogen Inactivation

    PubMed Central

    Moberg, Kayla; Amin, Kemia N.; Wright, Melissa; Newkirk, Jordan J.; Ponder, Monica A.; Acuff, Gary R.; Dickson, James S.

    2017-01-01

    Abstract Selected processing methods, demonstrated to be effective at reducing Salmonella, were assessed to determine if spice and herb quality was affected. Black peppercorn, cumin seed, oregano, and onion powder were irradiated to a target dose of 8 kGy. Two additional processes were examined for whole black peppercorns and cumin seeds: ethylene oxide (EtO) fumigation and vacuum assisted‐steam (82.22 °C, 7.5 psia). Treated and untreated spices/herbs were compared (visual, odor) using sensory similarity testing protocols (α = 0.20; β = 0.05; proportion of discriminators: 20%) to determine if processing altered sensory quality. Analytical assessment of quality (color, water activity, and volatile chemistry) was completed. Irradiation did not alter visual or odor sensory quality of black peppercorn, cumin seed, or oregano but created differences in onion powder, which was lighter (higher L *) and more red (higher a*) in color, and resulted in nearly complete loss of measured volatile compounds. EtO processing did not create detectable odor or appearance differences in black peppercorn; however visual and odor sensory quality differences, supported by changes in color (higher b *; lower L *) and increased concentrations of most volatiles, were detected for cumin seeds. Steam processing of black peppercorn resulted in perceptible odor differences, supported by increased concentration of monoterpene volatiles and loss of all sesquiterpenes; only visual differences were noted for cumin seed. An important step in process validation is the verification that no effect is detectable from a sensory perspective. PMID:28407236

  12. Age-Related Changes in Cognitive and Sensory Processing: Focus on Middle-Aged Adults.

    PubMed

    Humes, Larry E

    2015-06-01

    The purpose of this article was to examine the effects of age on (a) various psychophysical measures of threshold sensitivity and temporal processing in hearing, vision, and touch and (b) measures of cognitive processing as assessed by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Third Edition (Wechsler, 1997). Age group differences and correlations with age were examined, as were associations among age, sensory processing, and cognition. The group analyses showed significant differences on most sensory and cognitive measures such that middle-aged adults performed significantly worse than young adults and significantly better than older adults. Correlations of performance with age were also significant when analyses were restricted to just the young and middle-aged adults. Last, sensory processing, but not age, was significantly correlated with cognitive processing when analyses were restricted to just the young and middle-aged adults. Middle-aged adults experienced declines in both sensory and cognitive processing. The declines in both the cognitive and sensory domains were such that, for most measures in each domain, the performance of middle-aged adults fell somewhere between that of young and older adults.

  13. Interhemispheric connections between the infralimbic and entorhinal cortices: The endopiriform nucleus has limbic connections that parallel the sensory and motor connections of the claustrum.

    PubMed

    Watson, Glenn D R; Smith, Jared B; Alloway, Kevin D

    2017-04-15

    We have previously shown that the claustrum is part of an interhemispheric circuit that interconnects somesthetic-motor and visual-motor cortical regions. The role of the claustrum in processing limbic information, however, is poorly understood. Some evidence suggests that the dorsal endopiriform nucleus (DEn), which lies immediately ventral to the claustrum, has connections with limbic cortical areas and should be considered part of a claustrum-DEn complex. To determine whether DEn has similar patterns of cortical connections as the claustrum, we used anterograde and retrograde tracing techniques to elucidate the connectivity of DEn. Following injections of retrograde tracers into DEn, labeled neurons appeared bilaterally in the infralimbic (IL) cortex and ipsilaterally in the entorhinal and piriform cortices. Anterograde tracer injections in DEn revealed labeled terminals in the same cortical regions, but only in the ipsilateral hemisphere. These tracer injections also revealed extensive longitudinal projections throughout the rostrocaudal extent of the nucleus. Dual retrograde tracer injections into IL and lateral entorhinal cortex (LEnt) revealed intermingling of labeled neurons in ipsilateral DEn, including many double-labeled neurons. In other experiments, anterograde and retrograde tracers were separately injected into IL of each hemisphere of the same animal. This revealed an interhemispheric circuit in which IL projects bilaterally to DEn, with the densest terminal labeling appearing in the contralateral hemisphere around retrogradely labeled neurons that project to IL in that hemisphere. By showing that DEn and claustrum have parallel sets of connections, these results suggest that DEn and claustrum perform similar functions in processing limbic and sensorimotor information, respectively. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1363-1380, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  14. Restricted and repetitive behaviours, sensory processing and cognitive style in children with autism spectrum disorders.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yu-Han; Rodgers, Jacqui; McConachie, Helen

    2009-04-01

    Many individuals with autism tend to focus on details. It has been suggested that this cognitive style may underlie the presence of stereotyped routines, repetitive interests and behaviours, and both relate in some way to sensory abnormalities. Twenty-nine children with diagnosis of high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome completed the Embedded Figures Test (EFT), and their parents the Short Sensory Profile and Childhood Routines Inventory. Significant correlations were found between degree of sensory abnormalities and amount of restricted and repetitive behaviours reported. Repetitive behaviours, age and IQ significantly predicted completion time on the EFT. The results suggest a cognitive link between an individual's detail-focused cognitive style and their repetitiveness. No such relationship was found with sensory processing abnormalities, which may arise at a more peripheral level of functioning.

  15. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kayser, Stephanie J; McNair, Steven W; Kayser, Christoph

    2016-04-26

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. 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 (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved).

  1. Membrane potential correlates of sensory perception in mouse barrel cortex.

    PubMed

    Sachidhanandam, Shankar; Sreenivasan, Varun; Kyriakatos, Alexandros; Kremer, Yves; Petersen, Carl C H

    2013-11-01

    Neocortical activity can evoke sensory percepts, but the cellular mechanisms remain poorly understood. We trained mice to detect single brief whisker stimuli and report perceived stimuli by licking to obtain a reward. Pharmacological inactivation and optogenetic stimulation demonstrated a causal role for the primary somatosensory barrel cortex. Whole-cell recordings from barrel cortex neurons revealed membrane potential correlates of sensory perception. Sensory responses depended strongly on prestimulus cortical state, but both slow-wave and desynchronized cortical states were compatible with task performance. Whisker deflection evoked an early (<50 ms) reliable sensory response that was encoded through cell-specific reversal potentials. A secondary late (50-400 ms) depolarization was enhanced on hit trials compared to misses. Optogenetic inactivation revealed a causal role for late excitation. Our data reveal dynamic processing in the sensory cortex during task performance, with an early sensory response reliably encoding the stimulus and later secondary activity contributing to driving the subjective percept.

  2. Assessing Sensory Processing Dysfunction in Adults and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Scoping Review.

    PubMed

    DuBois, Denise; Lymer, Erin; Gibson, Barbara E; Desarkar, Pushpal; Nalder, Emily

    2017-08-19

    Sensory reactivity is a diagnostic criterion for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and has been associated with poorer functional outcomes, behavioral difficulties, and autism severity across the lifespan. Yet, there is little consensus on best practice approaches to assessing sensory processing dysfunction in adolescents and adults with ASD. Despite growing evidence that sensory symptoms persist into adolescence and adulthood, there is a lack of norms for older age groups, and pediatric assessments may not target appropriate functional outcomes or environments. This review identified approaches used to measure sensory processing in the scientific literature, and to describe and compare these approaches to current best practice guidelines that can be incorporated into evidence-based practice. Method and Analysis: A search of scientific databases and grey literature (professional association and ASD society websites), from January 1987-May 2017, uncovered 4769 articles and 12 clinical guidelines. Study and sample characteristics were extracted, charted, and categorized according to assessment approach. There were 66 articles included after article screening. Five categories of assessment approaches were identified: Self- and Proxy-Report Questionnaires, Psychophysical Assessment, Direct Behavioral Observation, Qualitative Interview Techniques, and Neuroimaging/EEG. Sensory research to date has focused on individuals with high-functioning ASD, most commonly through the use of self-report questionnaires. The Adolescent and Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) is the most widely used assessment measure (n = 22), however, a number of other assessment approaches may demonstrate strengths specific to the ASD population. Multi-method approaches to assessment (e.g., combining psychophysical or observation with questionnaires) may have clinical applicability to interdisciplinary clinical teams serving adolescents and adults with ASD. Contribution: A comprehensive knowledge of

  3. Rheological and sensory behaviors of parboiled pasta cooked using a microwave pasteurization process.

    PubMed

    Joyner, Helen S; Jones, Kari E; Rasco, Barbara A

    2017-10-01

    Pasta hydration and cooking requirements make in-package microwave pasteurization of pasta a processing challenge. The objective of this study was to assess instrumental and sensory attributes of microwave-treated pasta in comparison to conventionally cooked pasta. Fettuccine pasta was parboiled for 0, 3, 6, 9, or 12 min, pasteurized by microwaves at 915 MHz, then stored under refrigeration for 1 week. Pastas were evaluated by a trained sensory panel and with rheometry. Total pasta heat treatment affected both rheological and sensory behaviors; these differences were attributed to ultrastructure differences. Significant nonlinear behavior and dominant fluid-like behavior was observed in all pastas at strains >1%. Sensory results suggested microwave pasteurization may intensify the attributes associated with the aging of pasta such as retrogradation. A clear trend between magnitude of heat treatment and attribute intensity was not observed for all sensory attributes tested. The microwave pasta with the longest parboil time showed rheological behavior most similar to conventionally cooked pasta. Principal component analysis revealed that no microwave-treated pasta was similar to the control pasta. However, pasta parboiled for 9 min before microwave treatment had the greatest number of similar sensory attributes, followed by pasta parboiled for 6 or 12 min. Further study is needed to determine overall consumer acceptance of microwave-treated pasta and whether the differences in sensory and rheological behavior would impact consumer liking. The results of this study may be applied to optimize microwave pasteurization processes for cooked pasta and similar products, such as rice. The measurement and analysis procedures can be used to evaluate processing effects on a variety of different foods to determine overall palatability. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Assessing Sensory Processing Dysfunction in Adults and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Scoping Review

    PubMed Central

    DuBois, Denise; Desarkar, Pushpal

    2017-01-01

    Sensory reactivity is a diagnostic criterion for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and has been associated with poorer functional outcomes, behavioral difficulties, and autism severity across the lifespan. Yet, there is little consensus on best practice approaches to assessing sensory processing dysfunction in adolescents and adults with ASD. Despite growing evidence that sensory symptoms persist into adolescence and adulthood, there is a lack of norms for older age groups, and pediatric assessments may not target appropriate functional outcomes or environments. This review identified approaches used to measure sensory processing in the scientific literature, and to describe and compare these approaches to current best practice guidelines that can be incorporated into evidence-based practice. Method and Analysis: A search of scientific databases and grey literature (professional association and ASD society websites), from January 1987–May 2017, uncovered 4769 articles and 12 clinical guidelines. Study and sample characteristics were extracted, charted, and categorized according to assessment approach. Results: There were 66 articles included after article screening. Five categories of assessment approaches were identified: Self- and Proxy-Report Questionnaires, Psychophysical Assessment, Direct Behavioral Observation, Qualitative Interview Techniques, and Neuroimaging/EEG. Sensory research to date has focused on individuals with high-functioning ASD, most commonly through the use of self-report questionnaires. The Adolescent and Adult Sensory Profile (AASP) is the most widely used assessment measure (n = 22), however, a number of other assessment approaches may demonstrate strengths specific to the ASD population. Multi-method approaches to assessment (e.g., combining psychophysical or observation with questionnaires) may have clinical applicability to interdisciplinary clinical teams serving adolescents and adults with ASD. Contribution: A comprehensive knowledge

  5. Sensory characteristics and consumer acceptability of red ginseng extracts produced with different processing methods.

    PubMed

    Yoon, E K; Hong, J H; Lê, S; Kim, K O

    2011-01-01

    The aims of this study were: to develop objective and effective sample preparation and presentation procedures for the sensory analysis of red ginseng extracts (RGE); to identify their sensory attributes in relation with the consumer acceptability of RGEs produced with different processing techniques. The samples included 7 different types of RGE, among which 2 samples were of commercial products and the other samples were specially prepared for the study. The samples differed in processing methods (traditional method, high-hydrostatic pressure [HHP], and fermentation) and extraction solvents (ethanol, water). For the descriptive analysis, 7 trained panelists developed and evaluated 30 attributes. Principal component analysis was conducted to summarize the relationships between the sensory attributes and to get a representation of the samples according to those attributes. Consumers evaluated the appearance and flavor acceptability of the extracts. Hierarchical cluster analysis was conducted on consumer acceptability of flavor. The results showed that the clear differences among the RGEs in terms of sensory perceptions were explained by the processing methods. Consumers were segmented into 3 distinct groups in terms of preference: a consumer cluster that likes the RGEs produced with HHP or fermentation, a cluster that likes a product with strong ginseng flavor, and a cluster that likes a RGE with sweet taste and jujube flavor. These 3 clusters differed somewhat in their consumption frequency and purchase factors, also. The red ginseng extract (RGE) market is rapidly growing due to the consumer awareness of its superior health-promoting effects. However, little attention has been given to sensory properties that are a critical factor in determining quality and consumer preference. The results of this study will be helpful for researchers and manufacturers to understand the sensory characteristics of RGEs and to detect the driving factors of consumer acceptability

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22865969

  8. 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.

  9. Abnormal cortical processing of the syllable rate of speech in poor readers

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Children with reading impairments have long been associated with impaired perception for rapidly presented acoustic stimuli and recently have shown deficits for slower features. It is not known whether impairments for low-frequency acoustic features negatively impact processing of speech in reading impaired individuals. Here we provide neurophysiological evidence that poor readers have impaired representation of the speech envelope, the acoustical cue that provides syllable pattern information in speech. We measured cortical-evoked potentials in response to sentence stimuli and found that good readers indicated consistent right-hemisphere dominance in auditory cortex for all measures of speech envelope representation, including the precision, timing and magnitude of cortical responses. Poor readers showed abnormal patterns of cerebral asymmetry for all measures of speech envelope representation. Moreover, cortical measures of speech envelope representation predicted up to 44% of the variability in standardized reading scores and 50% in measures of phonological processing across a wide range of abilities. Findings strongly support a relationship between acoustic-level processing and higher-level language abilities, and are the first to link reading ability with cortical processing of low-frequency acoustic features in the speech signal. Results also support the hypothesis that asymmetric routing between cerebral hemispheres represents an important mechanism for temporal encoding in the human auditory system, and the need for an expansion of the temporal processing hypothesis for reading-disabilities to encompass impairments for a wider range of speech features than previously acknowledged. PMID:19535580

  10. Sensory Processing Difficulties in Toddlers With Nonorganic Failure-to-Thrive and Feeding Problems.

    PubMed

    Yi, Sook-Hee; Joung, Yoo-Sook; Choe, Yon Ho; Kim, Eun-Hye; Kwon, Jeong-Yi

    2015-06-01

    Failure-to-thrive is defined as an abnormally low weight and/or height for age. The term "nonorganic failure-to-thrive" (NOFT) has been used to describe "failure-to-thrive" without an obvious cause underlying the growth failure. The purpose of the present study was to compare sensory processing abilities between toddlers with NOFT and feeding problems and age-matched controls. Toddlers with NOFT and feeding problems (N = 16) were recruited from the pediatric feeding clinic in a tertiary university hospital, and age-matched controls (N = 16) were recruited from community volunteers. They were evaluated for sensory processing ability using an Infant/Toddler Sensory Profile (ITSP), and for development of cognition, motor skills, and language using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development II and Sequenced Language Scale for Infants. Behavior at mealtime was evaluated using the Behavioral Pediatrics Feeding Assessment Scale. In the NOFT with feeding problems group, atypical performances were more frequently observed in 3 of 5 ITSP section items (tactile, vestibular, and oral) compared with those in the control group. Significant delayed development of cognition, motor skills, and language was observed in the NOFT with feeding problems group compared with that in the control group. In addition, children who showed 1 or more atypical performances in ITSP had delayed development in cognition, motor skills, and language. Sensory processing problems were more commonly observed in toddlers with feeding problems and growth deficiency. The present study could provide a preliminary evidence for a possible impact of the sensory processing problems on the feeding difficulties in toddlers with NOFT. Future large studies should be conducted to clarify the relation between sensory processing difficulties and feeding problems in toddlers.

  11. Using a Multifaceted Approach to Working With Children Who Have Differences in Sensory Processing and Integration

    PubMed Central

    Glennon, Tara J.; Ausderau, Karla; Bendixen, Roxanna M.; Kuhaneck, Heather Miller; Pfeiffer, Beth; Watling, Renee; Wilkinson, Kimberly; Bodison, Stefanie C.

    2017-01-01

    Pediatric occupational therapy practitioners frequently provide interventions for children with differences in sensory processing and integration. Confusion exists regarding how best to intervene with these children and about how to describe and document methods. Some practitioners hold the misconception that Ayres Sensory Integration intervention is the only approach that can and should be used with this population. The issue is that occupational therapy practitioners must treat the whole client in varied environments; to do so effectively, multiple approaches to intervention often are required. This article presents a framework for conceptualizing interventions for children with differences in sensory processing and integration that incorporates multiple evidence-based approaches. To best meet the needs of the children and families seeking occupational therapy services, interventions must be focused on participation and should be multifaceted. PMID:28218599

  12. Using a Multifaceted Approach to Working With Children Who Have Differences in Sensory Processing and Integration.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Stacey; Glennon, Tara J; Ausderau, Karla; Bendixen, Roxanna M; Kuhaneck, Heather Miller; Pfeiffer, Beth; Watling, Renee; Wilkinson, Kimberly; Bodison, Stefanie C

    Pediatric occupational therapy practitioners frequently provide interventions for children with differences in sensory processing and integration. Confusion exists regarding how best to intervene with these children and about how to describe and document methods. Some practitioners hold the misconception that Ayres Sensory Integration intervention is the only approach that can and should be used with this population. The issue is that occupational therapy practitioners must treat the whole client in varied environments; to do so effectively, multiple approaches to intervention often are required. This article presents a framework for conceptualizing interventions for children with differences in sensory processing and integration that incorporates multiple evidence-based approaches. To best meet the needs of the children and families seeking occupational therapy services, interventions must be focused on participation and should be multifaceted.

  13. Monoaminergic control of brain states and sensory processing: Existing knowledge and recent insights obtained with optogenetics.

    PubMed

    Lőrincz, Magor L; Adamantidis, Antoine R

    2017-04-01

    Monoamines are key neuromodulators involved in a variety of physiological and pathological brain functions. Classical studies using physiological and pharmacological tools have revealed several essential aspects of monoaminergic involvement in regulating the sleep-wake cycle and influencing sensory responses but many features have remained elusive due to technical limitations. The application of optogenetic tools led to the ability of monitoring and controlling neuronal populations with unprecedented temporal precision and neurochemical specificity. Here, we focus on recent advances in revealing the roles of some monoamines in brain state control and sensory information processing. We summarize the central position of monoamines in integrating sensory processing across sleep-wake states with an emphasis on research conducted using optogenetic techniques. Finally, we discuss the limitations and perspectives of new integrated experimental approaches in understanding the modulatory mechanisms of monoaminergic systems in the mammalian brain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Assessment of compressive failure process of cortical bone materials using damage-based model.

    PubMed

    Ng, Theng Pin; R Koloor, S S; Djuansjah, J R P; Abdul Kadir, M R

    2017-02-01

    The main failure factors of cortical bone are aging or osteoporosis, accident and high energy trauma or physiological activities. However, the mechanism of damage evolution coupled with yield criterion is considered as one of the unclear subjects in failure analysis of cortical bone materials. Therefore, this study attempts to assess the structural response and progressive failure process of cortical bone using a brittle damaged plasticity model. For this reason, several compressive tests are performed on cortical bone specimens made of bovine femur, in order to obtain the structural response and mechanical properties of the material. Complementary finite element (FE) model of the sample and test is prepared to simulate the elastic-to-damage behavior of the cortical bone using the brittle damaged plasticity model. The FE model is validated in a comparative method using the predicted and measured structural response as load-compressive displacement through simulation and experiment. FE results indicated that the compressive damage initiated and propagated at central region where maximum equivalent plastic strain is computed, which coincided with the degradation of structural compressive stiffness followed by a vast amount of strain energy dissipation. The parameter of compressive damage rate, which is a function dependent on damage parameter and the plastic strain is examined for different rates. Results show that considering a similar rate to the initial slope of the damage parameter in the experiment would give a better sense for prediction of compressive failure.

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

    PubMed

    Markowitsch, H J; Tulving, E

    1994-10-25

    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.

  16. Disrupted cross-laminar cortical processing in β amyloid pathology precedes cell death.

    PubMed

    Lison, H; Happel, M F K; Schneider, F; Baldauf, K; Kerbstat, S; Seelbinder, B; Schneeberg, J; Zappe, M; Goldschmidt, J; Budinger, E; Schröder, U H; Ohl, F W; Schilling, S; Demuth, H-U; Scheich, H; Reymann, K G; Rönicke, R

    2014-03-01

    Disruption of neuronal networks in the Alzheimer-afflicted brain is increasingly recognized as a key correlate of cognitive and memory decline in Alzheimer patients. We hypothesized that functional synaptic disconnections within cortical columnar microcircuits by pathological β-amyloid accumulation, rather than cell death, initially causes the cognitive impairments. During development of cortical β-amyloidosis with still few plaques in the transgenic 5xFAD mouse model single cell resolution mapping of neuronal thallium uptake revealed that electrical activity of pyramidal cells breaks down throughout infragranular cortical layer V long before cell death occurs. Treatment of 5xFAD mice with the glutaminyl cyclase inhibitor, PQ 529, partially prevented the decline of pyramidal cell activity, indicating pyroglutamate-modified forms, potentially mixed oligomers of Aβ are contributing to neuronal impairment. Laminar investigation of cortical circuit dysfunction with current source density analysis identified an early loss of excitatory synaptic input in infragranular layers, linked to pathological recurrent activations in supragranular layers. This specific disruption of normal cross-laminar cortical processing coincided with a decline of contextual fear learning. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Thermal pain and sensory processing in children with sickle cell disease.

    PubMed

    O'Leary, James D; Crawford, Mark W; Odame, Isaac; Shorten, George D; McGrath, Patricia A

    2014-03-01

    Early tissue injury and recurrent pain in sickle cell disease (SCD) may alter pain and sensory processing. In this study, we evaluate thermal pain and sensory processing for 27 children aged 10.3 to 18.3 years with SCD and 28 African-American control patients. Outcome measures included heat and cold detection thresholds, heat and cold pain thresholds, and thermal perceptual sensitization at the volar surface of the dominant forearm and thenar eminence of the nondominant hand. Children with SCD were less sensitive to heat detection (P=0.006) and cold detection (P=0.015) stimuli at the thenar eminence compared with controls. At the forearm, no difference was found between groups for cold (P=0.58) or heat (P=0.07) detection thresholds. Children with SCD had increased sensitivity to cold pain at the forearm (P=0.03) compared with controls, but not when measured at the thenar eminence (P=0.084). There was no evidence that children with SCD had altered heat pain thresholds compared with controls. There was no difference between groups for perceptual sensitization at the thenar eminence (41% vs. 39%) (χ=0.15, P>0.1) or at the forearm (30% vs. 36%) (χ=0.23, P>0.5). Three of ten quantitative sensory tests were found to differ between groups. These results suggest that SCD may influence pain and sensory processing in children, but our interpretation is necessarily cautious. Due to the small differences in measures found between groups, further investigation is required to confirm our findings. If confirmed, the development of population-specific reference standards for quantitative sensory testing may emerge as a useful clinical tool for pain physicians in identifying and quantifying pain and sensory processing in children with SCD.

  18. Sensory shelf-life limiting factor of high hydrostatic pressure processed avocado paste.

    PubMed

    Jacobo-Velázquez, D A; Hernández-Brenes, C

    2011-08-01

    High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) processing pasteurizes avocado paste without a significant impact on flavor. Although HHP-treated avocado paste stored under refrigeration is safe for human consumption for months, sensory changes taking place during storage cause the rejection of the product by consumers within days. Although it is known that the shelf life of the product ends before its microbial counts are high, its sensory shelf life limiting factor remains unknown. The present study focused on the use of a trained panel and a consumer panel to determine the sensory shelf life limiting factor of HHP-treated avocado paste. The trained panel identified sour and rancid flavors as the main sensory descriptors (critical descriptors) that differentiated stored from freshly processed samples. Further data obtained from consumers identified sour flavor as the main cause for a significant decrease in the acceptability (shelf life limiting factor) of refrigerated HHP-treated avocado paste. The study allowed the elucidation of a proposed deterioration mechanism for HHP-treated avocado paste during its refrigerated shelf life. The information through this work enhances scientific knowledge of the product and proposes the sour flavor development during storage as a relevant sensory attribute that needs to be improved in order to enhance the product shelf life. At present, HHP is the most effective commercial nonthermal technology to process avocado paste when compared to thermal and chemical alternatives. HHP-treated avocado paste is a microbiologically stable food for a period of at least 45 d stored under refrigeration. However, previous published work indicated that consumers rejected the product after approximately 19 d of storage due to sensory changes. This manuscript presents a sensory study that permitted the identification of the critical sensory descriptor that is acting as the sensory shelf life limiting factor of the product. The data presented herein along with

  19. 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…

  20. Cortical networks for motion processing: effects of focal brain lesions on perception of different motion types.

    PubMed

    Billino, Jutta; Braun, Doris I; Böhm, Klaus-Dieter; Bremmer, Frank; Gegenfurtner, Karl R

    2009-08-01

    Neuropsychological studies in humans provide evidence for a variety of extrastriate cortical areas involved in visual motion perception. Multiple mechanisms underlying processing of different motion types have been proposed, however, support for cortical specialization has remained controversial so far. We therefore studied motion perception in 23 patients with focal lesions to various cortical areas and considered translational motion, heading from radial flow, as well as biological motion. Patients' detection thresholds were compared with age-specific data from a large healthy control sample (n=122). Elevated thresholds and significant threshold asymmetries between both visual hemifields were defined as deficits. Contrary to prevalent opinion, we found a high prevalence of motion deficits in our sample. Impairment was restricted to a specific motion type in 10 patients, whereas only a single patient showed a deficit for multiple motion types. Functional areas were determined by lesion density plots and by comparison between patients with and without a specific deficit. Results emphasize a dissociation between basic motion processing and processing of complex motion. Anatomical analysis confirmed critical occipito-temporo-parietal areas for perception of translational motion. In contrast, heading perception from radial flow proved to be remarkably robust to most lesions. We exclusively identified the frontal eye fields as a critical structure. Biological motion perception relied on distinct pathways involving temporal, parietal, and frontal areas. Although precise functional roles of identified areas cannot be determined conclusively, results clearly indicate regional specialization for motion types of different complexity. We propose a network for motion processing involving widely distributed cortical areas.

  1. 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…

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chimento, T. C.; Ross, M. D.

    1996-01-01

    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.

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chimento, T. C.; Ross, M. D.

    1996-01-01

    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.

  5. Sensory coding and cognitive processing of sound in Veterans with blast exposure.

    PubMed

    Bressler, Scott; Goldberg, Hannah; Shinn-Cunningham, Barbara

    2016-11-02

    Recent anecdotal reports from VA audiology clinics as well as a few published studies have identified a sub-population of Service Members seeking treatment for problems communicating in everyday, noisy listening environments despite having normal to near-normal hearing thresholds. Because of their increased risk of exposure to dangerous levels of prolonged noise and transient explosive blast events, communication problems in these soldiers could be due to either hearing loss (traditional or "hidden") in the auditory sensory periphery or from blast-induced injury to cortical networks associated with attention. We found that out of the 14 blast-exposed Service Members recruited for this study, 12 had hearing thresholds in the normal to near-normal range. A majority of these participants reported having problems specifically related to failures with selective attention. Envelope following responses (EFRs) measuring neural coding fidelity of the auditory brainstem to suprathreshold sounds were similar between blast-exposed and non-blast controls. Blast-exposed subjects performed substantially worse than non-blast controls in an auditory selective attention task in which listeners classified the melodic contour (rising, falling, or "zig-zagging") of one of three simultaneous, competing tone sequences. Salient pitch and spatial differences made for easy segregation of the three concurrent melodies. Poor performance in the blast-exposed subjects was associated with weaker evoked response potentials (ERPs) in frontal EEG channels, as well as a failure of attention to enhance the neural responses evoked by a sequence when it was the target compared to when it was a distractor. These results suggest that communication problems in these listeners cannot be explained by compromised sensory representations in the auditory periphery, but rather point to lingering blast-induced damage to cortical networks implicated in the control of attention. Because all study participants also

  6. Face-Sensitive Cortical Processing in Early Infancy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Halit, Hanife; Csibra, Gergely; Volein, Agnes; Johnson, Mark H.

    2004-01-01

    Background: Debates about the developmental origins of adult face processing could be directly addressed if a clear infant neural marker could be identified. Previous research with infants remains open to criticism regarding the control stimuli employed. Methods: We recorded ERPs from adults and 3-month-old infants while they watched faces and…

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

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

    PubMed

    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

    2015-01-01

    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 also

  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. Affective value and associative processing share a cortical substrate.

    PubMed

    Shenhav, Amitai; Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Bar, Moshe

    2013-03-01

    The brain stores information in an associative manner so that contextually related entities are connected in memory. Such associative representations mediate the brain's ability to generate predictions about which other objects and events to expect in a given context. Likewise, the brain encodes and is able to rapidly retrieve the affective value of stimuli in our environment. That both contextual associations and affect serve as building blocks of numerous mental functions often makes interpretation of brain activation ambiguous. A critical brain region where such activation has often resulted in equivocal interpretation is the medial orbitofrontal cortex (mOFC), which has been implicated separately in both affective and associative processing. To characterize its role more unequivocally, we tested whether activity in the mOFC was most directly attributable to affective processing, associative processing, or a combination of both. Subjects performed an object recognition task while undergoing fMRI scans. Objects varied independently in their affective valence and in their degree of association with other objects (associativity). Analyses revealed an overlapping sensitivity whereby the left mOFC responded both to increasingly positive affective value and to stronger associativity. These two properties individually accounted for mOFC response, even after controlling for their interrelationship. The role of the mOFC is either general enough to encompass associations that link stimuli both with reinforcing outcomes and with other stimuli or abstract enough to use both valence and associativity in conjunction to inform downstream processes related to perception and action. These results may further point to a fundamental relationship between associativity and positive affect.

  14. 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

  15. Cortical brain regions associated with color processing: an FMRI study.

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-05

    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.

  16. Dynamic Quantitative Sensory Testing to Characterize Central Pain Processing

    PubMed Central

    Mackey, Ian G.; Dixon, Eric A.; Johnson, Kevin; Kong, Jiang-Ti

    2017-01-01

    Central facilitation and modulation of incoming nociceptive signals play an important role in the perception of pain. Disruption in central pain processing is present in many chronic pain conditions and can influence responses to specific therapies. Thus, the ability to precisely describe the state of central pain processing has profound clinical significance in both prognosis and prediction. Because it is not practical to record neuronal firings directly in the human spinal cord, surrogate behavior tests become an important tool to assess the state of central pain processing. Dynamic QST is one such test, and can probe both the ascending facilitation and descending modulation of incoming nociceptive signals via TS and CPM, respectively. Due to the large between-individual variability in the sensitivity to noxious signals, standardized TS and CPM tests may not yield any meaningful data in up to 50% of the population due to floor or ceiling effects. We present methodologies to individualize TS and CPM so we can capture these measures in a broader range of individuals than previously possible. We have used these methods successfully in several studies at the lab, and data from one ongoing study will be presented to demonstrate feasibility and potential applications of the methods. PMID:28287532

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

    USDA-ARS?s Scientific Manuscript database

    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...

  18. 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)…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. 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…

  3. Visual, auditory and tactile stimuli compete for early sensory processing capacities within but not between senses.

    PubMed

    Porcu, Emanuele; Keitel, Christian; Müller, Matthias M

    2014-08-15

    We investigated whether unattended visual, auditory and tactile stimuli compete for capacity-limited early sensory processing across senses. In three experiments, we probed competitive audio-visual, visuo-tactile and audio-tactile stimulus interactions. To this end, continuous visual, auditory and tactile stimulus streams ('reference' stimuli) were frequency-tagged to elicit steady-state responses (SSRs). These electrophysiological oscillatory brain responses indexed ongoing stimulus processing in corresponding senses. To induce competition, we introduced transient frequency-tagged stimuli in same and/or different senses ('competitors') during reference presentation. Participants performed a separate visual discrimination task at central fixation to control for attentional biases of sensory processing. A comparison of reference-driven SSR amplitudes between competitor-present and competitor-absent periods revealed reduced amplitudes when a competitor was presented in the same sensory modality as the reference. Reduced amplitudes indicated the competitor's suppressive influence on reference stimulus processing. Crucially, no such suppression was found when a competitor was presented in a different than the reference modality. These results strongly suggest that early sensory competition is exclusively modality-specific and does not extend across senses. We discuss consequences of these findings for modeling the neural mechanisms underlying intermodal attention.

  4. 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.

  5. The Relationship between Sensory Processing Patterns and Behavioural Responsiveness in Autistic Disorder: A Pilot Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2008-01-01

    Sensory processing (SP) difficulties have been reported in as many as 95% of children with autism, however, empirical research examining the existence of specific patterns of SP difficulties within this population is scarce. Furthermore, little attention has been given to examining the relationship between SP and either the core symptoms or…

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. Estimating Cortical Feature Maps with Dependent Gaussian Processes.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Nicholas J; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2017-10-01

    A striking example of brain organisation is the stereotyped arrangement of cell preferences in the visual cortex for edges of particular orientations in the visual image. These "orientation preference maps" appear to have remarkably consistent statistical properties across many species. However fine scale analysis of these properties requires the accurate reconstruction of maps from imaging data which is highly noisy. A new approach for solving this reconstruction problem is to use Bayesian Gaussian process methods, which produce more accurate results than classical techniques. However, so far this work has not considered the fact that maps for several other features of visual input coexist with the orientation preference map and that these maps have mutually dependent spatial arrangements. Here we extend the Gaussian process framework to the multiple output case, so that we can consider multiple maps simultaneously. We demonstrate that this improves reconstruction of multiple maps compared to both classical techniques and the single output approach, can encode the empirically observed relationships, and is easily extendible. This provides the first principled approach for studying the spatial relationships between feature maps in visual cortex.

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

    PubMed Central

    Levitt, H

    1995-01-01

    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. Images Fig. 4 PMID:7479816

  10. Human evoked cortical activity to silent gaps in noise: effects of age, attention, and cortical processing speed.

    PubMed

    Harris, Kelly C; Wilson, Sara; Eckert, Mark A; Dubno, Judy R

    2012-01-01

    The goal of this study was to examine the degree to which age-related differences in early or automatic levels of auditory processing and attention-related processes explain age-related differences in auditory temporal processing. We hypothesized that age-related differences in attention and cognition compound age-related differences at automatic levels of processing, contributing to the robust age effects observed during challenging listening tasks. We examined age-related and individual differences in cortical event-related potential (ERP) amplitudes and latencies, processing speed, and gap detection from 25 younger and 25 older adults with normal hearing. ERPs were elicited by brief silent periods (gaps) in an otherwise continuous broadband noise and were measured under two listening conditions, passive and active. During passive listening, participants ignored the stimulus and read quietly. During active listening, participants button pressed each time they detected a gap. Gap detection (percent detected) was calculated for each gap duration during active listening (3, 6, 9, 12, and 15 msec). Processing speed was assessed using the Purdue Pegboard Test and the Connections Test. Repeated measures analyses of variance assessed effects of age on gap detection, processing speed, and ERP amplitudes and latencies. An "attention modulation" construct was created using linear regression to examine the effects of attention while controlling for age-related differences in auditory processing. Pearson correlation analyses assessed the extent to which attention modulation, ERPs, and processing speed predicted behavioral gap detection. Older adults had significantly poorer gap detection and slower processing speed than younger adults. Even after adjusting for poorer gap detection, the neurophysiological response to gap onset was atypical in older adults with reduced P2 amplitudes and virtually absent N2 responses. Moreover, individual differences in attention modulation of

  11. Human Evoked Cortical Activity to Silent Gaps in Noise: Effects of Age, Attention, and Cortical Processing Speed

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Kelly C.; Wilson, Sara; Eckert, Mark A.; Dubno, Judy R.

    2011-01-01

    Objectives The goal of this study was to examine the degree to which age-related differences in early or automatic levels of auditory processing and attention-related processes explain age-related differences in auditory temporal processing. We hypothesized that age-related differences in attention and cognition compound age-related differences at automatic levels of processing, contributing to the robust age effects observed during challenging listening tasks. Design We examined age-related and individual differences in cortical event-related potential (ERP) amplitudes and latencies, processing speed, and gap detection from twenty-five younger and twenty-five older adults with normal hearing. ERPs were elicited by brief silent periods (gaps) in an otherwise continuous broadband noise and were measured under two listening conditions, passive and active. During passive listening, participants ignored the stimulus and read quietly. During active listening, participants button pressed each time they detected a gap. Gap detection (percent detected) was calculated for each gap duration during active listening (3, 6, 9, 12 and 15 ms). Processing speed was assessed using the Purdue Pegboard test and the Connections Test. Repeated measures ANOVAs assessed effects of age on gap detection, processing speed, and ERP amplitudes and latencies. An “attention modulation” construct was created using linear regression to examine the effects of attention while controlling for age-related differences in auditory processing. Pearson correlation analyses assessed the extent to which attention modulation, ERPs, and processing speed predicted behavioral gap detection. Results: Older adults had significantly poorer gap detection and slower processing speed than younger adults. Even after adjusting for poorer gap detection, the neurophysiological response to gap onset was atypical in older adults with reduced P2 amplitudes and virtually absent N2 responses. Moreover, individual

  12. Cortical oscillations and speech processing: emerging computational principles and operations

    PubMed Central

    Giraud, Anne-Lise; Poeppel, David

    2015-01-01

    Neuronal oscillations are ubiquitous in the brain and may contribute to cognition in several ways: for example, by segregating information and organizing spike timing. Recent data show that delta, theta and gamma oscillations are specifically engaged by the multi-timescale, quasi-rhythmic properties of speech and can track its dynamics. We argue that they are foundational in speech and language processing, ‘packaging’ incoming information into units of the appropriate temporal granularity. Such stimulus-brain alignment arguably results from auditory and motor tuning throughout the evolution of speech and language and constitutes a natural model system allowing auditory research to make a unique contribution to the issue of how neural oscillatory activity affects human cognition. PMID:22426255

  13. Sensory processing and stereotypical and repetitive behaviour in children with autism and intellectual disability.

    PubMed

    Joosten, Annette V; Bundy, Anita C

    2010-12-01

    Sensory processing disorders have been linked to stereotypical behaviours in children with intellectual disability (ID) and autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and to anxiety in children with ASD. In earlier phases of this study with the same participants, we found that those with both ASD and ID were more motivated than those with ID alone to engage in stereotypical behaviour to alleviate anxiety. In this phase, we confirmed that children with both ASD and ID and those with ID alone process sensation differently than typically developing children. We asked: Do the sensory processing difficulties of children with ASD and ID differ significantly from those of children with ID alone in a way that would help explain the increased anxiety of the former group? Parents of children with ASD and ID (n = 29; mean age 9.7 years) and with ID alone (n = 23; mean age 9.5 years) completed a Sensory Profile (SP) to provide information about their children's sensory processing abilities. SP quadrant scores for each group were compared with each other and with the published norms of typically developing children.   Children with ASD and ID and with ID alone processed sensory information differently than typically developing children (P=0.0001;d= >2.00). Children with both ASD and ID were significantly more sensitive (P=0.007;d=0.70) and avoidant (P < 0.05;d=0.47) than the children with ID alone. We conclude that increased sensitivity and the tendency to avoid sensation may help explain anxiety in children with autism. © 2010 The Authors. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal © 2010 Australian Association of Occupational Therapists.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. The Detection of Phase Amplitude Coupling during Sensory Processing.

    PubMed

    Seymour, Robert A; Rippon, Gina; Kessler, Klaus

    2017-01-01

    There is increasing interest in understanding how the phase and amplitude of distinct neural oscillations might interact to support dynamic communication within the brain. In particular, previous work has demonstrated a coupling between the phase of low frequency oscillations and the amplitude (or power) of high frequency oscillations during certain tasks, termed phase amplitude coupling (PAC). For instance, during visual processing in humans, PAC has been reliably observed between ongoing alpha (8-13 Hz) and gamma-band (>40 Hz) activity. However, the application of PAC metrics to electrophysiological data can be challenging due to numerous methodological issues and lack of coherent approaches within the field. Therefore, in this article we outline the various analysis steps involved in detecting PAC, using an openly available MEG dataset from 16 participants performing an interactive visual task. Firstly, we localized gamma and alpha-band power using the Fieldtrip toolbox, and extracted time courses from area V1, defined using a multimodal parcelation scheme. These V1 responses were analyzed for changes in alpha-gamma PAC, using four common algorithms. Results showed an increase in alpha (7-13 Hz)-gamma (40-100 Hz) PAC in response to the visual grating stimulus, though specific patterns of coupling were somewhat dependent upon the algorithm employed. Additionally, post-hoc analyses showed that these results were not driven by the presence of non-sinusoidal oscillations, and that trial length was sufficient to obtain reliable PAC estimates. Finally, throughout the article, methodological issues and practical guidelines for ongoing PAC research will be discussed.

  17. Sensory processing and adaptive behavior deficits of children across the fetal alcohol spectrum disorder continuum.

    PubMed

    Carr, Joshua L; Agnihotri, Sabrina; Keightley, Michelle

    2010-06-01

    Prenatal alcohol exposure can have detrimental effects on a child's development of adaptive behaviors necessary for success in the areas of academic achievement, socialization, and self-care. Sensory processing abilities have been found to affect a child's ability to successfully perform adaptive behaviors. The current study explored whether significant differences in sensory processing abilities, adaptive behavior, and neurocognitive functioning are observed between children diagnosed with partial Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (pFAS), Alcohol-Related Neurodevelopmental Disorder (ARND), or children who were prenatally exposed to alcohol (PEA), but did not meet criteria for an FASD diagnosis. The influence of IQ on adaptive behavior as well as further exploration of the relationship between sensory processing and adaptive behavior deficits among these children was also examined. A secondary analysis was conducted on some of the Short Sensory Profile (SSP) scores, Adaptive Behavior Assessment System--Second Edition (ABAS-II) scores, and Wechsler Intelligence Scale--Fourth Edition/Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence--Third Edition (WISC- IV/WPPSI-III) scores of 46 children between 3 and 14 years of age with pFAS, ARND, or who were PEA. Greater sensory processing deficits were found in children with a diagnosis of pFAS and ARND compared to those in the PEA group. Children with an ARND diagnosis scored significantly worse on measures of adaptive behavior than the PEA group. Children with pFAS scored significantly lower than children with ARND or PEA on perceptual/performance IQ. No correlation was found between IQ scores and adaptive behaviors across the FASD diagnostic categories. A significant positive correlation was found between SSP and ABAS-II scores. Regardless of the diagnosis received under the FASD umbrella, functional difficulties that could not be observed using traditional measures of intelligence were found, supporting guidelines that a broad

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. Sensory processing issues in young children presenting to an outpatient feeding clinic: A retrospective chart review

    PubMed Central

    Davis, Ann M.; Bruce, Amanda S.; Khasawneh, Rima; Schulz, Trina; Fox, Catherine; Dunn, Winifred

    2012-01-01

    Objectives To describe the relationship between sensory issues and medical complexity in a series of patients presenting to an outpatient multidisciplinary feeding team for evaluation, by a standardized measure of sensory processing abilities. Methods A retrospective chart review of all patients seen from 2004–2009 on two key variables; medical diagnostic category and Short Sensory Profile (SSP) score. Results On the SSP, 67.6% of children scored in the clinical (“Definite difference”) range. The most common diagnostic categories were Developmental (n=23), Gastrointestinal (n=16) and Neurological (n=13). Behavioral and Cardiorespiratory medical diagnostic categories were significantly related to SSP total score and SSP definite difference score. Conclusions Children who present for feeding evaluation do indeed tend to have clinically elevated scores regarding sensory processing, and these elevated scores are significantly related to certain medical diagnostic categories. Future research is needed to determine why these significant relationships exist as well as their implications for treatment of feeding related issues. PMID:22986370

  2. Extensive excitatory network interactions shape temporal processing of communication signals in a model sensory system.

    PubMed

    Ma, Xiaofeng; Kohashi, Tsunehiko; Carlson, Bruce A

    2013-07-01

    Many sensory brain regions are characterized by extensive local network interactions. However, we know relatively little about the contribution of this microcircuitry to sensory coding. Detailed analyses of neuronal microcircuitry are usually performed in vitro, whereas sensory processing is typically studied by recording from individual neurons in vivo. The electrosensory pathway of mormyrid fish provides a unique opportunity to link in vitro studies of synaptic physiology with in vivo studies of sensory processing. These fish communicate by actively varying the intervals between pulses of electricity. Within the midbrain posterior exterolateral nucleus (ELp), the temporal filtering of afferent spike trains establishes interval tuning by single neurons. We characterized pairwise neuronal connectivity among ELp neurons with dual whole cell recording in an in vitro whole brain preparation. We found a densely connected network in which single neurons influenced the responses of other neurons throughout the network. Similarly tuned neurons were more likely to share an excitatory synaptic connection than differently tuned neurons, and synaptic connections between similarly tuned neurons were stronger than connections between differently tuned neurons. We propose a general model for excitatory network interactions in which strong excitatory connections both reinforce and adjust tuning and weak excitatory connections make smaller modifications to tuning. The diversity of interval tuning observed among this population of neurons can be explained, in part, by each individual neuron receiving a different complement of local excitatory inputs.

  3. Imaging cortical dynamics of language processing with the event-related optical signal

    PubMed Central

    Tse, Chun-Yu; Lee, Chia-Lin; Sullivan, Jason; Garnsey, Susan M.; Dell, Gary S.; Fabiani, Monica; Gratton, Gabriele

    2007-01-01

    Language processing involves the rapid interaction of multiple brain regions. The study of its neurophysiological bases would therefore benefit from neuroimaging techniques combining both good spatial and good temporal resolution. Here we use the event-related optical signal (EROS), a recently developed imaging method, to reveal rapid interactions between left superior/middle temporal cortices (S/MTC) and inferior frontal cortices (IFC) during the processing of semantically or syntactically anomalous sentences. Participants were presented with sentences of these types intermixed with nonanomalous control sentences and were required to judge their acceptability. ERPs were recorded simultaneously with EROS and showed the typical activities that are elicited when processing anomalous stimuli: the N400 and the P600 for semantic and syntactic anomalies, respectively. The EROS response to semantically anomalous words showed increased activity in the S/MTC (corresponding in time with the N400), followed by IFC activity. Syntactically anomalous words evoked a similar sequence, with a temporal-lobe EROS response (corresponding in time with the P600), followed by frontal activity. However, the S/MTC activity corresponding to a semantic anomaly was more ventral than that corresponding to a syntactic anomaly. These data suggest that activation related to anomaly processing in sentences proceeds from temporal to frontal brain regions for both semantic and syntactic anomalies. This first EROS study investigating language processing shows that EROS can be used to image rapid interactions across cortical areas. PMID:17942677

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

    PubMed

    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

    2016-07-07

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Cortical Network Dynamics of Perceptual Decision-Making in the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

    Siegel, Markus; Engel, Andreas K.; Donner, Tobias H.

    2011-01-01

    Goal-directed behavior requires the flexible transformation of sensory evidence about our environment into motor actions. Studies of perceptual decision-making have shown that this transformation is distributed across several widely separated brain regions. Yet, little is known about how decision-making emerges from the dynamic interactions among these regions. Here, we review a series of studies, in which we characterized the cortical network interactions underlying a perceptual decision process in the human brain. We used magnetoencephalography to measure the large-scale cortical population dynamics underlying each of the sub-processes involved in this decision: the encoding of sensory evidence and action plan, the mapping between the two, and the attentional selection of task-relevant evidence. We found that these sub-processes are mediated by neuronal oscillations within specific frequency ranges. Localized gamma-band oscillations in sensory and motor cortices reflect the encoding of the sensory evidence and motor plan. Large-scale oscillations across widespread cortical networks mediate the integrative processes connecting these local networks: Gamma- and beta-band oscillations across frontal, parietal, and sensory cortices serve the selection of relevant sensory evidence and its flexible mapping onto action plans. In sum, our results suggest that perceptual decisions are mediated by oscillatory interactions within overlapping local and large-scale cortical networks. PMID:21427777

  7. Cortical hierarchy governs rat claustrocortical circuit organization.

    PubMed

    White, Michael G; Cody, Patrick A; Bubser, Michael; Wang, Hui-Dong; Deutch, Ariel Y; Mathur, Brian N

    2017-04-15

    The claustrum is a telencephalic gray matter structure with various proposed functions, including sensory integration and attentional allocation. Underlying these concepts is the reciprocal connectivity of the claustrum with most, if not all, areas of the cortex. What remains to be elucidated to inform functional hypotheses further is whether a pattern exists in the strength of connectivity between a given cortical area and the claustrum. To this end, we performed a series of retrograde neuronal tract tracer injections into rat cortical areas along the cortical processing hierarchy, from primary sensory and motor to frontal cortices. We observed that the number of claustrocortical projections increased as a function of processing hierarchy; claustrum neurons projecting to primary sensory cortices were scant and restricted in distribution across the claustrum, whereas neurons projecting to the cingulate cortex were densely packed and more evenly distributed throughout the claustrum. This connectivity pattern suggests that the claustrum may preferentially subserve executive functions orchestrated by the cingulate cortex. J. Comp. Neurol. 525:1347-1362, 2017. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  8. 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.

  9. Cortical processing of speech sounds and their analogues in a spatial auditory environment.

    PubMed

    Palomäki, Kalle J; Tiitinen, Hannu; Mäkinen, Ville; May, Patrick; Alku, Paavo

    2002-08-01

    We used magnetoencephalographic (MEG) measurements to study how speech sounds presented in a realistic spatial sound environment are processed in human cortex. A spatial sound environment was created by utilizing head-related transfer functions (HRTFs), and using a vowel, a pseudo-vowel, and a wide-band noise burst as stimuli. The behaviour of the most prominent auditory response, the cortically generated N1m, was investigated above the left and right hemisphere. We found that the N1m responses elicited by the vowel and by the pseudo-vowel were much larger in amplitude than those evoked by the noise burst. Corroborating previous observations, we also found that cortical activity reflecting the processing of spatial sound was more pronounced in the right than in the left hemisphere for all of the stimulus types and that both hemispheres exhibited contralateral tuning to sound direction.

  10. Evidence of functional connectivity between auditory cortical areas revealed by amplitude modulation sound processing.

    PubMed

    Guéguin, Marie; Le Bouquin-Jeannès, Régine; Faucon, Gérard; Chauvel, Patrick; Liégeois-Chauvel, Catherine

    2007-02-01

    The human auditory cortex includes several interconnected areas. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in auditory cortical functions requires a detailed knowledge of neuronal connectivity between functional cortical regions. In human, it is difficult to track in vivo neuronal connectivity. We investigated the interarea connection in vivo in the auditory cortex using a method of directed coherence (DCOH) applied to depth auditory evoked potentials (AEPs). This paper presents simultaneous AEPs recordings from insular gyrus (IG), primary and secondary cortices (Heschl's gyrus and planum temporale), and associative areas (Brodmann area [BA] 22) with multilead intracerebral electrodes in response to sinusoidal modulated white noises in 4 epileptic patients who underwent invasive monitoring with depth electrodes for epilepsy surgery. DCOH allowed estimation of the causality between 2 signals recorded from different cortical sites. The results showed 1) a predominant auditory stream within the primary auditory cortex from the most medial region to the most lateral one whatever the modulation frequency, 2) unidirectional functional connection from the primary to secondary auditory cortex, 3) a major auditory propagation from the posterior areas to the anterior ones, particularly at 8, 16, and 32 Hz, and 4) a particular role of Heschl's sulcus dispatching information to the different auditory areas. These findings suggest that cortical processing of auditory information is performed in serial and parallel streams. Our data showed that the auditory propagation could not be associated to a unidirectional traveling wave but to a constant interaction between these areas that could reflect the large adaptive and plastic capacities of auditory cortex. The role of the IG is discussed.

  11. Dopamine Depletion Impairs Bilateral Sensory Processing in the Striatum in a Pathway-Dependent Manner.

    PubMed

    Ketzef, Maya; Spigolon, Giada; Johansson, Yvonne; Bonito-Oliva, Alessandra; Fisone, Gilberto; Silberberg, Gilad

    2017-05-17

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a movement disorder caused by the loss of dopaminergic innervation, particularly to the striatum. PD patients often exhibit sensory impairments, yet the underlying network mechanisms are unknown. Here we examined how dopamine (DA) depletion affects sensory processing in the mouse striatum. We used the optopatcher for online identification of direct and indirect pathway projection neurons (MSNs) during in vivo whole-cell recordings. In control mice, MSNs encoded the laterality of sensory inputs with larger and earlier responses to contralateral than ipsilateral whisker deflection. This laterality coding was lost in DA-depleted mice due to adaptive changes in the intrinsic and synaptic properties, mainly, of direct pathway MSNs. L-DOPA treatment restored laterality coding by increasing the separation between ipsilateral and contralateral responses. Our results show that DA depletion impairs bilateral tactile acuity in a pathway-dependent manner, thus providing unexpected insights into the network mechanisms underlying sensory deficits in PD. VIDEO ABSTRACT. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  12. Formation and reverberation of sequential neural activity patterns evoked by sensory stimulation are enhanced during cortical desynchronization.

    PubMed

    Bermudez Contreras, Edgar J; Schjetnan, Andrea Gomez Palacio; Muhammad, Arif; Bartho, Peter; McNaughton, Bruce L; Kolb, Bryan; Gruber, Aaron J; Luczak, Artur

    2013-08-07

    Memory formation is hypothesized to involve the generation of event-specific neural activity patterns during learning and the subsequent spontaneous reactivation of these patterns. Here, we present evidence that these processes can also be observed in urethane-anesthetized rats and are enhanced by desynchronized brain state evoked by tail pinch, subcortical carbachol infusion, or systemic amphetamine administration. During desynchronization, we found that repeated tactile or auditory stimulation evoked unique sequential patterns of neural firing in somatosensory and auditory cortex and that these patterns then reoccurred during subsequent spontaneous activity, similar to what we have observed in awake animals. Furthermore, the formation of these patterns was blocked by an NMDA receptor antagonist, suggesting that the phenomenon depends on synaptic plasticity. These results suggest that anesthetized animals with a desynchronized brain state could serve as a convenient model for studying stimulus-induced plasticity to improve our understanding of memory formation and replay in the brain.

  13. Children with dyslexia show cortical hyperactivation in response to increasing literacy processing demands

    PubMed Central

    Morken, Frøydis; Helland, Turid; Hugdahl, Kenneth; Specht, Karsten

    2014-01-01

    This fMRI study aimed to examine how differences in literacy processing demands may affect cortical activation patterns in 11- to 12-year-old children with dyslexia as compared to children with typical reading skills. Eleven children with and 18 without dyslexia were assessed using a reading paradigm based on different stages of literacy development. In the analyses, six regions showed an interaction effect between group and condition in a factorial ANOVA. These regions were selected as regions of interest (ROI) for further analyses. Overall, the dyslexia group showed cortical hyperactivation compared to the typical group. The difference between the groups tended to increase with increasing processing demands. Differences in cortical activation were not reflected in in-scanner reading performance. The six regions further grouped into three patterns, which are discussed in terms of processing demands, compensatory mechanisms, orthography and contextual facilitation. We conclude that the observed hyperactivation is chiefly a result of compensatory activity, modulated by other factors. PMID:25566160

  14. Neural Correlates of Indicators of Sound Change in Cantonese: Evidence from Cortical and Subcortical Processes

    PubMed Central

    Maggu, Akshay R.; Liu, Fang; Antoniou, Mark; Wong, Patrick C. M.

    2016-01-01

    Across time, languages undergo changes in phonetic, syntactic, and semantic dimensions. Social, cognitive, and cultural factors contribute to sound change, a phenomenon in which the phonetics of a language undergo changes over time. Individuals who misperceive and produce speech in a slightly divergent manner (called innovators) contribute to variability in the society, eventually leading to sound change. However, the cause of variability in these individuals is still unknown. In this study, we examined whether such misperceptions are represented in neural processes of the auditory system. We investigated behavioral, subcortical (via FFR), and cortical (via P300) manifestations of sound change processing in Cantonese, a Chinese language in which several lexical tones are merging. Across the mergin