Science.gov

Sample records for understand brain function

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

    PubMed

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    ScienceCinema

    Olaf Sporns

    2016-07-12

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

  3. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Olaf Sporns

    2008-01-23

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

  4. Complex Networks - A Key to Understanding Brain Function

    SciTech Connect

    Sporns, Olaf

    2008-01-23

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cauda, Franco; Costa, Tommaso; Tamietto, Marco

    2014-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Mandonnet, Emmanuel; Duffau, Hugues

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Contribution of Neuroimaging Studies to Understanding Development of Human Cognitive Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Humans experience significant physical and mental changes from birth to adulthood, and a variety of perceptual, cognitive and motor functions mature over the course of approximately 20 years following birth. To deeply understand such developmental processes, merely studying behavioral changes is not sufficient; simultaneous investigation of the development of the brain may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging technologies largely contribute to this understanding. Here, it is very important to consider the development of the brain from the perspectives of “structure” and “function” because both structure and function of the human brain mature slowly. In this review, we first discuss the process of structural brain development, i.e., how the structure of the brain, which is crucial when discussing functional brain development, changes with age. Second, we introduce some representative studies and the latest studies related to the functional development of the brain, particularly for visual, facial recognition, and social cognition functions, all of which are important for humans. Finally, we summarize how brain science can contribute to developmental study and discuss the challenges that neuroimaging should address in the future. PMID:27695409

  9. Contribution of Neuroimaging Studies to Understanding Development of Human Cognitive Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Morita, Tomoyo; Asada, Minoru; Naito, Eiichi

    2016-01-01

    Humans experience significant physical and mental changes from birth to adulthood, and a variety of perceptual, cognitive and motor functions mature over the course of approximately 20 years following birth. To deeply understand such developmental processes, merely studying behavioral changes is not sufficient; simultaneous investigation of the development of the brain may lead us to a more comprehensive understanding. Recent advances in noninvasive neuroimaging technologies largely contribute to this understanding. Here, it is very important to consider the development of the brain from the perspectives of “structure” and “function” because both structure and function of the human brain mature slowly. In this review, we first discuss the process of structural brain development, i.e., how the structure of the brain, which is crucial when discussing functional brain development, changes with age. Second, we introduce some representative studies and the latest studies related to the functional development of the brain, particularly for visual, facial recognition, and social cognition functions, all of which are important for humans. Finally, we summarize how brain science can contribute to developmental study and discuss the challenges that neuroimaging should address in the future.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bressler, Steven L.

    2014-09-01

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

  11. Understanding structural-functional relationships in the human brain: a large-scale network perspective.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhijiang; Dai, Zhengjia; Gong, Gaolang; Zhou, Changsong; He, Yong

    2015-06-01

    Relating the brain's structural connectivity (SC) to its functional connectivity (FC) is a fundamental goal in neuroscience because it is capable of aiding our understanding of how the relatively fixed SC architecture underlies human cognition and diverse behaviors. With the aid of current noninvasive imaging technologies (e.g., structural MRI, diffusion MRI, and functional MRI) and graph theory methods, researchers have modeled the human brain as a complex network of interacting neuronal elements and characterized the underlying structural and functional connectivity patterns that support diverse cognitive functions. Specifically, research has demonstrated a tight SC-FC coupling, not only in interregional connectivity strength but also in network topologic organizations, such as community, rich-club, and motifs. Moreover, this SC-FC coupling exhibits significant changes in normal development and neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia and epilepsy. This review summarizes recent progress regarding the SC-FC relationship of the human brain and emphasizes the important role of large-scale brain networks in the understanding of structural-functional associations. Future research directions related to this topic are also proposed.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Michael L.

    2014-09-01

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

  13. Mind the blind brain to understand the sighted one! Is there a supramodal cortical functional architecture?

    PubMed

    Ricciardi, Emiliano; Bonino, Daniela; Pellegrini, Silvia; Pietrini, Pietro

    2014-04-01

    While most of the research in blind individuals classically has focused on the compensatory plastic rearrangements that follow loss of sight, novel behavioral, anatomical and functional brain studies in individuals born deprived of sight represent a powerful tool to understand to what extent the brain functional architecture is programmed to develop independently from any visual experience. Here we review work from our lab and others, conducted in sighted and congenitally blind individuals, whose results indicate that vision is not a mandatory prerequisite for the brain cortical organization to develop and function. Similar cortical networks subtend visual and/or non-visual perception of form, space and movement, as well as action recognition, both in sighted and in congenitally blind individuals. These findings support the hypothesis of a modality independent, supramodal cortical organization. Visual experience, however, does play a role in shaping specific cortical sub-regions, as loss of sight is accompanied also by cross-modal plastic phenomena. Altogether, studying the blind brain is opening our eyes on how the brain develops and works.

  14. Understanding the potency of stressful early life experiences on brain and body function.

    PubMed

    McEwen, Bruce S

    2008-10-01

    Early life experiences have powerful effects on the brain and body lasting throughout the entire life span and influencing brain function, behavior, and the risk for a number of systemic and mental disorders. Animal models of early life adversity are providing mechanistic insights, including glimpses into the fascinating world that is now called "epigenetics" as well as the role of naturally occurring alleles of a number of genes. These studies also provide insights into the adaptive value as well as the negative consequences, of early life stress, exposure to novelty, and poor-quality vs good-quality maternal care. Animal models begin to provide a mechanistic basis for understanding how brain development and physiological functioning is affected in children exposed to early life abuse and neglect, where there is a burgeoning literature on the consequences for physical health and emotional and cognitive development. An important goal is to identify interventions that are likely to be most effective in early life and some guidelines are provided. PMID:18803958

  15. Understanding the potency of stressful early life experiences on brain and body function

    PubMed Central

    McEwen, Bruce S.

    2008-01-01

    Early life experiences have powerful effects on the brain and body lasting throughout the entire lifespan and influencing brain function, behavior and the risk for a number of systemic and mental disorders. Animal models of early life adversity are providing mechanistic insights, including glimpses into the fascinating world that is now called “epigenetics” as well as the role of naturally occurring alleles of a number of genes. These studies also provide insights into the adaptive value, as well as the negative consequences, of early life stress, exposure to novelty, and poor vs good quality maternal care. Animal models begin to provide a mechanistic basis for understanding how brain development and physiological functioning is affected in children exposed to early life abuse and neglect, where there is a burgeoning literature on the consequences for physical health and emotional and cognitive development. An important goal is to identify interventions that are likely to be most effective in early life and some guidelines are provided. PMID:18803958

  16. Understanding brain networks and brain organization

    PubMed Central

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-01-01

    What is the relationship between brain and behavior? The answer to this question necessitates characterizing the mapping between structure and function. The aim of this paper is to discuss broad issues surrounding the link between structure and function in the brain that will motivate a network perspective to understanding this question. As others in the past, I argue that a network perspective should supplant the common strategy of understanding the brain in terms of individual regions. Whereas this perspective is needed for a fuller characterization of the mind-brain, it should not be viewed as panacea. For one, the challenges posed by the many-to-many mapping between regions and functions is not dissolved by the network perspective. Although the problem is ameliorated, one should not anticipate a one-to-one mapping when the network approach is adopted. Furthermore, decomposition of the brain network in terms of meaningful clusters of regions, such as the ones generated by community-finding algorithms, does not by itself reveal “true” subnetworks. Given the hierarchical and multi-relational relationship between regions, multiple decompositions will offer different “slices” of a broader landscape of networks within the brain. Finally, I described how the function of brain regions can be characterized in a multidimensional manner via the idea of diversity profiles. The concept can also be used to describe the way different brain regions participate in networks. PMID:24819881

  17. Imaging brain function in animals to understand drugs of abuse and potential pharmacotherapies.

    PubMed

    Piercey, M F

    1994-01-01

    Brain imaging studies can be used to enhance current understanding of how CNS drugs act. Because the brain is in reality a collection of independent, albeit interconnected, neural organs, identification of sites of brain action are critical to an appraisal of how each drug exerts its different behavioral and physiological effects. For new drugs not yet tested in humans, identification of which neuronal structures are affected by a drug can give clues as to what to expect from the drug if it is eventually exposed to clinical testing. Receptor binding autoradiography, more than any other technique, pinpoints the distribution of those sites at which a given drug acts. When combined with 2-DG autoradiography, the intensity and direction of the action at each of these sites, as well as the impact of these actions on additional sites, can be appreciated. In addition to identification of sites of drug action, brain imaging studies can be used to identify classes of drug action, interactions between drugs, and, perhaps more than any other technique, enhance the appreciation of the similarities and differences between the effects in animals and those in humans. When applied to drugs of abuse, brain imaging studies can be used to help identify key physiological events underlying drug reinforcement as well as those important for various physiological effects of each drug. Armed with such information, brain imaging techniques can play a unique role as one component of an effort to discover pharmacotherapies for drug abuse. PMID:7603543

  18. Understanding Brain Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... to Know About Brain Tumors . What is a Brain Tumor? A brain tumor is an abnormal growth
 ... Tumors” from Frankly Speaking Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Brain Tumors Download the full book Questions to ask ...

  19. Homeostatic control of brain function – new approaches to understand epileptogenesis

    PubMed Central

    Boison, Detlev; Sandau, Ursula S.; Ruskin, David N.; Kawamura, Masahito; Masino, Susan A.

    2013-01-01

    Neuronal excitability of the brain and ongoing homeostasis depend not only on intrinsic neuronal properties, but also on external environmental factors; together these determine the functionality of neuronal networks. Homeostatic factors become critically important during epileptogenesis, a process that involves complex disruption of self-regulatory mechanisms. Here we focus on the bioenergetic homeostatic network regulator adenosine, a purine nucleoside whose availability is largely regulated by astrocytes. Endogenous adenosine modulates complex network function through multiple mechanisms including adenosine receptor-mediated pathways, mitochondrial bioenergetics, and adenosine receptor-independent changes to the epigenome. Accumulating evidence from our laboratories shows that disruption of adenosine homeostasis plays a major role in epileptogenesis. Conversely, we have found that reconstruction of adenosine’s homeostatic functions provides new hope for the prevention of epileptogenesis. We will discuss how adenosine-based therapeutic approaches may interfere with epileptogenesis on an epigenetic level, and how dietary interventions can be used to restore network homeostasis in the brain. We conclude that reconstruction of homeostatic functions in the brain offers a new conceptual advance for the treatment of neurological conditions which goes far beyond current target-centric treatment approaches. PMID:23882181

  20. Estimation of Time-Varying Coherence and Its Application in Understanding Brain Functional Connectivity

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Cheng; Gaetz, William; Zhu, Hongmei

    2010-12-01

    Time-varying coherence is a powerful tool for revealing functional dynamics between different regions in the brain. In this paper, we address ways of estimating evolutionary spectrum and coherence using the general Cohen's class distributions. We show that the intimate connection between the Cohen's class-based spectra and the evolutionary spectra defined on the locally stationary time series can be linked by the kernel functions of the Cohen's class distributions. The time-varying spectra and coherence are further generalized with the Stockwell transform, a multiscale time-frequency representation. The Stockwell measures can be studied in the framework of the Cohen's class distributions with a generalized frequency-dependent kernel function. A magnetoencephalography study using the Stockwell coherence reveals an interesting temporal interaction between contralateral and ipsilateral motor cortices under the multisource interference task.

  1. Understanding the brain by controlling neural activity

    PubMed Central

    Krug, Kristine; Salzman, C. Daniel; Waddell, Scott

    2015-01-01

    Causal methods to interrogate brain function have been employed since the advent of modern neuroscience in the nineteenth century. Initially, randomly placed electrodes and stimulation of parts of the living brain were used to localize specific functions to these areas. Recent technical developments have rejuvenated this approach by providing more precise tools to dissect the neural circuits underlying behaviour, perception and cognition. Carefully controlled behavioural experiments have been combined with electrical devices, targeted genetically encoded tools and neurochemical approaches to manipulate information processing in the brain. The ability to control brain activity in these ways not only deepens our understanding of brain function but also provides new avenues for clinical intervention, particularly in conditions where brain processing has gone awry. PMID:26240417

  2. Understanding brain dysfunction in sepsis

    PubMed Central

    2013-01-01

    Sepsis often is characterized by an acute brain dysfunction, which is associated with increased morbidity and mortality. Its pathophysiology is highly complex, resulting from both inflammatory and noninflammatory processes, which may induce significant alterations in vulnerable areas of the brain. Important mechanisms include excessive microglial activation, impaired cerebral perfusion, blood–brain-barrier dysfunction, and altered neurotransmission. Systemic insults, such as prolonged inflammation, severe hypoxemia, and persistent hyperglycemia also may contribute to aggravate sepsis-induced brain dysfunction or injury. The diagnosis of brain dysfunction in sepsis relies essentially on neurological examination and neurological tests, such as EEG and neuroimaging. A brain MRI should be considered in case of persistent brain dysfunction after control of sepsis and exclusion of major confounding factors. Recent MRI studies suggest that septic shock can be associated with acute cerebrovascular lesions and white matter abnormalities. Currently, the management of brain dysfunction mainly consists of control of sepsis and prevention of all aggravating factors, including metabolic disturbances, drug overdoses, anticholinergic medications, withdrawal syndromes, and Wernicke’s encephalopathy. Modulation of microglial activation, prevention of blood–brain-barrier alterations, and use of antioxidants represent relevant therapeutic targets that may impact significantly on neurologic outcomes. In the future, investigations in patients with sepsis should be undertaken to reduce the duration of brain dysfunction and to study the impact of this reduction on important health outcomes, including functional and cognitive status in survivors. PMID:23718252

  3. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

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

  4. Understanding complexity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Bassett, Danielle S.; Gazzaniga, Michael S.

    2011-01-01

    Although the ultimate aim of neuroscientific enquiry is to gain an understanding of the brain and how its workings relate to the mind, the majority of current efforts are largely focused on small questions using increasingly detailed data. However, it might be possible to successfully address the larger question of mind–brain mechanisms if the cumulative findings from these neuroscientific studies are coupled with complementary approaches from physics and philosophy. The brain, we argue, can be understood as a complex system or network, in which mental states emerge from the interaction between multiple physical and functional levels. Achieving further conceptual progress will crucially depend on broad-scale discussions regarding the properties of cognition and the tools that are currently available or must be developed in order to study mind–brain mechanisms. PMID:21497128

  5. Functional brain imaging: what has it brought to our understanding of neuropathic pain? A special focus on allodynic pain mechanisms.

    PubMed

    Peyron, Roland

    2016-02-01

    Brain responses to nociception are well identified. The same is not true for allodynic pain, a strong painful sensation in response to touch or innocuous cold stimuli that may be experienced by patients with neuropathic pain. Brain (or spinal cord) reorganization that may explain this paradoxical perception still remains largely unknown. Allodynic pain is associated with abnormally increased activity in SII and in the anterior insular cortex, contralateral and/or ipsilateral to allodynia. Because a bilateral increase in activity has been repeatedly reported in these areas in nociceptive conditions, the observed activation during allodynia can explain that a physiologically nonpainful stimulus could be perceived by the damaged nervous system as a painful one. Both secondary somatosensory and insular cortices receive input from the thalamus, which is a major relay of sensory and spinothalamic pathways, the involvement of which is known to be crucial for the development of neuropathic pain. Both thalamic function and structure have been reported to be abnormal or impaired in neuropathic pain conditions including in the basal state, possibly explaining the spontaneous component of neuropathic pain. A further indication as to how the brain can create neuropathic pain response in SII and insular cortices stems from examples of diseases, including single-case reports in whom a focal brain lesion leads to central pain disappearance. Additional studies are required to certify the contribution of these areas to the disease processes, to disentangle abnormalities respectively related to pain and to deafferentation, and, in the future, to guide targeting of stimulation studies.

  6. Understanding the brain through its spatial structure

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morrison, Will Zachary

    The spatial location of cells in neural tissue can be easily extracted from many imaging modalities, but the information contained in spatial relationships between cells is seldom utilized. This is because of a lack of recognition of the importance of spatial relationships to some aspects of brain function, and the reflection in spatial statistics of other types of information. The mathematical tools necessary to describe spatial relationships are also unknown to many neuroscientists, and biologists in general. We analyze two cases, and show that spatial relationships can be used to understand the role of a particular type of cell, the astrocyte, in Alzheimer's disease, and that the geometry of axons in the brain's white matter sheds light on the process of establishing connectivity between areas of the brain. Astrocytes provide nutrients for neuronal metabolism, and regulate the chemical environment of the brain, activities that require manipulation of spatial distributions (of neurotransmitters, for example). We first show, through the use of a correlation function, that inter-astrocyte forces determine the size of independent regulatory domains in the cortex. By examining the spatial distribution of astrocytes in a mouse model of Alzheimer's Disease, we determine that astrocytes are not actively transported to fight the disease, as was previously thought. The paths axons take through the white matter determine which parts of the brain are connected, and how quickly signals are transmitted. The rules that determine these paths (i.e. shortest distance) are currently unknown. By measurement of axon orientation distributions using three-point correlation functions and the statistics of axon turning and branching, we reveal that axons are restricted to growth in three directions, like a taxicab traversing city blocks, albeit in three-dimensions. We show how geometric restrictions at the small scale are related to large-scale trajectories. Finally we discuss the

  7. Lutein and Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Contributions from research on anger and cognitive dissonance to understanding the motivational functions of asymmetrical frontal brain activity.

    PubMed

    Harmon-Jones, Eddie

    2004-10-01

    Research has suggested that approach-related positive emotions are associated with greater left frontal brain activity and that withdrawal-related negative emotions are associated with greater right frontal brain activity. Different explanations have been proposed. One posits that frontal asymmetry is due to emotional valence (positivity/negativity), one posits that frontal asymmetry is due to motivational direction (approach/withdrawal), and one posits that frontal asymmetry is due to a combination of emotional valence and motivational direction (positive-approach/negative-withdrawal). Because research had confounded emotional valence and motivational direction, the theoretical explanation was muddled. Solely supporting the motivational direction model, recent research has revealed that anger and cognitive dissonance, emotions with negative valence and approach motivational tendencies, are related to relatively greater left frontal activity.

  9. Functional Brain Imaging

    PubMed Central

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Describing functional diversity of brain regions and brain networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  11. Modulating Brain Oscillations to Drive Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Understanding Brains: Details, Intuition, and Big Data

    PubMed Central

    Marder, Eve

    2015-01-01

    Understanding how the brain works requires a delicate balance between the appreciation of the importance of a multitude of biological details and the ability to see beyond those details to general principles. As technological innovations vastly increase the amount of data we collect, the importance of intuition into how to analyze and treat these data may, paradoxically, become more important. PMID:25965068

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

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2015-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gómez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hari, Riitta; Parkkonen, Lauri

    2015-05-19

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

  18. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes

    PubMed Central

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  19. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  20. The Use of Multiscale Molecular Simulations in Understanding a Relationship between the Structure and Function of Biological Systems of the Brain: The Application to Monoamine Oxidase Enzymes.

    PubMed

    Vianello, Robert; Domene, Carmen; Mavri, Janez

    2016-01-01

    HIGHLIGHTS Computational techniques provide accurate descriptions of the structure and dynamics of biological systems, contributing to their understanding at an atomic level.Classical MD simulations are a precious computational tool for the processes where no chemical reactions take place.QM calculations provide valuable information about the enzyme activity, being able to distinguish among several mechanistic pathways, provided a carefully selected cluster model of the enzyme is considered.Multiscale QM/MM simulation is the method of choice for the computational treatment of enzyme reactions offering quantitative agreement with experimentally determined reaction parameters.Molecular simulation provide insight into the mechanism of both the catalytic activity and inhibition of monoamine oxidases, thus aiding in the rational design of their inhibitors that are all employed and antidepressants and antiparkinsonian drugs. Aging society and therewith associated neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases, including depression, Alzheimer's disease, obsessive disorders, and Parkinson's disease, urgently require novel drug candidates. Targets include monoamine oxidases A and B (MAOs), acetylcholinesterase (AChE), butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), and various receptors and transporters. For rational drug design it is particularly important to combine experimental synthetic, kinetic, toxicological, and pharmacological information with structural and computational work. This paper describes the application of various modern computational biochemistry methods in order to improve the understanding of a relationship between the structure and function of large biological systems including ion channels, transporters, receptors, and metabolic enzymes. The methods covered stem from classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand the physical basis and the time evolution of the structures, to combined QM, and QM/MM approaches to probe the chemical mechanisms of enzymatic

  1. Understanding the Mind by Measuring the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Barrett, Lisa Feldman

    2009-01-01

    Throughout the history of psychology, the path of transforming the physical (muscle movements, verbal behavior, or physiological changes) into the mental has been fraught with difficulty. Over the decades, psychologists have risen to the challenge and learned a few things about how to infer the mental from measuring the physical. The Vul, Harris, Winkielman, and Pashler (2009, this issue) article points out that some of these lessons could be helpful to those of us who measure blood flow in the brain in a quest to understand the mind. Three lessons from psychometrics are discussed. PMID:19672318

  2. Understanding Brain, Mind and Soul: Contributions from Neurology and Neurosurgery

    PubMed Central

    Pandya, Sunil K.

    2011-01-01

    Treatment of diseases of the brain by drugs or surgery necessitates an understanding of its structure and functions. The philosophical neurosurgeon soon encounters difficulties when localising the abstract concepts of mind and soul within the tangible 1300-gram organ containing 100 billion neurones. Hippocrates had focused attention on the brain as the seat of the mind. The tabula rasa postulated by Aristotle cannot be localised to a particular part of the brain with the confidence that we can localise spoken speech to Broca’s area or the movement of limbs to the contralateral motor cortex. Galen’s localisation of imagination, reasoning, judgement and memory in the cerebral ventricles collapsed once it was evident that the functional units–neurones–lay in the parenchyma of the brain. Experiences gained from accidental injuries (Phineas Gage) or temporal lobe resection (William Beecher Scoville); studies on how we see and hear and more recent data from functional magnetic resonance studies have made us aware of the extensive network of neurones in the cerebral hemispheres that subserve the functions of the mind. The soul or atman, credited with the ability to enliven the body, was located by ancient anatomists and philosophers in the lungs or heart, in the pineal gland (Descartes), and generally in the brain. When the deeper parts of the brain came within the reach of neurosurgeons, the brainstem proved exceptionally delicate and vulnerable. The concept of brain death after irreversible damage to it has made all of us aware of ‘the cocktail of brain soup and spark’ in the brainstem so necessary for life. If there be a soul in each of us, surely, it is enshrined here. PMID:21694966

  3. The Brain Prize 2014: complex human functions.

    PubMed

    Grigaityte, Kristina; Iacoboni, Marco

    2014-11-01

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

  4. Forthergillian Lecture. Imaging human brain function.

    PubMed

    Frackowiak, R S

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

  5. Fostering Literacy through Understanding Brain Mechanisms.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCandliss, Bruce D.; Posner, Michael I.

    2003-01-01

    Some current ideas concerning the brain mechanisms of reading are presented. An impediment to educational applications of brain research is the remoteness of the classroom from brain research laboratories. An international plan is outlined to bring scientists and educators together to examine current knowledge about brain mechanisms involved in…

  6. Imaging visual function of the human brain

    SciTech Connect

    Marg, E.

    1988-10-01

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

  7. Functional brain mapping of psychopathology

    PubMed Central

    Honey, G; Fletcher, P; Bullmore, E

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Prospects for Optogenetic Augmentation of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Jarvis, Sarah; Schultz, Simon R.

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Creating the brain and interacting with the brain: an integrated approach to understanding the brain.

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-03-01

    In the past two decades, brain science and robotics have made gigantic advances in their own fields, and their interactions have generated several interdisciplinary research fields. First, in the 'understanding the brain by creating the brain' approach, computational neuroscience models have been applied to many robotics problems. Second, such brain-motivated fields as cognitive robotics and developmental robotics have emerged as interdisciplinary areas among robotics, neuroscience and cognitive science with special emphasis on humanoid robots. Third, in brain-machine interface research, a brain and a robot are mutually connected within a closed loop. In this paper, we review the theoretical backgrounds of these three interdisciplinary fields and their recent progress. Then, we introduce recent efforts to reintegrate these research fields into a coherent perspective and propose a new direction that integrates brain science and robotics where the decoding of information from the brain, robot control based on the decoded information and multimodal feedback to the brain from the robot are carried out in real time and in a closed loop.

  10. The Energetic Brain: Understanding and Managing ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynolds, Cecil R.; Vannest, Kimberly J.; Harrison, Judith R.

    2012-01-01

    ADHD affects millions of people-some 3 to 5% of the general population. Written by a neuroscientist who has studied ADHD, a clinician who has diagnosed and treated it for 30 years, and a special educator who sees it daily, "The Energetic Brain" provides the latest information from neuroscience on how the ADHD brain works and shows how to harness…

  11. Creating the brain and interacting with the brain: an integrated approach to understanding the brain

    PubMed Central

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-01-01

    In the past two decades, brain science and robotics have made gigantic advances in their own fields, and their interactions have generated several interdisciplinary research fields. First, in the ‘understanding the brain by creating the brain’ approach, computational neuroscience models have been applied to many robotics problems. Second, such brain-motivated fields as cognitive robotics and developmental robotics have emerged as interdisciplinary areas among robotics, neuroscience and cognitive science with special emphasis on humanoid robots. Third, in brain–machine interface research, a brain and a robot are mutually connected within a closed loop. In this paper, we review the theoretical backgrounds of these three interdisciplinary fields and their recent progress. Then, we introduce recent efforts to reintegrate these research fields into a coherent perspective and propose a new direction that integrates brain science and robotics where the decoding of information from the brain, robot control based on the decoded information and multimodal feedback to the brain from the robot are carried out in real time and in a closed loop. PMID:25589568

  12. The elusive concept of brain network. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    2014-09-01

    As the poet John Donne said of man - "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main." - so the neuroscience research community now says of brain areas. This is the topic that Luiz Pessoa expands upon in his thorough review of the paradigm shift that has occurred in much of brain research, especially in cognitive neuroscience [1]. His key point is made explicitly in the Abstract: "I argue that a network perspective should supplement the common strategy of understanding the brain in terms of individual regions." In his review, Pessoa covers a large range of topics, including how the network perspective changes the way in which one views the structure-function relationship between brain and behavior, the importance of context in ascertaining how a brain region functions, and the notion of emergent properties as a network feature. Also discussed is graph theory, one of the important mathematical methods used to analyze and describe network structure and function.

  13. Understanding Traumatic Brain Injury: An Introduction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Trudel, Tina M.; Scherer, Marcia J.; Elias, Eileen

    2009-01-01

    This article is the first of a multi-part series on traumatic brain injury (TBI). Historically, TBI has received very limited national public policy attention and support. However since it has become the signature injury of the military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, TBI has gained the attention of elected officials, military leaders,…

  14. Individual diversity of functional brain network economy.

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

  15. Sialylation regulates brain structure and function

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Neurotransmitter precursors and brain function.

    PubMed

    Conlay, L A; Zeisel, S H

    1982-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Klein, Eran

    2015-06-01

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

  18. Great expectations: using whole-brain computational connectomics for understanding neuropsychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Deco, Gustavo; Kringelbach, Morten L

    2014-12-01

    The study of human brain networks with in vivo neuroimaging has given rise to the field of connectomics, furthered by advances in network science and graph theory informing our understanding of the topology and function of the healthy brain. Here our focus is on the disruption in neuropsychiatric disorders (pathoconnectomics) and how whole-brain computational models can help generate and predict the dynamical interactions and consequences of brain networks over many timescales. We review methods and emerging results that exhibit remarkable accuracy in mapping and predicting both spontaneous and task-based healthy network dynamics. This raises great expectations that whole-brain modeling and computational connectomics may provide an entry point for understanding brain disorders at a causal mechanistic level, and that computational neuropsychiatry can ultimately be leveraged to provide novel, more effective therapeutic interventions, e.g., through drug discovery and new targets for deep brain stimulation.

  19. Structural and functional brain imaging in schizophrenia.

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

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

  20. Dynamic imaging of brain function

    PubMed Central

    Hyder, Fahmeed

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-07-01

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

  3. Brain network science needs to become predictive. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hilgetag, Claus C.; von Luxburg, Ulrike

    2014-09-01

    In his thought-provoking review of current concepts in neuroscience, Pessoa [1] addresses the ongoing paradigm shift of the field, in which the perspective has moved from individual nodes to distributed networks in order to account for distributed brain function. Within this perspective, Pessoa describes diverse aspects and topological features of brain networks that are potentially relevant for brain function. As he notes, however, the shift to networks does not solve all problems of linking brain function to structure.

  4. Aging and functional brain networks

    SciTech Connect

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

    2011-07-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-01

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

  6. Recent molecular approaches to understanding astrocyte function in vivo

    PubMed Central

    Davila, David; Thibault, Karine; Fiacco, Todd A.; Agulhon, Cendra

    2013-01-01

    Astrocytes are a predominant glial cell type in the nervous systems, and are becoming recognized as important mediators of normal brain function as well as neurodevelopmental, neurological, and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Although numerous potential mechanisms have been proposed to explain the role of astrocytes in the normal and diseased brain, research into the physiological relevance of these mechanisms in vivo is just beginning. In this review, we will summarize recent developments in innovative and powerful molecular approaches, including knockout mouse models, transgenic mouse models, and astrocyte-targeted gene transfer/expression, which have led to advances in understanding astrocyte biology in vivo that were heretofore inaccessible to experimentation. We will examine the recently improved understanding of the roles of astrocytes – with an emphasis on astrocyte signaling – in the context of both the healthy and diseased brain, discuss areas where the role of astrocytes remains debated, and suggest new research directions. PMID:24399932

  7. How Brain Research Has Changed Our Understanding of Giftedness

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Clark, Barbara

    2009-01-01

    Understanding brain development and its relationship to intelligence promotes a clearer understanding of giftedness. Children are born with unique patterns and pathways which provide potential for high levels of intelligence. Parents and teachers contribute to the development of giftedness with experiences that are appropriately stimulating. It is…

  8. Dietary amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, J D

    1994-01-01

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

  9. Functional Brain Networks in Schizophrenia: A Review

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

  10. Understanding the Executive Functioning Heterogeneity in Schizophrenia

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Raffard, Stephane; Bayard, Sophie

    2012-01-01

    Schizophrenia is characterized by heterogeneous brain abnormalities involving cerebral regions implied in the executive functioning. The dysexecutive syndrome is one of the most prominent and functionally cognitive features of schizophrenia. Nevertheless, it is not clear to what extend executive deficits are heterogeneous in schizophrenia…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2015-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  15. Promoting motor function by exercising the brain.

    PubMed

    Perrey, Stephane

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Diffusion tensor imaging for understanding brain development in early life.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Anqi; Mori, Susumu; Miller, Michael I

    2015-01-01

    The human brain rapidly develops during the final weeks of gestation and in the first two years following birth. Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) is a unique in vivo imaging technique that allows three-dimensional visualization of the white matter anatomy in the brain. It has been considered to be a valuable tool for studying brain development in early life. In this review, we first introduce the DTI technique. We then review DTI findings on white matter development at the fetal stage and in infancy as well as DTI applications for understanding neurocognitive development and brain abnormalities in preterm infants. Finally, we discuss limitations of DTI and potential valuable imaging techniques for studying white matter myelination.

  18. Bioengineered functional brain-like cortical tissue

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Histamine function in brain disorders.

    PubMed

    Fernández-Novoa, L; Cacabelos, R

    2001-10-15

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

  20. Brain Function: Implications for Schooling.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Edwards, Clifford H.

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Wang, Niannian; Zhang, Li; Liu, Guozhong

    2015-01-01

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

  3. Simple models of human brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2012-04-10

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

  4. Culture, executive function, and social understanding.

    PubMed

    Lewis, Charlie; Koyasu, Masuo; Oh, Seungmi; Ogawa, Ayako; Short, Benjamin; Huang, Zhao

    2009-01-01

    Much of the evidence from the West has shown links between children's developing self-control (executive function), their social experiences, and their social understanding (Carpendale & Lewis, 2006, chapters 5 and 6), across a range of cultures including China. This chapter describes four studies conducted in three Oriental cultures, suggesting that the relationships among social interaction, executive function, and social understanding are different in these cultures, implying that social and executive skills are underpinned by key cultural processes. PMID:19306275

  5. Art Therapy and the Brain: An Attempt to Understand the Underlying Processes of Art Expression in Therapy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lusebrink, Vija B.

    2004-01-01

    The application of new techniques in brain imaging has expanded the understanding of the different functions and structures of the brain involved in information processing. This paper presents the main areas and functions activated in emotional states, the formation of memories, and the processing of motor, visual, and somatosensory information.…

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Irimia, Andrei; Van Horn, John Darrell

    2015-01-01

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

  8. Ad cerebrum per scientia: Ira Hirsh, psychoacoustics, and new approaches to understanding the human brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lauter, Judith

    2002-05-01

    As Research Director of CID, Ira emphasized the importance of combining information from biology with rigorous studies of behavior, such as psychophysics, to better understand how the brain and body accomplish the goals of everyday life. In line with this philosophy, my doctoral dissertation sought to explain brain functional asymmetries (studied with dichotic listening) in terms of the physical dimensions of a library of test sounds designed to represent a speech-music continuum. Results highlighted individual differences plus similarities in terms of patterns of relative ear advantages, suggesting an organizational basis for brain asymmetries depending on physical dimensions of stimulus and gesture with analogs in auditory, visual, somatosensory, and motor systems. My subsequent work has employed a number of noninvasive methods (OAEs, EPs, qEEG, PET, MRI) to explore the neurobiological bases of individual differences in general and functional asymmetries in particular. This research has led to (1) the AXS test battery for assessing the neurobiology of human sensory-motor function; (2) the handshaking model of brain function, describing dynamic relations along all three body/brain axes; (3) the four-domain EPIC model of functional asymmetries; and (4) the trimodal brain, a new model of individual differences based on psychoimmunoneuroendocrinology.

  9. Modeling of functional brain imaging data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Horwitz, Barry

    1999-03-01

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

  10. Structure and function of complex brain networks.

    PubMed

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-09-01

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

  11. Scale-Free Brain Functional Networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2006-05-01

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

  14. Functional brain connectivity phenotypes for schizophrenia drug discovery.

    PubMed

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

    2015-02-01

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

  15. Understanding the biophysical effects of transcranial magnetic stimulation on brain tissue: the bridge between brain stimulation and cognition.

    PubMed

    Neggers, Sebastiaan F W; Petrov, Petar I; Mandija, Stefano; Sommer, Iris E C; van den Berg, Nico A T

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is rapidly being adopted in neuroscience, medicine, psychology, and biology, for basic research purposes, diagnosis, and therapy. However, a coherent picture of how TMS affects neuronal processing, and especially how this in turn influences behavior, is still largely unavailable despite several studies that investigated aspects of the underlying neurophysiological effects of TMS. Perhaps as a result from this "black box approach," TMS studies show a large interindividual variability in applied paradigms and TMS treatment outcome can be quite variable, hampering its general efficacy and introduction into the clinic. A better insight into the biophysical, neuronal, and cognitive mechanisms underlying TMS is crucial in order to apply it effectively in the clinic and to increase our understanding of brain-behavior relationship. Therefore, computational and experimental efforts have been started recently to understand and control the effect TMS has on neuronal functioning. Especially, how the brain shapes magnetic fields induced by a TMS coil, how currents are generated locally in the cortical surface, and how they interact with complex functional neuronal circuits within and between brain areas are crucial to understand the observed behavioral changes and potential therapeutic effects resulting from TMS. Here, we review the current knowledge about the biophysical underpinnings of single-pulse TMS and argue how to move forward to fully understand and exploit the powerful technique that TMS can be. PMID:26541383

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

    PubMed

    Fornito, Alex; Bullmore, Edward T

    2015-02-01

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

  17. Understanding How Exercise Promotes Cognitive Integrity in the Aging Brain.

    PubMed

    Laitman, Benjamin M; John, Gareth R

    2015-01-01

    Alterations in the structure and organization of the aging central nervous system (CNS), and associated functional deficits, result in cognitive decline and increase susceptibility to neurodegeneration. Age-related changes to the neurovascular unit (NVU), and their consequences for cerebrovascular function, are implicated as driving cognitive impairment during aging as well as in neurodegenerative disease. The molecular events underlying these effects are incompletely characterized. Similarly, the mechanisms underlying effects of factors that reduce the impact of aging on the brain, such as physical exercise, are also opaque. A study in this issue of PLOS Biology links the NVU to cognitive decline in the aging brain and suggests a potential underlying molecular mechanism. Notably, the study further links the protective effects of chronic exercise on cognition to neurovascular integrity during aging.

  18. Mapping brain function in freely moving subjects

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Lead poisoning and brain cell function

    SciTech Connect

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

    1990-11-01

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

  20. Metabolism and functions of copper in brain.

    PubMed

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

    2014-05-01

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

  1. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  2. Toward discovery science of human brain function.

    PubMed

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

    2010-03-01

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

  3. Entropy changes in brain function.

    PubMed

    Rosso, Osvaldo A

    2007-04-01

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

  4. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  5. Peroxisomes in brain development and function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Bin; Moreland, John; Zhang, Jingyu

    2011-12-01

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

  8. Understanding the blood-brain barrier using gene and protein expression profiling technologies.

    PubMed

    Pottiez, Gwënaël; Flahaut, Christophe; Cecchelli, Roméo; Karamanos, Yannis

    2009-12-11

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) contributes to the brain homeostasis by regulating the passage of endogenous and exogenous compounds. This function is in part due to well-known proteins such as tight junction proteins, plasma membrane transporters and metabolic barrier proteins. Over the last decade, genomics and proteomics have emerged as supplementary tools for BBB research. The development of genomic and proteomic technologies has provided several means to extend the BBB knowledge and to investigate additional routes for the bypass of this barrier. These profiling technologies have been used on BBB models to decipher the physiological characteristics and, under stress conditions, to understand the molecular mechanisms of brain diseases. In this review, we will report and discuss the genomic and proteomic studies recently carried out to enhance the understanding of BBB features.

  9. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity.

    PubMed

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F Xavier

    2014-03-01

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

  10. Progesterone Receptors: Form and Function in Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2008-01-01

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

  11. Strengthening connections: functional connectivity and brain plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Kelly, Clare; Castellanos, F. Xavier

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Why network neuroscience? Compelling evidence and current frontiers. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Muldoon, Sarah Feldt; Bassett, Danielle S.

    2014-09-01

    The recent application of network theory to neuroscience has brought new insights into understanding the relationship between brain structure and function [1]. As Pessoa describes in his extensive review [2], the organization of the brain can be viewed as a complex system of connected components that interact at many scales [3], both in the underlying structural architecture and through temporal functional relationships. Importantly, he emphasizes that we must shed the view that a specific brain region can be tied to a specific function and instead view the brain as a dynamic and evolving network in which overlapping sub-networks of brain regions work together to produce different functions. In fact, the complexity of these evolving interactions is now driving the future of network science [4], as efforts focus on developing novel metrics to capture the dynamic essence of these interconnected networks.

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

    PubMed

    Ahmadlou, Mehran; Adeli, Hojjat

    2011-09-15

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

  14. The challenge of understanding the brain: where we stand in 2015

    PubMed Central

    Lisman, John

    2015-01-01

    Starting with the work of Cajal more than 100 years ago, neuroscience has sought to understand how the cells of the brain give rise to cognitive functions. How far has neuroscience progressed in this endeavor? This Perspective assesses progress in elucidating five basic brain processes: visual recognition, long-term memory, short-term memory, action selection, and motor control. Each of these processes entails several levels of analysis: the behavioral properties, the underlying computational algorithm, and the cellular/network mechanisms that implement that algorithm. At this juncture, while many questions remain unanswered, achievements in several areas of research have made it possible to relate specific properties of brain networks to cognitive functions. What has been learned reveals, at least in rough outline, how cognitive processes can be an emergent property of neurons and their connections. PMID:25996132

  15. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Functional interrelationship of brain aging and delirium.

    PubMed

    Rapazzini, Piero

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nees, Frauke

    2015-09-01

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

  18. An Adaptive Complex Network Model for Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2003-02-01

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

  20. Structural and functional clusters of complex brain networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zemanová, Lucia; Zhou, Changsong; Kurths, Jürgen

    2006-12-01

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

  1. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-04

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

  5. Brain networks and their origins. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cisek, Paul

    2014-09-01

    Nearly every textbook on psychology or neuroscience contains theories of function described with box and arrow diagrams. Sometimes, the boxes stand for purely theoretical constructs, such as attention or working memory, and sometimes they also correspond to specific brain regions or systems, such as parietal or prefrontal cortex, and the arrows between them to known anatomical pathways. It is common for scientists (present company included) to summarize their theories in this way and to think of the brain as a set of interacting modules with clearly distinguishable functions.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  8. Understanding human functioning using graphical models

    PubMed Central

    2010-01-01

    Background Functioning and disability are universal human experiences. However, our current understanding of functioning from a comprehensive perspective is limited. The development of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) on the one hand and recent developments in graphical modeling on the other hand might be combined and open the door to a more comprehensive understanding of human functioning. The objective of our paper therefore is to explore how graphical models can be used in the study of ICF data for a range of applications. Methods We show the applicability of graphical models on ICF data for different tasks: Visualization of the dependence structure of the data set, dimension reduction and comparison of subpopulations. Moreover, we further developed and applied recent findings in causal inference using graphical models to estimate bounds on intervention effects in an observational study with many variables and without knowing the underlying causal structure. Results In each field, graphical models could be applied giving results of high face-validity. In particular, graphical models could be used for visualization of functioning in patients with spinal cord injury. The resulting graph consisted of several connected components which can be used for dimension reduction. Moreover, we found that the differences in the dependence structures between subpopulations were relevant and could be systematically analyzed using graphical models. Finally, when estimating bounds on causal effects of ICF categories on general health perceptions among patients with chronic health conditions, we found that the five ICF categories that showed the strongest effect were plausible. Conclusions Graphical Models are a flexible tool and lend themselves for a wide range of applications. In particular, studies involving ICF data seem to be suited for analysis using graphical models. PMID:20149230

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  10. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

    Although rhythm and music are not entirely synonymous terms, rhythm constitutes one of the most essential structural and organizational elements of music. When considering the effect of music on human adaptation, the profound effect of rhythm on the motor system strongly suggests that the time structure of music is the essential element relating music specifically to motor behavior. Why the motor system appears so sensitive to auditory priming and timing stimulation can only be partially answered so far. The high-performance function of the auditory system regarding processing of time information makes good functional sense within the constraints of auditory sensory processing. Thus, the motor system sensitivity to auditory entrainment may simply be an evolutionary useful function of taking advantage of the specific and unique aspects of auditory information processing for enhanced control and organization of motor behavior; e.g, in the time domain. Unlike processes in the motor system, many other physiological processes cannot be effectively entrained by external sensory stimuli. For example, there is probably a very good protective reason why other cyclical physiological processes (e.g., autonomic processes such as heart rate) have only very limited entrainment capacity to external rhythmic cues. Some of the basic auditory-motor arousal connections may also have their basis in adaptive evolutionary processes related to survival behavior; e.g., in fight or flight reactions. Much of the "why" in auditory-motor interactions, however, remains unknown heuristically. In the absence of this knowledge, great care should be taken to not compensate for this lack of understanding of specific cause and effect processes by assigning anthropomorphic descriptions to the behavior of biological and physical systems. The unraveling of the perceptual, physiological, and neuroanatomical basis of the interaction between rhythm and movement has been, and continues to be, a fascinating

  11. The connection between rhythmicity and brain function.

    PubMed

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

    1999-01-01

    Although rhythm and music are not entirely synonymous terms, rhythm constitutes one of the most essential structural and organizational elements of music. When considering the effect of music on human adaptation, the profound effect of rhythm on the motor system strongly suggests that the time structure of music is the essential element relating music specifically to motor behavior. Why the motor system appears so sensitive to auditory priming and timing stimulation can only be partially answered so far. The high-performance function of the auditory system regarding processing of time information makes good functional sense within the constraints of auditory sensory processing. Thus, the motor system sensitivity to auditory entrainment may simply be an evolutionary useful function of taking advantage of the specific and unique aspects of auditory information processing for enhanced control and organization of motor behavior; e.g, in the time domain. Unlike processes in the motor system, many other physiological processes cannot be effectively entrained by external sensory stimuli. For example, there is probably a very good protective reason why other cyclical physiological processes (e.g., autonomic processes such as heart rate) have only very limited entrainment capacity to external rhythmic cues. Some of the basic auditory-motor arousal connections may also have their basis in adaptive evolutionary processes related to survival behavior; e.g., in fight or flight reactions. Much of the "why" in auditory-motor interactions, however, remains unknown heuristically. In the absence of this knowledge, great care should be taken to not compensate for this lack of understanding of specific cause and effect processes by assigning anthropomorphic descriptions to the behavior of biological and physical systems. The unraveling of the perceptual, physiological, and neuroanatomical basis of the interaction between rhythm and movement has been, and continues to be, a fascinating

  12. Electromagnetic inverse applications for functional brain imaging

    SciTech Connect

    Wood, C.C.

    1997-10-01

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

  13. Functional brain asymmetry, handedness and menarcheal age.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, P; Stoyanov, Z; Negrev, N

    1994-12-01

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

  14. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  15. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Homological scaffolds of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

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

    2014-12-01

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

  18. Electroencephalographic imaging of higher brain function.

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2010-01-01

    Cross-species affective neuroscience studies confirm that primary-process emotional feelings are organized within primitive subcortical regions of the brain that are anatomically, neurochemically, and functionally homologous in all mammals that have been studied. Emotional feelings (affects) are intrinsic values that inform animals how they are faring in the quest to survive. The various positive affects indicate that animals are returning to "comfort zones" that support survival, and negative affects reflect "discomfort zones" that indicate that animals are in situations that may impair survival. They are ancestral tools for living--evolutionary memories of such importance that they were coded into the genome in rough form (as primary brain processes), which are refined by basic learning mechanisms (secondary processes) as well as by higher-order cognitions/thoughts (tertiary processes). To understand why depression feels horrible, we must fathom the affective infrastructure of the mammalian brain. Advances in our understanding of the nature of primary-process emotional affects can promote the development of better preclinical models of psychiatric disorders and thereby also allow clinicians new and useful ways to understand the foundational aspects of their clients' problems. These networks are of clear importance for understanding psychiatric disorders and advancing psychiatric practice.

  2. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression

    PubMed Central

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2010-01-01

    Cross-species affective neuroscience studies confirm that primary-process emotional feelings are organized within primitive subcortical regions of the brain that are anatomically, neurochemically, and functionally homologous in all mammals that have been studied. Emotional feelings (affects) are intrinsic values that inform animals how they are faring in the quest to survive. The various positive affects indicate that animals are returning to “comfort zones” that support survival, and negative affects reflect “discomfort zones” that indicate that animals are in situations that may impair survival. They are ancestral tools for living - evolutionary memories of such importance that they were coded into the genome in rough form (as primary brain processes), which are refined by basic learning mechanisms (secondary processes) as well as by higher-order cognitions/thoughts (tertiary processes). To understand why depression feels horrible, we must fathom the affective infrastructure of the mammalian brain. Advances in our understanding of the nature of primary-process emotional affects can promote the development of better preclinical models of psychiatric disorders and thereby also allow clinicians new and useful ways to understand the foundational aspects of their clients' problems. These networks are of clear importance for understanding psychiatric disorders and advancing psychiatric practice. PMID:21319497

  3. Affective neuroscience of the emotional BrainMind: evolutionary perspectives and implications for understanding depression.

    PubMed

    Panksepp, Jaak

    2010-01-01

    Cross-species affective neuroscience studies confirm that primary-process emotional feelings are organized within primitive subcortical regions of the brain that are anatomically, neurochemically, and functionally homologous in all mammals that have been studied. Emotional feelings (affects) are intrinsic values that inform animals how they are faring in the quest to survive. The various positive affects indicate that animals are returning to "comfort zones" that support survival, and negative affects reflect "discomfort zones" that indicate that animals are in situations that may impair survival. They are ancestral tools for living--evolutionary memories of such importance that they were coded into the genome in rough form (as primary brain processes), which are refined by basic learning mechanisms (secondary processes) as well as by higher-order cognitions/thoughts (tertiary processes). To understand why depression feels horrible, we must fathom the affective infrastructure of the mammalian brain. Advances in our understanding of the nature of primary-process emotional affects can promote the development of better preclinical models of psychiatric disorders and thereby also allow clinicians new and useful ways to understand the foundational aspects of their clients' problems. These networks are of clear importance for understanding psychiatric disorders and advancing psychiatric practice. PMID:21319497

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

    PubMed

    Koivuniemi, Andrew; Otto, Kevin

    2014-01-01

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

  5. Brain networks: The next steps. Comment on: “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Calhoun, Vince D.

    2014-09-01

    The study of brain function from the perspective of whole brain networks has been a focus within the brain imaging community for many years, but has not yet overtaken the traditional approach of focusing on a specific region or set of regions. Pessoa [1] provides a very nice summary of the many reasons why network-based approaches should be used more commonly while also outlining the open questions and challenges, many of which also exist for the predominant region-based approach. One important point to frame the problem well, however, is to define carefully what is meant by the term network, which can be used in many different ways. Pessoa's definition is consistent with that used in the network science field, that is, a graph theoretical perspective based on nodes and edges, though other (useful) definitions are also quite widely used in the brain imaging community and should not be discounted [2]. The concept of networks is a very powerful tool for studying the brain, and also for potentially pointing us to regions that are at high-risk or potentially especially important to protect (or the oft undervalued weak but wide-spread connections as Pessoa points out).

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  7. Perinatal choline influences brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Zeisel, Steven H; Niculescu, Mihai D

    2006-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ugurbil, Kamil

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Ugurbil, Kamil

    2016-10-01

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

  10. The Big Five default brain: functional evidence.

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

  11. Transgenerational epigenetic effects on brain functions.

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-15

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

  12. Clinton Woolsey: Functional Brain Mapping Pioneer

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Is the brain a decomposable or nondecomposable system?. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Evan

    2014-09-01

    Pessoa's review [4] casts new light on a deep and difficult question: is the brain a "decomposable" or "nondecomposable" system [1,5,7]? This question pertains to the functional organization of the brain as a cognitive system. In a decomposable system, each subsystem's operation is determined by the subsystem's intrinsic properties independent of the other subsystems, making the system's organization strongly modular. Modularity decreases depending on how strongly the subsystems interact, especially through feedback and reentrant or recursive processes. If the subsystems are only weakly coupled, such that the causal interactions within a subsystem play a stronger role in determining its operation than do the causal interactions between it and other subsystems, then the system is "nearly decomposable." If the subsystems are strongly coupled, then the functional organization of the system becomes less governed by the intrinsic properties of its subsystems and more governed by the ways the subsystems interact, making the system "minimally decomposable." In a "nondecomposable" system, the coupling is such that the subsystems no longer have clearly separable operations apart from the larger context of their interdependent operation. (Note that such strong coupling can involve weak local connections, as Pessoa discusses in Section 9.1.) The current debate about whether cognitive functions can be localized to specific brain regions [2], or whether cognitive functions need to be mapped onto dynamic networks instantiated in shifting coalitions or assemblies of regions [3,6], can be regarded also as a debate about the extent to which the brain's cognitive organization is decomposable (modular) or nondecomposable (nonmodular).

  14. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

    PubMed

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease. PMID:26590911

  15. Recent Developments in Understanding Brain Aging: Implications for Alzheimer's Disease and Vascular Cognitive Impairment.

    PubMed

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna; Sonntag, William E

    2016-01-01

    As the population of the Western world is aging, there is increasing awareness of age-related impairments in cognitive function and a rising interest in finding novel approaches to preserve cerebral health. A special collection of articles in The Journals of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences brings together information of different aspects of brain aging, from latest developments in the field of neurodegenerative disorders to cerebral microvascular mechanisms of cognitive decline. It is emphasized that although the cellular changes that occur within aging neurons have been widely studied, more research is required as new signaling pathways are discovered that can potentially protect cells. New avenues for research targeting cellular senescence, epigenetics, and endocrine mechanisms of brain aging are also discussed. Based on the current literature it is clear that understanding brain aging and reducing risk for neurological disease with age requires searching for mechanisms and treatment options beyond the age-related changes in neuronal function. Thus, comprehensive approaches need to be developed that address the multiple, interrelated mechanisms of brain aging. Attention is brought to the importance of maintenance of cerebromicrovascular health, restoring neuroendocrine balance, and the pressing need for funding more innovative research into the interactions of neuronal, neuroendocrine, inflammatory and microvascular mechanisms of cognitive impairment, and Alzheimer's disease.

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

    PubMed Central

    Sampson, Timothy R.; Mazmanian, Sarkis K.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Sampson, Timothy R; Mazmanian, Sarkis K

    2015-05-13

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

  18. Endocannabinoid functions controlling neuronal specification during brain development.

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-16

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

  19. Famous Russian brains: historical attempts to understand intelligence.

    PubMed

    Vein, Alla A; Maat-Schieman, Marion L C

    2008-02-01

    Russian scientists are certainly among those who contributed actively to the search for the neuroanatomical basis of exceptional mental capacity and talent. Research into brain anatomy was one of the topics of special interest in various Russian universities. A number of independent reports on the study of famous Russian brains appeared both in Russia and abroad. Collecting and mapping brains of elite Russians in a structured manner began in Moscow in 1924 with the brain of V. I. Lenin. In 1928, the Moscow Brain Research Institute was founded, the collection of which includes the brains of several prominent Russian neuroscientists, including V. M. Bekhterev, G. I. Rossolimo, L. S. Vygotsky and I. P. Pavlov. The fact that the brain of two of the most outstanding scholars of Russian neurology and psychiatry, A. Ya. Kozhevnikov (1836-1902) and S. S. Korsakov (1854-1900), have been studied is largely unknown. A report of the results of this study was published by A. A. Kaputsin in 1925 providing a detailed neuroanatomical assessment of the brains. A considerable weight, a predominance of the left hemisphere and a particularly complex convolution of the frontal and parietal lobes of both brains were reported, the assumption being that these brain parameters can serve as an indicator of mental capacity. The names Kozhevnikov and Korsakov are among those most cherished by Russian neuroscientists; they are also familiar to Western colleagues. The (re)discovery of the records of the brain autopsies is meaningful, maybe not so much from a neuroanatomical point of view as from a historical perspective. PMID:18182419

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

    PubMed Central

    Pigarev, Ivan N.; Pigareva, Marina L.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Omarzu, Julia

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Values: Understanding Written Language and the Mind through Brain Biology.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brand, Alice G.

    Suggesting that neuroscience and the actualities of brain circuitry can provide guidance for what is misunderstood in writing education, namely, the role of subjectivity and values in the composing process, this paper argues that neuroscience provides corporeal evidence for the salience of particular brain structures and processes responsible for…

  3. Approaches to Modelling the Dynamical Activity of Brain Function Based on the Electroencephalogram

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liley, David T. J.; Frascoli, Federico

    The brain is arguably the quintessential complex system as indicated by the patterns of behaviour it produces. Despite many decades of concentrated research efforts, we remain largely ignorant regarding the essential processes that regulate and define its function. While advances in functional neuroimaging have provided welcome windows into the coarse organisation of the neuronal networks that underlie a range of cognitive functions, they have largely ignored the fact that behaviour, and by inference brain function, unfolds dynamically. Modelling the brain's dynamics is therefore a critical step towards understanding the underlying mechanisms of its functioning. To date, models have concentrated on describing the sequential organisation of either abstract mental states (functionalism, hard AI) or the objectively measurable manifestations of the brain's ongoing activity (rCBF, EEG, MEG). While the former types of modelling approach may seem to better characterise brain function, they do so at the expense of not making a definite connection with the actual physical brain. Of the latter, only models of the EEG (or MEG) offer a temporal resolution well matched to the anticipated temporal scales of brain (mental processes) function. This chapter will outline the most pertinent of these modelling approaches, and illustrate, using the electrocortical model of Liley et al, how the detailed application of the methods of nonlinear dynamics and bifurcation theory is central to exploring and characterising their various dynamical features. The rich repertoire of dynamics revealed by such dynamical systems approaches arguably represents a critical step towards an understanding of the complexity of brain function.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

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

  5. Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity for Face Perception

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Brain Dynamics, Chaos and Bessel Functions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-07-01

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

  7. Understanding the Role of Neuroscience in Brain Based Products: A Guide for Educators and Consumers

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sylvan, Lesley J.; Christodoulou, Joanna A.

    2010-01-01

    The term "brain" based is often used to describe learning theories, principles, and products. Although there have been calls urging educators to be cautious in interpreting and using such material, consumers may find it challenging to understand the role of the brain and to discriminate among brain based products to determine which would be…

  8. Changes in Connectivity after Visual Cortical Brain Damage Underlie Altered Visual Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bridge, Holly; Thomas, Owen; Jbabdi, Saad; Cowey, Alan

    2008-01-01

    The full extent of the brain's ability to compensate for damage or changed experience is yet to be established. One question particularly important for evaluating and understanding rehabilitation following brain damage is whether recovery involves new and aberrant neural connections or whether any change in function is due to the functional…

  9. Integrating Functional Brain Neuroimaging and Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience in Child Psychiatry Research

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pavuluri, Mani N.; Sweeney, John A.

    2008-01-01

    The use of cognitive neuroscience and functional brain neuroimaging to understand brain dysfunction in pediatric psychiatric disorders is discussed. Results show that bipolar youths demonstrate impairment in affective and cognitive neural systems and in these two circuits' interface. Implications for the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric…

  10. Voltage imaging to understand connections and functions of neuronal circuits.

    PubMed

    Antic, Srdjan D; Empson, Ruth M; Knöpfel, Thomas

    2016-07-01

    Understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying brain functions such as cognition and emotions requires monitoring of membrane voltage at the cellular, circuit, and system levels. Seminal voltage-sensitive dye and calcium-sensitive dye imaging studies have demonstrated parallel detection of electrical activity across populations of interconnected neurons in a variety of preparations. A game-changing advance made in recent years has been the conceptualization and development of optogenetic tools, including genetically encoded indicators of voltage (GEVIs) or calcium (GECIs) and genetically encoded light-gated ion channels (actuators, e.g., channelrhodopsin2). Compared with low-molecular-weight calcium and voltage indicators (dyes), the optogenetic imaging approaches are 1) cell type specific, 2) less invasive, 3) able to relate activity and anatomy, and 4) facilitate long-term recordings of individual cells' activities over weeks, thereby allowing direct monitoring of the emergence of learned behaviors and underlying circuit mechanisms. We highlight the potential of novel approaches based on GEVIs and compare those to calcium imaging approaches. We also discuss how novel approaches based on GEVIs (and GECIs) coupled with genetically encoded actuators will promote progress in our knowledge of brain circuits and systems. PMID:27075539

  11. Functional brain networks involved in reality monitoring.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  12. Phosphatidylserine in the brain: metabolism and function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

  13. Understanding Brain Injury and Neurodevelopmental Disabilities in the Preterm Infant: The Evolving Role of Advanced MRI

    PubMed Central

    Mathur, Amit M.; Neil, Jeffrey J.; Inder, Terrie E.

    2010-01-01

    The high incidence of neurodevelopmental disability in premature infants requires continued efforts at understanding the underlying microstructural changes in the brain that cause this perturbation in normal development. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) methods offer great potential to fulfill this need. Serial MR imaging and the application of newer analysis techniques such as, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), volumetric MR analysis, cortical surface analysis, functional connectivity (fcMRI) and diffusion tractography, provide important insights into the trajectory of brain development in the premature infant and the impact of injury on this developmental trajectory. While some of these imaging techniques are currently available in the research setting only, other measures such as DTI and brain metric measures can be used clinically. MR imaging also has enormous potential to be used as a surrogate, short-term outcome measure in clinical studies evaluating new therapeutic interventions of neuroprotection of the developing brain. In this article we review the current status of these advanced MR imaging techniques. PMID:20109973

  14. Experience-Dependent Brain Development as a Key to Understanding the Language System.

    PubMed

    Westermann, Gert

    2016-04-01

    An influential view of the nature of the language system is that of an evolved biological system in which a set of rules is combined with a lexicon that contains the words of the language together with a representation of their context. Alternative views, usually based on connectionist modeling, attempt to explain the structure of language on the basis of complex associative processes. Here, I put forward a third view that stresses experience-dependent structural development of the brain circuits supporting language as a core principle of the organization of the language system. In this view, embodied in a recent neuroconstructivist neural network of past tense development and processing, initial domain-general predispositions enable the development of functionally specialized brain structures through interactions between experience-dependent brain development and statistical learning in a structured environment. Together, these processes shape a biological adult language system that appears to separate into distinct mechanism for processing rules and exceptions, whereas in reality those subsystems co-develop and interact closely. This view puts experience-dependent brain development in response to a specific language environment at the heart of understanding not only language development but adult language processing as well.

  15. Found in translation: understanding the biology and behavior of experimental traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Bondi, Corina O.; Semple, Bridgette D.; Noble-Haeusslein, Linda J.; Osier, Nicole D.; Carlson, Shaun W.; Dixon, C. Edward; Giza, Christopher C.; Kline, Anthony E.

    2014-01-01

    BONDI, C.O., B.D. Semple, L.J. Noble-Haeusslein, N.D. Osier, S.W. Carlson, C.E. Dixon, C.C. Giza and A.E. Kline. Found in translation: understanding the biology and behavior of experimental traumatic brain injury. NEUROSCI BIOBEHAV REV. The aim of this review is to discuss in greater detail the topics covered in the recent symposium entitled “Traumatic brain injury: laboratory and clinical perspectives,” presented at the 2014 International Behavioral Neuroscience Society annual meeting. Herein we review contemporary laboratory models of traumatic brain injury (TBI) including common assays for sensorimotor and cognitive behavior. New modalities to evaluate social behavior after injury to the developing brain, as well as the attentional set-shifting test (AST) as a measure of executive function in TBI, will be highlighted. Environmental enrichment (EE) will be discussed as a preclinical model of neurorehabilitation, and finally, an evidence-based approach to sports-related concussion will be considered. The review consists predominantly of published data, but some discussion of ongoing or future directions is provided. PMID:25496906

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-04-01

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

  17. Toward Understanding How Early-Life Stress Reprograms Cognitive and Emotional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Chen, Yuncai; Baram, Tallie Z

    2016-01-01

    Vulnerability to emotional disorders including depression derives from interactions between genes and environment, especially during sensitive developmental periods. Adverse early-life experiences provoke the release and modify the expression of several stress mediators and neurotransmitters within specific brain regions. The interaction of these mediators with developing neurons and neuronal networks may lead to long-lasting structural and functional alterations associated with cognitive and emotional consequences. Although a vast body of work has linked quantitative and qualitative aspects of stress to adolescent and adult outcomes, a number of questions are unclear. What distinguishes 'normal' from pathologic or toxic stress? How are the effects of stress transformed into structural and functional changes in individual neurons and neuronal networks? Which ones are affected? We review these questions in the context of established and emerging studies. We introduce a novel concept regarding the origin of toxic early-life stress, stating that it may derive from specific patterns of environmental signals, especially those derived from the mother or caretaker. Fragmented and unpredictable patterns of maternal care behaviors induce a profound chronic stress. The aberrant patterns and rhythms of early-life sensory input might also directly and adversely influence the maturation of cognitive and emotional brain circuits, in analogy to visual and auditory brain systems. Thus, unpredictable, stress-provoking early-life experiences may influence adolescent cognitive and emotional outcomes by disrupting the maturation of the underlying brain networks. Comprehensive approaches and multiple levels of analysis are required to probe the protean consequences of early-life adversity on the developing brain. These involve integrated human and animal-model studies, and approaches ranging from in vivo imaging to novel neuroanatomical, molecular, epigenomic, and computational

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

    PubMed Central

    Penland, J G

    1994-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    1993-01-01

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

  1. Brain microvascular function during cardiopulmonary bypass

    SciTech Connect

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

    1987-11-01

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

  2. Cytokine Signaling Modulates Blood-Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Understanding Linear Functions and Their Representations

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Wells, Pamela J.

    2015-01-01

    Linear functions are an important part of the middle school mathematics curriculum. Students in the middle grades gain fluency by working with linear functions in a variety of representations (NCTM 2001). Presented in this article is an activity that was used with five eighth-grade classes at three different schools. The activity contains 15 cards…

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

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Hirano, Yukinori; Saitoe, Minoru

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-07-01

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

  9. Inability to empathize: brain lesions that disrupt sharing and understanding another’s emotions

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Emotional empathy—the ability to recognize, share in, and make inferences about another person’s emotional state—is critical for all social interactions. The neural mechanisms underlying emotional empathy have been widely studied with functional imaging of healthy participants. However, functional imaging studies reveal correlations between areas of activation and performance of a task, so that they can only reveal areas engaged in a task, rather than areas of the brain that are critical for the task. Lesion studies complement functional imaging, to identify areas necessary for a task. Impairments in emotional empathy have been mostly studied in neurological diseases with fairly diffuse injury, such as traumatic brain injury, autism and dementia. The classic ‘focal lesion’ is stroke. There have been scattered studies of patients with impaired empathy after stroke and other focal injury, but these studies have included small numbers of patients. This review will bring together data from these studies, to complement evidence from functional imaging. Here I review how focal lesions affect emotional empathy. I will show how lesion studies contribute to the understanding of the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying emotional empathy, and how they contribute to the management of patients with impaired emotional empathy. PMID:24293265

  10. Tracking of EEG activity using motion estimation to understand brain wiring.

    PubMed

    Nisar, Humaira; Malik, Aamir Saeed; Ullah, Rafi; Shim, Seong-O; Bawakid, Abdullah; Khan, Muhammad Burhan; Subhani, Ahmad Rauf

    2015-01-01

    The fundamental step in brain research deals with recording electroencephalogram (EEG) signals and then investigating the recorded signals quantitatively. Topographic EEG (visual spatial representation of EEG signal) is commonly referred to as brain topomaps or brain EEG maps. In this chapter, full search full search block motion estimation algorithm has been employed to track the brain activity in brain topomaps to understand the mechanism of brain wiring. The behavior of EEG topomaps is examined throughout a particular brain activation with respect to time. Motion vectors are used to track the brain activation over the scalp during the activation period. Using motion estimation it is possible to track the path from the starting point of activation to the final point of activation. Thus it is possible to track the path of a signal across various lobes.

  11. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fernstrom, J. D.

    1981-01-01

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

  12. Effects of the diet on brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fernstrom, John D.

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

  13. The meaning of health: understanding functional limitations.

    PubMed

    Stewart, A; Ware, J E; Brook, R H

    1977-11-01

    Results of psychometric studies of 14 questionnaire items commonly used to define chronic functional limitations due to poor health are reported. Self-administered questionnaires were used to gather data from 1,209 persons 14 years of age and older. Data were used to study: scalability of items; test-retest reliability of alternate forms of scales; validity of scales in relation to 13 health status variables and age; and precision of scales in detecting differences in health. Three scales pertaining to chronic limitations in mobility, physical activity, and social role activity functions satisfied the criteria of scalogram analysis. Four-month test-retest reliability estimates for alternate forms were very high. Strong associations (some curvilinear) were observed among functional limitation scales, and between these scales and survey measures of physical abilities, general health perceptions, health worry/concern, chronic disease conditions, and age. Measures of physical abilities and functional limitations appeared to define opposite ends of a function-dysfunction continuum. Statistical modeling of precision indicates that, due to the skewed distribution of scores, large sample sizes would be required to detect differences in functional limitations in studies using only a posttest.

  14. Chemical Biology for Understanding Matrix Metalloproteinase Function

    PubMed Central

    Knapinska, Anna; Fields, Gregg B.

    2013-01-01

    The matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) family has long been associated with normal physiological processes such as embryonic implantation, tissue remodeling, organ development, and wound healing, as well as multiple aspects of cancer initiation and progression, osteoarthritis, inflammatory and vascular diseases, and neurodegenerative diseases. The development of chemically designed MMP probes has advanced our understanding of the roles of MMPs in disease in addition to shedding considerable light on the mechanisms of MMP action. The first generation of protease-activated agents has demonstrated proof of principle as well as providing impetus for in vivo applications. One common problem has been a lack of agent stability at nontargeted tissues and organs due to activation by multiple proteases. The present review considers how chemical biology has impacted the progress made in understanding the roles of MMPs in disease and the basic mechanisms of MMP action. PMID:22933318

  15. Chemotherapy Altered Brain Functional Connectivity in Women with Breast Cancer: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Dumas, Julie A.; Makarewicz, Jenna; Schaubhut, Geoffrey J.; Devins, Robert; Albert, Kimberly; Dittus, Kim; Newhouse, Paul A.

    2013-01-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy is associated with improvements in long-term cancer survival. However, reports of cognitive impairment following treatment emphasize the importance of understanding the long-term effects of chemotherapy on brain functioning. Cognitive deficits found in chemotherapy patients suggest a change in brain functioning that affects specific cognitive domains such as attentional processing and executive functioning. This study examined the processes potentially underlying these changes in cognition by examining brain functional connectivity pre- and post-chemotherapy in women with breast cancer. Functional connectivity examines the temporal correlation between spatially remote brain regions in an effort to understand how brain networks support specific cognitive functions. Nine women diagnosed with breast cancer completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session before chemotherapy, one month after, and one year after the completion of chemotherapy. Seed-based functional connectivity analyses were completed using seeds in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to examine connectivity in the dorsal anterior attention network and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) to examine connectivity in the default mode network. Results showed decreased functional connectivity one month after chemotherapy that partially returned to baseline at one year in the dorsal attention network. Decreased connectivity was seen in the default mode network at one month and one year following chemotherapy. In addition, increased subjective memory complaints were noted at one month and one year post-chemotherapy. These findings suggest a detrimental effect of chemotherapy on brain functional connectivity that is potentially related to subjective cognitive assessment. PMID:23852814

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W

    2009-12-11

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

  18. Cognitive neuroscience 2.0: building a cumulative science of human brain function

    PubMed Central

    Yarkoni, Tal; Poldrack, Russell A.; Van Essen, David C.; Wager, Tor D.

    2010-01-01

    Cognitive neuroscientists increasingly recognize that continued progress in understanding human brain function will require not only the acquisition of new data, but also the synthesis and integration of data across studies and laboratories. Here we review ongoing efforts to develop a more cumulative science of human brain function. We discuss the rationale for an increased focus on formal synthesis of the cognitive neuroscience literature, provide an overview of recently developed tools and platforms designed to facilitate the sharing and integration of neuroimaging data, and conclude with a discussion of several emerging developments that hold even greater promise in advancing the study of human brain function. PMID:20884276

  19. Understanding adjustment following traumatic brain injury: is the Goodness-of-Fit coping hypothesis useful?

    PubMed

    Kendall, Elizabeth; Terry, Deborah J

    2008-10-01

    Coping efforts have been recognised as an important aspect of resilience following traumatic brain injury, but little is known about what constitutes effective coping in this population. This longitudinal research examined the usefulness of the Goodness-of-Fit hypothesis, drawn from the Lazarus and Folkman [(1984). Stress, appraisal and coping. NY: Springer.] theory of stress and coping, as a way of understanding coping effectiveness. The hypothesis suggests that the nature and success of specific coping strategies will be associated with the controllability of the event. If an event is relatively uncontrollable, then emotion-focused or perception-focused coping may be more effective than problem-focused coping. In contrast, a controllable event may be best managed through problem-focused coping. Ninety people with traumatic brain injury, drawn from the inpatient rehabilitation unit of a major metropolitan hospital in Australia, and their relatives participated in this longitudinal study. No support was found for the Goodness-of-Fit model, either in the short term or the long term. Although the use of problem-focused coping strategies was positively associated with short-term and long-term role functioning, it was not associated with long-term emotional well-being if the situation was perceived to be controllable. The findings suggest that the persistent use of problem-focused coping in response to the difficulties created by traumatic brain injury can be associated with emotional distress in the long term. Reasons for this finding are explored and its implications are discussed.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Karniski, Walt M.

    1989-01-01

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

  1. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function

    PubMed Central

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A.; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M.

    2015-01-01

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain. PMID:26037235

  2. A novel brain partition highlights the modular skeleton shared by structure and function.

    PubMed

    Diez, Ibai; Bonifazi, Paolo; Escudero, Iñaki; Mateos, Beatriz; Muñoz, Miguel A; Stramaglia, Sebastiano; Cortes, Jesus M

    2015-06-03

    Elucidating the intricate relationship between brain structure and function, both in healthy and pathological conditions, is a key challenge for modern neuroscience. Recent progress in neuroimaging has helped advance our understanding of this important issue, with diffusion images providing information about structural connectivity (SC) and functional magnetic resonance imaging shedding light on resting state functional connectivity (rsFC). Here, we adopt a systems approach, relying on modular hierarchical clustering, to study together SC and rsFC datasets gathered independently from healthy human subjects. Our novel approach allows us to find a common skeleton shared by structure and function from which a new, optimal, brain partition can be extracted. We describe the emerging common structure-function modules (SFMs) in detail and compare them with commonly employed anatomical or functional parcellations. Our results underline the strong correspondence between brain structure and resting-state dynamics as well as the emerging coherent organization of the human brain.

  3. Disrupted Brain Functional Network Architecture in Chronic Tinnitus Patients

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Some problems for representations of brain organization based on activation in functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Sidtis, John J

    2007-08-01

    Functional brain imaging has overshadowed traditional lesion studies in becoming the dominant approach to the study of brain-behavior relationships. The proponents of functional imaging studies frequently argue that this approach provides an advantage over lesion studies by observing normal brain activity in vivo without the disruptive effects of brain damage. However, the enthusiastic onslaught of brain images, frequently presented as veridical representations of mental function, has sometimes overwhelmed some basic facts about brain organization repeatedly observed over more than a century. In particular, the lateralization of speech and language to the left cerebral hemisphere in over 90% of the right-handed population does not appear to have been taken as a serious constraint in the interpretation of imaging results in studies of these functions. This paper reviews a number of areas in which standard activation assumptions yield results that are at odds with clinical experience. The activation approach will be contrasted with a performance-based analysis of functional image data, which, at least in the case of speech production, yields results in better agreement with lesion data. Functional imaging represents enormous opportunities for understanding brain-behavior relationships, but at the present level of understanding of what is being represented in such images, it is premature to adhere to a single approach based on the strong but questionable assumptions inherent in most activation studies. PMID:16938343

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  7. Infrared Imaging System for Studying Brain Function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mintz, Frederick; Mintz, Frederick; Gunapala, Sarath

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Brain serotonin and pituitary-adrenal functions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1973-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

  10. Brain functions after sports-related concussion: insights from event-related potentials and functional MRI.

    PubMed

    Gosselin, Nadia; Saluja, Rajeet Singh; Chen, Jen-Kai; Bottari, Carolina; Johnston, Karen; Ptito, Alain

    2010-10-01

    The high incidence of concussions in contact sports and their impact on brain functions are a major cause for concern. To improve our understanding of brain functioning after sports-related concussion, advanced functional assessment techniques, namely event-related potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), have been recently used in research studies. Contrary to neuropsychological tests that measure verbal and/or motor responses, ERPs and fMRI assess the neural activities associated with cognitive/behavioral demands, and thus provide access to better comprehension of brain functioning. In fact, ERPs have excellent temporal resolution, and fMRI identifies the involved structures during a task. This article describes ERP and fMRI techniques and reviews the results obtained with these tools in sports-related concussion. Although these techniques are not yet readily available, they offer a unique clinical approach, particularly for complex cases (ie, athletes with multiple concussions, chronic symptoms) and objective measures that provide valuable information to guide management and return-to-play decision making.

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Minshew, Nancy J.

    1996-01-01

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

  12. Recovery of cognitive functions following nonprogressive brain injury.

    PubMed

    Wilson, B A

    1998-04-01

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

  13. Sex hormones and brain dopamine functions.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Traumatic Brain Injury and Neuronal Functionality Changes in Sensory Cortex

    PubMed Central

    Carron, Simone F.; Alwis, Dasuni S.; Rajan, Ramesh

    2016-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI), caused by direct blows to the head or inertial forces during relative head-brain movement, can result in long-lasting cognitive and motor deficits which can be particularly consequential when they occur in young people with a long life ahead. Much is known of the molecular and anatomical changes produced in TBI but much less is known of the consequences of these changes to neuronal functionality, especially in the cortex. Given that much of our interior and exterior lives are dependent on responsiveness to information from and about the world around us, we have hypothesized that a significant contributor to the cognitive and motor deficits seen after TBI could be changes in sensory processing. To explore this hypothesis, and to develop a model test system of the changes in neuronal functionality caused by TBI, we have examined neuronal encoding of simple and complex sensory input in the rat’s exploratory and discriminative tactile system, the large face macrovibrissae, which feeds to the so-called “barrel cortex” of somatosensory cortex. In this review we describe the short-term and long-term changes in the barrel cortex encoding of whisker motion modeling naturalistic whisker movement undertaken by rats engaged in a variety of tasks. We demonstrate that the most common form of TBI results in persistent neuronal hyperexcitation specifically in the upper cortical layers, likely due to changes in inhibition. We describe the types of cortical inhibitory neurons and their roles and how selective effects on some of these could produce the particular forms of neuronal encoding changes described in TBI, and then generalize to compare the effects on inhibition seen in other forms of brain injury. From these findings we make specific predictions as to how non-invasive extra-cranial electrophysiology can be used to provide the high-precision information needed to monitor and understand the temporal evolution of changes in neuronal

  15. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

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

  16. Structural and functional connectivity in traumatic brain injury

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. Adaptation of the communicative brain to post-lingual deafness. Evidence from functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Lazard, Diane S; Innes-Brown, Hamish; Barone, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Not having access to one sense profoundly modifies our interactions with the environment, in turn producing changes in brain organization. Deafness and its rehabilitation by cochlear implantation offer a unique model of brain adaptation during sensory deprivation and recovery. Functional imaging allows the study of brain plasticity as a function of the times of deafness and implantation. Even long after the end of the sensitive period for auditory brain physiological maturation, some plasticity may be observed. In this way the mature brain that becomes deaf after language acquisition can adapt to its modified sensory inputs. Oral communication difficulties induced by post-lingual deafness shape cortical reorganization of brain networks already specialized for processing oral language. Left hemisphere language specialization tends to be more preserved than functions of the right hemisphere. We hypothesize that the right hemisphere offers cognitive resources re-purposed to palliate difficulties in left hemisphere speech processing due to sensory and auditory memory degradation. If cochlear implantation is considered, this reorganization during deafness may influence speech understanding outcomes positively or negatively. Understanding brain plasticity during post-lingual deafness should thus inform the development of cognitive rehabilitation, which promotes positive reorganization of the brain networks that process oral language before surgery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging. PMID:23973562

  19. Adaptation of the communicative brain to post-lingual deafness. Evidence from functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Lazard, Diane S; Innes-Brown, Hamish; Barone, Pascal

    2014-01-01

    Not having access to one sense profoundly modifies our interactions with the environment, in turn producing changes in brain organization. Deafness and its rehabilitation by cochlear implantation offer a unique model of brain adaptation during sensory deprivation and recovery. Functional imaging allows the study of brain plasticity as a function of the times of deafness and implantation. Even long after the end of the sensitive period for auditory brain physiological maturation, some plasticity may be observed. In this way the mature brain that becomes deaf after language acquisition can adapt to its modified sensory inputs. Oral communication difficulties induced by post-lingual deafness shape cortical reorganization of brain networks already specialized for processing oral language. Left hemisphere language specialization tends to be more preserved than functions of the right hemisphere. We hypothesize that the right hemisphere offers cognitive resources re-purposed to palliate difficulties in left hemisphere speech processing due to sensory and auditory memory degradation. If cochlear implantation is considered, this reorganization during deafness may influence speech understanding outcomes positively or negatively. Understanding brain plasticity during post-lingual deafness should thus inform the development of cognitive rehabilitation, which promotes positive reorganization of the brain networks that process oral language before surgery. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Human Auditory Neuroimaging.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-04

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

  4. Understanding safety of glutamate in food and brain.

    PubMed

    Mallick, H N

    2007-01-01

    Glutamate is ubiquitous in nature and is present in all living organisms. It is the principal excitatory neurotransmitter in central nervous system. Glutamate is being used as food additive for enhancing flavour for over last 1200 years imparting a unique taste known as "umami" in Japanese. It is being marketed for about last 100 years. The taste of umami is now recognized as the fifth basic taste. Many of the foods used in cooking for enhancing flavour contain high amount of glutamate. Breast milk has the highest concentration of glutamate amongst all amino acids. Glutamate in high doses as gavage or parenteral injection have been reported to produce neurodegeneration in infant rodents. The neurodegeneration was not produced when gluamate was given with food. The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives, based on enumerable scientific evidence, has declared that, "glutamate as an additive in food" is not an health hazard to human being. Glutamate is used as signaling molecule not only in neuronal but also in non-neuronal tissues. Excessive accumulation of glutamate in the synaptic cleft has been associated with excitotoxicty and glutamate is implicated in number of neurological disorders. Excessive accumulation could be attributed to increase release, failure of transport system for uptake mechanism, neuronal injury due to hypoxia-ischemia, trauma and associated metabolic failures. The role blood brain barrier, vesicular glutamate and sodium dependent excitatory amino acid transporters in glutamate homeostasis are emphasized in the review.

  5. Chemical approaches to understanding O-GlcNAc glycosylation in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Rexach, Jessica E; Clark, Peter M; Hsieh-Wilson, Linda C

    2011-01-01

    O -GlcNAc glycosylation is a unique, dynamic form of glycosylation found on intracellular proteins of all multicellular organisms. Studies suggest that O-GlcNAc represents a key regulatory modification in the brain, contributing to transcriptional regulation, neuronal communication and neurodegenerative disease. Recently, several new chemical tools have been developed to detect and study the modification, including chemoenzymatic tagging methods, quantitative proteomics strategies and small-molecule inhibitors of O-GlcNAc enzymes. Here we highlight some of the emerging roles for O-GlcNAc in the nervous system and describe how chemical tools have significantly advanced our understanding of the scope, functional significance and cellular dynamics of this modification. PMID:18202679

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  7. Chinese Returnees from Overseas Study: An Understanding of Brain Gain and Brain Circulation in the Age of Globalization

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ma, Yuping; Pan, Suyan

    2015-01-01

    Among discussions on international academic mobility, a persistent challenge is to understand whether education abroad can become a source of brain gain, and whether globalization can offer source countries the hope that they might enjoy the benefits of freer crossborder flows in information and personnel. With reference to China, this article…

  8. A Brain-Wide Study of Age-Related Changes in Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Geerligs, Linda; Renken, Remco J; Saliasi, Emi; Maurits, Natasha M; Lorist, Monicque M

    2015-07-01

    Aging affects functional connectivity between brain areas, however, a complete picture of how aging affects integration of information within and between functional networks is missing. We used complex network measures, derived from a brain-wide graph, to provide a comprehensive overview of age-related changes in functional connectivity. Functional connectivity in young and older participants was assessed during resting-state fMRI. The results show that aging has a large impact, not only on connectivity within functional networks but also on connectivity between the different functional networks in the brain. Brain networks in the elderly showed decreased modularity (less distinct functional networks) and decreased local efficiency. Connectivity decreased with age within networks supporting higher level cognitive functions, that is, within the default mode, cingulo-opercular and fronto-parietal control networks. Conversely, no changes in connectivity within the somatomotor and visual networks, networks implicated in primary information processing, were observed. Connectivity between these networks even increased with age. A brain-wide analysis approach of functional connectivity in the aging brain thus seems fundamental in understanding how age affects integration of information.

  9. BRAIN STRUCTURAL AND FUNCTIONAL CHANGES IN ADOLESCENTS WITH PSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS

    PubMed Central

    Miguel-Hidalgo, José Javier

    2013-01-01

    During adolescence hormonal and neurodevelopmental changes geared to ensure reproduction and achieve independence are very likely mediated by growth of neural processes, remodeling of synaptic connections, increased myelination in prefrontal areas, and maturation of connecting subcortical regions. These processes, greatly accelerated in adolescence, follow an asynchronous pattern in different brain areas. Neuroimaging research using functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging has produced most of the insights regarding brain structural and functional neuropathology in adolescent psychiatric disorders. In schizophrenia, first episodes during adolescence are linked to greater-than-normal losses in gray matter density and white matter integrity, and show a divergence of maturational trajectories from normative neural development, in a progression similar to that of adult-onset schizophrenia. Anxiety and mood disorders in adolescence have been linked to abnormally increased activity in the amygdala and ventral prefrontal cortical areas, although some data suggest that neural abnormalities in the amygdala and anxiety maybe particularly more frequent in adolescents than in adults. Alcohol misuse in adolescence results in reduced integrity in the white matter and reduced gray matter density that, given the high intensity of adolescent synaptic and myelin remodeling, may result in persistent and profound changes in circuits supporting memory, emotional and appetitive control. Interaction of persistent changes due to prenatal exposure with contemporaneous expression of genetic factors and disturbing environmental exposure may be an important factor in the appearance of psychiatric disorders in adolescence. Further progress in understanding adolescent psychopathology will require postmortem research of molecular and cellular determinants in the adolescent brain. PMID:23828425

  10. Understanding how differentiation is maintained: lessons from the Drosophila brain.

    PubMed

    Froldi, Francesca; Cheng, Louise Y

    2016-04-01

    The ability to maintain cells in a differentiated state and to prevent them from reprogramming into a multipotent state has recently emerged as a central theme in neural development as well as in oncogenesis. In the developing central nervous system (CNS) of the fruit fly Drosophila, several transcription factors were recently identified to be required in postmitotic cells to maintain differentiation, and in their absence, mature neurons undergo dedifferentiation, giving rise to proliferative neural stem cells and ultimately to tumor growth. In this review, we will highlight the current understanding of dedifferentiation and cell plasticity in the Drosophila CNS. PMID:26817462

  11. Intrinsic signal imaging of brain function using a small implantable CMOS imaging device

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haruta, Makito; Sunaga, Yoshinori; Yamaguchi, Takahiro; Takehara, Hironari; Noda, Toshihiko; Sasagawa, Kiyotaka; Tokuda, Takashi; Ohta, Jun

    2015-04-01

    A brain functional imaging technique over a long period is important to understand brain functions related to animal behavior. We have developed a small implantable CMOS imaging device for measuring brain activity in freely moving animals. This device is composed of a CMOS image sensor chip and LEDs for illumination. In this study, we demonstrated intrinsic signal imaging of blood flow using the device with a green LED light source at a peak wavelength of 535 nm, which corresponds to one of the absorption spectral peaks of blood cells. Brain activity increases regional blood flow. The device light weight of about 0.02 g makes it possible to stably measure brain activity through blood flow over a long period. The device has successfully measured the intrinsic signal related to sensory stimulation on the primary somatosensory cortex.

  12. Functional connectivity of the rodent brain using optical imaging

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guevara Codina, Edgar

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

  13. Neural Systems Approaches to Understanding Major Depressive Disorder: An Intrinsic Functional Organization Perspective

    PubMed Central

    Hamilton, J. Paul; Chen, Michael C.; Gotlib, Ian H.

    2012-01-01

    Recent research detailing the intrinsic functional organization of the brain provides a unique and useful framework to gain a better understanding of the neural bases of Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). In this review, we first present a brief history of neuroimaging research that has increased our understanding of the functional macro-architecture of the brain. From this macro-architectural perspective, we examine the extant body of functional neuroimaging research assessing MDD with a specific emphasis on the contributions of default-mode, executive, and salience networks in this debilitating disorder. Next, we describe recent investigations conducted in our laboratory in which we explicitly adopt a neural-systems perspective in examining the relations among these networks in MDD. Finally, we offer directions for future research that we believe will facilitate the development of more detailed and integrative models of neural dysfunction in depression. PMID:23477309

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-12-01

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

  15. Integrating brain, behavior, and phylogeny to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds.

    PubMed

    Wylie, Douglas R; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N

    2015-01-01

    The comparative anatomy of sensory systems has played a major role in developing theories and principles central to evolutionary neuroscience. This includes the central tenet of many comparative studies, the principle of proper mass, which states that the size of a neural structure reflects its processing capacity. The size of structures within the sensory system is not, however, the only salient variable in sensory evolution. Further, the evolution of the brain and behavior are intimately tied to phylogenetic history, requiring studies to integrate neuroanatomy with behavior and phylogeny to gain a more holistic view of brain evolution. Birds have proven to be a useful group for these studies because of widespread interest in their phylogenetic relationships and a wealth of information on the functional organization of most of their sensory pathways. In this review, we examine the principle of proper mass in relation differences in the sensory capabilities among birds. We discuss how neuroanatomy, behavior, and phylogeny can be integrated to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds providing evidence from visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. We also consider the concept of a "trade-off," whereby one sensory system (or subpathway within a sensory system), may be expanded in size, at the expense of others, which are reduced in size. PMID:26321905

  16. Integrating brain, behavior, and phylogeny to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds

    PubMed Central

    Wylie, Douglas R.; Gutiérrez-Ibáñez, Cristian; Iwaniuk, Andrew N.

    2015-01-01

    The comparative anatomy of sensory systems has played a major role in developing theories and principles central to evolutionary neuroscience. This includes the central tenet of many comparative studies, the principle of proper mass, which states that the size of a neural structure reflects its processing capacity. The size of structures within the sensory system is not, however, the only salient variable in sensory evolution. Further, the evolution of the brain and behavior are intimately tied to phylogenetic history, requiring studies to integrate neuroanatomy with behavior and phylogeny to gain a more holistic view of brain evolution. Birds have proven to be a useful group for these studies because of widespread interest in their phylogenetic relationships and a wealth of information on the functional organization of most of their sensory pathways. In this review, we examine the principle of proper mass in relation differences in the sensory capabilities among birds. We discuss how neuroanatomy, behavior, and phylogeny can be integrated to understand the evolution of sensory systems in birds providing evidence from visual, auditory, and somatosensory systems. We also consider the concept of a “trade-off,” whereby one sensory system (or subpathway within a sensory system), may be expanded in size, at the expense of others, which are reduced in size. PMID:26321905

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Circadian rhythms have broad implications for understanding brain and behavior

    PubMed Central

    Silver, Rae; Kriegsfeld, Lance J.

    2015-01-01

    Circadian rhythms are generated by an endogenously organized timing system that drives daily rhythms in behavior, physiology and metabolism. In mammals, the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus is the locus of a master circadian clock. The SCN is synchronized to environmental changes in the light:dark cycle by direct, monosynaptic innervation via the retino-hypothalamic tract. In turn, the SCN coordinates the rhythmic activities of innumerable subordinate clocks in virtually all bodily tissues and organs. The core molecular clockwork is composed of a transcriptional/post-translational feedback loop in which clock genes and their protein products periodically suppress their own transcription. This primary loop connects to downstream output genes by additional, interlocked transcriptional feedback loops to create tissue-specific ‘circadian transcriptomes’. Signals from peripheral tissues inform the SCN of the internal state of the organism and the brain’s master clock is modified accordingly. A consequence of this hierarchical, multilevel feedback system is that there are ubiquitous effects of circadian timing on genetic and metabolic responses throughout the body. This overview examines landmark studies in the history of the study of circadian timing system, and highlights our current understanding of the operation of circadian clocks with a focus on topics of interest to the neuroscience community. PMID:24799154

  1. [Changes in structural and functional plasticity of the brain induced by environmental enrichment].

    PubMed

    Komleva, Iu K; Salmina, A B; Prokopenko, S V; Shestakova, L A; Petrova, M M; Malinovskaia, N A; Lopatina, O L

    2013-01-01

    The review contains current data on structural and functional brain plasticity mechanisms under the enriched environment. Enriched environment contains social and non-social stimuli acting on different aspects of the development and functioning of the brain. Special attention is devoted to the modeling of enriched environment in the experiment. Enriched environment implies the action of social stimuli, new objects, therefore the enriched environment in animals can be considered as an adequate model to study changes in brain structure and function in people during learning or acquiring complex skills. The review describes the theory of enriched environment's influence on neurogenesis, the neuron-glia relationships, and the impact of enriched environment on damaged brain as well as the possibilities of using the paradigm of enriched envimronmentfor neurorenhabilitation. Molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission, which has a correlation with the performance of cognitive functions, are the possible target for the action of environmental factors at the brain under (patho)physiological conditions. The considerable progress has been done in understanding the mechanisms that mediate the effects of enriched environment on the brain, but still there are many non-resolved questions in the neurochemistry and neurobiology of this phenomenon. Overall, the experience-induced neuroplasticity is a unique mechanism for the development and recovery of brain functions. It opens new perspectives in neuropharmacology and neurorehabilitation.

  2. Structural and functional correlates of visual field asymmetry in the human brain by diffusion kurtosis MRI and functional MRI.

    PubMed

    O'Connell, Caitlin; Ho, Leon C; Murphy, Matthew C; Conner, Ian P; Wollstein, Gadi; Cham, Rakie; Chan, Kevin C

    2016-11-01

    Human visual performance has been observed to show superiority in localized regions of the visual field across many classes of stimuli. However, the underlying neural mechanisms remain unclear. This study aims to determine whether the visual information processing in the human brain is dependent on the location of stimuli in the visual field and the corresponding neuroarchitecture using blood-oxygenation-level-dependent functional MRI (fMRI) and diffusion kurtosis MRI, respectively, in 15 healthy individuals at 3 T. In fMRI, visual stimulation to the lower hemifield showed stronger brain responses and larger brain activation volumes than the upper hemifield, indicative of the differential sensitivity of the human brain across the visual field. In diffusion kurtosis MRI, the brain regions mapping to the lower visual field showed higher mean kurtosis, but not fractional anisotropy or mean diffusivity compared with the upper visual field. These results suggested the different distributions of microstructural organization across visual field brain representations. There was also a strong positive relationship between diffusion kurtosis and fMRI responses in the lower field brain representations. In summary, this study suggested the structural and functional brain involvements in the asymmetry of visual field responses in humans, and is important to the neurophysiological and psychological understanding of human visual information processing.

  3. Compelling Evidence that Exposure Therapy for PTSD Normalizes Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Roy, Michael J; Costanzo, Michelle E; Blair, James R; Rizzo, Albert A

    2014-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is helping us better understand the neurologic pathways involved in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We previously reported that military service members with PTSD after deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan demonstrated significant improvement, or normalization, in the fMRI-measured activation of the amygdala, prefrontal cortex and anterior cingulate gyrus following exposure therapy for PTSD. However, our original study design did not include repeat scans of control participants, rendering it difficult to discern how much of the observed normalization in brain activity is attributable to treatment, rather than merely a practice effect. Using the same Affective Stroop task paradigm, we now report on a larger sample of PTSD-positive combat veterans that we treated with exposure therapy, as well as a combat-exposed control group of service members who completed repeat scans at 3-4 month intervals. Findings from the treatment group are similar to our prior report. Combat controls showed no significant change on repeat scanning, indicating that the observed differences in the intervention group were in fact due to treatment. We continue to scan additional study participants, in order to determine whether virtual reality exposure therapy has a different impact on regional brain activation than other therapies for PTSD. PMID:24875691

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  5. From The Cover: Microtransplantation of functional receptors and channels from the Alzheimer's brain to frog oocytes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miledi, R.; Dueñas, Z.; Martinez-Torres, A.; Kawas, C. H.; Eusebi, F.

    2004-02-01

    About a decade ago, cell membranes from the electric organ of Torpedo and from the rat brain were transplanted to frog oocytes, which thus acquired functional Torpedo and rat neurotransmitter receptors. Nevertheless, the great potential that this method has for studying human diseases has remained virtually untapped. Here, we show that cell membranes from the postmortem brains of humans that suffered Alzheimer's disease can be microtransplanted to the plasma membrane of Xenopus oocytes. We show also that these postmortem membranes carry neurotransmitter receptors and voltage-operated channels that are still functional, even after they have been kept frozen for many years. This method provides a new and powerful approach to study directly the functional characteristics and structure of receptors, channels, and other membrane proteins of the Alzheimer's brain. This knowledge may help in understanding the basis of Alzheimer's disease and also help in developing new treatments. -aminobutyric acid receptors | sodium channels | calcium channels | postmortem brain

  6. Early brain injury in children: development and reorganization of cognitive function.

    PubMed

    Ewing-Cobbs, Linda; Barnes, Marcia A; Fletcher, Jack M

    2003-01-01

    Children who sustain congenital or acquired brain injury typically experience a diffuse insult that impacts many areas of the brain. Yet research has only recently begun to examine the development of these children, who often provide excellent examples of the presence or absence of neural plasticity. Development and recovery after such injuries reflects both restoration and reorganization of cognitive functions. To understand these processes, research should focus on questions and assessment paradigms oriented toward the acquisition (rather than the recovery) of cognitive functions. Outcomes may appear similar across types of insults, even when the sources of difficulties and their neural correlates are different. Comparisons of outcomes involving intellectual functions, memory and learning, reading, and language/discourse in children who sustain congenital injury (spina bifida meningomyelocele) and acquired injury (traumatic brain injury) illustrate these principles and the value of research on diffuse brain injury in children. PMID:14561566

  7. Structural and functional imaging correlates for age-related changes in the brain.

    PubMed

    Tumeh, Paul C; Alavi, Abass; Houseni, Mohamed; Greenfield, Antje; Chryssikos, Timothy; Newberg, Andrew; Torigian, Drew A; Moonis, Gul

    2007-03-01

    In recent years, investigators have made significant progress in documenting brain structure and function as it relates to aging by using positron emission tomography, conventional magnetic resonance (MR) imaging, advanced MR techniques, and functional MR imaging. This review summarizes the latest advances in understanding physiologic maturation and aging as detected by these neuroimaging modalities. We also present our experience with MR volumetric and positron emission tomography analysis in separate cohorts of healthy subjects in the pediatric and adult age groups respectively. Our results are consistent with previous studies and include the following: total brain volume was found to increase with age (up to 20 years of age). Whole brain metabolism and frontal lobe metabolism both decrease significantly with age (38% and 42%, respectively), whereas cerebellar metabolism does not show a significant decline with age. Defining normal alterations in brain function and structure allows early detection of disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, which are commonly associated with normal aging. PMID:17289456

  8. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images

    PubMed Central

    Pereira, Francisco; Detre, Greg; Botvinick, Matthew

    2011-01-01

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

  9. Brain Hemispheric Functions and the Native American.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ross, Allen Chuck

    1982-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. Neural Substrate Expansion for the Restoration of Brain Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity

    PubMed Central

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A.; Hillary, Frank G.

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  13. An Evolutionary Computation Approach to Examine Functional Brain Plasticity.

    PubMed

    Roy, Arnab; Campbell, Colin; Bernier, Rachel A; Hillary, Frank G

    2016-01-01

    One common research goal in systems neurosciences is to understand how the functional relationship between a pair of regions of interest (ROIs) evolves over time. Examining neural connectivity in this way is well-suited for the study of developmental processes, learning, and even in recovery or treatment designs in response to injury. For most fMRI based studies, the strength of the functional relationship between two ROIs is defined as the correlation between the average signal representing each region. The drawback to this approach is that much information is lost due to averaging heterogeneous voxels, and therefore, the functional relationship between a ROI-pair that evolve at a spatial scale much finer than the ROIs remain undetected. To address this shortcoming, we introduce a novel evolutionary computation (EC) based voxel-level procedure to examine functional plasticity between an investigator defined ROI-pair by simultaneously using subject-specific BOLD-fMRI data collected from two sessions seperated by finite duration of time. This data-driven procedure detects a sub-region composed of spatially connected voxels from each ROI (a so-called sub-regional-pair) such that the pair shows a significant gain/loss of functional relationship strength across the two time points. The procedure is recursive and iteratively finds all statistically significant sub-regional-pairs within the ROIs. Using this approach, we examine functional plasticity between the default mode network (DMN) and the executive control network (ECN) during recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI); the study includes 14 TBI and 12 healthy control subjects. We demonstrate that the EC based procedure is able to detect functional plasticity where a traditional averaging based approach fails. The subject-specific plasticity estimates obtained using the EC-procedure are highly consistent across multiple runs. Group-level analyses using these plasticity estimates showed an increase in the strength

  14. [New functional cerebral cartography: studies of plasticity of the human brain].

    PubMed

    Frackowiak, R S

    2001-01-01

    The non-invasive brain scanning techniques, introduced a quarter of a century ago, have become crucial for diagnosis in clinical neurology. They have also been used to investigate brain function and have provided information about normal activity and pathogenesis. They have been used to investigate functional specialisation in the brain and how specialised areas communicate to generate complex integrated functions such as speech, memory, the emotions and so on. Brain plasticity is a generic term that has now come to be used to signify any changes in brain structure or function. The phenomenon is poorly understood, and yet clinical neurologists are aware that spontaneous recovery from brain lesions is not uncommon. An improved understanding of the mechanisms of recovery may generate new therapeutic strategies and indicate ways of modulating mechanisms that promote plastic compensation for loss of function. The main methods used to investigate these issues are positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The techniques of functional brain mapping and computational morphometrics depend on high performance scanners and a validated set of analytic statistical procedures that generate reproducible data and meaningful inferences from them. The motor system presents a good paradigm to illustrate advances made by scanning towards an understanding of plasticity at the level of brain areas. The normal motor system is organised in a nested hierarchy. Recovery from paralysis caused by internal capsule strokes involves functional reorganisation manifesting as changed patterns of activity in the component brain areas of the normal motor system. The pattern of plastic modification depends in part on patterns of residual or disturbed connectivity after brain injury. Therapeutic manipulations in patients with Parkinson's disease using deep brain stimulation, dopaminergic agents or foetal mesencephalic transplantation provide a means to examine mechanisms

  15. Understanding the Evolution of Mammalian Brain Structures; the Need for a (New) Cerebrotype Approach

    PubMed Central

    Willemet, Romain

    2012-01-01

    The mammalian brain varies in size by a factor of 100,000 and is composed of anatomically and functionally distinct structures. Theoretically, the manner in which brain composition can evolve is limited, ranging from highly modular (“mosaic evolution”) to coordinated changes in brain structure size (“concerted evolution”) or anything between these two extremes. There is a debate about the relative importance of these distinct evolutionary trends. It is shown here that the presence of taxa-specific allometric relationships between brain structures makes a taxa-specific approach obligatory. In some taxa, the evolution of the size of brain structures follows a unique, coordinated pattern, which, in addition to other characteristics at different anatomical levels, defines what has been called here a “taxon cerebrotype”. In other taxa, no clear pattern is found, reflecting heterogeneity of the species’ lifestyles. These results suggest that the evolution of brain size and composition depends on the complex interplay between selection pressures and constraints that have changed constantly during mammalian evolution. Therefore the variability in brain composition between species should not be considered as deviations from the normal, concerted mammalian trend, but in taxa and species-specific versions of the mammalian brain. Because it forms homogenous groups of species within this complex “space” of constraints and selection pressures, the cerebrotype approach developed here could constitute an adequate level of analysis for evo-devo studies, and by extension, for a wide range of disciplines related to brain evolution. PMID:24962772

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. The default mode network and social understanding of others: what do brain connectivity studies tell us

    PubMed Central

    Li, Wanqing; Mai, Xiaoqin; Liu, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The Default Mode Network (DMN) has been found to be involved in various domains of cognitive and social processing. The present article will review brain connectivity results related to the DMN in the fields of social understanding of others: emotion perception, empathy, theory of mind, and morality. Most of the reviewed studies focused on healthy subjects with no neurological and psychiatric disease, but some studies on patients with autism and psychopathy will also be discussed. Common results show that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) plays a key role in the social understanding of others, and the subregions of the MPFC contribute differently to this function according to their roles in different subsystems of the DMN. At the bottom, the ventral MPFC in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) subsystem and its connections with emotion regions are mainly associated with emotion engagement during social interactions. Above, the anterior MPFC (aMPFC) in the cortical midline structures (CMS) and its connections with posterior and anterior cingulate cortex contribute mostly to making self-other distinctions. At the top, the dorsal MPFC (dMPFC) in the dMPFC subsystem and its connection with the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) are primarily related to the understanding of other's mental states. As behaviors become more complex, the related regions in frontal cortex are located higher. This reflects the transfer of information processing from automatic to cognitive processes with the increase of the complexity of social interaction. Besides the MPFC and TPJ, the connectivities of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) also show some changes during tasks from the four social fields. These results indicate that the DMN is indispensable in the social understanding of others. PMID:24605094

  18. The default mode network and social understanding of others: what do brain connectivity studies tell us.

    PubMed

    Li, Wanqing; Mai, Xiaoqin; Liu, Chao

    2014-01-01

    The Default Mode Network (DMN) has been found to be involved in various domains of cognitive and social processing. The present article will review brain connectivity results related to the DMN in the fields of social understanding of others: emotion perception, empathy, theory of mind, and morality. Most of the reviewed studies focused on healthy subjects with no neurological and psychiatric disease, but some studies on patients with autism and psychopathy will also be discussed. Common results show that the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) plays a key role in the social understanding of others, and the subregions of the MPFC contribute differently to this function according to their roles in different subsystems of the DMN. At the bottom, the ventral MPFC in the medial temporal lobe (MTL) subsystem and its connections with emotion regions are mainly associated with emotion engagement during social interactions. Above, the anterior MPFC (aMPFC) in the cortical midline structures (CMS) and its connections with posterior and anterior cingulate cortex contribute mostly to making self-other distinctions. At the top, the dorsal MPFC (dMPFC) in the dMPFC subsystem and its connection with the temporo-parietal junction (TPJ) are primarily related to the understanding of other's mental states. As behaviors become more complex, the related regions in frontal cortex are located higher. This reflects the transfer of information processing from automatic to cognitive processes with the increase of the complexity of social interaction. Besides the MPFC and TPJ, the connectivities of posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) also show some changes during tasks from the four social fields. These results indicate that the DMN is indispensable in the social understanding of others. PMID:24605094

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. Undergraduate Mathematics Students' Understanding of the Concept of Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bardini, Caroline; Pierce, Robyn; Vincent, Jill; King, Deborah

    2014-01-01

    Concern has been expressed that many commencing undergraduate mathematics students have mastered skills without conceptual understanding. A pilot study carried out at a leading Australian university indicates that a significant number of students, with high tertiary entrance ranks, have very limited understanding of the concept of function,…

  1. Emotion Understanding in Preschool Children: The Role of Executive Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Martins, Eva Costa; Osório, Ana; Veríssimo, Manuela; Martins, Carla

    2016-01-01

    This investigation was aimed at studying the relations between executive functions (EFs) and categorical emotion understanding while controlling for preschoolers' IQ, language ability and theory of mind (ToM). Specifically, we wanted to analyse the association between emotion understanding and set shifting, due to the lack of studies with this EF.…

  2. Oxytocin enhances brain function in children with autism

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Ilanit; Vander Wyk, Brent C.; Bennett, Randi H.; Cordeaux, Cara; Lucas, Molly V.; Eilbott, Jeffrey A.; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Leckman, James F.; Feldman, Ruth; Pelphrey, Kevin A.

    2013-01-01

    Following intranasal administration of oxytocin (OT), we measured, via functional MRI, changes in brain activity during judgments of socially (Eyes) and nonsocially (Vehicles) meaningful pictures in 17 children with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (ASD). OT increased activity in the striatum, the middle frontal gyrus, the medial prefrontal cortex, the right orbitofrontal cortex, and the left superior temporal sulcus. In the striatum, nucleus accumbens, left posterior superior temporal sulcus, and left premotor cortex, OT increased activity during social judgments and decreased activity during nonsocial judgments. Changes in salivary OT concentrations from baseline to 30 min postadministration were positively associated with increased activity in the right amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex during social vs. nonsocial judgments. OT may thus selectively have an impact on salience and hedonic evaluations of socially meaningful stimuli in children with ASD, and thereby facilitate social attunement. These findings further the development of a neurophysiological systems-level understanding of mechanisms by which OT may enhance social functioning in children with ASD. PMID:24297883

  3. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  4. Maintaining older brain functionality: A targeted review.

    PubMed

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

    2015-08-01

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

  5. Chemotherapy altered brain functional connectivity in women with breast cancer: a pilot study.

    PubMed

    Dumas, Julie A; Makarewicz, Jenna; Schaubhut, Geoffrey J; Devins, Robert; Albert, Kimberly; Dittus, Kim; Newhouse, Paul A

    2013-12-01

    Adjuvant chemotherapy is associated with improvements in long-term cancer survival. However, reports of cognitive impairment following treatment emphasize the importance of understanding the long-term effects of chemotherapy on brain functioning. Cognitive deficits found in chemotherapy patients suggest a change in brain functioning that affects specific cognitive domains such as attentional processing and executive functioning. This study examined the processes potentially underlying these changes in cognition by examining brain functional connectivity pre- and post-chemotherapy in women with breast cancer. Functional connectivity examines the temporal correlation between spatially remote brain regions in an effort to understand how brain networks support specific cognitive functions. Nine women diagnosed with breast cancer completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) session before chemotherapy, 1 month after, and 1 year after the completion of chemotherapy. Seed-based functional connectivity analyses were completed using seeds in the intraparietal sulcus (IPS) to examine connectivity in the dorsal anterior attention network and in the posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) to examine connectivity in the default mode network. Results showed decreased functional connectivity 1 month after chemotherapy that partially returned to baseline at 1 year in the dorsal attention network. Decreased connectivity was seen in the default mode network at 1 month and 1 year following chemotherapy. In addition, increased subjective memory complaints were noted at 1 month and 1 year post-chemotherapy. These findings suggest a detrimental effect of chemotherapy on brain functional connectivity that is potentially related to subjective cognitive assessment.

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

    PubMed

    Ivanitsky, A M

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. Function-Structure Associations of the Brain: Evidence from Multimodal Connectivity and Covariance Studies

    PubMed Central

    Sui, Jing; Huster, Rene; Yu, Qingbao; Segall, Judith M.; Calhoun, Vince D

    2013-01-01

    Despite significant advances in multimodal imaging techniques and analysis approaches, unimodal studies are still the predominant way to investigate brain changes or group differences, including structural magnetic resonance imaging (sMRI), functional MRI (fMRI), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and electroencephalography (EEG). Multimodal brain studies can be used to understand the complex interplay of anatomical, functional and physiological brain alterations or development, and to better comprehend the biological significance of multiple imaging measures. To examine the function-structure associations of the brain in a more comprehensive and integrated manner, we reviewed a number of multimodal studies that combined two or more functional (fMRI and/or EEG) and structural (sMRI and/or DTI) modalities. In this review paper, we specifically focused on multimodal neuroimaging studies on cognition, aging, disease and behavior. We also compared multiple analysis approaches, including univariate and multivariate methods. The possible strengths and limitations of each method are highlighted, which can guide readers when selecting a method based on a given research question. In particular, we believe that multimodal fusion approaches will shed further light on the neuronal mechanisms underlying the major structural and functional pathophysiological features of both the healthy brain (e.g. development) or the diseased brain (e.g. mental illness). And in the latter case, may provide a more sensitive measure than unimodal imaging for disease classification, e.g. multimodal biomarkers, which potentially can be used to support clinical diagnosis based on neuroimaging techniques. PMID:24084066

  9. Interactions of innate and adaptive immunity in brain development and function

    PubMed Central

    Filiano, Anthony J.; Gadani, Sachin P.; Kipnis, Jonathan

    2014-01-01

    It has been known for decades that the immune system has a tremendous impact on behavior. Most work has described the negative role of immune cells on the central nervous system. However, we and others have demonstrated over the last decade that a well-regulated immune system is needed for proper brain function. Here we discuss several neuro-immune interactions, using examples from brain homeostasis and disease states. We will highlight our understanding of the consequences of malfunctioning immunity on neurodevelopment and will discuss the roles of the innate and adaptive immune system in neurodevelopment and how T cells maintain a proper innate immune balance in the brain surroundings and within its parenchyma. Also, we describe how immune imbalance impairs higher order brain functioning, possibly leading to behavioral and cognitive impairment. Lastly, we propose our hypothesis that some behavioral deficits in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as in autism spectrum disorder, are the consequence of malfunctioning immunity. PMID:25110235

  10. NeuCube: a spiking neural network architecture for mapping, learning and understanding of spatio-temporal brain data.

    PubMed

    Kasabov, Nikola K

    2014-04-01

    The brain functions as a spatio-temporal information processing machine. Spatio- and spectro-temporal brain data (STBD) are the most commonly collected data for measuring brain response to external stimuli. An enormous amount of such data has been already collected, including brain structural and functional data under different conditions, molecular and genetic data, in an attempt to make a progress in medicine, health, cognitive science, engineering, education, neuro-economics, Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI), and games. Yet, there is no unifying computational framework to deal with all these types of data in order to better understand this data and the processes that generated it. Standard machine learning techniques only partially succeeded and they were not designed in the first instance to deal with such complex data. Therefore, there is a need for a new paradigm to deal with STBD. This paper reviews some methods of spiking neural networks (SNN) and argues that SNN are suitable for the creation of a unifying computational framework for learning and understanding of various STBD, such as EEG, fMRI, genetic, DTI, MEG, and NIRS, in their integration and interaction. One of the reasons is that SNN use the same computational principle that generates STBD, namely spiking information processing. This paper introduces a new SNN architecture, called NeuCube, for the creation of concrete models to map, learn and understand STBD. A NeuCube model is based on a 3D evolving SNN that is an approximate map of structural and functional areas of interest of the brain related to the modeling STBD. Gene information is included optionally in the form of gene regulatory networks (GRN) if this is relevant to the problem and the data. A NeuCube model learns from STBD and creates connections between clusters of neurons that manifest chains (trajectories) of neuronal activity. Once learning is applied, a NeuCube model can reproduce these trajectories, even if only part of the input

  11. Fitness, but not physical activity, is related to functional integrity of brain networks associated with aging.

    PubMed

    Voss, Michelle W; Weng, Timothy B; Burzynska, Agnieszka Z; Wong, Chelsea N; Cooke, Gillian E; Clark, Rachel; Fanning, Jason; Awick, Elizabeth; Gothe, Neha P; Olson, Erin A; McAuley, Edward; Kramer, Arthur F

    2016-05-01

    Greater physical activity and cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with reduced age-related cognitive decline and lower risk for dementia. However, significant gaps remain in the understanding of how physical activity and fitness protect the brain from adverse effects of brain aging. The primary goal of the current study was to empirically evaluate the independent relationships between physical activity and fitness with functional brain health among healthy older adults, as measured by the functional connectivity of cognitively and clinically relevant resting state networks. To build context for fitness and physical activity associations in older adults, we first demonstrate that young adults have greater within-network functional connectivity across a broad range of cortical association networks. Based on these results and previous research, we predicted that individual differences in fitness and physical activity would be most strongly associated with functional integrity of the networks most sensitive to aging. Consistent with this prediction, and extending on previous research, we showed that cardiorespiratory fitness has a positive relationship with functional connectivity of several cortical networks associated with age-related decline, and effects were strongest in the default mode network (DMN). Furthermore, our results suggest that the positive association of fitness with brain function can occur independent of habitual physical activity. Overall, our findings provide further support that cardiorespiratory fitness is an important factor in moderating the adverse effects of aging on cognitively and clinically relevant functional brain networks.

  12. Branched-chain amino acids and brain function.

    PubMed

    Fernstrom, John D

    2005-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Li, Guangye; Zhang, Dingguo

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Characterizing dynamic local functional connectivity in the human brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Brain and Retinal Pericytes: Origin, Function and Role.

    PubMed

    Trost, Andrea; Lange, Simona; Schroedl, Falk; Bruckner, Daniela; Motloch, Karolina A; Bogner, Barbara; Kaser-Eichberger, Alexandra; Strohmaier, Clemens; Runge, Christian; Aigner, Ludwig; Rivera, Francisco J; Reitsamer, Herbert A

    2016-01-01

    Pericytes are specialized mural cells located at the abluminal surface of capillary blood vessels, embedded within the basement membrane. In the vascular network these multifunctional cells fulfil diverse functions, which are indispensable for proper homoeostasis. They serve as microvascular stabilizers, are potential regulators of microvascular blood flow and have a central role in angiogenesis, as they for example regulate endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, pericytes, as part of the neurovascular unit, are a major component of the blood-retina/brain barrier. CNS pericytes are a heterogenic cell population derived from mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal germ layers acting as modulators of stromal and niche environmental properties. In addition, they display multipotent differentiation potential making them an intriguing target for regenerative therapies. Pericyte-deficiencies can be cause or consequence of many kinds of diseases. In diabetes, for instance, pericyte-loss is a severe pathological process in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with detrimental consequences for eye sight in millions of patients. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of CNS pericyte origin and function, with a special focus on the retina in the healthy and diseased. Finally, we highlight the role of pericytes in de- and regenerative processes. PMID:26869887

  18. Brain and Retinal Pericytes: Origin, Function and Role

    PubMed Central

    Trost, Andrea; Lange, Simona; Schroedl, Falk; Bruckner, Daniela; Motloch, Karolina A.; Bogner, Barbara; Kaser-Eichberger, Alexandra; Strohmaier, Clemens; Runge, Christian; Aigner, Ludwig; Rivera, Francisco J.; Reitsamer, Herbert A.

    2016-01-01

    Pericytes are specialized mural cells located at the abluminal surface of capillary blood vessels, embedded within the basement membrane. In the vascular network these multifunctional cells fulfil diverse functions, which are indispensable for proper homoeostasis. They serve as microvascular stabilizers, are potential regulators of microvascular blood flow and have a central role in angiogenesis, as they for example regulate endothelial cell proliferation. Furthermore, pericytes, as part of the neurovascular unit, are a major component of the blood-retina/brain barrier. CNS pericytes are a heterogenic cell population derived from mesodermal and neuro-ectodermal germ layers acting as modulators of stromal and niche environmental properties. In addition, they display multipotent differentiation potential making them an intriguing target for regenerative therapies. Pericyte-deficiencies can be cause or consequence of many kinds of diseases. In diabetes, for instance, pericyte-loss is a severe pathological process in diabetic retinopathy (DR) with detrimental consequences for eye sight in millions of patients. In this review, we provide an overview of our current understanding of CNS pericyte origin and function, with a special focus on the retina in the healthy and diseased. Finally, we highlight the role of pericytes in de- and regenerative processes. PMID:26869887

  19. Brain Chemistry and Behaviour: An Update on Neuroscience Research and Its Implications for Understanding Drug Addiction

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robinson, Emma S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders such as drug addiction represent one of the biggest challenges to society. This article reviews clinical and basic science research to illustrate how developments in research methodology have enabled neuroscientists to understand more about the brain mechanisms involved in addiction biology. Treating addiction represents a…

  20. The Effect of Herrmann Whole Brain Teaching Method on Students' Understanding of Simple Electric Circuits

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bawaneh, Ali Khalid Ali; Nurulazam Md Zain, Ahmad; Salmiza, Saleh

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of Herrmann Whole Brain Teaching Method over conventional teaching method on eight graders in their understanding of simple electric circuits in Jordan. Participants (N = 273 students; M = 139, F = 134) were randomly selected from Bani Kenanah region-North of Jordan and randomly assigned to…

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-12-01

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

  3. Democratic reinforcement: A principle for brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stassinopoulos, Dimitris; Bak, Per

    1995-05-01

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

  4. The adolescent brain: Insights from functional neuroimaging research

    PubMed Central

    Ernst, M.; Mueller, S.C.

    2009-01-01

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

  5. The Bilingual Brain as Revealed by Functional Neuroimaging.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. Understanding schizoaffective disorder: from psychobiology to psychosocial functioning.

    PubMed

    Correll, Christoph U

    2010-01-01

    Psychobiologic evidence and psychosocial functioning in patients with schizoaffective disorder suggest that the disease may be a distinct disorder, a variant of schizophrenia or affective disorders, the comorbidity of schizophrenia and a mood disorder, or an intermediate disorder on a spectrum that ranges from schizophrenia to mood disorders. These data, although inconclusive, contribute to clinicians' understanding of the etiology of the disorder. Further research may lead to an increased understanding of the disorder, improved treatment, and, ultimately, better outcomes.

  7. Deep Brain Stimulation for Movement Disorders of Basal Ganglia Origin: Restoring Function or Functionality?

    PubMed

    Wichmann, Thomas; DeLong, Mahlon R

    2016-04-01

    Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is highly effective for both hypo- and hyperkinetic movement disorders of basal ganglia origin. The clinical use of DBS is, in part, empiric, based on the experience with prior surgical ablative therapies for these disorders, and, in part, driven by scientific discoveries made decades ago. In this review, we consider anatomical and functional concepts of the basal ganglia relevant to our understanding of DBS mechanisms, as well as our current understanding of the pathophysiology of two of the most commonly DBS-treated conditions, Parkinson's disease and dystonia. Finally, we discuss the proposed mechanism(s) of action of DBS in restoring function in patients with movement disorders. The signs and symptoms of the various disorders appear to result from signature disordered activity in the basal ganglia output, which disrupts the activity in thalamocortical and brainstem networks. The available evidence suggests that the effects of DBS are strongly dependent on targeting sensorimotor portions of specific nodes of the basal ganglia-thalamocortical motor circuit, that is, the subthalamic nucleus and the internal segment of the globus pallidus. There is little evidence to suggest that DBS in patients with movement disorders restores normal basal ganglia functions (e.g., their role in movement or reinforcement learning). Instead, it appears that high-frequency DBS replaces the abnormal basal ganglia output with a more tolerable pattern, which helps to restore the functionality of downstream networks. PMID:26956115

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1994-06-01

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

  9. Cultural neuroscience of the self: understanding the social grounding of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Park, Jiyoung

    2010-01-01

    Cultural neuroscience is an interdisciplinary field of research that investigates interrelations among culture, mind and the brain. Drawing on both the growing body of scientific evidence on cultural variation in psychological processes and the recent development of social and cognitive neuroscience, this emerging field of research aspires to understand how culture as an amalgam of values, meanings, conventions, and artifacts that constitute daily social realities might interact with the mind and its underlying brain pathways of each individual member of the culture. In this article, following a brief review of studies that demonstrate the surprising degree to which brain processes are malleably shaped by cultural tools and practices, the authors discuss cultural variation in brain processes involved in self-representations, cognition, emotion and motivation. They then propose (i) that primary values of culture such as independence and interdependence are reflected in the compositions of cultural tasks (i.e. daily routines designed to accomplish the cultural values) and further (ii) that active and sustained engagement in these tasks yields culturally patterned neural activities of the brain, thereby laying the ground for the embodied construction of the self and identity. Implications for research on culture and the brain are discussed. PMID:20592042

  10. The Concept of Progressive Brain Change in Schizophrenia: Implications for Understanding Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

    DeLisi, Lynn E.

    2008-01-01

    Kraepelin originally defined dementia praecox as a progressive brain disease, although this concept has received various degrees of acceptance and rejection over the years since his famous published textbooks appeared. This article places an historical perspective on the current renewal of Kraepelin's concept in brain imaging literature that supports progressive brain change in schizophrenia from its earliest stages through its chronic course. It is concluded that a great deal of future research is needed focusing on the longitudinal course of change, the extent to the regions of change within each individual and the underlying mechanism and implications of brain change through functional and neurochemical imaging, combined with structural studies in the same individuals. PMID:18263882

  11. A Proteogenomic Approach to Understanding MYC Function in Metastatic Medulloblastoma Tumors

    PubMed Central

    Staal, Jerome A.; Pei, Yanxin; Rood, Brian R.

    2016-01-01

    Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children, and medulloblastoma is the most prevalent malignant childhood/pediatric brain tumor. Providing effective treatment for these cancers, with minimal damage to the still-developing brain, remains one of the greatest challenges faced by clinicians. Understanding the diverse events driving tumor formation, maintenance, progression, and recurrence is necessary for identifying novel targeted therapeutics and improving survival of patients with this disease. Genomic copy number alteration data, together with clinical studies, identifies c-MYC amplification as an important risk factor associated with the most aggressive forms of medulloblastoma with marked metastatic potential. Yet despite this, very little is known regarding the impact of such genomic abnormalities upon the functional biology of the tumor cell. We discuss here how recent advances in quantitative proteomic techniques are now providing new insights into the functional biology of these aggressive tumors, as illustrated by the use of proteomics to bridge the gap between the genotype and phenotype in the case of c-MYC-amplified/associated medulloblastoma. These integrated proteogenomic approaches now provide a new platform for understanding cancer biology by providing a functional context to frame genomic abnormalities. PMID:27775567

  12. The role of tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily members in mammalian brain development, function and homeostasis

    PubMed Central

    Twohig, Jason P.; Cuff, Simone M.; Yong, Audrey A.; Wang, Eddie C.Y.

    2012-01-01

    Tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily (TNFRSF) members were initially identified as immunological mediators, and are still commonly perceived as immunological molecules. However, our understanding of the diversity of TNFRSF members’ roles in mammalian physiology has grown significantly since the first discovery of TNFRp55 (TNFRSF1) in 1975. In particular, the last decade has provided evidence for important roles in brain development, function and the emergent field of neuronal homeostasis. Recent evidence suggests that TNFRSF members are expressed in an overlapping regulated pattern during neuronal development, participating in the regulation of neuronal expansion, growth, differentiation and regional pattern development. This review examines evidence for non-immunological roles of TNFRSF members in brain development, function and maintenance under normal physiological conditions. In addition, several aspects of brain function during inflammation will also be described, when illuminating and relevant to the non-immunological role of TNFRSF members. Finally, key questions in the field will be outlined. PMID:21861782

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

    PubMed

    Ugriumov, M V

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Theory of mind and the social brain: implications for understanding the genetic basis of schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    Martin, A K; Robinson, G; Dzafic, I; Reutens, D; Mowry, B

    2014-01-01

    Genome-wide association studies in schizophrenia have recently made significant progress in our understanding of the complex genetic architecture of this disorder. Many genetic loci have been identified and now require functional investigation. One approach involves studying their correlation with neuroimaging and neurocognitive endophenotypes. Theory of Mind (ToM) deficits are well established in schizophrenia and they appear to fulfill criteria for being considered an endophenotype. We aim to review the behavioral and neuroimaging-based studies of ToM in schizophrenia, assess its suitability as an endophenotype, discuss current findings, and propose future research directions. Suitable research articles were sourced from a comprehensive literature search and from references identified through other studies. ToM deficits are repeatable, stable, and heritable: First-episode patients, those in remission and unaffected relatives all show deficits. Activation and structural differences in brain regions believed important for ToM are also consistently reported in schizophrenia patients at all stages of illness, although no research to date has examined unaffected relatives. Studies using ToM as an endophenotype are providing interesting genetic associations with both single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and specific copy number variations (CNVs) such as the 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. We conclude that ToM is an important cognitive endophenotype for consideration in future studies addressing the complex genetic architecture of schizophrenia, and may help identify more homogeneous clinical sub-types for further study.

  15. The Effectiveness of the Brain Based Teaching Approach in Enhancing Scientific Understanding of Newtonian Physics among Form Four Students

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Saleh, Salmiza

    2012-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the effectiveness of Brain Based Teaching Approach in enhancing students' scientific understanding of Newtonian Physics in the context of Form Four Physics instruction. The technique was implemented based on the Brain Based Learning Principles developed by Caine & Caine (1991, 2003). This brain compatible…

  16. Graph theoretical analysis of structural and functional connectivity MRI in normal and pathological brain networks.

    PubMed

    Guye, Maxime; Bettus, Gaelle; Bartolomei, Fabrice; Cozzone, Patrick J

    2010-12-01

    Graph theoretical analysis of structural and functional connectivity MRI data (ie. diffusion tractography or cortical volume correlation and resting-state or task-related (effective) fMRI, respectively) has provided new measures of human brain organization in vivo. The most striking discovery is that the whole-brain network exhibits "small-world" properties shared with many other complex systems (social, technological, information, biological). This topology allows a high efficiency at different spatial and temporal scale with a very low wiring and energy cost. Its modular organization also allows for a high level of adaptation. In addition, degree distribution of brain networks demonstrates highly connected hubs that are crucial for the whole-network functioning. Many of these hubs have been identified in regions previously defined as belonging to the default-mode network (potentially explaining the high basal metabolism of this network) and the attentional networks. This could explain the crucial role of these hub regions in physiology (task-related fMRI data) as well as in pathophysiology. Indeed, such topological definition provides a reliable framework for predicting behavioral consequences of focal or multifocal lesions such as stroke, tumors or multiple sclerosis. It also brings new insights into a better understanding of pathophysiology of many neurological or psychiatric diseases affecting specific local or global brain networks such as epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease or schizophrenia. Graph theoretical analysis of connectivity MRI data provides an outstanding framework to merge anatomical and functional data in order to better understand brain pathologies. PMID:20349109

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. The development of social brain functions in infancy.

    PubMed

    Grossmann, Tobias

    2015-11-01

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

  19. Telomerase deficiency affects normal brain functions in mice.

    PubMed

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

    2010-02-01

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

  20. Understanding squeezing of quantum states with the Wigner function

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Royer, Antoine

    1994-01-01

    The Wigner function is argued to be the only natural phase space function evolving classically under quadratic Hamiltonians with time-dependent bilinear part. This is used to understand graphically how certain quadratic time-dependent Hamiltonians induce squeezing of quantum states. The Wigner representation is also used to generalize Ehrenfest's theorem to the quantum uncertainties. This makes it possible to deduce features of the quantum evolution, such as squeezing, from the classical evolution, whatever the Hamiltonian.

  1. Functional brain regeneration in the acoel worm Symsagittifera roscoffensis

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Reduction of brain kynurenic acid improves cognitive function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-09-01

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

  5. Genomic distribution and possible functions of DNA hydroxymethylation in the brain.

    PubMed

    Wen, Lu; Tang, Fuchou

    2014-11-01

    DNA methylation (5-methylcytosine, 5mC) is involved in many cellular processes and emerges as an important epigenetic player in brain development and memory formation. The recent discovery that 5mC can be oxidized to 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) by TET (Ten-Eleven-Translocation) proteins provides novel insights into the dynamic character of 5mC in the brain. The content of 5hmC is remarkably high in the brain, adding further complexity. In this review, we discuss how recent advances have improved our understanding of the possible biological roles of 5hmC and TET proteins in the brain. These advances attribute to various approaches, including the genome-wide approach to map 5hmC in different genomic contexts, the gene knockout/knockdown approach to elucidate the functions of TET proteins and 5hmC, and the biochemical approach to uncover potential 5hmC readers.

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

    PubMed

    Başar, Erol; Güntekin, Bahar

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Başar, Erol; Güntekin, Bahar

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-21

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Atasoy, Selen; Donnelly, Isaac; Pearson, Joel

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2006-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-01-01

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

  13. Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Understanding of Pattern and Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sharon, Valerie Vinyard

    2010-01-01

    Scope and method of study: The purpose of this study was to unpack the understandings pre-service elementary teachers have pertaining to the ideas of pattern and function. The intent was to bring insight into how mathematics teacher educators can use patterning activities to prepare pre-service elementary teachers to support the development of…

  14. Brain glycogen—new perspectives on its metabolic function and regulation at the subcellular level

    PubMed Central

    Obel, Linea F.; Müller, Margit S.; Walls, Anne B.; Sickmann, Helle M.; Bak, Lasse K.; Waagepetersen, Helle S.; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen is a complex glucose polymer found in a variety of tissues, including brain, where it is localized primarily in astrocytes. The small quantity found in brain compared to e.g., liver has led to the understanding that brain glycogen is merely used during hypoglycemia or ischemia. In this review evidence is brought forward highlighting what has been an emerging understanding in brain energy metabolism: that glycogen is more than just a convenient way to store energy for use in emergencies—it is a highly dynamic molecule with versatile implications in brain function, i.e., synaptic activity and memory formation. In line with the great spatiotemporal complexity of the brain and thereof derived focus on the basis for ensuring the availability of the right amount of energy at the right time and place, we here encourage a closer look into the molecular and subcellular mechanisms underlying glycogen metabolism. Based on (1) the compartmentation of the interconnected second messenger pathways controlling glycogen metabolism (calcium and cAMP), (2) alterations in the subcellular location of glycogen-associated enzymes and proteins induced by the metabolic status and (3) a sequential component in the intermolecular mechanisms of glycogen metabolism, we suggest that glycogen metabolism in astrocytes is compartmentalized at the subcellular level. As a consequence, the meaning and importance of conventional terms used to describe glycogen metabolism (e.g., turnover) is challenged. Overall, this review represents an overview of contemporary knowledge about brain glycogen and its metabolism and function. However, it also has a sharp focus on what we do not know, which is perhaps even more important for the future quest of uncovering the roles of glycogen in brain physiology and pathology. PMID:22403540

  15. Brain glycogen-new perspectives on its metabolic function and regulation at the subcellular level.

    PubMed

    Obel, Linea F; Müller, Margit S; Walls, Anne B; Sickmann, Helle M; Bak, Lasse K; Waagepetersen, Helle S; Schousboe, Arne

    2012-01-01

    Glycogen is a complex glucose polymer found in a variety of tissues, including brain, where it is localized primarily in astrocytes. The small quantity found in brain compared to e.g., liver has led to the understanding that brain glycogen is merely used during hypoglycemia or ischemia. In this review evidence is brought forward highlighting what has been an emerging understanding in brain energy metabolism: that glycogen is more than just a convenient way to store energy for use in emergencies-it is a highly dynamic molecule with versatile implications in brain function, i.e., synaptic activity and memory formation. In line with the great spatiotemporal complexity of the brain and thereof derived focus on the basis for ensuring the availability of the right amount of energy at the right time and place, we here encourage a closer look into the molecular and subcellular mechanisms underlying glycogen metabolism. Based on (1) the compartmentation of the interconnected second messenger pathways controlling glycogen metabolism (calcium and cAMP), (2) alterations in the subcellular location of glycogen-associated enzymes and proteins induced by the metabolic status and (3) a sequential component in the intermolecular mechanisms of glycogen metabolism, we suggest that glycogen metabolism in astrocytes is compartmentalized at the subcellular level. As a consequence, the meaning and importance of conventional terms used to describe glycogen metabolism (e.g., turnover) is challenged. Overall, this review represents an overview of contemporary knowledge about brain glycogen and its metabolism and function. However, it also has a sharp focus on what we do not know, which is perhaps even more important for the future quest of uncovering the roles of glycogen in brain physiology and pathology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Functional Reorganizations of Brain Network in Prelingually Deaf Adolescents

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-12-15

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

  20. Brain Functional Effects of Psychopharmacological Treatments in Schizophrenia: A Network-based Functional Perspective Beyond Neurotransmitter Systems.

    PubMed

    De Rossi, Pietro; Chiapponi, Chiara; Spalletta, Gianfranco

    2015-01-01

    Psychopharmacological treatments for schizophrenia have always been a matter of debate and a very important issue in public health given the chronic, relapsing and disabling nature of the disorder. A thorough understanding of the pros and cons of currently available pharmacological treatments for schizophrenia is critical to better capture the features of treatment-refractory clinical pictures and plan the developing of new treatment strategies. This review focuses on brain functional changes induced by antipsychotic drugs as assessed by modern functional neuroimaging techniques (i.e. fMRI, PET, SPECT, MRI spectroscopy). The most important papers on this topic are reviewed in order to draw an ideal map of the main functional changes occurring in the brain during antipsychotic treatment. This supports the hypothesis that a network-based perspective and a functional connectivity approach are needed to fill the currently existing gap of knowledge in the field of psychotropic drugs and their mechanisms of action beyond neurotransmitter systems. PMID:26412063

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Effects of Soccer Heading on Brain Structure and Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Understanding the Role of Nutrition in the Brain & Behavioral Development of Toddlers and Preschool Children: Identifying and Overcoming Methodological Barriers

    PubMed Central

    Rosales, Francisco J.; Reznick, J. Steven; Zeisel, Steven H.

    2009-01-01

    The pre-school years (i.e., 1–5 years of age) is a time of rapid and dramatic postnatal brain development, i.e., neural plasticity, and of fundamental acquisition of cognitive development i.e., working memory, attention and inhibitory control. Also, it is a time of transition from a direct maternal mediation/selection of diet-based nutrition to food selection that is more based on self-selection and self-gratification. However, there have been fewer published studies in pre-school children than in infants or school-aged children that examined the role of nutrition in brain/mental development (i.e., 125 studies vs. 232 and 303 studies, respectively during the last 28 years, Figure 1). This may arise because of age-related variability, in terms of individual differences in temperament, linguistic ability, and patterns of neural activity that may affect assessment of neural and cognitive development in pre-school children. In this review, we suggest several approaches for assessing brain function in children that can be refined. It would be desirable if the discipline developed some common elements to be included in future studies of diet and brain function, with the idea that they would complement more targeted measures based on time of exposure and understanding of data from animal models. Underlining this approach is the concepts of “window of sensitivity” during which nutrients may affect postnatal neural development: investigators and expert panels need to specifically look for region-specific changes and do so with understanding of the likely time window during which the nutrient was, or was not available. (244 words) PMID:19761650

  4. The modulation of brain functional connectivity with manual acupuncture in healthy subjects: An electroencephalograph case study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yi, Guo-Sheng; Wang, Jiang; Han, Chun-Xiao; Deng, Bin; Wei, Xi-Le; Li, Nuo

    2013-02-01

    Manual acupuncture is widely used for pain relief and stress control. Previous studies on acupuncture have shown its modulatory effects on the functional connectivity associated with one or a few preselected brain regions. To investigate how manual acupuncture modulates the organization of functional networks at a whole-brain level, we acupuncture at ST36 of a right leg to obtain electroencephalograph (EEG) signals. By coherence estimation, we determine the synchronizations between all pairwise combinations of EEG channels in three acupuncture states. The resulting synchronization matrices are converted into functional networks by applying a threshold, and the clustering coefficients and path lengths are computed as a function of threshold. The results show that acupuncture can increase functional connections and synchronizations between different brain areas. For a wide range of thresholds, the clustering coefficient during acupuncture and post-acupuncture period is higher than that during the pre-acupuncture control period, whereas the characteristic path length is shorter. We provide further support for the presence of “small-world" network characteristics in functional networks by using acupuncture. These preliminary results highlight the beneficial modulations of functional connectivity by manual acupuncture, which could contribute to the understanding of the effects of acupuncture on the entire brain, as well as the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying acupuncture. Moreover, the proposed method may be a useful approach to the further investigation of the complexity of patterns of interrelations between EEG channels.

  5. Mapping causal functional contributions derived from the clinical assessment of brain damage after stroke.

    PubMed

    Zavaglia, Melissa; Forkert, Nils D; Cheng, Bastian; Gerloff, Christian; Thomalla, Götz; Hilgetag, Claus C

    2015-01-01

    Lesion analysis reveals causal contributions of brain regions to mental functions, aiding the understanding of normal brain function as well as rehabilitation of brain-damaged patients. We applied a novel lesion inference technique based on game theory, Multi-perturbation Shapley value Analysis (MSA), to a large clinical lesion dataset. We used MSA to analyze the lesion patterns of 148 acute stroke patients together with their neurological deficits, as assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). The results revealed regional functional contributions to essential behavioral and cognitive functions as reflected in the NIHSS, particularly by subcortical structures. There were also side specific differences of functional contributions between the right and left hemispheric brain regions which may reflect the dominance of the left hemispheric syndrome aphasia in the NIHSS. Comparison of MSA to established lesion inference methods demonstrated the feasibility of the approach for analyzing clinical data and indicated its capability for objectively inferring functional contributions from multiple injured, potentially interacting sites, at the cost of having to predict the outcome of unknown lesion configurations. The analysis of regional functional contributions to neurological symptoms measured by the NIHSS contributes to the interpretation of this widely used standardized stroke scale in clinical practice as well as clinical trials and provides a first approximation of a 'map of stroke'.

  6. Mapping causal functional contributions derived from the clinical assessment of brain damage after stroke

    PubMed Central

    Zavaglia, Melissa; Forkert, Nils D.; Cheng, Bastian; Gerloff, Christian; Thomalla, Götz; Hilgetag, Claus C.

    2015-01-01

    Lesion analysis reveals causal contributions of brain regions to mental functions, aiding the understanding of normal brain function as well as rehabilitation of brain-damaged patients. We applied a novel lesion inference technique based on game theory, Multi-perturbation Shapley value Analysis (MSA), to a large clinical lesion dataset. We used MSA to analyze the lesion patterns of 148 acute stroke patients together with their neurological deficits, as assessed by the National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS). The results revealed regional functional contributions to essential behavioral and cognitive functions as reflected in the NIHSS, particularly by subcortical structures. There were also side specific differences of functional contributions between the right and left hemispheric brain regions which may reflect the dominance of the left hemispheric syndrome aphasia in the NIHSS. Comparison of MSA to established lesion inference methods demonstrated the feasibility of the approach for analyzing clinical data and indicated its capability for objectively inferring functional contributions from multiple injured, potentially interacting sites, at the cost of having to predict the outcome of unknown lesion configurations. The analysis of regional functional contributions to neurological symptoms measured by the NIHSS contributes to the interpretation of this widely used standardized stroke scale in clinical practice as well as clinical trials and provides a first approximation of a ‘map of stroke’. PMID:26448908

  7. Fine-grained mapping of mouse brain functional connectivity with resting-state fMRI.

    PubMed

    Mechling, Anna E; Hübner, Neele S; Lee, Hsu-Lei; Hennig, Jürgen; von Elverfeldt, Dominik; Harsan, Laura-Adela

    2014-08-01

    Understanding the intrinsic circuit-level functional organization of the brain has benefited tremendously from the advent of resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI). In humans, resting-state functional network has been consistently mapped and its alterations have been shown to correlate with symptomatology of various neurological or psychiatric disorders. To date, deciphering the mouse brain functional connectivity (MBFC) with rsfMRI remains a largely underexplored research area, despite the plethora of human brain disorders that can be modeled in this specie. To pave the way from pre-clinical to clinical investigations we characterized here the intrinsic architecture of mouse brain functional circuitry, based on rsfMRI data acquired at 7T using the Cryoprobe technology. High-dimensional spatial group independent component analysis demonstrated fine-grained segregation of cortical and subcortical networks into functional clusters, overlapping with high specificity onto anatomical structures, down to single gray matter nuclei. These clusters, showing a high level of stability and reliability in their patterning, formed the input elements for computing the MBFC network using partial correlation and graph theory. Its topological architecture conserved the fundamental characteristics described for the human and rat brain, such as small-worldness and partitioning into functional modules. Our results additionally showed inter-modular interactions via "network hubs". Each major functional system (motor, somatosensory, limbic, visual, autonomic) was found to have representative hubs that might play an important input/output role and form a functional core for information integration. Moreover, the rostro-dorsal hippocampus formed the highest number of relevant connections with other brain areas, highlighting its importance as core structure for MBFC.

  8. Functional constraints in the evolution of brain circuits

    PubMed Central

    Bosman, Conrado A.; Aboitiz, Francisco

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Efficiency and cost of economical brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Achard, Sophie; Bullmore, Ed

    2007-02-01

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

  10. Understanding well-being in the evolutionary context of brain development.

    PubMed Central

    Keverne, Eric B

    2004-01-01

    Much of the work on well-being and positive emotions has tended to focus on the adult, partly because this is when problems are manifest and well-being often becomes an issue by its absence. However, it is pertinent to ask if early life events might engender certain predispositions that have consequences for adult well-being. The human brain undergoes much of its growth and development postnatally until the age of seven and continues to extend its synaptic connections well into the second decade. Indeed, the prefrontal association cortex, areas of the brain concerned with forward planning and regulatory control of emotional behaviour, continue to develop until the age of 20. In this article, I consider the significance of this extended postnatal developmental period for brain maturation and how brain evolution has encompassed certain biological changes and predispositions that, with our modern lifestyle, represent risk factors for well-being. An awareness of these sensitive phases in brain development is important in understanding how we might facilitate secure relationships and high self-esteem in our children. This will provide the firm foundations on which to develop meaningful lifestyles and relationships that are crucial to well-being. PMID:15347526

  11. Understanding the Folding-Function Tradeoff in Proteins

    PubMed Central

    Gosavi, Shachi

    2013-01-01

    When an amino-acid sequence cannot be optimized for both folding and function, folding can get compromised in favor of function. To understand this tradeoff better, we devise a novel method for extracting the “function-less” folding-motif of a protein fold from a set of structurally similar but functionally diverse proteins. We then obtain the β-trefoil folding-motif, and study its folding using structure-based models and molecular dynamics simulations. CompariA protein sequence serves two purpson with the folding of wild-type β-trefoil proteins shows that function affects folding in two ways: In the slower folding interleukin-1β, binding sites make the fold more complex, increase contact order and slow folding. In the faster folding hisactophilin, residues which could have been part of the folding-motif are used for function. This reduces the density of native contacts in functional regions and increases folding rate. The folding-motif helps identify subtle structural deviations which perturb folding. These may then be used for functional annotation. Further, the folding-motif could potentially be used as a first step in the sequence design of function-less scaffold proteins. Desired function can then be engineered into these scaffolds. PMID:23593437

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. The Role of Sleep in Emotional Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Goldstein, Andrea N.; Walker, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

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

  14. Spatial variability of functional brain networks in early-blind and sighted subjects.

    PubMed

    Boldt, Robert; Seppä, Mika; Malinen, Sanna; Tikka, Pia; Hari, Riitta; Carlson, Synnöve

    2014-07-15

    To further the understanding how the human brain adapts to early-onset blindness, we searched in early-blind and normally-sighted subjects for functional brain networks showing the most and least spatial variabilities across subjects. We hypothesized that the functional networks compensating for early-onset blindness undergo cortical reorganization. To determine whether reorganization of functional networks affects spatial variability, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to compare brain networks, derived by independent component analysis, of 7 early-blind and 7 sighted subjects while they rested or listened to an audio drama. In both conditions, the blind compared with sighted subjects showed more spatial variability in a bilateral parietal network (comprising the inferior parietal and angular gyri and precuneus) and in a bilateral auditory network (comprising the superior temporal gyri). In contrast, a vision-related left-hemisphere-lateralized occipital network (comprising the superior, middle and inferior occipital gyri, fusiform and lingual gyri, and the calcarine sulcus) was less variable in blind than sighted subjects. Another visual network and a tactile network were spatially more variable in the blind than sighted subjects in one condition. We contemplate whether our results on inter-subject spatial variability of brain networks are related to experience-dependent brain plasticity, and we suggest that auditory and parietal networks undergo a stronger experience-dependent reorganization in the early-blind than sighted subjects while the opposite is true for the vision-related occipital network. PMID:24680867

  15. Recognizing brain activities by functional near-infrared spectroscope signal analysis

    PubMed Central

    Khoa, Truong Quang Dang; Nakagawa, Masahiro

    2008-01-01

    Background Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscope (fNIRs) is one of the latest technologies which utilize light in the near-infrared range to determine brain activities. Near-infrared technology allows design of safe, portable, wearable, non-invasive and wireless qualities monitoring systems. This indicates that fNIRs signal monitoring of brain hemodynamics can be value in helping to understand brain tasks. In this paper, we present results of fNIRs signal analysis to show that there exist distinct patterns of hemodynamic responses which recognize brain tasks toward developing a Brain-Computer interface. Results We applied Higuchi's fractal dimension algorithms to analyse irregular and complex characteristics of fNIRs signals, and then Wavelets transform is used to analysis for preprocessing as signal filters and feature extractions and Neural networks is a module for cognition brain tasks. Conclusion Throughout two experiments, we have demonstrated the feasibility of fNIRs analysis to recognize human brain activities. PMID:18590571

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  17. Anatomy of the Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... our existence. It controls our personality, thoughts, memory, intelligence, speech and understanding, emotions, senses, and basic body functions, as well as how we function in our environment. The diagrams below show brain anatomy, or the various parts of the brain, ...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-02-01

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

  1. Disrupted resting-state functional architecture of the brain after 45-day simulated microgravity

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yuan; Wang, Yun; Rao, Li-Lin; Liang, Zhu-Yuan; Chen, Xiao-Ping; Zheng, Dang; Tan, Cheng; Tian, Zhi-Qiang; Wang, Chun-Hui; Bai, Yan-Qiang; Chen, Shan-Guang; Li, Shu

    2014-01-01

    Long-term spaceflight induces both physiological and psychological changes in astronauts. To understand the neural mechanisms underlying these physiological and psychological changes, it is critical to investigate the effects of microgravity on the functional architecture of the brain. In this study, we used resting-state functional MRI (rs-fMRI) to study whether the functional architecture of the brain is altered after 45 days of −6° head-down tilt (HDT) bed rest, which is a reliable model for the simulation of microgravity. Sixteen healthy male volunteers underwent rs-fMRI scans before and after 45 days of −6° HDT bed rest. Specifically, we used a commonly employed graph-based measure of network organization, i.e., degree centrality (DC), to perform a full-brain exploration of the regions that were influenced by simulated microgravity. We subsequently examined the functional connectivities of these regions using a seed-based resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) analysis. We found decreased DC in two regions, the left anterior insula (aINS) and the anterior part of the middle cingulate cortex (MCC; also called the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex in many studies), in the male volunteers after 45 days of −6° HDT bed rest. Furthermore, seed-based RSFC analyses revealed that a functional network anchored in the aINS and MCC was particularly influenced by simulated microgravity. These results provide evidence that simulated microgravity alters the resting-state functional architecture of the brains of males and suggest that the processing of salience information, which is primarily subserved by the aINS–MCC functional network, is particularly influenced by spaceflight. The current findings provide a new perspective for understanding the relationships between microgravity, cognitive function, autonomic neural function, and central neural activity. PMID:24926242

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. Structural and Functional Plasticity in the Maternal Brain Circuitry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pereira, Mariana

    2016-01-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bame, E. Allen; Gatewood, Thomas E.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Martins, D; Tavares, I; Morgado, C

    2014-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2008-12-01

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

  11. The Functional Connectivity Landscape of the Human Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Rising stars: modulation of brain functions by astroglial type-1 cannabinoid receptors.

    PubMed

    Metna-Laurent, Mathilde; Marsicano, Giovanni

    2015-03-01

    The type-1-cannabinoid (CB1 ) receptor is amongst the most widely expressed G protein-coupled receptors in the brain. In few decades, CB1 receptors have been shown to regulate a large array of functions from brain cell development and survival to complex cognitive processes. Understanding the cellular mechanisms underlying these functions of CB1 is complex due to the heterogeneity of the brain cell types on which the receptor is expressed. Although the large majority of CB1 receptors act on neurons, early studies pointed to a direct control of CB1 receptors over astroglial functions including brain energy supply and neuroprotection. In line with the growing concept of the tripartite synapse highlighting astrocytes as direct players in synaptic plasticity, astroglial CB1 receptor signaling recently emerged as the mediator of several forms of synaptic plasticity associated to important cognitive functions. Here, we shortly review the current knowledge on CB1 receptor-mediated astroglial functions. This functional spectrum is large and most of the mechanisms by which CB1 receptors control astrocytes, as well as their consequences in vivo, are still unknown, requiring innovative approaches to improve this new cannabinoid research field.

  13. Nutritional strategies to optimise cognitive function in the aging brain.

    PubMed

    Wahl, Devin; Cogger, Victoria C; Solon-Biet, Samantha M; Waern, Rosilene V R; Gokarn, Rahul; Pulpitel, Tamara; Cabo, Rafael de; Mattson, Mark P; Raubenheimer, David; Simpson, Stephen J; Le Couteur, David G

    2016-11-01

    Old age is the greatest risk factor for most neurodegenerative diseases. During recent decades there have been major advances in understanding the biology of aging, and the development of nutritional interventions that delay aging including calorie restriction (CR) and intermittent fasting (IF), and chemicals that influence pathways linking nutrition and aging processes. CR influences brain aging in many animal models and recent findings suggest that dietary interventions can influence brain health and dementia in older humans. The role of individual macronutrients in brain aging also has been studied, with conflicting results about the effects of dietary protein and carbohydrates. A new approach known as the Geometric Framework (GF) has been used to unravel the complex interactions between macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) and total energy on outcomes such as aging. These studies have shown that low-protein, high-carbohydrate (LPHC) diets are optimal for lifespan in ad libitum fed animals, while total calories have minimal effect once macronutrients are taken into account. One of the primary purposes of this review is to explore the notion that macronutrients may have a more translational potential than CR and IF in humans, and therefore there is a pressing need to use GF to study the impact of diet on brain aging. Furthermore, given the growing recognition of the role of aging biology in dementia, such studies might provide a new approach for dietary interventions for optimizing brain health and preventing dementia in older people.

  14. Pregnancy reduces brain sigma receptor function

    PubMed Central

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2001-10-01

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

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kalbfleisch, M. Layne; Gillmarten, Charles

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-05-15

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

  1. Children's understanding of the mitigating function of disclaimers.

    PubMed

    Bennett, M

    1990-02-01

    Despite earlier work indicating young children's competence in the use and understanding of retrospective "facework strategies" such as apologies, justifications, and excuses, it was hypothesized that an understanding of the disclaimer, a prospective strategy, would be relatively late appearing. An experiment is reported in which 144 British children between the ages of 5 and 11 years were presented with stories concerning an actor who had brought about certain negative consequences, having either previously issued, or not, a disclaimer. Children were asked to indicate and justify whether they felt the actor should be punished. Broadly consistent with the hypothesis guiding the present study, significant reductions in punishment recommendations following the provision of a disclaimer were found only among the 11-year-old subjects. However, from subjects' justifications for the decision not to punish, it was noted that nearly 50% of the 8-year-olds and 25% of the 5-year-olds provided evidence of understanding the mitigating function of disclaimers.

  2. Protein function in precision medicine: deep understanding with machine learning.

    PubMed

    Rost, Burkhard; Radivojac, Predrag; Bromberg, Yana

    2016-08-01

    Precision medicine and personalized health efforts propose leveraging complex molecular, medical and family history, along with other types of personal data toward better life. We argue that this ambitious objective will require advanced and specialized machine learning solutions. Simply skimming some low-hanging results off the data wealth might have limited potential. Instead, we need to better understand all parts of the system to define medically relevant causes and effects: how do particular sequence variants affect particular proteins and pathways? How do these effects, in turn, cause the health or disease-related phenotype? Toward this end, deeper understanding will not simply diffuse from deeper machine learning, but from more explicit focus on understanding protein function, context-specific protein interaction networks, and impact of variation on both. PMID:27423136

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

    PubMed

    Vermunt, Marit W; Creyghton, Menno P

    2016-10-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vermunt, Marit W; Creyghton, Menno P

    2016-10-01

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

  5. Brain Functional and Structural Predictors of Language Performance.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-01

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

  6. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Mapping Multiplex Hubs in Human Functional Brain Networks

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Haast, Roy A M; Kiliaan, Amanda J

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Bovine Brain Ribonuclease Is the Functional Homolog of Human Ribonuclease 1*

    PubMed Central

    Eller, Chelcie H.; Lomax, Jo E.; Raines, Ronald T.

    2014-01-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that human pancreatic ribonuclease (RNase 1) plays important roles in vivo, ranging from regulating blood clotting and inflammation to directly counteracting tumorigenic cells. Understanding these putative roles has been pursued with continual comparisons of human RNase 1 to bovine RNase A, an enzyme that appears to function primarily in the ruminant gut. Our results imply a different physiology for human RNase 1. We demonstrate distinct functional differences between human RNase 1 and bovine RNase A. Moreover, we characterize another RNase 1 homolog, bovine brain ribonuclease, and find pronounced similarities between that enzyme and human RNase 1. We report that human RNase 1 and bovine brain ribonuclease share high catalytic activity against double-stranded RNA substrates, a rare quality among ribonucleases. Both human RNase 1 and bovine brain RNase are readily endocytosed by mammalian cells, aided by tight interactions with cell surface glycans. Finally, we show that both human RNase 1 and bovine brain RNase are secreted from endothelial cells in a regulated manner, implying a potential role in vascular homeostasis. Our results suggest that brain ribonuclease, not RNase A, is the true bovine homolog of human RNase 1, and provide fundamental insight into the ancestral roles and functional adaptations of RNase 1 in mammals. PMID:25078100

  13. Brain metastasis in lung cancer: Building a molecular and systems-level understanding to improve outcomes.

    PubMed

    Ebben, Johnathan D; You, Ming

    2016-09-01

    metastasis over the course of their disease, while 18% of small cell lung cancer patients without previous metastasis went on to develop brain metastasis as their disease progressed (Goncalves et al., 2016).The reasons underlying this predilection for the central nervous system, as well as the recent increase in the frequency of brain metastasis identified in patients remain important questions for both clinicians and basic scientists. More than ever, the question of how brain metastasis develop and how they can be treated and managed requires the involvement of interdisciplinary teams-and more importantly-scientists who are capable of thinking like clinicians and clinicians who are capable of thinking like scientists. This review aims to present a translational perspective on brain metastasis. We will investigate the scope of the problem of brain metastasis and the current management of the metastatic disease process in lung cancer. From this clinical starting point, we will investigate the literature surrounding the molecular underpinnings of lung tumor metastasis and seek to understand the process from a biological perspective to generate new hypotheses.

  14. Birth Size and Brain Function 75 Years Later

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. Synapses on NG2-expressing progenitors in the brain: multiple functions?

    PubMed Central

    Gallo, Vittorio; Mangin, Jean-Marie; Kukley, Maria; Dietrich, Dirk

    2008-01-01

    Progenitor cells expressing the proteoglycan NG2 represent approximately 5% of the total cells in the adult brain, and are found both in grey and white matter regions where they give rise to oligodendrocytes. The finding that these cells receive synaptic contacts from excitatory and inhibitory neurons has not only raised major interest in the possible roles of these synapses, but also stimulated further research on the developmental and cellular functions of NG2-expressing (NG2+) progenitors themselves in the context of neural circuit physiology. Here we review recent findings on the functional properties of the synapses on NG2+ cells in grey and white matter regions of the brain. In this review article we make an attempt to integrate current knowledge on the cellular and developmental properties of NG2+ progenitors with the functional attributes of their synapses, in order to understand the physiological relevance of neuron–NG2+ progenitor signal transmission. We propose that, although NG2+ progenitors receive synaptic contact in all brain regions where they are found, their synapses might have different developmental and functional roles, probably reflecting the distinct functions of NG2+ progenitors in the brain. PMID:18635642

  16. The brains of high functioning autistic individuals do not synchronize with those of others☆

    PubMed Central

    Salmi, J.; Roine, U.; Glerean, E.; Lahnakoski, J.; Nieminen-von Wendt, T.; Tani, P.; Leppämäki, S.; Nummenmaa, L.; Jääskeläinen, I.P.; Carlson, S.; Rintahaka, P.; Sams, M.

    2013-01-01

    Multifaceted and idiosyncratic aberrancies in social cognition characterize autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). To advance understanding of underlying neural mechanisms, we measured brain hemodynamic activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in individuals with ASD and matched-pair neurotypical (NT) controls while they were viewing a feature film portraying social interactions. Pearson's correlation coefficient was used as a measure of voxelwise similarity of brain activity (InterSubject Correlations—ISCs). Individuals with ASD showed lower ISC than NT controls in brain regions implicated in processing social information including the insula, posterior and anterior cingulate cortex, caudate nucleus, precuneus, lateral occipital cortex, and supramarginal gyrus. Curiously, also within NT group, autism-quotient scores predicted ISC in overlapping areas, including, e.g., supramarginal gyrus and precuneus. In ASD participants, functional connectivity was decreased between the frontal pole and the superior frontal gyrus, angular gyrus, superior parietal lobule, precentral gyrus, precuneus, and anterior/posterior cingulate gyrus. Taken together these results suggest that ISC and functional connectivity measure distinct features of atypical brain function in high-functioning autistic individuals during free viewing of acted social interactions. Our ISC results suggest that the minds of ASD individuals do not ‘tick together’ with others while perceiving identical dynamic social interactions. PMID:24273731

  17. EEG-fMRI integration for the study of human brain function.

    PubMed

    Jorge, João; van der Zwaag, Wietske; Figueiredo, Patrícia

    2014-11-15

    Electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have proved to be extremely valuable tools for the non-invasive study of human brain function. Moreover, due to a notable degree of complementarity between the two modalities, the combination of EEG and fMRI data has been actively sought in the last two decades. Although initially focused on epilepsy, EEG-fMRI applications were rapidly extended to the study of healthy brain function, yielding new insights into its underlying mechanisms and pathways. Nevertheless, EEG and fMRI have markedly different spatial and temporal resolutions, and probe neuronal activity through distinct biophysical processes, many aspects of which are still poorly understood. The remarkable conceptual and methodological challenges associated with EEG-fMRI integration have motivated the development of a wide range of analysis approaches over the years, each relying on more or less restrictive assumptions, and aiming to shed further light on the mechanisms of brain function along with those of the EEG-fMRI coupling itself. Here, we present a review of the most relevant EEG-fMRI integration approaches yet proposed for the study of brain function, supported by a general overview of our current understanding of the biophysical mechanisms coupling the signals obtained from the two modalities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  19. Computational models to understand decision making and pattern recognition in the insect brain

    PubMed Central

    Mosqueiro, Thiago S.; Huerta, Ramón

    2014-01-01

    Odor stimuli reaching olfactory systems of mammals and insects are characterized by remarkable non-stationary and noisy time series. Their brains have evolved to discriminate subtle changes in odor mixtures and find meaningful variations in complex spatio-temporal patterns. Insects with small brains can effectively solve two computational tasks: identify the presence of an odor type and estimate the concentration levels of the odor. Understanding the learning and decision making processes in the insect brain can not only help us to uncover general principles of information processing in the brain, but it can also provide key insights to artificial chemical sensing. Both olfactory learning and memory are dominantly organized in the Antennal Lobe (AL) and the Mushroom Bodies (MBs). Current computational models yet fail to deliver an integrated picture of the joint computational roles of the AL and MBs. This review intends to provide an integrative overview of the computational literature analyzed in the context of the problem of classification (odor discrimination) and regression (odor concentration estimation), particularly identifying key computational ingredients necessary to solve pattern recognition. PMID:25593793

  20. Tai Chi Chuan optimizes the functional organization of the intrinsic human brain architecture in older adults.

    PubMed

    Wei, Gao-Xia; Dong, Hao-Ming; Yang, Zhi; Luo, Jing; Zuo, Xi-Nian

    2014-01-01

    Whether Tai Chi Chuan (TCC) can influence the intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain remains unclear. To examine TCC-associated changes in functional connectomes, resting-state functional magnetic resonance images were acquired from 40 older individuals including 22 experienced TCC practitioners (experts) and 18 demographically matched TCC-naïve healthy controls, and their local functional homogeneities across the cortical mantle were compared. Compared to the controls, the TCC experts had significantly greater and more experience-dependent functional homogeneity in the right post-central gyrus (PosCG) and less functional homogeneity in the left anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex. Increased functional homogeneity in the PosCG was correlated with TCC experience. Intriguingly, decreases in functional homogeneity (improved functional specialization) in the left ACC and increases in functional homogeneity (improved functional integration) in the right PosCG both predicted performance gains on attention network behavior tests. These findings provide evidence for the functional plasticity of the brain's intrinsic architecture toward optimizing locally functional organization, with great implications for understanding the effects of TCC on cognition, behavior and health in aging population.

  1. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

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

  2. Exercise-mimetic AICAR transiently benefits brain function.

    PubMed

    Guerrieri, Davide; van Praag, Henriette

    2015-07-30

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

  4. Control of the blood-brain barrier function in cancer cell metastasis.

    PubMed

    Blecharz, Kinga G; Colla, Ruben; Rohde, Veit; Vajkoczy, Peter

    2015-10-01

    Cerebral metastases are the most common brain neoplasms seen clinically in the adults and comprise more than half of all brain tumours. Actual treatment options for brain metastases that include surgical resection, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are rarely curative, although palliative treatment improves survival and life quality of patients carrying brain-metastatic tumours. Chemotherapy in particular has also shown limited or no activity in brain metastasis of most tumour types. Many chemotherapeutic agents used systemically do not cross the blood-brain barrier (BBB), whereas others may transiently weaken the BBB and allow extravasation of tumour cells from the circulation into the brain parenchyma. Increasing evidence points out that the interaction between the BBB and tumour cells plays a key role for implantation and growth of brain metastases in the central nervous system. The BBB, as the tightest endothelial barrier, prevents both early detection and treatment by creating a privileged microenvironment. Therefore, as observed in several in vivo studies, precise targetting the BBB by a specific transient opening of the structure making it permeable for therapeutic compounds, might potentially help to overcome this difficult clinical problem. Moreover, a better understanding of the molecular features of the BBB, its interrelation with metastatic tumour cells and the elucidation of cellular mechanisms responsible for establishing cerebral metastasis must be clearly outlined in order to promote treatment modalities that particularly involve chemotherapy. This in turn would substantially expand the survival and quality of life of patients with brain metastasis, and potentially increase the remission rate. Therefore, the focus of this review is to summarise the current knowledge on the role and function of the BBB in cancer metastasis.

  5. Hierarchical Spectral Consensus Clustering for Group Analysis of Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Ozdemir, Alp; Bolaños, Marcos; Bernat, Edward; Aviyente, Selin

    2015-09-01

    A central question in cognitive neuroscience is how cognitive functions depend on the integration of specialized widely distributed brain regions. In recent years, graph theoretical methods have been used to characterize the structure of the brain functional connectivity. In order to understand the organization of functional connectivity networks, it is important to determine the community structure underlying these complex networks. Moreover, the study of brain functional networks is confounded by the fact that most neurophysiological studies consists of data collected from multiple subjects; thus, it is important to identify communities representative of all subjects. Typically, this problem is addressed by averaging the data across subjects which omits the variability across subjects or using voting methods, which requires a priori knowledge of cluster labels. In this paper, we propose a hierarchical consensus spectral clustering approach to address these problems. Furthermore, new information-theoretic criteria are introduced for selecting the optimal community structure. The proposed framework is applied to electroencephalogram data collected during a study of error-related negativity to better understand the community structure of functional networks involved in the cognitive control.

  6. Decreased in vitro mitochondrial function is associated with enhanced brain metabolism, blood flow, and memory in Surf1-deficient mice.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ai-Ling; Pulliam, Daniel A; Deepa, Sathyaseelan S; Halloran, Jonathan J; Hussong, Stacy A; Burbank, Raquel R; Bresnen, Andrew; Liu, Yuhong; Podlutskaya, Natalia; Soundararajan, Anuradha; Muir, Eric; Duong, Timothy Q; Bokov, Alex F; Viscomi, Carlo; Zeviani, Massimo; Richardson, Arlan G; Van Remmen, Holly; Fox, Peter T; Galvan, Veronica

    2013-10-01

    Recent studies have challenged the prevailing view that reduced mitochondrial function and increased oxidative stress are correlated with reduced longevity. Mice carrying a homozygous knockout (KO) of the Surf1 gene showed a significant decrease in mitochondrial electron transport chain Complex IV activity, yet displayed increased lifespan and reduced brain damage after excitotoxic insults. In the present study, we examined brain metabolism, brain hemodynamics, and memory of Surf1 KO mice using in vitro measures of mitochondrial function, in vivo neuroimaging, and behavioral testing. We show that decreased respiration and increased generation of hydrogen peroxide in isolated Surf1 KO brain mitochondria are associated with increased brain glucose metabolism, cerebral blood flow, and lactate levels, and with enhanced memory in Surf1 KO mice. These metabolic and functional changes in Surf1 KO brains were accompanied by higher levels of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 alpha, and by increases in the activated form of cyclic AMP response element-binding factor, which is integral to memory formation. These findings suggest that Surf1 deficiency-induced metabolic alterations may have positive effects on brain function. Exploring the relationship between mitochondrial activity, oxidative stress, and brain function will enhance our understanding of cognitive aging and of age-related neurologic disorders.

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

    PubMed

    Antoniades, Chrystalina A; FitzGerald, James J

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Sleep Restriction Impairs Blood–Brain Barrier Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Corraliza, Inés

    2014-01-01

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

  12. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-29

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

  13. Functional brain networks associated with eating behaviors in obesity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-31

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

  15. Mining the brain metabolome to understand behavioural disruptions induced in mouse fed Hypochoeris radicata (L.), a neurotoxic plant for horse.

    PubMed

    Domange, Céline; Schroeder, Henri; Violle, Nicolas; Peiffer, Julie; Canlet, Cécile; Paris, Alain; Priymenko, Nathalie

    2013-09-01

    Mining the brain metabolome to understand behavioural disruptions induced in mouse fed Hypochoeris radicata (L.), a neurotoxic plant for horse. C57BL/6J mice orally exposed to 9% H. radicata (HR) are metabolically competent laboratory animals which can be used as model of Australian stringhalt, a neurological horse disease induced by HR ingestion. So, the present study was conducted to assess the brain metabolome and the behavioural performances of mice fed with a 9%-HR-based diet for 21 days. By the end of the period of exposure, mice were investigated for motor activity and coordination, anxiety level, learning and memory performances, social behaviour and rewarding properties of for the plant. Thus, the animals were sacrificed and the brain metabolome was studied using (1)H NMR spectroscopy. HR-exposed mice displayed a motor hyperactivity in several tasks, a less resignation in the forced swimming test, and paradigm place preference for the plant. A bootstrap-based regularized canonical analysis performed on merged behavioural and metabolic datasets showed a clear relationship in HR-treated mice between an increase in cerebral scyllo-inositol, an increased motor activity, and seemingly rewarding properties of HR. These results underlie the interest of such a dual approach to characterize functional end-points of a pathophysiological model of the Australian stringhalt in equine species. PMID:23811200

  16. Understanding structure, function, and mutations in the mitochondrial ATP synthase

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Ting; Pagadala, Vijayakanth; Mueller, David M.

    2015-01-01

    The mitochondrial ATP synthase is a multimeric enzyme complex with an overall molecular weight of about 600,000 Da. The ATP synthase is a molecular motor composed of two separable parts: F1 and Fo. The F1 portion contains the catalytic sites for ATP synthesis and protrudes into the mitochondrial matrix. Fo forms a proton turbine that is embedded in the inner membrane and connected to the rotor of F1. The flux of protons flowing down a potential gradient powers the rotation of the rotor driving the synthesis of ATP. Thus, the flow of protons though Fo is coupled to the synthesis of ATP. This review will discuss the structure/function relationship in the ATP synthase as determined by biochemical, crystallographic, and genetic studies. An emphasis will be placed on linking the structure/function relationship with understanding how disease causing mutations or putative single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in genes encoding the subunits of the ATP synthase, will affect the function of the enzyme and the health of the individual. The review will start by summarizing the current understanding of the subunit composition of the enzyme and the role of the subunits followed by a discussion on known mutations and their effect on the activity of the ATP synthase. The review will conclude with a summary of mutations in genes encoding subunits of the ATP synthase that are known to be responsible for human disease, and a brief discussion on SNPs. PMID:25938092

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  18. Neuroplasticity as a function of second language learning: anatomical changes in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Li, Ping; Legault, Jennifer; Litcofsky, Kaitlyn A

    2014-09-01

    The brain has an extraordinary ability to functionally and physically change or reconfigure its structure in response to environmental stimulus, cognitive demand, or behavioral experience. This property, known as neuroplasticity, has been examined extensively in many domains. But how does neuroplasticity occur in the brain as a function of an individual's experience with a second language? It is not until recently that we have gained some understanding of this question by examining the anatomical changes as well as functional neural patterns that are induced by the learning and use of multiple languages. In this article we review emerging evidence regarding how structural neuroplasticity occurs in the brain as a result of one's bilingual experience. Our review aims at identifying the processes and mechanisms that drive experience-dependent anatomical changes, and integrating structural imaging evidence with current knowledge of functional neural plasticity of language and other cognitive skills. The evidence reviewed so far portrays a picture that is highly consistent with structural neuroplasticity observed for other domains: second language experience-induced brain changes, including increased gray matter (GM) density and white matter (WM) integrity, can be found in children, young adults, and the elderly; can occur rapidly with short-term language learning or training; and are sensitive to age, age of acquisition, proficiency or performance level, language-specific characteristics, and individual differences. We conclude with a theoretical perspective on neuroplasticity in language and bilingualism, and point to future directions for research.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  20. Abnormal EEG Complexity and Functional Connectivity of Brain in Patients with Acute Thalamic Ischemic Stroke

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shuang; Guo, Jie; Meng, Jiayuan; Wang, Zhijun; Yao, Yang; Yang, Jiajia; Qi, Hongzhi; Ming, Dong

    2016-01-01

    Ischemic thalamus stroke has become a serious cardiovascular and cerebral disease in recent years. To date the existing researches mostly concentrated on the power spectral density (PSD) in several frequency bands. In this paper, we investigated the nonlinear features of EEG and brain functional connectivity in patients with acute thalamic ischemic stroke and healthy subjects. Electroencephalography (EEG) in resting condition with eyes closed was recorded for 12 stroke patients and 11 healthy subjects as control group. Lempel-Ziv complexity (LZC), Sample Entropy (SampEn), and brain network using partial directed coherence (PDC) were calculated for feature extraction. Results showed that patients had increased mean LZC and SampEn than the controls, which implied the stroke group has higher EEG complexity. For the brain network, the stroke group displayed a trend of weaker cortical connectivity, which suggests a functional impairment of information transmission in cortical connections in stroke patients. These findings suggest that nonlinear analysis and brain network could provide essential information for better understanding the brain dysfunction in the stroke and assisting monitoring or prognostication of stroke evolution. PMID:27403202

  1. piRNAs and Their Functions in the Brain

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Can irisin be a linker between physical activity and brain function?

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Weizhen

    2016-08-01

    Irisin was initially discovered as a novel hormone-like myokine released from skeletal muscle during exercise to improve obesity and glucose dysfunction by stimulating the browning of white adipose tissue. Emerging evidence have indicated that irisin also affects brain function. FNDC5 mRNA and FNDC5/irisin immunoreactivity are present in various regions of the brain. Central irisin is involved in the regulation of neural differentiation and proliferation, neurobehavior, energy expenditure and cardiac function. Elevation of peripheral irisin level stimulates hippocampal genes related to neuroprotection, learning and memory. In this brief review, we summarize the current understanding on neuronal functions of irisin. In addition, we discuss the pros and cons for this molecule as a potential messenger mediating the crosstalk between skeletal muscle and central nervous system during exercise. PMID:27356237

  3. Brain function predictors and outcome of weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

    PubMed

    Szabo-Reed, Amanda N; Breslin, Florence J; Lynch, Anthony M; Patrician, Trisha M; Martin, Laura E; Lepping, Rebecca J; Powell, Joshua N; Yeh, Hung-Wen Henry; Befort, Christie A; Sullivan, Debra; Gibson, Cheryl; Washburn, Richard; Donnelly, Joseph E; Savage, Cary R

    2015-01-01

    Obesity rates are associated with public health consequences and rising health care costs. Weight loss interventions, while effective, do not work for everyone, and weight regain is a significant problem. Eating behavior is influenced by a convergence of processes in the brain, including homeostatic factors and motivational processing that are important contributors to overeating. Initial neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions that respond differently to visual food cues in obese and healthy weight individuals that are positively correlated with reports of hunger in obese participants. While these findings provide mechanisms of overeating, many important questions remain. It is not known whether brain activation patterns change after weight loss, or if they change differentially based on amount of weight lost. Also, little is understood regarding biological processes that contribute to long-term weight maintenance. This study will use neuroimaging in participants while viewing food and non-food images. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging will take place before and after completion of a twelve-week weight loss intervention. Obese participants will be followed though a 6-month maintenance period. The study will address three aims: 1. Characterize brain activation underlying food motivation and impulsive behaviors in obese individuals. 2. Identify brain activation changes and predictors of weight loss. 3. Identify brain activation predictors of weight loss maintenance. Findings from this study will have implications for understanding mechanisms of obesity, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Results will be significant to public health and could lead to a better understanding of how differences in brain activation relate to obesity. PMID:25533729

  4. Brain function predictors and outcome of weight loss and weight loss maintenance

    PubMed Central

    Szabo-Reed, Amanda N.; Breslin, Florence J.; Lynch, Anthony M.; Patrician, Trisha M.; Martin, Laura E.; Lepping, Rebecca J.; Powell, Joshua N.; Yeh, Hung-Wen (Henry); Befort, Christie A.; Sullivan, Debra; Gibson, Cheryl; Washburn, Richard; Donnelly, Joseph E.; Savage, Cary R.

    2015-01-01

    Obesity rates are associated with public health consequences and rising health care costs. Weight loss interventions, while effective, do not work for everyone, and weight regain is a significant problem. Eating behavior is influenced by a convergence of processes in the brain, including homeostatic factors and motivational processing that are important contributors to overeating. Initial neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions that respond differently to visual food cues in obese and healthy weight individuals that are positively correlated with reports of hunger in obese participants. While these findings provide mechanisms of overeating, many important questions remain. It is not known whether brain activation patterns change after weight loss, or if they change differentially based on amount of weight lost. Also, little is understood regarding biological processes that contribute to long-term weight maintenance. This study will use neuroimaging in participants while viewing food and non-food images. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging will take place before and after completion of a twelve-week weight loss intervention. Obese participants will be followed though a 6-month maintenance period. The study will address three aims: 1. Characterize brain activation underlying food motivation and impulsive behaviors in obese individuals. 2. Identify brain activation changes and predictors of weight loss. 3. Identify brain activation predictors of weight loss maintenance. Findings from this study will have implications for understanding mechanisms of obesity, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Results will be significant to public health and could lead to a better understanding of how differences in brain activation relate to obesity. PMID:25533729

  5. Brain function predictors and outcome of weight loss and weight loss maintenance.

    PubMed

    Szabo-Reed, Amanda N; Breslin, Florence J; Lynch, Anthony M; Patrician, Trisha M; Martin, Laura E; Lepping, Rebecca J; Powell, Joshua N; Yeh, Hung-Wen Henry; Befort, Christie A; Sullivan, Debra; Gibson, Cheryl; Washburn, Richard; Donnelly, Joseph E; Savage, Cary R

    2015-01-01

    Obesity rates are associated with public health consequences and rising health care costs. Weight loss interventions, while effective, do not work for everyone, and weight regain is a significant problem. Eating behavior is influenced by a convergence of processes in the brain, including homeostatic factors and motivational processing that are important contributors to overeating. Initial neuroimaging studies have identified brain regions that respond differently to visual food cues in obese and healthy weight individuals that are positively correlated with reports of hunger in obese participants. While these findings provide mechanisms of overeating, many important questions remain. It is not known whether brain activation patterns change after weight loss, or if they change differentially based on amount of weight lost. Also, little is understood regarding biological processes that contribute to long-term weight maintenance. This study will use neuroimaging in participants while viewing food and non-food images. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging will take place before and after completion of a twelve-week weight loss intervention. Obese participants will be followed though a 6-month maintenance period. The study will address three aims: 1. Characterize brain activation underlying food motivation and impulsive behaviors in obese individuals. 2. Identify brain activation changes and predictors of weight loss. 3. Identify brain activation predictors of weight loss maintenance. Findings from this study will have implications for understanding mechanisms of obesity, weight loss, and weight maintenance. Results will be significant to public health and could lead to a better understanding of how differences in brain activation relate to obesity.

  6. On the effects of testosterone on brain behavioral functions

    PubMed Central

    Celec, Peter; Ostatníková, Daniela; Hodosy, Július

    2015-01-01

    Testosterone influences the brain via organizational and activational effects. Numerous relevant studies on rodents and a few on humans focusing on specific behavioral and cognitive parameters have been published. The results are, unfortunately, controversial and puzzling. Dosing, timing, even the application route seem to considerably affect the outcomes. In addition, the methods used for the assessment of psychometric parameters are a bit less than ideal regarding their validity and reproducibility. Metabolism of testosterone contributes to the complexity of its actions. Reduction to dihydrotestosterone by 5-alpha reductase increases the androgen activity; conversion to estradiol by aromatase converts the androgen to estrogen activity. Recently, the non-genomic effects of testosterone on behavior bypassing the nuclear receptors have attracted the interest of researchers. This review tries to summarize the current understanding of the complexity of the effects of testosterone on brain with special focus on their role in the known sex differences. PMID:25741229

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Andric, Michael; Hasson, Uri

    2015-01-01

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

  10. Network science and the human brain: Using graph theory to understand the brain and one of its hubs, the amygdala, in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Mears, David; Pollard, Harvey B

    2016-06-01

    Over the past 15 years, the emerging field of network science has revealed the key features of brain networks, which include small-world topology, the presence of highly connected hubs, and hierarchical modularity. The value of network studies of the brain is underscored by the range of network alterations that have been identified in neurological and psychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and many others. Here we briefly summarize the concepts of graph theory that are used to quantify network properties and describe common experimental approaches for analysis of brain networks of structural and functional connectivity. These range from tract tracing to functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography. We then summarize the major findings from the application of graph theory to nervous systems ranging from Caenorhabditis elegans to more complex primate brains, including man. Focusing, then, on studies involving the amygdala, a brain region that has attracted intense interest as a center for emotional processing, fear, and motivation, we discuss the features of the amygdala in brain networks for fear conditioning and emotional perception. Finally, to highlight the utility of graph theory for studying dysfunction of the amygdala in mental illness, we review data with regard to changes in the hub properties of the amygdala in brain networks of patients with depression. We suggest that network studies of the human brain may serve to focus attention on regions and connections that act as principal drivers and controllers of brain function in health and disease.

  11. Network science and the human brain: Using graph theory to understand the brain and one of its hubs, the amygdala, in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Mears, David; Pollard, Harvey B

    2016-06-01

    Over the past 15 years, the emerging field of network science has revealed the key features of brain networks, which include small-world topology, the presence of highly connected hubs, and hierarchical modularity. The value of network studies of the brain is underscored by the range of network alterations that have been identified in neurological and psychiatric disorders, including epilepsy, depression, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, and many others. Here we briefly summarize the concepts of graph theory that are used to quantify network properties and describe common experimental approaches for analysis of brain networks of structural and functional connectivity. These range from tract tracing to functional magnetic resonance imaging, diffusion tensor imaging, electroencephalography, and magnetoencephalography. We then summarize the major findings from the application of graph theory to nervous systems ranging from Caenorhabditis elegans to more complex primate brains, including man. Focusing, then, on studies involving the amygdala, a brain region that has attracted intense interest as a center for emotional processing, fear, and motivation, we discuss the features of the amygdala in brain networks for fear conditioning and emotional perception. Finally, to highlight the utility of graph theory for studying dysfunction of the amygdala in mental illness, we review data with regard to changes in the hub properties of the amygdala in brain networks of patients with depression. We suggest that network studies of the human brain may serve to focus attention on regions and connections that act as principal drivers and controllers of brain function in health and disease. PMID:26771046

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Peper, Martin

    2006-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Lowery, Laura Anne; Sive, Hazel

    2010-01-01

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

  16. Applications of spectral inversion to understanding vegetation functional trait relationships

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiklomanov, A. N.; Dietze, M.; Viskari, T.; Townsend, P. A.; Serbin, S.

    2015-12-01

    Spectral data from both field observations and remote sensing platforms are a rich source of information for studying plant traits. Traditional approaches to using spectral data for studying vegetation have proven effective in sensor-, site-, or plant type-specific settings, but differences in model assumptions and failure to account for uncertainties have hindered efforts to synthesize observations from different sources and use spectral data in a predictive capacity. Here we present a novel approach that uses Bayesian inversion of the PROSPECT 5 leaf radiative transfer model (RTM) to investigate the ability of spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits. First, we validated our method by comparing inversion results to independent measurements of relevant leaf structural and biochemical parameters. Second, we tested the accuracy and precision of RTM parameter retrieval as a function of spectral resolution and quality by performing inversions on simulated observations for a variety of common remote sensing platforms. We observed predictable increases in parameter uncertainty and covariance with declining spectral resolution, but we also found that the measurement characteristics of all sensors are capable of providing information about at least some of the parameters of interest. Finally, we applied our inversion to a large database of field spectra and plant traits spanning tropical, temperate, and boreal forests, agricultural plots, arid shrublands, and tundra to identify dominant sources of variability and characterize trade-offs in plant functional traits. We found substantial intraspecific variability in traits and explored the extent to which this variability falls along the same axes as the interspecific leaf economics spectrum. Ultimately, our results show that Bayesian RTM inversion provides a powerful framework for using spectral data to inform our understanding of plant functional traits and how they are linked with ecosystem

  17. The Effect of Criticism on Functional Brain Connectivity and Associations with Neuroticism

    PubMed Central

    Servaas, Michelle Nadine; Riese, Harriëtte; Renken, Remco Jan; Marsman, Jan-Bernard Cornelis; Lambregs, Johan; Ormel, Johan; Aleman, André

    2013-01-01

    Neuroticism is a robust personality trait that constitutes a risk factor for psychopathology, especially anxiety disorders and depression. High neurotic individuals tend to be more self-critical and are overly sensitive to criticism by others. Hence, we used a novel resting-state paradigm to investigate the effect of criticism on functional brain connectivity and associations with neuroticism. Forty-eight participants completed the NEO Personality Inventory Revised (NEO-PI-R) to assess neuroticism. Next, we recorded resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) during two sessions. We manipulated the second session before scanning by presenting three standardized critical remarks through headphones, in which the subject was urged to please lie still in the scanner. A seed-based functional connectivity method and subsequent clustering were used to analyse the resting state data. Based on the reviewed literature related to criticism, we selected brain regions associated with self-reflective processing and stress-regulation as regions of interest. The findings showed enhanced functional connectivity between the clustered seed regions and brain areas involved in emotion processing and social cognition during the processing of criticism. Concurrently, functional connectivity was reduced between these clusters and brain structures related to the default mode network and higher-order cognitive control. Furthermore, individuals scoring higher on neuroticism showed altered functional connectivity between the clustered seed regions and brain areas involved in the appraisal, expression and regulation of negative emotions. These results may suggest that the criticized person is attempting to understand the beliefs, perceptions and feelings of the critic in order to facilitate flexible and adaptive social behavior. Furthermore, multiple aspects of emotion processing were found to be affected in individuals scoring higher on neuroticism during the processing of

  18. Reorganization of brain networks in aging: a review of functional connectivity studies

    PubMed Central

    Sala-Llonch, Roser; Bartrés-Faz, David; Junqué, Carme

    2015-01-01

    Healthy aging (HA) is associated with certain declines in cognitive functions, even in individuals that are free of any process of degenerative illness. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) has been widely used in order to link this age-related cognitive decline with patterns of altered brain function. A consistent finding in the fMRI literature is that healthy old adults present higher activity levels in some brain regions during the performance of cognitive tasks. This finding is usually interpreted as a compensatory mechanism. More recent approaches have focused on the study of functional connectivity, mainly derived from resting state fMRI, and have concluded that the higher levels of activity coexist with disrupted connectivity. In this review, we aim to provide a state-of-the-art description of the usefulness and the interpretations of functional brain connectivity in the context of HA. We first give a background that includes some basic aspects and methodological issues regarding functional connectivity. We summarize the main findings and the cognitive models that have been derived from task-activity studies, and we then review the findings provided by resting-state functional connectivity in HA. Finally, we suggest some future directions in this field of research. A common finding of the studies included is that older subjects present reduced functional connectivity compared to young adults. This reduced connectivity affects the main brain networks and explains age-related cognitive alterations. Remarkably, the default mode network appears as a highly compromised system in HA. Overall, the scenario given by both activity and connectivity studies also suggests that the trajectory of changes during task may differ from those observed during resting-state. We propose that the use of complex modeling approaches studying effective connectivity may help to understand context-dependent functional reorganizations in the aging process. PMID:26052298

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Alimović, Sonja; Mejaski-Bosnjak, Vlatka

    2011-01-01

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

  1. Structural and molecular brain sexual differences: A tool to understand sex differences in health and disease.

    PubMed

    Panzica, GianCarlo; Melcangi, Roberto C

    2016-08-01

    Sex differences are present both in the genotype and in the phenotype of all vertebrates, and they have been evidenced also within the central and peripheral nervous system. Earlier studies on brain sex differences suggested a relatively simple view based on (1) the presence of sexually dimorphic circuits in the hypothalamus (or in regions related to reproductive behaviors), (2) the action of gonadal hormones to masculinize the brain, and (3) the gonadal steroids' action to modulate gene transcription through nuclear receptors. These assumptions are today contradicted by the findings accumulated in the last 20 years. We know now that mechanisms determining sexual dimorphisms may vary according to location and species, and may involve several factors, as genes, epigenetic factors, gonadal hormones and neurosteroids. Sex differences were also revealed by epidemiological studies in several neural pathologies. This suggests that the approach to understand the genesis of these pathologies, should involve specific attention to interactions among genes, gonadal and brain-born steroid hormones, epigenetic and environmental factors. PMID:27113294

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

    PubMed

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

    2000-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Vaghela, Viratsinh; Kesavadas, Chandrasekharan; Thomas, Bejoy

    2010-01-01

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

  4. Mental retardation genes in drosophila: New approaches to understanding and treating developmental brain disorders.

    PubMed

    Restifo, Linda L

    2005-01-01

    Drosophila melanogaster is emerging as a valuable genetic model system for the study of mental retardation (MR). MR genes are remarkably similar between humans and fruit flies. Cognitive behavioral assays can detect reductions in learning and memory in flies with mutations in MR genes. Neuroanatomical methods, including some at single-neuron resolution, are helping to reveal the cellular bases of faulty brain development caused by MR gene mutations. Drosophila fragile X mental retardation 1 (dfmr1) is the fly counterpart of the human gene whose malfunction causes fragile X syndrome. Research on the fly gene is leading the field in molecular mechanisms of the gene product's biological function and in pharmacological rescue of brain and behavioral phenotypes. Future work holds the promise of using genetic pathway analysis and primary neuronal culture methods in Drosophila as tools for drug discovery for a wide range of MR and related disorders. PMID:16240406

  5. Bilingualism, brain injury, and recovery: implications for understanding the bilingual and for therapy.

    PubMed

    Marrero, Madelin Z; Golden, Charles J; Espe-Pfeifer, Patricia

    2002-04-01

    Psychologists and other therapists are seeing an increasingly large number of bilingual individuals. Such clients are a special challenge when there has been some type of brain injury or disease because of the seemingly unpredictable effect such disorders may have on language skills, impacting either or both of the client's languages and interfering with internal speech that plays a role in higher cognitive functions such as insight and awareness. While there are many clinical assumptions about which language will show the least impairment or recover the best, such suppositions based on clinical lore are often contradictory. A review of the literature finds that the outcome of brain injury may be influenced by factors such as cerebral representation of a secondary language, method of language acquisition, age of acquisition, premorbid language proficiency, and style of learning in an individual. Neuropsychological concepts that can explain these findings are examined, along with their implications for therapy, and rehabilitation.

  6. Multifaceted Genomic Risk for Brain Function in Schizophrenia

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Integrative Understanding of Emergent Brain Properties, Quantum Brain Hypotheses, and Connectome Alterations in Dementia are Key Challenges to Conquer Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Kuljiš, Rodrigo O.

    2010-01-01

    The biological substrate for cognition remains a challenge as much as defining this function of living beings. Here, we examine some of the difficulties to understand normal and disordered cognition in humans. We use aspects of Alzheimer's disease and related disorders to illustrate how the wealth of information at many conceptually separate, even intellectually decoupled, physical scales – in particular at the Molecular Neuroscience versus Systems Neuroscience/Neuropsychology levels – presents a challenge in terms of true interdisciplinary integration towards a coherent understanding. These unresolved dilemmas include critically the as yet untested quantum brain hypothesis, and the embryonic attempts to develop and define the so-called connectome in humans and in non-human models of disease. To mitigate these challenges, we propose a scheme incorporating the vast array of scales of the space and time (space–time) manifold from at least the subatomic through cognitive-behavioral dimensions of inquiry, to achieve a new understanding of both normal and disordered cognition, that is essential for a new era of progress in the Generative Sciences and its application to translational efforts for disease prevention and treatment. PMID:21188254

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Min-Seok; Kim, Jae-Joong

    2015-01-01

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

  9. Wearable 3-D Photoacoustic Tomography for Functional Brain Imaging in Behaving Rats

    PubMed Central

    Tang, Jianbo; Coleman, Jason E.; Dai, Xianjin; Jiang, Huabei

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the relationship between brain function and behavior remains a major challenge in neuroscience. Photoacoustic tomography (PAT) is an emerging technique that allows for noninvasive in vivo brain imaging at micrometer-millisecond spatiotemporal resolution. In this article, a novel, miniaturized 3D wearable PAT (3D-wPAT) technique is described for brain imaging in behaving rats. 3D-wPAT has three layers of fully functional acoustic transducer arrays. Phantom imaging experiments revealed that the in-plane X-Y spatial resolutions were ~200 μm for each acoustic detection layer. The functional imaging capacity of 3D-wPAT was demonstrated by mapping the cerebral oxygen saturation via multi-wavelength irradiation in behaving hyperoxic rats. In addition, we demonstrated that 3D-wPAT could be used for monitoring sensory stimulus-evoked responses in behaving rats by measuring hemodynamic responses in the primary visual cortex during visual stimulation. Together, these results show the potential of 3D-wPAT for brain study in behaving rodents. PMID:27146026

  10. Evaluation of sliding window correlation performance for characterizing dynamic functional connectivity and brain states.

    PubMed

    Shakil, Sadia; Lee, Chin-Hui; Keilholz, Shella Dawn

    2016-06-01

    A promising recent development in the study of brain function is the dynamic analysis of resting-state functional MRI scans, which can enhance understanding of normal cognition and alterations that result from brain disorders. One widely used method of capturing the dynamics of functional connectivity is sliding window correlation (SWC). However, in the absence of a "gold standard" for comparison, evaluating the performance of the SWC in typical resting-state data is challenging. This study uses simulated networks (SNs) with known transitions to examine the effects of parameters such as window length, window offset, window type, noise, filtering, and sampling rate on the SWC performance. The SWC time course was calculated for all node pairs of each SN and then clustered using the k-means algorithm to determine how resulting brain states match known configurations and transitions in the SNs. The outcomes show that the detection of state transitions and durations in the SWC is most strongly influenced by the window length and offset, followed by noise and filtering parameters. The effect of the image sampling rate was relatively insignificant. Tapered windows provide less sensitivity to state transitions than rectangular windows, which could be the result of the sharp transitions in the SNs. Overall, the SWC gave poor estimates of correlation for each brain state. Clustering based on the SWC time course did not reliably reflect the underlying state transitions unless the window length was comparable to the state duration, highlighting the need for new adaptive window analysis techniques. PMID:26952197

  11. Multiscale topological properties of functional brain networks during motor imagery after stroke.

    PubMed

    De Vico Fallani, Fabrizio; Pichiorri, Floriana; Morone, Giovanni; Molinari, Marco; Babiloni, Fabio; Cincotti, Febo; Mattia, Donatella

    2013-12-01

    In recent years, network analyses have been used to evaluate brain reorganization following stroke. However, many studies have often focused on single topological scales, leading to an incomplete model of how focal brain lesions affect multiple network properties simultaneously and how changes on smaller scales influence those on larger scales. In an EEG-based experiment on the performance of hand motor imagery (MI) in 20 patients with unilateral stroke, we observed that the anatomic lesion affects the functional brain network on multiple levels. In the beta (13-30 Hz) frequency band, the MI of the affected hand (Ahand) elicited a significantly lower smallworldness and local efficiency (Eloc) versus the unaffected hand (Uhand). Notably, the abnormal reduction in Eloc significantly depended on the increase in interhemispheric connectivity, which was in turn determined primarily by the rise of regional connectivity in the parieto-occipital sites of the affected hemisphere. Further, in contrast to the Uhand MI, in which significantly high connectivity was observed for the contralateral sensorimotor regions of the unaffected hemisphere, the regions with increased connectivity during the Ahand MI lay in the frontal and parietal regions of the contralaterally affected hemisphere. Finally, the overall sensorimotor function of our patients, as measured by Fugl-Meyer Assessment (FMA) index, was significantly predicted by the connectivity of their affected hemisphere. These results improve on our understanding of stroke-induced alterations in functional brain networks.

  12. A study on small-world brain functional networks altered by postherpetic neuralgia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yue; Liu, Jing; Li, Longchuan; Du, Minyi; Fang, Wenxue; Wang, Dongxin; Jiang, Xuexiang; Hu, Xiaoping; Zhang, Jue; Wang, Xiaoying; Fang, Jing

    2014-05-01

    Understanding the effect of postherpetic neuralgia (PHN) pain on brain activity is important for clinical strategies. This is the first study, to our knowledge, to relate PHN pain to small-world properties of brain functional networks. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to construct functional brain networks of the subjects during the resting state. Sixteen patients with PHN pain and 16 (8 males, 8 females for both groups) age-matched controls were studied. The PHN patients exhibited decreased local efficiency along with non-significant changes of global efficiency in comparison with the healthy controls. Moreover, regional nodal efficiency was found to be significantly affected by PHN pain in the areas related to sense (postcentral gyrus, inferior parietal gyrus and thalamus), memory/affective processes (parahippocampal gyrus) and emotional activities (putamen). Significant correlation (p<0.05) was also found between the nodal efficiency of putamen and pain intensity in PHN patients. Our results suggest that PHN modulates the local efficiency, and the small-world properties of brain networks may have potentials to objectively evaluate pain information in clinic.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-01

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

  14. Do You Know What I Mean? Brain Oscillations and the Understanding of Communicative Intentions

    PubMed Central

    Brunetti, Marcella; Zappasodi, Filippo; Marzetti, Laura; Perrucci, Mauro Gianni; Cirillo, Simona; Romani, Gian Luca; Pizzella, Vittorio; Aureli, Tiziana

    2014-01-01

    Pointing gesture allows children to communicate their intentions before the acquisition of language. In particular, two main purposes seem to underlie the gesture: to request a desired object (imperative pointing) or to share attention on that object (declarative pointing). Since the imperative pointing has an instrumental goal and the declarative has an interpersonal one, only the latter gesture is thought to signal the infant’s awareness of the communicative partner as a mental agent. The present study examined the neural responses of adult subjects with the aim to test the hypothesis that declarative rather than imperative pointing reflects mentalizing skills. Fourteen subjects were measured in a magnetoencephalographic environment including four conditions, based on the goal of the pointing – imperative or declarative – and the role of the subject – sender or receiver of pointing. Time–frequency modulations of brain activity in each condition (declarative production and comprehension, imperative production and comprehension) were analyzed. Both low beta and high beta power were stronger during declarative than imperative condition in anterior cingulated cortex and right posterior superior temporal sulcus, respectively. Furthermore, high gamma activity was higher in right temporo-parietal junction during the sender than receiving condition. This suggests that communicative pointing modulated brain regions previously described in neuroimaging research as linked to social cognitive skills and that declarative pointing is more capable of eliciting that activation than imperative. Our results contribute to the understanding of the roles of brain rhythm dynamics in social cognition, thus supporting neural research on that topic during developmental both in typical and atypical conditions, such as autism spectrum disorder. In particular, the identification of relevant regions in a mature brain may stimulate a future work on the developmental changes of

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Heritability of human brain functioning as assessed by electroencephalography

    SciTech Connect

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

    1996-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

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

  19. The current structural and functional understanding of APOBEC deaminases.

    PubMed

    Bransteitter, Ronda; Prochnow, Courtney; Chen, Xiaojiang S

    2009-10-01

    The apolipoprotein B mRNA-editing enzyme catalytic polypeptide (APOBEC) family of cytidine deaminases has emerged as an intensively studied field as a result of their important biological functions. These enzymes are involved in lipid metabolism, antibody diversification, and the inhibition of retrotransposons, retroviruses, and some DNA viruses. The APOBEC proteins function in these roles by deaminating single-stranded (ss) DNA or RNA. There are two high-resolution crystal structures available for the APOBEC family, Apo2 and the C-terminal catalytic domain (CD2) of Apo3G or Apo3G-CD2 [Holden et al. (Nature 456:121-124, 2008); Prochnow et al. (Nature 445:447-451, 2007)]. Additionally, the structure of Apo3G-CD2 has also been determined using NMR [Chen et al. (Nature 452:116-119, 2008); Furukawa et al. (EMBO J 28:440-451, 2009); Harjes et al. (J Mol Biol, 2009)]. A detailed structural analysis of the APOBEC proteins and a comparison to other zinc-coordinating deaminases can facilitate our understanding of how APOBEC proteins bind nucleic acids, recognize substrates, and form oligomers. Here, we review the recent development of structural and functional studies that apply to Apo3G as well as the APOBEC deaminase family. PMID:19547914

  20. Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on Autonomic Function.

    PubMed

    Basiago, Adam; Binder, Devin K

    2016-01-01

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

  1. Effects of Deep Brain Stimulation on Autonomic Function

    PubMed Central

    Basiago, Adam; Binder, Devin K.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Neuroimaging Studies of Normal Brain Development and Their Relevance for Understanding Childhood Neuropsychiatric Disorders

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Marsh, Rachel; Gerber, Andrew J.; Peterson, Bradley S.

    2008-01-01

    Neuroimaging findings which identify normal brain development trajectories are presented. Results show that early brain development begins with the neural tube formation and ends with myelintation. How disturbances in brain development patterns are related to childhood psychiatric disorders is examined.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. A systematic review of the evidence that brain structure is related to muscle structure and their relationship to brain and muscle function in humans over the lifecourse

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background An association between cognition and physical function has been shown to exist but the roles of muscle and brain structure in this relationship are not fully understood. A greater understanding of these relationships may lead to identification of the underlying mechanisms in this important area of research. This systematic review examines the evidence for whether: a) brain structure is related to muscle structure; b) brain structure is related to muscle function; and c) brain function is related to muscle structure in healthy children and adults. Methods Medline, Embase, CINAHL and PsycINFO were searched on March 6th 2014. A grey literature search was performed using Google and Google Scholar. Hand searching through citations and references of relevant articles was also undertaken. Results 53 articles were included in the review; mean age of the subjects ranged from 8.8 to 85.5 years old. There is evidence of a positive association between both whole brain volume and white matter (WM) volume and muscle size. Total grey matter (GM) volume was not associated with muscle size but some areas of regional GM volume were associated with muscle size (right temporal pole and bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex). No evidence was found of a relationship between grip strength and whole brain volume however there was some evidence of a positive association with WM volume. Conversely, there is evidence that gait speed is positively associated with whole brain volume; this relationship may be driven by total WM volume or regional GM volumes, specifically the hippocampus. Markers of brain ageing, that is brain atrophy and greater accumulation of white matter hyperintensities (WMH), were associated with grip strength and gait speed. The location of WMH is important for gait speed; periventricular hyperintensities and brainstem WMH are associated with gait speed but subcortical WMH play less of a role. Cognitive function does not appear to be associated with muscle

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

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2002-02-28

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

  9. [Genetic and brain structure anomalies in autism spectrum disorders. Towards an understanding of the aetiopathogenesis?].

    PubMed

    Nickl-Jockschat, T; Michel, T M

    2011-05-01

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are pervasive development disorders with high heritability and an as yet unclear aetiology. So far molecular genetic research was able to identify several candidate genes for the disorder which are functionally linked to neurotransmission and neuronal migration, cortical organisation and synaptic plasticity. MRI studies repeatedly showed a higher total brain volume for ASD patients. The volume increase was most pronounced for the frontal and the temporal lobes and peaked in early childhood. A combination of molecular genetic and structural imaging research appears promising for a further characterization of ASD aetiology.

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  11. Distinct resting-state brain activity in patients with functional constipation.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Qiang; Cai, Weiwei; Zheng, Jianyong; Li, Guanya; Meng, Qianqian; Liu, Qiaoyun; Zhao, Jizheng; von Deneen, Karen M; Wang, Yuanyuan; Cui, Guangbin; Duan, Shijun; Han, Yu; Wang, Huaning; Tian, Jie; Zhang, Yi; Nie, Yongzhan

    2016-10-01

    Functional constipation (FC) is a common functional gastrointestinal disorder (FGID) with a higher prevalence in clinical practice. The primary brain regions involved in emotional arousal regulation, somatic, sensory and motor control processing have been identified with neuroimaging in FGID. It remains unclear how these factors interact to influence the baseline brain activity of patients with FC. In the current study, we combined resting-state fMRI (RS-fMRI) with Granger causality analysis (GCA) to investigate the causal interactions of the brain areas in 14 patients with FC and in 26 healthy controls (HC). Our data showed significant differences in baseline brain activities in a number of major brain regions implicated in emotional process modulation (i.e. dorsal anterior cingulate cortex-dACC, anterior insula-aINS, orbitofrontal cortex-OFC, hippocampus-HIPP), somatic and sensory processing, and motor control (i.e., supplementary motor area-SMA, precentral gyrus-PreCen) (P<0.05, FDR correction). The GCA results revealed stronger effective connectivity from the OFC and dACC, which are regions involved with emotional regulation, propel limbic regions at the aINS and HIPP to induce abnormal emotional processing regulating visceral responses; and weaker effective connectivity from the SMA and PreCen, which are regions involved with somatic, sensory and motor control, propel the aINS and HIPP, suggesting abnormalities of sensory and behavioral responses. Such information of basal level functional abnormalities expands our current understanding of neural mechanisms underlying functional constipation.

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

    PubMed Central

    Hlinka, Jaroslav; Coombes, Stephen

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Herbst, Eric AF; Holloway, Graham P

    2015-01-01

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

  14. What are the functions of fish brain pallium?

    PubMed

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

    2009-08-14

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  16. Bisphenol A Interaction With Brain Development and Functions

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Mitochondrial activity and brain functions during cortical depolarization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayevsky, Avraham; Sonn, Judith

    2008-12-01

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

  18. Ouabain Improves Functional Recovery following Traumatic Brain Injury

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Noguchi, Noriko; Saito, Yoshiro; Urano, Yasuomi

    2014-04-11

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-15

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

  5. Functional brain networks: great expectations, hard times and the big leap forward

    PubMed Central

    Papo, David; Zanin, Massimiliano; Pineda-Pardo, José Angel; Boccaletti, Stefano; Buldú, Javier M.

    2014-01-01

    Many physical and biological systems can be studied using complex network theory, a new statistical physics understanding of graph theory. The recent application of complex network theory to the study of functional brain networks has generated great enthusiasm as it allows addressing hitherto non-standard issues in the field, such as efficiency of brain functioning or vulnerability to damage. However, in spite of its high degree of generality, the theory was originally designed to describe systems profoundly different from the brain. We discuss some important caveats in the wholesale application of existing tools and concepts to a field they were not originally designed to describe. At the same time, we argue that complex network theory has not yet been taken full advantage of, as many of its important aspects are yet to make their appearance in the neuroscience literature. Finally, we propose that, rather than simply borrowing from an existing theory, functional neural networks can inspire a fundamental reformulation of complex network theory, to account for its exquisitely complex functioning mode. PMID:25180303

  6. Functional brain networks: great expectations, hard times and the big leap forward.

    PubMed

    Papo, David; Zanin, Massimiliano; Pineda-Pardo, José Angel; Boccaletti, Stefano; Buldú, Javier M

    2014-10-01

    Many physical and biological systems can be studied using complex network theory, a new statistical physics understanding of graph theory. The recent application of complex network theory to the study of functional brain networks has generated great enthusiasm as it allows addressing hitherto non-standard issues in the field, such as efficiency of brain functioning or vulnerability to damage. However, in spite of its high degree of generality, the theory was originally designed to describe systems profoundly different from the brain. We discuss some important caveats in the wholesale application of existing tools and concepts to a field they were not originally designed to describe. At the same time, we argue that complex network theory has not yet been taken full advantage of, as many of its important aspects are yet to make their appearance in the neuroscience literature. Finally, we propose that, rather than simply borrowing from an existing theory, functional neural networks can inspire a fundamental reformulation of complex network theory, to account for its exquisitely complex functioning mode.

  7. Integrating functional brain neuroimaging and developmental cognitive neuroscience in child psychiatry research

    PubMed Central

    Pavuluri, Mani N; Sweeney, John A

    2009-01-01

    Objective To provide an overview of clinical research aiming to develop a mechanistic understanding of brain dysfunction in child psychiatric disorders. Method Technological, conceptual and translational approaches relevant to the investigation of brain function in pediatric psychiatric illnesses are explored. Research in the area of pediatric bipolar disorder is used as a prototypic model illustrating the use of complementary techniques of functional magnetic neuroimaging and neurocognitive studies to identify abnormalities in neural circuitry function. Results Studies of bipolar youth indicate impairment in cognitive and affective neural systems and in the interface of these two circuits. This evolving field paves a future pathway for identifying diagnostic biomarkers for the disorder, providing tools for monitoring response to pharmacotherapy, examining illness-associated alterations in developmental trajectory, and facilitating the use of animal research for guiding the development of novel treatment strategies. Conclusion Studies of brain function in child psychiatry are establishing a platform of knowledge and methods that offer promise for revolutionizing both models of illness pathophysiology as well as future diagnostic and therapeutic practice. PMID:18827719

  8. Crossed-Brain Representation of Verbal and Nonverbal Functions

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that "there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies" to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only

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

    PubMed

    Kim, Junghi; Pan, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) and other technologies have been offering evidence and insights showing that altered brain functional networks are associated with neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. Exploring brain networks of clinical populations compared to those of controls would be a key inquiry to reveal underlying neurological processes related to such illnesses. For such a purpose, group-level inference is a necessary first step in order to establish whether there are any genuinely disrupted brain subnetworks. Such an analysis is also challenging due to the high dimensionality of the parameters in a network model and high noise levels in neuroimaging data. We are still in the early stage of method development as highlighted by Varoquaux and Craddock (2013) that "there is currently no unique solution, but a spectrum of related methods and analytical strategies" to learn and compare brain connectivity. In practice the important issue of how to choose several critical parameters in estimating a network, such as what association measure to use and what is the sparsity of the estimated network, has not been carefully addressed, largely because the answers are unknown yet. For example, even though the choice of tuning parameters in model estimation has been extensively discussed in the literature, as to be shown here, an optimal choice of a parameter for network estimation may not be optimal in the current context of hypothesis testing. Arbitrarily choosing or mis-specifying such parameters may lead to extremely low-powered tests. Here we develop highly adaptive tests to detect group differences in brain connectivity while accounting for unknown optimal choices of some tuning parameters. The proposed tests combine statistical evidence against a null hypothesis from multiple sources across a range of plausible tuning parameter values reflecting uncertainty with the unknown truth. These highly adaptive tests are not only

  11. Changes in brain functional network connectivity after stroke.

    PubMed

    Li, Wei; Li, Yapeng; Zhu, Wenzhen; Chen, Xi

    2014-01-01

    Studies have shown that functional network connection models can be used to study brain network changes in patients with schizophrenia. In this study, we inferred that these models could also be used to explore functional network connectivity changes in stroke patients. We used independent component analysis to find the motor areas of stroke patients, which is a novel way to determine these areas. In this study, we collected functional magnetic resonance imaging datasets from healthy controls and right-handed stroke patients following their first ever stroke. Using independent component analysis, six spatially independent components highly correlated to the experimental paradigm were extracted. Then, the functional network connectivity of both patients and controls was established to observe the differences between them. The results showed that there were 11 connections in the model in the stroke patients, while there were only four connections in the healthy controls. Further analysis found that some damaged connections may be compensated for by new indirect connections or circuits produced after stroke. These connections may have a direct correlation with the degree of stroke rehabilitation. Our findings suggest that functional network connectivity in stroke patients is more complex than that in hea-lthy controls, and that there is a compensation loop in the functional network following stroke. This implies that functional network reorganization plays a very important role in the process of rehabilitation after stroke. PMID:25206743

  12. How Should Educational Neuroscience Conceptualise the Relation between Cognition and Brain Function? Mathematical Reasoning as a Network Process

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Varma, Sashank; Schwartz, Daniel L.

    2008-01-01

    Background: There is increasing interest in applying neuroscience findings to topics in education. Purpose: This application requires a proper conceptualization of the relation between cognition and brain function. This paper considers two such conceptualizations. The area focus understands each cognitive competency as the product of one (and only…

  13. Reward from bugs to bipeds: a comparative approach to understanding how reward circuits function.

    PubMed

    Scaplen, Kristin M; Kaun, Karla R

    2016-06-01

    In a complex environment, animals learn from their responses to stimuli and events. Appropriate response to reward and punishment can promote survival, reproduction and increase evolutionary fitness. Interestingly, the neural processes underlying these responses are remarkably similar across phyla. In all species, dopamine is central to encoding reward and directing motivated behaviors, however, a comprehensive understanding of how circuits encode reward and direct motivated behaviors is still lacking. In part, this is a result of the sheer diversity of neurons, the heterogeneity of their responses and the complexity of neural circuits within which they are found. We argue that general features of reward circuitry are common across model organisms, and thus principles learned from invertebrate model organisms can inform research across species. In particular, we discuss circuit motifs that appear to be functionally equivalent from flies to primates. We argue that a comparative approach to studying and understanding reward circuit function provides a more comprehensive understanding of reward circuitry, and informs disorders that affect the brain's reward circuitry. PMID:27328845

  14. Dissociations between behavioural and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based evaluations of cognitive function after brain injury.

    PubMed

    Bardin, Jonathan C; Fins, Joseph J; Katz, Douglas I; Hersh, Jennifer; Heier, Linda A; Tabelow, Karsten; Dyke, Jonathan P; Ballon, Douglas J; Schiff, Nicholas D; Voss, Henning U

    2011-03-01

    Functional neuroimaging methods hold promise for the identification of cognitive function and communication capacity in some severely brain-injured patients who may not retain sufficient motor function to demonstrate their abilities. We studied seven severely brain-injured patients and a control group of 14 subjects using a novel hierarchical functional magnetic resonance imaging assessment utilizing mental imagery responses. Whereas the control group showed consistent and accurate (for communication) blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses without exception, the brain-injured subjects showed a wide variation in the correlation of blood-oxygen-level-dependent responses and overt behavioural responses. Specifically, the brain-injured subjects dissociated bedside and functional magnetic resonance imaging-based command following and communication capabilities. These observations reveal significant challenges in developing validated functional magnetic resonance imaging-based methods for clinical use and raise interesting questions about underlying brain function assayed using these methods in brain-injured subjects.

  15. Invited commentary: understanding brain mechanisms of pain processing in adolescents' non-suicidal self-injury.

    PubMed

    Ballard, Elizabeth; Bosk, Abigail; Pao, Maryland

    2010-04-01

    Whereas non-suicidal self injury (NSSI) is reported in 13-23% of adolescents and is an increasingly studied topic, there has been little investigation into the pathophysiology behind self-injury. This commentary examines recent research into pain and emotional distress to discuss implications for the manner we should understand, research, and treat NSSI in the future. Research indicates that adolescents may be particularly vulnerable to NSSI behaviors due to neurodevelopmental changes in the processing of distress and pain. Additionally, emotional distress and physical pain neural pathways may have been altered in these individuals, leading to the development of NSSI behaviors during adolescence when changes in ongoing brain development may lead to further emotional dysregulation and poor impulse control. Further studies that directly characterize the relationship between emotional distress and physical pain in adolescence, as well as the neural differences between self-injurers and non-self-injurers, are needed.

  16. Toxoplasma on the Brain: Understanding Host-Pathogen Interactions in Chronic CNS Infection

    PubMed Central

    Kamerkar, Sushrut; Davis, Paul H.

    2012-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii is a prevalent obligate intracellular parasite which chronically infects more than a third of the world's population. Key to parasite prevalence is its ability to form chronic and nonimmunogenic bradyzoite cysts, which typically form in the brain and muscle cells of infected mammals, including humans. While acute clinical infection typically involves neurological and/or ocular damage, chronic infection has been more recently linked to behavioral changes. Establishment and maintenance of chronic infection involves a balance between the host immunity and parasite evasion of the immune response. Here, we outline the known cellular interplay between Toxoplasma gondii and cells of the central nervous system and review the reported effects of Toxoplasma gondii on behavior and neurological disease. Finally, we review new technologies which will allow us to more fully understand host-pathogen interactions. PMID:22545203

  17. Altered functional-structural coupling of large-scale brain networks in idiopathic generalized epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Zhiqiang; Liao, Wei; Chen, Huafu; Mantini, Dante; Ding, Ju-Rong; Xu, Qiang; Wang, Zhengge; Yuan, Cuiping; Chen, Guanghui; Jiao, Qing; Lu, Guangming

    2011-10-01

    suggest that the decoupling of functional and structural connectivity may reflect the progress of long-term impairment in idiopathic generalized epilepsy, and may be used as a potential biomarker to detect subtle brain abnormalities in epilepsy. Overall, our results demonstrate for the first time that idiopathic generalized epilepsy is reflected in a disrupted topological organization in large-scale brain functional and structural networks, thus providing valuable information for better understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of generalized tonic-clonic seizures.

  18. A Self-Study Tutorial using the Allen Brain Explorer and Brain Atlas to Teach Concepts of Mammalian Neuroanatomy and Brain Function.

    PubMed

    Jenks, Bruce G

    2009-01-01

    The Allen Brain Atlas is a repository of neuroanatomical data concerning the mouse brain. The core of the database is a Nissl-stained reference atlas of the brain accompanied by in situ hybridization data for essentially the entire mouse genome. This database is freely available at the Allen Institute for Brain Science website, as is an innovative tool to explore the database, the Brain Explorer. This tool is downloaded and installed on your own computer. I have developed a self-study tutorial, "Explorations with the Allen Brain Explorer", which uses the Brain Explorer and the Brain Atlas to teach fundamentals of mammalian neuroanatomy and brain function. In this tutorial background information and step-by-step exercises on the use of the Brain Explorer are given using PowerPoint as a platform. To do the tutorial both the PowerPoint and the Brain Explorer are opened on the computer and the students switch from one program to the other as they go, in a step-wise fashion, through the various exercises. There are two main groups of exercises, titled "The Basics" and "Explorations", with both groups accessed from a PowerPoint "Start Menu" by clicking on dynamic links to the appr