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Sample records for actions neural evidence

  1. The neural substrates of action identification

    Marsh, Abigail A.; Kozak, Megan N.; Wegner, Daniel M.; Reid, Marguerite E.; Yu, Henry H.; Blair, Ralph James

    2010-01-01

    Mentalization is the process by which an observer views a target as possessing higher cognitive faculties such as goals, intentions and desires. Mentalization can be assessed using action identification paradigms, in which observers choose mentalistic (goals-focused) or mechanistic (action-focused) descriptions of targets actions. Neural structures that play key roles in inferring goals and intentions from others observed or imagined actions include temporo-parietal junction, ventral premot...

  2. Differential Recurrent Neural Networks for Action Recognition

    Veeriah, Vivek; Zhuang, Naifan; Qi, Guo-Jun

    2015-01-01

    The long short-term memory (LSTM) neural network is capable of processing complex sequential information since it utilizes special gating schemes for learning representations from long input sequences. It has the potential to model any sequential time-series data, where the current hidden state has to be considered in the context of the past hidden states. This property makes LSTM an ideal choice to learn the complex dynamics of various actions. Unfortunately, the conventional LSTMs do not co...

  3. Neural reflections of meaning in gesture, language, and action

    Willems, Roel Mathieu

    2009-01-01

    We gesture when we speak. In this thesis the neural basis in the healthy human brain of integration of action-related (gestural) and visual (pictures) information with spoken language was investigated.

  4. Neural bases of selective attention in action video game players

    Bavelier, D.; Achtman, RL; M Mani; Föcker, J

    2011-01-01

    Over the past few years, the very act of playing action video games has been shown to enhance several different aspects of visual selective attention. Yet little is known about the neural mechanisms that mediate such attentional benefits. A review of the aspects of attention enhanced in action game players suggests there are changes in the mechanisms that control attention allocation and its efficiency (Hubert-Wallander et al., 2010). The present study used brain imaging to test this hypothes...

  5. A continuous-time neural model for sequential action.

    Kachergis, George; Wyatte, Dean; O'Reilly, Randall C; de Kleijn, Roy; Hommel, Bernhard

    2014-11-01

    Action selection, planning and execution are continuous processes that evolve over time, responding to perceptual feedback as well as evolving top-down constraints. Existing models of routine sequential action (e.g. coffee- or pancake-making) generally fall into one of two classes: hierarchical models that include hand-built task representations, or heterarchical models that must learn to represent hierarchy via temporal context, but thus far lack goal-orientedness. We present a biologically motivated model of the latter class that, because it is situated in the Leabra neural architecture, affords an opportunity to include both unsupervised and goal-directed learning mechanisms. Moreover, we embed this neurocomputational model in the theoretical framework of the theory of event coding (TEC), which posits that actions and perceptions share a common representation with bidirectional associations between the two. Thus, in this view, not only does perception select actions (along with task context), but actions are also used to generate perceptions (i.e. intended effects). We propose a neural model that implements TEC to carry out sequential action control in hierarchically structured tasks such as coffee-making. Unlike traditional feedforward discrete-time neural network models, which use static percepts to generate static outputs, our biological model accepts continuous-time inputs and likewise generates non-stationary outputs, making short-timescale dynamic predictions. PMID:25267830

  6. Neural representation of the sensorimotor speech-action-repository

    Cornelia eEckers

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available A speech-action-repository (SAR or mental syllabary has been proposed as a central module for sensorimotor processing of syllables. In this approach, syllables occurring frequently within language are assumed to be stored as holistic sensorimotor patterns, while non-frequent syllables need to be assembled from sub-syllabic units. Thus, frequent syllables are processed efficiently and quickly during production or perception by a direct activation of their sensorimotor patterns. Whereas several behavioral psycholinguistic studies provided evidence in support of the existence of a syllabary, fMRI studies have failed to demonstrate its neural reality. In the present fMRI study a reaction paradigm using homogeneous vs. heterogeneous syllable blocks are used during overt vs. covert speech production and auditory vs. visual presentation modes. Two complementary data analyses were performed: (1 in a logical conjunction, activation for syllable processing independent of input modality and response mode was assessed, in order to support the assumption of existence of a supramodal hub within a SAR. (2 In addition priming effects in the BOLD response in homogeneous vs. heterogeneous blocks were measured in order to identify brain regions, which indicate reduced activity during multiple production/perception repetitions of a specific syllable in order to determine state maps. Auditory-visual conjunction analysis revealed an activation network comprising bilateral precentral gyrus and left inferior frontal gyrus (area 44. These results are compatible with the notion of a supramodal hub within the SAR. The main effect of homogeneity priming revealed an activation pattern of areas within frontal, temporal, and parietal lobe. These findings are taken to represent sensorimotor state maps of the SAR. In conclusion, the present study provided preliminary evidence for a SAR.

  7. The neural basis of predicting the outcomes of planned actions

    Andrew Jahn

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available A key feature of human intelligence is the ability to predict the outcomes of one’s own actions prior to executing them. Action values are thought to be represented in part in the dorsal and ventral medial prefrontal cortex, yet current studies have focused on the value of executed actions rather than the anticipated value of a planned action. Thus, little is known about the neural basis of how individuals think (or fail to think about their actions and the potential consequences before they act. We scanned individuals with fMRI while they thought about performing actions that they knew would likely be correct or incorrect. Here we show that merely imagining an error, as opposed to imagining a correct outcome, increases activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, independently of subsequent actions. This activity overlaps with regions that respond to actual error commission. The findings show a distinct network that signals the prospective outcomes of one’s planned actions. A number of clinical disorders such as schizophrenia and drug abuse involve a failure to take the potential consequences of an action into account prior to acting. Our results thus suggest how dysfunctions of the medial prefrontal cortex may contribute to such failures.

  8. When language meets action: the neural integration of gesture and speech.

    Willems, Roel M; Ozyürek, Asli; Hagoort, Peter

    2007-10-01

    Although generally studied in isolation, language and action often co-occur in everyday life. Here we investigated one particular form of simultaneous language and action, namely speech and gestures that speakers use in everyday communication. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we identified the neural networks involved in the integration of semantic information from speech and gestures. Verbal and/or gestural content could be integrated easily or less easily with the content of the preceding part of speech. Premotor areas involved in action observation (Brodmann area [BA] 6) were found to be specifically modulated by action information "mismatching" to a language context. Importantly, an increase in integration load of both verbal and gestural information into prior speech context activated Broca's area and adjacent cortex (BA 45/47). A classical language area, Broca's area, is not only recruited for language-internal processing but also when action observation is integrated with speech. These findings provide direct evidence that action and language processing share a high-level neural integration system. PMID:17159232

  9. Neural underpinnings of superior action prediction abilities in soccer players.

    Makris, Stergios; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2015-03-01

    The ability to form anticipatory representations of ongoing actions is crucial for effective interactions in dynamic environments. In sports, elite athletes exhibit greater ability than novices in predicting other players' actions, mainly based on reading their body kinematics. This superior perceptual ability has been associated with a modulation of visual and motor areas by visual and motor expertise. Here, we investigated the causative role of visual and motor action representations in experts' ability to predict the outcome of soccer actions. We asked expert soccer players (outfield players and goalkeepers) and novices to predict the direction of the ball after perceiving the initial phases of penalty kicks that contained or not incongruent body kinematics. During the task, we applied repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) over the superior temporal sulcus (STS) and the dorsal premotor cortex (PMd). Results showed that STS-rTMS disrupted performance in both experts and novices, especially in those with greater visual expertise (i.e. goalkeepers). Conversely, PMd-rTMS impaired performance only in expert players (i.e. outfield players and goalkeepers), who exhibit strong motor expertise into facing domain-specific actions in soccer games. These results provide causative evidence of the complimentary functional role of visual and motor action representations in experts' action prediction. PMID:24771282

  10. Neural evidence that suspense narrows attentional focus.

    Bezdek, M A; Gerrig, R J; Wenzel, W G; Shin, J; Pirog Revill, K; Schumacher, E H

    2015-09-10

    The scope of visual attention changes dynamically over time. Although previous research has reported conditions that suppress peripheral visual processing, no prior work has investigated how attention changes in response to the variable emotional content of audiovisual narratives. We used fMRI to test for the suppression of spatially peripheral stimuli and enhancement of narrative-relevant central stimuli at moments when suspense increased in narrative film excerpts. Participants viewed films presented at fixation, while flashing checkerboards appeared in the periphery. Analyses revealed that increasing narrative suspense caused reduced activity in peripheral visual processing regions in the anterior calcarine sulcus and in default mode network nodes. Concurrently, activity increased in central visual processing regions and in frontal and parietal regions recruited for attention and dynamic visual processing. These results provide evidence, using naturalistic stimuli, of dynamic spatial tuning of attention in early visual processing areas due to narrative context. PMID:26143014

  11. Neural dynamics of object noun, action verb and action noun production in picture naming.

    Fargier, Raphaël; Laganaro, Marina

    2015-11-01

    The verb/noun dissociation has often involved the semantic/grammatical confound. We conducted two event-related potentials (ERPs) studies with the aim of minimizing this confound. In Experiment 1 participants named pictures depicting actions, with verbs or nouns and pictures depicting objects with nouns. In Experiment 2, participants named objects (nouns) or actions (verbs/nouns) from the same set of action pictures. Compatible with lexical-semantic processes, semantic category modulated waveform amplitudes and topographic patterns between 250 and 380 ms after picture-onset in Experiment 1. No such effects were observed in Experiment 2. No effects were found for grammatical class in both experiments suggesting that grammatical information is not mandatorily activated during lexical-semantic processes. Given the absence of dissociation when same pictures were used the results are described as feed-forward effects from visual to semantic processing, indicating differential neural networks for lexical selection of action and object words from their corresponding visual referents. PMID:26433472

  12. Alteration of neural action potential patterns by axonal stimulation: the importance of stimulus location

    Crago, Patrick E.; Makowski, Nathaniel S.

    2014-10-01

    Objective. Stimulation of peripheral nerves is often superimposed on ongoing motor and sensory activity in the same axons, without a quantitative model of the net action potential train at the axon endpoint. Approach. We develop a model of action potential patterns elicited by superimposing constant frequency axonal stimulation on the action potentials arriving from a physiologically activated neural source. The model includes interactions due to collision block, resetting of the neural impulse generator, and the refractory period of the axon at the point of stimulation. Main results. Both the mean endpoint firing rate and the probability distribution of the action potential firing periods depend strongly on the relative firing rates of the two sources and the intersite conduction time between them. When the stimulus rate exceeds the neural rate, neural action potentials do not reach the endpoint and the rate of endpoint action potentials is the same as the stimulus rate, regardless of the intersite conduction time. However, when the stimulus rate is less than the neural rate, and the intersite conduction time is short, the two rates partially sum. Increases in stimulus rate produce non-monotonic increases in endpoint rate and continuously increasing block of neurally generated action potentials. Rate summation is reduced and more neural action potentials are blocked as the intersite conduction time increases. At long intersite conduction times, the endpoint rate simplifies to being the maximum of either the neural or the stimulus rate. Significance. This study highlights the potential of increasing the endpoint action potential rate and preserving neural information transmission by low rate stimulation with short intersite conduction times. Intersite conduction times can be decreased with proximal stimulation sites for muscles and distal stimulation sites for sensory endings. The model provides a basis for optimizing experiments and designing neuroprosthetic

  13. Habituation in non-neural organisms: evidence from slime moulds.

    Boisseau, Romain P; Vogel, David; Dussutour, Audrey

    2016-04-27

    Learning, defined as a change in behaviour evoked by experience, has hitherto been investigated almost exclusively in multicellular neural organisms. Evidence for learning in non-neural multicellular organisms is scant, and only a few unequivocal reports of learning have been described in single-celled organisms. Here we demonstrate habituation, an unmistakable form of learning, in the non-neural organism Physarum polycephalum In our experiment, using chemotaxis as the behavioural output and quinine or caffeine as the stimulus, we showed that P. polycephalum learnt to ignore quinine or caffeine when the stimuli were repeated, but responded again when the stimulus was withheld for a certain time. Our results meet the principle criteria that have been used to demonstrate habituation: responsiveness decline and spontaneous recovery. To distinguish habituation from sensory adaptation or motor fatigue, we also show stimulus specificity. Our results point to the diversity of organisms lacking neurons, which likely display a hitherto unrecognized capacity for learning, and suggest that slime moulds may be an ideal model system in which to investigate fundamental mechanisms underlying learning processes. Besides, documenting learning in non-neural organisms such as slime moulds is centrally important to a comprehensive, phylogenetic understanding of when and where in the tree of life the earliest manifestations of learning evolved. PMID:27122563

  14. Neural Evidence for the Flexible Control of Mental Representations.

    Lewis-Peacock, Jarrod A; Drysdale, Andrew T; Postle, Bradley R

    2015-10-01

    This study was designed to explore neural evidence for the simultaneous engagement of multiple mental codes while retaining a visual object in short-term memory (STM) and, if successful, to explore the neural bases of strategic prioritization among these codes. We used multivariate pattern analysis of fMRI data to track patterns of brain activity associated with three common mental codes: visual, verbal, and semantic. When participants did not know which dimension of a sample stimulus would be tested, patterns of brain activity during the memory delay indicated that a visual representation was quickly augmented with both verbal and semantic re-representations of the stimulus. The verbal code emerged as most highly activated, consistent with a canonical visual-to-phonological recoding operation in STM. If participants knew which dimension of a sample stimulus would be tested, brain activity patterns were biased toward the probe-relevant stimulus dimension. Interestingly, probe-irrelevant neural states persisted at an intermediate level of activation when they were potentially relevant later in the trial, but dropped to baseline when cued to be irrelevant. These results reveal the neural dynamics underlying the creation and retention of mental codes, and they illustrate the flexible control that humans can exert over these representations. PMID:24935778

  15. Do REM (lucid) dreamed and executed actions share the same neural substrate?

    Erlacher, Daniel; Schredl, Michael

    2008-01-01

    This paper addresses the correlation of dreamed and actual actions. This issue is related to the theory of neural simulation of action. The simulation theory postulates that, in general, covert actions are actual actions relying on the same brain regions, except for the fact that they are not executed. By reviewing studies conducted in the field of dream and lucid dream research on REM sleep it will be shown that correlations between dreamed and actual actions can be found for central nervous...

  16. Neural mechanisms of mindfulness and meditation: Evidence from neuroimaging studies

    William; R; Marchand

    2014-01-01

    Mindfulness is the dispassionate,moment-by-moment awareness of sensations,emotions and thoughts.Mindfulness-based interventions are being increasingly used for stress,psychological well being,coping with chronic illness as well as adjunctive treatments for psychiatric disorders.However,the neural mechanisms associated with mindfulness have not been well characterized.Recent functional and structural neuroimaging studies are beginning to provide insights into neural processes associated with the practice of mindfulness.A review of this literature revealed compelling evidence that mindfulness impacts the function of the medial cortex and associated default mode network as well as insula and amygdala.Additionally,mindfulness practice appears to effect lateral frontal regions and basal ganglia,at least in some cases.Structural imaging studies are consistent with these findings and also indicate changes in the hippocampus.While many questions remain unanswered,the current literature provides evidence of brain regions and networks relevant for understanding neural processes associated with mindfulness.

  17. Evaluation of neural reflex activation as a mode of action for the acute respiratory effects of ozone.

    Prueitt, Robyn L; Goodman, Julie E

    2016-09-01

    Exposure to elevated levels of ozone has been associated with a variety of respiratory-related health endpoints in both epidemiology and controlled human exposure studies, including lung function decrements and airway inflammation. A mode of action (MoA) for these effects has not been established, but it has been proposed that they may occur through ozone-induced activation of neural reflexes. We critically reviewed experimental studies of ozone exposure and neural reflex activation and applied the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) mode-of-action/human relevance framework to evaluate the biological plausibility and human relevance of this proposed MoA. Based on the currently available experimental data, we found that the proposed MoA of neural reflex activation is biologically plausible for the endpoint of ozone-induced lung function decrements at high ozone exposures, but further studies are needed to fill important data gaps regarding the relevance of this MoA at lower exposures. A role for the proposed MoA in ozone-induced airway inflammation is less plausible, as the evidence is conflicting and is also of unclear relevance given the lack of studies conducted at lower exposures. The evidence suggests a different MoA for ozone-induced inflammation that may still be linked to the key events in the proposed MoA, such that neural reflex activation may have some degree of involvement in modulating ozone-induced neutrophil influx, even if it is not a direct role. PMID:27569521

  18. Neural associative memories for the integration of language, vision and action in an autonomous agent.

    Markert, H; Kaufmann, U; Kara Kayikci, Z; Palm, G

    2009-03-01

    Language understanding is a long-standing problem in computer science. However, the human brain is capable of processing complex languages with seemingly no difficulties. This paper shows a model for language understanding using biologically plausible neural networks composed of associative memories. The model is able to deal with ambiguities on the single word and grammatical level. The language system is embedded into a robot in order to demonstrate the correct semantical understanding of the input sentences by letting the robot perform corresponding actions. For that purpose, a simple neural action planning system has been combined with neural networks for visual object recognition and visual attention control mechanisms. PMID:19203859

  19. Neural underpinnings of superior action prediction abilities in soccer players

    Makris, Stergios; Urgesi, Cosimo

    2014-01-01

    The ability to form anticipatory representations of ongoing actions is crucial for effective interactions in dynamic environments. In sports, elite athletes exhibit greater ability than novices in predicting other players’ actions, mainly based on reading their body kinematics. This superior perceptual ability has been associated with a modulation of visual and motor areas by visual and motor expertise. Here, we investigated the causative role of visual and motor action representations in exp...

  20. Neural Mechanisms Underlying Action Observation in Adults with Down Syndrome

    Virji-Babul, Naznin; Moiseev, Alexander; Cheung, Teresa; Weeks, Daniel J.; Cheyne, Douglas; Ribary, Urs

    2010-01-01

    Results of a magnetoencephalography (MEG) brain imaging study conducted to examine the cortical responses during action execution and action observation in 10 healthy adults and 8 age-matched adults with Down syndrome are reported. During execution, the motor responses were strongly lateralized on the ipsilateral rather than the contralateral side…

  1. A continuous-time neural model for sequential action

    Kachergis, George; Wyatte, Dean; O'Reilly, Randall C.; de Kleijn, Roy; Hommel, Bernhard

    2014-01-01

    Action selection, planning and execution are continuous processes that evolve over time, responding to perceptual feedback as well as evolving top-down constraints. Existing models of routine sequential action (e.g. coffee- or pancake-making) generally fall into one of two classes: hierarchical models that include hand-built task representations, or heterarchical models that must learn to represent hierarchy via temporal context, but thus far lack goal-orientedness. We present a biologically ...

  2. When language meets action: The neural integration of gesture and speech

    2007-01-01

    Although generally studied in isolation, language and action often co-occur in everyday life. Here we investigated one particular form of simultaneous language and action, namely speech and gestures that speakers use in everyday communication. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we identified the neural networks involved in the integration of semantic information from speech and gestures. Verbal and/or gestural content could be integrated easily or less easily with the content o...

  3. When Language Meets Action: The Neural Integration of Gesture and Speech

    Willems, R.M.; Özyürek, A.; Hagoort, P.

    2007-01-01

    Although generally studied in isolation, language and action often co-occur in everyday life. Here we investigated one particular form of simultaneous language and action, namely speech and gestures that speakers use in everyday communication. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging study, we identified the neural networks involved in the integration of semantic information from speech and gestures. Verbal and/or gestural content could be integrated easily or less easily with the content o...

  4. Neural substrates of interpreting actions and emotions from body postures

    Kana, Rajesh K.; Travers, Brittany G.

    2011-01-01

    Accurately reading the body language of others may be vital for navigating the social world, and this ability may be influenced by factors, such as our gender, personality characteristics and neurocognitive processes. This fMRI study examined the brain activation of 26 healthy individuals (14 women and 12 men) while they judged the action performed or the emotion felt by stick figure characters appearing in different postures. In both tasks, participants activated areas associated with visual...

  5. Neural Substrates of Visuospatial Processing in Distinct Reference Frames: Evidence from Unilateral Spatial Neglect

    Medina, Jared; Kannan, Vijay; Pawlak, Mikolaj A.; Kleinman, Jonathan T.; Newhart, Melissa; Davis, Cameron; Heidler-Gary, Jennifer E.; Herskovits, Edward H; Hillis, Argye E.

    2009-01-01

    There is evidence for different levels of visuospatial processing with their own frames of reference: viewer-centered, stimulus-centered, and object-centered. The neural locus of these levels can be explored by examining lesion location in subjects with unilateral spatial neglect (USN) manifest in these reference frames. Most studies regarding the neural locus of USN have treated it as a homogenous syndrome, resulting in conflicting results. In order to further explore the neural locus of vis...

  6. Attribution of intentional causation influences the perception of observed movements: Behavioural evidence and neural correlates

    James W Moore

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent research on human agency suggests that intentional causation is associated with a subjective compression in the temporal interval between actions and their effects. That is, intentional movements and their causal effects are perceived as closer together in time than equivalent unintentional movements and their causal effects. This so-called intentional binding effect is consistently found for one’s own self-generated actions. It has also been suggested that intentional binding occurs when observing intentional movements of others. However, this evidence is undermined by limitations of the paradigm used. In the current study we aimed to overcome these limitations using a more rigorous design in combination with functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI to explore the neural underpinnings of intentional binding of observed movements. In particular, we aimed to identify brain areas sensitive to the interaction between intentionality and causality attributed to the observed action. Our behavioural results confirmed the occurrence of intentional binding for observed movements using this more rigorous paradigm. Our fMRI results highlighted a collection of brain regions whose activity was sensitive to the interaction between intentionality and causation. Intriguingly, these brain regions have previously been implicated in the sense of agency over one’s own movements. We discuss the implications of these results for intentional binding specifically, and the sense of agency more generally.

  7. A neural network model to develop actions in urban complex systems represented by 2D meshes.

    Tortosa, Leandro; Oliver, Jose Luis; Vicent, Jose Francisco

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The main idea of this work is to present a tool which may be useful to generate a mesh of points where urban actions may be taken after analyzing and understanding complex urban situations. By the word complex we mean urban concentrations without precise limits and without a recognizable geometry pattern. What we propose is an adaptation of a neural network algorithm to work in the context of urban networks. Our objective is to develop an strategy to change this weakne...

  8. Central neural mechanisms of progesterone action: application to the respiratory system.

    Bayliss, D A; Millhorn, D E

    1992-08-01

    Around the turn of the century, it was recognized that women hyperventilate during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle and during pregnancy. Although a causative role for the steroid hormone progesterone in this hyperventilation was suggested as early as the 1940s, there has been no clear indication as to the mechanism by which it produces its respiratory effects. In contrast, much mechanistic information has been obtained over the same period about a different effect of progesterone, i.e., the facilitation of reproductive behaviors. In this case, the bulk of the evidence supports the hypothesis that progesterone acts via a genomic mechanism with characteristics not unlike those predicted by classic models for steroid hormone action. We recently, therefore, undertook a series of experiments to test predictions of those same models with reference to the respiratory effects of progesterone. Here we highlight the results of those studies; as background to and precedent for our experiments, we briefly review previous work in which effects of progesterone on respiration and reproductive behaviors have been studied. Our results indicate that the respiratory response to progesterone is mediated at hypothalamic sites through an estrogen- (E2) dependent progesterone receptor- (PR) mediated mechanism requiring RNA and protein synthesis, i.e., gene expression. The E2 dependence of the respiratory response to progesterone is likely a consequence of the demonstrated induction of PR mRNA and PR in hypothalamic neurons by E2. In short, we found that neural mechanisms underlying the stimulation of respiration by progesterone were similar to those mediating its reproductive effects. PMID:1399957

  9. Self-organizing neural integration of pose-motion features for human action recognition.

    Parisi, German I; Weber, Cornelius; Wermter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The visual recognition of complex, articulated human movements is fundamental for a wide range of artificial systems oriented toward human-robot communication, action classification, and action-driven perception. These challenging tasks may generally involve the processing of a huge amount of visual information and learning-based mechanisms for generalizing a set of training actions and classifying new samples. To operate in natural environments, a crucial property is the efficient and robust recognition of actions, also under noisy conditions caused by, for instance, systematic sensor errors and temporarily occluded persons. Studies of the mammalian visual system and its outperforming ability to process biological motion information suggest separate neural pathways for the distinct processing of pose and motion features at multiple levels and the subsequent integration of these visual cues for action perception. We present a neurobiologically-motivated approach to achieve noise-tolerant action recognition in real time. Our model consists of self-organizing Growing When Required (GWR) networks that obtain progressively generalized representations of sensory inputs and learn inherent spatio-temporal dependencies. During the training, the GWR networks dynamically change their topological structure to better match the input space. We first extract pose and motion features from video sequences and then cluster actions in terms of prototypical pose-motion trajectories. Multi-cue trajectories from matching action frames are subsequently combined to provide action dynamics in the joint feature space. Reported experiments show that our approach outperforms previous results on a dataset of full-body actions captured with a depth sensor, and ranks among the best results for a public benchmark of domestic daily actions. PMID:26106323

  10. Self-Organizing Neural Integration of Pose-Motion Features for Human Action Recognition

    German Ignacio Parisi

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The visual recognition of complex, articulated human movements is fundamental for a wide range of artificial systems oriented towards human-robot communication, action classification, and action-driven perception. These challenging tasks may generally involve the processing of a huge amount of visual information and learning-based mechanisms for generalizing a set of training actions and classifying new samples. To operate in natural environments, a crucial property is the efficient and robust recognition of actions, also under noisy conditions caused by, for instance, systematic sensor errors and temporarily occluded persons. Studies of the mammalian visual system and its outperforming ability to process biological motion information suggest separate neural pathways for the distinct processing of pose and motion features at multiple levels and the subsequent integration of these visual cues for action perception. We present a neurobiologically-motivated approach to achieve noise-tolerant action recognition in real time. Our model consists of self-organizing Growing When Required (GWR networks that obtain progressively generalized representations of sensory inputs and learn inherent spatiotemporal dependencies. During the training, the GWR networks dynamically change their topological structure to better match the input space. We first extract pose and motion features from video sequences and then cluster actions in terms of prototypical pose-motion trajectories. Multi-cue trajectories from matching action frames are subsequently combined to provide action dynamics in the joint feature space. Reported experiments show that our approach outperforms previous results on a dataset of full-body actions captured with a depth sensor, and ranks among the best 21 results for a public benchmark of domestic daily actions.

  11. Neural network development in late adolescents during observation of risk-taking action.

    Miyuki Tamura

    Full Text Available Emotional maturity and social awareness are important for adolescents, particularly college students beginning to face the challenges and risks of the adult world. However, there has been relatively little research into personality maturation and psychological development during late adolescence and the neural changes underlying this development. We investigated the correlation between psychological properties (neuroticism, extraversion, anxiety, and depression and age among late adolescents (n = 25, from 18 years and 1 month to 22 years and 8 months. The results revealed that late adolescents became less neurotic, less anxious, less depressive and more extraverted as they aged. Participants then observed video clips depicting hand movements with and without a risk of harm (risk-taking or safe actions during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. The results revealed that risk-taking actions elicited significantly stronger activation in the bilateral inferior parietal lobule, temporal visual regions (superior/middle temporal areas, and parieto-occipital visual areas (cuneus, middle occipital gyri, precuneus. We found positive correlations of age and extraversion with neural activation in the insula, middle temporal gyrus, lingual gyrus, and precuneus. We also found a negative correlation of age and anxiety with activation in the angular gyrus, precentral gyrus, and red nucleus/substantia nigra. Moreover, we found that insula activation mediated the relationship between age and extraversion. Overall, our results indicate that late adolescents become less anxious and more extraverted with age, a process involving functional neural changes in brain networks related to social cognition and emotional processing. The possible neural mechanisms of psychological and social maturation during late adolescence are discussed.

  12. Experimental evidence of a chaotic region in a neural pacemaker

    In this Letter, we report the finding of period-adding scenarios with chaos in firing patterns, observed in biological experiments on a neural pacemaker, with fixed extra-cellular potassium concentration at different levels and taken extra-cellular calcium concentration as the bifurcation parameter. The experimental bifurcations in the two-dimensional parameter space demonstrate the existence of a chaotic region interwoven with the periodic region thereby forming a period-adding sequence with chaos. The behavior of the pacemaker in this region is qualitatively similar to that of the Hindmarsh–Rose neuron model in a well-known comb-shaped chaotic region in two-dimensional parameter spaces.

  13. Neural Substrates of Semantic Prospection – Evidence from the Dementias

    Irish, Muireann; Eyre, Nadine; Dermody, Nadene; O’Callaghan, Claire; Hodges, John R.; Hornberger, Michael; Piguet, Olivier

    2016-01-01

    The ability to envisage personally relevant events at a future time point represents an incredibly sophisticated cognitive endeavor and one that appears to be intimately linked to episodic memory integrity. Far less is known regarding the neurocognitive mechanisms underpinning the capacity to envisage non-personal future occurrences, known as semantic future thinking. Moreover the degree of overlap between the neural substrates supporting episodic and semantic forms of prospection remains unclear. To this end, we sought to investigate the capacity for episodic and semantic future thinking in Alzheimer’s disease (n = 15) and disease-matched behavioral-variant frontotemporal dementia (n = 15), neurodegenerative disorders characterized by significant medial temporal lobe (MTL) and frontal pathology. Participants completed an assessment of past and future thinking across personal (episodic) and non-personal (semantic) domains, as part of a larger neuropsychological battery investigating episodic and semantic processing, and their performance was contrasted with 20 age- and education-matched healthy older Controls. Participants underwent whole-brain T1-weighted structural imaging and voxel-based morphometry analysis was conducted to determine the relationship between gray matter integrity and episodic and semantic future thinking. Relative to Controls, both patient groups displayed marked future thinking impairments, extending across episodic and semantic domains. Analyses of covariance revealed that while episodic future thinking deficits could be explained solely in terms of episodic memory proficiency, semantic prospection deficits reflected the interplay between episodic and semantic processing. Distinct neural correlates emerged for each form of future simulation with differential involvement of prefrontal, lateral temporal, and medial temporal regions. Notably, the hippocampus was implicated irrespective of future thinking domain, with the suggestion of

  14. Swallowing and Dysphagia Rehabilitation: Translating Principles of Neural Plasticity into Clinically Oriented Evidence

    Robbins, JoAnne; Butler, Susan G.; Daniels, Stephanie K.; Gross, Roxann Diez; Langmore, Susan; Lazarus, Cathy L.; Martin-Harris, Bonnie; McCabe, Daniel; Musson, Nan; Rosenbek, John

    2008-01-01

    Purpose: This review presents the state of swallowing rehabilitation science as it relates to evidence for neural plastic changes in the brain. The case is made for essential collaboration between clinical and basic scientists to expand the positive influences of dysphagia rehabilitation in synergy with growth in technology and knowledge. The…

  15. Minimalist Social-Affective Value for Use in Joint Action: A Neural-Computational Hypothesis

    Lowe, Robert; Almér, Alexander; Lindblad, Gustaf; Gander, Pierre; Michael, John; Vesper, Cordula

    2016-01-01

    Joint Action is typically described as social interaction that requires coordination among two or more co-actors in order to achieve a common goal. In this article, we put forward a hypothesis for the existence of a neural-computational mechanism of affective valuation that may be critically exploited in Joint Action. Such a mechanism would serve to facilitate coordination between co-actors permitting a reduction of required information. Our hypothesized affective mechanism provides a value function based implementation of Associative Two-Process (ATP) theory that entails the classification of external stimuli according to outcome expectancies. This approach has been used to describe animal and human action that concerns differential outcome expectancies. Until now it has not been applied to social interaction. We describe our Affective ATP model as applied to social learning consistent with an “extended common currency” perspective in the social neuroscience literature. We contrast this to an alternative mechanism that provides an example implementation of the so-called social-specific value perspective. In brief, our Social-Affective ATP mechanism builds upon established formalisms for reinforcement learning (temporal difference learning models) nuanced to accommodate expectations (consistent with ATP theory) and extended to integrate non-social and social cues for use in Joint Action. PMID:27601989

  16. Neural Networks for Template Matching: Application to Real-Time Classification of the Action Potentials of Real Neurons

    Wong, Yiu-fai; Banik, Jashojiban; Bower, James M.

    1988-01-01

    Much experimental study of real neural networks relies on the proper classification of extracellulary sampled neural signals (i .e. action potentials) recorded from the brains of experimental animals. In most neurophysiology laboratories this classification task is simplified by limiting investigations to single, electrically well-isolated neurons recorded one at a time. However, for those interested in sampling the activities of many single neurons simultaneously, waveform cla...

  17. Evidence for single top quark production using Bayesian neural networks

    Kau, Daekwang; /Florida State U.

    2007-08-01

    We present results of a search for single top quark production in p{bar p} collisions using a dataset of approximately 1 fb{sup -1} collected with the D0 detector. This analysis considers the muon+jets and electron+jets final states and makes use of Bayesian neural networks to separate the expected signals from backgrounds. The observed excess is associated with a p-value of 0.081%, assuming the background-only hypothesis, which corresponds to an excess over background of 3.2 standard deviations for a Gaussian density. The p-value computed using the SM signal cross section of 2.9 pb is 1.6%, corresponding to an expected significance of 2.2 standard deviations. Assuming the observed excess is due to single top production, we measure a single top quark production cross section of {sigma}(p{bar p} {yields} tb + X, tqb + X) = 4.4 {+-} 1.5 pb.

  18. Neural basis of music knowledge: evidence from the dementias.

    Hsieh, Sharpley; Hornberger, Michael; Piguet, Olivier; Hodges, John R

    2011-09-01

    The study of patients with semantic dementia has revealed important insights into the cognitive and neural architecture of semantic memory. Patients with semantic dementia are known to have difficulty understanding the meanings of environmental sounds from an early stage but little is known about their knowledge for famous tunes, which might be preserved in some cases. Patients with semantic dementia (n = 13), Alzheimer's disease (n = 14) as well as matched healthy control participants (n = 20) underwent a battery of tests designed to assess knowledge of famous tunes, environmental sounds and famous faces, as well as volumetric magnetic resonance imaging. As a group, patients with semantic dementia were profoundly impaired in the recognition of everyday environmental sounds and famous tunes with consistent performance across testing modalities, which is suggestive of a central semantic deficit. A few notable individuals (n = 3) with semantic dementia demonstrated clear preservation of knowledge of known melodies and famous people. Defects in auditory semantics were mild in patients with Alzheimer's disease. Voxel-based morphometry of magnetic resonance brain images showed that the recognition of famous tunes correlated with the degree of right anterior temporal lobe atrophy, particularly in the temporal pole. This area was segregated from the region found to be involved in the recognition of everyday sounds but overlapped considerably with the area that was correlated with the recognition of famous faces. The three patients with semantic dementia with sparing of musical knowledge had significantly less atrophy of the right temporal pole in comparison to the other patients in the semantic dementia group. These findings highlight the role of the right temporal pole in the processing of known tunes and faces. Overlap in this region might reflect that having a unique identity is a quality that is common to both melodies and people. PMID:21857031

  19. Increasing Physical Activity in Children: From Evidence to Action.

    Jakubowski, Tami L; Faigenbaum, Avery D; Lindberg, Claire

    2015-01-01

    Daily physical activity has the potential to improve health and well-being, yet worldwide surveillance of physical activity levels indicate a growing number of children and adolescents do not meet current physical activity recommendations. The current symptom-reactive paradigm should be reconsidered, and preventive actions initiated, before inactive children become resistant to targeted interventions and require pharmacotherapy, and expensive medical procedures for treatment of preventable illnesses. A cascade of adverse events are associated with a sedentary lifestyle. Nurses are uniquely qualified to identify youth with exercise deficits and encourage daily participation in a variety of age-related physical activities that enhance both health- and skill-related components of physical fitness.Physical activity guidelines should support evidence-based activity recommendations by nurses working with children. New insights regarding the importance of improving muscular strength and motor skill performance early in life are valuable to nurses in formulating exercise recommendations for school-age youth. Specific education in pediatric exercise science provides the foundation for prescribing age-related exercise interventions consistent with the needs, abilities, and interests of infants, toddlers, children, and adolescents. Given the critical importance of primary prevention, transformational change in the current system for identifying and treating youth with exercise deficits is warranted. PMID:25811394

  20. Experimental evidence for action imitation in killer whales (Orcinus orca).

    Abramson, José Z; Hernández-Lloreda, Victoria; Call, Josep; Colmenares, Fernando

    2013-01-01

    Comparative experimental studies of imitative learning have focused mainly on primates and birds. However, cetaceans are promising candidates to display imitative learning as they have evolved in socioecological settings that have selected for large brains, complex sociality, and coordinated predatory tactics. Here we tested imitative learning in killer whales, Orcinus orca. We used a 'do-as-other-does' paradigm in which 3 subjects witnessed a conspecific demonstrator's performance that included 15 familiar and 4 novel behaviours. The three subjects (1) learned the copy command signal 'Do that' very quickly, that is, 20 trials on average; (2) copied 100 % of the demonstrator's familiar and novel actions; (3) achieved full matches in the first attempt for 8-13 familiar behaviours (out of 15) and for the 2 novel behaviours (out of 2) in one subject; and (4) took no longer than 8 trials to accurately copy any familiar behaviour, and no longer than 16 trials to copy any novel behaviour. This study provides experimental evidence for body imitation, including production imitation, in killer whales that is comparable to that observed in dolphins tested under similar conditions. These findings suggest that imitative learning may underpin some of the group-specific traditions reported in killer whales in the field. PMID:22875725

  1. Comparative investigations of manual action representations: evidence that chimpanzees represent the costs of potential future actions involving tools

    Frey, Scott H.; POVINELLI, DANIEL J.

    2012-01-01

    The ability to adjust one's ongoing actions in the anticipation of forthcoming task demands is considered as strong evidence for the existence of internal action representations. Studies of action selection in tool use reveal that the behaviours that we choose in the present moment differ depending on what we intend to do next. Further, they point to a specialized role for mechanisms within the human cerebellum and dominant left cerebral hemisphere in representing the likely sensory costs of ...

  2. A Prospective Longitudinal Study of Perceived Infant Outcomes at 18-24 months: Neural and Psychological Correlates of Parental Thoughts and Actions Assessed during the First Month Postpartum

    Pilyoung eKim

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The first postpartum months constitute a critical period for parents to establish an emotional bond with their infants. Neural responses to infant-related stimuli have been associated with parental sensitivity. However, the associations among these neural responses, parenting, and later infant outcomes for mothers and fathers are unknown. In the current longitudinal study, we investigated the relationships between parental thoughts/actions and neural activation in mothers and fathers in the neonatal period with infant outcomes at the toddler stage. At the first month postpartum, mothers (n=21 and fathers (n=19 underwent a neuroimaging session during which they listened to their own and unfamiliar baby’s cry. Parenting-related thoughts/behaviors were assessed by interview twice at the first month and 3-4 months postpartum and infants’ socioemotional outcomes were reported by mothers and fathers at 18-24 months postpartum. In mothers, higher levels of anxious thoughts/actions about parenting at the first month postpartum, but not at 3-4 months postpartum, were associated with infant’s low socioemotional competencies at 18-24 months. Anxious thoughts/actions were also associated with heightened responses in the motor cortex and reduced responses in the substantia nigra to own infant cry sounds. On the other hand, in fathers, higher levels of positive perception of being a parent at the first month postpartum, but not at 3-4 months postpartum, were associated with higher infant socioemotional competencies at 18-24 months. Positive thoughts were associated with heightened responses in the auditory cortex and caudate to own infant cry sounds. The current study provides evidence that parental thoughts are related to concurrent neural responses to their infants at the first month postpartum as well as their infant’s future socioemotional outcome at 18-24 months. Parent differences suggest that anxious thoughts in mothers and positive thoughts in

  3. Is there evidence for neural compensation in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? A review of the functional neuroimaging literature

    Fassbender, Catherine; Schweitzer, Julie B.

    2006-01-01

    This article reviews evidence for the presence of a compensatory, alternative, neural system and its possible link to associated processing strategies in children and adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The article presents findings on a region by region basis that suggests ADHD should be characterized not only by neural hypo-activity, as it is commonly thought but neural hyperactivity as well, in regions of the brain that may relate to compensatory brain and behavior...

  4. Musical aptitude and foreign language learning skills - neural and behavioral evidence about their connections

    Milovanov, Riia

    2009-01-01

    Perceiving music and language seems to depend upon subtle and accurate auditory processing skills. Could music and language also share common neural resources? Possible interaction between music and speech memory systems has not been ruled out. On the contrary, there is increasing evidence pointing out the accuracy at perceiving phonetic contrasts in native or foreign language of subjects with musical aptitude or musical training. The main focus of this study was to examine the relationship b...

  5. Neural strategies for selective attention distinguish fast-action video game players.

    Krishnan, Lavanya; Kang, Albert; Sperling, George; Srinivasan, Ramesh

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the psychophysical and neurophysiological differences between fast-action video game players (specifically first person shooter players, FPS) and non-action players (role-playing game players, RPG) in a visual search task. We measured both successful detections (hit rates) and steady-state visually evoked EEG potentials (SSVEPs). Search difficulty was varied along two dimensions: number of adjacent attended and ignored regions (1, 2 and 4), and presentation rate of novel search arrays (3, 8.6 and 20 Hz). Hit rates decreased with increasing presentation rates and number of regions, with the FPS players performing on average better than the RPG players. The largest differences in hit rate, between groups, occurred when four regions were simultaneously attended. We computed signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) of SSVEPs and used partial least squares regression to model hit rates, SNRs and their relationship at 3 Hz and 8.6 Hz. The following are the most significant results: RPG players' parietal responses to the attended 8.6 Hz flicker were predictive of hit rate and were positively correlated with it, indicating attentional signal enhancement. FPS players' parietal responses to the ignored 3 Hz flicker were predictive of hit rate and were positively correlated with it, indicating distractor suppression. Consistent with these parietal responses, RPG players' frontal responses to the attended 8.6 Hz flicker, increased as task difficulty increased with number of regions; FPS players' frontal responses to the ignored 3 Hz flicker increased with number of regions. Thus the FPS players appear to employ an active suppression mechanism to deploy selective attention simultaneously to multiple interleaved regions, while RPG primarily use signal enhancement. These results suggest that fast-action gaming can affect neural strategies and the corresponding networks underlying attention, presumably by training mechanisms of distractor suppression. PMID:22614909

  6. Lobbying on Regulatory Enforcement Actions: Evidence from Banking

    Lambert, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    This paper analyzes the relationship between bank lobbying and supervisory decisions of regulators, and documents its moral hazard implications. Exploiting bank-level information on the universe of commercial and savings banks in the United States, I find that regulators are less likely to initiate enforcement actions against lobbying banks. In addition, I show that lobbying banks are riskier and reliably underperform their non-lobbying peers. Overall, these results appear rather inconsistent...

  7. On the inference of agency in operant action : an examination of the cognitive and neural underpinnings in health and schizophrenia

    Renes, R.A.

    2016-01-01

    This dissertation elucidates cognitive and neural underpinnings of the sense of agency, which is the feeling that we are in control of our actions and the subsequent consequences. This consciously accessible sensation of control is pervasive, sometimes subtle, and can even be illusory in nature. Furthermore, the experience of self-agency is socially well-shared and considered to be fundamental to human social functioning. It helps people makes sense of the physical and social world around the...

  8. The music of your emotions: neural substrates involved in detection of emotional correspondence between auditory and visual music actions

    Petrini, K.; Crabbe, F.; Sheridan, C; Pollick, F. E.

    2011-01-01

    In humans, emotions from music serve important communicative roles. Despite a growing interest in the neural basis of music perception, action and emotion, the majority of previous studies in this area have focused on the auditory aspects of music performances. Here we investigate how the brain processes the emotions elicited by audiovisual music performances. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, and in Experiment 1 we defined the areas responding to audiovisual (music...

  9. Evidence for an inhibitory presynaptic component of neuroleptic drug action.

    de Belleroche, J. S.; Bradford, H. F.

    1981-01-01

    1 The action of five neuroleptic drugs (haloperidol, cis-flupenthixol, chlorpromazine, fluphenazine and thioridazine) was studied on the synthesis and release of dopamine from rat striatal synaptosomes. 2. In vitro application of the drugs induced an inhibition of synthesis of [14C]-dopamine from L-[U-14C]-tyrosine and a decrease in the tissue content of [14-C]-dopamine, with IC50 values for the latter effect ranging from 3.6 x 10(-7) to 5.9 x 10(-5) M. The rank of their potency was similar t...

  10. More evidence for a refined Gribov-Zwanziger action based on an effective potential approach

    Vandersickel, N.; Dudal, D.; Sorella, S.P.

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this proceeding is twofold. Firstly, we shall make the refining of the Gribov-Zwanziger action more complete by taking into account more condensates than considered so far. Secondly, we shall provide more evidence for the refined Gribov-Zwanziger action based on an effective potential approach.

  11. Expert evidence and medical manslaughter: vagueness in action.

    Quick, Oliver

    2011-01-01

    This article examines the reliance placed on expert evidence in prosecutions of health professionals for gross negligence manslaughter, where juries must decide whether conduct goes beyond civil negligence and constitutes the crime of involuntary manslaughter. It argues that the test for liability is vague and examines some of the consequences of this. Given the vagueness of the offence, jurors are likely to place great reliance on expert medical evidence. Little is known about how experts negotiate the legal process, empirically speaking: how they approach their task, how they view their role as expert witnesses, and the attitudes, biases, and beliefs that may underpin their testimony. Drawing on the experiences and perceptions often medical experts, this article explores how experts manage the vagueness inherent in the task of interpreting and applying gross negligence. Experts appear to go beyond offering purely medical opinion and enjoy engaging with law and the legal process. PMID:22180927

  12. A Novel Action Selection Architecture in Soccer Simulation Environment Using Neuro-Fuzzy and Bidirectional Neural Networks

    Reza Zafarani

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available MultiAgent systems have generated lots of excitement in recent years because of its promise as a new paradigm for conceptualizing, designing, and implementing software systems. One of the most important aspects of agent design in AI is the way agent acts or responds to the environment that the agent is acting upon. An effective action selection and behavioral method gives a powerful advantage in overall agent performance. We define a new method of action selection based on probability/priority models, we thereby introduce two efficient ways to determine probabilities using neurofuzzy systems and bidirectional neural networks and a new priority based system which maps the human knowledge to the action selection method. Furthermore, a behavior model is introduced to make the model more flexible.

  13. The functional neuroanatomy of actions

    Watson, Christine E.; Chatterjee, Anjan

    2011-01-01

    Our current understanding of the neural basis of semantic memory is informed primarily by studies of concrete objects. However, conceptual knowledge encompasses many other, albeit less concrete, domains. This article reviews evidence from neuroimaging and patient studies that speaks to the neural basis of action concepts and the words that refer to them. These data highlight 2 important principles governing the neural instantiation of semantic knowledge. First, the organization of conceptual ...

  14. Recognizing Combinations of Facial Action Units with Different Intensity Using a Mixture of Hidden Markov Models and Neural Network

    Khademi, Mahmoud; Kiapour, Mohammad H; Kiaei, Ali A

    2010-01-01

    Facial Action Coding System consists of 44 action units (AUs) and more than 7000 combinations. Hidden Markov models (HMMs) classifier has been used successfully to recognize facial action units (AUs) and expressions due to its ability to deal with AU dynamics. However, a separate HMM is necessary for each single AU and each AU combination. Since combinations of AU numbering in thousands, a more efficient method will be needed. In this paper an accurate real-time sequence-based system for representation and recognition of facial AUs is presented. Our system has the following characteristics: 1) employing a mixture of HMMs and neural network, we develop a novel accurate classifier, which can deal with AU dynamics, recognize subtle changes, and it is also robust to intensity variations, 2) although we use an HMM for each single AU only, by employing a neural network we can recognize each single and combination AU, and 3) using both geometric and appearance-based features, and applying efficient dimension reducti...

  15. Do Bans on Affirmative Action Hurt Minority Students? Evidence from the Texas Top 10% Plan

    Kalena E. Cortes

    2010-01-01

    In light of the recent bans on affirmative action in higher education, this paper provides new evidence on the effects of alternative admissions policies on the persistence and college completion of minority students. I find that the change from affirmative action to the Top 10% Plan in Texas decreased both retention and graduation rates of lower-ranked minority students. Results show that both fall-to-fall freshmen retention and six-year college graduation of seconddecile minority students d...

  16. Neural mechanisms of time-based prospective memory: evidence for transient monitoring.

    Kevin M Oksanen

    Full Text Available In daily life, we often need to remember to perform an action after, or at, a specific period of time (e.g., take pizza out of oven in 15 minutes. Surprisingly, little is known about the neural mechanisms that support this form of memory, termed time-based prospective memory (PM. Here we pioneer an fMRI paradigm that enables examination of both sustained and transient processes engaged during time-based PM. Participants were scanned while performing a demanding on-going task (n-back working memory, with and without an additional time-based PM demand. During the PM condition participants could access a hidden clock with a specific button-press response, while in the control condition, pseudo-clocks randomly appeared and were removed via the same response. Analyses tested for sustained activation associated with the PM condition, and also transient activation associated with clock-checks and the PM target response. Contrary to prior findings with event-based PM (i.e., remembering to perform a future action when a specific event occurs, no sustained PM-related activity was observed in anterior prefrontal cortex (aPFC or elsewhere in the brain; instead, transient clock-related activity was observed in this region. Critically, the activation was anticipatory, increasing before clock-check responses. Anticipatory activity prior to the PM target response was weaker in aPFC, but strong in pre-Supplementary Motor Area (pre-SMA; relative to clock-check responses, suggesting a functional double dissociation related to volitional decision-making. Together, the results suggest that aPFC-activity dynamics during time-based PM reflect a distinct transient monitoring process, enabling integration of the PM intention with current temporal information to facilitate scheduling of upcoming PM-related actions.

  17. Implementation of evidence-based health care using action research: An emancipatory approach.

    Cordeiro, Luciana; Soares, Cassia Baldini

    2016-08-01

    The aim of the study is to discuss the emancipatory approach to action research as an appropriate methodology for workers' meaningful implementation of evidence-based health care. Implementation of evidence-based health care using action research is well supported by the literature. There are various approaches to action research, and they are coherent with the objectives and methods elected to develop the investigation. It is not clear which approach of action research is responsible for meaningful worker engagement in changing praxis. This is a discussion paper based on our experiences and supported by literature on collective health. Health care is defined as a social praxis, dependent upon the capitalist mode of production in which health workers engage themselves in a labour process that has negative (as alienation) as well as positive (as creativity) meanings. Emancipatory changes of social praxis through implementation of evidence-based health care require that participants understand the positive and negative meanings of their work and engage health workers in a conscious and intentional collaborative educational process. Implementation of evidence-based health care through emancipatory action research is capable of overcoming alienation and changing social practice through a participatory meaningful process of knowledge translation. PMID:27562664

  18. Enhancement of cognitive and neural functions through complex reasoning training: evidence from normal and clinical populations.

    Chapman, Sandra B; Mudar, Raksha A

    2014-01-01

    Public awareness of cognitive health is fairly recent compared to physical health. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training offers promise in augmenting cognitive brain performance in normal and clinical populations. Targeting higher-order cognitive functions, such as reasoning in particular, may promote generalized cognitive changes necessary for supporting the complexities of daily life. This data-driven perspective highlights cognitive and brain changes measured in randomized clinical trials that trained gist reasoning strategies in populations ranging from teenagers to healthy older adults, individuals with brain injury to those at-risk for Alzheimer's disease. The evidence presented across studies support the potential for Gist reasoning training to strengthen cognitive performance in trained and untrained domains and to engage more efficient communication across widespread neural networks that support higher-order cognition. The meaningful benefits of Gist training provide compelling motivation to examine optimal dose for sustained benefits as well as to explore additive benefits of meditation, physical exercise, and/or improved sleep in future studies. PMID:24808834

  19. Enhancement of Cognitive and Neural Functions through Complex Reasoning Training: Evidence from Normal and Clinical Populations

    Sandra Bond Chapman

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Public awareness of cognitive health is fairly recent compared to physical health. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training offers promise in augmenting cognitive brain performance in normal and clinical populations. Targeting higher-order cognitive functions, such as reasoning in particular, may promote generalized cognitive changes necessary for supporting the complexities of daily life. This data-driven perspective highlights cognitive and brain changes measured in randomized clinical trials that trained gist reasoning strategies in populations ranging from teenagers to healthy older adults, individuals with brain injury to those at-risk for Alzheimer’s disease. The evidence presented across studies support the potential for Gist reasoning training to strengthen cognitive performance in trained and untrained domains and to engage more efficient communication across widespread neural networks that support higher-order cognition. The meaningful benefits of Gist training provide compelling motivation to examine optimal dose for sustained benefits as well as to explore additive benefits of meditation, physical exercise, and/or improved sleep in future studies.

  20. Neural evidence for an association between social proficiency and sensitivity to social reward.

    Gossen, Anna; Groppe, Sarah E; Winkler, Lina; Kohls, Gregor; Herrington, John; Schultz, Robert T; Gründer, Gerhard; Spreckelmeyer, Katja N

    2014-05-01

    Data from developmental psychology suggests a link between the growth of socio-emotional competences and the infant's sensitivity to the salience of social stimuli. The aim of the present study was to find evidence for this relationship in healthy adults. Thirty-five participants were recruited based on their score above the 85th or below the 15th percentile of the empathy quotient questionnaire (EQ, Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to compare neural responses to cues of social and non-social (monetary) reward. When compared to the high-EQ group, the low-EQ group showed reduced activity of the brain s reward system, specifically the right nucleus accumbens, in response to cues predictive of social reward (videos showing gestures of approval)-but increased activation in this area for monetary incentives. Our data provide evidence for a link between self-reported deficits in social proficiency and reduced sensitivity to the motivational salience of positive social stimuli. PMID:23512930

  1. Self-organizing neural integration of pose-motion features for human action recognition

    Parisi, German I.; Weber, Cornelius; Wermter, Stefan

    2015-01-01

    The visual recognition of complex, articulated human movements is fundamental for a wide range of artificial systems oriented toward human-robot communication, action classification, and action-driven perception. These challenging tasks may generally involve the processing of a huge amount of visual information and learning-based mechanisms for generalizing a set of training actions and classifying new samples. To operate in natural environments, a crucial property is the efficient and robust...

  2. Self-Organizing Neural Integration of Pose-Motion Features for Human Action Recognition

    German Ignacio Parisi; Cornelius eWeber; Stefan eWermter

    2015-01-01

    The visual recognition of complex, articulated human movements is fundamental for a wide range of artificial systems oriented towards human-robot communication, action classification, and action-driven perception. These challenging tasks may generally involve the processing of a huge amount of visual information and learning-based mechanisms for generalizing a set of training actions and classifying new samples. To operate in natural environments, a crucial property is the efficient and robus...

  3. Evidence-Based Practice and School Libraries: Interconnections of Evidence, Advocacy, and Actions

    Todd, Ross J.

    2015-01-01

    This author states that a professional focus on evidence based practice (EBP) for school libraries emerged from the International Association of School Librarianship conference when he presented the concept. He challenged the school library profession to actively engage in professional and reflective practices that chart, measure, document, and…

  4. Implementation of evidence-based practice in nursing using action research: a review

    Munten, Guus; Bogaard, Joop van den; Cox, Karen; Garretsen, Henk; Bongers, Inge

    2010-01-01

    As is often reported in the literature exploring the research-practice gap, applying the principles of evidence-based practice is easier said than done. Action research is a methodology with an explicit intent of linking the worlds of research and practice. This review attempts to answer the questio

  5. Action Research: A Personal Epiphany and Journey with Evidence-Based Practice

    Ballard, Susan D.

    2015-01-01

    The author reveals in this article that her action research journey in the land of evidence-based practice was not her own idea. She writes that she was lured by the profession's finest scholars who advocated for reflective dispositions for practitioners to improve their practice and demonstrate the school librarian's critical role in teaching and…

  6. Promoting Student Engagement through Evidence-Based Action Research with Teachers

    Strambler, Michael J.; McKown, Clark

    2013-01-01

    We present findings from a group-randomized teacher action research intervention to promote academic engagement and achievement among elementary school students. Eighteen teachers from 3 elementary schools were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups. Intervention teachers studied evidence-based instructional practices that cultivate academic…

  7. Serial correlation in neural spike trains: Experimental evidence, stochastic modeling, and single neuron variability

    Farkhooi, Farzad; Strube-Bloss, Martin F.; Nawrot, Martin P.

    2009-02-01

    The activity of spiking neurons is frequently described by renewal point process models that assume the statistical independence and identical distribution of the intervals between action potentials. However, the assumption of independent intervals must be questioned for many different types of neurons. We review experimental studies that reported the feature of a negative serial correlation of neighboring intervals, commonly observed in neurons in the sensory periphery as well as in central neurons, notably in the mammalian cortex. In our experiments we observed the same short-lived negative serial dependence of intervals in the spontaneous activity of mushroom body extrinsic neurons in the honeybee. To model serial interval correlations of arbitrary lags, we suggest a family of autoregressive point processes. Its marginal interval distribution is described by the generalized gamma model, which includes as special cases the log-normal and gamma distributions, which have been widely used to characterize regular spiking neurons. In numeric simulations we investigated how serial correlation affects the variance of the neural spike count. We show that the experimentally confirmed negative correlation reduces single-neuron variability, as quantified by the Fano factor, by up to 50%, which favors the transmission of a rate code. We argue that the feature of a negative serial correlation is likely to be common to the class of spike-frequency-adapting neurons and that it might have been largely overlooked in extracellular single-unit recordings due to spike sorting errors.

  8. Serial correlation in neural spike trains: experimental evidence, stochastic modeling, and single neuron variability.

    Farkhooi, Farzad; Strube-Bloss, Martin F; Nawrot, Martin P

    2009-02-01

    The activity of spiking neurons is frequently described by renewal point process models that assume the statistical independence and identical distribution of the intervals between action potentials. However, the assumption of independent intervals must be questioned for many different types of neurons. We review experimental studies that reported the feature of a negative serial correlation of neighboring intervals, commonly observed in neurons in the sensory periphery as well as in central neurons, notably in the mammalian cortex. In our experiments we observed the same short-lived negative serial dependence of intervals in the spontaneous activity of mushroom body extrinsic neurons in the honeybee. To model serial interval correlations of arbitrary lags, we suggest a family of autoregressive point processes. Its marginal interval distribution is described by the generalized gamma model, which includes as special cases the log-normal and gamma distributions, which have been widely used to characterize regular spiking neurons. In numeric simulations we investigated how serial correlation affects the variance of the neural spike count. We show that the experimentally confirmed negative correlation reduces single-neuron variability, as quantified by the Fano factor, by up to 50%, which favors the transmission of a rate code. We argue that the feature of a negative serial correlation is likely to be common to the class of spike-frequency-adapting neurons and that it might have been largely overlooked in extracellular single-unit recordings due to spike sorting errors. PMID:19391776

  9. Central perception of position sense involves a distributed neural network - Evidence from lesion-behavior analyses.

    Findlater, Sonja E; Desai, Jamsheed A; Semrau, Jennifer A; Kenzie, Jeffrey M; Rorden, Chris; Herter, Troy M; Scott, Stephen H; Dukelow, Sean P

    2016-06-01

    It is well established that proprioceptive inputs from the periphery are important for the constant update of arm position for perception and guiding motor action. The degree to which we are consciously aware of the position of our limb depends on the task. Our understanding of the central processing of position sense is rather limited, largely based on findings in animals and individual human case studies. The present study used statistical lesion-behavior analysis and an arm position matching task to investigate position sense in a large sample of subjects after acute stroke. We excluded subjects who performed abnormally on clinical testing or a robotic visually guided reaching task with their matching arm in order to minimize the potential confound of ipsilesional impairment. Our findings revealed that a number of regions are important for processing position sense and include the posterior parietal cortex, the transverse temporal gyrus, and the arcuate fasciculus. Further, our results revealed that position sense has dissociable components - spatial variability, perceived workspace area, and perceived workspace location. Each component is associated with unique neuroanatomical correlates. These findings extend the current understanding of the neural processing of position sense and identify some brain areas that are not classically associated with proprioception. PMID:27085894

  10. Neural dysregulation of peripheral insulin action and blood pressure by brain endoplasmic reticulum stress

    Purkayastha, Sudarshana; Zhang, Hai; Zhang, Guo; Ahmed, Zaghloul; Wang, Yi; Cai, Dongsheng

    2011-01-01

    Chronic endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress was recently revealed to affect hypothalamic neuroendocrine pathways that regulate feeding and body weight. However, it remains unexplored whether brain ER stress could use a neural route to rapidly cause the peripheral disorders that underlie the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D) and the metabolic syndrome. Using a pharmacologic model that delivered ER stress inducer thapsigargin into the brain, this study demonstrated that a short-term brain ER s...

  11. Evaluation of the legal consequences of action affects neural activity and emotional experience during the resolution of moral dilemmas.

    Pletti, Carolina; Sarlo, Michela; Palomba, Daniela; Rumiati, Rino; Lotto, Lorella

    2015-03-01

    In any modern society killing is regarded as a severe violation of the legal codes that is subjected to penal judgment. Therefore, it is likely that people take legal consequences into account when deciding about the hypothetical killing of one person in classic moral dilemmas, with legal concerns contributing to decision-making. In particular, by differing for the degree of intentionality and emotional salience, Footbridge- and Trolley-type dilemmas might promote differential assignment of blame and punishment while implicating the same severity of harm. The present study was aimed at comparing the neural activity, subjective emotional reactions, and behavioral choices in two groups of participants who either took (Legal group) or did not take (No Legal group) legal consequences into account when deciding on Footbridge-type and Trolley-type moral dilemmas. Stimulus- and response-locked ERPs were measured to investigate the neural activity underlying two separate phases of the decision process. No difference in behavioral choices was found between groups. However, the No Legal group reported greater overall emotional impact, associated with lower preparation for action, suggesting greater conflict between alternative motor responses representing the different decision choices. In contrast, the Legal group showed an overall dampened affective experience during decision-making associated with greater overall action readiness and intention to act, reflecting lower conflict in responding. On these bases, we suggest that in moral dilemmas legal consequences of actions provide a sort of reference point on which people can rely to support a decision, independent of dilemma type. PMID:25638294

  12. Neural Basis of Intrinsic Motivation: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    Jia Jin; Liping Yu; Qingguo Ma

    2015-01-01

    Human intrinsic motivation is of great importance in human behavior. However, although researchers have focused on this topic for decades, its neural basis was still unclear. The current study employed event-related potentials to investigate the neural disparity between an interesting stop-watch (SW) task and a boring watch-stop task (WS) to understand the neural mechanisms of intrinsic motivation. Our data showed that, in the cue priming stage, the cue of the SW task elicited smaller N2 ampl...

  13. Neural mechanisms underlying pain's ability to reorient attention: evidence for sensitization of somatic threat detectors.

    Dowman, Robert

    2014-06-01

    Pain typically signals damage to the body, and as such can be perceived as threatening and can elicit a strong emotional response. This ecological significance undoubtedly underlies pain's well-known ability to demand attention. However, the neural mechanisms underlying this ability are poorly understood. Previous work from the author's laboratory has reported behavioral evidence suggesting that participants disengage their attention from an incorrectly cued visual target stimulus and reorient it toward a somatic target more rapidly when the somatic target is painful than when it is nonpainful. Furthermore, electrophysiological data suggest that this effect is mediated by a stimulus-driven process, in which somatic threat detectors located in the dorsal posterior insula activate the medial and lateral prefrontal cortex areas involved in reorienting attention toward the painful target. In these previous studies, the painful and nonpainful somatic targets were given in separate experiments involving different participants. Here, the nonpainful and painful somatic targets were presented in random order within the same block of trials. Unlike in the previous studies, both the nonpainful and painful somatic targets activated the somatic threat detectors, and the times taken to disengage and reorient attention were the same for both. These electrophysiological and behavioral data suggest that somatic threat detectors can become sensitized to nonpainful somatic stimuli that are presented in a context that includes painful stimuli. PMID:24366657

  14. Neural evidence for cultural differences in the valuation of positive facial expressions.

    Park, BoKyung; Tsai, Jeanne L; Chim, Louise; Blevins, Elizabeth; Knutson, Brian

    2016-02-01

    European Americans value excitement more and calm less than Chinese. Within cultures, European Americans value excited and calm states similarly, whereas Chinese value calm more than excited states. To examine how these cultural differences influence people's immediate responses to excited vs calm facial expressions, we combined a facial rating task with functional magnetic resonance imaging. During scanning, European American (n = 19) and Chinese (n = 19) females viewed and rated faces that varied by expression (excited, calm), ethnicity (White, Asian) and gender (male, female). As predicted, European Americans showed greater activity in circuits associated with affect and reward (bilateral ventral striatum, left caudate) while viewing excited vs calm expressions than did Chinese. Within cultures, European Americans responded to excited vs calm expressions similarly, whereas Chinese showed greater activity in these circuits in response to calm vs excited expressions regardless of targets' ethnicity or gender. Across cultural groups, greater ventral striatal activity while viewing excited vs. calm expressions predicted greater preference for excited vs calm expressions months later. These findings provide neural evidence that people find viewing the specific positive facial expressions valued by their cultures to be rewarding and relevant. PMID:26342220

  15. Cognitive Enhancement Through Action Video Game Training: Great Expectations Require Greater Evidence

    Joseph eBisoglio

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Action video game training may hold promise as a cognitive intervention with the potential to enhance daily functioning and remediate impairments, but this must be more thoroughly evaluated through evidence-based practices. We review current research on the effect of action video game training on visual attention and visuospatial processing, executive functions, and learning and memory. Focusing on studies that utilize strict experimental controls and synthesize behavioral and neurophysiological data, we examine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a causal relationship between action video game training and beneficial changes in cognition. Convergent lines of behavioral and neurophysiological evidence tentatively support the efficacy of training, but the magnitude and specificity of these effects remain obscure. Causal inference is thus far limited by a lack of standardized and well-controlled methodology. Considering future directions, we suggest stringent adherence to evidence based practices and collaboration modeled after clinical trial networks. Finally, we recommend the exploration of more complex causal models, such as indirect causal relationships and interactions that may be masking true effects.

  16. A New Modular Strategy For Action Sequence Automation Using Neural Networks And Hidden Markov Models

    Mohamed Adel Taher; Mostapha Abdeljawad

    2013-01-01

    In this paper, the authors propose a new hybrid strategy (using artificial neural networks and hidden Markov models) for skill automation. The strategy is based on the concept of using an “adaptive desired†that is introduced in the paper. The authors explain how using an adaptive desired can help a system for which an explicit model is not available or is difficult to obtain to smartly cope with environmental disturbances without requiring explicit rules specification (as with fuzzy syste...

  17. Neural Network Evidence for the Coupling of Presaccadic Visual Remapping to Predictive Eye Position Updating.

    Rao, Hrishikesh M; San Juan, Juan; Shen, Fred Y; Villa, Jennifer E; Rafie, Kimia S; Sommer, Marc A

    2016-01-01

    As we look around a scene, we perceive it as continuous and stable even though each saccadic eye movement changes the visual input to the retinas. How the brain achieves this perceptual stabilization is unknown, but a major hypothesis is that it relies on presaccadic remapping, a process in which neurons shift their visual sensitivity to a new location in the scene just before each saccade. This hypothesis is difficult to test in vivo because complete, selective inactivation of remapping is currently intractable. We tested it in silico with a hierarchical, sheet-based neural network model of the visual and oculomotor system. The model generated saccadic commands to move a video camera abruptly. Visual input from the camera and internal copies of the saccadic movement commands, or corollary discharge, converged at a map-level simulation of the frontal eye field (FEF), a primate brain area known to receive such inputs. FEF output was combined with eye position signals to yield a suitable coordinate frame for guiding arm movements of a robot. Our operational definition of perceptual stability was "useful stability," quantified as continuously accurate pointing to a visual object despite camera saccades. During training, the emergence of useful stability was correlated tightly with the emergence of presaccadic remapping in the FEF. Remapping depended on corollary discharge but its timing was synchronized to the updating of eye position. When coupled to predictive eye position signals, remapping served to stabilize the target representation for continuously accurate pointing. Graded inactivations of pathways in the model replicated, and helped to interpret, previous in vivo experiments. The results support the hypothesis that visual stability requires presaccadic remapping, provide explanations for the function and timing of remapping, and offer testable hypotheses for in vivo studies. We conclude that remapping allows for seamless coordinate frame transformations and

  18. Neural network evidence for the coupling of presaccadic visual remapping to predictive eye position updating

    Hrishikesh M Rao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available As we look around a scene, we perceive it as continuous and stable even though each saccadic eye movement changes the visual input to the retinas. How the brain achieves this perceptual stabilization is unknown, but a major hypothesis is that it relies on presaccadic remapping, a process in which neurons shift their visual sensitivity to a new location in the scene just before each saccade. This hypothesis is difficult to test in vivo because complete, selective inactivation of remapping is currently intractable. We tested it in silico with a hierarchical, sheet-based neural network model of the visual and oculomotor system. The model generated saccadic commands to move a video camera abruptly. Visual input from the camera and internal copies of the saccadic movement commands, or corollary discharge, converged at a map-level simulation of the frontal eye field (FEF, a primate brain area known to receive such inputs. FEF output was combined with eye position signals to yield a suitable coordinate frame for guiding arm movements of a robot. Our operational definition of perceptual stability was useful stability, quantified as continuously accurate pointing to a visual object despite camera saccades. During training, the emergence of useful stability was correlated tightly with the emergence of presaccadic remapping in the FEF. Remapping depended on corollary discharge but its timing was synchronized to the updating of eye position. When coupled to predictive eye position signals, remapping served to stabilize the target representation for continuously accurate pointing. Graded inactivations of pathways in the model replicated, and helped to interpret, previous in vivo experiments. The results support the hypothesis that visual stability requires presaccadic remapping, provide explanations for the function and timing of remapping, and offer testable hypotheses for in vivo studies. We conclude that remapping allows for seamless coordinate frame

  19. Evidence-Based Systematic Review: Effects of Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation on Swallowing and Neural Activation

    Clark, Heather; Lazarus, Cathy; Arvedson, Joan; Schooling, Tracy; Frymark, Tobi

    2009-01-01

    Purpose: To systematically review the literature examining the effects of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) on swallowing and neural activation. The review was conducted as part of a series examining the effects of oral motor exercises (OMEs) on speech, swallowing, and neural activation. Method: A systematic search was conducted to…

  20. Evidence-based modeling of mode-of-action for functional ingredients influencing Alzheimer’s disease through neurotrophin pathway

    Erfan Younesi

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Background: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF is the most widely expressed member of the neurotrophin family in the human brain and is crucially involved in the development of neural circuits, modulation of synaptic plasticity, and regulation of cognitive functions, including learning and memory. Many studies have shown the association of altered BDNF levels with neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders. However, BDNF is not able to cross the blood-brain barrier and, thus, its delivery to the nervous system is a challenge. Therefore, functional diets with the ability to induce production of BDNF in the brain may offer an alternative route. The objective of this study was three-fold: first, to find out diets that are causally linked to the agonistic activity of BDNF in the neurotrophin signaling pathway; second and mainly, to investigate mode-of-action of these functional diets through systems-based mechanistic modeling in the context of Alzheimer’s disease; and third, to demonstrate the proof-of-concept application of systems biology methods, that are well established in the pharmaceutical sector, to the emerging field of functional food. Methods: In the first step, two cause-and-effect models of BDNF signaling in two states, i.e. normal state and Alzheimer’s disease state, were constructed using published knowledge in scientific literature and pathway databases. A “differential model analysis” between the two states was performed by which mechanistic mode-of-action of BDNF in neurotrophin signaling pathway could be explained with a high molecular resolution in both normal and disease states. The BDNF mode-of-action model was further validated using the “biomarkerguided validation” approach. In the second step, scientific evidence on the effect of various functional diets on BDNF levels and BDNF-related biological processes or outcomes was harvested from biomedical literature using a disease-specific semantic search

  1. Evidence that the hypertrophic action of clenbuterol on denervated rat muscle is not propranolol-sensitive.

    Maltin, C.A.; Hay, S M; Delday, M. I.; Reeds, P J; Palmer, R. M.

    1989-01-01

    1. The effect of propranolol on the clenbuterol-induced protein anabolism in innervated and denervated soleus and plantaris muscles of the rat was studied. 2. The response to the beta-agonist, clenbuterol, in both innervated and denervated muscles, was not significantly inhibited by the beta-antagonist, propranolol. 3. The results provide further evidence to suggest that the action of clenbuterol on skeletal muscle protein accretion may not be directly mediated by beta-adrenoceptors.

  2. Embodied Action Improves Cognition in Children: Evidence from a Study Based on Piagetian Conservation Tasks

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence highlights the relevance of embodied cognition in learning processes. In this study we evaluate whether embodied action (enaction) improves cognitive understanding in children. Using the Piagetian conservation tasks in 6–7 year olds, we analyzed quantity conservation conceptualization in children who were active participants in the transformation process and compared these results to those of children who were mere observers of an adult's demonstration (as traditionally co...

  3. Born Toon Soon: Care before and between pregnancy to prevent preterm births: from evidence to action

    Dean, Sohni V; Mason, Elizabeth Mary; Howson, Christopher P; Lassi, Zohra S; Imam, Ayesha M; Bhutta, Zulfiqar A.

    2013-01-01

    Providing care to adolescent girls and women before and between pregnancies improves their own health and wellbeing, as well as pregnancy and newborn outcomes, and can also reduce the rates of preterm birth. This paper has reviewed the evidence based interventions and services for preventing preterm births; reported the findings from research priority exercise; and prescribed actions for taking this call further. Certain factors in the preconception period have been shown to increase the risk...

  4. Evidence for a Sex-Dependent MAOA× Childhood Stress Interaction in the Neural Circuitry of Aggression.

    Holz, Nathalie; Boecker, Regina; Buchmann, Arlette F; Blomeyer, Dorothea; Baumeister, Sarah; Hohmann, Sarah; Jennen-Steinmetz, Christine; Wolf, Isabella; Rietschel, Marcella; Witt, Stephanie H; Plichta, Michael M; Meyer-Lindenberg, Andreas; Schmidt, Martin H; Esser, Günter; Banaschewski, Tobias; Brandeis, Daniel; Laucht, Manfred

    2016-03-01

    Converging evidence emphasizes the role of an interaction between monoamine oxidase A (MAOA) genotype, environmental adversity, and sex in the pathophysiology of aggression. The present study aimed to clarify the impact of this interaction on neural activity in aggression-related brain systems. Functional magnetic resonance imaging was performed in 125 healthy adults from a high-risk community sample followed since birth. DNA was genotyped for the MAOA-VNTR (variable number of tandem repeats). Exposure to childhood life stress (CLS) between the ages of 4 and 11 years was assessed using a standardized parent interview, aggression by the Youth/Young Adult Self-Report between the ages of 15 and 25 years, and the VIRA-R (Vragenlijst Instrumentele En Reactieve Agressie) at the age of 15 years. Significant interactions were obtained between MAOA genotype, CLS, and sex relating to amygdala, hippocampus, and anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) response, respectively. Activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during emotional face-matching increased with the level of CLS in male MAOA-L, while decreasing in male MAOA-H, with the reverse pattern present in females. Findings in the opposite direction in the ACC during a flanker NoGo task suggested that increased emotional activity coincided with decreased inhibitory control. Moreover, increasing amygdala activity was associated with higher Y(A)SR aggression in male MAOA-L and female MAOA-H carriers. Likewise, a significant association between amygdala activity and reactive aggression was detected in female MAOA-H carriers. The results point to a moderating role of sex in the MAOA× CLS interaction for intermediate phenotypes of emotional and inhibitory processing, suggesting a possible mechanism in conferring susceptibility to violence-related disorders. PMID:25331606

  5. Neural correlates of the self-reference effect: evidence from evaluation and recognition processes.

    Yaoi, Ken; Osaka, Mariko; Osaka, Naoyuki

    2015-01-01

    The self-reference effect (SRE) is defined as better recall or recognition performance when the memorized materials refer to the self. Recently, a number of neuroimaging studies using self-referential and other-referential tasks have reported that self- and other-referential judgments basically show greater activation in common brain regions, specifically in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) when compared with nonmentalizing judgments, but that a ventral-to-dorsal gradient in MPFC emerges from a direct comparison between self- and other-judgments. However, most of these previous studies could not provide an adequate explanation for the neural basis of SRE because they did not directly compare brain activation for recognition/recall of the words referenced to the self with another person. Here, we used an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) that measured brain activity during processing of references to the self and another, and for recognition of self and other referenced words. Results from the fMRI evaluation task indicated greater activation in ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) in the self-referential condition. While in the recognition task, VMPFC, posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) and bilateral angular gyrus (AG) showed greater activation when participants correctly recognized self-referenced words versus other-referenced words. These data provide evidence that the self-referenced words evoked greater activation in the self-related region (VMPFC) and memory-related regions (PCC and AG) relative to another person in the retrieval phase, and that the words remained as a stronger memory trace that supports recognition. PMID:26167149

  6. Neural correlates of uncertain decision making: ERP evidence from the Iowa Gambling Task

    Ji-fang eCui

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available In our daily life, it is very common to make decisions in uncertain situations. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT has been widely used in laboratory studies because of its good simulation of uncertainty in real life activities. The present study aimed to examine the neural correlates of uncertain decision making with the IGT. Twenty-six university students completed this study. An adapted IGT was administered to them, and the EEG data were recorded. The adapted IGT we used allowed us to analyze the choice evaluation, response selection, and feedback evaluation stages of uncertain decision making within the same paradigm. In the choice evaluation stage, the advantageous decks evoked larger P3 amplitude in the left hemisphere, while the disadvantageous decks evoked larger P3 in the right hemisphere. In the response selection stage, the response of pass (the card was not turned over; the participants neither won nor lost money evoked larger negativity preceding the response compared to that of play (the card was turned over; the participant either won or lost money. In the feedback evaluation stage, feedback-related negativity was only sensitive to the valence (win/loss but not the magnitude (large/small of the outcome, and P3 was sensitive to both the valence and the magnitude of the outcome. These results were consistent with the notion that a positive somatic state was represented in the left hemisphere and a negative somatic state was represented in the right hemisphere. There were also anticipatory ERP effects that guided the participants’ responses and provided evidence for the somatic marker hypothesis with more precise timing.

  7. Deciding not to decide: computational and neural evidence for hidden behavior in sequential choice.

    Sebastian Gluth

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the cognitive and neural processes that underlie human decision making requires the successful prediction of how, but also of when, people choose. Sequential sampling models (SSMs have greatly advanced the decision sciences by assuming decisions to emerge from a bounded evidence accumulation process so that response times (RTs become predictable. Here, we demonstrate a difficulty of SSMs that occurs when people are not forced to respond at once but are allowed to sample information sequentially: The decision maker might decide to delay the choice and terminate the accumulation process temporarily, a scenario not accounted for by the standard SSM approach. We developed several SSMs for predicting RTs from two independent samples of an electroencephalography (EEG and a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study. In these studies, participants bought or rejected fictitious stocks based on sequentially presented cues and were free to respond at any time. Standard SSM implementations did not describe RT distributions adequately. However, by adding a mechanism for postponing decisions to the model we obtained an accurate fit to the data. Time-frequency analysis of EEG data revealed alternating states of de- and increasing oscillatory power in beta-band frequencies (14-30 Hz, indicating that responses were repeatedly prepared and inhibited and thus lending further support for the existence of a decision not to decide. Finally, the extended model accounted for the results of an adapted version of our paradigm in which participants had to press a button for sampling more information. Our results show how computational modeling of decisions and RTs support a deeper understanding of the hidden dynamics in cognition.

  8. Neural Correlates of Perception for Action in Humans Using TMS and fMRI

    Reichenbach, Alexandra

    2010-01-01

    Movements are humans interface to their social and physical environment. The human brain processes numerous complex computations during everyday actions, such as reaching for a door knob. It must recognize and localize the knob visually, and calculate its spatial relation to the hand. Then, the movement of the arm and hand with all their muscles has to be planned. During the movement, these parameters are monitored, and when the environment changes, for instance when the door is opened, the m...

  9. Neural representations of kinematic laws of motion: Evidence for action-perception coupling

    Dayan, Eran; Casile, Antonino; Levit-Binnun, Nava; Giese, Martin A; Hendler, Talma; Flash, Tamar

    2007-01-01

    Behavioral and modeling studies have established that curved and drawing human hand movements obey the 2/3 power law, which dictates a strong coupling between movement curvature and velocity. Human motion perception seems to reflect this constraint. The functional MRI study reported here demonstrates that the brain's response to this law of motion is much stronger and more widespread than to other types of motion. Compliance with this law is reflected in the activation of a large network of b...

  10. Interactive actions of Bdnf methylation and cell metabolism for building neural resilience under the influence of diet.

    Tyagi, Ethika; Zhuang, Yumei; Agrawal, Rahul; Ying, Zhe; Gomez-Pinilla, Fernando

    2015-01-01

    Quality nutrition during the period of brain formation is a predictor of brain functional capacity and plasticity during adulthood; however it is not clear how this conferred plasticity imparts long-term neural resilience. Here we report that early exposure to dietary omega-3 fatty acids orchestrates key interactions between metabolic signals and Bdnf methylation creating a reservoir of neuroplasticity that can protect the brain against the deleterious effects of switching to a Western diet (WD). We observed that the switch to a WD increased Bdnf methylation specific to exon IV, in proportion to anxiety-like behavior, in Sprague Dawley rats reared in low omega-3 fatty acid diet, and these effects were abolished by the DNA methyltransferase inhibitor 5-aza-2'-deoxycytidine. Blocking methylation also counteracted the reducing action of WD on the transcription regulator CTCF binding to Bdnf promoter IV. In vitro studies confirmed that CTCF binding to Bdnf promoter IV is essential for the action of DHA on BDNF regulation. Diet is also intrinsically associated to cell metabolism, and here we show that the switch to WD downregulated cell metabolism (NAD/NADH ratio and SIRT1). The fact that DNA methyltransferase inhibitor did not alter these parameters suggests they occur upstream to methylation. In turn, the methylation inhibitor counteracted the action of WD on PGC-1α, a mitochondrial transcription co-activator and BDNF regulator, suggesting that PGC-1α is an effector of Bdnf methylation. Results support a model in which diet can build an "epigenetic memory" during brain formation that confers resilience to metabolic perturbations occurring in adulthood. PMID:25283985

  11. Distinct actions of ancestral vinclozolin and juvenile stress on neural gene expression in the male rat

    Ross eGillette

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Exposure to the endocrine disrupting chemical vinclozolin during gestation of an F0 generation and/or chronic restraint stress during adolescence of the F3 descendants affects behavior, physiology, and gene expression in the brain. Genes related to the networks of growth factors, signaling peptides and receptors, steroid hormone receptors and enzymes, and epigenetic related factors were measured using quantitative polymerase chain reaction via Taqman low density arrays targeting 48 genes in the central amygdaloid nucleus, medial amygdaloid nucleus, medial preoptic area, lateral hypothalamus, and the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. We found that growth factors are particularly vulnerable to ancestral exposure in the central and medial amygdala; restraint stress during adolescence affected neural growth factors in the medial amygdala. Signaling peptides were affected by both ancestral exposure and stress during adolescence primarily in hypothalamic nuclei. Steroid hormone receptors and enzymes were strongly affected by restraint stress in the medial preoptic area. Epigenetic related genes were affected by stress in the ventromedial hypothalamus and by both ancestral exposure and stress during adolescence independently in the central amygdala. It is noteworthy that the lateral hypothalamus showed no effects of either manipulation. Gene expression is discussed in the context of behavioral and physiological measures previously published.

  12. Neural Correlates of Developmental Speech and Language Disorders: Evidence from Neuroimaging.

    Liégeois, F.; Mayes, A.; Morgan, A.

    2014-01-01

    Disorders of speech and language arise out of a complex interaction of genetic, environmental, and neural factors. Little is understood about the neural bases of these disorders. Here we systematically reviewed neuroimaging findings in Speech disorders (SD) and Language disorders (LD) over the last five years (2008–2013; 10 articles). In participants with SD, structural and functional anomalies in the left supramarginal gyrus suggest a possible deficit in sensory feedback or integration. In L...

  13. Longitudinal evidence for functional specialization of the neural circuit supporting working memory in the human brain

    Finn, Amy S.; Sheridan, Margaret A.; Hudson Kam, Carla L.; Hinshaw, Stephen; D’Esposito, Mark

    2010-01-01

    Although children perform more poorly than adults on many cognitive measures, they are better able to learn things such as language and music. These differences could result from the delayed specialization of neural circuits and asynchronies in the maturation of neural substrates required for learning. Working memory—the ability to hold information in mind that is no longer present in the environment—comprises a set of cognitive processes required for many, if not all, forms of learning. A cr...

  14. Physiological modules for generating discrete and rhythmic movements: action identification by a dynamic recurrent neural network.

    Ana eBengoetxea

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study we employed a dynamic recurrent neural network (DRNN in a novel fashion to reveal characteristics of control modules underlying the generation of muscle activations when drawing figures with the outstretched arm. We asked healthy human subjects to perform four different figure-eight movements in each of two workspaces (frontal plane and sagittal plane. We then trained a DRNN to predict the movement of the wrist from information in the EMG signals from seven different muscles. We trained different instances of the same network on a single movement direction, on all four movement directions in a single movement plane, or on all eight possible movement patterns and looked at the ability of the DRNN to generalize and predict movements for trials that were not included in the training set. Within a single movement plane, a DRNN trained on one movement direction was not able to predict movements of the hand for trials in the other three directions, but a DRNN trained simultaneously on all four movement directions could generalize across movement directions within the same plane. Similarly, the DRNN was able to reproduce the kinematics of the hand for both movement planes, but only if it was trained on examples performed in each one. As we will discuss, these results indicate that there are important dynamical constraints on the mapping of EMG to hand movement that depend on both the time sequence of the movement and on the anatomical constraints of the musculoskeletal system. In a second step, we injected EMG signals constructed from different synergies derived by the PCA in order to identify the mechanical significance of each of these components. From these results, one can surmise that discrete-rhythmic movements may be constructed from three different fundamental modules, one regulating the co-activation of all muscles over the time span of the movement and two others patterns of reciprocal activation operating in orthogonal

  15. AKT signaling mediates IGF-I survival actions on otic neural progenitors.

    Maria R Aburto

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Otic neurons and sensory cells derive from common progenitors whose transition into mature cells requires the coordination of cell survival, proliferation and differentiation programmes. Neurotrophic support and survival of post-mitotic otic neurons have been intensively studied, but the bases underlying the regulation of programmed cell death in immature proliferative otic neuroblasts remains poorly understood. The protein kinase AKT acts as a node, playing a critical role in controlling cell survival and cell cycle progression. AKT is activated by trophic factors, including insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I, through the generation of the lipidic second messenger phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate by phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K. Here we have investigated the role of IGF-dependent activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway in maintenance of otic neuroblasts. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By using a combination of organotypic cultures of chicken (Gallus gallus otic vesicles and acoustic-vestibular ganglia, Western blotting, immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization, we show that IGF-I-activation of AKT protects neural progenitors from programmed cell death. IGF-I maintains otic neuroblasts in an undifferentiated and proliferative state, which is characterised by the upregulation of the forkhead box M1 (FoxM1 transcription factor. By contrast, our results indicate that post-mitotic p27(Kip-positive neurons become IGF-I independent as they extend their neuronal processes. Neurons gradually reduce their expression of the Igf1r, while they increase that of the neurotrophin receptor, TrkC. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Proliferative otic neuroblasts are dependent on the activation of the PI3K-AKT pathway by IGF-I for survival during the otic neuronal progenitor phase of early inner ear development.

  16. Distributed neural actions of anti-parkinsonian therapies as revealed by PET

    There is a limited understanding of how different anti-parkinsonian treatments act at the neuronal systems level. Using positron emission tomography we examined the effects of levodopa and deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus on patterns of regional cerebral blood flow in patients with Parkinson's disease during a homogenous cognitive-behavioral state rather than during an unspecified resting state. We found that when medicated precuneus, frontal, parietal, cerebellar and midbrain areas were relatively more activated than when stimulated, whereas when stimulated the precentral gyrus, caudate and thalamus were relatively more activated than when medicated. Areas that were activated by both treatments included the temporal gyri, anterior thalamus, and midbrain. Regions of prefrontal cortex showed relatively greater activation in the 'off treatment' conditions of both the medicated and stimulated groups. Our findings suggest that the two treatment methods may lead to symptomatic relief via both common and different sites of action. (author)

  17. The Athlete’s Brain: Cross-Sectional Evidence for Neural Efficiency during Cycling Exercise

    Sebastian Ludyga; Thomas Gronwald; Kuno Hottenrott

    2016-01-01

    The “neural efficiency” hypothesis suggests that experts are characterized by a more efficient cortical function in cognitive tests. Although this hypothesis has been extended to a variety of movement-related tasks within the last years, it is unclear whether or not neural efficiency is present in cyclists performing endurance exercise. Therefore, this study examined brain cortical activity at rest and during exercise between cyclists of higher (HIGH; n = 14; 55.6 ± 2.8 mL/min/kg) and lower (...

  18. Interprofessional collaborative practice within cancer teams: Translating evidence into action. A mixed methods study protocol

    Roberge Danièle

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background A regional integrated cancer network has implemented a program (educational workshops, reflective and mentoring activities designed to support the uptake of evidence-informed interprofessional collaborative practices (referred to in this text as EIPCP within cancer teams. This research project, which relates to the Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario (RNAO Best Practice Guidelines and other sources of research evidence, represents a unique opportunity to learn more about the factors and processes involved in the translation of evidence-based recommendations into professional practices. The planned study seeks to address context-specific challenges and the concerns of nurses and other stakeholders regarding the uptake of evidence-based recommendations to effectively promote and support interprofessional collaborative practices. Aim This study aims to examine the uptake of evidence-based recommendations from best practice guidelines intended to enhance interprofessional collaborative practices within cancer teams. Design The planned study constitutes a practical trial, defined as a trial designed to provide comprehensive information that is grounded in real-world healthcare dynamics. An exploratory mixed methods study design will be used. It will involve collecting quantitative data to assess professionals' knowledge and attitudes, as well as practice environment factors associated with effective uptake of evidence-based recommendations. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted concurrently with care providers to gather qualitative data for describing the processes involved in the translation of evidence into action from both the users' (n = 12 and providers' (n = 24 perspectives. The Graham et al. Ottawa Model of Research Use will serve to construct operational definitions of concepts, and to establish the initial coding labels to be used in the thematic analysis of the qualitative data. Quantitative and qualitative

  19. The music of your emotions: neural substrates involved in detection of emotional correspondence between auditory and visual music actions.

    Karin Petrini

    Full Text Available In humans, emotions from music serve important communicative roles. Despite a growing interest in the neural basis of music perception, action and emotion, the majority of previous studies in this area have focused on the auditory aspects of music performances. Here we investigate how the brain processes the emotions elicited by audiovisual music performances. We used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging, and in Experiment 1 we defined the areas responding to audiovisual (musician's movements with music, visual (musician's movements only, and auditory emotional (music only displays. Subsequently a region of interest analysis was performed to examine if any of the areas detected in Experiment 1 showed greater activation for emotionally mismatching performances (combining the musician's movements with mismatching emotional sound than for emotionally matching music performances (combining the musician's movements with matching emotional sound as presented in Experiment 2 to the same participants. The insula and the left thalamus were found to respond consistently to visual, auditory and audiovisual emotional information and to have increased activation for emotionally mismatching displays in comparison with emotionally matching displays. In contrast, the right thalamus was found to respond to audiovisual emotional displays and to have similar activation for emotionally matching and mismatching displays. These results suggest that the insula and left thalamus have an active role in detecting emotional correspondence between auditory and visual information during music performances, whereas the right thalamus has a different role.

  20. Modes of Collective Action in Village Economies:Evidence from Natural and Artefactual Field Experiments in a Developing Country

    SAWADA Yasuyuki; Kasahara, Ryuji; Aoyagi, Aoyagi; Shoji, Masahiro; Ueyama, Mika

    2012-01-01

    In a canonical model of collective action, individual contribution to collective action is negatively correlated with group size. Yet, empirical evidence on the group size effect has been mixed, partly due to heterogeneities in group activities. In this paper, we first construct a simple model of collective action with the free rider problem, altruism, public goods, and positive externalities of social networks. We then empirically test the theoretical implications of the group size effect on...

  1. On the Nature of the Intrinsic Connectivity of the Cat Motor Cortex: Evidence for a Recurrent Neural Network Topology

    Capaday, Charles; Ethier, C; Brizzi, L;

    2009-01-01

    Capaday C, Ethier C, Brizzi L, Sik A, van Vreeswijk C, Gingras D. On the nature of the intrinsic connectivity of the cat motor cortex: evidence for a recurrent neural network topology. J Neurophysiol 102: 2131-2141, 2009. First published July 22, 2009; doi: 10.1152/jn.91319.2008. The details...... and functional significance of the intrinsic horizontal connections between neurons in the motor cortex (MCx) remain to be clarified. To further elucidate the nature of this intracortical connectivity pattern, experiments were done on the MCx of three cats. The anterograde tracer biocytin was ejected...

  2. The neural basis of integrating pre- and post-response information for goal-directed actions.

    Frimmel, Steffi; Wolfensteller, Uta; Mohr, Holger; Ruge, Hannes

    2016-01-01

    A fundamental prerequisite for goal-directed action is to encode the contingencies between responses (R) producing specific outcomes (O) in specific stimulus conditions (S). The present study aimed to characterize the functional neuroanatomy of different associational sub-components of such S-R-O contingencies during the first few trials of exposure. We devised a novel paradigm that was suited to distinguish BOLD activation patterns related to S-R, R-O, and the full S-R-O contingency. Different from previous studies our experimental design ensured that stimulus-related processes and outcome-related processes were maximally comparable, as both were learned incidentally and lacked intrinsic incentive value, and different from trial-and-error learning situations, outcomes did not serve a special role as performance feedback. We observed contingency-related dissociations between SMA, lateral OFC, and large parts of the reward system including central OFC, anterior striatum and midbrain areas. While the lateral OFC was involved in processing differential outcomes irrespective of a predictive stimulus context, the SMA was specifically engaged when differential outcomes could be predicted by the stimulus. By contrast, the activation pattern of reward system areas suggested that these regions serve a role in integrating non-incentive differential outcome information and incentive common outcome information. Together, these results support the notion that striatal and orbitofrontal regions are involved in outcome-related processes beyond trial-and-error S-R learning, that is, when outcomes are non-incentive and do not serve as reinforcing feedback that drives learning. Furthermore, our results clarify the role of the SMA in outcome-related processes thereby supporting current versions of ideomotor theory. PMID:26522619

  3. Social categories shape the neural representation of emotion: evidence from a visual face adaptation task

    M. Otten; M.R. Banaji

    2012-01-01

    A number of recent behavioral studies have shown that emotional expressions are differently perceived depending on the race of a face, and that perception of race cues is influenced by emotional expressions. However, neural processes related to the perception of invariant cues that indicate the iden

  4. Social Categories Shape the Neural Representation of Emotion: Evidence from a Visual Face Adaptation Task.

    Marte eOtten

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available A number of recent behavioral studies have shown that emotional expressions are differently perceived depending on the race of a face, and that that perception of race cues is influenced by emotional expressions. However, neural processes related to the perception of invariant cues that indicate the identity of a face (such as race are often described to proceed independently of processes related to the perception of cues that can vary over time (such as emotion. Using a visual face adaptation paradigm, we tested whether these behavioral interactions between emotion and race also reflect interdependent neural representation of emotion and race. We compared visual emotion aftereffects when the adapting face and ambiguous test face differed in race or not. Emotion aftereffects were much smaller in different race trials than same race trials, indicating that the neural representation of a facial expression is significantly different depending on whether the emotional face is black or white. It thus seems that invariable cues such as race interact with variable face cues such as emotion not just at a response level, but also at the level of perception and neural representation.

  5. Neural Basis of Intrinsic Motivation: Evidence from Event-Related Potentials

    Jia Jin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Human intrinsic motivation is of great importance in human behavior. However, although researchers have focused on this topic for decades, its neural basis was still unclear. The current study employed event-related potentials to investigate the neural disparity between an interesting stop-watch (SW task and a boring watch-stop task (WS to understand the neural mechanisms of intrinsic motivation. Our data showed that, in the cue priming stage, the cue of the SW task elicited smaller N2 amplitude than that of the WS task. Furthermore, in the outcome feedback stage, the outcome of the SW task induced smaller FRN amplitude and larger P300 amplitude than that of the WS task. These results suggested that human intrinsic motivation did exist and that it can be detected at the neural level. Furthermore, intrinsic motivation could be quantitatively indexed by the amplitude of ERP components, such as N2, FRN, and P300, in the cue priming stage or feedback stage. Quantitative measurements would also be convenient for intrinsic motivation to be added as a candidate social factor in the construction of a machine learning model.

  6. Evidence for a direct action of Tityus serrulatus scorpion venom on the cardiac muscle.

    Teixeira, A L; Fontoura, B F; Freire-Maia, L; Machado, C R; Camargos, E R; Teixeira, M M

    2001-05-01

    The ability of toxins to activate the cardiovascular system plays an important role in the morbidity and lethality of the Tityus serrulatus scorpion envenoming. Most of the actions of the scorpion toxins are indirect and due to the release of adrenergic and cholinergic neurotransmitters. Accordingly, treatment following envenoming is targeted towards inhibition of adrenergic and cholinergic receptors. Here, we have sought evidence for a direct action of T. serrulatus venom on the isolated rat heart (Langendorff's method). We show that the bradycardia induced by T. serrulatus venom was completely blocked by atropine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist. Similarly, the increase in heart rate that follows the venom-induced bradycardia was totally inhibited by a beta(1)-adrenoceptor antagonist or by chemical sympathetic denervation with 6-hydroxydopamine. In contrast to these findings, the venom-induced increase in contractile force was not modified by beta(1)-adrenoceptor blockade or by chemical sympathetic denervation. The results clearly demonstrate that the chronotropic effects of T. serrulatus are dependent on neurotransmitter release, but the inotropic effects are not. The neurotransmitter-independent increase in contractility seems to be a direct action of the venom on cardiomyocytes. We suggest that this direct effect on cardiac fibers may play a role in the development of cardiac arrhythmias and contractility defects following envenoming with T. serrulatus scorpion. PMID:11072050

  7. Explicit action perception shares resources with music syntax: A controlled behavioral study

    Harding, E.; Sammler, D.; D’Ausilio, A.; Friederici, A; Fadiga, L.; Koelsch, S.

    2011-01-01

    Given evidence that neural resources monitoring language syntax also underlie the perception of music syntax (Koelsch, 2005) and recently a proposed ‘syntax’ in sequential action (Fazio et al., 2009), a previous EEG study investigated whether neural resources may be shared between implicit perception of music and action (Sammler et al., 2010). Results yielded a syntactic-like ERP pattern elicited by the errors in sequential action, but no interaction of resources across the music and action d...

  8. Evidence for Neural Computations of Temporal Coherence in an Auditory Scene and Their Enhancement during Active Listening.

    O'Sullivan, James A; Shamma, Shihab A; Lalor, Edmund C

    2015-05-01

    The human brain has evolved to operate effectively in highly complex acoustic environments, segregating multiple sound sources into perceptually distinct auditory objects. A recent theory seeks to explain this ability by arguing that stream segregation occurs primarily due to the temporal coherence of the neural populations that encode the various features of an individual acoustic source. This theory has received support from both psychoacoustic and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that use stimuli which model complex acoustic environments. Termed stochastic figure-ground (SFG) stimuli, they are composed of a "figure" and background that overlap in spectrotemporal space, such that the only way to segregate the figure is by computing the coherence of its frequency components over time. Here, we extend these psychoacoustic and fMRI findings by using the greater temporal resolution of electroencephalography to investigate the neural computation of temporal coherence. We present subjects with modified SFG stimuli wherein the temporal coherence of the figure is modulated stochastically over time, which allows us to use linear regression methods to extract a signature of the neural processing of this temporal coherence. We do this under both active and passive listening conditions. Our findings show an early effect of coherence during passive listening, lasting from ∼115 to 185 ms post-stimulus. When subjects are actively listening to the stimuli, these responses are larger and last longer, up to ∼265 ms. These findings provide evidence for early and preattentive neural computations of temporal coherence that are enhanced by active analysis of an auditory scene. PMID:25948273

  9. Other ways of seeing: From behavior to neural mechanisms in the online "visual" control of action with sensory substitution.

    Proulx, Michael J; Gwinnutt, James; Dell'Erba, Sara; Levy-Tzedek, Shelly; de Sousa, Alexandra A; Brown, David J

    2015-01-01

    Vision is the dominant sense for perception-for-action in humans and other higher primates. Advances in sight restoration now utilize the other intact senses to provide information that is normally sensed visually through sensory substitution to replace missing visual information. Sensory substitution devices translate visual information from a sensor, such as a camera or ultrasound device, into a format that the auditory or tactile systems can detect and process, so the visually impaired can see through hearing or touch. Online control of action is essential for many daily tasks such as pointing, grasping and navigating, and adapting to a sensory substitution device successfully requires extensive learning. Here we review the research on sensory substitution for vision restoration in the context of providing the means of online control for action in the blind or blindfolded. It appears that the use of sensory substitution devices utilizes the neural visual system; this suggests the hypothesis that sensory substitution draws on the same underlying mechanisms as unimpaired visual control of action. Here we review the current state of the art for sensory substitution approaches to object recognition, localization, and navigation, and the potential these approaches have for revealing a metamodal behavioral and neural basis for the online control of action. PMID:26599473

  10. Neural networks and forecasting stock price movements-accounting approach: Empirical evidence from Iran

    Hossein Naderi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Stock market prediction is one of the most important interesting areas of research in business. Stock markets prediction is normally assumed as tedious task since there are many factors influencing the market. The primary objective of this paper is to forecast trend closing price movement of Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE using financial accounting ratios from year 2003 to year 2008. The proposed study of this paper uses two approaches namely Artificial Neural Networks and multi-layer perceptron. Independent variables are accounting ratios and dependent variable of stock price , so the latter was gathered for the industry of Motor Vehicles and Auto Parts. The results of this study show that neural networks models are useful tools in forecasting stock price movements in emerging markets but multi-layer perception provides better results in term of lowering error terms.

  11. Context-Dependent Interpretation Of Words: Evidence For Interactive Neural Processes

    Gennari, Silvia P; MacDonald, Maryellen C.; Postle, Bradley R.; Seidenberg, Mark S.

    2007-01-01

    The meaning of a word usually depends on the context in which it occurs. This study investigated the neural mechanisms involved in computing word meanings that change as a function of syntactic context. Current semantic processing theories suggest that word meanings are retrieved from diverse cortical regions storing sensory-motor and other types of semantic information, and are further integrated with context in left inferior frontal gyrus (LIFG). Our fMRI data indicate that brain activity i...

  12. Neural networks and forecasting stock price movements-accounting approach: Empirical evidence from Iran

    Hossein Naderi; Mojtaba Moradpour; Mehdi Zangeneh; Farzad Khani

    2012-01-01

    Stock market prediction is one of the most important interesting areas of research in business. Stock markets prediction is normally assumed as tedious task since there are many factors influencing the market. The primary objective of this paper is to forecast trend closing price movement of Tehran Stock Exchange (TSE) using financial accounting ratios from year 2003 to year 2008. The proposed study of this paper uses two approaches namely Artificial Neural Networks and multi-layer perceptron...

  13. Learning multi-faceted representations of individuals from heterogeneous evidence using neural networks

    Li, Jiwei; Ritter, Alan; Jurafsky, Dan

    2015-01-01

    Inferring latent attributes of people online is an important social computing task, but requires integrating the many heterogeneous sources of information available on the web. We propose to learn individual representations of people using neural nets to integrate information from social media. The algorithm is able to combine any kind of cues, such as the text a person writes, the person's attributes (e.g. gender, employer, school, location) and social relations to other people (e.g., friend...

  14. Neural systems for social cognition in Klinefelter syndrome (47,XXY): evidence from fMRI

    van Rijn, Sophie; Swaab, Hanna; Baas, Daan; de Haan, Edward; Kahn, René S; Aleman, André

    2011-01-01

    Klinefelter syndrome (KS) is a chromosomal condition (47, XXY) that may help us to unravel gene–brain behavior pathways to psychopathology. The phenotype includes social cognitive impairments and increased risk for autism traits. We used functional MRI to study neural mechanisms underlying social information processing. Eighteen nonclinical controls and thirteen men with XXY were scanned during judgments of faces with regard to trustworthiness and age. While judging faces as untrustworthy in ...

  15. Neural Signatures of the Response to Emotional Distraction: A Review of Evidence from Brain Imaging Investigations

    Iordan, Alexandru D.

    2013-01-01

    Prompt responses to emotional, potentially threatening, stimuli are supported by neural mechanisms that allow for privileged access of emotional information to processing resources. The existence of these mechanisms can also make emotional stimuli potent distracters, particularly when task-irrelevant. The ability to deploy cognitive control in order to cope with emotional distraction is essential for adaptive behavior, while reduced control may lead to enhanced emotional distractibility, whic...

  16. Neural signatures of the response to emotional distraction: a review of evidence from brain imaging investigations

    Iordan, A. D.; Dolcos, S.; Dolcos, F.

    2013-01-01

    Prompt responses to emotional, potentially threatening, stimuli are supported by neural mechanisms that allow for privileged access of emotional information to processing resources. The existence of these mechanisms can also make emotional stimuli potent distracters, particularly when task-irrelevant. The ability to deploy cognitive control in order to cope with emotional distraction is essential for adaptive behavior, while reduced control may lead to enhanced emotional distractibility, whic...

  17. Development of social skills in children: neural and behavioral evidence for the elaboration of cognitive models

    Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Aboitiz, Francisco; Billeke, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Social skills refer to a wide group of abilities that allow us to interact and communicate with others. Children learn how to solve social situations by predicting and understanding other's behaviors. The way in which humans learn to interact successfully with others encompasses a complex interaction between neural, behavioral, and environmental elements. These have a role in the accomplishment of positive developmental outcomes, including peer acceptance, academic achievement, and mental hea...

  18. Development of social skills in children: neural and behavioral evidence for the elaboration of cognitive models

    Patricia eSoto-Icaza; Francisco eAboitiz; Pablo eBilleke

    2015-01-01

    Social skills refer to a wide group of abilities that allow us to interact and communicate with others. Children learn how to solve social situations by predicting and understanding other’s behaviors. The way in which humans learn to interact successfully with others encompasses a complex interaction between neural, behavioral and environmental elements. These have a role in the accomplishment of positive developmental outcomes, including peer acceptance, academic achievement, and mental heal...

  19. The Athlete's Brain: Cross-Sectional Evidence for Neural Efficiency during Cycling Exercise.

    Ludyga, Sebastian; Gronwald, Thomas; Hottenrott, Kuno

    2016-01-01

    The "neural efficiency" hypothesis suggests that experts are characterized by a more efficient cortical function in cognitive tests. Although this hypothesis has been extended to a variety of movement-related tasks within the last years, it is unclear whether or not neural efficiency is present in cyclists performing endurance exercise. Therefore, this study examined brain cortical activity at rest and during exercise between cyclists of higher (HIGH; n = 14; 55.6 ± 2.8 mL/min/kg) and lower (LOW; n = 15; 46.4 ± 4.1 mL/min/kg) maximal oxygen consumption (VO2MAX). Male and female participants performed a graded exercise test with spirometry to assess VO2MAX. After 3 to 5 days, EEG was recorded at rest with eyes closed and during cycling at the individual anaerobic threshold over a 30 min period. Possible differences in alpha/beta ratio as well as alpha and beta power were investigated at frontal, central, and parietal sites. The statistical analysis revealed significant differences between groups (F = 12.04; p = 0.002), as the alpha/beta ratio was increased in HIGH compared to LOW in both the resting state (p ≤ 0.018) and the exercise condition (p ≤ 0.025). The present results indicate enhanced neural efficiency in subjects with high VO2MAX, possibly due to the inhibition of task-irrelevant cognitive processes. PMID:26819767

  20. The Athlete’s Brain: Cross-Sectional Evidence for Neural Efficiency during Cycling Exercise

    Sebastian Ludyga

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The “neural efficiency” hypothesis suggests that experts are characterized by a more efficient cortical function in cognitive tests. Although this hypothesis has been extended to a variety of movement-related tasks within the last years, it is unclear whether or not neural efficiency is present in cyclists performing endurance exercise. Therefore, this study examined brain cortical activity at rest and during exercise between cyclists of higher (HIGH; n=14; 55.6 ± 2.8 mL/min/kg and lower (LOW; n=15; 46.4 ± 4.1 mL/min/kg maximal oxygen consumption (VO2MAX. Male and female participants performed a graded exercise test with spirometry to assess VO2MAX. After 3 to 5 days, EEG was recorded at rest with eyes closed and during cycling at the individual anaerobic threshold over a 30 min period. Possible differences in alpha/beta ratio as well as alpha and beta power were investigated at frontal, central, and parietal sites. The statistical analysis revealed significant differences between groups (F=12.04; p=0.002, as the alpha/beta ratio was increased in HIGH compared to LOW in both the resting state (p≤0.018 and the exercise condition (p≤0.025. The present results indicate enhanced neural efficiency in subjects with high VO2MAX, possibly due to the inhibition of task-irrelevant cognitive processes.

  1. Erythropoietin modulates neural and cognitive processing of emotional information in biomarker models of antidepressant drug action in depressed patients

    Miskowiak, Kamilla W; Favaron, Elisa; Hafizi, Sepehr; Inkster, Becky; Goodwin, Guy M; Cowen, Philip J; Harmer, Catherine J

    2010-01-01

    Erythropoietin (Epo) has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects, and may be a novel therapeutic agent in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. We have demonstrated antidepressant-like effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive processing of facial expressions in healthy volunteers. The current...... study investigates the effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive response to emotional facial expressions in depressed patients....

  2. I.v. cocaine induces rapid, transient excitation of striatal neurons via its action on peripheral neural elements: single-cell, iontophoretic study in awake and anesthetized rats.

    Kiyatkin, E A; Brown, P L

    2007-09-21

    Cocaine's (COC) direct interaction with the dopamine (DA) transporter is usually considered the most important action underlying the psychomotor stimulant and reinforcing effects of this drug. However, some physiological, behavioral and psycho-emotional effects of COC are very rapid and brief and they remain intact during DA receptor blockade, suggesting possible involvement of peripheral non-DA neural mechanisms. To assess this issue, single-unit recording with microiontophoresis was used to examine changes in impulse activity of dorsal and ventral striatal neurons to i.v. COC (0.25-0.5 mg/kg) in the same rats under two conditions: awake with DA receptor blockade and anesthetized with urethane. In the awake preparation approximately 70% striatal neurons showed rapid and transient (latency approximately 6 s, duration approximately 15 s) COC-induced excitations. These effects were stronger in ventral than dorsal striatum. During anesthesia, these phasic effects were fully blocked and COC slowly decreased neuronal discharge rate. Cocaine-methiodide (COC-M), a derivative that cannot cross the blood-brain barrier, also caused phasic excitations in the awake, but not anesthetized condition. In contrast to regular COC, COC-M had no tonic effect on discharge rate in either preparation. Most striatal neurons that were phasically excited by both COC forms also showed short-latency excitations during tail-touch and tail-pinch in the awake preparation, an effect strongly attenuated during anesthesia. Finally, most striatal neurons that in awake conditions were phasically excited by somato-sensory stimuli and COC salts were also excited by iontophoretic glutamate (GLU). Although striatal neurons were sensitive to GLU in both preparations, the response magnitude at the same GLU current was higher in awake than anesthetized conditions. These data suggest that in awake animals i.v. COC, like somato-sensory stimuli, transiently excites striatal neurons via its action on peripheral

  3. An action-incongruent secondary task modulates prediction accuracy in experienced performers: evidence for motor simulation.

    Mulligan, Desmond; Lohse, Keith R; Hodges, Nicola J

    2016-07-01

    We provide behavioral evidence that the human motor system is involved in the perceptual decision processes of skilled performers, directly linking prediction accuracy to the (in)ability of the motor system to activate in a response-specific way. Experienced and non-experienced dart players were asked to predict, from temporally occluded video sequences, the landing position of a dart thrown previously by themselves (self) or another (other). This prediction task was performed while additionally performing (a) an action-incongruent secondary motor task (right arm force production), (b) a congruent secondary motor task (mimicking) or (c) an attention-matched task (tone-monitoring). Non-experienced dart players were not affected by any of the secondary task manipulations, relative to control conditions, yet prediction accuracy decreased for the experienced players when additionally performing the force-production, motor task. This interference effect was present for 'self' as well as 'other' decisions, reducing the accuracy of experienced participants to a novice level. The mimicking (congruent) secondary task condition did not interfere with (or facilitate) prediction accuracy for either group. We conclude that visual-motor experience moderates the process of decision making, such that a seemingly visual-cognitive prediction task relies on activation of the motor system for experienced performers. This fits with a motor simulation account of action prediction in sports and other tasks, and alerts to the specificity of these simulative processes. PMID:26021748

  4. Poverty and child health in the UK: using evidence for action.

    Wickham, Sophie; Anwar, Elspeth; Barr, Ben; Law, Catherine; Taylor-Robinson, David

    2016-08-01

    There are currently high levels of child poverty in the UK, and for the first time in almost two decades child poverty has started to rise in absolute terms. Child poverty is associated with a wide range of health-damaging impacts, negative educational outcomes and adverse long-term social and psychological outcomes. The poor health associated with child poverty limits children's potential and development, leading to poor health and life chances in adulthood. This article outlines some key definitions with regard to child poverty, reviews the links between child poverty and a range of health, developmental, behavioural and social outcomes for children, describes gaps in the evidence base and provides an overview of current policies relevant to child poverty in the UK. Finally, the article outlines how child health professionals can take action by (1) supporting policies to reduce child poverty, (2) providing services that reduce the health consequences of child poverty and (3) measuring and understanding the problem and assessing the impact of action. PMID:26857824

  5. Relaxin for the Treatment of Acute Decompensated Heart Failure: Pharmacology, Mechanisms of Action, and Clinical Evidence.

    Ng, Tien M H; Goland, Sorel; Elkayam, Uri

    2016-01-01

    Acute heart failure remains a major cause of morbidity, and its treatment requires an increasing investment of the health care system. Whereas success in treating chronic heart failure has been achieved over the last decades, several pharmacological approaches for acute heart failure have been introduced but have failed to demonstrate any clinical benefit. Serelaxin is a recombinant human relaxin-2 vasoactive peptide that causes systemic and renal vasodilation. Data suggest that the clinical benefits may be attributable to a potential combination of multiple actions of serelaxin, including improving systemic, cardiac, and renal hemodynamics, and protecting cells and organs from damage via neurohormonal, anti-inflammatory, antiremodeling, antifibrotic, anti-ischemic, and proangiogenic effects. Recently, a number of clinical trials have demonstrated that serelaxin infusion over 48 hours improved dyspnea with more rapid relief of congestion during the first days after admission for heart failure. In addition, administration of serelaxin diminished cardiac, renal, and hepatic damage, which were associated with improved long-term mortality. Available data support substantial clinical benefits and significant promise for serelaxin as a treatment option for patients with acute heart failure. This review focuses on the pharmacology and mechanisms of action of serelaxin and provides a detailed discussion of the clinical evidence for this novel therapy in acute heart failure. PMID:26331289

  6. Erythropoietin modulates neural and cognitive processing of emotional information in biomarker models of antidepressant drug action in depressed patients

    Miskowiak, Kamilla W; Favaron, Elisa; Hafizi, Sepehr;

    2010-01-01

    Erythropoietin (Epo) has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects, and may be a novel therapeutic agent in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. We have demonstrated antidepressant-like effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive processing of facial expressions in healthy volunteers. The curren...... study investigates the effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive response to emotional facial expressions in depressed patients.......Erythropoietin (Epo) has neuroprotective and neurotrophic effects, and may be a novel therapeutic agent in the treatment of psychiatric disorders. We have demonstrated antidepressant-like effects of Epo on the neural and cognitive processing of facial expressions in healthy volunteers. The current...

  7. Orthographic dependency in the neural correlates of reading: evidence from audiovisual integration in English readers.

    Holloway, Ian D; van Atteveldt, Nienke; Blomert, Leo; Ansari, Daniel

    2015-06-01

    Reading skills are indispensible in modern technological societies. In transparent alphabetic orthographies, such as Dutch, reading skills build on associations between letters and speech sounds (LS pairs). Previously, we showed that the superior temporal cortex (STC) of Dutch readers is sensitive to the congruency of LS pairs. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether a similar congruency sensitivity exists in STC of readers of the more opaque English orthography, where the relation among LS pairs is less reliable. Eighteen subjects passively perceived congruent and incongruent audiovisual pairs of different levels of transparency in English: letters and speech sounds (LS; irregular), letters and letter names (LN; fairly transparent), and numerals and number names (NN; transparent). In STC, we found congruency effects for NN and LN, but no effects in the predicted direction (congruent > incongruent) for LS pairs. These findings contrast with previous results obtained from Dutch readers. These data indicate that, through education, the STC becomes tuned to the congruency of transparent audiovisual pairs, but suggests a different neural processing of irregular mappings. The orthographic dependency of LS integration underscores cross-linguistic differences in the neural basis of reading and potentially has important implications for dyslexia interventions across languages. PMID:24351976

  8. Development of social skills in children: neural and behavioral evidence for the elaboration of cognitive models

    Soto-Icaza, Patricia; Aboitiz, Francisco; Billeke, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Social skills refer to a wide group of abilities that allow us to interact and communicate with others. Children learn how to solve social situations by predicting and understanding other's behaviors. The way in which humans learn to interact successfully with others encompasses a complex interaction between neural, behavioral, and environmental elements. These have a role in the accomplishment of positive developmental outcomes, including peer acceptance, academic achievement, and mental health. All these social abilities depend on widespread brain networks that are recently being studied by neuroscience. In this paper, we will first review the studies on this topic, aiming to clarify the behavioral and neural mechanisms related to the acquisition of social skills during infancy and their appearance in time. Second, we will briefly describe how developmental diseases like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can inform about the neurobiological mechanisms of social skills. We finally sketch a general framework for the elaboration of cognitive models in order to facilitate the comprehension of human social development. PMID:26483621

  9. Development of social skills in children: neural and behavioral evidence for the elaboration of cognitive models

    Patricia eSoto-Icaza

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Social skills refer to a wide group of abilities that allow us to interact and communicate with others. Children learn how to solve social situations by predicting and understanding other’s behaviors. The way in which humans learn to interact successfully with others encompasses a complex interaction between neural, behavioral and environmental elements. These have a role in the accomplishment of positive developmental outcomes, including peer acceptance, academic achievement, and mental health. All these social abilities depend on widespread brain networks that are only recently being studied by neuroscience. In this paper we will first review the studies on this topic, aiming to clarify the behavioral and neural mechanisms related to the acquisition of social skills during infancy and their appearance in time. Second, we will briefly describe how developmental diseases like Autism Spectrum Disorders can inform about the neurobiological mechanisms of social skills. We finally sketch a general framework for the elaboration of cognitive models in order to facilitate the comprehension of human social development.

  10. How treatment affects the brain: meta-analysis evidence of neural substrates underpinning drug therapy and psychotherapy in major depression.

    Boccia, Maddalena; Piccardi, Laura; Guariglia, Paola

    2016-06-01

    The idea that modifications of affect, behavior and cognition produced by psychotherapy are mediated by biological underpinnings predates the advent of the modern neurosciences. Recently, several studies demonstrated that psychotherapy outcomes are linked to modifications in specific brain regions. This opened the debate over the similarities and dissimilarities between psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy. In this study, we used activation likelihood estimation meta-analysis to investigate the effects of psychotherapy (PsyTh) and pharmacotherapy (DrugTh) on brain functioning in Major Depression (MD). Our results demonstrate that the two therapies modify different neural circuits. Specifically, PsyTh induces selective modifications in the left inferior and superior frontal gyri, middle temporal gyrus, lingual gyrus and middle cingulate cortex, as well as in the right middle frontal gyrus and precentral gyrus. Otherwise, DrugTh selectively affected brain activation in the right insula in MD patients. These results are in line with previous evidence of the synergy between psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy but they also demonstrate that the two therapies have different neural underpinnings. PMID:26164169

  11. Simulation modifies prehension: evidence for a conjoined representation of the graspable features of an object and the action of grasping it.

    Victor Frak

    Full Text Available Movement formulas, engrams, kinesthetic images and internal models of the body in action are notions derived mostly from clinical observations of brain-damaged subjects. They also suggest that the prehensile geometry of an object is integrated in the neural circuits and includes the object's graspable characteristics as well as its semantic properties. In order to determine whether there is a conjoined representation of the graspable characteristics of an object in relation to the actual grasping, it is necessary to separate the graspable (low-level from the semantic (high-level properties of the object. Right-handed subjects were asked to grasp and lift a smooth 300-g cylinder with one hand, before and after judging the level of difficulty of a "grasping for pouring" action, involving a smaller cylinder and using the opposite hand. The results showed that simulated grasps with the right hand exert a direct influence on actual motor acts with the left hand. These observations add to the evidence that there is a conjoined representation of the graspable characteristics of the object and the biomechanical constraints of the arm.

  12. Neural correlates of fixation duration in natural reading: Evidence from fixation-related fMRI.

    Henderson, John M; Choi, Wonil; Luke, Steven G; Desai, Rutvik H

    2015-10-01

    A key assumption of current theories of natural reading is that fixation duration reflects underlying attentional, language, and cognitive processes associated with text comprehension. The neurocognitive correlates of this relationship are currently unknown. To investigate this relationship, we compared neural activation associated with fixation duration in passage reading and a pseudo-reading control condition. The results showed that fixation duration was associated with activation in oculomotor and language areas during text reading. Fixation duration during pseudo-reading, on the other hand, showed greater involvement of frontal control regions, suggesting flexibility and task dependency of the eye movement network. Consistent with current models, these results provide support for the hypothesis that fixation duration in reading reflects attentional engagement and language processing. The results also demonstrate that fixation-related fMRI provides a method for investigating the neurocognitive bases of natural reading. PMID:26151101

  13. Higher incentives can impair performance: neural evidence on reinforcement and rationality.

    Achtziger, Anja; Alós-Ferrer, Carlos; Hügelschäfer, Sabine; Steinhauser, Marco

    2015-11-01

    Standard economic thinking postulates that increased monetary incentives should increase performance. Human decision makers, however, frequently focus on past performance, a form of reinforcement learning occasionally at odds with rational decision making. We used an incentivized belief-updating task from economics to investigate this conflict through measurements of neural correlates of reward processing. We found that higher incentives fail to improve performance when immediate feedback on decision outcomes is provided. Subsequent analysis of the feedback-related negativity, an early event-related potential following feedback, revealed the mechanism behind this paradoxical effect. As incentives increase, the win/lose feedback becomes more prominent, leading to an increased reliance on reinforcement and more errors. This mechanism is relevant for economic decision making and the debate on performance-based payment. PMID:25816816

  14. Neural correlates of "feeling-of-not-knowing":Evidence from functional MRI

    2003-01-01

    The neural correlates of "feeling-of-not- knowing" ("FOnK", i.e. the feeling-of-knowing judgments that accurately predicted "not knowing" or "misses" in the criterion test) were investigated by the event-related fMRI method through an RJR (recall-judgment-recognition) procedure that adopted unrelated word pairs as materials. Results revealed that, relative to the inaccurate "FOnK" predictions, the accurate ones were associated with activities in right ventral prefrontal cortex (PFC) and insula, the areas that were known to subserve "cue specification" in which the retrieval cues were converted into "descriptors" that could be used for direct memory search. This result implied that the accurate "FOnK" predictions relayed more on "cue specification" process than the inaccurate ones and was in consistent with the cue familiarity heuristic hypothesis of feeling-of-knowing.

  15. Attentional Dissociation in Hypnosis And Neural Connectivity: Preliminary Evidence from Bilateral Electrodermal Activity.

    Bob, Petr; Siroka, Ivana

    2016-01-01

    According to recent findings, interhemispheric interactions and information connectivity represent crucial mechanisms used in processing information across various sensory modalities. To study these interactions, the authors measured bilateral electrodermal activity (EDA) in 33 psychiatric outpatients. The results show that, during congruent Stroop stimuli in hypnosis, the patients with higher hypnotizability manifest a decreased level of interhemispheric information transfer measured by pointwise transinformation (PTI) that was calculated from left and right EDA records. These results show that specific shifts of attentional focus during hypnosis are related to changes of interhemispheric interactions that may be reflected in neural connectivity calculated from the bilateral EDA measurement. This attentional shift may cause dissociated attentional control disturbing integrative functions of consciousness and contextual experiences. PMID:27267677

  16. Nurse task shifting for antiretroviral treatment services in Namibia: implementation research to move evidence into action.

    Gabrielle O'Malley

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Evidence from several sub-Saharan countries support nurse-initiated antiretroviral treatment as a feasible alternative to doctor-led models characteristic of early responses to the HIV epidemic. However, service delivery models shown to be effective in one country may not be readily adopted in another. This study used an implementation research approach to assist policy makers and other stakeholders to assess the acceptability and feasibility of task shifting in the Namibian context. METHODS: The Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services implemented a Task Shifting Demonstration Project (TSDP at 9 sites at different levels of the health system. Six months after implementation, a mixed methods evaluation was conducted. Seventy semi-structured interviews were conducted with patients, managers, doctors and nurses directly involved with the TSDP. Physician-evaluators observed and compared health service provision between doctors and nurses for 40 patients (80 observations, documenting performance in agreement with the national guidelines on 13 clinical care indicators. RESULTS: Doctors, nurses, and patients interviewed believed task shifting would improve access to and quality of HIV services. Doctors and nurses both reported an increase in nurses' skills as a result of the project. Observation data showed doctors and nurses were in considerable agreement (>80% with each other on all dimensions of HIV care and ≥90% on eight dimensions. To ensure success of national scale-up of the task shifting model, challenges involving infrastructure, on-going mentoring, and nursing scope of practice should be anticipated and addressed. CONCLUSION: In combination with findings from other studies in the region, data from the TSDP provided critical and timely information to the Namibian Ministry of Health and Social Services, thus helping to move evidence into action. Small-scale implementation research projects enable stakeholders to learn by

  17. Embodied Action Improves Cognition in Children: Evidence from a Study Based on Piagetian Conservation Tasks.

    Lozada, Mariana; Carro, Natalia

    2016-01-01

    Converging evidence highlights the relevance of embodied cognition in learning processes. In this study we evaluate whether embodied action (enaction) improves cognitive understanding in children. Using the Piagetian conservation tasks in 6-7 year olds, we analyzed quantity conservation conceptualization in children who were active participants in the transformation process and compared these results to those of children who were mere observers of an adult's demonstration (as traditionally conducted). The investigation was performed with 105 first-graders. Conservation tasks were demonstrated to half the children, while the other half actively carried out the transformation of matter. Our findings showed that active manipulation of the material helped children recognize quantity invariance in a higher proportion than when the demonstration was only observed. That is, their enactive experience enabled them to comprehend conservation phenomena more easily than if they were merely passive observers. The outcome of this research thus emphasizes how active participation benefits cognitive processes in learning contexts, promoting autonomy, and agency during childhood. PMID:27047420

  18. Impact of action primes on implicit processing of thematic and functional similarity relations: evidence from eye-tracking.

    Pluciennicka, Ewa; Wamain, Yannick; Coello, Yann; Kalénine, Solène

    2016-07-01

    The aim of this study was to specify the role of action representations in thematic and functional similarity relations between manipulable artifact objects. Recent behavioral and neurophysiological evidence indicates that while they are all relevant for manipulable artifact concepts, semantic relations based on thematic (e.g., saw-wood), specific function similarity (e.g., saw-axe), and general function similarity (e.g., saw-knife) are differently processed, and may relate to different levels of action representation. Point-light displays of object-related actions previously encoded at the gesture level (e.g., "sawing") or at the higher level of action representation (e.g., "cutting") were used as primes before participants identified target objects (e.g., saw) among semantically related and unrelated distractors (e.g., wood, feather, piano). Analysis of eye movements on the different objects during target identification informed about the amplitude and the timing of implicit activation of the different semantic relations. Results showed that action prime encoding impacted the processing of thematic relations, but not that of functional similarity relations. Semantic competition with thematic distractors was greater and earlier following action primes encoded at the gesture level compared to action primes encoded at higher level. As a whole, these findings highlight the direct influence of action representations on thematic relation processing, and suggest that thematic relations involve gesture-level representations rather than intention-level representations. PMID:26077343

  19. Sodium selenite-induced hypothermia in mice: indirect evidence for a neural effect.

    Watanabe, C; Suzuki, T

    1986-12-01

    The effect of sodium selenite (SS) on the body temperature of adult male ICR mice was examined. SS (10-60 mumol/kg) administered subcutaneously resulted in a transient and dose-dependent hypothermia at ambient temperatures (Ta) of 20 and 30 degrees C. Reduced oxygen consumption accompanied the changes in body temperature. In addition, SS-treated mice exhibited transient cold-seeking behavior in the thermogradient. This SS-induced hypothermia was very similar to those induced by ethanol, tetrahydrocannabinol, triethyltin, sulfolane, and chlordimeform in that these all were transient, dependent on Ta, and not counteracted by behavioral thermoregulation. From these results, involvement of neural afferent or integral pathways is suggested. Further, acute mortality of SS-injected mice was enhanced with the elevation of Ta, as in the case of the chemicals mentioned above. Considering the diverse chemical and pharmacological properties of these chemicals, these results may suggest a possible interrelation between the hypothermic response and the modification of toxicity. PMID:3787631

  20. Neural signatures of third-party punishment: evidence from penetrating traumatic brain injury.

    Glass, Leila; Moody, Lara; Grafman, Jordan; Krueger, Frank

    2016-02-01

    The ability to survive within a cooperative society depends on impartial third-party punishment (TPP) of social norm violations. Two cognitive mechanisms have been postulated as necessary for the successful completion of TPP: evaluation of legal responsibility and selection of a suitable punishment given the magnitude of the crime. Converging neuroimaging research suggests two supporting domain-general networks; a mentalizing network for evaluation of legal responsibility and a central-executive network for determination of punishment. A whole-brain voxel-based lesion-symptom mapping approach was used in conjunction with a rank-order TPP task to identify brain regions necessary for TPP in a large sample of patients with penetrating traumatic brain injury. Patients who demonstrated atypical TPP had specific lesions in core regions of the mentalizing (dorsomedial prefrontal cortex [PFC], ventromedial PFC) and central-executive (bilateral dorsolateral PFC, right intraparietal sulcus) networks. Altruism and executive functioning (concept formation skills) were significant predictors of TPP: altruism was uniquely associated with TPP in patients with lesions in right dorsolateral PFC and executive functioning was uniquely associated with TPP in individuals with lesions in left PFC. Our findings contribute to the extant literature to support underlying neural networks associated with TPP, with specific brain-behavior causal relationships confirming recent functional neuroimaging research. PMID:26276809

  1. Neural Bases of Unconscious Error Detection in a Chinese Anagram Solution Task: Evidence from ERP Study.

    Hua-Zhan Yin

    Full Text Available In everyday life, error monitoring and processing are important for improving ongoing performance in response to a changing environment. However, detecting an error is not always a conscious process. The temporal activation patterns of brain areas related to cognitive control in the absence of conscious awareness of an error remain unknown. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs in the brain were used to explore the neural bases of unconscious error detection when subjects solved a Chinese anagram task. Our ERP data showed that the unconscious error detection (UED response elicited a more negative ERP component (N2 than did no error (NE and detect error (DE responses in the 300-400-ms time window, and the DE elicited a greater late positive component (LPC than did the UED and NE in the 900-1200-ms time window after the onset of the anagram stimuli. Taken together with the results of dipole source analysis, the N2 (anterior cingulate cortex might reflect unconscious/automatic conflict monitoring, and the LPC (superior/medial frontal gyrus might reflect conscious error recognition.

  2. Neural Bases of Unconscious Error Detection in a Chinese Anagram Solution Task: Evidence from ERP Study.

    Yin, Hua-Zhan; Li, Dan; Yang, Junyi-; Li, Wei; Qiu, Jiang; Chen, Ying-Yu

    2016-01-01

    In everyday life, error monitoring and processing are important for improving ongoing performance in response to a changing environment. However, detecting an error is not always a conscious process. The temporal activation patterns of brain areas related to cognitive control in the absence of conscious awareness of an error remain unknown. In the present study, event-related potentials (ERPs) in the brain were used to explore the neural bases of unconscious error detection when subjects solved a Chinese anagram task. Our ERP data showed that the unconscious error detection (UED) response elicited a more negative ERP component (N2) than did no error (NE) and detect error (DE) responses in the 300-400-ms time window, and the DE elicited a greater late positive component (LPC) than did the UED and NE in the 900-1200-ms time window after the onset of the anagram stimuli. Taken together with the results of dipole source analysis, the N2 (anterior cingulate cortex) might reflect unconscious/automatic conflict monitoring, and the LPC (superior/medial frontal gyrus) might reflect conscious error recognition. PMID:27149300

  3. Systematic implementation of evidence-based practice in a clinical nursing setting : a participatory action research project

    Friesen-Storms, Jolanda; Moser, Albine; Loo, Sandra van der; Beurskens, Anna; Bours, Gerrie

    2015-01-01

    Aims and objectives: To describe the process of implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) in a clinical nursing setting. Background: EBP has become a major issue in nursing, it is insufficiently integrated in daily practice and its implementation is complex. Design: Participatory action researc

  4. Evidence-Based Practice and Teacher Action-Research: A Reflection on the Nature and Direction of "Change"

    Colucci-Gray, Laura; Das, Sharmistha; Gray, Donald; Robson, Dean; Spratt, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    This study was conceived as an opportunity to reflect on the place of action-research in the contested landscape of educational change in the UK where increasing emphasis has been put on the use of evidence to drive reform. In the context of a government-sponsored project in Scotland, this study looked at the impact of a scholarship initiative…

  5. Analytics4Action Evaluation Framework: A Review of Evidence-Based Learning Analytics Interventions at the Open University UK

    Rienties, Bart; Boroowa, Avinash; Cross, Simon; Kubiak, Chris; Mayles, Kevin; Murphy, Sam

    2016-01-01

    There is an urgent need to develop an evidence-based framework for learning analytics whereby stakeholders can manage, evaluate, and make decisions about which types of interventions work well and under which conditions. In this article, we will work towards developing a foundation of an Analytics4Action Evaluation Framework (A4AEF) that is…

  6. Electroencephalogram evidence for the activation of human mirror neuron system during the observation of intransitive shadow and line drawing actions

    Huaping Zhu; Yaoru Sun; Fang Wang

    2013-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated that hand shadows may activate the motor cortex associated with the mirror neuron system in human brain. However, there is no evidence of activity of the human mirror neuron system during the observation of intransitive movements by shadows and line drawings of hands. This study examined the suppression of electroencephalography mu waves hand actions, hand shadow actions and actions made by line drawings of hands. The results showed significant desynchronization of the mu rhythm ("mu suppression") across the sensorimotor cortex (recorded at C3, Cz and C4), the frontal cortex (recorded at F3, Fz and F4) and the central and right posterior parietal cortex (recorded at Pz and P4) under all three conditions. Our experimental findings suggest that the observation of "impoverished hand actions", such as intransitive movements of shadows and line drawings of hands, is able to activate widespread cortical areas related to the putative human mirror neuron system.

  7. The modulating effect of personality traits on neural error monitoring: evidence from event-related FMRI.

    Zrinka Sosic-Vasic

    Full Text Available The present study investigated the association between traits of the Five Factor Model of Personality (Neuroticism, Extraversion, Openness for Experiences, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness and neural correlates of error monitoring obtained from a combined Eriksen-Flanker-Go/NoGo task during event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging in 27 healthy subjects. Individual expressions of personality traits were measured using the NEO-PI-R questionnaire. Conscientiousness correlated positively with error signaling in the left inferior frontal gyrus and adjacent anterior insula (IFG/aI. A second strong positive correlation was observed in the anterior cingulate gyrus (ACC. Neuroticism was negatively correlated with error signaling in the inferior frontal cortex possibly reflecting the negative inter-correlation between both scales observed on the behavioral level. Under present statistical thresholds no significant results were obtained for remaining scales. Aligning the personality trait of Conscientiousness with task accomplishment striving behavior the correlation in the left IFG/aI possibly reflects an inter-individually different involvement whenever task-set related memory representations are violated by the occurrence of errors. The strong correlations in the ACC may indicate that more conscientious subjects were stronger affected by these violations of a given task-set expressed by individually different, negatively valenced signals conveyed by the ACC upon occurrence of an error. Present results illustrate that for predicting individual responses to errors underlying personality traits should be taken into account and also lend external validity to the personality trait approach suggesting that personality constructs do reflect more than mere descriptive taxonomies.

  8. Neural evidence for an association between social proficiency and sensitivity to social reward

    Gossen, Anna; Groppe, Sarah E.; Winkler, Lina; Kohls, Gregor; Herrington, John; Schultz, Robert T.; Gründer, Gerhard; Spreckelmeyer, Katja N.

    2013-01-01

    Data from developmental psychology suggests a link between the growth of socio-emotional competences and the infant's sensitivity to the salience of social stimuli. The aim of the present study was to find evidence for this relationship in healthy adults. Thirty-five participants were recruited based on their score above the 85th or below the 15th percentile of the empathy quotient questionnaire (EQ, Baron-Cohen and Wheelwright, 2004). Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was used to ...

  9. Enhancement of cognitive and neural functions through complex reasoning training: evidence from normal and clinical populations

    Sandra B Chapman; Mudar, Raksha A.

    2014-01-01

    Public awareness of cognitive health is fairly recent compared to physical health. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training offers promise in augmenting cognitive brain performance in normal and clinical populations. Targeting higher-order cognitive functions, such as reasoning in particular, may promote generalized cognitive changes necessary for supporting the complexities of daily life. This data-driven perspective highlights cognitive and brain changes measured in randomized clin...

  10. Enhancement of Cognitive and Neural Functions through Complex Reasoning Training: Evidence from Normal and Clinical Populations

    Sandra Bond Chapman; Raksha Anand Mudar

    2014-01-01

    Public awareness of cognitive health is fairly recent compared to physical health. Growing evidence suggests that cognitive training offers promise in augmenting cognitive brain performance in normal and clinical populations. Targeting higher-order cognitive functions, such as reasoning in particular, may promote generalized cognitive changes necessary for supporting the complexities of daily life. This data-driven perspective highlights cognitive and brain changes measured in randomized clin...

  11. Motor-related brain activity during action observation: a neural substrate for electrocorticographic brain-computer interfaces after spinal cord injury

    Jennifer L Collinger

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available After spinal cord injury (SCI, motor commands from the brain are unable to reach peripheral nerves and muscles below the level of the lesion. Action observation, in which a person observes someone else performing an action, has been used to augment traditional rehabilitation paradigms. Similarly, action observation can be used to derive the relationship between brain activity and movement kinematics for a motor-based brain-computer interface (BCI even when the user cannot generate overt movements. BCIs use brain signals to control external devices to replace functions that have been lost due to SCI or other motor impairment. Previous studies have reported congruent motor cortical activity during observed and overt movements using magnetoencephalography (MEG and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI. Recent single-unit studies using intracortical microelectrodes also demonstrated that a large number of motor cortical neurons had similar firing rate patterns between overt and observed movements. Given the increasing interest in electrocorticography (ECoG-based BCIs, our goal was to identify whether action observation-related cortical activity could be recorded using ECoG during grasping tasks. Specifically, we aimed to identify congruent neural activity during observed and executed movements in both the sensorimotor rhythm (10-40 Hz and the high-gamma band (65-115 Hz which contains significant movement-related information. We observed significant motor-related high-gamma band activity during action observation in both able-bodied individuals and one participant with a complete C4 SCI. Furthermore, in able-bodied participants, both the low and high frequency bands demonstrated congruent activity between action execution and observation. Our results suggest that action observation could be an effective and critical procedure for deriving the mapping from ECoG signals to intended movement for an ECoG-based BCI system for individuals with

  12. When does action comprehension need motor involvement? Evidence from upper limb aplasia.

    Vannuscorps, Gilles; Andres, Michael; Pillon, Agnesa

    2013-01-01

    Motor theories of action comprehension claim that comprehending the meaning of an action performed by a conspecific relies on the perceiver's own motor representation of the same action. According to this view, whether an action belongs to the motor repertoire of the perceiver should impact the ease by which this action is comprehended. We tested this prediction by assessing the ability of an individual (D.C.) born without upper limbs to comprehend actions involving hands (e.g., throwing) or other body parts (e.g., jumping). The tests used a range of different visual stimuli differing in the kind of information provided. The results showed that D.C. was as accurate and fast as control participants in comprehending natural video and photographic presentations of both manual and nonmanual actions, as well as pantomimes. However, he was selectively impaired at identifying point-light animations of manual actions. This impairment was not due to a difficulty in processing kinematic information per se. D.C. was indeed as accurate as control participants in two additional tests requiring a fine-grained analysis of an actor's arm or whole-body movements. These results challenge motor theories of action comprehension by showing that the visual analysis of body shape and motion provides sufficient input for comprehending observed actions. However, when body shape information is sparsely available, motor involvement becomes critical to interpret observed actions. We suggest that, with natural human movement stimuli, motor representations contribute to action comprehension each time visual information is incomplete or ambiguous. PMID:24215324

  13. Evidence implementation: Development of an online methodology from the knowledge-to-action model of knowledge translation.

    Lockwood, Craig; Stephenson, Matthew; Lizarondo, Lucylynn; van Den Hoek, Joan; Harrison, Margaret

    2016-08-01

    This paper describes an online facilitation for operationalizing the knowledge-to-action (KTA) model. The KTA model incorporates implementation planning that is optimally suited to the information needs of clinicians. The can-implement(©) is an evidence implementation process informed by the KTA model. An online counterpart, the can-implement.pro(©) , was developed to enable greater dissemination and utilization of the can-implement(©) process. The driver for this work was health professionals' need for facilitation that is iterative, informed by context and localized to the specific needs of users. The literature supporting this paper includes evaluation studies and theoretical concepts relevant to KTA model, evidence implementation and facilitation. Nursing and other health disciplines require a skill set and resources to successfully navigate the complexity of organizational requirements, inter-professional leadership and day-to-day practical management to implement evidence into clinical practice. The can-implement.pro(©) provides an accessible, inclusive system for evidence implementation projects. There is empirical support for evidence implementation informed by the KTA model, which in this phase of work has been developed for online uptake. Nurses and other clinicians seeking to implement evidence could benefit from the directed actions, planning advice and information embedded in the phases and steps of can-implement.pro(©) . PMID:27562662

  14. Neural Correlates of Action Observation and Execution in 14-Month-Old Infants: An Event-Related EEG Desynchronization Study

    Marshall, Peter J.; Young, Thomas; Meltzoff, Andrew N.

    2011-01-01

    There is increasing interest in neurobiological methods for investigating the shared representation of action perception and production in early development. We explored the extent and regional specificity of EEG desynchronization in the infant alpha frequency range (6-9 Hz) during action observation and execution in 14-month-old infants.…

  15. The neural development and organization of letter recognition: Evidence from functional neuroimaging, computational modeling, and behavioral studies

    Polk, Thad A.; Farah, Martha J.

    1998-01-01

    Although much of the brain’s functional organization is genetically predetermined, it appears that some noninnate functions can come to depend on dedicated and segregated neural tissue. In this paper, we describe a series of experiments that have investigated the neural development and organization of one such noninnate function: letter recognition. Functional neuroimaging demonstrates that letter and digit recognition depend on different neural substrates in some ...

  16. Weaving Evidence, Refection, and Action into the Fabric of School Librarianship (Editorial)

    Ross J. Todd; Carol A. Gordon

    2009-01-01

    This issue of Evidence Based Library and Information Practice is the first devoted to evidence based practice (EBP) in school librarianship. The focus on EBP in school librarianship has a shorter history than its counterparts in evidence based education and evidence based librarianship. That history began with a speech given by Todd at a conference of the International Association of School Librarianship in 2001. In this speech the convergence of two critical concepts defined a 21st century m...

  17. Prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases through evidence-based public health: implementing the NCD 2020 action plan.

    Diem, Günter; Brownson, Ross C; Grabauskas, Vilius; Shatchkute, Aushra; Stachenko, Sylvie

    2016-09-01

    The control of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) was addressed by the declaration of the 66th United Nations (UN) General Assembly followed by the World Health Organization's (WHO) NCD 2020 action plan. There is a clear need to better apply evidence in public health settings to tackle both behaviour-related factors and the underlying social and economic conditions. This article describes concepts of evidence-based public health (EBPH) and outlines a set of actions that are essential for successful global NCD prevention. The authors describe the importance of knowledge translation with the goal of increasing the effectiveness of public health services, relying on both quantitative and qualitative evidence. In particular, the role of capacity building is highlighted because it is fundamental to progress in controlling NCDs. Important challenges for capacity building include the need to bridge diverse disciplines, build the evidence base across countries and the lack of formal training in public health sciences. As brief case examples, several successful capacity-building efforts are highlighted to address challenges and further evidence-based decision making. The need for a more comprehensive public health approach, addressing social, environmental and cultural conditions, has led to government-wide and society-wide strategies that are now on the agenda due to efforts such as the WHO's NCD 2020 action plan and Health 2020: the European Policy for Health and Wellbeing. These efforts need research to generate evidence in new areas (e.g. equity and sustainability), training to build public health capacity and a continuous process of improvement and knowledge generation and translation. PMID:25758171

  18. The Physics of Decision Making:. Stochastic Differential Equations as Models for Neural Dynamics and Evidence Accumulation in Cortical Circuits

    Holmes, Philip; Eckhoff, Philip; Wong-Lin, K. F.; Bogacz, Rafal; Zacksenhouse, Miriam; Cohen, Jonathan D.

    2010-03-01

    We describe how drift-diffusion (DD) processes - systems familiar in physics - can be used to model evidence accumulation and decision-making in two-alternative, forced choice tasks. We sketch the derivation of these stochastic differential equations from biophysically-detailed models of spiking neurons. DD processes are also continuum limits of the sequential probability ratio test and are therefore optimal in the sense that they deliver decisions of specified accuracy in the shortest possible time. This leaves open the critical balance of accuracy and speed. Using the DD model, we derive a speed-accuracy tradeoff that optimizes reward rate for a simple perceptual decision task, compare human performance with this benchmark, and discuss possible reasons for prevalent sub-optimality, focussing on the question of uncertain estimates of key parameters. We present an alternative theory of robust decisions that allows for uncertainty, and show that its predictions provide better fits to experimental data than a more prevalent account that emphasises a commitment to accuracy. The article illustrates how mathematical models can illuminate the neural basis of cognitive processes.

  19. Neural repetition suppression: evidence for perceptual expectation in object-selective regions

    Mayrhauser, Lisa; Bergmann, Jürgen; Crone, Julia; Kronbichler, Martin

    2014-01-01

    It is an established finding that neuronal activity is decreased for repeated stimuli. Recent studies revealed that repetition suppression (RS) effects are altered by manipulating the probability with which stimuli are repeated. RS for faces is more pronounced when the probability of repetition is high than when it is low. This response pattern is interpreted with reference to the predictive coding (PC) account, which assumes that RS is influenced by top-down expectations. Recent findings challenge the generality of PC accounts of RS by showing repetition probability does not modulate RS for other visual stimuli than faces. However, a number of findings on visual processing are in line with PC. Thus, the influence of repetition probability on RS effects during object processing requires careful reinvestigations. In the present fMRI study, object pictures were presented in a high (75%) or low (25%) repetition probability context. We found increased RS in the high-probability context compared to the low-probability context in the left lateral occipital complex (LOC). The dorsal-caudal and the ventral-anterior subdivisions of the LOC revealed similar neuronal responses. These results indicate that repetition probability effects can be found for other visual objects than faces and provide evidence in favor of the PC account. PMID:24860461

  20. Neural repetition suppression: evidence for perceptual expectation in object-selective regions.

    Lisa Mayrhauser

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available It is an established finding that neuronal activity is decreased for repeated stimuli. Recent studies revealed that repetition suppression (RS effects are altered by manipulating the probability with which stimuli are repeated. RS for faces is more pronounced when the probability of repetition is high than when it is low. This response pattern is interpreted with reference to the predictive coding (PC account, which assumes that RS is influenced by top-down expectations. Recent findings challenge the generality of PC accounts of RS by showing repetition probability does not modulate RS for other visual stimuli than faces. However, a number of findings on visual processing are in line with PC. Thus, the influence of repetition probability on RS effects during object processing requires careful reinvestigations. In the present fMRI study, object pictures were presented in a high (75% or low (25% repetition probability context. We found increased RS in the high-probability context compared to the low-probability context in the left lateral occipital complex (LOC. The dorsal-caudal and the ventral-anterior subdivisions of the LOC revealed similar neuronal responses. These results indicate that repetition probability effects can be found for other visual objects than faces and provide evidence in favour of the PC account.

  1. Dopaminergic modulation of positive expectations for goal-directed action: evidence from Parkinson’s disease

    Noham eWolpe

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Parkinson’s disease (PD impairs the control of movement and cognition, including the planning of action and its consequences. This provides the opportunity to study the dopaminergic influences on the perception and awareness of action. Here we examined the perception of the outcome of a goal-directed action made by medicated patients with PD. A visuomotor task probed the integration of sensorimotor signals with the positive expectations of outcomes (Self priors, which in healthy adults bias perception towards success in proportion to trait optimism. We tested the hypotheses that (i the priors on the perception of the consequences of one’s own actions differ between patients and age- and sex-matched controls, and (ii that these priors are modulated by the levodopa dose equivalent in patients. There was no overall difference between patients and controls in the perceptual priors used. However, the precision of patient priors was inversely related to their levodopa dose equivalent. Patients with high levodopa dose equivalent showed more accurate priors, representing predictions that were closer to the true distribution of performance. Such accuracy has previously been demonstrated when observing the actions of others, suggesting abnormal awareness of action in these patients. These results confirm a link between dopamine and the positive expectation of the outcome of one’s own actions, and may have implications for the management of PD.

  2. Systematic implementation of evidence-based practice in a clinical nursing setting: a participatory action research project

    Friesen-Storms, Jolanda; Moser, Albine; Loo, Sandra,; Beurskens, Anna; Bours, Gerrie

    2015-01-01

    Aims and objectives: To describe the process of implementing evidence-based practice (EBP) in a clinical nursing setting. Background: EBP has become a major issue in nursing, it is insufficiently integrated in daily practice and its implementation is complex. Design: Participatory action research. Method: The main participants were nurses working in a lung unit of a rural hospital. A multi-method process of data collection was used during the observing, reflecting, planning and acting phases....

  3. Nucleus Accumbens is Involved in Human Action Monitoring: Evidence from Invasive Electrophysiological Recordings

    Münte, Thomas F.; Marcus Heldmann; Hermann Hinrichs; Josep Marco-Pallares; Krämer, Ulrike M.; Volker Sturm; Hans-Jochen Heinze

    2008-01-01

    The Nucleus accumbens (Nacc) has been proposed to act as a limbic-motor interface. Here, using invasive intraoperative recordings in an awake patient suffering from obsessive-compulsive disease (OCD), we demonstrate that its activity is modulated by the quality of performance of the subject in a choice reaction time task designed to tap action monitoring processes. Action monitoring, that is, error detection and correction, is thought to be supported by a system involving the dopaminergic mid...

  4. Prediction of persistence of combined evidence-based cardiovascular medications in patients with acute coronary syndrome after hospital discharge using neural networks.

    Bourdès, Valérie; Ferrières, Jean; Amar, Jacques; Amelineau, Elisabeth; Bonnevay, Stéphane; Berlion, Maryse; Danchin, Nicolas

    2011-01-01

    In the PREVENIR-5 study, artificial neural networks (NN) were applied to a large sample of patients with recent first acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to identify determinants of persistence of evidence-based cardiovascular medications (EBCM: antithrombotic + beta-blocker + statin + angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor-ACEI and/or angiotensin-II receptor blocker-ARB). From October 2006 to April 2007, 1,811 general practitioners recruited 4,850 patients with a mean time of ACS occurrence of 24...

  5. L-040: EPR-First Responders: Forensic Evidence Management group. Action Guides

    This conference is about the forensic evidence managed by the radiological emergency group. The protection guides, the evidences, the fingerprints, the experience, the strategies, the contamination level, the monitoring, the photography and the interrogation are important aspects to be considered by the first responders.

  6. Nucleus accumbens is involved in human action monitoring: evidence from invasive electrophysiological recordings

    Thomas F Münte

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available The Nucleus accumbens (Nacc has been proposed to act as a limbic-motor interface. Here, using invasive intraoperative recordings in an awake patient suffering from obsessive-compulsive disease (OCD, we demonstrate that its activity is modulated by the quality of performance of the subject in a choice reaction time task designed to tap action monitoring processes. Action monitoring, that is, error detection and correction, is thought to be supported by a system involving the dopaminergic midbrain, the basal ganglia, and the medial prefrontal cortex. In surface electrophysiological recordings, action monitoring is indexed by an error-related negativity (ERN appearing time-locked to the erroneous responses and emanating from the medial frontal cortex. In preoperative scalp recordings the patient's ERN was found to be signifi cantly increased compared to a large (n= 83 normal sample, suggesting enhanced action monitoring processes. Intraoperatively, error-related modulations were obtained from the Nacc but not from a site 5 mm above. Importantly, crosscorrelation analysis showed that error-related activity in the Nacc preceded surface activity by 40 ms. We propose that the Nacc is involved in action monitoring, possibly by using error signals from the dopaminergic midbrain to adjust the relative impact of limbic and prefrontal inputs on frontal control systems in order to optimize goal-directed behavior.

  7. Self-other disturbance in borderline personality disorder: Neural, self-report, and performance-based evidence.

    Beeney, Joseph E; Hallquist, Michael N; Ellison, William D; Levy, Kenneth N

    2016-01-01

    Individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) display an impoverished sense of self and representations of self and others that shift between positive and negative poles. However, little research has investigated the nature of representational disturbance in BPD. The present study takes a multimodal approach. A card sort task was used to investigate complexity, integration, and valence of self-representation in BPD. Impairment in maintenance of self and other representations was assessed using a personality representational maintenance task. Finally, functional MRI (fMRI) was used to assess whether individuals with BPD show neural abnormalities related specifically to the self and what brain areas may be related to poor representational maintenance. Individuals with BPD sorted self-aspects suggesting more complexity of self-representation, but also less integration and more negative valence overall. On the representational maintenance task, individuals with BPD showed less consistency in their representations of self and others over the 3-hr period, but only for abstract, personality-based representations. Performance on this measure mediated between-groups brain activation in several areas supporting social cognition. We found no evidence for social-cognitive disturbance specific to the self. Additionally, the BPD group showed main effects, insensitive to condition, of hyperactivation in the medial prefrontal cortex, temporal parietal junction, several regions of the frontal pole, the precuneus and middle temporal gyrus, all areas crucial social cognition. In contrast, controls evidenced greater activation in visual, sensory, motor, and mirror neuron regions. These findings are discussed in relation to research regarding hypermentalization and the overlap between self- and other-disturbance. PMID:26011577

  8. The Theory of Reasoned Action and Self-Construal: Evidence from Three Cultures.

    Park, Hee Sun; Levine, Timothy R.

    1999-01-01

    Investigates the effects of self-construals on the attitudinal and normative components of the Theory of Reasoned Action in the cultures of Korea, Hawaii, and the mainland United States. Finds that undergraduate students in all three locations scored higher on independence than interdependence, and culture appears to affect the extent to which…

  9. Social categorization and cooperation in motor joint action: evidence for a joint end-state comfort.

    Dötsch, Dominik; Schubö, Anna

    2015-08-01

    The present study investigated to what extent group membership affects an actor's representation of their partner's task in cooperative joint action. Participants performed a joint pick-and-place task in a naturalistic, breakfast-table-like paradigm which allowed the demonstration of varying degrees of cooperation. Participants transported a wooden cup from one end of a table to the other, with one actor moving it to an intermediate position from where their partner transported it to a goal position. Hand and finger movements were recorded via 3D motion tracking to assess actors' cooperative behavior. Before the joint action task was performed, participants were categorized as belonging to the same or to different groups, supposedly based on an assessment of their cognitive processing styles. Results showed that the orientation of the actors' fingers when picking up the cup was affected by its required angle at the goal position. When placing the cup at the intermediate position, most actors adapted the rotation of the cup's handle to the joint action goal, thereby facilitating the partner's subsequent movement. Male actors demonstrated such cooperative behavior only when performing the task together with an ingroup partner, while female actors demonstrated cooperative behavior irrespective of social categorization. These results suggest that actors tend to represent a partner's end-state comfort and integrate it into their own movement planning in cooperative joint action. However, social factors like group membership may modulate this tendency. PMID:25963752

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

    Laviolette, Steven R

    2007-01-01

    The neural regulation of emotional perception, learning, and memory is essential for normal behavioral and cognitive functioning. Many of the symptoms displayed by individuals with schizophrenia may arise from fundamental disturbances in the ability to accurately process emotionally salient sensory information. The neurotransmitter dopamine (DA) and its ability to modulate neural regions involved in emotional learning, perception, and memory formation has received considerable research attent...

  11. Patterns of Cortical Oscillations Organize Neural Activity into Whole-Brain Functional Networks Evident in the fMRI BOLD Signal.

    Whitman, Jennifer C; Ward, Lawrence M; Woodward, Todd S

    2013-01-01

    Recent findings from electrophysiology and multimodal neuroimaging have elucidated the relationship between patterns of cortical oscillations evident in EEG/MEG and the functional brain networks evident in the BOLD signal. Much of the existing literature emphasized how high-frequency cortical oscillations are thought to coordinate neural activity locally, while low-frequency oscillations play a role in coordinating activity between more distant brain regions. However, the assignment of different frequencies to different spatial scales is an oversimplification. A more informative approach is to explore the arrangements by which these low- and high-frequency oscillations work in concert, coordinating neural activity into whole-brain functional networks. When relating such networks to the BOLD signal, we must consider how the patterns of cortical oscillations change at the same speed as cognitive states, which often last less than a second. Consequently, the slower BOLD signal may often reflect the summed neural activity of several transient network configurations. This temporal mismatch can be circumvented if we use spatial maps to assess correspondence between oscillatory networks and BOLD networks. PMID:23504590

  12. Patterns of cortical oscillations organize neural activity into whole-brain functional networks evident in the fMRI BOLD signal

    Jennifer C Whitman

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Recent findings from electrophysiology and multimodal neuroimaging have elucidated the relationship between patterns of cortical oscillations evident in EEG / MEG and the functional brain networks evident in the BOLD signal. Much of the existing literature emphasized how high-frequency cortical oscillations are thought to coordinate neural activity locally, while low-frequency oscillations play a role in coordinating activity between more distant brain regions. However, the assignment of different frequencies to different spatial scales is an oversimplification. A more informative approach is to explore the arrangements by which these low- and high-frequency oscillations work in concert, coordinating neural activity into whole-brain functional networks. When relating such networks to the BOLD signal, we must consider how the patterns of cortical oscillations change at the same speed as cognitive states, which often last less than a second. Consequently, the slower BOLD signal may often reflect the summed neural activity of several transient network configurations. This temporal mismatch can be circumvented if we use spatial maps to assess correspondence between oscillatory networks and BOLD networks.

  13. Differential neural activation for camouflage detection task in Field-independent and Field-Dependent individuals: Evidence from fMRI

    Janani Rajagopalan; Shilpi Modi; Pawan Kumar; Subash Khushu; Manas K Mandal

    2015-12-01

    It is not clearly known as to why some people identify camouflaged objects with ease compared with others. The literature suggests that Field-Independent individuals detect camouflaged object better than their Field-Dependent counterparts, without having evidence at the neural activation level. A paradigm was designed to obtain neural correlates of camouflage detection, with real-life photographs, using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-three healthy human subjects were stratified as Field-Independent (Fl) and Field-Dependent (FD), with Witkins Embedded Figure Test. FIs performed better than FDs (marginal significance; =0.054) during camouflage detection task. fMRI revealed differential activation pattern between Fl and FD subjects for this task. One sample T-test showed greater activation in terms of cluster size in FDs, whereas FIs showed additional areas for the same task. On direct comparison of the two groups, Fl subjects showed additional activation in parts of primary visual cortex, thalamus, cerebellum, inferior and middle frontal gyrus. Conversely, FDs showed greater activation in inferior frontal gyms, precentral gyms, putamen, caudate nucleus and superior parietal lobule as compared to FIs. The results give preliminary evidence to the differential neural activation underlying the variances in cognitive styles of the two groups.

  14. Evidence for differential action of indoleacetic acid upon ion fluxes in single cells of Petroselinum sativum.

    Bentrup, F W; Pfrüner, H; Wagner, G

    1973-12-01

    The apparent influx of (36)Cl(-) and (86)Rb(+)/K(+) into cells from the higher plant Petroselinum sativum has been measured during the presence and absence in the culture medium of indolacetic acid (IAA) which is an essential auxin of these cells. While 10(-5) M IAA did not significantly affect the influx of (86)Rb(+)/K(+), it substantially reduced that of (36)Cl(-), i.e. by a factor 0.25 within 30 min. This differential action of IAA, which holds for a reasonable range of external pH, is assumed to bear on current hypotheses that the primary events of auxin action involve plasmalemma functions. PMID:24474466

  15. Separate visual pathways for perception of actions and objects: evidence from a case of apperceptive agnosia

    Ferreira, C. T.; Ceccaldi, M.; Giusiano, B; Poncet, M.

    1998-01-01

    Recognition of different kinds of visual stimuli was studied in a patient who acquired apperceptive visual agnosia after a bilateral occipitotemporal lesion which partially spared the primary visual cortex. Impairment in recognising static objects perceived visually sharply contrasts with the relatively well preserved ability to recognise objects from gestures illustrating their use, and to recognise actions shown in line drawings. It is suggested that the occipitoparieto...

  16. Effect of intrathecal baclofen on the monosynaptic reflex in humans: evidence for a postsynaptic action.

    Azouvi, P; Roby-Brami, A.; Biraben, A; Thiebaut, J B; Thurel, C; Bussel, B

    1993-01-01

    Intrathecal baclofen is a very powerful antispastic agent. Its mechanism of action on the monosynaptic H-reflex in spinal patients was investigated. It could inhibit rapidly and profoundly monosynaptic reflexes in lower limbs, but did not modify Ia vibratory inhibition of the soleus H-reflex. To assess more precisely its effect on Ia afferents, an experimental paradigm using Ia heteronymous facilitation of the soleus H-reflex was used. Intrathecal baclofen did not modify the amount of monosyn...

  17. Evidence-Based Robust Design of Deflection Actions for Near Earth Objects

    Zuiani, Federico; Vasile, Massimiliano; Gibbings, Alison

    2012-01-01

    This paper presents a novel approach to the robust design of deflection actions for Near Earth Objects (NEO). In particular, the case of deflection by means of Solar-pumped Laser ablation is studied here in detail. The basic idea behind Laser ablation is that of inducing a sublimation of the NEO surface, which produces a low thrust thereby slowly deviating the asteroid from its initial Earth threatening trajectory. This work investigates the integrated design of the Space-based Laser system a...

  18. Inhibition of retinoic acid catabolism by minocycline: evidence for a novel mode of action?

    Regen, Francesca; Hildebrand, Martin; Le Bret, Nathalie; Herzog, Irmelin; Heuser, Isabella; Hellmann-Regen, Julian

    2015-06-01

    Retinoic acid (RA) represents an essential and highly potent endogenous retinoid with pronounced anti-inflammatory properties and potent anti-acne activity, and has recently been suggested to share a common anti-inflammatory mode of action with tetracycline antibiotics. We hypothesized that tetracyclines may directly interfere with RA homeostasis via inhibition of its local cytochrome P450 (CYP450)-mediated degradation, an essential component of tightly regulated skin RA homeostasis. To test this hypothesis, we performed controlled in vitro RA metabolism assays using rat skin microsomes and measured RA levels in a RA-synthesizing human keratinocyte cell line, both in the presence and in the absence of minocycline, a tetracycline popular in acne treatment. Interestingly, minocycline potently blocked RA degradation in rat skin microsomes, and strikingly enhanced RA levels in RA-synthesizing cell cultures, in a dose-dependent manner. These findings indicate a potential role for CYP-450-mediated RA metabolism in minocycline's pleiotropic mode of action and anti-acne efficacy and could account for the overlap between minocycline and RA-induced effects at the level of their molecular mode of action, but also clinically at the level of the rare side effect of pseudotumor cerebri, which is observed for both, RA and minocycline treatment. PMID:25810318

  19. Collective Action and Common Agricultural Policy Lobbying: Evidence of Euro-Group Influence, 1986-2003

    Jonsson, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    This paper attempts to explain Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies to farmers by the in.uence of farmer interest-groups with an EU-wide membership (so called Euro-groups). The analysis is based on panel-data for .fteen commodities over the period 1986-2003. Because the CAP is set as an overall EU policy, e¤ective lobbying presents a collective action problem to the farmers in the EU as a whole. Indicators of lobbying, which are based on this perception, are found to explain part of the...

  20. Preliminary evidence for a postsynaptic action of beta-bungarotoxin in mammalian skeletal muscle

    Storella, R. J.; Schouchoff, A. L.; Fujii, M.; Hill, J.; Fletcher, J. E.; Jiang, M. S.; Smith, L. A.

    1992-01-01

    Two hours after treatment with beta-bungarotoxin (0.34-0.4 microM), when there was complete neuromuscular block, the peak contracture response to 50 microM succinylcholine was significantly reduced by about 35% in the mouse phrenic nerve-diaphragm preparation. Additionally, significant phospholipase A2 activity was detected on primary cell cultures from skeletal muscle which were incubated for 2 hr with concentrations of beta-bungarotoxin greater than or equal to 0.1 microM. Thus, beta-bungarotoxin appears to have pharmacologically and biochemically detectable postsynaptic actions in mammalian muscle systems.

  1. Molecular basis of ranolazine block of LQT-3 mutant sodium channels: evidence for site of action

    Fredj, Sandra; Sampson, Kevin J.; Liu, Huajun; Kass, Robert S

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of ranolazine, an antianginal agent with promise as an antiarrhythmic drug, on wild-type (WT) and long QT syndrome variant 3 (LQT-3) mutant Na+ channels expressed in human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells and knock-in mouse cardiomyocytes and used site-directed mutagenesis to probe the site of action of the drug.We find preferential ranolazine block of sustained vs peak Na+ channel current for LQT-3 mutant (ΔKPQ and Y1795C) channels (IC50=15 vs 135 μM) with similar resu...

  2. Enforcement actions and their effectiveness in securities regulation:Empirical evidence from management earnings forecasts

    Yunling Song; Xinwei Ji

    2012-01-01

    Due to resource constraints,securities regulators cannot find or punish all firms that have conducted irregular or even illegal activities(hereafter referred to as fraud).Those who study securities regulations can only find the instances of fraud that have been punished,not those that have not been punished,and it is these unknown cases that would make the best control sample for studies of enforcement action criteria.China’s mandatory management earnings forecasts solve this sampling problem.In the A-share market,firms that have not forecasted as mandated are likely in a position to be punished by securities regulators or are attempting to escape punishment,and their identification allows researchers to build suitable study and control samples when examining securities regulations.Our results indicate that enforcement actions taken by securities regulators are selective.The probability that a firm will be punished for irregular management forecasting is significantly related to proxies for survival rates.Specifically,fraudulent firms with lower return on assets(ROAs) or higher cash flow risk are more likely to be punished.Further analysis shows that selective enforcement of regulations has had little positive effect on the quality of listed firms’ management forecasts.

  3. Spatial representations in older adults are not modified by action: Evidence from tool use.

    Costello, Matthew C; Bloesch, Emily K; Davoli, Christopher C; Panting, Nicholas D; Abrams, Richard A; Brockmole, James R

    2015-09-01

    Theories of embodied perception hold that the visual system is calibrated by both the body schema and the action system, allowing for adaptive action-perception responses. One example of embodied perception involves the effects of tool use on distance perception, in which wielding a tool with the intention to act upon a target appears to bring that object closer. This tool-based spatial compression (i.e., tool-use effect) has been studied exclusively with younger adults, but it is unknown whether the phenomenon exists with older adults. In this study, we examined the effects of tool use on distance perception in younger and older adults in 2 experiments. In Experiment 1, younger and older adults estimated the distances of targets just beyond peripersonal space while either wielding a tool or pointing with the hand. Younger adults, but not older adults, estimated targets to be closer after reaching with a tool. In Experiment 2, younger and older adults estimated the distance to remote targets while using either a baton or a laser pointer. Younger adults displayed spatial compression with the laser pointer compared to the baton, although older adults did not. Taken together, these findings indicate a generalized absence of the tool-use effect in older adults during distance estimation, suggesting that the visuomotor system of older adults does not remap from peripersonal to extrapersonal spatial representations during tool use. PMID:26052886

  4. Evidence for a non-GABAergic action of quaternary salts of bicuculline on dopaminergic neurones.

    Seutin, V; Scuvée-Moreau, J; Dresse, A

    1997-01-01

    Intracellular recordings were made from neurones, presumed to be dopaminergic, in the rat midbrain slice preparation. Bicuculline methiodide (BMI) and methochloride (BMC) reversibly blocked the slow, apamin-sensitive component of the afterhyperpolarization in these cells. The IC50 for this effect was about 26 microM. In comparison, BMC antagonized the input resistance decrease evoked by muscimol (3 microM) with an IC50 of 7 microM. The base of bicuculline was less potent in blocking the slow afterhyperpolarization. SR95531 (2-[carboxy-3'-propyl]-3-amino-6-paramethoxy-phenyl-pyridaziniu m bromide), another competitive GABA(A) antagonist, and picrotoxin, a non-competitive GABA(A) antagonist, also blocked the action of muscimol (IC50s: 2 and 12 microM respectively), but had no effect on the afterhyperpolarization at a concentration of up to 100 microM. Moreover, 100 microM SR95531 did not affect the blockade of the afterhyperpolarization by BMC. This blockade persisted in the presence of tetrodotoxin and was apparently not due to a reduction of calcium entry, suggesting that it involved a direct action on the channels which mediate this afterhyperpolarization. These results strongly suggest that quaternary salts of bicuculline act on more than one target in the central nervous system. Thus, the involvement of GABA(A) receptors in a given effect cannot be proven solely on the basis of its blockade by these agents. PMID:9517436

  5. The role of research evidence in school improvement : a case study of corrective action schools

    Salas, Minerva

    2011-01-01

    The difference in performance between students of color and their white counterparts, better known as the academic achievement gap, in America has prompted many scholars, practitioners, and researchers to seek solutions that will help eliminate it. Researchers are beginning to investigate underlying social networks and tenets of organizational learning for the purpose of gaining insight into structures that support, constrain, or have no impact on the diffusion of research evidence within sch...

  6. Compliance costs caused by agency action? Empirical evidence and implications for tax compliance

    Eichfelder, Sebastian; Kegels, Chantal

    2012-01-01

    The compliance costs of private taxpayers are not only affected by the tax law itself but also by its implementation through the tax authorities. In this paper we analyze the effect of the tax authorities on the burden of complying with tax regulations. Using survey data of Belgian businesses and controlling for potential endogeneity, we find empirical evidence that tax authority behavior is an important cost driver. According to our estimate, a customer-unfriendly tax administration increase...

  7. The neural correlates of agrammatism: Evidence from aphasic and healthy speakers performing an overt picture description task

    EvaSchoenberger

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Functional brain imaging studies have improved our knowledge of the neural localization of language functions and the functional recovery after a lesion. However, the neural correlates of agrammatic symptoms in aphasia remain largely unknown. The present fMRI study examined the neural correlates of morpho-syntactic encoding and agrammatic errors in continuous language production by combining three approaches. First, the neural mechanisms underlying natural morpho-syntactic processing in a picture description task were analyzed in 15 healthy speakers. Second, agrammatic-like speech behavior was induced in the same group of healthy speakers to study the underlying functional processes by limiting the utterance length. In a third approach, five agrammatic participants performed the picture description task to gain insights in the neural correlates of agrammatism and the functional reorganization of language processing after stroke. In all approaches, utterances were analyzed for syntactic completeness, complexity and morphology. Event-related data analysis was conducted by defining every clause-like unit (CLU as an event with its onset-time and duration. Agrammatic and correct CLUs were contrasted. Due to the small sample size as well as heterogeneous lesion sizes and sites with lesion foci in the insula lobe, inferior frontal, superior temporal and inferior parietal areas the activation patterns in the agrammatic speakers were analyzed on a single subject level. In the group of healthy speakers, posterior temporal and inferior parietal areas were associated with greater morpho-syntactic demands in complete and complex CLUs. The intentional manipulation of morpho-syntactic structures and the omission of function words were associated with additional inferior frontal activation. Overall, the results revealed that the investigation of the neural correlates of agrammatic language production can be reasonably conducted with an overt language production

  8. Modulation of ethanol-intake by morphine: Evidence for a central site of action

    Wild, K.D.; Reid, L.D. (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY (USA))

    1990-01-01

    Previous studies have shown that subcutaneous administration of low doses of morphine increase, while subcutaneous naloxone decreases, ethanol-intake in rats. However, the site of action of morphine modulation of ethanol-intake remains unclear. In an attempt to elucidate this issue, seven graded doses of morphine were given intracerebroventricularly to rats 15 min prior to an opportunity to consume water and sweetened alcoholic beverage for 2 hr. Two lower doses of intracerebroventricular morphine reliably increased ethanol-intake, while higher doses decreased intake of water. Preference ratios were reliably increased by morphine doses of 1 {mu}g and higher. The present data provide support for a central site of morphine modulation of ethanol-intake.

  9. The effect of action video game playing on sensorimotor learning: Evidence from a movement tracking task.

    Gozli, Davood G; Bavelier, Daphne; Pratt, Jay

    2014-10-12

    Research on the impact of action video game playing has revealed performance advantages on a wide range of perceptual and cognitive tasks. It is not known, however, if playing such games confers similar advantages in sensorimotor learning. To address this issue, the present study used a manual motion-tracking task that allowed for a sensitive measure of both accuracy and improvement over time. When the target motion pattern was consistent over trials, gamers improved with a faster rate and eventually outperformed non-gamers. Performance between the two groups, however, did not differ initially. When the target motion was inconsistent, changing on every trial, results revealed no difference between gamers and non-gamers. Together, our findings suggest that video game playing confers no reliable benefit in sensorimotor control, but it does enhance sensorimotor learning, enabling superior performance in tasks with consistent and predictable structure. PMID:25318081

  10. Direct evidence for the atovaquone action on the Plasmodium cytochrome bc1 complex.

    Siregar, Josephine E; Kurisu, Genji; Kobayashi, Tamaki; Matsuzaki, Motomichi; Sakamoto, Kimitoshi; Mi-ichi, Fumika; Watanabe, Yoh-ichi; Hirai, Makoto; Matsuoka, Hiroyuki; Syafruddin, Din; Marzuki, Sangkot; Kita, Kiyoshi

    2015-06-01

    Atovaquone, a coenzyme Q analogue has been indicated to specifically target the cytochrome bc1 complex of the mitochondrial respiratory chain in the malarial parasite and other protozoan. Various mutations in the quinone binding site of the cytochrome b gene of Plasmodium spp. such as M133I, L144S, L271V, K272R, Y268C, Y268S, Y268N, and V284F are suggesting to associate with resistance to atovaquone. There is no direct evidence of relation between the mutations and resistance to atovaquone in Plasmodium parasite that has been available. Technical difficulties in isolating active assayable mitochondria in the malarial parasite hinder us to obtain direct biochemical evidence to support the relation between the mutations and drug resistance. The establishment of a mitochondrial isolation method for the malaria parasite has allowed us to test the degree of resistance of Plasmodium berghei isolates to atovaquone directly. We have tested the activity of dihydroorotate (DHO)-cytochrome c reductase in various P. berghei atovaquone resistant clones in the presence of a wide concentration range of atovaquone. Our results show the IC(50) of P. berghei atovaquone resistant clones is much higher (1.5 up to 40 nM) in comparison to the atovaquone sensitive clones (0.132-0.465 nM). The highest IC(50) was revealed in clones carrying Y268C and Y268N mutations (which play an important role in atovaquone resistance in Plasmodium falciparum), with an approximately 100-fold increase. The findings indicate the importance of the mutation in the quinone binding site of the cytochrome b gene and that provide a direct evidence for the atovaquone inhibitory mechanism in the cytochrome bc1 complex of the parasite. PMID:25264100

  11. Experiencing Past and Future Personal Events: Functional Neuroimaging Evidence on the Neural Bases of Mental Time Travel

    Botzung, Anne; Denkova, Ekaterina; Manning, Lilianne

    2008-01-01

    Functional MRI was used in healthy subjects to investigate the existence of common neural structures supporting re-experiencing the past and pre-experiencing the future. Past and future events evocation appears to involve highly similar patterns of brain activation including, in particular, the medial prefrontal cortex, posterior regions and the…

  12. Musicians' enhanced neural differentiation of speech sounds arises early in life: developmental evidence from ages 3 to 30.

    Strait, Dana L; O'Connell, Samantha; Parbery-Clark, Alexandra; Kraus, Nina

    2014-09-01

    The perception and neural representation of acoustically similar speech sounds underlie language development. Music training hones the perception of minute acoustic differences that distinguish sounds; this training may generalize to speech processing given that adult musicians have enhanced neural differentiation of similar speech syllables compared with nonmusicians. Here, we asked whether this neural advantage in musicians is present early in life by assessing musically trained and untrained children as young as age 3. We assessed auditory brainstem responses to the speech syllables /ba/ and /ga/ as well as auditory and visual cognitive abilities in musicians and nonmusicians across 3 developmental time-points: preschoolers, school-aged children, and adults. Cross-phase analyses objectively measured the degree to which subcortical responses differed to these speech syllables in musicians and nonmusicians for each age group. Results reveal that musicians exhibit enhanced neural differentiation of stop consonants early in life and with as little as a few years of training. Furthermore, the extent of subcortical stop consonant distinction correlates with auditory-specific cognitive abilities (i.e., auditory working memory and attention). Results are interpreted according to a corticofugal framework for auditory learning in which subcortical processing enhancements are engendered by strengthened cognitive control over auditory function in musicians. PMID:23599166

  13. The Neural Basis of Reversible Sentence Comprehension: Evidence from Voxel-Based Lesion Symptom Mapping in Aphasia

    Thothathiri, Malathi; Kimberg, Daniel Y.; Schwartz, Myrna F.

    2012-01-01

    We explored the neural basis of reversible sentence comprehension in a large group of aphasic patients (n = 79). Voxel-based lesion symptom mapping revealed a significant association between damage in temporo-parietal cortex and impaired sentence comprehension. This association remained after we controlled for phonological working memory. We…

  14. Neural Dynamics of Animacy Processing in Language Comprehension: ERP Evidence from the Interpretation of Classifier-Noun Combinations

    Zhang, Yaxu; Zhang, Jinlu; Min, Baoquan

    2012-01-01

    An event-related potential experiment was conducted to investigate the temporal neural dynamics of animacy processing in the interpretation of classifier-noun combinations. Participants read sentences that had a non-canonical structure, "object noun" + "subject noun" + "verb" + "numeral-classifier" + "adjective". The object noun and its classifier…

  15. Antifungal activity of Zuccagnia punctata Cav.: evidence for the mechanism of action.

    Svetaz, Laura; Agüero, María Belén; Alvarez, Sandra; Luna, Lorena; Feresin, Gabriela; Derita, Marcos; Tapia, Alejandro; Zacchino, Susana

    2007-08-01

    Petroleum ether and dichloromethane extracts of fruits, aerial parts and exudate of Zuccagnia punctata Cav. (Fabaceae) showed moderate antifungal activities against the yeasts C. albicans, S. cerevisiae and C. neoformans (MICs: 62.5 - 250 microg/mL) and very strong antifungal activities against the dermatophytes M. gypseum, T. rubrum and T. mentagrophytes (MICs: 8 - 16 microg/mL) thus supporting the ethnopharmacological use of this plant. Antifungal activity-directed fractionation of active extracts by using bioautography led to the isolation of 2',4'-dihydroxy-3'-methoxychalcone (1) and 2',4'-dihydroxychalcone (2) as the compounds responsible for the antifungal activity. Second-order studies included MIC (80), MIC (50) and MFC of both chalcones in an extended panel of clinical isolates of the most sensitive fungi, and also comprised a series of targeted assays. They showed that the most active chalcone 2 is fungicidal rather than fungistatic, does not disrupt the fungal membranes up to 4 x MFC and does not act by inhibiting the fungal cell wall. So, 2',4'-dihydroxychalcone would act by a different mechanism of action than the antifungal drugs in current clinical use, such as amphotericin B, azoles or echinocandins, and thus appears to be very promising as a novel antifungal agent. PMID:17628836

  16. New Evidence about the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking: Action of an Asymmetric Weak Heat Source.

    Mineo, Placido; Villari, Valentina; Scamporrino, Emilio; Micali, Norberto

    2015-09-17

    In the present study, we show how, in a stagnant water solution of uncharged aggregated achiral porphyrin-based molecules, a mirror-symmetry breaking (SB) can be induced and controlled by means of a weak asymmetric thermal gradient. In particular, it is shown that the optical activity of the aggregate porphyrin solution can be generated and reversed, in sign, only acting on the thermal ramp direction (heating or cooling). In order to avoid data misinterpretation, the aggregate structure modifications with the temperature change and the linear dichroism contribution to circular dichroism spectra were evaluated. A model simulation, using a finite element analysis approach describing the thermal flows, shows that small thermal gradients are able to give rise to asymmetric heat flow. The results reported here can be considered new evidence about the spontaneous symmetry breaking phenomenon induced by very weak forces having an important role in the natural chiral selective processes. PMID:26315854

  17. Neural correlates of feedback processing in toddlers.

    Meyer, Marlene; Bekkering, Harold; Janssen, Denise J C; de Bruijn, Ellen R A; Hunnius, Sabine

    2014-07-01

    External feedback provides essential information for successful learning. Feedback is especially important for learning in early childhood, as toddlers strongly rely on external signals to determine the consequences of their actions. In adults, many electrophysiological studies have elucidated feedback processes using a neural marker called the feedback-related negativity (FRN). The neural generator of the FRN is assumed to be the ACC, located in medial frontal cortex. As frontal brain regions are the latest to mature during brain development, it is unclear when in early childhood a functional feedback system develops. Is feedback differentiated on a neural level in toddlers and in how far is neural feedback processing related to children's behavioral adjustment? In an EEG experiment, we addressed these questions by measuring the brain activity and behavioral performance of 2.5-year-old toddlers while they played a feedback-guided game on a touchscreen. Electrophysiological results show differential brain activity for feedback with a more negative deflection for incorrect than correct outcomes, resembling the adult FRN. This provides the first neural evidence for feedback processing in toddlers. Notably, FRN amplitudes were predictive of adaptive behavior: the stronger the differential brain activity for feedback, the better the toddlers' adaptive performance during the game. Thus, already in early childhood toddlers' feedback-guided performance directly relates to the functionality of their neural feedback processing. Implications for early feedback-based learning as well as structural and functional brain development are discussed. PMID:24392905

  18. Economic evidence on identifying clinically actionable findings with whole-genome sequencing: a scoping review.

    Douglas, Michael P; Ladabaum, Uri; Pletcher, Mark J; Marshall, Deborah A; Phillips, Kathryn A

    2016-02-01

    The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recommends that mutations in 56 genes for 24 conditions are clinically actionable and should be reported as secondary findings after whole-genome sequencing (WGS). Our aim was to identify published economic evaluations of detecting mutations in these genes among the general population or among targeted/high-risk populations and conditions and identify gaps in knowledge. A targeted PubMed search from 1994 through November 2014 was performed, and we included original, English-language articles reporting cost-effectiveness or a cost-to-utility ratio or net benefits/benefit-cost focused on screening (not treatment) for conditions and genes listed by the ACMG. Articles were screened, classified as targeting a high-risk or general population, and abstracted by two reviewers. General population studies were evaluated for actual cost-effectiveness measures (e.g., incremental cost-effectiveness ratios (ICER)), whereas studies of targeted populations were evaluated for whether at least one scenario proposed was cost-effective (e.g., ICER of ≤$100,000 per life-year or quality-adjusted life-year gained). A total of 607 studies were identified, and 32 relevant studies were included. Identified studies addressed fewer than one-third (7 of 24; 29%) of the ACMG conditions. The cost-effectiveness of screening in the general population was examined for only 2 of 24 conditions (8%). The cost-effectiveness of most genetic findings that the ACMG recommends for return has not been evaluated in economic studies or in the context of screening in the general population. The individual studies do not directly address the cost-effectiveness of WGS. PMID:25996638

  19. Further evidence against a direct genotoxic mode of action for arsenic-induced cancer

    Arsenic in drinking water, a mixture of arsenite and arsenate, is associated with increased skin and other cancers in Asia and Latin America, but not the United States. Arsenite alone in drinking water does not cause skin cancers in experimental animals; therefore, it is not a complete carcinogen in skin. We recently showed that low concentrations of arsenite enhanced the tumorigenicity of solar UV irradiation in hairless mice, suggesting arsenic cocarcinogenesis with sunlight in skin cancer and perhaps with different carcinogenic partners for lung and bladder tumors. Cocarcinogenic mechanisms could include blocking DNA repair, stimulating angiogenesis, altering DNA methylation patterns, dysregulating cell cycle control, induction of aneuploidy and blocking apoptosis. Arsenicals are documented clastogens but not strong mutagens, with weak mutagenic activity reported at highly toxic concentrations of inorganic arsenic. Previously, we showed that arsenite, but not monomethylarsonous acid (MMA[III]), induced delayed mutagenesis in HOS cells. Here, we report new data on the mutagenicity of the trivalent methylated arsenic metabolites MMA(III) and dimethylarsinous acid [DMA(III)] at the gpt locus in Chinese hamster G12 cells. Both methylated arsenicals seemed mutagenic with apparent sublinear dose responses. However, significant mutagenesis occurred only at highly toxic concentrations of MMA(III). Most mutants induced by MMA(III) and DMA(III) exhibited transgene deletions. Some non-deletion mutants exhibited altered DNA methylation. A critical discussion of cell survival leads us to conclude that clastogenesis occurs primarily at highly cytotoxic arsenic concentrations, casting further doubt as to whether a genotoxic mode of action (MOA) for arsenicals is supportable

  20. Evident?

    Plant, Peter

    2012-01-01

    Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind......Quality assurance and evidence in career guidance in Europe are often seen as self-evident approaches, but particular interests lie behind...

  1. Evidence for the dual action of the nitroxyl and nitroaromatic moieties in a mixed functional radiosensitizer

    An investigation has been made of a mixed functional compound Ro. 03-9454 (1-(1-oxyl-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidin-4-yl)amine-3-(2-nitroimidazol-l-yl)propan-2-ol, which has both a nitroaromatic (electron affinic type) and a nitroxyl (free radical type) moiety to determine the contributions of the separate functions in determining the efficacy of this compound as a radiosensitizer. In this study asynchronous cultures of CHO cells were irradiated using a CO60 source at a dose rate of approximately 400 rads min-1 one hour after being rendered hypoxic by O2-free N2. Survival curves were determined in the presence of various drugs and drug combinations. Data present further evidence that electron affinic and nitroxyl free radical compounds may operate by different mechanisms and that these mechanisms involve competition for the initial radiation-induced damage. The mixed functional compound Ro. 03-9454 and the modified form of this compound, RSU 4013, in which the nitroxyl function has been eliminated by the addition of a cyanopropyl group are more effective sensitizers than misonidazole at low concentrations. Like misonidazole, the two sensitizers contain a nitroimidazole group and both show a plateau at a slope ratio of 1.9 over a range of concentrations. 7 references, 2 figures

  2. Real world evidence: a form of big data, transforming healthcare data into actionable real time insights and informed business decisions

    Uttam Kumar Barick

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Data has always played an important role in assisting business decisions and overall improvement of a company’s strategies. The introduction of what has come to be named ‘BIG data’ has changed the industry paradigm altogether for a few domains like media, mobility, retail and social. Data from the real world is also considered as BIG data based on its magnitude, sources and the industry’s capacity to handle the same. Although, the healthcare industry has been using real world data for decades, digitization of health records has demonstrated its value to all the stakeholders with a reaffirmation of interest in it. Over time, companies are looking to adopt new technologies in linking these fragmented data for meaningful and actionable insights to demonstrate their value over competition. It has also been noticed that the consequences of not demonstrating the value of data are sometimes leads regulators and payers to be severe. The real challenge though is not in identifying data sets but transforming these data sets into actionable real time insights and business decisions. Evidence and value development frameworks need to work side by side, harnessing meaningful insights in parallel to product development from early phase to life-cycle management. This should in-turn create evidence and value-based insights for multiple stakeholders across the industry; ultimately supporting the patient as the end user to take informed decisions that impact access to care. This article attempts to review the current state of affairs in the area of BIG data in pharma OR BIG DIP as it is increasingly being referred to.

  3. Metabolic profiling of Parkinson's disease: evidence of biomarker from gene expression analysis and rapid neural network detection

    Kumar Suresh

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Parkinson's disease (PD is a neurodegenerative disorder. The diagnosis of Parkinsonism is challenging because currently none of the clinical tests have been proven to help in diagnosis. PD may produce characteristic perturbations in the metabolome and such variations can be used as the marker for detection of disease. To test this hypothesis, we used proton NMR and multivariate analysis followed by neural network pattern detection. Methods & Results 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy analysis was carried out on plasma samples of 37 healthy controls and 43 drug-naive patients with PD. Focus on 22 targeted metabolites, 17 were decreased and 5 were elevated in PD patients (p PDHB and NPFF genes leading to increased pyruvate concentration in blood plasma. Moreover, the implementation of 1H- NMR spectral pattern in neural network algorithm shows 97.14% accuracy in the detection of disease progression. Conclusion The results increase the prospect of a robust molecular definition in detection of PD through the early symptomatic phase of the disease. This is an ultimate opening for therapeutic intervention. If validated in a genuinely prospective fashion in larger samples, the biomarker trajectories described here will go a long way to facilitate the development of useful therapies. Moreover, implementation of neural network will be a breakthrough in clinical screening and rapid detection of PD.

  4. Morphine alters astrocyte growth in primary cultures of mouse glial cells: evidence for a direct effect of opiates on neural maturation

    Stiene-Martin, Anne; Gurwell, Julie A.; Hauser, Kurt F.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY To determine whether exogenous opiate drugs with abuse liability directly modify neural growth, the present study investigated the effects of morphine on astrocyte proliferation and differentiation in primary cultures of murine glial cells. The results indicate that morphine decreases glial cell production in a dose-dependent, naloxone reversible manner. Most notably, gliogenesis virtually ceased in the presence of 10−6 M morphine during the first week in culture, whereas 10−8 M or 10−10 M morphine caused an intermediate suppression of growth compared to control or 10−6 M morphine treated cultures. Moreover, morphine-treatment inhibited [3H]thymidine incorporation by glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) immunoreactive, flat (type 1) astrocytes, suggesting that the decrease in glial cell production was due in part to an inhibition of astrocyte proliferation. Morphine also caused significant increases in both cytoplasmic area and process elaboration in flat (type 1) astrocytes indicating greater morphologic differentiation. In the above experiments, morphine-dependent alterations in astrocyte growth were antagonized by naloxone, indicating that morphine action was mediated by specific opioid receptors. These observations suggest that opiate drugs can directly modify neural growth by influencing two critical developmental events in astrocytes, i.e., inhibiting proliferation and inducing morphologic differentiation. PMID:1914143

  5. Is there a domain-general cognitive structuring system? Evidence from structural priming across music, math, action descriptions, and language.

    Van de Cavey, Joris; Hartsuiker, Robert J

    2016-01-01

    Cognitive processing in many domains (e.g., sentence comprehension, music listening, and math solving) requires sequential information to be organized into an integrational structure. There appears to be some overlap in integrational processing across domains, as shown by cross-domain interference effects when for example linguistic and musical stimuli are jointly presented (Koelsch, Gunter, Wittfoth, & Sammler, 2005; Slevc, Rosenberg, & Patel, 2009). These findings support theories of overlapping resources for integrational processing across domains (cfr. SSIRH Patel, 2003; SWM, Kljajevic, 2010). However, there are some limitations to the studies mentioned above, such as the frequent use of unnaturalistic integrational difficulties. In recent years, the idea has risen that evidence for domain-generality in structural processing might also be yielded though priming paradigms (cfr. Scheepers, 2003). The rationale behind this is that integrational processing across domains regularly requires the processing of dependencies across short or long distances in the sequence, involving respectively less or more syntactic working memory resources (cfr. SWM, Kljajevic, 2010), and such processing decisions might persist over time. However, whereas recent studies have shown suggestive priming of integrational structure between language and arithmetics (though often dependent on arithmetic performance, cfr. Scheepers et al., 2011; Scheepers & Sturt, 2014), it remains to be investigated to what extent we can also find evidence for priming in other domains, such as music and action (cfr. SWM, Kljajevic, 2010). Experiment 1a showed structural priming from the processing of musical sequences onto the position in the sentence structure (early or late) to which a relative clause was attached in subsequent sentence completion. Importantly, Experiment 1b showed that a similar structural manipulation based on non-hierarchically ordered color sequences did not yield any priming effect

  6. Exploring the neural basis of real-life joint action: measuring brain activation during joint table setting with functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS

    Johanna Egetemeir

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available Many everyday life situations require two or more individuals to execute actions together. Assessing brain activation during naturalistic tasks to uncover relevant processes underlying such real-life joint action situations has remained a methodological challenge. In the present study, we introduce a novel joint action paradigm that enables the assessment of brain activation during real-life joint action tasks using functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS. We monitored brain activation of participants who coordinated complex actions with a partner sitting opposite them. Participants performed table-setting tasks, either alone (solo action or in cooperation with a partner (joint action, or they observed the partner performing the task (action observation. Comparing joint action and solo action revealed stronger activation (higher [oxy-Hb]-concentration during joint action in a number of areas. Among these were areas in the inferior parietal lobule (IPL that additionally showed an overlap of activation during action observation and solo action. Areas with such a close link between action observation and action execution have been associated with action simulation processes. The magnitude of activation in these IPL areas also varied according to joint action type and its respective demand on action simulation. The results validate fNIRS as an imaging technique for exploring the functional correlates of interindividual action coordination in real-life settings and suggest that coordinating actions in real-life situations requires simulating the actions of the partner.

  7. Neural and sympathetic activity associated with exploration in decision-making: Further evidence for involvement of insula

    Hideki eOhira

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We previously reported that sympathetic activity was associated with exploration in decision-making indexed by entropy, which is a concept in information theory and indexes randomness of choices or the degree of deviation from sticking to recent experiences of gains and losses, and that activation of the anterior insula mediated this association. The current study aims to replicate and to expand these findings in a situation where contingency between options and outcomes is manipulated. Sixteen participants performed a stochastic decision-making task in which we manipulated a condition with low uncertainty of gain/loss (contingent-reward condition and a condition with high uncertainty of gain/loss (random-reward condition. Regional cerebral blood flow was measured by 15O-water positron emission tomography (PET, and cardiovascular parameters and catecholamine in the peripheral blood were measured, during the task. In the contingent-reward condition, norepinephrine as an index of sympathetic activity was positively correlated with entropy indicating exploration in decision-making. Norepinephrine was negatively correlated with neural activity in the right posterior insula, rostral anterior cingulate cortex, and dorsal pons, suggesting neural bases for detecting changes of bodily states. Furthermore, right anterior insular activity was negatively correlated with entropy, suggesting influences on exploration in decision-making. By contrast, in the random-reward condition, entropy correlated with activity in the dorsolateral prefrontal and parietal cortices but not with sympathetic activity. These findings suggest that influences of sympathetic activity on exploration in decision-making and its underlying neural mechanisms might be dependent on the degree of uncertainty of situations.

  8. Neural adaptation provides evidence for categorical differences in processing of faces and Chinese characters: an ERP study of the N170.

    Shimin Fu

    Full Text Available Whether face perception involves domain-specific or domain-general processing is an extensively debated issue. Relative to non-face objects and alphabetical scripts, Chinese characters provide a good contrast to faces because of their structural configuration, requirement for high level of visual expertise to literate Chinese people, and unique appearance and identity for each individual stimulus. To examine potential categorical differences in their neural processing, event-related potentials (ERPs were recorded to blocked face and Chinese character stimuli. Fast adaptation method was applied to better control for the low-level stimulus difference between faces and Chinese characters. Participants were required to respond to the color of the outer frame in which these stimuli were presented, at either a fast (ISI 650 ms or slow (ISI 1300 ms rate, and with an orientation that was either the same or alternated between upright and inverted. Faces elicited a larger and later N170 relative to characters, but the N170 was more left-lateralized for characters relative to the faces. Adaptation-by-rate and adaptation-by-orientation effects were observed on the amplitude of N170, and both were more pronounced for faces relative to characters. Inverted stimuli elicited a later N170 relative to upright stimuli, without amplitude change, and this inversion effect was more pronounced for faces relative to characters. Moreover, faces elicited a larger and later P1 and a larger adaptation-by-rate effect on P1 relative to characters. The adaptation-by-orientation effect was illustrated by a larger P1 under the same relative to the alternated orientation condition. Therefore, evidence from the amplitude and the lateralization of N170, the stimulus inversion effect on N170 latency, and the neural adaptation between faces and Chinese characters on P1 and N170 components support the notion that the processing of faces and Chinese characters involve categorically

  9. Preliminary Evidence for Impaired Brain Activity of Neural Reward Processing in Children and Adolescents with Reactive Attachment Disorder.

    Tomoda, Akemi

    2016-01-01

    Childhood maltreatment, which markedly increases risks for psychopathology, is associated with structural and functional brain differences. Especially, exposure to parental verbal abuse (PVA) or interparental violence during childhood is associated with negative outcomes such as depression, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and reduced cognitive abilities. Other forms of childhood maltreatment have been associated with brain structure or developmental alteration. Our earlier studies elucidated potential discernible effects of PVA and witnessing domestic violence during childhood on brain morphology, including gray matter volume or cortical thickness. Brain regions that process and convey the adverse sensory input of the abuse might be modified specifically by such experiences, particularly in subjects exposed to a single type of maltreatment. Exposure to multiple types of maltreatment is more commonly associated with morphological alterations in the corticolimbic regions. These findings fit with preclinical studies showing that sensory cortices are highly plastic structures. Using tasks with high and low monetary rewards while subjects underwent functional MRI, we also examined whether neural activity during reward processing was altered, or not, in children and adolescents with reactive attachment disorder (RAD). Significantly reduced activity in the caudate and nucleus accumbens was observed during a high monetary reward condition in the RAD group compared to the typically developed group. The striatal neural reward activity in the RAD group was also markedly decreased. The present results suggest that dopaminergic dysfunction occurred in the striatum in children and adolescents with RAD, potentially leading to a future risk of psychiatric disorders such as dependence. PMID:27150924

  10. The neural substrates of response inhibition to negative information across explicit and implicit tasks in GAD patients: Electrophysiological evidence from an ERP study

    Fengqiong eYu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Background: It has been established that the inability to inhibit a response to negative stimuli is the genesis of anxiety. However, the neural substrates of response inhibition to sad faces across explicit and implicit tasks in general anxiety disorder (GAD patients remain unclear.Methods: Electrophysiological data were recorded when subjects performed two modified emotional go/no-go tasks in which neutral and sad faces were presented: one task was explicit (emotion categorization, and the other task was implicit (gender categorization.Results: In the explicit task, electrophysiological evidence showed decreased amplitudes of no-go/go difference waves at the N2 interval in the GAD group compared to the control group. However, in the implicit task, the amplitudes of no-go/go difference waves at the N2 interval showed a reversed trend. Source localization analysis on no-go/N2 components revealed a decreased current source density (CSD in the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex in GAD individuals relative to controls. In the implicit task, the left superior temporal gyrus and the left inferior parietal lobe showed enhanced activation in GAD individuals and may compensate for the dysfunction of the right dorsal lateral prefrontal cortex.Conclusions: These findings indicated that the processing of response inhibition to socially sad faces in GAD individuals was interrupted in the explicit task. However, this processing was preserved in the implicit task. The neural substrates of response inhibition to sad faces were dissociated between implicit and explicit tasks.

  11. Evolvable Neural Software System

    Curtis, Steven A.

    2009-01-01

    The Evolvable Neural Software System (ENSS) is composed of sets of Neural Basis Functions (NBFs), which can be totally autonomously created and removed according to the changing needs and requirements of the software system. The resulting structure is both hierarchical and self-similar in that a given set of NBFs may have a ruler NBF, which in turn communicates with other sets of NBFs. These sets of NBFs may function as nodes to a ruler node, which are also NBF constructs. In this manner, the synthetic neural system can exhibit the complexity, three-dimensional connectivity, and adaptability of biological neural systems. An added advantage of ENSS over a natural neural system is its ability to modify its core genetic code in response to environmental changes as reflected in needs and requirements. The neural system is fully adaptive and evolvable and is trainable before release. It continues to rewire itself while on the job. The NBF is a unique, bilevel intelligence neural system composed of a higher-level heuristic neural system (HNS) and a lower-level, autonomic neural system (ANS). Taken together, the HNS and the ANS give each NBF the complete capabilities of a biological neural system to match sensory inputs to actions. Another feature of the NBF is the Evolvable Neural Interface (ENI), which links the HNS and ANS. The ENI solves the interface problem between these two systems by actively adapting and evolving from a primitive initial state (a Neural Thread) to a complicated, operational ENI and successfully adapting to a training sequence of sensory input. This simulates the adaptation of a biological neural system in a developmental phase. Within the greater multi-NBF and multi-node ENSS, self-similar ENI s provide the basis for inter-NBF and inter-node connectivity.

  12. Selective modifications in the neural memory network in children with febrile seizures: Evidence from functional magnetic resonance imaging

    Juliane Hofmann

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Febrile seizures (FS are assumed to not have adverse long-term effects on cognitive development. Nevertheless, FS are often associated with hippocampal sclerosis which can imply episodic memory deficits. This interrelation has hardly been studied so far. In the current study 13 children who had suffered from FS during infancy and 14 control children (7–9 years old were examined for episodic and semantic memory with standardized neuropsychological tests. Furthermore, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI we studied neuronal activation while the children performed a continuous recognition memory task. The analysis of the behavioral data of the neuropsychological tests and the recognition memory experiment did not reveal any between group differences in memory performance. Consistent with other studies fMRI revealed repetition enhancement effects for both groups in a variety of brain regions (e.g. right middle frontal gyrus, left parahippocampal gyrus and a repetition suppression effect in the right superior temporal gyrus. Different neural activation patterns between both groups were obtained selectively within the right supramarginal gyrus (BA 40. In the control group correct rejections of new items (CR were associated with stronger activation than correctly identified old items (HITs whereas in the FS group no difference occurred. On the background that the right supramarginal gyrus is assumed to mediate a top-down process to internally direct attention towards recollected information, the results could indicate that control children used strategic recollection in order to reject new items (recall-to-reject. In contrast, the missing effect in the FS group could reflect a lack of strategy use, possibly due to impaired recollective processing. This study demonstrates that FS, even with mainly benign courses, can be accompanied by selective modifications in the neural memory network.

  13. Location of CNTFRalpha on outer segments: evidence of the site of action of CNTF in rat retina.

    Valter, Krisztina; Bisti, Silvia; Stone, Jonathan

    2003-09-26

    Ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) is an important factor in the retina's mechanisms of self-protection. It is generated by retinal glial cells in response to stress, and has a significant protective effect on retinal neurones. In this study we have identified the location of the alpha component of the CNTF receptor complex (CNTFRalpha) in rat retina, using immunohistochemistry and high-resolution confocal microscopy. The major location of CNTFRalpha is on photoreceptor outer segments. More scattered, granular forms of CNTFRalpha were identified in association with Müller cell processes in other retinal layers. Colocalisation of CNTF with CNTFRalpha, suggestive of ligand-receptor binding, was detected on outer segments, and in both normal retinas and retinas stressed by light or oxygen. Results provide evidence that the principal site of CNTF action is the outer segments of photoreceptors. This confirms the known ability of CNTF to protect photoreceptors against stress, and suggest that it acts by modulating mechanisms specific to the outer segment, such as the phototransduction cascade or the membrane channels, which control dark current. PMID:12967721

  14. Histamine reverses IL-5-Afforded human eosinophil survival by inducing apoptosis: Pharmacological evidence for a novel mechanism of action of histamine

    Hasala, Hannele; Giembycz, Mark A.; Janka-Junttila, Mirkka; Moilanen, Eeva; Kankaanranta, Hannu

    2008-01-01

    Histamine reverses IL-5-Afforded human eosinophil survival by inducing apoptosis: Pharmacological evidence for a novel mechanism of action of histamine correspondence: Corresponding author. Tel.: +358335517318; fax: +358335518082. (Kankaanranta, Hannu) (Kankaanranta, Hannu) The Immunopharmacology Research Group--> , Medical School--> , University of Tampere--> , Tampere--> - FINLAND (Hasala, H...

  15. Facilitation effect of observed motor deviants in a cooperative motor task: Evidence for direct perception of social intention in action.

    Quesque, François; Delevoye-Turrell, Yvonne; Coello, Yann

    2016-08-01

    Spatiotemporal parameters of voluntary motor action may help optimize human social interactions. Yet it is unknown whether individuals performing a cooperative task spontaneously perceive subtly informative social cues emerging through voluntary actions. In the present study, an auditory cue was provided through headphones to an actor and a partner who faced each other. Depending on the pitch of the auditory cue, either the actor or the partner were required to grasp and move a wooden dowel under time constraints from a central to a lateral position. Before this main action, the actor performed a preparatory action under no time constraint, consisting in placing the wooden dowel on the central location when receiving either a neutral ("prêt"-ready) or an informative auditory cue relative to who will be asked to perform the main action (the actor: "moi"-me, or the partner: "lui"-him). Although the task focused on the main action, analysis of motor performances revealed that actors performed the preparatory action with longer reaction times and higher trajectories when informed that the partner would be performing the main action. In this same condition, partners executed the main actions with shorter reaction times and lower velocities, despite having received no previous informative cues. These results demonstrate that the mere observation of socially driven motor actions spontaneously influences the low-level kinematics of voluntary motor actions performed by the observer during a cooperative motor task. These findings indicate that social intention can be anticipated from the mere observation of action patterns. PMID:26288247

  16. Designer Self-Assemble Peptides Maximize the Therapeutic Benefits of Neural Stem Cell Transplantation for Alzheimer's Disease via Enhancing Neuron Differentiation and Paracrine Action.

    Cui, Guo-hong; Shao, Shui-jin; Yang, Jia-jun; Liu, Jian-ren; Guo, Hai-dong

    2016-03-01

    The neuropathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease (AD) include the presence of extracellular amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) in the form of amyloid plaques and neuronal loss. Neural stem cell (NSC) is being scrutinized as a promising cell replacement therapy for various neurodegenerative diseases. However, the unfavorable niche at the site of degenerative disease is hostile to the survival and differentiation of transplanted cells. Here, we undertook in vitro and in vivo works to examine whether a designer self-assemble peptide (DSP), which contains one functional domain Tyr-Ile-Gly-Ser-Arg (YIGSR) derived from laminin, promotes the survival and neuronal differentiation of NSC and behavioral improvement. We found that DSP could undergo spontaneous assembly into well-ordered nanofibers, and it not only facilitated the cell viability in normal culture condition, but also decreased the number of apoptotic cells induced by Aβ in vitro. NSC seeded in DSP showed much more neuronal differentiation than that seeded in self-assemble peptide (SP) or alone. In the AD model, NSC transplantation in DSP-treated AD rats demonstrated much more obvious cognitive rescue with restoration of learning/memory function compared with NSC transplantation in SP, NSC alone, or DSP alone treated ones. Interestingly, DSP enhanced the survival and neuronal differentiation of transplanted NSC. Apoptosis levels in the CA1 region and Aβ level in the hippocampus were significantly decreased in the group of NSC transplantation in DSP. Moreover, synaptic function, indicated by the expression of pre-synaptic protein synapsin-1, was restored and the secretion of anti-inflammatory and neurotrophic factors were increased, such as IL-10, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), and insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), while the expression of pro-inflammatory factors were decreased, such as TNF-α and IL-1β. These data firstly unveiled that the biomaterial DSP can

  17. A conserved behavioral state barrier impedes transitions between anesthetic-induced unconsciousness and wakefulness: evidence for neural inertia.

    Eliot B Friedman

    Full Text Available One major unanswered question in neuroscience is how the brain transitions between conscious and unconscious states. General anesthetics offer a controllable means to study these transitions. Induction of anesthesia is commonly attributed to drug-induced global modulation of neuronal function, while emergence from anesthesia has been thought to occur passively, paralleling elimination of the anesthetic from its sites in the central nervous system (CNS. If this were true, then CNS anesthetic concentrations on induction and emergence would be indistinguishable. By generating anesthetic dose-response data in both insects and mammals, we demonstrate that the forward and reverse paths through which anesthetic-induced unconsciousness arises and dissipates are not identical. Instead they exhibit hysteresis that is not fully explained by pharmacokinetics as previously thought. Single gene mutations that affect sleep-wake states are shown to collapse or widen anesthetic hysteresis without obvious confounding effects on volatile anesthetic uptake, distribution, or metabolism. We propose a fundamental and biologically conserved concept of neural inertia, a tendency of the CNS to resist behavioral state transitions between conscious and unconscious states. We demonstrate that such a barrier separates wakeful and anesthetized states for multiple anesthetics in both flies and mice, and argue that it contributes to the hysteresis observed when the brain transitions between conscious and unconscious states.

  18. A Conserved Behavioral State Barrier Impedes Transitions between Anesthetic-Induced Unconsciousness and Wakefulness: Evidence for Neural Inertia

    Friedman, Eliot B.; Sun, Yi; Moore, Jason T.; Hung, Hsiao-Tung; Meng, Qing Cheng; Perera, Priyan; Joiner, William J.; Thomas, Steven A.; Eckenhoff, Roderic G.; Sehgal, Amita; Kelz, Max B.

    2010-01-01

    One major unanswered question in neuroscience is how the brain transitions between conscious and unconscious states. General anesthetics offer a controllable means to study these transitions. Induction of anesthesia is commonly attributed to drug-induced global modulation of neuronal function, while emergence from anesthesia has been thought to occur passively, paralleling elimination of the anesthetic from its sites in the central nervous system (CNS). If this were true, then CNS anesthetic concentrations on induction and emergence would be indistinguishable. By generating anesthetic dose-response data in both insects and mammals, we demonstrate that the forward and reverse paths through which anesthetic-induced unconsciousness arises and dissipates are not identical. Instead they exhibit hysteresis that is not fully explained by pharmacokinetics as previously thought. Single gene mutations that affect sleep-wake states are shown to collapse or widen anesthetic hysteresis without obvious confounding effects on volatile anesthetic uptake, distribution, or metabolism. We propose a fundamental and biologically conserved concept of neural inertia, a tendency of the CNS to resist behavioral state transitions between conscious and unconscious states. We demonstrate that such a barrier separates wakeful and anesthetized states for multiple anesthetics in both flies and mice, and argue that it contributes to the hysteresis observed when the brain transitions between conscious and unconscious states. PMID:20689589

  19. Normal perception of Mooney faces in developmental prosopagnosia: Evidence from the N170 component and rapid neural adaptation.

    Towler, John; Gosling, Angela; Duchaine, Bradley; Eimer, Martin

    2016-03-01

    Individuals with developmental prosopagnosia (DP) have a severe difficulty recognizing the faces of known individuals in the absence of any history of neurological damage. These recognition problems may be linked to selective deficits in the holistic/configural processing of faces. We used two-tone Mooney images to study the processing of faces versus non-face objects in DP when it is based on holistic information (or the facial gestalt) in the absence of obvious local cues about facial features. A rapid adaptation procedure was employed for a group of 16 DPs. Naturalistic photographs of upright faces were preceded by upright or inverted Mooney faces or by Mooney houses. DPs showed face-sensitive N170 components in response to Mooney faces versus houses, and N170 amplitude reductions for inverted as compared to upright Mooney faces. They also showed the typical pattern of N170 adaptation effects, with reduced N170 components when upright naturalistic test faces were preceded by upright Mooney faces, demonstrating that the perception of Mooney and naturalistic faces recruits shared neural populations. Our findings demonstrate that individuals with DP can utilize global information about face configurations for categorical discriminations between faces and non-face objects, and suggest that face processing deficits emerge primarily at more fine-grained higher level stages of face perception. PMID:25237758

  20. Neural evidence for the use of digit-image mnemonic in a superior memorist: An fMRI study

    Li-Jun eYin

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Some superior memorists demonstrated exceptional memory for reciting a large body of information. The underlying neural correlates, however, are seldom addressed. C.L., the current holder of Guinness World Record for reciting 67,890 digits in π, participated in this functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI study. Thirteen participants without any mnemonics training were included as controls. Our previous studies suggested that C.L. used a digit-image mnemonic in studying and recalling lists of digits, namely associating 2-digit groups of ‘00’ to ‘99’ with images and generating vivid stories out of them (Hu, Ericsson, Yang & Lu, 2009. Thus, 2-digit condition was included, with 1-digit numbers and letters as control conditions. We hypothesized that 2-digit condition in C.L. should elicit the strongest activity in the brain regions which are associated with his mnemonic. Functional MRI results revealed that bilateral frontal poles (FPs, BA10, left superior parietal lobule (SPL, left premotor cortex (PMC, and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC, were more engaged in both the study and recall phase of 2-digit condition for C.L. relative to controls. Moreover, the left middle/inferior frontal gyri (M/IFG and intraparietal sulci (IPS were less engaged in the study phase of 2-digit condition for C.L. (vs. controls. These results suggested that C.L. relied more on brain regions that are associated with episodic memory other than verbal rehearsal while he used his mnemonic strategies. This study supported theoretical accounts of restructured cognitive mechanisms for the acquisition of superior memory performance.

  1. Libet's experiment provides no evidence against strong libertarian free will because it does not investigate voluntary actions

    von Wachter, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    It is widely believed that Libet's experiment has shown that all our actions have preceding unconscious causes. This article argues that Libet's claim that the actions he investigated are voluntary is false. They are urges, and therefore the experiment shows at most that our urges have preceding unconscious causes, which is what also strong libertarianism leads us to expect. Further, Libet's correct observation that we can veto urges undermines his claim that our actions are initiated unconsc...

  2. Introduction. Modelling natural action selection

    Tony J Prescott; Bryson, Joanna J; Seth, Anil K.

    2007-01-01

    Action selection is the task of resolving conflicts between competing behavioural alternatives. This theme issue is dedicated to advancing our understanding of the behavioural patterns and neural substrates supporting action selection in animals, including humans. The scope of problems investigated includes: (i) whether biological action selection is optimal (and, if so, what is optimized), (ii) the neural substrates for action selection in the vertebrate brain, (iii) the role of perceptual s...

  3. Comparing the processing of music and language meaning using EEG and FMRI provides evidence for similar and distinct neural representations.

    Nikolaus Steinbeis

    Full Text Available Recent demonstrations that music is capable of conveying semantically meaningful information has raised several questions as to what the underlying mechanisms of establishing meaning in music are, and if the meaning of music is represented in comparable fashion to language meaning. This paper presents evidence showing that expressed affect is a primary pathway to music meaning and that meaning in music is represented in a very similar fashion to language meaning. In two experiments using EEG and fMRI, it was shown that single chords varying in harmonic roughness (consonance/dissonance and thus perceived affect could prime the processing of subsequently presented affective target words, as indicated by an increased N400 and activation of the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG. Most importantly, however, when primed by affective words, single chords incongruous to the preceding affect also elicited an N400 and activated the right posterior STS, an area implicated in processing meaning of a variety of signals (e.g. prosody, voices, motion. This provides an important piece of evidence in support of music meaning being represented in a very similar but also distinct fashion to language meaning: Both elicit an N400, but activate different portions of the right temporal lobe.

  4. Comparing the processing of music and language meaning using EEG and FMRI provides evidence for similar and distinct neural representations.

    Steinbeis, Nikolaus; Koelsch, Stefan

    2008-01-01

    Recent demonstrations that music is capable of conveying semantically meaningful information has raised several questions as to what the underlying mechanisms of establishing meaning in music are, and if the meaning of music is represented in comparable fashion to language meaning. This paper presents evidence showing that expressed affect is a primary pathway to music meaning and that meaning in music is represented in a very similar fashion to language meaning. In two experiments using EEG and fMRI, it was shown that single chords varying in harmonic roughness (consonance/dissonance) and thus perceived affect could prime the processing of subsequently presented affective target words, as indicated by an increased N400 and activation of the right middle temporal gyrus (MTG). Most importantly, however, when primed by affective words, single chords incongruous to the preceding affect also elicited an N400 and activated the right posterior STS, an area implicated in processing meaning of a variety of signals (e.g. prosody, voices, motion). This provides an important piece of evidence in support of music meaning being represented in a very similar but also distinct fashion to language meaning: Both elicit an N400, but activate different portions of the right temporal lobe. PMID:18493611

  5. A new framework for cortico-striatal plasticity: behavioural theory meets in vitro data at the reinforcement-action interface

    Gurney, Kevin; Mark D Humphries; Redgrave, Peter

    2015-01-01

    Operant learning requires that reinforcement signals interact with action representations at a suitable neural interface. Much evidence suggests that this occurs when phasic dopamine, acting as a reinforcement prediction error, gates plasticity at cortico-striatal synapses, and thereby changes the future likelihood of selecting the action(s) coded by striatal neurons. But this hypothesis faces serious challenges. First, cortico-striatal plasticity is inexplicably complex, depending on spike t...

  6. Neural Correlates of Fixation Duration during Real-world Scene Viewing: Evidence from Fixation-related (FIRE) fMRI.

    Henderson, John M; Choi, Wonil

    2015-06-01

    During active scene perception, our eyes move from one location to another via saccadic eye movements, with the eyes fixating objects and scene elements for varying amounts of time. Much of the variability in fixation duration is accounted for by attentional, perceptual, and cognitive processes associated with scene analysis and comprehension. For this reason, current theories of active scene viewing attempt to account for the influence of attention and cognition on fixation duration. Yet almost nothing is known about the neurocognitive systems associated with variation in fixation duration during scene viewing. We addressed this topic using fixation-related fMRI, which involves coregistering high-resolution eye tracking and magnetic resonance scanning to conduct event-related fMRI analysis based on characteristics of eye movements. We observed that activation in visual and prefrontal executive control areas was positively correlated with fixation duration, whereas activation in ventral areas associated with scene encoding and medial superior frontal and paracentral regions associated with changing action plans was negatively correlated with fixation duration. The results suggest that fixation duration in scene viewing is controlled by cognitive processes associated with real-time scene analysis interacting with motor planning, consistent with current computational models of active vision for scene perception. PMID:25436668

  7. Neural correlates of sensory prediction errors in monkeys: evidence for internal models of voluntary self-motion in the cerebellum.

    Cullen, Kathleen E; Brooks, Jessica X

    2015-02-01

    During self-motion, the vestibular system makes essential contributions to postural stability and self-motion perception. To ensure accurate perception and motor control, it is critical to distinguish between vestibular sensory inputs that are the result of externally applied motion (exafference) and that are the result of our own actions (reafference). Indeed, although the vestibular sensors encode vestibular afference and reafference with equal fidelity, neurons at the first central stage of sensory processing selectively encode vestibular exafference. The mechanism underlying this reafferent suppression compares the brain's motor-based expectation of sensory feedback with the actual sensory consequences of voluntary self-motion, effectively computing the sensory prediction error (i.e., exafference). It is generally thought that sensory prediction errors are computed in the cerebellum, yet it has been challenging to explicitly demonstrate this. We have recently addressed this question and found that deep cerebellar nuclei neurons explicitly encode sensory prediction errors during self-motion. Importantly, in everyday life, sensory prediction errors occur in response to changes in the effector or world (muscle strength, load, etc.), as well as in response to externally applied sensory stimulation. Accordingly, we hypothesize that altering the relationship between motor commands and the actual movement parameters will result in the updating in the cerebellum-based computation of exafference. If our hypothesis is correct, under these conditions, neuronal responses should initially be increased--consistent with a sudden increase in the sensory prediction error. Then, over time, as the internal model is updated, response modulation should decrease in parallel with a reduction in sensory prediction error, until vestibular reafference is again suppressed. The finding that the internal model predicting the sensory consequences of motor commands adapts for new

  8. Prediction of persistence of combined evidence-based cardiovascular medications in patients with acute coronary syndrome after hospital discharge using neural networks.

    Bourdès, Valérie; Ferrières, Jean; Amar, Jacques; Amelineau, Elisabeth; Bonnevay, Stéphane; Berlion, Maryse; Danchin, Nicolas

    2011-08-01

    In the PREVENIR-5 study, artificial neural networks (NN) were applied to a large sample of patients with recent first acute coronary syndrome (ACS) to identify determinants of persistence of evidence-based cardiovascular medications (EBCM: antithrombotic + beta-blocker + statin + angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor-ACEI and/or angiotensin-II receptor blocker-ARB). From October 2006 to April 2007, 1,811 general practitioners recruited 4,850 patients with a mean time of ACS occurrence of 24 months. Patient profile for EBCM persistence was determined using automatic rule generation from NN. The prediction accuracy of NN was compared with that of logistic regression (LR) using Area Under Receiver-Operating Characteristics-AUROC. At hospital discharge, EBCM was prescribed to 2,132 patients (44%). EBCM persistence rate, 24 months after ACS, was 86.7%. EBCM persistence profile combined overweight, hypercholesterolemia, no coronary artery bypass grafting and low educational level (Positive Predictive Value = 0.958). AUROC curves showed better predictive accuracy for NN compared to LR models. PMID:21598000

  9. The Calcium Wave Model of the Perception-Action Cycle: Evidence from Semantic Relevance in Memory Experiments

    AlfredoPereira Jr

    2013-01-01

    We present a general model of brain function (the calcium wave model), distinguishing three processing modes in the perception-action cycle. The model provides an interpretation of the data from experiments on semantic memory conducted by the authors.

  10. Voluntary Pressing and Releasing Actions Induce Different Senses of Time: Evidence from Event-Related Brain Responses

    Ke Zhao; Ruolei Gu; Liang Wang; Ping Xiao; Yu-Hsin Chen; Jing Liang; Li Hu; Xiaolan Fu

    2014-01-01

    The timing intervals initiated by voluntary pressing actions are subjectively compressed compared with those initiated by voluntary releasing actions. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were employed in the present study to uncover the temporal mechanisms underlying this temporal illusion. The results revealed that the mean amplitude of the P1 component over the frontal-central recording sites, but not the P2 component, was larger in the voluntary pressing condition than in the voluntary releasi...

  11. Predicate Structures, Gesture, and Simultaneity in the Representation of Action in British Sign Language: Evidence From Deaf Children and Adults

    Cormier, K.; Smith, S.; Sevcikova, Z.

    2013-01-01

    British Sign Language (BSL) signers use a variety of structures, such as constructed action (CA), depicting constructions (DCs), or lexical verbs, to represent action and other verbal meanings. This study examines the use of these verbal predicate structures and their gestural counterparts, both separately and simultaneously, in narratives by deaf children with various levels of exposure to BSL (ages 5;1 to 7;5) and deaf adult native BSL signers. Results reveal that all groups used the same t...

  12. Libet's experiment provides no evidence against strong libertarian free will because it investigates the wrong kind of action

    von Wachter, Daniel

    2012-01-01

    While other philosophers have pointed out that Libet's experiment is compatible with compatibilist free will and also with some kinds of libertarian free will, this article argues that it is even compatible with strong libertarian free will, \\ie a person's ability to initiate causal processes. It is widely believed that Libet's experiment has shown that all our actions have preceding unconscious causes. This article argues that Libet's claim that the actions he investigated are voluntary is f...

  13. Establishing New Mappings between Familiar Phones: Neural and Behavioral Evidence for Early Automatic Processing of Nonnative Contrasts

    Barrios, Shannon L.; Namyst, Anna M.; Lau, Ellen F.; Feldman, Naomi H.; Idsardi, William J.

    2016-01-01

    To attain native-like competence, second language (L2) learners must establish mappings between familiar speech sounds and new phoneme categories. For example, Spanish learners of English must learn that [d] and [ð], which are allophones of the same phoneme in Spanish, can distinguish meaning in English (i.e., /deɪ/ “day” and /ðeɪ/ “they”). Because adult listeners are less sensitive to allophonic than phonemic contrasts in their native language (L1), novel target language contrasts between L1 allophones may pose special difficulty for L2 learners. We investigate whether advanced Spanish late-learners of English overcome native language mappings to establish new phonological relations between familiar phones. We report behavioral and magnetoencepholographic (MEG) evidence from two experiments that measured the sensitivity and pre-attentive processing of three listener groups (L1 English, L1 Spanish, and advanced Spanish late-learners of English) to differences between three nonword stimulus pairs ([idi]-[iði], [idi]-[iɾi], and [iði]-[iɾi]) which differ in phones that play a different functional role in Spanish and English. Spanish and English listeners demonstrated greater sensitivity (larger d' scores) for nonword pairs distinguished by phonemic than by allophonic contrasts, mirroring previous findings. Spanish late-learners demonstrated sensitivity (large d' scores and MMN responses) to all three contrasts, suggesting that these L2 learners may have established a novel [d]-[ð] contrast despite the phonological relatedness of these sounds in the L1. Our results suggest that phonological relatedness influences perceived similarity, as evidenced by the results of the native speaker groups, but may not cause persistent difficulty for advanced L2 learners. Instead, L2 learners are able to use cues that are present in their input to establish new mappings between familiar phones. PMID:27445949

  14. Establishing New Mappings between Familiar Phones: Neural and Behavioral Evidence for Early Automatic Processing of Nonnative Contrasts.

    Barrios, Shannon L; Namyst, Anna M; Lau, Ellen F; Feldman, Naomi H; Idsardi, William J

    2016-01-01

    To attain native-like competence, second language (L2) learners must establish mappings between familiar speech sounds and new phoneme categories. For example, Spanish learners of English must learn that [d] and [ð], which are allophones of the same phoneme in Spanish, can distinguish meaning in English (i.e., /deɪ/ "day" and /ðeɪ/ "they"). Because adult listeners are less sensitive to allophonic than phonemic contrasts in their native language (L1), novel target language contrasts between L1 allophones may pose special difficulty for L2 learners. We investigate whether advanced Spanish late-learners of English overcome native language mappings to establish new phonological relations between familiar phones. We report behavioral and magnetoencepholographic (MEG) evidence from two experiments that measured the sensitivity and pre-attentive processing of three listener groups (L1 English, L1 Spanish, and advanced Spanish late-learners of English) to differences between three nonword stimulus pairs ([idi]-[iði], [idi]-[iɾi], and [iði]-[iɾi]) which differ in phones that play a different functional role in Spanish and English. Spanish and English listeners demonstrated greater sensitivity (larger d' scores) for nonword pairs distinguished by phonemic than by allophonic contrasts, mirroring previous findings. Spanish late-learners demonstrated sensitivity (large d' scores and MMN responses) to all three contrasts, suggesting that these L2 learners may have established a novel [d]-[ð] contrast despite the phonological relatedness of these sounds in the L1. Our results suggest that phonological relatedness influences perceived similarity, as evidenced by the results of the native speaker groups, but may not cause persistent difficulty for advanced L2 learners. Instead, L2 learners are able to use cues that are present in their input to establish new mappings between familiar phones. PMID:27445949

  15. Additional Evidence of the Trypanocidal Action of (−-Elatol on Amastigote Forms through the Involvement of Reactive Oxygen Species

    Vânia Cristina Desoti

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Chagas’ disease, a vector-transmitted infectious disease, is caused by the protozoa parasite Trypanosoma cruzi. Drugs that are currently available for the treatment of this disease are unsatisfactory, making the search for new chemotherapeutic agents a priority. We recently described the trypanocidal action of (−-elatol, extracted from the macroalga Laurencia dendroidea. However, nothing has been described about the mechanism of action of this compound on amastigotes that are involved in the chronic phase of Chagas’ disease. The goal of the present study was to evaluate the effect of (−-elatol on the formation of superoxide anions (O2•−, DNA fragmentation, and autophagy in amastigotes of T. cruzi to elucidate the possible mechanism of the trypanocidal action of (−-elatol. Treatment of the amastigotes with (−-elatol increased the formation of O2•− at all concentrations of (−-elatol assayed compared with untreated parasites. Increased fluorescence was observed in parasites treated with (−-elatol, indicating DNA fragmentation and the formation of autophagic compartments. The results suggest that the trypanocidal action of (−-elatol might involve the induction of the autophagic and apoptotic death pathways triggered by an imbalance of the parasite’s redox metabolism.

  16. Proprioception contributes to the sense of agency during visual observation of hand movements: evidence from temporal judgments of action

    Balslev, Daniela; Cole, Jonathan; Miall, R Chris

    2007-01-01

    The ability to recognize visually one's own movement is important for motor control and, through attribution of agency, for social interactions. Agency of actions may be decided by comparisons of visual feedback, efferent signals, and proprioceptive inputs. Because the ability to identify one's o...

  17. Predicate structures, gesture, and simultaneity in the representation of action in British Sign Language: evidence from deaf children and adults.

    Cormier, Kearsy; Smith, Sandra; Sevcikova, Zed

    2013-01-01

    British Sign Language (BSL) signers use a variety of structures, such as constructed action (CA), depicting constructions (DCs), or lexical verbs, to represent action and other verbal meanings. This study examines the use of these verbal predicate structures and their gestural counterparts, both separately and simultaneously, in narratives by deaf children with various levels of exposure to BSL (ages 5;1 to 7;5) and deaf adult native BSL signers. Results reveal that all groups used the same types of predicative structures, including children with minimal BSL exposure. However, adults used CA, DCs, and/or lexical signs simultaneously more frequently than children. These results suggest that simultaneous use of CA with lexical and depicting predicates is more complex than the use of these predicate structures alone and thus may take deaf children more time to master. PMID:23670881

  18. Proprioception contributes to the sense of agency during visual observation of hand movements: evidence from temporal judgments of action

    Balslev, Daniela; Cole, Jonathan; Miall, R. Chris

    2007-01-01

    The ability to recognize one's own movement visually is important for motor control and, through attribution of agency, for social interactions. Agency of actions may be decided by comparisons of visual feedback, efferent signals and proprioceptive inputs. Because the ability to identify own visual feedback from passive movements is decreased relative to active movements, or in some cases is even absent, the role of proprioception in self-recognition has been questioned. Proprioception during...

  19. The neural processing of voluntary completed, real and virtual violent and nonviolent computer game scenarios displaying predefined actions in gamers and nongamers.

    Regenbogen, Christina; Herrmann, Manfred; Fehr, Thorsten

    2010-01-01

    Studies investigating the effects of violent computer and video game playing have resulted in heterogeneous outcomes. It has been assumed that there is a decreased ability to differentiate between virtuality and reality in people that play these games intensively. FMRI data of a group of young males with (gamers) and without (controls) a history of long-term violent computer game playing experience were obtained during the presentation of computer game and realistic video sequences. In gamers the processing of real violence in contrast to nonviolence produced activation clusters in right inferior frontal, left lingual and superior temporal brain regions. Virtual violence activated a network comprising bilateral inferior frontal, occipital, postcentral, right middle temporal, and left fusiform regions. Control participants showed extended left frontal, insula and superior frontal activations during the processing of real, and posterior activations during the processing of virtual violent scenarios. The data suggest that the ability to differentiate automatically between real and virtual violence has not been diminished by a long-term history of violent video game play, nor have gamers' neural responses to real violence in particular been subject to desensitization processes. However, analyses of individual data indicated that group-related analyses reflect only a small part of actual individual different neural network involvement, suggesting that the consideration of individual learning history is sufficient for the present discussion. PMID:19823959

  20. Different mechanisms for role relations versus verb-action congruence effects: evidence from ERPs in picture-sentence verification.

    Knoeferle, Pia; Urbach, Thomas P; Kutas, Marta

    2014-10-01

    Extant accounts of visually situated language processing do make general predictions about visual context effects on incremental sentence comprehension; these, however, are not sufficiently detailed to accommodate potentially different visual context effects (such as a scene-sentence mismatch based on actions versus thematic role relations, e.g., (Altmann & Kamide, 2007; Knoeferle & Crocker, 2007; Taylor & Zwaan, 2008; Zwaan & Radvansky, 1998)). To provide additional data for theory testing and development, we collected event-related brain potentials (ERPs) as participants read a subject-verb-object sentence (500 ms SOA in Experiment 1 and 300 ms SOA in Experiment 2), and post-sentence verification times indicating whether or not the verb and/or the thematic role relations matched a preceding picture (depicting two participants engaged in an action). Though incrementally processed, these two types of mismatch yielded different ERP effects. Role-relation mismatch effects emerged at the subject noun as anterior negativities to the mismatching noun, preceding action mismatch effects manifest as centro-parietal N400s greater to the mismatching verb, regardless of SOAs. These two types of mismatch manipulations also yielded different effects post-verbally, correlated differently with a participant's mean accuracy, verbal working memory and visual-spatial scores, and differed in their interactions with SOA. Taken together these results clearly implicate more than a single mismatch mechanism for extant accounts of picture-sentence processing to accommodate. PMID:25216075

  1. Lack of serologic evidence for an association between Cache Valley Virus infection and anencephaly and other neural tube defects in Texas.

    Edwards, J. F.; Hendricks, K

    1997-01-01

    We tested the hypothesis that Cache Valley Virus (CVV), an endemic North American bunyavirus, may be involved in the pathogenesis of human neural tube defects. This investigation followed a 1990 and 1991 south Texas outbreak of neural tube defects with a high prevalence of anencephaly and the demonstration in 1987 that in utero infection by CVV was the cause of outbreaks of central nervous system and musculoskeletal defects in North American ruminants. Sera from 74 women who gave birth to inf...

  2. Using neural networks and extreme value distributions to model electricity pool prices: Evidence from the Australian National Electricity Market 1998–2013

    Highlights: • Neural nets are unable to properly capture spiky price behavior found in the electricity market. • We modeled electricity price data from the Australian National Electricity Market over 15 years. • Neural nets need to be augmented with other modeling techniques to capture price spikes. • We fit a Generalized Pareto Distribution to price spikes using a peaks-over-thresholds approach. - Abstract: Competitors in the electricity supply industry desire accurate predictions of electricity spot prices to hedge against financial risks. Neural networks are commonly used for forecasting such prices, but certain features of spot price series, such as extreme price spikes, present critical challenges for such modeling. We investigate the predictive capacity of neural networks for electricity spot prices using Australian National Electricity Market data. Following neural net modeling of the data, we explore extreme price spikes through extreme value modeling, fitting a Generalized Pareto Distribution to price peaks over an estimated threshold. While neural nets capture the smoother aspects of spot price data, they are unable to capture local, volatile features that characterize electricity spot price data. Price spikes can be modeled successfully through extreme value modeling

  3. Body posture modulates action perception

    Zimmermann, M; Toni, I.; Lange, F.P. de

    2013-01-01

    Recent studies have highlighted cognitive and neural similarities between planning and perceiving actions. Given that action planning involves a simulation of potential action plans that depends on the actor's body posture, we reasoned that perceiving actions may also be influenced by one's body posture. Here, we test whether and how this influence occurs by measuring behavioral and cerebral (fMRI) responses in human participants predicting goals of observed actions, while manipulating postur...

  4. Collective action for public goods provision in low-income groups: a model and evidence from Peru

    Catherine Almirall

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available ¿Bajo qué circunstancias aparece la acción colectiva? ¿Cuáles son los factores que le dan mayoresposibilidades de éxito? ¿En qué medida las comunidades pobres tienen capacidad para organizarsecon el objetivo de mejorar sus condiciones de vida? Estas preguntas no son nuevas y se hanhecho muchas investigaciones, pero usualmente para el mundo rural. La investigación sobre laacción colectiva en el mundo urbano parece estar más desarrollada en la ciencia política que en laeconomía. La pregunta fundamental se mantiene: ¿cómo se producen y se mantienen los bienespúblicos en comunidades urbanas pobres?Este artículo presenta un conjunto de hipótesis sobre los determinantes de la acción colectiva. La accióncolectiva en barrios urbanos pobres enfrentan tres restricciones básicas: el problema olsoniano,el problema de Maslow y el problema de la exclusión. La parte empírica del artículo utiliza datosrecolectados en barrios marginales de Lima, Perú, en seis tipos de organizaciones comunales. -- Under what circumstances does collective action arise? What contributes to the likelihood that aparticular collective initiative will succeed? To what extent are poor communities capable of organizingthemselves to improve their quality of life? These questions are not new, and economic researchershave studied a number of models in rural settings. Yet the research on collective action in urban areasseems to be more in the political sciences, and an economic model is still lacking. The fundamentalquestion remains: How are public goods produced and maintained by poor urban communities?This paper presents a set of hypotheses on collective action determinants. Collective action in poorneighborhoods faces three key barriers to success: the Olsonian free-rider problem, the Maslowianproblem, and the exclusion problem. The empirical portion of this paper uses data collected inpoor urban and peri-urban areas of Lima, Peru, in six types of community

  5. Efeitos do potencial de ação neural sobre a percepção de fala em usuários de implante coclear Influence of evoked compound action potential on speech perception in cochlear implant users

    Mariana Cardoso Guedes

    2007-08-01

    Full Text Available O Potencial de Ação Composto Evocado Eletricamente reflete a atividade do nervo auditivo, podendo ser registrado através dos eletrodos do implante coclear. A determinação dos elementos neurais estimuláveis pode contribuir para explicar a variabilidade de desempenho entre indivíduos implantados. OBJETIVO: Comparar o desempenho nos testes de percepção da fala entre pacientes que apresentaram e que não apresentaram potencial de ação composto evocado eletricamente no momento intra-operatório. MATERIAL E MÉTODO: Estudo prospectivo no qual 100 indivíduos usuários do implante coclear Nucleus 24 foram divididos em dois grupos de acordo com a presença ou ausência do potencial de ação intra-operatório. Após 6 meses de uso do dispositivo, os resultados dos testes de percepção de fala foram comparados entre os grupos. RESULTADOS: O potencial foi observado em 72% dos pacientes. A percepção no teste de frases em formato aberto foi melhor nos indivíduos com presença de potencial (média 82,8% contra 41,0%, p = 0,005. Houve associação entre ausência do potencial e etiologia da surdez por meningite. CONCLUSÃO: Ausência de potencial neural intraoperatório esteve associada ao pior desempenho na percepção da fala e à etiologia da surdez por meningite. Por outro lado, a presença do potencial de ação intraoperatório sugere ótimo prognóstico.Electrically Evoked Compound Action Potential is a measure of synchronous cochlear nerve fibers activity elicited by electrical stimulation of the cochlear implant. The electrophysiological nerve responses may contribute to explain the variability in individual performance of cochlear implant recipients. AIM: To compare speech perception tests’ performances of cochlear implant users according to the presence or absence of intraoperative neural telemetry responses. MATERIAL AND METHOD: Prospective study design with 100 "Nucleus 24" cochlear implant users divided in two groups according

  6. Evidence that 17alpha-estradiol is biologically active in the uterine tissue: Antiuterotonic and antiuterotrophic action

    Navarrete Erika

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background 17alpha-Estradiol has been considered as the hormonally inactive isomer of 17beta-estradiol. Recently, nongenomic (smooth muscle relaxation and genomic (light estrogenic activity effects of 17alpha-estradiol have been reported, but no reports have yet determined its possible antiestrogenic activity. Therefore, this study investigated: the nongenomic action of 17alpha-estradiol on uterine contractile activity and its potential agonist-antagonist activity on uterine growth. Methods Uterine rings from rats were isometrically recorded. Different concentrations (0.2–200 microM of 17alpha-estradiol were tested on spontaneous contraction and equimolarly compared with 17beta-estradiol. To examine the mechanism of 17alpha-estradiol action, its effect was studied in presence of beta2-antagonist (propranolol, antiestrogens (tamoxifen and ICI 182,780 or inhibitors of protein synthesis (cycloheximide and transcription (actinomycin D. Moreover, contractions induced by high potassium (KCl solution or calcium in depolarized tissues by KCl-calcium free solution were exposed to 17alpha-estradiol. Collaterally, we performed an uterotrophic assay in adult ovariectomized rats measuring the uterine wet weight. The administration for three days of 0.3 microM/day/Kg 17beta-estradiol was equimolarly compared with the response produced by 17alpha-estradiol. Antiuterotrophic activity was assayed by administration of 0.3 microM/day/Kg 17beta-estradiol and various doses ratios (1:1, 1:3, 1:5, and 1:100 of 17alpha-estradiol. Results The estradiol isomers elicited an immediate relaxation, concentration-dependent and reversible on spontaneous contraction. 17alpha-Estradiol presented lower potency than 17beta-estradiol although it did not antagonize 17beta-estradiol-induced relaxation. Relaxation to 17alpha-estradiol was not inhibited by propranolol, tamoxifen, ICI 182,780, cycloheximide or actinomycin D. The KCl contractions were also sensitive to 17alpha

  7. The neural crest and neural crest cells: discovery and significance for theories of embryonic organization

    Brian K Hall

    2008-12-01

    The neural crest has long fascinated developmental biologists, and, increasingly over the past decades, evolutionary and evolutionary developmental biologists. The neural crest is the name given to the fold of ectoderm at the junction between neural and epidermal ectoderm in neurula-stage vertebrate embryos. In this sense, the neural crest is a morphological term akin to head fold or limb bud. This region of the dorsal neural tube consists of neural crest cells, a special population(s) of cell, that give rise to an astonishing number of cell types and to an equally astonishing number of tissues and organs. Neural crest cell contributions may be direct — providing cells — or indirect — providing a necessary, often inductive, environment in which other cells develop. The enormous range of cell types produced provides an important source of evidence of the neural crest as a germ layer, bringing the number of germ layers to four — ectoderm, endoderm, mesoderm, and neural crest. In this paper I provide a brief overview of the major phases of investigation into the neural crest and the major players involved, discuss how the origin of the neural crest relates to the origin of the nervous system in vertebrate embryos, discuss the impact on the germ-layer theory of the discovery of the neural crest and of secondary neurulation, and present evidence of the neural crest as the fourth germ layer. A companion paper (Hall, Evol. Biol. 2008) deals with the evolutionary origins of the neural crest and neural crest cells.

  8. Evidence for a causal inverse model in an avian cortico-basal ganglia circuit

    Giret, N.; Kornfeld, J.; Ganguli, S.; Hahnloser, R. H. R.

    2014-01-01

    Auditory neural responses mirror motor activity in a songbird cortical area. The average temporal offset of mirrored responses is roughly equal to short sensorimotor loop delays. This correspondence between mirroring offsets and loop delays constitutes evidence for a causal inverse model. Causal inverse models can map a desired sensation into the required action.

  9. Creation of a Research Community in a K-12 School System Using Action Research and Evidence Based Practice

    Jean K. Sand

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Objective - The purpose of this study was to apply skills developed from an Action Research Training Model (Gordon in the design of two action research projects to ensure that students are ethical users of ideas and information. It was deemed necessary to assess prior knowledge and attitudes of students and teachers in order to identify issues to be addressed. Methods - Both projects employed the use of survey instruments, which presented students with scenarios involving aspects of information use, and asked whether or not the actions in the scenarios were examples of ethical use. The high school survey was administered to 381 students in tenth grade English classes. The elementary survey was administered to 87 students in fifth grade. A more comprehensive survey was administered at the high school level. For each student behavior addressed by the survey, there were two questions: one eliciting the teacher’s perception of how often students engaged in that behavior, and the second how often the teacher had to confront a student about the same behavior. Participation was voluntary, and 36 teachers took the survey. Results - Surveys administered at the high school level showed that most students have a good understanding of the ethical use of information regarding clear instances of plagiarism. Students’ understanding was less clear in two major areas: creating a bibliography that accurately reflects the sources used to create the work, and the level of collaboration or assistance that is appropriate in completing a research assignment. The teacher surveys showed some discrepancy between perception of the frequency of certain types of unethical student behavior and how often teachers challenged students on that behavior. The surveys showed that teachers found plagiarism to be the most prevalent behavior, while obtaining copies of exams and buying papers were the least frequently occurring behaviors. At the elementary level, results indicated

  10. Resilience in action: an evidence-informed, theoretically driven approach to building strengths in an office-based setting.

    Ginsburg, Kenneth R; Carlson, Elyse C

    2011-12-01

    Positive Youth Development and resilience-based strategies designed to develop youth capabilities are promising means to reduce risky behaviors. This article focuses on applying a strengths-based approach in a health setting. It is anchored in behavioral models that propose that people make health-promoting decisions when they possess enough information to wish to change, motivation to drive them toward change, and the skill sets to take action toward and then maintain healthier behaviors. It considers how our interactions will benefit when we (1) form a trustworthy connection and health-promoting partnership, (2) use a behavioral screen that addresses risk in the context of existing strengths, (3) elicit strengths as well as challenges, (4) facilitate youth to derive their own solutions, and (5) offer teens positive coping strategies. PMID:22423460