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Sample records for sensory cortical processing

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2012-04-01

    developed via tactile sensory diagnostics allow for objective assessment of neurophysiological functional connectivity and could prove to be effective...JK, Francisco EM, Zhang Z, Baric C and Tommerdahl M (2011). An Undergraduate Laboratory Exercise to study Weber’s Law. Journal of Undergraduate...Weber’s law (Francisco et al., 2008; Holden et al., 2011) and a robust relationship with neurophysiological data (Francisco et al., 2008), and differences

  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. Cortical-Cortical Interactions And Sensory Information Processing in Autism

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2008-04-30

    Frith U: Autism, Asperger syndrome and brain mechanisms for the attribution of mental states to animated shapes. Brain 2002, 125:1839-1849. 15...Methods The subjects were ten males clinically diagnosed with autism (i.e., Autistic Disorder or Asperger Disorder; DSM-IV-TR; [22]), all naïve both...Disordered visual processing and oscillatory brain activity in autism and Williams syndrome . Neuroreport 2001, 12:2697-2700. 18. Wilson TW, Rojas DC

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. Discontinuity of cortical gradients reflects sensory impairment

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  11. 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'.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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).

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

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

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-04-01

    Titan T-1 FDM (StrataSys, Inc., Eden Prairie, MN). All housing and mechanism components and assemblies were solid m odeled prior to fabri cation...tissue that is suspected to be diseased or injured. While this method is invasive, it is nevertheless quite effective as a means of putting one piece...been afflicted by trauma, disease and/or injury in a similar manner. For this reason, we hypothesized that we could develop novel means to “non

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  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. 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…

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  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. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  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. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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…

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  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. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. [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.

  12. 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.

  13. Experimental analysis of drilling process in cortical bone.

    PubMed

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

    2014-02-01

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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Competing Sound Sources Reveal Spatial Effects in Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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. 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

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  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. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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…

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. 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…

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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…

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Evolution of sensory specializations in insectivores.

    PubMed

    Catania, Kenneth C

    2005-11-01

    Although insectivores have traditionally been thought of as primitive mammals with few specializations, recent studies have revealed great diversity in the sensory systems and brain organization of members of this mammalian order. The present article reviews some of these findings in three insectivore families that are thought to form a monophyletic group. These include hedgehogs (Erinaceidae), moles (Talpidae), and shrews (Soricidae). Members of each group live in unique ecological niches, have differently specialized senses, and exhibit different behaviors. Hedgehogs have well-developed visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. Shrews make use of visual and auditory cues, but appear to depend most heavily on touch, particularly through prominent vibrissae. Moles are somatosensory specialists with small eyes and ears and unique epidermal mechanoreceptors called Eimer's organs used to identify prey and investigate their environment. In contrast to historical views of the insectivore order, members of this group have discrete and well-organized cortical sensory areas with sharp borders as determined from both electrophysiological mapping and analysis of cortical histology. Comparison of cortical organization across species reveals a number of specializations, including expansion of cortical representations of important sensory surfaces, the addition of cortical areas to some processing networks, and the subdivision of areas into separate cortical modules. In the case of the star-nosed mole, the somatosensory system has a tactile fovea and shares a number of features in common with the visual systems of sighted mammals.

  8. 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

  9. 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…

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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…

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  1. 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.

  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. 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…

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. 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…

  6. Estimating Cortical Feature Maps with Dependent Gaussian Processes.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Nicholas J; Goodhill, Geoffrey J

    2016-11-02

    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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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.

  16. Adaptation to sensory input tunes visual cortex to criticality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shew, Woodrow L.; Clawson, Wesley P.; Pobst, Jeff; Karimipanah, Yahya; Wright, Nathaniel C.; Wessel, Ralf

    2015-08-01

    A long-standing hypothesis at the interface of physics and neuroscience is that neural networks self-organize to the critical point of a phase transition, thereby optimizing aspects of sensory information processing. This idea is partially supported by strong evidence for critical dynamics observed in the cerebral cortex, but the impact of sensory input on these dynamics is largely unknown. Thus, the foundations of this hypothesis--the self-organization process and how it manifests during strong sensory input--remain unstudied experimentally. Here we show in visual cortex and in a computational model that strong sensory input initially elicits cortical network dynamics that are not critical, but adaptive changes in the network rapidly tune the system to criticality. This conclusion is based on observations of multifaceted scaling laws predicted to occur at criticality. Our findings establish sensory adaptation as a self-organizing mechanism that maintains criticality in visual cortex during sensory information processing.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 merging categories, we observed a similar gradation of speech perception abilities in both behavior and the brain (subcortical and cortical processes). Further, we also found that behavioral evidence of tone merging correlated with subjects' encoding at the subcortical and cortical levels. These findings indicate that tone-merger categories, that are indicators of sound change in Cantonese, are represented neurophysiologically with high fidelity. Using our results, we speculate that innovators encode speech in a slightly deviant neurophysiological manner, and thus produce speech divergently that eventually spreads across the community and contributes to sound change. PMID:28066218

  19. Cortical pathways to the mammalian amygdala.

    PubMed

    McDonald, A J

    1998-06-01

    The amygdaloid nuclear complex is critical for producing appropriate emotional and behavioral responses to biologically relevant sensory stimuli. It constitutes an essential link between sensory and limbic areas of the cerebral cortex and subcortical brain regions, such as the hypothalamus, brainstem, and striatum, that are responsible for eliciting emotional and motivational responses. This review summarizes the anatomy and physiology of the cortical pathways to the amygdala in the rat, cat and monkey. Although the basic anatomy of these systems in the cat and monkey was largely delineated in studies conducted during the 1970s and 1980s, detailed information regarding the cortico-amygdalar pathways in the rat was only obtained in the past several years. The purpose of this review is to describe the results of recent studies in the rat and to compare the organization of cortico-amygdalar projections in this species with that seen in the cat and monkey. In all three species visual, auditory, and somatosensory information is transmitted to the amygdala by a series of modality-specific cortico-cortical pathways ("cascades") that originate in the primary sensory cortices and flow toward higher order association areas. The cortical areas in the more distal portions of these cascades have stronger and more extensive projections to the amygdala than the more proximal areas. In all three species olfactory and gustatory/visceral information has access to the amygdala at an earlier stage of cortical processing than visual, auditory and somatosensory information. There are also important polysensory cortical inputs to the mammalian amygdala from the prefrontal and hippocampal regions. Whereas the overall organization of cortical pathways is basically similar in all mammalian species, there is anatomical evidence which suggests that there are important differences in the extent of convergence of cortical projections in the primate versus the nonprimate amygdala.

  20. The brain's router: a cortical network model of serial processing in the primate brain.

    PubMed

    Zylberberg, Ariel; Fernández Slezak, Diego; Roelfsema, Pieter R; Dehaene, Stanislas; Sigman, Mariano

    2010-04-29

    The human brain efficiently solves certain operations such as object recognition and categorization through a massively parallel network of dedicated processors. However, human cognition also relies on the ability to perform an arbitrarily large set of tasks by flexibly recombining different processors into a novel chain. This flexibility comes at the cost of a severe slowing down and a seriality of operations (100-500 ms per step). A limit on parallel processing is demonstrated in experimental setups such as the psychological refractory period (PRP) and the attentional blink (AB) in which the processing of an element either significantly delays (PRP) or impedes conscious access (AB) of a second, rapidly presented element. Here we present a spiking-neuron implementation of a cognitive architecture where a large number of local parallel processors assemble together to produce goal-driven behavior. The precise mapping of incoming sensory stimuli onto motor representations relies on a "router" network capable of flexibly interconnecting processors and rapidly changing its configuration from one task to another. Simulations show that, when presented with dual-task stimuli, the network exhibits parallel processing at peripheral sensory levels, a memory buffer capable of keeping the result of sensory processing on hold, and a slow serial performance at the router stage, resulting in a performance bottleneck. The network captures the detailed dynamics of human behavior during dual-task-performance, including both mean RTs and RT distributions, and establishes concrete predictions on neuronal dynamics during dual-task experiments in humans and non-human primates.

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  2. Reduction of β-amyloid deposits by γ-secretase inhibitor is associated with the attenuation of secondary damage in the ipsilateral thalamus and sensory functional improvement after focal cortical infarction in hypertensive rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yusheng; Xing, Shihui; Zhang, Jian; Li, Jingjing; Li, Chuo; Pei, Zhong; Zeng, Jinsheng

    2011-02-01

    Abnormal β-amyloid (Aβ) deposits in the thalamus have been reported after cerebral cortical infarction. In this study, we investigated the association of Aβ deposits, with the secondary thalamic damage after focal cortical infarction in rats. Thirty-six stroke-prone renovascular hypertensive rats were subjected to distal middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) and then randomly divided into MCAO, vehicle, and N-[N-(3,5-difluorophenacetyl)-L-alanyl]-S-phenylglycine t-butyl ester (DAPT) groups and 12 sham-operated rats as control. The DAPT was administered orally at 72 hours after MCAO. Seven days after MCAO, sensory function, neuron loss, and glial activation and proliferation were evaluated using adhesive removal test, Nissl staining, and immunostaining, respectively. Thalamic Aβ accumulation was evaluated using immunostaining and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Compared with vehicle group, the ipsilateral thalamic Aβ, neuronal loss, glial activation and proliferation, and the mean time to remove the stimulus from right forepaw significantly decreased in DAPT group. The mean time to remove the stimulus from the right forepaw and thalamic Aβ burden were both negatively correlated with the number of thalamic neurons. These findings suggest that Aβ deposits are associated with the secondary thalamic damage. Reduction of thalamic Aβ by γ-secretase inhibitor may attenuate the secondary damage and improve sensory function after cerebral cortical infarction.

  3. Anesthesia and brain sensory processing: impact on neuronal responses in a female songbird

    PubMed Central

    Karino, G.; George, I.; Loison, L.; Heyraud, C.; De Groof, G.; Hausberger, M.; Cousillas, H.

    2016-01-01

    Whether anesthesia impacts brain sensory processing is a highly debated and important issue. There is a general agreement that anesthesia tends to diminish neuronal activity, but its potential impact on neuronal “tuning” is still an open question. Here we show, based on electrophysiological recordings in the primary auditory area of a female songbird, that anesthesia induces neuronal responses towards biologically irrelevant sounds and prevents the seasonal neuronal tuning towards functionally relevant species-specific song elements. PMID:27966648

  4. Horizontal Body Position Reduces Cortical Pain-Related Processing: Evidence from Late ERPs

    PubMed Central

    Fardo, Francesca; Spironelli, Chiara; Angrilli, Alessandro

    2013-01-01

    The present study investigated the influence of short-term horizontal body position on pain-related somatosensory processing, by measuring subjective and cortical responses to electrical pain stimulation. Twenty-eight healthy women were randomly assigned to either the experimental horizontal group (Bed Rest, BR) or to the sitting control group (Sitting Control, SC). After 90 minutes in either horizontal or sitting position, the individual pain thresholds were assessed and EEG/self-evaluations recorded during the administration of 180 stimuli delivered to the left forearm. Electrical pain stimuli, calibrated to subjects’ individual pain thresholds, consisted of two different intensity levels: no pain (40% below pain threshold) and pain (40% above pain threshold). Compared with control, BR condition significantly inhibited subjective sensitivity to painless stimuli, whereas electrophysiological results pointed to a reduced slow cortical wave (interval: 300-600 ms) at all stimulus intensities, and smaller amplitude in BR’s right vs. left prefrontal sites. sLORETA analysis revealed that cortical responses were associated with a decreased activation of superior frontal gyrus and anterior cingulate cortex (BA 6/24). Interestingly, BR group only showed significant negative correlations between self-evaluation of painful intensities and frontal cortical negativity, revealing increasingly differentiated responses in bed rest: indeed those BR participants who reported lower pain ratings, displayed reduced negativity within anterior regions. Taken together, results indicate that short-term horizontal position is able to inhibit a fronto-parietal pain network, particularly at the level of central prefrontal regions typically involved in cognitive, affective and motor aspects of pain processing. PMID:24278467

  5. Perceptual learning and sensomotor flexibility: cortical plasticity under attentional control?

    PubMed Central

    Fahle, Manfred

    2008-01-01

    Recent research reveals long-lasting cortical plasticity of early sensory cortices even in adults. Sensory signals could be modified under top-down control if necessary quite early in order to optimize their signal-to-noise ratio, leading to ‘low level’ or ‘early’ perceptual learning (PL). For easy tasks, such elaborate top-down influences are usually not required, and learning is restricted to late selection of the appropriate signals on higher cortical levels, which seems easier and faster to achieve. But to reach the absolute limits of sensory performance, PL seems to optimize the entire chain of sensory processing. Hence, improvement for these extreme perceptual abilities is quite specific for a number of stimulus parameters, such as the position in the visual field and sometimes even the trained eye, reflecting the specificity of receptive fields in early sensory cortices. Early PL may be just one example—even if a very extensive one—of the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity and sensomotor flexibility that are constantly updating our sensomotor representations as a result of experience. As an illustration, this review contains some new experimental results on PL and sensory flexibility in the context of adaptation to multifocal intraocular lenses. PMID:18977730

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  7. Aging process alters hippocampal and cortical secretase activities of Wistar rats.

    PubMed

    Bertoldi, Karine; Cechinel, Laura Reck; Schallenberger, Bruna; Meireles, Louisiana; Basso, Carla; Lovatel, Gisele Agustini; Bernardi, Lisiane; Lamers, Marcelo Lazzaron; Siqueira, Ionara Rodrigues

    2017-01-15

    A growing body of evidence has demonstrated amyloid plaques in aged brain; however, little attention has been given to amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing machinery during the healthy aging process. The amyloidogenic and non-amyloidogenic pathways, represented respectively by β- and α-secretases (BACE and TACE), are responsible for APP cleavage. Our working hypothesis is that the normal aging process could imbalance amyloidogenic and non-amyloidogenic pathways specifically BACE and TACE activities. Besides, although it has been showed that exercise can modulate secretase activities in Alzheimer Disease models the relationship between exercise effects and APP processing during healthy aging process is rarely studied. Our aim was to investigate the aging process and the exercise effects on cortical and hippocampal BACE and TACE activities and aversive memory performance. Young adult and aged Wistar rats were subjected to an exercise protocol (20min/day for 2 weeks) and to inhibitory avoidance task. Biochemical parameters were evaluated 1h and 18h after the last exercise session in order to verify transitory and delayed exercise effects. Aged rats exhibited impaired aversive memory and diminished cortical TACE activity. Moreover, an imbalance between TACE and BACE activities in favor of BACE activity was observed in aged brain. Moderate treadmill exercise was unable to alter secretase activities in any brain areas or time points evaluated. Our results suggest that aging-related aversive memory decline is partly linked to decreased cortical TACE activity. Additionally, an imbalance between secretase activities can be related to the higher vulnerability to neurodegenerative diseases induced by aging.

  8. Early auditory sensory processing of voices is facilitated by visual mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Schall, Sonja; Kiebel, Stefan J; Maess, Burkhard; von Kriegstein, Katharina

    2013-08-15

    How do we recognize people that are familiar to us? There is overwhelming evidence that our brains process voice and face in a combined fashion to optimally recognize both who is speaking and what is said. Surprisingly, this combined processing of voice and face seems to occur even if one stream of information is missing. For example, if subjects only hear someone who is familiar to them talking, without seeing their face, visual face-processing areas are active. One reason for this crossmodal activation might be that it is instrumental for early sensory processing of voices-a hypothesis that is contrary to current models of unisensory perception. Here, we test this hypothesis by harnessing a temporally highly resolved method, i.e., magnetoencephalography (MEG), to identify the temporal response profile of the fusiform face area in response to auditory-only voice recognition. Participants briefly learned a set of voices audio-visually, i.e., together with a talking face. After learning, we measured subjects' MEG signals in response to the auditory-only, now familiar, voices. The results revealed three key mechanisms that characterize the sensory processing of familiar speakers' voices: (i) activation in the face-sensitive fusiform gyrus at very early auditory processing stages, i.e., only 100ms after auditory onset, (ii) a temporal facilitation of auditory processing (M200), and (iii) a correlation of this temporal facilitation with recognition performance. These findings suggest that a neural representation of face information is evoked before the identity of the voice is even recognized and that the brain uses this visual representation to facilitate early sensory processing of auditory-only voices.

  9. Components of vestibular cortical function.

    PubMed

    Klingner, Carsten M; Volk, Gerd F; Flatz, Claudia; Brodoehl, Stefan; Dieterich, Marianne; Witte, Otto W; Guntinas-Lichius, Orlando

    2013-01-01

    It is known that the functional response (e.g., nystagmus) to caloric vestibular stimulation is delayed and prolonged compared with the stimulus-response timing of other sensory systems. Imaging studies have used different models to predict cortical responses and to determine the areas of the brain that are involved. These studies have revealed a widespread network of vestibular brain regions. However, there is some disagreement regarding the brain areas involved, which may partly be caused by differences in the models used. This disagreement indicates the possible existence of multiple cortical components with different temporal characteristics that underlie cortical vestibular processing. However, data-driven methods have yet to be used to analyze the underlying hemodynamic components during and after vestibular stimulation. We performed functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) on 12 healthy subjects during caloric stimulation and analyzed these data using a model-free analysis method (ICA). We found seven independent stimulus-induced components that outline a robust pattern of cortical activation and deactivation. These independent components demonstrated significant differences in their time courses. No single-modeled response function was able to cover the entire range of these independent components. The response functions determined in the present study should improve model-based studies investigating vestibular cortical processing.

  10. High-pressure processing of Gorgonzola cheese: influence on Listeria monocytogenes inactivation and on sensory characteristics.

    PubMed

    Carminati, D; Gatti, M; Bonvini, B; Neviani, E; Mucchetti, G

    2004-08-01

    The presence of Listeria monocytogenes on the rind of Gorgonzola cheese is difficult to avoid. This contamination can easily occur as a consequence of handling during ripening. The aims of this study were to determine the efficiency of high-pressure processing (HPP) for inactivation of L. monocytogenes on cheese rind and to evaluate the influence of HPP treatments on sensory characteristics. Gorgonzola cheese rinds, after removal, were inoculated (about 7.0 log CFU/g) with L. monocytogenes strains previously isolated from other Gorgonzola cheeses. The inoculated cheese rinds were processed with an HPP apparatus under conditions of pressure and time ranging from 400 to 700 MPa for 1 to 15 min. Pressures higher than 600 MPa for 10 min or 700 MPa for 5 min reduced L. monocytogenes more than 99%. A reduction higher than 99.999% was achieved pressurizing cheese rinds at 700 MPa for 15 min. Lower pressure or time treatments were less effective and varied in effectiveness with the cheese sample. Changes in sensory properties possibly induced by the HPP were evaluated on four different Gorgonzola cheeses. A panel of 18 members judged the treated and untreated cheeses in a triangle test. Only one of the four pressurized cheeses was evaluated as different from the untreated sample. HPP was effective in the reduction of L. monocytogenes on Gorgonzola cheese rinds without significantly changing its sensory properties. High-pressure technology is a useful tool to improve the safety of this type of cheese.

  11. FMRI reveals abnormal central processing of sensory and pain stimuli in ill Gulf War veterans.

    PubMed

    Gopinath, Kaundinya; Gandhi, Parina; Goyal, Aman; Jiang, Lei; Fang, Yan; Ouyang, Luo; Ganji, Sandeepkumar; Buhner, David; Ringe, Wendy; Spence, Jeffrey; Biggs, Melanie; Briggs, Richard; Haley, Robert

    2012-06-01

    Many veterans chronically ill from the 1991 Gulf War exhibit symptoms of altered sensation, including chronic pain. In this study of 55 veterans of a Construction Battalion previously examined in 1995-1996 and 1997-1998, brain activation to innocuous and noxious heat stimuli was assessed in 2008-2009 with a quantitative sensory testing fMRI protocol in control veterans and groups representing three syndrome variants. Testing outside the scanner revealed no significant differences in warm detection or heat pain threshold among the four groups. In the fMRI study, Syndrome 1 and Syndrome 2, but not Syndrome 3, exhibited hypo-activation to innocuous heat and hyper-activation to noxious heat stimuli compared to controls. The results indicate abnormal central processing of sensory and painful stimuli in 2 of 3 variants of Gulf War illness and call for a more comprehensive study with a larger, representative sample of veterans.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Spontaneously emerging cortical representations of visual attributes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kenet, Tal; Bibitchkov, Dmitri; Tsodyks, Misha; Grinvald, Amiram; Arieli, Amos

    2003-10-01

    Spontaneous cortical activity-ongoing activity in the absence of intentional sensory input-has been studied extensively, using methods ranging from EEG (electroencephalography), through voltage sensitive dye imaging, down to recordings from single neurons. Ongoing cortical activity has been shown to play a critical role in development, and must also be essential for processing sensory perception, because it modulates stimulus-evoked activity, and is correlated with behaviour. Yet its role in the processing of external information and its relationship to internal representations of sensory attributes remains unknown. Using voltage sensitive dye imaging, we previously established a close link between ongoing activity in the visual cortex of anaesthetized cats and the spontaneous firing of a single neuron. Here we report that such activity encompasses a set of dynamically switching cortical states, many of which correspond closely to orientation maps. When such an orientation state emerged spontaneously, it spanned several hypercolumns and was often followed by a state corresponding to a proximal orientation. We suggest that dynamically switching cortical states could represent the brain's internal context, and therefore reflect or influence memory, perception and behaviour.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-16

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

  16. The impact of systemic cortical alterations on perception

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Zheng

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  20. Effect of radiation processing on nutritional and sensory quality of minimally processed green gram and garden pea sprouts

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hajare, Sachin N.; Saroj, Sunil D.; Dhokane, Varsha S.; Shashidhar, R.; Bandekar, Jayant R.

    2007-10-01

    In the present study, radiation processing of minimally processed green gram and garden pea sprouts was carried out at doses 1 and 2 kGy. The effect of this treatment on different quality parameters like vitamin C content, total carotenoids content, sensory quality, texture, and color was determined over a storage period of 12 days at two different temperatures, a 4 and 8 °C. It was observed that treatment of irradiation (1 and 2 kGy) and storage period did not have any significant effect on vitamin C content of control as well as irradiated sprout samples stored at 4 and 8 °C. Total carotenoids content of sprouts stored at 4, as well as at 8 °C, for 12 days remained almost unchanged after irradiation as well as during storage. Sensory evaluation studies showed that irradiation had no significant effect ( p>0.05) on the ratings of any of the sensory attributes in green gram as well as garden pea sprouts and, thus, did not alter the overall acceptability of the irradiated sprouts. Textural studies revealed that there was no significant change ( p>0.05) in the firmness of irradiated sprouts (1 and 2 kGy) as compared to control samples at both the temperatures. Storage period of 12 days also did not affect the firmness of sprouts significantly. Color measurement results indicated no drastic change in the color coordinates of the green gram samples except greenness of controls stored at both the temperatures, which showed insignificant decrease in the a* values. Thus, the nutritional as well as sensory quality of minimally processed green gram and garden pea sprouts did not alter significantly after gamma irradiation with a dose of 1 and 2 kGy.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  2. Different modalities of painful somatosensory stimulations affect anticipatory cortical processes: a high-resolution EEG study.

    PubMed

    Babiloni, Claudio; Brancucci, Alfredo; Capotosto, Paolo; Del Percio, Claudio; Romani, Gian Luca; Arendt-Nielsen, Lars; Rossini, Paolo Maria

    2007-03-15

    Pain sensation is characterized by multiple features that allow to differentiate pricking, burning, aching, stinging, and electrical shock. These features are sub-served by neural pathways that might give flexibility and selectivity to the cerebral anticipatory processes. In this line, the present high-resolution electroencephalography (EEG) study tested the hypothesis that the anticipatory cortical processes are stronger for painful thermal (biologically relevant) than electrical ("artificial") stimuli with similar intensity. EEG data (128 electrodes) were recorded in normal subjects during the expectancy of painful electrical or laser stimuli (visual omitted stimulus paradigm; interval between two painful stimuli: 16s), delivered over the median nerve region of the right arm (nonpainful stimuli as controls). After each stimulus, the subject reported the perceived stimulus intensity. Surface Laplacian estimation of the EEG data spatially enhanced the anticipatory stimulus-preceding negativity (SPN), which reflects motivational relevance of the stimulus. Subjects perceived no difference in the intensity of the electrical versus laser stimuli in both painful and nonpainful conditions. However, the anticipatory SPN appeared over large scalp regions before painful laser but not electrical stimulation. The same was true for the nonpainful stimulations. The present results suggest that the motivational anticipatory cortical processes are induced by nonpainful and painful biologically/ecologically relevant laser stimuli rather than by "artificial" electrical stimuli with similar intensity.

  3. Set and setting: how behavioral state regulates sensory function and plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Aton, Sara J.

    2013-01-01

    Recently developed neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques are allowing us to answer fundamental questions about how behavioral states regulate our perception of the external environment. Studies using these techniques have yielded surprising insights into how sensory processing is affected at the earliest stages by attention and motivation, and how new sensory information received during wakefulness (e.g., during learning) continues to affect sensory brain circuits (leading to plastic changes) during subsequent sleep. This review aims to describe how brain states affect sensory response properties among neurons in primary and secondary sensory cortices, and how this relates to psychophysical detection thresholds and performance on sensory discrimination tasks. This is not intended to serve as a comprehensive overview of all brain states, or all sensory systems, but instead as an illustrative description of how three specific state variables (attention, motivation, and vigilance [i.e., sleep vs. wakefulness]) affect sensory systems in which they have been best studied. PMID:23792020

  4. Epileptiform activity in the mouse visual cortex interferes with cortical processing in connected areas

    PubMed Central

    Petrucco, L.; Pracucci, E.; Brondi, M.; Ratto, G. M.; Landi, S.

    2017-01-01

    Epileptiform activity is associated with impairment of brain function even in absence of seizures, as demonstrated by failures in various testing paradigm in presence of hypersynchronous interictal spikes (ISs). Clinical evidence suggests that cognitive deficits might be directly caused by the anomalous activity rather than by its underlying etiology. Indeed, we seek to understand whether ISs interfere with neuronal processing in connected areas not directly participating in the hypersynchronous activity in an acute model of epilepsy. Here we cause focal ISs in the visual cortex of anesthetized mice and we determine that, even if ISs do not invade the opposite hemisphere, the local field potential is subtly disrupted with a modulation of firing probability imposed by the contralateral IS activity. Finally, we find that visual processing is altered depending on the temporal relationship between ISs and stimulus presentation. We conclude that focal ISs interact with normal cortical dynamics far from the epileptic focus, disrupting endogenous oscillatory rhythms and affecting information processing. PMID:28071688

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

    PubMed Central

    Atencio, Craig A.; Schreiner, Christoph E.

    2008-01-01

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

  6. Cortical Neural Computation by Discrete Results Hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Castejon, Carlos; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Cortical Neural Computation by Discrete Results Hypothesis

    PubMed Central

    Castejon, Carlos; Nuñez, Angel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

  9. The special status of sad infant faces: age and valence differences in adults' cortical face processing.

    PubMed

    Colasante, Tyler; Mossad, Sarah I; Dudek, Joanna; Haley, David W

    2016-12-20

    Understanding the relative and joint prioritization of age- and valence-related face characteristics in adults' cortical face processing remains elusive because these two characteristics have not been manipulated in a single study of neural face processing. We used electroencephalography to investigate adults' P1, N170, P2 and LPP responses to infant and adult faces with happy and sad facial expressions. Viewing infant vs adult faces was associated with significantly larger P1, N170, P2 and LPP responses, with hemisphere and/or participant gender moderating this effect in select cases. Sad faces were associated with significantly larger N170 responses than happy faces. Sad infant faces were associated with significantly larger N170 responses in the right hemisphere than all other combinations of face age and face valence characteristics. We discuss the relative and joint neural prioritization of infant face characteristics and negative facial affect, and their biological value as distinct caregiving and social cues.

  10. Developmental Risk Signals as a Screening Tool for Early Identification of Sensory Processing Disorders.

    PubMed

    Bolaños, Cristina; Gomez, M Marlene; Ramos, Gregorio; Rios Del Rio, Janina

    2016-06-01

    The main purpose of this research was to determine if the indicators of risk included in the Indicators of Developmental Risk Signals (INDIPCD-R) could differentiate between children at risk of sensory processing disorders (SPDs) from those with normal development and if the SPD indicators correlated with a delay or altered development. A retrospective, descriptive, correlational design was used with a sample of 51 children, 36 referred because of clinical sensory processing indicators and 15 with non-clinical indicators. Participants were assessed with a developmental scale Revised Profile of Developmental Behaviors (PCD-R), the Sensory Profile, play and clinical observations. The INDIPCD-R showed a high correlation with developmental areas of PCD-R and a sensitivity and specificity of 100%, when compared with the Sensory Profile. T-test results for independent samples showed significant differences at p ≤ 0.01 level between the children with SPD indicators and those with no clinical signs in the PCD-R. The Mann-Whitney U-test was conducted for unpaired samples, to verify if there were significant differences between children with apparent SPD indicators and children with no apparent difficulties. The Spearman's rho was used to identify the correlations between the INDIPCD-R, with different areas of development. This study supports the use of the INDIPCD-R as a screening instrument that could be used by occupational therapists to discriminate children with and without indicators of SPD. The limitation of this study was that it did not cover all the ages of the INDIPCD-R. Additional studies are required to determine the utility of this instrument for outcome studies and whether it is valid and reliable to identify children at risk of different pathologies. The INDIPCD-R is a low-cost instrument that allows the occupational therapist to make a quick review of the different components that could be involved in SPD and therefore guide the more in

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  12. A Two-Stage Process Model of Sensory Discrimination: An Alternative to Drift-Diffusion.

    PubMed

    Sun, Peng; Landy, Michael S

    2016-11-02

    Discrimination of the direction of motion of a noisy stimulus is an example of sensory discrimination under uncertainty. For stimuli that are extended in time, reaction time is quicker for larger signal values (e.g., discrimination of opposite directions of motion compared with neighboring orientations) and larger signal strength (e.g., stimuli with higher contrast or motion coherence, that is, lower noise). The standard model of neural responses (e.g., in lateral intraparietal cortex) and reaction time for discrimination is drift-diffusion. This model makes two clear predictions. (1) The effects of signal strength and value on reaction time should interact multiplicatively because the diffusion process depends on the signal-to-noise ratio. (2) If the diffusion process is interrupted, as in a cued-response task, the time to decision after the cue should be independent of the strength of accumulated sensory evidence. In two experiments with human participants, we show that neither prediction holds. A simple alternative model is developed that is consistent with the results. In this estimate-then-decide model, evidence is accumulated until estimation precision reaches a threshold value. Then, a decision is made with duration that depends on the signal-to-noise ratio achieved by the first stage.

  13. Enriched and Deprived Sensory Experience Induces Structural Changes and Rewires Connectivity during the Postnatal Development of the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bengoetxea, Harkaitz; Ortuzar, Naiara; Bulnes, Susana; Rico-Barrio, Irantzu; Lafuente, José Vicente; Argandoña, Enrike G.

    2012-01-01

    During postnatal development, sensory experience modulates cortical development, inducing numerous changes in all of the components of the cortex. Most of the cortical changes thus induced occur during the critical period, when the functional and structural properties of cortical neurons are particularly susceptible to alterations. Although the time course for experience-mediated sensory development is specific for each system, postnatal development acts as a whole, and if one cortical area is deprived of its normal sensory inputs during early stages, it will be reorganized by the nondeprived senses in a process of cross-modal plasticity that not only increases performance in the remaining senses when one is deprived, but also rewires the brain allowing the deprived cortex to process inputs from other senses and cortices, maintaining the modular configuration. This paper summarizes our current understanding of sensory systems development, focused specially in the visual system. It delineates sensory enhancement and sensory deprivation effects at both physiological and anatomical levels and describes the use of enriched environment as a tool to rewire loss of brain areas to enhance other active senses. Finally, strategies to apply restorative features in human-deprived senses are studied, discussing the beneficial and detrimental effects of cross-modal plasticity in prostheses and sensory substitution devices implantation. PMID:22848849

  14. Environmental Acoustic Enrichment Promotes Recovery from Developmentally Degraded Auditory Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    It has previously been shown that environmental enrichment can enhance structural plasticity in the brain and thereby improve cognitive and behavioral function. In this study, we reared developmentally noise-exposed rats in an acoustic-enriched environment for ∼4 weeks to investigate whether or not enrichment could restore developmentally degraded behavioral and neuronal processing of sound frequency. We found that noise-exposed rats had significantly elevated sound frequency discrimination thresholds compared with age-matched naive rats. Environmental acoustic enrichment nearly restored to normal the behavioral deficit resulting from early disrupted acoustic inputs. Signs of both degraded frequency selectivity of neurons as measured by the bandwidth of frequency tuning curves and decreased long-term potentiation of field potentials recorded in the primary auditory cortex of these noise-exposed rats also were reversed partially. The observed behavioral and physiological effects induced by enrichment were accompanied by recovery of cortical expressions of certain NMDA and GABAA receptor subunits and brain-derived neurotrophic factor. These studies in a rodent model show that environmental acoustic enrichment promotes recovery from early noise-induced auditory cortical dysfunction and indicate a therapeutic potential of this noninvasive approach for normalizing neurological function from pathologies that cause hearing and associated language impairments in older children and adults. PMID:24741032

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Functional changes in inter- and intra-hemispheric cortical processing underlying degraded speech perception.

    PubMed

    Bidelman, Gavin M; Howell, Megan

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that at poorer signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), auditory cortical event-related potentials are weakened, prolonged, and show a shift in the functional lateralization of cerebral processing from left to right hemisphere. Increased right hemisphere involvement during speech-in-noise (SIN) processing may reflect the recruitment of additional brain resources to aid speech recognition or alternatively, the progressive loss of involvement from left linguistic brain areas as speech becomes more impoverished (i.e., nonspeech-like). To better elucidate the brain basis of SIN perception, we recorded neuroelectric activity in normal hearing listeners to speech sounds presented at various SNRs. Behaviorally, listeners obtained superior SIN performance for speech presented to the right compared to the left ear (i.e., right ear advantage). Source analysis of neural data assessed the relative contribution of region-specific neural generators (linguistic and auditory brain areas) to SIN processing. We found that left inferior frontal brain areas (e.g., Broca's areas) partially disengage at poorer SNRs but responses do not right lateralize with increasing noise. In contrast, auditory sources showed more resilience to noise in left compared to right primary auditory cortex but also a progressive shift in dominance from left to right hemisphere at lower SNRs. Region- and ear-specific correlations revealed that listeners' right ear SIN advantage was predicted by source activity emitted from inferior frontal gyrus (but not primary auditory cortex). Our findings demonstrate changes in the functional asymmetry of cortical speech processing during adverse acoustic conditions and suggest that "cocktail party" listening skills depend on the quality of speech representations in the left cerebral hemisphere rather than compensatory recruitment of right hemisphere mechanisms.

  17. Early acoustic discrimination experience ameliorates auditory processing deficits in male rats with cortical developmental disruption

    PubMed Central

    Threlkeld, Steven W.; Hill, Courtney A.; Rosen, Glenn D.; Fitch, R. Holly

    2014-01-01

    Auditory temporal processing deficits have been suggested to play a causal role in language learning impairments, and evidence of cortical developmental anomalies (microgyria (MG), ectopia) has been reported for language-impaired populations. Rodent models have linked these features, by showing deficits in auditory temporal discrimination for rats with neuronal migration anomalies (MG, ectopia). Since evidence from human studies suggests that training with both speech and non-speech acoustic stimuli may improve language performance in developmentally language-disabled populations, we were interested in whether/how maturation and early experience might influence auditory processing deficits seen in male rats with induced focal cortical MG. Results showed that for both simple (Normal single tone), as well as increasingly complex auditory discrimination tasks (Silent gap in white noise and FM sweep), prior experience significantly improved acoustic discrimination performance -- in fact, beyond improvements seen with maturation only. Further, we replicated evidence that young adult rats with MG were significantly impaired at discriminating FM sweeps compared to shams. However, these MG effects were no longer seen when experienced subjects were retested in adulthood (even though deficits in short duration FM sweep detection were seen for adult MG rats with no early experience). Thus while some improvements in auditory processing were seen with normal maturation, the effects of early experience were even more profound, in fact resulting in amelioration of MG effects seen at earlier ages. These findings support the clinical view that early training intervention with appropriate acoustic stimuli could similarly ameliorate long-term processing impairments seen in some language-impaired children. PMID:19460626

  18. Brain size and visual environment predict species differences in paper wasp sensory processing brain regions (hymenoptera: vespidae, polistinae).

    PubMed

    O'Donnell, Sean; Clifford, Marie R; DeLeon, Sara; Papa, Christopher; Zahedi, Nazaneen; Bulova, Susan J

    2013-01-01

    The mosaic brain evolution hypothesis predicts that the relative volumes of functionally distinct brain regions will vary independently and correlate with species' ecology. Paper wasp species (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Polistinae) differ in light exposure: they construct open versus enclosed nests and one genus (Apoica) is nocturnal. We asked whether light environments were related to species differences in the size of antennal and optic processing brain tissues. Paper wasp brains have anatomically distinct peripheral and central regions that process antennal and optic sensory inputs. We measured the volumes of 4 sensory processing brain regions in paper wasp species from 13 Neotropical genera including open and enclosed nesters, and diurnal and nocturnal species. Species differed in sensory region volumes, but there was no evidence for trade-offs among sensory modalities. All sensory region volumes correlated with brain size. However, peripheral optic processing investment increased with brain size at a higher rate than peripheral antennal processing investment. Our data suggest that mosaic and concerted (size-constrained) brain evolution are not exclusive alternatives. When brain regions increase with brain size at different rates, these distinct allometries can allow for differential investment among sensory modalities. As predicted by mosaic evolution, species ecology was associated with some aspects of brain region investment. Nest architecture variation was not associated with brain investment differences, but the nocturnal genus Apoica had the largest antennal:optic volume ratio in its peripheral sensory lobes. Investment in central processing tissues was not related to nocturnality, a pattern also noted in mammals. The plasticity of neural connections in central regions may accommodate evolutionary shifts in input from the periphery with relatively minor changes in volume.

  19. Cortical and subcortical processing of short duration speech stimuli in trained rock musicians: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Prawin; Anil, Sam Publius; Grover, Vibhu; Sanju, Himanshu Kumar; Sinha, Sachchidanand

    2017-02-01

    Most trained musicians are actively involved in rigorous practice from several years to achieve a high level of proficiency. Therefore, musicians are best group to research changes or modification in brain structures and functions across several information processing systems. This study aimed to investigate cortical and subcortical processing of short duration speech stimuli in trained rock musicians and non-musicians. Two groups of participant (experimental and control groups) in the age range of 18-25 years were selected for the study. Experimental group includes 15 rock musicians who had minimum professional training of 5 years of rock music, and each member had to be a regular performer of rock music for at least 15 h a week. Further age-matched 15 participants who were not having any formal training of any music served as non-musicians, in the control group. The speech-evoked ABR (S-ABR) and speech-evoked ALLR (S-LLR) with short duration speech 'synthetic /da/' was elicited in both groups. Different measures were analyzed for S-ABR and S-LLR. For S-ABR, MANOVA revealed significant main effect of groups on latencies of wave V, wave A, and amplitude of wave V/A slope. Similarly, Kruskal-Wallis test showed significantly higher F 0 amplitude in rock musicians compared with non-musicians. For S-LLR, MANOVA showed statistically significant differences observed for latencies of wave P2 and N2 and amplitude measures of P2-N2 amplitude. This study indicated better neural processing of short duration speech stimuli at subcortical as well as cortical level among rock musicians when compared with non-musicians.

  20. An oblique illusion modulated by visibility: non-monotonic sensory integration in orientation processing.

    PubMed

    de Gardelle, Vincent; Kouider, Sid; Sackur, Jérôme

    2010-08-12

    Orientation perception is known to be anisotropic, with cardinal axes (i.e., horizontal and vertical) being privileged. Indeed, orientation sensitivity is greater near the cardinals, and small deviations from cardinal axes may be illusorily perceived in an exaggerated manner. Here, we quantified this illusory deviation from the cardinals at various visibility levels, by having participants reproduce the orientation of oriented Gabor stimuli whose visibility was manipulated by duration and masking. We found, first, that participants could reproduce quite accurately the orientation of very brief stimuli presented at lowest visibility levels. Second, the magnitude of the deviation followed a non-monotonic pattern, being maximal for stimuli of intermediate visibility, and lower for both the lowest and highest visibility levels. Thus, orientation processing at lowest visibility levels is noisier but paradoxically more faithful to the physical input. This counterintuitive result suggests that categorical processing of sensory information depends on perceptual awareness.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  2. Combined LTP and LTD of modulatory inputs controls neuronal processing of primary sensory inputs.

    PubMed

    Doiron, Brent; Zhao, Yanjun; Tzounopoulos, Thanos

    2011-07-20

    A hallmark of brain organization is the integration of primary and modulatory pathways by principal neurons. However, the pathway interactions that shape primary input processing remain unknown. We investigated this problem in mouse dorsal cochlear nucleus (DCN) where principal cells integrate primary, auditory nerve input with modulatory, parallel fiber input. Using a combined experimental and computational approach, we show that combined LTP and LTD of parallel fiber inputs to DCN principal cells and interneurons, respectively, broaden the time window within which synaptic inputs summate. Enhanced summation depolarizes the resting membrane potential and thus lowers the response threshold to auditory nerve inputs. Combined LTP and LTD, by preserving the variance of membrane potential fluctuations and the membrane time constant, fixes response gain and spike latency as threshold is lowered. Our data reveal a novel mechanism mediating adaptive and concomitant homeostatic regulation of distinct features of neuronal processing of sensory inputs.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-29

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

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

  5. The interplay between sensory processing abnormalities, intolerance of uncertainty, anxiety and restricted and repetitive behaviours in autism spectrum disorder.

    PubMed

    Wigham, Sarah; Rodgers, Jacqui; South, Mikle; McConachie, Helen; Freeston, Mark

    2015-04-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities, anxiety and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs) frequently co-occur in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Though the relationship between these phenomena is not well understood, emerging evidence indicates intolerance of uncertainty (IU) may play an important role. This study aimed to determine pathways between sensory abnormalities and RRBs, and the role anxiety and IU may have. We gathered caregiver report data for 53 children with ASD aged 8-16 years. We found sensory under responsiveness and sensory over responsiveness were significantly associated with repetitive motor and insistence on sameness behaviours, and the relationships significantly mediated by IU and anxiety. Our findings indicate different mechanisms may underpin repetitive motor and insistence on sameness RRBs, which can inform treatment interventions.

  6. Stochastic characterization of small-scale algorithms for human sensory processing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neri, Peter

    2010-12-01

    Human sensory processing can be viewed as a functional H mapping a stimulus vector s into a decisional variable r. We currently have no direct access to r; rather, the human makes a decision based on r in order to drive subsequent behavior. It is this (typically binary) decision that we can measure. For example, there may be two external stimuli s[0] and s[1], mapped onto r[0] and r[1] by the sensory apparatus H; the human chooses the stimulus associated with largest r. This kind of decisional transduction poses a major challenge for an accurate characterization of H. In this article, we explore a specific approach based on a behavioral variant of reverse correlation techniques, where the input s contains a target signal corrupted by a controlled noisy perturbation. The presence of the target signal poses an additional challenge because it distorts the otherwise unbiased nature of the noise source. We consider issues arising from both the decisional transducer and the target signal, their impact on system identification, and ways to handle them effectively for system characterizations that extend to second-order functional approximations with associated small-scale cascade models.

  7. Sensors and sensory processing for airborne vibrations in silk moths and honeybees.

    PubMed

    Ai, Hiroyuki

    2013-07-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lanza, Barbara

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Grajski, Kamil A.

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Pulsed Out of Awareness: EEG Alpha Oscillations Represent a Pulsed-Inhibition of Ongoing Cortical Processing

    PubMed Central

    Mathewson, Kyle E.; Lleras, Alejandro; Beck, Diane M.; Fabiani, Monica; Ro, Tony; Gratton, Gabriele

    2011-01-01

    Alpha oscillations are ubiquitous in the brain, but their role in cortical processing remains a matter of debate. Recently, evidence has begun to accumulate in support of a role for alpha oscillations in attention selection and control. Here we first review evidence that 8–12 Hz oscillations in the brain have a general inhibitory role in cognitive processing, with an emphasis on their role in visual processing. Then, we summarize the evidence in support of our recent proposal that alpha represents a pulsed-inhibition of ongoing neural activity. The phase of the ongoing electroencephalography can influence evoked activity and subsequent processing, and we propose that alpha exerts its inhibitory role through alternating microstates of inhibition and excitation. Finally, we discuss evidence that this pulsed-inhibition can be entrained to rhythmic stimuli in the environment, such that preferential processing occurs for stimuli at predictable moments. The entrainment of preferential phase may provide a mechanism for temporal attention in the brain. This pulsed inhibitory account of alpha has important implications for many common cognitive phenomena, such as the attentional blink, and seems to indicate that our visual experience may at least some times be coming through in waves. PMID:21779257

  12. Caramel as a Model System for Evaluating the Roles of Mechanical Properties and Oral Processing on Sensory Perception of Texture.

    PubMed

    Wagoner, Ty B; Luck, Paige J; Foegeding, E Allen

    2016-03-01

    Food formulation can have a significant impact on texture perception during oral processing. We hypothesized that slight modifications to caramel formulations would significantly alter mechanical and masticatory parameters, which can be used to explain differences in texture perception. A multidisciplinary approach was applied by evaluating relationships among mechanical properties, sensory texture, and oral processing. Caramels were utilized as a highly adhesive and cohesive model system and the formulation was adjusted to generate distinct differences in sensory hardness and adhesiveness. Descriptive analysis was used to determine sensory texture, and mechanical properties were evaluated by oscillatory rheology, creep recovery, and pressure sensitive tack measurements. Oral processing was measured by determining activity of anterior temporalis and masseter muscles via electromyography and tracking jaw movement during chewing. The substitution of agar or gelatin for corn syrup at 0.6% w/w of the total formulation resulted in increased sensory hardness and decreased adhesiveness. Creep recovery and pressure sensitive tack testing were more effective at differentiating among treatments than oscillatory rheology. Hardness correlated inversely with creep compliance, and both stickiness and tooth adhesiveness correlated with pressure sensitive adhesive force. Harder samples, despite being less adhesive, were associated with increased muscle activity and jaw movement during mastication. Tooth packing, not linked with any mechanical property, correlated with altered jaw movement. The combination of material properties and oral processing parameters were able to explain all sensory texture differences in a highly adhesive food.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-12

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Divergent Human Cortical Regions for Processing Distinct Acoustic-Semantic Categories of Natural Sounds: Animal Action Sounds vs. Vocalizations

    PubMed Central

    Webster, Paula J.; Skipper-Kallal, Laura M.; Frum, Chris A.; Still, Hayley N.; Ward, B. Douglas; Lewis, James W.

    2017-01-01

    A major gap in our understanding of natural sound processing is knowledge of where or how in a cortical hierarchy differential processing leads to categorical perception at a semantic level. Here, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) we sought to determine if and where cortical pathways in humans might diverge for processing action sounds vs. vocalizations as distinct acoustic-semantic categories of real-world sound when matched for duration and intensity. This was tested by using relatively less semantically complex natural sounds produced by non-conspecific animals rather than humans. Our results revealed a striking double-dissociation of activated networks bilaterally. This included a previously well described pathway preferential for processing vocalization signals directed laterally from functionally defined primary auditory cortices to the anterior superior temporal gyri, and a less well-described pathway preferential for processing animal action sounds directed medially to the posterior insulae. We additionally found that some of these regions and associated cortical networks showed parametric sensitivity to high-order quantifiable acoustic signal attributes and/or to perceptual features of the natural stimuli, such as the degree of perceived recognition or intentional understanding. Overall, these results supported a neurobiological theoretical framework for how the mammalian brain may be fundamentally organized to process acoustically and acoustic-semantically distinct categories of ethologically valid, real-world sounds. PMID:28111538

  16. Cortical Hubs Form a Module for Multisensory Integration on Top of the Hierarchy of Cortical Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

    Sensory stimuli entering the nervous system follow particular paths of processing, typically separated (segregated) from the paths of other modal information. However, sensory perception, awareness and cognition emerge from the combination of information (integration). The corticocortical networks of cats and macaque monkeys display three prominent characteristics: (i) modular organisation (facilitating the segregation), (ii) abundant alternative processing paths and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs. Here, we study in detail the organisation and potential function of the cortical hubs by graph analysis and information theoretical methods. We find that the cortical hubs form a spatially delocalised, but topologically central module with the capacity to integrate multisensory information in a collaborative manner. With this, we resolve the underlying anatomical substrate that supports the simultaneous capacity of the cortex to segregate and to integrate multisensory information. PMID:20428515

  17. Cortical hubs form a module for multisensory integration on top of the hierarchy of cortical networks.

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

    Sensory stimuli entering the nervous system follow particular paths of processing, typically separated (segregated) from the paths of other modal information. However, sensory perception, awareness and cognition emerge from the combination of information (integration). The corticocortical networks of cats and macaque monkeys display three prominent characteristics: (i) modular organisation (facilitating the segregation), (ii) abundant alternative processing paths and (iii) the presence of highly connected hubs. Here, we study in detail the organisation and potential function of the cortical hubs by graph analysis and information theoretical methods. We find that the cortical hubs form a spatially delocalised, but topologically central module with the capacity to integrate multisensory information in a collaborative manner. With this, we resolve the underlying anatomical substrate that supports the simultaneous capacity of the cortex to segregate and to integrate multisensory information.

  18. Sensory-processing sensitivity moderates the association between childhood experiences and adult life satisfaction

    PubMed Central

    Booth, Charlotte; Standage, Helen; Fox, Elaine

    2015-01-01

    There are few studies testing the differential susceptibility hypothesis (DSH: hypothesizing that some individuals are more responsive to both positive and negative experiences) with adult personality traits. The current study examined the DSH by investigating the moderating effect of sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) on childhood experiences and life satisfaction. A total of 185 adults completed measures of SPS, positive/negative childhood experiences and life satisfaction. SPS did moderate the association between childhood experiences and life satisfaction. Simple slopes analysis compared those reporting high and low SPS (+/− 1 SD) and revealed that the difference was observed only for those who reported negative childhood experiences; with the high SPS group reporting lower life satisfaction. There was no difference observed in those reporting positive childhood experiences, which supported a diathesis-stress model rather than the DSH. PMID:26688599

  19. Calcium-binding sites on sensory processes in vertebrate hair cells.

    PubMed Central

    Moran, D T; Rowley, J C; Asher, D L

    1981-01-01

    Vertebrate lateral line and vestibular systems center their function on highly mechanosensitive hair cells. Each hair cell is equipped with one kinocilium (which resembles a motile cilium) and 50-100 actin-containing stereocilia (which resemble microvilli) at the site of stimulus reception. This report describes electron-microscopic localization of calcium-binding sites on the sensory processes of vertebrate hair cells. Using the Oschman-Wall technique for calcium localization [Oschman, J. L. & Wall, B. J. (1972) J. Cell Biol. 55, 58-73] together with electron-probe x-ray microanalysis of thin sections, we observed: (i) calcium- and iron-containing deposits in the region of the ciliary necklace in goldfish lateral line hair cells, (ii) calcium deposits upon the surface of stereocilia of hair cells of the bullfrog inner ear, and (iii) calcium deposits upon stereocilia of hair cells of the guinea pig vestibular system. Images PMID:6973762

  20. Processing of a novel powdered herbal coffee (Pistacia Terebinthus L. Fruits Coffee) and its sensorial properties.

    PubMed

    Secilmis, S S; Yanık, D Kocak; Gogus, F

    2015-07-01

    In this study, the effects of roasting method, grinding and reduction in oil content on the characteristics of Pistacia terebinthus fruit coffee were investigated. Pistacia terebinthus fruit was roasted by microwave, pan and combined (microwave and convection) methods. The degree of roasting was determined by L*, a*, b* color values. The roasting times were 1,500, 1,900 and 1,620 s for microwave, pan and combined roasting methods, respectively. Cold press was used to reduce the oil content both prior to roasting and after the roasting. The oil content was reduced to around 21.5 % in all roasting methods to approach to that of coffee beans. Powdered Pistacia terebinthus fruit coffee brews were compared with each other and Turkish coffee in terms of aroma, flavor, acidity aftertaste, and overall acceptability. Sensorial analysis results showed that coffee brews prepared by pressing after the roasting process were better than those pressing prior to roasting.

  1. Sensory-processing sensitivity moderates the association between childhood experiences and adult life satisfaction.

    PubMed

    Booth, Charlotte; Standage, Helen; Fox, Elaine

    2015-12-01

    There are few studies testing the differential susceptibility hypothesis (DSH: hypothesizing that some individuals are more responsive to both positive and negative experiences) with adult personality traits. The current study examined the DSH by investigating the moderating effect of sensory-processing sensitivity (SPS) on childhood experiences and life satisfaction. A total of 185 adults completed measures of SPS, positive/negative childhood experiences and life satisfaction. SPS did moderate the association between childhood experiences and life satisfaction. Simple slopes analysis compared those reporting high and low SPS (+/-1 SD) and revealed that the difference was observed only for those who reported negative childhood experiences; with the high SPS group reporting lower life satisfaction. There was no difference observed in those reporting positive childhood experiences, which supported a diathesis-stress model rather than the DSH.

  2. Does a Sensory Processing Deficit Explain Counting Accuracy on Rapid Visual Sequencing Tasks in Adults with and without Dyslexia?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conlon, Elizabeth G.; Wright, Craig M.; Norris, Karla; Chekaluk, Eugene

    2011-01-01

    The experiments conducted aimed to investigate whether reduced accuracy when counting stimuli presented in rapid temporal sequence in adults with dyslexia could be explained by a sensory processing deficit, a general slowing in processing speed or difficulties shifting attention between stimuli. To achieve these aims, the influence of the…

  3. Thalamic control of sensory selection in divided attention.

    PubMed

    Wimmer, Ralf D; Schmitt, L Ian; Davidson, Thomas J; Nakajima, Miho; Deisseroth, Karl; Halassa, Michael M

    2015-10-29

    How the brain selects appropriate sensory inputs and suppresses distractors is unknown. Given the well-established role of the prefrontal cortex (PFC) in executive function, its interactions with sensory cortical areas during attention have been hypothesized to control sensory selection. To test this idea and, more generally, dissect the circuits underlying sensory selection, we developed a cross-modal divided-attention task in mice that allowed genetic access to this cognitive process. By optogenetically perturbing PFC function in a temporally precise window, the ability of mice to select appropriately between conflicting visual and auditory stimuli was diminished. Equivalent sensory thalamocortical manipulations showed that behaviour was causally dependent on PFC interactions with the sensory thalamus, not sensory cortex. Consistent with this notion, we found neurons of the visual thalamic reticular nucleus (visTRN) to exhibit PFC-dependent changes in firing rate predictive of the modality selected. visTRN activity was causal to performance as confirmed by bidirectional optogenetic manipulations of this subnetwork. Using a combination of electrophysiology and intracellular chloride photometry, we demonstrated that visTRN dynamically controls visual thalamic gain through feedforward inhibition. Our experiments introduce a new subcortical model of sensory selection, in which the PFC biases thalamic reticular subnetworks to control thalamic sensory gain, selecting appropriate inputs for further processing.

  4. Transcranial magnetic stimulation reveals two cortical pathways for visual body processing.

    PubMed

    Urgesi, Cosimo; Calvo-Merino, Beatriz; Haggard, Patrick; Aglioti, Salvatore M

    2007-07-25

    Visual recognition of human bodies is more difficult for upside down than upright presentations. This body inversion effect implies that body perception relies on configural rather than local processing. Although neuroimaging studies indicate that the visual processing of human bodies engages a large fronto-temporo-parietal network, information about the neural underpinnings of configural body processing is meager. Here, we used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) to study the causal role of premotor, visual, and parietal areas in configural processing of human bodies. Eighteen participants performed a delayed matching-to-sample task with upright or inverted static body postures. Event-related, dual-pulse rTMS was applied 150 ms after the sample stimulus onset, over left ventral premotor cortex (vPMc), right extrastriate body area (EBA), and right superior parietal lobe (SPL) and, as a control site, over the right primary visual cortex (V1). Interfering stimulation of vPMc significantly reduced accuracy of matching judgments for upright bodies. In contrast, EBA rTMS significantly reduced accuracy for inverted but not for upright bodies. Furthermore, a significant body inversion effect was observed after interfering stimulation of EBA and V1 but not of vPMc and SPL. These results demonstrate an active contribution of the fronto-parietal mirror network to configural processing of bodies and suggest a novel, embodied aspect of visual perception. In contrast, the local processing of the body, possibly based on the form of individual body parts instead of on the whole body unit, appears to depend on EBA. Therefore, we propose two distinct cortical routes for the visual processing of human bodies.

  5. Human cortical organization for processing vocalizations indicates representation of harmonic structure as a signal attribute.

    PubMed

    Lewis, James W; Talkington, William J; Walker, Nathan A; Spirou, George A; Jajosky, Audrey; Frum, Chris; Brefczynski-Lewis, Julie A

    2009-02-18

    The ability to detect and rapidly process harmonic sounds, which in nature are typical of animal vocalizations and speech, can be critical for communication among conspecifics and for survival. Single-unit studies have reported neurons in auditory cortex sensitive to specific combinations of frequencies (e.g., harmonics), theorized to rapidly abstract or filter for specific structures of incoming sounds, where large ensembles of such neurons may constitute spectral templates. We studied the contribution of harmonic structure to activation of putative spectral templates in human auditory cortex by using a wide variety of animal vocalizations, as well as artificially constructed iterated rippled noises (IRNs). Both the IRNs and vocalization sounds were quantitatively characterized by calculating a global harmonics-to-noise ratio (HNR). Using functional MRI, we identified HNR-sensitive regions when presenting either artificial IRNs and/or recordings of natural animal vocalizations. This activation included regions situated between functionally defined primary auditory cortices and regions preferential for processing human nonverbal vocalizations or speech sounds. These results demonstrate that the HNR of sound reflects an important second-order acoustic signal attribute that parametrically activates distinct pathways of human auditory cortex. Thus, these results provide novel support for the presence of spectral templates, which may subserve a major role in the hierarchical processing of vocalizations as a distinct category of behaviorally relevant sound.

  6. Functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation reveals the cortical networks for processing grasp-relevant object properties.

    PubMed

    Monaco, Simona; Chen, Ying; Medendorp, W P; Crawford, J D; Fiehler, Katja; Henriques, Denise Y P

    2014-06-01

    Grasping behaviors require the selection of grasp-relevant object dimensions, independent of overall object size. Previous neuroimaging studies found that the intraparietal cortex processes object size, but it is unknown whether the graspable dimension (i.e., grasp axis between selected points on the object) or the overall size of objects triggers activation in that region. We used functional magnetic resonance imaging adaptation to investigate human brain areas involved in processing the grasp-relevant dimension of real 3-dimensional objects in grasping and viewing tasks. Trials consisted of 2 sequential stimuli in which the object's grasp-relevant dimension, its global size, or both were novel or repeated. We found that calcarine and extrastriate visual areas adapted to object size regardless of the grasp-relevant dimension during viewing tasks. In contrast, the superior parietal occipital cortex (SPOC) and lateral occipital complex of the left hemisphere adapted to the grasp-relevant dimension regardless of object size and task. Finally, the dorsal premotor cortex adapted to the grasp-relevant dimension in grasping, but not in viewing, tasks, suggesting that motor processing was complete at this stage. Taken together, our results provide a complete cortical circuit for progressive transformation of general object properties into grasp-related responses.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Enhanced brainstem and cortical encoding of sound during synchronized movement.

    PubMed

    Nozaradan, Sylvie; Schönwiesner, Marc; Caron-Desrochers, Laura; Lehmann, Alexandre

    2016-11-15

    Movement to a steady beat has been widely studied as a model of alignment of motor outputs on sensory inputs. However, how the encoding of sensory inputs is shaped during synchronized movements along the sensory pathway remains unknown. To investigate this, we simultaneously recorded brainstem and cortical electro-encephalographic activity while participants listened to periodic amplitude-modulated tones. Participants listened either without moving or while tapping in sync on every second beat. Cortical responses were identified at the envelope modulation rate (beat frequency), whereas brainstem responses were identified at the partials frequencies of the chord and at their modulation by the beat frequency (sidebands). During sensorimotor synchronization, cortical responses at beat frequency were larger than during passive listening. Importantly, brainstem responses were also enhanced, with a selective amplification of the sidebands, in particular at the lower-pitched tone of the chord, and no significant correlation with electromyographic measures at tapping frequency. These findings provide first evidence for an online gain in the cortical and subcortical encoding of sounds during synchronized movement, selective to behavior-relevant sound features. Moreover, the frequency-tagging method to isolate concurrent brainstem and cortical activities even during actual movements appears promising to reveal coordinated processes along the human auditory pathway.

  9. A cortical circuit for gain control by behavioral state.

    PubMed

    Fu, Yu; Tucciarone, Jason M; Espinosa, J Sebastian; Sheng, Nengyin; Darcy, Daniel P; Nicoll, Roger A; Huang, Z Josh; Stryker, Michael P

    2014-03-13

    The brain's response to sensory input is strikingly modulated by behavioral state. Notably, the visual response of mouse primary visual cortex (V1) is enhanced by locomotion, a tractable and accessible example of a time-locked change in cortical state. The neural circuits that transmit behavioral state to sensory cortex to produce this modulation are unknown. In vivo calcium imaging of behaving animals revealed that locomotion activates vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-positive neurons in mouse V1 independent of visual stimulation and largely through nicotinic inputs from basal forebrain. Optogenetic activation of VIP neurons increased V1 visual responses in stationary awake mice, artificially mimicking the effect of locomotion, and photolytic damage of VIP neurons abolished the enhancement of V1 responses by locomotion. These findings establish a cortical circuit for the enhancement of visual response by locomotion and provide a potential common circuit for the modulation of sensory processing by behavioral state.

  10. Sensory-motor transformations for speech occur bilaterally.

    PubMed

    Cogan, Gregory B; Thesen, Thomas; Carlson, Chad; Doyle, Werner; Devinsky, Orrin; Pesaran, Bijan

    2014-03-06

    Historically, the study of speech processing has emphasized a strong link between auditory perceptual input and motor production output. A kind of 'parity' is essential, as both perception- and production-based representations must form a unified interface to facilitate access to higher-order language processes such as syntax and semantics, believed to be computed in the dominant, typically left hemisphere. Although various theories have been proposed to unite perception and production, the underlying neural mechanisms are unclear. Early models of speech and language processing proposed that perceptual processing occurred in the left posterior superior temporal gyrus (Wernicke's area) and motor production processes occurred in the left inferior frontal gyrus (Broca's area). Sensory activity was proposed to link to production activity through connecting fibre tracts, forming the left lateralized speech sensory-motor system. Although recent evidence indicates that speech perception occurs bilaterally, prevailing models maintain that the speech sensory-motor system is left lateralized and facilitates the transformation from sensory-based auditory representations to motor-based production representations. However, evidence for the lateralized computation of sensory-motor speech transformations is indirect and primarily comes from stroke patients that have speech repetition deficits (conduction aphasia) and studies using covert speech and haemodynamic functional imaging. Whether the speech sensory-motor system is lateralized, like higher-order language processes, or bilateral, like speech perception, is controversial. Here we use direct neural recordings in subjects performing sensory-motor tasks involving overt speech production to show that sensory-motor transformations occur bilaterally. We demonstrate that electrodes over bilateral inferior frontal, inferior parietal, superior temporal, premotor and somatosensory cortices exhibit robust sensory-motor neural

  11. Survival analysis applied to the sensory shelf-life dating of high hydrostatic pressure processed avocado and mango pulps.

    PubMed

    Jacobo-Velázquez, D A; Ramos-Parra, P A; Hernández-Brenes, C

    2010-08-01

    High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) pasteurized and refrigerated avocado and mango pulps contain lower microbial counts and thus are safer and acceptable for human consumption for a longer period of time, when compared to fresh unprocessed pulps. However, during their commercial shelf life, changes in their sensory characteristics take place and eventually produce the rejection of these products by consumers. Therefore, in the present study, the use of sensory evaluation was proposed for the shelf-life determinations of HHP-processed avocado and mango pulps. The study focused on evaluating the feasibility of applying survival analysis methodology to the data generated by consumers in order to determine the sensory shelf lives of both HHP-treated pulps of avocado and mango. Survival analysis proved to be an effective methodology for the estimation of the sensory shelf life of avocado and mango pulps processed with HHP, with potential application for other pressurized products. Practical Application: At present, HHP processing is one of the most effective alternatives for the commercial nonthermal pasteurization of fresh tropical fruits. HHP processing improves the microbial stability of the fruit pulps significantly; however, the products continue to deteriorate during their refrigerated storage mainly due to the action of residual detrimental enzymes. This article proposes the application of survival analysis methodology for the determination of the sensory shelf life of HHP-treated avocado and mango pulps. Results demonstrated that the procedure appears to be simple and practical for the sensory shelf-life determination of HHP-treated foods when their main mode of failure is not caused by increases in microbiological counts that can affect human health.

  12. Temperament trait of sensory processing sensitivity moderates cultural differences in neural response

    PubMed Central

    Ketay, Sarah; Hedden, Trey; Aron, Elaine N.; Rose Markus, Hazel; Gabrieli, John D. E.

    2010-01-01

    This study focused on a possible temperament-by-culture interaction. Specifically, it explored whether a basic temperament/personality trait (sensory processing sensitivity; SPS), perhaps having a genetic component, might moderate a previously established cultural difference in neural responses when making context-dependent vs context-independent judgments of simple visual stimuli. SPS has been hypothesized to underlie what has been called inhibitedness or reactivity in infants, introversion in adults, and reactivity or responsivness in diverse animal species. Some biologists view the trait as one of two innate strategies—observing carefully before acting vs being first to act. Thus the central characteristic of SPS is hypothesized to be a deep processing of information. Here, 10 European-Americans and 10 East Asians underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing simple visuospatial tasks emphasizing judgments that were either context independent (typically easier for Americans) or context dependent (typically easier for Asians). As reported elsewhere, each group exhibited greater activation for the culturally non-preferred task in frontal and parietal regions associated with greater effort in attention and working memory. However, further analyses, reported here for the first time, provided preliminary support for moderation by SPS. Consistent with the careful-processing theory, high-SPS individuals showed little cultural difference; low-SPS, strong culture differences. PMID:20388694

  13. Temperament trait of sensory processing sensitivity moderates cultural differences in neural response.

    PubMed

    Aron, Arthur; Ketay, Sarah; Hedden, Trey; Aron, Elaine N; Rose Markus, Hazel; Gabrieli, John D E

    2010-06-01

    This study focused on a possible temperament-by-culture interaction. Specifically, it explored whether a basic temperament/personality trait (sensory processing sensitivity; SPS), perhaps having a genetic component, might moderate a previously established cultural difference in neural responses when making context-dependent vs context-independent judgments of simple visual stimuli. SPS has been hypothesized to underlie what has been called inhibitedness or reactivity in infants, introversion in adults, and reactivity or responsivness in diverse animal species. Some biologists view the trait as one of two innate strategies-observing carefully before acting vs being first to act. Thus the central characteristic of SPS is hypothesized to be a deep processing of information. Here, 10 European-Americans and 10 East Asians underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging while performing simple visuospatial tasks emphasizing judgments that were either context independent (typically easier for Americans) or context dependent (typically easier for Asians). As reported elsewhere, each group exhibited greater activation for the culturally non-preferred task in frontal and parietal regions associated with greater effort in attention and working memory. However, further analyses, reported here for the first time, provided preliminary support for moderation by SPS. Consistent with the careful-processing theory, high-SPS individuals showed little cultural difference; low-SPS, strong culture differences.

  14. Cortical Midline Structures and Autobiographical-Self Processes: An Activation-Likelihood Estimation Meta-Analysis

    PubMed Central

    Araujo, Helder F.; Kaplan, Jonas; Damasio, Antonio

    2013-01-01

    The autobiographical-self refers to a mental state derived from the retrieval and assembly of memories regarding one’s biography. The process of retrieval and assembly, which can focus on biographical facts or personality traits or some combination thereof, is likely to vary according to the domain chosen for an experiment. To date, the investigation of the neural basis of this process has largely focused on the domain of personality traits using paradigms that contrasted the evaluation of one’s traits (self-traits) with those of another person’s (other-traits). This has led to the suggestion that cortical midline structures (CMSs) are specifically related to self states. Here, with the goal of testing this suggestion, we conducted activation-likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analyses based on data from 28 neuroimaging studies. The ALE results show that both self-traits and other-traits engage CMSs; however, the engagement of medial prefrontal cortex is greater for self-traits than for other-traits, while the posteromedial cortex is more engaged for other-traits than for self-traits. These findings suggest that the involvement CMSs is not specific to the evaluation of one’s own traits, but also occurs during the evaluation of another person’s traits. PMID:24027520

  15. Greater sensitivity of the cortical face processing system to perceptually-equated face detection

    PubMed Central

    Maher, S.; Ekstrom, T.; Tong, Y.; Nickerson, L.D.; Frederick, B.; Chen, Y.

    2015-01-01

    Face detection, the perceptual capacity to identify a visual stimulus as a face before probing deeper into specific attributes (such as its identity or emotion), is essential for social functioning. Despite the importance of this functional capacity, face detection and its underlying brain mechanisms are not well understood. This study evaluated the roles that the cortical face processing system, which is identified largely through studying other aspects of face perception, play in face detection. Specifically, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the activations of the fusifom face area (FFA), occipital face area (OFA) and superior temporal sulcus (STS) when face detection was isolated from other aspects of face perception and when face detection was perceptually-equated across individual human participants (n=20). During face detection, FFA and OFA were significantly activated, even for stimuli presented at perceptual-threshold levels, whereas STS was not. During tree detection, however, FFA and OFA were responsive only for highly salient (i.e., high contrast) stimuli. Moreover, activation of FFA during face detection predicted a significant portion of the perceptual performance levels that were determined psychophysically for each participant. This pattern of result indicates that FFA and OFA have a greater sensitivity to face detection signals and selectively support the initial process of face vs. non-face object perception. PMID:26592952

  16. From perceptual to lexico‐semantic analysis—cortical plasticity enabling new levels of processing

    PubMed Central

    Schlaffke, Lara; Rüther, Naima N.; Heba, Stefanie; Haag, Lauren M.; Schultz, Thomas; Rosengarth, Katharina; Tegenthoff, Martin; Bellebaum, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Certain kinds of stimuli can be processed on multiple levels. While the neural correlates of different levels of processing (LOPs) have been investigated to some extent, most of the studies involve skills and/or knowledge already present when performing the task. In this study we specifically sought to identify neural correlates of an evolving skill that allows the transition from perceptual to a lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Eighteen participants were trained to decode 12 letters of Morse code that were presented acoustically inside and outside of the scanner environment. Morse code was presented in trains of three letters while brain activity was assessed with fMRI. Participants either attended to the stimulus length (perceptual analysis), or evaluated its meaning distinguishing words from nonwords (lexico‐semantic analysis). Perceptual and lexico‐semantic analyses shared a mutual network comprising the left premotor cortex, the supplementary motor area (SMA) and the inferior parietal lobule (IPL). Perceptual analysis was associated with a strong brain activation in the SMA and the superior temporal gyrus bilaterally (STG), which remained unaltered from pre and post training. In the lexico‐semantic analysis post learning, study participants showed additional activation in the left inferior frontal cortex (IFC) and in the left occipitotemporal cortex (OTC), regions known to be critically involved in lexical processing. Our data provide evidence for cortical plasticity evolving with a learning process enabling the transition from perceptual to lexico‐semantic stimulus analysis. Importantly, the activation pattern remains task‐related LOP and is thus the result of a decision process as to which LOP to engage in. Hum Brain Mapp 36:4512–4528, 2015. © 2015 The Authors. Human Brain Mapping Published byWiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:26304153

  17. Sensory Processing Difficulties in Opsoclonus-Myoclonus Syndrome: A Pilot Project of Presentation and Possible Prevalence.

    PubMed

    Green, Dido; Lim, Ming; Lang, Bethan; Pohl, Keith; Turk, Jeremy

    2016-07-01

    Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome is a rare but serious neurological condition resulting in loss of control of eye movements, often accompanied by difficulties in posture and movement control with reports of sensory sensitivities potentially impacting on behavior. This pilot study characterizes the presence of atypical sensory behaviors in opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome through questionnaire survey of a cohort of families. The Short Sensory Profile, Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scale, and Developmental Behaviour Checklist were distributed to 30 families; 16 were returned anonymously. Atypical sensory behaviors were identified in a large proportion (62.5%). Children reported as being more anxious showed greater sensitivity to auditory stimuli, U(14) 11, P = .026. This is consistent with recent recognition of more extensive disease neurocognitive effects in Opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. Further research is needed to increase understanding of the complex pathology of this disease and to provide indicators for sensory and behavioral as well as pharmacological interventions.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  19. Early and phasic cortical metabolic changes in vestibular neuritis onset.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Spontaneous Fluctuations in Sensory Processing Predict Within-Subject Reaction Time Variability

    PubMed Central

    Ribeiro, Maria J.; Paiva, Joana S.; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    When engaged in a repetitive task our performance fluctuates from trial-to-trial. In particular, inter-trial reaction time variability has been the subject of considerable research. It has been claimed to be a strong biomarker of attention deficits, increases with frontal dysfunction, and predicts age-related cognitive decline. Thus, rather than being just a consequence of noise in the system, it appears to be under the control of a mechanism that breaks down under certain pathological conditions. Although the underlying mechanism is still an open question, consensual hypotheses are emerging regarding the neural correlates of reaction time inter-trial intra-individual variability. Sensory processing, in particular, has been shown to covary with reaction time, yet the spatio-temporal profile of the moment-to-moment variability in sensory processing is still poorly characterized. The goal of this study was to characterize the intra-individual variability in the time course of single-trial visual evoked potentials and its relationship with inter-trial reaction time variability. For this, we chose to take advantage of the high temporal resolution of the electroencephalogram (EEG) acquired while participants were engaged in a 2-choice reaction time task. We studied the link between single trial event-related potentials (ERPs) and reaction time using two different analyses: (1) time point by time point correlation analyses thereby identifying time windows of interest; and (2) correlation analyses between single trial measures of peak latency and amplitude and reaction time. To improve extraction of single trial ERP measures related with activation of the visual cortex, we used an independent component analysis (ICA) procedure. Our ERP analysis revealed a relationship between the N1 visual evoked potential and reaction time. The earliest time point presenting a significant correlation of its respective amplitude with reaction time occurred 175 ms after stimulus onset

  1. Spontaneous Fluctuations in Sensory Processing Predict Within-Subject Reaction Time Variability.

    PubMed

    Ribeiro, Maria J; Paiva, Joana S; Castelo-Branco, Miguel

    2016-01-01

    When engaged in a repetitive task our performance fluctuates from trial-to-trial. In particular, inter-trial reaction time variability has been the subject of considerable research. It has been claimed to be a strong biomarker of attention deficits, increases with frontal dysfunction, and predicts age-related cognitive decline. Thus, rather than being just a consequence of noise in the system, it appears to be under the control of a mechanism that breaks down under certain pathological conditions. Although the underlying mechanism is still an open question, consensual hypotheses are emerging regarding the neural correlates of reaction time inter-trial intra-individual variability. Sensory processing, in particular, has been shown to covary with reaction time, yet the spatio-temporal profile of the moment-to-moment variability in sensory processing is still poorly characterized. The goal of this study was to characterize the intra-individual variability in the time course of single-trial visual evoked potentials and its relationship with inter-trial reaction time variability. For this, we chose to take advantage of the high temporal resolution of the electroencephalogram (EEG) acquired while participants were engaged in a 2-choice reaction time task. We studied the link between single trial event-related potentials (ERPs) and reaction time using two different analyses: (1) time point by time point correlation analyses thereby identifying time windows of interest; and (2) correlation analyses between single trial measures of peak latency and amplitude and reaction time. To improve extraction of single trial ERP measures related with activation of the visual cortex, we used an independent component analysis (ICA) procedure. Our ERP analysis revealed a relationship between the N1 visual evoked potential and reaction time. The earliest time point presenting a significant correlation of its respective amplitude with reaction time occurred 175 ms after stimulus onset

  2. Effect of combination processing on the microbial, chemical and sensory quality of ready-to-eat (RTE) vegetable pulav

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kumar, R.; George, Johnsy; Rajamanickam, R.; Nataraju, S.; Sabhapathy, S. N.; Bawa, A. S.

    2011-12-01

    Effect of irradiation in combination with retort processing on the shelf life and safety aspects of an ethnic Indian food product like vegetable pulav was investigated. Gamma irradiation of RTE vegetable pulav was carried out at different dosage rates with 60Co followed by retort processing. The combination processed samples were analysed for microbiological, chemical and sensory characteristics. Microbiological analysis indicated that irradiation in combination with retort processing has significantly reduced the microbial loads whereas the chemical and sensory analysis proved that this combination processing is effective in retaining the properties even after storage for one year at ambient conditions. The results also indicated that a minimum irradiation dosage at 4.0 kGy along with retort processing at an F0 value of 2.0 is needed to achieve the desired shelf life with improved organoleptic qualities.

  3. The Interplay between Sensory Processing Abnormalities, Intolerance of Uncertainty, Anxiety and Restricted and Repetitive Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wigham, Sarah; Rodgers, Jacqui; South, Mikle; McConachie, Helen; Freeston, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Sensory processing abnormalities, anxiety and restricted and repetitive behaviours (RRBs) frequently co-occur in Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Though the relationship between these phenomena is not well understood, emerging evidence indicates intolerance of uncertainty (IU) may play an important role. This study aimed to determine pathways…

  4. Sensory Processing Disorder in a Primate Model: Evidence from a Longitudinal Study of Prenatal Alcohol and Prenatal Stress Effects

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Schneider, Mary L.; Moore, Colleen F.; Gajewski, Lisa L.; Larson, Julie A.; Roberts, Andrew D.; Converse, Alexander K.; DeJesus, Onofre T.

    2008-01-01

    Disrupted sensory processing, characterized by over- or underresponsiveness to environmental stimuli, has been reported in children with a variety of developmental disabilities. This study examined the effects of prenatal stress and moderate-level prenatal alcohol exposure on tactile sensitivity and its relationship to striatal dopamine system…

  5. Putamen neurons process both sensory and motor information during a complex task.

    PubMed

    Vicente, Ana F; Bermudez, Maria A; Romero, Maria Del Carmen; Perez, Rogelio; Gonzalez, Francisco

    2012-07-23

    The putamen has classically been considered to be primarily a motor structure. It is involved in a broad range of roles and its neurons have been postulated to function as pattern classifiers of behaviourally significant events. However, its specific role in motor and sensory processing is still unclear. For the purpose of better categorizing putamen neurons, we trained two rhesus monkeys to perform multisensory operant tasks by using complex stimuli such as short videoclips. Trials involved image or soundtrack or both. Some stimuli required a motor response associated to reward, whereas others did not require response and produced no reward. We found that neurons in the putamen showed pure visual responses, action-related activity, and reward responses. Insofar as action-related activity, preparation of movement, movement execution, and withholding of movement involved three different putamen neuron populations. Moreover, our data suggest an involvement of putamen neurons in processing primary rewards and visual events in a complex task, which may contribute to reinforcement learning through stimulus-reward association.

  6. Fermentation process for production of apple-based kefir vinegar: microbiological, chemical and sensory analysis.

    PubMed

    Viana, Roberta Oliveira; Magalhães-Guedes, Karina Teixeira; Braga, Roberto Alves; Dias, Disney Ribeiro; Schwan, Rosane Freitas

    2017-03-07

    The aim of this study was to develop a kefir apple-based vinegar and evaluate this fermentation process using new methodology with Biospeckle Laser. Brazilian kefir grains were inoculated in apple must for vinegar production. In this study, the microbial community present in kefir, and correspondent vinegar, was investigated using Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization - Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) technique. Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Lactobacillus paracasei, Lactobacillus plantarum, Acetobacter pasteurianus and Acetobacter syzygii were the microbial species identified. S. cerevisiae, L. plantarum, A. pasteurianus and A. syzygii were found in smaller quantities at the beginning of the alcoholic fermentation, but were found throughout the alcoholic and acetic fermentation. Kefir grains were able to utilize apple must as substrate to produce ethanol, and acetic acid. Acetate, volatile alcohols and aldehydes in the vinegar-based kefir were also produced. The yield of acetic acid in the kefir vinegars was ∼79%. The acetic acid concentration was ∼41gL(-1), reaching the required standard for the Brazilian legislation accepts it as vinegar (4.0% acetic acid). Kefir vinegar showed good acceptance in the sensory analysis. The technology proposed here is novel by the application of immobilized-cell biomass (kefir grains) providing a mixed inocula and eliminating the use of centrifuge at the end of the fermentative process. This step will save energy demand and investment. This is the first study to produce apple vinegar using kefir grains.

  7. ERP correlates of action effect prediction and visual sensory attenuation in voluntary action.

    PubMed

    Hughes, Gethin; Waszak, Florian

    2011-06-01

    Sensory attenuation of voluntary action effects has been widely reported in both somatosensory and auditory domains. However, relatively little research has focused on physiological measures of sensory attenuation of visual action effects. One previous study found, perhaps surprisingly, that both auditory and visual sensory attenuation were manifested as decreased ERP amplitude over the vertex. The present study aimed to extend these findings using a novel paradigm in which voluntary actions were either associated with a visual action effect or to no effect. Crucially, this allowed us to explore both sensory attenuation (by comparing ERPs to action-triggered versus externally triggered stimuli) and action effect prediction (by comparing actions that triggered a stimulus with actions that did not). With regard to sensory attenuation, we found that attenuation of cortical responses to visual action effects was manifested in a reduced activation of a frontoparietal network, from 150 ms after stimulus. Differences between actions that produced an effect and those that did not were observed in lateralized motor potentials and may reflect the cortical correlates of the action effect prediction. We also observed a re-activation of lateralized motor activity following onset of the action effect, suggesting a common representation of action effects in visual and motor cortices. Taken together, these findings help to elucidate the cortical mechanisms of voluntary action as well as their sensory consequences and inform how our interaction with the external world is processed and controlled.

  8. Cerebral-cortical networking and activation increase as a function of cognitive-motor task difficulty.

    PubMed

    Rietschel, Jeremy C; Miller, Matthew W; Gentili, Rodolphe J; Goodman, Ronald N; McDonald, Craig G; Hatfield, Bradley D

    2012-05-01

    Excessive increases in task difficulty typically result in marked attenuation of cognitive-motor performance. The psychomotor efficiency hypothesis suggests that poor performance is mediated by non-essential neural activity and cerebral cortical networking (inefficient cortical dynamics). This phenomenon may underlie the inverse relationship between excessive task difficulty and performance. However, investigation of the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis as it relates to task difficulty has not been conducted. The present study used electroencephalography (EEG) to examine cerebral cortical dynamics while participants were challenged with both Easy and Hard conditions during a cognitive-motor task (Tetris(®)). In accord with the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis, it was predicted that with increases in task difficulty, participants would demonstrate greater 'neural effort,' as indexed by EEG spectral power and cortical networking (i.e., EEG coherence) between the premotor (motor planning) region and sensory, executive, and motor regions. Increases in neural activation and cortical networking were observed during the Hard condition relative to the Easy condition, thus supporting the psychomotor efficiency hypothesis. To further determine the unique contributions of cognitive versus sensory-motor demands, a control experiment was conducted in which cognitive demand was increased while sensory-motor demand was held constant. This experiment revealed that regionally specific neural activation was influenced by changes in cognitive demand, whereas cortical networking to the motor planning region was sensitive only to changes in sensory-motor demand. Crucially, the present study is the first, to our knowledge, to characterize the separate impact of cognitive versus sensory-motor demands on cerebral cortical dynamics. The findings further inform the dynamics of the cortical processes that underlie the quality of cognitive-motor performance particularly with regard to task

  9. Human trace fear conditioning: right-lateralized cortical activity supports trace-interval processes.

    PubMed

    Haritha, Abhishek T; Wood, Kimberly H; Ver Hoef, Lawrence W; Knight, David C

    2013-06-01

    Pavlovian conditioning requires the convergence and simultaneous activation of neural circuitry that supports conditioned stimulus (CS) and unconditioned stimulus (US) processes. However, in trace conditioning, the CS and US are separated by a period of time called the trace interval, and thus do not overlap. Therefore, determining brain regions that support associative learning by maintaining a CS representation during the trace interval is an important issue for conditioning research. Prior functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) research has identified brain regions that support trace-conditioning processes. However, relatively little is known about whether this activity is specific to the trace CS, the trace interval, or both periods of time. The present study was designed to disentangle the hemodynamic response produced by the trace CS from that associated with the trace interval, in order to identify learning-related activation during these distinct components of a trace-conditioning trial. Trace-conditioned activity was observed within dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (PFC), dorsolateral PFC, insula, inferior parietal lobule (IPL), and posterior cingulate (PCC). Each of these regions showed learning-related activity during the trace CS, while trace-interval activity was only observed within a subset of these areas (i.e., dorsomedial PFC, PCC, right dorsolateral PFC, right IPL, right superior/middle temporal gyrus, and bilateral insula). Trace-interval activity was greater in right than in left dorsolateral PFC, IPL, and superior/middle temporal gyrus. These findings indicate that components of the prefrontal, cingulate, insular, and parietal cortices support trace-interval processes, as well as suggesting that a right-lateralized fronto-parietal circuit may play a unique role in trace conditioning.

  10. Sensory and Quality Evaluation of Traditional Compared with Power Ultrasound Processed Corn (Zea Mays) Tortilla Chips.

    PubMed

    Janve, Bhaskar; Yang, Wade; Sims, Charles

    2015-06-01

    Power ultrasound reduces the traditional corn steeping time from 18 to 1.5 h during tortilla chips dough (masa) processing. This study sought to examine consumer (n = 99) acceptability and quality of tortilla chips made from the masa by traditional compared with ultrasonic methods. Overall appearance, flavor, and texture acceptability scores were evaluated using a 9-point hedonic scale. The baked chips (process intermediate) before and after frying (finished product) were analyzed using a texture analyzer and machine vision. The texture values were determined using the 3-point bend test using breaking force gradient (BFG), peak breaking force (PBF), and breaking distance (BD). The fracturing properties determined by the crisp fracture support rig using fracture force gradient (FFG), peak fracture force (PFF), and fracture distance (FD). The machine vision evaluated the total surface area, lightness (L), color difference (ΔE), Hue (°h), and Chroma (C*). The results were evaluated by analysis of variance and means were separated using Tukey's test. Machine vision values of L, °h, were higher (P < 0.05) and ΔE was lower (P < 0.05) for fried and L, °h were significantly (P < 0.05) higher for baked chips produced from ultra-sonication as compare to traditional. Baked chips texture for ultra-sonication was significantly higher (P < 0.05) on BFG, BPD, PFF, and FD. Fried tortilla chips texture were higher significantly (P < 0.05) in BFG and PFF for ultra-sonication than traditional processing. However, the instrumental differences were not detected in sensory analysis, concluding possibility of power ultrasound as potential tortilla chips processing aid.

  11. Modulation of early cortical processing during divided attention to non-contiguous locations.

    PubMed

    Frey, Hans-Peter; Schmid, Anita M; Murphy, Jeremy W; Molholm, Sophie; Lalor, Edmund C; Foxe, John J

    2014-05-01

    We often face the challenge of simultaneously attending to multiple non-contiguous regions of space. There is ongoing debate as to how spatial attention is divided under these situations. Whereas, for several years, the predominant view was that humans could divide the attentional spotlight, several recent studies argue in favor of a unitary spotlight that rhythmically samples relevant locations. Here, this issue was addressed by the use of high-density electrophysiology in concert with the multifocal m-sequence technique to examine visual evoked responses to multiple simultaneous streams of stimulation. Concurrently, we assayed the topographic distribution of alpha-band oscillatory mechanisms, a measure of attentional suppression. Participants performed a difficult detection task that required simultaneous attention to two stimuli in contiguous (undivided) or non-contiguous parts of space. In the undivided condition, the classic pattern of attentional modulation was observed, with increased amplitude of the early visual evoked response and increased alpha amplitude ipsilateral to the attended hemifield. For the divided condition, early visual responses to attended stimuli were also enhanced, and the observed multifocal topographic distribution of alpha suppression was in line with the divided attention hypothesis. These results support the existence of divided attentional spotlights, providing evidence that the corresponding modulation occurs during initial sensory processing time-frames in hierarchically early visual regions, and that suppressive mechanisms of visual attention selectively target distracter locations during divided spatial attention.

  12. Virtually-induced threat in Parkinson's: Dopaminergic interactions between anxiety and sensory-perceptual processing while walking.

    PubMed

    Ehgoetz Martens, Kaylena A; Ellard, Colin G; Almeida, Quincy J

    2015-12-01

    Research evidence has suggested that anxiety influences gait in PD, with an identified dopa-sensitive gait response in highly anxious PD. It has been well-established that accurate perception of the environment and sensory feedback is essential for gait. Arguably since sensory and perceptual deficits have been noted in PD, anxiety has the potential to exacerbate movement impairments, since one might expect that reducing resources needed to overcome or compensate for sensory-perceptual deficits may lead to even more severe gait impairments. It is possible that anxiety in threatening situations might consume more processing resources, limiting the ability to process information about the environment or one's own movement (sensory feedback) especially in highly anxious PD. Therefore, the current study aimed to (i) evaluate whether processing of threat-related aspects of the environment was influenced by anxiety, (ii) evaluate whether anxiety influences the ability to utilize sensory feedback in PD while walking in threatening situations, and (iii) further understand the role of dopaminergic medication on these processes in threatening situations in PD. Forty-eight participants (24 HC; 12 Low Anxious [LA-PD], 12 Highly Anxious [HA-PD]) completed 20 walking trials in virtual reality across a plank that was (i) located on the ground (GROUND) (ii) located above a deep pit (ELEVATED); while provided with or without visual feedback about their lower limbs (+VF; -VF). After walking across the plank, participants were asked to judge the width of the plank they had just walked across. The plank varied in size from 60-100 cm. Both ON and OFF dopaminergic medication states were evaluated in PD. Gait parameters, judgment error and self-reported anxiety levels were measured. Results showed that HA-PD reported greater levels of anxiety overall (p<0.001) compared to HC and LA-PD, and all participants reported greater anxiety during the ELEVATED condition compared to GROUND (p=0

  13. Motor development and sensory processing: A comparative study between preterm and term infants.

    PubMed

    Cabral, Thais Invenção; Pereira da Silva, Louise Gracelli; Tudella, Eloisa; Simões Martinez, Cláudia Maria

    2014-10-16

    Infants born preterm and/or with low birth weight may present a clinical condition of organic instability and usually face a long period of hospitalization in the Neonatal Intensive Care Units, being exposed to biopsychosocial risk factors to their development due to decreased spontaneous movement and excessive sensory stimuli. This study assumes that there are relationships between the integration of sensory information of preterm infants, motor development and their subsequent effects.

  14. Excitatory interneurons dominate sensory processing in the spinal substantia gelatinosa of rat.

    PubMed

    Santos, Sónia F A; Rebelo, Sandra; Derkach, Victor A; Safronov, Boris V

    2007-05-15

    Substantia gelatinosa (SG, lamina II) is a spinal cord region where most unmyelinated primary afferents terminate and the central nociceptive processing begins. It is formed by several distinct groups of interneurons whose functional properties and synaptic connections are poorly understood, in part, because recordings from synaptically coupled pairs of SG neurons are quite challenging due to a very low probability of finding connected cells. Here, we describe an efficient method for identifying synaptically coupled interneurons in rat spinal cord slices and characterizing their excitatory or inhibitory function. Using tight-seal whole-cell recordings and a cell-attached stimulation technique, we routinely tested about 1500 SG interneurons, classifying 102 of them as monosynaptically connected to neurons in lamina I-III. Surprisingly, the vast majority of SG interneurons (n = 87) were excitatory and glutamatergic, while only 15 neurons were inhibitory. According to their intrinsic firing properties, these 102 SG neurons were also classified as tonic (n = 49), adapting (n = 17) or delayed-firing neurons (n = 36). All but two tonic neurons and all adapting neurons were excitatory interneurons. Of 36 delayed-firing neurons, 23 were excitatory and 13 were inhibitory. We conclude that sensory integration in the intrinsic SG neuronal network is dominated by excitatory interneurons. Such organization of neuronal circuitries in the spinal SG can be important for nociceptive encoding.

  15. Excitatory interneurons dominate sensory processing in the spinal substantia gelatinosa of rat

    PubMed Central

    Santos, Sónia F A; Rebelo, Sandra; Derkach, Victor A; Safronov, Boris V

    2007-01-01

    Substantia gelatinosa (SG, lamina II) is a spinal cord region where most unmyelinated primary afferents terminate and the central nociceptive processing begins. It is formed by several distinct groups of interneurons whose functional properties and synaptic connections are poorly understood, in part, because recordings from synaptically coupled pairs of SG neurons are quite challenging due to a very low probability of finding connected cells. Here, we describe an efficient method for identifying synaptically coupled interneurons in rat spinal cord slices and characterizing their excitatory or inhibitory function. Using tight-seal whole-cell recordings and a cell-attached stimulation technique, we routinely tested about 1500 SG interneurons, classifying 102 of them as monosynaptically connected to neurons in lamina I–III. Surprisingly, the vast majority of SG interneurons (n = 87) were excitatory and glutamatergic, while only 15 neurons were inhibitory. According to their intrinsic firing properties, these 102 SG neurons were also classified as tonic (n = 49), adapting (n = 17) or delayed-firing neurons (n = 36). All but two tonic neurons and all adapting neurons were excitatory interneurons. Of 36 delayed-firing neurons, 23 were excitatory and 13 were inhibitory. We conclude that sensory integration in the intrinsic SG neuronal network is dominated by excitatory interneurons. Such organization of neuronal circuitries in the spinal SG can be important for nociceptive encoding. PMID:17331995

  16. Microbiological, physicochemical and sensory parameters of dry fermented sausages manufactured with high hydrostatic pressure processed raw meat.

    PubMed

    Omer, M K; Prieto, B; Rendueles, E; Alvarez-Ordoñez, A; Lunde, K; Alvseike, O; Prieto, M

    2015-10-01

    The aim of this trial was to describe physicochemical, microbiological and organoleptic characteristics of dry fermented sausages produced from high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) pre-processed trimmings. During ripening of the meat products pH, weight, water activity (aw), and several microbiological parameters were measured at zero, eight, fifteen days and after 6weeks. Sensory characteristics were estimated at day 15 and after six weeks by a test panel by using several sensory tests. Enterobacteriaceae were not detected in sausages from HHP-processed trimmings. Fermentation was little affected, but weight and aw of the HHP-processed sausages decreased faster during ripening. HHP-treated sausages were consistently less favoured than non HHP-treated sausages, but the strategy may be an alternative approach if the process is optimized.

  17. Auditory processing disorder in patients with language-learning impairment and correlation with malformation of cortical development.

    PubMed

    Boscariol, Mirela; Guimarães, Catarina Abraão; Hage, Simone R de Vasconcellos; Garcia, Vera Lucia; Schmutzler, Kátia M R; Cendes, Fernando; Guerreiro, Marilisa Mantovani

    2011-11-01

    Malformations of cortical development have been described in children and families with language-learning impairment. The objective of this study was to assess the auditory processing information in children with language-learning impairment in the presence or absence of a malformation of cortical development in the auditory processing areas. We selected 32 children (19 males), aged eight to 15 years, divided into three groups: Group I comprised 11 children with language-learning impairment and bilateral perisylvian polymicrogyria, Group II comprised 10 children with language-learning impairment and normal MRI, and Group III comprised 11 normal children. Behavioral auditory tests, such as the Random Gap Detection Test and Digits Dichotic Test were performed. Statistical analysis was performed using the Kruskal-Wallis test and Mann-Whitney test, with a level of significance of 0.05. The results revealed a statistically significant difference among the groups. Our data showed abnormalities in auditory processing of children in Groups I and II when compared with the control group, with children in Group I being more affected than children in Group II. Our data showed that the presence of a cortical malformation correlates with a worse performance in some tasks of auditory processing function.

  18. Mucus trail tracking in a predatory snail: olfactory processing retooled to serve a novel sensory modality

    PubMed Central

    Patel, Kinjal; Shaheen, Nagma; Witherspoon, Jessica; Robinson, Natallia; Harrington, Melissa A

    2014-01-01

    Introduction The rosy wolfsnail (Euglandina rosea), a predatory land snail, finds prey snails and potential mates by following their mucus trails. Euglandina have evolved unique, mobile lip extensions that detect mucus and aid in following trails. Currently, little is known of the neural substrates of the trail-following behavior. Methods To investigate the neural correlates of trail following we used tract-tracing experiments in which nerves were backfilled with either nickel-lysine or Lucifer yellow, extracellular recording of spiking neurons in snail procerebra using a multielectrode array, and behavioral assays of trail following and movement toward the source of a conditioned odor. Results The tract-tracing experiments demonstrate that in Euglandina, the nerves carrying mucus signals innervate the same region of the central ganglia as the olfactory nerves, while the electrophysiology studies show that mucus stimulation of the sensory epithelium on the lip extensions alters the frequency and pattern of neural activity in the procerebrum in a manner similar to odor stimulation of the olfactory epithelium on the optic tentacles of another land snail species, Cantareus aspersa (previously known as Helix aspersa). While Euglandina learn to follow trails of novel chemicals that they contact with their lip extensions in one to three trials, these snails proved remarkably resistant to associative learning in the olfactory modality. Even after seven to nine pairings of odorant molecules with food, they showed no orientation toward the conditioned odor. This is in marked contrast to Cantareus snails, which reliably oriented toward conditioned odors after two to three trials. Conclusions The apparent inability of Euglandina to learn to associate food with odors and use odor cues to drive behavior suggests that the capability for sophisticated neural processing of nonvolatile mucus cues detected by the lip extensions has evolved at the expense of processing of odorant

  19. Error-Induced Blindness: Error Detection Leads to Impaired Sensory Processing and Lower Accuracy at Short Response-Stimulus Intervals.

    PubMed

    Buzzell, George A; Beatty, Paul J; Paquette, Natalie A; Roberts, Daniel M; McDonald, Craig G

    2017-03-15

    Empirical evidence indicates that detecting one's own mistakes can serve as a signal to improve task performance. However, little work has focused on how task constraints, such as the response-stimulus interval (RSI), influence post-error adjustments. In the present study, event-related potential (ERP) and behavioral measures were used to investigate the time course of error-related processing while humans performed a difficult visual discrimination task. We found that error commission resulted in a marked reduction in both task performance and sensory processing on the following trial when RSIs were short, but that such impairments were not detectable at longer RSIs. Critically, diminished sensory processing at short RSIs, indexed by the stimulus-evoked P1 component, was predicted by an ERP measure of error processing, the Pe component. A control analysis ruled out a general lapse in attention or mind wandering as being predictive of subsequent reductions in sensory processing; instead, the data suggest that error detection causes an attentional bottleneck, which can diminish sensory processing on subsequent trials that occur in short succession. The findings demonstrate that the neural system dedicated to monitoring and improving behavior can, paradoxically, at times be the source of performance failures.SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT The performance-monitoring system is a network of brain regions dedicated to monitoring behavior to adjust task performance when necessary. Previous research has demonstrated that activation of the performance monitoring system following incorrect decisions serves to improve future task performance. However, the present study provides evidence that, when perceptual decisions must be made rapidly (within approximately half a second of each other), activation of the performance-monitoring system is predictive of impaired task-related attention on the subsequent trial. The data illustrate that the cognitive demands imposed by error processing

  20. Cortical activation in the processing of passive sentences in L1 and L2: an fMRI study.

    PubMed

    Yokoyama, Satoru; Okamoto, Hideyuki; Miyamoto, Tadao; Yoshimoto, Kei; Kim, Jungho; Iwata, Kazuki; Jeong, Hyeonjeong; Uchida, Shinya; Ikuta, Naho; Sassa, Yuko; Nakamura, Wataru; Horie, Kaoru; Sato, Shigeru; Kawashima, Ryuta

    2006-04-01

    The question of whether the bilingual brain processes a first and second language (L1 and L2, respectively) differently is a central issue in many psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic studies. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate whether late bilinguals process structurally complex sentences in L1 and L2 in different cortical networks. For this purpose, we directly compared brain activity during the processing of active and passive sentences in both L1 and L2. We asked 36 healthy subjects to judge whether or not a presented sentence was semantically plausible. Both L1 and L2 activated the left hemispheric language-related regions such as the left inferior frontal, superior/middle temporal, and parietal cortices. However, we found different activation patterns between L1 and L2 in the processing of passive sentences. Passive sentences elicited greater activation than their active counterparts in the left pars triangularis, the premotor area, and the superior parietal lobule in Japanese, but not in English. Furthermore, there was a significant interaction between sentence type (active versus passive) and language (Japanese versus English) in the left pars orbitalis. The results of this study indicate that late bilinguals use similar cortical regions to comprehend both L1 and L2. However, when late bilinguals are presented with structurally complex sentences, the involvement of these regions differs between L1 and L2. These results suggest that, in addition to age of L2 acquisition and L2 proficiency, differences in grammatical construction affect cortical representation during the comprehension of L1 and L2.

  1. Does a sensory processing deficit explain counting accuracy on rapid visual sequencing tasks in adults with and without dyslexia?

    PubMed

    Conlon, Elizabeth G; Wright, Craig M; Norris, Karla; Chekaluk, Eugene

    2011-06-01

    The experiments conducted aimed to investigate whether reduced accuracy when counting stimuli presented in rapid temporal sequence in adults with dyslexia could be explained by a sensory processing deficit, a general slowing in processing speed or difficulties shifting attention between stimuli. To achieve these aims, the influence of the inter-stimulus interval (ISI), stimulus duration, and sequence length were evaluated in two experiments. In the first that used skilled readers only, significantly more errors were found with presentation of long sequences when the ISI or stimulus durations were short. Experiment 2 used a wider range of ISIs and stimulus durations. Compared to skilled readers, a group with dyslexia had reduced accuracy on two-stimulus sequences when the ISI was short, but not when the ISI was long. Although reduced accuracy was found on all short and long sequences by the group with dyslexia, when performance on two-stimulus sequences was used as an index of sensory processing efficiency and controlled, group differences were found with presentation of stimuli of short duration only. We concluded that continuous, repetitive stimulation to the same visual area can produce a capacity limitation on rapid counting tasks in all readers when the ISIs or stimulus durations are short. While reduced accuracy on rapid sequential counting tasks can be explained by a sensory processing deficit when the stimulus duration is long, slower processing speed in the group with dyslexia explains the greater inaccuracy found as sequence length is increased when the stimulus duration is short.

  2. Rheotaxis of Larval Zebrafish: Behavioral Study of a Multi-Sensory Process

    PubMed Central

    Olive, Raphaël; Wolf, Sébastien; Dubreuil, Alexis; Bormuth, Volker; Debrégeas, Georges; Candelier, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    Awake animals unceasingly perceive sensory inputs with great variability of nature and intensity, and understanding how the nervous system manages this continuous flow of diverse information to get a coherent representation of the environment is arguably a central question in systems neuroscience. Rheotaxis, the ability shared by most aquatic species to orient toward a current and swim to hold position, is an innate and robust multi-sensory behavior that is known to involve the lateral line and visual systems. To facilitate the neuroethological study of rheotaxic behavior in larval zebrafish we developed an assay for freely swimming larvae that allows for high experimental throughtput, large statistic and a fine description of the behavior. We show that there exist a clear transition from exploration to counterflow swim, and by changing the sensory modalities accessible to the fishes (visual only, lateral line only or both) and comparing the swim patterns at different ages we were able to detect and characterize two different mechanisms for position holding, one mediated by the lateral line and one mediated by the visual system. We also found that when both sensory modalities are accessible the visual system overshadows the lateral line, suggesting that at the larval stage the sensory inputs are not merged to finely tune the behavior but that redundant information pathways may be used as functional fallbacks. PMID:26941620

  3. Crossmodal interactions of haptic and visual texture information in early sensory cortex.

    PubMed

    Eck, Judith; Kaas, Amanda L; Goebel, Rainer

    2013-07-15

    Both visual and haptic information add to the perception of surface texture. While prior studies have reported crossmodal interactions of both sensory modalities at the behavioral level, neuroimaging studies primarily investigated texture perception in separate visual and haptic paradigms. These experimental designs, however, only allowed to identify overlap in both sensory processing streams but no interaction of visual and haptic texture processing. By varying texture characteristics in a bimodal task, the current study investigated how these crossmodal interactions are reflected at the cortical level. We used fMRI to compare cortical activation in response to matching versus non-matching visual-haptic texture information. We expected that passive simultaneous presentation of matching visual-haptic input would be sufficient to induce BOLD responses graded with varying texture characteristics. Since no cognitive evaluation of the stimuli was required, we expected to find changes primarily at a rather early processing stage. Our results confirmed our assumptions by showing crossmodal interactions of visual-haptic texture information in early somatosensory and visual cortex. However, the nature of the crossmodal effects was slightly different in both sensory cortices. In early visual cortex, matching visual-haptic information increased the average activation level and induced parametric BOLD signal variations with varying texture characteristics. In early somatosensory cortex only the latter was true. These results challenge the notion that visual and haptic texture information is processed independently and indicate a crossmodal interaction of sensory information already at an early cortical processing stage.

  4. Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb

    PubMed Central

    Geramita, Matthew A; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathan N

    2016-01-01

    Splitting sensory information into parallel pathways is a common strategy in sensory systems. Yet, how circuits in these parallel pathways are composed to maintain or even enhance the encoding of specific stimulus features is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the parallel pathways formed by mitral and tufted cells of the olfactory system in mice and characterized the emergence of feature selectivity in these cell types via distinct lateral inhibitory circuits. We find differences in activity-dependent lateral inhibition between mitral and tufted cells that likely reflect newly described differences in the activation of deep and superficial granule cells. Simulations show that these circuit-level differences allow mitral and tufted cells to best discriminate odors in separate concentration ranges, indicating that segregating information about different ranges of stimulus intensity may be an important function of these parallel sensory pathways. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.16039.001 PMID:27351103

  5. Distinct lateral inhibitory circuits drive parallel processing of sensory information in the mammalian olfactory bulb.

    PubMed

    Geramita, Matthew A; Burton, Shawn D; Urban, Nathan N

    2016-06-28

    Splitting sensory information into parallel pathways is a common strategy in sensory systems. Yet, how circuits in these parallel pathways are composed to maintain or even enhance the encoding of specific stimulus features is poorly understood. Here, we have investigated the parallel pathways formed by mitral and tufted cells of the olfactory system in mice and characterized the emergence of feature selectivity in these cell types via distinct lateral inhibitory circuits. We find differences in activity-dependent lateral inhibition between mitral and tufted cells that likely reflect newly described differences in the activation of deep and superficial granule cells. Simulations show that these circuit-level differences allow mitral and tufted cells to best discriminate odors in separate concentration ranges, indicating that segregating information about different ranges of stimulus intensity may be an important function of these parallel sensory pathways.

  6. The trans-species core SELF: the emergence of active cultural and neuro-ecological agents through self-related processing within subcortical-cortical midline networks.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak; Northoff, Georg

    2009-03-01

    The nature of "the self" has been one of the central problems in philosophy and more recently in neuroscience. This raises various questions: (i) Can we attribute a self to animals? (ii) Do animals and humans share certain aspects of their core selves, yielding a trans-species concept of self? (iii) What are the neural processes that underlie a possible trans-species concept of self? (iv) What are the developmental aspects and do they result in various levels of self-representation? Drawing on recent literature from both human and animal research, we suggest a trans-species concept of self that is based upon what has been called a "core-self" which can be described by self-related processing (SRP) as a specific mode of interaction between organism and environment. When we refer to specific neural networks, we will here refer to the underlying system as the "core-SELF." The core-SELF provides primordial neural coordinates that represent organisms as living creatures-at the lowest level this elaborates interoceptive states along with raw emotional feelings (i.e., the intentions in action of a primordial core-SELF) while higher medial cortical levels facilitate affective-cognitive integration (yielding a fully-developed nomothetic core-self). Developmentally, SRP allows stimuli from the environment to be related and linked to organismic needs, signaled and processed within core-self structures within subcorical-cortical midline structures (SCMS) that provide the foundation for epigenetic emergence of ecologically framed, higher idiographic forms of selfhood across different individuals within a species. These functions ultimately operate as a coordinated network. We postulate that core SRP operates automatically, is deeply affective, and is developmentally and epigenetically connected to sensory-motor and higher cognitive abilities. This core-self is mediated by SCMS, embedded in visceral and instinctual representations of the body that are well integrated with basic

  7. Effect of processing and storage and sensory and nutritional quality of raw, frozen, canned green beans and broccoli

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.N.; Kramer, A.; Onishi, Y.

    1981-01-01

    Recent concern with energy consumption has accelerated the search for methods of preservation and shelf-life extension of foods with the two-fold aim of reducing food waste and minimizing energy consumption. Studies were undertaken to determine first whether the shelf-life of raw vegetables could be extended substantially by blanching and packaging in reduced oxygen, and secondly to determine whether these same vegetables could be canned and they would retain superior quality when heat-processing minimally in a process equivalent to the heat process required for retortable pouches. The sensory qualities and nutritional values of vegetables so processed are evaluated. 3 refs.

  8. Disruption in the autophagic process underlies the sensory neuropathy in dystonia musculorum mice.

    PubMed

    Ferrier, Andrew; De Repentigny, Yves; Lynch-Godrei, Anisha; Gibeault, Sabrina; Eid, Walaa; Kuo, Daniel; Zha, Xiaohui; Kothary, Rashmi

    2015-01-01

    A homozygous mutation in the DST (dystonin) gene causes a newly identified lethal form of hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathy in humans (HSAN-VI). DST loss of function similarly leads to sensory neuron degeneration and severe ataxia in dystonia musculorum (Dst(dt)) mice. DST is involved in maintaining cytoskeletal integrity and intracellular transport. As autophagy is highly reliant upon stable microtubules and motor proteins, we assessed the influence of DST loss of function on autophagy using the Dst(dt-Tg4) mouse model. Electron microscopy (EM) revealed an accumulation of autophagosomes in sensory neurons from these mice. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the autophagic flux was impaired. Levels of LC3-II, a marker of autophagosomes, were elevated. Consequently, Dst(dt-Tg4) sensory neurons displayed impaired protein turnover of autophagosome substrate SQTSM1/p62 and of polyubiquitinated proteins. Interestingly, in a previously described Dst(dt-Tg4) mouse model that is partially rescued by neuronal specific expression of the DST-A2 isoform, autophagosomes, autolysosomes, and damaged organelles were reduced when compared to Dst(dt-Tg4) mutant mice. LC3-II, SQTSM1, polyubiquitinated proteins and autophagic flux were also restored to wild-type levels in the rescued mice. Finally, a significant decrease in DNAIC1 (dynein, axonemal, intermediate chain 1; the mouse ortholog of human DNAI1), a member of the DMC (dynein/dynactin motor complex), was noted in Dst(dt-Tg4) dorsal root ganglia and sensory neurons. Thus, DST-A2 loss of function perturbs late stages of autophagy, and dysfunctional autophagy at least partially underlies Dst(dt) pathogenesis. We therefore conclude that the DST-A2 isoform normally facilitates autophagy within sensory neurons to maintain cellular homeostasis.

  9. Cellular and Network Mechanisms Underlying Information Processing in a Simple Sensory System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jacobs, Gwen; Henze, Chris; Biegel, Bryan (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Realistic, biophysically-based compartmental models were constructed of several primary sensory interneurons in the cricket cercal sensory system. A dynamic atlas of the afferent input to these cells was used to set spatio-temporal parameters for the simulated stimulus-dependent synaptic inputs. We examined the roles of dendritic morphology, passive membrane properties, and active conductances on the frequency tuning of the neurons. The sensitivity of narrow-band low pass interneurons could be explained entirely by the electronic structure of the dendritic arbors and the dynamic sensitivity of the SIZ. The dynamic characteristics of interneurons with higher frequency sensitivity required models with voltage-dependent dendritic conductances.

  10. Sensory Sensitivities and Performance on Sensory Perceptual Tasks in High-Functioning Individuals with Autism

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.; Hobson, Jessica A.

    2008-01-01

    Most reports of sensory symptoms in autism are second hand or observational, and there is little evidence of a neurological basis. Sixty individuals with high-functioning autism and 61 matched typical participants were administered a sensory questionnaire and neuropsychological tests of elementary and higher cortical sensory perception. Thirty-two…

  11. The role of sensory cortex in behavioral flexibility.

    PubMed

    Guo, Lan; Ponvert, Nicholas D; Jaramillo, Santiago

    2017-03-14

    To thrive in a changing environment, organisms evolved strategies for rapidly modifying their behavioral responses to sensory stimuli. In this review, we investigate the role of sensory cortical circuits in these flexible behaviors. First, we provide a framework for classifying tasks in which flexibility is required. We then present studies in animal models which demonstrate that responses of sensory cortical neurons depend on the expected outcome associated with a stimulus. Last, we discuss inactivation studies which indicate that sensory cortex facilitates behavioral flexibility, but is not always required for adapting to changes in environmental conditions. This analysis provides insights into the contributions of cortical and subcortical sensory circuits to flexibility in behavior.

  12. Tickle me, I think I might be dreaming! Sensory attenuation, self-other distinction, and predictive processing in lucid dreams.

    PubMed

    Windt, Jennifer M; Harkness, Dominic L; Lenggenhager, Bigna

    2014-01-01

    The contrast between self- and other-produced tickles, as a special case of sensory attenuation for self-produced actions, has long been a target of empirical research. While in standard wake states it is nearly impossible to tickle oneself, there are interesting exceptions. Notably, participants awakened from REM (rapid eye movement-) sleep dreams are able to tickle themselves. So far, however, the question of whether it is possible to tickle oneself and be tickled by another in the dream state has not been investigated empirically or addressed from a theoretical perspective. Here, we report the results of an explorative web-based study in which participants were asked to rate their sensations during self-tickling and being tickled during wakefulness, imagination, and lucid dreaming. Our results, though highly preliminary, indicate that in the special case of lucid control dreams, the difference between self-tickling and being tickled by another is obliterated, with both self- and other produced tickles receiving similar ratings as self-tickling during wakefulness. This leads us to the speculative conclusion that in lucid control dreams, sensory attenuation for self-produced tickles spreads to those produced by non-self dream characters. These preliminary results provide the backdrop for a more general theoretical and metatheoretical discussion of tickling in lucid dreams in a predictive processing framework. We argue that the primary value of our study lies not so much in our results, which are subject to important limitations, but rather in the fact that they enable a new theoretical perspective on the relationship between sensory attenuation, the self-other distinction and agency, as well as suggest new questions for future research. In particular, the example of tickling during lucid dreaming raises the question of whether sensory attenuation and the self-other distinction can be simulated largely independently of external sensory input.

  13. Tickle me, I think I might be dreaming! Sensory attenuation, self-other distinction, and predictive processing in lucid dreams

    PubMed Central

    Windt, Jennifer M.; Harkness, Dominic L.; Lenggenhager, Bigna

    2014-01-01

    The contrast between self- and other-produced tickles, as a special case of sensory attenuation for self-produced actions, has long been a target of empirical research. While in standard wake states it is nearly impossible to tickle oneself, there are interesting exceptions. Notably, participants awakened from REM (rapid eye movement-) sleep dreams are able to tickle themselves. So far, however, the question of whether it is possible to tickle oneself and be tickled by another in the dream state has not been investigated empirically or addressed from a theoretical perspective. Here, we report the results of an explorative web-based study in which participants were asked to rate their sensations during self-tickling and being tickled during wakefulness, imagination, and lucid dreaming. Our results, though highly preliminary, indicate that in the special case of lucid control dreams, the difference between self-tickling and being tickled by another is obliterated, with both self- and other produced tickles receiving similar ratings as self-tickling during wakefulness. This leads us to the speculative conclusion that in lucid control dreams, sensory attenuation for self-produced tickles spreads to those produced by non-self dream characters. These preliminary results provide the backdrop for a more general theoretical and metatheoretical discussion of tickling in lucid dreams in a predictive processing framework. We argue that the primary value of our study lies not so much in our results, which are subject to important limitations, but rather in the fact that they enable a new theoretical perspective on the relationship between sensory attenuation, the self-other distinction and agency, as well as suggest new questions for future research. In particular, the example of tickling during lucid dreaming raises the question of whether sensory attenuation and the self-other distinction can be simulated largely independently of external sensory input. PMID:25278861

  14. Cortical Hypoexcitation Defines Neuronal Responses in the Immediate Aftermath of Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

    Johnstone, Victoria Philippa Anne; Yan, Edwin Bingbing; Alwis, Dasuni Sathsara; Rajan, Ramesh

    2013-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a blow to the head is often associated with complex patterns of brain abnormalities that accompany deficits in cognitive and motor function. Previously we reported that a long-term consequence of TBI, induced with a closed-head injury method modelling human car and sporting accidents, is neuronal hyper-excitation in the rat sensory barrel cortex that receives tactile input from the face whiskers. Hyper-excitation occurred only in supra-granular layers and was stronger to complex than simple stimuli. We now examine changes in the immediate aftermath of TBI induced with same injury method. At 24 hours post-trauma significant sensorimotor deficits were observed and characterisation of the cortical population neuronal responses at that time revealed a depth-dependent suppression of neuronal responses, with reduced responses from supragranular layers through to input layer IV, but not in infragranular layers. In addition, increased spontaneous firing rate was recorded in cortical layers IV and V. We postulate that this early post-injury suppression of cortical processing of sensory input accounts for immediate post-trauma sensory morbidity and sets into train events that resolve into long-term cortical hyper-excitability in upper sensory cortex layers that may account for long-term sensory hyper-sensitivity in humans with TBI. PMID:23667624

  15. The tubulin repertoire of Caenorhabditis elegans sensory neurons and its context‑dependent role in process outgrowth

    PubMed Central

    Lockhead, Dean; Schwarz, Erich M.; O’Hagan, Robert; Bellotti, Sebastian; Krieg, Michael; Barr, Maureen M.; Dunn, Alexander R.; Sternberg, Paul W.; Goodman, Miriam B.

    2016-01-01

    Microtubules contribute to many cellular processes, including transport, signaling, and chromosome separation during cell division. They comprise αβ‑tubulin heterodimers arranged into linear protofilaments and assembled into tubes. Eukaryotes express multiple tubulin isoforms, and there has been a longstanding debate as to whether the isoforms are redundant or perform specialized roles as part of a tubulin code. Here we use the well‑characterized touch receptor neurons (TRNs) of Caenorhabditis elegans to investigate this question through genetic dissection of process outgrowth both in vivo and in vitro. With single‑cell RNA-seq, we compare transcription profiles for TRNs with those of two other sensory neurons and present evidence that each sensory neuron expresses a distinct palette of tubulin genes. In the TRNs, we analyze process outgrowth and show that four tubulins (tba‑1, tba‑2, tbb‑1, and tbb‑2) function partially or fully redundantly, whereas two others (mec‑7 and mec‑12) perform specialized, context‑dependent roles. Our findings support a model in which sensory neurons express overlapping subsets of tubulin genes whose functional redundancy varies among cell types and in vivo and in vitro contexts. PMID:27654945

  16. Cortical Neuron Response Properties Are Related to Lesion Extent and Behavioral Recovery after Sensory Loss from Spinal Cord Injury in Monkeys

    PubMed Central

    Reed, Jamie L.; Gharbawie, Omar A.; Burish, Mark J.; Kaas, Jon H.

    2014-01-01

    Lesions of the dorsal columns at a mid-cervical level render the hand representation of the contralateral primary somatosensory cortex (area 3b) unresponsive. Over weeks of recovery, most of this cortex becomes responsive to touch on the hand. Determining functional properties of neurons within the hand representation is critical to understanding the neural basis of this adaptive plasticity. Here, we recorded neural activity across the hand representation of area 3b with a 100-electrode array and compared results from owl monkeys and squirrel monkeys 5–10 weeks after lesions with controls. Even after extensive lesions, performance on reach-to-grasp tasks returned to prelesion levels, and hand touches activated territories mainly within expected cortical locations. However, some digit representations were abnormal, such that receptive fields of presumably reactivated neurons were larger and more often involved discontinuous parts of the hand compared with controls. Hand stimulation evoked similar neuronal firing rates in lesion and control monkeys. By assessing the same monkeys with multiple measures, we determined that properties of neurons in area 3b were highly correlated with both the lesion severity and the impairment of hand use. We propose that the reactivation of neurons with near-normal response properties and the recovery of near-normal somatotopy likely supported the recovery of hand use. Given the near-completeness of the more extensive dorsal column lesions we studied, we suggest that alternate spinal afferents, in addition to the few spared primary axon afferents in the dorsal columns, likely have a major role in the reactivation pattern and return of function. PMID:24647955

  17. Restricted and Repetitive Behaviours, Sensory Processing and Cognitive Style in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

    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…

  18. Neural Networks for Real-Time Sensory Data Processing and Sensorimotor Control

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-06-18

    sensory signals at thoracic interneurons of the escape system of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana . Brain Research (in press). In Preparation...Chiel, Roger D. Quinn, Ken Espenschied and Patrik Larsson. "Motion Analysis of Leg Joint Angles during Wind-Evoked Escape Turns of the Cockroach, Periplaneta americana ," by Scott W. Nye and Roy E. Ritzmann.

  19. Evaluating mid-infrared spectroscopy as a new technique for predicting sensory texture attributes of processed cheese.

    PubMed

    Fagan, C C; Everard, C; O'Donnell, C P; Downey, G; Sheehan, E M; Delahunty, C M; O'Callaghan, D J

    2007-03-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate the potential application of mid-infrared spectroscopy for determination of selected sensory attributes in a range of experimentally manufactured processed cheese samples. This study also evaluates mid-infrared spectroscopy against other recently proposed techniques for predicting sensory texture attributes. Processed cheeses (n = 32) of varying compositions were manufactured on a pilot scale. After 2 and 4 wk of storage at 4 degrees C, mid-infrared spectra (640 to 4,000 cm(-1)) were recorded and samples were scored on a scale of 0 to 100 for 9 attributes using descriptive sensory analysis. Models were developed by partial least squares regression using raw and pretreated spectra. The mouth-coating and mass-forming models were improved by using a reduced spectral range (930 to 1,767 cm(-1)). The remaining attributes were most successfully modeled using a combined range (930 to 1,767 cm(-1) and 2,839 to 4,000 cm(-1)). The root mean square errors of cross-validation for the models were 7.4 (firmness; range 65.3), 4.6 (rubbery; range 41.7), 7.1 (creamy; range 60.9), 5.1 (chewy; range 43.3), 5.2 (mouth-coating; range 37.4), 5.3 (fragmentable; range 51.0), 7.4 (melting; range 69.3), and 3.1 (mass-forming; range 23.6). These models had a good practical utility. Model accuracy ranged from approximate quantitative predictions to excellent predictions (range error ratio = 9.6). In general, the models compared favorably with previously reported instrumental texture models and near-infrared models, although the creamy, chewy, and melting models were slightly weaker than the previously reported near-infrared models. We concluded that mid-infrared spectroscopy could be successfully used for the nondestructive and objective assessment of processed cheese sensory quality.

  20. Auditory and visual cortex of primates: a comparison of two sensory systems

    PubMed Central

    Rauschecker, Josef P.

    2014-01-01

    A comparative view of the brain, comparing related functions across species and sensory systems, offers a number of advantages. In particular, it allows separating the formal purpose of a model structure from its implementation in specific brains. Models of auditory cortical processing can be conceived by analogy to the visual cortex, incorporating neural mechanisms that are found in both the visual and auditory systems. Examples of such canonical features on the columnar level are direction selectivity, size/bandwidth selectivity, as well as receptive fields with segregated versus overlapping on- and off-sub-regions. On a larger scale, parallel processing pathways have been envisioned that represent the two main facets of sensory perception: 1) identification of objects and 2) processing of space. Expanding this model in terms of sensorimotor integration and control offers an overarching view of cortical function independent of sensory modality. PMID:25728177

  1. Effects of post-processing treatments on sensory quality and Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli reductions in dry-fermented sausages.

    PubMed

    Heir, E; Holck, A L; Omer, M K; Alvseike, O; Måge, I; Høy, M; Rode, T M; Sidhu, M S; Axelsson, L

    2013-05-01

    The effects of post-processing treatments on sensory quality and reduction of Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) in three formulations of two types of dry-fermented sausage (DFS; salami and morr) were evaluated. Tested interventions provided only marginal changes in sensory preference and characteristics. Total STEC reductions in heat treated DFS (32°C, 6days or 43°C, 24h) were from 3.5 to >5.5 log from production start. Storing of sausages (20°C, 1month) gave >1 log additional STEC reduction. Freezing and thawing of sausages in combination with storage (4°C, 1month) gave an additional 0.7 to 3.0 log reduction in STEC. Overall >5.5 log STEC reductions were obtained after storage and freezing/thawing of DFS with increased levels of glucose and salt. This study suggests that combined formulation optimisation and post-process strategies should be applicable for implementation in DFS production to obtain DFS with enhanced microbial safety and high sensory acceptance and quality.

  2. Cortical Transformation of Spatial Processing for Solving the Cocktail Party Problem: A Computational Model123

    PubMed Central

    Dong, Junzi; Colburn, H. Steven

    2016-01-01

    In multisource, “cocktail party” sound environments, human and animal auditory systems can use spatial cues to effectively separate and follow one source of sound over competing sources. While mechanisms to extract spatial cues such as interaural time differences (ITDs) are well understood in precortical areas, how such information is reused and transformed in higher cortical regions to represent segregated sound sources is not clear. We present a computational model describing a hypothesized neural network that spans spatial cue detection areas and the cortex. This network is based on recent physiological findings that cortical neurons selectively encode target stimuli in the presence of competing maskers based on source locations (Maddox et al., 2012). We demonstrate that key features of cortical responses can be generated by the model network, which exploits spatial interactions between inputs via lateral inhibition, enabling the spatial separation of target and interfering sources while allowing monitoring of a broader acoustic space when there is no competition. We present the model network along with testable experimental paradigms as a starting point for understanding the transformation and organization of spatial information from midbrain to cortex. This network is then extended to suggest engineering solutions that may be useful for hearing-assistive devices in solving the cocktail party problem. PMID:26866056

  3. Shared and Divergent Auditory and Tactile Processing in Children with Autism and Children with Sensory Processing Dysfunction Relative to Typically Developing Peers.

    PubMed

    Demopoulos, Carly; Brandes-Aitken, Annie N; Desai, Shivani S; Hill, Susanna S; Antovich, Ashley D; Harris, Julia; Marco, Elysa J

    2015-07-01

    The aim of this study was to compare sensory processing in typically developing children (TDC), children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and those with sensory processing dysfunction (SPD) in the absence of an ASD. Performance-based measures of auditory and tactile processing were compared between male children ages 8-12 years assigned to an ASD (N=20), SPD (N=15), or TDC group (N=19). Both the SPD and ASD groups were impaired relative to the TDC group on a performance-based measure of tactile processing (right-handed graphesthesia). In contrast, only the ASD group showed significant impairment on an auditory processing index assessing dichotic listening, temporal patterning, and auditory discrimination. Furthermore, this impaired auditory processing was associated with parent-rated communication skills for both the ASD group and the combined study sample. No significant group differences were detected on measures of left-handed graphesthesia, tactile sensitivity, or form discrimination; however, more participants in the SPD group demonstrated a higher tactile detection threshold (60%) compared to the TDC (26.7%) and ASD groups (35%). This study provides support for use of performance-based measures in the assessment of children with ASD and SPD and highlights the need to better understand how sensory processing affects the higher order cognitive abilities associated with ASD, such as verbal and non-verbal communication, regardless of diagnostic classification.

  4. Cortical deficits of emotional face processing in adults with ADHD: its relation to social cognition and executive function.

    PubMed

    Ibáñez, Agustin; Petroni, Agustin; Urquina, Hugo; Torrente, Fernando; Torralva, Teresa; Hurtado, Esteban; Guex, Raphael; Blenkmann, Alejandro; Beltrachini, Leandro; Muravchik, Carlos; Baez, Sandra; Cetkovich, Marcelo; Sigman, Mariano; Lischinsky, Alicia; Manes, Facundo

    2011-01-01

    Although it has been shown that adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have impaired social cognition, no previous study has reported the brain correlates of face valence processing. This study looked for behavioral, neuropsychological, and electrophysiological markers of emotion processing for faces (N170) in adult ADHD compared to controls matched by age, gender, educational level, and handedness. We designed an event-related potential (ERP) study based on a dual valence task (DVT), in which faces and words were presented to test the effects of stimulus type (faces, words, or face-word stimuli) and valence (positive versus negative). Individual signatures of cognitive functioning in participants with ADHD and controls were assessed with a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation, including executive functioning (EF) and theory of mind (ToM). Compared to controls, the adult ADHD group showed deficits in N170 emotion modulation for facial stimuli. These N170 impairments were observed in the absence of any deficit in facial structural processing, suggesting a specific ADHD impairment in early facial emotion modulation. The cortical current density mapping of N170 yielded a main neural source of N170 at posterior section of fusiform gyrus (maximum at left hemisphere for words and right hemisphere for faces and simultaneous stimuli). Neural generators of N170 (fusiform gyrus) were reduced in ADHD. In those patients, N170 emotion processing was associated with performance on an emotional inference ToM task, and N170 from simultaneous stimuli was associated with EF, especially working memory. This is the first report to reveal an adult ADHD-specific impairment in the cortical modulation of emotion for faces and an association between N170 cortical measures and ToM and EF.

  5. Effectiveness and Usability of the Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool Quick Tips: Data-Driven Intervention Following the Use of the SPM-Preschool in an Early Childhood, Multiple-Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Olson, Carol H.; Henry, Diana A.; Kliner, Ashley Peck; Kyllo, Alissa; Richter, Chelsea Munson; Charley, Jane; Whitcher, Meagan Chapman; Reinke, Katherine Roth; Tysver, Chelsay Horner; Wagner, Lacey; Walworth, Jessica

    2016-01-01

    This pre- and posttest multiple-case study examined the effectiveness and usability of the Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool Quick Tips (SPM-P QT) by key stakeholders (parents and teachers) for implementing data-driven intervention to address sensory processing challenges. The Sensory Processing Measure-Preschool (SPM-P) was administered as an…

  6. Neural Networks for Real-Time Sensory Data Processing and Sensorimotor Control

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1991-12-13

    modal sensory signals at thoracic interneurons of the escape system of the cockroach, Periplaneta americana . Brain Research 563:175-183. Beer, R.D...Transactions on Robotics and Automation. Nye, S.W. and Ritzmann, R.E. Motion analysis of leg joints associated with escape turns of the cockroach, Periplaneta ... americana . Submitted to J. Comp. Physiol. A. Beer, R.D. and Gallagher, J.C. Evolving dynamical neural networks for adaptive behavior. Submitted to

  7. Amygdala activation for eye contact despite complete cortical blindness.

    PubMed

    Burra, Nicolas; Hervais-Adelman, Alexis; Kerzel, Dirk; Tamietto, Marco; de Gelder, Beatrice; Pegna, Alan J

    2013-06-19

    Cortical blindness refers to the loss of vision that occurs after destruction of the primary visual cortex. Although there is no sensory cortex and hence no conscious vision, some cortically blind patients show amygdala activation in response to facial or bodily expressions of emotion. Here we investigated whether direction of gaze could also be processed in the absence of any functional visual cortex. A well-known patient with bilateral destruction of his visual cortex and subsequent cortical blindness was investigated in an fMRI paradigm during which blocks of faces were presented either with their gaze directed toward or away from the viewer. Increased right amygdala activation was found in response to directed compared with averted gaze. Activity in this region was further found to be functionally connected to a larger network associated with face and gaze processing. The present study demonstrates that, in human subjects, the amygdala response to eye contact does not require an intact primary visual cortex.

  8. The relationship between sensory processing patterns, alexithymia, traumatic childhood experiences, and quality of life among patients with unipolar and bipolar disorders.

    PubMed

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

    2016-12-01

    Several studies documented the involvement of sensory perception in emotional processes. The long-term consequences of traumatic experiences and alexithymia have been demonstrated as well. However, the role of extreme sensory processing patterns, traumatic childhood experiences, and alexithymia has not been thoroughly examined in major affective disorders. The present study aimed to: (1) compare unipolar/bipolar patients with regard to their sensory processing patterns, alexithymia, childhood traumatic experiences and quality of life; (2) examine the correlations between sensory processing patterns and childhood traumatic experiences; (3) investigate the relative contribution of diagnostic groups (unipolar/bipolar), sensory processing patterns, alexithymia, and childhood traumatic experiences in predicting quality of life. The sample included 336 participants, 197 with unipolar and 139 with bipolar disorder. All participants completed the Adolescent/Adult Sensory Profile (AASP), Toronto Alexithymia Scale, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ), Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II, and Short Form 12 Health Survey version 2 (SF-12). Bipolar patients showed significantly higher physical neglect, emotional abuse, and emotional neglect compared with unipolar patients. Both in unipolar and bipolar groups, lower registration of sensory input as well as hypersensitivity correlated with enhanced childhood trauma events. Reduced sensory sensitivity accounted for 11% of the variance in physical health composite score (PCS) of SF-12 whereas reduced depression accounted for 8% of the variance in mental health composite score (MCS). Furthermore, elevated MCS was predicted by depression, physical and emotional neglect. Sensory processing patterns and childhood traumatic experiences may specifically characterize individuals with major affective disorders and play a role in the prediction of their quality of life.

  9. Simulating Cortical Development as a Self Constructing Process: A Novel Multi-Scale Approach Combining Molecular and Physical Aspects

    PubMed Central

    Zubler, Frederic; Hauri, Andreas; Pfister, Sabina; Bauer, Roman; Anderson, John C.; Whatley, Adrian M.; Douglas, Rodney J.

    2013-01-01

    Current models of embryological development focus on intracellular processes such as gene expression and protein networks, rather than on the complex relationship between subcellular processes and the collective cellular organization these processes support. We have explored this collective behavior in the context of neocortical development, by modeling the expansion of a small number of progenitor cells into a laminated cortex with layer and cell type specific projections. The developmental process is steered by a formal language analogous to genomic instructions, and takes place in a physically realistic three-dimensional environment. A common genome inserted into individual cells control their individual behaviors, and thereby gives rise to collective developmental sequences in a biologically plausible manner. The simulation begins with a single progenitor cell containing the artificial genome. This progenitor then gives rise through a lineage of offspring to distinct populations of neuronal precursors that migrate to form the cortical laminae. The precursors differentiate by extending dendrites and axons, which reproduce the experimentally determined branching patterns of a number of different neuronal cell types observed in the cat visual cortex. This result is the first comprehensive demonstration of the principles of self-construction whereby the cortical architecture develops. In addition, our model makes several testable predictions concerning cell migration and branching mechanisms. PMID:23966845

  10. Simulating cortical development as a self constructing process: a novel multi-scale approach combining molecular and physical aspects.

    PubMed

    Zubler, Frederic; Hauri, Andreas; Pfister, Sabina; Bauer, Roman; Anderson, John C; Whatley, Adrian M; Douglas, Rodney J

    2013-01-01

    Current models of embryological development focus on intracellular processes such as gene expression and protein networks, rather than on the complex relationship between subcellular processes and the collective cellular organization these processes support. We have explored this collective behavior in the context of neocortical development, by modeling the expansion of a small number of progenitor cells into a laminated cortex with layer and cell type specific projections. The developmental process is steered by a formal language analogous to genomic instructions, and takes place in a physically realistic three-dimensional environment. A common genome inserted into individual cells control their individual behaviors, and thereby gives rise to collective developmental sequences in a biologically plausible manner. The simulation begins with a single progenitor cell containing the artificial genome. This progenitor then gives rise through a lineage of offspring to distinct populations of neuronal precursors that migrate to form the cortical laminae. The precursors differentiate by extending dendrites and axons, which reproduce the experimentally determined branching patterns of a number of different neuronal cell types observed in the cat visual cortex. This result is the first comprehensive demonstration of the principles of self-construction whereby the cortical architecture develops. In addition, our model makes several testable predictions concerning cell migration and branching mechanisms.

  11. Inactivation of the Anterior Cingulate Reveals Enhanced Reliance on Cortical Networks for Remote Spatial Memory Retrieval after Sequential Memory Processing

    PubMed Central

    Wartman, Brianne C.; Gabel, Jennifer; Holahan, Matthew R.

    2014-01-01

    One system consolidation model suggests that as time passes, ensembles of cortical neurons form strong connections to represent remote memories. In this model, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) serves as a cortical region that represents remote memories. However, there is debate as to whether remote spatial memories go through this systems consolidation process and come to rely on the ACC. The present experiment examined whether increasing the processing demand on the hippocampus, by sequential training on two spatial tasks, would more fully engage the ACC during retrieval of a remote spatial memory. In this scenario, inactivation of the ACC at a remote time point was hypothesized to produce a severe memory deficit if rats had been trained on two, sequential spatial tasks. Rats were trained on a water maze (WM) task only or a WM task followed by a radial arm maze task. A WM probe test was given recently or remotely to all rats. Prior to the probe test, rats received an injection of saline or muscimol into the ACC. A subtle deficit in probe performance was found at the remote time point in the group trained on only one spatial task and treated with muscimol. In the group trained on two spatial tasks and treated with muscimol, a subtle deficit in probe performance was noted at the recent time point and a substantial deficit in probe performance was observed at the remote time point. c-Fos labeling in the hippocampus revealed more labeling in the CA1 region in all remotely tested groups than recently tested groups. Findings suggest that spatial remote memories come to rely more fully on the ACC when hippocampal processing requirements are increased. Results also suggest continued involvement of the hippocampus in spatial memory retrieval along with a progressive strengthening of cortical connections as time progresses. PMID:25279556

  12. Adaptation tunes cortical dynamics to a critical regime during vision

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shew, Woodrow; Clawson, Wesley; Pobst, Jeff; Karimipanah, Yahya; Wright, Nathaniel; Wessel, Ralf; Shew Lab Team; Wessel Lab Team

    2015-03-01

    A long-standing hypothesis at the interface of physics and neuroscience is that neural networks self-organize to the critical point of a phase transition, thereby optimizing aspects of sensory information processing. This idea is partially supported by strong evidence for critical dynamics observed in the cerebral cortex, but has not been tested in systems with significant sensory input. Thus, the foundations of this hypothesis - the self-organization process and how it manifests during strong sensory input - remain unstudied experimentally. Here we report microelectrode array measurements from visual cortex of turtles during visual stimulation of the retina. We show experimentally and in a computational model that strong sensory input initially elicits cortical network dynamics that are not critical, but adaptive changes in the network rapidly tune the system to criticality. This conclusion is based on observations of multifaceted scaling laws predicted to occur at criticality. Our findings establish sensory adaptation as a self-organizing mechanism which maintains criticality in visual cortex during sensory information processing. Supported by NSF CRCNS Grant 1308174.

  13. Associative fear learning enhances sparse network coding in primary sensory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Gdalyahu, Amos; Tring, Elaine; Polack, Pierre-Olivier; Gruver, Robin; Golshani, Peyman; Fanselow, Michael S.; Silva, Alcino J.; Trachtenberg, Joshua T.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Several models of associative learning predict that stimulus processing changes during association formation. How associative learning reconfigures neural circuits in primary sensory cortex to "learn" associative attributes of a stimulus remains unknown. Using 2-photon in-vivo calcium imaging to measure responses of networks of neurons in primary somatosensory cortex, we discovered that associative fear learning, in which whisker stimulation is paired with foot shock, enhances sparse population coding and robustness of the conditional stimulus, yet decreases total network activity. Fewer cortical neurons responded to stimulation of the trained whisker than in controls, yet their response strength was enhanced. These responses were not observed in mice exposed to a non-associative learning procedure. Our results define how the cortical representation of a sensory stimulus is shaped by associative fear learning. These changes are proposed to enhance efficient sensory processing after associative learning. PMID:22794266

  14. Attentional enhancement via selection and pooling of early sensory responses in human visual cortex.

    PubMed

    Pestilli, Franco; Carrasco, Marisa; Heeger, David J; Gardner, Justin L

    2011-12-08

    The computational processes by which attention improves behavioral performance were characterized by measuring visual cortical activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging as humans performed a contrast-discrimination task with focal and distributed attention. Focal attention yielded robust improvements in behavioral performance accompanied by increases in cortical responses. Quantitative analysis revealed that if performance were limited only by the sensitivity of the measured sensory signals, the improvements in behavioral performance would have corresponded to an unrealistically large reduction in response variability. Instead, behavioral performance was well characterized by a pooling and selection process for which the largest sensory responses, those most strongly modulated by attention, dominated the perceptual decision. This characterization predicts that high-contrast distracters that evoke large responses should negatively impact behavioral performance. We tested and confirmed this prediction. We conclude that attention enhanced behavioral performance predominantly by enabling efficient selection of the behaviorally relevant sensory signals.

  15. Sensory Cortex Underpinnings of Traumatic Brain Injury Deficits

    PubMed Central

    Alwis, Dasuni S.; Yan, Edwin B.; Morganti-Kossmann, Maria-Cristina; Rajan, Ramesh

    2012-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in persistent sensorimotor and cognitive deficits including long-term altered sensory processing. The few animal models of sensory cortical processing effects of TBI have been limited to examination of effects immediately after TBI and only in some layers of cortex. We have now used the rat whisker tactile system and the cortex processing whisker-derived input to provide a highly detailed description of TBI-induced long-term changes in neuronal responses across the entire columnar network in primary sensory cortex. Brain injury (n = 19) was induced using an impact acceleration method and sham controls received surgery only (n = 15). Animals were tested in a range of sensorimotor behaviour tasks prior to and up to 6 weeks post-injury when there were still significant sensorimotor behaviour deficits. At 8–10 weeks post-trauma, in terminal experiments, extracellular recordings were obtained from barrel cortex neurons in response to whisker motion, including motion that mimicked whisker motion observed in awake animals undertaking different tasks. In cortex, there were lamina-specific neuronal response alterations that appeared to reflect local circuit changes. Hyper-excitation was found only in supragranular layers involved in intra-areal processing and long-range integration, and only for stimulation with complex, naturalistic whisker motion patterns and not for stimulation with simple trapezoidal whisker motion. Thus TBI induces long-term directional changes in integrative sensory cortical layers that depend on the complexity of the incoming sensory information. The nature of these changes allow predictions as to what types of sensory processes may be affected in TBI and contribute to post-trauma sensorimotor deficits. PMID:23284921

  16. Sensory processing within cockroach antenna enables rapid implementation of feedback control for high-speed running maneuvers.

    PubMed

    Mongeau, Jean-Michel; Sponberg, Simon N; Miller, John P; Full, Robert J

    2015-08-01

    Animals are remarkably stable during high-speed maneuvers. As the speed of locomotion increases, neural bandwidth and processing delays can limit the ability to achieve and maintain stable control. Processing the information of sensory stimuli into a control signal within the sensor itself could enable rapid implementation of whole-body feedback control during high-speed locomotion. Here, we show that processing in antennal afferents is sufficient to act as the control signal for a fast sensorimotor loop. American cockroaches Periplaneta americana use their antennae to mediate escape running by tracking vertical surfaces such as walls. A control theoretic model of wall following predicts that stable control is possible if the animal can compute wall position (P) and velocity, its derivative (D). Previous whole-nerve recordings from the antenna during simulated turning experiments demonstrated a population response consistent with P and D encoding, and suggested that the response was synchronized with the timing of a turn executed while wall following. Here, we record extracellularly from individual mechanoreceptors distributed along the antenna and show that these receptors encode D and have distinct latencies and filtering properties. The summed output of these receptors can be used as a control signal for rapid steering maneuvers. The D encoding within the antenna in addition to the temporal filtering properties and P dependence of the population of afferents support a sensory-encoding notion from control theory. Our findings support the notion that peripheral sensory processing can enable rapid implementation of whole-body feedback control during rapid running maneuvers.

  17. Sensory Conversion Devices

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Medelius, Pedro

    The human body has five basic sensory functions: touch, vision, hearing, taste, and smell. The effectiveness of one or more of these human sensory functions can be impaired as a result of trauma, congenital defects, or the normal ageing process. Converting one type of function into another, or translating a function to a different part of the body, could result in a better quality of life for a person with diminished sensorial capabilities.

  18. Cellular Adaptation Facilitates Sparse and Reliable Coding in Sensory Pathways

    PubMed Central

    Farkhooi, Farzad; Froese, Anja; Muller, Eilif; Menzel, Randolf; Nawrot, Martin P.

    2013-01-01

    Most neurons in peripheral sensory pathways initially respond vigorously when a preferred stimulus is presented, but adapt as stimulation continues. It is unclear how this phenomenon affects stimulus coding in the later stages of sensory processing. Here, we show that a temporally sparse and reliable stimulus representation develops naturally in sequential stages of a sensory network with adapting neurons. As a modeling framework we employ a mean-field approach together with an adaptive population density treatment, accompanied by numerical simulations of spiking neural networks. We find that cellular adaptation plays a critical role in the dynamic reduction of the trial-by-trial variability of cortical spike responses by transiently suppressing self-generated fast fluctuations in the cortical balanced network. This provides an explanation for a widespread cortical phenomenon by a simple mechanism. We further show that in the insect olfactory system cellular adaptation is sufficient to explain the emergence of the temporally sparse and reliable stimulus representation in the mushroom body. Our results reveal a generic, biophysically plausible mechanism that can explain the emergence of a temporally sparse and reliable stimulus representation within a sequential processing architecture. PMID:24098101

  19. Sensory migraine aura is not associated with structural grey matter abnormalities.

    PubMed

    Hougaard, Anders; Amin, Faisal Mohammad; Arngrim, Nanna; Vlachou, Maria; Larsen, Vibeke Andrée; Larsson, Henrik B W; Ashina, Messoud

    2016-01-01

    Migraine with aura (MA) is characterized by cortical dysfunction. Frequent aura attacks may alter cerebral cortical structure in patients, or structural grey matter abnormalities may predispose MA patients to aura attacks. In the present study we aimed to investigate cerebral grey matter structure in a large group of MA patients with and without sensory aura (i.e. gradually developing, transient unilateral sensory disturbances). We included 60 patients suffering from migraine with typical visual aura and 60 individually age and sex-matched controls. Twenty-nine of the patients additionally experienced sensory aura regularly. We analysed high-resolution structural MR images using two complimentary approaches and compared patients with and without sensory aura. Patients were also compared to controls. We found no differences of grey matter density or cortical thickness between patients with and without sensory aura and no differences for the cortical visual areas between patients and controls. The somatosensory cortex was thinner in patients (1.92 mm vs. 1.96 mm, P = 0.043) and the anterior cingulate cortex of patients had a decreased grey matter density (P = 0.039) compared to controls. These differences were not correlated to the clinical characteristics. Our results suggest that sensory migraine aura is not associated with altered grey matter structure and that patients with visual aura have normal cortical structure of areas involved in visual processing. The observed decreased grey matter volume of the cingulate gyrus in patients compared to controls have previously been reported in migraine with and without aura, but also in a wide range of other neurologic and psychiatric disorders. Most likely, this finding reflects general bias between patients and healthy controls.

  20. Visual, Auditory, and Cross Modal Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism: An EEG Power and BOLD fMRI Investigation

    PubMed Central

    Hames, Elizabeth’ C.; Murphy, Brandi; Rajmohan, Ravi; Anderson, Ronald C.; Baker, Mary; Zupancic, Stephen; O’Boyle, Michael; Richman, David

    2016-01-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) and blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imagining (BOLD fMRI) assessed the neurocorrelates of sensory processing of visual and auditory stimuli in 11 adults with autism (ASD) and 10 neurotypical (NT) controls between the ages of 20–28. We hypothesized that ASD performance on combined audiovisual trials would be less accurate with observable decreased EEG power across frontal, temporal, and occipital channels and decreased BOLD fMRI activity in these same regions; reflecting deficits in key sensory processing areas. Analysis focused on EEG power, BOLD fMRI, and accuracy. Lower EEG beta power and lower left auditory cortex fMRI activity were seen in ASD compared to NT when they were presented with auditory stimuli as demonstrated by contrasting the activity from the second presentation of an auditory stimulus in an all auditory block vs. the second presentation of a visual stimulus in an all visual block (AA2-VV2).We conclude that in ASD, combined audiovisual processing is more similar than unimodal processing to NTs. PMID:27148020

  1. Visual, Auditory, and Cross Modal Sensory Processing in Adults with Autism: An EEG Power and BOLD fMRI Investigation.

    PubMed

    Hames, Elizabeth' C; Murphy, Brandi; Rajmohan, Ravi; Anderson, Ronald C; Baker, Mary; Zupancic, Stephen; O'Boyle, Michael; Richman, David

    2016-01-01

    Electroencephalography (EEG) and blood oxygen level dependent functional magnetic resonance imagining (BOLD fMRI) assessed the neurocorrelates of sensory processing of visual and auditory stimuli in 11 adults with autism (ASD) and 10 neurotypical (NT) controls between the ages of 20-28. We hypothesized that ASD performance on combined audiovisual trials would be less accurate with observable decreased EEG power across frontal, temporal, and occipital channels and decreased BOLD fMRI activity in these same regions; reflecting deficits in key sensory processing areas. Analysis focused on EEG power, BOLD fMRI, and accuracy. Lower EEG beta power and lower left auditory cortex fMRI activity were seen in ASD compared to NT when they were presented with auditory stimuli as demonstrated by contrasting the activity from the second presentation of an auditory stimulus in an all auditory block vs. the second presentation of a visual stimulus in an all visual block (AA2-VV2).We conclude that in ASD, combined audiovisual processing is more similar than unimodal processing to NTs.

  2. Analysis of the chronic intake of and withdrawal from diazepam on emotional reactivity and sensory information processing in rats.

    PubMed

    De Ross, J; Castilho, V M; Brandão, M L; Nobre, M J

    2008-04-01

    It has been demonstrated that, on abrupt withdrawal, patients with chronic exposure can experience a number of symptoms indicative of a dependent state. In clinical patients, the earliest to arise and most persistent signal of withdrawal from chronic benzodiazepine (Bzp) treatment is anxiety. In laboratory animals, anxiety-like effects following abrupt interruption of chronic Bzp treatment can also be reproduced. In fact, signs that oscillate from irritability to extreme fear behaviours and seizures have been described already. As anxiety remains one of the most important symptoms of Bzp withdrawal, in this study we evaluated the anxiety levels of rats withdrawn from diazepam. Also studied were the effects on the motor performance and preattentive sensory gating process of rats under diazepam chronic treatment and upon 48-h withdrawal on three animal models of anxiety, the elevated plus-maze (EPM), ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) and startle+prepulse inhibition tests. Data obtained showed an anxiolytic- and anxiogenic-like profile of the chronic intake of and withdrawal from diazepam regimen in the EPM test, 22-KHz USV and startle reflex. Diazepam chronic effects or its withdrawal were ineffective in promoting any alteration in the prepulse inhibition (PPI). However, an increase of PPI was achieved in both sucrose and diazepam pretreated rats on 48-h withdrawal, suggesting a procedural rather than a specific effect of withdrawal on sensory gating processes. It is also possible that the prepulse can function as a conditioned stimulus to informing the delivery of an aversive event, as the auditory startling-eliciting stimulus. All these findings are indicative of a sensitization of the neural substrates of aversion in diazepam-withdrawn animals without concomitant changes on the processing of sensory information.

  3. The evolution of whisker-mediated somatosensation in mammals: Sensory processing in barrelless S1 cortex of a marsupial, Monodelphis domestica.

    PubMed

    Ramamurthy, Deepa L; Krubitzer, Leah A

    2016-12-01

    Movable tactile sensors in the form of whiskers are present in most mammals, but sensory coding in the cortical whisker representation has been studied almost exclusively in mice and rats. Many species that possess whiskers lack the modular "barrel" organization found in the primary somatosensory cortex (S1) of mice and rats, but it is unclear how whisker-related input is represented in these species. We used single-unit extracellular recording techniques to characterize receptive fields and response properties in S1 of Monodelphis domestica (short-tailed opossum), a nocturnal, terrestrial marsupial that shared its last common ancestor with placental mammals over 160 million years ago. Short-tailed opossums lack barrels and septa in S1 but show active whisking behavior similar to that of mice and rats. Most neurons in short-tailed opossum S1 exhibited multiwhisker receptive fields, including a single best whisker (BW) and lower magnitude responses to the deflection of surrounding whiskers. Mean tuning width was similar to that reported for mice and rats. Both symmetrical and asymmetrical receptive fields were present. Neurons tuned to ventral whiskers tended to show broad tuning along the rostrocaudal axis. Thus, despite the absence of barrels, most receptive field properties were similar to those reported for mice and rats. However, unlike those species, S1 neuronal responses to BW and surround whisker deflection showed comparable latencies in short-tailed opossums. This dissimilarity suggests that some aspects of barrel cortex function may not generalize to tactile processing across mammalian species and may be related to differences in the architecture of the whisker-to-cortex pathway. J. Comp. Neurol. 524:3587-3613, 2016. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  4. Development of chicken meat caruncles on the basis of sensory attributes: process optimization using response surface methodology.

    PubMed

    Singh, Parminder; Sahoo, Jhari; Talwar, Gopika; Chatli, Manish K; Biswas, Ashim K

    2015-03-01

    A three factor Box-Behnken design of response surface methodology was employed to optimize spent hen meat level (600-700 g kg(-1)), oil level (25-75 g kg(-1)) and cooking time (3-5 min) for development of ready-to-eat chicken meat caruncles on the basis of sensory attributes - colour/appearance, flavour, crispiness, after-taste, meat flavour intensity and overall acceptability. The analysis of variance showed that meat and cooking time interaction showed significant effect (p < 0.01; p < 0.05; p < 0.1) on colour/appearance and crispiness of chicken meat caruncles. Quadratically meat level showed significantly higher effect (p < 0.01; p < 0.05; p < 0.1) on crispiness; and oil level and cooking time (p < 0.05; p < 0.1) on after-taste of chicken meat caruncles. Linearly meat level showed significantly higher (p < 0.05; p < 0.1) effect on colour/appearance, after-taste, meat flavour intensity and overall acceptability of chicken meat caruncles. The optimized conditions were: 650 g kg(-1) meat level, 50 g kg(-1) oil level and cooking time as 4 min. Among all sensory parameters, crispiness is one of the most important sensory parameters for meat snacks, which was highest (6.68) at the optimized conditions in the final product. The other sensory parameters ranged from 6.33 to 6.68 on an eight point scale. Box-Behnken design of RSM performed well in the optimization process of development of chicken meat caruncles to produce product with very high degree of acceptability. 650 g kg(-1) of spent hen meat level produced the most acceptable product in terms of sensory profile.

  5. Critical roles of voltage-dependent sodium channels in the process of synaptogenesis during the postnatal cortical development of rats.

    PubMed

    Wang, Ke; Cui, Jihong; Cai, Yijun; Wang, Fang; Li, Yi; Tao, Wucheng; Xiang, Hui

    2009-12-01

    The developmental changes of the sodium channel and construction of synapse connection were studied in cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons of rats at different age groups. We used whole-cell patch-clamp recordings to characterize electrophysiological properties of cortical neurons at different age stages, including the sodium currents, APs evoked by depolarizing current and short-term plasticity of the eEPSCs. The result shows that the sodium currents undergo a hyperpolarizing shift in activation process and acceleration of activation and inactivation with age. The maximal sodium current also increased with maturation, and the evident difference appeared from P7-P11 (with the day of birth as P0) to P12-P15 group. The tendency of the sodium current density changes which exhibited the same properties as that of sodium current, showed the significant increases from P19-P21 to P >or= 22 group. The APs' parameters exhibited the age-dependent changes except the threshold, including the increase of the peak amplitude from P or= 22 group, the 2nd response showed the tendency of facilitation compared with the younger age groups. Our results indicated that the cerebral cortical pyramidal neurons of rats are undergoing marked changes in the characteristics of their sodium channels with maturation, which play a critical role in synaptogenesis and construction of the neuronal network.

  6. Capsaicin failed in suppressing cortical processing of CO2 laser pain in migraine patients.

    PubMed

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

    The aim of this study was to compare the properties of the nociceptive system in eight migraine without aura patients in the pain-free phase with 10 healthy controls, by evaluating the topography and the source of the CO2 laser-evoked potentials (LEPs) obtained by the right supraorbital skin, during and after capsaicin topical application. In healthy subjects the acute cutaneous pain induced by capsaicin reduced the amplitude of the vertex LEPs and induced a posterior shifting of the P2 wave dipolar source within the anterior cingulate cortex. These functional changes seemed significantly reduced in migraine patients, for a disturbed pattern of pain modulation at the cortical level, which may subtend the onset and persistence of migraine.

  7. Atypical central pain processing in sensory modulation disorder: absence of temporal summation and higher after-sensation.

    PubMed

    Bar-Shalita, T; Vatine, J-J; Yarnitsky, D; Parush, S; Weissman-Fogel, I

    2014-02-01

    Sensory over-responsivity (SOR), a subtype of the proposed sensory modulation disorder (SMD), is characterized by over-responsiveness to stimuli in several sensory modalities. SMD individuals demonstrate abnormal responses to naturally occurring stimuli in a manner that interferes with daily life participation. Previous psychophysical testing of the somatosensory system revealed that SOR individuals rated pain sensations higher than controls, demonstrating hyperalgesia that can be centrally mediated. Temporal summation (TS) of second pain and after-sensation are manifestations of central sensitization; therefore, this study explored these measures for better characterization of central pain processing in SOR. Twelve SOR adults and 12 healthy controls participated. TS was produced by a train of fifteen repetitive heat pulses, 0.7 s duration each, and 2 s of inter-stimulus interval, applied to the thenar-eminence, while four pain ratings were obtained. An after-sensation was then measured for 5 min, obtaining six pain ratings. No TS of pain was indicated in the SOR group (SOR: p = 0.36; control: p < 0.001). Further, while controls reported a gradual disappearance of pain after-sensation, individuals with SOR continued to report pain for the duration of the 5 min measured (p = 0.002). These results demonstrate an atypical response pattern, suggesting alteration in pain processing and/or modulation at a central level in individuals with SOR. These possible neural changes may manifest themselves as interference with daily functioning as well as shed light on some of the between-subject variability seen in psychophysical testing in non-painful subjects.

  8. Dynamics of auditory cortical activity during behavioural engagement and auditory perception

    PubMed Central

    Carcea, Ioana; Insanally, Michele N.; Froemke, Robert C.

    2017-01-01

    Behavioural engagement can enhance sensory perception. However, the neuronal mechanisms by which behavioural states affect stimulus perception remain poorly understood. Here we record from single units in auditory cortex of rats performing a self-initiated go/no-go auditory task. Self-initiation transforms cortical tuning curves and bidirectionally modulates stimulus-evoked activity patterns and improves auditory detection and recognition. Trial self-initiation decreases the rate of spontaneous activity in the majority of recorded cells. Optogenetic disruption of cortical activity before and during tone presentation shows that these changes in evoked and spontaneous activity are important for sound perception. Thus, behavioural engagement can prepare cortical circuits for sensory processing by dynamically changing sound representation and by controlling the pattern of spontaneous activity. PMID:28176787

  9. Dynamics of auditory cortical activity during behavioural engagement and auditory perception.

    PubMed

    Carcea, Ioana; Insanally, Michele N; Froemke, Robert C

    2017-02-08

    Behavioural engagement can enhance sensory perception. However, the neuronal mechanisms by which behavioural states affect stimulus perception remain poorly understood. Here we record from single units in auditory cortex of rats performing a self-initiated go/no-go auditory task. Self-initiation transforms cortical tuning curves and bidirectionally modulates stimulus-evoked activity patterns and improves auditory detection and recognition. Trial self-initiation decreases the rate of spontaneous activity in the majority of recorded cells. Optogenetic disruption of cortical activity before and during tone presentation shows that these changes in evoked and spontaneous activity are important for sound perception. Thus, behavioural engagement can prepare cortical circuits for sensory processing by dynamically changing sound representation and by controlling the pattern of spontaneous activity.

  10. Brain Plasticity in Blind Subjects Centralizes Beyond the Modal Cortices

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Terán, Laura; Ortiz, Tomás; Perez, David L.; Aragón, Jose Ignacio; Diez, Ibai; Pascual-Leone, Alvaro; Sepulcre, Jorge

    2016-01-01

    It is well established that the human brain reorganizes following sensory deprivations. In blind individuals, visual processing regions including the lateral occipital cortex (LOC) are activated by auditory and tactile stimuli as demonstrated by neurophysiological and neuroimaging investigations. The mechanisms for such plasticity remain unclear, but shifts in connectivity across existing neural networks appear to play a critical role. The majority of research efforts to date have focused on neuroplastic changes within visual unimodal regions, however we hypothesized that neuroplastic alterations may also occur in brain networks beyond the visual cortices including involvement of multimodal integration regions and heteromodal cortices. In this study, two recently developed graph-theory based functional connectivity analyses, interconnector analyses and local and distant connectivity, were applied to investigate functional reorganization in regional and distributed neural-systems in late-onset blind (LB) and congenitally blind (CB) cohorts each compared to their own group of sighted controls. While functional network alterations as measured by the degree of differential links (DDL) occurred in sensory cortices, neuroplastic changes were most prominent within multimodal and association cortices. Subjects with LB showed enhanced multimodal integration connections in the parieto-opercular, temporoparietal junction (TPJ) and ventral premotor (vPM) regions, while CB individuals exhibited increased superior parietal cortex (SPC) connections. This study reveals the critical role of recipient multi-sensory integration areas in network reorganization and cross-modal plasticity in blind individuals. These findings suggest that aspects of cross-modal neuroplasticity and adaptive sensory-motor and auditory functions may potentially occur through reorganization in multimodal integration regions. PMID:27458350

  11. Intense pain influences the cortical processing of visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized skin

    PubMed Central

    Torta, DM; Van Den Broeke, EN; Filbrich, L; Jacob, B; Lambert, J; Mouraux, A

    2017-01-01

    Sensitization is a form of implicit learning produced by the exposure to a harmful stimulus. In humans and other mammals, sensitization following skin injury increases the responsiveness of peripheral nociceptors, and enhances the synaptic transmission of nociceptive input in the central nervous system (CNS). Here, we show that sensitization-related changes in the CNS are not restricted to nociceptive pathways and, instead, also affect other sensory modalities, especially if that modality conveys information relevant for the sensitized body part. Specifically, we show that after sensitizing the forearm using high-frequency electrical stimulation of the skin (HFS), visual stimuli projected onto the sensitized forearm elicit significantly enhanced brain responses. Whereas mechanical hyperalgesia was present both 20 and 45 minutes after HFS, the enhanced responsiveness to visual stimuli was present only 20 minutes after HFS. Taken together, our results indicate that sensitization involves both nociceptive-specific and multimodal mechanisms, having distinct time courses. PMID:28030473

  12. The signer and the sign: Cortical correlates of person identity and language processing from point-light displays

    PubMed Central

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

    2011-01-01

    In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these conditions replicated those previously reported for full-image displays, including regions within the inferior temporal cortex that are specialised for face and body-part identification, although such body parts were invisible in the display. Right frontal regions were also recruited – a pattern not usually seen in full-image SL processing. This activation may reflect the recruitment of information about person identity from the reduced display. A direct comparison of identify-signer and identify-sign conditions showed these tasks relied to a different extent on the posterior inferior regions. Signer identification elicited greater activation than sign identification in (bilateral) inferior temporal gyri (BA 37/19), fusiform gyri (BA 37), middle and posterior portions of the middle temporal gyri (BAs 37 and 19), and superior temporal gyri (BA 22 and 42). Right inferior frontal cortex was a further focus of differential activation (signer > sign). These findings suggest that the neural systems supporting point-light displays for the processing of SL rely on a cortical network including areas of the inferior temporal cortex specialized for face and body identification. While this might be predicted from other studies of whole body point-light actions (Vaina, Solomon, Chowdhury, Sinha, & Belliveau, 2001) it is not predicted from the perspective of spoken language processing, where voice characteristics and speech content recruit distinct cortical regions (Stevens, 2004) in addition to a common network. In this respect, our findings contrast with studies of voice/speech recognition (Von Kriegstein, Kleinschmidt, Sterzer

  13. The signer and the sign: cortical correlates of person identity and language processing from point-light displays.

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    In this study, the first to explore the cortical correlates of signed language (SL) processing under point-light display conditions, the observer identified either a signer or a lexical sign from a display in which different signers were seen producing a number of different individual signs. Many of the regions activated by point-light under these conditions replicated those previously reported for full-image displays, including regions within the inferior temporal cortex that are specialised for face and body-part identification, although such body parts were invisible in the display. Right frontal regions were also recruited - a pattern not usually seen in full-image SL processing. This activation may reflect the recruitment of information about person identity from the reduced display. A direct comparison of identify-signer and identify-sign conditions showed these tasks relied to a different extent on the posterior inferior regions. Signer identification elicited greater activation than sign identification in (bilateral) inferior temporal gyri (BA 37/19), fusiform gyri (BA 37), middle and posterior portions of the middle temporal gyri (BAs 37 and 19), and superior temporal gyri (BA 22 and 42). Right inferior frontal cortex was a further focus of differential activation (signer>sign). These findings suggest that the neural systems supporting point-light displays for the processing of SL rely on a cortical network including areas of the inferior temporal cortex specialized for face and body identification. While this might be predicted from other studies of whole body point-light actions (Vaina, Solomon, Chowdhury, Sinha, & Belliveau, 2001) it is not predicted from the perspective of spoken language processing, where voice characteristics and speech content recruit distinct cortical regions (Stevens, 2004) in addition to a common network. In this respect, our findings contrast with studies of voice/speech recognition (Von Kriegstein, Kleinschmidt, Sterzer

  14. Effect of drying parameters on physiochemical and sensory properties of fruit powders processed by PGSS-, Vacuum- and Spray-drying.

    PubMed

    Feguš, Urban; Žigon, Uroš; Petermann, Marcus; Knez, Željko

    2015-01-01

    Aim of this experimental work was to investigate the possibility of producing fruit powders without employing drying aid and to investigate the effect of drying temperatures on the final powder characteristics. Raw fruit materials (banana puree, strawberry puree and blueberry concentrate) were processed using three different drying techniques each operating at a different temperature conditions: vacuum-drying (-27-17 °C), Spray-drying (130-160 °C) and PGSS-drying (112-152 °C). Moisture content, total colour difference, antioxidant activity and sensory characteristics of the processed fruit powders were analysed. The results obtained from the experimental work indicate that investigated fruit powders without or with minimal addition of maltodextrin can be produced. Additionally, it was observed that an increase in process temperature results in a higher loss of colour, antioxidant activity and intensity of the flavour profile.

  15. Optimization of process conditions for Rohu fish in curry medium in retortable pouches using instrumental and sensory characteristics.

    PubMed

    Majumdar, Ranendra K; Dhar, Bahni; Roy, Deepayan; Saha, Apurba

    2015-09-01

    'Kalia', a popular preparation of Rohu fish, packed in four-layered laminated retort pouch was processed in a steam/air mixture over-pressure retort at 121.1 °C to three different F 0 values of 7, 8 and 9 min. Time-temperature data were collected during heat processing using an Ellab Sterilization Monitoring System. Texture profile such as hardness, springiness, gumminess and chewiness decreased as the F 0 value increased. The L* values decreased whereas a* and b* values increased with increasing F 0 value. Based on the commercial sterility, sensory evaluation, colour and texture profile analysis, F 0 value of 8 min and cook value of 66 min, with a total process time of 41.7 min at 121.1 °C was found satisfactory for the preparation of Rohu fish curry (Kalia) in retort pouches.

  16. Laminar structure of spontaneous and sensory-evoked population activity in auditory cortex

    PubMed Central

    Sakata, Shuzo; Harris, Kenneth D.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Spontaneous activity plays an important role in the function of neural circuits. Although many similarities between spontaneous and sensory-evoked neocortical activity have been reported, little is known about consistent differences between them. Here, using simultaneously recorded cortical populations and morphologically identified pyramidal cells, we compare the laminar structure of spontaneous and sensory-evoked population activity in rat auditory cortex. Spontaneous and evoked patterns both exhibited sparse, spatially localized activity in layer 2/3 pyramidal cells, with densely distributed activity in larger layer 5 pyramidal cells and putative interneurons. However, the propagation of spontaneous and evoked activity differed, with spontaneous activity spreading upward from deep layers and slowly across columns, but sensory responses initiating in presumptive thalamorecipient layers, spreading rapidly across columns. The similarity of sparseness patterns for both neural events, and distinct spread of activity may reflect similarity of local processing, and differences in the flow of information through cortical circuits, respectively. PMID:19914188

  17. Distinct Corticostriatal and Intracortical Pathways Mediate Bilateral Sensory Responses in the Striatum

    PubMed Central

    Reig, Ramon; Silberberg, Gilad

    2016-01-01

    Individual striatal neurons integrate somatosensory information from both sides of the body, however, the afferent pathways mediating these bilateral responses are unclear. Whereas ipsilateral corticostriatal projections are prevalent throughout the neocortex, contralateral projections provide sparse input from primary sensory cortices, in contrast to the dense innervation from motor and frontal regions. There is, therefore, an apparent discrepancy between the observed anatomical pathways and the recorded striatal responses. We used simultaneous in vivo whole-cell and extracellular recordings combined with focal cortical silencing, to dissect the afferent pathways underlying bilateral sensory integration in the mouse striatum. We show that unlike direct corticostriatal projections mediating responses to contralateral whisker deflection, responses to ipsilateral stimuli are mediated mainly by intracortical projections from the contralateral somatosensory cortex (S1). The dominant pathway is the callosal projection from contralateral to ipsilateral S1. Our results suggest a functional difference between the cortico-basal ganglia pathways underlying bilateral sensory and motor processes. PMID:27664965

  18. The highly sensitive brain: an fMRI study of sensory processing sensitivity and response to others' emotions

    PubMed Central

    Acevedo, Bianca P; Aron, Elaine N; Aron, Arthur; Sangster, Matthew-Donald; Collins, Nancy; Brown, Lucy L

    2014-01-01

    Background Theory and research suggest that sensory processing sensitivity (SPS), found in roughly 20% of humans and over 100 other species, is a trait associated with greater sensitivity and responsiveness to the environment and to social stimuli. Self-report studies have shown that high-SPS individuals are strongly affected by others' moods, but no previous study has examined neural systems engaged in response to others' emotions. Methods This study examined the neural correlates of SPS (measured by the standard short-form Highly Sensitive Person [HSP] scale) among 18 participants (10 females) while viewing photos of their romantic partners and of strangers displaying positive, negative, or neutral facial expressions. One year apart, 13 of the 18 participants were scanned twice. Results Across all conditions, HSP scores were associated with increased brain activation of regions involved in attention and action planning (in the cingulate and premotor area [PMA]). For happy and sad photo conditions, SPS was associated with activation of brain regions involved in awareness, integration of sensory information, empathy, and action planning (e.g., cingulate, insula, inferior frontal gyrus [IFG], middle temporal gyrus [MTG], and PMA). Conclusions As predicted, for partner images and for happy facial photos, HSP scores were associated with stronger activation of brain regions involved in awareness, empathy, and self-other processing. These results provide evidence that awareness and responsiveness are fundamental features of SPS, and show how the brain may mediate these traits. PMID:25161824

  19. Perlecan/Hspg2 deficiency alters the pericellular space of the lacunocanalicular system surrounding osteocytic processes in cortical bone.

    PubMed

    Thompson, William R; Modla, Shannon; Grindel, Brian J; Czymmek, Kirk J; Kirn-Safran, Catherine B; Wang, Liyun; Duncan, Randall L; Farach-Carson, Mary C

    2011-03-01

    Osteocytes project long, slender processes throughout the mineralized matrix of bone, where they connect and communicate with effector cells. The interconnected cellular projections form the functional lacunocanalicular system, allowing fluid to pass for cell-to-cell communication and nutrient and waste exchange. Prevention of mineralization in the pericellular space of the lacunocanalicular pericellular space is crucial for uninhibited interstitial fluid movement. Factors contributing to the ability of the pericellular space of the lacunocanalicular system to remain open and unmineralized are unclear. Immunofluorescence and immunogold localization by transmission electron microscopy demonstrated perlecan/Hspg2 signal localized to the osteocyte lacunocanalicular system of cortical bone, and this proteoglycan was found in the pericellular space of the lacunocanalicular system. In this study we examined osteocyte lacunocanalicular morphology in mice deficient in the large heparan sulfate proteoglycan perlecan/Hspg2 in this tissue. Ultrastructural measurements with electron microscopy of perlecan/Hspg2-deficient mice demonstrated diminished osteocyte canalicular pericellular area, resulting from a reduction in the total canalicular area. Additionally, perlecan/Hspg2-deficient mice showed decreased canalicular density and a reduced number of transverse tethering elements per canaliculus. These data indicated that perlecan/Hspg2 contributed to the integrity of the osteocyte lacunocanalicular system by maintaining the size of the pericellular space, an essential task to promote uninhibited interstitial fluid movement in this mechanosensitive environment. This work thus identified a new barrier function for perlecan/Hspg2 in murine cortical bone.

  20. The effect of thermal processing condition on the physicochemical and sensory characteristics of fermented sausages dried by Quick-Dry-Slice process®.

    PubMed

    Ferrini, G; Arnau, J; Guàrdia, M D; Comaposada, J

    2014-02-01

    The effect of different thermal processing conditions just after fermentation on physicochemical parameters and sensory attributes of salami and chorizo slices dried by Quick-Dry-Slice process®, was evaluated. Meat and common additives were mixed, stuffed and fermented. Previous to drying the sausages were subjected to thermal treatment at 53 °C at different exposure times (0, 50, 65, 80, 95 and 110 min). Finally, the sausages were sliced and dried using QDS process®. Color, instrumental texture and sensory analysis were performed. Lightness (L*) after fermentation increased with thermal processing in both products while redness (a*) and yellowness (b*) decreased only in salami. Thermal treatment after fermentation increased the initial force (F0). Cooked appearance, cooked fat odor, cooked flavor and stringiness increased when the thermal processing time was increased. Thermal processing of salami and chorizo at 53 °C for 50 min and drying up to 30% of weight loss resulted in a similar product to that obtained without thermal processing.

  1. TUTORIAL: Beyond sensory substitution—learning the sixth sense

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagel, Saskia K.; Carl, Christine; Kringe, Tobias; Märtin, Robert; König, Peter

    2005-12-01

    Rapid advances in neuroscience have sparked numerous efforts to study the neural correlate of consciousness. Prominent subjects include higher sensory area, distributed assemblies bound by synchronization of neuronal activity and neurons in specific cortical laminae. In contrast, it has been suggested that the quality of sensory awareness is determined by systematic change of afferent signals resulting from behaviour and knowledge thereof. Support for such skill-based theories of perception is provided by experiments on sensory substitution. Here, we pursue this line of thought and create new sensorimotor contingencies and, hence, a new quality of perception. Adult subjects received orientation information, obtained by a magnetic compass, via vibrotactile stimulation around the waist. After six weeks of training we evaluated integration of the new input by a battery of tests. The results indicate that the sensory information provided by the belt (1) is processed and boosts performance, (2) if inconsistent with other sensory signals leads to variable performance, (3) does interact with the vestibular nystagmus and (4) in half of the experimental subjects leads to qualitative changes of sensory experience. These data support the hypothesis that new sensorimotor contingencies can be learned and integrated into behaviour and affect perceptual experience.

  2. Task-specific transfer of perceptual learning across sensory modalities.

    PubMed

    McGovern, David P; Astle, Andrew T; Clavin, Sarah L; Newell, Fiona N

    2016-01-11

    It is now widely accepted that primary cortical areas of the brain that were once thought to be sensory-specific undergo significant functional reorganisation following sensory deprivation. For instance, loss of vision or audition leads to the brain areas normally associated with these senses being recruited by the remaining sensory modalities [1]. Despite this, little is known about the rules governing crossmodal plasticity in people who experience typical sensory development, or the potential behavioural consequences. Here, we used a novel perceptual learning paradigm to assess whether the benefits associated with training on a task in one sense transfer to another sense. Participants were randomly assigned to a spatial or temporal task that could be performed visually or aurally, which they practiced for five days; before and after training, we measured discrimination thresholds on all four conditions and calculated the extent of transfer between them. Our results show a clear transfer of learning between sensory modalities; however, generalisation was limited to particular conditions. Specifically, learned improvements on the spatial task transferred from the visual domain to the auditory domain, but not vice versa. Conversely, benefits derived from training on the temporal task transferred from the auditory domain to visual domain, but not vice versa. These results suggest a unidirectional transfer of perceptual learning from dominant to non-dominant sensory modalities and place important constraints on models of multisensory processing and plasticity.

  3. [Cortical processing of visual and auditory stimuli in depressive patients: a study with event related potentials].

    PubMed

    Ortiz, T; Pérez-Serrano, J M; Coullaut, J; Fudio, S; Coullaut, J; Criado, J

    1998-01-01

    Event related Potentials, which seem to be an objective parameter reflecting cognitive functions, have been examined in depression. To evaluate the influence of visual and auditory stimuli on the P300 latency we studied 42 patients with major depression and 21 normal subjects. The experimental tasks applied were first a series of 300 auditory stimuli [255 (85%) were tones of 1000 Hz, and considered the frequent stimulus, whereas 45 (15%) were tones of 2000 Hz and referred to as the rare stimulus and second a series of 300 visual stimuli 255 (85%) were black circles on a white background, and considered the frequent stimulus, 9 cm diameter, 200 ms duration whereas 45 (15%) were back squares on a white background and referred to as the rare stimulus, 9 cm diameter, 200 ms duration] in the center of a computer screen. The results shown an increase of P300 latency in depressive patients during auditory and visual tasks. Non differences were found in reaction time to visual or auditory stimuli. These results are consistent with an impairment in brain function in depressive patients that is associated with cortical hypoactivity and deficits in perceptive, auditory or visual, functions.

  4. Modeling the Formation Process of Grouping Stimuli Sets through Cortical Columns and Microcircuits to Feature Neurons

    PubMed Central

    Williamson, Adam

    2013-01-01

    A computational model of a self-structuring neuronal net is presented in which repetitively applied pattern sets induce the formation of cortical columns and microcircuits which decode distinct patterns after a learning phase. In a case study, it is demonstrated how specific neurons in a feature classifier layer become orientation selective if they receive bar patterns of different slopes from an input layer. The input layer is mapped and intertwined by self-evolving neuronal microcircuits to the feature classifier layer. In this topical overview, several models are discussed which indicate that the net formation converges in its functionality to a mathematical transform which maps the input pattern space to a feature representing output space. The self-learning of the mathematical transform is discussed and its implications are interpreted. Model assumptions are deduced which serve as a guide to apply model derived repetitive stimuli pattern sets to in vitro cultures of neuron ensembles to condition them to learn and execute a mathematical transform. PMID:24369455

  5. Modeling the formation process of grouping stimuli sets through cortical columns and microcircuits to feature neurons.

    PubMed

    Klefenz, Frank; Williamson, Adam

    2013-01-01

    A computational model of a self-structuring neuronal net is presented in which repetitively applied pattern sets induce the formation of cortical columns and microcircuits which decode distinct patterns after a learning phase. In a case study, it is demonstrated how specific neurons in a feature classifier layer become orientation selective if they receive bar patterns of different slopes from an input layer. The input layer is mapped and intertwined by self-evolving neuronal microcircuits to the feature classifier layer. In this topical overview, several models are discussed which indicate that the net formation converges in its functionality to a mathematical transform which maps the input pattern space to a feature representing output space. The self-learning of the mathematical transform is discussed and its implications are interpreted. Model assumptions are deduced which serve as a guide to apply model derived repetitive stimuli pattern sets to in vitro cultures of neuron ensembles to condition them to learn and execute a mathematical transform.

  6. [Cortical blindness].

    PubMed

    Chokron, S

    2014-02-01

    Cortical blindness refers to a visual loss induced by a bilateral occipital lesion. The very strong cooperation between psychophysics, cognitive psychology, neurophysiology and neuropsychology these latter twenty years as well as recent progress in cerebral imagery have led to a better understanding of neurovisual deficits, such as cortical blindness. It thus becomes possible now to propose an earlier diagnosis of cortical blindness as well as new perspectives for rehabilitation in children as well as in adults. On the other hand, studying complex neurovisual deficits, such as cortical blindness is a way to infer normal functioning of the visual system.

  7. Cortico-cortical communication dynamics

    PubMed Central

    Roland, Per E.; Hilgetag, Claus C.; Deco, Gustavo

    2014-01-01

    In principle, cortico-cortical communication dynamics is simple: neurons in one cortical area communicate by sending action potentials that release glutamate and excite their target neurons in other cortical areas. In practice, knowledge about cortico-cortical communication dynamics is minute. One reason is that no current technique can capture the fast spatio-temporal cortico-cortical evolution of action potential transmission and membrane conductances with sufficient spatial resolution. A combination of optogenetics and monosynaptic tracing with virus can reveal the spatio-temporal cortico-cortical dynamics of specific neurons and their targets, but does not reveal how the dynamics evolves under natural conditions. Spontaneous ongoing action potentials also spread across cortical areas and are difficult to separate from structured evoked and intrinsic brain activity such as thinking. At a certain state of evolution, the dynamics may engage larger populations of neurons to drive the brain to decisions, percepts and behaviors. For example, successfully evolving dynamics to sensory transients can appear at the mesoscopic scale revealing how the transient is perceived. As a consequence of these methodological and conceptual difficulties, studies in this field comprise a wide range of computational models, large-scale measurements (e.g., by MEG, EEG), and a combination of invasive measurements in animal experiments. Further obstacles and challenges of studying cortico-cortical communication dynamics are outlined in this critical review. PMID:24847217

  8. Flavor characteristics of the juices from fresh market tomatoes differentiated from those from processing tomatoes by combined analysis of volatile profiles with sensory evaluation.

    PubMed

    Iijima, Yoko; Iwasaki, Yumi; Otagiri, Yuji; Tsugawa, Hiroshi; Sato, Tsuneo; Otomo, Hiroe; Sekine, Yukio; Obata, Akio

    2016-12-01

    Various commercial tomato juices with different flavors are available at markets worldwide. To clarify the marker compounds related to the flavor characteristics of tomato juice, we analyzed 15 pure commercial tomato juices by a combination of volatile profiling and sensory evaluation. The correlations among volatiles and the relationship between volatiles and sensory descriptors were elucidated by multivariate analyses. Consequently, the tomato juices made from fresh market tomatoes (including the popular Japanese tomato variety "Momotaro") were clearly separated from other juices made from processing tomatoes, by both the volatile composition and sensory profiles. cis-3-Hexenol, hexanal, and apocarotenoids negatively contributed to the juices from fresh market tomatoes, whereas Strecker aldehydes and furfural showed positive contributions to the juices. Accordingly, the sensory characteristics of juices from fresh market tomatoes were related to cooked and fruity flavors but not to green or fresh notes.

  9. Primary Sensory and Motor Cortex Excitability Are Co-Modulated in Response to Peripheral Electrical Nerve Stimulation

    PubMed Central

    Schabrun, Siobhan M.; Ridding, Michael C.; Galea, Mary P.; Hodges, Paul W.; Chipchase, Lucinda S.

    2012-01-01

    Peripheral electrical stimulation (PES) is a common clinical technique known to induce changes in corticomotor excitability; PES applied to induce a tetanic motor contraction increases, and PES at sub-motor threshold (sensory) intensities decreases, corticomotor excitability. Understanding of the mechanisms underlying these opposite changes in corticomotor excitability remains elusive. Modulation of primary sensory cortex (S1) excitability could underlie altered corticomotor excitability with PES. Here we examined whether changes in primary sensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortex excitability follow the same time-course when PES is applied using identical stimulus parameters. Corticomotor excitability was measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and sensory cortex excitability using somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) before and after 30 min of PES to right abductor pollicis brevis (APB). Two PES paradigms were tested in separate sessions; PES sufficient to induce a tetanic motor contraction (30–50 Hz; strong motor intensity) and PES at sub motor-threshold intensity (100 Hz). PES applied to induce strong activation of APB increased the size of the N20-P25 component, thought to reflect sensory processing at cortical level, and increased corticomotor excitability. PES at sensory intensity decreased the size of the P25-N33 component and reduced corticomotor excitability. A positive correlation was observed between the changes in amplitude of the cortical SEP components and corticomotor excitability following sensory and motor PES. Sensory PES also increased the sub-cortical P14-N20 SEP component. These findings provide evidence that PES results in co-modulation of S1 and M1 excitability, possibly due to cortico-cortical projections between S1 and M1. This mechanism may underpin changes in corticomotor excitability in response to afferent input generated by PES. PMID:23227260

  10. Primary sensory and motor cortex excitability are co-modulated in response to peripheral electrical nerve stimulation.

    PubMed

    Schabrun, Siobhan M; Ridding, Michael C; Galea, Mary P; Hodges, Paul W; Chipchase, Lucinda S

    2012-01-01

    Peripheral electrical stimulation (PES) is a common clinical technique known to induce changes in corticomotor excitability; PES applied to induce a tetanic motor contraction increases, and PES at sub-motor threshold (sensory) intensities decreases, corticomotor excitability. Understanding of the mechanisms underlying these opposite changes in corticomotor excitability remains elusive. Modulation of primary sensory cortex (S1) excitability could underlie altered corticomotor excitability with PES. Here we examined whether changes in primary sensory (S1) and motor (M1) cortex excitability follow the same time-course when PES is applied using identical stimulus parameters. Corticomotor excitability was measured using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and sensory cortex excitability using somatosensory evoked potentials (SEPs) before and after 30 min of PES to right abductor pollicis brevis (APB). Two PES paradigms were tested in separate sessions; PES sufficient to induce a tetanic motor contraction (30-50 Hz; strong motor intensity) and PES at sub motor-threshold intensity (100 Hz). PES applied to induce strong activation of APB increased the size of the N(20)-P(25) component, thought to reflect sensory processing at cortical level, and increased corticomotor excitability. PES at sensory intensity decreased the size of the P25-N33 component and reduced corticomotor excitability. A positive correlation was observed between the changes in amplitude of the cortical SEP components and corticomotor excitability following sensory and motor PES. Sensory PES also increased the sub-cortical P(14)-N(20) SEP component. These findings provide evidence that PES results in co-modulation of S1 and M1 excitability, possibly due to cortico-cortical projections between S1 and M1. This mechanism may underpin changes in corticomotor excitability in response to afferent input generated by PES.

  11. A theoretically based index of consciousness independent of sensory processing and behavior.

    PubMed

    Casali, Adenauer G; Gosseries, Olivia; Rosanova, Mario; Boly, Mélanie; Sarasso, Simone; Casali, Karina R; Casarotto, Silvia; Bruno, Marie-Aurélie; Laureys, Steven; Tononi, Giulio; Massimini, Marcello

    2013-08-14

    One challenging aspect of the clinical assessment of brain-injured, unresponsive patients is the lack of an objective measure of consciousness that is independent of the subject's ability to interact with the external environment. Theoretical considerations suggest that consciousness depends on the brain's ability to support complex activity patterns that are, at once, distributed among interacting cortical areas (integrated) and differentiated in space and time (information-rich). We introduce and test a theory-driven index of the level of consciousness called the perturbational complexity index (PCI). PCI is calculated by (i) perturbing the cortex with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to engage distributed interactions in the brain (integration) and (ii) compressing the spatiotemporal pattern of these electrocortical responses to measure their algorithmic complexity (information). We test PCI on a large data set of TMS-evoked potentials recorded in healthy subjects during wakefulness, dreaming, nonrapid eye movement sleep, and different levels of sedation induced by anesthetic agents (midazolam, xenon, and propofol), as well as in patients who had emerged from coma (vegetative state, minimally conscious state, and locked-in syndrome). PCI reliably discriminated the level of consciousness in single individuals during wakefulness, sleep, and anesthesia, as well as in patients who had emerged from coma and recovered a minimal level of consciousness. PCI can potentially be used for objective determination of the level of consciousness at the bedside.

  12. Applications of brain blood flow imaging in behavioral neurophysiology: cortical field activation hypothesis

    SciTech Connect

    Roland, P.E.

    1985-01-01

    The /sup 133/xenon intracarotid method for rCBF measurements has been a very useful method for functional mapping and functional dissection of the cerebral cortex in humans. With this method it has been shown that different types of cortical information treatment activate different cortical areas and furthermore that sensory and motor functions of the cerebral cortex could be dissected into anatomical and informational subcomponents by behavioral manipulations. The brain organizes its own activity. One of the principles of organization was that the brain could recruit in advance cortical fields that were expected to participate in a certain type of information operation. During brain work in awake human beings the cerebral cortex was activated in fields that, projected on the cerebral surface, most often had a size greater than 3 CM/sup 2/. Such activated fields appeared no matter which type of information processing was going on in the brain: during planning and execution of voluntary movements, during preparation for sensory information processing, and during sensory information processing, as well as during cognitive brain work and retrieval of specific memories. Therefore, it was hypothesized that cortical field activation was the physiological manifestation of normal brain work in awake humans.

  13. Response Surface Optimization of Process Parameters and Fuzzy Analysis of Sensory Data of High Pressure-Temperature Treated Pineapple Puree.

    PubMed

    Chakraborty, Snehasis; Rao, Pavuluri Srinivasa; Mishra, Hari Niwas

    2015-08-01

    The high-pressure processing conditions were optimized for pineapple puree within the domain of 400-600 MPa, 40-60 °C, and 10-20 min using the response surface methodology (RSM). The target was to maximize the inactivation of polyphenoloxidase (PPO) along with a minimal loss in beneficial bromelain (BRM) activity, ascorbic acid (AA) content, antioxidant capacity, and color in the sample. The optimum condition was 600 MPa, 50 °C, and 13 min, having the highest desirability of 0.604, which resulted in 44% PPO and 47% BRM activities. However, 93% antioxidant activity and 85% AA were retained in optimized sample with a total color change (∆E*) value less than 2.5. A 10-fold reduction in PPO activity was obtained at 600 MPa/70 °C/20 min; however, the thermal degradation of nutrients was severe at this condition. Fuzzy mathematical approach confirmed that sensory acceptance of the optimized sample was close to the fresh sample; whereas, the thermally pasteurized sample (treated at 0.1 MPa, 95 °C for 12 min) had the least sensory score as compared to others.

  14. Sensory Processing Sensitivity: Factors of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale and Their relationships to Personality and Subjective Health Complaints.

    PubMed

    Listou Grimen, Hanne; Diseth, Åge

    2016-12-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the factor structure of a Norwegian version of the Highly Sensitive Person Scale (HSPS) and to investigate how sensory processing sensitivity (SPS) is related to personality traits of neuroticism, extraversion, and openness and to subjective health complaints (SHC) in a sample of 167 undergraduate psychology students. The results showed that the variance in a shortened version of the HSPS was best described by three separate factors: ease of excitation (EOE), aesthetic sensitivity (AES), and low sensory threshold (LST). Furthermore, the result showed than an overall SPS factor (EOE, LST, and AES combined) was predicted positively by neuroticism and openness and negatively by extraversion. With respect to SHC, the results showed that EOE and LST were positively associated with psychological health complaints. However, the personality trait of neuroticism contributed more than the SPS factors as predictor of SHC. In conclusion, the present study supported a shortened version of the HSPS and its relation to personality factors and SHC.

  15. Magnitude Processing in the Brain: An fMRI Study of Time, Space, and Numerosity as a Shared Cortical System

    PubMed Central

    Skagerlund, Kenny; Karlsson, Thomas; Träff, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Continuous dimensions, such as time, space, and numerosity, have been suggested to be subserved by common neurocognitive mechanisms. Neuroimaging studies that have investigated either one or two dimensions simultaneously have consistently identified neural correlates in the parietal cortex of the brain. However, studies investigating the degree of neural overlap across several dimensions are inconclusive, and it remains an open question whether a potential overlap can be conceptualized as a neurocognitive magnitude processing system. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigated the potential neurocognitive overlap across three dimensions. A sample of adults (N = 24) performed three different magnitude processing tasks: a temporal discrimination task, a number discrimination task, and a line length discrimination task. A conjunction analysis revealed several overlapping neural substrates across multiple magnitude dimensions, and we argue that these cortical nodes comprise a distributed magnitude processing system. Key components of this predominantly right-lateralized system include the intraparietal sulcus, insula, premotor cortex/SMA, and inferior frontal gyrus. Together with previous research highlighting intraparietal sulcus, our results suggest that the insula also is a core component of the magnitude processing system. We discuss the functional role of each of these components in the magnitude processing system and suggest that further research of this system may provide insight into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders where cognitive deficits in magnitude processing are manifest. PMID:27761110

  16. Magnitude Processing in the Brain: An fMRI Study of Time, Space, and Numerosity as a Shared Cortical System.

    PubMed

    Skagerlund, Kenny; Karlsson, Thomas; Träff, Ulf

    2016-01-01

    Continuous dimensions, such as time, space, and numerosity, have been suggested to be subserved by common neurocognitive mechanisms. Neuroimaging studies that have investigated either one or two dimensions simultaneously have consistently identified neural correlates in the parietal cortex of the brain. However, studies investigating the degree of neural overlap across several dimensions are inconclusive, and it remains an open question whether a potential overlap can be conceptualized as a neurocognitive magnitude processing system. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study investigated the potential neurocognitive overlap across three dimensions. A sample of adults (N = 24) performed three different magnitude processing tasks: a temporal discrimination task, a number discrimination task, and a line length discrimination task. A conjunction analysis revealed several overlapping neural substrates across multiple magnitude dimensions, and we argue that these cortical nodes comprise a distributed magnitude processing system. Key components of this predominantly right-lateralized system include the intraparietal sulcus, insula, premotor cortex/SMA, and inferior frontal gyrus. Together with previous research highlighting intraparietal sulcus, our results suggest that the insula also is a core component of the magnitude processing system. We discuss the functional role of each of these components in the magnitude processing system and suggest that further research of this system may provide insight into the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders where cognitive deficits in magnitude processing are manifest.

  17. Reduced modulation of thalamocortical connectivity during exposure to sensory stimuli in ASD.

    PubMed

    Green, Shulamite A; Hernandez, Leanna; Bookheimer, Susan Y; Dapretto, Mirella

    2016-11-29

    Recent evidence for abnormal thalamic connectivity in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and sensory processing disorders suggests the thalamus may play a role in sensory over-responsivity (SOR), an extreme negative response to sensory stimuli, which is common in ASD. However, there is yet little understanding of changes in thalamic connectivity during exposure to aversive sensory inputs in individuals with ASD. In particular, the pulvinar nucleus of the thalamus is implicated in atypical sensory processing given its role in selective attention, regulation, and sensory integration. This study aimed to examine the role of pulvinar connectivity in ASD during mildly aversive sensory input. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine connectivity with the pulvinar during exposure to mildly aversive auditory and tactile stimuli in 38 youth (age 9-17; 19 ASD, 19 IQ-matched typically developing (TD)). Parents rated children's SOR severity on two standard scales. Compared to TD, ASD participants displayed aberrant modulation of connectivity between pulvinar and cortex (including sensory-motor and prefrontal regions) during sensory stimulation. In ASD participants, pulvinar-amygdala connectivity was correlated with severity of SOR symptoms. Deficits in modulation of thalamocortical connectivity in youth with ASD may reflect reduced thalamo-cortical inhibition in response to sensory stimulation, which could lead to difficulty filtering out and/or integrating sensory information. An increase in amygdala connectivity with the pulvinar might be partially responsible for deficits in selective attention as the amygdala signals the brain to attend to distracting sensory stimuli. Autism Res 2016. © 2016 International Society for Autism Research, Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Chemical-sensory properties and consumer preference of hibiscus beverages produced by improved industrial processes.

    PubMed

    Monteiro, Maria João P; Costa, Ana Isabel A; Fliedel, Geneviève; Cissé, Mady; Bechoff, Aurélie; Pallet, Dominique; Tomlins, Keith; Pintado, Maria Manuela E

    2017-06-15

    The need to increase sustainability and add value to traditional foods claiming health benefits led to the introduction of key improvements in the production of hibiscus beverages in Senegal. The physicochemical and sensory properties of three resulting products (an under-vacuum concentrate, a dilute-to-taste syrup and a ready-to-drink infusion) were assessed, vis-à-vis those of conventionally manufactured beverages, and their impact on local consumer preference determined (n=146). New beverages had more intense, redder colour and higher monomeric anthocyanin content, total phenolic content and antioxidant capacity. Moreover, their colour evaluations by trained panellists were mainly linked to colour density and anthocyanin/polyphenol content, while flavour assessments were associated to titratable acidity and sugar-to-acid ratio. Consumer evaluations, in turn, were driven by the beverages' red colour intensity, aroma strength and balance between sweetness and acidity. This explained why they overwhelmingly preferred the under-vacuum concentrate, regardless of their age, gender or frequency of hibiscus beverage consumption.

  19. Identification, quantification, and sensory characterization of steviol glycosides from differently processed Stevia rebaudiana commercial extracts.

    PubMed

    Espinoza, María Inés; Vincken, Jean-Paul; Sanders, Mark; Castro, Cristian; Stieger, Markus; Agosin, Eduardo

    2014-12-10

    Stevia rebaudiana is known for its sweet-tasting ent-kaurene diterpenoid glycosides. Several manufacturing strategies are currently employed to obtain Stevia sweeteners with the lowest possible off-flavors. The chemical composition of four commercial S. rebaudiana extracts, obtained by different technologies, was characterized using UHPLC-ESI-MS(n). The composition of one of the ethanol-crystallized extracts (EC2) was entirely rebaudioside A, whereas the enzymatically modified (EM) extract contained the lowest concentration of this compound (2.7 mg/100 mg). The membrane-purified (MP) extract had the highest content of minor natural steviol glycosides (23.7 mg/100 mg total extract) versus an average of 2.4 mg/100 mg total extract for the EC samples. Thirteen trained panelists evaluated sweetness, bitterness, licorice, and metallic attributes of all four extracts. The highest licorice intensity (p ≤ 0.05) was found for MP. Both samples EC1 and EC2, despite their different chemical compositions, showed no significant differences in sensory perception.

  20. Spared piriform cortical single-unit odor processing and odor discrimination in the Tg2576 mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

    PubMed

    Xu, Wenjin; Lopez-Guzman, Mirielle; Schoen, Chelsea; Fitzgerald, Shane; Lauer, Stephanie L; Nixon, Ralph A; Levy, Efrat; Wilson, Donald A

    2014-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that is the most common cause of dementia in the elderly today. One of the earliest reported signs of Alzheimer's disease is olfactory dysfunction, which may manifest in a variety of ways. The present study sought to address this issue by investigating odor coding in the anterior piriform cortex, the primary cortical region involved in higher order olfactory function, and how it relates to performance on olfactory behavioral tasks. An olfactory habituation task was performed on cohorts of transgenic and age-matched wild-type mice at 3, 6 and 12 months of age. These animals were then anesthetized and acute, single-unit electrophysiology was performed in the anterior piriform cortex. In addition, in a separate group of animals, a longitudinal odor discrimination task was conducted from 3-12 months of age. Results showed that while odor habituation was impaired at all ages, Tg2576 performed comparably to age-matched wild-type mice on the olfactory discrimination task. The behavioral data mirrored intact anterior piriform cortex single-unit odor responses and receptive fields in Tg2576, which were comparable to wild-type at all age groups. The present results suggest that odor processing in the olfactory cortex and basic odor discrimination is especially robust in the face of amyloid β precursor protein (AβPP) over-expression and advancing amyloid β (Aβ) pathology. Odor identification deficits known to emerge early in Alzheimer's disease progression, therefore, may reflect impairments in linking the odor percept to associated labels in cortical regions upstream of the primary olfactory pathway, rather than in the basic odor processing itself.

  1. Sensory gain control (amplification) as a mechanism of selective attention: electrophysiological and neuroimaging evidence.

    PubMed Central

    Hillyard, S A; Vogel, E K; Luck, S J

    1998-01-01

    Both physiological and behavioral studies have suggested that stimulus-driven neural activity in the sensory pathways can be modulated in amplitude during selective attention. Recordings of event-related brain potentials indicate that such sensory gain control or amplification processes play an important role in visual-spatial attention. Combined event-related brain potential and neuroimaging experiments provide strong evidence that attentional gain control operates at an early stage of visual processing in extrastriate cortical areas. These data support early selection theories of attention and provide a basis for distinguishing between separate mechanisms of attentional suppression (of unattended inputs) and attentional facilitation (of attended inputs). PMID:9770220

  2. Sensory development.

    PubMed

    Clark-Gambelunghe, Melinda B; Clark, David A

    2015-04-01

    Sensory development is complex, with both morphologic and neural components. Development of the senses begins in early fetal life, initially with structures and then in-utero stimulation initiates perception. After birth, environmental stimulants accelerate each sensory organ to nearly complete maturity several months after birth. Vision and hearing are the best studied senses and the most crucial for learning. This article focuses on the cranial senses of vision, hearing, smell, and taste. Sensory function, embryogenesis, external and genetic effects, and common malformations that may affect development are discussed, and the corresponding sensory organs are examined and evaluated.

  3. Separate cortical networks involved in music perception: preliminary functional MRI evidence for modularity of music processing.

    PubMed

    Schmithorst, Vincent J

    2005-04-01

    Music perception is a quite complex cognitive task, involving the perception and integration of various elements including melody, harmony, pitch, rhythm, and timbre. A preliminary functional MRI investigation of music perception was performed, using a simplified passive listening task. Group independent component analysis (ICA) was used to separate out various components involved in music processing, as the hemodynamic responses are not known a priori. Various components consistent with auditory processing, expressive language, syntactic processing, and visual association were found. The results are discussed in light of various hypotheses regarding modularity of music processing and its overlap with language processing. The results suggest that, while some networks overlap with ones used for language processing, music processing may involve its own domain-specific processing subsystems.

  4. Cross-Modal Plasticity Results in Increased Inhibition in Primary Auditory Cortical Areas

    PubMed Central

    Pallas, Sarah L.

    2013-01-01

    Loss of sensory input from peripheral organ damage, sensory deprivation, or brain damage can result in adaptive or maladaptive changes in sensory cortex. In previous research, we found that auditory cortical tuning and tonotopy were impaired by cross-modal invasion of visual inputs. Sensory deprivation is typically associated with a loss of inhibition. To determine whether inhibitory plasticity is responsible for this process, we measured pre- and postsynaptic changes in inhibitory connectivity in ferret auditory cortex (AC) after cross-modal plasticity. We found that blocking GABAA receptors increased responsiveness and broadened sound frequency tuning in the cross-modal group more than in the normal group. Furthermore, expression levels of glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) protein were increased in the cross-modal group. We also found that blocking inhibition unmasked visual responses of some auditory neurons in cross-modal AC. Overall, our data suggest a role for increased inhibition in reducing the effectiveness of the abnormal visual inputs and argue that decreased inhibition is not responsible for compromised auditory cortical function after cross-modal invasion. Our findings imply that inhibitory plasticity may play a role in reorganizing sensory cortex after cross-modal invasion, suggesting clinical strategies for recovery after brain injury or sensory deprivation. PMID:24288625

  5. Cortical Measures of Binaural Processing Predict Spatial Release from Masking Performance

    PubMed Central

    Papesh, Melissa A.; Folmer, Robert L.; Gallun, Frederick J.

    2017-01-01

    Binaural sensitivity is an important contributor to the ability to understand speech in adverse acoustical environments such as restaurants and other social gatherings. The ability to accurately report on binaural percepts is not commonly measured, however, as extensive training is required before reliable measures can be obtained. Here, we investigated the use of auditory evoked potentials (AEPs) as a rapid physiological indicator of detection of interaural phase differences (IPDs) by assessing cortical responses to 180° IPDs embedded in amplitude-modulated carrier tones. We predicted that decrements in encoding of IPDs would be evident in middle age, with further declines found with advancing age and hearing loss. Thus, participants in experiment #1 were young to middle-aged adults with relatively good hearing thresholds while participants in experiment #2 were older individuals with typical age-related hearing loss. Results revealed that while many of the participants in experiment #1 could encode IPDs in stimuli up to 1,000 Hz, few of the participants in experiment #2 had discernable responses to stimuli above 750 Hz. These results are consistent with previous studies that have found that aging and hearing loss impose frequency limits on the ability to encode interaural phase information present in the fine structure of auditory stimuli. We further hypothesized that AEP measures of binaural sensitivity would be predictive of participants' ability to benefit from spatial separation between sound sources, a phenomenon known as spatial release from masking (SRM) which depends upon binaural cues. Results indicate that not only were objective IPD measures well correlated with and predictive of behavioral SRM measures in both experiments, but that they provided much stronger predictive value than age or hearing loss. Overall, the present work shows that objective measures of the encoding of interaural phase information can be readily obtained using commonly

  6. Sensorimotor function of the upper-airway muscles and respiratory sensory processing in untreated obstructive sleep apnea.

    PubMed

    Eckert, Danny J; Lo, Yu L; Saboisky, Julian P; Jordan, Amy S; White, David P; Malhotra, Atul

    2011-12-01

    Numerous studies have demonstrated upper-airway neuromuscular abnormalities during wakefulness in snorers and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients. However, the functional role of sensorimotor impairment in OSA pathogenesis/disease progression and its potential effects on protective upper-airway reflexes, measures of respiratory sensory processing, and force characteristics remain unclear. This study aimed to gain physiological insight into the potential role of sensorimotor impairment in OSA pathogenesis/disease progression by comparing sensory processing properties (respiratory-related evoked potentials; RREP), functionally important protective reflexes (genioglossus and tensor palatini) across a range of negative pressures (brief pulses and entrained iron lung ventilation), and tongue force and time to task failure characteristics between 12 untreated OSA patients and 13 controls. We hypothesized that abnormalities in these measures would be present in OSA patients. Upper-airway reflexes (e.g., genioglossus onset latency, 20 ± 1 vs. 19 ± 2 ms, P = 0.82), early RREP components (e.g., P1 latency 25 ± 2 vs. 25 ± 1 ms, P = 0.78), and the slope of epiglottic pressure vs. genioglossus activity during iron lung ventilation (-0.68 ± 1.0 vs. -0.80 ± 2.0 cmH(2)O/%max, P = 0.59) were not different between patients and controls. Maximal tongue protrusion force was greater in OSA patients vs. controls (35 ± 2 vs. 27 ± 2 N, P < 0.01), but task failure occurred more rapidly (149 ± 24 vs. 254 ± 23 s, P < 0.01). Upper-airway protective reflexes across a range of negative pressures as measured by electromyography and the early P1 component of the RREP are preserved in OSA patients during wakefulness. Consistent with an adaptive training effect, tongue protrusion force is increased, not decreased, in untreated OSA patients. However, OSA patients may be vulnerable to fatigue of upper-airway dilator muscles, which could contribute to disease progression.

  7. From Sensory Perception to Lexical-Semantic Processing: An ERP Study in Non-Verbal Children with Autism

    PubMed Central

    Cantiani, Chiara; Choudhury, Naseem A.; Yu, Yan H.; Shafer, Valerie L.; Schwartz, Richard G.; Benasich, April A.

    2016-01-01

    This study examines electrocortical activity associated with visual and auditory sensory perception and lexical-semantic processing in nonverbal (NV) or minimally-verbal (MV) children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Currently, there is no agreement on whether these children comprehend incoming linguistic information and whether their perception is comparable to that of typically developing children. Event-related potentials (ERPs) of 10 NV/MV children with ASD and 10 neurotypical children were recorded during a picture-word matching paradigm. Atypical ERP responses were evident at all levels of processing in children with ASD. Basic perceptual processing was delayed in both visual and auditory domains but overall was similar in amplitude to typically-developing children. However, significant differences between groups were found at the lexical-semantic level, suggesting more atypical higher-order processes. The results suggest that although basic perception is relatively preserved in NV/MV children with ASD, higher levels of processing, including lexical- semantic functions, are impaired. The use of passive ERP paradigms that do not require active participant response shows significant potential for assessment of non-compliant populations such as NV/MV children with ASD. PMID:27560378

  8. From Sensory Perception to Lexical-Semantic Processing: An ERP Study in Non-Verbal Children with Autism.

    PubMed

    Cantiani, Chiara; Choudhury, Naseem A; Yu, Yan H; Shafer, Valerie L; Schwartz, Richard G; Benasich, April A

    2016-01-01

    This study examines electrocortical activity associated with visual and auditory sensory perception and lexical-semantic processing in nonverbal (NV) or minimally-verbal (MV) children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Currently, there is no agreement on whether these children comprehend incoming linguistic information and whether their perception is comparable to that of typically developing children. Event-related potentials (ERPs) of