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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. Toward Technical Understanding. Part 1: Brain Structure and Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Haile, J. M.

    1997-01-01

    Argues that there are many kinds of understanding and many ways to reach these different understandings. Suggests that this is the reason why articulating general rules that can consistently lead to understanding is difficult. Discusses the relationship between brain structure and learning. (DDR)

  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. 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.

  6. 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].

  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

    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.

  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. PMID:27695409

  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. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Mouse Blood-Brain Barrier Transcriptome: A New Resource for Understanding the Development and Function of Brain Endothelial Cells

    PubMed Central

    Daneman, Richard; Zhou, Lu; Agalliu, Dritan; Cahoy, John D.; Kaushal, Amit; Barres, Ben A.

    2010-01-01

    The blood-brain barrier (BBB) maintains brain homeostasis and limits the entry of toxins and pathogens into the brain. Despite its importance, little is known about the molecular mechanisms regulating the development and function of this crucial barrier. In this study we have developed methods to highly purify and gene profile endothelial cells from different tissues, and by comparing the transcriptional profile of brain endothelial cells with those purified from the liver and lung, we have generated a comprehensive resource of transcripts that are enriched in the BBB forming endothelial cells of the brain. Through this comparison we have identified novel tight junction proteins, transporters, metabolic enzymes, signaling components, and unknown transcripts whose expression is enriched in central nervous system (CNS) endothelial cells. This analysis has identified that RXRalpha signaling cascade is specifically enriched at the BBB, implicating this pathway in regulating this vital barrier. This dataset provides a resource for understanding CNS endothelial cells and their interaction with neural and hematogenous cells. PMID:21060791

  14. Understanding brain networks and brain organization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pessoa, Luiz

    2014-09-01

    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. However, 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. Multimodal magnetic resonance imaging: The coordinated use of multiple, mutually informative probes to understand brain structure and function.

    PubMed

    Hao, Xuejun; Xu, Dongrong; Bansal, Ravi; Dong, Zhengchao; Liu, Jun; Wang, Zhishun; Kangarlu, Alayar; Liu, Feng; Duan, Yunsuo; Shova, Satie; Gerber, Andrew J; Peterson, Bradley S

    2013-02-01

    Differing imaging modalities provide unique channels of information to probe differing aspects of the brain's structural or functional organization. In combination, differing modalities provide complementary and mutually informative data about tissue organization that is more than their sum. We acquired and spatially coregistered data in four MRI modalities--anatomical MRI, functional MRI, diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS)--from 20 healthy adults to understand how interindividual variability in measures from one modality account for variability in measures from other modalities at each voxel of the brain. We detected significant correlations of local volumes with the magnitude of functional activation, suggesting that underlying variation in local volumes contributes to individual variability in functional activation. We also detected significant inverse correlations of NAA (a putative measure of neuronal density and viability) with volumes of white matter in the frontal cortex, with DTI-based measures of tissue organization within the superior longitudinal fasciculus, and with the magnitude of functional activation and default-mode activity during simple visual and motor tasks, indicating that substantial variance in local volumes, white matter organization, and functional activation derives from an underlying variability in the number or density of neurons in those regions. Many of these imaging measures correlated with measures of intellectual ability within differing brain tissues and differing neural systems, demonstrating that the neural determinants of intellectual capacity involve numerous and disparate features of brain tissue organization, a conclusion that could be made with confidence only when imaging the same individuals with multiple MRI modalities.

  17. Computerized Electroencephalogram. A model of understanding the brain function in childhood psychosis and its treatment.

    PubMed

    Simeon, J; Itil, T M

    1975-09-01

    Computer analysis of the electroencephalogram (CEEG) in psychotic children before and after pharmacotherapy, normal children of schizophrenic mothers, and matched normal children of normal parents indicated significant intergroup differences. The psychotic children had more slow, as well as very fast, EEG waves. With drug therapy the EEG showed a partial "normalization," as fast EEG activity decreased. The EEG and auditory evoked potential of children of schizophrenic mothers were strikingly similar to those of psychotic children and schizophrenic adults, with significant decreases of the average EEG amplitude and the evoked potential latencies. Psychotic children were distinctly differentiated from the normal children by discriminant function analysis of the EEG and EP. Quantitative analysis of brain functions in the mentally ill can help determine the neurophysiological correlates of behavior, a more scientific diagnostic classification, prognosis, and selection of therapy.

  18. Task-switching Cost and Intrinsic Functional Connectivity in the Human Brain: Toward Understanding Individual Differences in Cognitive Flexibility

    PubMed Central

    Yin, Shouhang; Wang, Ting; Pan, Weigang; Liu, Yijun; Chen, Antao

    2015-01-01

    The human ability to flexibly alternate between tasks (i.e., task-switching) represents a critical component of cognitive control. Many functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies have explored the neural basis of the task-switching. However, no study to date has examined how individual differences in intrinsic functional architecture of the human brain are related to that of the task-switching. In the present study, we took 11 task-switching relevant areas from a meta-analysis study as the regions of interests (ROIs) and estimated their intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) with the whole brain. This procedure was repeated for 32 healthy adults based upon their fMRI scans during resting-state (rfMRI) to investigate the correlations between switching cost and the iFC strength across these participants. This analysis found that switch cost was negatively correlated with a set of iFC involved ROIs including left inferior frontal junction, bilateral superior posterior parietal cortex, left precuneus, bilateral inferior parietal lobule, right middle frontal gyrus and bilateral middle occipital gyrus. These connectivity profiles represent an intrinsic functional architecture of task-switching where the left inferior frontal junction plays a hub role in this brain-behavior association. These findings are highly reproducible in another validation independent sample and provide a novel perspective for understanding the neural basis of individual differences in task-switching behaviors reflected in the intrinsic architecture of the human brain. PMID:26716447

  19. Tumor Types: Understanding Brain Tumors

    MedlinePlus

    ... Resources Tools & Publications Tumor Types: Understanding Brain Tumors World Health Organization (WHO) Updates Official Classification of Tumors ... Central Nervous System On May 9, 2016, the World Health Organization (WHO) published an official reclassification of ...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Brain imaging and brain function

    SciTech Connect

    Sokoloff, L.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Brain Functioning Models for Learning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Tipps, Steve; And Others

    This paper describes three models of brain function, each of which contributes to an integrated understanding of human learning. The first model, the up-and-down model, emphasizes the interconnection between brain structures and functions, and argues that since physiological, emotional, and cognitive responses are inseparable, the learning context…

  4. Neural stem cells and neuro/gliogenesis in the central nervous system: understanding the structural and functional plasticity of the developing, mature, and diseased brain.

    PubMed

    Yamaguchi, Masahiro; Seki, Tatsunori; Imayoshi, Itaru; Tamamaki, Nobuaki; Hayashi, Yoshitaka; Tatebayashi, Yoshitaka; Hitoshi, Seiji

    2016-05-01

    Neurons and glia in the central nervous system (CNS) originate from neural stem cells (NSCs). Knowledge of the mechanisms of neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is fundamental to our understanding of how complex brain architecture and function develop. NSCs are present not only in the developing brain but also in the mature brain in adults. Adult neurogenesis likely provides remarkable plasticity to the mature brain. In addition, recent progress in basic research in mental disorders suggests an etiological link with impaired neuro/gliogenesis in particular brain regions. Here, we review the recent progress and discuss future directions in stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology by introducing several topics presented at a joint meeting of the Japanese Association of Anatomists and the Physiological Society of Japan in 2015. Collectively, these topics indicated that neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs is a common event occurring in many brain regions at various ages in animals. Given that significant structural and functional changes in cells and neural networks are accompanied by neuro/gliogenesis from NSCs and the integration of newly generated cells into the network, stem cell and neuro/gliogenesis biology provides a good platform from which to develop an integrated understanding of the structural and functional plasticity that underlies the development of the CNS, its remodeling in adulthood, and the recovery from diseases that affect it.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Emerging concepts of brain function.

    PubMed

    Bach-Y-Rita, Paul

    2005-06-01

    For over 40 years, since I first obtained evidence for nonsynaptic diffusion neurotransmission (most scientists call it Volume Transmission), I have been convinced that we scientists were ignoring organizational dynamics other than the mechanistic synaptic organization of the brain. For many years it was an uneasy feeling, since I was aware there are so many avenues to explore in brain function. I have wondered how much we scientists have ignored, in our quest to understand how the brain really works, due to our efforts to "be scientific". In addition to the difficulty of understanding how the brain functions, how could we even begin to explore the human experience? In this paper I will first discuss some emerging concepts of brain function. I will then comment on the development of concepts that have been a part of my own research experience.

  8. How structure shapes (dys)function: a perspective to understanding brain region-specific degeneration in prion disease.

    PubMed

    Sišková, Zuzana

    2013-01-01

    Structure is a key determinant of function, with the nervous system being no exception. For example, in the nervous system the physiological properties of different synapses may be understood by comparing their structures. However, it is not clear whether specific structural properties of some neurons might play a role in driving their selective removal during chronic neurodegeneration or whether the structural properties might underpin why particular types of synapses or other neuronal compartments are more susceptible to degeneration (i.e., become dysfunctional) in certain brain regions than in others. Our recent study of the ultrastructure of the hippocampus and the cerebellum revealed that early synaptic loss is not a ubiquitous event in a brain undergoing chronic neurodegeneration. The prominent structural differences in proximity of the synaptic environment that are brought about by a degree of synaptic ensheathment by glial cells may help explain why Purkinje cell synapses remain intact, while pyramidal cell synapses progressively degenerate. The intrinsic structural organization of the hippocampal neuropil could contribute to the susceptibility of synapses to extracellular protein misfolding by a relatively higher degree of synaptic exposure to the extracellular environment. We suggest that neuronal structure may determine more than function; it might also predict dysfunction.

  9. Brain function, disease and dementia.

    PubMed

    Sandilyan, Malarvizhi Babu; Dening, Tom

    2015-05-27

    Dementia is a consequence of brain disease. This article, the second in this series on dementia, discusses normal brain function and how certain functions are localised to different areas of the brain. This is important in determining the symptoms of dementia, depending on which parts of the brain are most directly involved. The most common types of dementia - Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia - affect the brain in different ways and cause different changes at the microscopic level. Dementia is affected by genetics, and recent advances in molecular techniques have improved our understanding of some of the mechanisms involved, which in turns suggests possibilities for new treatments in the future.

  10. 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

  11. Split Brain Functioning.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassel, Russell N.

    1978-01-01

    Summarizing recent research, this article defines the functions performed by the left and right sides of the human brain. Attention is given to the right side, or the nondominant side, of the brain and its potential in terms of perception of the environment, music, art, geometry, and the aesthetics. (JC)

  12. 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

  13. Modulating brain oscillations to drive brain function.

    PubMed

    Thut, Gregor

    2014-12-01

    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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Raichle, Marcus E.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. The 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

  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

    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. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Structure of brain functional networks.

    PubMed

    Kuchaiev, Oleksii; Wang, Po T; Nenadic, Zoran; Przulj, Natasa

    2009-01-01

    Brain is a complex network optimized both for segregated and distributed information processing. To perform cognitive tasks, different areas of the brain must "cooperate," thereby forming complex networks of interactions also known as brain functional networks. Previous studies have shown that these networks exhibit "small-world" characteristics. Small-world topology, however, is a general property of all brain functional networks and does not capture structural changes in these networks in response to different stimuli or cognitive tasks. Here we show how novel graph theoretic techniques can be utilized for precise analysis of brain functional networks. These techniques allow us to detect structural changes in brain functional networks in response to different stimuli or cognitive tasks. For certain types of cognitive tasks we have found that these networks exhibit geometric structure in addition to the small-world topology. The method has been applied to the electrocorticographic signals of six epileptic patients.

  3. 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

  4. Understanding brain, mind and soul: contributions from neurology and neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    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.

  5. 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

  6. Structure and function of large-scale brain systems.

    PubMed

    Koziol, Leonard F; Barker, Lauren A; Joyce, Arthur W; Hrin, Skip

    2014-01-01

    This article introduces the functional neuroanatomy of large-scale brain systems. Both the structure and functions of these brain networks are presented. All human behavior is the result of interactions within and between these brain systems. This system of brain function completely changes our understanding of how cognition and behavior are organized within the brain, replacing the traditional lesion model. Understanding behavior within the context of brain network interactions has profound implications for modifying abstract constructs such as attention, learning, and memory. These constructs also must be understood within the framework of a paradigm shift, which emphasizes ongoing interactions within a dynamically changing environment.

  7. Two views of brain function.

    PubMed

    Raichle, Marcus E

    2010-04-01

    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. Although such an approach has been remarkably productive, it ignores the alternative possibility that brain functions are mainly intrinsic, involving information processing for interpreting, responding to and predicting environmental demands. Here I argue 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. Recognizing the importance of 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.

  8. Brain, Mind and Language Functional Architectures

    PubMed Central

    Fingelkurts, Andrew A; Fingelkurts, Alexander A; Marchetti, Giorgio

    2010-01-01

    The interaction between brain and language has been investigated by a vast amount of research and different approaches, which however do not offer a comprehensive and unified theoretical framework to analyze how brain functioning performs the mental processes we use in producing language and in understanding speech. This Special Issue addresses the need to develop such a general theoretical framework, by fostering an interaction among the various scientific disciplines and methodologies, which centres on investigating the functional architecture of brain, mind and language, and is articulated along the following main dimensions of research: (a) Language as a regulatory contour of brain and mental processes; (b) Language as a unique human phenomenon; (c) Language as a governor of human behaviour and brain operations; (d) Language as an organizational factor of ontogenesis of mentation and behaviour. PMID:20922047

  9. 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?

  10. Students' Understanding of Trigonometric Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Weber, Keith

    2005-01-01

    In this article students' understanding of trigonometric functions in the context of two college trigonometry courses is investigated. The first course was taught by a professor unaffiliated with the study in a lecture-based course, while the second was taught using an experimental instruction paradigm based on Gray and Tall's (1994) notion of…

  11. [Physical activity and brain function].

    PubMed

    Kempermann, G

    2012-06-01

    Physical activity has direct and indirect effects on brain function in health and disease. Findings demonstrating that physical activity improves cognitive and non-cognitive functions and is preventive for several neuropsychiatric disorders have attracted particular interest. This short review focuses on sports and physical exercise in normal brain function and summarizes which mechanisms might underlie the observed effects, which methodological problems exist, which relationships exist to concepts of plasticity and neural reserves and what evolutionary relevance the initially surprising finding that physical exercise is good for the brain has.

  12. 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…

  13. Higher Brain Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Chiaia, N.L.; Teyler, T.J.

    1983-01-01

    Focuses on how learning works. Discusses three major components related to processing information--sensory and perceptual systems, integration of information, and output of information--and developmental and environmental factors affecting brain information in each of these areas. Concludes with discussion of biological bases for cognitive and…

  14. 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.

  15. Vitamin K and brain function.

    PubMed

    Ferland, Guylaine

    2013-11-01

    One of the fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin K was initially discovered for its role in blood coagulation. Although several vitamin K-dependent hemostatic proteins are particularly important for the brain, other vitamin K-dependent proteins (VKDPs), not associated with blood coagulation, also contribute to the brain function. In addition to the VKDPs, vitamin K participates in the nervous system through its involvement in sphingolipid metabolism, a class of lipids widely present in brain cell membranes. Classically known for their structural role, sphingolipids are biologically potent molecules involved in a wide range of cellular actions. Also, there is growing evidence that the K vitamer, menaquinone-4, has anti-inflammatory activity and offers protection against oxidative stress. Finally, although limited in numbers, reports point to a modulatory role of vitamin K in cognition. This short review presents an overview of the known role of vitamin K in brain function to date.

  16. Magnetic Resonance, Functional (fMRI) -- Brain

    MedlinePlus

    ... thought, speech, movement and sensation, which is called brain mapping. help assess the effects of stroke, trauma or degenerative disease (such as Alzheimer's) on brain function. monitor the growth and function of brain ...

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

    PubMed

    Morimoto, Jun; Kawato, Mitsuo

    2015-03-06

    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.

  18. Brain Activity during Mental Imagery of Gait Versus Gait-Like Plantar Stimulation: A Novel Combined Functional MRI Paradigm to Better Understand Cerebral Gait Control.

    PubMed

    Labriffe, Matthieu; Annweiler, Cédric; Amirova, Liubov E; Gauquelin-Koch, Guillemette; Ter Minassian, Aram; Leiber, Louis-Marie; Beauchet, Olivier; Custaud, Marc-Antoine; Dinomais, Mickaël

    2017-01-01

    Human locomotion is a complex sensorimotor behavior whose central control remains difficult to explore using neuroimaging method due to technical constraints, notably the impossibility to walk with a scanner on the head and/or to walk for real inside current scanners. The aim of this functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study was to analyze interactions between two paradigms to investigate the brain gait control network: (1) mental imagery of gait, and (2) passive mechanical stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot with the Korvit boots. The Korvit stimulator was used through two different modes, namely an organized ("gait like") sequence and a destructured (chaotic) pattern. Eighteen right-handed young healthy volunteers were recruited (mean age, 27 ± 4.7 years). Mental imagery activated a broad neuronal network including the supplementary motor area-proper (SMA-proper), pre-SMA, the dorsal premotor cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, and precuneus/superior parietal areas. The mechanical plantar stimulation activated the primary sensorimotor cortex and secondary somatosensory cortex bilaterally. The paradigms generated statistically common areas of activity, notably bilateral SMA-proper and right pre-SMA, highlighting the potential key role of SMA in gait control. There was no difference between the organized and chaotic Korvit sequences, highlighting the difficulty of developing a walking-specific plantar stimulation paradigm. In conclusion, this combined-fMRI paradigm combining mental imagery and gait-like plantar stimulation provides complementary information regarding gait-related brain activity and appears useful for the assessment of high-level gait control.

  19. Brain Activity during Mental Imagery of Gait Versus Gait-Like Plantar Stimulation: A Novel Combined Functional MRI Paradigm to Better Understand Cerebral Gait Control

    PubMed Central

    Labriffe, Matthieu; Annweiler, Cédric; Amirova, Liubov E.; Gauquelin-Koch, Guillemette; Ter Minassian, Aram; Leiber, Louis-Marie; Beauchet, Olivier; Custaud, Marc-Antoine; Dinomais, Mickaël

    2017-01-01

    Human locomotion is a complex sensorimotor behavior whose central control remains difficult to explore using neuroimaging method due to technical constraints, notably the impossibility to walk with a scanner on the head and/or to walk for real inside current scanners. The aim of this functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study was to analyze interactions between two paradigms to investigate the brain gait control network: (1) mental imagery of gait, and (2) passive mechanical stimulation of the plantar surface of the foot with the Korvit boots. The Korvit stimulator was used through two different modes, namely an organized (“gait like”) sequence and a destructured (chaotic) pattern. Eighteen right-handed young healthy volunteers were recruited (mean age, 27 ± 4.7 years). Mental imagery activated a broad neuronal network including the supplementary motor area-proper (SMA-proper), pre-SMA, the dorsal premotor cortex, ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, anterior insula, and precuneus/superior parietal areas. The mechanical plantar stimulation activated the primary sensorimotor cortex and secondary somatosensory cortex bilaterally. The paradigms generated statistically common areas of activity, notably bilateral SMA-proper and right pre-SMA, highlighting the potential key role of SMA in gait control. There was no difference between the organized and chaotic Korvit sequences, highlighting the difficulty of developing a walking-specific plantar stimulation paradigm. In conclusion, this combined-fMRI paradigm combining mental imagery and gait-like plantar stimulation provides complementary information regarding gait-related brain activity and appears useful for the assessment of high-level gait control. PMID:28321186

  20. 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

  1. 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…

  2. Functional brain network efficiency predicts intelligence.

    PubMed

    Langer, Nicolas; Pedroni, Andreas; Gianotti, Lorena R R; Hänggi, Jürgen; Knoch, Daria; Jäncke, Lutz

    2012-06-01

    The neuronal causes of individual differences in mental abilities such as intelligence are complex and profoundly important. Understanding these abilities has the potential to facilitate their enhancement. The purpose of this study was to identify the functional brain network characteristics and their relation to psychometric intelligence. In particular, we examined whether the functional network exhibits efficient small-world network attributes (high clustering and short path length) and whether these small-world network parameters are associated with intellectual performance. High-density resting state electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded in 74 healthy subjects to analyze graph-theoretical functional network characteristics at an intracortical level. Ravens advanced progressive matrices were used to assess intelligence. We found that the clustering coefficient and path length of the functional network are strongly related to intelligence. Thus, the more intelligent the subjects are the more the functional brain network resembles a small-world network. We further identified the parietal cortex as a main hub of this resting state network as indicated by increased degree centrality that is associated with higher intelligence. Taken together, this is the first study that substantiates the neural efficiency hypothesis as well as the Parieto-Frontal Integration Theory (P-FIT) of intelligence in the context of functional brain network characteristics. These theories are currently the most established intelligence theories in neuroscience. Our findings revealed robust evidence of an efficiently organized resting state functional brain network for highly productive cognitions.

  3. Analysis of connectivity in NeuCube spiking neural network models trained on EEG data for the understanding of functional changes in the brain: A case study on opiate dependence treatment.

    PubMed

    Capecci, Elisa; Kasabov, Nikola; Wang, Grace Y

    2015-08-01

    The paper presents a methodology for the analysis of functional changes in brain activity across different conditions and different groups of subjects. This analysis is based on the recently proposed NeuCube spiking neural network (SNN) framework and more specifically on the analysis of the connectivity of a NeuCube model trained with electroencephalography (EEG) data. The case study data used to illustrate this method is EEG data collected from three groups-subjects with opiate addiction, patients undertaking methadone maintenance treatment, and non-drug users/healthy control group. The proposed method classifies more accurately the EEG data than traditional statistical and artificial intelligence (AI) methods and can be used to predict response to treatment and dose-related drug effect. But more importantly, the method can be used to compare functional brain activities of different subjects and the changes of these activities as a result of treatment, which is a step towards a better understanding of both the EEG data and the brain processes that generated it. The method can also be used for a wide range of applications, such as a better understanding of disease progression or aging.

  4. [The Meaning of "Understanding the Brain": Peeking into the Brain of a Computational Neuroscientist].

    PubMed

    Tanaka, Hirokazu

    2016-11-01

    What does "understanding the brain" mean? Here, I review how computational neuroscience, a theoretical approach to the brain, can aid our understanding of the brain. First, I illustrate the study of reinforcement learning and dopamine neurons and argue its success in the light of Marr's three levels of computation. Second, I discuss how Marr's program has led to a computational understanding of the brain, and present computational models of the motor cortex and of a spiking neural network as illustrative examples.

  5. [Brain function and white matter].

    PubMed

    Wake, Hiroaki; Kato, Daisuke

    2015-04-01

    Accumulated evidence shows that neural information processing takes place in superficial layers of the brain called the gray matter. Synapses, which connect different neurons reside in the gray matter and are considered the major components of information processing and plasticity. On the other hand, myelinated axons lie beneath the gray matter. These bundles of cables connect neurons in the different brain regions to form functional neural circuits. Myelinated axons were of little of interest to neuroscientists and have long been ignored in the formation of functional neuronal circuits. Recent evidence shows that myelin formed by oligodendrocytes shows plastic changes depending on neuronal activity. In this issue, we discuss the plastic changes of myelin and its functional role in learning and training.

  6. 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.

  7. 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,…

  8. The brain as a complex system: using network science as a tool for understanding the brain.

    PubMed

    Telesford, Qawi K; Simpson, Sean L; Burdette, Jonathan H; Hayasaka, Satoru; Laurienti, Paul J

    2011-01-01

    Although graph theory has been around since the 18th century, the field of network science is more recent and continues to gain popularity, particularly in the field of neuroimaging. The field was propelled forward when Watts and Strogatz introduced their small-world network model, which described a network that provided regional specialization with efficient global information transfer. This model is appealing to the study of brain connectivity, as the brain can be viewed as a system with various interacting regions that produce complex behaviors. In practice, graph metrics such as clustering coefficient, path length, and efficiency measures are often used to characterize system properties. Centrality metrics such as degree, betweenness, closeness, and eigenvector centrality determine critical areas within the network. Community structure is also essential for understanding network organization and topology. Network science has led to a paradigm shift in the neuroscientific community, but it should be viewed as more than a simple "tool du jour." To fully appreciate the utility of network science, a greater understanding of how network models apply to the brain is needed. An integrated appraisal of multiple network analyses should be performed to better understand network structure rather than focusing on univariate comparisons to find significant group differences; indeed, such comparisons, popular with traditional functional magnetic resonance imaging analyses, are arguably no longer relevant with graph-theory based approaches. These methods necessitate a philosophical shift toward complexity science. In this context, when correctly applied and interpreted, network scientific methods have a chance to revolutionize the understanding of brain function.

  9. 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

  10. Conceptual Alignment: How Brains Achieve Mutual Understanding.

    PubMed

    Stolk, Arjen; Verhagen, Lennart; Toni, Ivan

    2016-03-01

    We share our thoughts with other minds, but we do not understand how. Having a common language certainly helps, but infants' and tourists' communicative success clearly illustrates that sharing thoughts does not require signals with a pre-assigned meaning. In fact, human communicators jointly build a fleeting conceptual space in which signals are a means to seek and provide evidence for mutual understanding. Recent work has started to capture the neural mechanisms supporting those fleeting conceptual alignments. The evidence suggests that communicators and addressees achieve mutual understanding by using the same computational procedures, implemented in the same neuronal substrate, and operating over temporal scales independent from the signals' occurrences.

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

    PubMed

    Deco, Gustavo; Kringelbach, Morten L

    2014-12-03

    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.

  12. Understanding actors and object-goals in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Ramsey, Richard; Hamilton, Antonia F de C

    2010-04-15

    When another person takes 10 pounds from your hand, it matters if they are a shopkeeper or a robber. That is, the meaning of a simple, goal-directed action can vary depending on the identity of the actors involved. Research examining action understanding has identified an action observation network (AON) that encodes action features such as goals and kinematics. However, it is not yet known how or where the brain links actor identity to action goal. In the present paper, we used a repetition suppression paradigm during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the neural representation of actor identity within the context of object-directed actions. Participants watched video clips of two different actors with two different object-goals. Repeated presentation of the same actor suppressed the blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) response in fusiform gyrus and occipitotemporal cortex. In contrast, repeated presentation of an action with the same object-goal suppressed the BOLD response throughout the AON. Our data reveal an extended brain network for understanding other people and their everyday actions that go beyond the traditional action observation network.

  13. Supporting Parents with Two Essential Understandings: Attachment and Brain Development.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Berger, Eugenia Hepworth

    1999-01-01

    Readiness to learn is a constant state. Two critical aspects of early childhood provide parents sufficient understanding of their child's development: attachment and brain development. Children develop attachments to caregivers but need consistent parental care and love. Human brains continue to quickly grow during the first two years of life.…

  14. Functional brain imaging in respiratory medicine.

    PubMed

    Pattinson, Kyle

    2015-06-01

    Discordance of clinical symptoms with markers of disease severity remains a conundrum in a variety of respiratory conditions. The breathlessness of chronic lung disease correlates poorly with spirometry, yet is a better predictor of mortality. In chronic cough, symptoms are often evident without clear physical cause. In asthma, the terms 'over perceivers' and 'under perceivers' are common parlance. In all these examples, aberrant brain mechanisms may explain the mismatch between symptoms and pathology. Functional MRI is a non-invasive method of measuring brain function. It has recently become significantly advanced enough to be useful in clinical research and to address these potential mechanisms. This article explains how FMRI works, current understanding from FMRI in breathlessness, cough and asthma and suggests possibilities for future research.

  15. Adult neurogenesis and its role in neuropsychiatric disease, brain repair and normal brain function.

    PubMed

    Braun, S M G; Jessberger, S

    2014-02-01

    Neural stem/progenitor cells (NSPCs) in the mammalian brain retain the ability to generate new neurones throughout life in discrete brain regions, through a process called adult neurogenesis. Adult neurogenesis, a dramatic form of adult brain circuitry plasticity, has been implicated in physiological brain function and appears to be of pivotal importance for certain forms of learning and memory. In addition, failing or altered neurogenesis has been associated with a variety of brain diseases such as major depression, epilepsy and age-related cognitive decline. Here we review recent advances in our understanding of the basic biology underlying the neurogenic process in the adult brain, focusing on mechanisms that regulate quiescence, proliferation and differentiation of NSPCs. In addition, we discuss how neurogenesis influences normal brain function, and in particular its role in memory formation, as well as its contribution to neuropsychiatric diseases. Finally, we evaluate the potential of targeting endogenous NSPCs for brain repair.

  16. Thermodynamic laws apply to brain function.

    PubMed

    Salerian, Alen J

    2010-02-01

    Thermodynamic laws and complex system dynamics govern brain function. Thus, any change in brain homeostasis by an alteration in brain temperature, neurotransmission or content may cause region-specific brain dysfunction. This is the premise for the Salerian Theory of Brain built upon a new paradigm for neuropsychiatric disorders: the governing influence of neuroanatomy, neurophysiology, thermodynamic laws. The principles of region-specific brain function thermodynamics are reviewed. The clinical and supporting evidence including the paradoxical effects of various agents that alter brain homeostasis is demonstrated.

  17. Functional brain imaging across development.

    PubMed

    Rubia, Katya

    2013-12-01

    The developmental cognitive neuroscience literature has grown exponentially over the last decade. This paper reviews the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) literature on brain function development of typically late developing functions of cognitive and motivation control, timing and attention as well as of resting state neural networks. Evidence shows that between childhood and adulthood, concomitant with cognitive maturation, there is progressively increased functional activation in task-relevant lateral and medial frontal, striatal and parieto-temporal brain regions that mediate these higher level control functions. This is accompanied by progressively stronger functional inter-regional connectivity within task-relevant fronto-striatal and fronto-parieto-temporal networks. Negative age associations are observed in earlier developing posterior and limbic regions, suggesting a shift with age from the recruitment of "bottom-up" processing regions towards "top-down" fronto-cortical and fronto-subcortical connections, leading to a more mature, supervised cognition. The resting state fMRI literature further complements this evidence by showing progressively stronger deactivation with age in anti-correlated task-negative resting state networks, which is associated with better task performance. Furthermore, connectivity analyses during the resting state show that with development increasingly stronger long-range connections are being formed, for example, between fronto-parietal and fronto-cerebellar connections, in both task-positive networks and in task-negative default mode networks, together with progressively lesser short-range connections, suggesting progressive functional integration and segregation with age. Overall, evidence suggests that throughout development between childhood and adulthood, there is progressive refinement and integration of both task-positive fronto-cortical and fronto-subcortical activation and task-negative deactivation, leading to

  18. 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

  19. Superbinding in Integrative Brain Function and Memory

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-11-02

    A:\\basar.doc 1 SUPERBINDING IN INTEGRATIVE BRAIN FUNCTION AND MEMORY E. Basar1,2, M. Özgören1,2, S. Karakas1,3 1TUBITAK Brain Dynamics...percepts and integrative brain function. Keywords- superbinding, oscillations, binding, coherence 1 Aim of the report The present report aims to...introduce the superbinding theory to describe the machineries of integrative brain function instead of single neuron doctrine. This concept is based on

  20. 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.

  1. Dynamic geometry, brain function modeling, and consciousness.

    PubMed

    Roy, Sisir; Llinás, Rodolfo

    2008-01-01

    Pellionisz and Llinás proposed, years ago, a geometric interpretation towards understanding brain function. This interpretation assumes that the relation between the brain and the external world is determined by the ability of the central nervous system (CNS) to construct an internal model of the external world using an interactive geometrical relationship between sensory and motor expression. This approach opened new vistas not only in brain research but also in understanding the foundations of geometry itself. The approach named tensor network theory is sufficiently rich to allow specific computational modeling and addressed the issue of prediction, based on Taylor series expansion properties of the system, at the neuronal level, as a basic property of brain function. It was actually proposed that the evolutionary realm is the backbone for the development of an internal functional space that, while being purely representational, can interact successfully with the totally different world of the so-called "external reality". Now if the internal space or functional space is endowed with stochastic metric tensor properties, then there will be a dynamic correspondence between events in the external world and their specification in the internal space. We shall call this dynamic geometry since the minimal time resolution of the brain (10-15 ms), associated with 40 Hz oscillations of neurons and their network dynamics, is considered to be responsible for recognizing external events and generating the concept of simultaneity. The stochastic metric tensor in dynamic geometry can be written as five-dimensional space-time where the fifth dimension is a probability space as well as a metric space. This extra dimension is considered an imbedded degree of freedom. It is worth noticing that the above-mentioned 40 Hz oscillation is present both in awake and dream states where the central difference is the inability of phase resetting in the latter. This framework of dynamic

  2. Robust Transient Dynamics and Brain Functions

    PubMed Central

    Rabinovich, Mikhail I.; Varona, Pablo

    2011-01-01

    In the last few decades several concepts of dynamical systems theory (DST) have guided psychologists, cognitive scientists, and neuroscientists to rethink about sensory motor behavior and embodied cognition. A critical step in the progress of DST application to the brain (supported by modern methods of brain imaging and multi-electrode recording techniques) has been the transfer of its initial success in motor behavior to mental function, i.e., perception, emotion, and cognition. Open questions from research in genetics, ecology, brain sciences, etc., have changed DST itself and lead to the discovery of a new dynamical phenomenon, i.e., reproducible and robust transients that are at the same time sensitive to informational signals. The goal of this review is to describe a new mathematical framework – heteroclinic sequential dynamics – to understand self-organized activity in the brain that can explain certain aspects of robust itinerant behavior. Specifically, we discuss a hierarchy of coarse-grain models of mental dynamics in the form of kinetic equations of modes. These modes compete for resources at three levels: (i) within the same modality, (ii) among different modalities from the same family (like perception), and (iii) among modalities from different families (like emotion and cognition). The analysis of the conditions for robustness, i.e., the structural stability of transient (sequential) dynamics, give us the possibility to explain phenomena like the finite capacity of our sequential working memory – a vital cognitive function –, and to find specific dynamical signatures – different kinds of instabilities – of several brain functions and mental diseases. PMID:21716642

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Prospective Teachers' Understandings: Function and Composite Function.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Meel, David E.

    2003-01-01

    The current education reform efforts place greater emphasis on conceptual understanding and focus attention on teacher preparation, especially on the adequacy of teachers' mathematical knowledge of the material they will be teaching. This paper discusses the responses of 20 prospective elementary and special education mathematics specialists to…

  6. Sugar for the brain: the role of glucose in physiological and pathological brain function.

    PubMed

    Mergenthaler, Philipp; Lindauer, Ute; Dienel, Gerald A; Meisel, Andreas

    2013-10-01

    The mammalian brain depends upon glucose as its main source of energy, and tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology. Consistent with its critical role for physiological brain function, disruption of normal glucose metabolism as well as its interdependence with cell death pathways forms the pathophysiological basis for many brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how glucose metabolism sustains basic brain physiology. We synthesize these findings to form a comprehensive picture of the cooperation required between different systems and cell types, and the specific breakdowns in this cooperation that lead to disease.

  7. Sugar for the brain: the role of glucose in physiological and pathological brain function

    PubMed Central

    Mergenthaler, Philipp; Lindauer, Ute; Dienel, Gerald A.; Meisel, Andreas

    2013-01-01

    The mammalian brain depends upon glucose as its main source of energy, and tight regulation of glucose metabolism is critical for brain physiology. Consistent with its critical role for physiological brain function, disruption of normal glucose metabolism as well as its interdependence with cell death pathways forms the pathophysiological basis for many brain disorders. Here, we review recent advances in understanding how glucose metabolism sustains basic brain physiology. We aim at synthesizing these findings to form a comprehensive picture of the cooperation required between different systems and cell types, and the specific breakdowns in this cooperation which lead to disease. PMID:23968694

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Chemogenetic tools to interrogate brain functions.

    PubMed

    Sternson, Scott M; Roth, Bryan L

    2014-01-01

    Elucidating the roles of neuronal cell types for physiology and behavior is essential for understanding brain functions. Perturbation of neuron electrical activity can be used to probe the causal relationship between neuronal cell types and behavior. New genetically encoded neuron perturbation tools have been developed for remotely controlling neuron function using small molecules that activate engineered receptors that can be targeted to cell types using genetic methods. Here we describe recent progress for approaches using genetically engineered receptors that selectively interact with small molecules. Called "chemogenetics," receptors with diverse cellular functions have been developed that facilitate the selective pharmacological control over a diverse range of cell-signaling processes, including electrical activity, for molecularly defined cell types. These tools have revealed remarkably specific behavioral physiological influences for molecularly defined cell types that are often intermingled with populations having different or even opposite functions.

  11. 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.

  12. Functional Prions in the Brain.

    PubMed

    Rayman, Joseph B; Kandel, Eric R

    2017-01-03

    Prions are proteins that can adopt self-perpetuating conformations and are traditionally regarded as etiological agents of infectious neurodegenerative diseases in humans, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, and transmissible encephalopathies. More recently, a growing consensus has emerged that prion-like, self-templating mechanisms also underlie a variety of neurodegenerative disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, and Huntington's disease. Perhaps most surprising, not all prion-like aggregates are associated with pathological changes. There are now several examples of prion-like proteins in mammals that serve positive biological functions in their aggregated state. In this review, we discuss functional prions in the nervous system, with particular emphasis on the cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein (CPEB) and the role of its prion-like aggregates in synaptic plasticity and memory. We also mention a more recent example of a functional prion-like protein in the brain, TIA-1, and its role during stress. These studies of functional prion-like proteins have provided a number of generalizable insights on how prion-based protein switches may operate to serve physiological functions in higher eukaryotes.

  13. 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.

  14. Towards a Functional Understanding of PGO Waves

    PubMed Central

    Gott, Jarrod A.; Liley, David T. J.; Hobson, J. Allan

    2017-01-01

    Ponto-Geniculo-Occipital (PGO) waves are biphasic field potentials identified in a range of mammalian species that are ubiquitous with sleep, but can also be identified in waking perception and eye movement. Their role in REM sleep and visual perception more broadly may constitute a promising avenue for further research, however what was once an active field of study has recently fallen into stasis. With the reality that invasive recordings performed on animals cannot be replicated in humans; while animals themselves cannot convey experience to the extent required to elucidate how PGO waves factor into awareness and behavior, innovative solutions are required if significant research outcomes are to ever be realized. Advances in non-invasive imaging technologies and sophistication in imaging methods now offer substantial scope to renew the study of the electrophysiological substrates of waking and dreaming perception. Among these, Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) stands out through its capacity to measure deep brain activations with high temporal resolution. With the current trend in sleep and dream research to produce translational findings of psychopathological and medical significance, in addition to the clear links that PGO wave generation sites share, pharmacologically, with receptors involved in expression of mental illness; there is a strong case to support scientific research into PGO waves and develop a functional understanding of their broader role in human perception. PMID:28316568

  15. Towards a Functional Understanding of PGO Waves.

    PubMed

    Gott, Jarrod A; Liley, David T J; Hobson, J Allan

    2017-01-01

    Ponto-Geniculo-Occipital (PGO) waves are biphasic field potentials identified in a range of mammalian species that are ubiquitous with sleep, but can also be identified in waking perception and eye movement. Their role in REM sleep and visual perception more broadly may constitute a promising avenue for further research, however what was once an active field of study has recently fallen into stasis. With the reality that invasive recordings performed on animals cannot be replicated in humans; while animals themselves cannot convey experience to the extent required to elucidate how PGO waves factor into awareness and behavior, innovative solutions are required if significant research outcomes are to ever be realized. Advances in non-invasive imaging technologies and sophistication in imaging methods now offer substantial scope to renew the study of the electrophysiological substrates of waking and dreaming perception. Among these, Magnetoencephalogram (MEG) stands out through its capacity to measure deep brain activations with high temporal resolution. With the current trend in sleep and dream research to produce translational findings of psychopathological and medical significance, in addition to the clear links that PGO wave generation sites share, pharmacologically, with receptors involved in expression of mental illness; there is a strong case to support scientific research into PGO waves and develop a functional understanding of their broader role in human perception.

  16. Using brain organoids to understand Zika virus-induced microcephaly.

    PubMed

    Qian, Xuyu; Nguyen, Ha Nam; Jacob, Fadi; Song, Hongjun; Ming, Guo-Li

    2017-03-15

    Technologies to differentiate human pluripotent stem cells into three-dimensional organized structures that resemble in vivo organs are pushing the frontiers of human disease modeling and drug development. In response to the global health emergency posed by the Zika virus (ZIKV) outbreak, brain organoids engineered to mimic the developing human fetal brain have been employed to model ZIKV-induced microcephaly. Here, we discuss the advantages of brain organoids over other model systems to study development and highlight recent advances in understanding ZIKV pathophysiology and its underlying pathogenesis mechanisms. We further discuss perspectives on overcoming limitations of current organoid systems for their future use in ZIKV research.

  17. Estimating functional brain networks by incorporating a modularity prior

    PubMed Central

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

    2017-01-01

    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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-03

    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.

  1. Eleventh Graders' Understandings of Mathematical Functions

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burnett-Bradshaw, Camille S.

    2012-01-01

    The primary goal of the study presented in this dissertation is to describe 11th-graders' understandings, through different representations, of: (1) the definition of function, (2) the production of a function, and (3) the interpretation of a function. In addition, this dissertation seeks to describe the relationship between 11th-graders' scores…

  2. Large-scale brain networks in affective and social neuroscience: towards an integrative functional architecture of the brain.

    PubMed

    Barrett, Lisa Feldman; Satpute, Ajay Bhaskar

    2013-06-01

    Understanding how a human brain creates a human mind ultimately depends on mapping psychological categories and concepts to physical measurements of neural response. Although it has long been assumed that emotional, social, and cognitive phenomena are realized in the operations of separate brain regions or brain networks, we demonstrate that it is possible to understand the body of neuroimaging evidence using a framework that relies on domain general, distributed structure-function mappings. We review current research in affective and social neuroscience and argue that the emerging science of large-scale intrinsic brain networks provides a coherent framework for a domain-general functional architecture of the human brain.

  3. Functional data analysis in brain imaging studies.

    PubMed

    Tian, Tian Siva

    2010-01-01

    Functional data analysis (FDA) considers the continuity of the curves or functions, and is a topic of increasing interest in the statistics community. FDA is commonly applied to time-series and spatial-series studies. The development of functional brain imaging techniques in recent years made it possible to study the relationship between brain and mind over time. Consequently, an enormous amount of functional data is collected and needs to be analyzed. Functional techniques designed for these data are in strong demand. This paper discusses three statistically challenging problems utilizing FDA techniques in functional brain imaging analysis. These problems are dimension reduction (or feature extraction), spatial classification in functional magnetic resonance imaging studies, and the inverse problem in magneto-encephalography studies. The application of FDA to these issues is relatively new but has been shown to be considerably effective. Future efforts can further explore the potential of FDA in functional brain imaging studies.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Novel Neuroimaging Methods to Understand How HIV Affects the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Thompson, Paul

    2015-01-01

    In much of the developed world, the HIV epidemic has largely been controlled by anti-retroviral treatment. Even so, there is growing concern that HIV-infected individuals may be at risk for accelerated brain aging, and a range of cognitive impairments. What promotes or resists these changes is largely unknown. There is also interest in discovering factors that promote resilience to HIV, and combat its adverse effects in children. Here we review recent developments in brain imaging that reveal how the virus affects the brain. We relate these brain changes to changes in blood markers, cognitive function, and other patient outcomes or symptoms, such as apathy or neuropathic pain. We focus on new and emerging techniques, including new variants of brain MRI. Diffusion tensor imaging, for example, can map the brain’s structural connections while fMRI can uncover functional connections. Finally, we suggest how large-scale global research alliances, such as ENIGMA, may resolve controversies over effects where evidence is now lacking. These efforts pool scans from tens of thousands of individuals, and offer a source of power not previously imaginable for brain imaging studies. PMID:25902966

  7. 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.

  8. Towards a comprehensive understanding of brain machinery by correlative microscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allegra Mascaro, Anna Letizia; Silvestri, Ludovico; Sacconi, Leonardo; Pavone, Francesco S.

    2015-06-01

    Unraveling the complexity of brain structure and function is the biggest challenge of contemporary science. Due to their flexibility, optical techniques are the key to exploring this intricate network. However, a single imaging technique can reveal only a small part of this machinery due to its inherent multilevel organization. To obtain a more comprehensive view of brain functionality, complementary approaches have been combined. For instance, brain activity was monitored simultaneously on different spatiotemporal scales with functional magnetic resonance imaging and calcium imaging. On the other hand, dynamic information on the structural plasticity of neuronal networks has been contextualized in a wider framework combining two-photon and light-sheet microscopy. Finally, synaptic features have been revealed on previously in vivo imaged samples by correlative light-electron microscopy. Although these approaches have revealed important features of brain machinery, they provided small bridges between specific spatiotemporal scales, lacking an omni-comprehensive view. In this perspective, we briefly review the state of the art of correlative techniques and propose a wider methodological framework fusing multiple levels of brain investigation.

  9. [Usefulness of SPECT images in helping radiologists understand brain diseases].

    PubMed

    Hayashida, K

    2001-04-01

    Nuclear brain imaging is able to show functional abnormalities of lesions that are not detectable by CT and MR images. The diagnostic keys of nuclear-imaging in terms of clinical usefulness are its early detection of lesions and determination of the efficacy of drug and surgical therapies. In dementic patients, F-18 FDG brain images can be diagnosed as Alzheimer's disease 12 months earlier than is possible on CT and MRI images, and can provide information for effective drug therapy. O-15 water CBF images can predict the effect of Nicholin by assessing transient increases in cerebral blood flow (CBF), thereby facilitating improvement in higher brain functions such as orientation. In stroke patients, brain SPECT images with Tc-99m HMPAO can predict fatal cerebral hemorrhage caused by anti-thrombic therapy by showing the decrease in count ratio (count ratio of infarcted to contralateral area of < 0.34) in the acute phase and identifying disruption of the blood brain barrier by showing hyperfixation in the subacute phase. Brain SPECT with I-123 IMP can also identify "misery" perfused areas resulting from reduced CBF and decreased vasoreactivity in the chronic phase. This criterion is utilized for patient selection for extracranial/intracranial bypass surgery, because patients with areas of poor perfusion might be indicated for such surgery. Since nuclear medicine images can accurately select candidates for drug or surgical therapies, they will be beneficial in reducing Medicare costs as well as in enhancing patients' quality of life as a result of the successful treatment. With the advancement of technology, nuclear medicine units that can simultaneously obtain CT images and can combine functional with anatomical images will provide more useful information for the diagnosis of brain disease.

  10. 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)

  11. The gravitational field and brain function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mei, Lei; Zhou, Chuan-Dai; Lan, Jing-Quan; Wang, Zhi-Ging; Wu, Wen-Can; Xue, Xin-Min

    The frontal cortex is recognized as the highest adaptive control center of the human brain. The principle of the ``frontalization'' of human brain function offers new possibilities for brain research in space. There is evolutionary and experimental evidence indicating the validity of the principle, including it's role in nervous response to gravitational stimulation. The gravitational field is considered here as one of the more constant and comprehensive factors acting on brain evolution, which has undergone some successive crucial steps: ``encephalization'', ``corticalization'', ``lateralization'' and ``frontalization''. The dominating effects of electrical responses from the frontal cortex have been discovered 1) in experiments under gravitational stimulus; and 2) in processes potentially relating to gravitational adaptation, such as memory and learning, sensory information processing, motor programing, and brain state control. A brain research experiment during space flight is suggested to test the role of the frontal cortex in space adaptation and it's potentiality in brain control.

  12. 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.…

  13. Perception and understanding of others' actions and brain connectivity.

    PubMed

    Pavlova, Marina; Sokolov, Alexander N; Birbaumer, Niels; Krägeloh-Mann, Ingeborg

    2008-03-01

    ABSTRACT Perception and understanding of dispositions and intentions of others through their actions are of immense importance for adaptive daily-life behavior and social communication. Here we ask whether, and, if so, how this ability is impaired in adolescents who were born premature and suffer early periventricular damage, periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) that affects brain connectivity. The visual event arrangement (EA) task was administered to PVL patients and two control groups, premature-born and term-born adolescents without brain abnormalities on a magnetic resonance imaging scan. Performance on the EA task was significantly lower in PVL patients as compared with controls. No difference was found between premature-born participants without lesions and term-born controls. Performance on the EA task was inversely related to the volumetric extent of lesions in the parieto-occipital regions of both hemispheres and, in particular, to the right temporal periventricular lesions. Whereas our earlier work reveals that compromised visual processing of biological motion, impairments in visual navigation, and other visual-perceptual disabilities in PVL patients are associated with parieto-occipital lesions, difficulties in the visual EA task solely are specifically linked to the right temporal periventricular lesions. For the first time, we show that the severity of the right temporal PVL can serve as a predictor of the ability for perception and understanding of others' actions. We assume that impairments in this ability in PVL patients are caused by disrupted brain connectivity to the right temporal cortex, a key node of the social brain.

  14. 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.

  15. [Modern methods of functional tomographic brain imaging for brain function reseaching in norm and pathology].

    PubMed

    Kireev, M V; Zakhs, D V; Korotkov, A D; Medvedev, S V

    2013-01-01

    For many years the modern methods of functional tomographic brain imaging (fMRI and PET) were actively used not only for the research of basic brain functions, but also in clinical practice. In present paper we described the basic characteristics of the signal registered with fMRI and PET, the principles of image reconstruction, as well as the methodological requirements, which are necessary to obtain reliable results. The advantages and limitations of modem tomographic methods of the brain functions investigation are discussed. The need of the complex approach use in brain study is emphasized and methods for the study of functional integration of the brain are suggested.

  16. Neural murmurations. Comment on “Understanding brain networks and brain organization” by Luiz Pessoa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Laurienti, Paul J.

    2014-09-01

    If not the last frontier, understanding the human brain is certainly one of the last. Over the past decade there has been a shift in the focus of neuroscience. The concept of the brain as a network is gaining traction and is rapidly becoming a dominant perspective [1]. In the target article [2], Luiz Pessoa discusses major conceptual shifts that must accompany the methodological changes associated with network science applications to the brain. The software, algorithms, and computational power needed to perform network analyses are now at the fingertips of all neuroscientists. But, this places us at a fork in the road. Will these tools be used to substantiate what has already been discovered, or will we seek a totally new and improved understanding of the brain?

  17. Functional brain network modularity predicts response to cognitive training after brain injury

    PubMed Central

    Chen, Anthony J.-W.; Novakovic-Agopian, Tatjana; Gratton, Caterina; Nomura, Emi M.; D'Esposito, Mark

    2015-01-01

    Objective: We tested the value of measuring modularity, a graph theory metric indexing the relative extent of integration and segregation of distributed functional brain networks, for predicting individual differences in response to cognitive training in patients with brain injury. Methods: Patients with acquired brain injury (n = 11) participated in 5 weeks of cognitive training and a comparison condition (brief education) in a crossover intervention study design. We quantified the measure of functional brain network organization, modularity, from functional connectivity networks during a state of tonic attention regulation measured during fMRI scanning before the intervention conditions. We examined the relationship of baseline modularity with pre- to posttraining changes in neuropsychological measures of attention and executive control. Results: The modularity of brain network organization at baseline predicted improvement in attention and executive function after cognitive training, but not after the comparison intervention. Individuals with higher baseline modularity exhibited greater improvements with cognitive training, suggesting that a more modular baseline network state may contribute to greater adaptation in response to cognitive training. Conclusions: Brain network properties such as modularity provide valuable information for understanding mechanisms that influence rehabilitation of cognitive function after brain injury, and may contribute to the discovery of clinically relevant biomarkers that could guide rehabilitation efforts. PMID:25788557

  18. Order and disorder in the brain function.

    PubMed

    Quadens, Olga

    2003-01-01

    The interest in studying the brain electrical activity as a function of the development of intelligence has been spurred by the need to understand how the brain responds to environmental information. The description of sleep in mentally retarded children reveals deviant patterns of the EEG-spindles and of the eye movement activity (REM sleep) when compared to normal children. The patterns may be considered as a valuable index of mental function. According to experimental evidence, the distribution of the eye movements of sleep appears either as random or ordered. The latter are altered in the mentally handicapped in whom the appearance out of chaos, of the order which is needed for intelligence and memory to function, is altered. The sleep signs are redundant as from birth. Their pattern is also related to the psychomotor development of the infant. If their distribution remains random, or appears in long uninterrupted sequences of waves as in epilepsy, intelligence does not develop. A similar strategy appears to function in the foetus when nature organizes the structures that will lead to the development of intelligence. The eye movement patterns of sleep change in the pregnant women as a function of term and resemble those of premature babies of a similar gestational age. They also change as a function of the menstrual cycle and more generally as a function of age. The hypothesis that attention is the diurnal equivalent of REM sleep is discussed. Attempts at modelling the eye movement patterns of REM sleep as a function of near zero gravity environments have been made. 1) By means of a Montecarlo simulation using the semi Markov model during the Spacelab 1 flight. 2) With the method of the single and multiple g-phase transition analysis of the strange attractor dimension (d) during parabolic flights. The implication of the latter for the neural processes involved in learning is that the central nervous system can preserve intact, from input to output, over a

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jie, Biao; Wee, Chong-Yaw

    2017-01-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. Understanding adolescent brain development and its implications for the clinician.

    PubMed

    White, Aaron M

    2009-04-01

    Contrary to long-held beliefs about brain development, widespread changes occur in the brain during the adolescent years. These changes involve a shift in control over behavior away from regions geared toward emotional processing, such as the amygdala and reward system, toward the frontal lobes, which are involved in making plans for the future, suppressing impulses, weighing options, and other critical cognitive skills needed to function in the adult world. Experience-dependant sculpting of these developing circuits ensures that each adolescent will be customized to fit the demands of his or her environment, healthy or otherwise. As adolescent brain development unfolds, risk-taking, substance use, and the emergence of psychological pathologies are common. Many recreational and prescription drugs affect adolescents and adults differently, both short-term and long-term. In this review, the changes that take place in the brain during the adolescent years are explored. What happens, how these changes can go awry, and how to help keep adolescent brain development on track will he axamined

  3. Sex Differences in Functional Brain Asymmetry.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1976-07-01

    to Wechsler’s norms [7], and their scores did not differ from either women with right-sided damage (t = 0.05, ns) or men with right-sided damage (t...brain injury. These findings suggest a greater degree of functional brain asym- metry in men than in women . A .c ....C . _t% :istr ivtiton ,tatrment...hemisphere specialization for spatial functions than did women . However, little is knovn about sex differences in the cerebral rep- resentation of verbal

  4. Functional connectivity hubs of the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Liska, Adam; Galbusera, Alberto; Schwarz, Adam J; Gozzi, Alessandro

    2015-07-15

    Recent advances in functional connectivity methods have made it possible to identify brain hubs - a set of highly connected regions serving as integrators of distributed neuronal activity. The integrative role of hub nodes makes these areas points of high vulnerability to dysfunction in brain disorders, and abnormal hub connectivity profiles have been described for several neuropsychiatric disorders. The identification of analogous functional connectivity hubs in preclinical species like the mouse may provide critical insight into the elusive biological underpinnings of these connectional alterations. To spatially locate functional connectivity hubs in the mouse brain, here we applied a fully-weighted network analysis to map whole-brain intrinsic functional connectivity (i.e., the functional connectome) at a high-resolution voxel-scale. Analysis of a large resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) dataset revealed the presence of six distinct functional modules related to known large-scale functional partitions of the brain, including a default-mode network (DMN). Consistent with human studies, highly-connected functional hubs were identified in several sub-regions of the DMN, including the anterior and posterior cingulate and prefrontal cortices, in the thalamus, and in small foci within well-known integrative cortical structures such as the insular and temporal association cortices. According to their integrative role, the identified hubs exhibited mutual preferential interconnections. These findings highlight the presence of evolutionarily-conserved, mutually-interconnected functional hubs in the mouse brain, and may guide future investigations of the biological foundations of aberrant rsfMRI hub connectivity associated with brain pathological states.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Leptin and the brain: influences on brain development, cognitive functioning and psychiatric disorders.

    PubMed

    Farr, Olivia M; Tsoukas, Michael A; Mantzoros, Christos S

    2015-01-01

    Receptors of leptin, the prototypical adipokine, are expressed throughout the cortex and several other areas of the brain. Although typically studied for its role in energy intake and expenditure, leptin plays a critical role in many other neurocognitive processes and interacts with various other hormones and neurotransmitters to perform these functions. Here, we review the literature on how leptin influences brain development, neural degradation, Alzheimer's disease, psychiatric disorders, and more complicated cognitive functioning and feeding behaviors. We also discuss modulators of leptin and the leptin receptor as they relate to normal cognitive functioning and may mediate some of the actions of leptin in the brain. Although we are beginning to better understand the critical role leptin plays in normal cognitive functioning, there is much to be discovered.

  8. [Brain mechanisms of male sexual function].

    PubMed

    Wang, Ying; Dou, Xin; Li, Jun-Fa; Luo, Yan-Lin

    2011-08-01

    In this paper, we reviewed the brain imaging studies of male sexual function in recent years from three aspects: the brain mechanism of normal sexual function, the brain mechanism of sexual dysfunction, and the mechanism of drug therapy for sexual dysfunction. Studies show that the development stages of male sexual activities, such as the excitement phase, plateau phase and orgasm phase, are controlled by different neural networks. The mesodiencephalic transition zone may play an important role in the start up of male ejaculation. There are significant differences between sexual dysfunction males and normal males in activation patterns of the brain in sexual arousal. The medial orbitofrontal cortex and inferior frontal gyrus in the abnormal activation pattern are correlated with sexual dysfunction males in sexual arousal. Serum testosterone and morphine are commonly used drugs for male sexual dysfunction, whose mechanisms are to alter the activating levels of the medial orbitofrontal cortex, insula, claustrum and inferior temporal gyrus.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

    2010-03-09

    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/.

  11. Resiliency of EEG-Based Brain Functional Networks.

    PubMed

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

    Applying tools available in network science and graph theory to study brain networks has opened a new era in understanding brain mechanisms. Brain functional networks extracted from EEG time series have been frequently studied in health and diseases. In this manuscript, we studied failure resiliency of EEG-based brain functional networks. The network structures were extracted by analysing EEG time series obtained from 30 healthy subjects in resting state eyes-closed conditions. As the network structure was extracted, we measured a number of metrics related to their resiliency. In general, the brain networks showed worse resilient behaviour as compared to corresponding random networks with the same degree sequences. Brain networks had higher vulnerability than the random ones (P < 0.05), indicating that their global efficiency (i.e., communicability between the regions) is more affected by removing the important nodes. Furthermore, the breakdown happened as a result of cascaded failures in brain networks was severer (i.e., less nodes survived) as compared to randomized versions (P < 0.05). These results suggest that real EEG-based networks have not been evolved to possess optimal resiliency against failures.

  12. Resiliency of EEG-Based Brain Functional Networks

    PubMed Central

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2015-01-01

    Applying tools available in network science and graph theory to study brain networks has opened a new era in understanding brain mechanisms. Brain functional networks extracted from EEG time series have been frequently studied in health and diseases. In this manuscript, we studied failure resiliency of EEG-based brain functional networks. The network structures were extracted by analysing EEG time series obtained from 30 healthy subjects in resting state eyes-closed conditions. As the network structure was extracted, we measured a number of metrics related to their resiliency. In general, the brain networks showed worse resilient behaviour as compared to corresponding random networks with the same degree sequences. Brain networks had higher vulnerability than the random ones (P < 0.05), indicating that their global efficiency (i.e., communicability between the regions) is more affected by removing the important nodes. Furthermore, the breakdown happened as a result of cascaded failures in brain networks was severer (i.e., less nodes survived) as compared to randomized versions (P < 0.05). These results suggest that real EEG-based networks have not been evolved to possess optimal resiliency against failures. PMID:26295341

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

    PubMed Central

    Nikolova, Yuliya S.; Hariri, Ahmad R.

    2015-01-01

    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. Here, we use our research on effects of genetic and epigenetic variation in the human serotonin transporter on brain function to generate a guardedly optimistic opinion that available data encourages continued research in this direction, and suggest strategies to promote faster progress moving forward. PMID:26051383

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Cognitive Predictors of Understanding Treatment Decisions in Patients with Newly Diagnosed Brain Metastases

    PubMed Central

    Gerstenecker, Adam; Meneses, Karen; Duff, Kevin; Fiveash, John B.; Marson, Daniel C.; Triebel, Kristen L.

    2015-01-01

    Background Medical decision-making capacity is a higher-order functional skill that refers to a patient’s ability to make informed, sound decisions related to care and treatment. In a medical context, understanding is the most cognitively demanding consent standard and refers to a patient’s ability to comprehend information to the extent that informed decisions can be made. Methods The association between reasoning and cognition was examined using data from 41 patients with diagnosed brain metastasis. All diagnoses were made by a board-certified radiation oncologist and were verified histologically. In total, 41 demographically-matched, cognitively healthy controls were also included to aid in classifying patients with brain metastasis according to reasoning status (i.e., intact or impaired). Results Results indicate that measures of simple attention, verbal fluency, verbal memory, processing speed, and executive functioning were all associated with understanding, and that verbal memory and phonemic fluency were the primary cognitive predictors. Using these two primary predictors, equations can be constructed to predict the ability to understand treatment decisions in patients with brain metastasis. Conclusions Although preliminary, these data demonstrate how cognitive measures can estimate understanding as it relates to medical decision-making capacities in these patients. Clinically, these findings suggest that poor verbal memory and expressive language function could serve as “red flags” for reduced consent capacity in this patient population, and, thus, signal that a more comprehensive medical decision-making capacity evaluation is warranted. PMID:25735262

  17. Advantages in functional imaging of the brain

    PubMed Central

    Mier, Walter; Mier, Daniela

    2015-01-01

    As neuronal pathologies cause only minor morphological alterations, molecular imaging techniques are a prerequisite for the study of diseases of the brain. The development of molecular probes that specifically bind biochemical markers and the advances of instrumentation have revolutionized the possibilities to gain insight into the human brain organization and beyond this—visualize structure-function and brain-behavior relationships. The review describes the development and current applications of functional brain imaging techniques with a focus on applications in psychiatry. A historical overview of the development of functional imaging is followed by the portrayal of the principles and applications of positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), two key molecular imaging techniques that have revolutionized the ability to image molecular processes in the brain. We conclude that the juxtaposition of PET and fMRI in hybrid PET/MRI scanners enhances the significance of both modalities for research in neurology and psychiatry and might pave the way for a new area of personalized medicine. PMID:26042013

  18. 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'.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Multistability and metastability: understanding dynamic coordination in the brain

    PubMed Central

    Kelso, J. A. Scott

    2012-01-01

    Multistable coordination dynamics exists at many levels, from multifunctional neural circuits in vertebrates and invertebrates to large-scale neural circuitry in humans. Moreover, multistability spans (at least) the domains of action and perception, and has been found to place constraints upon, even dictating the nature of, intentional change and the skill-learning process. This paper reviews some of the key evidence for multistability in the aforementioned areas, and illustrates how it has been measured, modelled and theoretically understood. It then suggests how multistability—when combined with essential aspects of coordination dynamics such as instability, transitions and (especially) metastability—provides a platform for understanding coupling and the creative dynamics of complex goal-directed systems, including the brain and the brain–behaviour relation. PMID:22371613

  2. A cellular perspective on brain energy metabolism and functional imaging.

    PubMed

    Magistretti, Pierre J; Allaman, Igor

    2015-05-20

    The energy demands of the brain are high: they account for at least 20% of the body's energy consumption. Evolutionary studies indicate that the emergence of higher cognitive functions in humans is associated with an increased glucose utilization and expression of energy metabolism genes. Functional brain imaging techniques such as fMRI and PET, which are widely used in human neuroscience studies, detect signals that monitor energy delivery and use in register with neuronal activity. Recent technological advances in metabolic studies with cellular resolution have afforded decisive insights into the understanding of the cellular and molecular bases of the coupling between neuronal activity and energy metabolism and point at a key role of neuron-astrocyte metabolic interactions. This article reviews some of the most salient features emerging from recent studies and aims at providing an integration of brain energy metabolism across resolution scales.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Interpreting Oxygenation-Based Neuroimaging Signals: The Importance and the Challenge of Understanding Brain Oxygen Metabolism

    PubMed Central

    Buxton, Richard B.

    2010-01-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging is widely used to map patterns of brain activation based on blood oxygenation level dependent (BOLD) signal changes associated with changes in neural activity. However, because oxygenation changes depend on the relative changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen (CMRO2), a quantitative interpretation of BOLD signals, and also other functional neuroimaging signals related to blood or tissue oxygenation, is fundamentally limited until we better understand brain oxygen metabolism and how it is related to blood flow. However, the positive side of the complexity of oxygenation signals is that when combined with dynamic CBF measurements they potentially provide the best tool currently available for investigating the dynamics of CMRO2. This review focuses on the problem of interpreting oxygenation-based signals, the challenges involved in measuring CMRO2 in general, and what is needed to put oxygenation-based estimates of CMRO2 on a firm foundation. The importance of developing a solid theoretical framework is emphasized, both as an essential tool for analyzing oxygenation-based multimodal measurements, and also potentially as a way to better understand the physiological phenomena themselves. The existing data, integrated within a simple theoretical framework of O2 transport, suggests the hypothesis that an important functional role of the mismatch of CBF and CMRO2 changes with neural activation is to prevent a fall of tissue pO2. Future directions for better understanding brain oxygen metabolism are discussed. PMID:20616882

  6. Thyroid, brain and mood modulation in affective disorder: insights from molecular research and functional brain imaging.

    PubMed

    Bauer, M; London, E D; Silverman, D H; Rasgon, N; Kirchheiner, J; Whybrow, P C

    2003-11-01

    The efficacy resulting from adjunctive use of supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine has emerged as a promising approach to therapy and prophylaxis for refractory mood disorders. Most patients with mood disorders who receive treatment with supraphysiological doses of levothyroxine have normal peripheral thyroid hormone levels, and also respond differently to the hormone and tolerate it better than healthy individuals and patients with primary thyroid diseases. Progress in molecular and functional brain imaging techniques has provided a new understanding of these phenomena, illuminating the relationship between thyroid function, mood modulation and behavior. Thyroid hormones are widely distributed in the brain and have a multitude of effects on the central nervous system. Notably many of the limbic system structures where thyroid hormone receptors are prevalent have been implicated in the pathogenesis of mood disorders. The influence of the thyroid system on neurotransmitters (particularly serotonin and norepinephrine), which putatively play a major role in the regulation of mood and behavior, may contribute to the mechanisms of mood modulation. Recent functional brain imaging studies using positron emission tomography (PET) with [ (18)F]-fluorodeoxyglucose demonstrated that thyroid hormone treatment with levothyroxine affects regional brain metabolism in patients with hypothyroidism and bipolar disorder. Theses studies confirm that thyroid hormones are active in modulating metabolic function in the mature adult brain, and provide intriging neuroanatomic clues that may guide future research.

  7. Classroom Seating and Functional Brain Asymmetry

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gur, Raquel E.; And Others

    1975-01-01

    This study examined the relationship between functional brain assymetry, as measured by the characteristic direction of eye movements in response to face-to-face questioning, and sitting on the left or right side of a classroom. Results are congruent with other findings comparing right and left movers. (Author/BJG)

  8. Integrating Retinoic Acid Signaling with Brain Function

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

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

    2009-01-01

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

  9. DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function.

    PubMed

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Structure and function of complex brain networks

    PubMed Central

    Sporns, Olaf

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:24174898

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Special surgical considerations for functional brain mapping.

    PubMed

    Kekhia, Hussein; Rigolo, Laura; Norton, Isaiah; Golby, Alexandra J

    2011-04-01

    The development of functional mapping techniques gives neurosurgeons many options for preoperative planning. Integrating functional and anatomic data can inform patient selection and surgical planning and makes functional mapping more accessible than when only invasive studies were available. However, the applications of functional mapping to neurosurgical patients are still evolving. Functional imaging remains complex and requires an understanding of the underlying physiologic and imaging characteristics. Neurosurgeons must be accustomed to interpreting highly processed data. Successful implementation of functional image-guided procedures requires efficient interactions between neurosurgeon, neurologist, radiologist, neuropsychologist, and others, but promises to enhance the care of patients.

  20. Default brain functionality in blind people.

    PubMed

    Burton, H; Snyder, A Z; Raichle, M E

    2004-10-26

    We studied whether default functionality of the human brain, as revealed by task-independent decreases in activity occurring during goal-directed behaviors, is functionally reorganized by blindness. Three groups of otherwise normal adults were studied: early blind, adventitiously blind, and normally sighted. They were imaged by using functional MRI during performance of a word association task (verb generation to nouns) administered by using auditory stimuli in all groups and Braille reading in blind participants. In sighted people, this task normally produces robust task-independent decreases relative to a baseline of quiet wakefulness with eyes closed. Our functional MRI results indicate that task-independent decreases are qualitatively similar across all participant groups in medial and dorsal prefrontal, lateral parietal, anterior precuneus, and posterior cingulate cortices. Similarities in task-independent decreases are consistent with the hypothesis that functional reorganization resulting from the absence of a particular sensory modality does not qualitatively affect default functionality as revealed by task-independent decreases. More generally, these results support the notion that the brain largely operates intrinsically, with sensory information modulating rather than determining system operations.

  1. The study of brain functional connectivity in Parkinson's disease.

    PubMed

    Gao, Lin-Lin; Wu, Tao

    2016-01-01

    Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder primarily affecting the aging population. The neurophysiological mechanisms underlying parkinsonian symptoms remain unclear. PD affects extensive neural networks and a more thorough understanding of network disruption will help bridge the gap between known pathological changes and observed clinical presentations in PD. Development of neuroimaging techniques, especially functional magnetic resonance imaging, allows for detection of the functional connectivity of neural networks in patients with PD. This review aims to provide an overview of current research involving functional network disruption in PD relating to motor and non-motor symptoms. Investigations into functional network connectivity will further our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of clinical interventions, such as levodopa and deep brain stimulation treatment. In addition, identification of PD-specific neural network patterns has the potential to aid in the development of a definitive diagnosis of PD.

  2. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

    ... News from the RSNA Annual Meeting Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men At A ... MRI, researchers have found that playing violent video games for one week causes changes in brain function. ...

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

    PubMed Central

    Deak, Ferenc; Freeman, Willard M.; Ungvari, Zoltan; Csiszar, Anna

    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

  4. 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.

  5. Cross-hemispheric functional connectivity in the human fetal brain.

    PubMed

    Thomason, Moriah E; Dassanayake, Maya T; Shen, Stephen; Katkuri, Yashwanth; Alexis, Mitchell; Anderson, Amy L; Yeo, Lami; Mody, Swati; Hernandez-Andrade, Edgar; Hassan, Sonia S; Studholme, Colin; Jeong, Jeong-Won; Romero, Roberto

    2013-02-20

    Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. However, the developmental timetable for the emergence of neural FC during human fetal life is unknown. We present the results of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging performed in 25 healthy human fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (24 to 38 weeks of gestation). We report the presence of bilateral fetal brain FC and regional and age-related variation in FC. Significant bilateral connectivity was evident in half of the 42 areas tested, and the strength of FC between homologous cortical brain regions increased with advancing gestational age. We also observed medial to lateral gradients in fetal functional brain connectivity. These findings improve understanding of human fetal central nervous system development and provide a basis for examining the role of insults during fetal life in the subsequent development of disorders in neural FC.

  6. Cross-hemispheric functional connectivity in the human fetal brain

    PubMed Central

    Thomason, ME; Dassanayake, MT; Shen, S; Katkuri, Y; Alexis, M; Anderson, AL; Yeo, L; Mody, S; Hernandez-Andrade, E; Hassan, SS; Studholme, C; Jeong, JW; Romero, R

    2013-01-01

    Compelling evidence indicates that psychiatric and developmental disorders are generally caused by disruptions in the functional connectivity (FC) of brain networks. Events occurring during development, and in particular during fetal life, have been implicated in the genesis of such disorders. However, the developmental timetable for the emergence of neural FC during human fetal life is unknown. We present the results of resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging performed in 25 healthy human fetuses in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy (24 to 38 weeks of gestation). We report the presence of bilateral fetal brain FC and regional and age-related variation in FC. Significant bilateral connectivity was evident in half of the 42 areas tested, and the strength of FC between homologous cortical brain regions increased with advancing gestational age. We also observed medial to lateral gradients in fetal functional brain connectivity. These findings improve understanding of human fetal central nervous system development and provide a basis for examining the role of insults during fetal life in the subsequent development of disorders in neural FC. PMID:23427244

  7. 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).

  8. Why bother with the brain? A role for decision neuroscience in understanding strategic variability.

    PubMed

    Venkatraman, Vinod

    2013-01-01

    Neuroscience, by its nature, seems to hold considerable promise for understanding the fundamental mechanisms of decision making. In recent years, several studies in the domain of "neuroeconomics" or "decision neuroscience" have provided important insights into brain function. Yet, the apparent success and value of each of these domains are frequently called into question by researchers in economics and behavioral decision making. Critics often charge that knowledge about the brain is unnecessary for understanding decision preferences. In this chapter, I contend that knowledge about underlying brain mechanisms helps in the development of biologically plausible models of behavior, which can then help elucidate the mechanisms underlying individual choice biases and strategic preferences. Using a novel risky choice paradigm, I will demonstrate that people vary in whether they adopt compensatory or noncompensatory rules in economic decision making. Importantly, neuroimaging studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging reveal that distinct neural mechanisms support variability in choices and variability in strategic preferences. Converging evidence from a study involving decisions between hypothetical stocks illustrates how knowledge about the underlying mechanisms can help inform neuroanatomical models of cognitive control. Last, I will demonstrate how knowledge about these underlying neural mechanisms can provide novel insights into the effects of decision states like sleep deprivation on decision preferences. Together, these findings suggest that neuroscience can play a critical role in creating robust and flexible models of real-world decision behavior.

  9. 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.

  10. Correspondence between evoked and intrinsic functional brain network configurations.

    PubMed

    Bolt, Taylor; Nomi, Jason S; Rubinov, Mikail; Uddin, Lucina Q

    2017-04-01

    Much of the literature exploring differences between intrinsic and task-evoked brain architectures has examined changes in functional connectivity patterns between specific brain regions. While informative, this approach overlooks important overall functional changes in hub organization and network topology that may provide insights about differences in integration between intrinsic and task-evoked states. Examination of changes in overall network organization, such as a change in the concentration of hub nodes or a quantitative change in network organization, is important for understanding the underlying processes that differ between intrinsic and task-evoked brain architectures. The present study used graph-theoretical techniques applied to publicly available neuroimaging data collected from a large sample of individuals (N = 202), and a within-subject design where resting-state and several task scans were collected from each participant as part of the Human Connectome Project. We demonstrate that differences between intrinsic and task-evoked brain networks are characterized by a task-general shift in high-connectivity hubs from primarily sensorimotor/auditory processing areas during the intrinsic state to executive control/salience network areas during task performance. In addition, we demonstrate that differences between intrinsic and task-evoked architectures are associated with changes in overall network organization, such as increases in network clustering, global efficiency and integration between modules. These findings offer a new perspective on the principles guiding functional brain organization by identifying unique and divergent properties of overall network organization between the resting-state and task performance. Hum Brain Mapp 38:1992-2007, 2017. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  11. Circadian clocks, brain function, and development.

    PubMed

    Frank, Ellen; Sidor, Michelle M; Gamble, Karen L; Cirelli, Chiara; Sharkey, Katherine M; Hoyle, Nathaniel; Tikotzky, Liat; Talbot, Lisa S; McCarthy, Michael J; Hasler, Brant P

    2013-12-01

    Circadian clocks are temporal interfaces that organize biological systems and behavior to dynamic external environments. Components of the molecular clock are expressed throughout the brain and are centrally poised to play an important role in brain function. This paper focuses on key issues concerning the relationship among circadian clocks, brain function, and development, and discusses three topic areas: (1) sleep and its relationship to the circadian system; (2) systems development and psychopathology (spanning the prenatal period through late life); and (3) circadian factors and their application to neuropsychiatric disorders. We also explore circadian genetics and psychopathology and the selective pressures on the evolution of clocks. Last, a lively debate is presented on whether circadian factors are central to mood disorders. Emerging from research on circadian rhythms is a model of the interaction among genes, sleep, and the environment that converges on the circadian clock to influence susceptibility to developing psychopathology. This model may lend insight into effective treatments for mood disorders and inform development of new interventions.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. Using Hypertext Functionality To Provide Understanding Support.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davalos, Sergio

    1997-01-01

    Presents a computer-based information system developed to support information understanding based on knowledge structures in hypermedia contexts. Examines the development and implementation of an understanding support system (USS), providing computational support for representation and access of knowledge structures. Discusses adding link-based…

  16. Students' Understanding of Functions in Calculus Courses.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Monk, G. S.

    1994-01-01

    Reports on a study of students' responses to two types of questions on final examinations in calculus. Concludes that the two kinds of understanding--pointwise and across time--are clearly distinguishable. Discusses the differences between these two types of understanding. (ASK)

  17. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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.

  19. 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

  20. Assessment of Ex Vivo Transport Function in Isolated Rodent Brain Capillaries.

    PubMed

    Chan, Gary N Y; Cannon, Ronald E

    2017-03-17

    The blood-brain barrier plays an important role in neuroprotection; however, it can be a major obstacle for drug delivery to the brain. This barrier primarily resides in the brain capillaries and functions as an interface between the brain and peripheral blood circulation. Several anatomical and biochemical elements of the blood-brain barrier are essential to regulate the permeability of nutrients, ions, hormones, toxic metabolites, and xenobiotics into and out of the brain. In particular, high expression of ATP-driven efflux transporters at the blood-brain barrier is a major obstacle in the delivery of CNS pharmacotherapeutics to the brain. The complete understanding of these elements can offer insights on how to modulate barrier functions for neuroprotection against CNS drug toxicity and to enhance drug delivery to the brain. In the literature, preclinical models of the blood-brain barrier are widely utilized to predict drug pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics properties in the brain. In addition, these models are essential tools to investigate cellular mechanisms and novel interventions that alter barrier function and permeability. This unit presents procedures to isolate fresh and viable rodent brain capillaries for the assessment of ex vivo transport activity at the blood-brain barrier. © 2017 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Fast Optical Imaging of Human Brain Function

    PubMed Central

    Gratton, Gabriele; Fabiani, Monica

    2010-01-01

    Great advancements in brain imaging during the last few decades have opened a large number of new possibilities for neuroscientists. The most dominant methodologies (electrophysiological and magnetic resonance-based methods) emphasize temporal and spatial information, respectively. However, theorizing about brain function has recently emphasized the importance of rapid (within 100 ms or so) interactions between different elements of complex neuronal networks. Fast optical imaging, and in particular the event-related optical signal (EROS, a technology that has emerged over the last 15 years) may provide descriptions of localized (to sub-cm level) brain activity with a temporal resolution of less than 100 ms. The main limitations of EROS are its limited penetration, which allows us to image cortical structures not deeper than 3 cm from the surface of the head, and its low signal-to-noise ratio. Advantages include the fact that EROS is compatible with most other imaging methods, including electrophysiological, magnetic resonance, and trans-cranial magnetic stimulation techniques, with which can be recorded concurrently. In this paper we present a summary of the research that has been conducted so far on fast optical imaging, including evidence for the possibility of recording neuronal signals with this method, the properties of the signals, and various examples of applications to the study of human cognitive neuroscience. Extant issues, controversies, and possible future developments are also discussed. PMID:20631845

  4. 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

  5. USING ACTION UNDERSTANDING TO UNDERSTAND THE LEFT INFERIOR PARIETAL CORTEX IN THE HUMAN BRAIN

    PubMed Central

    Passingham, RE; Chung, A; Goparaju, B; Cowey, A; Vaina, LM

    2015-01-01

    In an fMRI study we tried to establish whether the areas in the human brain that are involved in the understanding of actions are homologous with the inferior parietal cortex (area PFG) in macaque monkeys. Cells have been described in area PFG that discharge differentially depending upon whether the observer sees food being brought to the mouth or a small object being put in a container. In our study the observers saw videos in which the use of different objects was demonstrated in pantomime; and after viewing the videos, the subject had to pick the object that was appropriate to the pantomime. We found a cluster of activated voxels in parietal areas PFop and PFt and this cluster was greater in the left hemisphere than in the right. We suggest a mechanism that could account for this asymmetry, relate our results to handedness and suggest that they shed light on the human syndrome of apraxia. Finally, we suggest that during the evolution of the hominids, this same pantomime mechanism could have been used to ‘name’ or request objects. PMID:25086203

  6. Complex network analysis of brain functional connectivity under a multi-step cognitive task

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cai, Shi-Min; Chen, Wei; Liu, Dong-Bai; Tang, Ming; Chen, Xun

    2017-01-01

    Functional brain network has been widely studied to understand the relationship between brain organization and behavior. In this paper, we aim to explore the functional connectivity of brain network under a multi-step cognitive task involving consecutive behaviors, and further understand the effect of behaviors on the brain organization. The functional brain networks are constructed based on a high spatial and temporal resolution fMRI dataset and analyzed via complex network based approach. We find that at voxel level the functional brain network shows robust small-worldness and scale-free characteristics, while its assortativity and rich-club organization are slightly restricted to the order of behaviors performed. More interestingly, the functional connectivity of brain network in activated ROIs strongly correlates with behaviors and is obviously restricted to the order of behaviors performed. These empirical results suggest that the brain organization has the generic properties of small-worldness and scale-free characteristics, and its diverse functional connectivity emerging from activated ROIs is strongly driven by these behavioral activities via the plasticity of brain.

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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…

  10. Disrupted Brain Functional Organization in Epilepsy Revealed by Graph Theory Analysis.

    PubMed

    Song, Jie; Nair, Veena A; Gaggl, Wolfgang; Prabhakaran, Vivek

    2015-06-01

    The human brain is a complex and dynamic system that can be modeled as a large-scale brain network to better understand the reorganizational changes secondary to epilepsy. In this study, we developed a brain functional network model using graph theory methods applied to resting-state fMRI data acquired from a group of epilepsy patients and age- and gender-matched healthy controls. A brain functional network model was constructed based on resting-state functional connectivity. A minimum spanning tree combined with proportional thresholding approach was used to obtain sparse connectivity matrices for each subject, which formed the basis of brain networks. We examined the brain reorganizational changes in epilepsy thoroughly at the level of the whole brain, the functional network, and individual brain regions. At the whole-brain level, local efficiency was significantly decreased in epilepsy patients compared with the healthy controls. However, global efficiency was significantly increased in epilepsy due to increased number of functional connections between networks (although weakly connected). At the functional network level, there were significant proportions of newly formed connections between the default mode network and other networks and between the subcortical network and other networks. There was a significant proportion of decreasing connections between the cingulo-opercular task control network and other networks. Individual brain regions from different functional networks, however, showed a distinct pattern of reorganizational changes in epilepsy. These findings suggest that epilepsy alters brain efficiency in a consistent pattern at the whole-brain level, yet alters brain functional networks and individual brain regions differently.

  11. 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…

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Early Brain Stimulation May Help Stroke Survivors Recover Language Function

    MedlinePlus

    ... Making News on Heart.org Learn More Early brain stimulation may help stroke survivors recover language function ... org and strokeassociation.org Related Images Infographic - Thiel-Brain Stimulation copyright American Heart Association Download (311.8 ...

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Functional interactions as big data in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Turk-Browne, Nicholas B

    2013-11-01

    Noninvasive studies of human brain function hold great potential to unlock mysteries of the human mind. The complexity of data generated by such studies, however, has prompted various simplifying assumptions during analysis. Although this has enabled considerable progress, our current understanding is partly contingent upon these assumptions. An emerging approach embraces the complexity, accounting for the fact that neural representations are widely distributed, neural processes involve interactions between regions, interactions vary by cognitive state, and the space of interactions is massive. Because what you see depends on how you look, such unbiased approaches provide the greatest flexibility for discovery.

  18. Understanding Microbial Communities: Function, Structure and Dynamics

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-02-11

    Park, NC 27709-2211 Conference grant, microbial ecology , biomathematics REPORT DOCUMENTATION PAGE 11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT NUMBER(S) 10...Wilmes. Challenges in Microbial Ecology : building predictive understanding, ISME Journal (06 2015) TOTAL: 1 Books Number of Manuscripts: Patents...a one day ’Open for business’ day which was attended by both industrial representatives interested in microbial ecology and academics. Final progress

  19. Dynamic Functional Segregation and Integration in Human Brain Network During Complex Tasks.

    PubMed

    Ren, Shen; Li, Junhua; Taya, Fumihiko; deSouza, Joshua; Thakor, Nitish; Bezerianos, Anastasios

    2016-09-09

    The analysis of the topology and organisation of brain networks is known to greatly benefit from network measures in graph theory. However, to evaluate dynamic changes of brain functional connectivity, more sophisticated quantitative metrics characterising temporal evolution of brain topological features are required. To simplify conversion of time-varying brain connectivity to a static graph representation is straightforward but the procedure loses temporal information that could be critical in understanding the brain functions. To extend the understandings of functional segregation and integration to a dynamic fashion, we recommend dynamic graph metrics to characterise temporal changes of topological features of brain networks. This study investigated functional segregation and integration of brain networks over time by dynamic graph metrics derived from EEG signals during an experimental protocol: performance of complex flight simulation tasks with multiple levels of difficulty. We modelled time-varying brain functional connectivity as multilayer networks, in which each layer models brain connectivity at time window t + t. Dynamic graph metrics were calculated to quantify temporal and topological properties of the network. Results show that brain networks under the performance of complex tasks reveal a dynamic small-world architecture with a number of frequently connected nodes or hubs, which supports the balance of information segregation and integration in brain over time. The results also show that greater cognitive workloads caused by more difficult tasks induced a more globally efficient but less clustered dynamic small-world functional network. Our study illustrates that task-related changes of functional brain network segregation and integration can be characterised by dynamic graph metrics.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  3. Brain surface conformal parameterization with algebraic functions.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yalin; Gu, Xianfeng; Chan, Tony F; Thompson, Paul M; Yau, Shing-Tung

    2006-01-01

    In medical imaging, parameterized 3D surface models are of great interest for anatomical modeling and visualization, statistical comparisons of anatomy, and surface-based registration and signal processing. Here we introduce a parameterization method based on algebraic functions. By solving the Yamabe equation with the Ricci flow method, we can conformally map a brain surface to a multi-hole disk. The resulting parameterizations do not have any singularities and are intrinsic and stable. To illustrate the technique, we computed parameterizations of several types of anatomical surfaces in MRI scans of the brain, including the hippocampi and the cerebral cortices with various landmark curves labeled. For the cerebral cortical surfaces, we show the parameterization results are consistent with selected landmark curves and can be matched to each other using constrained harmonic maps. Unlike previous planar conformal parameterization methods, our algorithm does not introduce any singularity points. It also offers a method to explicitly match landmark curves between anatomical surfaces such as the cortex, and to compute conformal invariants for statistical comparisons of anatomy.

  4. "Does understanding the brain need proteomics and does understanding proteomics need brains?"--Second HUPO HBPP Workshop hosted in Paris.

    PubMed

    Hamacher, Michael; Klose, Joachim; Rossier, Jean; Marcus, Katrin; Meyer, Helmut E

    2004-07-01

    The second Human Brain Proteome Project (HBPP) Workshop of the Human Proteome Organisation (HUPO) took place at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI) from April 23-24, 2004. During two days, more than 70 attendees from Europe, Asia and the US came together to decide basic strategic approaches, standards and the beginning of a pilot phase prior to further studies of the human brain proteome. The international consortium presented the technological and scientific portfolio and scheduled the time table for the next year.

  5. Significance of epigenetics for understanding brain development, brain evolution and behaviour.

    PubMed

    Keverne, E B

    2014-04-04

    Two major environmental developments have occurred in mammalian evolution which have impacted on the genetic and epigenetic regulation of brain development. The first of these was viviparity and development of the placenta which placed a considerable burden of time and energy investment on the matriline, and which resulted in essential hypothalamic modifications. Maternal feeding, maternal care, parturition, milk letdown and the suspension of fertility and sexual behaviour are all determined by the maternal hypothalamus and have evolved to meet foetal needs under the influence of placental hormones. Viviparity itself provided a new environmental variable for selection pressures to operate via the co-existence over three generations of matrilineal genomes (mother, developing offspring and developing oocytes) in one individual. Also of importance for the matriline has been the evolution of epigenetic marks (imprint control regions) which are heritable and undergo reprogramming primarily in the oocyte to regulate imprinted gene expression according to parent of origin. Imprinting of autosomal genes has played a significant role in mammalian evolutionary development, particularly that of the hypothalamus and placenta. Indeed, many imprinted genes that are co-expressed in the placenta and hypothalamus play an important role in the co-adapted functioning of these organs. Thus the action and interaction of two genomes (maternal and foetal) have provided a template for transgenerational selection pressures to operate in shaping the mothering capabilities of each subsequent generation. The advanced aspects of neocortical brain evolution in primates have emancipated much of behaviour from the determining effects of hormonal action. Thus in large brain primates, most of the sexual behaviour is not reproductive hormone dependent and maternal care can and does occur outside the context of pregnancy and parturition. The neocortex has evolved to be adaptable and while the adapted

  6. Understanding dog cognition by functional magnetic resonance imaging.

    PubMed

    Huber, Ludwig; Lamm, Claus

    2017-02-25

    Recent pioneering work has shown the great promise that scanning awake, nonsedated dogs holds for both understanding the canine and the human brain and mind. A number of technological and methodological challenges, however, still need to be overcome to fully tap this potential.

  7. Mapping Functional Connectivity in Patients with Brain Lesions

    PubMed Central

    Guggisberg, Adrian G.; Honma, Susanne M.; Findlay, Anne M.; Dalal, Sarang S.; Kirsch, Heidi E.; Berger, Mitchel S.; Nagarajan, Srikantan S.

    2013-01-01

    OBJECTIVE Although electrophysiological measures of functional connectivity between brain areas are widely used, the spatial distribution of functional interactions as well as the disturbance introduced by focal brain lesions remains poorly understood. Based on the rationale that damaged brain tissue can be expected to be disconnected from the physiological interactions among healthy areas, this study aimed to map the functionality of brain areas according to their connectivity with other areas. METHODS Magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings of spontaneous cortical activity during resting state were obtained from 15 consecutive patients with focal brain lesions and from 14 healthy controls. Neural activity at each volume element (voxel) in the brain was estimated using an adaptive spatial filtering technique. For each brain voxel, the mean imaginary coherence of all its connections with other brain voxels was then caluculated as an index of functional connectivity, and the results compared across brain regions and between subjects. RESULTS The magnitude of the mean imaginary coherence of all voxels and subjects was greatest in the alpha frequency range corresponding to the human cortical idling rhythm. In healthy subjects, functionally critical brain areas such as the somatosensory and language cortices had the highest alpha coherence. When compared to healthy controls, all lesion patients had diffuse or scattered brain areas with decreased coherence. Patients with lesion-induced neurological deficits displayed decreased connectivity estimates in the corresponding brain area compared to intact contralateral regions. In tumor patients without preoperative neurological deficits, brain areas showing decreased coherence could be surgically resected without the occurrence of post-surgical deficits. CONCLUSION Resting state coherence measured with MEG is capable of mapping the functional connectivity of the brain, and can therefore offer valuable information for use in

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2010-11-01

    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.

  13. Imaging structural and functional brain networks in temporal lobe epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Bernhardt, Boris C.; Hong, SeokJun; Bernasconi, Andrea; Bernasconi, Neda

    2013-01-01

    Early imaging studies in temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) focused on the search for mesial temporal sclerosis, as its surgical removal results in clinically meaningful improvement in about 70% of patients. Nevertheless, a considerable subgroup of patients continues to suffer from post-operative seizures. Although the reasons for surgical failure are not fully understood, electrophysiological and imaging data suggest that anomalies extending beyond the temporal lobe may have negative impact on outcome. This hypothesis has revived the concept of human epilepsy as a disorder of distributed brain networks. Recent methodological advances in non-invasive neuroimaging have led to quantify structural and functional networks in vivo. While structural networks can be inferred from diffusion MRI tractography and inter-regional covariance patterns of structural measures such as cortical thickness, functional connectivity is generally computed based on statistical dependencies of neurophysiological time-series, measured through functional MRI or electroencephalographic techniques. This review considers the application of advanced analytical methods in structural and functional connectivity analyses in TLE. We will specifically highlight findings from graph-theoretical analysis that allow assessing the topological organization of brain networks. These studies have provided compelling evidence that TLE is a system disorder with profound alterations in local and distributed networks. In addition, there is emerging evidence for the utility of network properties as clinical diagnostic markers. Nowadays, a network perspective is considered to be essential to the understanding of the development, progression, and management of epilepsy. PMID:24098281

  14. Immunogenetics of rheumatoid arthritis: Understanding functional implications.

    PubMed

    Messemaker, Tobias C; Huizinga, Tom W; Kurreeman, Fina

    2015-11-01

    The last decade has seen a dramatic technological revolution. The characterisation of the majority of the common variations in our genetic code in 2003 precipitated the discovery of the genetic risk factors predisposing to Rheumatoid Arthritis development and progression. Prior to 2007, only a handful of genetic risk factors had been identified, HLA, PTPN22 and CTLA4. Since then, over 100 genetic risk loci have been described, with the prediction that an ever-increasing number of risk alleles with consistently decreasing effect sizes will be discovered in the years to come. Each risk locus harbours multiple candidate genes and the proof of causality of each of these candidates is as yet unknown. An enrichment of these RA-associated genes is found in three pathways: T-cell receptor signalling, JAK-STAT signalling and the NF-κB signalling cascade, and currently drugs targeting these pathways are available for the treatment of RA. However, the role that RA-associated genes have in these pathways and how they contribute to disease is not always clear. Major efforts in understanding the contribution of genetic risk factors are currently under way with studies querying the role of genetic variation in gene expression of coding and non-coding genes, epigenetic marks and other regulatory mechanisms yielding ever more valuable insights into mechanisms of disease. Recent work has suggested a possible enrichment of non-coding RNAs as well as super-enhancers in RA genetic loci indicating possible new insights into disease mechanism. This review brings together these emerging genetic data with an emphasis on the immunogenetic links these findings have provided and what we expect the future will bring.

  15. Kappa-opioid receptor signaling and brain reward function

    PubMed Central

    Bruijnzeel, Adrie W.

    2009-01-01

    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. PMID:19804796

  16. Breaking symmetry: the zebrafish as a model for understanding left-right asymmetry in the developing brain.

    PubMed

    Roussigne, Myriam; Blader, Patrick; Wilson, Stephen W

    2012-03-01

    How does left-right asymmetry develop in the brain and how does the resultant asymmetric circuitry impact on brain function and lateralized behaviors? By enabling scientists to address these questions at the levels of genes, neurons, circuitry and behavior,the zebrafish model system provides a route to resolve the complexity of brain lateralization. In this review, we present the progress made towards characterizing the nature of the gene networks and the sequence of morphogenetic events involved in the asymmetric development of zebrafish epithalamus. In an attempt to integrate the recent extensive knowledge into a working model and to identify the future challenges,we discuss how insights gained at a cellular/developmental level can be linked to the data obtained at a molecular/genetic level. Finally, we present some evolutionary thoughts and discuss how significant discoveries made in zebrafish should provide entry points to better understand the evolutionary origins of brain lateralization.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The Union of Shortest Path Trees of Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Meier, Jil; Tewarie, Prejaas; Van Mieghem, Piet

    2015-11-01

    Communication between brain regions is still insufficiently understood. Applying concepts from network science has shown to be successful in gaining insight in the functioning of the brain. Recent work has implicated that especially shortest paths in the structural brain network seem to play a major role in the communication within the brain. So far, for the functional brain network, only the average length of the shortest paths has been analyzed. In this article, we propose to construct the union of shortest path trees (USPT) as a new topology for the functional brain network. The minimum spanning tree, which has been successful in a lot of recent studies to comprise important features of the functional brain network, is always included in the USPT. After interpreting the link weights of the functional brain network as communication probabilities, the USPT of this network can be uniquely defined. Using data from magnetoencephalography, we applied the USPT as a method to find differences in the network topology of multiple sclerosis patients and healthy controls. The new concept of the USPT of the functional brain network also allows interesting interpretations and may represent the highways of the brain.

  20. Structure-function clustering in multiplex brain networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crofts, J. J.; Forrester, M.; O'Dea, R. D.

    2016-10-01

    A key question in neuroscience is to understand how a rich functional repertoire of brain activity arises within relatively static networks of structurally connected neural populations: elucidating the subtle interactions between evoked “functional connectivity” and the underlying “structural connectivity” has the potential to address this. These structural-functional networks (and neural networks more generally) are more naturally described using a multilayer or multiplex network approach, in favour of standard single-layer network analyses that are more typically applied to such systems. In this letter, we address such issues by exploring important structure-function relations in the Macaque cortical network by modelling it as a duplex network that comprises an anatomical layer, describing the known (macro-scale) network topology of the Macaque monkey, and a functional layer derived from simulated neural activity. We investigate and characterize correlations between structural and functional layers, as system parameters controlling simulated neural activity are varied, by employing recently described multiplex network measures. Moreover, we propose a novel measure of multiplex structure-function clustering which allows us to investigate the emergence of functional connections that are distinct from the underlying cortical structure, and to highlight the dependence of multiplex structure on the neural dynamical regime.

  1. 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

  2. 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…

  3. Physics, Math, and Making Sense: Understanding how brains learn science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Redish, Edward

    2007-03-01

    Recent developments in neuroscience, cognitive science, and behavioral science are helping physics education researchers develop a theoretical understanding of physics teaching and learning. This understanding helps in two ways. 1). We can make sense of the way students respond (often inappropriately) to our instruction. 2). We can learn to appreciate the difficulties we have as instructors in unpacking and identifying critical components of our own knowledge. Building on observations of student learning in introductory and advanced physics, I identify critical components for teaching physics with math that are often overlooked in traditional instruction.

  4. Brain maps on the go: functional imaging during motor challenge in animals.

    PubMed

    Holschneider, D P; Maarek, J-M I

    2008-08-01

    Brain mapping in the freely moving animal is useful for studying motor circuits, not only because it avoids the potential confound of sedation or restraints, but because activated brain states may serve to accentuate differences that only manifest partially while a subject is in the resting state. Perfusion or metabolic mapping using autoradiography allows one to examine changes in brain function at the circuit level across the entire brain with a spatial resolution (approximately 100 micro) appropriate for the rat or mouse brain, and a temporal resolution (seconds-minutes) sufficient for capturing acute brain changes. Here we summarize the application of these methods to the functional brain mapping of behaviors involving locomotion of small animals, methods for the three-dimensional reconstruction of the brain from autoradiographic sections, voxel based analysis of the whole brain, and generation of maps of the flattened rat cortex. Application of these methods in animal models promises utility in improving our understanding of motor function in the normal brain, and of the effects of neuropathology and treatment interventions such as exercise have on the reorganization of motor circuits.

  5. Bayesian network models in brain functional connectivity analysis

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Sheng; Li, Chiang-shan R.

    2013-01-01

    Much effort has been made to better understand the complex integration of distinct parts of the human brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Altered functional connectivity between brain regions is associated with many neurological and mental illnesses, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson diseases, addiction, and depression. In computational science, Bayesian networks (BN) have been used in a broad range of studies to model complex data set in the presence of uncertainty and when expert prior knowledge is needed. However, little is done to explore the use of BN in connectivity analysis of fMRI data. In this paper, we present an up-to-date literature review and methodological details of connectivity analyses using BN, while highlighting caveats in a real-world application. We present a BN model of fMRI dataset obtained from sixty healthy subjects performing the stop-signal task (SST), a paradigm widely used to investigate response inhibition. Connectivity results are validated with the extant literature including our previous studies. By exploring the link strength of the learned BN’s and correlating them to behavioral performance measures, this novel use of BN in connectivity analysis provides new insights to the functional neural pathways underlying response inhibition. PMID:24319317

  6. Functional brain networks develop from a "local to distributed" organization.

    PubMed

    Fair, Damien A; Cohen, Alexander L; Power, Jonathan D; Dosenbach, Nico U F; Church, Jessica A; Miezin, Francis M; Schlaggar, Bradley L; Petersen, Steven E

    2009-05-01

    The mature human brain is organized into a collection of specialized functional networks that flexibly interact to support various cognitive functions. Studies of development often attempt to identify the organizing principles that guide the maturation of these functional networks. In this report, we combine resting state functional connectivity MRI (rs-fcMRI), graph analysis, community detection, and spring-embedding visualization techniques to analyze four separate networks defined in earlier studies. As we have previously reported, we find, across development, a trend toward 'segregation' (a general decrease in correlation strength) between regions close in anatomical space and 'integration' (an increased correlation strength) between selected regions distant in space. The generalization of these earlier trends across multiple networks suggests that this is a general developmental principle for changes in functional connectivity that would extend to large-scale graph theoretic analyses of large-scale brain networks. Communities in children are predominantly arranged by anatomical proximity, while communities in adults predominantly reflect functional relationships, as defined from adult fMRI studies. In sum, over development, the organization of multiple functional networks shifts from a local anatomical emphasis in children to a more "distributed" architecture in young adults. We argue that this "local to distributed" developmental characterization has important implications for understanding the development of neural systems underlying cognition. Further, graph metrics (e.g., clustering coefficients and average path lengths) are similar in child and adult graphs, with both showing "small-world"-like properties, while community detection by modularity optimization reveals stable communities within the graphs that are clearly different between young children and young adults. These observations suggest that early school age children and adults both have

  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. Integration of visual and motor functional streams in the human brain.

    PubMed

    Sepulcre, Jorge

    2014-05-01

    A long-standing difficulty in brain research has been to disentangle how information flows across circuits composed by multiple local and distant cerebral areas. At the large-scale level, several brain imaging methods have contributed to the understanding of those circuits by capturing the covariance or coupling patterns of blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) activity between distributed brain regions. The hypothesis is that underlying information processes are closely associated to synchronized brain activity, and therefore to the functional connectivity structure of the human brain. In this study, we have used a recently developed method called stepwise functional connectivity analysis. Our results show that motor and visual connectivity merge in a multimodal integration network that links together perception, action and cognition in the human functional connectome.

  10. Gut microbial communities modulating brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Al-Asmakh, Maha; Anuar, Farhana; Zadjali, Fahad; Rafter, Joseph; Pettersson, Sven

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian brain development is initiated in utero and internal and external environmental signals can affect this process all the way until adulthood. Recent observations suggest that one such external cue is the indigenous microbiota which has been shown to affect developmental programming of the brain. This may have consequences for brain maturation and function that impact on cognitive functions later in life. This review discusses these recent findings from a developmental perspective.

  11. Insulin in the brain: sources, localization and functions.

    PubMed

    Ghasemi, Rasoul; Haeri, Ali; Dargahi, Leila; Mohamed, Zahurin; Ahmadiani, Abolhassan

    2013-02-01

    Historically, insulin is best known for its role in peripheral glucose homeostasis, and insulin signaling in the brain has received less attention. Insulin-independent brain glucose uptake has been the main reason for considering the brain as an insulin-insensitive organ. However, recent findings showing a high concentration of insulin in brain extracts, and expression of insulin receptors (IRs) in central nervous system tissues have gathered considerable attention over the sources, localization, and functions of insulin in the brain. This review summarizes the current status of knowledge of the peripheral and central sources of insulin in the brain, site-specific expression of IRs, and also neurophysiological functions of insulin including the regulation of food intake, weight control, reproduction, and cognition and memory formation. This review also considers the neuromodulatory and neurotrophic effects of insulin, resulting in proliferation, differentiation, and neurite outgrowth, introducing insulin as an attractive tool for neuroprotection against apoptosis, oxidative stress, beta amyloid toxicity, and brain ischemia.

  12. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 functionality

  14. 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.

  15. Violent Video Games Alter Brain Function in Young Men

    MedlinePlus

    ... RSS feed 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. Persistent Postconcussive Symptoms Are Accompanied by Decreased Functional Brain Oxygenation.

    PubMed

    Helmich, Ingo; Saluja, Rajeet S; Lausberg, Hedda; Kempe, Mathias; Furley, Philip; Berger, Alisa; Chen, Jen-Kai; Ptito, Alain

    2015-01-01

    Diagnostic methods are considered a major concern in the determination of mild traumatic brain injury. The authors examined brain oxygenation patterns in subjects with severe and minor persistent postconcussive difficulties and a healthy control group during working memory tasks in prefrontal brain regions using functional near-infrared spectroscopy. The results demonstrated decreased working memory performances among concussed subjects with severe postconcussive symptoms that were accompanied by decreased brain oxygenation patterns. An association appears to exist between decreased brain oxygenation, poor performance of working memory tasks, and increased symptom severity scores in subjects suffering from persistent postconcussive symptoms.

  17. 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…

  18. 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…

  19. 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

  20. Manifold learning on brain functional networks in aging.

    PubMed

    Qiu, Anqi; Lee, Annie; Tan, Mingzhen; Chung, Moo K

    2015-02-01

    We propose a new analysis framework to utilize the full information of brain functional networks for computing the mean of a set of brain functional networks and embedding brain functional networks into a low-dimensional space in which traditional regression and classification analyses can be easily employed. For this, we first represent the brain functional network by a symmetric positive matrix computed using sparse inverse covariance estimation. We then impose a Log-Euclidean Riemannian manifold structure on brain functional networks whose norm gives a convenient and practical way to define a mean. Finally, based on the fact that the computation of linear operations can be done in the tangent space of this Riemannian manifold, we adopt Locally Linear Embedding (LLE) to the Log-Euclidean Riemannian manifold space in order to embed the brain functional networks into a low-dimensional space. We show that the integration of the Log-Euclidean manifold with LLE provides more efficient and succinct representation of the functional network and facilitates regression analysis, such as ridge regression, on the brain functional network to more accurately predict age when compared to that of the Euclidean space of functional networks with LLE. Interestingly, using the Log-Euclidean analysis framework, we demonstrate the integration and segregation of cortical-subcortical networks as well as among the salience, executive, and emotional networks across lifespan.

  1. Brain images, babies, and bathwater: critiquing critiques of functional neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Farah, Martha J

    2014-01-01

    Since the mid-1980s, psychologists and neuroscientists have used brain imaging to test hypotheses about human thought processes and their neural instantiation. In just three decades, functional neuroimaging has been transformed from a crude clinical tool to a widely used research method for understanding the human brain and mind. Such rapidly achieved success is bound to evoke skepticism. A degree of skepticism toward new methods and ideas is both inevitable and useful in any field. It is especially valuable in a science as young as cognitive neuroscience and its even younger siblings, social and affective neuroscience. Healthy skepticism encourages us to check our assumptions, recognize the limitations of our methods, and proceed thoughtfully. Skepticism itself, however, also must be examined. In this article, I review the most commonly voiced criticisms of functional neuroimaging. In the spirit of healthy skepticism, I will critically examine these criticisms themselves. Each contains at least a kernel of truth, although I will argue that in some cases the kernel has been over extended in ways that are inaccurate or misleading.

  2. Centrality of Social Interaction in Human Brain Function.

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-07

    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.

  3. Understanding the behavioural consequences of noninvasive brain stimulation.

    PubMed

    Bestmann, Sven; de Berker, Archy O; Bonaiuto, James

    2015-01-01

    Transcranial electrical stimulation (tES) influences neural activity in a way that can elicit behavioural change but may also improve high-level cognition or ameliorate symptoms in neuropsychiatric disorders. However, the current fervour for tES contrasts with the paucity of mechanistically detailed models of how stimulation causes behavioural change. Here we challenge the plausibility of several common assumptions and interpretations of tES and discuss how to bridge the ravines separating our understanding of the behavioural and neural consequences of tES. We argue that rational application of tES should occur in tandem with computational neurostimulation and appropriate physiological and behavioural assays. This will aid appreciation of the limitations of tES and generate testable predictions of how tES expresses its effects on behaviour.

  4. Development of Large-Scale Functional Brain Networks in Children

    PubMed Central

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Musen, Mark; Menon, Vinod

    2009-01-01

    The ontogeny of large-scale functional organization of the human brain is not well understood. Here we use network analysis of intrinsic functional connectivity to characterize the organization of brain networks in 23 children (ages 7–9 y) and 22 young-adults (ages 19–22 y). Comparison of network properties, including path-length, clustering-coefficient, hierarchy, and regional connectivity, revealed that although children and young-adults' brains have similar “small-world” organization at the global level, they differ significantly in hierarchical organization and interregional connectivity. We found that subcortical areas were more strongly connected with primary sensory, association, and paralimbic areas in children, whereas young-adults showed stronger cortico-cortical connectivity between paralimbic, limbic, and association areas. Further, combined analysis of functional connectivity with wiring distance measures derived from white-matter fiber tracking revealed that the development of large-scale brain networks is characterized by weakening of short-range functional connectivity and strengthening of long-range functional connectivity. Importantly, our findings show that the dynamic process of over-connectivity followed by pruning, which rewires connectivity at the neuronal level, also operates at the systems level, helping to reconfigure and rebalance subcortical and paralimbic connectivity in the developing brain. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of network analysis of brain connectivity to elucidate key principles underlying functional brain maturation, paving the way for novel studies of disrupted brain connectivity in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. PMID:19621066

  5. 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

  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.

  7. Mapping brain structure and function: cellular resolution, global perspective.

    PubMed

    Zupanc, Günther K H

    2017-04-01

    A comprehensive understanding of the brain requires analysis, although from a global perspective, with cellular, and even subcellular, resolution. An important step towards this goal involves the establishment of three-dimensional high-resolution brain maps, incorporating brain-wide information about the cells and their connections, as well as the chemical architecture. The progress made in such anatomical brain mapping in recent years has been paralleled by the development of physiological techniques that enable investigators to generate global neural activity maps, also with cellular resolution, while simultaneously recording the organism's behavioral activity. Combination of the high-resolution anatomical and physiological maps, followed by theoretical systems analysis of the deduced network, will offer unprecedented opportunities for a better understanding of how the brain, as a whole, processes sensory information and generates behavior.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2011-12-05

    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.

  11. Highlighting the structure-function relationship of the brain with the Ising model and graph theory.

    PubMed

    Das, T K; Abeyasinghe, P M; Crone, J S; Sosnowski, A; Laureys, S; Owen, A M; Soddu, A

    2014-01-01

    With the advent of neuroimaging techniques, it becomes feasible to explore the structure-function relationships in the brain. When the brain is not involved in any cognitive task or stimulated by any external output, it preserves important activities which follow well-defined spatial distribution patterns. Understanding the self-organization of the brain from its anatomical structure, it has been recently suggested to model the observed functional pattern from the structure of white matter fiber bundles. Different models which study synchronization (e.g., the Kuramoto model) or global dynamics (e.g., the Ising model) have shown success in capturing fundamental properties of the brain. In particular, these models can explain the competition between modularity and specialization and the need for integration in the brain. Graphing the functional and structural brain organization supports the model and can also highlight the strategy used to process and organize large amount of information traveling between the different modules. How the flow of information can be prevented or partially destroyed in pathological states, like in severe brain injured patients with disorders of consciousness or by pharmacological induction like in anaesthesia, will also help us to better understand how global or integrated behavior can emerge from local and modular interactions.

  12. 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,…

  13. 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.…

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

    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 multimodal integration of brain structure and function analyses links sexual and nonsexual psychopathology in pedophilia.

  15. Hierarchical organization of brain functional networks during visual tasks.

    PubMed

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. Let thy left brain know what thy right brain doeth: Inter-hemispheric compensation of functional deficits after brain damage.

    PubMed

    Bartolomeo, Paolo; Thiebaut de Schotten, Michel

    2016-12-01

    Recent evidence revealed the importance of inter-hemispheric communication for the compensation of functional deficits after brain damage. This review summarises the biological consequences observed using histology as well as the longitudinal findings measured with magnetic resonance imaging methods in brain damaged animals and patients. In particular, we discuss the impact of post-stroke brain hyperactivity on functional recovery in relation to time. The reviewed evidence also suggests that the proportion of the preserved functional network both in the lesioned and in the intact hemispheres, rather than the simple lesion location, determines the extent of functional recovery. Hence, future research exploring longitudinal changes in patients with brain damage may unveil potential biomarkers underlying functional recovery.

  18. Understanding the pathophysiology of schizophrenia: Contributions from the Melbourne Psychiatric Brain Bank.

    PubMed

    Dean, Brian; Copolov, David; Scarr, Elizabeth

    2016-11-01

    The Melbourne Psychiatric Brain Bank came into existence 25years ago. This review focusses on lines of research that have used tissue from the Brain Bank over periods of time. Hence there is a discussion on the significance of changes in levels of serotonin 2A receptors in the cortex of patients with schizophrenia and the relevance of such changes with regards to the pathophysiology of the disorder. The extensive contribution made by studies using tissue from the Melbourne Psychiatric Brain Bank to understanding the role of muscarinic receptors in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia is summarised. Finally, findings using brain bank tissue and "omics" technologies are reviewed. In each case, findings using tissue from the Melbourne Psychiatric Brain Bank is placed in context with research carried out on human postmortem CNS in schizophrenia and with findings in other lines of research that can help explain the causes or consequences of changes in CNS molecular cytoarchitecture. This timely review of data from the Melbourne Psychiatric Brain Bank reinforces the challenges faced in trying to increase our understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of schizophrenia. Continuing to increase our understanding of the disorder is important as a precursor to identifying new drug targets that can be exploited to improve the treatment of a disorder where treatment resistance remains a significant problem (Millan et al., 2016).

  19. From brain topography to brain topology: relevance of graph theory to functional neuroscience.

    PubMed

    Minati, Ludovico; Varotto, Giulia; D'Incerti, Ludovico; Panzica, Ferruccio; Chan, Dennis

    2013-07-10

    Although several brain regions show significant specialization, higher functions such as cross-modal information integration, abstract reasoning and conscious awareness are viewed as emerging from interactions across distributed functional networks. Analytical approaches capable of capturing the properties of such networks can therefore enhance our ability to make inferences from functional MRI, electroencephalography and magnetoencephalography data. Graph theory is a branch of mathematics that focuses on the formal modelling of networks and offers a wide range of theoretical tools to quantify specific features of network architecture (topology) that can provide information complementing the anatomical localization of areas responding to given stimuli or tasks (topography). Explicit modelling of the architecture of axonal connections and interactions among areas can furthermore reveal peculiar topological properties that are conserved across diverse biological networks, and highly sensitive to disease states. The field is evolving rapidly, partly fuelled by computational developments that enable the study of connectivity at fine anatomical detail and the simultaneous interactions among multiple regions. Recent publications in this area have shown that graph-based modelling can enhance our ability to draw causal inferences from functional MRI experiments, and support the early detection of disconnection and the modelling of pathology spread in neurodegenerative disease, particularly Alzheimer's disease. Furthermore, neurophysiological studies have shown that network topology has a profound link to epileptogenesis and that connectivity indices derived from graph models aid in modelling the onset and spread of seizures. Graph-based analyses may therefore significantly help understand the bases of a range of neurological conditions. This review is designed to provide an overview of graph-based analyses of brain connectivity and their relevance to disease aimed

  20. 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

    2016-11-09

    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.

  1. Optogenetic probing of functional brain circuitry.

    PubMed

    Mancuso, James J; Kim, Jinsook; Lee, Soojung; Tsuda, Sachiko; Chow, Nicholas B H; Augustine, George J

    2011-01-01

    Recently developed optogenetic technologies offer the promise of high-speed mapping of brain circuitry. Genetically targeted light-gated channels and pumps, such as channelrhodopsins and halorhodopsin, allow optical control of neuronal activity with high spatial and temporal resolution. Optogenetic probes of neuronal activity, such as Clomeleon and Mermaid, allow light to be used to monitor the activity of a genetically defined population of neurons. Combining these two complementary sets of optogenetic probes will make it possible to perform all-optical circuit mapping. Owing to the improved efficiency and higher speed of data acquisition, this hybrid approach should enable high-throughput mapping of brain circuitry.

  2. Anomalous brain functional connectivity contributing to poor adaptive behavior in Down syndrome.

    PubMed

    Pujol, Jesus; del Hoyo, Laura; Blanco-Hinojo, Laura; de Sola, Susana; Macià, Dídac; Martínez-Vilavella, Gerard; Amor, Marta; Deus, Joan; Rodríguez, Joan; Farré, Magí; Dierssen, Mara; de la Torre, Rafael

    2015-03-01

    Research in Down syndrome has substantially progressed in the understanding of the effect of gene overexpression at the molecular level, but there is a paucity of information on the ultimate consequences on overall brain functional organization. We have assessed the brain functional status in Down syndrome using functional connectivity MRI. Resting-state whole-brain connectivity degree maps were generated in 20 Down syndrome individuals and 20 control subjects to identify sites showing anomalous synchrony with other areas. A subsequent region-of-interest mapping served to detail the anomalies and to assess their potential contribution to poor adaptive behavior. Down syndrome individuals showed higher regional connectivity in a ventral brain system involving the amygdala/anterior temporal region and the ventral aspect of both the anterior cingulate and frontal cortices. By contrast, lower functional connectivity was identified in dorsal executive networks involving dorsal prefrontal and anterior cingulate cortices and posterior insula. Both functional connectivity increases and decreases contributed to account for patient scoring on adaptive behavior related to communication skills. The data overall suggest a distinctive functional organization with system-specific anomalies associated with reduced adaptive efficiency. Opposite effects were identified on distinct frontal and anterior temporal structures and relative sparing of posterior brain areas, which is generally consistent with Down syndrome cognitive profile. Relevantly, measurable connectivity changes, as a marker of the brain functional anomaly, could have a role in the development of therapeutic strategies addressed to improve the quality of life in Down syndrome individuals.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Mapping functional brain development: Building a social brain through interactive specialization.

    PubMed

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

    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 cognition and mentalizing computations in the brain. Second, they extend the implications of the IS view from the emergence of specialized functions within a cortical region to a focus on how different cortical regions with complementary functions become orchestrated into networks during human postnatal development.

  6. 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…

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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…

  11. Network Analysis of Intrinsic Functional Brain Connectivity in Alzheimer's Disease

    PubMed Central

    Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod; Rubin, Daniel; Musen, Mark; Greicius, Michael D.

    2008-01-01

    Functional brain networks detected in task-free (“resting-state”) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have a small-world architecture that reflects a robust functional organization of the brain. Here, we examined whether this functional organization is disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). Task-free fMRI data from 21 AD subjects and 18 age-matched controls were obtained. Wavelet analysis was applied to the fMRI data to compute frequency-dependent correlation matrices. Correlation matrices were thresholded to create 90-node undirected-graphs of functional brain networks. Small-world metrics (characteristic path length and clustering coefficient) were computed using graph analytical methods. In the low frequency interval 0.01 to 0.05 Hz, functional brain networks in controls showed small-world organization of brain activity, characterized by a high clustering coefficient and a low characteristic path length. In contrast, functional brain networks in AD showed loss of small-world properties, characterized by a significantly lower clustering coefficient (p<0.01), indicative of disrupted local connectivity. Clustering coefficients for the left and right hippocampus were significantly lower (p<0.01) in the AD group compared to the control group. Furthermore, the clustering coefficient distinguished AD participants from the controls with a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 78%. Our study provides new evidence that there is disrupted organization of functional brain networks in AD. Small-world metrics can characterize the functional organization of the brain in AD, and our findings further suggest that these network measures may be useful as an imaging-based biomarker to distinguish AD from healthy aging. PMID:18584043

  12. [The advantages and limitations of brain function analyses by PET].

    PubMed

    Kato, M; Taniwaki, T; Kuwabara, Y

    2000-12-01

    PET has been proved to be a powerful tool for exploring the brain function. We discussed the advantages and limitations of PET for analyzing the brain function on the basis of our clinical and experimental experiences of functional imaging. A multimodality PET study measuring cerebral energy metabolism (CMRO2 and CMRglc), cerebral blood flow (CBF), oxygen extraction fraction (OEF) and neurotransmitter function (presynaptic and postsynaptic) opens up a closer insight into a precise pathophysiology of the brain dysfunction: In cerebral infarction, it reveals a state of "misery perfusion" in the acute stage, "luxury perfusion" in the intermediate stage, and proportionately decreased CBF and CMRO2 in the chronic stage. Neurotransmitter function may identify specifically a neuronal subgroup of dysfunction. Owing to the low temporal resolution of PET, a neuronal activity may propagate transsynaptically to remote areas during the period of scanning, resulting in an obscured primary site of the neuronal activity. Uncoupling between neuronal activities and cerebral energy metabolism/CBF may occur under a certain state of brain pathology, particularly after an acute destructive lesion, according to our experimental studies. Neurotransmitter function may reveal the effect of drugs on the brain function, and may be useful for developing a new method of drug therapy for brain diseases in the future.

  13. Breakdown of the brain's functional network modularity with awareness.

    PubMed

    Godwin, Douglass; Barry, Robert L; Marois, René

    2015-03-24

    Neurobiological theories of awareness propose divergent accounts of the spatial extent of brain changes that support conscious perception. Whereas focal theories posit mostly local regional changes, global theories propose that awareness emerges from the propagation of neural signals across a broad extent of sensory and association cortex. Here we tested the scalar extent of brain changes associated with awareness using graph theoretical analysis applied to functional connectivity data acquired at ultra-high field while subjects performed a simple masked target detection task. We found that awareness of a visual target is associated with a degradation of the modularity of the brain's functional networks brought about by an increase in intermodular functional connectivity. These results provide compelling evidence that awareness is associated with truly global changes in the brain's functional connectivity.

  14. Functional brain imaging in schizophrenia: selected results and methods.

    PubMed

    Brown, Gregory G; Thompson, Wesley K

    2010-01-01

    Functional brain imaging studies of patients with schizophrenia may be grouped into those that assume that the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia are due to disordered circuitry within a critical brain region and studies that assume that the signs and symptoms are due to disordered connections among brain regions. Studies have investigated the disordered functional brain anatomy of both the positive and negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Studies of spontaneous hallucinations find that although hallucinations are associated with abnormal brain activity in primary and secondary sensory areas, disordered brain activation associated with hallucinations is not limited to sensory systems. Disordered activation in non-sensory regions appear to contribute to the emotional strength and valence of hallucinations, to be a factor underlying an inability to distinguish ongoing mental processing from memories, and to reflect the brain's attempt to modulate the intensity of hallucinations and resolve conflicts with other processing demands. Brain activation studies support the view that auditory/verbal hallucinations are associated with an impaired ability of internal speech plans to modulate neural activation in sensory language areas. In early studies, negative symptoms of schizophrenia were hypothesized to be associated with impaired function in frontal brain areas. In support of this hypothesis meta-analytical studies have found that resting blood flow or metabolism in frontal cortex is reduced in schizophrenia, though the magnitude of the effect is only small to moderate. Brain activation studies of working memory (WM) functioning are typically associated with large effect sizes in the frontal cortex, whereas studies of functions other than WM generally reveal smaller effects. Findings from some functional connectivity studies have supported the hypothesis that schizophrenia patients experience impaired functional connections between frontal and temporal cortex, although

  15. Constructing human brain-function association models from fMRI literature.

    PubMed

    Hsiao, Mei-Yu; Chen, Der-Yow; Chen, Jyh-Horng

    2007-01-01

    Toward the goal of understanding the human brain function, we have developed a web-based Human Brain Functional Mapping Knowledge Base (HBFMKB) system to mining human brain-function association model from vast Medline abstracts. Since nomenclature and relationships among cognitive functions have no consensus yet, we use rule-based natural language processing methods to extract behavioral task and cognitive function and do n-gram approximate concept mapping by the Unified Medical Language system (UMLS) knowledge source. The HBFMKB system has an automatic PubMed MEDLINE download and import system, name entity extraction system and interactive visualization system. In summary, the HBFMKB system helps scientists to get digest knowledge before design experiments and compare their results with current literature.

  16. Telemedicine for evaluation of brain function by a metacomputer.

    PubMed

    Mizuno-Matsumoto, Y; Date, S; Tabuchi, Y; Tamura, S; Sato, Y; Zoroofi, R A; Shimojo, S; Kadobayashi, Y; Tatsumi, H; Nogawa, H; Shinosaki, K; Takeda, M; Inouye, T; Miyahara, H

    2000-06-01

    A method of evaluating brain function using the metacomputer concept of the Globus system combined with a message-passing interface is described. The proposed method has the ability to exploit various geographically distributed resources and parallel computing linked to a high-technology medical instrumentation system, magnetoencephalography, to analyze the functional state of the brain. It is envisaged that the method will lead to the realization of an efficient telemedicine system for health care.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. Investigation of the large-scale functional brain networks modulated by acupuncture.

    PubMed

    Feng, Yuanyuan; Bai, Lijun; Ren, Yanshuang; Wang, Hu; Liu, Zhenyu; Zhang, Wensheng; Tian, Jie

    2011-09-01

    Previous neuroimaging studies have primarily focused on the neural activities involving the acute effects of acupuncture. Considering that acupuncture can induce long-lasting effects, several researchers have begun to pay attention to the sustained effects of acupuncture on the resting brain. Most of these researchers adopted functional connectivity analysis based on one or a few preselected brain regions and demonstrated various function-guided brain networks underlying the specific effect of acupuncture. Few have investigated how these brain networks interacted at the whole-brain level. In this study, we sought to investigate the functional correlations throughout the entire brain following acupuncture at acupoint ST36 (ACUP) in comparison with acupuncture at nearby nonacupoint (SHAM). We divided the whole brain into 90 regions and constructed functional brain network for each condition. Then we examined the network hubs and identified statistically significant differences in functional correlations between the two conditions. Following ACUP, but not SHAM, the limbic/paralimbic regions such as the amygdala, hippocampus and anterior cingulate gyrus emerged as network hubs. For direct comparisons, increased correlations for ACUP compared to SHAM were primarily related with the limbic/paralimbic and subcortical regions such as the insula, amygdala, anterior cingulate gyrus, and thalamus, whereas decreased correlations were mainly related with the sensory and frontal cortex. The heterogeneous modulation patterns between the two conditions may relate to the functional specific modulatory effects of acupuncture. The preliminary findings may help us to better understand the long-lasting effects of acupuncture on the entire resting brain, as well as the neurophysiological mechanisms underlying acupuncture.

  20. Comparative approach to understanding traumatic injury in the immature, postnatal brain of domestic animals.

    PubMed

    Finnie, J W

    2012-08-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent occurrence in veterinary medicine, but the mechanisms leading to brain damage after a head impact are incompletely understood, particularly in the postnatal immature and still developing nervous system. This paper reviews neurotrauma studies, largely in paediatric humans and experimental animal models, in order to outline the pathophysiological and biomechanical events likely to be operative in head trauma involving domestic animal species in the postnatal period, as there is almost no other information available in the veterinary literature. Predicting the outcome of TBI is particularly difficult at this developmental time, in large part because recovery is influenced by the stage of brain maturation and neuroplasticity. An important part of the clinical management of TBI is the differentiation of primary brain damage, which occurs at the moment of head impact and is largely refractory to treatment, from the cascade of secondary events, which evolve over time and are potentially preventable and amenable to therapeutic intervention. An understanding of the causes and consequences of secondary brain damage such as hypoxia-ischaemia, brain swelling, elevated intracranial pressure, and infection is critical to limiting the resulting brain injury.

  1. 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

  2. Human brain activity with functional NIR optical imager

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luo, Qingming

    2001-08-01

    In this paper we reviewed the applications of functional near infrared optical imager in human brain activity. Optical imaging results of brain activity, including memory for new association, emotional thinking, mental arithmetic, pattern recognition ' where's Waldo?, occipital cortex in visual stimulation, and motor cortex in finger tapping, are demonstrated. It is shown that the NIR optical method opens up new fields of study of the human population, in adults under conditions of simulated or real stress that may have important effects upon functional performance. It makes practical and affordable for large populations the complex technology of measuring brain function. It is portable and low cost. In cognitive tasks subjects could report orally. The temporal resolution could be millisecond or less in theory. NIR method will have good prospects in exploring human brain secret.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. Understanding Effects of Traumatic Insults on Brain Structure and Function

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2016-08-01

    Research and Engineering Directorate, ARL Mary Boggs Department of Biology , University of Delaware Mark DeCoster Department of Biomedical...Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. 2009 Sep 3–6; Minneapolis, MN. New York (NY): IEEE; c2009; p

  6. Spontaneous functional network dynamics and associated structural substrates in the human brain

    PubMed Central

    Liao, Xuhong; Yuan, Lin; Zhao, Tengda; Dai, Zhengjia; Shu, Ni; Xia, Mingrui; Yang, Yihong; Evans, Alan; He, Yong

    2015-01-01

    Recent imaging connectomics studies have demonstrated that the spontaneous human brain functional networks derived from resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) include many non-trivial topological properties, such as highly efficient small-world architecture and densely connected hub regions. However, very little is known about dynamic functional connectivity (D-FC) patterns of spontaneous human brain networks during rest and about how these spontaneous brain dynamics are constrained by the underlying structural connectivity. Here, we combined sub-second multiband R-fMRI data with graph-theoretical approaches to comprehensively investigate the dynamic characteristics of the topological organization of human whole-brain functional networks, and then employed diffusion imaging data in the same participants to further explore the associated structural substrates. At the connection level, we found that human whole-brain D-FC patterns spontaneously fluctuated over time, while homotopic D-FC exhibited high connectivity strength and low temporal variability. At the network level, dynamic functional networks exhibited time-varying but evident small-world and assortativity architecture, with several regions (e.g., insula, sensorimotor cortex and medial prefrontal cortex) emerging as functionally persistent hubs (i.e., highly connected regions) while possessing large temporal variability in their degree centrality. Finally, the temporal characteristics (i.e., strength and variability) of the connectional and nodal properties of the dynamic brain networks were significantly associated with their structural counterparts. Collectively, we demonstrate the economical, efficient, and flexible characteristics of dynamic functional coordination in large-scale human brain networks during rest, and highlight their relationship with underlying structural connectivity, which deepens our understandings of spontaneous brain network dynamics in humans. PMID:26388757

  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. Graph theoretical analysis of sedation's effect on whole brain functional system in school-aged children.

    PubMed

    Wei, Zhen; Alcauter, Sarael; Jin, Ke; Peng, Zi-Wen; Gao, Wei

    2013-01-01

    The neurophysiological mechanism underlying sedation, especially in school-aged children, remains largely unknown. The recently emerged resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rsfMRI) technique, capable of delineating brain's functional interaction pattern among distributed brain areas, proves to be a unique and powerful tool to study sedation-induced brain reorganization. Based on a relatively large school-aged children population (n=28, 10.3±2.6 years, range 7-15 years) and leveraging rsfMRI and graph theoretical analysis, this study aims to delineate sedation-induced changes in brain's information transferring property from a whole brain system perspective. Our results show a global deterioration in brain's efficiency properties (p=0.0085 and 0.0018, for global and local efficiency, respectively) with a locally graded distribution featuring significant disruptions of key consciousness-related regions. Moreover, our results also indicate a redistribution of brain's information-processing hubs characterized by a right and posterior shift as consistent with the reduced level of consciousness during sedation. Overall, our findings inform a sedation-induced functional reorganization pattern in school-aged children that greatly improve our understanding of sedation's effect in children and may potentially serve as reference for future sedation-related experimental studies and clinical applications.

  9. Linking variability in brain chemistry and circuit function through multimodal human neuroimaging.

    PubMed

    Fisher, P M; Hariri, A R

    2012-08-01

    Identifying neurobiological mechanisms mediating the emergence of individual differences in behavior is critical for advancing our understanding of relative risk for psychopathology. Neuroreceptor positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to assay in vivo regional brain chemistry and function, respectively. Typically, these neuroimaging modalities are implemented independently despite the capacity for integrated data sets to offer unique insight into molecular mechanisms associated with brain function. Through examples from the serotonin and dopamine system and its effects on threat- and reward-related brain function, we review evidence for how such a multimodal neuroimaging strategy can be successfully implemented. Furthermore, we discuss how multimodal PET-fMRI can be integrated with techniques such as imaging genetics, pharmacological challenge paradigms and gene-environment interaction models to more completely map biological pathways mediating individual differences in behavior and related risk for psychopathology and inform the development of novel therapeutic targets.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-10-19

    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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Zinc: an underappreciated modulatory factor of brain function.

    PubMed

    Marger, L; Schubert, C R; Bertrand, D

    2014-10-15

    The divalent cation, zinc is the second most abundant metal in the human body and is indispensable for life. Zinc concentrations must however, be tightly regulated as deficiencies are associated with multiple pathological conditions while an excess can be toxic. Zinc plays an important role as a cofactor in protein folding and function, e.g. catalytic interactions, DNA recognition by zinc finger proteins and modulation ion channel activity. There are 24 mammalian proteins specific for zinc transport that are subdivided in two groups with opposing functions: ZnT proteins reduce cytosolic zinc concentration while ZIP proteins increase it. The mammalian brain contains a significant amount of zinc, with 5-15% concentrated in synaptic vesicles of glutamatergic neurons alone. Accumulated in these vesicles by the ZnT3 transporter, zinc is released into the synaptic cleft at concentrations from nanomolar at rest to high micromolar during active neurotransmission. Low concentrations of zinc modulate the activity of a multitude of voltage- or ligand-gated ion channels, indicating that this divalent cation must be taken into account in the analysis of the pathophysiology of CNS disorders including epilepsy, schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease. In the context of the latest findings, we review the role of zinc in the central nervous system and discuss the relevance of the most recent association between the zinc transporter, ZIP8 and schizophrenia. An enhanced understanding of zinc transporters in the context of ion channel modulation may offer new avenues in identifying novel therapeutic entities that target neurological disorders.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

    Kitayama, Shinobu; Park, Jiyoung

    2010-06-01

    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.

  1. [Functional imaging of deep brain stimulation in idiopathic Parkinson's disease].

    PubMed

    Hilker, R

    2010-10-01

    Functional brain imaging allows the effects of deep brain stimulation (DBS) on the living human brain to be investigated. In patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD), positron emission tomography (PET) studies were undertaken at rest as well as under motor, cognitive or behavioral activation. DBS leads to a reduction of abnormal PD-related network activity in the motor system, which partly correlates with the improvement of motor symptoms. The local increase of energy consumption within the direct target area suggests a predominant excitatory influence of the stimulation current on neuronal tissue. Remote effects of DBS of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) on frontal association cortices indicate an interference of stimulation energy with associative and limbic basal ganglia loops. Taken together, functional brain imaging provides very valuable data for advancement of the DBS technique in PD therapy.

  2. Effect of glycolysis inhibition on mitochondrial function in rat brain.

    PubMed

    Cano-Ramírez, D; Torres-Vargas, C E; Guerrero-Castillo, S; Uribe-Carvajal, S; Hernández-Pando, R; Pedraza-Chaverri, J; Orozco-Ibarra, M

    2012-05-01

    Inhibition of the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase enhances the neural vulnerability to excitotoxicity both in vivo and in vitro through an unknown mechanism possibly related to mitochondrial failure. However, as the effect of glycolysis inhibition on mitochondrial function in brain has not been studied, the aim of the present work was to evaluate the effect of glycolysis inhibition induced by iodoacetate on mitochondrial function and oxidative stress in brain. Mitochondria were isolated from brain cortex, striatum and cerebellum of rats treated systemically with iodoacetate (25 mg/kg/day for 3 days). Oxygen consumption, ATP synthesis, transmembrane potential, reactive oxygen species production, lipoperoxidation, glutathione levels, and aconitase activity were assessed. Oxygen consumption and aconitase activity decreased in the brain cortex and striatum, showing that glycolysis inhibition did not trigger severe mitochondrial impairment, but a slight mitochondrial malfunction and oxidative stress were present.

  3. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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

  5. Algebraic Topology of Multi-Brain Connectivity Networks Reveals Dissimilarity in Functional Patterns during Spoken Communications

    PubMed Central

    Tadić, Bosiljka; Andjelković, Miroslav; Boshkoska, Biljana Mileva; Levnajić, Zoran

    2016-01-01

    Human behaviour in various circumstances mirrors the corresponding brain connectivity patterns, which are suitably represented by functional brain networks. While the objective analysis of these networks by graph theory tools deepened our understanding of brain functions, the multi-brain structures and connections underlying human social behaviour remain largely unexplored. In this study, we analyse the aggregate graph that maps coordination of EEG signals previously recorded during spoken communications in two groups of six listeners and two speakers. Applying an innovative approach based on the algebraic topology of graphs, we analyse higher-order topological complexes consisting of mutually interwoven cliques of a high order to which the identified functional connections organise. Our results reveal that the topological quantifiers provide new suitable measures for differences in the brain activity patterns and inter-brain synchronisation between speakers and listeners. Moreover, the higher topological complexity correlates with the listener’s concentration to the story, confirmed by self-rating, and closeness to the speaker’s brain activity pattern, which is measured by network-to-network distance. The connectivity structures of the frontal and parietal lobe consistently constitute distinct clusters, which extend across the listener’s group. Formally, the topology quantifiers of the multi-brain communities exceed the sum of those of the participating individuals and also reflect the listener’s rated attributes of the speaker and the narrated subject. In the broader context, the presented study exposes the relevance of higher topological structures (besides standard graph measures) for characterising functional brain networks under different stimuli. PMID:27880802

  6. 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…

  7. 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…

  8. 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.

  9. Organization of Cognitive Functions in the Brain.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Smith, Aaron

    Neuropsychological research on the effects of hemispherectomy-the excision of one of the cerebral hemispheres-in children and adults adds to knowledge about the division of labor between the left cerebral hemisphere, which specializes in language and verbal cognitive functions, and the right hemisphere, which specializes in nonlanguage functions.…

  10. The nuclear pore complex: understanding its function through structural insight.

    PubMed

    Beck, Martin; Hurt, Ed

    2017-02-01

    Nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) fuse the inner and outer nuclear membranes to form channels across the nuclear envelope. They are large macromolecular assemblies with a complex composition and diverse functions. Apart from facilitating nucleocytoplasmic transport, NPCs are involved in chromatin organization, the regulation of gene expression and DNA repair. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying these functions has been hampered by a lack of structural knowledge about the NPC. The recent convergence of crystallographic and biochemical in vitro analysis of nucleoporins (NUPs), the components of the NPC, with cryo-electron microscopic imaging of the entire NPC in situ has provided first pseudo-atomic view of its central core and revealed that an unexpected network of short linear motifs is an important spatial organization principle. These breakthroughs have transformed the way we understand NPC structure, and they provide an important base for functional investigations, including the elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying clinically manifested mutations of the nucleocytoplasmic transport system.

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-01-01

    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.

  12. Pattern classification of large-scale functional brain networks: identification of informative neuroimaging markers for epilepsy.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Jie; Cheng, Wei; Wang, ZhengGe; Zhang, ZhiQiang; Lu, WenLian; Lu, GuangMing; Feng, Jianfeng

    2012-01-01

    The accurate prediction of general neuropsychiatric disorders, on an individual basis, using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is a challenging task of great clinical significance. Despite the progress to chart the differences between the healthy controls and patients at the group level, the pattern classification of functional brain networks across individuals is still less developed. In this paper we identify two novel neuroimaging measures that prove to be strongly predictive neuroimaging markers in pattern classification between healthy controls and general epileptic patients. These measures characterize two important aspects of the functional brain network in a quantitative manner: (i) coordinated operation among spatially distributed brain regions, and (ii) the asymmetry of bilaterally homologous brain regions, in terms of their global patterns of functional connectivity. This second measure offers a unique understanding of brain asymmetry at the network level, and, to the best of our knowledge, has not been previously used in pattern classification of functional brain networks. Using modern pattern-recognition approaches like sparse regression and support vector machine, we have achieved a cross-validated classification accuracy of 83.9% (specificity: 82.5%; sensitivity: 85%) across individuals from a large dataset consisting of 180 healthy controls and epileptic patients. We identified significantly changed functional pathways and subnetworks in epileptic patients that underlie the pathophysiological mechanism of the impaired cognitive functions. Specifically, we find that the asymmetry of brain operation for epileptic patients is markedly enhanced in temporal lobe and limbic system, in comparison with healthy individuals. The present study indicates that with specifically designed informative neuroimaging markers, resting-state fMRI can serve as a most promising tool for clinical diagnosis, and also shed light onto the physiology

  13. Understanding the folding-function tradeoff in proteins.

    PubMed

    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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Assortative mixing in functional brain networks during epileptic seizures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bialonski, Stephan; Lehnertz, Klaus

    2013-09-01

    We investigate assortativity of functional brain networks before, during, and after one-hundred epileptic seizures with different anatomical onset locations. We construct binary functional networks from multi-channel electroencephalographic data recorded from 60 epilepsy patients; and from time-resolved estimates of the assortativity coefficient, we conclude that positive degree-degree correlations are inherent to seizure dynamics. While seizures evolve, an increasing assortativity indicates a segregation of the underlying functional network into groups of brain regions that are only sparsely interconnected, if at all. Interestingly, assortativity decreases already prior to seizure end. Together with previous observations of characteristic temporal evolutions of global statistical properties and synchronizability of epileptic brain networks, our findings may help to gain deeper insights into the complicated dynamics underlying generation, propagation, and termination of seizures.

  17. 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

  18. Estimating time-varying brain connectivity networks from functional MRI time series.

    PubMed

    Monti, Ricardo Pio; Hellyer, Peter; Sharp, David; Leech, Robert; Anagnostopoulos, Christoforos; Montana, Giovanni

    2014-12-01

    At the forefront of neuroimaging is the understanding of the functional architecture of the human brain. In most applications functional networks are assumed to be stationary, resulting in a single network estimated for the entire time course. However recent results suggest that the connectivity between brain regions is highly non-stationary even at rest. As a result, there is a need for new brain imaging methodologies that comprehensively account for the dynamic nature of functional networks. In this work we propose the Smooth Incremental Graphical Lasso Estimation (SINGLE) algorithm which estimates dynamic brain networks from fMRI data. We apply the proposed algorithm to functional MRI data from 24 healthy patients performing a Choice Reaction Task to demonstrate the dynamic changes in network structure that accompany a simple but attentionally demanding cognitive task. Using graph theoretic measures we show that the properties of the Right Inferior Frontal Gyrus and the Right Inferior Parietal lobe dynamically change with the task. These regions are frequently reported as playing an important role in cognitive control. Our results suggest that both these regions play a key role in the attention and executive function during cognitively demanding tasks and may be fundamental in regulating the balance between other brain regions.

  19. Neuropsychological assessment of executive functions following pediatric traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Gaines, K Drorit; Soper, Henry V

    2016-09-27

    Assessment of executive functions in the adult is best captured at the stage where full maturation of brain development occurs. Assessment of executive functions of children, however, is considerably more complicated. First, assessment of executive functioning in children represents a snapshot of these developing functions at a particular time linked stage, which may have implications for further development. Second, neuropsychological measures available to assess executive functions in children are limited in number and scope and may not be sensitive to the gradual developmental changes. The present article provides an overview of the salient neurodevelopmental stages of executive functioning and discusses the utilization of recently developed neuropsychological measures to assess these stages. Comments on clinical implications of these findings regarding Traumatic Brain Injury will be provided.

  20. 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.

  1. Sustained deep-tissue pain alters functional brain connectivity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jieun; Loggia, Marco L; Edwards, Robert R; Wasan, Ajay D; Gollub, Randy L; Napadow, Vitaly

    2013-08-01

    Recent functional brain connectivity studies have contributed to our understanding of the neurocircuitry supporting pain perception. However, evoked-pain connectivity studies have employed cutaneous and/or brief stimuli, which induce sensations that differ appreciably from the clinical pain experience. Sustained myofascial pain evoked by pressure cuff affords an excellent opportunity to evaluate functional connectivity change to more clinically relevant sustained deep-tissue pain. Connectivity in specific networks known to be modulated by evoked pain (sensorimotor, salience, dorsal attention, frontoparietal control, and default mode networks: SMN, SLN, DAN, FCN, and DMN) was evaluated with functional-connectivity magnetic resonance imaging, both at rest and during a sustained (6-minute) pain state in healthy adults. We found that pain was stable, with no significant changes of subjects' pain ratings over the stimulation period. Sustained pain reduced connectivity between the SMN and the contralateral leg primary sensorimotor (S1/M1) representation. Such SMN-S1/M1 connectivity decreases were also accompanied by and correlated with increased SLN-S1/M1 connectivity, suggesting recruitment of activated S1/M1 from SMN to SLN. Sustained pain also increased DAN connectivity to pain processing regions such as mid-cingulate cortex, posterior insula, and putamen. Moreover, greater connectivity during pain between contralateral S1/M1 and posterior insula, thalamus, putamen, and amygdala was associated with lower cuff pressures needed to reach the targeted pain sensation. These results demonstrate that sustained pain disrupts resting S1/M1 connectivity by shifting it to a network known to process stimulus salience. Furthermore, increased connectivity between S1/M1 and both sensory and affective processing areas may be an important contribution to interindividual differences in pain sensitivity.

  2. Microglia across the lifespan: from origin to function in brain development, plasticity and cognition.

    PubMed

    Tay, Tuan Leng; Savage, Julie C; Hui, Chin Wai; Bisht, Kanchan; Tremblay, Marie-Ève

    2017-03-15

    Microglia are the only immune cells that permanently reside in the central nervous system (CNS) alongside neurons and other types of glial cells. The past decade has witnessed a revolution in our understanding of their roles during normal physiological conditions. Cutting-edge techniques revealed that these resident immune cells are critical for proper brain development, actively maintain health in the mature brain, and rapidly adapt their function to physiological or pathophysiological needs. In this review, we highlight recent studies on microglial origin (from the embryonic yolk sac) and the factors regulating their differentiation and homeostasis upon brain invasion. Elegant experiments tracking microglia in the CNS allowed studies of their unique roles compared with other types of resident macrophages. Here we review the emerging roles of microglia in brain development, plasticity and cognition, and discuss the implications of the depletion or dysfunction of microglia for our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Immune activation, inflammation and various other conditions resulting in undesirable microglial activity at different stages of life could severely impair learning, memory and other essential cognitive functions. The diversity of microglial phenotypes across the lifespan, between compartments of the CNS, and sexes, as well as their crosstalk with the body and external environment, is also emphasised. Understanding what defines particular microglial phenotypes is of major importance for future development of innovative therapies controlling their effector functions, with consequences for cognition across chronic stress, ageing, neuropsychiatric and neurological diseases.

  3. 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

  4. 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

    2014-08-06

    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.

  5. Hemispheric asymmetry of electroencephalography-based functional brain networks.

    PubMed

    Jalili, Mahdi

    2014-11-12

    Electroencephalography (EEG)-based functional brain networks have been investigated frequently in health and disease. It has been shown that a number of graph theory metrics are disrupted in brain disorders. EEG-based brain networks are often studied in the whole-brain framework, where all the nodes are grouped into a single network. In this study, we studied the brain networks in two hemispheres and assessed whether there are any hemispheric-specific patterns in the properties of the networks. To this end, resting state closed-eyes EEGs from 44 healthy individuals were processed and the network structures were extracted separately for each hemisphere. We examined neurophysiologically meaningful graph theory metrics: global and local efficiency measures. The global efficiency did not show any hemispheric asymmetry, whereas the local connectivity showed rightward asymmetry for a range of intermediate density values for the constructed networks. Furthermore, the age of the participants showed significant direct correlations with the global efficiency of the left hemisphere, but only in the right hemisphere, with local connectivity. These results suggest that only local connectivity of EEG-based functional networks is associated with brain hemispheres.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  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

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. Hierarchical organization unveiled by functional connectivity in complex brain networks.

    PubMed

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

    2006-12-08

    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.

  13. 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.

  14. Manifesto for the current understanding and management of traumatic brain injury-induced hypopituitarism.

    PubMed

    Tanriverdi, F; Agha, A; Aimaretti, G; Casanueva, F F; Kelestimur, F; Klose, M; Masel, B E; Pereira, A M; Popovic, V; Schneider, H J

    2011-01-01

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI)-induced hypopituitarism remains a relevant medical problem, because it may affect a significant proportion of the population. In the last decade important studies have been published investigating pituitary dysfunction after TBI. Recently, a group of experts gathered and revisited the topic of TBI-induced hypopituitarism. During the 2-day meeting, the main issues of this topic were presented and discussed, and current understanding and management of TBI-induced hypopituitarism are summarized here.

  15. 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

  16. Using the folding landscapes of proteins to understand protein function.

    PubMed

    Giri Rao, V V Hemanth; Gosavi, Shachi

    2016-02-01

    Proteins fold on a biologically-relevant timescale because of a funnel-shaped energy landscape. This landscape is sculpted through evolution by selecting amino-acid sequences that stabilize native interactions while suppressing stable non-native interactions that occur during folding. However, there is strong evolutionary selection for functional residues and these cannot be chosen to optimize folding. Their presence impacts the folding energy landscape in a variety of ways. Here, we survey the effects of functional residues on folding by providing several examples. We then review how such effects can be detected computationally and be used as assays for protein function. Overall, an understanding of how functional residues modulate folding should provide insights into the design of natural proteins and their homeostasis.

  17. Understanding tumor heterogeneity as functional compartments--superorganisms revisited.

    PubMed

    Grunewald, Thomas G P; Herbst, Saskia M; Heinze, Jürgen; Burdach, Stefan

    2011-05-27

    Compelling evidence broadens our understanding of tumors as highly heterogeneous populations derived from one common progenitor. In this review we portray various stages of tumorigenesis, tumor progression, self-seeding and metastasis in analogy to the superorganisms of insect societies to exemplify the highly complex architecture of a neoplasm as a system of functional "castes."Accordingly, we propose a model in which clonal expansion and cumulative acquisition of genetic alterations produce tumor compartments each equipped with distinct traits and thus distinct functions that cooperate to establish clinically apparent tumors. This functional compartment model also suggests mechanisms for the self-construction of tumor stem cell niches. Thus, thinking of a tumor as a superorganism will provide systemic insight into its functional compartmentalization and may even have clinical implications.

  18. Loss of functional GABAA receptors in the Alzheimer diseased brain

    PubMed Central

    Limon, Agenor; Reyes-Ruiz, Jorge Mauricio; Miledi, Ricardo

    2012-01-01

    The cholinergic and glutamatergic neurotransmission systems are known to be severely disrupted in Alzheimer's disease (AD). GABAergic neurotransmission, in contrast, is generally thought to be well preserved. Evidence from animal models and human postmortem tissue suggest GABAergic remodeling in the AD brain. Nevertheless, there is no information on changes, if any, in the electrophysiological properties of human native GABA receptors as a consequence of AD. To gain such information, we have microtransplanted cell membranes, isolated from temporal cortices of control and AD brains, into Xenopus oocytes, and recorded the electrophysiological activity of the transplanted GABA receptors. We found an age-dependent reduction of GABA currents in the AD brain. This reduction was larger when the AD membranes were obtained from younger subjects. We also found that GABA currents from AD brains have a faster rate of desensitization than those from non-AD brains. Furthermore, GABA receptors from AD brains were slightly, but significantly, less sensitive to GABA than receptors from non-AD brains. The reduction of GABA currents in AD was associated with reductions of mRNA and protein of the principal GABA receptor subunits normally present in the temporal cortex. Pairwise analysis of the transcripts within control and AD groups and analyses of the proportion of GABA receptor subunits revealed down-regulation of α1 and γ2 subunits in AD. In contrast, the proportions of α2, β1, and γ1 transcripts were up-regulated in the AD brains. Our data support a functional remodeling of GABAergic neurotransmission in the human AD brain. PMID:22691495

  19. Genetic and genomic approaches to understanding macrophage identity and function.

    PubMed

    Glass, Christopher K

    2015-04-01

    A major goal of our laboratory is to understand the molecular mechanisms that underlie the development and functions of diverse macrophage phenotypes in health and disease. Recent studies using genetic and genomic approaches suggest a relatively simple model of collaborative and hierarchical interactions between lineage-determining and signal-dependent transcription factors that enable selection and activation of transcriptional enhancers that specify macrophage identity and function. In addition, we have found that it is possible to use natural genetic variation as a powerful tool for advancing our understanding of how the macrophage deciphers the information encoded by the genome to attain specific phenotypes in a context-dependent manner. Here, I will describe our recent efforts to extend genetic and genomic approaches to investigate the roles of distinct tissue environments in determining the phenotypes of different resident populations of macrophages.

  20. 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.

  1. 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'.

  2. Understanding the structure and function of Bacillus thuringiensis toxins.

    PubMed

    Palma, Leopoldo; Berry, Colin

    2016-01-01

    As biological control agents take an expanding share of the pesticides market and the production of insect-resistant crops increases, it is essential to understand the structure and function of the active agents, the invertebrate-active toxins that are the fundamental ingredients of these control systems. The potential for these agents in industry, agriculture and medicine necessitates a thorough investigation of their activity.

  3. Interactions between occlusion and human brain function activities.

    PubMed

    Ohkubo, C; Morokuma, M; Yoneyama, Y; Matsuda, R; Lee, J S

    2013-02-01

    There are few review articles in the area of human research that focus on the interactions between occlusion and brain function. This systematic review discusses the effect of occlusion on the health of the entire body with a focus on brain function. Available relevant articles in English from 1999 to 2011 were assessed in an online database and as hard copies in libraries. The selected 19 articles were classified into the following five categories: chewing and tongue movements, clenching and grinding, occlusal splints and occlusal interference, prosthetic rehabilitation, and pain and stimulation. The relationships between the brain activity observed in the motor and sensory cortices and movements of the oral and maxillofacial area, such as those produced by gum chewing, tapping and clenching, were investigated. It was found that the sensorimotor cortex was also affected by the placement of the occlusal interference devices, splints and implant prostheses. Brain activity may change depending on the strength of the movements in the oral and maxillofacial area. Therefore, mastication and other movements stimulate the activity in the cerebral cortex and may be helpful in preventing degradation of a brain function. However, these findings must be verified by evidence gathered from more subjects.

  4. Maturation of widely distributed brain function subserves cognitive development.

    PubMed

    Luna, B; Thulborn, K R; Munoz, D P; Merriam, E P; Garver, K E; Minshew, N J; Keshavan, M S; Genovese, C R; Eddy, W F; Sweeney, J A

    2001-05-01

    Cognitive and brain maturational changes continue throughout late childhood and adolescence. During this time, increasing cognitive control over behavior enhances the voluntary suppression of reflexive/impulsive response tendencies. Recently, with the advent of functional MRI, it has become possible to characterize changes in brain activity during cognitive development. In order to investigate the cognitive and brain maturation subserving the ability to voluntarily suppress context-inappropriate behavior, we tested 8-30 year olds in an oculomotor response-suppression task. Behavioral results indicated that adult-like ability to inhibit prepotent responses matured gradually through childhood and adolescence. Functional MRI results indicated that brain activation in frontal, parietal, striatal, and thalamic regions increased progressively from childhood to adulthood. Prefrontal cortex was more active in adolescents than in children or adults; adults demonstrated greater activation in the lateral cerebellum than younger subjects. These results suggest that efficient top-down modulation of reflexive acts may not be fully developed until adulthood and provide evidence that maturation of function across widely distributed brain regions lays the groundwork for enhanced voluntary control of behavior during cognitive development.

  5. Task-specific functional brain geometry from model maps.

    PubMed

    Langs, Georg; Samaras, Dimitris; Paragios, Nikos; Honorio, Jean; Alia-Klein, Nelly; Tomasi, Dardo; Volkow, Nora D; Goldstein, Rita Z

    2008-01-01

    In this paper we propose model maps to derive and represent the intrinsic functional geometry of a brain from functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data for a specific task. Model maps represent the coherence of behavior of individual fMRI-measurements for a set of observations, or a time sequence. The maps establish a relation between individual positions in the brain by encoding the blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal over a time period in a Markov chain. They represent this relation by mapping spatial positions to a new metric space, the model map. In this map the Euclidean distance between two points relates to the joint modeling behavior of their signals and thus the co-dependencies of the corresponding signals. The map reflects the functional as opposed to the anatomical geometry of the brain. It provides a quantitative tool to explore and study global and local patterns of resource allocation in the brain. To demonstrate the merit of this representation, we report quantitative experimental results on 29 fMRI time sequences, each with sub-sequences corresponding to 4 different conditions for two groups of individuals. We demonstrate that drug abusers exhibit lower differentiation in brain interactivity between baseline and reward related tasks, which could not be quantified until now.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  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. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation affects brain functional connectivity.

    PubMed

    Dan Cao; Yingjie Li; Ling Wei; Yingying Tang

    2016-08-01

    Prefrontal cortex (PFC) plays an important role in the emotional processing as well as in the functional brain network. Hyperactivity in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) would be found in anxious participants. However, it is still unclear what the role of PFC played in a resting functional network. Continuous theta burst transcranial magnetic stimulation (cTBS) is an effective tool to create virtual lesions on brain regions. In this paper, we applied cTBS over right prefrontal area, and investigated the effects of cTBS on the brain activity for functional connectivity by the method of graph theory. We recorded 64-channels EEG on thirteen healthy participants in the resting condition and emotional tasks before and after 40 s of cTBS. This work focused on the effect of cTBS on cortical activities in the resting condition by calculating the coherence between EEG channels and building functional networks before and after cTBS in the delta, theta, alpha and beta bands. Results revealed that 1) The functional connectivity after cTBS was significantly increased compared with that before cTBS in delta, theta, alpha and beta bands in the resting condition; 2) The efficiency-cost reached the maximum before and after cTBS both with the cost about 0.3 in the bands above, which meant that the information transmission of functional brain network with this cost was highly efficient; 3) the clustering coefficient and path length after cTBS was significantly increased in delta, theta and beta bands. In conclusion, cTBS over PFC indeed enhanced the functional connectivity in the resting condition. In addition, the information transmission in the resting brain network was highly efficient with the cost about 0.3.

  10. Changes in topological organization of functional PET brain network with normal aging.

    PubMed

    Liu, Zhiliang; Ke, Lining; Liu, Huafeng; Huang, Wenhua; Hu, Zhenghui

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies about brain network have suggested that normal aging is associated with alterations in coordinated patterns of the large-scale brain functional and structural systems. However, age-related changes in functional networks constructed via positron emission tomography (PET) data are still barely understood. Here, we constructed functional brain networks composed of 90 regions in younger (mean age 36.5 years) and older (mean age 56.3 years) age groups with PET data. 113 younger and 110 older healthy individuals were separately selected for two age groups, from a physical examination database. Corresponding brain functional networks of the two groups were constructed by thresholding average cerebral glucose metabolism correlation matrices of 90 regions and analysed using graph theoretical approaches. Although both groups showed normal small-world architecture in the PET networks, increased clustering and decreased efficiency were found in older subjects, implying a degeneration process that brain system shifts from a small-world network to regular one along with normal aging. Moreover, normal senescence was related to changed nodal centralities predominantly in association and paralimbic cortex regions, e.g. increasing in orbitofrontal cortex (middle) and decreasing in left hippocampus. Additionally, the older networks were about equally as robust to random failures as younger counterpart, but more vulnerable against targeted attacks. Finally, methods in the construction of the PET networks revealed reasonable robustness. Our findings enhanced the understanding about the topological principles of PET networks and changes related to normal aging.

  11. Task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network underlying attentional control.

    PubMed

    Kida, Tetsuo; Kakigi, Ryusuke

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated task-related changes in brain activation and inter-regional connectivity but the temporal dynamics of functional properties of the brain during task execution is still unclear. In the present study, we investigated task-related changes in functional properties of the human brain network by applying graph-theoretical analysis to magnetoencephalography (MEG). Subjects performed a cue-target attention task in which a visual cue informed them of the direction of focus for incoming auditory or tactile target stimuli, but not the sensory modality. We analyzed the MEG signal in the cue-target interval to examine network properties during attentional control. Cluster-based non-parametric permutation tests with the Monte-Carlo method showed that in the cue-target interval, beta activity was desynchronized in the sensori-motor region including premotor and posterior parietal regions in the hemisphere contralateral to the attended side. Graph-theoretical analysis revealed that, in beta frequency, global hubs were found around the sensori-motor and prefrontal regions, and functional segregation over the entire network was decreased during attentional control compared to the baseline. Thus, network measures revealed task-related temporal changes in functional properties of the human brain network, leading to the understanding of how the brain dynamically responds to task execution as a network.

  12. Changes in Topological Organization of Functional PET Brain Network with Normal Aging

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Huafeng; Huang, Wenhua; Hu, Zhenghui

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies about brain network have suggested that normal aging is associated with alterations in coordinated patterns of the large-scale brain functional and structural systems. However, age-related changes in functional networks constructed via positron emission tomography (PET) data are still barely understood. Here, we constructed functional brain networks composed of regions in younger (mean age years) and older (mean age years) age groups with PET data. younger and older healthy individuals were separately selected for two age groups, from a physical examination database. Corresponding brain functional networks of the two groups were constructed by thresholding average cerebral glucose metabolism correlation matrices of regions and analysed using graph theoretical approaches. Although both groups showed normal small-world architecture in the PET networks, increased clustering and decreased efficiency were found in older subjects, implying a degeneration process that brain system shifts from a small-world network to regular one along with normal aging. Moreover, normal senescence was related to changed nodal centralities predominantly in association and paralimbic cortex regions, e.g. increasing in orbitofrontal cortex (middle) and decreasing in left hippocampus. Additionally, the older networks were about equally as robust to random failures as younger counterpart, but more vulnerable against targeted attacks. Finally, methods in the construction of the PET networks revealed reasonable robustness. Our findings enhanced the understanding about the topological principles of PET networks and changes related to normal aging. PMID:24586370

  13. 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.

  14. Diverse Functions of Retinoic Acid in Brain Vascular Development

    PubMed Central

    Bonney, Stephanie; Harrison-Uy, Susan; Mishra, Swati; MacPherson, Amber M.; Choe, Youngshik; Li, Dan; Jaminet, Shou-Ching; Fruttiger, Marcus; Pleasure, Samuel J.

    2016-01-01

    As neural structures grow in size and increase metabolic demand, the CNS vasculature undergoes extensive growth, remodeling, and maturation. Signals from neural tissue act on endothelial cells to stimulate blood vessel ingression, vessel patterning, and acquisition of mature brain vascular traits, most notably the blood–brain barrier. Using mouse genetic and in vitro approaches, we identified retinoic acid (RA) as an important regulator of brain vascular development via non-cell-autonomous and cell-autonomous regulation of endothelial WNT signaling. Our analysis of globally RA-deficient embryos (Rdh10 mutants) points to an important, non-cell-autonomous function for RA in the development of the vasculature in the neocortex. We demonstrate that Rdh10 mutants have severe defects in cerebrovascular development and that this phenotype correlates with near absence of endothelial WNT signaling, specifically in the cerebrovasculature, and substantially elevated expression of WNT inhibitors in the neocortex. We show that RA can suppress the expression of WNT inhibitors in neocortical progenitors. Analysis of vasculature in non-neocortical brain regions suggested that RA may have a separate, cell-autonomous function in brain endothelial cells to inhibit WNT signaling. Using both gain and loss of RA signaling approaches, we show that RA signaling in brain endothelial cells can inhibit WNT-β-catenin transcriptional activity and that this is required to moderate the expression of WNT target Sox17. From this, a model emerges in which RA acts upstream of the WNT pathway via non-cell-autonomous and cell-autonomous mechanisms to ensure the formation of an adequate and stable brain vascular plexus. SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Work presented here provides novel insight into important yet little understood aspects of brain vascular development, implicating for the first time a factor upstream of endothelial WNT signaling. We show that RA is permissive for cerebrovascular growth via

  15. The role of sleep in emotional brain function.

    PubMed

    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 long-standing clinical observations demonstrating that nearly all mood and anxiety disorders co-occur with one or more sleep abnormalities. This review aims to (a) 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; (b) 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 (c) describe how this hypothesized framework can explain the prevalent relationships between sleep and psychiatric disorders, with a particular focus on posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression.

  16. 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

  17. Evaluation of traumatic brain injury: brain potentials in diagnosis, function, and prognosis.

    PubMed

    Duncan, Connie C; Summers, Angela C; Perla, Elizabeth J; Coburn, Kerry L; Mirsky, Allan F

    2011-10-01

    The focus of this review is an analysis of the use of event-related brain potential (ERP) abnormalities as indices of functional pathophysiology in survivors of traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI may be the most prevalent but least understood neurological disorder in both civilian and military populations. In the military, thousands of new brain injuries occur yearly; this lends considerable urgency to the use of highly sensitive ERP tools to illuminate brain changes and to address remediation issues. We review the processes thought to be indexed by the cognitive components of the ERP and outline the rationale for applying ERPs to evaluate deficits after TBI. Studies in which ERPs were used to clarify the nature of cognitive complaints of TBI survivors are reviewed, emphasizing impairment in attention, information processing, and cognitive control. Also highlighted is research on the application of ERPs to predict emergence from coma and eventual outcome. We describe primary blast injury, the leading cause of TBI for active duty military personnel in present day warfare. The review concludes with a description of an ongoing investigation of mild TBI, aimed at using indices of brain structure and function to predict the course of posttraumatic stress disorder. An additional goal of this ongoing investigation is to characterize the structural and functional sequelae of blast injury.

  18. Understanding the benefits of musical training: effects on oscillatory brain activity.

    PubMed

    Trainor, Laurel J; Shahin, Antoine J; Roberts, Larry E

    2009-07-01

    A number of studies suggest that musical training has benefits for other cognitive domains, such as language and mathematics, and studies of children and adults indicate structural as well as functional differences between the brains of musicians and nonmusicians. The induced gamma-band response has been associated with attentional, expectation, memory retrieval, and integration of top-down, bottom-up, and multisensory processes. Here we report data indicating that the induced gamma-band response to musical sounds is larger in adult musicians than in nonmusicians and that it develops in children after 1 year of musical training beginning at age 4.5 years, but not in children of this age who are not engaged in musical lessons. We conclude that musical training affects oscillatory networks in the brain associated with executive functions, and that superior executive functioning could enhance learning and performance in many cognitive domains.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Altered resting brain function and structure in professional badminton players.

    PubMed

    Di, Xin; Zhu, Senhua; Jin, Hua; Wang, Pin; Ye, Zhuoer; Zhou, Ke; Zhuo, Yan; Rao, Hengyi

    2012-01-01

    Neuroimaging studies of professional athletic or musical training have demonstrated considerable practice-dependent plasticity in various brain structures, which may reflect distinct training demands. In the present study, structural and functional brain alterations were examined in professional badminton players and compared with healthy controls using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and resting-state functional MRI. Gray matter concentration (GMC) was assessed using voxel-based morphometry (VBM), and resting-brain functions were measured by amplitude of low-frequency fluctuation (ALFF) and seed-based functional connectivity. Results showed that the athlete group had greater GMC and ALFF in the right and medial cerebellar regions, respectively. The athlete group also demonstrated smaller ALFF in the left superior parietal lobule and altered functional connectivity between the left superior parietal and frontal regions. These findings indicate that badminton expertise is associated with not only plastic structural changes in terms of enlarged gray matter density in the cerebellum, but also functional alterations in fronto-parietal connectivity. Such structural and functional alterations may reflect specific experiences of badminton training and practice, including high-capacity visuo-spatial processing and hand-eye coordination in addition to refined motor skills.

  6. 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

  7. Variability in functional brain networks predicts expertise during action observation.

    PubMed

    Amoruso, Lucía; Ibáñez, Agustín; Fonseca, Bruno; Gadea, Sebastián; Sedeño, Lucas; Sigman, Mariano; García, Adolfo M; Fraiman, Ricardo; Fraiman, Daniel

    2017-02-01

    Observing an action performed by another individual activates, in the observer, similar circuits as those involved in the actual execution of that action. This activation is modulated by prior experience; indeed, sustained training in a particular motor domain leads to structural and functional changes in critical brain areas. Here, we capitalized on a novel graph-theory approach to electroencephalographic data (Fraiman et al., 2016) to test whether variability in functional brain networks implicated in Tango observation can discriminate between groups differing in their level of expertise. We found that experts and beginners significantly differed in the functional organization of task-relevant networks. Specifically, networks in expert Tango dancers exhibited less variability and a more robust functional architecture. Notably, these expertise-dependent effects were captured within networks derived from electrophysiological brain activity recorded in a very short time window (2s). In brief, variability in the organization of task-related networks seems to be a highly sensitive indicator of long-lasting training effects. This finding opens new methodological and theoretical windows to explore the impact of domain-specific expertise on brain plasticity, while highlighting variability as a fruitful measure in neuroimaging research.

  8. 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.

  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. Assessment of Emotional Functioning in Brain-Impaired Individuals.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nelson, Linda D.; Cicchetti, Domenic V.

    1995-01-01

    Two basic models are presented of emotional functioning as it is commonly considered relative to brain damage. Methodological concerns in the literature are reviewed, and issues of measurement are highlighted to demonstrate the importance of empirically defining the prevalence of emotional effects. (SLD)

  11. 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…

  12. Astrocyte functions in the copper homeostasis of the brain.

    PubMed

    Scheiber, Ivo F; Dringen, Ralf

    2013-04-01

    Copper is an essential element that is required for a variety of important cellular functions. Since not only copper deficiency but also excess of copper can seriously affect cellular functions, the cellular copper metabolism is tightly regulated. In brain, astrocytes appear to play a pivotal role in the copper metabolism. With their strategically important localization between capillary endothelial cells and neuronal structures they are ideally positioned to transport copper from the blood-brain barrier to parenchymal brain cells. Accordingly, astrocytes have the capacity to efficiently take up, store and to export copper. Cultured astrocytes appear to be remarkably resistant against copper-induced toxicity. However, copper exposure can lead to profound alterations in the metabolism of these cells. This article will summarize the current knowledge on the copper metabolism of astrocytes, will describe copper-induced alterations in the glucose and glutathione metabolism of astrocytes and will address the potential role of astrocytes in the copper metabolism of the brain in diseases that have been connected with disturbances in brain copper homeostasis.

  13. 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.

  14. Computational models to understand decision making and pattern recognition in the insect brain.

    PubMed

    Mosqueiro, Thiago S; Huerta, Ramón

    2014-12-01

    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.

  15. Challenges in understanding the epidemiology of acquired brain injury in India

    PubMed Central

    Kamalakannan, Suresh Kumar; Gudlavalleti, Aashrai S.V.; Murthy Gudlavalleti, Venkata S.; Goenka, Shifalika; Kuper, Hannah

    2015-01-01

    An acquired brain injury (ABI) is an injury to the brain, which is not hereditary, congenital, degenerative, or induced by birth trauma. In India, rapid urbanization, economic growth and changes in lifestyle have led to a tremendous increase in the incidence of ABI, so much so that it is being referred to as a ‘silent epidemic’. Unlike developed countries, there is no well-established system for collecting and managing information on various diseases in India. Thus it is a daunting task to obtain reliable information about acquired brain injury. In the course of conducting a systematic review on the epidemiology of ABI in India, we recognized several challenges which hampered our effort. Inadequate case definition, lack of centralized reporting mechanisms, lack of population based studies, absence of standardized survey protocols and inadequate mortality statistics are some of the major obstacles. Following a standard case definition, linking multiple hospital-based registries, initiating a state or nationwide population-based registry, conducting population-based studies that are methodologically robust and introducing centralized, standard reporting mechanisms for ABI, are some of the strategies that could help facilitate a thorough investigation into the epidemiology and understanding of ABI. This may help improve policies on prevention and management of acquired brain injury in India. PMID:25745314

  16. Beyond genotype: serotonin transporter epigenetic modification predicts human brain function.

    PubMed

    Nikolova, Yuliya S; Koenen, Karestan C; Galea, Sandro; Wang, Chiou-Miin; Seney, Marianne L; Sibille, Etienne; Williamson, Douglas E; Hariri, Ahmad R

    2014-09-01

    We examined epigenetic regulation in regards to behaviorally and clinically relevant human brain function. Specifically, we found that increased promoter methylation of the serotonin transporter gene predicted increased threat-related amygdala reactivity and decreased mRNA expression in postmortem amygdala tissue. These patterns were independent of functional genetic variation in the same region. Furthermore, the association with amygdala reactivity was replicated in a second cohort and was robust to both sampling methods and age.

  17. Typical and Atypical Development of Functional Human Brain Networks: Insights from Resting-State fMRI

    PubMed Central

    Uddin, Lucina Q.; Supekar, Kaustubh; Menon, Vinod

    2010-01-01

    Over the past several decades, structural MRI studies have provided remarkable insights into human brain development by revealing the trajectory of gray and white matter maturation from childhood to adolescence and adulthood. In parallel, functional MRI studies have demonstrated changes in brain activation patterns accompanying cognitive development. Despite these advances, studying the maturation of functional brain networks underlying brain development continues to present unique scientific and methodological challenges. Resting-state fMRI (rsfMRI) has emerged as a novel method for investigating the development of large-scale functional brain networks in infants and young children. We review existing rsfMRI developmental studies and discuss how this method has begun to make significant contributions to our understanding of maturing brain organization. In particular, rsfMRI has been used to complement studies in other modalities investigating the emergence of functional segregation and integration across short and long-range connections spanning the entire brain. We show that rsfMRI studies help to clarify and reveal important principles of functional brain development, including a shift from diffuse to focal activation patterns, and simultaneous pruning of local connectivity and strengthening of long-range connectivity with age. The insights gained from these studies also shed light on potentially disrupted functional networks underlying atypical cognitive development associated with neurodevelopmental disorders. We conclude by identifying critical gaps in the current literature, discussing methodological issues, and suggesting avenues for future research. PMID:20577585

  18. Changing brains: how longitudinal functional magnetic resonance imaging studies can inform us about cognitive and social-affective growth trajectories.

    PubMed

    Crone, Eveline A; Elzinga, Bernet M

    2015-01-01

    Brain imaging studies have demonstrated widespread changes in brain networks which support cognitive and social-affective development. These conclusions, however, are largely based on cross-sectional comparisons, which limits the possibility to investigate growth trajectories and detect individual changes. Understanding individual growth patterns is crucial if we want to ultimately understand how brain development is sensitive to environmental influences such as educational or psychological interventions or childhood maltreatment. Recently, longitudinal brain imaging studies in children and adolescents have taken the first steps into examining cognitive and social-affective brain functions longitudinally with several compelling findings. First, longitudinal measurements show that activations in some brain regions, such as the prefrontal, temporal, and parietal cortex, are relatively stable over time and can be used as predictors for cognitive functions, whereas activations in other brain regions, such as the amygdala and ventral striatum, are much more variable over time. Second, developmental studies reveal how these changes are related to age, puberty, and changes in performance. These findings have implications for understanding how environmental factors influence brain development. An important future direction will be to examine individual characteristics (e.g., genetic, temperamental, personality) which make individuals differentially susceptible to their environment.

  19. 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…

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Yi, Sun Shin

    2015-05-15

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

  2. 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.

  3. Functional MRI during Hippocampal Deep Brain Stimulation in the Healthy Rat Brain

    PubMed Central

    Van Den Berge, Nathalie; Vanhove, Christian; Descamps, Benedicte; Dauwe, Ine; van Mierlo, Pieter; Vonck, Kristl; Keereman, Vincent; Raedt, Robrecht; Boon, Paul; Van Holen, Roel

    2015-01-01

    Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is a promising treatment for neurological and psychiatric disorders. The mechanism of action and the effects of electrical fields administered to the brain by means of an electrode remain to be elucidated. The effects of DBS have been investigated primarily by electrophysiological and neurochemical studies, which lack the ability to investigate DBS-related responses on a whole-brain scale. Visualization of whole-brain effects of DBS requires functional imaging techniques such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), which reflects changes in blood oxygen level dependent (BOLD) responses throughout the entire brain volume. In order to visualize BOLD responses induced by DBS, we have developed an MRI-compatible electrode and an acquisition protocol to perform DBS during BOLD fMRI. In this study, we investigate whether DBS during fMRI is valuable to study local and whole-brain effects of hippocampal DBS and to investigate the changes induced by different stimulation intensities. Seven rats were stereotactically implanted with a custom-made MRI-compatible DBS-electrode in the right hippocampus. High frequency Poisson distributed stimulation was applied using a block-design paradigm. Data were processed by means of Independent Component Analysis. Clusters were considered significant when p-values were <0.05 after correction for multiple comparisons. Our data indicate that real-time hippocampal DBS evokes a bilateral BOLD response in hippocampal and other mesolimbic structures, depending on the applied stimulation intensity. We conclude that simultaneous DBS and fMRI can be used to detect local and whole-brain responses to circuit activation with different stimulation intensities, making this technique potentially powerful for exploration of cerebral changes in response to DBS for both preclinical and clinical DBS. PMID:26193653

  4. Understanding emergent functions in self-assembled fibrous networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sinko, Robert; Keten, Sinan

    2015-09-01

    Understanding self-assembly processes of nanoscale building blocks and characterizing their properties are both imperative for designing new hierarchical, network materials for a wide range of structural, optoelectrical, and transport applications. Although the characterization and choices of these material building blocks have been well studied, our understanding of how to precisely program a specific morphology through self-assembly still must be significantly advanced. In the recent study by Xie et al (2015 Nanotechnology 26 205602), the self-assembly of end-functionalized nanofibres is investigated using a coarse-grained molecular model and offers fundamental insight into how to control the structural morphology of nanofibrous networks. Varying nanoscale networks are observed when the molecular interaction strength is changed and the findings suggest that self-assembly through the tuning of molecular interactions is a key strategy for designing nanostructured networks with specific topologies.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  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 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

  10. Functional MRI and intraoperative brain mapping to evaluate brain plasticity in patients with brain tumours and hemiparesis

    PubMed Central

    Roux, F; Boulanouar, K; Ibarrola, D; Tremoulet, M; Chollet, F; Berry, I

    2000-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To support the hypothesis about the potential compensatory role of ipsilateral corticofugal pathways when the contralateral pathways are impaired by brain tumours.
METHODS—Retrospective analysis was carried out on the results of functional MRI (fMRI) of a selected group of five paretic patients with Rolandic brain tumours who exhibited an abnormally high ipsilateral/contralateral ratio of activation—that is, movements of the paretic hand activated predominately the ipsilateral cortex. Brain activation was achieved with a flexion extension of the fingers. Statistical parametric activation was obtained using a t test and a threshold of p<0.001. These patients, candidates for tumour resection, also underwent cortical intraoperative stimulation that was correlated to the fMRI spatial data using three dimensional reconstructions of the brain. Three patients also had postoperative control fMRI.
RESULTS—The absence of fMRI activation of the primary sensorimotor cortex normally innervating the paretic hand for the threshold chosen, was correlated with completely negative cortical responses of the cortical hand area during the operation. The preoperative fMRI activation of these patients predominantly found in the ipsilateral frontal and primary sensorimotor cortices could be related to the residual ipsilateral hand function. Postoperatively, the fMRI activation returned to more classic patterns of activation, reflecting the consequences of therapy.
CONCLUSION—In paretic patients with brain tumours, ipsilateral control could be implicated in the residual hand function, when the normal primary pathways are impaired. The possibility that functional tissue still remains in the peritumorous sensorimotor cortex even when the preoperative fMRI and the cortical intraoperative stimulations are negative, should be taken into account when planning the tumour resection and during the operation.

 PMID:10990503

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. Methodological considerations to understand the sensory function of TRP channels.

    PubMed

    Meseguer, Víctor M; Denlinger, Bristol L; Talavera, Karel

    2011-01-01

    Transient Receptor Potential channels are exquisite molecular transducers of multiple physical and chemical stimuli, hence the raising interest to study their relevance to Sensory Biology. Here we discuss a number of aspects of the biophysical and pharmacological properties of TRP channels, which we consider essential for a clear understanding of their sensory function in vivo. By examining concrete examples extracted from recent literature we illustrate that TRP channel research is a field in motion, and that many established dogmas on biophysical properties, drug specificity and physiological role are continuously reshaped, and sometimes even dismantled.

  14. Acetyl-L-carnitine improves aged brain function.

    PubMed

    Kobayashi, Satoru; Iwamoto, Machiko; Kon, Kazuo; Waki, Hatsue; Ando, Susumu; Tanaka, Yasukazu

    2010-07-01

    The effects of acetyl-L-carnitine (ALCAR), an acetyl derivative of L-carnitine, on memory and learning capacity and on brain synaptic functions of aged rats were examined. Male Fischer 344 rats were given ALCAR (100 mg/kg bodyweight) per os for 3 months and were subjected to the Hebb-Williams tasks and AKON-1 task to assess their learning capacity. Cholinergic activities were determined with synaptosomes isolated from brain cortices of the rats. Choline parameters, the high-affinity choline uptake, acetylcholine (ACh) synthesis and depolarization-evoked ACh release were all enhanced in the ALCAR group. An increment of depolarization-induced calcium ion influx into synaptosomes was also evident in rats given ALCAR. Electrophysiological studies using hippocampus slices indicated that the excitatory postsynaptic potential slope and population spike size were both increased in ALCAR-treated rats. These results indicate that ALCAR increases synaptic neurotransmission in the brain and consequently improves learning capacity in aging rats.

  15. [Effects of anesthetics on the higher brain function].

    PubMed

    Sobue, Kazuya; Note, Hideaki; So, MinHye

    2014-11-01

    Number of surgeries for the elderly is increasing year by year. Postoperative cognitive dysfunction, POCD, and delirium are typical failure's of higher brain function after surgery. The mechanism of POCD and delirium has been suggested to be associated with inflammation, but its details are unknown. Alzheimer's disease leads to derangement in cognitive function. The number of patients with Alzheimer's disease is expected to increase rapidly. There is a possibility that inhalation anesthesia exacerbates the pathology of patients with impaired higher brain function such as Alzheimer's disease. On the other hand, the another suspect, that propofol is safe. However, it should be recognized that these results became clear by basic research. Further clinical study is required.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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. PMID:23959883

  17. Dynamic reorganization of intrinsic functional networks in the mouse brain.

    PubMed

    Grandjean, Joanes; Preti, Maria Giulia; Bolton, Thomas A W; Buerge, Michaela; Seifritz, Erich; Pryce, Christopher R; Van De Ville, Dimitri; Rudin, Markus

    2017-03-14

    Functional connectivity (FC) derived from resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) allows for the integrative study of neuronal processes at a macroscopic level. The majority of studies to date have assumed stationary interactions between brain regions, without considering the dynamic aspects of network organization. Only recently has the latter received increased attention, predominantly in human studies. Applying dynamic FC (dFC) analysis to mice is attractive given the relative simplicity of the mouse brain and the possibility to explore mechanisms underlying network dynamics using pharmacological, environmental or genetic interventions. Therefore, we have evaluated the feasibility and research potential of mouse dFC using the interventions of social stress or anesthesia duration as two case-study examples. By combining a sliding-window correlation approach with dictionary learning, several dynamic functional states (dFS) with a complex organization were identified, exhibiting highly dynamic inter- and intra-modular interactions. Each dFS displayed a high degree of reproducibility upon changes in analytical parameters and across datasets. They fluctuated at different degrees as a function of anesthetic depth, and were sensitive indicators of pathology as shown for the chronic psychosocial stress mouse model of depression. Dynamic functional states are proposed to make a major contribution to information integration and processing in the healthy and diseased brain.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Executive Functions in Adolescence: Inferences from Brain and Behavior

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Crone, Eveline A.

    2009-01-01

    Despite the advances in understanding cognitive improvements in executive function in adolescence, much less is known about the influence of affective and social modulators on executive function and the biological underpinnings of these functions and sensitivities. Here, recent behavioral and neuroscientific studies are summarized that have used…

  2. 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.

  3. Thyroid hormone receptors in brain development and function.

    PubMed

    Bernal, Juan

    2007-03-01

    Thyroid hormones are important during development of the mammalian brain, acting on migration and differentiation of neural cells, synaptogenesis, and myelination. The actions of thyroid hormones are mediated through nuclear thyroid hormone receptors (TRs) and regulation of gene expression. The purpose of this article is to review the role of TRs in brain maturation. In developing humans maternal and fetal thyroid glands provide thyroid hormones to the fetal brain, but the timing of receptor ontogeny agrees with clinical data on the importance of the maternal thyroid gland before midgestation. Several TR isoforms, which are encoded by the THRA and THRB genes, are expressed in the brain, with the most common being TRalpha1. Deletion of TRalpha1 in rodents is not, however, equivalent to hormone deprivation and, paradoxically, even prevents the effects of hypothyroidism. Unliganded receptor activity is, therefore, probably an important factor in causing the harmful effects of hypothyroidism. Accordingly, expression of a mutant receptor with impaired triiodothyronine (T(3)) binding and dominant negative activity affected cerebellar development and motor performance. TRs are also involved in adult brain function. TRalpha1 deletion, or expression of a dominant negative mutant receptor, induces consistent behavioral changes in adult mice, leading to severe anxiety and morphological changes in the hippocampus.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Sleep restriction impairs blood-brain barrier function.

    PubMed

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

    2014-10-29

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

  7. Functional brain networks associated with eating behaviors in obesity

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Network functional connectivity and whole-brain functional connectomics to investigate cognitive decline in neurodegenerative conditions.

    PubMed

    Dipasquale, O; Cercignani, Mara

    Non-invasive mapping of brain functional connectivity (FC) has played a fundamental role in neuroscience, and numerous scientists have been fascinated by its ability to reveal the brain's intricate morphology and functional properties. In recent years, two different techniques have been developed that are able to explore FC in pathophysiological conditions and to provide simple and non-invasive biomarkers for the detection of disease onset, severity and progression. These techniques are independent component analysis, which allows a network-based functional exploration of the brain, and graph theory, which provides a quantitative characterization of the whole-brain FC. In this paper we provide an overview of these two techniques and some examples of their clinical applications in the most common neurodegenerative disorders associated with cognitive decline, including mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia.

  9. Functional magnetic resonance imaging of mild traumatic brain injury.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Andrew R; Bellgowan, Patrick S F; Hanlon, Faith M

    2015-02-01

    Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers great promise for elucidating the neuropathology associated with a single or repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). The current review discusses the physiological underpinnings of the blood-oxygen level dependent response and how trauma affects the signal. Methodological challenges associated with fMRI data analyses are considered next, followed by a review of current mTBI findings. The majority of evoked studies have examined working memory and attentional functioning, with results suggesting a complex relationship between cognitive load/attentional demand and neuronal activation. Researchers have more recently investigated how brain trauma affects functional connectivity, and the benefits/drawbacks of evoked and functional connectivity studies are also discussed. The review concludes by discussing the major clinical challenges associated with fMRI studies of brain-injured patients, including patient heterogeneity and variations in scan-time post-injury. We conclude that the fMRI signal represents a complex filter through which researchers can measure the physiological correlates of concussive symptoms, an important goal for the burgeoning field of mTBI research.

  10. 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.

  11. Resting-state functional brain connectivity: lessons from functional near-infrared spectroscopy.

    PubMed

    Niu, Haijing; He, Yong

    2014-04-01

    Resting-state functional near-infrared spectroscopy (R-fNIRS) is an active area of interest and is currently attracting considerable attention as a new imaging tool for the study of resting-state brain function. Using variations in hemodynamic concentration signals, R-fNIRS measures the brain's low-frequency spontaneous neural activity, combining the advantages of portability, low-cost, high temporal sampling rate and less physical burden to participants. The temporal synchronization of spontaneous neuronal activity in anatomically separated regions is referred to as resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC). In the past several years, an increasing body of R-fNIRS RSFC studies has led to many important findings about functional integration among local or whole-brain regions by measuring inter-regional temporal synchronization. Here, we summarize recent advances made in the R-fNIRS RSFC methodologies, from the detection of RSFC (e.g., seed-based correlation analysis, independent component analysis, whole-brain correlation analysis, and graph-theoretical topological analysis), to the assessment of RSFC performance (e.g., reliability, repeatability, and validity), to the application of RSFC in studying normal development and brain disorders. The literature reviewed here suggests that RSFC analyses based on R-fNIRS data are valid and reliable for the study of brain function in healthy and diseased populations, thus providing a promising imaging tool for cognitive science and clinics.

  12. Brain functional correlates of working memory: reduced load-modulated activation and deactivation in aging without hyperactivation or functional reorganization.

    PubMed

    Kaup, Allison R; Drummond, Sean P A; Eyler, Lisa T

    2014-10-01

    We aimed to identify brain functional correlates of working memory performance in aging, in hopes of facilitating understanding of mechanisms that promote better versus worse working memory in late-life. Among 64 healthy adults, aged 23 to 78, we examined the relationship between age, working memory performance, and brain functional response during task performance. We focused on the association between working memory load-modulated functional response and individual differences in performance and whether these function-performance relationships differed with age. As expected, older age was associated with poorer working memory performance. Older age was also associated with reduced load-modulated activation including in bilateral prefrontal and parietal regions and left caudate as well as reduced deactivation including in the medial prefrontal cortex. Contrary to findings of hyperactivation in aging, we found no evidence of increased activation with older age. Positive associations identified between brain response and performance did not differ with age. Our findings suggest that the neural mechanisms underlying better versus worse working memory performance are age-invariant across adulthood, and argue against a pattern of functional reorganization in aging. Results are discussed within the broader literature, in which significant heterogeneity in findings between studies has been common.

  13. Functional connectivity networks for preoperative brain mapping in neurosurgery.

    PubMed

    Hart, Michael G; Price, Stephen J; Suckling, John

    2016-08-26

    OBJECTIVE Resection of focal brain lesions involves maximizing the resection while preserving brain function. Mapping brain function has entered a new era focusing on distributed connectivity networks at "rest," that is, in the absence of a specific task or stimulus, requiring minimal participant engagement. Central to this frame shift has been the development of methods for the rapid assessment of whole-brain connectivity with functional MRI (fMRI) involving blood oxygenation level-dependent imaging. The authors appraised the feasibility of fMRI-based mapping of a repertoire of functional connectivity networks in neurosurgical patients with focal lesions and the potential benefits of resting-state connectivity mapping for surgical planning. METHODS Resting-state fMRI sequences with a 3-T scanner and multiecho echo-planar imaging coupled to independent component analysis were acquired preoperatively from 5 study participants who had a right temporoparietooccipital glioblastoma. Seed-based functional connectivity analysis was performed with InstaCorr. Network identification focused on 7 major functional connectivity networks described in the literature and a putative language network centered on Broca's area. RESULTS All 8 functional connectivity networks were identified in each participant. Tumor-related topological changes to the default mode network were observed in all participants. In addition, each participant had at least 1 other abnormal network, and each network was abnormal in at least 1 participant. Individual patterns of network irregularities were identified with a qualitative approach and included local displacement due to mass effect, loss of a functional network component, and recruitment of new regions. CONCLUSIONS Resting-state fMRI can reliably and rapidly detect common functional connectivity networks in patients with glioblastoma and also has sufficient sensitivity for identifying patterns of network alterations. Mapping of functional

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Electrophysiological assessment of brain function in severe malnutrition.

    PubMed

    Robinson, S; Young, R E; Golden, M H

    1995-11-01

    Brain function in 10 severely malnourished children and matched controls was assessed using spectral analysis of electroencephalographic responses to photic driving during slow-wave sleep. The percentage power in the classical EEG broad-band domains was derived from temporo-occipital records. The malnourished group (5-23 months old; z-score height-for-age -3.2 +/- 0.3, weight-for-height -2.5 +/- 0.3) were tested on admission and on discharge from hospital. No significant differences were found between admission and discharge. Significant differences were found between malnourished and control groups, in the alpha 1 band in the undriven EEG, and in the alpha/beta 1 power ratio while driving at 8 Hz. These electrophysiological abnormalities, persisting despite somatic rehabilitation, must be associated with the chronic rather than the acute aspects of malnutrition, and can index the deviation of brain function from normality.

  20. Contribution of brain imaging to the understanding of gait disorders in Alzheimer's disease: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Annweiler, Cédric; Beauchet, Olivier; Celle, Sébastien; Roche, Frédéric; Annweiler, Thierry; Allali, Gilles; Bartha, Robert; Montero-Odasso, Manuel

    2012-09-01

    Although gait disorders are common in Alzheimer's disease (AD), determining which brain structures and related lesions are specifically involved is a goal yet to be reached. Our objective was to systematically review all published data that examined associations between gait disorders and brain imaging in AD. Of 486 selected studies, 4 observational studies met the selection criteria. The number of participants ranged from 2 to 61 community dwellers (29%-100% female) with prodromal or dementia-stage AD. Quantitative gait disorders (ie, slower gait velocity explained by shorter stride length) were associated with white matter lesions, mainly in the medial frontal lobes and basal ganglia. The nigrostriatal dopamine system was unaffected. Qualitative gait disorders (ie, higher stride length variability) correlated with lower hippocampal volume and function. Gait disorders in AD could be explained by a high burden of age-related subcortical hyperintensities on the frontal-subcortical circuits (nonspecific) together with hippocampal atrophy and hypometabolism (specific).

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Empirical Network Model of Human Higher Cognitive Brain Functions

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1990-03-31

    forms as val. and to 8 lags ( -,-/- 62 msec) for the 4-7 potentials, in keeping with common usage. Hz-filtered intervals. The ERC was defined as the...Functional topography of the graded. Further refinement of the techniques used human brain. In: G. Pfurtscheller and F.H. Lopes da Silva (Eds...sufficiently dense spatial sampling and techniques of spatial enhancement such as Laplacian Transform. Classical neurological and neurolinguistic thinking

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The effect of criticism on functional brain connectivity and associations with neuroticism.

    PubMed

    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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Brain cannabinoid receptor 2: expression, function and modulation.

    PubMed

    Chen, De-Jie; Gao, Ming; Gao, Fen-Fei; Su, Quan-Xi; Wu, Jie

    2017-03-01

    Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a fibrous flowering plant that produces an abundant variety of molecules, some with psychoactive effects. At least 4% of the world's adult population uses cannabis annually, making it one of the most frequently used illicit drugs in the world. The psychoactive effects of cannabis are mediated primarily through cannabinoid receptor (CBR) subtypes. The prevailing view is that CB1Rs are mainly expressed in the central neurons, whereas CB2Rs are predominantly expressed in peripheral immune cells. However, this traditional view has been challenged by emerging strong evidence that shows CB2Rs are moderately expressed and function in specific brain areas. New evidence has demonstrated that brain CB2Rs modulate animal drug-seeking behaviors, suggesting that these receptors may exist in brain regions that regulate drug addiction. Recently, we further confirmed that functional CB2Rs are expressed in mouse ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons and that the activation of VTA CB2Rs reduces neuronal excitability and cocaine-seeking behavior. In addition, CB2R-mediated modulation of hippocampal CA3 neuronal excitability and network synchronization has been reported. Here, we briefly summarize recent lines of evidence showing how CB2Rs modulate function and pathophysiology in the CNS.

  10. Brain cannabinoid receptor 2: expression, function and modulation

    PubMed Central

    Chen, De-jie; Gao, Ming; Gao, Fen-fei; Su, Quan-xi; Wu, Jie

    2017-01-01

    Cannabis sativa (marijuana) is a fibrous flowering plant that produces an abundant variety of molecules, some with psychoactive effects. At least 4% of the world's adult population uses cannabis annually, making it one of the most frequently used illicit drugs in the world. The psychoactive effects of cannabis are mediated primarily through cannabinoid receptor (CBR) subtypes. The prevailing view is that CB1Rs are mainly expressed in the central neurons, whereas CB2Rs are predominantly expressed in peripheral immune cells. However, this traditional view has been challenged by emerging strong evidence that shows CB2Rs are moderately expressed and function in specific brain areas. New evidence has demonstrated that brain CB2Rs modulate animal drug-seeking behaviors, suggesting that these receptors may exist in brain regions that regulate drug addiction. Recently, we further confirmed that functional CB2Rs are expressed in mouse ventral tegmental area (VTA) dopamine (DA) neurons and that the activation of VTA CB2Rs reduces neuronal excitability and cocaine-seeking behavior. In addition, CB2R-mediated modulation of hippocampal CA3 neuronal excitability and network synchronization has been reported. Here, we briefly summarize recent lines of evidence showing how CB2Rs modulate function and pathophysiology in the CNS. PMID:28065934

  11. The unconventional kinetoplastid kinetochore: from discovery toward functional understanding

    PubMed Central

    Akiyoshi, Bungo

    2016-01-01

    The kinetochore is the macromolecular protein complex that drives chromosome segregation in eukaryotes. Its most fundamental function is to connect centromeric DNA to dynamic spindle microtubules. Studies in popular model eukaryotes have shown that centromere protein (CENP)-A is critical for DNA-binding, whereas the Ndc80 complex is essential for microtubule-binding. Given their conservation in diverse eukaryotes, it was widely believed that all eukaryotes would utilize these components to make up a core of the kinetochore. However, a recent study identified an unconventional type of kinetochore in evolutionarily distant kinetoplastid species, showing that chromosome segregation can be achieved using a distinct set of proteins. Here, I review the discovery of the two kinetochore systems and discuss how their studies contribute to a better understanding of the eukaryotic chromosome segregation machinery. PMID:27911702

  12. Brain structure and function related to depression in Alzheimer's disease: contributions from neuroimaging research.

    PubMed

    Brommelhoff, Jessica A; Sultzer, David L

    2015-01-01

    The development of minimally invasive in vivo methods for imaging the brain has allowed for unprecedented advancement in our understanding of brain-behavior relationships. Structural, functional, and multimodal neuroimaging techniques have become more sophisticated in detecting structural and physiological abnormalities that may underlie various affective disorders and neurological illnesses such as depression in Alzheimer's disease (AD). In general, neuroimaging studies of depression in AD investigate whether depression is associated with damage to structures in specific neural networks involving frontal and subcortical structures or with functional disruption of cortical neural systems. This review provides an overview of how various imaging modalities have contributed to our understanding of the neurobiology of depression in AD. At present, the literature does not conclusively support any specific pathogenesis for depression, and it is not clear whether patients with AD and depression have histopathological and neurochemical characteristics that contribute to mood symptoms that are different from cognitively intact individuals with depression. Neuroimaging studies suggest that atrophy of temporal or frontal structures, white matter lesions in frontal lobe or subcortical systems, reduced activity in dorsolateral frontal cortex, or small vessel cerebrovascular disease may be associated with depression in AD. Conceptual, clinical, and methodological challenges in studying this relationship are discussed. Further work is needed to understand the specific brain structures, relevant white matter tracts, and interactions among them that are most important. This review concludes with potential directions for future research.

  13. Hour-Long Nap May Boost Brain Function in Older Adults

    MedlinePlus

    ... fullstory_162923.html Hour-Long Nap May Boost Brain Function in Older Adults Linked to improved memory and ... during the day had any effects on their brain function. Nearly 60 percent of the people regularly napped ...

  14. Neuroanatomical substrates of action perception and understanding: an anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis of lesion-symptom mapping studies in brain injured patients.

    PubMed

    Urgesi, Cosimo; Candidi, Matteo; Avenanti, Alessio

    2014-01-01

    Several neurophysiologic and neuroimaging studies suggested that motor and perceptual systems are tightly linked along a continuum rather than providing segregated mechanisms supporting different functions. Using correlational approaches, these studies demonstrated that action observation activates not only visual but also motor brain regions. On the other hand, brain stimulation and brain lesion evidence allows tackling the critical question of whether our action representations are necessary to perceive and understand others' actions. In particular, recent neuropsychological studies have shown that patients with temporal, parietal, and frontal lesions exhibit a number of possible deficits in the visual perception and the understanding of others' actions. The specific anatomical substrates of such neuropsychological deficits however, are still a matter of debate. Here we review the existing literature on this issue and perform an anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis of studies using lesion-symptom mapping methods on the causal relation between brain lesions and non-linguistic action perception and understanding deficits. The meta-analysis encompassed data from 361 patients tested in 11 studies and identified regions in the inferior frontal cortex, the inferior parietal cortex and the middle/superior temporal cortex, whose damage is consistently associated with poor performance in action perception and understanding tasks across studies. Interestingly, these areas correspond to the three nodes of the action observation network that are strongly activated in response to visual action perception in neuroimaging research and that have been targeted in previous brain stimulation studies. Thus, brain lesion mapping research provides converging causal evidence that premotor, parietal and temporal regions play a crucial role in action recognition and understanding.

  15. Neuroanatomical substrates of action perception and understanding: an anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis of lesion-symptom mapping studies in brain injured patients

    PubMed Central

    Urgesi, Cosimo; Candidi, Matteo; Avenanti, Alessio

    2014-01-01

    Several neurophysiologic and neuroimaging studies suggested that motor and perceptual systems are tightly linked along a continuum rather than providing segregated mechanisms supporting different functions. Using correlational approaches, these studies demonstrated that action observation activates not only visual but also motor brain regions. On the other hand, brain stimulation and brain lesion evidence allows tackling the critical question of whether our action representations are necessary to perceive and understand others’ actions. In particular, recent neuropsychological studies have shown that patients with temporal, parietal, and frontal lesions exhibit a number of possible deficits in the visual perception and the understanding of others’ actions. The specific anatomical substrates of such neuropsychological deficits however, are still a matter of debate. Here we review the existing literature on this issue and perform an anatomic likelihood estimation meta-analysis of studies using lesion-symptom mapping methods on the causal relation between brain lesions and non-linguistic action perception and understanding deficits. The meta-analysis encompassed data from 361 patients tested in 11 studies and identified regions in the inferior frontal cortex, the inferior parietal cortex and the middle/superior temporal cortex, whose damage is consistently associated with poor performance in action perception and understanding tasks across studies. Interestingly, these areas correspond to the three nodes of the action observation network that are strongly activated in response to visual action perception in neuroimaging research and that have been targeted in previous brain stimulation studies. Thus, brain lesion mapping research provides converging causal evidence that premotor, parietal and temporal regions play a crucial role in action recognition and understanding. PMID:24910603

  16. A Mapping Between Structural and Functional Brain Networks.

    PubMed

    Meier, Jil; Tewarie, Prejaas; Hillebrand, Arjan; Douw, Linda; van Dijk, Bob W; Stufflebeam, Steven M; Van Mieghem, Piet

    2016-05-01

    The relationship between structural and functional brain networks is still highly debated. Most previous studies have used a single functional imaging modality to analyze this relationship. In this work, we use multimodal data, from functional MRI, magnetoencephalography, and diffusion tensor imaging, and assume that there exists a mapping between the connectivity matrices of the resting-state functional and structural networks. We investigate this mapping employing group averaged as well as individual data. We indeed find a significantly high goodness of fit level for this structure-function mapping. Our analysis suggests that a functional connection is shaped by all walks up to the diameter in the structural network in both modality cases. When analyzing the inverse mapping, from function to structure, longer walks in the functional network also seem to possess minor influence on the structural connection strengths. Even though similar overall properties for the structure-function mapping are found for different functional modalities, our results indicate that the structure-function relationship is modality dependent.

  17. 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.

  18. Individual Differences in Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity across the Human Lifespan

    PubMed Central

    Davison, Elizabeth N.; Turner, Benjamin O.; Miller, Michael B.; Carlson, Jean M.

    2016-01-01

    Individual differences in brain functional networks may be related to complex personal identifiers, including health, age, and ability. Dynamic network theory has been used to identify properties of dynamic brain function from fMRI data, but the majority of analyses and findings remain at the level of the group. Here, we apply hypergraph analysis, a method from dynamic network theory, to quantify individual differences in brain functional dynamics. Using a summary metric derived from the hypergraph formalism—hypergraph cardinality—we investigate individual variations in two separate, complementary data sets. The first data set (“multi-task”) consists of 77 individuals engaging in four consecutive cognitive tasks. We observe that hypergraph cardinality exhibits variation across individuals while remaining consistent within individuals between tasks; moreover, the analysis of one of the memory tasks revealed a marginally significant correspondence between hypergraph cardinality and age. This finding motivated a similar analysis of the second data set (“age-memory”), in which 95 individuals, aged 18–75, performed a memory task with a similar structure to the multi-task memory task. With the increased age range in the age-memory data set, the correlation between hypergraph cardinality and age correspondence becomes significant. We discuss these results in the context of the well-known finding linking age with network structure, and suggest that hypergraph analysis should serve as a useful tool in furthering our understanding of the dynamic network structure of the brain. PMID:27880785

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Wearable 3-D Photoacoustic Tomography for Functional Brain Imaging in Behaving Rats.

    PubMed

    Tang, Jianbo; Coleman, Jason E; Dai, Xianjin; Jiang, Huabei

    2016-05-05

    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.

  2. 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.

  3. Sex differences in resting state brain function of cigarette smokers and links to nicotine dependence.

    PubMed

    Beltz, Adriene M; Berenbaum, Sheri A; Wilson, Stephen J

    2015-08-01

    Sex--a marker of biological and social individual differences--matters for drug use, particularly for cigarette smoking, which is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More men than women smoke, but women are less likely than men to quit. Resting state brain function, or intrinsic brain activity that occurs in the absence of a goal-directed task, is important for understanding cigarette smoking, as it has been shown to differentiate between smokers and nonsmokers. But, it is unclear whether and how sex influences the link between resting state brain function and smoking behavior. In this study, the authors demonstrate that sex is indeed associated with resting state connectivity in cigarette smokers, and that sex moderates the link between resting state connectivity and self-reported nicotine dependence. Using functional MRI and behavioral data from 50 adult daily smokers (23 women), the authors found that women had greater connectivity than men within the default mode network, and that increased connectivity within the reward network was related to increased nicotine tolerance in women but to decreased nicotine tolerance in men. Findings highlight the importance of sex-related individual differences reflected in resting state connectivity for understanding the etiology and treatment of substance use problems.

  4. Differential Effects of Brain Disorders on Structural and Functional Connectivity

    PubMed Central

    Vega-Pons, Sandro; Olivetti, Emanuele; Avesani, Paolo; Dodero, Luca; Gozzi, Alessandro; Bifone, Angelo

    2017-01-01

    Different measures of brain connectivity can be defined based on neuroimaging read-outs, including structural and functional connectivity. Neurological and psychiatric conditions are often associated with abnormal connectivity, but comparing the effects of the disease on different types of connectivity remains a challenge. In this paper, we address the problem of quantifying the relative effects of brain disease on structural and functional connectivity at a group level. Within the framework of a graph representation of connectivity, we introduce a kernel two-sample test as an effective method to assess the difference between the patients and control group. Moreover, we propose a common representation space for structural and functional connectivity networks, and a novel test statistics to quantitatively assess differential effects of the disease on different types of connectivity. We apply this approach to a dataset from BTBR mice, a murine model of Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC), a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of the main bundle of fibers connecting the two hemispheres. We used normo-callosal mice (B6) as a comparator. The application of the proposed methods to this data-set shows that the two types of connectivity can be successfully used to discriminate between BTBR and B6, meaning that both types of connectivity are affected by ACC. However, our novel test statistics shows that structural connectivity is significantly more affected than functional connectivity, consistent with the idea that functional connectivity has a robust topology that can tolerate substantial alterations in its structural connectivity substrate. PMID:28119556

  5. Synchronization-based approach for detecting functional activation of brain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hong, Lei; Cai, Shi-Min; Zhang, Jie; Zhuo, Zhao; Fu, Zhong-Qian; Zhou, Pei-Ling

    2012-09-01

    In this paper, we investigate a synchronization-based, data-driven clustering approach for the analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) data, and specifically for detecting functional activation from fMRI data. We first define a new measure of similarity between all pairs of data points (i.e., time series of voxels) integrating both complete phase synchronization and amplitude correlation. These pairwise similarities are taken as the coupling between a set of Kuramoto oscillators, which in turn evolve according to a nearest-neighbor rule. As the network evolves, similar data points naturally synchronize with each other, and distinct clusters will emerge. The clustering behavior of the interaction network of the coupled oscillators, therefore, mirrors the clustering property of the original multiple time series. The clustered regions whose cross-correlation coefficients are much greater than other regions are considered as the functionally activated brain regions. The analysis of fMRI data in auditory and visual areas shows that the recognized brain functional activations are in complete correspondence with those from the general linear model of statistical parametric mapping, but with a significantly lower time complexity. We further compare our results with those from traditional K-means approach, and find that our new clustering approach can distinguish between different response patterns more accurately and efficiently than the K-means approach, and therefore more suitable in detecting functional activation from event-related experimental fMRI data.

  6. Differential Effects of Brain Disorders on Structural and Functional Connectivity.

    PubMed

    Vega-Pons, Sandro; Olivetti, Emanuele; Avesani, Paolo; Dodero, Luca; Gozzi, Alessandro; Bifone, Angelo

    2016-01-01

    Different measures of brain connectivity can be defined based on neuroimaging read-outs, including structural and functional connectivity. Neurological and psychiatric conditions are often associated with abnormal connectivity, but comparing the effects of the disease on different types of connectivity remains a challenge. In this paper, we address the problem of quantifying the relative effects of brain disease on structural and functional connectivity at a group level. Within the framework of a graph representation of connectivity, we introduce a kernel two-sample test as an effective method to assess the difference between the patients and control group. Moreover, we propose a common representation space for structural and functional connectivity networks, and a novel test statistics to quantitatively assess differential effects of the disease on different types of connectivity. We apply this approach to a dataset from BTBR mice, a murine model of Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum (ACC), a congenital disorder characterized by the absence of the main bundle of fibers connecting the two hemispheres. We used normo-callosal mice (B6) as a comparator. The application of the proposed methods to this data-set shows that the two types of connectivity can be successfully used to discriminate between BTBR and B6, meaning that both types of connectivity are affected by ACC. However, our novel test statistics shows that structural connectivity is significantly more affected than functional connectivity, consistent with the idea that functional connectivity has a robust topology that can tolerate substantial alterations in its structural connectivity substrate.

  7. Hypothalamic-Pituitary Function in Brain Death: A Review.

    PubMed

    Nair-Collins, Michael; Northrup, Jesse; Olcese, James

    2016-01-01

    The Uniform Determination of Death Act (UDDA) states that an individual is dead when "all functions of the entire brain" have ceased irreversibly. However, it has been questioned whether some functions of the hypothalamus, particularly osmoregulation, can continue after the clinical diagnosis of brain death (BD). In order to learn whether parts of the hypothalamus can continue to function after the diagnosis of BD, we performed 2 separate systematic searches of the MEDLINE database, corresponding to the functions of the posterior and anterior pituitary. No meta-analysis is possible due to nonuniformity in the clinical literature. However, some modest generalizations can reasonably be drawn from a narrative review and from anatomic considerations that explain why these findings should be expected. We found evidence suggesting the preservation of hypothalamic function, including secretion of hypophysiotropic hormones, responsiveness to anterior pituitary stimulation, and osmoregulation, in a substantial proportion of patients declared dead by neurological criteria. We discuss several possible explanations for these findings. We conclude by suggesting that additional clinical research with strict inclusion criteria is necessary and further that a more nuanced and forthright public dialogue is needed, particularly since standard diagnostic practices and the UDDA may not be entirely in accord.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Automated Talairach atlas labels for functional brain mapping.

    PubMed

    Lancaster, J L; Woldorff, M G; Parsons, L M; Liotti, M; Freitas, C S; Rainey, L; Kochunov, P V; Nickerson, D; Mikiten, S A; Fox, P T

    2000-07-01

    An automated coordinate-based system to retrieve brain labels from the 1988 Talairach Atlas, called the Talairach Daemon (TD), was previously introduced [Lancaster et al., 1997]. In the present study, the TD system and its 3-D database of labels for the 1988 Talairach atlas were tested for labeling of functional activation foci. TD system labels were compared with author-designated labels of activation coordinates from over 250 published functional brain-mapping studies and with manual atlas-derived labels from an expert group using a subset of these activation coordinates. Automated labeling by the TD system compared well with authors' labels, with a 70% or greater label match averaged over all locations. Author-label matching improved to greater than 90% within a search range of +/-5 mm for most sites. An adaptive grey matter (GM) range-search utility was evaluated using individual activations from the M1 mouth region (30 subjects, 52 sites). It provided an 87% label match to Brodmann area labels (BA 4 & BA 6) within a search range of +/-5 mm. Using the adaptive GM range search, the TD system's overall match with authors' labels (90%) was better than that of the expert group (80%). When used in concert with authors' deeper knowledge of an experiment, the TD system provides consistent and comprehensive labels for brain activation foci. Additional suggested applications of the TD system include interactive labeling, anatomical grouping of activation foci, lesion-deficit analysis, and neuroanatomy education.

  11. Socioeconomic status and functional brain development - associations in early infancy.

    PubMed

    Tomalski, Przemyslaw; Moore, Derek G; Ribeiro, Helena; Axelsson, Emma L; Murphy, Elizabeth; Karmiloff-Smith, Annette; Johnson, Mark H; Kushnerenko, Elena

    2013-09-01

    Socioeconomic status (SES) impacts on both structural and functional brain development in childhood, but how early its effects can be demonstrated is unknown. In this study we measured resting baseline EEG activity in the gamma frequency range in awake 6-9-month-olds from areas of East London with high socioeconomic deprivation. Between-subject comparisons of infants from low- and high-income families revealed significantly lower frontal gamma power in infants from low-income homes. Similar power differences were found when comparing infants according to maternal occupation, with lower occupational status groups yielding lower power. Infant sleep, maternal education, length of gestation, and birth weight, as well as smoke exposure and bilingualism, did not explain these differences. Our results show that the effects of socioeconomic disparities on brain activity can already be detected in early infancy, potentially pointing to very early risk for language and attention difficulties. This is the first study to reveal region-selective differences in functional brain development associated with early infancy in low-income families.

  12. Abnormal whole-brain functional connectivity in patients with primary insomnia

    PubMed Central

    Li, Chao; Dong, Mengshi; Yin, Yi; Hua, Kelei; Fu, Shishun; Jiang, Guihua

    2017-01-01

    The investigation of the mechanism of insomnia could provide the basis for improved understanding and treatment of insomnia. The aim of this study is to investigate the abnormal functional connectivity throughout the entire brain of insomnia patients, and analyze the global distribution of these abnormalities. Whole brains of 50 patients with insomnia and 40 healthy controls were divided into 116 regions and abnormal connectivities were identified by comparing the Pearson’s correlation coefficients of each pair using general linear model analyses with covariates of age, sex, and duration of education. In patients with insomnia, regions that relate to wakefulness, emotion, worry/rumination, saliency/attention, and sensory-motor showed increased positive connectivity with each other; however, regions that often restrain each other, such as regions in salience network with regions in default mode network, showed decreased positive connectivity. Correlation analysis indicated that some increased positive functional connectivity was associated with the Self-Rating Depression Scale, Insomnia Severity Index, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores. According to our findings, increased and decreased positive connectivities suggest function strengthening and function disinhibition, respectively, which offers a parsimonious explanation for the hyperarousal hypothesis in the level of the whole-brain functional connectivity in patients with insomnia. PMID:28243094

  13. Abnormal whole-brain functional connectivity in patients with primary insomnia.

    PubMed

    Li, Chao; Dong, Mengshi; Yin, Yi; Hua, Kelei; Fu, Shishun; Jiang, Guihua

    2017-01-01

    The investigation of the mechanism of insomnia could provide the basis for improved understanding and treatment of insomnia. The aim of this study is to investigate the abnormal functional connectivity throughout the entire brain of insomnia patients, and analyze the global distribution of these abnormalities. Whole brains of 50 patients with insomnia and 40 healthy controls were divided into 116 regions and abnormal connectivities were identified by comparing the Pearson's correlation coefficients of each pair using general linear model analyses with covariates of age, sex, and duration of education. In patients with insomnia, regions that relate to wakefulness, emotion, worry/rumination, saliency/attention, and sensory-motor showed increased positive connectivity with each other; however, regions that often restrain each other, such as regions in salience network with regions in default mode network, showed decreased positive connectivity. Correlation analysis indicated that some increased positive functional connectivity was associated with the Self-Rating Depression Scale, Insomnia Severity Index, and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index scores. According to our findings, increased and decreased positive connectivities suggest function strengthening and function disinhibition, respectively, which offers a parsimonious explanation for the hyperarousal hypothesis in the level of the whole-brain functional connectivity in patients with insomnia.

  14. 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

  15. Microstructural and functional connectivity in the developing preterm brain.

    PubMed

    Lubsen, Julia; Vohr, Betty; Myers, Eliza; Hampson, Michelle; Lacadie, Cheryl; Schneider, Karen C; Katz, Karol H; Constable, R Todd; Ment, Laura R

    2011-02-01

    Prematurely born children are at increased risk for cognitive deficits, but the neurobiological basis of these findings remains poorly understood. Because variations in neural circuitry may influence performance on cognitive tasks, recent investigations have explored the impact of preterm birth on connectivity in the developing brain. Diffusion tensor imaging studies demonstrate widespread alterations in fractional anisotropy, a measure of axonal integrity and microstructural connectivity, throughout the developing preterm brain. Functional connectivity studies report that preterm neonates, children and adolescents exhibit alterations in both resting state and task-based connectivity when compared with term control subjects. Taken together, these data suggest that neurodevelopmental impairment following preterm birth may represent a disease of neural connectivity.

  16. Neurocognitive functioning and genetic variation in patients with primary brain tumors

    PubMed Central

    Wefel, Jeffrey S.; Noll, Kyle R.; Scheurer, Michael E.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Impairment of neurocognitive functioning is a common consequence of cerebral neoplasms and treatment, though considerable heterogeneity exists in the pattern and severity of problems across individuals and tumor types. While the influence of numerous clinical and patient characteristics have been documented, relatively little research has been devoted to understanding the influence of genetic variation upon neurocognitive outcomes in patients with brain tumors. This review highlights preliminary evidence associating genes from diverse pathways with risk of adverse neurocognitive outcomes in brain tumor patients, including genes specific to neuronal function and those involved in more systemic cellular regulation. Related literature involving other disease populations is also briefly surveyed, pointing to additional candidate genes. Methodological considerations are also discussed and the need for future research integrating novel investigative techniques is emphasized. PMID:26972863

  17. Genes that affect brain structure and function identified by rare variant analyses of Mendelian neurologic disease

    PubMed Central

    Karaca, Ender; Harel, Tamar; Pehlivan, Davut; Jhangiani, Shalini N.; Gambin, Tomasz; Akdemir, Zeynep Coban; Gonzaga-Jauregui, Claudia; Erdin, Serkan; Bayram, Yavuz; Campbell, Ian M.; Hunter, Jill V.; Atik, Mehmed M.; Van Esch, Hilde; Yuan, Bo; Wiszniewski, Wojciech; Isikay, Sedat; Yesil, Gozde; Yuregir, Ozge O.; Bozdogan, Sevcan Tug; Aslan, Huseyin; Aydin, Hatip; Tos, Tulay; Aksoy, Ayse; De Vivo, Darryl C.; Jain, Preti; Geckinli, B. Bilge; Sezer, Ozlem; Gul, Davut; Durmaz, Burak; Cogulu, Ozgur; Ozkinay, Ferda; Topcu, Vehap; Candan, Sukru; Cebi, Alper Han; Ikbal, Mevlit; Gulec, Elif Yilmaz; Gezdirici, Alper; Koparir, Erkan; Ekici, Fatma; Coskun, Salih; Cicek, Salih; Karaer, Kadri; Koparir, Asuman; Duz, Mehmet Bugrahan; Kirat, Emre; Fenercioglu, Elif; Ulucan, Hakan; Seven, Mehmet; Guran, Tulay; Elcioglu, Nursel; Yildirim, Mahmut Selman; Aktas, Dilek; Alikaşifoğlu, Mehmet; Ture, Mehmet; Yakut, Tahsin; Overton, John D.; Yuksel, Adnan; Ozen, Mustafa; Muzny, Donna M.; Adams, David R.; Boerwinkle, Eric; Chung, Wendy K.; Gibbs, Richard A.; Lupski, James R

    2015-01-01

    Development of the human nervous system involves complex interactions between fundamental cellular processes and requires a multitude of genes, many of which remain to be associated with human disease. We applied whole exome sequencing to 128 mostly consanguineous families with neurogenetic disorders that often included brain malformations. Rare variant analyses for both single nucleotide variant (SNV) and copy number variant (CNV) alleles allowed for identification of 45 novel variants in 43 known disease genes, 41 candidate genes, and CNVs in 10 families, with an overall potential molecular cause identified in >85% of families studied. Among the candidate genes identified, we found PRUNE, VARS, and DHX37 in multiple families, and homozygous loss of function variants in AGBL2, SLC18A2, SMARCA1, UBQLN1, and CPLX1. Neuroimaging and in silico analysis of functional and expression proximity between candidate and known disease genes allowed for further understanding of genetic networks underlying specific types of brain malformations. PMID:26539891

  18. A propositional representation model of anatomical and functional brain data.

    PubMed

    Maturana, Pablo; Batrancourt, Bénédicte

    2011-01-01

    Networks can represent a large number of systems. Recent advances in the domain of networks have been transferred to the field of neuroscience. For example, the graph model has been used in neuroscience research as a methodological tool to examine brain networks organization, topology and complex dynamics, as well as a framework to test the structure-function hypothesis using neuroimaging data. In the current work we propose a graph-theoretical framework to represent anatomical, functional and neuropsychological assessment instruments information. On the one hand, interrelationships between anatomic elements constitute an anatomical graph. On the other hand, a functional graph contains several cognitive functions and their more elementary cognitive processes. Finally, the neuropsychological assessment instruments graph includes several neuropsychological tests and scales linked with their different sub-tests and variables. The two last graphs are connected by relations of type "explore" linking a particular instrument with the cognitive function it explores. We applied this framework to a sample of patients with focal brain damage. Each patient was related to: (i) the cerebral entities injured (assessed with structural neuroimaging data) and (ii) the neusopsychological assessment tests carried out (weight by performance). Our model offers a suitable platform to visualize patients' relevant information, facilitating the representation, standardization and sharing of clinical data. At the same time, the integration of a large number of patients in this framework will make possible to explore relations between anatomy (injured entities) and function (performance in different tests assessing different cognitive functions) and the use of neurocomputational tools for graph analysis may help diagnostic and contribute to the comprehension of neural bases of cognitive functions.

  19. Changes in Regional Brain Perfusion During Functional Brain Activation: Comparison of [64Cu]-PTSM with [14C]-Iodoantipyrine

    PubMed Central

    Holschneider, DP; Yang, J; Sadler, TR; Galifianakis, NB; Bozorgzadeh, MH; Bading, JR; Conti, PS; Maarek, J-M I

    2008-01-01

    A dilemma in behavioral brain mapping is that conventional techniques immobilize the subject, extinguishing all but the simplest behaviors. This is avoided if brain activation is imaged after completion of the behavior and tissue capture of the tracer. A single-pass flow tracer proposed for positron emission tomography (PET) is a radiolabeled copper(II) complex of pyruvaldehyde bis(N4-methylthiosemicarbazone), [Cu64]-PTSM. [Cu64]-PTSM reaches steady-state cerebral distribution more rapidly than the metabolic tracer [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose, allowing imaging with substantially greater temporal resolution. Using dual-label autoradiography, this study compares the relative regional cerebral blood flow tracer distribution (CBF-TR) of [64Cu]-PTSM to that of the classic perfusion tracer [14C]-iodoantipyrine in a rat model during treadmill walking. Rats were exposed to continuous walking on a treadmill and compared to quiescent controls. [64Cu]-PTSM was bolus injected (iv) after 1 minute, followed by a 5 minute uptake and subsequent bolus injection of [14C]-iodoantipyrine. CBF-TR was quantified by autoradiography and analyzed in the three-dimensionally reconstructed brain by statistical parametric mapping, as well as by region-of-interest analysis. A high homology was found between the [64Cu]-PTSM and [14C]-iodoantipyrine patterns of cerebral activation in cortical and subcortical regions. For white matter, however, [64Cu]-PTSM showed lower perfusion than [14Cu]-iodoantipyrine. [64Cu]-PTSM is a useful tracer for functional brain mapping in freely-moving subjects. Its application in conjunction with PET promises to increase our understanding of the neural circuitry of behaviors dependent on locomotion. PMID:18687316

  20. 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

  1. Totally tubular: the mystery behind function and origin of the brain ventricular system.

    PubMed

    Lowery, Laura Anne; Sive, Hazel

    2009-04-01

    A unique feature of the vertebrate brain is the 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.

  2. Network functional connectivity and whole-brain functional connectomics to investigate cognitive decline in neurodegenerative conditions

    PubMed Central

    Dipasquale, Ottavia; Cercignani, Mara

    2016-01-01

    Summary Non-invasive mapping of brain functional connectivity (FC) has played a fundamental role in neuroscience, and numerous scientists have been fascinated by its ability to reveal the brain’s intricate morphology and functional properties. In recent years, two different techniques have been developed that are able to explore FC in pathophysiological conditions and to provide simple and non-invasive biomarkers for the detection of disease onset, severity and progression. These techniques are independent component analysis, which allows a network-based functional exploration of the brain, and graph theory, which provides a quantitative characterization of the whole-brain FC. In this paper we provide an overview of these two techniques and some examples of their clinical applications in the most common neurodegenerative disorders associated with cognitive decline, including mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, dementia with Lewy Bodies and behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia. PMID:28072380

  3. 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…

  4. Whole-brain functional connectivity during acquisition of novel grammar: Distinct functional networks depend on language learning abilities.

    PubMed

    Kepinska, Olga; de Rover, Mischa; Caspers, Johanneke; Schiller, Niels O

    2017-03-01

    In an effort to advance the understanding of brain function and organisation accompanying second language learning, we investigate the neural substrates of novel grammar learning in a group of healthy adults, consisting of participants with high and average language analytical abilities (LAA). By means of an Independent Components Analysis, a data-driven approach to functional connectivity of the brain, the fMRI data collected during a grammar-learning task were decomposed into maps representing separate cognitive processes. These included the default mode, task-positive, working memory, visual, cerebellar and emotional networks. We further tested for differences within the components, representing individual differences between the High and Average LAA learners. We found high analytical abilities to be coupled with stronger contributions to the task-positive network from areas adjacent to bilateral Broca's region, stronger connectivity within the working memory network and within the emotional network. Average LAA participants displayed stronger engagement within the task-positive network from areas adjacent to the right-hemisphere homologue of Broca's region and typical to lower level processing (visual word recognition), and increased connectivity within the default mode network. The significance of each of the identified networks for the grammar learning process is presented next to a discussion on the established markers of inter-individual learners' differences. We conclude that in terms of functional connectivity, the engagement of brain's networks during grammar acquisition is coupled with one's language learning abilities.

  5. Social behavior following traumatic brain injury and its association with emotion recognition, understanding of intentions, and cognitive flexibility.

    PubMed

    Milders, Maarten; Ietswaart, Magdalena; Crawford, John R; Currie, David

    2008-03-01

    Although the adverse consequences of changes in social behavior following traumatic brain injury (TBI) are well documented, relatively little is known about possible underlying neuropsychological deficits. Following a model originally developed for social behavior deficits in schizophrenia, we investigated whether impairments in emotion recognition, understanding of other people's intentions ("theory of mind"), and cognitive flexibility soon after first TBI or 1 year later were associated with self and proxy ratings of behavior following TBI. Each of the three functions was assessed with two separate tests, and ratings of behavior were collected on three questionnaires. Patients with TBI (n = 33) were impaired in emotion recognition, "theory of mind," and cognitive flexibility compared with matched orthopedic controls (n = 34). Proxy ratings showed increases in behavioral problems 1 year following injury in the TBI group but not in the control group. However, test performance was not associated with questionnaire data. Severity of the impairments in emotion recognition, understanding intention, and flexibility were unrelated to the severity of behavioral problems following TBI. These findings failed to confirm the used model for social behavior deficits and may cast doubt on the alleged link between deficits in emotion recognition or theory of mind and social functioning.

  6. Hemisphere- and gender-related differences in small-world brain networks: a resting-state functional MRI study.

    PubMed

    Tian, Lixia; Wang, Jinhui; Yan, Chaogan; He, Yong

    2011-01-01

    We employed resting-state functional MRI (R-fMRI) to investigate hemisphere- and gender-related differences in the topological organization of human brain functional networks. Brain networks were first constructed by measuring inter-regional temporal correlations of R-fMRI data within each hemisphere in 86 young, healthy, right-handed adults (38 males and 48 females) followed by a graph-theory analysis. The hemispheric networks exhibit small-world attributes (high clustering and short paths) that are compatible with previous results in the whole-brain functional networks. Furthermore, we found that compared with females, males have a higher normalized clustering coefficient in the right hemispheric network but a lower clustering coefficient in the left hemispheric network, suggesting a gender-hemisphere interaction. Moreover, we observed significant hemisphere-related differences in the regional nodal characteristics in various brain regions, such as the frontal and occipital regions (leftward asymmetry) and the temporal regions (rightward asymmetry), findings that are consistent with previous studies of brain structural and functional asymmetries. Together, our results suggest that the topological organization of human brain functional networks is associated with gender and hemispheres, and they provide insights into the understanding of functional substrates underlying individual differences in behaviors and cognition.

  7. Tau and Beta-Amyloid Deposition, Microhemorrhage and Brain Function after Traumatic Brain Injury in War Veterans

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2015-10-01

    AWARD NUMBER: W81XWH-14-1-0418 TITLE: Tau and Beta-Amyloid Deposition, Microhemorrhage and Brain Function after Traumatic Brain Injury in War...COVERED 25 Sep 2014 - 24 Sep 2015 4. TITLE AND SUBTITLE 5a. CONTRACT NUMBER Tau and Beta-Amyloid Deposition, Microhemorrhage and Brain Function after...Traumatic Brain Injury in War Veterans 5b. GRANT NUMBER W81XWH-14-1-0418 5c. PROGRAM ELEMENT NUMBER 6. AUTHOR(S) Christopher Rowe 5d. PROJECT

  8. 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.

  9. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Anderson, Megan M.

    2012-01-01

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it "mean" to understand science…

  10. Predicting individual brain functional connectivity using a Bayesian hierarchical model.

    PubMed

    Dai, Tian; Guo, Ying

    2017-02-15

    Network-oriented analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), especially resting-state fMRI, has revealed important association between abnormal connectivity and brain disorders such as schizophrenia, major depression and Alzheimer's disease. Imaging-based brain connectivity measures have become a useful tool for investigating the pathophysiology, progression and treatment response of psychiatric disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Recent studies have started to explore the possibility of using functional neuroimaging to help predict disease progression and guide treatment selection for individual patients. These studies provide the impetus to develop statistical methodology that would help provide predictive information on disease progression-related or treatment-related changes in neural connectivity. To this end, we propose a prediction method based on Bayesian hierarchical model that uses individual's baseline fMRI scans, coupled with relevant subject characteristics, to predict the individual's future functional connectivity. A key advantage of the proposed method is that it can improve the accuracy of individualized prediction of connectivity by combining information from both group-level connectivity patterns that are common to subjects with similar characteristics as well as individual-level connectivity features that are particular to the specific subject. Furthermore, our method also offers statistical inference tools such as predictive intervals that help quantify the uncertainty or variability of the predicted outcomes. The proposed prediction method could be a useful approach to predict the changes in individual patient's brain connectivity with the progression of a disease. It can also be used to predict a patient's post-treatment brain connectivity after a specified treatment regimen. Another utility of the proposed method is that it can be applied to test-retest imaging data to develop a more reliable estimator for individual

  11. 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.

  12. Using computational biophysics to understand protein evolution and function

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ytreberg, F. Marty

    2010-10-01

    Understanding how proteins evolve and function is vital for human health (e.g., developing better drugs, predicting the outbreak of disease, etc.). In spite of its importance, little is known about the underlying molecular mechanisms behind these biological processes. Computational biophysics has emerged as a useful tool in this area due to its unique ability to obtain a detailed, atomistic view of proteins and how they interact. I will give two examples from our studies where computational biophysics has provided valuable insight: (i) Protein evolution in viruses. Our results suggest that the amino acid changes that occur during high temperature evolution of a virus decrease the binding free energy of the capsid, i.e., these changes increase capsid stability. (ii) Determining realistic structural ensembles for intrinsically disordered proteins. Most methods for determining protein structure rely on the protein folding into a single conformation, and thus are not suitable for disordered proteins. I will describe a new approach that combines experiment and simulation to generate structures for disordered proteins.

  13. Refining our understanding of oceanic biogeochemistry and ecosystem functioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    On societally relevant time scales (e.g., decades to centuries), oceanic biological processes sequester large quantities of atmospheric carbon, thereby modulating C02 concentrations in the lower atmosphere [IPCC, 2001]. The complex physical and biogeochemical interactions that regulate carbon fluxes between the atmosphere and the surface ocean— apparently random physical events, fluctuations in community structure and function, natural climate cycles, and long-term changes in anthropogenic forcing—are best studied within the framework of ocean time-series observations. Such thinking led in 1988 to the initiation of the U.S. JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study) time-series programs in the subtropical North Atlantic (BATS = Bermuda Atlantic Time-series Study) and North Pacific (HOT = Hawaii Ocean Time-series), and motivates continuing observations into the foreseeable future. After 14 years of intensive physical, biological, and biogeochemical sampling in these regions, the paradigms that initially guided our understanding and research of ocean ecosystems have been found wanting, and new perspectives have emerged to provide a stimulating foundation for continued investigations.

  14. Comparative Auditory Neuroscience: Understanding the Evolution and Function of Ears.

    PubMed

    Manley, Geoffrey A

    2017-02-01

    Comparative auditory studies make it possible both to understand the origins of modern ears and the factors underlying the similarities and differences in their performance. After all lineages of land vertebrates had independently evolved tympanic middle ears in the early Mesozoic era, the subsequent tens of millions of years led to the hearing organ of lizards, birds, and mammals becoming larger and their upper frequency limits higher. In extant species, lizard papillae remained relatively small (<2 mm), but avian papillae attained a maximum length of 11 mm, with the highest frequencies in both groups near 12 kHz. Hearing-organ sizes in modern mammals vary more than tenfold, up to >70 mm (made possible by coiling), as do their upper frequency limits (from 12 to >200 kHz). The auditory organs of the three amniote groups differ characteristically in their cellular structure, but their hearing sensitivity and frequency selectivity within their respective hearing ranges hardly differ. In the immediate primate ancestors of humans, the cochlea became larger and lowered its upper frequency limit. Modern humans show an unusual trend in frequency selectivity as a function of frequency. It is conceivable that the frequency selectivity patterns in humans were influenced in their evolution by the development of speech.

  15. Understanding

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Buxkemper, Andra C.; Hartfiel, D. J.

    2003-01-01

    There is no common agreement on the meaning of the word "understand". However, there is agreement on what students should be able to do with material they understand. Bloom et al. discuss kinds of tasks a student should be able to do, provided that the student understands. In a similar way, Biggs and Collis provide a taxonomy intended to evaluate…

  16. A Functional Conceptualization of Understanding Science in the News

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Anderson, Megan M.

    The idea that the public should have the capacity for understanding science in the news has been embraced by scientists, educators, and policymakers alike. An oft-cited goal of contemporary science education, in fact, is to enhance students' understanding of science in the news. But what exactly does it mean to understand science in the news? Surprisingly few have asked this question, or considered the significance of its answer. This dissertation steps away from issues of science teaching and learning to examine the nature of understanding science in the news itself. My work consolidates past scholarship from the multiple fields concerned with the relationship between science and society to produce a theoretical model of understanding science in the news as a complex, multidimensional process that involves an understanding of science as well as journalism. This thesis begins by exploring the relationship between the understanding implicit in understanding science in the news and understanding science. Many assume these two ways of knowing are one in the same. To rebut this assumption, I examine the types of knowledge necessary for understanding science and understanding science in the news. I then use the literature devoted to scientific literacy to show how past research has imagined the knowledge necessary to understand science in the news. Next, I argue that one of the principle difficulties with these conceptualizations is that they define science in the news in essentially the same terms as science. They also, I suggest, oversimplify how and why public interacts with science in the news. This dissertation concludes with a proposal for one way we might think about understanding science in the news on its own terms rather than those of understanding science. This dissertation attempts to connect two fields of research that rarely intersect, despite their multiple common interests: science education and mass communication. It considers the notion of

  17. Plasticity of Visual Pathways and Function in the Developing Brain: Is the Pulvinar a Crucial Player?

    PubMed Central

    Bourne, James A.; Morrone, Maria Concetta

    2017-01-01

    The pulvinar is the largest of the thalamic nuclei in the primates, including humans. In the primates, two of the three major subdivisions, the lateral and inferior pulvinar, are heavily interconnected with a significant proportion of the visual association cortex. However, while we now have a better understanding of the bidirectional connectivity of these pulvinar subdivisions, its functions remain somewhat of an enigma. Over the past few years, researchers have started to tackle this problem by addressing it from the angle of development and visual cortical lesions. In this review, we will draw together literature from the realms of studies in nonhuman primates and humans that have informed much of the current understanding. This literature has been responsible for changing many long-held opinions on the development of the visual cortex and how the pulvinar interacts dynamically with cortices during early life to ensure rapid development and functional capacity Furthermore, there is evidence to suggest involvement of the pulvinar following lesions of the primary visual cortex (V1) and geniculostriate pathway in early life which have far better functional outcomes than identical lesions obtained in adulthood. Shedding new light on the pulvinar and its role following lesions of the visual brain has implications for our understanding of visual brain disorders and the potential for recovery. PMID:28228719

  18. Brain function differences in language processing in children and adults with autism.

    PubMed

    Williams, Diane L; Cherkassky, Vladimir L; Mason, Robert A; Keller, Timothy A; Minshew, Nancy J; Just, Marcel Adam

    2013-08-01

    Comparison of brain function between children and adults with autism provides an understanding of the effects of the disorder and associated maturational differences on language processing. Functional imaging (functional magnetic resonance imaging) was used to examine brain activation and cortical synchronization during the processing of literal and ironic texts in 15 children with autism, 14 children with typical development, 13 adults with autism, and 12 adult controls. Both the children and adults with autism had lower functional connectivity (synchronization of brain activity among activated areas) than their age and ability comparison group in the left hemisphere language network during irony processing, and neither autism group had an increase in functional connectivity in response to increased task demands. Activation differences for the literal and irony conditions occurred in key language-processing regions (left middle temporal, left pars triangularis, left pars opercularis, left medial frontal, and right middle temporal). The children and adults with autism differed from each other in the use of some brain regions during the irony task, with the adults with autism having activation levels similar to those of the control groups. Overall, the children and adults with autism differed from the adult and child controls in (a) the degree of network coordination, (b) the distribution of the workload among member nodes, and (3) the dynamic recruitment of regions in response to text content. Moreover, the differences between the two autism age groups may be indicative of positive changes in the neural function related to language p